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10 most successful drivers of the past decade

With one of the most highly anticipated Formula One seasons in recent memory finally underway, it’s safe to say that the previous 10 seasons have been a mixture of thrilling, captivating, predictable and perhaps even boring at times. Despite this, 6 of the past 10 seasons have gone to the final round, including 2008, 2010, 2012 and most recently 2016. Seasons such as 2011 and 2013 were decided far too early on in the year. We ask the question: which Drivers have achieved the most success over this past decade of formula one? 

1o. Rubens Barrichello

  • 2 Wins
  • 1 Pole Position
  • 7 Podiums
  • 2 Fastest Laps

The most experienced driver in Formula One history, Rubens Barrichello pips the likes of Robert Kubica to the number 10 spot on this list thanks to a successful 2009 Campaign with Brawn GP. Despite Barrichello often being outclassed by his team-mate and the eventual 2009 World Champion, Jenson Button, Rubens was able to surmount a credible title challenge for the majority of the Season, eventually finishing 3rd overall in the standings, with his first win in 5 years in Valencia being one of the highlights of the Year and later followed by another win in Monza, as well as claiming his final pole position at his home race in Brazil at the penultimate round of the Championship.

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9. Daniel Ricciardo

  • 4 Wins
  • 1 Pole Position
  • 20 Podiums
  • 8 Fastest Laps

Starting midway through the 2011 Season with HRT, Daniel Ricciardo was given the promotion to Toro Rosso a year later, and thanks to consistent performances during his 2 years with the team, Ricciardo was then announced as Red Bull’s replacement for fellow Aussie Mark Webber following his decision to retire at the end of the season. Many expected Ricciardo to be blown away by his new team-mate, four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, but with perhaps the surprise of the season, Ricciardo dominated Vettel in all aspects over their 1 year together, securing 3 brilliant wins en route to 3rd in the Championship. Whilst he didn’t reach those heights in 2015, Ricciardo bounced back in 2016, claiming his first ever Pole Position in Monaco and taking Victory in Malaysia – once again sealing a comfortable 3rd place in the championship for the fan favourite.

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8. Felipe Massa

  • 9 Wins
  • 13 Pole Positions
  • 34 Podiums
  • 13 Fastest Laps

Reaching the peak of his Formula One Career in 2007-08 for Ferarri, Felipe Massa came within seconds of realising his dear and becoming World Champion in 2008 before it was cruelly taken away from him on the last corner of the race by Lewis Hamilton in Brazil. He secured 3 wins in 2007 and season’s best of 6 wins in 2008, taking him just 1 point shy of the world championship. After suffering a life-threatening accident in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix midway through the 2009 season, Massa was never the same driver he once was, only showing glimpses of his old form on very few occasions, with Massa being severely beaten in each of his 4 seasons together with Fernando Alonso from 2010-13, only being able to secure 8 Podiums in those 4 years, compared to Alonso’s 42 in that same period of time. A move to Williams in 2014 prompted flashes of his former glory days, securing a surprise pole position in Austria that year was a high point as well as a number of podiums in 2014-15.

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7. Mark Webber

  • 9 Wins
  • 13 Pole Positions
  • 41 Podiums
  • 16 Fastest Laps

Mark Webber enjoyed a successful tenure at Red Bull, claiming his first ever pole position and a spectacular win at the German Grand Prix in 2009 at his 130th attempt, an F1 record which still stands to this day. 2010 was Webber’s most successful campaign, after taking 4 wins during the season Webber lead the Championship from the likes of Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton, before throwing it all away after crashing out early in a rain-soaked South Korean Grand Prix, ultimately costing Webber the title, eventually finishing 3rd in the standings, 14 points adrift of champion Vettel. Webber would never come close to the title again, with just 3 wins in the next 3 seasons due to Vettel dominating in 2 of those years in 2011 and 2013. Despite this, Webber helped Red Bull secure four straight constructors championships, before calling it a day at the end of the 2013 Season, finishing 2nd in his last ever race in Brazil and once again taking 3rd in the drivers’ standings.

