Start, Melbourne, 2011

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

2011 Australian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Start, Melbourne, 2011
Start, Melbourne, 2011

Who was the most impressive driver throughout the Australian Grand Prix weekend?

See below for my pick of the best drivers in the Australian 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 Australian Grand Prix weekend:

Sebastian Vettel – He may have the best car underneath him, but look at the gap to his team mate and you know he’s making the most of it.

Lewis Hamilton – Split the fastest cars on the track in qualifying and nursed his injured MP4-26 to the flag.

Vitaly Petrov – Quick in qualifying, opportunistic at the start, and looked after his tyres for a fully deserved podium finish.

Fernando Alonso – Fought back effectively with some good passes after being crowded out at the start.

Sergio Perez – A mature drive and a great debut performance – no-one else managed just one pit stop.

Compare all the drivers

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

Red Bull: Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber
McLaren: Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton
Ferrari: Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa
Mercedes: Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher
Renault: Nick Heidfeld and Vitaly Petrov
Williams: Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado
Force India: Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta
Sauber: Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez
Toro Rosso: Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari
Lotus: Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen
HRT: Narain Karthikeyan and Vitantonio Liuzzi
Virgin: Timo Glock and Jerome d’Ambrosio

Vote for your driver of the weekend

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

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

  • Sebastian Vettel (12%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (11%)
  • Jenson Button (1%)
  • Fernando Alonso (5%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Michael Schumacher (0%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Nick Heidfeld (0%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (33%)
  • Rubens Barrichello (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Adrian Sutil (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (1%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (36%)
  • Sebastien Buemi (0%)
  • Jaime Alguersuari (0%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (0%)
  • Jarno Trulli (0%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (1%)
  • Vitantonio Liuzzi (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Jerome d'Ambrosio (1%)

Total Voters: 799

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Rate the Race: Australian Grand Prix

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2011 Australian Grand Prix


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163 comments on “Who was the best driver of the Australian Grand Prix weekend?”

  1. Perez, superb.

    1. UKfanatic (@)
      28th March 2011, 21:22

      yes I would say perez but he raced with an illegal rear wing so I’ll have to pick Alonso for driving such a twitchy car to 4th place massa was far slower or Vettel cause of the lead to Webber anyway mclaren looks stronger than red bull believe in me

      1. The wing may have been illegal but this has nothing to do with the driver? Especially since it has been widely reported that this was none performance enhancing. He still out performed Kobayashi in an identical car and didn’t make any rookie errors!

        1. As much as I enjoyed Parez’s drive and felt happy for him, I also could not vote for him, knowing he probably gained an advantage due to the wing. His team boss has said it was not performance enhancing, but of course he would say that! He is trying to win an appeal, and that is what he would base the appeal on.

          Considering they set the highest top speed, and the rear wing is the greatest factor when it comes to drag, I think it is evident that they had gained some sort of advantage.

        2. kobayashi made one stop mor than perez,and still was cloe behind him ,so perez in overrated right now. Alonso was the best ,passed cars, was 9-11 in the first lap and almost got into the podium even though he made one more stop than hamiltn,vettel and petrov. last but not least he has 3-of the 5 fastest laps of the rae with the hard tires.

          1. @ftgtt I agree over rated, rose coloured specs for a lot of people, its the good story / emotional aspect getting in the way of sound judgement (just like people saving they should not be DSQ, how anyone can say that it beyond me), I but it was still one of the best Rookie performances in recent times, respect to him for that.

          2. You do realise the whole idea of a 2 stopper is to be able to make up the time by driving faster right?

            Perez made one stop, and made it work!

      2. Sorry but Perez still drove a brilliant race and is deserving of praise, whether his car was illegal or not. I am sure we will find out if the illegality was performance enhancing or not by whether Sauber appeals or not… and how that appeal is treated if it is lodged.

        For me its joint honours for Perez and Petrov for driver of the day, both drove superb races and gave themselves high benchmarks to live up to this season. I think Petrov was my driver of the weekend, he set about practice and honed his car well enough to get 6th in qualifying and then made a great start and worked his way to third and then held of the attentions of both Alonso and Webber who were running fresher rubber than him. I was impressed by the way he talked to Martin on the grid and his obvious joy at his podium felt real… I would imagine that he is probably still no more than 5 foot away from that trophy at any time… thats if he has let go at all…

        Petrov has given himself a perfect start to the season and we will just have to see if he can carry on this form… Renault have a tendency to develop their cars quickly and effectively… if Petrov can maintain this form who knows he might find himself racing for race wins on occasion before the season is out, oh and before anyone talks about his rookie season, he did well… when he wasn’t making rookie mistakes. We have seen plenty of world champions make mistakes in their rookie seasons… not sure if Petrov is world champion material or not but he might be a Rubens or DC….

