Best and Worst of the 2004
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Voting on the Best and Worst of the 2004 Formula 1 season closed on the 1st of December. Here are the winners (and losers) in each of the categories:
Best Driver - Michael Schumacher: For the 4th year in a row Michael wins in the Best Driver category. Michael won convincingly with over 68% of the vote. His year was outstanding with 13 wins of a possible 18. Jenson Button was a distant second with 17%.
Worst Driver - Giorgio Pantano: This was a close one between Pantano and Baumgartner. Two pay drivers driving at the back of the field. In the end it was Pantano who was relieved from his duties with Jordan due to lack of funding!. Cristiano da Matta was third which is disappointing given that he was voted Best Rookie in 2003. David Coulthard was a close 4th.
Best Qualifier - Michael Schumacher: With 8 Pole Positions in 2004, Michael deserves being the Best Qualifier. Mark Webber and Jarno Trulli were 2nd and 3rd. Surprisingly Rubens Barrichello with 4 Pole Positions didn't feature in the top 5.
Worst Qualifier - David Coulthard: For the second year in a row David Coulthard is voted the Worst Qualifier. Coulthard received just under 30% of the vote with Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner voted second and third.
Best Team - Ferrari: For the 4th time in a row Ferrari win in the Best Team Category and they have won convincingly with over 80% of the vote, The only other team to receive a reasonable amount of votes was BAR.
Worst Team - Minardi: It was a close fight between Minardi and Toyota but in the end Minardi were voted Worst Team for the second year in a row. As much as their PR machine keeps telling us how their lap times were faster than pole time of the previous year, they were still at the back not really threatening any other team. Toyota made it in second after they proved that money alone doesn't make a good team.
Rookie - Christian Klien: Although Klien was outclassed by his team-mate
Mark Webber, he did show some potential in 2004. The same can't be said for
the rest of the rookies who competed the whole season. Interestingly Timo
Glock who only raced for 4 races was voted second!
Worst Rookie - Giorgio Pantano: It was a close fight between Pantano, Baumgartner and Bruni. Baumgartner did improve as the season progressed while Bruni went the other way. Pantano though just showed up!
Most Improved Team - BAR: From 5th with 26 points in 2003 to 2nd with 119 points in 2004. The fully deserve to be named Most Improved Team of 2004. No one expected such an improvement. At the start of the season BAR were hoping to challenge the top 3 teams, well they beat two of them.
Least Improved Team - McLaren: With expectations so high in the lead up to the 2004 season, McLaren disappointed and despite their strong recovery towards the end of the season they were still voted Least Improved Team. Toyota and Williams were not far behind.
Most Improved Driver - Jenson Button: He finished 3rd in the Championship behind the 2 Ferrari drivers with 10 podium finishes showing consistency. He also showed maturity when he performed his best despite the contractual fight towards the end of the season. His team-mate Takuma Sato was voted second.
Least Improved Driver - David Coulthard: For the second year in a row David is voted Least Improved Driver. It appears that McLaren have finally seen the light!
Best Third Driver - Anthony Davidson: Setting better times than the regular race drivers at almost every event of 2004 will surely get you voted Best Third Driver of 2004. Pity we may not see him racing next season after BAR and Williams failed to agree on a deal.
Worst Third Driver - Robert Doornbos: This was hard to pick due to the lack of coverage on Firdays, still Robert Doornbos was voted Worst Third Driver ahead of Bas Leinders.
Best Race - Belgium: Everyone was delighted with the return of Spa to the calendar and with Kimi Raikkonen finally winning a race after so many car failures, Belgium deserves to be the Best Race of 2004.
Worst Race - Hungary: A track were no overtaking is possible is always least favoured by the fans. Add to that a dominating performance by the Ferraris finishing 40 seconds ahead of anyone else and you'll get the Worst Race of 2004. And they want to drop Silverstone ?
The 2004 Formula 1 Season Overall - Above Average: Despite all the doom and gloom, the fans rated the 2004 F1 season Above Average with 35% of the vote. 33% thought the season was just average. Well lets hope 2005 will considered one of the best!.
Congratulations to the winners and we look forward to the 2005 Formula 1 Season.