Not rating them in order, just my comments;
Pre-season I was expecting Button to be smashed by Hamilton, he was still comfortably beaten his performances were impressive. Particularly early in the season where he showed the tactical nous that kept him in the championship until the end, but he just wasn’t fast enough to compete with the other four in the dry.
Amongst the championship contenders he made the fewest mistakes, but his Achilles heel has again been his qualifying. While he obviously has the brains to almost make up for it he just isn’t as quick his team mate.
Made the most of the mid-season performance of the McLaren, and when its performance fell away he almost always achieved the maximum available in the car. Despite the claims that RB6 was the least reliable car Hamilton’s MP4-25 cost him more points than reliability cost any other driver bar Vettel.
Monza was a glitch and Singapore a racing incident and overall he was one of the fastest drivers of the year.
On whose standards are we to judge his year? The standard he set in his dominant years, or the standard we would expect of a 41 year old who’s been out of the sport for three years?
Schumacher was pretty disappointing this year, the first year he completed a full season without winning at least one race. Two fourth place finishes and little more than half of the points scored by his team mate shows he doesn’t have the touch he did before.
A terrifying smash at the last race of the year is probably another tick in the ‘retire again’ column. If 2011 is the same as 2010 I can see him pulling out half way through next year and handing the reins over to probable test driver Hulkenburg.
Has impressed this year, but it is still difficult to judge his speed. MS is clearly not the driver he was, and Rosberg hasn’t had a world class team mate since Mark Webber in his rookie year, and even then Webber has improved significantly since the disappointing season of retirements in 2006.
Rosberg scored almost equal points to Massa’s championship worthy Ferrari in what was the fourth, sometimes fifth fastest car (and sometimes not even that), but again is that because Rosberg is in the class of Alonso & Hamilton or because Massa was off form for more than half the year. I suspect the reason is somewhere in the middle.
Clearly capable of winning races next year if Mercedes provide him with the right machinery.
Vettel was hurt by reliability woes worse than any of the other contenders. It is menacing to think that he could have easily scored the maximum available 75 points from the first three races, and even more so that an engine blow up aside would have lead every lap and won all of the last four races from pole. But Webber had no retirements due to reliability in the same car, it is not inconceivable that Vettel played his part in at least some of his reliability problems.
The kid is good, but not yet a complete racer. His troubles in overtaking may haunt him more when he isn’t in the quickest car, but over the course of the year there was no faster driver than him.
“Not bad for a number two driver”. I think that pretty accurately sums up his season.
Impressive dominant wins at Catalunya and Monaco launched what most people thought was an unlikely WDC bid.
In the end he will rue not only the obvious Korean mistake, but his slow start to the season – two 8ths and a 9th from the first four races left plenty of points on the table that would have been handy at years end.
Not much to say about Massa except it was a disappointing season.
Would have been interesting to see what would have happened if he was allowed to win in Germany
Like most others I am glad he wasn’t champion on principle, but, Spa aside (and even that is partly excusable after having Barrichello use him as a brake) , his drives since Siverstone have been Championship worthy.
The old man has still got it, consistently scoring points and appearing in Q3 proved Barrichello is still worthy of an F1 drive. And with no testing his years of experience will be invaluable to Williams in helping to develop the car.
Has been short changed to be left out of a Williams seat for next year.
The wily Pole again showed why he is one of the highest rated drivers in the Paddock with great drives in Melbourne, Monaco and Spa for well deserved podiums. But the lack of a decent team mate makes comparison difficult.
Will certainly win more races when the car is up to it.
Would be out of a seat if he came with less dollars or a different passport.
Showed improvement throughout the year, but still dropped it too many times to really impress. Perhaps a year or two at a lower midfield team would help him to develop further, but I don’t see him on the grid at the first Russian GP in four years time.
A season of hard work all undone in one ugly afternoon in Korea, which was particularly disappointing after showing that he could take the Force India to point scoring places in wet conditions in earlier years.
Obliterated team mate Liuzzi but needs to change teams before he gets stuck at FI for too long.
Liuzzi was absolutely smashed by team mate Sutil. His performances as a replacement for Fisichella in late 2009 were more impressive than his entire 2010 season.
I would be surprised to see him with a seat in F1 next year.
As the season dragged on the STR5 proved to be slowest of the established teams. Buemi will have to improve significantly next year to see off Alguersuari if the young Spaniard improves again.
Five 11th place finishes sums up his season pretty well. He’s almost there, but not quite.
An improvement from 2010-11 as he made from 2009-10 will see him comfortably beat Buemi and will surely then be ready to look elsewhere than STR for a drive (or of course he can hope a seat becomes available at RBR)
Time to retire and go make wine Jarno
Impressed much more this year than he did in two years at McLaren, and was regularly first of the new guys home on Sunday.
If Lotus (or whatever they’ll be called) improve next year I’d expect to see him regularly fighting for points.
There’s no award for ‘Paddock Nice Guy’ because Karun would have little competition for that.
Despite being dropped halfway through the season he showed incredible loyalty (or was it optimisim) by showing up at almost every race in his HRT gear.
Was regularly slower than Senna, but it will be disappointing if he can’t get a one off race for one of the new teams at next year’s inaugural Indian GP
It’s really difficult to impress in the GP2 car that was the F110, but being trounced by Killen didn’t help his chances of moving on to a better team.
Paid the bills and drove round at the back of the pack. Nothing more or less than was expected.
A diver deemed not worthy of a STR seat was faster than the rest of the HRT drivers, and that’s probably the worst thing possible for the other guys. For Kilen it didn’t really change much, and without some more dollars he won’t be racing next year.
Pedro de la Rosa
Regularly slower than a rookie team mate and dropped before season’s end surely means de la Rosa has been put out to pasture.
Needs to improve in Qualifying, but a demon overtaker.
Heidfeld and his German passport are due on the first flight to DTM
Once Virgin debuted the ‘limo’ Glock was regularly amongst the Lotus drivers. It will be interesting to see if he stays the course with the new team after potentially giving up points paying drives that were available in 2010.
Lucas di Grassi
Dropping it on the lap to the grid at Suzuka was pretty embarrassing, as was the rest of the season.