2010 F1 driver rankings part four: the top three

2010 F1 season review

It’s time to name the top three drivers of 2010.

Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are the final three drivers in the 2010 rankings – but which one comes out on top?

Read on to find out.

3. Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Valencia, 2010

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Valencia, 2010

Half-term ranking: 3

Vettel’s late-season chase to the crown was the stuff of script-writers.

In Korea, after yet another car failure, it looked like it was all over. But by winning three of the final four races – and thanks to Ferrari being preoccupied by his team mate – Vettel pulled it off.

He was cursed with unreliability in 2010. Vettel was leading in Bahrain, Australia and Korea when his RB6 faltered, leaving him with 12 points instead of 75 from those three races.

That wasn’t the end of it. More car trouble in Canada, Spain and Turkey (qualifying) held him back. Earlier this year I calculated he’d lost 48 points due to unreliability – and that was before Korea.

To his credit, he never let his frustration get the better of him in the form of outbursts directed at the team. It was just as well, because he made a two major blunders of his own, colliding with Webber in Istanbul and Button at Spa.

Both these mistakes were born from overtaking attempts which went wrong. Even with a world championship under his belt, Vettel has not yet shaken off the impression that although he can win from the front with aplomb, racing for position is not his thing. His fight back through the field at Silverstone was scrappy at times.

Vettel’s raw speed has never been in doubt and, armed with an RB6, he was a fearsome proposition in qualifying, taking ten pole positions.

The stark fact that he scored half that number of wins leaves the nagging feeling that he made hard work of this world championship.

However his performance under pressure can’t be faulted. Whether in the rain at Korea, or after being pipped to pole by Nico H???lkenberg in Brazil, it seemed nothing could faze Vettel in the crucial final four races.

He got the job done in a clinical fashion that was supremely impressive for someone earning the title of youngest ever world champion.

You can’t argue with ten poles, five wins and the championship. Very unlucky with reliability, but lots of silly errors meant he snatched the championship rather than dominate it as he perhaps should have done.
Dan Thorn

Sebastian Vettel 2010 form guide

2. Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Singapore, 2010

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Singapore, 2010

Half-term ranking: 6

The best driver of the second half of the season? Unquestionably.

Alonso went on the hunt for a third world championship having asserted his supremacy within the team at Hockenheim. His F10 became a much more competitive car after the addition of an exhaust-blown diffuser in Valencia.

Over the final nine races we saw him back at his 2006-vintage best. Singapore was an undoubted high point, stealing a win from the faster Red Bulls with a brilliant qualifying lap and a faultless drive under pressure.

He won at Korea having managed his tyres to perfection. It was a shame we never got to see whether it would have been enough for him to take on Vettel had the Red Bull driver’s engine not failed.

In Brazil he delivered a masterclass in restrained aggression, patiently wearing down Nico H???lkenberg to make a critical pass.

If he’d driven like that all year then he would have been champion. But for whatever reason he did not seem to be firing on all cylinders in the first half of the season.

His Ferrari career got off to a dream start with a win at Bahrain. But several of the following races were marred by costly errors.

Bizarrely, he jumped the start of the race in Shanghai. At Monaco he was fortunate to salvage sixth after crashing in practice.

Clearly, he was very unlucky in Valencia. But he was the architect of his own demise in the next race at Silverstone, failing to yield position to Robert Kubica having gone off the track to overtake the Renault driver.

To win races you need to do more than just be fast – sometimes you have to overtake people as well. There were times in 2010, such as at Silverstone, when Alonso’s racing savvy appeared to have deserted him.

Similarly, the Hockenheim debacle might have been avoided had he capitalised on a chance to pass Massa earlier in the race.

These were blips in an otherwise very impressive season which included a quite remarkable performance in Sepang where he coped with a transmission glitch throughout the race before the car failed a few laps from home.

In the end he came within a bad strategy call of winning a third championship title. If he can carry his late-2010 form into 2011 his opponents have a lot to worry about.

Like Hamilton (who I’d say he shares the title for the best overall driver on the grid today) he didn’t always have the fastest car but he pushed it to the absolute limit.

His first half of the year was fraught with mistakes but after the controversial German victory, he cleaned up and virtually dominated the last half.
Driftin

Fernando Alonso 2010 form guide

1. Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Montreal, 2010

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Montreal, 2010

Half-term ranking: 1

Having led the drivers’ championship in the middle of the year Hamilton hung on grimly despite having a car that patently wasn’t up to the job in several races in the second half of the season.

The arrival of the reigning world champion in the second car fazed him not one bit. He was usually the quicker of the two by a few tenths and sometimes in qualifying his car was half-a-dozen places or more ahead of the McLaren with the number one on its nose.

On the rare occasions he did start behind Button it usually didn’t last long, like at Melbourne where he passed Button soon after the safety car came in on a damp track.

Hamilton remains the most combative driver on the grid, the one most likely to a take on a rival instead of getting stuck behind them.

He won in excellent fashion at Canada, taking advantage of Alonso being boxed in behind leader Sebastien Buemi to pass him for the lead.

A fine drive at Shanghai yielded second place after a string of passes, taking Vettel along the way. But similar drives at Melbourne and Sepang were less well rewarded.

More points were lost with car failures at Spain and Hungary, plus his gearbox gremlins in Suzuka.

Back-to-back wins at Istanbul and Montreal, plus second places behind the Red Bull drivers at Valencia and Silverstone, marked the high point of his season. But as McLaren fell behind Red Bull and Ferrari in the development race there were times when Hamilton could only watch the other championship contenders drive away.

At times he tried to grab a bit too much. There were minor errors in Korea and Interlagos that were plainly born of over-driving. He flirted with disaster at Spa on his way to an excellent wet-weather win.

More seriously at Monza he threw away a vital opportunity to take points off the Red Bull drivers by tangling with Felipe Massa on the first lap.

Still on other occasions he was downright unlucky – particularly whenever Mark Webber was involved, as at Melbourne and Singapore.

This year’s world championship was remarkable in that drivers from three different teams had cars that were good enough to win races. Picking the best driver – the fastest, the best racer, the one who beat a strong team mate, the most dependable – is inevitably subjective. The margins between the very best are razor-thin.

Lewis Hamilton gets the nod this year because whatever state the track or his car was in, he was unrelenting in his pursuit of success and was always the driver who wrung the maximum – and sometimes a bit more – out of his car.

I hate to admit it but Hamilton was pretty impressive this season, his best by far, regardless of the result.

Unfortunately for him the car lagged behind in the later stages of the season. After Silverstone it was quite clear for me that he was favourite for the title, but McLaren struggled with development on the EBD front, and its new rear wing came too late to make any difference.

As expected he has beaten Jenson, while maturing more and more with every race (with the exception of Monza, but I guess that everyone has the right to make a silly error once) and getting more complete as a driver. If McLaren gets the MP4-26 right, expect him to be a contender, as he always have been.
Guilherme Teixeira

Complete F1 Fanatic 2010 driver rankings

27. Sakon Yamamoto
26. Lucas di Grassi
25. Karun Chandhok
24. Bruno Senna
23. Vitaly Petrov
22. Christian Klien
21. Vitantonio Liuzzi
20. Sebastien Buemi
19. Pedro de la Rosa
18. Jarno Trulli
17. Nick Heidfeld
16. Felipe Massa
15. Nico H???lkenberg
14. Heikki Kovalainen
13. Michael Schumacher
12. Jaime Alguersuari
11. Timo Glock
10. Kamui Kobayashi
9. Adrian Sutil
8. Rubens Barrichello
7. Jenson Button
6. Mark Webber
5. Nico Rosberg
4. Robert Kubica
3. Sebastian Vettel
2. Fernando Alonso
1. Lewis Hamilton

Who do you think was the best driver of the year? Have your say below and vote for the best F1 driver of 2010 here.

Lewis Hamilton 2010 form guide

Images ?? Red Bull/Getty images, Ferrari spa, www.mclaren.com

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424 comments on 2010 F1 driver rankings part four: the top three

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  1. Michał said on 22nd December 2010, 10:21

    I wondered when i saw Lewis on first pole, however I think it’s quite a good example to have him on “pole position” :)
    but my mind are focus on Kubica :)
    great job Keith.

    • Not exactly going a great distance to get rid of that ‘British bias’ tag keith!

      • Himmat S. said on 22nd December 2010, 11:28

        What bias can there be when in true fact Hamilton was indeed the most menacing of the top drivers.

        • I didn’t realize this was rating of the most menacing drivers! jk

          No really, this article and the comments show how close of a season this was. There was no true stand out dominant driver the whole year like we’ve seen in some of the past seasons. It makes for a more interesting season for sure, but it also leads to more debate of who was the best…I don’t think there was a ‘best’ this season and all of these guys (+ maybe, Webber, Buttn, & Kubica) were phenomenal and all of these guys made mistakes.

          I disagree with Keith’s rankings, but I also think his rankings are fair and that it really comes down to many factors and some personal opinion to say who is best and what even qualifies for best. Who cares even if Keith is a little biased, it’s his blog and his opinion.

        • Crispin said on 22nd December 2010, 22:16

          Vettels the most menacing, as take 1 look at him and you will be off the track :)

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd December 2010, 11:36

        Not exactly going a great distance to get rid of that ‘British bias’ tag keith!

        I write what I think.

        • Our Nige said on 22nd December 2010, 12:17

          I agree with you Keith – Hamilton was the one driver you could reply on to get 100% fromo the car over the course of the weekend and the “mistakes” he made, Monza and Singapore for example, were from trying to pass people , exactly what we want! Lsistening to him plead to start the race in Korea was great. Alonso for the record was also fantastic – his 2nd half of the year was amazing but for me as well Hamilton just edges it.

        • polishboy808 said on 22nd December 2010, 14:01

          As much as I would like to think that this decision was made without a bit of bias, I can’t. Why? Well, this is a British website, and there have been articles on here before that were heavily biased towards Hamilton. I would definitely put Hamilton 3rd, Vettle 2nd, and Alonso 3rd, as thats where they really belong.

          • polishboy808 said on 22nd December 2010, 14:02

            And I can’t be biased as I’m a pole that lives in America so there are no favorites here.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd December 2010, 14:13

            this is a British website, and there have been articles on here before that were heavily biased towards Hamilton.

            Such as?

            The thing is, some people are inclined to scream “bias” whenever they read something they don’t agree with. I remember people complaining I was ‘anti-Hamilton’ for writing this after Valencia:

            Did Hamilton try to stop Alonso getting in front of the safety car?

