Kimi R??ikk??nen vs Sebastian Vettel

Champion of ChampionsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Champion of Champions: Kimi R??ikk??nen vs Sebastian Vettel

Kimi R??ikk??nen and Sebastian Vettel won their world championships in dramatic fashion, coming from behind in the closing stages of the season.

Vettel made his debut the same year R??ikk??nen won his title. But the Finnish driver left F1 the year before Vettel clinched the world championship.

R??ikk??nen’s first F1 team was Sauber, who he drove for in 2001. He quickly dispelled concerns over his lack of racing experience (he was only given a super licence on a provisional basis at the start of the season) and was snapped up by McLaren at the end of the year.

He quickly got on terms with team mate David Coulthard and scored his first F1 win at Sepang in 2003. Although it was his only win that year he was in the running for the championship until the final race.

The following season was a disappointment with the largely uncompetitive and unreliable MP4-19. Its successor was a tremendous improvement – easily the quickest car, but prone to failures. R??ikk??nen won seven times but ended the year runner-up in the championship again, this time to Fernando Alonso.

R??ikk??nen jumped ship to Ferrari in 2007 and results came quickly. He won his first race and first championship with the team, overcoming a 17-point deficit in the final two races to snatch the title from the McLaren drivers.

He started his title defence strongly with two wins in the first four races. But team mate Felipe Massa forged ahead and a four-race point-less streak, including crashes in Belgium and Singapore, killed off R??ikk??nen’s championship hopes.

Vettel made a one-off appearance for BMW in Indianapolis in 2007, picking up a point on his debut as he stood in for the injured Robert Kubica.

A mid-season switch to Toro Rosso led to a full year with the team in 2008. Vettel marked himself out as a man of the future with pole position and victory in a streaming wet race at Monza.

He graduated to Red Bull in 2009 and won four times to finish runner-up in the championship to Jenson Button. R??ikk??nen, however, won once, at Spa, but was dropped by Ferrari at the end of the year and moved to the World Rally Championship.

Like R??ikk??nen at McLaren, Vettel came to learn the strengths and weaknesses of cars designed by Adrian Newey: great performance but questionable reliability. His RB6 failed him while leading on several occasions in 2010. But he also lost points with costly mistakes.

However a late-season charge brought him three wins from four starts. Having been fourth in the championship with two races to go he snatched the title from Alonso in the final race.

Which of these drivers should go through to the next round of the Champion of Champions? Vote for which you think was best below and explain who you voted for and why in the comments.

Kimi R??ikk??nen Sebastian Vettel
Kimi R??ikk??nen, Ferrari, 2009 Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Monte-Carlo, 2010
Titles 2007 2010
Second in title year/s Lewis Hamilton Fernando Alonso
Teams Sauber, McLaren, Ferrari BMW, Toro Rosso, Red Bull
Notable team mates David Coulthard, Juan Pablo Montoya, Felipe Massa Vitantonio Liuzzi, Sebastien Bourdais, Mark Webber
Starts 156 62
Wins 18 (11.54%) 10 (16.13%)
Poles 16 (10.26%) 15 (24.19%)
Modern points per start1 9.60 9.21
% car failures2 19.23 12.90
Modern points per finish3 11.89 10.57
Notes Signed by McLaren after a single season with Sauber Won in first full season for Toro Rosso
Championship runner-up in third season and again in 2005 Championship runner-up in second full season
Won title in first season for Ferrari after stunning late-season turn-around The youngest ever world champion
Bio Kimi R??ikk??nen Sebastian Vettel

1 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of races they started
2 The percentage of races in which they were not classified due to a mechanical failure
3 How many points they scored in their career, adjusted to the 2010 points system, divided by the number of starts in which they did not suffer a race-ending mechanical failure

Which was the better world champion driver?

  • Kimi R??ikk??nen (71%)
  • Sebastian Vettel (29%)

Total Voters: 752

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Images ?? Ferrari spa (R??ikk??nen), Red Bull/Getty images (Vettel)

169 comments on “Kimi R??ikk??nen vs Sebastian Vettel”

  1. A good interesting comparison!

    I voted for Raikkonen, mainly because Vettel has only had three complete seasons so far.

    Kimi was unlucky in both 2003 and 2005 and then lucky in 2007.

    Sebastian worked hard at Toro Rosso and was rewarded with a race win and a drive at Red Bull to earn his title.

    A close one to be honest, but I have to say Raikkonen has it at the moment, could all change in the next few years though.

    1. My thinking exactly.

    2. Raikkonen was very competitive from immediately, Vettel hasn’t improved much regarding to errors, despite being very talented. So, Raikkonen.

    3. I think it is close, but Seb has set quite a few records (youngest this and that) and, in total, is the faster driver. Raikkonen is a world champion, but was not as good as Heidfeld, for example, when they were team mates at Sauber. Vettel has always been faster than his team mates. His victory in Monza with the Toro Rosso is historical, and his special ability in the rain is also a plus for him.
      Kimi has a good history in Spa, which also counts a lot. But all in all, I’d go Vettel here.

      1. I agree Seb has so much potential, Kimi I feel had it but was too inconsistent at times, yes he had reliability issues but also weekends where he just seemed to phone in his performances.

        Seb got my vote.

      2. Kimi beating Schumacher at Spa in 2004, alone does it for me. Vettel is not that good, not yet atleast.

    4. Kimi was not lucky in 2007, he had 2 engine dnfs to hamiltons and alonsos zero.

      1. LOL, and!

        That is how the climate of uncertainty functions under F1. What, would you rather? That they reset conditions whenver a team has a failure like a video game?
        Mr. Nick, in case you haven’t noticed LIFE functions by these rules. The skill is incorporating such failures into your plan for success and still managing to come out on top. That is what successful people in general do, sporting or otherwise.

        1. The skill is incorporating such failures into your plan for success and still managing to come out on top.

          Kimi had such failures, but by winning more races than Hamilton or Alonso, came out on top.

          1. So you reiterate my point then.

  2. this was a close one for me…there’s should be much more to come from Vettel in the next few years so he hasn’t really reached his full potential (even as world champion) and Raikkonnen clearly couldn’t be bothered in the second half of his Ferrari run.

    Raikkonnen take it this year but should this come up again next year I think Vettel would take it

    1. I agree completely. If Vettel doesn’t have the Kimi Raikkonen/Jacque Villinuve curse of not caring anymore once you get the title, then Vettel should easily beat Kimi next year, however this year, all things considered, I think Kimi comes out on top (barely).

      1. Too close to call – were it not for unreliability, Raikkonen would be a double or even triple world champion (taking into account 2003). But the disappearance of his motivation in 2008 and then 2009 is still a negative, and contrasts with Vettel, who has only risen from strength to strength and shows no signs of stopping.

        Then again, Vettel had a solid junior racing pedigree with massive support from Red Bull, while Raikkonen had only a Formula Renault season behind him before the big call. He showed tremendous maturity at age 21 for Sauber in 2001.

        Interestingly, another youngster showed equal maturity in 2001 at a much lesser competitive team – 19-year old Fernando Alonso!

        To get back to the voting Vettel beats Raikkonen narrowly.

  3. It’s got to be Raikkonen for me, Vettel hasn’t been in the sport long enough to fully prove himself against other champions. My verdict is similar to Ben’s, Raikkonen has it currently but Vettel could change that in the future.

