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

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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. The_Pretender (@the_pretender) said on 28th March 2011, 21:20

    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.

  2. 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.

    • Maciek (@maciek) said on 28th March 2011, 22:15

      Nice analysis!

    • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 29th March 2011, 5:53

      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 :(

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 29th March 2011, 8:02

      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

      • 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.

  3. HounslowBusGarage (@hounslowbusgarage) said on 28th March 2011, 21:21

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

  4. f199player (@f199player) said on 28th March 2011, 21:22

    Other than Vettel it had to be Petrov. Fantastic drive

  5. MattHT (@mattht) said on 28th March 2011, 21:23

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

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

    Best – Vettel.

    Most surprising – Petrov and Perez.

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

    Narain Karthikeyan!

    it had to be done..

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

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

    Sin dudo, es Perez.

  15. 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

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