Who was the best driver of the Chinese GP weekend?

Debates and polls

Start, Shanghai, 2011

Start, Shanghai, 2011

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

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

Lewis Hamilton – Fought hard for his win with some well judged passes outside of the DRS zone, including on his team mate and the world champion.

Mark Webber – Qualifying was a disaster but he more than made up for it in the race.

Nico Rosberg – Qualified well and deserved better than fifth place.

Felipe Massa – His best outing in a long time despite losing places due to his strategy.

Paul di Resta – Rookie driver continues to impress in qualifying and the race.

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

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

  • Sebastian Vettel (1%)
  • Mark Webber (48%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (42%)
  • Jenson Button (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (0%)
  • Felipe Massa (2%)
  • Michael Schumacher (1%)
  • Nico Rosberg (2%)
  • Nick Heidfeld (0%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (0%)
  • Rubens Barrichello (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Adrian Sutil (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (1%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Sebastien Buemi (0%)
  • Jaime Alguersuari (0%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (1%)
  • Jarno Trulli (0%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (0%)
  • Vitantonio Liuzzi (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Jerome d'Ambrosio (2%)

Total Voters: 763

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Malaysian Grand Prix result

Nick Heidfeld was voted the best driver of the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend:

1. Nick Heidfeld (38.4%)
2. Sebastian Vettel (16%)
3. Jenson Button (12.1%)

Rate the Race: Chinese Grand Prix

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

2011 Chinese Grand Prix

Browse all 2011 Chinese Grand Prix articles

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220 comments on Who was the best driver of the Chinese GP weekend?

1 2 3 6
  1. 5150 (@) said on 18th April 2011, 19:25

    Webber! No contest.

    • David BR said on 18th April 2011, 19:33

      Hamilton. The vote is for the weekend as a whole and Mark’s qualifying was appalling. His drive on Sunday was spectacular, but I think Lewis clinches it by qualifying 3rd and driving exceptionally well in the second half of the race, overtaking a series of rivals in the top cars without wrecking the tyres.

      • The vote is for the weekend as a whole

        Exactly why I voted for Lewis. Qualified well, raced even better.

        • mateuss (@mateuss) said on 18th April 2011, 20:21

          Me as well, it just had to be him for his ballsy and clever overtakes, interestingly most of them not into turn 14 (at least the good ones). Perfect weekend all round.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 18th April 2011, 20:34

          Yep, my reasoning too

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th April 2011, 6:47

          The same here. Webber had a great drive on Sunday, but only after making a judgement error (together with the team) on the tyres and qualli management.

          Hamilton was thinking ahead on saturday, keeping cool at the start of the race and did a great race with nice overtaking to win it.

          A lot of very good drives on Sunday. Petrov did fine, Schumacher was trying hard, Massa could have got further with better strategy, Button did a great qualli and superb start and Rosberg might have been further up without saving fuel for 60% of the race.

      • RIISE (@riise) said on 18th April 2011, 19:38

        Yeah Webber being foolish in qualifying means regardless of the race result he dropped the ball and made himself look like an idiot.

        I will go for Hamilton, great drive.

        • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 18th April 2011, 19:50

          Disagree about Webber’s qualifying issues, clearly circumstances worked against him, Red Bull had the fastest car when it worked so saving the quick tyres seemed like a no brainer but it just didn’t work out for him.

          Over the course of the weekend Webber certainly didn’t look like an idiot. On balance I think for Hamilton to win it gets my vote though.

          • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 18th April 2011, 22:08

            Agreed. The team didn’t give him enough time for two laps, which would’ve brought his tires up to temp enough to get out of Q1, not to mention the the lack or KERS. He was by far the least expected driver to be on the podium after qualifying (even 7 laps before the race finish), but he managed to wrestle his way back up to the front, and given a couple more laps he would’ve probably passed Vettel as well. Excellent race from Webber. And yes I know it’s supposed to be for the whole weekend, but if I were voting for that I’d have picked Vettel for his utter domination of all practice and qualifying, and the way he expertly defended from Hamilton with dead tires an ailing KERS system, and no way to communicate with his engineer. I get kind of bored voting for Vettel though and figured Mark could use my vote!

