Start, Sepang, 2011

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

Debates and pollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Start, Sepang, 2011
Start, Sepang, 2011

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

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

Sebastian Vettel – Steely stuff in qualifying to snatch back pole position from Lewis Hamilton.

Nick Heidfeld – Not knocked off his stride by his troubles in Australia or Renault’s problems in practice.

Kamui Kobayashi – Fought hard and clean as ever, and made a two-stop strategy work.

Paul di Resta – Showing up very well against his more experienced team mate.

Heikki Kovalainen – Clearly getting the most out of the T128 at the moment.

Compare all the drivers

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 Malaysian Grand Prix weekend? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

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

  • Sebastian Vettel (16%)
  • Mark Webber (10%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (3%)
  • Jenson Button (12%)
  • Fernando Alonso (2%)
  • Felipe Massa (1%)
  • Michael Schumacher (0%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Nick Heidfeld (38%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (1%)
  • Rubens Barrichello (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Adrian Sutil (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (4%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (9%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Sebastien Buemi (0%)
  • Jaime Alguersuari (0%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (3%)
  • Jarno Trulli (0%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (0%)
  • Vitantonio Liuzzi (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Jerome d'Ambrosio (0%)

Total Voters: 510

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Australian Grand Prix result

Sergio Perez was voted the best driver of the Australian Grand Prix weekend:

1. Sergio Perez – 36%
2. Vitaly Petrov – 32%
3. Sebastian Vettel – 12%

Rate the Race: Malaysian Grand Prix

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

2011 Malaysian Grand Prix

Browse all 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix articles

146 comments on “Who was the best driver of the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend?”

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  1. Felipe Massa, because he’s back!

    1. Yeah, if Alonso keeps crashing into cars a couple of positions in front of Massa, he’ll finish on top no problem. :P

      1. Alonso wouldn’t need to crash into anyone if the pit crew would just do their job. :D

  2. Went with Heidfeld, but Webber was up there. And Vettel, i don’t think RBR have any advantage on KERS friendly tracks, I just don’t think either McLaren driver is fast enough to catch the boy at the moment

  3. Hard one.
    Kobayashi provided the most entertainment, Heidfeld got to the podium with the third or fourth car, Webber fought back – without KERS, Button saved his tyres and made sure he was there at the end, DiResta showed his maturity as a rookie, Alonso entertained and looked like he was going to get the Ferrari where it didn’t belong, Massa beat Alonso…

    But it has to be Vettel:
    – in only 12 laps he put the car on pole (where some others drove 17+)
    – he passed Massa on track
    – and drove flawlessly to first

  4. Any of the drivers you mentioned Keith would be a good choice but I chose Heidfeld. He had an awful time in Aus and for most of the Malaysia weekend but more than delivered in qualifying and practice plus there was the added bonus of him delivering the podium right after DC said he’d soon be under rpessure if he didn’t up his game :P

    For one off performances I was impressed with Button’s, Schumacher’s and Massa’s Sunday performance and Alonso’s qualifying.

  5. Strange to vote on Renault driver again. Even stranger it’s still not Kubica. However, Heidfeld deserved it. Brilliant drive.

  6. TheScuderia (@)
    11th April 2011, 20:22

    This was a tough choice. But I decided to go with Heidfeld over Kobayashi as my driver of the race.

  7. Mark Webber. Amazing job to finish 4th despite KERS problems and being as low as 15th in the race.

    His move on Massa was also sweet.

    1. I thought the lowest he was was tenth?

      1. boris the one-eyed gerbil
        11th April 2011, 23:01

        Webber was the first to make an unforced pitstop (from about 10th) so he dropped well back but then set a series of fast laps to come back into it, although he still had to make up enough time to overcome the extra stop.

        1. It wasn’t unforced, it was planned. Remember the radio-call say ‘Plan A’

          1. boris the one-eyed gerbil
            13th April 2011, 12:23

            “unforced” meaning he wasn’t forced to pit – you can substitute “planned” if you really want to (they might even mean the same thing here!)

  8. I would definitely not say Webber was the driver of the day. He’s in the quickest car out there, and despite his poor start, he only managed 4th. The fact is that he is terrible on his tyres, and without the added 4th stop he would have done better.
    He will not have a decent race, or even a win until he is able to be decent enough on his tyres to stop at least the same number of times as everyone else.

