F1 2010s: Top 10 Drivers

10. Valtteri Bottas

One of the newer stars of the decade. Bottas made headlines during his Williams years, leading their brief resurgence at the start of the hybrid era. His recent success has come at Mercedes, where he has taken 7 wins and despite a disappointing 2018 has proved a great supporter to Lewis Hamilton.

9. Mark Webber

Webber showed his potential by challenging for the title in the 2010 season. However it can be said he was incredibly unlucky to have Sebastian Vettel as his team-mate when in the fastest car, which resulted in him commonly being seen as a number two driver despite showing genuine pace.

8. Sergio Perez

The midfield star of the decade. Perez had a breakout season in 2012 for Sauber, coming close to even winning the Malaysian Grand Prix of that year, and managed to win the attention of McLaren, who signed him to replace the departing Lewis Hamilton. However he was controversially dropped after a tough season for the team as a whole. But he then found a new home in the form of Force India, now Racing Point, putting in stand out drives, taking 5 podiums in midfield machinery, and even playing a role in saving the team itself in 2018.

7. Daniel Ricciardo

At number seven is perhaps the best overtaker of the decade. Since joining Red Bull in 2014, Ricciardo became known for his instinctive late dives in unlikely places and making them stick with perfect execution, having won much of his races in this manner. One of the most popular drivers in F1, many are hoping Renault improve so we can see more of that in the 2020s

6. Kimi Raikkonen

Raikkonen made a successful comeback after two years out of the sport at the beginning of the decade, winning two races in his two years at Lotus despite limited funds for the team. A return to Ferrari was initially unsuccessful but he was a regular front runner from 2015-2018, proving to be a dependable driver for the prancing horse.

5. Max Verstappen

The breakout star of the decade. Many eyebrows were raised when it was announced he would drive for Toro Rosso at just 17. But he proved age was just a number by pulling off one of the best rookie seasons seen in Formula One. His promotion to Red Bull at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix saw instant success, where he smashed the world record for the youngest ever Grand Prix winner at 18, and over the past few years has matured, taking 7 further wins and it seems only a matter of time before he has his chance at the championship.

4. Nico Rosberg

Perhaps one of the most underrated drivers of the decade is Nico Rosberg. Having joined Mercedes at the start of the decade, he had his work cut out when his karting rival Lewis Hamilton joined the team. But he proved capable of beating him and after 3 years of trying, he managed to do just that in 2016, before promptly calling it a day.

3. Fernando Alonso

At number three is probably the unluckiest driver of the decade. Alonso joined Ferrari at the start of the decade and showed his class, by coming close to winning the title in 2010, and again in 2012 in a car that wasn’t as competitive as his rivals. Ferrari went backwards in 2014 with the new regulations, and he moved to McLaren, however that proved to be an ill fated move, as McLaren struggled with their Honda engine, whilst Ferrari went forwards. He has since focused on other activities, having won Le Mans, and after a change to Renault power resulted in little improvements for McLaren, he left the sport in pursuit of the triple crow.

2. Sebastian Vettel

Vettel got off to a flying start at the beginning of the decade. He and Red Bull proved to be a formidable force, winning four championships in a row, including two dominant seasons in 2011 and 2013. A poor season in 2014 saw him move to Ferrari and fulfil a childhood dream. Despite initial success, he has had difficulties despite a couple of chances of the title, particularly in 2018. That doesn’t stop his achievements at the start of the decade making him a worthy number two.

1. Lewis Hamilton

Unsurprisingly, Driver of the Decade goes to Lewis Hamilton. Despite being fast and winning numerous races he struggled to mount a title challenge at the beginning of the decade, which led to him moving to Mercedes. That proved to be one of the best career moves in Formula One history Mercedes became the class of the field in his second year at the team, whilst McLaren started to falter. In incredible machinery, it was him that proved the one to beat, seeing off title challenges from Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel to win all but one of the seasons of the hybrid era, whilst making it look easy in the process.

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