The chequered flag finally was waved for the last time this year in the 2011 Formula 1 championship.
Nineteen races across five continents and some eight months of hard work and travelling.
Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull team were dominant throughout the season with Vettel taking no more than 15 Pole positions, 11 wins and scoring a massive 392 world championship points and of course his 2nd World Championship Crown.
Sebastian has been in a class of his own where his team mate Mark Webber just was not quick enough. With Mark’s only win which came in the last race in Brazil, his performance was disappointing to say the least, with the same car as Vettel he only managed 3rd in the championship standings, 2012 will be a do or die year for Webber.
Jenson Button had a stella year with some fantastic races and the Canadian Grand Prix was the best drive of his career.
Lewis Hamilton had a terrible year, with incidents on and off the track he was not in the zone for many of the races. The old Hamilton came back in the last 2 races but his championship was ruined mainly by silly mistakes and outrageous overtaking manoeuvres that clearly would not work. With Jenson finishing 2nd behind Vettel, clearly hurt Hamilton as he could only manage 5th in the driver standings. Hamilton will I hope come back next year stronger and have his old magic back.
Ferrari only could manage 3rd in the Constructors standings with Felipe Massa constantly being out performed by the flying Spaniard Fernando Alonso who had a fantastic win at the British Grand Prix.
Massa will drive hopefully for Ferrari in 2012 but if he doesn’t improve that will be over for the Brazilian, the tifosi will not stand for it nor will Luci di Montezemolo.
Massa did not finish on the podium at all in 2011. The last Ferrari driver who failed to have a podium in a season was Didier Pironi in 1981.
Overall great result for Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel, McLaren came back at the end of the season but again as with 2010, it’s too little too late. McLaren will have to make sure their car is spot on at the beginning of the year and not fight all year to improve it.
As I write this. there is a strong rumour that Kimi Raikkonen will sign for Renault not Williams as previously suggested.
2011 has been dominated by Red Bull, the mighty Schumacher could not even get a look in and I feel with the brilliance of Adrian Newey, the Red Bull will have the wings next year. Ferrari and McLaren must take the fight to them.
Full 2011 results: 1 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 392 2 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 270 3 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 258 4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 257 5 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 227 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 118 7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 89 8 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 76 9 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 42 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 37 11 Nick Heidfeld Renault 34 12 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 30 13 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 27 14 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 26 15 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 15 16 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 14 17 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 4 18 Bruno Senna Renault 2 19 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1 20 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 0 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 0 22 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 0 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 0 24 Jerome d'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 0 25 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 0 26 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 0 27 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 0 28 Karun Chandhok Lotus-Renault 0