2010 F1 driver rankings part three: 8-4

2010 F1 season review

The 2010 F1 driver rankings continue with the next five drivers in the list.

This part includes Mark Webber and Jenson Button among others.

Read on for the next part of the driver rankings.

8. Rubens Barrichello

Rubens Barrichello, Williams, Spa-Francorchamps, 2010

Rubens Barrichello, Williams, Spa-Francorchamps, 2010

Half-term ranking: 11

Barrichello had a consistently positive season which, though short on headline-grabbing moments, showed he is still a force to be reckoned with even after 300 starts.

Starting afresh with a new team, he helped push Williams in the right direction and they made clear progress throughout the season. He took particular pleasure in helping them snatch sixth in the constructors’ championship after scrapping with Adrian Sutil in the final race.

His landmark 300th start at Spa was a bit of a disaster. He ended his race by harpooning Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari.

But one race earlier he proved his mettle by going wheel-to-wheel with Michael Schumacher, scraping past the Mercedes while avoiding what could have been a horrendous accident.

A surprise of the season. Gutsy battles with Schumacher and some really good performances in a midfield car. He’s breaking longevity records for a reason.

Rubens Barrichello 2010 form guide

7. Jenson Button

Jenson Button, McLaren, Shanghai, 2010

Jenson Button, McLaren, Shanghai, 2010

Half-term ranking: 5

Button could have made it a five-way fight for the title in the final race. But hopes of retaining his championship fizzled out in Korea as he floundered in the tricky conditions and finished out of the points.

He excelled in similar circumstances earlier in the season, grabbing opportunistic wins at Melbourne and Shanghai to lead the championship.

But he was consistently a couple of tenths off team mate Lewis Hamilton in qualifying. Worse, he failed to reach Q3 in Britain, Hungary and Brazil.

He responded to these problems by taking a different tactical approach at some races. It paid off magnificently in Monza, where he came close to winning in a car with a quite unorthodox set-up. But risking the hard tyres in qualifying at Suzuka did little to help his cause.

As ever, his driving style was clean and he kept errors to a minimum, in stark contrast to some of his championship rivals. But it wasn’t enough to retain his 2009 crown.

Has generally been slower than Lewis. Often disappointed by dropping out of Q2 or by moaning on the radio: practice without ‘lack of grip’ or ‘massive front locking’ just would not be the same. Where he lacks in outright pace, he makes up with sensibility – he was the only contender who could not be blamed for having thrown away points.

Jenson Button 2010 form guide

6. Mark Webber

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Monte-Carlo, 2010

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Monte-Carlo, 2010

Half-term ranking: 4

Webber seriously rattled his team mate in the middle part of the season with wins at Spain and Monaco. He was leading the next race at Istanbul before that infamous clash, and kept up the momentum with another win in Silverstone.

This was the bedrock of his championship campaign. He kept the pressure on Vettel by winning again in Hungary.

But when Vettel hit back Webber could do nothing to respond. Over the final five races of the year he trailed Vettel for all but three laps – and those were only when Vettel pitted before him.

Webber enjoyed markedly better reliability than Vettel during 2010 – the conspiracy theorists would have howled had it been the other way around – but although Vettel had the label “crash kid” attached to him, Webber was no less error-prone.

He tangled with Lewis Hamilton at Melbourne and Singapore and had a monumental accident when he misjudged Heikki Kovalainen’s braking point at Valencia.

We now know Webber was nursing an injured shoulder when he crashed out of second place in Korea. This was the moment when the championship slipped through his fingers.

With four wins it was undoubtedly a strong season for Webber. His pole position at Sepang, using intermediate tyres while his rivals stuck with full wets, was one of the best of the year. But Vettel ultimately had enough of an edge over him.

I never expected him to push Vettel as hard as he did. Ultimately succumbed to the pressure of the title fight, but probably came out of this season as a much more highly rated driver.

Mark Webber 2010 form guide

5. Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Shanghai, 2010

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Shanghai, 2010

Half-term ranking: 7

Rosberg was the unsung hero of 2010. With all the attention focussed on the occupant of the other Mercedes it was easy to overlook what Rosberg was doing.

He consistently got the best out of the W01 and took it to some great results early in the season when the car was at its best relative to the opposition.

He led convincingly at Shanghai and beat Vettel in the wet qualifying session at Sepang. Rosberg brought the car home on the podium in both races.

At the end of the year he was just two points behind Massa in the championship – and little more than misfortune kept him from scoring more.

Wheels came off his car in Hungary and Japan. In Korea he passed Hamilton and was running fourth behind Alonso when he was taken out by Webber. Another podium finish or possibly even a win was on the cards.

