That's it, here's your 2011 GP2 Driver of the Year vote results in full, with the final averaged ratings (out of ten) for the top ten:
The top ten
Romain Grosjean (DAMS) - rated 8.2
Jules Bianchi (Lotus ART) - rated 7.4
Esteban Gutiérrez (Lotus ART) - rated 7.0
Luca Filippi (Super Nova, Coloni) - rated 6.9
Charles Pic (Barwa Addax) - rated 6.6
Marcus Ericsson (iSport International) - rated 6.5
Sam Bird (iSport International) - rated 6.4
Giedo Van Der Garde (Barwa Addax) - rated 5.8
Tom Dillmann (iSport International) - rated 5.7
Luiz Razia (Caterham Team AirAsia) - rated 5.5
The rest of the field
James Calado (Lotus ART)
Christian Vietoris (Racing Engineering)
Stefano Coletti (Trident Racing, Scuderia Coloni)
Fabio Leimer (Rapax, Racing Engineering)
Dani Clos (Racing Engineering, Rapax)
Davide Valsecchi (Caterham Team AirAsia)
Alvaro Parente (Racing Engineering, Carlin)
Josef Kral (Arden International)
Jolyon Palmer (Arden International, Barwa Addax)
Michael Herck (Scuderia Coloni)
Thanks to everyone who voted - we were surprised and delighted to receive literally thousands of ballots for the GP2 Driver of the Year, which demonstrates just how much interest there really is in the feeder series and the F1 stars of tomorrow.
And GP2 certainly proved its worth again this year in this regard by sending Romain Grosjean and Charles Pic straight into F1 seats - and we wouldn't be surprised if a few of the other drivers like Jules Bianchi, Marcus Ericsson or James Calado didn't join them there before too long, either. And you'll have seen them in GP2 long before the F1 teams took notice of them.
But it was always destined to be Grosjean who came out top in the Crash.net
readers' poll by a huge margin, surely? The story of GP2 in 2011 was surely all about Grosjean's attempt to rebuild his career and maybe even pull off the impossible dream of returning to F1 - and that's just what he achieved, with a mightily impressive season to claim the titles in both the GP2 Asia and GP2 European Series. Romain is a well deserved winner all round.
We here at Crash.net
had thought that Luca Filippi would also rate highly - perhaps not quite strongly enough to overturn Grosjean at the top, but surely enough to give him a run for his money? But no: instead, it turns out that Crash.net
voters have a definite soft spot for the Lotus ART duo. Jules Bianchi we can understand - when his season finally kicked into gear at Silverstone after a troubled first half to the year, he was genuinely outstanding. But if we're honest, we are struggling a little to see why Esteban Gutiérrez finished as high as he did on the evidence of this season. That's not to say that we doubt his promise and would certainly be amazed if he were not on an F1 starting grid in the next couple of years.
While Gutiérrez comfortably made it into the top ten, there were other equally genuine faces of the future just missing out. GP2 Final sprint race winner James Calado failed to get into the top ten by the narrowest of margins to Luiz Razia, while Fabio Leimer also missed out despite showing with his post-season testing form and his GP2 Final feature race win that he could be a real star of 2012, too.
Our nomination for the most overlooked driver of the year is Stefano Coletti, the 22-year-old from Monaco driving for Trident Racing. During the season he claimed three wins (that's as many as Luca Filippi) starting with the sprint race at Abu Dhabi in GP2 Asia and then following it up with wins at Turkey and Hungary. Considering he missed out on the final three races after sustaining back injuries in a crash with Mikhail Aleshin at a drenched Spa, that's not bad going. And what about Christian Vietoris, who also claimed three wins during the year (and a second place at Silverstone) despite having to sit out two rounds with concussion after-effects from a high-speed crash at Turkey? That sort of effort surely deserves some recognition as well.
We were curious, too, as to why Jolyon Palmer is quite so frowned upon by the Crash.net
voters. What's the poor guy done so wrong? He was way
behind Josef Kral in the final scores. Okay, he wasn't hugely impressive during the season proper, but once he got some decent equipment he showed his developing expertise and talent with a comprehensive third place in the GP2 Final feature and a fourth place in the next day's sprint race - so much so that he's just been snapped up by iSport for 2012. Let's see if that improves his standing with the voters next year!
But it's easy to nominate people who were left out - harder to see who they could have legitimately bumped out of the Crash.net
voters' top ten. That surely speaks volumes as to how competitive the series currently is and the quality of the field in 2011.
Let's hope it's as equally as strong again in GP2 next year!