• Jenson Button had to relinquish his crown, but nevertheless he posted his second-best season for wins (two), while he recorded his third-best in terms of championship position, fifth, after the title he won last year and the third place earned in 2004 behind the Ferraris.
The main thing lacking in Button's season was speed in qualifying: only one front row, at Monza, beaten 13 times by team-mate Lewis Hamilton. He hasn't been on pole since the 2009 Monaco Grand Prix.
• Lewis Hamilton in his fourth season confirmed his top-level performance, finishing fourth in the standings and recording his fourth consecutive season with at least one pole and win.
In Hamilton's Formula 1 career he has always been classified in the top five in the championship, his worst result being the fifth place scored in 2009.
His fighting spirit was underlined by the fact that he was overtaken only three times all season, equalling the lowest tally (shared with Sebastian Vettel).
Michael Schumacher's season was summed up by his Abu Dhabi fortunes... © LAT
• Michael Schumacher lived through his worst full season in F1, the first one without recording either a pole, win, fastest lap or podium place.
His finishing position, ninth, is worse only than to the six races he ran in 1991 with Jordan and Benetton, when he scored four points and was classified 13th.
• Nico Rosberg repeated his 2009 position, finishing seventh, his best result since his debut. Rosberg was able to post three podium finishes, his best tally in a single season, and recorded his maiden front row start in Malaysia. Consistency paid off for him as he retired only twice all year.
• Sebastian Vettel was able to win his maiden championship and record some impressive performances as his 10 poles (the highest tally since Schumacher's 11 in 2001) and 14 front-row starts (highest value since Damon Hill's 16 in 1996). His speed in qualifying was confirmed also by the fact that his worst Saturday performance of the season was a sixth at Monza, where the Renault engines had a difficult weekend.
But Vettel had problems in delivering consistent results: he wasn't able to record three straight podium finishes all season.
• Mark Webber recorded his best career result with his final third place in the standings and scored his best season tally of wins (four), poles (five) and podium places (10). In one year Webber racked up more of these than in his previous eight championships put together, during which he only scored wins (two) and poles (one) in 2009.
Mark Webber was unstoppable in Monaco © LAT
The best moments for Webber came from Spain to Turkey: he won lights to flag in Monaco and Spain. He led again for the first 15 laps in Istanbul, for a total of 647 consecutive kilometers in front of anyone. Then his season changed dramatically: ater his win in Hungary he was only able to take the lead for three laps during the pitstops in the remaining seven races.
• A disappointing season for Felipe Massa: excluding 2009, when he was absent after his accident, he recorded his worst result since his Sauber days, finishing sixth in the championship. Massa hasn't scored a pole or a win since the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix, when he lost the title to Hamilton.
• After a full season without wins in 2009, Fernando Alonso was back on track, fighting for the title up to the final race.
For the sixth time in his career the Spaniard finished in the top five positions of the championship, and also recorded his eighth straight season with podium finishes and front-row starts, but lost the championship at the last race for the second time in his career after 2007. Hamilton shares this statistic, although the Briton's chances in Abu Dhabi this year were slim.
• Rubens Barrichello keeps on amassing long distance records as he now counts 303 race starts, but the season, compared to 2009, delivered little for the Brazilian, who barely made it into the top 10 positions after being third in the championship last year. In 2010 Barrichello wasn't able to deliver wins, poles, fastest laps or podium finishes, unlike last season.
• Nico Hulkenberg lost the unofficial title of rookie of the year in the last race, when a strong performance by Vitaly Petrov demoted him to 14th in the standings. Hulkenberg, however, recorded his maiden pole in Brazil in his 17th race, the same number needed by the legendary Ayrton Senna before his first pole.
Kubica achieved some underdog podiums with Renault © LAT
• An average season statistically for Robert Kubica, but his second-best for podium finishes, three, behind the seven he recorded in 2008. The Pole had the distinction of recording the best score in qualifying against his team-mate (17-2), but in the last race he failed to deliver, failing to reach the top 10 in qualifying for the first time in 22 GPs.
