2012 rated the best season of the last five years

2012 F1 season review

Start, Interlagos, 2012The 2012 F1 season was the best of the last five years according to F1 Fanatic readers.

The results of F1 Fanatic’s regular Rate the Race polls produced the highest average score since they began in 2008.

Top of the list was the thrilling season finale in Brazil, which was rated the best race of the last five seasons.

Rating the races of 2012

F1 Fanatic readers were invited to rate every race out of ten during the season.

Here are the average scores for each race in 2012:

The final three races of the season were among the highest-rated as the contest for the championship between Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso went down to the last lap of the last race.

The only other race to appear in the top four was the European Grand Prix, which saw a superb win for Alonso from 11th on the grid. While last year’s race was the lowest-rated of the season at 3.8 out of ten, this year it scored 8.7.

At the opposite end of the sale processional races in Korea, India and Monaco were among five Grands Prix to score less than six out of ten.

Comparing the last five seasons

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/years.csv

Australia Malaysia China Bahrain Spain Monaco Canada Europe Britain Germany Hungary Belgium Italy Singapore Japan Korea India Abu Dhabi United States Brazil
2008 7.609 5.738 4.446 5.364 5.085 8.177 7.809 3.977 8.164 7.18 6.202 7.736 8.153 6.302 6.66 8.756
2009 7.937 5.284 6.69 6.42 5.33 5.504 5.355 5.755 7.096 6.808 7.852 7.049 5.336 5.58 5.794 8.309
2010 8.638 6.684 8.326 4.587 4.919 6.217 8.668 5.454 7.203 3.74 6.654 8.368 6.759 7.194 6.642 7.536 6.602 6.253
2011 6.751 7.775 9.241 7.319 7.684 9.095 3.871 7.96 8.43 8.344 7.772 7.494 6.39 7.57 6.915 5.555 6.127 5.771
2012 7.662 8.452 8.648 6.904 8.274 5.436 8.197 8.784 7.048 7.055 5.975 7.467 7.64 5.998 6.381 5.158 5.194 8.854 8.772 9.449

F1 Fanatic readers having been rating the races since the beginning of the 2008 season. The results for the 20 rounds that are still on the calendar can be seen above, arranged in the order they were run this year.

The average ratings for each season reveal 2012 was rated slightly higher than last year:

Year Average rating
2008 6.651
2009 6.316
2010 6.759
2011 7.23
2012 7.367

Top ten races, 2008-2012

Race Rating
2012 Brazilian Grand Prix 9.449
2011 Chinese Grand Prix 9.241
2011 Canadian Grand Prix 9.095
2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 8.854
2012 European Grand Prix 8.784
2012 United States Grand Prix 8.772
2008 Brazilian Grand Prix 8.756
2010 Canadian Grand Prix 8.668
2012 Chinese Grand Prix 8.648
2010 Australian Grand Prix 8.638

The gripping season finale in Brazil set a new record as the highest-rated race of the last five years. Of the 835 votes cast, 536 rated it ten out of ten. It’s only the third race to get a higher rating than nine out of ten.

Reflecting the quality of the season we’ve just had, five of this year’s races feature among the best races of the last five years. F1’s return to the Unites States for the first race at the Circuit of the Americas ranks sixth overall.

This year’s lowest-rated race, the Korean Grand Prix, ranks eighth from bottom on the list.

Over to you

How do you think the 2012 season compared to the previous four years of Formula One? What did you think was the best race of the season?

Did you think the racing was better or worse this year – and if so, why?

Have your say in the comments.

2012 F1 season review


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89 comments on 2012 rated the best season of the last five years

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  1. Jayfreese (@) said on 3rd December 2012, 11:35

    Do I think the racing was better or worse this year?
    Mix feeling, we saw great moves made by champions, but in the other way we’ve seen so many crashes and contacts this year. So, in terms of skills it wasn’t the best-ever year, but in terms of show it certainly was!

    So, as the question is about racing, my answer is no, even though I adored this season.

    • The first half of the season was brilliant especially, so many different teams capable of springing a surprise and getting a win or a podium. But I would have liked to have multiple drivers still in the hunt for the championship at the end of the year like 2010. That would have made the last couple of races even more exciting.

      There have been the odd dull race, but the majority have been entertaining and the new US track certainly was one of the highlights of the year I thought.

