Who pulled off the best overtaking move of 2009? These top ten choices have been whittled down from dozens of suggestions made by F1 Fanatic readers.
If you’re mind’s already made up cast your vote now, or see below for the best arguments in favour of each of them and videos of the passes.
What was the best pass of 2009?
- Malaysia: Mark Webber on Fernando Alonso (5%)
- China: Lewis Hamilton on Kimi Raikkonen (9%)
- Bahrain: Jenson Button on Lewis Hamilton (8%)
- Spain: Mark Webber on Fernando Alonso (9%)
- Monaco: Nico Rosberg on Felipe Massa (4%)
- Belgium: Kimi Raikkonen on Giancarlo Fisichella (17%)
- Japan: Heikki Kovalainen on Giancarlo Fisichella (3%)
- Brazil: Jenson Button on Romain Grosjean (13%)
- Brazil: Kamui Kobayashi on Kazuki Nakajima (7%)
- Abu Dhabi: Kamui Kobayashi on Jenson Button (25%)
Total Voters: 2,252
Malaysia: Mark Webber on Fernando Alonso
If Fernando Alonso learned anything this season it’s that Mark Webber does not go down without a fight. Twice the Red Bull driver reversed Alonso’s passing attempts in fine style – and both of them were nominated in this top ten.
Very good pass on a car with KERS and Alonso is very tough racer.
China: Lewis Hamilton on Kimi Raikkonen
As the rain hammered down at Shanghai Lewis Hamilton tentatively emerged from the cloud of spray behind Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari and navigated around the outside of him at turn seven. Impressive driving in foul conditions.
Hamilton on Raikkonnen on the outside in the wet at Shanghai was the one that immediately came to mind when I saw the topic of this article. So, that’s the one the gets my vote for sure.
Bahrain: Jenson Button on Lewis Hamilton
With Hamilton’s McLaren out of its KERS boost as he returned to the start/finish line for the first time at Bahrain, Button had a precious chance to get past him. Diving off-line onto the dusty part of the track Button nailed his braking point and scrambled ahead.
For me, the best move was Button on Hamilton at Bahrain. Against a car with a theoretical advantage due to KERS, it was clean, precise, fair and masterful. It’s moves like that that won him the world champion.
Spain: Mark Webber on Fernando Alonso
A re-take of Webber’s gutsy ‘reversal’ on Alonso from Sepang, but this time Webber had less space to work with.
As he swung back to the inside I thought “this’ll end in tears”. But credit to both of them, they stayed on the circuit and Webber kept his position.
The Spaniard using KERS to make his way past Webber, only for the Aussie coming back through under braking into Turn 1 was inspired.
Monaco: Nico Rosberg on Felipe Massa
Opportunities to pass a rival at Monaco are few and far between. So when Felipe Massa cut the chicane trying to pass Sebastian Vettel, the chasing Nico Rosberg knew he had a chance.
While Massa pulled over to let Vettel by, Rosberg glued himself to the back of the Red Bull and, with mere millimetres separating him from Massa, squeezed by into Tabac. A pity Williams then screwed up his pit stop strategy.
Rosberg on Massa at Monaco was scary. Didn’t realise it was that close during the race.
Belgium: Kimi Raikkonen on Giancarlo Fisichella
Kimi Räikkönen in second place with a KERS button, a safety car restart… Giancarlo Fisichella was a sitting duck.
It was a great move, and given the fact that Fisichella was on his back for the rest of the race… one hell of an overtake.
Japan: Heikki Kovalainen on Giancarlo Fisichella
Inspired stuff from Heikki Kovalainen who mugged Fisichella as the pair left the pits. A pity he’d ruined his race by blundering into Adrian Sutil a few laps earlier. This pass was for 13th place.
If only Heikki had shown this level of hunger/determination all season.
Brazil: Kamui Kobayashi on Kazuki Nakajima
Kamui Kobayashi won an instant fan following for his refusal to back down in wheel-to-wheel racing. This round-the-outside pass on countryman Kazuki Nakajima probably shouldn’t have worked – but it did.
Showed skill and control without being too dangerous in his first ever F1 race (must have wounded Nakajima’s pride badly).
Brazil: Jenson Button on Romain Grosjean
I have nothing to add to Tim’s brilliant argument in favour of this pass:
Put yourself in Jenson’s shoes. The title is within your grasp in Brazil, but you need to finish the race and score points to clinch it. There’s a Renault ahead but is it Alonso or Grosjean? Alonso would probably be hard but fair, the last time you tangled with Grosjean you both crashed at Spa.
Grosjean has absolutely nothing to lose if you both crash, he needs to impress to secure a drive for next year. You’re alongside him on the outside of a long, fast, tightening bend, barely ahead. Even if he gives you room he might accidentally drift wide and then you’ll both crash…
Button had an awful lot at stake, Grosjean had nothing to lose. There may have been a few technically better or more innovative passes in 2009, but no one put as much on the line as Jenson did here. My stand out memory from the season just gone.
Abu Dhabi: Kamui Kobayashi on Jenson Button
Yes, Kobayashi was only able to get a run on Button because the Brawn driver had pitted recently.
But give him credit – he took the opportunity presented to him and if he hadn’t seized it he wouldn’t have ended the race ahead of team mate Jarno Trulli. And he might not have earned a place at Sauber for 2010.
Watch out newly crowned world drivers’ champion – here is the rookie. And considering all the other drivers that came into the series mid/late season… Class.
A few of the fine passes to narrowly miss out on the short list were Alonso’s move on Trulli at Bahrain (a favourite of mine), Webber’s on Button at Shanghai and the Hamilton-Alonso battle at Silverstone.
Read more: What was the best pass of 2009? (Video)
Image (C) Ferrari spa