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The F1 season in pictures

  1. It’s 60 years since the first edition of Autocourse was published, 50 years since it first appeared in its current lavish hardback annual form, and Top Gear’s F1 seasonal review of choice still does not disappoint.

    The 2011 edition is published today with its traditional mix of in-depth race reviews with perspective, original photography and its often controversial top ten drivers. We won’t issue a spoiler here; for those requesting a copy from Santa Claus, reading the top ten is a Christmas Day Right of Passage.

    AUTOCOURSE 2011 and a free Autocourse
    1971 eBook are only available as a special offer from
    www.autocourse.com with
    free postage/packing to UK customers for £42.46.

    Photo credit: PJ Fox

  2. Winning the
    world championship is no guarantee of winning the editor’s endorsement. Ayrton
    Senna for one threw a sulk when he missed out on the 1990 vote, and so ducked
    out of writing the foreword to the following year’s edition, a duty that has
    always traditionally fallen to that year’s champ.

    There’s the usual mix of shorter reviews of other formula, the definitive results appendix and a mix of features including the BBC’s Mark Hughes - the unseen brains in the commentary box - on just how Pirelli set about putting the excitement back in to our favourite Sunday afternoon pastime.

    AUTOCOURSE 2011 and a free Autocourse
    1971 eBook are only available as a special offer from
    www.autocourse.com with
    free postage/packing to UK customers for £42.46.

    Photo credit: PJ Fox

  3. Jenson Button, Canadian Grand Prix

    Longer than a rain-interrupted Third Day at Lords, the Canadian Grand Prix was the undoubted race of the season: the only time Vettel came under any pressure, and the only time he made an error. It gives us all hope for the 2012 season. Hats of to the now estranged Brundle and Coulthard team for the longest commentary of the year.

    Photo credit: PJ Fox

  4. Jenson Button, Japanese Grand Prix

    No apologies for more Jenson, he would be our number one for 2011 if we were choosing. His win in Japan was made all the more potent, what with JB’s affinity for the country. There were no dry eyes here when he and the lovely Jessica embraced after what proved to be an emotional win for Jenson and Japan.

    Photo credit: PJ Fox

  5. Lewis Hamilton, Malaysian Grand Prix

    Poor old Lewis looked a bit lost many times this year as he tried to figure out what was going on in his love life, what was going on with his team mate, and what the hell was it with him and Felipe Massa. But a brilliant win in Abu Dhabi saw the return of the smile and sense that Lewis had moved on from the lows.

    Photo credit: PJ Fox

  6. Kamui Kobayashi, Singapore Grand Prix

    As if Singapore wasn’t exciting enough! A lot of drivers hit the big kerb, but trust everybody’s favourite drift-boy-made-good to hit it harder than anyone. Kamui lost some of his shine in 2011 when it became apparent his USP - the ability to actual pass people - had been neutralised somewhat by DRS. He’ll be back.

    Photo credit: Lukas Gorys

  7. Michael Schumacher, Indian Grand Prix

    Once again beaten at the finish by team-mate Nico Rosberg, Schumacher had a better year in the second season of his return. His starting and overtaking were as good as anyone’s. So too was his sheer belligerence. The first race in India was a highlight of the season, a fantastic track bathed in the most beautiful light.

    Photo credit: PJ Fox

  8. Sergio Perez, Monaco Grand Prix

    Rookie of the Year for most, Sergio Perez proved himself every bit as fast as team-mate Kamui Kobayashi, and displayed a singular ability not to destroy his tyres. Here is his only big mistake of the year, a massive and scary shunt at Monaco that left us all with our hearts in our mouths and Sergio with nasty concussion.

    Photo credit: Peter Nygaard

  9. Nico Rosberg, Korean Grand Prix

    Nico’s father, 1982 Champion Keke Rosberg, had an easy-going approach his intense son lacks. As well as an astonishing appetite for cigarettes. This is the only smoking you’ll see Nico doing, locked up and off-line trying to keep his not-quite-on-the-pace Mercedes ahead of Alonso’s not-quite-on-it-either Ferrari.

    Photo credit: PJ Fox

  10. Jenson Button (or Lewis Hamilton), Monaco Grand Prix

    Hard to tell isn’t it? (We think it’s JB, but only from the stripes on the roll bar camera). Racing numbers virtually disappeared this year and drivers kept changing the designs of their lids. Monaco wasn’t kind to McLaren this year as the previously tactically brilliant team lost the plot (not for the last time in 2011).

    Photo credit: Paul-Henri Cahier

  11. Michael Schumacher, Belgium Grand Prix

    We didn’t see as much of Pirelli’s wet tyres as we had hoped this season: Bernie Ecclestone even suggested creating artificial wet races by installing sprinklers. It always rains in Belgium however, and didn’t disappoint, in practice at least. Michael Schumacher chucks up the spray and shows some astonishing castor angle.

    Photo credit: Paul-Henri Cahier

  12. Nick Heidfeld, Hungarian Grand Prix

    Well, that was one way to make an exit. Nick Heidfeld was called up by Lotus-Renault (to become plain Lotus next year) after Robert Kubica’s horrible pre-season accident. Like the team’s 2011 car his season started well, then it all went up in flames and, er, exploded. They didn’t let him drive the car again after this.

    Photo credit: Peter Nygaard

  13. Sebastian Vettel

    “Yeah Mum, that’s what I’m talking about…”. Last time a German driver so utterly dominated Formula One we all got a little bored and turned off. Not this year. Whether it’s Vettel’s feet-on-the-ground charisma or the fact that it was regularly all going off on the track behind him, 2011 will be remembered as one of the great seasons…

    Photo credit: Red Bull Racing

  14. Lewis vs Vettel 

    …and this is why. When fortune or misfortune or luck or tyre choice or the implementation of the Drag Reduction System meant two cars got close to each other, they actually raced in 2011. More overtakes in one year that in the previous ten put together (or so it felt) reminded everyone why we love F1. Roll on 2012.

    Photo credit: Red Bull Racing

    AUTOCOURSE 2011 and a free Autocourse
    1971 eBook are only available as a special offer from
    www.autocourse.com with
    free postage/packing to UK customers for £42.46.

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