        1. I’m in complete agreement. If the illegality is not found to be performance-enhancing, the least they could do is reinstate the drivers’ points and either give the team zero points, or fine them instead.

          If the team gets zero points, though, I wonder — do the other teams get moved up in the constructor championship? That’d be a headache to keep track of — for Sauber and every team behind them that gets constructor points in Australia, it’d no longer be the case that the sum of all driver points = team points.

    2. Perez of course!

    3. perez is overrated, he wouldn’t have finished in the poitns if it wasn’t becuase there were at least 8 cars that had dnf’s ,the williams,the mercedez,the badly injured renault driven by heidfield,etc,etc,etc. Perez did only one stop while everybody else did at least 2 and kobayashi was just a few seconds behind him.also he gained an unfairadvantage over everybody by driving with an illegal rear wing.

      1. Perez is slightly overrated currently, but since many saw him as a bit of pay driver he is bloody quick for that. A real driver.

        D’Ambrosio wasn’t mentioned because he was in a back car doing nothing, but for a first race he kept it all together, no stupid mistakes, we don’t know about pace but he hasn’t far off

        But anyway…

        In Russia, Car drive you… to the podium… so Petrov

        1. i voted for petrov n then read perez did just 1 stop! :O
          my vote for perez tho i voted for vitaly.
          tho an awesome 3rd place drive by petrov!

          1. LOL, I guess that evens up for me voting for Perez but feeling it might have gone to Petrov just as well.

            Both did a great job to show there is hope for the rookies of the last generation.

          2. SO you’re voting on the best driver in a race you didn’t watch…. oookay

    4. i would say perez but alonso is the one that was doing a lot of overtakes and gained a lot of places during the race

  2. It was a toss up between Petrov and Perez for me but in the end I went for Sergio.

    1. I had the same dilemma, but went with Petrov

      1. Me too because he was exceptionally good in front of fast cars and especially for him it’s an important result. Perez was perfect but was anyway behind, obviously slower than others.

        1. Me too, but because I thought Perez would win in the end and thought Petrov deserved a good mention at least. ;)

          Both really impressed this weekend. Perez for obvious reasons, but I think Petrov really stepped up to the plate and a little soundbite from Ted Kravitz in his “Australia from the pitlane” video on the BBC website, is really why I voted for Petrov. In a conversation/interview with Kravitz, apparently Petrov quoted Webber and said “not bad for a number 2 driver”.

          Webber said it just to make a point, but Petrov really is just a second driver. Even Kubica’s replacement was brought in very specifically as Kubica’s replacement and Renault’s hope to stay in the running to compete at the front. And I think it shows Petrov’s mental strength to come out with the all-weekend performance he did, because remember he had been faster than Heidfeld every single session before the race as well.

          It was only after the race that Boullier finally made it a point to say “let’s just forget about what-ifs from now on and focus on Petrov and the job he did and we expect him to continue to do”. Again, to perform the way he did, while being treated very publicly as a second driver, to me really proves that Petrov has “grown up” and is, in the very best possible way, telling Renault “look here, look at me, I’m your driver too you know”. And to his credit, I think Boullier was listening.

          1. If Petrov did say that, I really hope they put it in the official race edit.

          2. @Ral
            “Cannot play media. Sorry, this media is not available in your territory.”

            Thank you BBC. Really.

      2. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
        29th March 2011, 3:24

        Same here, if we could pick our top three then Sergio would definitely have made it, but I felt that Petrov drove a very controlled race, good strategy and ended up on the podium and caused Renault to be 4th in Constructors

    2. Same dilemma for me. I went with Petrov just for his fantastic start and double pass into turn 1. Still neck and neck though, looks like my vote tied Petrov and Perez both at 93.

  3. It was close between Perez and Petrov, but Perez gets my vote. Drove a solid race, beat his team mate, scored points and had good pace, all in his debut race.

    Massa should be looking over his shoulder, because the bloke driving that in the Sauber could be in his seat next year if he maintains such excellent pace

  4. Obviously Vettel and Petrov.

    1. Agree, although I’m not sure what happened to Webber. He was beating Vettel last year and when he lost it was often below 0.2 or even 0.1 s

      1. Just the first race.. I’m sure Webber will be closer and sometimes beat him. Vettel has the upperhand but Webber shouldn’t be this far off.. No one should to his team mate.

  5. Cant really look past Vettel, he has beeen unreal this weekend, putting Webber to shame, in Quali and in the race too.

