The current crop of Formula One drivers were asked to pick the rival that they felt best filled certain categories in an exclusive poll for the German media, and the result certainly raised a few eyebrows.
Asked to vote on the best driver of all-time, the best of the current grid and the most exciting, amongst others, 20 of the 24 drivers responded to the Bild am Sonntag
survey - only those at Williams and Renault declined - and, while some categories produced the obvious 'champion', others produced a surprise or two.
While Ayrton Senna comfortably swept the vote as the best driver of all time, the Brazilian polling 12 nominations to trounce Michael Schumacher (three votes) and Alain Prost (two), the outcome of the poll to determine the best driver among the 24 presently contesting the world championship produced a similarly one-sided result, with Fernando Alonso dominating with nine votes. The Spaniard, currently attempting to get Ferrari back on course after a mid-season lull, was easily ahead of McLaren twins Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, who each polled a brace of nominations, while five others - including current pacesetter Sebastian Vettel and seven-time world champion Schumacher - culled a single vote.
Asked who they expected to see lift this year's world title, however, and the tables were turned on Alonso, reflecting Ferrari's current status as 'best of the rest' behind Red Bull and McLaren. Instead, current points leader Hamilton scooped the vote by two nominations over Germany's new favourite, Vettel, 8-6. Interestingly, Vettel's team-mate, Mark Webber, did not poll a single vote in the category - just as he likewise failed to do so in the 'best driver' class - with Button and Alonso (two apiece) making up the remainder of the nominations.
Hamilton also 'won' the most aggressive/exciting driver poll, but by the narrower margin of one vote over Schumacher and Alonso, with Vettel included in a group all receiving one nomination. Among those grouped with the young German, however, were backmarkers Lucas di Grassi, Bruno Senna, Adrian Sutil and Timo Glock - and former F1 drivers Ralf Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve!
The final two categories covered the most dangerous circuit and the prettiest woman, with Monaco easily dominating the former - with nine votes - and French journalist Marion Jolles edging Hamilton's popstar girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger and assorted groups of grid girls in the latter, despite one wag picking Mercedes' Nico Rosberg!