Another season of big technical changes, and political controversy.
|F1 2011 Results|
Well that was a disappointing season. Unlike 2010—when going into the last race, four drivers had a mathematical chance of winning the championship—this season was seemingly settled halfway through the schedule. Sebastian Vettel just slaughtered the field, winning over half the races and leading the championship the whole season. Mark Webber was a disappointment as he drove the same Red Bull as Vettel, but the best he could do was mix it up with Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, and Lewis Hamilton in the race for P2 in the championship. Alonso burnished his reputation as he maximized his Ferrari's potential, while Hamilton and Felipe Massa were a bit of a disappointment. Michael Schumacher did OK as he scored closer to teammate Nico Rosberg than he did last year.
Adrian Sutil and Force India was "Best of the Rest," as he had the highest score after the drivers for the top four teams. Nick Heidfeld with Renault was a strange case, as he had scored more points than his teammate Vitaly Petrov when he was replaced after the Hungarian Grand Prix. His replacement Bruno Senna scored only 2 points by the end of the year, and Petrov ultimately only outscored Heidfeld 37 to 34, despite starting eight more races than Heidfeld. So it appeared that sponsorship money that Senna brought to the Renault team was probably a bigger factor than Heidfeld's performance.
Kamui Kobayashi and Sauber scored the bulk of their points in the first half of the season—a strong indication that the small-budget team could not keep up with the pace of development. Toro Rosso had a low-key season as well, but Williams was a huge disappointment as they could only manage to score five points to secure their place at the back of the "mid-pack" teams.
For the second year, Lotus, Virgin, and HRT were the only teams to score no points. Lotus was a step above the other two teams, but not good enough to challenge the mid-pack teams.