Alonso, Hamilton, Raikkonen… Who’s the best F1 driver in the wet? (Poll)

Debates and pollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Who is the best F1 driver in the wet? Vote below...
Who is the best F1 driver in the wet? Vote below...

When rain falls during a Grand Prix drivers find themselves robbed of their reference points. Their sensitivity to their car’s behaviour becomes even more important.

Patterns of braking, steering and accelerating have to be completely re-written – often from one lap to the next. To do that successfully they must rely on feel and raw skill. Whether their car is the fastest in the straight line or the most aerodynamically efficient is no longer as important as it once was.

Rain – the great leveller. So, which of today’s F1 drivers is the best on a wet track? Cast your vote below.

Here’s a look at the podiums in each of the rain-affected races that’s run during the brief lifetime of F1 Fanatic – and links to reports for each of those races:

2005 Belgium – Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button
2006 Hungary – Jenson Button, Pedro de la Rosa, Nick Heidfeld
2006 China – Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Nick Heidfeld
2007 Europe – Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Mark Webber
2007 Japan – Lewis Hamilton, Heikki Kovalainen, Kimi Raikkonen
2007 China – Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa
2008 Monaco – Lewis Hamilton, Robert Kubica, Felipe Massa
2008 Britain – Lewis Hamilton, Nick Heidfeld, Rubens Barrichello
2008 Belgium* – Felipe Massa, Nick Heidfeld, Lewis Hamilton
2008 Italy – Sebastian Vettel, Heikki Kovalainen, Robert Kubica

*Pending appeal

Who is the best wet weather driver in F1 today?

  • Lewis Hamilton (39%)
  • Felipe Massa (3%)
  • Robert Kubica (25%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (6%)
  • Nick Heidfeld (1%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (17%)
  • Jarno Trulli (0%)
  • Sebastian Vettel (5%)
  • Mark Webber (1%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Nelson Piquet Jnr (0%)
  • Rubens Barrichello (1%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Kazuki Nakajima (0%)
  • David Coulthard (0%)
  • Sebastien Bourdais (0%)
  • Jenson Button (1%)
  • Giancarlo Fisichella (0%)
  • Adrian Sutil (0%)

Total Voters: 1,076

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See more results of F1 Fanatic polls: F1 Fanatic polls archive

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87 comments on “Alonso, Hamilton, Raikkonen… Who’s the best F1 driver in the wet? (Poll)”

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  1. So i’m in the minority that voted Heidfield and Sutil?


    as Keith pointed out Kimi is stunning on drying conditions, probably from the sudden aggressive front end response you would get in those conditions, which Kimi loves.

    Hamilton is amazing in the COMPLETE wet, but in drying conditions his driving style rips his tyres to shreds, for proof;
    see Spa – at the start of the race, the track started to dry up, Kimi pounced
    see monza quali – went through one set of tyres in Q1
    see monza race – almost being beaten by a red bull
    China last year – went playing in the sand in drying conditions while Kimi romped home in same conditions

  2. I’ve also heard that Heikki has had problems adapting to driving with those extra paddles. Just an afterthought.

  3. That’s a good question Keith. Kovalainen wasn’t so bad in qualifing, 1.2 second ahead of Massa’s car in Q3 with the same load of fuel. In the opening stage of the race Heikki wasn’t so bad too, his pace was about 1.35 until Lap 10 and then he brutally looses 1 sec until the end of his first stint when all other drivers was able to improve. That’s why I said, Heikki’s curve looks very strange in Monza.

    Heikki’s pace wasn’t so bad at Silverstone in the first stint but he did lots of mistakes when Hamilton did a perfect job.

  4. We should only compare the drivers based on their current form. Lewis wasn’t driving in 06 but all were driving in 07 and also this current year. The amount of water on the track and the track characteristics, will always provide different results.
    And no car is ever designed to run in the wet. Its all about driver confidence and nothing more. Alonso finds it easier to keep his Renault on the track, than does. Piquet. Like wise, Lewis, puts in faster lap times in the rain, compared to Heikki.

    The Ferrari drivers have both not been very consistent when its wet. although apart from Silverston, Massa has shown a better consistency when its wet. Like his drive in Monaco and even in Monza, Massa drove a cleaner race when it was wet.

  5. What about Robert Kubica?
    In his debut he was 7th in Hungary 2006! Than came not so good races:
    *in Chine someone collided with him on the start what ruined his race,
    *in Europe 2007 Nick destroyed Kubica’s race,
    *in Japan 2007 he drive prefect! When he touched with Hamilton(what I think it was Hamilton mistake..) he get penalty (btw that was very funny:/) and ruined his race too…
    *in China 2007 when Kubica was on the lead of the race(!) came hydraulic problem.
    After this races came Monaco 2008 which I think he could win, if hamilton didn’t change his strategy after his problem with the tire, but at the end beautiful race by Robert. Britain 2008 was a bad one, but in Monza he finished 3rd from 11th positoin.
    I think he is very good in wet!