          • jimscreechy (@) said on 22nd December 2010, 21:00

            I tend to ignore the posts that shout ‘bias’ as they tend to surface from individuals whoose fan focus have not emerged on the top step. Still, quite a good article, and pretty fair assesment. On half the days in the year there is but a hare’s whisker between the top three, and you could rotate the places on the podium between all without losing a dime. One thing I do have to agree with ‘Our Nige’ about is Hamilton’s ability to wring the neck of nearly any machine he’s given which isn’t so true of the other two. He fairly consistently punches above the weight of the machinery he’s given and just gets on with driving it on the limit… or past it on some occasions. The guy could drive the wheels of a shopping trolley.

          • Adam Tate said on 22nd December 2010, 21:19

            @ Polishboy.

            I am a Texan, living in America, and all bias aside I found Hamilton the most impressive driver of the season by far. Had he been in an RB6 he would have dominated the entire field. He had a worse car and more DNF’s than any of the other title contenders by season’s end yet was still there giving it his all, because he still had an outside chance. He wasn’t favored by his team, didn’t have to rely on team orders and didn’t loose his head under pressure with Monza being a sole exception to that.

            I really get tired of everyone assuming the British media is biased to British drivers and teams. I have many British friends(yes even though I live in Texas) and feel that this is not the case. It isn’t the nationalistic, jingoistic, hail Britannia days of the Victorian Era any longer. Cut the Brits some slack.

        • Then why bothering receiving our comments.

        • HewisLamilton said on 22nd December 2010, 17:25

          I think everyone pretty much knew who you were going to place as top driver. Not at all surprising, and actually quite humorous.

        • kowalsky said on 22nd December 2010, 18:48

          i agree.
          Let’s not forget, that he chose schumacher to win this year’s title.
          Do you think the kaiser would be able to get it in 2011?

          • Guys, do you like this site? Because if you don’t you are welcome to leave. Personally, I’d have put Hamilton 2nd, but regardless, he’s a fair contender for driver of the year. He was way better than Vettle who simply put the fastest car on pole and the flag. Put a car that was clear third on pace in contention all year.

        • Julian said on 23rd December 2010, 9:02

          Keith, you are so biased. I mean come on, Hamilton!? How dare you put him as the number one driver in your opinion. You should have picked my favourite driver. And lets not forget the fact that you are British!
          Shame on you Keith.

          ;)
          (winking face indicates I’m being sarcastic for those poor souls who can’t tell) :)

          But on a more serious note, when you cry bias, the only bias you are showing is your own.

          Keep the articles coming Keith, I need something to read over the holidays :)

        • IceMan said on 23rd December 2010, 11:18

          Really you think Hamilton deserves first place after so much mistakes.McLaren clearly enjoyed the advantage of having fully working F-duct unlike Alonso.He too made mistake. You left guys who took 5 victories? Too British :(

      • Biased is an understatement! Hamilton shouldn’t even be in the top 5 this year. Once again he showed absolutely no composure at the tail end of the season.

        FYI, my number one would be Alonso. Taking the third fastest car (not surprising that the British media rarely acknowledges this) to within a whisker of the championship. His achievement is all the greater for it being his first year with the team. And his so called “early season mistakes” don’t compare to Hamiltons:

        He messed up in Monza, terrible qualifying and DNF.

        He messed up in Singapore, DNF.

        He messed up in Valencia, safety car, and should have been punished.

        He messed up in Silverstone, puncturing Vettel’s rear right, and should have been punished.

        He messed up in Korea, running wide and letting Alonso through.

        He messed up in Brazil, running wide and letting Alonso through (again!).

        He messed up in Belgium, was only luck that saved him from that wall!

        Entirely predictable that you’d put him No.1 but totally wrong.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd December 2010, 11:49

          Taking the third fastest car (not surprising that the British media rarely acknowledges this)

          I don’t agree it was the third-fastest car as I explained earlier: 2010 in stats part three: car performance

          • laird, i think your biased against Hamilton. Why? are you Spanish (my experience shows they hate Hamilton)

          • Hamish said on 22nd December 2010, 12:19

            Ah each to their own. I can respect it especially given you probably knew the reaction it was going to get. Thing is guys, it isn’t that black and white, its merely Keiths opinion.

            I personally would have chosen Kubica, but thats simply my opinion.

          • Maciek said on 22nd December 2010, 16:59

            Why? are you Spanish (my experience shows they hate Hamilton)

            Really? Congratulations on adding stupid fuel to the fire.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 22nd December 2010, 12:13

          About half of those examples were in any way fair. Singapore was a racing incident if not Webber’s fault in my opinion. Valencia is debatable. The Silverstone accusation is ridiculous. In Belgium he wasn’t the only one to make mistakes, but it was clearly more than luck that saved him- he controlled the car well enough to keep it out of the wall and had built up enough of a lead to come out still in 1st.

        • NAZ3012 said on 22nd December 2010, 12:22

          i’m going to have to disagree
          but i’ll agree that the mistake in monza was avoidable.

          Singapore was just unlucky (look at webbers wheel at the end of the race ;)

          In valencia he was punished-drive through and yet still got a 2nd place i think.

          The incident at silverstone was so unbelievably small, it’s not possible the contact caused the puncture-it was a racing incident.

          Brazil and korea were minor mistakes

          and while everybody fell off at belgium, only he recovered to finish 1st after pulling a gap enough to keep him in front when he went off

          He made a few mistakes, as everybody else did, but minimised some of them with good driving and skill.

          Oh and by the way keith-great set of articles

          • Kimster said on 23rd December 2010, 11:59

            punished in Valencia? hahahaha

            They let him race for 20+ laps to make sure he got a 20+ seconds lead and then they “punish” him ;)

        • Well, he did a better job at keeping it out of the wall at Spa than Alonso did.

          I agree with the other replies, I believe you’re being too biased against Hamilton. Needless to say Lewis did make mistakes, Monza being one of the more obvious ones.

        • Kodongo said on 22nd December 2010, 13:53

          Alonso equally messed up many times as well using your criteria.

          He messed up in Spa, terrible qualifying and DNF.

          He messed up in Silverstone with a rallycross overtake of Kubica.

          He messed up in Brazil and Abu Dhabi when his car was second fastest by qualifying behind Lewis and taking himself out of contention to jump the Red Bulls at the start.

          He messed up in Canada, tripping up over Buemi (who was actually in 1st place) allowing Hamilton to pass. For good measure, he then tripped up over Karun to allow Jenson to nail him.

          Whenever his amazing overtaking skills wouldn’t suffice, he resorted to conducting traffic with his right hand (or fist).

          You talk of no penalty for Lewis at Valencia (where he received a drive through), whilst neglecting to mention no sporting penalty for flagrant team orders.

          He ran with a de facto number 2 driver for half the season whereas Lewis was up against a reigning WDC.

          Take off the blinders!

        • The problem with the argument against LH on the basis of errors is that all his rivals made at least as many serious ones as he did.

          I just re-watched Melbourne and realized that Alonso was mostly culpable for his turn 1 collision with Button, he just crowded him out and paid the price. His unforced Spa crash was shocking, he dropped it in Monaco, jumped the start in China, got so overwrought about the news of Hamilton’s P2 in Valencia that he allowed himself to get passed by a Sauber, was the architect of his own downfall at Silverstone, and the radio transcripts showed he was a key part of the brain trust that got it so horribly wrong in Abu Dhabi.

          Vettel had high-profile mistakes at Spa, Turkey and Hungary, but had even more bad luck with mechanicals, was clearly the fastest package of the year and clearly deserved the WDC.

          Webber was shocking in Melbourne, not only did he hoof LH off from behind near the end, he also completely outbraked himself at turn 3 fighting with LH and took them both off, letting Massa through, he was not completely blameless for his collision in Turkey (not for blocking in the first place, which was fine, but for keeping Vettel pinned so hard to the white line even when he was 80% through…GP2 stuff), dropped it completely in Korea, simply hoofed LH off again in Singapore, and of course ran into Kovalainen in Valencia. Webber was actually very lucky to survive his collisions in Melbourne, Turkey and Singapore, and go on to score points on all 3 occasions.

          Of the drivers in the top 3 teams, only Button made fewer errors than LH or Vettel, but his final result is a perfect demonstration of where LH would have been if he had not been serially taking risks in trying to keep up with a vastly quicker car from RBR.

          In this regard, Hamilton and Alonso both have mitigating circumstances for the errors they did make, in the sense that they were chasing a blue thing that was 10mph (not kph!) quicker in corners like the new Abbey sweep. In that situation, you have to take risks all the time just to compete. LH had mechanical failures in Spain, Japan and Hungary and still finished ahead of Button on wins and points even though Button can only point to Monaco for a mechanical DNF.

          If you have to resort to pointing at Singapore as an example of a Hamilton error, or claiming that his running wide at Korea was a serious mistake (when his team mate wasn’t even running in the points and was also flying off the road – clearly the McLaren was simply outclassed that day), then you are vastly overstating your case. As for Valencia, where LH missed the SC cut-off by something like 2m from the aerial view, well. You might as well start criticizing his choice of girlfriend (and I do).

          Hamilton and Alonso are both candidates for #1 because they both outperformed their rides in many races. Vettel deserved the WDC but arguably should have made fewer errors given that he did have the fastest car by a mile. The clincher for me between Hamilton and Alonso is that (a) LH is clearly inside FA’s head, as we saw from, for example, FA’s radio transmissions in Melbourne, and his entitlement-based meltdown in Valencia, (b) on balance, Alonso’s errors were more egregious than Hamilton’s, as described above, (c) drives like Canada, Spa, Melbourne, Sepang and China from LH were at least as impressive to be as drives like Korea, Brazil and Monza from Alonso, both of them being serially brilliant in any case, and (d) one of Alonso’s wins was simply gifted to him by his team-mate.

          It’s a close call, both were incandescent at times, and both made errors, but for me, Keith’s analysis is spot on and Hamilton was the class act of the year. The fact that it’s a close call in the first place is the reason I watch F1.

          • bosyber said on 22nd December 2010, 17:50

            Very well said. I’m glad to have seen Alonso back at his best in the last part of the season and hope he continues driving like that (minus team orders though), but before that he just wasn’t as good.

          • pSynrg said on 22nd December 2010, 18:53

            @Sean, and it’s well written and considered comments such as yours that help me get through the drivel that can be posted.

            Great analysis Keith, of all the drivers and I’d have to say spot on. Thanks for sharing with us!

            All the best in the new year…

          • Yeah, my coment of the day Sean, very nice analysis.

          • Hallard said on 22nd December 2010, 21:01

            Seriously well put, Sean. I tip my hat to you sir:)

          • Crispin said on 22nd December 2010, 22:23

            Alonsos win at Korea was also given to him by vettels engine failure

          • brum55 said on 22nd December 2010, 22:36

            So when people point to mistakes made by Hamilton they are overstating their case which is what you are doing blaming Alonso for:

            1) Being squeezed in Aus by Button and Schumacher,

            2)Not being able to control a car that had been smashed into by Barrichello in lap 1 for a whole race in Spa

            3) Not knowing the strategies of Petrov and Rosberg whilst racing the Red-Bulls and McLarens and not knowing the tyres would ‘come back’ despite no evidence suggesting so.