    1. Agree with this.

      I’d also say that Vettel hasn’t had any notable teammates.

      1. ^except mark webber – can’t edit the above!

  4. This might be the tightest one yet.

    I’d have to say Vettel has done more than Kimi has in 3.5 years in the sport. But based on what they’ve accomplished RIGHT NOW, then Kimi has it. Just.

    1. No I don’t think so, Vettle won his title despite himself, in a car of devastating pace over the rest of the feild. He may well have lost a fair number of points to mechanical faliure, however Raikkonen definatley suffered more in this respect, against tighter feilds.

      10 of Vettle’s poles can be attributed to only 1 thing, beating his team mate, the car will do the rest.

      Raikkonens had awful luck over his career, he lost titles to mechanical faliure, whereas Vettle did suffer mechanical faliure, he could well have lost the title from his own, rather ridiculous mistakes, still he’s young.

      I went with Raikkonen because I still don’t see Vettle as anywhere near a complete package.

      1. I have to disagree there, mate.
        Vettel was very fast with the Red Bull in 2009 and with the Toro Rosso em 2008, so he’s always been fast.
        And Red Bull’s advantage over McLaren or Ferrari was not a big one, at all! In the history of F1, the advantage of the top car over the competitors has usually been much greater than that of the Red Bull over its competitors.
        Mansell with the Williams 1992, that car was unbeatable. Vettel’s Red Bull may have had a 0.2 sec per lap advantage, at most!

        1. This is very true. The Mclaren in 1988 was also extremely superior.. I do not of course say that Vettel is as good as Senna! At least not yet. Senna had Prost to beat in ’88 which is big a challenge as they come..

      2. Amen.

        Raikkonen was the type of driver who when given the right car (not necessarily dominating) would destroy the entire field. His McLaren years and the number of fastest laps he’s set throughout his career reflect that.

        I still maintain that Vettel actually showed that he’s a mediocre driver rather than a spectacular one last year. The RB6 was ridiculously dominant, and yet Vettel almost managed to throw the championship away.

        Vettel, in my eyes, is not even in the same league as Raikkonen.

        1. Totally agree. 2010 (and 2009) was a lesson in how to make a hash of winning the world title. When your car is over a second faster at some circuits, and with a team mate in Mark Webber (decent guy but not world champion material) this season should have been over mid season.

          Raikkonen for me.

        2. Agree completely Victor. Kimi has put together some of the best drives of the past decade. He would have been a deserving champion in 03′ and 05′ but was robbed by both the late season tire ruling and poor reliability. Can he lead a team better than Alonso? No. Is he as complete as Alonso? No. Is he faster than Alonso? You bet your ass he is. And he’s better than Vettel hands down.

  5. This one will cause some up sets, the first really modern line up. I’m thinking Raikkonen just gets it though, but we’ll see.

  6. Personally I don’t see Raikkonen as a real talented champion. yes he was fast, but he won his championship mainly because of Alonso-Hamilton internal struggle.

    1. I agree. I always found Raikkonen to be a bit overrated, and of course massively overrated by his fanbase, who apparently thought fastest laps were the ONLY indicator of pure driving ability. It seemed that he easily lost interest in races at some points, often setting quick sector times at the latter stages, too little too late to catch the guy in front. My vote will go to Vettel on this one, as the championship this year, was well deserved by any driver who won it.
      2007 was an anomaly, a lot of mistakes by the McLaren team(possibly affected by the Spygate issue) basically handing the championship over to Ferrari. It was more of right place right time for Kimi.

      1. Yup – that always frustrated me about Raikkonen, he would appear to simply ‘get bored’ in a race if he wasn’t leading or in the top 3 until the last couple of laps where he would suddenly pop in a lap record some 2-3 seconds faster than the pace he was previously running.

        Kimi did have (and presumably still has) a very dry sense of humour – Who can forget his comment around all the pomp and circumstance surrounding Schumacher’s first retirement:

        Brundle: “So, Kimi, did you see Michael receive his award from Pele? that was something wasn’t it?”
        Kimi: “No… I was having a ****!”

        1. Well, i’d personally disagree with the above – but i’d also say that Kimi’s best year wasn’t his championship winning year. 2005 and 2003 were probably better.

          1. agreed. i think spa 2004 was his best drive (though suzuka 2005 was pretty good too). i voted raikkonen. vettel hasn’t convinced yet oddly. 2010 was such a strange season.

      2. its hard to set fastest laps when you’re trying to pass someone with unpassable f1 rules. everytime he got clear of someone, he would set the fastest lap if he had clear air.

    2. He hardly had it handed to him. First of all he was obvioulsy doing better than Massa even though he had just joined the team.

      AND Raikkonen (and his Ferrari) was simply faster than Alonso at the end of that season

      Indeed Hamilton gave away the championship by failing to keep his lead (helped by poor strategy deciscions from McLaren)

      Raikkonen still had to beat Alonso and Massa.

      1. Massa and Raikkonen had very very similar paces in 2007, Massa lost out because of more mechanical trouble or lack of luck. If you look at the numbers and races, that is the inly conclusion to get.
        But, again, Massa is stronger than Webber.
        And you have to judge Vettel by his whole career – he was voted best driver in 2009 despite Button’s title!

        1. Why on earth he was called best driver in 2009 is beyond me.

          Vettel made 3 incredible blunders in 2009. That resulted in 4 non scoring finishes. That’s hardly something worthy of a WDC pretender.

          I think it’s more that people tend to forget about the first half of the season and indeed Vettel did have a reasonably good end of 2009. Also they tend to look at points scored. Not so much at “points scored simply due to the car”.

          BTW read Keit’s perspective on whether Massa lost the 2008 championship due to bad luk: The Massa Delusion

          1. Massa didn’t deserve the title 2008. But Kimi didn^t deserve it 2007!

          2. I’d never seen that article before, thanks! This was pretty hilarious though:

            Funny that he should have had so few car problems given that the entire McLaren team was biased against him and it was all a big conspiracy to make Hamilton the champion.

          3. Well if we were to talk about who deserved what titles, I’d say Montoya in 03, Schumi in 04, Kimi in 05, Schumi in 06, Hamilton in 07, Massa in 08. But that’s not the world we live in.

  7. I had to go with Vettel, because I think he has the potential to be really great and I certainly don’t think his enthusiasm for the sport will wane now that he’s champion, which is what sadly seemed to happen with Kimi.
    This was a hard choice for me though, and I’m not surprised it’s so close. Ultimately I don’t expect Vettel to get far in this Champion of Champions even if he does get past Kimi in this round, because as others have said he’s still very early in his career and has yet to really prove himself.
    That said, in this round they are both one-time champions and Raikkonen’s performance in the seasons following his championship win do count against him, for me.

  8. A tricky one, but based on future potential I’ve gone for Vettel. Seb has a long career ahead and I can only see him getting better, and even at the moment I really can’t think of any area of driving where Raikkonen might be better than Vettel.

    I’m going to get mullered for saying this but I’ve always felt Raikkonen was a bit overrated and I really didn’t like his lethargic attitude towards the sport.

    1. Haha, just got done replying to the guy above…but yes I agree with your last statement.
      I dont know about anyone else but it also bothered me that a supposed top driver never seemed to show passion for his craft, and never seem to fully ingratiate himself into it. Top drivers, usually when they win a championship, come into the next season hungrier and willing to defend/prove their title merit. Raikkonen in 2008 was just…embarrassing.