    Big mention to Petrov and Perez also.

  6. Also, do Karthikeyan and Liuzzi qualify for this vote, as they didnt even qualify for the race? Or are these polls judged on the whole weekend? =s

    1. Nevermind, I can answer my own question, just need to read more carefully next time

  7. had to be Petrov for me, what a way to prove the doubters!

    1. d’oh, *prove the doubters wrong!

      any chance of an edit button anytime soon?

  8. someone is going to vote for Karthikeyan just to be funny, just wait.

    Petrov for me

  9. As the question was who was the best I had no doubt:

    Vettel. Superp quali, good start (remember with no kers) and flawless drive.

    If the question would have been who impressed me the most, would have probably gone for Perez and Petrov.

  10. I was tempted to vote for Karthikeyan, but in the end Perez just nicked it!

    1. Karthikeyan was pretty bad. As for worst drive of the race I have no idea what Rubens Barrichello was playing at.

      For a guy who’s been in 36% of all F1 races, he drove like a rookie all weekend.

      1. Worst driver was, I agree, Rubens Barrichello… mistake in Qualifying and 2 huge clangers in the race – he deserved his penalty and I hope he had a long hard think… and i’m a big fan of his!

        BUT – Mark Webber runs him close… my prediction pre-season of him being destroyed by Vettel is coming true very quickly.

        1. Rubens may just be passed the tipping point now. Let’s see how the season unfolds, but he drove a little like my grandad on Sunday, destroying sidepods left right and centre.

          1. Past the tipping point? No chance.. that’s one race. he needs to have 10 bad races to merit that accusation.

          2. Blimey you guys are quick off the mark, if he’d have made the pass you’d all be saying how great he is!

            It’s like Kobayashi only the opposite!

          3. Well it’s not the first time Rubens was involved in controversial overtaking maneuvers. Sometimes he’s at the receiving end (e.g. almost getting shoved to the wall by Schumacher last year) but more often he’s the one attempting irresponsible passes.

            Remember his early races with Brawn in 2009? When he was using his car like a tractor, shoving everyone out of the way?

          4. Hare, re-read this please:

            “may just be passed the tipping point now. Let’s see how the season unfolds”

            note the word ‘may’. There is no accusation here.

  11. Hard between Vettel’s flawless drive and Petrov’s “underdog” podium. Went for Vettel, still.

    And completely disagree on Alonso… Yes, he was indeed unlucky at the start, but he only “fought” back after Button eliminated himself and Massa would have moved over eventually, anyway. Not to mention Webber’s bad day. He inherited a lot of points this weekend again. Definitely not driver of the race material.

    1. Compared to Vettel who had a second a lap quickest car on the grid, who started first and cruised to win. Compared to Lewis, who started second and cruised to second, in the second quickest car?

      Also, its the start of a new year with new tyres. Ferrari has not yet decided on which driver to throw their weight behind. It is a well known fact that they will wait until a certain part of the season before deciding who to support. They would have let the two race it out, because at this point it is any ones season to win, and eliminating one of their drivers from contention in the first race makes very, very little tactical sense.

      1. It is a well known fact that they will wait until a certain part of the season before deciding who to support

        The first race?

      2. Ferrari generally makes very little tactical sense.

      3. Personally I think Alonso already has the upper hand on his team mate.

        Massa was really good from the startline and a great defence from Button. But after that he just slowed, let Alonso past (to do a good inlap) and never really saw his teammate again until after the race.

  12. Perez first race outstanding 8)
    Alonso fight legendary ;)

    1. Perez was indeed outstanding, but Alonso ‘legendary’ is perhaps a little strong.

      I’d like to put a word in for Di Resta – a point on debut is a decent achievement.

    2. ‘legendary’ is a bit much. If he caught upto Petrov and overtook him, then it would have been legendary.

  13. In fairness Karthikeyan never actually crashed.

    1. Unlike his countryman in the Lotus

  14. Sergio Perez by a country mile!

    1. This is very unfair, everyone is voting for Perez because most of the readers are Mexican and this is a Mexican site… No wait… ****, thats not right!

      But on a serious note – I was truly stunted by his performance, at one point he set purple S2 and I thought ‘his tyres are going, he must have cut the fast chicane’ but he kept replicating the times and was often on the pace with the leader, putting in lap times similar to people on three stops, I’am still amazed by this.

  15. Perez, Perez, Perez.

    No one else came close to putting in as remarkable a performance as he did.

