Who do you rate as RaceDepartment F1 Rookie of the Year?


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F1 | Rookie of the Year: Vote Now

Voting is open to find out who wins the Formula One 'Rookie of the Year', as voted by the RaceDepartment Community.

The 2019 season would be one that saw the top three drivers from the previous F2 season competing in the top flight of motorsport for the first time, albeit in very different levels of competitive machinery - but who do you think did the best job?

Included in this poll is Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi despite have made two previous starts for the Sauber team, I felt he was suitably inexperienced enough to still be considered a true F1 rookie driver.

Who do you think did the best job over the course of the season? Vote in the poll and leave a comment below!

Previous vote: F1 Driver of the Year - Results HERE

Next vote: F1 Race of the Season - coming soon

F1 Rookie of the Year - Albon.jpg
F1 Rookie of the Year - Norris.jpg
F1 Rookie of the Year - Giovinazzi.jpg
F1 Rookie of the Year - Russell.jpg
 
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RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.
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Terry Rock

2000RPM
That'd have to be young Mr. Norris...given the fact that he was not at all expected to shine and was in a mid-field car up against Sainz Jr...who is no slouch.
All the 'young guns' did a respectable job this season.
Russell beat the 'snot' out of Kubica despite not having a single point to show for it.
He also did it without a lot of mistakes while dragging that 'dog' of a car around.
Albon was a "Who?" at the start of the season and yet, he got his head down and elbows out to impress the RBR leaders.
Gio ran some good races despite the pairing with Kimi. Not sure what happened to the Alfa this year.
It was not the Alfa of 'Leclerc' days.
Heck!...not even Kimi could make it work consistently.
Norris kept Carlos honest and was almost always in a 'better than the points showed' position, when the car would let him down.
 
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Nick Hill

500RPM
Premium
So interesting that both F1 and Indy had absolutely incredible rookie classes. The sport seems to have no shortage of great talent flowing in!

It's a very tough call between Lando, Alex, and George for me. All 3 guys have each impressed me greatly at different times during the year...but if I have to pick one, it's going to be Russell for me. He consistently made Kubica look bad...maybe Kubica isn't the Kubica of old, but 21-0 qualy advantage? Come on, that's just filthy. As we might say in American stick & ball sports "how ya gonna do Kub like that?!?!?" :p

One thing that's kind of cool about Indy is how the Rookie of the Year is an actual points based thing. Indy and F1 are really two different worlds (despite superficially looking very much the same) and I appreciate both, but it is kind of cool that Indy is setup in such a way that the rookie of the year is decided...well...by whichever rookie score the most points! Indy is just a lot closer to traditional sport, I think (whereas F1 is truly a unique creature).
 

ZeroRisk

2000RPM
Premium
For me it was very close between Norris and Albon. For Albon to get promoted to Red Bull and to have shown he is capable is a big deal. Norris doing what he has in that car is very impressive and, dare I say it, Alonso leaving McLaren has helped them get the car into more competitive ways.
It's a shame Russell is in the William's, I'd love to see him in Renault, Redbull, TR or even the other McLaren. Yes he beat Kubica all year, but Kubica has an injury that doesn't look like he can bounce back from in top flight Motorsport unfortunately...
 
Tough choice... I voted for Norris because I just like his attitude, which is so refreshing in this P.R. obsessed era of F1. But Albon and Russell are both highly deserving. Albon, for not suffering from the comparison with Verstappen (and graduating to the "A" team after only half a season) and Russell, for not making a fool of himself at the wheel of a F2 car trying to pass itself off as a F1 car.
 
Lando is a great guy,very good with social media etc.which attracts young fans to F1.His qualifying pace was very good but he seemed to fade in the races.
I voted for Albon because he did the best job he could & was so much better than Gasly in the same car & improved with every race against Max who is so fast.
Albon reminds me of Damon Hill who was never the top dog coming through the lower formulas but quietly gets on with his stuff & works away to improve all the time.
 

Slapped

50RPM
Lando.

It was a great first season for him, very much holding his own within Mclaren against a slightly more experienced Sainz.

But that's not the only reason. If F1 doesn't go his way, and honestly a lot of F1 is about luck - being with the right team at the right time, rather than raw talent, then he has a great future as an very entertaining F1 presenter.

He had me in fits of laughter this year, and all for the right reasons.

It's rare to find an F1 driver that can actually answer a question without going into the same pre-recorded monologue a'la Hamiltion, or being able to string more than 2 words together a'la the rest of them.
 

ears

I know, for I told me so
Premium
It's rare to find an F1 driver that can actually answer a question without going into the same pre-recorded monologue a'la Hamiltion, or being able to string more than 2 words together a'la the rest of them.
WHAT?!

