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

  1. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 7th December 2012, 12:27

    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.

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

      • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 7th December 2012, 22:54

        @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.

        • @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!

          • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 8th December 2012, 12:43

            @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.

  2. montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 7th December 2012, 12:28

    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.

  3. Ben (@benchuiii) said on 7th December 2012, 12:39

    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.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th December 2012, 14:55

      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.

  4. Jayfreese (@) said on 7th December 2012, 12:41

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

  5. sato113 (@sato113) said on 7th December 2012, 12:44

    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.

    • @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.

    • Manished said on 7th December 2012, 12:58

      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.

  6. gilles (@gilles) said on 7th December 2012, 12:50

    Really wanted to vote for Seb on Webber (both of his passes nominated were brilliant) but voted for Massa on Senna, although a bit accidental (it seemed that way)it marked the begining of Massa’s 2012 comeback and was damn impressive example of car control.
    Best overtaker – Vettel. Made most overtakes in 2012 (74) and still made most overtakes (28) if we only count overtakes on top 5 teams (Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Lotus and Mercedes). Here’s the source:

  7. It’s between Raikkonen vs Schumacher in Brazil, and Massa vs Senna in Singapore.

    Massa vs Senna was just unbelievable. I thought there was going to be a massive accident but somehow Massa held on, kept control of his car AND made the move stick!!

    Raikkonen vs Schumacher in Brazil was the perfect example of two drivers respecting each other on track. In a year where we’ve seen many collisions, mostly involving Maldonado, Perez and Grosjean – three fast but wild drivers, it was somewhat refreshing to see Schumacher and Raikkonen battling each other to the limit but not causing an accident. So for that reason, I voted Raikkonen and Schumacher.

  8. nobod said on 7th December 2012, 13:08

    Hamilton on Vettel at COTA and Vettel on Button in Abu Dhabi are missing, especially considering that Alonso on Webber in Abu Dhabi is on the list..

  9. Fullhouse said on 7th December 2012, 13:18

    Kimi had so many great overtake in this season

    aus – on kobayashi

    Bahrain – On massa, webber

    Spa – on eau rouge (michael)

    Hockenheim – On diresta and michael

    Hungary – on Grosjean

    austin – on hulkenberg

    Interlagos – on michael

  10. MW (@) said on 7th December 2012, 13:21

    Lots of good ones, must’ve been tough to reduce it to 10..

    I went for Kimi on Schumi in Brazil, I give Schumi as much credit for that as Kimi, beautiful racing!!
    and Alonso for best overtaker all year as I think he overtook the most front end contenders. The fact that the Ferrari was better suited to the race than quali meant that overtaking was just part of Alonso’s game plan at almost all the races but he never put a foot wrong.

  11. 23kennyboy23 said on 7th December 2012, 13:54

    Alonso has to win best driver for overtaking. He always qualified out of position relative to his race pace, meaning more or less every race he was moving up the field. This, coupled with the fact he had the title fight to worry about and more to lose than the others gives it to him. Second goes to Raikonnen for similar reasons.

  12. raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 7th December 2012, 14:02

    Vettel is ahead of Hamilton in the “who is best overtaker” standings (at time of writing)!?

    What sorcery is this D:

  13. JPedroCQF1 (@joao-pedro-cq) said on 7th December 2012, 14:02

    Kimi on Schumi at the Brazilian Grand Prix. It was the perfect example of skills from the more experienced guys, and an example for all those racing drivers who can’t control themselves and think overtaking in a spectacular fashion involves losing parts of their cars.

  14. Gabriel (@naylamp) said on 7th December 2012, 14:14

    Where is Alonso on Massa and Webber in Brazil?

  15. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 7th December 2012, 14:18

    Massa on Senna in Singapore was the best.

    Alonso was the overtaker of the year IMO.

    • Fullhouse said on 7th December 2012, 16:23

      its easy when your car has sublime straightline speed.

      Kimi edge out imo, his car is crap on straightline, forced him to overtake car on the corners as it was no easy task.

      Kimi said earlier that DRS is useless for Lotus as they dont hv the pace on the straight at all.

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 7th December 2012, 22:19

        his car is crap on straightline

        That was only after they introduced the coanda effect exhaust and after the second upgrade in Abu Dhabi the problem was fixed (not completely but at least they regained some of the lost top speed ) i don’t know from where you come up with this story since we know that the old exhaust solution of Lotus was all about “maximizing the power”

        • victor (@genevene) said on 8th December 2012, 12:13

          not really, symptoms started since Valencia i think. They start opting for low gear ratio, must be running max wing since then to compensate the downforce loss by not introducing coanda exhaust. And on Spa, Monza…the two race track house longest straights expose their weakness straightaway. They only regained 6 hp out of 25 that lost.

          Anyway, Ferrai and Merc are always gonna be faster on straight than renault…especially when renault kers only offer 60kw boost.

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