    • @jayfreese – I agree about the racing; sure we’ve seen some great wheel-to-wheel racing (Kimi Räikkönen provided that in spades) but we’ve also seen some careless GP2-like manoeuvres, especially from Maldonado & Grosjean. Perhaps that is just rookie inexperience however; as Martin Brundle has said a few times the younger drivers should look up to Alonso, Räikkönen, Button and even Vettel & Hamilton – all of them have done some great overtakes this year!

      I feel though that DRS has robbed us of a certain element of tension in close-combat: it is no good to see a driver breeze by with a 20km/h+ speed advantage and have made it by before the braking zone. Also, I feel the rules on defence are unnecessary: they are (in general) professional racing drivers and they know what they are doing, so to police what they can do in defence I feel is unnecessary.

      I think DRS works in certain places (like Abu Dhabi where there’d be little overtaking otherwise) but on tracks like Spa it ruins it slightly.

      Sorry for getting slightly off topic towards the end!

  2. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 3rd December 2012, 11:40

    I still belive the 2011 Chinese GP was highly overrated, even back then. Today, if we compare the results with recent races, it makes no justice.

    But well, it’s a matter of opinion, of course…

  3. vickyy (@vickyy) said on 3rd December 2012, 11:42

    I think it was more of a mix of 2010 (with processional racing but nail biting championship battle ) and 2011 (with nail biting races but one sided championship). Roll on 2013!

  4. Interesting insight – I wonder who in the F1 world reads your stats Keith? Probably worth a fortune to some.

    2012 has ridden roughshod over the trends that were starting to appear (e.g. Valencia down in every year except this one), but still some good stuff in there. Is there anyone who is qualified in trying to analyse this kind of stuff out there? Would be interested to hear their thoughts. Looks to me like the stretch Singapore to India is always a bit low each year (although I wonder if we project our feelings about the championship nearly ending onto those races…)

    • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 3rd December 2012, 17:34

      Nobody is.
      You can see trends, but you don’t know demographics and drivers people support which Does have an impact – at least I can admit it influences my score by at least half a point.
      To name a few…

    • drmouse (@drmouse) said on 4th December 2012, 13:01

      Data like this, direct from fans, is always useful. As with all statistics, they are influenced by many things, but they do give useful information if analysed correctly.

      With regards demographics, I think there are 2 important points to take into account.
      1) The readers of this site tend to be the hardcore F1 fans. There are not many casual fans on here. This will obviously affect the ratings given.
      2) This is a UK site, and I would hazard a guess that the majority of those on here are from the UK (although Keith may be able to give better insight into this).

      There are obviously other factors to consider, but a decent statistician would be able to use this data to good effect.

      There is one thing I would like to add. I agree with the ratings, as defined, that the races this year have been some of the most compelling to watch in a long time. However, I would definitely not say the entire F1 season has been that great. Part of what I watch F1 for happens in the background, in the technical developments. This has been sadly lacking for quite a while. The best we have had recently were the double-decker diffuser and the initial introduction of KERS. This is the area I would like to see F1 working on, allowing more freedom to innovate within the framework of the rules. As it stands, a large chunk of my interest in the sport is tailing off.

      Hopefully the engine rule changes will help with this are, but I doubt it. I suspect the engines will be developed over the first season then left alone.

  5. ScuderiaVincero (@scuderiavincero) said on 3rd December 2012, 11:46

    Indeed, it was the most exciting seasons for a while. Sadly, it got a bit boring (for me) towards the end. Now, I don’t know if it was the circuits (Yeongam and Buddh come to mind) or Pirelli’s decision to bring in “conservative tyre choices” or maybe a combination of both. But the unpredictability of the first half of 2012 was something to behold, and it’s something that will remain in my memory for years to come.

  6. DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 3rd December 2012, 11:50

    2011 Chinese Grand Prix is rated the 2nd best race of the past 5 years.

    lolwut?

    • Liam Stroud (@comabvbsixx) said on 3rd December 2012, 12:07

      Mark’s drive from the back of the grid?
      Hamilton’s pass on Vettel around the outside, muscling Button out of the way.
      Button going into the wrong pitbox.
      ‘s all I can remember off the top of my head.

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 3rd December 2012, 13:31

        People don’t remember how good that race really was.

        • DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 3rd December 2012, 14:14

          Not saying it was a bad race but there have been much better ones through the past 5 years. Germany 2008, Spa 2009, Australia 2010, Canada 2010, Canada 2011 and around half of the 2012 races were a lot better than it in my opinion.

          To be honest, I think the only reason I think people voted for it so much is because it was the first race in a while that Vettel hadn’t won.

