Who was the best driver of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend? (Poll)

Start, Suzuka, 2010

Which driver did the best job during the Japanese Grand Prix weekend?

See below for my pick of the best drivers in the Japanese Grand Prix.

Review each driver’s race weekend in detail below and vote for who you thought was the most impressive driver.

For your consideration

Here are some of the drivers who impressed me during the Japanese Grand Prix weekend:

Sebastian Vettel, 1st – Second win in two races at Suzuka, dominated the whole weekend.

Fernando Alonso, 3rd – Third was the best on offer and he took it.

Lewis Hamilton, 5th – Impressively quick in qualifying despite few practice laps, showed pace in the race too but had some dreadful luck.

Kamui Kobayashi, 7th – Gutsy overtaking moves on hard and soft tyres.

Robert Kubica, DNF – Showed great pace by out-qualifying Fernando Alonso and launched himself into second in the start. Pity they didn’t bolt his wheels on properly.

Compare all the drivers

You can review what happened to each driver in the race and compare their race data with their team mates using the links below:

McLaren: Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes: Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher
Red Bull: Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber
Ferrari: Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa
Williams: Rubens Barrichello and Nico H?â??lkenberg
Renault: Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov
Force India: Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi
Toro Rosso: Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari
Lotus: Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen
HRT: Sakon Yamamoto and Bruno Senna
Sauber: Kamui Kobayashi and Nick Heidfeld
Virgin: Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi

Vote for your driver of the weekend

Which driver impressed you the most in the Japanese Grand Prix weekend? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Who was the best driver of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend?

  • Jenson Button (1%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (7%)
  • Michael Schumacher (5%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Sebastian Vettel (9%)
  • Mark Webber (1%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (7%)
  • Rubens Barrichello (0%)
  • Nico H?â??lkenberg (0%)
  • Robert Kubica (7%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (1%)
  • Adrian Sutil (0%)
  • Vitantonio Liuzzi (0%)
  • Sebastien Buemi (0%)
  • Jaime Alguersuari (0%)
  • Jarno Trulli (0%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (0%)
  • Sakon Yamamoto (0%)
  • Bruno Senna (0%)
  • Nick Heidfeld (1%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (59%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Lucas di Grassi (2%)

Total Voters: 2,743

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Singapore Grand Prix result

Fernando Alonso was voted the best driver of the Singapore Grand Prix weekend. Here are the top three drivers as voted for by you:

1. Fernando Alonso, 43%
2. Robert Kubica, 31%
3. Mark Webber, 10%

2010 Japanese Grand Prix

Browse all 2010 Japanese Grand Prix articles

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108 comments on Who was the best driver of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend? (Poll)

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  1. Well, my vote goes to Kubica.

    OK, he may have only done a few laps, but that Renault, which isn’t recieving as many updates as the title challengers; for it to be in front of half of them, it a great achievement.

    He could have finished 3rd, and could have elevated himself to 6th in the DC. A shame that he had the wheel issue, but then again, other drivers have had their fair share of bad luck, too.

    • Sush Meerkat said on 11th October 2010, 22:13

      I think Kubica should be exempt from race form, he had the potential to be good yes, but having potential is only good when your 12 years old.

      As an adult, only results matter.

      • Maciek said on 11th October 2010, 22:49

        There’s so much wrong with that, I don’t know where to start. How about: how is that even relevant? Going by your logic, I take it that everyone outside of the race winner should be exempt from the vote.

      • I agree with Maciek, and also, the question is ‘ Who was the best driver of the Japanese Grand Prix WEEKEND’, which, includes the Practice sessions, as well as Qualifying.

      • Damon said on 12th October 2010, 8:05

        Sush, you speak nonsense.
        In this poll we judge THE DRIVER’S performance, not the performance of the team or the outcome of the race, which is due to many other factors than the driver’s performance.
        Kubica’s performance was definately one of the best.

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 11th October 2010, 22:22

      I almost voted Kubica. He out-qualified both Ferraris and one McLaren in an inferior car. Hope to see great things from him in Korea.

