Vote for the best F1 driver of 2011

2011 F1 season review

Drivers, Melbourne, 2011

Drivers, Melbourne, 2011

Who was the best F1 driver of 2011?

You’ve seen F1 Fanatic’s pick of the best drivers of the year, now it’s your turn.

Cast your vote for the driver who impressed you the most in 2011 and have your say in the comments:

Who was the best F1 driver of 2011?

  • Sebastian Vettel (44%)
  • Mark Webber (1%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (4%)
  • Jenson Button (28%)
  • Fernando Alonso (16%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Michael Schumacher (1%)
  • Nico Rosberg (1%)
  • Bruno Senna (0%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (0%)
  • Rubens Barrichello (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Adrian Sutil (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (1%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Sebastien Buemi (0%)
  • Jaime Alguersuari (0%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (2%)
  • Jarno Trulli (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Vitantonio Liuzzi (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Jerome d'Ambrosio (0%)
  • Nick Heidfeld (0%)
  • Pedro de la Rosa (0%)
  • Karun Chandhok (0%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (0%)

Total Voters: 569

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We’re also looking for your views on the best pass of 2011 and the best overtaker of the year. Cast your vote in those polls here:

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131 comments on Vote for the best F1 driver of 2011

  1. runforitscooby (@runforitscooby) said on 16th December 2011, 22:22

    Nice to see that Sebastien Buemi’s ,Karun Chandhok’s and Narain Karthikeyan’s mothers have signed up to F1 Fanatic.

  2. tandrews (@tomand95) said on 16th December 2011, 22:29

    Even though Jenson had a fantastic year and Fernando showed his talent in an under performing car, what more could Seb have done to deserve driver of the year?

    • what more could Seb have done to deserve driver of the year?

      That’s a familiar-sounding question — similar ones have been asked during Driver of the Weekend polls it seemed Vettel should have run away with but didn’t. And it seems the reasons for Vettel having only 44% of the votes right now are similar, as well!

  3. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 16th December 2011, 23:22

    Vettel. Give me a reason why I shouldn’t have voted for him?

  4. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 16th December 2011, 23:34

    I’m noticing a trend here.

    When someone votes for a driver that’s not Vettel, they immediately set out to justify why they didn’t vote Vettel before giving the reason for their preferred driver.

  5. F1fanNL (@) said on 17th December 2011, 1:52


    His worst races were the Nurburgring for 4th and Suzuka for 3rd. In Germany he couldn’t deliver. That’s one race he was ‘off form’. He was practically unbeatable in qualifying and managed to make the RB7 look almost as dominant as the F2002 in the races. On top of that he made Webber seem average.
    Vettel has only made a few mistakes and most of those few mistakes he made when it didn’t matter too much.

    Button had poor races in Australia, China, Turkey and Valencia.
    He has also had more poor qualifying sessions than good ones, each of which was paired with his famous “I wasn’t happy with the balance of the car.” or “I had no grip.” tag lines. He’s beaten Hamilton both in points and in race pace this year which is a great feat but there were numerous occasions where everybody thought Button could have done better.

    Alonso was 2nd best for me this year. He performed like Vettel, always at the top of his game every session of every race. There really wasn’t much between Vettel and Alonso this year. What made me vote for Vettel was the fact that Vettel was even more dominant over Webber than Alonso was over Massa.

    Vettel beat Webber 16-3 in quali
    15-2 in races (in which they both finished) (88.2% strike rate)
    and Vettel lead Webber for 918 out of 1030 laps (89.1%)

    Alonso was just a tad less dominant.
    15-4 in quali
    13-2 in races (86.7% strike rate)
    and 847 out of 1016 in front of Massa. (83.4%)

  6. antonyob (@) said on 17th December 2011, 9:57

    very interesting bananarama certainly helps me understand why the banks are in s o much trouble. but all seriousness aside your work does help partially answer the age old question of what the driver adds to the basic speed of the car. Commonly you baseline performance against your team mate and unless they are obviously hopeless like Massa thats a good gauge of value. By any measure Vettel trounced his team mate and a very good team mate at that.

    • For me, a driver can offer consistency. Thats the single biggest thing they can contribute, as the skill for any driver that takes to the grid these days is evidently there (to varying degrees).

