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


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

Browse all 2012 F1 season review articles

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

  1. Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 3rd December 2012, 13:00

    How could the Hungarian Grand Prix be 4th from the bottom when it was such a nailbiter with the 2 Lotus cars chasing down Hamilton incessantly who won off pole?

  2. Matthijs (@matthijs) said on 3rd December 2012, 13:11

    Interesting graph. Over the last 5 years, some circuits really stand out with high grades. The common classic circuits as Melbourne, Montreal, Silverstone, Spa and Brazil really provide the most entertaining races!

    • Pete_E said on 4th December 2012, 0:42

      The common classic circuits as Melbourne, Montreal, Silverstone, Spa and Brazil really provide the most entertaining races!

      yet interestingly they very rarely provide as much overtaking as people tend to believe.

      statistically the classic tracks (Spa, Suzuka, Silverstone & Monza) tend to feature far less overtaking than the newer ones yet most fans seem to believe the opposite.

  3. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 3rd December 2012, 13:42

    I think that’s an accurate reflection with 2010 not far behind. We had the luxury of a real lottery at the beginning of the year but once things started to get sensible we were treated to a fight for the championship right down to the wire. I think the only thing I can fault this season for is the disappoint that Mercedes provided once again and the lack of any success post-Spain for Williams.

  4. Bobby Balboa (@bobby-balboa) said on 3rd December 2012, 13:44

    Valencia & United States GP were both better than Abu Dhabi this year. I think like Valencia because it is usually a boreing race, when they do have a decent race people score it higher.

    Still I think this was by far a much better season compared with 2011 but it was very close compared with 2008 & 2010

  5. John H (@john-h) said on 3rd December 2012, 14:03

    I’ve averaged out the ratings for each circuit here and arranged in order of highest score. Note that Japan and Germany include ratings from two different circuits (but I’ve included them anyway). I’ve also excluded India and US as they haven’t had sufficient races in my opinion to be included in such as list.

    Can: 8.45
    Bel: 7.84
    Aus: 7.72
    Bra: 7.71
    Chi: 7.47
    Ita: 7.42
    Bri: 7.22
    Abu: 6.84
    Mal: 6.79
    Hun: 6.79
    Ger: 6.7
    Mon: 6.6
    Jap: 6.57
    Kor: 6.54
    Sin: 6.24
    Spa: 6.18
    Bar: 5.82
    Eur: 5.49

    (Ind: 5.37)
    (US: 8.77)

    As expected, most of the classic circuits (and China) come out on top, with Monaco and Japan being the notable exceptions (the Fuji race was actually rated higher than this average, so we can blame Suzuka for the latter). Despite getting some stick, Hungary has a solid mid-table position mainly due to it never scoring a ‘bad’ race. Abu Dhabi is surprisingly high also, especially when compared to the other night race.

    • Matthijs (@matthijs) said on 3rd December 2012, 14:42

      Interestingly, Hugary is one of the very few races to have never (at least the last 5 seasons) scored below a 6, while in my view it is one of the ‘worst’ circuits. Probably I am biased or my opinion is based on older seasons (the Schumacer era).

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 4th December 2012, 7:24

        I thought about how most of us used to dislike that track too when lately people seem quite fond of the track.

        I guess the fact its put up surprise winners for Button, Kovalainen, and some very nice races in the last couple of years have really shown off well on the track.

  6. Imre (@f1mre) said on 3rd December 2012, 14:51

    Could you upload a reversed graph where the horizontal axis is the rating and vertical is the venue?

  7. Calum (@calum) said on 3rd December 2012, 16:02

    F1 – a simple Formula – “safety cars and rain.” :D

  8. Valencia was a mind-blowing race, as were Sepang and Interlagos.
    Austin and Abu Dhabi were slightly overrated. Abu Dhabi’s two long DRS straights did not help in making the racing better while Austin was expected to be this eventful right after it was found out that the track was too slippery.