Other than running wide in China and losing the lead I’m struggling to think of any other major errors he made. Ever consistent, even when the Mercedes was at its worst mid-season, he also has the pleasure of being the first person to have beaten Michael Schumacher over the course of a season.

He beat Kubica in the championship and he nearly beat Massa. Driver of the season without a doubt for me.
Dan Thorn

Nico Rosberg 2010 form guide

4. Robert Kubica

Robert Kubica, Renault, Spa-Francorchamps, 2010

Robert Kubica, Renault, Spa-Francorchamps, 2010

Half-term ranking: 2

Monte-Carlo, Spa-Francorchamps, Suzuka: the three tracks on the F1 calendar where a driver can really make their presence felt, and the three tracks where Kubica excelled in the Renault R30.

He split the Red Bulls on the grid at Monaco, was in contention for victory at Spa, and had got up to second at the start at Suzuka when he lost a wheel.

Naturally, he had his team mate comfortably handled – often out-qualifying Vitaly Petrov by more than a second.

It’s a testament to Kubica’s performance that he was often a thorn in the side of the championship contenders – notably Alonso (at Silverstone) and Hamilton (at Abu Dhabi). Will he finally get a car he can challenge regularly for wins with in 2011?

Took the Renault to positions it didn’t deserve to be and made almost no mistakes. He was majestic in Monaco. I believe he will be fighting for the title next year.

Robert Kubica 2010 form guide

Don’t miss the final part of the 2010 F1 Fanatic driver rankings on the site tomorrow. Get the latest articles from F1 Fanatic for free via Twitter, RSS or our email subscription service. Click here for more information.

2010 F1 season review

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Image ?? Williams/LAT, www.mclaren.com, Red Bull/Getty images, Mercedes GP, Renault/LAT

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129 comments on 2010 F1 driver rankings part three: 8-4

  1. Craig Woollard said on 21st December 2010, 22:11

    Rosberg and Kubica should have been higher, they were in my rankings…

    But now:

    1) Vettel
    2) Hamilton
    3) Alonso

  2. Maciek said on 21st December 2010, 22:26

    I was really glad to see Barrichello do as well as he did this year. Same goes for Rosberg who many, many people here derided last year for no other reason than his looks (humble pie, anyone?). Kubica proved that he’s in pure control of his car 99.9% of the time and that he can race with the best of them. Seems to me like people who keep saying that he’s not that great have for some reason decided he isn’t and that’s just that because they say it is (see: Rosberg, Nico, low opinions for no good reason, above).

    It couldn’t really be anyone else than Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso in the top three. There’s no way that either Rosberg or Kubica could be ranked as high because although they both did great, neither one was performing under anything remotely close to the pressure faced by those three.

  3. zarathustra said on 21st December 2010, 22:33

    @Bleu, but Kubica was in title fight in 2008, he could easily win if only BMW didn’t stop car development, absolutely no pressure from his side back then, just moaning and sorrow for what his team decided.

    Remember guys how Hamilton hold his pressure in 2007? Having superior car he lost because of it. But now he matured a lot and act like totally different person, that’s really good.

    And yeah I think just like few other people here that Rosberg should be ahead of Kubica, he have better car at the start of the season than RK but still being number 2 in shadow of his “great” team mate he did more than anyone expected.

  4. I think Button was much better than both Webber and Vettel – didn’t make so many so big mistakes.
    And Vettel was only a bit better than his teammate – to me just one spot up the ranking.

    Yes, some Vettel’s mechanical problems cost him a win (while Webber made only mistakes), but I see it other way – worse car’s reliability was part of the agressive winning design and ability of driver to take care of such a car. Webber did care better.
    There is not much interesting in Vettel’s wins starting from pole positions. But races like Turkey, Hungary or Spa gave much clear view about his skills. He could blame only himself for all his troubles in those races – his mistakes were actually unthinkable for top driver – like, let’s say, Alonso.
    However Webber also made as many mistakes plus was slower than Vettel and this ultimately cost him a title.

    And my top 1 for 2010 was Alonso.

  5. Alonso shouldn’t be number 1.

    Every driver suffers from frustration, but Alonso suffers it the most significantly. Even despite that, 3 of Alonso’s wins have been gifted – Twice by Vettel’s reliability niggles and once by ‘coded’ team orders. Possibly 4 at Monza – Remember Button lost some downforce after Alonso hit his rear wing at the start of the race, but that’s probably me being picky. ;)

    I can’t argue with Singapore though, just a simple domination from start to finish.

    A racing driver has to be fast and consistent, but a true racing driver also has to race with other drivers, and race well with them. If thats the case, then with what we’ve been left with, Hamilton and Vettel should be the top 2.

