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. I have to say Alonso. I think some might have forgotten exactly how good he is, because he hasn’t got a good car this year (although he is punching well above it’s weight, make no mistake).

    I also give honourable mentions to Hamilton, Kubica, Vettel, Sutil and Webber for doing a good job in the rain.

    Should I pray for rain in Singapore or not? Only five more sleeps until I leave……

  2. Marco Aurélio
    19th September 2008, 1:04

    OK but Barrichello in HOCKENHEIM 2000
    He started 18th on the grid, ran the last 10 laps on dry-weather tires in rain.

  3. The Formula one World will never have again a man like senna. “a pure attakant!”

  4. At first I thought the same as Alex-ctba regarding the tone of this thread but realised that the affectionately dubbed Hammy isn’t rated by too many.
    Then I came across the post @20 by Alastair and it all makes sense. McLaren have found a loophole, plain and simple. Those paddles are an advantage, not saying it’s an unfair advantage but an advantage none the less. This would then suggest that McLaren’s recent crop can’t be compared to “post-paddlers” like Alonso and even Massa as for Kimi he was blowing up engines in McLaren’s not that long ago, let’s not forget. So then we have the also ran’s in Webber and now the undisputed king of the wet in Vettel. Some don’t rate Massa or Kimi but looking at Fergus’ analysis it’s too close to call at this stage. Will be interested to see what happens when Kimi and Massa have the extra paddles at their disposal. I wonder also if Lewis’s bad quali in Monza had something to do with him not being able to dial up the correct mapping for the conditions and tyres? One other point that needs to be mentioned is in defence of Kovy, Vettel had that race won at quali and even Lewis with his paddles couldn’t have stopped him, even though he “paddled” his way through the bunch he couldn’t get past Massa, probably thought better of it after that dodgy bit of driving to take Webber out!

    PS: Have we had an open debate about the pseudo traction control being used by McLaren, Keith?

  5. “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??.”

    John Watson won from 22nd place and he didn’t have a Ferrari.

  6. I think we should reserve judgement until we see all the Drivers in equal cars and tyres in the wet… which if Mosely has his way, we might just see in a few years time!! Too many variables right now to decide on 1 driver as the best in the wet.

  7. No fan of Lewis am I, but the guy can make hay in the rain! Consistently brakes later, drifts the car in the slower corners, and is quicker on the gas at turn exit.

    He would be superior in the wet regardless of which top 3 cars he was given.

  8. Oh yeah, he also isn’t afraid to put his car next to others in close quarters, just ask all the whiner drivers after Monza who complained about his “rough” driving.

  9. REAL DATA (not Poll)
    2008 Formula One season

    Pos Driver Points= MON FRA BRI BEL* ITA
    01 F. Massa 29= 6 10 0 10 3
    02 L. Hamilton 28= 10 0 10 6 2
    03 R. Kubica 21= 8 4 0 3 6
    04 N. Heidfeld 20= 0 0 8 8 4
    05 H. Kovalainen 18= 1 5 4 0 8
    06 S. Vettel 18= 4 0 0 4 10
    07 F. Alonso 14= 0 1 3 5 5
    08 K. Räikkönen 13= 0 8 5 0 0
    09 M. Webber 10= 5 3 0 1 1
    10 R. Barrichello 9= 3 0 6 0 0
    11 J. Trulli 8= 0 6 2 0 0
    12 K. Nakajima 3= 2 0 1 0 0
    13 N. Piquet jr 2= 0 2 0 0 0
    14 S. Bourdais 2= 0 0 0 2 0

    2008 Monaco MON
    2008 France FRA
    2008 Britain BRI
    2008 Belgium* BEL *Pending appeal
    2008 Italy ITA
    Source: Live Timing Wet/Dry 1

  10. Henry – I think calling France a wet race is stretching things a bit! It drizzled for, what, half a lap?

  11. Hi Keith,

    My criterion:

    Source Live Timing

  12. To partly answer my own question about Kovalainen, here’s a quote from Mark Hughes’ Monza race report in Autosport:

    Unlike team mate Hamilton, [Kovalainen] had decided not to have part of the front brake duct taped up, and was having difficulty getting the brakes up to temperature, giving him a few snatchy moments that were anything but confidence-boosting in the treacherous conditions.