            Also your reasons:
            a) Hamilton is in Alonso’s head, Korea and Brazil would show that maybe you got that the wrong way round.
            b) In China and Monaco, where Alonso made his two biggest errors he scored 12 pts in both. In Italy, Singapore Hamilton scored 0 pts in both. I.e. Hamilton’s mistakes were more costly
            c) Matter of opinion. But the big difference was at the start of the season McLaren were the only team with an F-duct. At the end of the season we saw Hamilton struggling against Hulkenburg and Kubica despite an engine advantage.

            I agree with d) Germany was embarrassing.

            Despite the above I do rate Hamilton very highly and hope to see many battles between him and Alonso for years to come. They could well be their generation’s Senna/Prost.

          • qazuhb said on 23rd December 2010, 0:35

            great post!

          • Scribe (@scribe) said on 23rd December 2010, 9:07

            Yeah Brum55, your post rather nicely highlights why I liked Seans so much.

            Yours contains a happy disregard for the concept of opinion, a blatant agenda and a one sided slant on events resulting in the outcome that you set out to get before you even started writing your post.

            At least his appeared a neutral analysis, an it’s amazing how people can be accusing Keith’s incredibly neutral analysis of bias.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd December 2010, 9:16

            Very nice analysis, it perfectly desribes why I was swayed by the arguments to vote for Hamilton in the end, after first inclining to vote for Alonso.

        • jimscreechy (@) said on 22nd December 2010, 21:11

          Laird- “Third fastest car?” Are you sure you have been watching the 2010 season and not recordings from some previous era? I really think you need to look at the stats objectively and put your driver/team based prejudice to one side.

          The Ferrari was fairly conclusively the second fastest car of the 2010 season in spite of what that twit Tim… whatever his name from Mclaren said. Personally I think he was just trying to save face by making rediculous post season claims that didn’t amount to a hill of beans and that anyone with a passing grade in Kindergarten math could see through. Perhaps you have been influnced by his shoddy mathematics and politician-like doubletalk.

        • Adam Tate said on 22nd December 2010, 21:57

          Laird, you make me laugh dude, calm down.
          Alonso and Hamilton both did well. You don’t have to give a powerpoint presentation.

        • I’m pretty sure Hamilton didn’t even touch Vettel at Silverstone, i think he just went wide and got a puncture. You must really hate Hamilton laird, and why? he’s just another good racer in F1, theres not exactly any bad ones. Anyway, this is Keiths website and he can write what he wants, if you don’t like the website then don’t bother posting a comment. There always someone who has to be anti-something.

          • IceMan said on 23rd December 2010, 11:32

            MGP W01, i think your biased against Alonso. Why? are you English(my experience shows they hate Alonso)

        • IceMan said on 23rd December 2010, 11:27

          Well said Bro. I doubt Keith will reply you.

        • leotef (@leotef) said on 23rd December 2010, 15:43

          No insulting, but when you said ‘bias is understatement’ you didn’t need to say “FYI…” cuz it’s too clear to maybe all.

          One curious thing though is why Alonso fans are always saying Ferrari the 3rd best car when they can say 4th best car behind even Renault when Alonso was stuck behind a rookie driver and could not overtake hime only because Renault was too good a car for so called- forever, world best driver Alonso? Really wondering…

      • sato113 (@sato113) said on 22nd December 2010, 13:45

        so you’d rather he made Alonso no.1 simply to get rid of any bias doubt?

      • Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 22nd December 2010, 16:14

        It’s a blog, not a newspaper. If you don’t like what he writes, you don’t have to read it, y’know.

      • We Want Turbos said on 22nd December 2010, 22:29

        Just to make the point, the “british media” tend to be overly critical of their sports stars, however as I mentioned yesterday, what about how Keith reported the liegate scandal. Alonso was in my opinion 3rd best with Kubica 2nd and Hamilton 1st his only REAL mistakes where Monza and Suzuka. Singapore was a racing incident, unlucky.

      • zawisza said on 22nd December 2010, 22:35

        In 2008 Hamilton took a title. Do you remember who topped the F1fanatic’s ranking then? The guy who finished in 4th and no, he wasn’t British at all :)
        As for today’s order – personally I think there was no strong leader this season, it was very close between front guys but Hamilton in 1st place is not controversial for me. Mature, consistent. Very few errors but unfortunately the costly ones.

      • MercedesBeanz said on 23rd December 2010, 22:27

        What bias, Lewis had to fight for the points he got more than any other driver. His car wasn’t the fastest, his team clearly tried to hamper him and help Jenson, plus all the other crap that he has to put up with from certain ‘fans’ and the media…

        Without Lewis, this season wouldn’t have as exciting as it has, and that goes for the last three seasons too.

        Fully deserves his No1 ranking, nice one Keith. I think Webber should have been higher up. I would have ranked him ahead of Vettel.

    • Daniel said on 22nd December 2010, 11:32

      How can you think about Pole position without thinking about Kubica?

      (sorry)

      • How CAN you think of Kubica for pole? Good driver, not got the car, He didnt even get the best out of that car. Period.

        This for alot of people is bias, everyone has they’re own opinion. I for one agree with Keith. Im British. Go on use the bias card, see if I care. If another driver HAD been better, i’d say. Vettel deserved the championship… Still Biased? I have my reasons for thinking that. But not always does the best driver win the championship.

        Give up crying to mama and suck it up.
        Watch the season back, again, and see who impresses you. Its hard to keep a complete opinion on the races when they are so spread out.

        • Daniel said on 23rd December 2010, 4:35

          You missed the joke.

          Kubica is Polish. So no matter where he is placed he is in Pole position. Get it?

          • Ah i see what your getting at – Its hard to potray a joke through meansd of social networks! Sorry!
            And the rest wasnt directed at you…. To the rest

  2. Controversial!

    Personally I actually agree with you, although I think I would have swapped Seb and Fernando.

    The records say Fernando won 5 races… but in fairness he was gifted one by his team-mate (Germany) and two by Vettel’s misfortune (Bahrain and Korea).

    I admire his determination, stating in Britain that he’d win the WDC (so very nearly…).

    Although Hamilton went off the boil following Belgium, his start to the season was far better than his results show. He was immense in Australia and should have been at least second.

    A good ranking and all in all… give or take a few, I agree with you. Afterall, this is a personal ranking and you will never make a full ranking to suit everyone. Leaving out personal preference I think you’ve made a cracking effort!

    Cheers Keith.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd December 2010, 10:30

      You’re welcome Ben, thanks!

      • TommyB said on 22nd December 2010, 14:21

        I knew this “it’s a British site” would come back if you put Hamilton number one.

        For me, it could have been any of these three in any order. Mistakes wise though I think Hamilton made the least.

        Next year I think he will be champion.

        Great list as always Keith.

        • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 24th December 2010, 13:45

          Yep. As soon as I read Hamilton as number one I knew there was going to be trouble! :P But I admire you for writing what you think Keith, knowing all the trolls would snap you up for doing so. But I agree, Hamilton was probably the best driver of 2010 along with Alonso. Such a tough call between the two, although I’d probably have Kubica in at number 3. But you can’t argue with Vettel’s championship! If that didn’t win him 3rd place, nothing will!

          Even with a world championship under his belt, Vettel has not yet shaken off the impression that although he can win from the front with aplomb, racing for position is not his thing.

          Very well put, Keith! If F1 were like rally, he’d be untouchable. But it’s not. That’s why I don’t think he really deserved his championship this year. As much as I wanted a Red Bull to win (preferably Webber), they both made too many mistakes in what was by far the best car of 2010 to be champion. Webber learnt this the hard way, whilst all of Vettel’s ridiculous errors have gone unpunished. Actually he has been rewarded… From this, he will not learn. I can’t see how this will help a young driver in desperate need of a does of maturity, to actually mature. I expect to see the same, impetuous driver we saw this year, in 2011 again. Drivers like Hamilton and Alonso score consistently and their mistakes are forgiveable, but Vettel’s aren’t. Both of them have had tough seasons in the past to make them the drivers they are whilst Vettel hasn’t had a thing go wrong for him in his short career in F1. Surely that can’t be good for his development? It might take more than a single tough season to build Vettel into a multiple world champion, unfortunately.

    • IceMan said on 23rd December 2010, 11:37

      Yes Ben. Lewis Hamilton whould has parked his car if the front running car blew up.

      • IceMan said on 23rd December 2010, 11:39

        Yes Ben. Lewis Hamilton would have parked his car if the front running car blew up.

      • I don’t believe I mentioned Hamilton at that point… although I see what you’re saying.

        My point was that Alonso’s record of 5 wins is, in purely my opinion, more flattering than reality. Not to say anything against Alonso, who drove very well this year.

        • IceMan said on 24th December 2010, 4:35

          Thanks Ben.My point is atleast Alonso was in a position to take the top spot whenever the Red Bulls gave way. IMHO it should be Vettel or Alonso. I am no Alonso fan, and i like Lewis too for his peerless overtaking skills. :)

  3. Antranik (@antranik) said on 22nd December 2010, 10:30

    While this is a good list, your bias towards Hamilton really shows here, no matter how good he was, he was definitely NOT better than Alonso or Seb.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd December 2010, 10:32

      he was definitely NOT better than Alonso or Seb.

      I’ve explained why I think he was, why don’t you explain why you think he wasn’t?

      • I have to shout subjectivism. You are clearly bias towards a British driver. Hamilton was not even close the best driver this year. Kubica and Nico were a lot better, as well as Fernando and Seb.
        You cannot name a driver that made so many mistakes this year the best driver in F1. You try to blame most of them on bad luck but that’s not true. Ham is not at all a calculated driver and that’s why he gets in so much trouble. And the safety car passing in Valencia was a rookie mistake.
        Outside of Great Britain, nobody thinks that Ham was the best driver this year and that is why I have to say that you are subjective.

        • Enigma (@enigma) said on 22nd December 2010, 11:17

          I don’t think Keith is biased – Hamilton completely deserves to be in 1st place. It could’ve been Alonso or Vettel, but they’ve both been great. And Hamilton made less mistakes than most people think.

          BTW Keith, looks like we agree very much – my top 7 rankings on the forum only differ from yours with Kubica and Rosberg: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/forum/topic.php?id=836&page=3#post-14031

          • Enigma (@enigma) said on 22nd December 2010, 11:18

            But they’ve ALL been great*

          • sato113 (@sato113) said on 22nd December 2010, 13:53

            yes, mistakes:
            HAM- Singapore, Monza, Korean restart
            ALO- Monaco practise-qualy, Spa, China, Britain (cutting corner)
            VET- Turkey, Spa

            so VET actually only had 2 obvious clumsy moments.

          • ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 22nd December 2010, 15:37

            @sato113:

            Don’t forget Hamilton’s practice crashes at Hockenheim and Suzuka – also parts of a clumsy second part of the season for him.

            Also, you can probably add Melbourne as a mistake for Alonso – I think the turn 1 crash was his fault.

          • Enigma (@enigma) said on 22nd December 2010, 17:02

            @ed24f1 It was the fault of the stupid mirrors in the place the drivers could barely see them.

            @sato113 Singapore wasn’t really Hamilton’s mistake – and you can’t compare Alonso’s jumped start and Hamilton’s Korean restart with Vettel’s crash in Turkey – it was way more costly. You can’t compare a mistake that cost someone a place or two with a mistake that cost someone a victory. So Vettel may have made less mistakes than, say, Alonso, but it cost him way more.

          • sato113 (@sato113) said on 22nd December 2010, 22:22

            @enigma well actually, if alonso hadn’t jump started at China he could have won.
            if he hadn’t crashed in monaco practice, he could have got p1 and won.
            HAM could have won Korea if he hadn’t gone wide at restart.
            so they were all very costly mistakes.

        • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 22nd December 2010, 11:24

          Which Nico? There were two of them…

        • Alistair said on 22nd December 2010, 11:28

          I wish people would stop saying Brits are biased because of their nationality. We’re no more biased because of this than any other person of any other nationality. (I’m going out on a limb here; but I bet you’re either Spanish or Italian….oh, the bias you display)

          Kubica had a good car and a bad teammate; ergo, he looked good. He didn’t look so good, however, when he was beaten by Quick Nick in two of the three seasons they were teammates. Would one of the very best drivers in Formula One have suffered this fate. I don’t think so.

          Nico (Rosberg) is good: certainly not great. Beating Michael Schumacher is not much of an achievement, any more, as I predicted at the start of the year. Schumi’s too old; he’s lost his speed. Many people, pundits even (perhaps for vanity) say that drivers don’t lose their speed; they lose the need for speed. If that’s the case, why don’t we wheel out Sir Stirling Moss or JYS? Formula One is a protean sport: it’s constantly changing. Drivers improve; a new generation always comes to replace the slower, older one. Schumi belongs to a past generation. He’s old enough to be Rosberg’s dad…

          ‘You cannot name a driver [Hamilton] that made so many mistakes this year the best driver in F1.’ And yet you suggest Alonso or Vettel who made many more mistakes than Hamilton.

          You don’t like subjective points. Ok. Try this. Lewis Hamilton beat the reigning-double world champion, Alonso, in his first ever season. Name one other driver, in Formula One history, who has achieved this. Lewis was leading the championship from his fourth race until the second to last race.

          It’s an objective fact that Lewis beat Alonso in his first year, as described. There’s an excellent objective fact for you to point at Lewis’s being better.

          • Kester said on 22nd December 2010, 11:56

            No it’s very subjective. If you look at the results they tied on points.

            http://www.formula1.com/results/driver/2007/

            Saying he beat Alonso is a subjective viewpoint as the objective viewpoint shows they tied.

          • Ham beat Alonso in his first season because he had THE HOLE TEAM supporting him, contrary to Alonso. It’s hard to fight against everyone, don’t you agree?
            I’m not saying Hamilton isn’t a great driver but he wasn’t the best this year.
            I believe Kubica was the best because he had an inferior car although some suggest that was not the case but it was. He made very few mistakes and at Monaco where the driver is more important than the car he had a brilliant drive.
            Just watch his driving technique. He is very fluid with very few corrections of the steering wheel. He is always in control and he is a very calm driver.
            And no, an not Italian nor Spanish nor German, but I still believe Seb and Fernando were better than Hamilton this year.

          • I’d give Alonso number 2 because he learned to adapt this year. He (and probably Button) was by far the kindest to his tyres while also being very competitive. Plus at Sepang he drove the whole race without second gear.
            He is a great driver and the fact that he managed to overcome the points deficit to the Red Bulls and take the fight to the last race is a testament to his ability.

          • bosyber said on 22nd December 2010, 17:57

            Well, they were tied on points. But Alonso demonstrated in Valencia that he felt beaten by Hamilton and had let him get into his head, effecting a race two years later!

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 22nd December 2010, 19:43

            Oh, stop this “HOLE TEAM” supporting Hamilton nonsense.

            They didn’t, and if there was any reason for you thinking so, then it was Alonso’s trademark childish, petulant behaviour at the Hungaroring that cost him support.

            No it’s very subjective. If you look at the results they tied on points.

            You don’t even know how F1 points work. If two drivers are tied on points, then countback is used to determine who is ahead of who. Using this, Hamilton was 2007 runner-up with Alonso 3rd. Therefore according to official F1 regulations, Hamilton DID beat Fernando Alonso in his rookie season.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 22nd December 2010, 11:34

          I think part of the reason Vettel is behind Hamilton is that when he did make an error it often ended up being costly for others- i.e. Button and Webber. Admittedly a couple of Hamilton’s moves could have gone the same way. But they didn’t. That meant Vettel became the target of several people’s frustrations, and that helps to make his mistakes more severe.

          People who use Hamilton’s error in Spa seem to forget the fact that he built up an impressive enough lead that he could afford such a mistake (in conditions where he was far from the only person making them).

          Unfortunately Hamilton’s fade in performance came towards the end (whereas Alonsos was at the start), when the other contenders were at their best, and that has made people forget his brilliance in the early and mid season

        • Of course it’s subjective. So are all of our comments. Keith is ranking drivers based on who HE thinks did the best job. If any of us make that list it’s subjective too. Most of the blame for mistakes/crashes are subjective too, so there is no way to correctly put weight on one incident compared to another. The bottom line is that Seb is the World Champion and these lists are just opinion and to provide interesting reading during the off-season. I personally don’t agree with every driver position in this article, but I think the article and the facts were great to read and I think everyone should maybe kinda get off Keith’s back!

        • Adam Tate said on 22nd December 2010, 21:59

          Hey Amo, I’m in Texas. Yes Texas, and I think Hamilton was the best driver this year.
          Sorry dude.

        • Anthony_MR (@anthony_mr) said on 23rd December 2010, 3:45

          Im not british, Im from Latin America. And I think Hamilton is the best.
          Now your comment is void.
          thanks!

        • Why can’t people just admit that everyone in F1 is a good driver. How would they get there in the first place. If your complaining about Alonso making mistakes your biased against him, if your complaining against Hamilton your biased against him. Everyone is saying everyone is biased against someone.

          Lets just face, they all made mistakes but they are all great drivers. Keith, you couldn’t exactly said that in pole/1st is Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel could you?

          It’s his opinion and just let him have it. All you people who complain about him can just leave the website.

          Just because its funny watching everyone argue, (joke) i completely disagree with everyone and i think that Sakon Yammamoto was the best driver!!!! he was better than everyone.

      • Todfod said on 22nd December 2010, 11:49

        I agree it must have been a close call ranking these 3.. but there is no way Lewis belongs at #1.

        So since you wanted reasons, instead of us just calling it bias.. here goes..

        “At times he tried to grab a bit too much. There were minor errors in Korea and Interlagos that were plainly born of over-driving.”

        They weren’t due to overdriving.. he went wide cause he couldn’t soak up the pressure from Fernando. He only went wide on those 2 corners when Alonso was close on his tail.. he never repeated those errors for the rest of the race. If it was overdriving, he would have gone off on those corners later on in the race when his tyres were in worse condition.

        “Lewis Hamilton gets the nod this year because whatever state the track or his car was in, he was unrelenting in his pursuit of success and was always the driver who wrung the maximum – and sometimes a bit more – out of his car.”

        That is rubbish. I cant name one track where the Mclaren was the 2nd fastest car on the grid, and Lewis won. You might argue Turkey.. but we all know that was a gift. As compared to him, Alonso actually managed to put the Ferrari on pole and win in Singapore. This is something Lewis hasn’t accomplished this season.

        While Lewis made an error less than Fernando and Sebastian. There are a couple of errors that went unnoticed.. such as his inability to set the car up correctly for Monza (a circuit where Mclaren was the quickest, as proved by Jenson’s only front row quali). He also was rewarded for his error in Valencia. Just as Alonso’s FP3 shunt in Monaco was looked as like a mistake, similarly, Lewis crash in FP at Suzuka should be considered as a mistake as well.

        Its hard to chose the #1 driver for the season, but by no means was it Lewis.

        • lightsout (@lightsout) said on 22nd December 2010, 12:13

          As compared to him, Alonso actually managed to put the Ferrari on pole and win in Singapore. This is something Lewis hasn’t accomplished this season.

          How about Canada?

          • Todfod said on 22nd December 2010, 12:25

            Mclaren was the fastest car in Canada. No doubt about that, you might argue that RBs were, but they screwed up their quali and race by going on hard tyres in Q3.

          • OldIron said on 22nd December 2010, 17:18

            Quite tricky to decide: RB should have been quickest in quali – but went awry on tyre strategy. You could also argue Alonso only lost out in the race due to mistakes in passing slower cars.

            In Singapore, RB would have been fastest, but Vettel clipped the wall in quali, and then trundled around and settled for 2nd in the race.

          • Kimster said on 23rd December 2010, 12:12

            McLaren bought poleposition there ;)

        • David BR said on 22nd December 2010, 13:39

          Well it wasn’t Alonso. Any driver needing to phone in for help passing a team mate is *never* worthy of driver of the season. Can you seriously imagine Senna complaining on the radio because he lacked the skill to drive past Massa in the same car? Or Hamilton for that matter. Too much pride. Alonso also bottled the last race, kind of crucial. (You could say Ferrari helped lose it, but isn’t he supposed to completely run the garage, even down to the soft drink vending machine, from his cockpit, just one of his amazing plus points?)

          Vettel would get my vote, only he never proved he could pass a competitive car on track. Yet he finished in style under pressure, unlike Webber, so he gets my number two.

          Hamilton number one sounds reasonable in a season where no driver was anywhere near flawless. Ask non-national fans who the best drivers were (in Brazil for example), and you’d get two names: Hamilton and Kobayashi – the two who regularly provide a show when others are content to drive home safely. Also Hamilton and Button managed to compete without descending into on track mayhem or internal lobbying to gain advantage. Both came out of the season well for that reason alone.

