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Old 16 Oct 2005, 10:22 (Ref:1434925)   #1
Knowlesy
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Your top ten drivers from the 2005 Formula 1 season

The season is over, the last of the 19 races has drawn to a close and we head into the winter of discontent.

It has been a largely entertaining season with many a standout performance.

We’ve had a new world champion crowned as well.

But, in true Autocourse style, who makes your personal top ten of the drivers this season, taking into account the machinery at their disposal and any other elements?

Here’s mine:

1 - Fernando Alonso. World champion, flawless performer. Possibly the most well judged, near perfect season I have ever seen from anyone. Faster than people give him credit for as well!

2 - Kimi Raikkonen. Not as perfect as Alonso, but certainly as quick. Will be disappointed that he didn’t take the crown after such effort and a clear car advantage most of the season. Plenty of years left to try again though!

3 - David Coulthard. I hold my hands up, I did not expect such a stunning performance from DC this season. But I am well impressed with him, he seems to have a new lease of life and it is actually a joy to have him around!

4 - Juan Pablo Montoya. Immensely disappointing first half of the season because of shoulder injury and the ensuing incidents. But got his game together in Canada and has been every bit a match for his teamamte since. Stunning drive at brazil the highlight, look out for him next year!

5 - Nick Heidfeld. After what seemed an eternity, Williams finally took the decision to sign Quick Nick for the ’05 season and what a shrewd choice. Outperformed his much vaunted teammate repeatedly, taking three podiums. Season ended on sour note with injuries, but still a class act.

6 - Michael Schumacher. - After five years of dominance, you’d think the determination and will to win would ebb away. Not a chance. Still more than capable of wringing more out of a car than it is capable of, but there have been some lacklustre displays as well this season. Can he bounce back next season?

7 - Jarno Trulli. - Considerably smaller pay than his teammate, yet got the job done rather more effectively for the vast majority of the season. Things petered out in typical Trulli fashion towards the end and he could often be seen holding back a vast train of cars during races, but overall has been very good and his qualifying in particular has been mesmerising.

8 - Jenson Button. - A character building display for the supposed “British hope” and one he’ll want to forget. Couldn’t really do any more in all honesty and grabbed a couple of podiums and a pole at least along his troubled way. Contract talk became tedious though.

9 - Ralf Schumacher. - Sluggish, no worse than sluggish, start made Ralf look typically overrated. His manager must do a good job selling him for that pay-packet. But really got his act together from mid-season and even overhauled his teammate in the points table which is interesting to say the least. 2006 format front end on TF105B suits him, could surprise next year if he actually turns up before mid-season.

10 - Giancarlo Fisichella. - The Renault drivers bookend the top ten, which is surprising given that they won the constructors title. But Fisi has been nowhere near Alonso all year and has been very patchy in his form. His win in Melbourne was lucky and owed more to qualifying rain than anything else, but it was well executed. Mechanical problems then intervened and combined with some poor driving. Low point came at Japanese GP where his defence of a comfortable, race winning lead was somewhat floppy. Must do better next year.
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Old 16 Oct 2005, 10:41 (Ref:1434939)   #2
maltafan
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These are mine in this order

Alonso: Obviously he is the champion
Kimi: He did the best he could with an unreliable Mc Laren.
Nick: Great drives, a pole position and 2 podium finishes for someone who was confirmed in the last minute in a crap of a car.
Montoya: He managed 3 wins despite an injury, a squalification, a lot of shunts from other drivers and also track mishaps
Coulthard: Seems rejuvinated in a new RBR Car
Jenson: Yes he is a good driver, not a great one, but a good one
Trulli: Good start of the season for him, although he seems not to be liking the latest version of his car
Klien: Had to fight for his seat and also stay as a sub. A couple of finishes in front of his experienced team mate
Fisichella: Helped Alonso enough to grab the Contructors' championship too apart from the victory in Australia
Monteiro: A very promising rookie.
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Old 16 Oct 2005, 10:48 (Ref:1434943)   #3
John Turner
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John Turner is going for a new world record!John Turner is going for a new world record!John Turner is going for a new world record!John Turner is going for a new world record!John Turner is going for a new world record!John Turner is going for a new world record!John Turner is going for a new world record!John Turner is going for a new world record!
Pretty much agree with Knowlesy, although I would probably swap JPM and DC around. However, I do think DC has driven superbly most of the season and had one or two drives (like today) where for reasons outside his control, he failed to score deserved points. However, in the light of all the stick DC has had in recent seasons, that we are placing him inside the top 6, says it all.

