Concluding my driver review, with the top 6 drivers in 2012.
The statistics listed on each are numerical data of the following:
Championship Position / Championship Points / Best Result / Non-Finishes
6. Mark Webber (Red Bull Racing)
Three years on the trot he has seen his teammate win the World Championship. For whatever reason it just doesn't seem to work for Mark as again this year he won races and for the early part of the year was the better driver - winning at Monaco and Britain. But he tends to fall away in the second half of the year, and this was the same in 2012. Mark is reaching the end of his career in a top flight team, and one has to ask if 2013 is his last best chance of glory. If he won, I don't think any F1 fan would moan though!!
6th / 179 / 1st / 2
2013 Prediction: He will either win or come about 5th. I think it'll be the latter, sadly.
5. Jenson Button (McLaren)
In Autosports F1 review, they said that Jenson is untouchable when he is in perfect synch with a car which is balanced and running in harmony. Really?? I'm pretty sure most people would be - he is sublime when things are running perfectly and why he dominated the first half of his championship year, (the car was so much better than the rest of the field). If a car has an issue, he is unable to extract performance out of it (unlike Alonso or Hamilton) but he is a reliable driver, and knows when to sit out a battle, because you know he will be there to pick up the spoils.
5th / 188 / 1st (x3) / 2
2013 Prediction: Will be confident going into the year as the team leader. Will end it by looking up to Sergio Perez.
4. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing)
A triple consecutive World Champion at the age of 25. It's a statistic that every driver in the sport is envious of - but he is known to be in the best car in the field, and Lady Luck is absolutely on his side. But he did win four races in a row at the most critical moment of the year, and launched himself into the title hunt when rivals had issues. He is becoming the driver people love to hate as he is so successful at such a young age. But that's all - he is a nice guy, and even understands Monty Python. Wouldn't mind a change though in 2013.
1st / 281 / 1st (x5) / 1
2013 Prediction: Four times World Champion. *Sigh*.
3. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
Lewis Hamilton should have won the championship this year by a clear mile. Before the Brazilian Grand Prix, BBC Radio 5Live F1 commentator, James Allen did a review of Lewis' season and pointed out that he lost in the order of 90 points through the year because of mechanical or operational failings from his team, or by competitors taking him out of races. Add those 90 to the 25 he could have got in Brazil and he could have scored 305 points in 2012 - Vettel won the championship with 281. That says it all about F1 in 2012 for Lewis. He needs a new start and he goes off to Mercedes to start a new chapter. Good luck.
4th / 190 / 1st (x4) / 5
2013 Prediction: Will surprise many and will be winning early on too.
2. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
Fernando Alonso was a joy to watch in 2012. The car was dreadful and even Ferrari admitted that on qualifying pace, it was slow. But on race day, the F1 audience was exposed to driving brilliance that saw reliability, stability and composure in driving - Alonso stood upon the podium 13 times. Evidence that putting in solid performances through the whole year will enable a driver to be in with a chance of championship glory. Many say that he is the complete package in F1, and this year, I agree with them - and I'm not even a fan of his.
2nd / 278 / 1st (x3) / 2
2013 Prediction: He also should have won in 2012 but you can guarantee he will be a contender for 2013.
1. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus)
I completely ate my words this year on Kimi Raikkonen. He left F1 in 2009 as a demotivated ex-World Champion being paid off by Ferrari who did not want him any longer. To come back I predicted a year in the doldrums and an exit from the sport. Instead, we got a driver reborn who was in with a chance of the title all year and driving with excellence. Beyond his driving performances, his best moment came at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (a race he later went on to win) when he responded on the radio to his engineer reminding him to keep his tyres warm. His reply was golden, "Yes, yes...leave me alone. You don't have to keep reminding me - I know what I need to do." With that, Kimi is by far my number one driver of 2012.
3rd / 207 / 1st / 0
2013 Prediction: A genuine threat for the title, and could get a drive with Red Bull should Vettel leave at the end of the year.
So that's it. 2012 is now last year and the 2013 season is already coming up soon. Not much is changing in terms of rules, so the field probably won't change much either - so you could say that 2012 is just a taster of what 2013 is going to be like. I cannot wait.
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