Top ten passes of 2012: Vote for the best

2012 F1 season reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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. 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.

    1. @slr agree! Schumacher resisted hard and they both made it stick. Gets my vote.

    2. That sure was a nice exchange. And the Spa fight was along the same lines of greatness. I love the sport, but I voted differently.

    3. And that was on damp track with slicks. Kimi even goes over the wet kerbs but keeps the car in perfect balance. Just excellent driving. You can see räikkönen’s front wing touches schumi’s front tire at one point but the “collision” was so gentle that nothing broke. Couldn’t be any closer. And passes from the outside.

      I think Hulkenberg’s move was great as well but it was a lot about hamilton and grosjean making it happen as well.

    4. It gets my vote too. Schumacher played his part in that pass; Räikkönen wouldn’t have been able to pull it off against some other drivers, because the trust required to go wheel-to-wheel like that simply wouldn’t have been there.

      Alonso is my passer of the year.

    5. Jamie Ramsamy
      12th December 2012, 9:16

      I agree, Raikkonen on Schumacher in Brazil.

  2. 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.

    1. @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.

      1. Was that perhaps because so many moves in that race were great that all the votes got split?

      2. maybe top 15 next time ?

        1. @joac21 If we keep extending just because a few don’t make the cut we’ll end up with all 109 in one article and the page will take a day to load!

    2. @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.

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

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

      3. 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).

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

    1. @journeyer you mean this one in the article? :P

      Hamilton on Ricciardo and Vergne, Spanish Grand Prix

    2. @journeyer It’s the third one on the list.

      1. @keithcollantine I meant I couldn’t see the video embedded. Is it there?

        1. Works fine for me. It’s via facebook.

      2. It’s not working..

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

    1. 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!!)

      1. @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

        1. 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

          But then in Bahrain… :D

          1. You hafta leave da space. Always you hafta leave da space. – F. Alonso, 2012

    2. 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. 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.

    1. 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.

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

        1. 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.

          1. Fair arguments, but I still think Vettel has made the most good passes. I wouldn’t mind Raikkonen taking it either.

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

    2. 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…

    1. Totally agree. I am surprised not to see more Alonso’s passes in the top ten

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

    1. It was possibly the best DRS pass, but it was still DRS-assisted. No overtake on this list is DRS-assisted.

      1. @chicanef1 Hamilton on Grosjean was.

        1. @keithcollantine You probably mean Grosjean on Hamilton, right? The one at Valencia? Well, yeah DRS helped Grosjean catch up to Hamilton, but he drew alongside Hamilton mainly because he braked later and ultimately completed the pass at the short left-hander(as with all Tilke tracks, I’ve forgotten the Turn no.) that follows the slow right-hander at the end of this year’s only DRS zone. Which is why I didn’t consider it to be a DRS pass.

          1. Technically it’s still DRS assisted, as you pointed out that

            DRS helped Grosjean catch up to Hamilton

            Still a great pass nonetheless.

      2. Overtakes when drivers where on different tyres/strategys are no better than DRS assisted passes, but noone talks about those ones. :]

    2. @dumb_man As it says in the article, if a pass isn’t in the final ten it’s because it didn’t get enough nominations.

    3. @dumb_man
      What made that move anything special? To me it looked like any other DRS pass.

  9. 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.

    1. I voted Massa on Senna as well. It was just so unusual and unbeliveable.

    2. I just had to vote for Massa on Senna. They touch, Massa looses the rear and he is able to keep it off the wall, make the corner and the overtake stick? Talent or a lot of luck I don’t care, it is the most incredible one and too bad there are not enough camera angles to see it, specially from above (an helicopter cam filming it all would have been amazing)

      1. @bakano There is a helicopter camera shot of it, in the video above.

        1. @enigma, thanks for pointing it out. What a mega-fail from my part. LOL

    3. Same for me: in the end i had to chose that one. MAS was under so much pressure, and he delivered an incredible out-of-nowhere-pass. So unexpected to see a pass there !

    4. I think this was the weakest here. He cut the previous corer so he could poke his nose into a silly, already closing gap. It was certainly a spectacle, but for me did not constitute a good overtake. It was a driver being lucky to even make it through the next corner after bludgeoning his way through.

      1. I agree @matt90 , the first thing I thought when I saw it live was ‘he has to let him back through’, I’m amazed he got away with cutting the corner.

        1. I really can’t believe that it’s the 2nd highest rated at the moment.

        2. He stayed on the track(or on the line) with at least one wheel.

          1. I’m not sure. He might have marginally left his right-rear wheel in. I’d have though that constituted an off-track overtake.

    5. Sankalp Sharma
      7th December 2012, 20:07

      I agree. That was a stunning example of catching the car at the last of the last moment. Imagine what would have happened had Grojean been there. Credit to Senna too for giving just enough room to his compatriot.

