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.

Who was the best driver of 2012?

  • Sebastian Vettel (13%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (21%)
  • Jenson Button (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (50%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Michael Schumacher (1%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (11%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Bruno Senna (0%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (0%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (1%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (0%)
  • Pedro de la Rosa (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Charles Pic (0%)
  • Jerome d'Ambrosio (0%)

Total Voters: 709

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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

Browse all 2012 F1 season review articles

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111 comments on Vote for the best F1 driver of 2012

  1. Top three are definitely Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton. Which order though is up for debate: I voted Alonso top and personally I put Vettel ahead but it is very close between those three.

  2. Dimitris 1395 (@dimitris-1395) said on 14th December 2012, 17:52

    Alonso drived beautifully but given what Hamilton could have achieved without the mishaps he suffered the whole year, I can’t not vote him as the best driver.

  3. Becca Cann (@beshoreblue) said on 14th December 2012, 18:02

    I think most people will agree (setting myself up for an argument there…) that the top four in no particular order this year were Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso and Raikkonen. I’d argue the first three are slightly ahead of Raikkonen, but even then I put most of that down to first-season-back rustiness. After that, the differences become so paper-thin that personal bias is the only deciding factor, in my opinion.

    • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 15th December 2012, 12:37

      Sorry @beshoreblue, no real argument from me. I would say Raikkonen is so close to that group that he might almost make it a group of four, he tends to be forgotten about because there was much less fuss and hype around him. If he had made the pass in Bahrain and had two wins to his name I would have been tempted to rank him number 1.

      In the end I voted Vettel not because I thought he was better than Alonso and Hamilton but because he was ‘as good as’ them and tends to be portrayed as a poor driver just because he has a good car. I’ll admit that I prefer Hamilton and Vettel to Alonso because of my own personal bias so I guess in such a tight three way decision that ends up counting against him.

    • Jeanrien (@jeanrien) said on 15th December 2012, 12:50

      @beshoreblue can’t argue with that. And the rustiness and great quali from Grosjean is probably pushing Raikonnen towards the 4th spot, still great drive from him this year.
      For the top 3 guys, they have each something for them and depending on how everyone of us define “the best driver” and indeed our à priori on each driver, we will pop out with different picks … that shows how closely match they have been (even if not totally reflected on the points for Hamilton case anyway).

      We can just hope to have 4 guys in top form again next year, and in 4 different teams which could content for victories (that remains to be seen)

  4. I dont understand all this hype surrounding Alonso in 2012, in my opinion he only had a few fantastic races but his performances dropped towards the end of the season and was even beaten by Massa and he gained massively from luck. His starts were flawless but that is all I can remember of alonsos racing in 2012. In his three wins he only truly deserved one of them, Germany, in Valencia he benefited from Vettels DNF and the safety car and in Malaysia the weather played into his hands and he was almost beaten by an inexperienced Perez in a Sauber

    • Brace (@brace) said on 14th December 2012, 20:59

      By that logic Vettel doesn’t deserve the title because he only got lucky that Ferrari built a slower car. That’s luck right? I mean, it can’t be that Vettel was the best of the remaining 22 or 23 drivers? As soon as Alonso’s Ferrari was slower then the Red Bull, Vettel didn’t have to move a finger, he sat in the back of the garage and became a champion.

      And same could be said about Alonso. He did nothing in Valencia, and simply won because Vettel’s car gave up the ghost. I could swear I saw Alonso enjoying in one of those roof-top pools with the girls until he saw Vettel’s car slowing down. He immediately ran down to the garage, jumped in his Ferrari and joined the race. He joined on the leading lap of course, not some 40 laps down, and he joined in front of everybody else. Of course, there’s no rule to forbid this, so Alonso was pretty much chilling in the shade, talking to Nicole how Hammy is better then Vettel and occasionally jumped into his car when he saw Vettel retiring from the lead.

      I mean, I really don’t get all this hype. Alonso was invisible for the whole year and was comfortably beaten by Massa in half of the races. By the way, did you know that 20/2 = 2? I lived my whole life thinking that 20/2 = 10!

