Top 10 F1 Drivers of the Year 2012:
5: Jenson Button
Frome, Great Britain
January 19, 1980
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
Crash.net F1 Driver of 2011 position:
Jenson Button began the year in fine fashion, returning to the top of the podium in Australia, but a frustrating sequence of results through the first half of the season would ultimately put paid to his title ambitions.
Although he chased Nico Rosberg home in China, the Briton would not return to the podium until Germany as technical gremlins and pit-lane problems limited his ability to score good points. Qualifying also left Button playing catch-up on occasion, particularly as he struggled to get his head around the latest Pirelli rubber, and the 2009 world champion was seldom able to match McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton in Saturday's session. Despite losing out 16-4 over the course of the season, however, his ability to race continued to pay dividends as he made up places on Sunday afternoon.
Late season DNFs in Italy and Korea finally ruled Button out of championship contention, but the second half of the campaign was generally better than the first, with wins coming in Belgium – from his maiden McLaren pole - and Brazil to leave Button fifth overall, and just two points adrift of his team-mate in the final standings.
With Hamilton leaving for Mercedes next year, Button will assume the leading role at McLaren that many felt he had taken over in 2011, as Sergio Perez arrives from Sauber to provide a new challenge.
Top 10 F1 Driver of the Year 2012 results so far:
6. Nico Hulkenberg
7. Mark Webber
8. Sergio Perez
9. Felipe Massa
10. Kamui Kobayashi