Kobayashi-on-Button voted best overtaking move of 2009

Kamui Kobayashi impressed with a pass on Jenson Button at Yas Island

Kamui Kobayashi impressed with a pass on Jenson Button at Yas Island

The pass that made a star of Kamui Kobayashi has been voted the best overtaking move of 2009 by F1 Fanatic readers.

The vote to find the best pass of 2009 was closely fought and attracted over 2,000 votes – along with some heated debate.

Here’s the voting results in full:

Best pass of 2009: votes (click to enlarge)

Best pass of 2009: votes (click to enlarge)

Kobayashi’s pass on lap 19 of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (@6’50 on the video below) attracted just over a quarter of the vote. It proved a divisive poll with several people arguing that it did not deserve the top spot because it was not that impressive a pass from a technical point of view.

Kobayashi passed Button while the Brawn driver was on his out-lap. He ran wide on cold tyres, allowing the Toyota driver through. Kobayashi’s car was faster at the time and he pulled out 7.4s on Button in the next ten laps.

On the other hand it’s not hard to see why Kobayashi’s pass was such a hit – here was a driver in only his second race putting one over the newly-crowned world champion.

There may have been a degree of inevitability about the move but it’s clear from the build-up to the pass that Button was willing to defend the position. It’s not as if he pulled over and let his rival by – Kobayashi pressured him into a mistake.

It was an important pass for Kobayashi. He finished the race sixth, one place ahead of team mate Jarno Trulli, who had come out of the pits 6.7s behind Kobayashi at the final round of stops. Had he not made that pass on Button when he did, Kobayashi would have ended the race behind his team mate.

And that could have left him out of F1 in 2010. Instead he’s been snapped up by Peter Sauber for next year, who said this about his drive after announcing the deal:

In the Abu Dhabi race he demonstrated not only that he can drive fast and aggressively, but also his ability to successfully implement a strategy.
Peter Sauber

That said, I cast my vote for Mark Webber’s pass on Fernando Alonso at Catalunya, which came in fourth.

Kimi R??ikk??nen’s pass on Giancarlo Fisichella at Spa – which effectively won the race for the Ferrari driver – was ranked second. Button’s round-the-outside pass on Romain Grosjean at Interlagos came third.

A pass by Felipe Massa was voted the best overtaking move of 2008.

Read the earlier discussion on the best pass of 2009

Image (C) Toyota F1 World

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86 comments on Kobayashi-on-Button voted best overtaking move of 2009

  1. Button in 2010 Mclaren team kit:


    • Ned Flanders said on 1st January 2010, 19:27

      It looks strange seeing Button in McLaren silver rather than BAR/ Honda/ Brawn white.

      And will he be required to shave his beard off now he’s at McLaren?! Or was facial hair only a problem under the Ron Dennis regime?

  2. I don’t mind that Kobayashi won, even though I think Webber on Alonso move was the best. I enjoyed the Kobayashi move, not because it was spectacular, but because he pressured the championship leader into a mistake.

    Not a fan of the 3D chart though Keith :P

  3. Gwenouille said on 1st January 2010, 13:25

    A very disapointing poll result, really…
    I agree with the comments concerning the 2 winners.

    I am afraid it is too hard for people to take distance from their emotions and judges with their brain, not their heart.

    I mean, you have the right to support Kimi. I don’t, but I reckon he is a very skilled driver, one of the best, possibly. Does that make this move the best of 2009 ? Come on… EVERYONE knew this was bound to happened due to the SC.
    Same for Kobayashi. I like him a lot: he seems to be brave and willing. But Button couldn’t really defend at 100% there.

    I think these polls are meant to drift towards such fanatic-oriented positions. So ridiculous is the base “fan”. I guess some people didn’t even see the full video but picked Kimi vs Fisi.
    In fact it is some kind of “how large is your fanclub” measurment-tool… sad.

    The same is true for all the “who is better ? Senna or Schuey ?” discussions… pointless.