          • Scribe (@scribe) said on 18th April 2011, 22:37

            TO be fair, I reckon a lot of what made Webber’s drive so spectacular was the pace his tires and car gave to him and the circumstances preseant within the race.

            I don’t want to put the acheivement down too much, but carving your way through the feild is generally a lot easier when your car is two to three seconds faster then anyone else’s, an I can’t remember any spectacular passes Webber made, (the dummy on Schuey being the best, an that with DRS) mostly he just drove clean round those he came up against, an he was fairly lucky in clean air.

            If anything it was the spectacular success of the strategy Redbull had him on that should take the half of the plaudits an Webber’s tremedous execution of it the other.

            His incredible pace during the last stint is particularly noteworthy, saving a pair of options for the clean track and low fuel of the last stint, in a three stopper, should be seriously looked at by all the teams. Might be the most effective time to deploy them if they last longer.

          • llama (@llama) said on 19th April 2011, 0:42

            I need to get me a pair of those McLaren tinted glasses.

            So those saying that Webber’s WHOPPING 15 PLACE GAIN!!! is really nothing special because he had the best car… hang on, wasn’t his car TOTAL RUBBISH for most of the weekend?

            When a McLaren lets you down, it’s the car giving the driver an opportunity to shine. When a Red Bull does the same, it reflects the foolishness of the driver and the team.

            C’mon.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th April 2011, 6:48

            But it would have worked for him only had he come out of the pits a minute earlier to get a second lap in on those tyres.
            Should have gone for sofst when there was not enough time.

          • Last Pope Eye (@last-pope-eye) said on 19th April 2011, 11:35

            I agree, Webber did a great drive

      • beckenlima (@beckenlima) said on 18th April 2011, 21:21

        So I´m going with my mate “Davi” on this one.

        Looking back to Malaysia, Lewis showed that he can be a quick learner, sacrifying his full potential in qualy to emerge with a fresh set soft tyres in the race.

        He was not only the fastest and entertainer driver in the whole weekend, but the most smart.

        A easy choice.

        • David BR said on 18th April 2011, 22:28

          Hi there Becken! good to see you again. I agree with smart, Hamilton is a fast learner. I think in Malaysia he learnt he can’t out-drive his flat spots this season, which means more caution with the tyres. But if he preserves them well, he has more chances of overtaking (his speciality) given the tyre wear for everyone and the bunched field produced by DRS and KERS.

      • spankythewondermonkey (@spankythewondermonkey) said on 19th April 2011, 14:32

        agreed. whilst mark’s fight from waaaay back was very impressive, poor quali put him there in the first place. lewis delivered an intelligent and aggressive drive that won him the spoils.

      • SeattleChris (@seattlechris) said on 19th April 2011, 17:36

        The vote isn’t for the weekend “as a whole.” The vote was over the course of the race weekend. The language Keith uses in no way suggests we disregard the obvious choice for race of the weekend because of any pre-race activities.

        Lewis had an amazing race and would get my vote on any other weekend when another driver isn’t coming from 18th to the podium in a car that ‘may’ not be as good as his teammates. Not bad for a number 2 if you ask me.

      • DVC said on 20th April 2011, 7:24

        But it is for ‘Driver’ of the weekend. Mark sat out of the car most of Saturday morning with reliability problems, and the problem in qualifying wasn’t his driving, rather the team’s poor strategy and his KERS not working.

        If you are going to cherry pick the word ‘weekend,’ why not the word ‘driver’ — one who drives?

    • Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 18th April 2011, 19:48

      He was very impressive, but at the end of the day he finished behind his team mate yet again, so surely there at least has to be a contest??

    • BBT (@bbt) said on 18th April 2011, 20:22

      Hamilton no contest.

      Sometimes I don’t like these poles you can be pants most of the weekend and then just because you have a good car (the best car) and come through the field on Sunday from a position you should of never been in, all is forgot AKA Webber.

      Most of all the MSC comments make me laugh the most, ‘Back to his best’ What? fighting for 10 – 14th while his team mate is 1st… very funny.