        • brum55 said on 22nd December 2010, 13:54

          Spot on. I wrote something like this later on but this was better.
          There was no question about the mid year review Lewis was #1 but his performances after Spa were flat. If he were to out-drive his car, than he would have finished over a race win ahead of Button who was driving a car that wasn’t set-up to his liking all year in a new team.
          Of his 3 wins Button was 2nd twice and in Spa he was taken out of 2nd despite having the wrong set-up.
          In China Alonso was last due to jump starting but still finished ahead of both Red-Bulls. In Monza he was 8ths faster than Massa on their first runs in Q3 and generally had the biggest margin to his team-mate of the top 3 teams. In Singapore achieved a Grand Schlem despite only driving the 2nd fastest car. That was the clearest example of out driving your machinary for a whole weekend for a very long time.

        • Hatebreeder (@hatebreeder) said on 22nd December 2010, 18:11

          They weren’t due to overdriving.. he went wide cause he couldn’t soak up the pressure from Fernando. He only went wide on those 2 corners when Alonso was close on his tail.. he never repeated those errors for the rest of the race. If it was overdriving, he would have gone off on those corners later on in the race when his tyres were in worse condition.

          He went wide cause Lewis’s tyres were graining badly and after alonso passed him he slowed down and was like half a minute down on alonso?

          That is rubbish. I cant name one track where the Mclaren was the 2nd fastest car on the grid, and Lewis won.

          Canada? Well you might argue that mclaren were the fastest, so wasnt RBR the fastest overall in the season too ? vettel shouldnt get the #1 either. also remm alonso passed him while getting out of the pits and lewis got his position back. So it wasnt exactly a gifted victory.

          such as his inability to set the car up correctly for Monza

          Actually, it was as the speedtrap showed he was the fastest. He was in the turbulent air of Webber i think ( dont remember) which didnt let him get a pole, and a needless mistake which forced him to crash out which meant we never found out whether it was his inability or not.

          He also was rewarded for his error in Valencia.

          HE was given a drive through penalty. someone who was awarded was alonso who actually bought first place from massa for 100000$.

          Yes it is debatable and looks very biased as both the driver and the website is british. but again it was Lewis who passed both vettel and Sutil ( i think ) in China, passed alonso in canada, re-passed button when was passed by in Turkey. m taking all these names because they were title contenders.
          Yes, he has his share of mistakes, but there’s no denying he gave a solid performance throughout the season. He always has been a point of discussion in every race. Hence he qualifies to be #1. and not because he is british.

        • @Todfod.You should thank Keith he did put Jenson Button on second spot.

          • IceMan said on 23rd December 2010, 13:35

            @Todfod.You should thank Keith he did put Jenson Button on second spot.

            @Todfod.You should thank Keith he did not put Jenson Button on second spot. Typo i guess.

      • Soumya Banerjee said on 22nd December 2010, 12:12

        I will..the way he got passed by Alonso on-track in the 2 out of the last 3 races says it all. Also with a massive car advantage,couldnt pass Hulkenberg in Brazil and Kubica in Abu Dhabi,despite having a tyre advantage as well. He is good,but not good when it counts…also those insipid qualifying performances in Australia,China and Italy.

      • Antranik (@antranik) said on 22nd December 2010, 12:52

        Well I was going to explain but other ppl seem to have explained it very clearly already. Not going to bother saying the same things all over again ;)

    • keith isn’t bias. It’s you who are bias. You’re a fan of Alonso! So, you are bias mate.

      • Antranik (@antranik) said on 23rd December 2010, 9:13

        Uhh, I never said I was a fan of Alonso… In fact I dislike Alonso with all my heart but he still was a better driver than Hamilton this year. Oh and just to make it clear I’m a Massa fan.

    • Stephen said on 22nd December 2010, 10:33

      +1

      I don’t know about any “Hamilton Bias” but, my god, Hamilton was definitely not the best driver this year.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd December 2010, 10:36

        So who do you think was?

        • Butterfly said on 22nd December 2010, 10:47

          Come on now, he was out on lap 1 at Monza, crashed again in Singapore. Ran wide in Brazil, etc.

          Seriously, it was Alonso 1st, Hamilton 2nd, Vettel 3rd.

          • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 22nd December 2010, 11:26

            Going out on the first lap at Monza was no worse than Vettel crashing into Button or Nando’s mistakes.

          • geemac come again? Chucking a wheel out was a stupid mistake but a mistake that cost him non the less.

            Vettel crashing into Button was stupid, it was wet, he swerved, couldn’t control the car and drove into Button. Completely different.

            BTW I am worried that you think Hamilton should be 1 while Button down in 7. Hamilton wasn’t really in with a title chance after Brazil, name only, Button ditto but one race earlier (you could argue due to the parts not working in korea).

            1 to 7 is a massive gap and Button in a new team that was centered around Hamilton drivinga car that was originally designed for Hamilton (atleast in the first stages) ended up rather close. I wouldn’t say thats a 1 vs 7 gap there.

          • sato113 (@sato113) said on 22nd December 2010, 13:55

            unoc VET hitting BUT, it wasn’t wet. BUT said in the interview afterwards. VET turned to sharply in the braking zone.

          • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 22nd December 2010, 14:58

            unoc…despite being a fan of Lewis, I think Alonso was the most impressive driver this season. I was just commenting on the fact that you raised the Monza mistake as a reason for Hamilton not to be number 1. I’m raising equally valid reasons for both Vettel (Spa, Silverstone) and Alonso (Monaco, Spa) not to be rated number 1.

            I do actually feel that Button should have been rated higher, definitly higher than Webber and perhaps higher than Rosberg, because he came out and won two races and was in with a (mathematical) shout of the WDC until the second last race of the season when no one gave him any chance of winning a race this season.

          • Adam Tate said on 22nd December 2010, 22:01

            Saying Alonso was the best makes far less sense than saying Hamilton was. He had preference within his team, had a faster car and was gifted 3 wins.

          • Anthony_MR (@anthony_mr) said on 23rd December 2010, 3:50

            Alonso did a JUMP START!! for the love of god not even sakon yamamoto does that!!!

        • Christian said on 23rd December 2010, 11:53

          I think it is Vettel or Alonso. But not Hamilton Definitely.

        • Christian said on 23rd December 2010, 11:56

          @Adam Tate Yes Adam, Lewis Hamilton would have parked his car if the front running car blew up.

      • @ Stephen: So who do you think best driver? Your idol? name it mate. :)

      • Alistair said on 22nd December 2010, 11:53

        You, like so many others, are only looking at the table. A driver who finishes tenth in the championship could well be the best: it all depends on how good his car was.

        • David BR said on 22nd December 2010, 14:47

          Maybe. Any fair evaluation has to take into account the pressure of competing for podiums, wins and the championship itself though, which is why I think it’s right that the nominations for best driver are ‘skewed’ towards those in the top teams. Admittedly they’re also the most visible but the pressures are much greater too over the course of a season (individual drivers lower down the grid might be under serious pressure for a few races to hold down their team places, for example).

    • If you care to look through any of the previous articles throughout the year you will find that, like many of the sensible posters, Keith is very impartial to all the drivers. Everyone has an opinion on certain drivers, and nobody’s list will be exactly the same.

    • no matter how good he was, he was definitely NOT better than Alonso or Seb

      So it wouldn’t matter if Hamilton drove perfectly, it would be impossible for Hamilton to be better than Vettel or Alonso?

      That’s getting a bit metaphysical for me…

      • Macca (@macca) said on 22nd December 2010, 11:17

        While Lewis did have a good season, he definatly wasn’t the driver of the year.

        I can’t help but think there is a little bit of British bias here.

        I’ve explained why I think he was, why don’t you explain why you think he wasn’t?

        Because he made to many mistakes that cost him the championship. For example his first lap incident at Monza or his to ambitious overtaking attempt at Singapore.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd December 2010, 11:35

          his to ambitious overtaking attempt at Singapore.

          I’m always reluctant to penalise drivers for trying to overtake because, after all, that’s what we want them to do.

          For Hamilton, Monza was clearly an over-ambitious move.

          But Singapore was completely different. If it hadn’t happened the race after Monza I think people would be more inclined to see it the way it was – a racing incident where neither was really at fault.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 22nd December 2010, 11:41

          I still think the majority of the blame for the Singapore incident lies with Webber. He had the inside but had failed to get alongside Hamilton, so it was more down to him to avoid the collision. Hamilton placed himself on the outside identically to Kubica on Sutil but got taken out. It was a risky move but only because Webber didn’t seem to have the sense to yield.

        • well.. The overtaking move in singapore was not entirely his fault is it? He took chances and so did mark. And it was mark who was lucky that time and came out unharmed?

          As for monza, yup, that’s his mistake.. But come on, who doesn’t make mistake the whole season? :)

        • judo chop said on 22nd December 2010, 12:23

          @Macca
          Can you stop with this nonsense regarding Hamilton’s exit it Singapore. Hamilton had passed Webber, not totally admittedly, and Webber crashed into him attempting a wild repass. How anyone can state otherwise when there are slo-mo replays from various angles is beyond me. Cars on the racing have never been obliged to “leave room”.

          • Macca (@macca) said on 22nd December 2010, 12:48

            Hamilton had passed Webber, not totally admittedly

            I’m sorry, I didn’t relize that drivers only had to get halfway pass and there opponent then has to give them the position.

    • Alistair said on 22nd December 2010, 11:12

      On the contrary, I was pleasantly surprised to see Hamilton, for once, given the credit that he deserves.

      Vettel only just won the title with by far the fastest and best car on the grid. He had a Schumi-car; he should have won it schumi-style (2002; 2004).

      Alonso had the second best car and would have won the title had he not made half a dozen costly and stupid errors (a jump start, crashing when there was no point pushing so much, etc) in the first half of the season.

      Lewis is no: one because he alsmost won the title, and took it to the final race, with the third-fastest car. The McLaren was consistently around half a second per lap slower than the Red Bull all year; at Hungary, it was whole seconds slower. Lewis had unreliability and poor strategy from the team. He only made one mistake all year: he couldn’t have made any more with that car and still take the title down to the wire; Alonso and Vettel could afford to be far more scrappy and still finish ahead.

      I’m pleased with this ranking. There’s been too great a tendency, I feel, in past rankings, to vote for car and not driver. Kubica and Vettel are often praised to the rafters. But they have both had their machinery underestimated and their team-mates overestimated (some of whom may have beaten them more often than not; but we forget that….) Hamilton beat the reigning double world champion in Hamilton’s first year. Hamilton is the best. He’s also the most exciting; one of the few drivers who really tries to overtake.

      (I watched the 2007 season review yesterday. Lewis overtook Kubica and Alonso into turn one and kept Alonso behind for a whole stint; the only reason Alonso beat him in his first race was because McLaren decided to give him more fuel: I wonder why they did that; for the same reason I wonder why Lewis was brough in 5-7 laps early at Monaco…when Alonso won…From the third race on, way before the drivers’ relationship failed, Hamilton was clearly ahead. Hamilton led the championship from round four, way before the drivers’ relationship failed, and held the lead until the final race, round seventeen; and we all know that if that rather strange failure hadn’t happened (I wonder if Max could enlighten us)and that inexplicable strategy at China, Lewis would have won. Lewis is the King of Formula One.)

