Vote for the best pass of 2009

Which driver did the best job of passing his rivals in 2009?

Which driver did the best job of passing his rivals in 2009?

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

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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 R??ikk??nen 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.

Honourable mentions

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

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88 comments on Vote for the best pass of 2009

  1. I can’t decide which pass to vote for but there are some I would rule out because of the circumstances such Raikkonen on Fisichella at Spa and Kobayashi on Button at Abu Dhabi.

    • I wouldn’t rule out Kobayashi on Button at Abu Dhabi. I know Button had recently pitted but still, it’s a driver in his second race over taking a newly crowned world champion with over 100 races under his belt.

      A pass in my opinion that got him a drive in 2010.

  2. I really like these kinds of polls but am often slightly sadened that so few notable overtakings happen in a season and that we can remember them all in a short list…

  3. Sebastian said on 24th December 2009, 12:39

    KERS or no KERS, does it matter? You can’t strike a pass from the list simply because the driver had a car more suited to the conditions. In fact I think most of these passes were made in hardware more suited to track conditions at the time, if not all, then certainly all of the leading options right now.

    I myself voted for Kobayashi, simply because his passes were the most entertaining. Very gutsy.

  4. Dan Wells said on 24th December 2009, 13:05

    lol at all the kimi fans, it was barely an amazing overtake unlike many other moves this season.

  5. ledzep4pm said on 24th December 2009, 15:19

    Kimi’s was poor, all he did was press a button

  6. Gwenouille said on 24th December 2009, 15:49

    I can’t believe so many people votted for Raikonnen’s pass on Fisichella… Fisichella couldn’t do anything to defend, Kimi was close to him thanks to the SC restart, just having to press the KERS button…

    I mean he was right to overtake of course, but why do so many people consider that this move is the best of 2009 ???
    Are there so many Raikkonen fanboys around ?

  7. matt90 said on 24th December 2009, 16:20

    kobyashi’s only winning because he’s a rookie. By any other standards it would have been a good but unspectacular move

  8. Why on Earth was Raikkonen on Fisichella even nominated? Considering the circumstances, it was probably among the least impressive passes of 09 in terms of the skill required to pull it off – all he had to do was press his KERS button and keep driving straight and he was past.

  9. Sorry Keith, but this poll is a failure if the goal is to determine the best overtake move of the season. The leading two are basically the worst of the list. One is entirely based on a KERS button, Kimi didn’t have to do anything else than drive past another car with a massive speed difference on a long straight. There was no positioning or braking skill involved. And I can’t even think of a reason why the move from Kobayashi in Abu Dhabi is on the list, since he overtook a car that got out of the pits with cold tyres and a massive fuelload like 4 corners before. If the only reason is “to give him credit because he took the opportunity presented to him and if he hadn’t seized it he wouldn’t have ended the race…in the position he did in”, I can think of multiple moves that had a similar impact, but required more skill and on cars which were actually on a similar strategy. Perhaps it’s leading this poll due to voters who still can’t accept Jenson Button is the 2009 WDC?

    • David A said on 25th December 2009, 14:31

      Perhaps people voted for Kobayashi because he proved that not all of 2009’s rookies were wimps who would chicken out of fighting a WDC? And if Kimi’s move didn’t involve any positioning skill, he surely would’ve crashed straight into Fisi, hmm?

    • Soumya Banerjee said on 17th May 2010, 14:27

      Lew,get your head checked. Why did Raikkonen close in on Fisi through Eau Rouge before overtaking him at Kemmel? I suppose people use KERS in Eau Rouge? And if none of you fine gentlemen voted for it, then who did?

  10. Enough with the Kimi hating, his pass was the only real one for the lead this year (that I can remember.) Vettel driving off in Turkey on the first lap, and other first lap antics don’t count (though it cold be argued that Kimi’s pass was also a “first lap” antic.)

