17. 2001 – Despite not winning the WDC sooner, Schumacher was always going to win this one. However, Barrichello was nowhere, Hakkinen was nowhere for a large part of the season, DC was inconsistent, Williams was inconsistent, while teams like Jordan and Benetton had pretty bad seasons as well. Apart from Schumacher and Verstappen, none of my favorite drivers did really well and I have most trouble remembering this season.
16. 2002 – Same as above, but with added dominance. While I loved Schumacher and Ferrari for having such performance, it’s a shame there was no-one to respond and Barrichello had to be shamed in Austria and the USA.
15. 2004 – Had my first race I turned off the TV from at Hungary. Hasn’t happened before, only happened after one time (Indy 2005). More happened behind Ferrari, but like 2001 and 2002, the grid was at such performance gaps, Ferrari led, then it was McLaren, Williams, BAR or Renault depending on track, then the rest, then Jordan, then Minardi.
14. 1996 – Only seen from Season Reviews and magazines; but it was going Williams’ way no matter what. Not to mention, a lot of drivers and teams had a lot of terrible luck that year. Ranging from Schumacher retiring before the race even started in France, to Alesi and Berger having a lot of DNFs, while easily beating Ferrari at the beginning of the season. Tip: don’t ask Eddie Irvine about 1996 and mention the word ‘engine’.
13. 2009 – Great ending, but with Brawn dominating the early season and the midfield being nice and tight, we went to battles for the lead and a boring midfield. It was a fun season I kindly remember, but I wouldn’t want another any time soon.
12. 2005 – With Ferrari and Bridgestone failing massively and Mercedes producing one terrible engine, Raikkonen and Montoya were my main recipients of empathy that year. Alonso won fair and square, but Fisichella was impeded by Briatore in a very dirty fashion, despite being at his best this year.
11. 2011 – Despite Vettel’s dominance we saw some interesting races and had a nice midfield. I enjoyed the races more than the years listed above, but can’t say it’s anywhere near my favorites.
10. 2006 – A season with a 3 way battle for the WDC, but Raikkonen suffered again from his team and engine, while any odds of an epic finale blew up at Japan. It was nice to see 3 teams fighting for victories, though, but they were still miles apart from the midfield, which had some very poor drivers, might I add.
9. 2008 – With the title race going down to the final corner, I think this was one of my biggest heartbreaks in F1! Still, the title challenge was very interesting, while the races weren’t always as good. Still, with BMW Sauber challenging for wins and podiums, there was a lot to look out for.
8. 1997 – The first race I saw was at Jerez that year. The crazy qualifying, the incident and Hakkinen’s first win make it a very memorable one. One of the seasons I have researched most, it had an epic title battle (with Schumacher looking set to win at times) and some crazy races like Monaco.
7. 2007 – Ferrari and McLaren having an all-out brawl, the McLaren in-team fighting, Raikkonen coming back from a slump, an interesting midfield and the many laughs I had at Spyker that year. That year’s GP at the Nurburgring is one of my favorite memories of F1 as well.
6. 2003 – Probably Schumacher’s most hard-fought championship. With Raikkonen and Montoya in the mix (at a certain point even Ralf), emerging talents Webber and Alonso, the crazy race in Brazil, the WDC going down the wire and Schumacher emerging victorious, probably one of my favorite seasons to remember. The racing wasn’t all that, though.
5. 2000 – I think Michael Schumacher winning his 3rd title was the happiest point at my life at that point. We saw fierce competition between Schumacher and Hakkinen, Ferrari and McLaren and Mika’s pass at Spa that year remains one of the best I’ve ever seen. At the same time, this was the time of ‘overtaking only happens in the pits’. Special mention to Verstappen for dragging his Arrows into the points twice, especially at Monza with a stunning 4th.
4. 1999 – I remember crying when Schumacher broke his leg! I was pretty impressionable at 8.. Still, we saw a crazy season with the field never really figuring itself out. Hakkinen broke under pressure a couple of times, Irvine couldn’t lead Ferrari like Schumacher had, Stewart did really well, Jordan did really well and I don’t think I’ll ever forget the European GP that year..
3. 2012 – Again the field needed a lot of time before the usual gaps formed. The top teams really needed to be aware of midfielders like Sauber, Force India and Williams, while Ferrari played catch up and McLaren went backwards. Despite feeling terrible about the outcome (no disrespect for Vettel, but there is a huge Ferrari fan in me somewhere) I will remember this season for many years to come.
2. 1998 – My first season and also the reason I kept enjoying F1 less and less between 1999 and 2006. It had a very dramatic championship, with Schumacher and Ferrari clawing back after being a second behind the McLarens at the start. The way the season developed for Williams, Benetton and Jordan was intriguing, while the racing was utterly dramatic (in a good way) as well. Schumacher clashing with DC in Argentina, Schumacher winning in the pit at Silverstone, his dominance in the rain at Canada, Hakkinen dominating at Monaco, Schumacher striking back at Monza, Hakkinen nearly knocking out Schumacher at the Ring and the dramas at Suzuka.
1. 2010 – Another 3 way for the WDC, being a 5 way at an earlier point. There were dramatic retirements, drivers proving themselves, a very interesting midfield battle, only a little politics, the start of the Webber/Vettel feud (which never happened, of course), the royal f-up by both Alonso and Webber in the final race and fun, exciting races.