      • To be fair Vettel would have ran away with it if not for a few car failures (even ignoring all his cock ups).

      • Christian said on 22nd December 2010, 11:35

        HAHAHAA

        Alistair, you are hilarious. Clearly the number one fan boy of this site.

        Hamilton didn’t win the title in 07 because he was a rookie and wasn’t good enough. He made rookie mistakes.

        Just like he did this season.

        So keep watching your F1 review dvds and deluding yourself. Because that way you’ll soon forget that Hamilton may have won the title without “stupid errors”.

        • Alistair said on 22nd December 2010, 11:50

          Give me some examples of those ‘rookie mistakes’ or accept that you’re wrong.

          The only ‘errors’ I rember him making were sliding out at China when his tyres were completely gone, almost bald. I don’t count this as an error on Hamilton’s part: I think any other driver would have slid-off in those circumstances; and they wouldn’t have been able to defend against Kimi so well. The error was McLaren’s in keeping him out so long. Then we come to Brazil. One of the Ferraris brake-tested him into the Senna S; Alonso did the same into Descida do Lago: it’s not surprising he took avoiding action and went off. The real error was the gearbox gremlin, which was certainly not Lewis’s error. I’ve never seen that happen before in over two decades of whatching this ‘sport’…It’s almost as if someone didn’t want him to win.

          You can mock me all you like; but here are the facts which no can dispute. The Formula One record book will always show that Lewis beat Alonso in 2007: he finished ahead of him. They will also show that Lewis led the championship from his fourth ever race, long before Alonso threw his toys out of the pram…Alonso simply wasn’t good enough.

          • Todfod said on 22nd December 2010, 12:15

            Alistair. We are talking about their performances in the 2010 season, and not 2007. You dont see Alonso fans mentioning the 2006 season to show that he is the absolute best. As spectacular as Hamilton is, there is no way he was the best driver of the 2010 season.

          • Scribe (@scribe) said on 22nd December 2010, 22:31

            Todford, says you, I might say differantly. It’s silly to say that Hamilton couldn’t have been the best driver of the season because this is a subjective discussion. Personally I was initially inclined to go with Alonso, but Keith, an a few other reasoned opinions changed my mind. AN nothing changed BECAUSE THIS IS ALL OPINIONS.

            AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH

            Dammit internet!

        • So keep watching your F1 review dvds and deluding yourself. Because that way you’ll soon forget that Hamilton may have won the title without “stupid errors”.

          Doesn’t really work like that though does it?

          Vettel could have won more convincingly without errors. Alonso could have won without errors. Hamilton could have won without errors. Webber could have won without errors. A pattern emerging here.

          You say it like he was the only one who made these ‘stupid errors’. If you’re removing Hamilton’s errors to give him extra points which would mean he wins, then really you have to remove the errors of the others or you’re just picking and choosing to create the outcome you desire.
          You can’t use hypothetical scenarios to argue who was the best driver this season.

          In my opinion the best driver could have been anyone one of the top three, just a case of swings and roundabouts. There is no concrete answer to this question, so stop trying to create one.

          It’s a guess, and no more than that, that you consider F1 to be boring and tedious at times, with a lack of overtaking, as do most people. However, you want Hamilton to stop making the mistakes he does when he is pushing hard. Giving with one hand and taking away with the other.

    • Antifia said on 22nd December 2010, 13:01

      We are all biased. We are all influenced by our preferrences, patriotic feelings, dislikes and emotions. When I talk about Webber, for instance, my total dislike for the men certainly influences my opinion of the driver. I can even Massa among the top current F1 drivers at times – I am Brazilian, I can’t help it. In the years I have followed F1 through the eyes of the British media, my only problem with my British friends is that although they are as biased as anybody else, they like to affect a hollier than thou attitude and pretend theirs are totally rational and balanced views. Although most will agree that the top 3 drivers are those chosen by Keith, objectively differenciating between them is virtually impossible (different cars, all made mistakes, all where lucky and unlucky at times and all had outstanding performances now and then). In a circunstance like this, and having to come up with an order, one cannot criticize Keith too much for being swayed a little by his allegiance to King & Country.

    • macca77 said on 22nd December 2010, 22:18

      I happen to agree with Antranik. Not that I’m upset about it, it is completely normal to be biased towards your fellow countrymen, the problem is to try to say your not biased when you are.
      It is not possible to think that Hamilton was the best driver of 2010 with the mistakes he did this year, Alonso, Webber and Vettel are above him in my ratings.
      This is Keith’s blog so he can say that Sutil was the best driver of 2010 and the only thing we can do is to express our disagreement, and reasons why we think he is not right.
      One reason is bias, is the first thing that come to mind when you read that Hamilton was the top driver in this season, the same season when you saw him asking if Button would be allowed to pass him as if he were afraid of his teammate, let’s not forget he showed us again this year that he has a tendency to degrade the tires a lot quicker than a lot of his oponents, and the most important reason, he even wasn’t on this year WDC podium.
      The big problem with Lewis is that we never going to know if he is as good as his car portrays him. Like a lot of Schumi haters say, and unfortunately for those haters (80% Lewis’s fans), the phrase defines Lewis F1 career so far: “Is easy to win in the fastest car on the grid”.

      • Ragerod said on 23rd December 2010, 4:12

        Firstly, how can you determine Keith is biased? If Keith was Spanish and put Alonso as number 1 would you say he’s biased or because you agree with the decision made he’s not biased?

        It’s possible to prefer one driver over another and still be objective about the situation. One way of doing this is by giving reasons as to why a driver should or should not be the best driver of the year. To ensure objectivity you can justify your reasons. Keith has done all of this and has to do so on a regular basis for this blog therefore improving his ability to analyse stats and situations.

        As mentioned you can disagree with Keith’s opinion but saying his opinion is wrong because he is biased is not justified, unproven and if I were him I’d be insulted that the efforts made to express an opinion are being countered with ‘you’re wrong becasue your biased!’

        I could agrue that everyone that says Keith is biased towards Hamilton because he’s English are biased against Hamilton becuase they are not English. The opinion would be based on nothing more than speculation but a lot of people seem to be doing that these days.

        It is not possible to think that Hamilton was the best driver of 2010 with the mistakes he did this year, Alonso, Webber and Vettel are above him in my ratings.

        That sentence makes a good example. What mistakes make did Lewis make that make it impossible to think of him as the driver of the year? How are these different to the mistakes Fernando, Mark and Sebastian made?

        This isn’t aimed directly at you Macca but this just so happens to be point down the page where I got fed up of all the talk of bias. Rant over.

  4. kubica should be in the top 3.. 2nd or top perhaps.

    • Maybe, but he has to prove it and I hope he will get chance to do it. This year drivers who had chance to prove themselves were Alonso and Hamilton and they confirmed being absolutely on top.

    • Agreed, both Kubica and Rosberg outperformed their machinery this year and made fewer mistakes than the top three.

  5. Conrad said on 22nd December 2010, 10:32

    Really ridiculous decision… but i know this is an english fan website.

    Hamilton best driver in 2010?

    You don’t remember Monza or Singapur?

    You don’t remember Hamiltons luck @ spa when he nearly crashed at the end of the race?

    There are two drivers who deserve to be on 1st place.

    Robert Kubica and Nico Rosberg.

    Robert drove brilliantly without big mistakes, only in Abu Dhabi he didn’t reach Q3.

    About Rosberg I don’t need to say something. He won against M. Schumacher and Nico was just fabulous at so many races!

    Oh dear, come down to earth your Hamilton freaks. He isn’t so special as you might believe..

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd December 2010, 10:35

      i know this is an english fan website.

      No it’s not. This is a site for F1 fans.

      See here for a breakdown of where F1 Fanatic readers are from: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/forum/topic.php?id=437 (Two-thirds non-British, by the way).

      You don’t remember Monza or Singapur?

      You don’t remember Hamiltons luck @ spa when he nearly crashed at the end of the race?

      They’re all mentioned above.

      • racingtier said on 22nd December 2010, 11:48

        2/3 non british may be true.
        but most comments on this site comes from
        british people. since its their mother tongue.
        im pretty sure that the majority(of those 2/3) of this site just read the article but dont participate.

        so there is defintely a bias. we wouldnt notice the bias if we were british :)

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd December 2010, 11:56

          I write what I think and if people agree or disagree that’s their choice.

          I don’t write things to appeal to a particular audience, wherever they’re from or whichever driver or team they support.

          So in that spirit why not tell me who you thought was the best driver this year, instead of just complaining that some people don’t agree with you?

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 22nd December 2010, 12:02

          But I am not British at all, and I do not see any bias (except from some posters, who are complaining of bias).
          This is a pretty weak argument as it is not really based on anything but you not agreeing with Keith’s rating.

          Look at the posters making most comments and retink what you are saying.:

          These users have posted the most comments in the last 30 days:
          * BasCB (240)
          * Prisoner Monkeys (213)
          * US_Peter (202)
          * Fixy (127)
          * wasiF1 (115)
          * Mike (106)
          * bosyber (98)
          * Ned Flanders (94)
          * Calum (85)
          * Todfod (84)
          * Icthyes (81)
          * sato113 (77)
          * David A (76)
          * VXR (71)
          * dyslexicbunny (58)
          * Hamish (55)
          * Steph (49)
          * Maciek (49)
          * Jarred Walmsley (48)
          * damonsmedley (47)

          I am pretty certain that the first 3 of them are not British, and a lot of the others are not British.
          Sure, there are a lot more people visiting and commenting, but to assume most comments are from “British” posters is pretty rich.

          • Hamish said on 22nd December 2010, 12:24

            Gees, I post that much?

            For the record, I live no where near England.

          • racingtier said on 22nd December 2010, 12:27

            ok this is silly.

            you just picked a bunch and assume like me that they are british or not. its better
            just to drop vague arguments using random numbers.

            but the british bias on this site
            is undeniable. since its f1fanatic.co.UK :)
            its ok for me.

            so many times ive followed the live blogs. which i love. i dont want to pick any specific quotes from there. but if you follow them you will notice the bias :)

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd December 2010, 12:32

            racingtier – you’re reading far too much into a domain suffix. It has no bearing on what’s written on the site or who can visit it.

          • Tango (@tango) said on 22nd December 2010, 13:24

            Keith, it would be very interesting if you were to put a poll asking which country we are from. Given that you now have to be registered to vote, I believe you’d be able to get a good image of where your regular readers generally come from. I believe we are a few from France, that there are quite a lot of people from Poland, Italy, Spain…
            I’m sure people actually taking the time to say how english-biased this web site is actually outnumber the English readers who take the time to write!

          • Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 22nd December 2010, 14:10

            Haha, I believe I am the highest placed contributor on there English. I may be mistaknen, bit I believe the people above me are Dutch, Bangladeshi, Australian, Italian and American.

            So please shut the *swearword* up with all these bias accusations

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd December 2010, 14:15

            Tango – that information is already available via the data posted on the forum (above). And asking people where they’re from is not necessarily the most accurate way of finding that out.

          • dyslexicbunny (@dyslexicbunny) said on 22nd December 2010, 16:12

            Well geez Bas. Thanks for telling me why I haven’t made any progress on my doctoral work… Jerkface… :-D

          • Scribe (@scribe) said on 22nd December 2010, 22:37

            DAAAM I’VE FALLEN OFF THE LIST.

            I used to top this list, why do I care?

    • schumi should be in top 10. :(

    • Ham deserve to be # 1.. He’s a real racer!! :)

      • Butterfly said on 22nd December 2010, 10:49

        …you mean a real Brit.

        What’s wrong with you guys over there in GB? I understand a bit of bias against your own, but this is just too much.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd December 2010, 11:04

          I don’t know whether you’re saying people are “biased” against or in favour of British drivers. And to be honest I’m not interested.

          Instead of complaining about what others think, why not tell us you you think should be top?

          • Butterfly said on 22nd December 2010, 11:24

            1. Alonso
            2. Hamilton
            3. not Vettel

            Alonso was 47 points behind at Silverstone and entered the last race in the lead.

            If that doesn’t make him the driver of the year I don’t know what does.

          • marsianwalrus (@einariliyev) said on 22nd December 2010, 12:34

            I don’t think you’re biased at all , Keith, drivers like Hamilton, or for that matter Button, always have a couple of arguments up their sleeve for anyone to call them the ‘best drivers.’ It’s totally natural. I’d have called you biased if you called Anthony Davidson or DC after Ham 1st and But 2nd, but you didn’t. Nonetheless, for a few reasons I’d say that Hamilton doesn’t belong at No. 1.

            I think you rankings were a bit inclined to follow “the table” i.e. your best drivers were the ones in the best cars. Well, in my opinion, Hamilton, Alonso, and Vettel all did rubbish job in the cars they’ve had. Vettel had a magnificent car that murdered every other on almost all circuits bar perhaps Monza, Spa and Montreal. Which are only 3 out of 19 races where the clear majority was inclined to help Red Bull walk it. Vettel and Webber proved inept to do just that with the former barely clinching it.

            Both Vettel and Alonso were plagued by mistakes, some of them silly. Moreover, Vettel damaged other drivers’ chances in his overly brutal, senseless racing. Many people forgot to mention Silverstone where he simply shoved people aside when passing. I remember his pass on Sutil, which DID totally involve a premeditated collision, and disrespect towards formula 1. You are penalized for those things even in F1 2010 game.

            Alonso did not show the spirit of a double world champion for many races. He should have got past Petrov. His title was on the line and yet he was helpless. He has got stuck behind slower cars on a number of occasions this season and his silly mistakes in Spa and Monaco don’t help his cause either. He was often glorified for his overtaking on Hulkenberg in Brazil and Virgins in Monaco, but come on, how much slower were these cars?

            Hamilton does not really deserve to be above them either. He drove excellently at some races but made ridiculous mistakes in others. A champion requires composure. keith, you’re right to say that he was overdriving in an inferior car, but one does not make a good driver if he crashes the inferior car all the time. Buy that I refer to Monza and Singapore of course. It is a dream toi witness a driver like Hamilton trying to seize podiums against the likes of Red Bull, but if its plain impossible, then you’ve got out your head down and bring points home. If Hamilton was a tad more considerate and thinking as Button, he would’ve capitalized on his rivals’ mistakes. Instead he racked up his own to match theirs.

            For those reasons i think none of these deserve to be No. 1. Instead, what about Kubica (excellent drives in Reault and very few personal mistakes) or Rosberg (best of the rest) or even Kobayashi (the only driver capable of overtaking in Abu Dhabi when champions Ham and Fernando faltered).

            I’d put the three of them as my top three. Error-prone and inconsistent Ham, Vet and Alo belong somewhere else.

    • Butterfly said on 22nd December 2010, 10:48

      Cut the cr@p with Kubica and Rosberg.

      Yes, they’re both good drivers, but you need to see them under pressure, which you didn’t this year.

      Pressure makes all the difference for these guys. They’re all (apart from Sutil) pros.

      • Robert Kubica seemed to withstand the pressure well against Hamilton in both Australia and Abu Dhabi. Silverstone, well he did get overtaken by Alonso but Alonso used more than the track to make the move.

        Nico Rosberg is a bit of a strange one to be honest. I think he’s becoming the next Nick Heidfeld – unspectacular but gets the job done. Some races where he finished high up, I thought, how the hell did he do that?

        • That’s not the kind of pressure he’s speaking. Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel were all under the presure of becoming WDC and it’s nowhere near to trying to beat a team for 4th spot. No offence, but that’s the way it is.

          I’ve been following Keith for what two years now and I always felt that he sometims can’t help showing bias towards British drivers. I’m OK with that but it just gives a wrong impression to the readers.

          Hamilton is very fast and determined racer and I rate him very high, but not this year. Out of WDC contenders, the only one who didn’t inherit a race win was Vettel. What is more, three of them were robbed from him. Yes, he made mistakes but hey, who didn’t? Everyone got their fair share of bad luck. 2010 season had lots of examples if you go out and try to find a driver who made mistakes. Vettel was just too good on the day when matters. So:

          1. Sebastian Vettel
          2. Fernando Alonso (for making the most of a car which was seemed to be a third fastest car)
          3. Lewis Hamilton
          4. Mark Webber
          5. Robert Kubica

          • Butterfly said on 22nd December 2010, 14:51

            Thanks for clearing that up.

          • Butterfly said on 22nd December 2010, 14:54

            Although, there’s nothing wrong with inheriting a win. You have to be in a position to take advantage, which may require serious skill. In Spain Vettel had problems with the car and Alonso took his place because he was very close behind.

          • Scribe (@scribe) said on 22nd December 2010, 22:46

            Well put it this way,

            Hamilton would have won the title if it wern’t for his notable mistakes, his mistakes being in Monza and 50/50 Singapore

            Alonso would have won the tittle if it wern’t for his mistakes, his notable mistakes being in China, Monaco, Spa, Silverstone, Canada and Australia.

            Hamilton would have won the title if it wern’t for his mechanical faliures, Alonso however had the joint best reliability of the title contenders.

            ALSO, you may note that Keith says, Alonso was definatley the driver of the second half of the season, this is undeniable and no ones denying it however these rating are a reveiw of theseason the whole season. While it does matter that Alonso made up 47 points from Silverstone, it also matters that he fell that far behind.

            Also this whole Bias thing Keith supposedly suffers from, http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2008/11/21/2008-f1-driver-rankings-part-3/ why not check that out guys?

  6. Roger Carballo AKA Architrion said on 22nd December 2010, 10:38

    Yeah, really controversial. I have a question. How much of the Fernando’s first half errors were because he was overdriving his car?

    I would only disagree about Lewis, because he really seemed to fade away under pressure, and that’s a real issue for a Formula 1 pilot.

    Anyway. Cheers, and Merry Christmas.

    • Butterfly said on 22nd December 2010, 10:51

      Roger Carballo is right.

    • Alistair said on 22nd December 2010, 11:41

      Whatever the reasons for Alonso’s ‘errors’, they were still errors and can’t be ignored. Moreover, when we say ‘errors’, we’re not talking about running wide and letting a faster car by who was going to get by anyway. Alonso crashed, needlessly, in Monaco. He jumped the start: what a rookie error. He overtook a car off-track and supidly pushed his luck: he should have given the position back immediately and tried to repass after one or two corners. I’m surpised he made this mistake, given how vocal he was after Spa 08.

      Lewis faded away when his car went from second/third best to clearly third best. At Hungary, he was over a second slower than Alonso, and over two seconds slower than the Red Bulls. It’s amazing he was still in contention for the title at the final race with that car.

      Lewis is great under pressure. He did amazingly well in 07 despite being a complete rookie in a competitive car (not the best), with the best second driver in formula one as a team-mate, with the FIA allegations, etc. In 08, he won the title despite getting more penalties in one season than any other driver, despite racing two Ferraris when his teammate couldn’t help him, despite having Alonso publically say he would help the Ferraris, despite many drivers being against him, he kept it together in the most extreme pressure to win the title in the wet in the final corner.

      Alonso, in contrast, is terrible under pressure. When Lewis started beating him in 07, he didn’t accept it, like Jenson has done; he started making massive errors (e.g. Canada) and even blackmailed the team into giving him no: one status despite being behind Lewis in the championship and being unable to consistently beat him. Let’s not forget that Alonso let Renault the first time complaining that the team didn’t want him to win; that Fisi wasn’t doing enough to help him.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 22nd December 2010, 19:54

        Lewis is great under pressure.

        When it mattered in 07 and 08, he almost threw away the his hard work on both Brazilian races. And he cracked twice this year when Alonso was trailing him.

        Alonso, in contrast, is terrible under pressure.

        He dealt with it in 2005 and 2006 when Raikkonen and Schumacher were bearing down on him for the title.

        • Scribe (@scribe) said on 22nd December 2010, 22:51

          Eh, I’m not sure I’d say Hamiltons China 08 win looked particularly like a man under preassure.

          This Hamiltons a choker thing is a pundits cliche, Brazil 08, well the team went too conservative with him, he drove a fairly awesome race under preassure, an was therefore in the right place to take advantage of Glocks tyre call.

          Also in 07, the team kept him out too long in China and his car went in Brazil, thats not Hamilton choking.

          An Alonso, handled the early season preassure badly, handled the late season preassure spectacularly, what does this say about the man?
          Don’t know, not a pychologist.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 22nd December 2010, 23:53

            Even before his car failed in Brazil 2007, he made errors off the start line, and going through the opening lap that dropped him down a lot of places from where he started.

            It proved that sometimes Hamilton does crack under pressure too.

          • Dave Blanc said on 23rd December 2010, 2:31

            It’s far too easy to form a view based on the last few races of the season as they are fresh in our minds and damn, seasons are long these days!

            For me, Hamilton was the stand out performer in the first half and Alonso in the 2nd. The only errors Hamilton made were in the 2nd half and happened to be very close together and so this seems to have stuck in some peoples’ minds. By the same tolken, the errors made by Alonso in the first half have also been overlooked by many calling for Alonso(after the first few races i thought Alonso had lost the plot…).
            You need to stand back and look at the season as a whole which is what Keith has done very well. For me it’s really close between Alonso and Hamilton.

