Top 10 F1 Drivers of the Year 2011: 3: Fernando Alonso

Team: Scuderia Ferrari Car: Ferrari-Ferrari 150? Italia Races: 19 Wins: 1 Poles: 0 Podiums: 10 Fastest Laps: 1 Championship points: 257 Championship position: 4th

Fernando Alonso may only have finished fourth in the 2011 F1 world championship but would have earned the award for transcending the potential of his machinery.

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Granted, the Ferrari was still a step above most of the field but, by end of the year, was no match for either McLaren or Red Bull and yet the Spaniard continued to race both. A single win was scant reward for his efforts, but came in consummate style at Silverstone, and Alonso only lost third in the standings when passed by Jenson Button late on at Interlagos.

The 2010 title contender also posted just a single retirement, in Canada, which was the result of a brush with Jenson Button in wet conditions, before Alonso bounced back to embark on run of podium finishes. He also proved capable of great getaways, none more so than in Spain, where he went from fourth to first before turn one, and continued to lead through to the opening round of pit-stops. That he then finished a lapped fifth underlined just how much Alonso, and not the car, was doing to keep Ferrari in the hunt.

Undeterred by the frustrations, however, the double world champion inked an extension to his contract that he believes will keep him at Maranello until the end of his career.

F1 Driver of the Year Top 10: 4. Paul di Resta 5. Nico Rosberg 6. Michael Schumacher 7. Mark Webber 8. Heikki Kovalainen 9. Kamui Kobayashi 10. Adrian Sutil