Concluding our season review, F1Fanatic’s resident columnist Be Evans dishes out the awards to the very best of 2005 – indeed, even those who excelled in mediocrity.
Driver of the Year
Most years this is shoe-in for Mr M. Schumacher but 2005 has seen perhaps the greatest generational shift in driving talent for many years, throwing the blue riband category wide open:
F. Alonso – Youngest ever World Champion and round the outside of Schumacher at 130R. Need we say more
K. Raikkonen – Has put in some stunning drives all year and deserves extra credit for persevering at the Nurburgring
J. Montoya – An up and down year, but on his day the chubby Columbian has more than matched his team mate
M. Schumacher – How the mighty have fallen, but the results belie the fact that Schumacher made his Ferrari go far quicker than it deserved to
And the winner isâ€¦ Kimi Raikkonen. I’m dissenting from the editor’s view on this one (see 2005 Driver Rankings – ed.) Had it not been for his Mercedes detonating in every practice session the Finn would have walked away with the title
Driving Surprise of the Year
F1 once again threw up some surprise performances during 2005. Yes, Jarno Trulli faded during every GP, but his team mate was competitive for the first time this millennium
C. Klien – Having been written off as a waste of a seat in 2004, the Austrian put in some exceptionally strong performances throughout 2005 and deserves to keep his seat for next year
R. Schumacher – Although I’m loath to say it, Schumacher Jr looked pretty good for much of 2005, especially towards the end. A reversal in form still baffling many scientists
T. Montiero – For not being totally crap, and getting a podium, in a Jordan, in his debut year
D. Coulthard – For making his Red Bull circulate quicker than he did the ’04 McLaren
And the winner isâ€¦ Christian Klien for an excellent season that has marked him out as a genuine contender for future years
Driving Disappointment of the Year
Where there are winners there must be losers and F1 2005 has seen its fair share of drivers underperforming. This award may be their only chance to win something as an F1 driver
G. Fisichella – For being soundly beaten by his team mate in 17 of the 19 races, and being overtaken on the last lap at Suzuka when every other human being would have at least tried to defend
R. Barrichello – Was he even there?
J. Villenueve – Why bother staging a comeback when you are doing to do so little?
F. Massa – Seems to have won the Ferrari drive by virtue of being managed by Jean Todt’s son.
And the winner isâ€¦ Rubens Barrichello for spending a year in total anonymity
Luckiest Person of the Year
Chance comes in many different forms, here we try to salute them all
F. Massa – Never has someone been rewarded so well for doing so little
S. Speed – See above and mix Red Bull
N. Karthikeyan – For walking away from that shunt, although he had been threatening it all year
J. Villeneuve – For not getting sacked
And the winner isâ€¦ Felipe Massa. Felipe Massa Ferrari driver. Say it out loud and see if it feels right
Accident of the Year
Although a good season, F1 has been a little down on the shunt quotient this year. Even Takuma Sato has only rammed a few drivers
N. Karhikeyan, Shanghai – What a way to end the season, an accident of the highest calibre
C. Klien, Hungaroring – A perfectly executed little roll. Bonus points for teammate Coulthard also shunting on the same lap
T. Sato – Spa or Suzuka take your pick
J.P. Montoya – Not Suzuka, Istanbul or Hockenheim, but that tennis court in April. Did it swing the World Championship?
R. Schumacher – His Indianapolis shunt contrived to give big brother his only win of 2005. The ultimate in brotherly love?
And the winner isâ€¦ Narain Karthikeyan – For a truly monstrous accidentâ€¦ and for keeping us waiting.
High point of the Year
Every season has its classic moments, we pick the cream of the crop
Suzuka – The best of the best going head to head for two hours of pure action
Imola – The final twenty laps provided one of the finest one on one dices ever seen in Formula One
Schumacher not winning everything – That trademark jump was not missed by many
The future looking bright – Every team on the grid appears to be financially secure moving into 2006 and there are lots of potential new entrants
And the winner isâ€¦ Suzuka: what a way to enter the winter!
Low point of the Year
Lets face it there were a few
Imola on ITV – It’s the last three laps of the best GP in years â€¦ and I’m watching an advert for Ronseal
Indianapolis – Utterly disgraceful at the time, and later when Mosley et al conspicuously failed to take any of the blame for failing to find a solution
Felipe Massa Ferrari driver – need I say any more
Rubens Barrichello complaining about being overtaken by Schumacher on the last lap in Monaco – Rubens, the clue is in the sport’s name: motor racing
And the winner isâ€¦ Indianapolis, especially the finger-pointing reaction of the governing body in the aftermath
Race of the Year
2005 has had perhaps more end to end corkers than any season for a long, long time
Imola – The old master verses his successor uninterrupted for 20 laps (unless you were watching ITV)
Monte-Carlo – A cracking race, battles throughout the field for the duration. Proper overtaking returned to the principality for the first time in – what – 14 years?
Nurburgring – Raikkonen proving that he races to win, setting up one of the most dramatic finales for many years
Suzuka – The mother of all races -Formula One as if it were the final of the Formula Ford Festival
And the winners areâ€¦ the fans for being rewarded with races that pay back their tireless devotion. Except those in Indianapolis.