I might also drop Fisi off the list and perhaps put Mark Webber at 10th. I think he has put some strong end of season drives in.
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Old 16 Oct 2005, 10:51 (Ref:1434944)   #4
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Kicking-back should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridKicking-back should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
1= Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen Both showed the signs that they are the next era of F1 - Alonso getting a stranglehold on the season early on and then driving as he had to to secure the title before showing is what he's made of at Suzuka and Shanghai. Kimi - blindingly fast too - he had to throw caution to the wind and he did.


3: Nick Heidfeld At the start of the season he was scrabbling to stay in F1 but his performances have earned him a long-term contract with BMW. Technical skills rated highly by the engineers too.


4: David Coulthard Team leader for the first time in his career effectively - and he delivered in style. Still the ultimate professional with a human side.

5: Jenson Button Generally got all that could be extracted from a difficult race car and comprehensively demolished his team-mate

6: Juan Pablo Montoya From Silverstone to Interlagos, generally the fastest man out there

7: Michael Schumacher Yes, there were some good drives in adversity - but he seems to have rather reversed into third in the championship. A lot of races he was anonymous - and Shanghai was possibly the worst day he's had in an F1 car for a very long time

8: Giancarlo Fisichella Won a race and helped Renault to the constructors title - but proved to be no match for Alonso - and folded like a cheap tent on occasion


9=: Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli Progressed Toyota - with podiums and poles




Honorable mentions to: Klien, Webber, Monteiro


Disappointing: Barrichello, Sato, Villeneuve
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Old 16 Oct 2005, 11:20 (Ref:1434962)   #5
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Bellof should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
1. alonso, winning the title in style, more than fullfilling the expectations, and outclassing his teammate completly.

2. michael, even in a season with a lot of incidents and with a quiet inferiour package he delivered more than probably anyone else would have done in his place. to beat montoya and fisico in the championship shows he's still the man.
also I was amazed by his fighting spirit for minor placings.

3. kimi, if not for some dnf's would have made a great battle for the title. showed great speed and also consistency, albeit some mistakes leave room for improvement.

4. nick, after battling for a race seat, he showed that he truly deserves a chance in a good car. very mature display for most of the season, only doubt remains regarding webbers superiority in qualy.

5. dc, before the season, I thought it's time to retire for him, but I must admit, I liked him better than in his late mcl years. with a surprisingly good car he did an equal job.

6. button, did quiet well considering his equipment. made mistakes under pressure and under contract.

7. massa, was frequently faster than his teammate and drove more mature than he was famous for. will have a make or break next season...

8. monty, after taking a bit too long to come to grips with the car and himself, he showed the expected speed and some great performances. not enough with the fastest car in my book, but like every year he leaves us with hope for the next.

9. ralf, like knowlesy mentioned absent for the first half of the races (and specially qualys), but managed to fight back against an impressive trulli in the second half.

10. trulli, amazing in the early part of the year, but faded later on heavily. also the battle between alonso and fisico merits his performance from last season even more.
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Old 16 Oct 2005, 11:22 (Ref:1434965)   #6
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BootsOntheSide should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridBootsOntheSide should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridBootsOntheSide should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridBootsOntheSide should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
1 Alonso
2 Raikkonen
3 Montoya
4 Michael
5 Coulthard
6 Button
7 Heidfeld
8 Ralf
9 Webber
10 Trulli

Doesn't seem to be too much argument here. Fernando and Kimi were generally head and shoulders above the rest, and both really shone in their circusmtances, but I feel that Fernando's management job on the tite makes him the mroe imrpessive driver. Coulthard and Ralf have really rebuilt their reputations this year.
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Old 16 Oct 2005, 11:30 (Ref:1434976)   #7
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Menelaos should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
1. FA and KR
3. DC, JPM, JB
6. MS, NH, JT
9. RS, MW

Barrichello has been terribly dissapointing, but that was just what I expected. He's not good enough to be ANYWHERE if he doesn't have the best car by a few seconds. Sato has been disastrous, but again that's not a surprise. Villeneuve proved that he's just not good enough anymore. None of the four drivers of Jordan and Minardi was impressive, although Monteiro made it through the races. Fisi was nowhere. There's no way I'm awarding him anything just because he won a race with that car. I expected much more from him.

