Vote for the best F1 driver of 2012

2012 F1 season review

Fernando Alonso was my pick of the best drivers of 2012.

But now it’s time for find out who F1 Fanatic readers’ driver of the year was. Review the rankings in full, cast your vote for the best driver of 2012 below, and tell us who you picked in the comments.

F1 Fanatic 2012 Driver Rankings

Read the rankings in full here:

Cast your vote for Driver of the Year below. The results will be announced later on in the 2012 season review.

[poll id="386"]

An F1 Fanatic account is required in order to vote. If you do not have one, register an account here or read more about registering here.

Pass of the Year and Overtaker of the Year

The polls for Pass of the Year and Overtaker of the Year are still open so be sure to vote here as well:

2012 F1 season review

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111 comments on Vote for the best F1 driver of 2012

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  1. TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 14th December 2012, 12:28

    No doubt Kimi Raikkonen will win because it’s a fan vote, but if you didn’t vote for Alonso you must have been watching the season with a binbag on your head.

    • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 14th December 2012, 14:28

      Kimi Raikkonen (15%)

      No doubt indeed.

    • Stagger (@stagger) said on 14th December 2012, 15:19

      Im a Kimi fan many years, still voted for Alonso because he was simply the best this year.

    • I actually voted for Hamilton, @tommyb89, for the reasons I wrote in the forum and which @KeithCollantine included in Hamilton’s article and those he himself gave in it. Alonso would have won had he always performed as in the first 4 races with that car, but the F2012 was the fastest car at times and Alonso was certainly not faultless. Hamilton, on the other hand, was closer to perfection in my opinion, and the fact he would’ve won the title were it not for the mechanical failures indicates that, although he often had the fastest car, he was very often the best driver.

      • I second that. Lewis was the best driver on the grid in 2012. Unfortunately, the car didn’t had the reliability of a Ferrari. If it had, Lewis would have wrapped up the title even before Brazil.

      • bananarama (@bananarama) said on 14th December 2012, 18:43

        And had the Ferrari been as fast as the McLaren at all times, he would have picked up more points as well. Maybe. Maybe not. As in all things, we cannot be sure. Maybe Hamilton was a bit better, maybe Alonso was, but clearly both had outstanding seasons. I’ll go with Alonso though (unsurprisingly).

      • Frost_Byte_94 (@frost_byte_94) said on 14th December 2012, 19:20

        The F2012 was never the fastest car under regular conditions at any point in the season. Alonso held off attackers for each of his wins and benefitted from Vettel’s retirement in Valencia. The only time the F2012 was fastest was in the wet qualifying sessions, both of which Alonso scored pole. One could maybe argue that it was also fastest during qualifying at Monza, but then, of course, he was affected by a mechanical error.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 14th December 2012, 17:51

      I tend to agree with the Alonso choice, however I made no vote because I think it is too difficult to rate the performance of those drivers in the lesser teams, to illustrate; is Maldonado potentially the fastest driver stuck in a midfield car or is the Williams potentially the fastest car stuck with a pair of midfield drivers? How would the STR drivers have done driving RBRs or McLs?

    • Jason (@jason12) said on 14th December 2012, 20:26

      @tommyb89
      Massa consistently beat Alonso at the end of the season…
      Lewis once again outperformed Alonso with his racing.

      • HoolyF1 (@hoolyf1) said on 15th December 2012, 23:29

        @jason12 but one driver beating his team mate at some stage throughout the season is a common occurrence throughout the field. Vet is a better driver than Web, but Web beat him clearly at Monaco. It just so happened that it was Massa’s turn to do so at the final couple of races

      • @tommyb89 You seem to struggle to look at the bigger picture (all 20 races, not just the last 3).

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 15th December 2012, 13:31

      I actually voted for Alonso, but disagree with your opinion- I could have just as easily have voted for Vettel, and particularly Hamilton.

    • Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 15th December 2012, 14:34

      I love Kimi as a character yet you can’t look beyond Alonso in this one.

    • firstLapNutcaseGrosjean (@) said on 15th December 2012, 16:49

      @tommyb89 I didn’t vote for Alonso, because he lost the championship by his fault, when he “kamikazed” into Raikkonen in Japan. He couldn’t resist, could he?

    • Shreyas Mohanty (@) said on 3rd March 2013, 5:22

      That is true.

  2. Nirupam (@nirupam) said on 14th December 2012, 12:29

    Has to be Alonso, should not be any prize for guessing that. Ferrari being off the pace by such a margin for the first four races, being outdeveloped by Redbull, Maclaren and in few cases Lotus, it had to be some luck along with pure driving prowess for someone to remain in touch with WDC chance. Alonso just showed that this year.

    The team principals who voted him the driver of the year as well, must be having the same logic I guess :)

    • Carlitox (@carlitox) said on 15th December 2012, 18:48

      I’m no Alonso fan, ever since the Spygate he lost most of my respect, but this year he regained it. Battling with that disastrous Ferrari was heroic, and his win in Valencia was very emotional. To be fair, he deserves much more. If he starts 2013 with all his power, Seb can say farewell.

    • Deb Luhi (@debeluhi) said on 18th December 2012, 2:07

      Has to be Alonso. He’s a Ferrari driver and Ferrari is the oldest and most successful team and as such has the most fans to vote for their drivers. Combined with the Alonso constant complaints about how bad his car was, which made everyone believe it was true, there can’t be any other result possible.

  3. victor (@genevene) said on 14th December 2012, 12:40

    out of two year, in new team, new cars that wasnt build around him unlike the others, new tyres, imperfect steering setup, slow pit stops, bad strategies, car fallen off development since summer break, in the end, finished 3rd in wdc.

    Agree Alonso should be P1, wouldn;t mind put Kimi on P2 !!

  4. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 14th December 2012, 12:42

    Has to be Alonso. He was miles better than everyone out there. The classiest act in a classy field.

    • melkurion (@melkurion) said on 14th December 2012, 19:02

      the best driver in 2012? absolutely

      i’m not sure alonso and class belong in the same sentence though…ever

      • Yes @melkurion he sure knows how to lift his teams’ spirit! At least he has become more gracious in defeat…

        • melkurion (@melkurion) said on 14th December 2012, 23:59

          @vettel1 Indeed, I think his grace in losing is fast approaching his already legendary level of graciousness and not to forget modesty when winning :P

          • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 16th December 2012, 6:11

            Well he still gets a bit tiresome with his rants about “achieving the maximum” and his samurai quotes, but there is no denying his class in the cockpit…which is all that matters at the end of the day.

            Many great champions have been, to say sore losers isn’t quite right, bad losers. It is part of what drives them on I think.

  5. Well I voted Hamilton. As I’ve said elsewhere Alonso was incredible for the first 12 or 13 races, yet when the heat was really on Massa was the quicker Ferrari driver.

    • @debaser91

      It wasn’t 7-8 races, merely 2 qualifying sessions and 3 races and as I said elsewhere Massa always excels in CCW circuits and he outperformed Alonso exactly there. Do you think it is coincidence?

      • @philby What is the full form of CCW?

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th December 2012, 16:45

        @philby CCW?

        • @keithcollantine Counter clockwise circuit I imagine, what we English would call anticlockwise. I didn’t say Alonso was outpaced by Massa in the last 7-8 races if you see what I wrote, just that when it really mattered in the last few races when Vettel was ahead and Alonso needed to really step up Massa got more out of the car. I do think Alonso’s performances did dip toward the end of the year, there was his error in Japan where he squeezed Raikkonen and some scrappy performances particularly in qualifying. I don’t blame him for that though, it must be incredibly difficult to sustain such an intensity for an entire season particularly when you don’t have the best car and I am not denying he had a fantastic season, I just think Hamilton performed even better.