    1. Perez will be driving a Spaghetty Special by next year, if Kubica is not fit

  16. Some great drives all around. Vettel was in a race of his own, he was ominously perfect all weekend. Hamilton split the Bulls and managed the gap to Petrov to keep his car running. Perez did the unthinkable and one-stopped, but also showed real pace on a great debut. But man of the race has to be Petrov, who would have predicted this after Korea last year? He put in a great lap under the pressure of qualifying a single flying lap in Q3, made a superb start (seems to be his trademark doesn’t it), was consistent all race and completely deserved his podium finish.

  17. I put Petrov but he only really gets it because I’ve let my heart rule as my head can’t decide. It’s always a big achievement to bag a first podium and after last season his controlled display was really impressive. Vettel and Hamilton also did the maximum but they had a slightly easier time of it than Petrov given their cars and experience. Alonso’s fightback was brilliant but his bad start stops him from getting it for me. I really nearly went for Perez as he was mighty too especially as he chose a completely different strategy which most would have thought wasn’t possible.

    I was also impressed with Rubens move on Kobayashi he was driver of the moment when he pulled that off but then he completely wrecked it and had a fairly erratic weekend. Race craft wise I was impressed with Massa for holding off Button as usually his defending isn’t his greatest asset but his tyres were gone so he ditched them for a late stop which just seemed a daft strategy to me.

    1. Nice analysis!

    2. It seemed daft to me too Steph, shame out favorite driver didn’t try and stay out and fight with Perez the way he did with Button at the beginning of the race :(

    3. I think Petrov really showed just why it makes sense to keep rookies when they show promise but are mistake prone in their first season.

      He really stepped into the void at the team to grab his chance and show there is a very good driver in him.

      I agree on you about Massa. Very good start to the race, after that he did not battle Alonso (makes sense Alonso needed a good inlap to get past Webber) but strategy was not really their strong point. And they looked like they were really struggling on the tyres in Melbourne

      1. Thanks Maciek!

        Adam I don’t think Massa could have stayed out as he would have lost more time given the condition of his tyres (no clue how Perez made it work). It all could have been planned better.

        Agree with you BasCB.

  18. Either Perez or Petrov. I finally voted Petrov, but could have voted Perez.
    Funny; no one’s voted Heidfeld.

  19. Other than Vettel it had to be Petrov. Fantastic drive

  20. I’m gonna say Petrov. Every drive is a pressure drive for him, and that was a cool display in Melbourne.

  21. Best – Vettel.

    Most surprising – Petrov and Perez.

  22. Narain Karthikeyan!

    it had to be done..

  23. It’s got to be Vettel. He was fast and flawless. Hamilton’s was excellent but his duff start is minus for him (although he was on the dirty side). Perez was outstanding but this is about best driver not best debut or best rookie.

  24. Easily Perez, going completely against the grain, keeping decent pace throughout the race and only pitting the once.

    Hope this is a trend and wasn’t just complete, having 1 driver that’s able to double the life of the tyres would make for an interesting season.

    On top of all that, it was his debut race… amazing. Pity the Sauber wing was illegal, he’ll have to come back strong in Malaysia

  25. Of the weekend, it has to be Vettel. What sealed it for me was putting those soft tyres through a heat cycle in qualifying, very forward-thinking if it was his decision.

  26. Debated between Petrov and Perez. Went Petrov.

    I have a hard time voting for Vettel and it’s not just because of the car. Given his raw pace, I expect him to own Webber.

    My only really problem is that the article is titled ‘Who was the best driver in the Aussie Grand Prix?’ while the poll asks ‘Who was the best driver of the Australian Grand Prix Weekend?’ Can we get something consistent?

    I honestly don’t care about any of the practices in terms of best driver. Teams are mainly testing components and looking to get more data. Qualifying is relevant but only because it establishes where you start. Last I checked, you don’t get points for qualifying. So in my opinion, the article title is what it should be.

    1. It should have said ‘weekend’ in the headline too. Changing it now.

      1. Keith – its unfair You have an edit button;-) I think Jenson would have liked to have not one but 2 buttons more than Lewis in the cockpit this race.

      2. dyslexicbunny
        29th March 2011, 1:21

        NP Keith. Unfortunately, I liked it the other way but it’s historically been weekend. Oh well.

  27. I was really impressed with the rookies Perez, and also with DiResta; Maldonado didn’t have a car to show much it seemed. Petrov did very well and was impressive. Hamilton too, after a bad start. But Vettel, much as I find it a bit boring to see him drive away again unchallenged (“not an easy race” sure), just stunned in qualifying, and had a spotless race, with a great first set of laps and kept it cool and controlled.

