Formula 1 2009 Drivers - The Top 5 Drivers
With the Abu Dhabi race at the Yas Marina concluded, it's that time of year when the Formula 1 season is reviewed, evaluated and discussed.
It's been a major year for F1 with new rule changes, various scandals in the sport from Lewis Hamilton's "lie-gate" in Melbourne to the Renault scandal involving Briatore, Symonds and Piquet.
Also there was much talk midway through the season of F1 having a major split with all but two of the teams wanting to switch to their own FOTA series which could have resulted in F1, as we know it, dying.
Here are the top five drivers from this year's championship. From Jenson Button to Lewis Hamilton, these guys gave the most this year.
Jenson Button - First 95 Points
A fantastic season for Jenson. For once the complete package fell perfectly into place for him.
Brawn's car was reliable, quick and technically brilliant. In the past when Jenson was "struggling," he was in a poor car.
Despite this car helping him, he still had to do the job. Nine Podiums and six wins throughout the year with only one retirement that was fully down to Romain Grosjean hitting the back of the car at Spa.
He ended the season with some great drives and will look to prove that '09 wasn't a one off.
Sebastien Vettel - Second - 84 Points
The young German showed the rest of the paddock just how good his future in the sport will be.
He overcame a shaky start to the season in Melbourne to win four races.
There are still some flaws in his ability and he made mistakes in Monaco, Turkey, and to a lesser extent Hungary, which cost him points.
However, at 22, he is still learning. He will be a major player next year.
Rubens Barichello - Third 77 Points
At the end of the 2008 season, it would have been somewhat surprising that we'd even be speaking about Rubens in 2009, nevermind his participation in 2010.
Rubens had a good year with only one retirement all year. The years spent as number two at Ferrari obviously frustrated him and in Barcelona he finally erupted and claimed he was not being given a fair chance compared to Jenson.
However that blemish aside, he was mentally strong in the second half of the season, winning twice in Valenica and Monza.
There will still be questions regarding his inability to pull out the laps needed to win a battle for the lead. But no one can question his heart and desire to stay in the sport, which has earned him a race seat with Williams next year/
Mark Webber - Fourth 69.5 Points
2009 was finally the year when everyone's second favourite Aussie, behind Kylie, got the car that his talent derserved.
Melbourne wasn't kind for him when he was involved in a first lap incident that wrecked his race.
However when it was clear that Red Bull was the team after Brawn to beat. Webber put in some great performances and dominated the race at the Nurburgring for a fine first victory.
Towards the end of the year he went four races without scoring a point. He bounced back with a great drive in Interlagos for the win before holding off Button for second in Abu Dhabi.
No one would have begrudged Webber of his position this year.
Lewis Hamilton - Fifth 49 Points
In many ways this season was probably more pleasing to Lewis and McLaren than the previous two years. This year he grew up as a racer.
With a car that was dire at the start of the year Lewis struggled. And then there was "lie-gate" which there are no excuses for.
Once the car had been developed in the second half of the year, Lewis was one of the drivers to beat.
Four Poles and two dominant victories at Hungary and Singapore showed the paddock that come 2010, Lewis could still be the driver to beat.