2011 might be over, but that doesn't mean we can't take a look back at 2011. So here are the top five drivers of 2011, according to our editorial team.
5) Lewis Hamilton
On one side, Hamilton failed to finish three times, collided with Massa five times, broke up with his girlfriend, but on the other side he scored three victories(equal to his teammate, and only bettered by Vettel), and was the only one to score a pole position apart from the two Red Bulls.
He showed what he can do by overtaking Vettel's RB7 on the 52th lap of the Chinese Grand Prix. He also won in style at the German and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. After all the collisions with Massa, he felled to the back of grid and charged his way back to top 5 positions, for eg in Singapore. It might have not been the best year for the 2008 World Champion, but he certainly showed what he is capable of. This year he was beaten by 47 points by his teammate Jenson Button, but it would be interesting to see how he performs next season.
4) Heikki Kovalainen It's not just the front-runners who are talented, if you look at the backrunners, they are equally talented and the one that stands out of them is Lotus' Heikki Kovalainen. After failing to match team-mate Lewis Hamilton during his days at McLaren, Kovalainen has matured and has showed his worth at Lotus. Lotus was the best of the 'new teams' but Heikki Kovalainen also battled with the likes of Sauber and Toro Rosso. He also managed Q2 a couple of times, and is the only one of the bottom three teams to do so. If Caterham manages to give him a good car, he'll be the one we'll be betting for.
3) Fernando Alonso
After nearly missing out on his third title in 2010, Alonso could just win one race the following year, thanks to his poor Ferrari. Despite the poor Ferrari 150º Italia, he scored ten podiums and moved into lead at his home race on the very first lap, only to finish a lap down in 5th. He has been the most complete drivers for years, and showed what his talent with an emphatic victory in Britain. With Ferrari promising a better and a more competitive 2012 car, it would be interesting to see whether he would enjoy those glorious times he had enjoyed with Renault in 2005-06 with the Prancing Horse.
2) Jenson Button
Second on our list is Jenson Button, who again proved that his 2009 title wasn't down to the Brawn car. With three wins, and further 9 podiums, he finished 2nd in the Championship. There was one stage when he was driving in the last place at Canada, only to win a race which was his best in his 12 year F1 career. Not only he made the most of his less-aggressive driving style, but he also showed his aggression when needed. His qualifying form was way better than 2010, and we can expect another title from the British driver.
1) Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel was the undisputed number one in 2011. Eleven wins, 15 pole positions, and a total of 17 podiums, the stats says it all. Sebastian Vettel deserved the 2011 F1 title, and he won it in style. The fastest driver in the fastest car put on miracles, dominating the season and won the title with four races to go. How did he managed to do so? Answer - Start the race from pole, put on a massive lead before lap two(before DRS activation) and enjoy! Sounds easy? Well only if your name is Sebastian Vettel. His performances in Korea and India, showed what the double world champion is capable. We won't be surprised to see him win another title this year. Only time will tell whether we've found the next Michael Schumacher.