      1. I wish I could have an embarassing season and still win 2 races and finish 3rd in the championship!

        Has to be Kimi for me. To sum it up in a few words he has huge talent, a massive turn of speed and was very unlucky not to have won more WDC’s.

        1. Thats how good Raikkonen really was. If he wasn’t in title contention, setting fastest laps on every track, beating his teammate every race then its a disappointment already.
          (god i love how much people are gonna hate me for a comment like that)

          1. hahahahaha, yeah, hated it!
            I must admit that I feel Massa is the more talented driver, compared to Kimi.
            (Now I’ll get some hate!)

          2. magon4, I don’t think you get hated for that. Frowned at and ignored maybe :)

    2. I agree that Seb will probably win more championships in the future but for what they’ve both achieved so far I still voted Kimi although it was a tough one.

      I also agree that Kimi is a tad overrated but maybe that’s just because he has a very strong fanbase and they cheer him on very loudly.

      Some days I liked Kimi’s attitude and I think when he was under pressure it probably served him well but it was also incredibly frustrating because maybe if he gave a little more he could have been that much better.

      Sammy I’m not sure his motivation did dip that much after his title. Maybe it did but when I look at 08 I don’t think it was that bad. He was taken out in Canada, Ferrari got their strategy completely wrong at Silverstone, at Japan Hamilton went a little crazy at the start and that hurt him, his exhaust issues cost him a win at France, he was leading Spa until it rained and the F60 struggled and at China he practically had to park up to let Massa through. I think Kimi generally suffered a lack of commitment but I don’t think it became massively worse in 08.

      1. To see Kimi’s lack of motivation, look at the other races of 2008. He was anaonymous at races like Germany, Hungary, Valencia, Monza, Singapore.

        Regarding the poll, I would give it to Kimi but only because it is being held in 2010. Vettel has had just 3 full seasons in F1. There are so many titles he is yet to win.

        I don’t think it matters much who wins this round though. The driver who goes into round 2 is sure to get knocked out by the driver who is paired against the winner of this poll, whoever it may be.

        Both the drivers are pretty mediocre when compared to other World Driver Champions.

    3. I think people confuse “lethargic in interviews” with “lethargic attitude towards the sport”

      The reality is that Raikkonen was always pushing to the limit. That’s why he got those fastest laps. He just would not give up.

      Indeed that meant that he would have crashes (like Monaco 2007, Spa 2008, Singapore 2008 and such) just like Hamilton crashed in Monza 2009. Still it’s a sign of a driver who is always pushing rather than “lethargic”

      What he DID say was that he’d rather be fighting for a win rather than just give his all for a P5. I’d say a WDC has the right to say something like that. Alonso, Hamilton and Schumacher would say exactly the same.

      1. So how would you explain his complete lack of focus at times during the 2008 season? Clearly the car was there–Massa won with it for chrissakes–but where was he??
        I would think winning the 2007 championship would prove the impetus for a hungrier drive, for him to ‘turn it up a notch’ as they say…but he did not deliver.
        Monaco 2008, Spa 2008, Hungary 2008 just to name three, all of which were tracks were Ferrari had the edge, were opportunities for him to stake his claim in the championship and prove his worth as one of the transcendent drivers of his generation, but all for naught.
        For me there would always be ‘something’ thatll separate him from the likes of Shumacher, Alonso and Hamilton.

        1. smellyjelly (@)
          12th January 2011, 13:04

          Lack of focus? It was clear that he was the favourite for the title in 2008. He was great at the beginning of the season. But Ferrari have done a big damage for Kimi with the car development. How funny that he was great during qualifyings and during the races at the first half of the season and tada… suddenly everything’s changed after that. Also luck wasn’t on his side. Canada, France… I don’t think I should tell anything. Spa? Don’t you think he was good enough till the rain came? F2008 was bad in rain, and Kimi couldn’t do anything. Win or lose, there wasn’t any other solution for him. Still people questioned his ability to drive in rain! Even though he’s had great races in rain with McLaren. Monaco? Well, first damage came from the team and Kimi had to pay the price for it. The crash with Sutil was his fault, all right. How come that it lasted a couple of races when Ferrari changed the suspension and Kimi was good enough again. He could have won in China easily but had to give the position to Massa. There are a lot of “if’s” of course but I think mainly bad luck hampered him.

        2. Lke I said, indeed sometimes he pushes too hard. For instance before Spa 2008 he said he had to win or his championship hopes would be over. In the end he was too determined to win and paid the price.

          In Monaco the team didn’t get his car ready on time, so Raikkonen’s race was ruined even before the start (or at least when he got the drive through). He drove a great come back race, but lost it on the bump at the exit of the tunnel. Again he probably took too much risk. His pace was fine though.

          In Hungary indeed Raikkonen was off the pace, but that was during the period that Ferrari had changed the car to suit Massa. When they reversed these changes on Raikkonen’s car for the Spa weekend, Raikkonen was faster than Massa again.

          1. He was definatly a win at all costs driver and sometimes it all goes wrong, Nurburgring 2005 and Spa 2008 perfect examples.
            Both could have potentially given him shot at the title if he had backed off and picked up the points. But as much as consistency is rewarded it has to be the other approach i favour in a driver.

  9. I have to go for Vettel, the sheer amount of raw tallent is what pulled me over the line.

    I have a deep respect for Kimi, and yes he was unlucky in 2003 en 2005, but I was very dissapointed with him in his final year at ferrari, it seemed that his motivation just left him when he was not in the best car.

    SO vettel it is, come on to win a race with “minardi”….gotta respect the hell out of that

    1. Red Bull car with Minardi DNA! :D

    2. smellyjelly (@)
      12th January 2011, 12:43

      Oh my, I admit I’m a die hard Kimi fan, I can understand why others might not like him but please, do not come here and say that Kimi wasn’t motivated in 2009. That’s nonsense!!! If some F1 drivers have a bad and slow car then everybody feels sorry for them but if Kimi had a bad car then he’s lost motivation! Come on! Kimi was motivated and did as hard as he could even though Ferrari ended his contract! They got rid of their world champion and it was a disgusting step. Oh, yes, it was his fault that the car was a dog.
      A lot of people say that it was almost impossible to win with F60. Engineers in Ferrari said that: “looking at the data, Kimi has once again been doing things in the cockpit of a very difficult car that one can hardly believe. He is going beyond what, theoretically, the F60 would be capable of.” All the other drivers that have replaced Massa said that the car was really hard to drive. And there was the flame in Brasil in the pitlane. Who would say that he wasn’t committed enough to drive the race till the end with burning eyes?
      Ok, I know it’s totally useless to say anything Ferrari did the “big brain wash”. They ruined Kimi’s image totally. Remember, they have done it to their world champion. If Kimi did a mistake then it was that he didn’t defend himself.

      1. Well his best form in 2009 coincided with the growing rumours Alonso would be signed for 2010 and ended when it was confirmed. Hmmm.

    3. wow? in 2009? when he set what, 5 straight podiums with a POS car and even won a race? WOW you are delusional.

  10. Kimi. Vettel’s probably quicker on a Saturday but Kimi’s wheel to wheel racing ability (although I do believe Seb is fine at overtaking) and his general cool nature swing it for me.