    1. Yes I’m starting to get used to seeing Vettel dominate like that, it’s really starting to remind me of another, slightly more successful racer from Germany ;)

      1. Hm, A daunting perspective.

        I hope Lewis and Fernando takes the battle to him then. I would really hate to see a team be as much up front again.

        1. Pink Pirelli
          29th March 2011, 10:56

          Agree with all of the above. Quite a few contenders for DOTW, all for varying reasons. Although I can’t vote for some reason, I think I’d have to give it to Petrov. Although he was not under much direct pressure from Alonso, he drove a fantastic race in a car that was far inferior to those around him.

  28. Had to choose Petrov. After a difficult season last year and only just staying on, then a difficult winter effectivly being promoted to number one driver at last minute at the age of 23, just incredable. He strolled into the first race with such swagger, style and carmness it looked easy for him. He was also over joyed with the podium, saying he would sleep with the trophy!

    However credit where its due, Perez did an abnormal job with those tyres, and he will be brilliant (touch wood) all season!

    1. While I agree with your comment, Petrov is 26 not 23. :)

      1. oops! Thanks ;)

  29. Sin dudo, es Perez.

  30. Me with
    Biased fan hat on: Lewis Hamilton
    Surprised result hat on: Vitaly Petrov
    Strategic clever hat on: Sergio Perez

    Went for Perez as he deserved his result of P7. Shame about the DSQ but rules are rules. Well done perez though

    1. Great style in which to answer mcmercslr!

  31. I had to give props to Vitaly Petrov, who made Nick Heidfeld look bad all weekend long. And who has the most experience motoring on those Pirellis? Even Alonso rudely dismissed Petrov as a championship contender. Perhaps after a couple more races of him staring and Vitaly’s rear wing will result in ‘Nando singing of Petrov’s skills in hope of an easy pass!

  32. Almost went for Lewis or Sergio simply for their amazing ability to nurse the car but still keep it extremely quick but had to go for Vettel. He was utterly dominant, as the BBC kept saying and repeating throughout the weekend.

  33. Petrov and Perez showed outstanding driving.

    But I will have to vote Vettel on this one. He was simply supreme.

  34. Perez for me. It was either him or Petrov.

    It makes me happy enough just to have the choice :D

  35. Like a few, I was between Petrov and Perez.

    Perez had a stellar first drive, and worked magic with the tyres. But Petrov qualified superbly, played a good game at the first corner, then put together a solid race.

    Petrov for me.

    Anyone going German GP by the way?!

  36. Ivan Vinitskyy
    28th March 2011, 22:16

    I cannot rate Petrov higher than Lewis or Vettel. He has driven a good race, but it’s good because it’s Petrov. We expect him to perform badly since did that, all of last season. His third is shocking although the car is strong, but let’s see how he does in other races.

    I would rate Hamilton the best driver of this weekend. Great qualifying and even with damaged car he was only 20sec behind the leader. Considering the difference of laptime in quali, 0.8sec, that is a very good result. Vettel clearly did all he could have done but I just see him driving the best car by far and this is best driver poll so he doesn’t deserve it, car deserves the prize.

    1. He has driven a good race, but it’s good because it’s Petrov

      Exactly why I didn’t even consider him at all. It was a good race but if it was Button I doubt people would be falling over themselves.

      Don’t get me wrong, I quite like Petrov, he drove well and kept out of trouble and I was really happy for him but I’m not going to let the fact that he’s only in his second year cloud my judgement. If the question was ‘who was the most improved driver from last year’ then I’d definitely say him in a heartbeat but Perez, Alonso, Button and Hamilton all drove better considering their circumstances and Vettel just flattened everyone with sheer speed and perfection.

      1. Just what I thought about the improvement, Petrov definitely could be the most improved driver, but then again, he kind of had to, just to reach what is thought to be the minimal requirements for a Grand Prix driver.

  37. A few worthy candidates, but had to go with Perez. To come in and do what he did, the way he did it in his first F1 race in a mid-field car….? It’s the feel-good story of the weekend, with Petrov a close second. Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso all drove exceptionally well though.

  38. Purely for dominating the whole weekend I had to vote for Vettel. Perez & Petrov did a fantastic job, and Hamilton did a decent job too.

  39. I hoped for Petrov continuing where he left, but I didn’t believe in it. I hope Alonso will get so fed up with the sight of Petrovs rear wing this year:-)
    But I think most of the F1 community did their utmost to entertain us all in the very best way this weekend – a memorable start to a hopefully great season.
    I’m sure the next races will supply us with further surprises and a new pecking order. Don’t write of Heidfeld, Mercedes or Williams just yet.
    As all the new rules and tires have made life more difficult for the average F1 team and driver, I’m generally very impressed with most of the rookies, esp. Perez and I’m pleased with Saubers success. Whatever they pay James Key, it is not enough: his switch from Force India seems to be the ‘key’ to the transformation of both teams or is it coincidental?

