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Top ten F1 drivers: First place.

After asking you to vote for your leading drivers from the 2008 Formula 1 World Championship season, the time has reveal the driver you voted the top star of 2008.

More than 45,000 votes were cast in the F1 poll, with each driver's average score out of ten then being calculated to decide the winner.

F1 Driver of the Year – First place:

Name: Sebastian Vettel
Team: Scuderia Toro Rosso
Car: Scuderia Toro Rosso-Ferrari STR2B/STR3
Wins: 1
Podiums: 1
Pole positions: 1
Fastest laps: 0
Championship points: 35
Championship position: 8th

He finished just eighth in the 2008 Formula 1 World Championship, ascended the podium only once and qualified higher than sixth on merely a single occasion – but still Sebastian Vettel did enough to be voted Crash.net readers' best driver of the year.

The young German – dubbed 'the next Michael Schumacher' in some circles – was competing in his first full season in the top flight, having made his grand prix debut with BMW-Sauber in place of the convalescing Robert Kubica at Indianapolis last year.

Even then, however, there had been clear signs that his was a talent that was really quite special, as Vettel joined the elite club of drivers to have scored points on their maiden appearance. Having joined STR for the final seven races of 2007, he then even more impressively went on to run up in third place in the torrential downpour of the Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji Speedway, and just a week later achieved the small Faenza-based squad's highest finish of the year with fourth place in the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai. A star, indubitably, had been born.

That being the case, much was expected of both Vettel and the improving STR in 2008, but in four of the first eight grands prix, he could qualify no better than 18th. What had gone wrong? The answer was that Toro Rosso had begun the campaign with a development of the car with which it had ended the previous season, ahead of bravely introducing the new, Red Bull Racing-based STR3 at the Monaco Grand Prix in May.

In endeavouring to compensate for a car that was clearly not up to the task and lagging behind its direct competition, Vettel was too often guilty of over-driving, and in three of the first four races the 21-year-old failed to even make it beyond the opening lap. The man who had been touted as F1's latest superstar was suddenly in danger of becoming a has-been before he had even made it.

And then came Monaco, and a brilliant drive around the narrow, tortuous streets of the Principality earned Vettel both his and the team's first points of the year with a strong fifth place. The season had finally begun, the momentum was beginning to flow again – and from that point on there would be no looking back.

From the British Grand Prix onwards, the man from Heppenheim only once failed to make the top ten on the starting grid, and over the balance of the campaign he out-qualified record-breaking four-time Champ Car king team-mate Sébastien Bourdais by a margin of 13 to five.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Gerhard Berger (AUT) Team Owner Toro Rosso, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Toro Rosso STR03, Italian F1 Grand Prix, Monza, 12th-14th, September, 2008
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, The race stopped, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and the Safety car
25.06.2017 - Race, The race stopped
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, The Safety car and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
25.06.2017 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and the Safety car
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C36
25.06.2017 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.06.2017 - Race, 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13 race winner

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Lamarck - Unregistered

November 28, 2008 11:58 AM

And the cherry on-top to this stupid, ridiculous, embarrassing (for Crash) top-10. Vettel is great, but anyone who thinks he''s *the* best is nuts. Maybe in a year or two, but in 2008? This sums up what most have already realised - that this list is worthless. It''s just an amalgamation of not only people''s opinions, but their biases. Dear Crash: you would have got a more meaningful top-10 if you simply asked for readers to nominate their favourite driver, rather than rate them all. With Hamilton haters marking him down, Massa haters doing the same, etc. you''ve ended up with an inoffensive no.1 that doesn''t actually reflect who most people think is the best driver.

Lamarck - Unregistered

November 28, 2008 12:29 PM

rich ard: Vettel's one of my favourite drivers, and one of the most exciting on the grid - I'm very much looking forward to seeing him improve in years to come. My point is that, because voters are asked to rate all of the drivers, they will often, naturally, give the drivers they dislike low scores. The fact of the matter is that it is the very top drivers - usually championship contenders - generate the strongest love/hate emotions. Even a casual glance at Crash comments over the season (and before) clearly demonstrates this. If voters were to choose just one driver - their favourite - and so weren't be able to vote down others - you would see a more representative result.

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