      • DVC said on 20th April 2011, 7:26

        The two drivers you are denigrating both had reliability problems in qualifying and raced to better positions on Sunday.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 18th April 2011, 20:31

      Felipe Massa – His best outing in a long time despite losing places due to his strategy.

      Hard to choose, but if Massa had arrived on the podium I’d have no doubt in voting him. Sadly, Webber beat him even starting 18th, so he gets my vote.

    • UKfanatic (@) said on 18th April 2011, 20:31

      of course it is webber, because of the turn around of events and the fact that he was running Kers-less which made overtake very hard on the initial stage of the race, Hamilton made a great race especially the 2nd half but he only won cause of the stop strategy if vettel had made 3 stops he would have won, clearly after the pit problems with button.

      • snowman (@snowman) said on 18th April 2011, 20:47

        Know it’s for whole weekend and Webber made mess of qualifying but 18th to 3rd even in the best car is extremely impressive. Just wish race was a few laps longer to see him pull a move on Vettel! Lewis race was really good but when we look back in few years time I think Mark’s performance will shine brighter.

        • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 18th April 2011, 22:11

          I don’t think webber could’ve done a lot more in qualifying under the circumstances. He got about one lap in FP3 and had no KERS in qualifying or the race, yet still managed to to do what he did.

          • Andrew G said on 19th April 2011, 0:03

            Given it’s for best ‘Driver’ of the weekend and it’s clear Webbers qualifying issues were car related, I’m not sure you can really hold that against him. It is a tough choice, but I’d have to say Webber was the best. Ham was great too tho

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th April 2011, 6:56

            But if he and the team had chosen soft tyres, he would almost certainly have been through to Q2 and got into Q3 as well, making it easier in the race.

            That said, they would have probably stayed on the 2 stopper with him as well and he would probalby have been about the same place Massa ended up for the finish.

            Great drive by Mark Webber, just I think Hamilton did even better this weekend.

            McLaren had Red Bull under pressure all weekend, otherwise Vettel would not have felt the need to go fastest in FP. He is most impressive when flying below the radar, and then suddenly pop up a second ahead in Q3.

          • Katy (@katy) said on 19th April 2011, 12:52

            Pretty sure Webber had KERS at the start of the race, being told not to use it at the end indicates he had it for most of the race.

        • Scribe (@scribe) said on 18th April 2011, 22:40

          I think the fact that Hamilton passed everyone down to Massa in the top 6, except Webber, might stick in the mind for a long time as well.

          Hamiltons passing was better than Webber, and his execution of qualifying ment he was at the sharp end with a spare pair of tyres, and won the race. Makes him the driver of the weekend for me.

          • DVC said on 20th April 2011, 7:29

            Button should never have moved over. That move was suicidal against anyone else. Hamilton is taking advantage of his friendship with Button to beat him.

      • Bernard (@bernard) said on 18th April 2011, 20:55

        Webber was driving the fastest car in the field and had 3 sets of new softs after his qualifying blunder.

      • SVettel (@) said on 19th April 2011, 9:59

        I disagree.
        It should be Heikki Kovalainen, of Team Lotus

    • Bernard (@bernard) said on 18th April 2011, 20:47

      Webber had a great race but Hamilton ‘was the best driver of the Chinese GP weekend‘.

      By a country mile.

      - 1 run in Q3 put him a few hundredths from the front row with a spare set of softs.

      - Was seconds away from starting at the back due to team error yet still managed to have great start and pass Vettel.

      - Compromised during race by his teammate.

      - Proceeded to overtake his teammate in the same car and (almost) the exact same strategy.

      - Proceeded to overtake Vettel for the victory.

      Webber did fantastic to recover to 3rd but the key word here is ‘recover’, he should have been up at the front to begin with.

      • Krit said on 19th April 2011, 1:35

        His overtakes all involved use of KERS. Webber? He didn’t have KERS so had to work around and overtake outside the DRS zone.

        Lewis’s pass of Vettel was a simple case of a full 80HP KERS boost, he admitted using it all.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th April 2011, 7:46

          he admitted using it all.

          Really? Have you got a quote on that?

