While new to the team, this highly regarded driver new to F1 has shown brief flashes of talent, which is why Red Bull placed him in the HRT team in the first place.
While Timo had hoped for better days at the Virgin squad, this, his second time around in F1, hasn't worked out as he'd planned. He continues to fight the good fight, and deserves a faster car before, hopefully for him, moving forward on the grid.
Those racers with work to do, fairing less than satisfactorily given the circumstances in which they find themselves include:
Wheels came off his career following late season, undisclosed injury during 2010, and never once looked to be getting back on track. Well liked, capable man - he's an Aussie after all - whom realises he has a mountain to climb each time he climbs into his car, since each and every lap he is compared to the Vettel gold standard.
What has happened to this serious fellow from Brazil? Numerous on track incidents with Hamilton this season have made it impossible to mount a challenge to his more illustrious team-mate, Alonso. Life under the microscope that is the Italian motor sport media can't be easy for him at the moment. With little chance it will improve, one gets the feeling the exit rumours will only get more numerous.
Fan favourite, and outgoing personality aside, for this massive amount of experience Rubinho really should have accomplished much more this season in the Williams cockpit. Proclamations of 'being the best I've ever been' are increasing viewed, by this observer, as wide of the mark. It's been a wonderful career, but what is the upside of continuing to make up the numbers apart from his love of the sport?
Although hardly given an honest chance to impress times move quickly in this sport and Bruno has not handled his team-mate as had been hoped by Renault management. Impetuous move at start in Belgium proved inexperience, and poor judgment, although he has qualified respectably with lack of time in car.
Failure to perform versus the previously average rated Kovalainen, while spending the majority of the year waiting for power steering changes to be made to his car. Consistently shown the way by his team-mate in a team which needs more from him.
New to F1, and at a team with limited resources, it has been an up-hill struggle for the likeable Belgian.
Part-time shot with the ever changing 'family' of drivers at Renault this year saw him ultimately fail to impress management. This has occurred often enough at other teams for one to form the impression 'Quick Nick' will not be seen in future F1 events.
So that's my assessment of the F1 class of 2011. Congratulations again to Sebastian Vettel and his team at Red Bull Racing for having performed superlatively during the entire season. Already, we look forward to a wonderful 2012.
by Crash.net viewer Mike Nichol