    1. yeah kimi can overtake, i don’t think vettel can. look at silverstone ’10, has to barge cars out of the way.

    2. Seb’s fine at overtaking if you like crashes…he should really work on that part of the racing :)

      1. Oh please… if vettel can’t overtake, Hamilton can barely overtake since 9/10 he either punctures somebody else’s tyre or damages his car in the process, yes vettel needs to work on it…when he isn’t leading and messing up his qualifying times so shhhhhhhhhh.

        1. Hamilton can barely overtake since 9/10 he either punctures somebody else’s tyre or damages his car in the process

          Come on, a glance at the data shows that’s a gross exaggeration. You may not like the guy but you can stop short of making stuff up surely?

    3. I’m not in the “Vettel can’t overtake club” but I agree that his racecraft is certainly not as good as Raikkonen’s was. I really couldn’t imagine Vettel carving through the field in Suzuka 2005 like Raikkonen and Alonso did.

    4. I agree with Steph – what a surprise! Kimi was a brilliant qualifier and a fantastic racer too.

      Also, his exchanges with Martin Brundle on his pit walks were always… enlightening. His deadpan humour was brilliant.

      But anyway, I’d say for speed they are probably equal, but Kimi’s racecraft I would say was better. Also, he didn’t whine over the radio. He got on with the job. Worthy of more than the one title he won.

  11. As everyone has said so far, Kimi.

    Kimi showed fantastic race craft over his entire career. Only ever let down by machinery, and towards the end either “Vodka hangovers” or apathy. I am a die hard Kimi fan, but even those that don’t like him generally agree that he was robbed of at least one Championship through reliability problems. Put Kimi in a car on a good day, on a real track (like Spa) and he is second to none.

    It’s a really unfair comparison in many ways for Sebastian too simply because of the difference in experience. Seb may well end up eclipsing Kimi’s record in F1, and even the record of Alonso and others. But then so many firebrands start strong and fade so quickly in this sport. So at the moment, voting for Seb in this comparison is only a decision that a rabid Seb fan boy would do. No disrespect to the guy. He’s a great driver, but very very inexperienced.

  12. I wanted to vote Kimi however after he lost interest I lost respect. Vettel gets my vote!

    1. I voted for Vettel. I can’t vote for someone as the greatest ‘Champion’ when he wasn’t bothered about his last few years in F1 and lost interest.

      Kimi could have been a multiple champion at Ferrari if he’d tried. I think Vettel WILL go on to be at least a double champion. So he gets my vote.

      1. Well. Thats quite a harsh judgement really, saying ‘if he tried’. I don’t think any F1 racing driver can get into a car and not try. The media essentially decided that when Kimi didn’t win a race, he wasn’t trying – and this has been blown out of proportion.

        Vettel is very good – but he has shown no wheel to wheel capacity and often wins his races from pole position. His car for the last 2 years has also been the best for at least half the year. We still haven’t really seen what Vettel can or will do yet, its too early to call him great and too early to call him an undeserving champion – or whatever the fans will call him in years to come. Kimi was fantastic for a good 5/6 year period in a row – his last years were not as successful, but he still won a race…!

        For me, Kimi gets it.

        1. “The media essentially decided that when Kimi didn’t win a race, he wasn’t trying – and this has been blown out of proportion.”

          Indeed and the haterz went with that.

          His car breaks down (again!) and he’s eating ice cream and they start shouting “Kimi lost all motivation!!!”.

          1. Agreed. I am an admitted Raikkonen fan, but it’s annoying that nobody, fans or haters, can get past the media-introduced “Kimi can’t be bothered” hype. You either have to defend him from it, or you’re the one bringing it up. And it’s the exact reason why I’m kinda happy for him that he got out of the media-circus and got at least one championship for his efforts.

          2. I don’t mind people thinking that Raikkonen lost interest. That creates the image that, if he had tried, he would have beaten anyone, anytime. Isn’t that a fantastic image to have? Also things like, the day Massa was ‘out of contention’ suddenly Raikkonen was back on top of his game, so clearly Massa turned the team against Kimi. Despite no motivation and lack of interest between Hungary and Japan he was the driver who got the most points in a mediocre at best car that wasn’t even being developed anymore.

            Don’t worry guys, I’m not a Kimi fanatic but its obvious, the thrashing of the finn has lead to a situation where you can either love him or hate him which leads to both sides drifting apart more and more. I believe Raikkonen was a brilliant driver and a nice person and on the other hand I don’t dislike Vettel (he comes from a town just 15km from where I come from) but I don’t think he is as good as he is percieved (yet).

  13. Raikkonen for sure, Kimi did so well to win the title in 2007, one of the truly great seasons. The problem with Kimi is he has the pace to match and beat anyone on the grid but half the time just can’t be bothered. I think the McLaren days really put kicked him about a bit with all the reliability issues (Mika had the same).

    Vettel on the other hand is quick, but he has only had Mark as a worthwhile team mate and lets face it, Mark is not a great driver, just average. If he can pull out a result in a car that is on equal pace to it’s competitors then I will rate him higher but in my mind he is still that petulant little runt who will always make a silly move.

    I’ll give it too Raikkonen purely because I think he could get more out of a car that wasn’t on the pace.

  14. Maybe someone already asked it before, but Keith, how did you pair the drivers? Is it just random or according to some statistics, results, etc..?

    1. I would have said it was drivers that were close together and easy to compare, although Farina vs Schumacher breaks this trend, so not entirely sure!

    2. That’s an interesting question…
      I assume he just picks whoever he feels like ie random…
      Kimi got my vote!

  15. Kimi never had a luxury of a dominant car under him, competitive but not dominant, unlike vettel in 2010. having said that at least with performances vettel showed from 2008-2010 i pick him as a better champion only because his raw talent

  16. Not that difficult for me. Vettel hasn’t been around long enough to prove his worth. Raikkonen was fantastic for most of a decade, with his best year probably being 2005. People are particularly harsh on him for his championship winning year as well as he won it almost by stealth. For me though, he was a worthy champion and his strings of fastest laps prove that too. Some of his laps were just unreal

  17. Unfortunately, as much potential as Vettel has, he hasn’t been around long enough and I’ve no doubt in a few years this result will be very different.

    However Raikonnen, but for reliability, could easily have been 3 times champion and, as we’re comparing the drivers and not the car, he takes it for me. Points per Start/Finish and % reliability are in Raikonnens favour also… the other stats are skewed by Vettels short career, we’ll see where they are in a few years tho.

    At the end of the day though, neither of them are going through to the final round.

  18. By far the toughest one so far for me but Kimi edged it.
    I genuinely believe him to be one of the very fastest to have ever graced the sport, right up there with Senna, Peterson, Rindt Villeneuve. The lack of a more complete skill set will scupper him in future rounds though.

    I remember reading a piece in Autosport just after Kimi moved to Ferrari in which McLaren team members expressed regret at him having left the team and said, incredibly, that based on the telementary, they believed he was the outright fastest driver McLaren had ever employed!

    1. Kimi was undoubtedly one of the fastest drivers of all time.
      I had not read that article but will go hunt it out. Thanks for the heads up.

  19. such a hard decision, so soon :S

  20. Raikonnen for sure, Vettel will have his time, if he doesn’t keep breaking cars. In response to RIISE’s comments regarding Mark Webber as an “average” driver, time sheets over the season beg to differ and if Kimi’s fastest laps don’t impress people well someone better tell Seb as they both like to show how talented they are. These 2 guys against each in equal cars would be nice to see.

