Top ten passes of 2012: Vote for the best

2012 F1 season review

F1 Fanatic readers nominated 109 different overtaking moves for best pass of the year. Here’s the top ten – now it’s time to vote for the best.

Vettel on Rosberg, Australian Grand Prix

Having dominated qualifying in 2011 it was a surprise to see reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel only sixth on the grid for the first race in Melbourne.

He was beaten off the line by Nico Rosberg, but he soon set that right with this daring around-the-outside pass. This set him up to claim a useful second place on the first race day of the season.

Kobayashi on Button, Spanish Grand Prix

Overtaking at the Circuit de Catalunya is notoriously difficult, which perhaps explains why two passes from the Spanish Grand Prix earned enough of your nominations to reach the final ten.

Kamui Kobayashi took seventh place off Jenson Button with a characteristically thrusting move on lap 33. He went on to pass Rosberg ahead to finish fifth.

Hamilton on Ricciardo and Vergne, Spanish Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton lost pole position and had to start from last place when the stewards discovered insufficient fuel in his car after qualifying.

He climbed through the field to salvage eighth, passing both Toro Rosso drivers in superb style on the way.

Grosjean on Hamilton, European Grand Prix

This pass by Romain Grosjean on Hamilton on lap ten of the European Grand Prix moved the Lotus driver into second place. He was still in that position 30 laps later when he retired with alternator failure.

Vettel on Webber, Belgian Grand Prix

The Red Bull drivers had a hard time making progress in Belgium with their typically poor straight line speed. But Vettel found a way by carrying graeter speed through Blanchimont to attack drivers at the chicane.

He used the tactic to great effect on several of his rivals including team mate Mark Webber on lap nine for ninth place. He continued his ascent through the field to finish second.

Raikkonen on Schumacher, Belgian Grand Prix

Along with Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen is the other driver who featured twice on this list. And both his nominations are for passes on the same driver – Michael Schumacher.

The pair had a lengthy battle in Belgium which was finally settled when Raikkonen got alongside him on the run towards Eau Rouge.

Massa on Senna, Singapore Grand Prix

Felipe Massa was recovering from a delay due to a puncture earlier in the race when he caught Bruno Senna on lap 43.

The Williams driver appeared not to see him, and after losing control Massa gathered his car back up in time to get it stopped for the hairpin and complete the move. He complained to the stewards that Senna had blocked him – they ruled the move was legitimate, but it made for dramatic viewing.

Hulkenberg on Hamilton and Grosjean, Korean Grand Prix

Nico Hulkenberg was in superb form in the closing stages of the year. This savvy double-pass on Hamilton, who was struggling with a car problem, and Grosjean, netted him a sixth-place finish in Korea.

Alonso on Webber, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

With title rival Vettel starting in the pit lane, Fernando Alonso had to make the most of his opportunity in Abu Dhabi. He got off to a good start by passing Webber on lap one, leaving his braking to the last possible moment as he came unnervingly close to Pastor Maldonado’s Williams.

Raikkonen on Schumacher, Brazilian Grand Prix

Raikkonen on Schumacher part two was an impressive display of precise driving by both racers. During his last retirement in 2006 Schumacher had passed Raikkonen at the same corner – this time the roles were reversed.

But what about…

This top ten list was compiled from the best passes nominated by F1 Fanatic readers throughout 2012. If your favourite pass doesn’t appear, it’s because it didn’t get enough nominations.

You can find all the nominations pages here.

Vote for the best pass of 2012

Which of these ten moves was the best pass of 2012? Cast your vote and leave a comment below.

What was the best pass of 2012?

  • Vettel on Rosberg, Australian Grand Prix (2%)
  • Kobayashi on Button, Spanish Grand Prix (3%)
  • Hamilton on Ricciardo and Vergne, Spanish Grand Prix (7%)
  • Grosjean on Hamilton, European Grand Prix (1%)
  • Vettel on Webber, Belgian Grand Prix (2%)
  • Raikkonen on Schumacher, Belgian Grand Prix (20%)
  • Massa on Senna, Singapore Grand Prix (16%)
  • Hulkenberg on Hamilton and Grosjean, Korean Grand Prix (12%)
  • Alonso on Webber, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (4%)
  • Raikkonen on Schumacher, Brazilian Grand Prix (32%)

Total Voters: 642

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Vote for the best overtaker of 2012

Which driver made the best passes during the 2012 season? Vote here and have your say in the comments.