  6. Mick I think you are making that paddle stuff up. Those paddles work as a single lever and its very easy to use. Besides anyone who thinks the paddles acts as traction control, should actually listen and hear the wheels spinning as hey change gears.

  7. Sutil all the way. Give him a McLaren and he will show Lewis what wet weather driving can be…
    *Puts on Hamilton-fans-flame-proof suit :)

  8. Sutil’s an interesting case: he was excellent at Fuji last year and Monaco this year – but what happened to him at Monza?

  9. The F1 Crown is based on points, so we can do the same with the wet races. 3points for the winner, 2points for 2nd and 1point for3rd. Then we have total and average points stands to please some. the result is: Alonso is the best with Hamilton really close and Massa tied with Kimi, how about that?
    Driver Absolut Average
    Kimi 7 0.7
    Button 4 0.4
    Alonso 11 1.1
    Nick 6 0.6
    Massa 7 0.7
    Webber 1 0.1
    Hamilton 7 1
    Heikki 4 0.571428571
    Kubica 3 0.428571429

  10. Yeah, the paddles are a figment of my imagination, Oliver.

  11. The post is a little messy but i believe you can understand it. The decimal number is the average for each driver.

  12. Thanks Fergus. Interesting. I still think that Alonso and Vettel are up there. Hammy could prove to be better in the next few years.

  13. Keith “Sutil’s an interesting case: he was excellent at Fuji last year and Monaco this year – but what happened to him at Monza?” – the same can be said about Hamilton (until the track was drying)…

    This season so far, Hamilton’s been better in the wet (bar Monza), but overall I’d rather have Alonso in wet only because he’s more experienced.

  14. It´s very hard to know for sure who the best is in the wet, but the two that have stood out for me (and so far in this poll) are Hamilton and Alonso.

    This year, it´s not really worth comparing their performances in the wet as the Renault is a bit of a pig to drive so Alonso doesn´t have much chance of putting in a Lewis type performance at Monza.

    However last year they drove the same car so we can make fair comparisons from that.

    Firstly Europe, where Alonso drove a tidy race and was far quicker than Massa in the final part. However Hamilton was handicapped by the crash in qualifying and was never really in contention in the race and did make some errors.

    Secondly (not going in order of when the races took place) there is China, now granted Hamilton/Mclaren made an error in not bringing him in earlier but the first stint of the race was dominated by Hamilton, Alonso had a poor race by his standards and was never able to match the pace of Hamilton early on. It´s fair to say that whats the point in flying round early on if you´re going to cook the tyres, but this was an insight at the speed o Hamilton in the wet and his ability to find the grip thats out there quicker than the rest.

    lastly, an probably most significantly, was Fuji, where the two drivers in question, in identical cars, lead the field from the start. This is the best we´re going to get to a fair comparison, and on this ocasion Hamilton left Alonso standing in the worst conditions i´ve seen for an F1 race in a long time. I believe Alonso was really surprised at Hamiltons pace and this is what led to his accident, due to over driving the car in an effort to match the pace set but Hamilton.

    So there you have it, my conclusion is that Alonso is obviously very strong in the rain, but the “rain master” title has to go to Hamilton.

    Anyone agree/disagree with this???


  15. Massa…JOKE

    Hamilton he proved it at Silverstone, he nearly lapped the whole field

  16. KIMI always the best…..Remember FUJI 2007.Started 22 finished 3rd.Anyone remember any other driver doing that.or HAM doing that kind of stuff??.

  17. Great topic, this one has sparked heated debate over this way. I can see many points of view and it is hard to see light between some of the drivers but for me Alonso edges out everyone simply on breadth of wet driving experience. He’s been around longer so we have some astounding wet weather drives of his to watch over the years.

    Lewis has produced some equally astounding wet weather drives and if he can keep it up over 2009 I might have to adge him in front of Fred, or at least put him equal.

    Raikkonen doesn’t get a look in for me, he’s done a few incredible drives in drying conditions but he’s just not consistently good at it like Ham or Fred.

    None of the others are worhty of consideration. Kubica was poor at Silverstone this year.

  18. Thank Fergus for doing the maths but I think it is a hard survey question to answer, I’d say Alonso was the best as he has changed teams during the years of this poll and still done well, so it may be his driver skills play a greater part than car’s technology. But really it is hard to compare across years, as rules regarding tyres have changed during the poll years, now all on one brand, and with stricter (?) rules as to when & how you can change. Really too many variables. At the moment though, Ferrari has major weakness in the wet, no secret there

  19. HAM won in SILVERSTONE and MONACO as circumstances favoured him.Had KIMI changed his tires at first pit stop he would have won it in silverstone.No argument for this plzzz…It is fact that KIMI was taking times out of HAM at time of first pit stops…..

  20. Although I’ve just said above for the best overall is likely to be Alonso, perhaps really the real winner has to be Lady Luck and which ever drivers she chooses to bestow her charms on. If you look at some of the races, luck can play a huge part, the timing of the arrival of bad weather, and especially influential when the safety car is employed or not, the chances of a safety & incidents would increase proportionally with the rain.

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