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

Debates and polls

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

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

  1. f1geek said on 11th April 2011, 19:18

    Nick Heidfeld, everyone criticized him after Australia, but he showed his real pace in Malaysia.

    offtopic : the following website claims that Bahrain will host the final round instead of Brazil.


  2. pSynrg (@psynrg) said on 11th April 2011, 19:19

    This is such a no brainer, of course it was Vettel.

  3. DaveW (@dmw) said on 11th April 2011, 19:29

    Heidfeld. Ausgezeichnet.

    Epic start. Then he had Hamilton riding on his back in the first stint but kept totally cool. Then even after getting jumped by McLaren, he kept at it. In the end, he had again to deal with massive pressure for a superior car and was perfect. That was a brilliant drive. Webber is a close second, but his come back drive was partially necessitated by his own terrible start. KERS doesn’t even work until third gear, by which point cars were already whipping by him.

  4. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 11th April 2011, 19:31

    I’m very surprised by Kamui, because he just doesn’t seem to be the typical japanese driver.

    He’s aggressive, yes, but he’s hell clean. He seems calmed down, and relaxed, getting the most out of the car, and battling a lot cleanly.

    My vote goes to KK :)

    • Florida Mike said on 11th April 2011, 19:50

      I agree. He would have been one of the last drivers I would have given a chance to score points on two stops. Maybe the Sauber is tire-friendly, but I think we saw a new, more mature Kobayashi.

      • BS (@bs) said on 11th April 2011, 21:18

        I think we’ve been seeing that ever since half way through last season, since then he’s been consistently finishing in the points. Of course, races like Valencia and Suzuka stand out for him being a total badass, but he’s been good over a race distance for a while.

  5. David-A (@david-a) said on 11th April 2011, 20:00

    I went for Vettel for another class drive.

    Honorable mentions to Button for a solid performance, getting himself ahead of Hamilton. Also Heidfeld for a superb bounce back from Albert Park, and Kobayashi for lots of good battling and a good finish.

  6. OEL F1 (@oel-f1) said on 11th April 2011, 20:02

    Felipe Massa, because he’s back!

  7. Dafffid (@dafffid) said on 11th April 2011, 20:05

    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

  8. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 11th April 2011, 20:11

    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

  9. 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.

  10. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 11th April 2011, 20:16

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

  11. TheScuderia (@) said on 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.

  12. TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 11th April 2011, 20:27

    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.

    • TFLB said on 11th April 2011, 21:56

      I thought the lowest he was was tenth?

      • boris the one-eyed gerbil said on 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.

        • GameR_K (@gamer_k) said on 12th April 2011, 10:28

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

          • boris the one-eyed gerbil said on 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!)

  13. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 11th April 2011, 20:43

    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.

    • Jarred Walmsley (@jarred-walmsley) said on 11th April 2011, 21:33

      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

    • dragon said on 12th April 2011, 3:22

      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.

  14. MattHT (@mattht) said on 11th April 2011, 21:14

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

  15. wigster (@wigster) said on 11th April 2011, 22:04

    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.

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