• With a sixth place in the last race - holding off championship contender Alonso - Vitaly Petrov earned the title of best rookie of the year, finishing 13th in the standings. His high point of the season was the Hungarian Grand Prix, when he scored his best results both in qualifying (seventh) and in the race (fifth).
• Adrian Sutil wasn't able to record a front-row start or a fastest lap like in 2009, but at the end of the season he delivered his best championship performance with an 11th place, up from the 19th he scored with a lonely point in 2007. Sutil recorded the highest number of passes this season: 45. Massa was second with 36.
• Vitantonio Liuzzi also recorded his best championship placing, 15th, but his season was somewhat disappointing: he was beaten 16-3 by Sutil in qualifying and finished the year with four accidents in the last five races. With five crashes in total during the season he earned the title of the most accident-prone driver of the year.
• It was the same finishing position in his two F1 seasons for Sebastien Buemi, 16th. The Swiss was able to enjoy a couple of minutes in the spotlight when he led the Canadian Grand Prix for one lap during the leaders' pitstops.
• After more than 200 races, and in his 14th season, Jarno Trulli recorded his worst championship placing, 21st. To make it even worse, the Italian driver for the first time didn't record a single point all year. Trulli's season was marred by mechanical problems: 10 retirements for failures and three more races when he had to lose time because of various issues - mainly hydraulic - on his Lotus.
Kovalainen was the class act among the new teams © LAT
• The same applies for Heikki Kovalainen. His 20th place was his worst championship position (though he was best among the new teams thanks to his 12th at Suzuka) and he scored zero points. Kovalainen was not only the best new-team driver as far as the championship position is concerned, but was also the best qualifier from that group, as he was in front of all the drivers from Lotus, Virgin and HRT eight times.
Kovalainen finished the season having been overtaken 51 times. It's the second highest all-time value in the years (since 1983) when this statistic could be calculated, behind the 68 times Stefano Modena was overtaken in 1989.
• There is only one thing that can be said about Sakon Yamamoto: he was the last driver past the chequered flag in all the six races he finished in 2010.
• Having been in the title hunt for the first part of the season, McLaren somewhat disappeared towards the end of the season, relinquishing the lead of the constructors' championship after the Hungarian Grand Prix, and finishing second to Red Bull.
Since its last constructors' title back in 1998, McLaren has finished either second or third 10 times out of 12, the exceptions being 2004 (fifth) and 2007 when it was relegated to the bottom of the standings for the 'spygate' saga.
• Formerly known as Brawn GP, Ross Brawn's team brought the Mercedes name back to the circus for the first time since 1955. The results were disappointing compared to 2009: zero wins, poles, fastest laps and only three podium finishes, while Brawn in 2009 wrapped the constructors' title with eight wins, five poles, four fastest laps and 15 podium finishes.
Red Bull celebrates its first constructors' title © LAT
• In 2010 Red Bull graduated to join the big names in Formula 1 by taking the constructors' crown in Brazil with one race to go. This season will be remembered for the speed in qualifying of the Red Bull cars: they managed to tie the season record of poles, 15, which has been recorded four times in Formula 1 history (McLaren in 1988 and '89, Williams in 1992 and '93) - although Red Bull's sucess came in a longer championship, with 19 races this year compared to the 16 held in the comparable seasons.
• After the fourth place of 2009 (its worst result since 1993) Ferrari was able to improve slightly with a third place. This however brings the clock back to 1994 and '95, the last two years when the Maranello team failed to be first or second in the championship in consecutive seasons.
Ferrari won the reliability record in 2010 with 11,211 kms run in the races, to Red Bull's 10,774. Ferrari suffered only one retirement for mechanical reasons all season: an engine failure for Alonso in Malaysia.