    1. How can you say that Vettel is breaking his car when we are comparing him to Kimi. Do you remember how his car was at McLaren? Designed by the same man who did Vettels 2009 and 2010 cars and the thing those cars have in common is that they are super quick, but it was often that they didn’t make it to the flag.

  21. I have to go with Raikkonen I’m afraid. I was a big fan of both Raikkonen and Heidfeld at Sauber which i have mentioned before and I’m so glad that one of them went on to winning the title.

    This was a really tough one though because Vettel brings a fresh atmosphere to the sport I feel. He is a really interesting character to watch as his enthusiasm is immense and I love the fact he is obsessed with facts and statistics like getting fastest laps etc.. He seems like a really enjoyable guy to work with even though there are rumours he is completely different behind closed doors.

    Then we have Raikkonen, the man who people find really hard to shut up. If I was in a good mood it was great to watch his responses to interviews, but on some days I just felt he needed a shake to wake up and speak!

    Having said all this, Vettel is too young to make any major judgement, hence I’m voting for Raikkonen who i think we miss from the grid. He is a great talent and should be at a great team.

    Somehow I don’t think Ferrari would ask Raikkonen to move out of the way for Alonso.

  22. This was a pretty easy round for me. Nice Keith got their similarities set against each other – getting first driver duties with Sauber, winning the title from behind and both finding how frustrating it is to have a superquick Newey car breaking down and therefore not winning the title!

    Kimi it is, he was superquick from the onset, just like Vettel. He has shown great racing in the years we had him in F1 and proved to be another Spa king. He was fast in all his cars, even when it was not the fastest car on the grid, and he knows how to overtake.

    I might come to rate Vettel higher in future years, though as he is still running. But he will have to improve his on track fighting for position to avoid crashing into 50% of the cars he has to overtake.

  23. I for my part voted for Vettel, because he is one the same level with Kimi now and, unlike the Finn, has many seasons (and possible titles) left in him. I’d guess if something like this poll would be repeated in 10 or 15 years, Vettel would win cleanly.

  24. Vettel. Raikkonen’s aloof personality really soured me towards him, and while he had the odd good drive – like Japan 2005 – he never really made my head turn more than a few times. Vettel having the backbone to chase the World Championship into Abu Dhabi when most would have given up after Korea wins me over. The lows with Vettel, like Turkey 2010 might be deeper than with Raikkonen, but the highs, like Italy 2008, will always be higher.

    1. “Vettel having the backbone to chase the World Championship into Abu Dhabi when most would have given up after Korea wins me over.”

      I honestly can’t see how this is any different to Kimi coming back in the second half of 2007, he was effectively out of the title race in what was probably second fastest car. At least Vettel had the fastest.

    2. Indeed apart from Raikkonen doin exactly that. Without the benefit of a vastly superior car …

      Didn’t Raikkonen also have the biggest comeback race? I’d say stuf like that that rates rather higher than lucking into a pole with a car that was just happened to be perfect for the conditions (3 Red Bulls in the top 4). Granted it was admirable that Vettel went on to actually win that race, but still.

  25. As much as I love Seb, I would agree that he’s not quite as good as Raikonnen was yet. I suspect I would vote the other way in a year’s time.

  26. Kimi gets my vote. If I had a “watch this space” mindset, it would have been vettel. But until then, kimi gets my vote.

  27. Really hard.
    I voted Raikkonen, because he had some really great seasons, and I cannot imagine anybody faster than him during his career, nor Schumi, Alonso or Montoya. Then he had also some bad timeframes, but some seasons were absolutely remarkable.
    Vettel is very quick, no discussions there, but he made also some bad mistakes and still need to improve on overtaking manouvres.
    I also think Vettel will have a great F1 career, and would be surpised it the 2010 would his only win.

    In the end, at the moment I say Kimi, with minimum advantage…

  28. I have to go for Kimi on this one for sure. He could easily have been a 3 time champion (maybe one is more reflective of his talents). His pure speed and balls were amazing, when he drove full speed through the smoke from a blown engine at Spa in 2002 that was something.
    Vettel is something of Kimi’s successor as F1 fastest driver and you can tell he looks up to Kimi a bit. Time will tell if he will become a greater driver.

  29. To be completely honest neither are really the greatest champions, as many have said Sebastian is still young and seems to have a long career ahead of him and possibly more Championships, but Kimi isn’t one of the greatest either, his mellow attitude, although amusing, plays against him in this as he just seemed to give up, not really a characteristic of a Champion of Champions. Therefore I’ve gone for Seb for his determination and drive.

  30. Kimi, if only because he beat every one of his team mates (barring Heidfeld in ’01 & Massa in ’08) and all of them had won races before being paired up with him. So you know they weren’t slouches.

    Vettel is very good too, and it was great to watch his first win at Monza. But as things stand today, he doesn’t beat Kimi yet.

  31. Kimi’s obviously going to walk this based on his fanatical fan base :-/ poor Seb being paired up against him haha. I can totally see why though, their careers are quite similar.

    1. Now that people have to register to vote hopefully it’ll help stop any skewed results.

      1. That’s assuming fanatical Kimi fans aren’t already registered or don’t know how to register :-P

        1. Just be pleased Kubica isn’t champion yet!

  32. I want to vote badly for both the drivers … both have been my favourites and its wrong to choose one over another … i will not be choosing either !

  33. Kimi. The stats say it.

    And to the people above who say he’s overrated: Kimi very well may be the last racer to enter F1 only on his racing skills.

    Yes, he was ‘bad’ at the post race TV-interviews in English, yes, he could be lazy at times (In an interview with F1 Racing, he said one of his hobbies was sleeping). As Ron Dennis put it: ‘you’re a boy in a man’s body’.

    But he is a guy with a lot of humour (‘In summer we fish and have sex, in winter there’s no fishing’), who just doesn’t like all the corporate/PR stuff.

    And contrary to popular belief, at McLaren he was loved for his feedback on the cars he drove.

    Added to this, a lot of people say that based on raw talent he is the only one. What he could do in that dog of a car the Ferrari was in 2009 was amazing.

    And that he has some flaws in his character, makes him more of a personality. Without those flaws and with more reliable cars, he could have become the champion of champions.

    … well, I will always remember Japan 2005 and his other overtaking races (Bahrein 2006, France 2005). And his famous grid interview in Brasil.

    1. Last note: I am a Vettelfan as well, but first I want to see more of him

    2. Kimi very well may be the last racer to enter F1 only on his racing skills.

      You’re saying none of the new drivers in the last nine years came into F1 only because of their racing skills? What a joke.

      1. Yea, very strange statement.

        1. Kimi very well may be the last racer to enter F1 only on his racing skills.

          You’re saying none of the new drivers in the last nine years came into F1 only because of their racing skills? What a joke.

          Does he mean “the last racer that is likely to come back to F1 based on talent?”

          1. Let me elaborate a bit.

            To get to F1, you normally went via F3 / F3000 (or now via GP3/GP2). To make sure you end up with one of the best teams you have to be blimingly fast but also possess other skills except from driving skills. Like social, talking, relationship and PR skills.