Klien was very good, I think he's much better than Liuzzi. Massa was nowhere, he wasn't very bad, but he wasn't very good I don't remember anything from him this year.
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Old 16 Oct 2005, 11:36 (Ref:1434984)   #8
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Menelaos should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bellof
2. michael, even in a season with a lot of incidents and with a quiet inferiour package he delivered more than probably anyone else would have done in his place. to beat montoya and fisico in the championship shows he's still the man.
How does this show ANYTHING? JPM missed two races and had 2 stupid crashes and Fisico was a disaster. Plus, he ran an extra race at Indy.
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Old 16 Oct 2005, 11:40 (Ref:1434989)   #9
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NO1SPECIAL has a lot of promise if they can keep it on the circuit!
Just a thought - if Williams had not made the extremely unusual decision to pit Heidfeld first at Monaco then Webber and Heidfeld would have been equal on points before Nick's injury....and if Fisi had not taken Webber out in Malaysia then Webber likely would have been leading Nick by 7 points...and then there's Mark's strong end of season form to consider.

How is it then that Nick makes some people's top 5 and Mark doesn't even make the top 10? (yes, i know it's only your opinion but it's got to be based on something)

Are we rating drivers against other drivers or against their (media) reputations?

As for my top 10, I'll have to give this a bit more consideration before putting pen to paper as it were.
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Old 16 Oct 2005, 11:42 (Ref:1434990)   #10
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Kicking-back should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridKicking-back should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Quote:
Originally Posted by NO1SPECIAL

How is it then that Nick makes some people's top 5 and Mark doesn't even make the top 10? (yes, i know it's only your opinion but it's got to be based on something)

It's based on expectation.

We were told before the season that Mark would be the new Fangio.

He wasn't
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Old 16 Oct 2005, 11:44 (Ref:1434991)   #11
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Yes, but what if Nick hadn't blown up at Bahrain, or...blah, blah, blah....

Rate them how you will, just be considered. It is your personal top ten, how drivers have performed with the car at their disposal.
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Old 16 Oct 2005, 11:51 (Ref:1435000)   #12
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Bleu should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridBleu should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
1. Fernando Alonso
- Great start for season and then did the job he needed except Canadian race.

2. Kimi Räikkönen
- For most of the season he had the fastest car so it was not surprising to see him winning races.

3. Michael Schumacher
- Still some great races but also more mistakes than in his championship years

4. David Coulthard
- After leaving McLaren he still showed some great moments.

5. Juan Pablo Montoya
- Better of 2nd drivers of top 2 teams. Some mistakes but went better as the season progressed

6. Giancarlo Fisichella
- After a little lucky win he went through difficult moments. Some flashes of good racing like in Canada.

7. Jarno Trulli
- Great start and great qualifier. Qualifying moments get him ahead of Ralf in my books.

8. Ralf Schumacher
- Went better and better all season. Retired only once IIRC.

9. Jenson Button
- Recovered after awful start. Two podiums and finishing every race in the points since France.

10. Nick Heidfeld
- Surprisingly had more points than Webber at the time of his injury

I list others too with no comments
11. Christian Klien
12. Mark Webber
13. Felipe Massa
14. Tiago Monteiro
15. Rubens Barrichello
16. Christijan Albers
17. Narain Karthikeyan
18. Jacques Villeneuve
19. Robert Doornbos
20. Vitantonio Liuzzi
21. Takuma Sato
22. Antonio Pizzonia
23. Patrick Friesacher

I didn't rank drivers with one race (de la Rosa, Wurz, Davidson, Zonta)
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Old 16 Oct 2005, 11:55 (Ref:1435011)   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kicking-back
It's based on expectation.

We were told before the season that Mark would be the new Fangio.

He wasn't
Well thankyou for at least confirming that you weren't rating his driving against that of the other 19 drivers on the grid but were merely penalising him for the hype in the media about him.
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Old 16 Oct 2005, 11:58 (Ref:1435013)   #14
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Nintendo has a lot of promise if they can keep it on the circuit!
1. Kimi Raikkonen
2. Fernando Alonso
3. Mark Webber
4. Juan Pablo Montoya
5. Giancarlo fisichella
6. Christian Klien
7. Nick heidfeld
8. Rubens Barrichello
9. Jenson Button
10. Christian Albers
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Old 16 Oct 2005, 12:00 (Ref:1435016)   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knowlesy
Yes, but what if Nick hadn't blown up at Bahrain, or...blah, blah, blah....

Rate them how you will, just be considered. It is your personal top ten, how drivers have performed with the car at their disposal.
OK, I consider the decision of Williams to pit the second of their cars in the race first to be very odd.

Even leaving aside the Fisi incident, if this had not happened they would be dead level on points - surely then they must be rated somewhere near each other.
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