          • Pedal to the Vettel (@pedal-to-the-vettel) said on 19th April 2011, 9:53

            Keith

            Look up on the BBC interview with Lewis, Jake, Brundle and Coulthard after the race.

            Start at 5.55

            He does admit using KERS to get past vettel and leaving some to just keep infront on the back straight.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th April 2011, 9:58

            Got a link?

          • SeattleChris (@seattlechris) said on 19th April 2011, 17:43

            ha ha ha FACE! I love it when someone snidely asks for the exact quote, not thinking that the other person will be able to supply it, and whammo- they supply it like a street pimp!

            w-w-w.hamiltonfanatic.co.uk

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th April 2011, 18:19

            not thinking that the other person will be able to supply it

            No, I asked for the quote because I hadn’t seen it…

          • fullthrottle said on 19th April 2011, 18:30

            +1 SeattleChris,i was expecting this

          • Krit said on 19th April 2011, 22:11

            Nico WDC ’11 beat me to it and got it spot on. That’s where I got it from.

            I watch all the BBC interviews. Got some good info on there.
            Personal favourite was when Alonso was asked at season start “Team orders are now banned. Is this good for Ferrai?” and he said “Good for everyone. No more messing about”. Ted asked “Messing about?” and Alonso replied with a cheecky grin “Fuel mixtures and so on…”.
            Wonder how Mr Alonso, who likes dominating team mates, uses that info…

          • Pedal to the Vettel (@pedal-to-the-vettel) said on 19th April 2011, 22:42

            Well…. I didn’t link it for keith because I thought he was being “snidely”. Krit mentioned something that interested me and keith so as you do the best place to get a drivers interview on the race at hand was of course the BBC.

            Me being in the heat of the moment as a Vettel/Rosberg fan completely blanked this whole interview on Sunday, so after calming down I checked it out.

          • Kev (@kev) said on 20th April 2011, 6:07

            I am not voicing for Keith, but I don’t think he is being biased. I have seen purely biased opinions with the BBC text commentary in football matches, F1 races. And when interviews happening left, right and center I wonder how we could actually keep up with what the drivers tell.

      • antifia said on 20th April 2011, 10:00

        Your reasons stretch a bit the concept of a valid argument, imo. To be a few hundreds of a second (>8 hundreds to be precise) in quali is to be beaten by a country mile – thus it should not be counted as a positive feat for Lewis. The second point is even more desingenuous: The problem with his car before the race did not result in any handicap during the race. Suggesting that LH overcame that handicap to overtake Vettel is being cavalier with the truth. Finally, considering that Webber’s Red Bull was close to 30secs behind Hamilton in first stint of the race, and that he finished only 5secs behind Lewis in the end, one can imagine that, had Vettel not been in that stupid tyre strategy, he would have beaten LH by something around 20 secs. LH did not drive spetacularly, he drove alright. But the only reason he won out against Vettel is because Red Bull is becoming a bit too arrogant and making bad choices in the process. They screwd the tyre management in both quali and race. The driver that got the bad tyre choice in the quali was given the right one for the race and vice-versa.

        • Bernard (@bernard) said on 20th April 2011, 15:13

          See my post in another article for some comparisons.

          Webber would have struggled to get into Q2 even with a fully working KERS unit.

          Hamilton’s pre race issues were much more significant than Webbers (flooded engine with seconds to lights out). Webbers car was working ‘fine’ pre race (intermittent KERS issues).

          Your reasoning is not supported by the facts. Vettel could not have had a race like Webber, he didn’t have indisputably weaker cars to attack nor the resources (tyres) to do so.

    • jake said on 18th April 2011, 22:34

      For me it has to be hamilton. Firstly because it’s for the whole weekend, but secondly, and most importantly, because I think Hamilton drove better in the race and had he been in Webber’s position, would have still won the race.

      If you look at both of their 3rd stints, when they were both on brand new soft tyres, Lewis was actually quicker than Mark and was fighting with Jenson. This despite being in the slower of the two cars.

      If you look deeper what happened into the race, their really is only one choice between the two. Lewis’ overtakes were also more impressive.

      • Andrew G said on 18th April 2011, 23:36

        “had (Hamilton) he been in Webber’s position, would have still won the race.”