Who was the best overtaker of 2012?

  • Sebastian Vettel (14%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (13%)
  • Jenson Button (2%)
  • Fernando Alonso (18%)
  • Felipe Massa (1%)
  • Michael Schumacher (0%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (40%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (2%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (4%)
  • Sergio Perez (1%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Bruno Senna (0%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (0%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (3%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (0%)
  • Pedro de la Rosa (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Charles Pic (0%)
  • Jerome d'Ambrosio (0%)

Total Voters: 602

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2012 F1 season review

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152 comments on Top ten passes of 2012: Vote for the best

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  1. Slr (@slr) said on 7th December 2012, 11:37

    I voted Raikkonen on Schumacher at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Schumacher gave as little room possible, but Raikkonen didn’t back out and he stood his ground. The fact that it was effectively the opposite to Schumacher on Raikkonen in 2006, also made me enjoy it more.

  2. TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 7th December 2012, 11:39

    Hulkenberg’s move in Korea was class. Surprised that Kimi’s move at COTA didn’t make the list though, that was one of my favourites.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 7th December 2012, 11:49

      @tommyb89 It was among those which didn’t quite have enough nominations to make the final list, along with Kobayashi’s on Raikkonen in Australia, Alonso’s on Grosjean in Valencia, Senna’s on Maldonado in India and Vettel’s on Button in Abu Dhabi.

    • mhop (@mhop) said on 7th December 2012, 12:07

      @TommyB @keithcollantine
      Hulkenberg’s move was great, but (and I’m suprised more people don’t mention this) it was illegal! He was 4 wheels off the track when he went past Hamilton. Vettel was penalised for doing the same thing in Germany and Webber was penalised for a far slighter transgression in Singapore. Tbh, I find penalising a driver who has extended the circuit as part of racing action to be excessive, but if Jean Todt is looking for consistency from the stewards here’s another example where they’re getting it wrong.

      • @mhop I’m pretty sure that Hamilton squeezed him, and he came back on before making the move.

      • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 7th December 2012, 14:03

        @mhop he came back on still behind Hamilton, and so he didn’t pass off track.

      • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 7th December 2012, 17:50

        Hulkenberg was already alongside Hamilton, Hamilton ran to the outside of the circuit forcing Hulkenberg wide. I’d be interested to know exactly what he could have done – caused an avoidable accident? There is no indication that Hulkenberg could not have kept his wheels on the tarmac which would have given him more grip to complete the pass – he didn’t extend the circuit to complete the pass. This was an excellent overtake and entirely fair – I’d place it second best on this list, but my vote went to Raikkonen on Schumi (Spa).

        • Jacob Larsson said on 7th December 2012, 18:59

          Which is what happened between Webber and Kobayashi. Webber received a penalty for it, so I was really surprised that Hulkenberg didn’t.

  3. Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 7th December 2012, 11:39

    Lewis’ pass on the Toro Rossos in Spain seems to be missing.

  4. raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 7th December 2012, 11:40

    Wow! Vettel on Rosberg made the cut? I thought there would be a lot more popular moves.

    • That was a great move! It looked good in the normal camera angle but from the onboard its brilliant. Could easily have taken them both out with that 1. Kudos to vettel (this from 1 of the people normally claiming he can’t overtake in traffic!!)

      • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 7th December 2012, 14:05

        @aledinho Oh no doubt it was a good move, just thought it wouldn’t quite make top 10 (maybe top 15-20).

        Mind you Rosberg (before China) isn’t usually difficult to overtake… he’s usually very polite and goes “after you” when someone sticks their nose alongside :P

    • George (@george) said on 7th December 2012, 17:56

      This one got my vote (only at 2% at time of writing though), brilliant foresight by Vettel to judge the move was on, and skill to pull it off.

  5. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 7th December 2012, 11:48

    Who was the best overtaker of 2012?

