As well as the overall prize for Man of the Year, Hamilton scooped Driver of the Year, Personality of the Year, Qualifier of the Year (I’d have put Mark Webber, Jarno Trulli or Nico Rosberg top) and Rookie of the Year (not much of a surprise).
But for all those trophies there was one prize I was astonished he didn’t win. For Kimi Raikkonen won the award for Start of the Year.
For those of you who haven’t read the full article in this month’s F1 Racing, stop and think which of Raikkonen’s starts this year was particularly spectacular?
Raikkonen won the award for his start at the Hungaroring Grand Prix. He lined up third on the grid and moved up to second. Now, though I never like to belittle the achievements of racing drivers, what was so special about that?
He only passed one driver – Nick Heidfeld, who had a slower car and the disadvantage of starting on the dirty side of the grid. I’d go so far as to say it was inevitable that Raikkonen would pass Heidfeld in those circumstances.
I would have put any of the other starts nominated for that award ahead of Raikkonen’s – Heidfeld’s at Monte-Carlo, Jenson Button’s at the Nurburgring, and either of Hamilton’s efforts at Melbourne or Sepang.
And above all surely has to come Hamilton’s start at the Nurburgring – which wasn’t even shortlisted! From tenth on the grid he gained four places by the first corner, and would have taken fourth had Robert Kubica’s BMW not hit the back of his car.
But there it is – Raikkonen 45%, Hamilton (Melbourne) 22% and Hamilton (Sepang) 14%. I know this is just a vote in a magazine but I’m perplexed and wondering if everyone else can see some spark of genius in that start of Raikkonen’s that I’m blind to?
For the record, Raikkonen also won Drive of the Year for his win at Silverstone.