Mark Webber, Red Bull, Monte-Carlo, 2010

2010 F1 driver rankings part three: 8-4

2010 F1 season review

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The 2010 F1 driver rankings continue with the next five drivers in the list.

This part includes Mark Webber and Jenson Button among others.

Read on for the next part of the driver rankings.

8. Rubens Barrichello

Rubens Barrichello, Williams, Spa-Francorchamps, 2010
Rubens Barrichello, Williams, Spa-Francorchamps, 2010

Half-term ranking: 11

Barrichello had a consistently positive season which, though short on headline-grabbing moments, showed he is still a force to be reckoned with even after 300 starts.

Starting afresh with a new team, he helped push Williams in the right direction and they made clear progress throughout the season. He took particular pleasure in helping them snatch sixth in the constructors’ championship after scrapping with Adrian Sutil in the final race.

His landmark 300th start at Spa was a bit of a disaster. He ended his race by harpooning Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari.

But one race earlier he proved his mettle by going wheel-to-wheel with Michael Schumacher, scraping past the Mercedes while avoiding what could have been a horrendous accident.

A surprise of the season. Gutsy battles with Schumacher and some really good performances in a midfield car. He’s breaking longevity records for a reason.

Rubens Barrichello 2010 form guide

7. Jenson Button

Jenson Button, McLaren, Shanghai, 2010
Jenson Button, McLaren, Shanghai, 2010

Half-term ranking: 5

Button could have made it a five-way fight for the title in the final race. But hopes of retaining his championship fizzled out in Korea as he floundered in the tricky conditions and finished out of the points.

He excelled in similar circumstances earlier in the season, grabbing opportunistic wins at Melbourne and Shanghai to lead the championship.

But he was consistently a couple of tenths off team mate Lewis Hamilton in qualifying. Worse, he failed to reach Q3 in Britain, Hungary and Brazil.

He responded to these problems by taking a different tactical approach at some races. It paid off magnificently in Monza, where he came close to winning in a car with a quite unorthodox set-up. But risking the hard tyres in qualifying at Suzuka did little to help his cause.

As ever, his driving style was clean and he kept errors to a minimum, in stark contrast to some of his championship rivals. But it wasn’t enough to retain his 2009 crown.

Has generally been slower than Lewis. Often disappointed by dropping out of Q2 or by moaning on the radio: practice without ‘lack of grip’ or ‘massive front locking’ just would not be the same. Where he lacks in outright pace, he makes up with sensibility – he was the only contender who could not be blamed for having thrown away points.

Jenson Button 2010 form guide

6. Mark Webber

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Monte-Carlo, 2010
Mark Webber, Red Bull, Monte-Carlo, 2010

Half-term ranking: 4

Webber seriously rattled his team mate in the middle part of the season with wins at Spain and Monaco. He was leading the next race at Istanbul before that infamous clash, and kept up the momentum with another win in Silverstone.

This was the bedrock of his championship campaign. He kept the pressure on Vettel by winning again in Hungary.

But when Vettel hit back Webber could do nothing to respond. Over the final five races of the year he trailed Vettel for all but three laps – and those were only when Vettel pitted before him.

Webber enjoyed markedly better reliability than Vettel during 2010 – the conspiracy theorists would have howled had it been the other way around – but although Vettel had the label “crash kid” attached to him, Webber was no less error-prone.

He tangled with Lewis Hamilton at Melbourne and Singapore and had a monumental accident when he misjudged Heikki Kovalainen’s braking point at Valencia.

We now know Webber was nursing an injured shoulder when he crashed out of second place in Korea. This was the moment when the championship slipped through his fingers.

With four wins it was undoubtedly a strong season for Webber. His pole position at Sepang, using intermediate tyres while his rivals stuck with full wets, was one of the best of the year. But Vettel ultimately had enough of an edge over him.

I never expected him to push Vettel as hard as he did. Ultimately succumbed to the pressure of the title fight, but probably came out of this season as a much more highly rated driver.

Mark Webber 2010 form guide

5. Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Shanghai, 2010
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Shanghai, 2010

Half-term ranking: 7

Rosberg was the unsung hero of 2010. With all the attention focussed on the occupant of the other Mercedes it was easy to overlook what Rosberg was doing.

He consistently got the best out of the W01 and took it to some great results early in the season when the car was at its best relative to the opposition.

He led convincingly at Shanghai and beat Vettel in the wet qualifying session at Sepang. Rosberg brought the car home on the podium in both races.

At the end of the year he was just two points behind Massa in the championship – and little more than misfortune kept him from scoring more.