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6. Fernando Alonso

  • 17 Wins
  • 7 Pole Positions
  • 60 Podiums
  • 11 Fastest Laps

Runner-up 3 times between 2010-13 at Ferarri and missing out on a third World Championship by less than 5 points on 3 different occasions, Fernando Alonso is still viewed by many as the best and most complete driver on the current Formula One grid. After securing the 2006 world championship for Renault, Alonso moved to McLaren in hopes of retaining his title, instead he was outshone by rookie team-mate Lewis Hamilton, despite tensions rising throughout the season between himself and the team, Alonso drove to 4 victories in his McLaren and missed out on a 3rd straight Championship by just 1 point to Ferarri driver Kimi Raikkonen. Returning to Renault for 2008-09 Alonso could only claim 2 wins, 4 Podiums and a surprise Pole Position in Hungary in 2009. Alonso signed for Ferarri in 2010 and made an immediate impact, winning on his debut in Bahrain. Alonso took 5 wins and led going into the final race, but poor strategy from the team left Fernando in a compromised 7th place for the remainder of the race, losing the Championship by 4 points to Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel. In 2012 Alonso found himself once again fighting for the Title at the final race in Brazil, but even his 13th Podium of the season couldn’t secure the title, once again runner-up to Vettel once again by a mere 3 point margin.

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5. Kimi Räikkönen

  • 11 Wins
  • 5 Pole Positions
  • 48 Podiums
  • 23 Fastest Laps
  • 2007 Formula One Champion

After coming close to the title with McLaren in 2006, Raikkonen made the switch to Ferarri in 2007, with the decision paying off handsomely as Kimi won on his Ferarri debut in Australia following his debut pole position for the Scuderia the previous day. His consistency in 2007 yielded six wins and twelve podiums and a dramatic overturn of a 17-point deficit to championship leader Lewis Hamilton in the final 2 races of the year. Raikkonen finished 2008 3rd overall with just 2 wins and 6th overall in 2009 with only 1 win, Raikkonen left the sport at the end of 2009, before returning with Lotus in 2012. Even with 2 years away from Formula One Raikkonen finished in the points a whopping 19 times out of 20, securing 7 Podiums and a famous win in Abu Dhabi. 2013 started off with a potential title challenge after Raikkonen took a superb win in Australia, scoring several podiums early on in the season.

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4. Jenson Button

  • 14 Wins
  • 5 Pole Positions
  • 46 Podiums
  • 8 Fastest Laps
  • 2009 Formula One Champion

After two poor seasons with Honda in 2007 and 2008. Jenson Button and newly formed Brawn GP shocked the world by dominating the first part of the 2009 season, winning 6 of the first 7 races. Despite not winning again for the remainder of the season, Button’s consistency of points scoring finishes throughout the year meant that he was able to secure the title with one round to spare in Brazil, capping off the season with his 8th podium of the year. Moving to McLaren the following year, Button surprised many by winning 2 of the first 4 races and looked as though he could retain the title, although his form dropped off slightly mid-season Jenson bounced back brilliantly in 2011, taking 13 podiums and winning arguably the greatest race of all time in Canada on the final lap to secure a well earned 2nd place in the Championship. Button again won the opener in Australia in 2012 and took two more victories over the course of the year and, to the surprise of many, outscored Hamilton with 672 points to 657 over their three years together at McLaren.

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3. Nico Rosberg

  • 23 Wins
  • 30 Pole Positions
  • 57 Podiums
  • 22 Fastest Laps
  • 2016 Formula One Champion

F1’s newest World Champion and also freshly retired driver Nico Rosberg saw his career sky rocket during his 7 years with Mercedes. Taking just two podiums prior to 2010 with Williams in 2008, Rosberg began to make a name for himself in 2010, taking three podiums over the season and dominating the legendary Michael Schumacher in the process. 2012 finally saw Rosberg take his first Grand Prix victory in China following a well executed race, although it was 2013 where Rosberg upped his game following the arrival of his new team mate Lewis Hamilton, in their first year together Rosberg secured two victories to Hamilton’s one, but still finished behind the Brit in the standings. 2014 saw Mercedes domination of F1 begin, with Rosberg leading the championship over Hamilton thanks 4 of his 5 wins that year coming mainly in the first half of the year.