      What was I thinking…

      And by the way, did you know that Ferrari doesn’t really want to win. No, they intentionally don’t want to win anything and they are supporting Alonso because Luca adores his eyebrows. They could stand a better chance of winning if they throw all their support behind Massa, because nothing says domination like being the last driver of all the established teams (not counting last 3 teams) to score a point this season. Yup, that’s right, last! He only scored in Bahrain and then followed that up with a brilliant last (in front of just caterham, marussia and hrt), one lap down, while his worthless teammate fought for the victory.

      I’m telling you, it’s obvious Ferrari shot themselves in the foot by backing Alonso instead of Massa.
      If it wasn’t for Massa working his miracles, I bet the whole top management in Ferrari would lose their jobs.

    • thorpedo (@thorpedo) said on 15th December 2012, 9:44

      You were probably watching only starts?! Are you saying that Vettel never benefited from Alonso’s retirements? I suggest you to watch Belgian and Japanese GP.

    • thorpedo (@thorpedo) said on 15th December 2012, 9:45

      BTW, my post was reply to @Colm

  5. Voted for Alonso.

    Why not give everyone 3 votes? I think it would close up the field a bit.
    And Raikkonen would win :)

  6. Jason (@jason12) said on 14th December 2012, 20:40

    After 2012, I’m now even more confident that (in the same car) Lewis would beat Alonso again..
    Both in qualifying and the race.

  7. Perhaps I should’ve voted Vettel to contribute to him beating Räikkönen! Seriously though, Räikkönen the best? He was good, but the best? That title belongs to either Hamilton, Alonso or Vettel (and just for reference I voted for Alonso).

    • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 19th February 2013, 19:49

      1. Alonso
      2. Hamilton
      3. Raikkonnen

      Then maybe Vettel.

      • @sgt-pepper – you are rather late in replying, but nonetheless I shall take up the argument. Vettel is the world champion, which immediately gives him one over the rest. Then we go into the details: Räikkönen won one race, despite the fact his car was clearly capable of winning in many more (Bahrain for a start). He often qualified below expectations, frequently behind Grosjean. Sure, he made up for this with superb racecraft and in that respect he was the best driver of the season in my opinion but he wasn’t 3rd best.

        I’d say Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton. Those three were much more consistently good and made very few mistakes: each had their strengths (Hamilton’s outright pace, Alonso’s relentless podiums and Vettel’s domination of the latter part of the season), so you would be refectory justified to place any of them at the top in my mind. But again I will stress that Vettel won the title and fought through adversity in Abu Dhabi & Brazil to put on drives which justified his championship.

  8. Hallard (@hallard) said on 14th December 2012, 23:58

    The top 3 this year (VET, ALO & HAM) were so agonizingly close in their performances this year (twitter and team radio idiocy notwithstanding), that I can only come to a ranking by comparing their mistakes.

    Vettel made a mistake not leaving Karthikeyan enough room in the tricky conditions in Malaysia, even if the steward’s dont agree with me. He earned a penalty for overtaking Button off-track in Germany. He had a bizzarre mistake in Abu Dhabi where he picked up that braking marking marker and damaged his car during the safety car period, and he took out Senna (and nearly himself too) in Brazil on the first lap.

    Hamilton made a poor start in Australia, as well as a poor set-up decision choosing a different front wing than Button. He made another poor set-up decision in Belgium, for which he paid heavily with a DNF. He also made the wrong call on tires in Brazil, even though he might still have gotten away with it thanks to the subsequent safety car.

    Alonso made a big mistake squeezing Raikkonen off the track at the start in Japan, and the consequence was a DNF. He was also overly ambitious with Maldonado in China, perhaps. Strangely enough, he actually needed some help from his team mate in a couple of the final Grands Prix of the season as well.

    On the whole I would say Vettel made the most errors, so I’d rank him third, with Alonso and Hamilton more or less equal. I can see a reasonable case being made for either as #1, but I voted for Hamilton here, largely out of sympathy for his unfathomably horrid luck. One thing is certain though: all 3 drivers put in a championship-worthy effort this year.