        Basing your call of hypotheticals is stretching a bit far.

      • boris the one-eyed numbat said on 19th April 2011, 12:30

        If you look at both of their 3rd stints, when they were both on brand new soft tyres, Lewis was actually quicker than Mark and was fighting with Jenson. This despite being in the slower of the two cars.

        Hamilton was following a fast car (his teammate) and perhaps being held up marginally while Webber was stuck behind Schumacher (with KERS) for many laps and being well and truly held back. 3 points to note about this:
        (1) If Webber had KERS this wouldn’t have happened as he would have blasted past Schumacher within one or two laps,
        (2) Schumacher was the only driver who was able to defend for any length of time against Webber on softs (he is still VERY good at defending), and
        (3) without Schumacher holding him up Webber would have won the race!

        Lewis’ overtakes were also more impressive.

        Webber made 14 passes – how many did you see? Answer honestly now…

        • jake said on 19th April 2011, 12:54

          admittedly i didn’t see them all, but i’m pretty sure if one of them was up their in quality with that of Lewis on Jenson, we would have seen a replay. Lewis on Jenson for me was an early contender for overtake of the season.

          Regarding Webber being stuck behind Schumacher, whilst it does explain the few very slow laps that Mark had, the fact still remains that their fastest laps in that stint were identical despite the Red Bull being the faster car, and I still maintain that Lewis was overall faster even if we discard Mark’s slow “schumi laps”.

          Finally, does the fact that Mark was behind Schumi in the first place not suggest he can’t really be driver of the “WEEKEND”?

          • SeattleChris (@seattlechris) said on 19th April 2011, 17:46

            On a side note, I thought Massa had a few cheeky passes! Anyone else see those?

          • DVC said on 20th April 2011, 7:34

            I posted this above, but the pass on Jenson was the opposite of quality. It was taking advantage of his friendship with Jenson and their status as team mates. Against anyone else that move was suicidal.

            Prost or Senna would have held their line. Brundle even said he would have too.

  2. Krit said on 18th April 2011, 19:28

    Keith, please tell me the reason Lewis was ahead on the list was because of finishing order and not personal preference?

    I know many will vote for Lewis, but seriously, it has to be Webber. Give him another 3 laps and he would probably have passed Lewis.

    Started 18th and finished SEVEN! seconds off the winner.

    One of the best drives I have seen.

    • The vote is for the weekend, Webber did not have a great weekend he had a great race.

      • UKfanatic (@) said on 18th April 2011, 20:33

        Lee the vote is not for the weekend the vote is for the race the race gives 25 points thats all that matter and webbers pace was indeed impressive

        • Mark Hitchcock (@mark-hitchcock) said on 18th April 2011, 23:00

          “Vote for your driver of the weekend

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 19th April 2011, 4:29

          the race gives 25 points thats all that matter

          If 25 points are the only thing that matter, why vote for anyone other than Hamilton?

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th April 2011, 7:41

          the vote is not for the weekend the vote is for the race

          No, the vote is for the weekend.

          That’s why the headline says “Who was the best driver of the Chinese GP weeekend?”

          • SeattleChris (@seattlechris) said on 19th April 2011, 17:50

            The race occurs over the weekend so if you don’t, specifically, place “as a whole” after this you are just inviting mindless chatter over the use of the English language. As you have it, I am not surprised to find so many in fights about this.

            Besides, who cares who had the best weekend? Obviously Hamilton did. Who had the best race weekend? Probably Webber all things considered. Who had the best quali? Hamilton. Who had the best FP3… not Webber.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th April 2011, 18:18

            The headline says weekend; throughout the article it says weekend.

            Besides, who cares who had the best weekend?

            Qualifying is a competitive session therefore it’s important.

          • Last Pope Eye (@last-pope-eye) said on 20th April 2011, 4:46

            Keith has a point! It’s clearly stated weekend. not a big deal.. :)

          • DVC said on 20th April 2011, 7:37

            Keith, is there a reason you prefer looking at the whole weekend with these things? Or is it just because the BBC has trademarked ‘Driver of the Day’?