  40. I went for Petrov as he was facing massive pressure this weekend. He had a great start to get to 3rd and had a very comfortable race. Perez was superb as well it must be said. 1 stop on those tyres was impressive

  41. Had to take Vettel, as he was just faultless all weekend, and made Webber look like a tortoise. Incredible. But it was a very close call between him, Petrov, Perez and Lewis. Though i eliminated Perez since his car was deemed illegal, so i will wait for next race to see if he had a speed advantage because of it (I know I know, he was still stunning! but it was tough as i say! so i had to eliminate some of them on something), and Lewis because he had such a poor start. Only saved by his KERS button. Petrov.. absolutely stunning. And great to see a new guy on the podium… I would have loved to have two votes today because it was a really close call. A very hard choice indeed.

  42. Kimi! Just kidding, I went for Checo Perez.

  43. Don’t forget that Sergio Perez is part of Ferrari’s Driver Academy. If Massa fails to meet Ferrari’s expectations this season, who knows, the impressive Perez could be racing in scarlet overalls as soon as next year.

    1. I must say that thought occurred to me yesterday.

  44. The wing controversy does not permit me to vote for Perez, thus I went with Petrov.

    1. Oh and taking into consideration last year’s events, I wouldn’t put my money on the fact of both Red Bulls being exactly the same.

      1. Laranja Mecanica
        29th March 2011, 12:44

        Even if Both RBRs are exactly the same, they may be built around one of the drivers’ strenghts and weaknesses, so it’s not equal anyway (no prize por guessing whose).

  45. Hamilton, I thought it was all over for him after I saw his cars floor, but he made it; second – Alonso: a pleasure to watch; Vettel was impressive, but after hearing that he had no KERS I felt cheated (I dont know why, but I feel that KERS is disadvantage, besides – KERS should be used by all teams, or by none, I thought there wont be a 2009 repeat).

  46. As I thought, between Perez and Petrov.. I went for Petrov, but could have equally have gone for Perez.. and perhaps he edges it. He did a brilliant job. They both did.

  47. How come the bar for drivers with 0 votes, is bigger than the bar for the drivers with 1 vote? Seems to be a glitch in the matrix ;)

    1. Looks fine to me… But then again, I live in the Twilight Zone.

      1. Oops I see what you mean… needed to put on my glasses.

  48. Petrov gets my vote, but… Can anyone explain the lack of love between Lewis and Sebastian at the end? It looked like they blanked each other?

    1. what’s that supposed to mean? (PS: English’s never been my strongest point)

  49. Oddly enough I voted for Hamilton… I think that driving that car in the condition it was in would have put most drivers off their heads.

    He just gets on with the business of driving.

    Nice to have such good choices though… They were all worthy.

  50. I want to say Petrov or Perez as I was massively impressed by both of them, but I can’t vote against Vettel’s quali pace and win.

  51. Petrov. Don’t forget he got to 3rd by taking a bold double pass on Alonso and Button. You know it was a solid pass because Alonso later sniffed that Petrov took a “risk.” Then he drove flawlessly, ahead of various RBR, McLaren, and Ferrari race cars to bring home the bronze.

    It’s hard to know how good Hamilton was because Button was so bad. Hamilton did a solid job. He looked poised to jump right on Vettel’s back before his team messed up his stop and the car let him down. But the McLaren was very quick most of the weekend, so 2nd place probably is where he should have been by putting in a day’s work.

    Perez did a good job but it wasn’t like he had a clever plan to run 1 stop. He fell fair of the mysteries of the Pirellis. I’m not going to discount his job because he is a rookie. This vote should not be controlled for experience level. In that case Schumacher and other old-timers would be disqualified from these votes.

  52. Im feeling like home on this page now! a lot of support to my fellow countryman perez!..

    ill allow myself to be biased on this one, so voted for perez, but still impressed by vettel, petrov, alonso and di resta.

    worst of the weekeend: Barrichello.

    1. Yes, the most experienced grand prix driver of them all should know better than to go for a gap that isn’t there and take someone out of the race.

  53. Alonso for the most entertaining race, if not the best. A poor quail and a worse start, but then he got into a lot of fights and won them all. His exterior pass on Kamui at the parabola was the highlight of the weekend. On the other hand, his Kers-aided pass on Nico felt gimmicky.