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2. Lewis Hamilton

  • 53 Wins
  • 62 Pole Positions
  • 105 Podiums
  • 35 Fastest Laps
  • 2008, 14 & 15 Formula One Champion

The only driver in history to win a Grand Prix in each of his first 10 years in F1 (and he’ll probably continue this into 2017 as well). It took Hamilton just 6 races before winning his first race back in 2007. Nine podiums in his first nine races and four wins over the season ensured Hamilton led for the majority of the campaign, but a crash into the pit-lane in China and a car failure at the final round in Brazil meant Hamilton missed out on becoming the first ever rookie to win the title, eluded by a single point. It would only take one more season in the sport till it was Hamilton who claimed the Championship from Felipe Massa by 1 point in the most dramatic fashion possible, becoming the youngest ever World Champion at the time thanks to his 5 victories throughout the season. Hamilton was unable to defend his title, however the following year, with an uncompetitive car in the first half of the year meaning Hamilton could only take 2 Wins in 2009. 2010 was a much-improved campaign, with 3 victories leaving Lewis in the Title hunt til the final round of the season. 2013 marked an important moment in the Career of Hamilton as he left Mclaren to go to Mercedes, taking 1 victory and 4th in the standings in the process. 2014 saw the Rebirth of Hamilton under the dominance of Mercedes, with Hamilton claiming 11 Wins and 16 Podiums enroute to his Second World Championship, his first in 6 years. Hamilton was able to successfully defend his title the following year once again from Nico Rosberg, taking another 10 Wins and 17 Podiums for his 3rd Championship to date.

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1. Sebastian Vettel

  • 43 Wins
  • 46 Pole Positions
  • 87 Podiums
  • 30 Fastest Laps
  • 2010, 11, 12 & 13 Formula One Champion

Debuting midway through 2007 at the US Grand Prix with BMW, Sebastian Vettel gained attention by scoring a point on his debut. In his first full Season of Formula One Vettel stunned fans around the world by taking Toro Rossos first ever Pole Position and Win at the Italian Grand Prix after a sensational performance in the wet conditions. This earned Vettel a call up to Red Bull in 2009, with an extremely competitive car Vettel took Red Bulls first ever win in China and went on to take a further 3 wins during the season and a deserved runner up spot in the Championship. It was Vettel’s time in the spotlight in 2010, easily the quickest driver in qualifying a much more mature second half of the season brought Vettel into title contention going into the final race of the season, and to everyone’s surprise it was the German who became champion and also the youngest F1 champion in history at just 23yrs old. The following year Vettel dominated the sport with 11 Victories and set a new record for most Pole Positions in a season, with an ashtonishing 15 out of 19. 2012 saw a much closer battle at the front of the pack, with Vettel once again taking the title only just by 3 points to Fernando Alonso, but only with 5 Wins to his name this year. 2013 was quite the opposite, with Vettel equalling a record 13 Wins in a season and a record breaking 9 wins in a row to cruise to a 4th World Championship by the age of 26. 2014 saw Red Bull lose their momentum and Vettel was suprisingly beat time and time again but his new Team mate Daniel Ricciardo, it was his 1st winless season since he debuted halfway through 2007. A move to Ferarri in 2015 saw Vettel regain his confidence to claim 3 Victories , 1 Pole Position and 13 Podiums to take an emphatic 3rd place in the standing behind the two Mercedes drivers, despite another winless season in 2016, Vettel has started off 2017 in terrific style, crusing to victory at the Australian Grand Prix to the delight of many fans watching around the world.

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