    That’s a hard one… there has been so much passing this year than I don’t remember who stood up among the others.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th December 2012, 14:53

      In the end I voted for Vettel, because this year he really had to make some critical passes (like the ones picked here) and he pulled many of them off right at the moment he needed to.

      • necrodethmortem (@necrodethmortem) said on 7th December 2012, 15:14

        Exactly. Raikkonen may have pulled off some great moves, but in more critical moments (Bahrain comes to mind) he wasn’t always on it.

        • sorin (@) said on 7th December 2012, 21:32

          In critical moments I remember that Vettel touched others, like in Abu Dhabi, when he damaged the front wing, trying to overtake somebody, and in Brazil, with Senna, where he was his fault too. And that overtake in Australia, was so forced, lucky that he wasn’t touched, too. Raikkonen didn’t touch nobody in his overtake manouvers.

        • sorin (@) said on 7th December 2012, 21:39

          Plus, Vettel’s overtaking illegal Button, cost Vettel a lot of points there. That was a critical moment, too, because he was in ‘Mutterland’. :)))

    • Jake (@jleigh) said on 7th December 2012, 18:52

      I went for Hamilton. Mainly as a “most improved”/”return to form” vote after last year.

  6. Kimi on Schumi in Brazil. Great commitment and total respect between two world champions.

  7. The best overtaking this year in my personal opinion is by far Alonso on Grosejan @ the European Gp.
    That overtaking had it all. The technique of restart, the skill in overtaking, the skills on defense,a little touch, not too much room, outbreak in the turn, close to the wall…

  8. dumb_man (@dumb_man) said on 7th December 2012, 12:08

    Hamilton pass on Vettel at the US GP appears to be missing from the list.

  9. Ivan B (@njoydesign) said on 7th December 2012, 12:09

    Massa on Bruno, as it was one of the most spectacular passes. I think not many people thought that it would be a pass when they touched and Felipe nearly lost the car. The fact that he caught the car and made the move stick was just incredible, I stood up to applaud when it happened.

  10. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 7th December 2012, 12:14

    Ohhohohohoo, I’ll love this article.

    Without much ado, Kimi on Michael in Interlagos based on pure skill. I will try to consider other factors, such as importance (the further forwards in the running order, the better) and bravery (the greater balls needed, the higher the danger of injury , basically the higher the speed during the overtaking, if its not in a straight line, the better), but my initial impression is for that. Based on bravery Kimi on Michael in Spa is the best by a country-mile. Based on importance? I don’t know, it’s maybe not even on the list… Suggestions appreciated.

    Also, count in the relative long-term pace advantage of the participants in a situation and the external factors playing in (e. g. Karthikeyan at the COTA for Hamilton on Vettel; not nominated).

    I think one should set up a top 3 for its own based on these five criteria and then choose which came up on top overall.

    Also, will there be a top ten starts of 2012? I’d love that as well.

    • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 7th December 2012, 22:57

      The thing I like about Kimi’s pass at Spa is that he couldn’t pass Schumi in the Laps before at the end of the straight. He must have been thinking about it and that makes it the best one for me

      • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 8th December 2012, 13:58

        Actually, I think it was the opposite, a spur-of-a-moment thing. I think Schumacher was slightly distracted by the Force India holding him up slightly at the beginning of the S/F straight, then locked up and run the slightest bit wide in T1, thus was only able to accelerate later then usual – and particularly later than Raikkonen. When Raikkonen saw him locking up, I think that was the moment he decided he would try it. He took a very late apex and began to accelerate way earlier than Schumacher. He nailed it.

        I think that was the story behind it, ans as I said based on pure balls required, it tops the list, but I will consider other aspects as well (I still haven’t voted.)

        • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 9th December 2012, 11:41

          @atticus-2 Have you seen the onboard from Kimi’s car(not the one above but the full one here: It was not the spur-of- a moment thing it was planned way before, after he understood he can’t pass anywhere else, as he didn’t have enough top speed to overcome the Mercedes. He waited precisely till the DRS line then nailed it and used full amount of KERS after only using less than half there the lap before. Two laps prior Kimi managed to overtake into Bus Stop but Michael just breezed past back ’cause he had the use of DRS on the big straight. That IMO was when Kimi understood how to do it.