    That’s why I think Jenson gets it. He did a great job of getting to second. He knew what was wrong with his car at the start and fixed it during the race to secure himself valuable points.

    Obviously Heidfeld should get a mention too, he drove a great race. And of course Kobayashi for his entertaining racing. But also to Sauber for designing a car that is much better on its tyres than any other team out there.

    1. Yet, all the drivers ahead of him had a 3 stop strategy and they all had working KERS off the line, so I think that is why he deserves driver of the day

    2. His tyre wear would be slightly higher than those around him because he spent most of the afternoon up the rear end of a leading car. If you know you’re on a 4 stop strategy, there’s no need to be AS cautious with wear.

  9. Heidfeld for me. Great start and held it together when it mattered.

  10. I voted for Kovalainen. I think he deserves it for finishing less then a second behind a midfield car that didnt have an obvious issue which would have been impossible last year and no one would have predicted pre race. If the race was a lap longer who knows, he may have finished in front of an established car for the first time.

    Also just because the drivers in the slow cars don’t get much coverage or score points doesnt mean the drivers dont deserve credit for a good drive.

    I did connsider Button and Webber and Kobiashi but they werent really stand out performances this week i think.

  11. Heidfeld, many people are overlooking the fact that he had limited running in practice and therefore the car setup wouldn’t have been amazing, yet he had an epic start, and managed to keep his car ahead of all but 2 of the field. Personally, I think this year will earn him a full time spot on the grid again for next season, if Kubica is back and they need Petrov’s money, I can see Quick Nick moving along into Mercedes, or Williams, or even Sauber again

  12. You call hin Nick the quick, I call him ready steady Nick. Nothing sensational there. He lacks that extra 3%.

    So my vote goes to Kobayashi.
    His car is about a second and a half slower and he drove consistently while having several battles. Showing us he has the tactical awareness and completely understands vehicular dynamics.

    1. comparing Nick and Kamui I totally agree with this comment.

  13. Petrov. Flying high at the moment!

    1. Shouldn’t make me laugh like that, I’m on this site at work!

  14. boris the one-eyed hamster
    11th April 2011, 23:28

    I am disappointed in you Keith, as you offer up 5 drivers as “sensible” options but ignore the real driver of the weekend – the driver who topped the times in 2 out of 3 practice sessions and got 2nd in the other, and who, despite getting swamped off the startline because of a broken car, fought his way through the field (including brilliant passes such as driving right around Massa on Turn 1), set the fastest lap (again with a broken car) and only just missed out on a podium.

    He didn’t have a perfect weekend but to put someone like his teammate at the top of your list, who only had one good session (Q3 – but agreed, it is the most important one) but who only held on to 1st place going into the first corner by changing direction 6 or 7 times to block Hamilton, which then allowed Heidfeld to pass the McLaren and hold it up for many laps which in turn allowed the Red Bull to pit under no pressure whatsoever. Did Vettel even make a pass in the race? Or did he just drive his 100% working Red Bull to an easy win.

    1. Nah, Vettel drove into Hamilton, pushed him into the grasp of Nick, radioed WhitMarsh to stall Hamilton in the pits, bribed Alonso to run into the back of the McLaren and finally hypnotised Lewis to make an extra pitstop. Still can’t believe the Shoot-the-winner-because-others-are-lame attitude. Tell you what, topping practise sessions is not goign to get your fav driver points. Vettel didn’t make a pass because he didnt have to. You weren’t sulking when you saw the dominant FW14B or F2002

    2. Topping the times in practice is nice but you have to do it when it counts – and Webber didn’t.

      That said I’m not knocking him – his progress through the field was good even though he didn’t have KERS.

  15. Has to be Mr Vettel.
    yet another stunning lap in qualifying and drove a beautiful,controlled race

  16. Voted Massa. Don’t like him much, and rate him pretty low among the current drivers, but for once he drove a ballsy race overtaking when he could – not getting stuck behind the car in front for long.

  17. When this poll is closed we’ll have to dock Lewis and Fernando 20 votes each

    1. Shouldn’t affect Alonso in the ranking.

  18. Webber for sure! Made the race exhilarating for me!

  19. Heidfeld to me was the driver of the day as he made a good start & despite loosing in the pit stop came back strongly bu passing Hamilton.

  20. Vettel, four in a row,can anyone beat this guy? Impressive driving, seems unflappable at the moment.

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