Wheels came off his car in Hungary and Japan. In Korea he passed Hamilton and was running fourth behind Alonso when he was taken out by Webber. Another podium finish or possibly even a win was on the cards.

Other than running wide in China and losing the lead I’m struggling to think of any other major errors he made. Ever consistent, even when the Mercedes was at its worst mid-season, he also has the pleasure of being the first person to have beaten Michael Schumacher over the course of a season.

He beat Kubica in the championship and he nearly beat Massa. Driver of the season without a doubt for me.
Dan Thorn

Nico Rosberg 2010 form guide

4. Robert Kubica

Robert Kubica, Renault, Spa-Francorchamps, 2010
Robert Kubica, Renault, Spa-Francorchamps, 2010

Half-term ranking: 2

Monte-Carlo, Spa-Francorchamps, Suzuka: the three tracks on the F1 calendar where a driver can really make their presence felt, and the three tracks where Kubica excelled in the Renault R30.

He split the Red Bulls on the grid at Monaco, was in contention for victory at Spa, and had got up to second at the start at Suzuka when he lost a wheel.

Naturally, he had his team mate comfortably handled – often out-qualifying Vitaly Petrov by more than a second.

It’s a testament to Kubica’s performance that he was often a thorn in the side of the championship contenders – notably Alonso (at Silverstone) and Hamilton (at Abu Dhabi). Will he finally get a car he can challenge regularly for wins with in 2011?

Took the Renault to positions it didn’t deserve to be and made almost no mistakes. He was majestic in Monaco. I believe he will be fighting for the title next year.

Robert Kubica 2010 form guide

Don’t miss the final part of the 2010 F1 Fanatic driver rankings on the site tomorrow. Get the latest articles from F1 Fanatic for free via Twitter, RSS or our email subscription service. Click here for more information.

2010 F1 season review

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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129 comments on “2010 F1 driver rankings part three: 8-4”

  1. Deserve ranking for Webber, he simply didn’t take his chance. Button also, just hasn’t got the pace compared to Lewis.

    1. And both had a lacklustre last 3rd of the season.

    2. Agree. I Button and Webber dont deserve a ranking higher than 7 and 6 respectively. I cant wait for the top 3 to come out.. I think I nailed the ranks 1 to 8.

      1. Webber says the shoulder injury didn’t slow him down, but I don’t believe him. His form lump corresponded with the injury. In 2009 he was slow at the start of the season also when he was recovering from injury.

        One thing that makes Webber such a good driver is his focus on fitness. It’s been his hallmark, only Button could claim to be as fit. Take away that fitness, and you take away his edge. I guess the only way to see if I’m right will be to watch the start of next season. I reckon though that when Webber isn’t crashing his bike he has the edge on Vettel.

        1. How can you say Webber only deserves 6 position. If things had gone only the slightest bit differently in Abu Duabi, he could have been champion.

          Some one who is in the hunt for the championship in the last race should always be in the top 3.

          My list would look like this…
          1. Alonso
          2. Vettel
          3. Webber
          4. Hamilton
          5. Kubica
          6. Rosberg

          1. I think Webber and Button were classified correctly. Of the top drivers, Webber had the most collisions in which he was wholly or partially to blame. It is just that his car survived more of them. Button had the fewest errors of the top drives, and so he was not trying hard enough.

          2. Some one who is in the hunt for the championship in the last race should always be in the top 3.

            Not if there were 4 drivers in the hunt!

            And by slightest bit differently, you’d be talking about finding six tenths in qualifying? Or do you mean that things would have been different if he actually decided to turn up to the event at all?

        2. @Daniel. There wasn’t a slump in his form. he made a mistake in Korea, and the rest of the races he was getting beaten by Vettel.. who was just quicker than him even without the injury.

          1. What is a form slump if it isn’t going slower and making uncharacteristic mistakes?

            He didn’t make those kinds of mistakes in the midseason, and right before the injury he was at least as fast as Vettel. Vettel only beat him consistently after he injured himself.

  2. I believe he will be fighting for the title next year.

    If Lotus can get up to the fight, then yes, and I hope so, for Kubica more than for Renault/Lotus.

    1. I hope they can fight for wins soon too. There is an enormous amount of talent going to waste here…

  3. Barrichello(0x WDC) beat Schumacher (7x WDC), with an inferior car, nearly being killed, and took revenge for those 6 years (2000-2005) when he played second role, demonstrating what he was capable of doing but he never was allowed to do.

    1. That must have felt just as good as beating Sutil to clinch the 6th spot for Williams. He really showed what a quick and experienced driver can do for a team.

