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

2011 Australian Grand Prix

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

Don’t forget to cast your vote in the ‘rate the race’ poll as well:

2011 Australian Grand Prix


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

  1. TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 28th March 2011, 21:24

    Best – Vettel.

    Most surprising – Petrov and Perez.

  2. Brandz (@brandz) said on 28th March 2011, 21:27

    Narain Karthikeyan!

    it had to be done..

  3. judo chop said on 28th March 2011, 21:27

    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.

  4. disjunto (@disjunto) said on 28th March 2011, 21:31

    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

  5. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 28th March 2011, 21:42

    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.

  6. dyslexicbunny (@dyslexicbunny) said on 28th March 2011, 21:47

    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.

  7. bosyber (@bosyber) said on 28th March 2011, 21:48

    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.

    • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 29th March 2011, 5:58

      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 ;)

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 29th March 2011, 8:04

        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.

        • Pink Pirelli said on 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.

  8. f1matty (@f1matty) said on 28th March 2011, 21:53

    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!

  9. frussel said on 28th March 2011, 21:55

    Sin dudo, es Perez.

  10. mcmercslr (@mcmercslr) said on 28th March 2011, 21:55

    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

  11. Russell Gould (@russellgould) said on 28th March 2011, 21:56

    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!

  12. 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.

  13. butterdori (@butterdori) said on 28th March 2011, 22:02

    Petrov and Perez showed outstanding driving.

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

  14. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 28th March 2011, 22:08

    Perez for me. It was either him or Petrov.

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

  15. Biggles (@) said on 28th March 2011, 22:11

    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?!

  16. Ivan Vinitskyy said on 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.

    • 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.

      • mateuss (@mateuss) said on 29th March 2011, 21:39

        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.

  17. Maciek (@maciek) said on 28th March 2011, 22:23

    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.

  18. djdaveyp85 (@djdaveyp87) said on 28th March 2011, 22:25

    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.

  19. Palle said on 28th March 2011, 22:30

    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?

  20. foleyger (@foleyger) said on 28th March 2011, 22:36

    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

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