I don't disagree with Norris' communication skills but I think there's a glaring omission here.

All you need to listen to is this video. Written himself, delivered in an incredibly moving and heartfelt manner, and not even in his native tongue.

Seb may have had a difficult season or two in the car, but he's gone up massively in my estimation as a human being.

 

Brice.S.

250RPM
For me, and without any doubt, it's Russel, he did an amazing job, scored a 21-0 against Kubica, and was able to fight (sometimes) with some other cars.... the 2 others (Giovinazzi is not really a rookie) are in better cars, wich is easier, and have been beaten by teammates (Albon was tied with Kvyat)...
I really love (?!) Norris, but have to admit that his popularity is really linked with his numerous social networks etc...
BTW, they all did an amazing job this year, we really had 3 impressive rookies, and that's great for F1
@++
 

Nick Hill

500RPM
Premium
Absolutely no offense intended, everyone can vote as they please as far as I'm concerned, but...as the results are looking so far, this looks more like the results I would have expected if the question was "who is your favorite rookie F1 driver".

As I said before, I think you could make a compelling case for Lando, George, OR Alex depending on your perspective and/or how you slice the numbers...but 70% of the vote for one of those three? Nah, doesn't add up to me. Lando has great personality and the "racing besties" he and Carlos have developed was top notch stuff...I suspect that stuff swings a good chunk of votes his way.

When all's said and done though, I'm not particularly bothered. For one, it's not as though this poll winner gets Bottas's seat or something. For two, F1 needs a serious personality injection - in particular, a personality that appeals to the younger audience. The fact that so many find Lando relatable is good for the health of the sport.
 

Ghoults

1000RPM
I think for the best rookie of the year you'd have to beat your team mate or at least come very close if the team mate is an established and well known quality driver. After that you'd need to show lots of promise and have lots of sheer pace. Mistakes are expected but mistakes can be trained away. Speed is more of a natural thing and at f1 level it is too late to become faster. F1 is the place where you are fast but need to learn everything else. For that reason Giovanazzi is out immediatelly.

Comparisons with team mates puts Albon and Norris out. Albon is simply not even close to Verstappen. Granted it is his first year but I don't see anything in his driving this season or his past seasons in lower formulae why he could be the next red bull star. Out of his 7 seasons of racing before f1 he has he has only 9 race wins. Drivers like Hamilton/Verstappen had more on their first couple of seasons. Even Stroll had more success in lower categories. I think Albon only got the job (twice) because he was the only option available. Unimpressive. In fact Albon was beaten twice by his team mate this season. First by Kvyat and then by Verstappen.

Norris hasn't matched Sainz which is why I'm excluding him as well. While Sainz has driven really well this season there is still question in my mind that how good is Sainz - and how good is Norris if he can't match Sainz.

This leaves George Russell left and that's my pick as well. But it is incredibly iffy pick. He pretty much destroyed Kubica in every possible session and even if you account for Williams putting all the effort into Russell's car they did a chassis swap in one of the races and Russell was still his typical half a second quicker. But at the same time the car is total junk. It is almost impossible to compare him against anybody else except his team mate. How well did Kubica drive? I think the consensus has been pretty much that Kubica was the worst driver of the year. How much worth is it to beat the worst driver of the grid in equal equipment? An easy counter here is to say that beating Kubica has only proven Russell is the 2nd worst driver of the season. But even then at least he beat someone.

So my vote goes to Russell. Second is Norris, third is Albon and Giovanazzi is 4th.
 

MoerasGrizzly

1000RPM
Premium
Alex Albon is the rookie of the year for me, especially considering his star performance in Brazil as well as Spa. Him getting spun by Hamilton was a huge shame.
 

pcraenme

250RPM
Premium
I think it was very close between Lando, Alex and George. All three of them had a good rookie year. George however is difficult to judge because he drove the worst car by far and also had the worst teammate.. who scored the one and only point for Williams this year though.:confused: Albon, still driving for Torro Rosso, was not really better than Kvyat:unsure:, but he did a god job in the Red Bull, however still miles away from Max. And Lando... he did not score that many points as Sainz, but he was a bit unlucky at some times and his teammate Sainz had a great year. But.. Landon scores some extra points for his personality and humor. F1 needs characters like him!:cool: So I voted for Lando.
 

Paul Glover

RaceDepartment Social Media Manager & Podcast Host
Staff
Premium
WHAT?!

I don't disagree with Norris' communication skills but I think there's a glaring omission here.

All you need to listen to is this video. Written himself, delivered in an incredibly moving and heartfelt manner, and not even in his native tongue.

Seb may have had a difficult season or two in the car, but he's gone up massively in my estimation as a human being.

Agree 100%
 
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