    2. NewBoyLewisFan
      21st December 2010, 16:32

      Comment of the day!!!!

    3. Beat him in the rankings, not the championship.

      1. There’s always a schumi lover in the room isn’t there!?

        1. Never let the facts get in the way of a good story eh?

        2. There has to be, to keep things under control.

  4. With five wins it was undoubtedly a strong season for Webber.

    That’s supposed to be four wins. And thanks for the mention. ;)

    1. Well, he would have won Turkey, if not for Vettel taking both of them out of contention ;-O

    2. Thanks rfs, fixed it.

  5. I honestly think Rosberg and Kubica did much better than Vettel this season: had they been in the RB6 they would have won the championship much earlier.

    1. Hard to say. My dream team wars would be: Vettel – Kubica, Rosberg – Alonso. Unfortunately is there is no chance for it to happen.

    2. Can’t really say that. Vettel looked magnificently consistent in the STR in 2008, much like Rosberg and Kubica this year.

      1. Yes, but why does his car keep breaking when his team mates doesn’t? Earlier in his career Webber had the same thing going on. I think maybe he has learnt to be more mechanically sympathetic, and Vettel hasn’t yet.

        Sure there is an element of luck, but it can’t just be luck.

        1. Vettel’s style is particularly harsh on the car in comparison to Webber; that’s the reason. It’s not bad luck, if you abuse a race car, it will break.

          1. Unless you can show cause and effect for what Vettel’s supposed to have done and how it’s broken the car, I don’t buy it.

          2. There is an article out there somewhere that I think Dnaiel is refering to. It was someone saying in early 2009 about throttle use and then again earlier this year, someone, I think Newey said that Vettel is harder getting back on the throttle, I think he was talking about it in terms of getting the blown diffuser to work for vettel.

            Interestingly Webber has recently said on ‘Warnie’ (horrible show btw), that he doesn’t believe in luck and you that you make your own chances. INteresting comment comming from someone who has been in the wars with badluck for most of his f1 career and now is getting better luck in terms of reliability of the car. Daniel is correct, the harder you use something and less forgiving you are to it the more likely it will brake. Webber had the problem and has learnt to drive around it (newey said webber has an excellent ability to drive around problems that vettel is yet to gain). It will be interesting if and when vettel picks the skill up.

            As for the list, I don’t agree.

            Webber is apparently a min of 4 places lower than Vettel. Vettel drove in force india’s twice, button and his teammate webber. He also never led the championship and many of his points were because he was half a tenth ahead of webber in qualifying and got the better start. Yet he only finished just ahead in point overall.

            Rosberg had some peaks but nothing like WEbber’s Spain or Webber’s Monaco and he never showed anything like Webber’s ability to pull out the gap in Hungary.

            Yes Webber made several mistakes, but lower than Rosberg and alot lower than Vettel? I highly doubt that.

            Hamilton I’m suprised he’s pu so hgh, yes I understand that your british… :| And yes he usually had a worse car than the RB’s, but he also finished bechind both of them in the WDC and made several large errors like the other drivers (monza, singapore [he admits to] and suzuka). He also barely beat Button, whom you rank as 7 (and most people don’t think is brilliantly fast, yet hamilton seems to be a synonym for speed).

            My top 8
            Barrichello – had a few patchy bits
            Rosberg – a few great moments, and destroyed a mamed schumacher… a very maemed schumacher. But some great performances and consistancy
            Button – Showed some great skill and was able to run with hamilton for most of the season
            Hamilton – picked up many dropped points, was good, but didn’t really show the big gap over button that most people were expecting, and ruined his own chances like other WDC contenders
            Kubica – Monaco, Suzuka. When he had a chance hs showed it. But several times was also beaten by petrov….
            Webber/Vettel – Together, both made stupid errors (Korea, Valencia/Turkey, Silverstone, Belgium). Vettel won the WDC, but did make a massive hash of several races and I don’t think anyone else in the top 5 had a race as bad as vettel’s Spa race. Vettel did also run into his teammate. Meanwhile Webber was running around yelling at his team half the season, lost focus at the end and lost it for himself like the others. Vettel slightly more over points, but he also made way way way too man ontrack stupid performances. Webber had some great races but lost it mentally at the end.
            Alonso – crys like a baby, many people hate him. But damn can he do well. Pulls the team in behind him, comes from all the way back and nearly wins. Faster than the other 4 in the 2nd half of the season. Alot faster

          3. Rosberg had some peaks but nothing like WEbber’s Spain or Webber’s Monaco and he never showed anything like Webber’s ability to pull out the gap in Hungary.

