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

Debates and polls

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)

  1. Fergus Gallas said on 18th September 2008, 12:12

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

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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???


  5. Massa…JOKE

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

  6. Madurai said on 18th September 2008, 13:44

    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??.

  7. diseased rat said on 18th September 2008, 13:47

    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.

  8. 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

  9. Madurai said on 18th September 2008, 13:49

    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…..

  10. 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.

  11. Hmm, I’d like to vote: Hamilton, Heidfeld, Alonso, Raikkonen, Sutil. these to me are the top five in wet.

    and my top five overall, regardless of weather: Hamilton, Alonso, Raikkonen, Kubica, Vettel.

    I still think Massa is a lucky MoFo and doesn’t deserve his seat at Ferrari, there are much better drivers. Even Sato ;)

  12. Hamilton has put in the most stunning rain performances in the past 15 years, but given the technical advantages of the car he has, as Jean cited at the outset, I think its too early to crown him rain king. For performance over time and in different cars, I have to grudgingly name Alonso as the best.

    Nonetheless, I think we can’t totally let Kimi off the hook for this years poor wet performance. Raikkonen prefers a tight car. JPM complained that the MP4-21 was tight—to Kimi’s taste. JPM (and Hamilton) like a loose car. And remember how, accordingly, those cars could not heat the tires and had the same qualifying issues Ferrari has now? Today, the McLaren is the opposite extreme in this regard. I believe Kimi’s possible unwillingness to drive a loose car hinders mechanical fixes for the current problems.

    I would also not discount McLaren’s many paddles. No they are not traction control. They allow the driver to change engine maps from braking through exit to improve the effect of engine braking and move the torque peak for accelleration. Its what has been done with a knob before, but this allows changes mid corner and together with gear-shifting. This has to help in the rain.

  13. donwatters said on 18th September 2008, 15:36

    Lewis for sure. Silverstone & Monza proving the point.

  14. William Wilgus said on 18th September 2008, 15:58

    Absent equal cars, there’s no way to tell. All this is speculation—but somewhat interesting.

  15. Alonso, Alonso! Remember Hungary 2006, never seen anything like it. He is but the best driver in the wet!

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