            I’d probably sway towards Hamilton given some of his performances, his team mate and his style of driving.

        • Ragerod said on 23rd December 2010, 3:25

          I’d argue that in 08 he did brilliantly under pressure. He didn’t panic when passed by Vettel and was able to bring it home.

          I would’ve driven into Vettel trying to regain the position.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 23rd December 2010, 3:41

            That is partly true, but I was really countering Alistair’s vision of Hamilton being much better under pressure than Alonso.

    • Soumya Banerjee said on 22nd December 2010, 12:18

      Perfectly put.

  7. I don’t know why, but i’m laughing hard now, well i know why, all Alonso’s fans will come here to attack you lol. Hope you survive Keith!!

    I personally agree. Alonso did a great second part but he had his team and massa’s team with him since Germany. He had it easier than the other guys ( Vettel, Webber, Hamilton, Button). And at the start Alonso made, IMO, more stupid mistakes than Hamilton did.

    Almost T-boned Button in australia
    jumped the start in China
    Crashed in FP3 in Monaco caused him a posible win
    crashed with Petrov in turkey but was lucky to finish the race.
    Spa was embarrassing

    He did make a lot of mistakes (or more) just like Vettel and Hamilton.

  8. Lewis has only on disadvantage over Fernando – mental strenth or let s say keeping cool under pressure, mostly when the season s finish is near… He has a great quali and race pace, he is a brilliant overtaker and he also shows excellent performance consistency (being faster everywhere)… He only needs to deal better with pressure when it counts at most, because that is a very important ingredient of a champion… If he can better in that, he will be unbeatable… That s my opinion about Lewis… And btw. I would put him also above Alonso and Vettel, but fe was Kubica an overall star of the season (not his fan, btw)…

    • How many mistakes I have done… :o
      “only one disadvantage”
      “but for me it was Kubica”

    • judo chop said on 22nd December 2010, 12:06

      Sorry but at this season’s finale it was Alonso and Ferrari – qualifying P4 and fretting about Webber instead of sticking to their podium grabbing strategy – who cracked. If he’d delivered as Hamilton did Abu Dhabi he’d be champion.

    • Todfod said on 22nd December 2010, 12:43

      “Lewis has only on disadvantage over Fernando – mental strenth or let s say keeping cool under pressure, mostly when the season s finish is near”

      You are absolutely right. I saw Lewis’ mental strength in China 2007, Interlagos 2007, Brazil 2010 and Korea 2010. These were all perfect examples of how Lewis didn’t crumble under pressure towards the end of the season.

  9. Eddie Irvine (@eddie-irvine) said on 22nd December 2010, 10:41

    Totally agree on the first 3 drivers, but i would placed webber a little bit higher, he was after all the second driver of Red Bull

    • Hi Eddie!

      I think Webber is a very interesting part of the rankings… where do you put him? He drove some excellent races, made some terrible mistakes and just missed out… but then so did four other people (except Vettel who does not fit the 3rd point!).

      I think 6th is about right… he was driving the best car, without Vettel’s reliability issues and really should have taken the title. Although, he does come out of the season better off than he entered it, yet I don’t see him being a force next year.

      He drove very well though (ignoring the broken shoulder!). He should be proud of his season.

      • Eddie Irvine (@eddie-irvine) said on 22nd December 2010, 11:34

        hi ben! maybe 4th place would be better, there were not much to choose between the two redbull drivers this season, well Vettel won the championship, so one place up from webber is good.
        In my view Andrian Newey is an unquestionable number 1 ! This man made it possible for Vettel to win the championship and even Webber to have this strong season. They both driving a very good car, but Vettel wasn’t so much better than Webber, so 6th place is a little harsh considering vettel’s 3rd

        • Personally, and I can see where others dispute this, I think Vettel outdrove Webber massively this year. At Spain and Monaco Webber really was the cream, nobody would have beaten him, full credit. But other than that, Webber only stayed in the mix because:
          1) He was driving the fastest car which kept him within reach of Button, Hamilton and Alonso… and…
          2) Vettel was desperately unlucky, put this alongside the fact that he was his own worst enemy, you have to say that without a combination of his mistakes and his poor luck he would have closed off the championship for at least 3 drivers by Brazil, let alone Abu Dhabi.

          • Scribe (@scribe) said on 22nd December 2010, 22:53

            What Ben N said really, dominant car, two race purple patch, self destructive teammate.

            Webber wern’t that great.

    • Apple Tree said on 22nd December 2010, 10:52

      Completly agree, Webber deserves higher then a measly 6th. Nearly everyone was writing him off at the start of the season. But no, he had his best season to date taking 4 wins which were all quite dominant. Sure he had his noob moments but he also had his own team against him, well I should say mostly on his idiot teamates side.

      This is what annoys me is that Hamilton is #1 and Webber is #6 :/

  10. Keith don’t give in to this Ferrari and Redbull fans. They are crying now, lol.

    • Apple Tree said on 22nd December 2010, 10:56

      I hate Redbull and I hate Ferrari, I also wouldnt pick a favourite between any of the 2010 championship contenders. So without and bias in any way I completly disagree about Hamilton topping this list.

      • Hmmmmm. pretending not a fan :) Keith, I’ve got one here crying! lol

        • What is this c..p? First you accuse someone of lying, and then you throw in our most esteemed editor’s name, as if he would support you in this.

          For the record, I totally agree with Ham as #1, but not with labelling disagreement as crying (Unless of course it really is, as in “how could you SAY that… blablabla)

  11. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 22nd December 2010, 10:46

    I can’t agree with Hamilton being first. There was too many mistakes, too many ordinary drives, not enough wins or fighting for wins. This wasn’t Hamilton’s year.

    In my opinion it would be either Kubica who produced better results than his car was capable of and brought the fight to the Mercedes almost singlehandedly or Vettel who was untouchable when he kept his focus, no ordinary drives for him.

    I agree with Alonso being number two, although I didn’t expect that after the first half of the season.

    • Alistair said on 22nd December 2010, 12:02

      Many of you are making unsubstantiated claims: what are these ‘many mistakes’ which you accuse Lewis of having made. I see only Monza, where Lewis was unlucky to retire: we’ve seen contact like that go unpunished before. I don’t count running wide once or twice, when you have problems, and letting a faster car past who would have got by anyway, as ‘errors’ worthy of the name. I’m thinking about jumping the start, crashing into your team-mate, crashing in practice totally needlessly, etc. Those are errors worthy of the name.

    • I don’t really get all these people that talk about how Kubica produced better results than his car was capable of. His teammate was a rookie so we have no way of really knowing if he was driving amazingly well or if the car was fast!

      • Well, at the end of 2009 that car was rubbish and the team was about to fall apart so although they improved it I don’t believe it was close enough to top 3. All those crashes killed Petrov’s reputation but like somebody said he will improve or die trying and with those few good races in 2010 maybe he will surprise us in 2011?

  12. Apple Tree said on 22nd December 2010, 10:48

    I dont agree with really any of the rankings. I wouldnt have put Hamilton on top, he was gifted a win in Turkey, he won fairly in Canada, won in Belgium but nearly crashed out. He crashed into Massa at Monza, got into a tangle with Webber at Singapore (debatable).

    But then again I dont know who I would have put first as no one overly impressed me this season, the top 4 contenders all made noobish mistakes.

    Vettel – Showed his imaturity, crashed into alot of people, very impetuose.

    Alonso – Stole a win from Massa at Germany, also gifted wins from Vettel at Bahrain and Korea, whined alot to.

    Webber
    – Noobly crashed a few times.

    Of course these are just my opinions :)

    • Interesting points!

      Glad that rather than just disagreeing you stated why!

      I don’t think you can say Hamilton was gifted a win in Turkey, the two cars in front (whom you could argue he may have overtaken) took eachother out… Jenson and Lewis, who then duelled for the win, did not take eachother out… I think Lewis deserved it.

      He got too flustered in Monza and I think in Singapore it was a racing incident, he misjudged it slightly, but I wouldn’t say he was at fault. These mistakes took the championship away, but those 2 mistakes were exaggerated in the way it was consecutive. Alonso, Vettel and Webber all made more than two mistakes, but they were spread out, so they weren’t concentrated on!

    • I’m not sure I agree with the ranking but I think everyone’s being a bit harsh on Hamilton for Monza. It’s the first lap, there’s always a big squeeze and it’s a totally different scenario to the rest of the race.

      You’ll probably say ‘a good driver will stay out of it’, but in that case they will probably lose a lot of positions (we saw this happening to the champions a few times, notably Webber). The drivers can’t see much, are squeezed into corners surrounded by cars, and ultimately don’t know how other drivers will react/what they will do. There’s only so much a driver can do to look after themselves without being walked over.

    • xtophe (@xtophe) said on 22nd December 2010, 11:47

      I have to agree. I think all of them have had their silly errors at one point or another.

      Vettel was usually the quickest on track, but he was driving a qualifying-rocketship. The races he won were commanding though, and when he had mechanical issues at Bahrain and Korea, he was on a roll aswell.

      It’s always difficult to rank drivers because of the performance of the different cars. People should relax a little when it comes to rankings like these.

    • Soumya Banerjee said on 22nd December 2010, 12:24

      Which is why Kubica has been the best.

  13. DanielPT said on 22nd December 2010, 10:50

    Actually I wonder how much was due to the equality in McLaren for them to fall behind the development race. They have really different styles of driving and revel in different cars. Although, I do think that Hamilton more often than not went for his team mate setup… I also think that this season Hamilton showed, at times, a certain lack composure, blaming the team for not putting him in the same strategy as Button, despite those being decided on the fly. Overall, I do think that you made a valid point in your rankings Keith and I agree with you in the end. Good job!

  14. rocketpanda said on 22nd December 2010, 10:53

    I read this site regularly but never commented, but had to about this. Hamilton? Seriously?

    Sorry but top five absolutley maybe even top 3 but number 1? No. He was good and credit where it’s due he stuck with it relentlessly but I think he just got outgunned by Alonso and Vettel this year. I’d probably have put them two above him but those three are probably in a class of their own from this year.

    Have to say Kobayashi, Kubica, Alguersuari, Button and Rosberg also impressed me.

  15. BasCB (@bascb) said on 22nd December 2010, 10:56

    Actually, I was going to vote for Alonso in front of Hamilton. But after reading your arguments, I agree with you and will vote him for best driver.

    Alonso was very good, he showed he still is the driver that won the WDC in 2005/2006. He did have to overdrive the car and himself a few times in the first half of the year, and needed the support of the team including his team mate to get there. And he lost points in Silverstone through stupid thinking after losing his cool in Valencia as well.

    Hamilton on the other hand won the fight with a highly motivated Button for supremacy in the team, improved his driving and kept going even after his own mistakes, luck and the car were letting him down.

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