            Kimi just was such an outstanding talent, that he just went to F1 without all the in between steps someone normally has to take. Steps for which I’m sure you have to bring something else to be chosen. I mean it’s not like the GP2 seats are only filled with drivers who one the F3 championship, and so on further down.

            If you look at Hamilton, he also used those extra skills: daring to talk to Ron Dennis and making sure he got money to fund his career.

            Kimi however needed only one thing throughout his path to F1 – his speed.

            Hence my statement…
            …which upon rereading does seem a little bold ;-)

      2. WHYYYYY cant you lay Kimi off??? What have you got against him so much??

        1. I’ve got nothing against him and I don’t know what you’ve read here that would give you the impression otherwise.

      3. I’ve been meaning to ask you about that Keith. Who is this Hamilton guy people keep banging on about? Vettel? Kobasumminorother? Don’t look like anything special to me.. ;)

        (just in case people are wondering: imagine giant huge sarcasm tags around this post).

  34. Did you noticed that Vettel almost cought up with Raikkonen in number of poles? And it gets pretty close at wins too! and that with only 3 seasons. Raikkonen had 8 and always had very good to great cars(as vettel had). But the most disturbing thing for Raikkonen is that he was beaten by Massa and would have been again if it wasn’t for Massa’s crash at Hungaroring(and I don’t think Massa was a very good driver).

    1. vettel’s RB6 smashes all of kimi’s old cars.

      1. Kimi managed to lose to Alonso the title in 2005 in a car almost as good.

        1. And there was always the lingering rumor that the Kimmster himself was a bit of “car-breaker’. Certainly not renown for his technical input.

          1. Vettel’s car seems to break a lot more than Webber’s. That’s how these rumours get started.

          2. Except at McLaren. Where his mechanics loved his feedback. You know, mechanics, the people who actually have to use this feedback to make adjustments to the car? As opposed to journalists, whose job it is to fill column-space?

            Raikkonen did not fit into the Ferrari mold, because this Ferrari mold had been set up by Schumacher to be pushed by one lead driver. Raikkonen just wanted to show up and drive what car he was given, which he would give feedback on how to make it go as fast as it could. That turned against him as in response to that, Ferrari started developing the car according to Massa’s push, Massa of course having been brought up by Schumacher.

            The McLaren organisation suited him much better and if he’d stayed there until the end, even partnering Hamilton, I have no doubt this whole non-story about Raikkonen’s lack of feedback or indeed commitment, would never have come into existence.

  35. hmm how are liuzzi and bourdais notable teammates?!

    i’m stuck here, but I’ll go for Raikonnen. even though his title defence was awful, beofore that he was awsome and never got all angry like vettel does.

  36. Kimi for sure. He could easily be a three time champ. Or maybe four, if Ferrari hadn’t decided to back up Massa midway through the 2008 season. Also Kimi probably was last real character in F1. He wasn’t a PR robot, he just did what he wanted. If a journalist asked him a stupid question, he didn’t bother to answer it properly.

    Plus he’s the king of Spa. :P

  37. I picked Kimi because he never had the best car and might have won the WDC in 2005 if it was not for his unbelievably horrible luck… Sebastian had the best car by a mile, and it was his own mistakes that kept him from running away with the title. Kimi also knew how to overtake, and overtaking is what racing should be about, Vettel is definately NOT a good overtaker, crashing almost every time he attempts an overtake.

  38. Initially I thought that this is the closest call so far. But only at first glance!

    I voted Vettel and am now wondering why at all somebody will vote Raikkonen, apart from just being a fan of the Iceman.

    * It took Kimi quite a few years in top teams to get his title. Was he unlucky as some say? Consider this: what luck is it to be in a Torro Rosso?
    * He’s not recognized as a great car developer. Sebastian doesn’t seem to be developing it big time either, but at least there are no complaints against him on this front.
    * He’s not recognized as a giving and great personality (he’s a character, yes, but what character exactly). Here Sebastian has a clear advantage.
    * His scores are mostly lower than Seb’s.
    * He could not beat his oposition directly – in 2007 it took one Lewis Hamilton to squabble with Alonso so that Kimi can basically receive the championship. Sebastian had to deal with at least 2 champions all season and beat them often enough.

    Vettel is clearly better and hope he gets even better.

    1. Beat them?? He should have beaten them by Spa. Vettel is an undeserving champion. How long does it take somebody to win in an RB6??? Someone who cant win unless he’s on pole and smashes not only his own car but also those of others.

    2. It’s actually very good luck to be in a Toro Rosso before the restrictions on customer cars, especially if Red Bull have a driver who had a poor 2008 season and was at the end of his career.

      Kimi was recognised as a good car developer at Mclarenas many comments mention.

      Raikkonen won the title on the strength of 6 victories, two more than anyone else. He lost points of his own, with car failures in Spain, Germany and the team’s tyre error in Japan and didn’t throw away as much Vettel did this year. Kimi arguably had a stronger teammate and definitely less of a car advantage than Vettel had.

      Vettel has a higher win and pole ratio, but actually has less points per finish and available finish.

  39. As with others here, I voted for Kimi because I feel that he deserved to win at least 1 title with McLaren but was let down by reliability too often.

    Again thought, they’re at different points in their careers at the time when they win their title.

    Vettel hasn’t enjoyed as long a career yet, so maybe in a year or 2 I would vote differently.

  40. Voted for Vettel; has been a force from the start and although I don’t think the STR was ‘that’ bad, certainly not a Minardi despite the DNA.
    And not voting for him because he’s only just started and has years more ahead is about as relevant as dismissing drivers who’s careers were cut short.

  41. Voted Raikkonen, since Kimi never had such superior car at his disposal as Vettel had in 2010. Kimi won his title, Vettel almost lost it.

  42. Räikkönen, despite his immense laziness.

    Because when Kimi isn’t humming along to 90% of the car’s capabilities, his 110% is more than likely better than anyone else’s effort in the sport.

    Vettel is young, has a lot more to prove, scored a WDC that he was quite fortunate to in what was by far the best car, and still makes errors hand over fist.

  43. As much as I like Räikkönen, I went for Vettel for two reasons: Monza 2008 with a fantastic win against the established teams and the “go for it” attitude in 2010 to win the championship at the last race. Kimi has incredible talent but wasted it in some ways.

  44. I voted for Kimi because:
    a) He was runner up of GREAT PILOTS (schum and Alonso)
    b) He could have the 2005 championship with a more reliable car
    c) He was great in recovery, and better than Vettel in overtaking (Vettel is good when is first or second, but in the midfield, he crashes, such as Button in Spa or Webber in Turkey.

  45. Why couldn’t it have been Vettel/Andretti and Raikonnen/Stewart in the first round?

    IMHO Andretti was a more significant champion than either of these other two one-timers.

    Oh well, I guess it’s just “Racing luck.”

    1. I don’t know if Keith has chosen them at random or if its been pre meditated – but this way, we can compare drivers from the same relative eras. What was required of drivers in each era of F1 is completely different to the next – so it makes comparisons more difficult. For the first round at least, its good to make things simple!

  46. Not as hard as it would seem initially. The similarities are actually quite striking, but Vettel just hasn’t had the time yet to make his mark as champion of champions. A couple of more years and I’m sure Vettel will go down as the more all-round driver or whatever moniker fans and pundits both like to throw around, as he seems more driven to push the team to give him what he wants as opposed to take what he gets and make the best of it which is more Raikkonen’s style.