    6. In terms of spectacle, Massa over Senna was probably the best. No DRS involved either. Close second must be Kimi over Schumacher.

    7. davidnotcoulthard
      9th December 2012, 7:56

      And it looked like the start of Felipe’s season-ending resurge…

  10. 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.

    1. 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

      1. 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.)

        1. @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

          1. @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.

          2. @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

          3. @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.

          4. @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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

    1. Me to, he set that move up at the previous chicane, clever pass.

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

    In other words a real, genuine, exciting overtake!

  16. I think it is remarkable to see and shows the greatness of Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton and Raikkonen, considered the best quartet of the current crop, that the four of them absolutely dominate the best overtaker poll.

    1. @atticus-2 Couldn’t agree more, +1! So it’s generally agreed now then that Vettel is a good overtaker? :D

      1. @vettel1 It seems like that’s a universally accepted opinion, yes. What’s more, 15% of the visitors on this site consider him the best in 2012. If you excuse me, I completely disagree with them, but that’s only a personal opinion.

        1. @atticus-2 I personally don’t completely disagree with them as Vettel was a vastly improved driver in wheel-to-wheel combat this year but in actual fact I think in sheer skill Räikkönen has to take gold. After he’d reacclimatised to F1 he was very impressive indeed!

          1. @vettel1 Yeah, I voted for Raikkonen as well. And I do admit Vettel was ultimately a good overtaker, after all, he did have his job to do in Abu Dhabi and Interlagos – and he avoided major catastrophies. I’d rate him third or fourth behind Raikkonen, Alonso and possibly Hamilton. The first two did not put a wheel wrong during their respective manoeuvres and Hamilton tended to excel in wheel-to-wheel battles as well – unlike last year, in 2012, hardly any one of his contacts (e. g. Maldonado in Valencia) was ultimately his fault. On can argue he should have let the Williams through in the first place considering his ailing pace, but then again, he effectively won the corner, Maldonado should have backed off and wait – after all, he had the better pace, he surely could have made it stick on the next straight. As for Vettel, he did went through the field two or three times in the last three races, but he could not avoid contact and I partially blame him for those – both with Senna. Also, he had arguably gentle opposition to tackle during his surges mainly (new teams, Toro Rossos, Schumacher).

            I still did not choose a best overtaking move, however.

  17. Kimi on Michael at Spa was the best for me. Because it highlighted a great mental capacity to plan the overtake for well over a lap and go for it in the one and only place where it was possible given the Mercedes’ high top speed into Les Combes and Bus Stop. And obviously to overtake going into Eau Rouge requires balls of steel as well. So for the second year running (I chose Webber on Alonso in 2011) it’s Eau Rouge for me!

    Regarding best overtaker year round, It was tough between Kimi and Kobayashi, but in the end I chose Kamui, because I felt that Kimi was slightly rusty with his overtakes at the beginning of the year.
    Regarding Kamui what can I say? For me hie is the driver with the most perfect balance of aggressiveness and on the edge feel. It’s amazing how he can bang wheels with so many, yet crash with so few. If he’s not on the grid next year it’ll be pathetic in the extreme.

  18. As much as Kimi’s passes on Schumi were fantastic, I’ve gone with Massa on Senna. Seeing that live I was convinced Massa would end up in the wall but somehow he made it stick.

    1. I remember thinking this was clearly going to be another SC out, but amazingly Massa managed to avoid the walls and take the spot. Defenitely a season’s highlight.

  19. Jayfreese (@)
    7th December 2012, 12:41

    Raikkonen best overtaker of 2012, just because he never touches, he never squeezes and he never blocks any opponent.

  20. raikonnen on schumi in brazil was not an amazing pass. it was low speed and had as much to do with schumi’s skill as kimi’s skill. ok the track was very low grip but it’s not the best for sure.

    Hulkenberg traking both grosjean and hamilton around the outside of a tight corner- that was class. get my vote.

    1. @sato113 Of course it was because of both drivers’ skill. If Kimi had been passing just about anybody else (save for a few), they would have ended up in the wall. It was inch-perfect, incredibly judged driving from both, and that’s what makes it such a good move.

      1. @brazil2007 ‘incredibly judged driving from both’
        yes so a lot of the praise must also be for schumi, IMO a poll seeking to reveal the ‘best overtake’, naturally looks for supreme individual skill, not a group effort.

        anyway that’s just my opinion :)

        1. Well your opinion sucks

          J/k :)

    2. i hope you drove kart on that corner before.

      It wasnt an easy spot to overtake especially when you choose the outside line.

      The pass was so good as both of them were milimeter away from each other and yet still no contact.

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