    • Wow, Bravo. I am not getting enough adjectives to appreciate ur post. Anything which can be incurred from ur post is that u hate Alonso. As simple as that.

      Favour ur fav driver but by keeping all facts in mind brother.
      U r all picky in ur post.

  6. Alonso’s singapore was Lewis’ Spa

  7. Mikos said on 22nd December 2010, 3:37

    I dont care that your 3 is Vettel, Hamburger and Alfonso, but Webber in 6th??? ***

    His drive in Monaco was a classic for one. He lead for a big part of the season. Far too much has been made of the performace diff between redbull and Ferrari and McClaren – we know for a fact they possessed a significant horsepower advantage on some circuits. Webber nearly pulled off something no drivers ever done – driven not around his car but around his teammate to win a championship.

    Know one knows how good a benchmark that russian dude is for Kubica or even how good a benchmark grandpa schumacher is for Rosberg. We do know the year before the Brawn car was the leader of the field.

    Actually I’m surprised Hamburgers so high up – driving into Massa was a pretty big clunker, his Spa win was about 15cm away from a horror in the wall effort.
    He can’t be higher than 3 surely?

  8. Scalextric (@scalextric) said on 22nd December 2010, 3:49

    Can’t put Alonso #1 after he failed so dramatically at the start and very end of the season. He had a great racing season in between, Monza being the highlight.
    So. I’d put Vettel #1 because of his consistency in qualifying and his overall pace. Points off for crashes especially with Webber and Button, but all the top 5 had similar lapses in the season, including Hamilton. No points deducted for mechanical failure or a flat tyre at Silverstone.

    1 Vet
    2 Ham
    3 Alo

  9. One thing which we arent considering is the weight of expectations.
    Before the season began, everyone hinted that one of the drivers from RedBull/Ferrari/mclaren would win and to be more specific, it was Vettel//Alonso/Ham who would go on to win the title. You agree or disagree, there is far more pressure on a person to do well and win sitting in a fast/very fast(RedBull/Ferrari, Mclaren) car than on a person sitting in a decent car (
    Mercedes and Renault).
    Driver under less pressure can use every inch of the track and not worry abt crashing but the guys who are tipped to win races need to be very careful.

    I am a diehard Alonso fan but then too, I would keep Vettel at #1 coz he had the PRIVILEGE of driving the superfast car. He defeated his teammate despite many mechanical failures.

    #2 : Alonso. Its not easy to be on pole and winn races when the other side of ur garage doesnt want u to. Yes, I am talking abt massa/Rob Smedley. When Alonso got his win in Germany, he had to make sure that he needs to deliver since team is showin faith in him. There comes the pressure and he delivered and how. Noone is pointing out this but the pole in Singapore was the highlight of the season .

    #3 : Ham. was good but pressure got the better of him

  10. DavidS (@davids) said on 22nd December 2010, 5:24

    Cmon, Hamilton no.3 (since Alonso and Vettel would have to be no.1 and no.2).

    His season wasn’t really that spectacular, even when he had a car that was near the Red Bulls and Ferrari weren’t in the equation yet. His second half of the season was mediocre. Crashing into Massa at Monza and that run in with Webber in Singapore, how can two very serious errors put him above the bulletproof consistency of Kubica and Rosberg, and still well ahead of Webber (who, while he had a few mistakes and his end of season form wasn’t as good as Vettel, but that purple patch mid-season should surely count for something.)

  11. it has to be vettel, 10 poles (more than half of the races!) 5 wins and the title.

    there is simply no other option, he was the quickest driver all season and the worrying thing is that if he learns from his mistakes he could walk away with the title next season.

    i think he alonso and hamilton are the most talented drivers on the grid and rightly deserve to be in the top 3.

    as much as i love hamilton, he made too many silly errors so would have to be vettel / alonso / hamilton for my top 3.

    great set of articles, even with the suspense!

  12. Antranik (@antranik) said on 22nd December 2010, 9:17

    IMHO Webber should have been at least 4th…

  13. Antifia said on 22nd December 2010, 12:29

    In another discussion I argued that this “injury” Webber claims to have suffered would be used by his appologists to try and blur the fact that he was beaten fair and square by Vettel – which reinforces my view that Webber made it up to have an excuse, despite his claims to the contrary. I got a litani of indignant responses saying that nobody was going to use it that way. And now Keith just come up and does just that by linking his fall in performance (a.k.a. being beaten by Vettel) to the supposed broken shoulder. The guy a is a superhero, you know? Performance suffered a little, but he could still drive entire F1 races with a broken shoulder. He either has super body resilience or the super power of convincing people that whatever crap he says is true.

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