          And for the record, locking up doesn’t by itself means you lose speed on exit, only if you miss the apex. Michael made the apex, exacly the same way as the lap before. Kimi cutting it tight was all part of the plan

          • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 9th December 2012, 11:57

            @montreal95 Yes, I have seen the full onboard videos. I am sorry, but your arguments do not prove it was a move planned half a lap, or a lap early. Using up the full KERS down the straight towards Eau Rouge only proves that he decided to make the move after La Source. I argued that this was not the case, because he could have decided it when he saw Schumacher locking up and knew the Mercedes might lose speed down the following straight. For the record, I know locking up does not necessarily mean losing speed at the exit. It only does if he drivers does not hit the apex at the proper place or does not hit it altogether. Michael did hit one – but it was way earlier, than it should have been, so he did drifted wider than usual on the exit and he did lose some speed.

            Nevertheless, the fact that Kimi have not taken Michael by the Bus Stop does not mean he deliberately did so. It could also be that Michael defended better, using a better line, or being further ahead of Kimi than two laps before, so that Kimi could not try to make a move stick.

            Last, but not least, I felt your tone somewhat disrespectful, so I ask you not to employ it again when aiming a message specifically for me.

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 9th December 2012, 12:33

            @atticus-2 When you look at the way Kimi approached the run from Stavelot to Bus Stop on the lap Kimi overtook Michael there that he was as close to him if not closer but lifted off more through Blanchimont.

            Michael’s loss of speed, if there was any ,was small, and if that happened on the lap when Kimi overtook into Bus Stop, still would not have prevented him from taking the place back on the straight to Les Combes

            And in the post race interview Kimi basically proves my point of view that it was planned. See here:

            But of course, you can continue not to see it. You can also continue to moan about some imaginary “disrespectful tone” towards me, or towards anyone else who disagrees with you for that matter. Goodbye

          • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 9th December 2012, 12:54

            @montreal95 You could have begun with this proof instead of bringing up some which ultimately failed to prove your point and you could have spared my time and yours spent on this debate. And you can continue to believe I ‘moan’ about some ‘imaginary’ disrespectful tone if someone disagrees with me. Would have been more gentlemanly, if you had just apologised for the uneasiness you either intentionally or unintentionally caused both in your penultimate and last comment, but I resigned to know people scarcely have the courage and poise to do so nowadays. Goodbye.

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 9th December 2012, 13:26

            @atticus-2 Well obviously I thought that that was enough proof. Fair enough if you didn’t agree.

            And apologizing for something just because the other person said it offended him is not being gentleman. It’s (part of) being politically correct, something I strongly object to. If upon review I saw something offending in my message I would apologize. Alas, I didn’t so won’t. Disagreeing is not the same as disrespecting, at least IMO. feel free to disagree :)

  11. pejte (@pejte) said on 7th December 2012, 12:21

    Best overtake has to be Hulk’s pass on Grosjean and Hamilton.
    Best overtake this season by far was Kimi. Consistently had the most precise passes and wheel to wheel duels.

    For me Raikkonen’s pass on Schumacher was the best example of some old school racing.

  12. Julian (@julian) said on 7th December 2012, 12:22

    I’m at a loss over who to pick for overtaker of the year, so many great overtakes from many drivers… But the starter of the year, without a doubt Mark Webber Fernando Alonso.

  13. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 7th December 2012, 12:24

    Well, it’s a shame Alonso on Grosjean in Valencia missed out, because it should take the votes in terms of importance (pressure meant by the higher stake).

    Aww, and Raikkonen on di Resta at the Hockenheimring, how on Earth did it not make the list!? It was similar to a lot on the list though – its greatness encompassed by the skill the overtaking driver showed by keeping up with its adversary on the outside.

  14. Goodness Me (@goodness-me) said on 7th December 2012, 12:26

    I voted for Alonso’s pass on Webber at Abu Dhabi simply because there was so much riding on it – he judged the braking point perfectly in a fuel-laden car, getting enough speed out of the corner to ensure Webber wouldn’t re-pass him, and all without smashing into the back of Maldonado.

  15. Dizzy said on 7th December 2012, 12:26

    Every pass that didn’t involve DRS, KERS or Pirelli degradation!

    In other words a real, genuine, exciting overtake!

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