      • Great things for him in Korea, hmmm, 8th, 7th place… That Renault is a crap load shurely, don’t think anyone could possibly chalange Korean track in R30 higher than 7th. Even KUB.
        He only gets it high when other drivers balls shrink dramaticly due to wall, or grass closeness…and Korea is a “pussy” like , wide track where everyone can push to the limit, couse there is no limit…you jus go off the track, loose couple of tenths, and get back.

    • As do mine. I would otherwise have voted for Kobayashi. It really is a shame that he missed the race. As you said, he would have easily beaten both Merc drivers in the championship (I’m hoping he does by the end of this season).

      Also, I’m sure he would’ve given Webber a very hard time for second place. Had Webber failed to gain a place, the championship would be even more interesting.

    • TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 12th October 2010, 11:19

      100% Kobayashi. Hilarious that Button managed to get 9 votes and Di Grassi got 8 :P

    • spectator said on 12th October 2010, 18:34

      why not Heidfeld his second race he beat kobayashi on qually of course kob wasted his last lap but anyway he is adapting faster than schumi after some stoppage time

  2. Sush Meerkat said on 11th October 2010, 22:04

    Critics are quick to liken a current driver to a former great or champion, such as;
    Lewis Hamilton having a driving style similar to Ayrton Senna
    Jenson Button being the Allain Prost of this generation and Sebestien Vettel having a very Villeneuve vibe to how he dominates a track.

    Well if people are going to compare them to former champions then I want to add Kamui Kobayashi to that pantheon, his swashbuckling style and swagger on the race track reminds me of Keke Rosberg, was he and is Koby one of the true greats?, thats debatable.

    But I don’t care when they are that exciting to watch, the crazy mentalists.

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 11th October 2010, 22:23

      He certainly has potential to be one of the greats, but only time will tell if he really is.

      • Sush Meerkat said on 11th October 2010, 22:43

        Indeed US Peter, time will tell, but in the mean time, lets enjoy that absolutely mentalist race craft this kid uses.

        • Jay Menon said on 12th October 2010, 2:53

          Koby drives like Montoya. Not afraid to make outlandish overtaking moves and make it stick. He crashed once in a while, but that what make his a real racing driver.

          I guess you can drive like this when you aren’t fighting for a championship, if you’re a front runner in the running for a WDC, you probably need to find the fine line between making risky moves and playing safe…not many have found that.

          Koba will need some refining if he were to drive for a top team, it all depends on which team he eventually gets to. He will need somebody like Ross Brawn to manage his talent on the Sunday afternoon if he is realize his full potential.

          Hopefully he keeps this up, he could be the next big thing in F1 alongside the Hulk

          • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 12th October 2010, 3:22

            Sulkenberg’s got a bit of maturing to do, but he’s still much younger than Kobayashi. He’s been outdriven by Kobayashi in an inferior car. Kobayashi’s got 27 points to Hulk’s 17 and has had 8 retirements to Hulk’s 4.

          • … If I were Kamui I’m not sure I’d like to be compared to Montoya…

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 12th October 2010, 7:56

            Besides refining his driving style, he has to find more on consistency in pace. This season he looked really quick, partially due to Pedro in the second Sauber seat. He did make a lot of Q3 exits and crashes, but he definitely has the potential to improve and mature.

  3. Cyclops said on 11th October 2010, 22:06

    I say Vettel. Pretty much untouchable throughout the weekend.

  4. If we speak about all the weekend I vote for Robert Kubica. He greatly delivered in both practice, quali and race before his unlucky retirement (not his fault). It was one more time shining example what could be done with less capable car driven by more capable driver (Suzuka is a demanding track).
    For the race it is Kobayashi hands down.
    Vettel was quick – this is his real virtue, but he had the quickest car, so it’s not enough for my vote.

  5. spawinte said on 11th October 2010, 22:24

    Get that Kabiyoshi fella in a top car asap I say

    • The sri lankan said on 12th October 2010, 23:34

      thats what i want too! Hes ready for a Top Car. Despite the Rumored Panasonic sponsorship that sauber will be fighting for the midfeild again next year. i hope Kobayashis talent doesn’t go wasted!