  11. Patrickl said on 25th December 2009, 0:14

    I think Webber vs Alonso was the most entertaining one.

    I gave my vote to Button though. They guy has overtaken so many cars during the season. Apart from his usually flawless and incredibly consistent drives, he basically dragged the championship from the competition by making the right passes at the right moments. Twice on KERS cars, but also on Kubica and many others.

    He’s the overtaking king of the year

    Then I specifically rate this pass highly too. He overtook a KERS car which makes this pass extra difficult. This is shown by the fact that Vettel never was able to overtake and therefore finished behind Button even though Vettel did have the faster car

  12. Prisoner Monkeys said on 25th December 2009, 0:17

    Kobayashi has nearly a hundred votes more than an actual pass?

    Sorry, guys, but this poll is gettng my vote for Worst. Poll. Ever.

    • Stephen said on 25th December 2009, 0:23

      Yep. Once again, the answer we are going go get from this poll is “Who is your favorite driver”.

      • Prisoner Monkeys said on 25th December 2009, 1:35

        If Kimi Raikkonen or Nick Heidfeld – probably my least-favourite drivers – had been the one to make that pass on Grosjean, I still would have voted for them. The fact that JB is my favourite is inconsequential to the fact that he did the impossible while Kobayashi had a lot of help in regards to tyres, fuel and track condition.

        If Kobayashi sucks next year, it’ll be your fault for expecting too much of him. I’d halfway hope that he does, but I don’t want to hear everyone whinge about it.

        • Stephen said on 25th December 2009, 2:01

          I was actually agreeing with you. All the fanboys are going to vote for their favorite driver or the driver who overtook their least favorite driver. Kobi’s pass was nowhere near being a good racing maneuverer, and it is annoying how many people are going on about it. Piquet Jr could have pulled of that move against Schumacher in the same situation. And when it has 5 times and many votes as Webber on Alonso in Malaysia… well that is so disappointing.

          I too am unconvinced by Kobayashi. He was the only rookie to come into the season in a half decent car, and while he did well, it was only two races. I’m interested to see how he, and all the other rookies, go next year.

          • Patrickl said on 26th December 2009, 8:55

            That Toyota was one of the top cars at that time. Probably right behind the Red Bull.

            It took two second places in the races before and could easily have landed on the podium again in Brazil.

  13. mp425 said on 25th December 2009, 8:02

    hey guys wat abt rubens on lewis at turkey??

    • Patrickl said on 26th December 2009, 8:58

      You mean when Lewis simply let him past? What about it?

      The battle with Kovalainen was a lot more entertaining. Kovalainen didn’t gain anything from that battle though and he ultimately even lost the place to Lewis.

      So yeah, just letting a much faster car by can be the better descision now and then.

  14. 24% vote for Kobayashi on Button???? That is so funny as to be unreal.

    Kobayashi on low fuel, Button just starting a new stint on high fuel with cold tyres.

    Either everyone on here just hates Button because for some reason they think that he lucked into a championship (can that even happen?) or all of the other overtakes were equally one-sided.

    And wasn’t Button looking at the bigger picture with regards to finishing on the podium, rather than tangling meaninglessly with someone that was likely to finish behind him anyway.

  15. Hey guys,

    There were so many great overtakes and I would’ve put more in, but for the 10 min video limit imposed!

    Given the lack of mention, I’d just like to defend my choice #1 move Glock did on Webber in Hungary.

    Probably best explain in this short vid: only because I can’t be bothered to type it out, it’s entirely a shameless plug! ;)

    I love this kind of move, not just for the car control skill required, undefendable nature of it, it’s element of suprise, visually pleasing style… but also for what it means to the sport. Slicks, lower downforce (more focus on mechanical grip), high power:weight ratio’s and (re)introducing the chance for different driving styles and lines, all make it possible. This is almost certainly why you haven’t seen such a move for 20 years.

    It’s a sign that F1 has definitely moved [back] in the right direction… and more is to come. :)

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