    But at this moment, without speculation about what Vettel could do in the future, it has to be Raikkonen.

  47. I had to go with Raikonnen on this, I like Vettel but I think he made too many stupid mistakes this year that rule in favour of immaturity – running Webber off the track, spearing Button and his “Alonso-style” gestures etc

    Plus he was blatantly (even if they didnt admit it) favoured by Red Bull!

    One more for Kimi here…

  48. Räikkönen. His time at McLaren was awesome and he managed to win a WDC by being fairly laid back in a lesser car.

  49. Voted for Raikkonen because of his talent and the laid down approach to the sport. Kimi’s best year? 2005, who doesn’t remember Suzuka? Besides, it was my favorite McLaren line-up with Montoya in the other car.

  50. Only time will tell whether or not Vettel is better than Raikkonen. He’s a great driver and that win for Toro Rosso is one to be remembered but Raikkonen nearly won the title in an era dominated by Schumacher and Ferrari and later did win at a Ferrari that was recovering from the loss of Schumacher, Brawn and Byrne. Vettel won the title in a dominant Red Bull. At this point in time i’d vote for Kimi but I think Vettel might end up better in the end.

  51. Went for Vettel. The similarities in the championship campaign is pretty amazing. Vettel have made some mistakes, but they really weren’t that many. If you count them, Turkey, Spa, Hungary aaand.. ehm.. I think that is it. They just tend to happen in the most embarrassing and humiliating way, which is why they are remembered. I think that the determination Vettel showed after the stupid accident at spa was incredible. He got 100% out of that Red Bull in all the remaining races, which is why i think that he is better. I will say though that Kimi certainly has a better “race craft” as most people tend to put it. Which is something that Vettel needs to work on, but then he has a lot of time to do that.

  52. I would pick raikkonen as he managed to win and challeng on a competitve car not the most dominnat car as in the case of vettel. raikkonen i feel is a faster driver in some respects as he could be in a mid – level car but if the handling suited his driving style, he could still manage to come out on top, vettel still has some way to go..he has the speed but needs to be consistent and shine through the race..vettel cannot do what raikkonen did in suzuka..

    1. Both drivers have dominated a race track in their time in F1:

      Raikkonen: Belgium (2004, 2005, 2007, 2009) entries: 7
      Vettel: Japan (2009, 2010*) entries: 2

      This is very difficult for me to decide. As good as Vettel has been, you haven’t seen him win from the middle or back of the grid, but Kimi has (Japan 05) whilst avoiding crashes.

  53. The last two non-British Champions…

  54. Raikkonen, barely!

    A lot has been said above, and maybe next year my vote will go to Vettel, but some amazing drives in the McLaren and winning the WDC from an almost beaten position wins me over.

  55. Keith I am hating you! You shouldn’t have put this two together, it will be a very close fight. I have gone for Kimi.

    Many differences but interestingly enough Kimi was a good mate to Vettel.

    1. Keith I am hating you!

      I get that a lot :-)

      1. Keith that wasn’t anything serious I was just telling that in a joke way, hope you haven’t taken that seriously & got angry.

  56. Its a challenging decision, but in the end I have to go with Raikkonen. Although Vettel showed he had pace he was paired with the just OK Webber. We can only wait till he gets paired with other drivers, some one like Alonso, Hami, Button, Kubi, Glock, and even Sutil. He was also outqualified by Heidfeld when he replaced Kubica after Canada, but I will cut some slack for his inexperience.

  57. kimi we all know that he was fast, but lacked a working habit. He was good in qualy, in the wet and in the dry.
    He is a finished product in f1.
    On the other hand vettel is at the begining of his career. He is fast in qualy, in the wet, on the dry. He works at it. He is good in front of a camera. And he is already the youngest world champion. With a bright future in front of him.
    For me is pretty easy. vettel is the winner, unless he retires tomorrow. Thing that’s very unlikely.

  58. At first i thought this was going to be a very close call.
    But in the end, It seems to me that Kimi has proven to all of us what he could do especially with a competitive car both in 2003 and 2005. If those cars were a bit more reliable things could be different for him.
    Vettel on the other hand is amazingly fast especially in qualifying but RB was by far the best car on the grid this year. I think he has still much to prove for the years to come…

  59. Im going for Sebastian. Kimi was undoubtfully fast but spent plenty of seasons in the background in race winning cars doing very poorly. 2003 and 2006 come to mind. Sebastian has always extracted great results from whatever car he’s drove and even tough he’s only done 3 full seasons he’s never had a dissapointing season where as i’ve seen Kimi have a few

  60. I voted raikonen, he was unlucky in the past and could have easily won it 2 or three times.

  61. Raikkonen in my view…..Kimi in 2009 won the Belgian GP in a car that wasn’t the dominant force in the field. Vettel at this point in his career I believe couldn’t do that.

  62. Keith, you devil. This is a brilliant match up.

    For some reason it won’t let me click an option yet, but when I can it’ll be Raikkonen. As impressive as Vettel in his Sauber days as Seb’s STR season (minus having the conditions to be able to win a race), even more impressive when he moved up to the big teams. His fastest laps and poles easily matched Vettel’s, in far less dominant cars. What’s more, the guy could overtake and I don’t think I ever saw him yield to pressure, unlike Seb who has a habit of doing something insane when threatened.

    Probably unfair on Seb as he’s only at the start of his career. But this is now and it’s Raikkonen all the way,

    1. Worked when I switched to this computer, but I don’t think I’m logged into the forum on the other one, false alarm!

      In addition, I remember having a conversation a loooong time ago about Hakkinen and Schumacher, where a Hakkinen fan said he was probably the faster over one lap but Schumacher was Mr Consistency. I’d say the reverse is true for the Second Flying Finn and Baby Schumi.

  63. Vettel’s won his title thanks to his car. To be a champion driver in the fastest car (when others are slower more than 1 sec.). I need to say that he almost lost this championship and Webber was major pretender (but he miss chance like this).

  64. Aside from their personalities, Vettel and Raikkonen are really very similar. Both came into F1 without reaching GP2 (Raikkonen never even did Formula 3), both scored a point in their first race. Both can be insanely fast; Vettel’s pole positions speak for themselves but Raikkonen’s pole position in Monza 2005 was just unbelievable. Both have even suffered from the Adrian-Newey-Syndrome of fast car – dodgy reliability, Raikkonen suffered it more than Vettel.

    Everyone makes racing errors and have their off-races sometimes but I think Kimi was more unlucky than unmotivated. Kimi would’ve won the 2003 championship had it not been for the Nurburgring engine failure (Schumacher was quite lucky to win the 2003 season in my opinion, that might anger some people but its just my opinion ;) )

    There’s no doubt Vettel is talented, but his ability to race with other drivers is still questionable. He’s still young though and has only been in F1 for 3 full seasons. Give it a few more seasons and then Seb and Kimi can be properly compared.

    So for now, my vote goes to Raikkonen.

  65. Respect where its due – Kimi was getting podiums in a Ferrari that was a Dog of a car – and that’s just his recent F1 achievements ! Voted Kimi

  66. This is a tricky one.

    Having voted there I’m quite surprised at who is ahead but thats just my opinion.

    Both of these guys are excellent drivers.
    Put them both in a good car and they will win races, and championships as we have seen.