  7. For me, Vettel, no question.

    Sure notable mentions go to Sutil, Alonso and Button, but Vettel was consistently brilliant all season (baring the one exception of Germany). The thing that made that such a big achievement was that he did this from the front, where the pressure is arguably at its highest.

    You could argue that Vettel is an easy choice to make considering he ended up WDC, and so of course had the best car-driver combination over the season. Its not just an easy choice for me, but the only choice!

    All this coming from someone who doubted his talents even half way through this season!

  8. Britalian Stallion said on 17th December 2011, 12:47

    Keith, why don’t you create a page on the drivers who did not score points this year (Lotus drivers Trulli, Chandhok, Kovalainen – HRT drivers Liuzzi, Ricciardo and Karthikeyan – Virgin drivers Glock and D’Ambrosio) and what would have been their points tally had they been the only drivers in all the 19 races this year.

    Button for me was the best driver in 2011.

  9. Alfie (@alfie) said on 17th December 2011, 13:15

    Pedro de la Rosa, watched his entire race on the red button. Had he been in a Red Bull..:D :D

  10. dam00r (@dam00r) said on 17th December 2011, 14:11

    I put my vote on Rosberg. Dominating M.Schumi, 7 time world champion..
    Beat team mate in qualifying 15/17
    Laps spent ahead of team mate 615/873

    Also want to say that Webber is not even a great driver..

  11. There’s some here that seem to wish to separate the cars performance from the drivers to compare the drivers. I feel that this is a bit unfair, after all the drivers work all season in practice sessions and with the mechanics making sure that not only is the car in best trim for races but also that the team are able to develop the car effectively throughout the season.

    Vettel showed frequently this season that he was well able to during a race weekend work with the team to refine the car in a way that made not only his qualifying performance superb but also the race pace – even at tracks not traditionally strong for the team.

    It can only be that Vettel was the best driver this season in my view.

    • forpetessake said on 19th December 2011, 1:56

      oh my god, how can you say that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



  12. hastalaspelotasdeesperar said on 17th December 2011, 14:56

    the best without a doubt vettel. He is a good qualyfier, good in the wet, in the dry, in the race, and beat his teammate clearly.
    Difficult call for second between button and alonso. Both beat their teammates, but even if hamilton had a bad year, he has more talent that massa, so i will vote for button, third is alonso.
    And after them what.? James allen put kovalainen, and then alguersuari. And i think he has a point, because neither webber or massa, and not even hamilton deserve to be considered a top five, with the bad use they did to their good equipment. They should be worried about loosing their jobs, like the rest of us.

  13. People who don’t vote for Vettel need a think. He dominated all season.

    • F1fanNL (@) said on 18th December 2011, 16:18

      People who don’t vote for Vettel are people who will never vote for Vettel. Even if he wins the championship in an HRT.

      If Button or Hamilton had the season Vettel has had this year they would have gotten 400+ votes by now. It’s sad but that’s just the way it is. Some ‘fans’ will never ever look at it from an objective point of view.

  14. TED BELL said on 17th December 2011, 16:26

    The luckiest driver of the year goes to SEB VET. Lucky to have driven one of the best racecars of all time thus making him the best driver of the year.

  15. UKFan (@) said on 17th December 2011, 16:43

    Keith could we just make a poll excluding the world champion cause its just too obvious that Vettel was the best driver this season.


  17. Undoubtedly Vettel. Never finished lower than fourth (in perspective there were 20 drivers on the grid who never finished higher than fifth) and dominated from the start until the end, picking up almost every record along the way. Genius in quali and so calm and confident in races. Hoping for a 3rd world title in 2012!

  18. Nixon (@nixon) said on 17th December 2011, 19:28

    Who voted for Karthikeyan?

  19. RumFRESH (@rumfresh) said on 17th December 2011, 20:18

    Sebastian Vettel. Vettel coped very well with the introduction of Pirelli tires while many including his teammate (who I regard very highly) struggled and put in some flawless laps in qualifying and paired that with flawless victory on Sundays. He proved those that doubted his overtaking skills wrong with brilliant moves on Alonso in Monza and Rosberg at Spa. The small margins in qualifying tell me that the car was not really as dominant as Sebastian made it seem. What a driver!

  20. OOliver said on 17th December 2011, 21:05

    It has to be Hamilton who, despite all the attacks he was subjected to, Massa’s vendetta, team strategy fiasco, still managed to win as many races as his team mate who supposedly had a wonderful season.

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