    Vettel was boringly perfect, winning straight from pole. LH also boring, only coming close to Vettel near the end of the first stint but never having a chance to fight. And then almost ruining the race with the off.

    Vitaly Petrov gets it for me. Superb start, and then no mistakes. Also no fights after the first corner, a few laps from the end it seemed Alonso and Webber would catch him, but it never happened, he picked up his pace on time. Too bad we were denied a good fight for the podium.

    Terrific debut for Chaco Perez, too bad he got a dsq. Also the cameras didn’t show him much.

  54. Perez has done nothing special and his qualifying performance was pretty poor, especially compared to his teammate. Anyway, I voted for D’Ambrosio

    1. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
      30th March 2011, 0:25

      So in your opinion a rookie who finished 7th and beat his teammate in the race is worse than one who qualified and finished last?

  55. formula1jmfangio (@)
    29th March 2011, 0:42

    I have to go with Petrov on this one, anyone that saw him racing in GP2 can tell they guy is right for this job and last year even though he was severely overshadowed by Kubica( and honestly what other rookie could have topped Kubica?) he has shown proof of his talent several times.
    Hopefully this was proof enough for his doubters as drivers with a lot more experience in F1 still make mistakes see Hamilton,Vettel,Alonso, Barrichello,Schumacher and the list can go on
    two thumbs up for Perez though on his debut, it’s encouraging to have a solid representation from the Americas

  56. It’s really annoying how a lot of won’t just be realistic about drivers
    1. Petrov the guy was so lucky this weekend he doesn’t even know how je got to the podium ,you people talk about some great manuover he made passing alonso and button on the start…… COME ON!!!! button almost knocked alonso out of the race and left himself wide open, any fool would have Passed them…. after that the man didn’t do anything special
    2. Hamilton and vettel just drove their boring races, great job on quallifying though both

  57. 3. Alonso truly man of the day, made the race interesting, almost knocked out of the race, then fights back to p4 ( had some brilliant passes)
    I really don’t know what race you people were watching but in the one i was watching he was the hero CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHY YOU HATE HIM SO MUCH :s

    1. I agree that Alonso did the best race… after the first corner. With a decent start he could have been second (I see no way he could pass Vettel though).

      1. And Massa gets a honorable mention for a great start and a solid defense from Button. But that was it.

    2. It’s possible that other people don’t have the same opinion as you.

  58. formula1jmfangio (@)
    29th March 2011, 1:22

    To Simone: the lack of love between Hamilton and Vettel is due to the fact that now they have the same number of WDCs but in Hamilton’s delusional world he’s “the best of his generation”, even better than Alonso or Scumacher so it’s natural for him to be arrogant towards Vettel

    1. Get a hit man and put a contract on Seb, Mark, Jenson, Kamui, Nico, Fernando, Felipe, Robert, Vitaly, maybe Sergio and a few more, and maybe you’ll win another WDC, Mr Lewis.

    2. I wouldn’t classify Alonso and I certainly wouldn’t classify Schumacher as the same generation of driver as Hamilton.

  59. Nice to see Karthikeyan getting a vote or two :)

    1. I agree that you have your favourite driver but that doesn’t mean you will vote the wrong guy.

  60. I voted for Petrov but Perez equally deserve the trophy,great drive from both of them. The thing was both surprised us with there pace.Sadly Perez won’t be able to carry points.

  61. What about Chandhok? Technically he did drive at the race weekend… ;)

    1. he redefined the term ‘out lap’

      1. Brilliant! :)

  62. Petrov.

    I would have felt the most pressure of the whole field if I was in that car.

    1. Probably cause Petrov would have been sitting on your lap…

  63. Vettel then Petrov, then Hamilton then Perez

  64. Petrov. I doubted him last season, but he sure impressed me in Albert Park.

  65. Yeah the rookie did good and Petrov proved he can run beyond the mid field. All good stuff.

    But nothing compared to Vettel’s peerless drive. From quali 1 thru to the end of the race.

    1. XD

      I’ve now seen the voting so far. Crazy knee-jerk ‘Oh! A new name to click’ voting pattern…

  66. Actually Jarno Trulli also managed a sigle stop in the race.

  67. Had to Perez. I’m predicting exciting things to come from this lad

  68. Even though the car was later found to be illegal I still went for Perez. Just wondering…. Petrov always said that Kubica didn’t share info so has Heidfeld helped Petrov with his set up and enabled Petrov to be much quicker?

  69. Not at all pleased about it, but I have to vote Vettel.

    Chatting with randoms on the way home from the race, there were two consistent themes: His pace through 15 – 16, and his precision at turn 1.