          • @keithcollantine, Yes it stands for counter clockwise, I am not british my cover is blown!

            About Alonso’s downfall in the last 2 races I don’t understand when people say that he ought to have done more, in US the only thing he could do was to come 3rd there was not a single chance of beating the others, a great start was needed to justify Ferrari’s move and he delivered. In Brazil he played it safe but what else he could do? I agree it was much less spectacular than his Malaysia or Valencia heroics but I defy anyone to come up with a viable alternative course of action for Alonso in those last 2 races.

          • All races offer the same amount of points @debaser91 .

            The final races counted for as much as any other races in the year. The order in which you rack up the points really counts for nothing.

  6. Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 14th December 2012, 13:52

    Anyone who knows me knows that I am not an Alonso fan. But as much as I dislike him, I have a lot of respect for his ability. Even I can’t deny he drove far and above everyone else both in quality and consistency this year.

  7. Jorge Lardone (@jorgelardone) said on 14th December 2012, 14:19

    Vettel of course. With a car that was not the best managed to win his third championship in a row. His recovery in Brazil with a damaged car after being last in the first lap is a sign of his extraordinary ability.
    Frankly I can not understand why there are Formula 1 fans who vote to a driver (Alonso) who conspired with his team principal to dangerously make crashing against the wall to his teammate (Piquet) to win a race. (Singapore 2008).

    • DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 14th December 2012, 14:23

      Maybe because we are voting on who was the best driver in 2012 and not 2008.

    • Mike (@mike) said on 16th December 2012, 0:04

      So controversy discounts people?

      What about Vettel taking the front wing from Webber’s car?

      That’s pretty dodgy…

      Ok, so not even going to think about Hamilton, Raikkonen’s had his controversies, so he can’t be it,

      I suppose then you’d say Hulk or Perez would be the best guys this year? Because we can’t think of voting for anyone who’s done things wrong.

    • @jorgelardone he never conspired lol. You are crazy and delusional. An entire investigation into the matter discovered Alonso was innocent.

      Hows the tinfoil hat treating you?

    • davidnotcoulthard said on 22nd December 2012, 8:39

      @jorgelardone
      I’m not sure that you were right about Singapore ’08

      @mikeI also doubt that there were any conspiracies at the first Silverstone race on it’s “new” Track.

    • davidnotcoulthard said on 22nd December 2012, 8:41

      @jorgelardone
      I’m not sure that you were right about Singapore ’08

      @mike I also doubt that there were any conspiracies at the first Silverstone race on it’s “new” Track.

      If only F!F’s got an “edit” button.

    • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 19th February 2013, 19:47

      (@jorgelardone)

      Vettel of course. With a car that was not the best managed to win his third championship in a row. His recovery in Brazil with a damaged car after being last in the first lap is a sign of his extraordinary ability.

      This is a joke, right?

  8. Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 14th December 2012, 14:20

    I voted Alonso, but I disagree with some of the comments above that say “Alonso was miles ahead everyone else” or that “if someone didn’t vote Alonso he was watching the season with a binbag on their head”. Apparently Alonso’s I-always-take-the-maximum-out-of-my-car-even-though-it’s-a-lawnmower-and-I-never-make-mistakes-don’t-you-dare-to-claim-Suzuka-was-my-fault PR strategy is working.

    I think the top four was very, very close this year and any of them could be regarded as the driver of the year. In my books Alonso was a little better than Hamilton, Räikkönen and Vettel, but I can fully understand if someone feels differently.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 14th December 2012, 17:54

      +1

    • To Be simple Alonso ahead on Lewis and Vettel by Experience and on Kimi by Better Strategies. (Lotus failed in making right strategies for most of the Season)