• Signs of improvement for Williams as well, which scored its best result of the last three season in sixth. It managed to be back on pole after 100 races in Brazil with Nico Hulkenberg, but failed to post a single podium place for a second successive season. That hadn't happened since 1976 and '77, which were only the team's second and third years in F1.
• After three seasons in which it always fared worse than the previous one, Renault picked up slightly to finish fifth instead of the eighth of 2009. It failed to post wins or poles, like in 2007, and recorded its first back-to-back seasons without wins since its return to racing, and since 1984 and 1985, the last two years before the previous Renault works team pulled out.
Force India didn't repeat its one-off star showings of 2009, but was consistently stronger than ever before © LAT
• For the second year running, Force India improved from its previous championship position: it was 10th in 2008, ninth last year and seventh this season, even though it failed to produce a magical moment like last year in Belgium when it was able to start from pole and finish on the podium with Giancarlo Fisichella.
• An improvement for Toro Rosso - last in the standings in 2009, ninth this season. But with the departure of Toyota, STR was still the last of the established teams in the points.
• After BMW's withdrawal, the BMW Sauber team (as it was still officially known) equalled its worst constructors' championship result in eighth, the same position in which Sauber finished in 2005, the last season before the BMW takeover.
• There is very little that can be said about the new teams, which were usually in a race of their own, unable to match the pace of the established teams. One figure can sum up their lack of speed: there were 452 overtaking moves this season, 233 of them (51 per cent) were on one of the six cars of the new teams.
LANDMARKS ALONG THE WAY
80th one-two finish in Ferrari history, the first since the 2008 French Grand Prix.
For the first time in its history, Red Bull locked out the front row in qualifying.
Vettel's first win of 2010 came in Malaysia © LAT
For the first time in 20 years there were three different winners in the first three races (Alonso, Button, Vettel).
Worst qualifying performance for Ferrari of the last 30 years, with Alonso 19th and Massa 21st. Excluding the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix, when both cars were sent to the back of the grid due to penalties, it was the first time since the 1980 British Grand Prix that the red cars had qualified so low. At the time Gilles Villeneuve was 19th and Jody Scheckter 23rd.
62 overtaking moves in the race, the second-highest value of the last 20 years after the 1990 Mexican Grand Prix (70).
For the first time since 1999 (Austrian GP, Eddie Irvine and David Coutlhard), two drivers from the United Kingdom (Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton) scored a one-two.
Webber's title charge really kicked off in Spain © LAT
10th pole for Red Bull (Mark Webber). For the 10th straight year the polesitter won at Barcelona.
Podium lock-out for Renault engined cars. A similar result hadn't happened in Monaco since 1980, when there were three Ford-powered cars on the podium.
30th win for an Australian driver (Webber). The first came at the same track in 1959 (Jack Brabham).
With his 12th win Hamilton reached the top 20 all-time winners in F1 history. Hamilton also scored the 210th win for Great Britain.
Istanbul was a breakthrough for Petrov © LAT
Maiden fastest race lap for Vitaly Petrov and Russia, the 30th in Renault history.
For the first time ever, five different championship leaders were recorded in a season (Alonso, Button, Massa, Webber, Hamilton) by Montreal, and this would increase to six in the final race as Vettel took the title.
110th win for Germany in F1 history (Vettel).
350th presence on the front row for Ferrari (Alonso).
90th pole for a German driver (Vettel). 100th race for Red Bull.
Monza was a crucial win for Alonso © LAT
Alonso matched Juan Manuel Fangio for wins (24), 30th podium for Jenson Button.
First career 'grand slam' (pole, win, fastest lap, led the whole race) for Fernando Alonso, 20th pole and 25th win for the Spaniard.
200th race in the points for Michael Schumacher.
450th podium spot for McLaren (Hamilton).
Maiden pole for Hulkenberg. Williams back on pole after a wait of 100 races (since the 2005 European GP).
Maiden constructors' title for Red Bull.
10th win for Vettel, who became the youngest world champion ever.
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