  13. I voted for Hamilton but have to point out that, judging by all the statistics supplied by the commenters, another driver stands out as the great all-rounder in wet conditions – and he has never had the best car either. I really don’t understand why Nick Heidfeld is always overlooked in these debates.

  14. Clive – I agree with you. Nick is overlooked and counting Monza on, he has finished the last 25 races, if i’m not mistaken, he’s head and shoulders with Schumi on this matter. Maybe if someone compute the last 25 races points would be interesting to see how he would do on the charts.

  15. Fergus – If Heidfeld finishes the next race it’ll be his 25th in a row, beating Schumacher’s record.

    More here: 2008 Italian GP facts and stats

    I did think when I was going through those podiums he’s had a decent number of seconds and thirds. His first was in wet conditions at Brazil in 2001. Perhaps when he finally wins one it’ll be in the rain?

    1. I think you’re wrong. Last year Heidfield didn’t finish one race, I think it was singapore. Somebody hit him, braking his record.

  16. Mmmmm…Clive and his wisdom… This man is always right…

    Is interesting how some can judge Alonso´s wet skills looking back only to Hungary 2005, or to the last stint of Nurburgring in 2007, (until that he doesn’t show nothing special in the race and Felipe were handicapped with some vibrations on his front tyres), and can’t remember the recent Nick´s works at Silverstone…

    I was watching China 2007 and Alonso again doesn’t showed anything that we can judge him in the same level than Lewis at Fuji, Silverstone or Monza this year. Lewis is the better one and we can see clearly this when we understand that the only treat to Vettel in Monza Sunday were Lewis, who were handicapped at 15th place…

    About McLaren paddles, Ferrari already has their system and I think that Mass damper were more crucial device in wet conditions than those paddles. Another point is: this year we have the cars WITHOUT TRACTION CONTROL and this in fact shows how drivers deal with wet without this apparatus. So I don’t need to say that the performance judgment this year is more important than in the past.

    So what we have so far? Monza, Silverstone, Spa, Monaco showed who is the best one.

  17. Keith – You’re right. And There is another record over him – One hundred forty plus starts without a win on F1. And another – Tons of points without a Tittle.
    I consider him a nice driver though.

  18. It is appalling to see that Fisichella doesn’t have any votes and Barichello only 12. Don’t we have memory?

  19. Keith – A small note, SPA 2005 – Who was leading till final set of pitstops?? What did McLaren team to get Kimi in the lead. Well Orchestrated strategy to negate 30+second of clear lead Kimi’s team-mate had on him. But I won’t hold that against team or Kimi,as Kimi was driving to keep his WDC chances alive then and JPM was just playing support act. So please take that out of list :D

    About Hamilton being best driver in wet – I am not fan of any particular driver on the current grid and with that background – While it is not Hamilton’s mistake that he has landed in Best car on the grid in both dry and wet condition. but in 2008 Ferrari drivers have a clear handicap in Ferrari’s handling in wet condition. So we can’t really attribute it all to “Hamilton’s” Driver skills.
    On that Note My top10 rating for Wet race drivers on current grid

    4)Sutil – Hamilton (Tie)
    6)Webber – consistent drives
    7)Vettel,(that f***ing kid is again behind webber)
    9)Fisichella (Can anyone remember his Jordon win and also 2005 Oz race)

    PS – I won’t laugh at Massa and Kimi for Silverstone, Its Ferrari weather system that was expecting race to dry in Second half, hence they had dry setup which made them look stupid

  20. Alianora La Canta
    19th September 2008, 19:46

    There’s a very simple reason why Heidfeld is usually forgotten in these debates – we rarely remember what he did in the races in order to do the comparison. The fact that he’s often very good in the wet isn’t much use in a debate if the people doing the debating have forgotten. To a certain extent, Fisichella didn’t have any votes as of Underdog’s comment for a similar reason – in recent races, his performances in the rain have been largely forgotten because most of them, for whatever reason, ended in either a DNF or a low position.

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