            Did Rosberg have an RB6?

        2. i agree with this webber used to drive like vettle very aggressively at jaguar and williams but lately his style has become alot smother and if you cant notice that you havent been looking closely enough (take his monaco pole very smooth not aggressive).
          I think vettle has had some bad luck but webber had 2 overheating engines (Germany, Brazil) that he managed to the end of race. ultimently vettle is faster but i think webber lost the champ in the first 3 races.

    3. @Victor. If Vettel had a car as reliable as Mark’s he would have probably wrapped up the title as early as Korea.

      1. But don’t you find it ‘intersting’ that two years in a row vettel has had more problems driving the same car as Webber (only two years they have been together), and in both years he has also nearly ran out of engines while Webber hasn’t.

        Yes, there is a certain amount of luck, but Vettel is still lacking the ability to drive to the car and not just push the hell out of it like jr formula cars.

  6. Keith you… why must you draw it out like this! :P
    suppose it keeps us guessing, I’m eagerly anticipating the concluding chapter!! :D

    1. I believe it’ll be Vettel in 3rd, Alonso in 2nd and Hamilton in 1st.

      1. McLarenFanJamm
        21st December 2010, 17:17

        I don’t really think the top 3 matter which order they come in. They’re so evenly matched in terms of pace and ability to dominate the opposition when on top form. There will no doubt be huge debate about who should get what position but realistically, there’s really not much to choose between them and all 3 of them can claim to be #1

        1. I think I agree with you on that. The 3 best drivers this year were those 3.

          Alonso did a lot to get a not completely on the pace Ferrari in contention in the first 6 races. He won in Bahrain after pushing Vettel and seeing him drop Back. In Malaysia and China he drove pretty good, although it was only needed after team mistakes, technical problems (clutch) and his own mistakes. In Monaco he also had to recover from that. After Germany he started to drive like we saw he knows how and was great on track.
          Hamilton was good with overtaking in the first races, but a bit more thinking would not have hurt. Then he had painfull technical problems and made some mistakes himself. Vettel had a lot of technical issues early on, then he punted Webber out, let it get to him until he punted Button out before he drove the last 5 races to finish first. But he did not make any overtakes on track after his Silverstone recovery drive.
          A hard call, I think I would go with Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton (1-3).

      2. I think what detracts from Hamilton is that his errors all happened at once and towards the end of the season. Across the entire season he may well be top. I previously didn’t think Vettel deserved it considering the number of points he threw away but he changed my mind in the last 4 races, as did Alonso (to an extent) in the few races before that. Very hard to split them.

      3. I think Alonso 3rd because of the Team Orders debacle.

        Hamilton 2nd because he just didn’t quite clinch it and did make a couple of silly mistakes.

        Vettel in 1st wouldn’t be a surprise, he had his off days but he stuck in there to win the WDC after all!!

        1. Vettel didn’t throw away 3 wins, his car let him down. 8 possible wins, also in silverstone Hamilton slashed his tire. 9 Possible wins, 4 thrown away due bad luck.

  7. I think the same, Victor. In my opinion he was just a little better than Webber, and with such superior car it’s nothing special.

    For me Hamilton, Alonso, Kubica and Rosberg were the best drivers from 2010.

  8. I just get the nagging feeling that Kubica is just a better ‘Fisichella’. The only time we saw him remotely in any championship fight was in 2008, and we saw how he faded in the second half of that season…although some may say the BMW lost interest.
    Personally I think he ‘may’ be a tad overrated, I would very much like to see what he does, and how he drives with Championship pressure.

    1. We know that BMW gave up on 2008 midway through the season to focus on 2009. If they hadn’t, who knows what could’ve happened.

      I think Kubica’s very good with a strong car, but not so good with a car that isn’t quite performing – you can see this in 2009 when he couldn’t beat Heidfeld regularly, and also at some points in 2010, particularly at the end of the year.

      1. So in your opinion another ‘Button’. Both smooth drivers, rarely make mistakes….Kubica may be a bit faster, but when the car isnt up to par they do seem to struggle.
        All that does is confirm my suspicion that he isnt up to par with the true talents of the sport….Honestly I cant wait to see him in a ‘big’ team, I think everyone would be a bit surprised at his performance.

        1. And Hamilton was that strong in 2009 with a car that isn’t quite performing? No, he wasn’t. And Alonso, and all those supertalents need a strong car to perform. So they all are not the true talents of the sport? Pity. We have no talents at all.

          1. erm, Hamilton won 2 races, came 5th in the championship and had a car on par with torro rosso for the first half of the season.