      • 100% agree with you,imagine if he gets a faster car such as a Renault,that will be nice.
        I did remark this Kamui from last year when
        he replaced Timo in the Toyota F1 for few last races,it was phenomenal.

  6. US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 11th October 2010, 22:25

    My head said Vettel, since he truly dominated the track throughout the weekend, but my heart prevailed and I had to vote Kobayashi because he made MY weekend. Kubica was a close second as well. Here’s hoping Kobayashi can learn how to qualify, it would be great to see a race with him starting in the top 5!!

    • Kobayahi’s quali results are not so much his fault in my opinion. The midfield has some pretty strong machines this year (with Renault almost replacing Mercedes in the top 4, though with Kubica’s help of course) and Sauber are definitely at the back amongst them.

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 12th October 2010, 3:26

        He’s been outqualified by his team mate more often than not, and most of the season that was De La Rosa, who’s not one of the top drivers. I think in time though he will get some consistency which will help him in qualifying.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th October 2010, 9:24

          But i think De la Rosa is pretty good at quallifying, where it is just about getting 3 good sectors in one lap. He lacked mainly in race craft (and suffered from the mechanics of their car).

      • Robbie said on 12th October 2010, 4:01

        I’d rank the mid-teams like this:

        1. Williams
        2. Renault (if Petrov was as good as Kubica they’d be number 1)
        3. Force India
        4. Sauber
        5. Toro Rosso

        And even though they’re considered a top 4 team I’d put Mercedes in between Renault and FI.

        • Ben Curly said on 12th October 2010, 8:57

          Where is Mercedes then? Because they are definitely not among the top teams.

        • Patrickl said on 12th October 2010, 9:09

          If you call MErcedes a top team then Renault is even more so.

          Renault is actually ahead of Mercedes (only Petrov is holding them back) and they are miles clear of Williams.

        • spectator said on 13th October 2010, 12:38

          its more mclaren renault williams sauber force india and than toro rosso

  7. Kobayashi. Watch this guy. Given half a chance and he could dominate F1 for the next decade. He has a steeliness
    and sense of timing which are nothing short of remarkable.
    For comparrison, you only have to look at the career of his team-mate.

    I’ve always been a fan of Heidfeld, but to be ruthlessly honest, in an F1 career spanning ten times that of Kobayashi, he has never pulled of anything remotely approaching the things his team mate seems to do every race day.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 11th October 2010, 22:33

      I’ve always been a fan of Heidfeld, but to be ruthlessly honest, in an F1 career spanning ten times that of Kobayashi, he has never pulled of anything remotely approaching the things his team mate seems to do every race day.

      I remember him doing several brilliant moves on his way to second place in the British Grand Prix two years ago.

      • While I am not a fan of Heidfeld, he does pull off excellent overtakes from time to time (more often than most other F1 drivers). As far as I remember, he made double passes on two different tracks a couple of years back.

        • Invoke said on 12th October 2010, 12:23

          In fact didn’t he make two double overtakes during the same race David mentioned, and round the outside too if I remember correctly?

          In my opinion Heidfeld has his moments where he really shines, but I agree with Leon that with generally solid and steady drives Nick is the antithesis of Kamui with his all or nothing approach. I can’t help but think of the late great Colin McRae as perfect analogy to his driving style. Like McRae, I think Kamui’s style and approach could gain him either admiration or notoriety.

          A Kobayashi dominated F1 though, I’m not so sure about!

    • spectator said on 13th October 2010, 12:43

      at bahrain 06 or 07 he made some double overtakes and he beat kubica lots of times last year and he should have won the 08 canadian gp

    • iceman said on 15th October 2010, 14:54

      Despite not pulling off anything remotely approaching what his team-mate did, Heidfeld still finished only 5 seconds behind him. Not bad for his first race in almost a year.

  8. It’s a weekend poll so I’ll say Vettel closely followed by Alonso. Both got the maximum out of their cars this weekend and no mistakes but Vettel had a much stronger team mate this weekend so I voted for him.

    Kubica had a good weekend but never really got a chance for the vote given his race got cut short.

    Hamilton was good in the race and quali but his error in practice means he wasn’t quite good enough this weekend for me.

