Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari
The surprise eventual world drivers' championship winner bookended the season with victories in Australia, China and Brazil. However, after a convincing win in his debut race for Ferrari, Raikkonen looked anything but a potential champion as he lost momentum, finishing no higher than third for the next six Grands Prix.
His season turned around in July, when back-to-back victories over successive weekends in France and Great Britain relaunched his championship charge.
After his usual miserable luck at Nurburgring (one of two mechanical retirements, the other being in Spain), Raikkonen came good down the championship stretch, running up seven successive podium finishes (including three wins) to keep himself within sight of championship leader Lewis Hamilton.