    Both of them have done well against teammates they have been up against.

    I’ve decided to split them by personality.

    When Raikkonen won his title, he almost seemed to throw in the towel. He could be a bit stand off-ish at times and didn’t seem to be too interested to speak to the media. Check him out in the WRC to see how that has changed.

    Also I reckon, he only won the title because of the internal trouble in Mclaren of that year, but thats just my opinion.

    Vettel on the other hand is a breath of fresh air with the media. Sure he made some mistakes and could be a bit petulant when he wanted but then he is only human.

    He never really refuses an interview, always seems to be in good humour and when push comes to shove, does the business on the track, when his car doesn’t let him down that is.

    So my vote will go to Vettel.

  67. Raikkonen_Biggest_Fan (@)
    12th January 2011, 20:35

    I am Raikkonen fan at first place but since he is away from F1 i cheer for Vettel,I really love them both and it was a bit difficult for me when I saw this poll but i already knew my answer,Kimi is the best driver ever for me,he also has most unique personality and he is amazing cool person that i adore!He should have won more than just 1 championship and if he had competetive Mc-laren he could grab at least one more cause with his mc-laren that always had mechanical problems he had just 2 less points than Schumacher and finnished 2nd in championship.I really miss Kimi in F1 HE IS REALLY A TRUE LEGEND!

  68. Kimi, just because of the ice cream.

    1. it is true, ice creams do make great champions!

  69. Big Fan of them both but Kimi takes this one right now.
    Kimi Could have been a 3 time champion but car failures in 03 and 05 cost him and had wonderful raw speed especially in his time at Mclaren,however his performances 08 and the first half of 09 were pathetic which made this vote closer.
    Vettel well almost lost it but won the title anyway after a great fightback and has drove some great races in his 3 years but at this very moment can’t overtake which Kimi could and this nonsense some people talk about Kimi fans been totally biased is utter rubbish,maybe some are but I most certainly am not.
    Next round Kimi will lose probably but please do not put him up against Mika Hakkinen,there my 2 heroes!

  70. Vettel should be in the front row to do something and only if he has a good car. Raikkonen was ofcourse better! Raikkonen was a warrior racer, Vettel is nothing.

  71. YAWN! roll on testing please.

  72. Genuis combo! I never realized how similar these two are! What I thought would be a very easy decision (Kimi) turned out to be very hard and I actually voted for Seb instead! :-O

    As a fan, I like Kimi more than Vettel, but after looking into their achievements Vettel’s hunger for success, determination, and promisable future made me lean towards him even though Kimi’s skill is better. Kimi’s patience and wisdom gives him the edge but does that make him a better racer? Kimi seems to know when can he push, but Vettel gives the impression that he is pushing his car to the limit all the time, sometimes with grave consequences.. When Kimi is fighting he’s the best, but when he isn’t he can be frustrating to watch. On the other hand, Vettel always seems on the edge which makes you feel he’s trying his best..

    I actually found myself rather surprised! If Kimi was still in F1 I would’ve probably voted for him. Kimi was always cool, calm, and collected. This helped him deal with pressure, helped him overtake flawlessly, and personally I had a kick watching him at his post race conferences (monotonous and straight faced even after a win lol!) Yes, his driving is better, more confident and his moves are more weighed out, but somehow something was lacking.. We can’t really understand him, at times he was too distant, too aloof in some ways.. When watching him racing I get a feeling that he’s not interested anymore, even though I’m a 100% sure this is not true. In 2008 he failed to deliver, yes he had his troubles but the overall picture was that he wasn’t as motivated – a feeling you don’t get with Vettel as he’s always motivated and hyper. The fact that Kimi left F1 was very disappointing for his fans, but the fact that they haven’t forgotten him speaks volumes. I think he didn’t feel comfortable enough in F1 and no better option for him was there so he simply left! A very rational decision, maybe too rational for the passionate F1 fans.. I admire that he always kept his cool and never was seen in embarrassing situations (like Vettel’s gesture in Turkey that Webber is crazy), and everybody loved the ice cream! :)

    If Vettel wasn’t champion I would go with Kimi, but Vettel did prove a lot career-wise this year, he became champion material. With Vettel you get a feel of what his personality is like, which is important for his fans to establish faith in him. He is very passionate and determined which gives his fans reassurance. Even though many of you attributed his talent to the car, I still think he is amazingly talented. He has a courageous approach and isn’t afraid to make the most out of his laps which takes him places. Although, inarguably, he still remains irrational and temperamental at times and still needs to be polished with maturity, wisdom, and experience.

    I went with Vettel mainly because I took his promising future into consideration, I do believe he’s capable of winning more championships, and sense that he might accomplish more than Kimi. Yet, as many of you have said, we should give it a few more years to make a truer comparison.

    1. I don’t agree with your vote. But just wanted to say that your reasoning, and comment generally was very eloquent – and a good read.

      1. Why thank you :)

  73. I voted for Kimi Raikkonen, because he is one of the best drivers from last decade and he didn’t win more championships because of bad luck. He is my favorite driver, and I hope he will return to F1.

  74. Very interesting comparison, pitting these two against each other Keith!

    From the comments, it seems most find it is a bit too early to accurately decide who will ultimately be the better one; most seem to agree Vettel has a lot of potential to overcome Raikonnen, but hasn’t yet been around long enough to do so, and will need a year of showing what he does with his championship or with a car that isn’t the fastest to definitely tell.

    After that there is disagreement: either Vettel wins, because of his potential/raw talent while Raikkonen had these weird “do not care” moments; or Raikkonen wins, because Vettel hasn’t yet been able to show he does/doesn’t have it in him to not make overtaking mistakes but instead get stronger.

    I decided to go with Raikkonen for now, because Vettel will be around next year to prove me to quick to judge him, and because I still feel pain for all those Mercedes blow ups from that beautiful McLaren :)

  75. I vote Raikkonen – if for no other reason than his post-race interview response when asked about the obvious discomfort he was showing after spraying himself in the face with champagne: “Yes, think so we should put in the mouth and not in the eye.”

    Truer words were never spoken.

  76. That’s Kimi for me. Seb just getting there.

  77. As it stands I feel that Kimi is as close as you’re gonna get to a complete driver in comparison to Sebastian.

    Seb still has plenty more to do.

  78. Hard one, I like both of them, even though they are very different. Vettel is an inspiring open minded young man, able to express bis feelings, but also able to produce a stunning achievement under pressure. We can all learn from Vettels focus on his own work, while everyone else was counting the points and what if’s before the final 2 races 2010. His problems during overtaking can be due to the special characteristics of the RB car.
    Kimi is a type who can stand at the top of the podium, looking at his watch thinking “When is this over, so I can go home?”. Kind of impressive as well. I think is was the 2009 season, Kimi got some good results with the Ferrari, whereas anyone else replacing Massa couldn’t show anything with it. The Ferrari that year must have been awfull, due to the Kears system. But Kimi could do miracles with it. Thus I have to vote Kimi, but I’m sure Vettel will get further unless Kimi returns.. I don’t suppose Ferrari will be paying him to not drive again this year…

  79. Vettel over Raikkonen. Vettel’s the youngest world champion in Formula One plus Raikkonen took 2010 off.

  80. I am not much of a maths and stats person, but from the percentages, it would seem to me that Seb should have been ahead. Maybe fans pushed Kimi through.

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