  9. Interesting to note that from the top ten from 2008 onwards races were won by the following:
    Button -3
    Hamilton -3
    Rosberg, Alonso, Raikonen, Massa -1

    None of the red bull wins feature in that list.

  10. F1 Observer (@f1-observer) said on 3rd December 2012, 18:52

    I think 2012 has been a great year for racing but this site has been equally great in keeping us up-to-date with all the news and articles. In terms of the time and effort you put into this site, this has got to be your best years yet! :-) Seriously. I’m so glad I found this site. Thanks for your hard work! I hope you’re ready for next year (after a deserved break)! lol

  11. Michal (@michal2009b) said on 3rd December 2012, 22:00

    Malaysia was rated 8.542 not 8.452 :) So we have 14 races over 7 (including Bahrain, because it was hugely underrated thanks to the protests).

  12. paulgilb (@paulgilb) said on 3rd December 2012, 22:23

    Median race ratings per season (should give a measure of each season’s ‘typical’ race(s)):

    2008 Turkey (6.8), Japan (6.66)
    2009 Abu Dhabi (5.9)
    2010 Malaysia (6.7)
    2011 Italy (7.494)
    2012 Italy (7.64), Belgium (7.467)

  13. Dizzy said on 4th December 2012, 0:38

    I didn’t actually think 2012 was that great of a season, I can think of many of the 40 years I’ve been following F1 that were better in many ways.

    In terms of great championship fights, exciting moments & proper racing I’d put 2000, 2003 & 2005-2010 well ahead of 2012.

    • Pete_E said on 4th December 2012, 0:51

      im totally with you on that to be honest.

      while everyone was going on about the great racing earlier in the year i honestly was left scratching my head wondering what everyone was on about.

      95% of all that “great” passing we saw this year was boring to actually watch as it was all way too easy due to drs or the silly pirelli tyres.
      most the time the drs passes were easy, uncontested straght line highway passes that were totally dull & unexciting to watch & much of the tyre relayed passing was the same, one driver totally defenseless on old tyres making the pass inevitable & boring to watch.

      for me there was practically no real racing this year, the proper overtakes were few & far between & there wasn’t the sort of real hard fought, flat out racing with real exciting overtaking which i love to watch & which is the main reason i’ve kept watching f1 for so long.

      i’ll watch the start of 2013 but in all honesty if it goes the same was as 2012 did i’ll just stop watching as its all getting way too artificial & way too much ‘show’ for my liking.

      • Pete_E said on 4th December 2012, 1:00

        meant to add that i started watching the indycar series this year for the 1st time in many years & found that series to be far more interesting/exciting to watch than i did f1.

        they didnt have silly gimmicks like drs or tyres that fell to pieces yet put on consistently exciting races which featured real racing. every overtake was really exciting to watch & there were none that were too easy, uncontested or guaranteed.

        when they introduced there so called push-2-pass system late in the year it didn’t do what drs often does & drive cars clean past, it wasn’t a guaranteed thing & didn’t make things too easy. it worked like drs probably should & did just enough to assist the chasing driver to get a wheel alongside, leaving him to fight hard to do the rest & complete the overtake. and since the lead driver could use the p2p to defend you saw real fair & even fights, it works so much better than drs does to create real exciting racing rather than just dull passing.

  14. sato113 (@sato113) said on 4th December 2012, 0:39

    @keithcollantine i remember a few years ago you did the same summary article of rate the race results, but you discounted scores of 10 and 1 in order to remove any ‘fanboyism’ or rage votes. perhaps you could do a quick recalculation of this season?
    i believe there were too many people voting 10 for ‘perfect’ race this during this year when they were far from ‘perfect’. thanks.

  15. Joey Zyla (@) said on 4th December 2012, 2:23

    Of the races I saw, I give would have given the following ratings:

    BEL 7
    ITA 10
    SIN 8
    JPN 8
    KOR 7
    UAE 10
    USA 10
    BRA 10

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