    • David A said on 1st January 2010, 15:04

      I think these polls are meant to drift towards such


      -oriented positions. So ridiculous is the base


      . I guess some people didn’t even see the full video but picked Kimi vs Fisi.
      In fact it is some kind of “how large is your


      club” measurment-tool… sad.

      Name of website you’re on? :)

  4. For me, it was Button on Buemi, coming from so far back. It summed up his overtakes all year, and he was by far the best overtaker. Second to that, Kobayashi on Nakajima :-)

  5. Tiomkin said on 1st January 2010, 13:57

    What is wrong with the people here? A poll is a vote for what the individual thinks, it may not coincide with what YOU think. A debate is different, you try to convince others to your way of thinking. The man with the best argument wins. Hello!! this was a poll, get over it. It just shows what the masses think was the best.

    Maybe Keith will offer a debate first in future, followed by the vote. That will allow ‘die-hards’ to influence people to their way of thinking.

    As it stands the polls on this this site are accurate as they reflect the mood of the majority. Kudos to Kobay, the ROOKIE showed the world he has a pair and knows how to drive an F1 car. (a rear thing in 2009).

    Still, I love reading the comments of the fanatical, roll on the new season. Happy New Year to all.

  6. Mike T said on 1st January 2010, 14:13

    compete nonsense. Jenson was on cold tyres and put himself in a position to defend, it was never the “best” i think Button on Kubica was much much better

  7. Let´s be reasonable here a great overtaking is always a great moment in F1, i am a Ferrari fan, but that doesn´t mean i am blind and cannot see great overtaking by other drivers and teams!
    Kobaiashi is a good driver, otherwise will not be in F1, he´s not affraid of wheel to wheel contact and that makes him almost unique, i hope to see some good racing in 2010 and by the way “Happy New Year for all F1 fans around the world”

  8. Rookie overtakes always pave the way for future drives. E.g. is Alex Wurz in Monaco over Schumi. That overtake ensured his stay in F1.

    I only hope Koba will not end up like Wurz tho :-(

    The kimi overtake on Fisico was designed to let Fisico get the Ferrari drive as indeed was confirmed a few days later :-( (Now, don’t tell me I am being conspiratory)

  9. David A said on 1st January 2010, 14:59

    It’s inevitable that the context of the pass makes people view things differently. The fact that it was a rookie passing the world champion made a lot of difference to how people voted. This kind of thing has happened before. On the forum, about 60-70% of the passes mentioned on the “Best Overtakings Ever” were on Schumacher for instance.

  10. Whitty 123 said on 1st January 2010, 16:47

    Kamui’s pass was easily the best pass of the year, his pass on Nakajima.

  11. polishboy808 said on 1st January 2010, 17:01

    How did Kobayashi’s move on Nakajima in Brazil win. That move brilliantly executed and was very exciting! That was definitivly my favourite move of 09!

  12. John H said on 1st January 2010, 17:14

    I’m a bit suprised that Kova’s move on Fisichella received the least amount of votes. That took skill and some bravery and although I didn’t vote for it myself, thought I would give it a mention.

    Good luck in 2010 Mr. Kovalainen.

  13. Arun.India said on 1st January 2010, 18:03

    I like this guy kobayashi ……Good for sauber…..

  14. Mike "the bike" Schumacher said on 1st January 2010, 22:08

    Kobi’s move on button was impressive, mainly because button was champ and kobi was a rookie. But it doesn’t deserve best overtake as button on grosjean, raikenon on fisi and webber on alonso in malaysia and spain were all much better.

  15. Button wasn’t going to battle with Kobayashi for too long, because he had the ‘big picture’ to think about. Maybe if he’d let Koby passed without hindering him at all, he would have had a few more goes at getting passed Webber.

    I don’t think it was the best pass of the season anyway. Button’s pass on Kobayashi had more riding on it, and the cars were more ‘equal’ at the time of it. It wasn’t a great pass, but it certainly had more importance.

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