    • kbdavies (@kbdavies) said on 15th December 2012, 22:26

      If Hamilton made the wrong tyre call in Brazil, how come you dont attribute the same mistake to Alonso and Vettel? As they made the same call.

      Also, why aren’t the set-up issues Ferrari and RBR face attributed to their drivers, but Hamilton’s is? Even Buttons set-up issues are attibuted to McLaren’s inability to “get on top” of their tyre issues.

      • Hallard (@hallard) said on 21st December 2012, 0:04

        Fair question… really I’ve only counted these examples against Hamilton because they are instances in which Button did differently, and as a result outperformed Hamilton in some respect.

        Hamilton made the wrong tire call in Brazil because Button stayed out on slicks and made it work with the same car, whereas both Ferrari teammates and both Red Bull teammates made the same call as one another.

        Also, in the instances I’ve referenced where Hamilton ran different parts on his car than Button, these were widely reported to be Hamilton’s decision, which I am calling a mistake on his part accordingly. My $0.02.

  9. Joey Zyla (@) said on 15th December 2012, 10:50

    I voted for Alonso, with Kimi, Hamilton, and Glock all very close.

  10. AlokIn (@) said on 15th December 2012, 12:06

    Lewis was his best this year lost championship because of reliability and team issues.
    Alonso was more lucky this year and all his credibility lost because of team orders and most of the points earned at the sacrifice of Massa’s points.

  11. Francuis (@francuis) said on 15th December 2012, 12:08

    Alonso. I am a fan. I am not alone.

    Most sites over the world (apart for Germany) choose Alonso.
    At all the team bosses choose Alonso. Check
    Most of the current F1 driver choose Alonso.
    Nearly all the journalist choose Alonso.
    Twitter fans follow Alonso.
    “Money” choose Alonso as he is the highest paid driver.
    Ferrari choose Alonso even on the track with team orders.
    Massa chose Alonso before himself.
    Marshals on track choose Alonso as they won’t give him any penalties.
    Hell, even Keith choose Alonso.

    Now I am just waiting for Bernie.

    • Deb Luhi (@debeluhi) said on 18th December 2012, 2:42

      His PR machine must be working much better than his car. Oh, it looks like I fell victim of his PR too, his car wasn’t that bad after all, but saying something over and over again makes it true.

    • davidnotcoulthard said on 22nd December 2012, 9:04

      I disagree on the Twitter and Massa (He chose Alonso Ferrari ove himself – Irvine/Rubens-esque).

  12. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 15th December 2012, 13:00

    Very close for me between Ham and Alo. But I gave the edge to Alonso because of how he performed with a relatively underperforming car. His starts at every race were just manic.

    IMO Lewis should definitely have won the C’ship by a mile, but Mclaren really shot themselves in the foot.

  13. It has to be Alonso, to be so close to the title despite the Ferrari only being about the third best car.

    I normally have trouble selecting an order for the best drivers of the year, but this year the top driver position was one of the easiest it has been.

    In the end my final top five matched Keith’s, I was debating about the order of Hamilton, Vettel and Raikkonen initially but settled on that order. I wasn’t sure about fifth but choose Hulkenberg as some of the other drivers I considered did not perform consistently throughout the season, such as Perez.

    I have no idea how I would rank the rest of the grid though.

  14. Gabriel (@naylamp) said on 15th December 2012, 16:05

    My vote goes to ALO. But you should be able to choice P1, P2 and P3. With only one choice the poll is more subjective, I think.

  15. Bosley (@bosley) said on 15th December 2012, 17:47

    As i’m writing this, the current scores are:
    1. Fernando Alonso (50%)
    2. Lewis Hamilton (21%)
    =3. Sebastian Vettel (12%)
    =3. Kimi Raikkonen (12%)
    5. Jerome d’Ambrosio (3%)
    =6. Vitaly Petrov (1%)
    =6. Michael Schumacher (1%)
    7+. No one else has a percentage

    Obviously from all of that, Alonso has got the win unless a mass haul of Hamilton fans show up who haven’t voted yet. Too be honest I wouldn’t mind if either of the 2 won it or Vettel.
    But well done D’Ambrosio for somehow holding 5th right now.

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