  7. Girts (@girts) said on 3rd December 2012, 12:18

    This is how I rated each race this season:

    AUS 6
    MAL 10
    CHI 8
    BAH 9
    SPA 10
    MON 8
    CAN 9
    EUR 9
    BRI 7
    GER 9
    HUN 7
    BEL 9
    ITA 8
    SIN 7
    JAP 8
    KOR 6
    IND 4
    ABU 9
    UNI 10
    BRA 10

    I think that the Spanish Grand Prix is my race of the year. I love underdog triumphs and this must be one of the best ones of all time. It involved a very tense fight for the lead and I didn’t really believe that Maldonado could do it until he crossed the finish line. I remember that I was applauding at that moment and I don’t do that often, while watching F1 on TV!

    • PhilEReid (@philereid) said on 3rd December 2012, 12:51

      I was:

      AUS 7
      MAL 9
      CHI 8
      BAH 8
      SPA 10
      MON 5
      CAN 8
      EUR 9
      BRI 7
      GER 7
      HUN 6
      BEL 7
      ITA 7
      SIN 6
      JAP 8
      KOR 6
      IND 5
      ABU 9
      UNI 10
      BRA 10

      However, because I voted for a Brazil 10, I’d probably have to take the others all down by 1, but at the time they were those ratings.
      Spain too was one of my highlights. I just had a bit of everything. Some great overtaking, a huge battle for the lead, with a slightly slower car in front being chased down but the underdog driving brilliantly to a victory, even after losing out at the start, Hamilton’s charge from the back, and displaying he can protect his tyres when he needs to. One of the greatest races really. I too found myself applauding.

    • Imre (@f1mre) said on 3rd December 2012, 14:17

      AUS 7
      MAL 10
      CHI 8
      BAH 7
      SPA 5
      MON 3
      CAN 8
      EUR 9
      BRI 4
      GER 7
      HUN 1
      BEL 9
      ITA didn’t find
      SIN 5
      JAP 7
      KOR 6
      IND 4
      ABU 8
      USA 9
      BRA 10

  8. A-Safieldin (@) said on 3rd December 2012, 12:19

    Best season of my few years viewing F1, however I do wish we could have the same results without DRS or the technically less eventful cars of today. For example EBD’s last year were a real treat for geeks such as my self however it did make the races quite boring. Maybe the dumber a Motorsport gets the more entertaining it becomes. Cough **NASCAR** cough, cough.

  9. TomEC1 said on 3rd December 2012, 12:22

    I have one issue with this article as I think we (the f1fanatic readership) are guilty of grade inflation.

    I think people are more likely to score races higher now than in the early years. Either that, F1F’s expanding audience now includes more people more likely to score races highly (e.g. casual readers may be more likely to hand out 10s).

    I’ve noticed this trend over the last two seasons now. By way of an example, the USA 2012 scored higher than than Brazil 2008. I appreciate some people may have their reasons for preferring this year’s race in Texas over the closest championship finale in F1 history, but I don’t believe a majority of people share that view.

    More likely, I think today’s voters in are generally more likely to score 9 or 10 than the 2008 cohort.

    • Alex (@smallvizier) said on 3rd December 2012, 13:29

      I’d be interested to see the results if we had a chance to ‘re-rate’ the top 10 – or to pick our top three (in order) from amongst them.

      As it is, if a race is “very good” then it will collect a lot of 10s and it becomes hard to compare to other “very good” races. However if the top 10 were the only races being considered, people would start to think “if Brazil is a 9, maybe Austin should only be an 8…” and so on.

      • TomEC1 said on 3rd December 2012, 13:56

        Absolutely, I am sure Brazil 2008 would be 1st or 2nd. Plus a few more races from 2010… maybe less from 2011.

      • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 3rd December 2012, 14:11

        The problem with any rerating is that it is much harder to give a gut reaction to a race from earlier seasons which is how I vote – straight after the race.

        I think TomEC1 is right though, with only Brazil 08 featuring from the early seasons of rankings, would it score 0.7 less than Brazil 2012 if it had been now? I guess there are a couple of factors at work, one of which is ‘bedding down’ our understanding and expectations. In the early days perhaps a 5 was thought to be an average race with scores above and below 5. In reality we would now tend to see 5 as a very poor score, with the worst races still scoring above 5 on average. The season average in 08 wasn’t all that higher than 5 but the average has increase significantly since then.