          2. @velvet_demon – In a similar vein to Jake’s reply, Alonso had a weak car in 2008 and yet: won 2 races, came 5th in the championship and had a car on par with torro rosso for the second half of the season.

          3. I hardly think Singapore counts…..

          4. Sigh, just get the point I was making against velvet, Mike…

        2. Ehrm…Kubica’s a smooth driver? Well…words fail me.

          1. @Jake, you’re right. Indeed Hamilton hadn’t a winning car for the first half of the season. 9,12,13,16,18 – guess what these figures are? Someone should help you? Hamilton’s 5 consecutive race finish places in mid-2009.

          2. I’m a little confused as to your point. 4 of these 5 were in the first half of the season. The last one is Germany, the first race in which the mclaren was competitive, in which Hamilton was unfortunate to get a puncture whilst battling for the lead.

      2. @ed24f1. Lots of people say that Heidfeld was better than him in 2009 only because he finished with a higher points total. But we all forget that he probably would have atleast come in 2nd in Melbourne if Vettel hadn’t crashed into him. Plus the weight of the KERS system was affecting him way more than it was Heidfeld.

        @Sammy. There is no way Kubica is another Button.. he has way more pace, aggressiveness and talent than Button does. Button is consistent and takes care of his tyres, but he is not an out and out racer like Kubica, Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton.

        1. @Jake, it’s as simple as that. It was you who gave Hamilton’s 2009 performance as an example in opposition to any other driver in a bad car. Did Lewis drive brilliantly in a crap car? Hardly to say 13th or 16th places were excellent but he did what he could. Apparently in the first half of 2009 he couldn’t do anything more. Later there was significant change and he started to succeed. Why? Maybe because in the second halve of the season he got a better car? Am I wrong, didn’t you start to develop a thesis that driver X or driver Y driving in weak cars should have fought for wins because Hamilton did it?

      3. What a waste of time, effort and money – twice – from BMW!!

        Once for giving themselves a championship winning oppurtunity from all their hard work before and up until a point in the 2008 season, then they make it meaningless, and a waste of effort by cancelling development and chance to win midway through…

        The second waste of time and money came from the hugely vast sums of investment poured into 2009 development, along with thousands of man hours for what…

    2. You can’t take away credit from Kubica for what he did on 3 “drivers tracks”. Especially Monaco, whole weekend fastest only lost to Webber in Q3 and got to eager for win at the race start. Renault deserved something like P7-P10

      1. wot do base ur theory that they only deserved P7-10 on. It can’t be the performance of his team-mate as we have no idea how he was performing compared to where the car should have been.

        Thats the problem with kubica this year, we just don’t know whether it was him seriously outperforming the car or Petrov seriously underperfoming it.

        1. I agree that there is problem with Kubica’s team mate. Are you saying that P2-P3 was natural pace of Renault and all the result below that is due Kubica poor performance? I seriously doubt it. I rather believe that Kubica found something special where it was possible to bring this car to P2 or P3.

          1. The other thing that makes this hard to work out is that cars have different characteristics. Their development pace at different times in the season also has an effect.

            Sometimes a team will focus their development toward particular tracks where they think they have the best chance. Monaco is a favourite for this because it is so different to other circuits. I think sometimes the Renault was a good car, other times not.

            As for Kubica, I don’t think he was ever worse than the car. He was good, no doubt about it. But it’s hard to judge how good he was.

          2. i believe the car was faster than the mclaren at monaco, and with alonso out, he really should have been getting P3 or 4. Yes, he did very well but i think its exagerated. I think its the same all season

        2. jesus, man! take a look at onboard kub monaco 2010. he was driving like a devil!!! outperforming car for sure! if someone doubts, someones blind.

          1. i dont doubt he outperformed the car. what i doubt is the extent to which he did so, which is difficult to judge because of his rookie team-mate.

  9. Gonna call it now:

    3- Hamilton
    2- Vettel
    1- Alonso

    1. 1 – Vettel
      2 – Alonso
      3 – Hamilton

      I suppose you could argue to change Ham and Alo, but it seemed like Ham had a few too many mistakes because he was driving a bit too hard at the end because he was down in the points. Alonso seemed nearly perfect toward the end, except for the last race of course….

      1. I would say:
        1 – Alonso (but only in terms of performance on track)
        2 – Hamilton
        3 – Vettel

        1. I’d agree with that.

          If it hadn’t been for Monza I would have Hamilton and Alonso the other way around.

          Vettel is quick (single lap or when out in front with a superior car) but not above Alonso and Hamilton. I don’t think Vettel could of done what Alonso and Hamilton did in their cars.

    2. This.