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Crash.net's F1 top ten: 5th

Robert Kubica is a man who performed minor miracles for Renault in F1 2010, which is why we have rated him three places higher than his official final position in our end-of-season top ten
5 – Robert Kubica

At mid-season, we rated Robert Kubica as the best driver of the campaign to-date. That he has since slipped to fifth position in our final rankings is not so much a reflection on his performances, as on the increasing limitations of the equipment at his disposal in Renault's R30.

Back at the beginning of the year, it would be fair to say that the R30 was the fifth-quickest car on the grid, behind its rivals from Red Bull Racing, Ferrari, McLaren-Mercedes and Mercedes Grand Prix – and Kubica excelled.

A brace of podiums from the first six races – an inspired second place in Australia, and a brilliant third in Monaco on a day when he was the only driver in the field to prove capable of living with the runaway Red Bulls – were reinforced by an outstanding stretch of eight straight points-scoring finishes from Melbourne to Valencia. Indeed, just nine points more and he would have concluded proceedings sixth in the title standings rather than eighth.

The Pole's qualifying form, too, was exceptional. Only once all season did he fail to make the top ten on the starting grid, and he let team-mate Vitaly Petrov get ahead of him on just two occasions over the course of 19 outings. Indeed, the first time the Russian rookie got the better of Kubica on a Saturday afternoon came at the Hungaroring in August, and even then, the gap between the pair was barely a tenth of a second.

Robert's front row starting slot in Monte Carlo was in many observers' eyes the lap of the season as the 25-year-old's street-fighting qualities really came to the fore, and at Spa-Francorchamps and Suzuka – along with Monaco, arguably constituting the holy trinity of real drivers' circuits still on the calendar – he produced magnificent efforts to place third. His average qualifying position in 2010 was seventh – better than his car deserved.

Whilst Belgium yielded an excellent third place on race day to-boot, Kubica was denied the opportunity to make it four podiums when an errant wheel cruelly put him out-of-contention on only lap three in Japan – but of more concern, perhaps, was the fact that come season's end, Petrov was beginning to just about threaten his team leader for pace.

Whether Robert's motivation was flagging as Renault's competitiveness seemed to fade, who knows, but it in no way detracts from his overall achievements this year. Make no mistake – Robert Kubica remains a class act. Put him in a front-running car, and he will be a title-challenger without doubt.

Statistics – Robert Kubica:

Team: Renault F1
Car:Renault R30

Championship position: 8th
Points: 136

Race starts: 19
Pole positions: 0
Victories: 0
Podiums: 3
Fastest laps: 1
Best result: 2nd (Australia)
Points finishes: 15

Crash.net's Top 10 F1 drivers of 2010:

5. Robert Kubica
6. Jenson Button
7. Nico Rosberg
8. Rubens Barrichello
9. Heikki Kovalainen
10. Nico Hülkenberg

What do you think of Crash.net's Top Ten F1 drivers of 2010? Why not post a comment now and give us your thoughts.

Also look out for our poll coming soon where you can vote on who you think was the best in 2010...

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge

Robert Kubica (POL), Renault F1 Team
Friday Practice 1, Robert Kubica (POL), Renault F1 Team, R30
Saturday Practice, Robert Kubica (POL), Renault F1 Team, R30
Friday Practice 1, Robert Kubica (POL), Renault F1 Team, R30
Friday Practice 1, Robert Kubica (POL), Renault F1 Team, R30
Friday Practice 1, Robert Kubica (POL), Renault F1 Team, R30
Sunday, Qualifying, Robert Kubica (POL), Renault F1 Team, R30
Thursday, Robert Kubica (POL), Renault F1 Team, R30
Race, Robert Kubica (POL), Renault F1 Team, R30
Podium: 1st Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-25, 2nd Robert Kubica (POL) Renault R30, 3rd Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F10
Friday Practice 1, Robert Kubica (POL), Renault F1 Team, R30
Renault F1 40 years demonstration
Renault F1 40 years demonstration
Renault F1 40 years demonstration
Renault F1 40 years demonstration
Renault F1 40 years demonstration
Renault F1 40 years demonstration
Renault F1 40 years demonstration

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KGBVD - Unregistered

November 24, 2010 6:34 PM

5th place? WRONG! You make a point to say that you've placed him 3 places higher than his champ position, but then go on to say that with 9 more pts (at least what he lost in Suzuka) he would have been 6th. So putting him 3 placed higher on your list would make him 3rd, which is where he belongs. He was a better driver than Webber and Hamilton this season, both of whom where incident and frustration prone (and I'm sure will fill out spots 3 and 4, respectively, on your list). He made the average Renault look like a potential race winner on more than one occasion, while Ham and Webbo made actual race winning cars look decidedly average, on more than one occasion.

Valdi - Unregistered

November 24, 2010 8:38 PM

Only 5? We are talking about a guy who had pretty bad luck in Silverstone and Suzuka. As far as I remember he was 3rd and 2nd respectivly in those races and had some kind of failure in the car. What do you have to do to be higher in your ranking? I know that comparing KUB with PET is useless, but ROB almost ended in front of Massa and was driving Renault. You can put his name on the miracle authors of prevoious Championship. Ask Alonso and Ham who they fear the most - Web in the wining car? or Kub in Renault? - for me the answer is easy...

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