My favourite driver/car combo is Button/McLaren. I called this move, and backed him to the hilt long before it was known he’d be at McLaren. Lots of people berated and underrated him. Not I, not for a moment. If he’d had his break 8 years earlier, he would have been recognised as one of the best drivers (tier 2) in the league way back then. He’s smart, tactical, sensible, and when he needs to can actually race. He plays the long game. I think it’s lost some of his more youthful art from years of stewing in under performing teams. But winning last year, and coming to McLaren has woken him up and he’s picked himself up, risen to the challenge.
My most exciting driver is by far Kobayashi/Sauber. I love this guy, as did everyone else when he showed up last year. He and the car are the double underdogs of the year. He’s such a mighty talent. He’s showing the other drivers how to race. He must be a HUGE source of inspiration to the team, and to sponsors. He has the ability to take places, where sitting behind someone is a race option for many drivers. He doesn’t ‘find’ a way past, he ‘makes’ a way past. He’s gonna be one of the standout racers (note:not driver, racer) in Forumla 1 in the next 10 years. This is where I’m so glad, drivers are protected by the amazing safety of the cars today. 30-40 years ago, I’m sure talents like him perished and we never got to see the full duration of their careers.
My all time favourite driver combo, was Mansell/Williams. I grew up watching this guy, and was so passionate about seeing him race. I didn’t really understand much about the politics and such then, but.. Red 5 has a place in my heart for ever :)
Other peeps : Love Chandok/HRT, Senna/HRT, Heikki/Lotus, Hamilton/McLaren (for some reason, I don’t love him anymore.. but love his driving when he gets it right), Kubica/Renault ( great to see Renault revive themselves ).
PS Steph : you mentioned Renault twice? ;) ‘Surprisingly developed soft spofts for Renault, Bruno, Chandhok, HRT and Renault’. Do you love them that much, or just one car at a time?