Kobayashi-on-Button voted best overtaking move of 2009

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

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

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

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  1. 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

  2. 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”

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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!

    1. Woops, what i meant to say is Not win. :)

  7. 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.

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

  9. Mike "the bike" Schumacher
    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.

  10. 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.

  11. Prisoner Monkeys
    2nd January 2010, 1:39

    Watching that video, does anyone else notice that the creator is really quite biased towards Hamilton? Every time Hamilton makes a pass, it’s always “brave” and “mastery”, but with everyone else, it’s just “down the inside”, and when someone gets Hamilton – like Button did in Bahrain – then he only describes it as “a KERS car” …

    1. He usually makes Hamilton orientated overtaking vids. He’s simply a fan of his.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        2nd January 2010, 11:21

        Your defence of both him and Hamilton is duly noted. As is your username here: Lew(is).

        1. Where exactly did I defend him or Hamilton? I’m just explaining. I actually agree with you on the Worst. Poll. Ever.

    2. This is how drivers get their ‘false’ reputations. We listen (or some of us do) to the hype and we get taken in. What’s worse is that the drivers start to believe it too!

  12. Kobayashi’s move helped him to get his 6th place,but to me Lewis on Kimi in China was probably one of the bravest move of the pool.

  13. I am alarmed at how Kimi would have an advantage of having a KERS car, while Hamilton would have it the other way of ‘that KERS car’.
    And someone said Kimi wouldn’t have had a chance of overtaking Fisi without ‘KERS’, just shows how much their knowledge is about Kimi’s driving and Formula 1.
    What these comments say are about general public’s fashion knowledge statements, just like someone having an iPod is considered (or was, now ipod is ubiquitous) ‘cool’.

    I am cool because
    1. ‘I hate schumi because he’s a cheaaaatttt, and all the other drivers in F1 had been utmost gentlemen’
    2. Lewis Hamilton is the only person on the grid to have driving mastery of an F1 driver, when he overtakes its his grit, determination etc but when others do its KERS, double diffusers, cold tyres, ‘big picture’ etc etc
    3. Button’s driving is excellent, and he’s like the ‘Gandalf’ – the know it all of F1, he knows the ‘big picture’

    Also, one word about some comments that really made me mad!!

    Polls are polls guys, you are given some choices of which you gotta vote, if you need your thoughts to reflect as choices, please go and start your own ‘f1fanatic’. Give the owner some cool, he’s doing it because he shares the same passion as many of us, and we all want his utmost input to carry on this awesome forum of thoughts.. anyone who comments about the owner’s intelligence in choosing what he has, or his debate should not visit here…
    Keith, you are doing an awesome job that many of us are jealous of, please continue your support for the greatest sport and many fanatics of the same..
    Happy new year!!

  14. I don’t really take too much notice of polls in general. Take the rate the race polls for example. How often does a perfectly good race get scored “terrible” because the voter’s favourite driver didn’t win? Or “perfect” because they did?

    Take this one, would Kobayashi’s pass won if it was on Webber? Probably not.

    1. I think it would have been as good on any top 5 driver. His tyrs would have been shot or getting close to it, but that seems to be forgotten too.

    2. it was Kobayashi’s attitude that impressed me. all the other rookies in 2009 wouldn’t have even bothered trying to overtake Jenson!

  15. I’m with you Keith. The best pass with two quality drivers in racing conditions was webber on alonso!

  16. Kobayashi’s pass was wonderful if only because he made it look too easy. It showed presence of mind, and tactical awareness. What made it even worse, was when the BBC presenters tried to make excuses for Button.

    1. Button was on a heavy fuel load with cold tyres, and ‘Koby’ was on a light fuel load with tyres at the right temp. He passed Button-go figure!

  17. The problem is that Kobayashi got past because Jenson made a mistake. If Jenson had braked correctly so that he made the apex then Kobayashi would not have got past. Kobayashi simply took the racing line through the corner as Jenson went wide. A lot of much better passes were made by various drivers throughout the year where they actually positioned their car to complete the pass or achieve an overlap before the apex (ie in the breaking zone) which the defending driver could do nothing about. ie. Button on Grojean etc.

  18. Are these the ‘top’ ten passing moves of 2009, or ‘the’ ten passing moves of 2009?

    1. No. This is the ‘one’ passing move that serves a purpose.

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