    Someone sitting in the Brabham stand said that if you’d put a coin on the apex of turn 1 he’d have hit it every time.

    Such a clinical performance (especially given he could have eased of mid race and still brought it home), suggests that he’s in the right headspace to dominate this season, if reliability issues are no longer a factor.

    Hopefully the lack of KERS keeps him in line.

  70. winning a race in a superior car like vettel did dose not make him the better driver in that weekend.
    Look how hamilton drove a dameged car or how alonso came back from 10th place. those are the great drives bij true champions and not by car proformance.

    1. Agreed. I would like to see Vettel have to race for his life like Hamilton and Alonso did last year. I suspect you might see him playing Dodgems quite a bit

  71. It’s between Petrov and Perez for me.

    Vettel didn’t make a mistake all weekend but considering he is the reigning World Champion in the best car that what you expect, although I did pick Alonso for the win in the predictions championship as I thought Ferrari would be a match for Red Bull.

    A great debut from Perez beating his teammate and the only driver to manage only one stop.

    In the end though I think I will have to with Petrov.

    1. Trulli managed one as well.

  72. Best driver was Perez.

  73. Vettel was immense, Hamilton outdoing Button in race and quali (AGAIN) Jenson with a wide variety of excuses (AGAIN), Perez – Fantastic debut, Rubens was brainless and Petrov had the race of his life. Alonso whilst doing well to get back into 4 was a great achievement was poor to get himself back to 11th in the first place.

  74. I’m sure that all of the drivers will find excuses for one thing or another throughout the season. There’s a very long way to go yet, and certainly Sepang will be a different kettle of fish compared to OZ for many different reasons.

  75. Congratulations to Petrov on a great debut and for managing those tyres, however he didn’t have to fight off nearly as strong competition as Vitaly did! Great to see a driver who enjoyed the podium, all you need to see is the post match forum (BBC – so i’m guessing its UK only folks, sorry) where he clutched that trophy and declared he was going to go to bed holding it. Puts Vettel’s whining about the absence of a kangaroo on the trophy, or Hamilton’s disappointment of coming 2nd into a new perspective…

  76. Eugenio Perez-Maldonado
    30th March 2011, 0:15

    I’m from Mexico and I can’t express in words the feeling of seeing a Mexican driver back in a F1 race. The whole Country is talking about ‘Checo’: Our ‘Chicharito’ of racing!!!!
    I do think Petrov did a superv race from start on (imagien what Kubica could do in this same Renault). But Checo Perez was the most efficient driver on the field. It was not all fireworks for him but it takes a Prost-like drive to manage the polemic soft Pirellis for so many laps. He was in control with no mistakes and simply delivered.
    Di Resta was also remarkable as a rookie.
    Maldonado, pppfffttttt….

  77. I voted for Petrov but it was a very close call, Perez was fantastic… what a first race! Ultimately, though, Vitaly drove an amazing race and the gap to Heidfeld throughout the weekend shows his speed. Likewise, Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso all showed they are still on top form by consistently outperforming their teammates. Really looking forward to the rest of the season.

  78. It’s got to be Petrov. Perez’s debut was impressive, but Petrov just blew everyone else away. Not only did he have the upperhand over a very highly-rated driver all weekend and claim an incredibly hard-earned and well-deserved podium in the process, but he’s also had a remarkable turnaround since his low point of Japan and Korea last year. His racecraft has improved exponentially.

    1. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
      30th March 2011, 9:50

      Completely agree, Perez was very impressive but Petrov was considerably more so, especially when you compare to how badly he was driving the majority of last year his podium was very impressive.

  79. I take it the votes for Karthikeyan were sarcastic…

    1. I also voted Perez. He looks like someone who’s been driving for years; whilst Barrichello looked like the rookie this weekend. I was close to giving Alonso the vote because of his fightback, but he has had better races so perez was more deserving

  80. Why are the bars for drivers with 0 votes bigger than the ones for drivers with 1-3 votes?

    I know it’s because of the size of the default bar, but it is irritating.

    I voted for Perez, although in german television there was nearly no reporting about him and the FIA live timing did not work for me that day, so he was hard to follow for me.

  81. Well, if that race is anything to go by for the rest of the season, with it’s unpredictability and ever improving cars, I’m ready with the popcorn, Perez on 1 stop? Mclaren making their way back up the field? Schumacher finding form? Gonna be a good season..

    Perez got my vote, nearly voted for Petrov or Vettel (can we remember who got fastest lap?), Mclaren were good, but they did get outclassed by the others in terms of being remembered this race in my mind…

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