    • pSynrg said on 12th October 2010, 0:14

      Spot on…

      Also, Kobayashi worth a mention of course.

    • Hallard said on 12th October 2010, 14:53

      Really? I wasnt that impressed by Alonso. He was out-qualified by hamilton and kubica, and in the race he gained a place thanks to Kubica’s retirement but never had to overtake. Thanks to Hamilton’s gearbox woes and Button’s poor tire strategy, Alonso never threatened those in front and was never threatened by those behind him. He certainly didnt make any mistakes (as far as I could tell), but for me that’s far from driver-of-the-weekend material.

      • Steph said on 12th October 2010, 15:35

        With the Ferrari’s characteristics and Mclaren’s plus their upgrade and Renault I was seriously scared for Ferrari this weekend. 3rd was the maximum. Everything went right while all the others fell apart.

  9. xabregas said on 11th October 2010, 22:41

    Kobayashi of course, if we had more drivers like him in F1, this sport would be even more interesting, hopefuly the others after this race can watch what he did and start to say that actually it´s possible to overtake just need to try harder.

    • I didn’t finally vote for Kobayashi becasue he cracked under pressure during Qualifing and his race result was only to level to his team mate, technically speaking.
      So despite his brilliant passes, he passed slower cars, and was elevated to 7th only because Kubica, Massa and Rosberg did not finish.

  10. Kobayashi 60% !!

    He did really really well but I didn’t think it would be that high to be honest!

    Well done to him though. Very gutsy performance!

  11. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 11th October 2010, 23:04

    Has to be Vettel really, doesn’t it? Hamilton pulled out an amazing Q3 and nearly capped off an impressive recovery drive, but missing most of two practice sessions can’t be discounted. Vettel had the pace and the beating of his team-mate all weekend and that’s why he gets my vote.

  12. dragon said on 11th October 2010, 23:38

    Vettel only won because he’s an average driver in the fastest car on the grid, right?
    Foolish opinion, if that is the case of anyone who has it – he could (and will continue to do so) tear up Suzuka in any frontrunning car. I don’t hate him nearly as much as I did a few months ago, but I am getting increasingly nervous that he’s found that untouchable pace again and Webber isn’t going to be able to hold him off.
    He gets my vote, marginally ahead of Kamui, because the Japanese ace left a little to be desired in qualifying. His braking power seems incredible though!

    • Harv's said on 12th October 2010, 2:17

      its like running a 100m sprint, except the red bulss only have to run 90m, they were always goning to win here and we knew it from the start of the weekend

  13. Daniel said on 11th October 2010, 23:45

    So, how come Schumacher doesn’t get a mention?

    Made up places on the start, made a pass on Barrichello in a difficult spot, had good pace all race and was on the tail of Rosberg* when his team mate crashed, meaning he finished only behind the 5 championship challengers.

    He could have been closer to the front runners if not for the daft strategy move of his team. It’s widely acknowledged that the Mercedes hasn’t been a good car for a while. It was his driving and not a crafty strategy that got him to 6th. I can’t help but feel that if Rosberg had had this drive he’s have been on the short list.

    Schumi was also quick in practice, it was only Q2 and Q3 where his pace seemed down, and Brawn later said that his car had a ‘minor technical problem,’ during that part of qualifying.

    *As I posted elsewhere the gap between Rosberg and Schumacher the lap before Rosberg retired was only 0.2 seconds, indicating that Schumacher was having a run on his team mate.

  14. claudioff said on 12th October 2010, 0:04

    Kobayashi, I would love to see him in a better car. But my crystal ball has a huge defect, it only shows the past, and there I found a lot of drivers who did better than their team mates and cars but failed to delivery the equivalent perfomance in bigger teams. But I sincerely would love to watch a fair duel between him and Hamilton.

  15. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th October 2010, 0:39

    My vote goes to Schumacher. Kobayashi is the obvious choice, but after the Old Master’s disappointing and frankly embarrassing showing at Singapore, for him to come home sixth was a major revival of form and shows that he’s still got the X factor.

    • I actually forgot about Schumacher but I was really impressed with him and you’re right that he really needed it after Singapore. I was willing him on to pass Rosberg.

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