        I also think inflation is caused when we see a great race and then realise that having voted, say, 8 for the last race then we must vote 9 or 10 because this race was better. Each time we see one of the best races we have ever watched we need to keep ranking higher and higher and we are now getting close to the limit with a 9.4 average. If we see a better race than this in the next 5 years most users would not be able to vote any higher since most already picked 10.

        • TomEC1 said on 3rd December 2012, 17:29

          Totally agree. Also as F1F’s readership has changed and expanded over the last five years, we now have a different set of people who have to judge what 1 to 10 equates to.

    • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 3rd December 2012, 17:31

      Every teammember at McLaren Has to vote high, so they all have to vote – to support Martin Whitmarsh’ view: with DRS there’s better racing.

  10. Oskar (@oskar) said on 3rd December 2012, 12:28

    Top 5 for Valencia. Not bad for a “boring” circuit.

  11. Adam Blocker (@blockwall2) said on 3rd December 2012, 12:30

    For some reason I still think 2011 Canada was better than 2012 Brazil. And for me this season’s races rank as follows: 1. Brazil 2. Malaysia 3. Canada (best dry race).

    For me the US GP was a bit overrated, i think a lot of people rated it that high just because it was the first race at COTA.

    • Roberto38 said on 4th December 2012, 5:05

      ..and the fact that Hamilton won. I agree with you, I couldn’t believe the high ratings of the USGP.. it really wasn’t that special looking at it objectively..

      • Jonny C (@loomx92) said on 31st December 2012, 16:05

        I personally loved the USGP. It was such an close battle throughout between Hamilton and Vettel to finish less than a second between each other, 40 seconds ahead of Alonso, in a dry race. It’s one of those races I’m going to remember through their careers because they just demolished everyone else.
        Plus there was a lot of passing through the field, quite a few outside the DRS zone as well. Definitely one of my highlights of the season!

  12. Nick (@nick101) said on 3rd December 2012, 12:37

    2011 China GP the second best race?????? ***????

    Most highly over rated race ever! How this race can get ANYWHERE near Canada 2011, let alone beat it, is absolutely beyond me!

    I’ve also seen Hamilton’s pass on Vettel in that race rated as one of the best of the season. Again – ***????

    Are people even serious?

  13. ajokay (@ajokay) said on 3rd December 2012, 12:38

    So the 1-10 scale really does go from 5-10. Thought so.

    • bertie (@bertie) said on 3rd December 2012, 12:54

      Just like IMDB

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 3rd December 2012, 13:02

      @ajokay Over 2,000 votes were cast in the 1-5 range this year, so people are using both ends of the scale.

      But I’d hate to think what traffic on the site would be like if races consistently received 5/10 or less!

      • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 3rd December 2012, 14:15

        2,000 votes under 5, wow. How many votes in total were cast this year – must be somewhere north of 10,000?

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 3rd December 2012, 14:26

          Yep: 14,017 (bear in mind you have to log in to vote).

          • necrodethmortem (@necrodethmortem) said on 3rd December 2012, 17:44

            So about 14% of the votes weren’t a passing grade, including maybe 1-2% that vote ‘1’ if their favourite driver doesn’t win. I think that’s fair because imo only 10% of the races (Korea and India) were truly worth sacking.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 4th December 2012, 7:21

            For this year, I really agree with @necrodethmortem. Even the races voted a 5 were IMO of quite the standard seen in the many years.

            And does it really matter what rating the races get, as long as we can compare, I think it reflects that the last 3 years have been great F1 with exiting races, an exiting championship and this year we had both for most of the year.

      • ajokay (@ajokay) said on 3rd December 2012, 14:39

        @keithcollantine Well several of those 1-5’s were mine. There were a small minority of races this year that I really did think were dull. Obviously it’s brilliant we’ve had 3 very good races to end the season with. The Brazilian race was the best I’ve seen for several years. Probably since 2009. I saw my dad at the weekend and he said “Wasn’t that American race (and track) fantastic?” Good news from a casual fan.

  14. PhilEReid (@philereid) said on 3rd December 2012, 12:43

    So, the three races that Button won this year were also the three highest rated races in his championship winning year. Neither are obviously related to each other, I just thought it was a nice coincidence.

    • Roberto38 said on 4th December 2012, 5:11

      No way to refute that though. It would be nice if Keith did a statistic of ratings when a British drivers win compared to the races where they don’t. Obviously other factors play a hand, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they scored higher.. just one form of bias which has to be taken into account…

  15. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 3rd December 2012, 12:59

    Valencia & Abu Dhabi up there amazing it’s it! What a season it has been.Just hope F1 can carry the momentum.

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