    • kimrogue (@kimrogue) said on 15th December 2012, 6:56

      +1

    • Joey Zyla (@) said on 15th December 2012, 7:02

      -1

    • Jeanrien (@jeanrien) said on 15th December 2012, 12:42

      @hotbottoms I love the PR name you give there and if it fools some people it bores others and I fall in the second category. I’m quite amazed to see how well this has worked for him when reading people comments, hope Alonso doesn’t go the same way next year …
      From the top 3 driver, he is probably the only one which hasn’t progress in his attitude. I don’t particulary likes Vettel, but he is somehow less arrogant than in previous year and more “in his place”. Lewis has also been more mature this year … but Alonso has fallen back in childhood.
      Totally agree on the fact he drove superbly this year but not by miles, and would have been even more appreciated without all the praising he putt around this year.

      • Truth is that no one knows how close (or over) the limit Alonso really was. To claim it is a PR stunt means that you think it is a lie. That is your opinion I guess, but dont fault people who chose to take the paddocks word on it.

    • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 20th December 2012, 16:58

      @hotbottoms This guy speaks the truth.

  9. Nirupam (@nirupam) said on 14th December 2012, 14:21

    Romain Grosjean (1%)

    I did not know Romain Grosjean follows F1F!! :P

  10. Switchbacker (@switchbacker) said on 14th December 2012, 14:29

    Wow, Hamilton is not a popular chap, 15% !?!
    If he was surly on camera and didn’t wear ear rings he’d probably do much better.
    Alonso has some great PR people, out raced by Massa (few months ago debate was whether Massa should be retained, even talking about the end of his career) during teh season finale and still proclaimed as best driver.

    • Sviatoslav Andrushko (@) said on 14th December 2012, 20:19

      Ham was outpaced by his teammate several times in 2012 too. So what? And I believe we shouldn’t talk only about row race pace. As a racer Alonso is more complete when Ham usually makes mistakes in strategy and adjusting his car.

      • Switchbacker (@switchbacker) said on 15th December 2012, 12:44

        I think the concensus is that Hamilton totally out performed Button this season, who was clearly a far tougher prospect than Massa in 1st half.
        Hamilton is an outstanding qualifier.
        You realise the McLaren strategists make strategy calls right?
        What racing errors did Hamilton make? Alonso made at least a couple.
        What are the set up errors Ham made, I’m genuinely curious?

        • Mike (@mike) said on 16th December 2012, 0:32

          @switchbacker

          McLaren strategists make strategy calls right?

          Not always, Button often makes the calls regarding say, the weather, and he tends to get it right. Look at Brazil for example.

          What racing errors did Hamilton make?

          Slow start off the line in Melbourne probably cost him the win.

          What are the set up errors Ham made, I’m genuinely curious?

          In Belgium his side of the Garage went with the wrong set up, Button’s set up was by far the way to go.

          I think Hamilton did an amazing job, but don’t pretend he is perfect and criticize others for not being so, no driver will ever be perfect.

        • @switchbacker the other drivers were beaten by their team mates more than Alonso was…

  11. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 14th December 2012, 14:51

    Alonso is as clearly the best driver this year as Vettel was last year.

  12. slicecom (@slicecom) said on 14th December 2012, 15:01

    Hamilton and Alonso are tied in my opinion, but I voted for Hamilton because it’s obvious the vast majority will vote for Alonso even though Hamilton drove just as well this season.

    • Hallard (@hallard) said on 15th December 2012, 0:09

      Gotta agree! Alonso and Hamilton were pretty equal in my eyes, but I voted Hamilton out of pity for his extensive misfortunes rather than a means of evening out the scoring here :-)

  13. xivizmath (@xivizmath) said on 14th December 2012, 15:48

    Gotta be Charles Pic – he has shown some immense speed throughout the whole season, I mean, I surely cannot run faster than he was going, even during practice sessions!

  14. George (@george) said on 14th December 2012, 16:13

    I have to take the boring choice I’m afraid.

  15. AlonsoMcLaren (@alonsomclaren) said on 14th December 2012, 17:07

    i voted for jerome dambrosio who is 5th in the vote

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