He had easily the fastest car on what seemed like every weekend. Rarely was there a time when the Red Bull was eclipsed through an entire weekend and at most circuits they seemed to have three or four tenths in their pocket. A phenonmenon known in Formula One as The Newey Effect. 10 pole positions from 19 races says a lot, but he only managed to convert that into 5 wins - the same number as Fernando Alonso in a significantly inferior Ferrari.
A Red Bull driver should've had the title wrapped up well before Abu Dhabi and it is much to Ferrari and Mclaren's credit that they didn't. Alonso, Hamilton and to a lesser extent Button kept them honest right to the last through sheer doggedness. Opponents know that if there's even a sniff of a victory you'd better hope its not a Mclaren or a Ferrari doing the sniffing because the chances are they'll catch you.
Webber had a good year, easily his best in Formula One, but I just never felt like he was going to be champion. He's a nice guy, and I would've liked to see him win it, but it always felt like his lead was vulnerable and like it or not, Vettel is out-and-out the faster driver.
Alonso looked down and out at Silverstone, where he claimed he was still in the title fight. He is the consumate fighter, he is never beaten and his pursuit of Vettel and Webber towards the end of the season was relentlessly brilliant. Only the brainless strategic call from Ferrari to cover off Webber rather than maximise Alonso's own position robbed him of a deserved third World Championship. There is no better all round driver on the grid.
The other man with a theoretical chance of victory at the last was Lewis Hamilton. A season of brilliance interspersed with some pretty average moments speaks of a driver not completely at one with his car. His performance at the final race wasn't as electrifying as it could've been - perhaps in the back of his mind was him handing the title to his arch-rival Alonso if he'd passed Vettel for the win.
So all in all, it was a thrilling season of racing. Any one of five drivers looked up to winning the title for most of the season, despite one team having a significant advantage throughout. A provisional 20-race season in 2011 should provide just as many thrills!