MONEYSUPERMARKET.COM – 2012 Driver Of The Year
Our friends at MoneySupermarket.com have compiled a ranking list for 2012′s F1 GP driver of the year. Mark Martin from the site approached me and asked if I would share their list and ranking with my readers. I thought it would be fun to share it. The original chart can be found here http://www.moneysupermarket.com/car-insurance/grand-prix-driver-of-the-year.
This past season, we saw several different winners in the first half. Many of us may have been undecided where this championship was going and which of the drivers might emerge as the leader. In the eighth round, we had our first double winner. Alas, Alonso who had been steadily collecting points and podiums, emerged as a potential championship contender. Alonso led the championship race throughout the season on more than one occasion. It is safe to say, that he was leading for most of the season. It should then come as no surprise that Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was selected as MoneySupermarket’s Driver of the year. His consistency and determination were certainly factors. One must also keep in mind that at no point in the season, did Alonso have the quickest car (arguably).
Second in the ranking then was Sebastian Vettel. As 2012 champion, he could not be far from the top. Vettel suffered electrical failures on his RB8 which nearly lost him a chance at the title. At the ripe old age of 25, he has become triple F1 champion. A helping hand from Newey who penned the car and was able to make it the class leader in the second half of the season. Third and fourth belong to Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen, in that order. Both had a great season. Lewis suffered some issues with pit stops and reliability, but the McLaren was a very fast car which Lewis made good use of. I’m certain Hamilton would have liked to leave McLaren a champion but it was not meant to be in 2012. Meanwhile, Kimi made his return to F1 action and did quite well after shaking off the cobwebs. The Iceman was the only driver to finish every race and even claimed a victory. Personally I had ranked Kimi higher. He certainly wins the championship for best radio transmission and most entertaining podium interview. The words, “Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing…” have forever become infamous thanks to Kimi.
Sergio Perez, Jenson Button And Mark Webber are listed in 5th, 6th, and 7th. Perez did enough to secure himself a seat at McLaren for 2013. If not for a questionable error in Malaysia, he might have secured his maiden victory as well. While his form came under fire near the end of the season, his overall performance was enough to keep him ahead of Button in the MoneySupermarket rankings. Button started the season in dismay. Unable to cope with the tyres, it seemed his time in F1 may have been coming to an end. A resurgence from the punchy Brit almost made Jenson a title contender. Mark Webber slots in at 7th on the chart for his two victories and never give up attitude. He was certainly a title contender at one stage but reliability and poor pace at times took him out of the running. No one will soon forget the pass on Alonso on the outside in Silverstone, to claim the win.
Maldonado slides in at 8th. He claimed his first F1 victory in Spain may have been his brightest moment of the season. The rest was marred with avoidable accidents. Nonetheless, very quick and pushed his team-mate to the limit and perhaps out of a race seat. 9th was Nico Rosberg. He too claimed his maiden victory, in China. However, as the site states, his performance was uninspiring in uncompetitive machinery. All things aside, it must be noted that he did outperform the great Michael Schumacher on several occasions. Nico Hulkenberg rounds out the top 10 in their list. I personally had rated Nico higher for some inspiring drives. In the second half of the season, he was really shining and pushing his Force India into points positions it may not have deserved.
Felipe Massa was rated 11th best. His best performance came after his contract was renewed, at which point, he drove brilliantly as Ferrari’s number two. The first half of the season however, had the Tifosi calling for him to be ousted. Other notables on the list include Romain Grosjean (12th) who nearly won in Valencia and had some solid pace and performances. Sadly, his name was most associated with collisions and also received a race ban for nearly decapitating Alonso in Belgium. Michael Schumacher deserves a mention as he slots into 13th on the list. The 7 time champion failed to make an impact despite snagging pole in Monaco. He struggled with either the car or the tyres and finished poorly in the standings. Certainly not the ending to the fairytale career one would have scripted for Schumi.
To see the rest of the list, please visit http://www.moneysupermarket.com/car-insurance/grand-prix-driver-of-the-year.
Author: Ernie Black