The 2009 F1 World Championship is fast approaching its midway stage at the Nürburgring in just over a week's time, with Jenson Button endeavouring to drive away from the field and Red Bull Racing leading the chase.
Only two drivers may have triumphed thus far over the opening eight races – Brawn GP star Button on six occasions and RBR's Sebastian Vettel on the other two, in the torrential downpour of Shanghai and, to rub salt into the wounds, on his chief rival's home turf at Silverstone.
That, however, has done nothing to detract from what is developing into a thrilling campaign, with surprise packages Brawn and Red Bull right up at the sharp end of proceedings week-in, week-out and expected front-runners Ferrari, McLaren-Mercedes, BMW-Sauber and Renault frequently seeming to do little more than make up the numbers, so greatly have the new regulations shaken up the established pecking order.
Who, though, has been your star of the season to-date? Button, who seems to be marching inexorably towards what some believe would be an overdue maiden title? Vettel, the top flight's youngest-ever grand prix-winner and a man laying claim to following in the wheel tracks of his legendary, record-breaking compatriot Michael Schumacher? Understudies Rubens Barrichello or Mark Webber, both of whom are still waiting for their own day in the sun? Jarno Trulli, who like his wines seems to improve with age as Toyota continues to chase its breakthrough victory at the highest level? Nico Rosberg, putting Williams on the map with a series of impressive, giant-killing performances? Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton, invariably giving his all in McLaren's aerodynamically-poor and off-the-pace MP4-24, and just as invariably having little to nothing to show for it? Two-time title-winner Fernando Alonso, regularly hauling his recalcitrant Renault R29 up into the top half of the starting grid in qualifying? Felipe Massa, the highest-placed member of the traditional 'grandee' teams? Or someone else..?
To have your say on who has been the driver of the year over the opening half, vote here...
Mid-term report: Vote for your F1 star of 2009 so far!
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