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 20th April 2011, 7:44

            I don’t think they’ve literally trademarked it…

            But I think F1 Fanatic readers know the sport very well and they understand that how well a driver does in a race isn’t just decided by how well he drives on Sunday. Qualifying is a very important session and at some tracks like Monaco it’s arguably more important than the race.

            And even though the practice sessions may not be competitive a driver can affect their race result depending on how they drive in them – remember Alonso at Monaco last year, for example.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 20th April 2011, 10:23

          The vote is for the weekend. In the past over half of the races have been won by a good qualifying, just look at Vettel blasting away from pole in 4 races recently.

          And Lewis deciding to save a set of tyres had a lot to do with how the race panned out. Clever thinking there, probalby after rethinking his Malaysia apporach. And Webber qualifying in 18th was paramount for how his race went.

      • Mikos said on 19th April 2011, 2:17

        The result decides how good the weekend was.
        Evan as a Webber fan though I’d vote for LH. Webber did the hard yards from the back but he had a massive, massive tyre strategy advantage that came to him…for once!

        • boris the one-eyed numbat said on 19th April 2011, 12:33

          Hamilton had a massive, massive tyre strategy advantage that came to him (over Vettel). Perhaps we should discount his excellent drive as well?

    • McLarenFanJamm said on 18th April 2011, 19:58

      Seriously? You now think that ordering drivers in a list is based on Keith’s personal preference? I can tell you its not and even if it was, Keith isn’t answerable to any of us.

      • Krit said on 19th April 2011, 1:51

        It’s simple human psychology. You list things in the order you find preferable. I’m not saying Keith’s done that, merely asking if he had.

        You can tell me it’s not? How so?
        Not answerable? He’s replied to previous questions.

        • McLarenFanJamm said on 19th April 2011, 8:34

          Keith has stated multiple times in the past that he has no favourites.

          Yes, he replies to questions, but it’s his blog and he can run it how he likes, he doesn’t have to change anything based on people’s whimsical conspiracy theories about why certains drivers are at the top of a list and others aren’t.

          • Solo (@solo) said on 19th April 2011, 11:35

            Even if he had favorites from the moment he can keep an objective view and not get carried away then his fine. I have read many blogs and F1 sites and really this is from the few that keeps such a good balance.

          • Krit said on 19th April 2011, 22:16

            I am not accusing Keith of anything, certainly not bias. I didn’t imply Keith prefers Hamilton over Webber as a fan, I was wondering if he did so this weekend.

            I was just interested and wanted to know if my hunch was correct, not start some conspiracy theory.

      • SeattleChris (@seattlechris) said on 19th April 2011, 17:51

        He is answerable

    • Oliver said on 18th April 2011, 20:05

      You can see the driver names are stacked up in their finishing order.

      Saying its Webber means nothing. Results can be achieved in many ways. It is even possible that an advanced computer simulation would predict that on some tracks the fastest car will be the one that saves up 5 new sets of tyres and starts from the back.
      Racing is not an exact science with it comes to driving within the the limits of the cars ahead of you.
      A driver starting in 4th position might be better off starting from 14th place if he is unable to run at his pace owing the interference created by the car immediately ahead.

    • Oliver said on 18th April 2011, 20:08

      I will give Heikki the best driver as I can’t chose between Webber and Hamilton.

    • TomD11 (@tomd11) said on 18th April 2011, 20:08

      Yes, but there weren’t another 3 laps, so it’s pointless to mention it.

      As Lee says, this vote is for the weekend, not the race. IMO Webber probably just edges Hamilton for performance in the race, but he dropped the ball big-time in qualifying. Hamilton didn’t make a single mistake all weekend as far as I can see (perhaps that lock-up when overtaking Rosberg) and having quickly adapted after last week, won the race in a car that wasn’t the best.

    • LuvinF1 (@luvinf1) said on 18th April 2011, 22:37

      What other three laps?? Race distances are limited. They either accomplish what they need to do within the race distance – or not.

      Certainly, you’re pulling our legs on the list order – yes?

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th April 2011, 6:52

      Exaclty, that is because of being the winnner. Vettel was first on the list for the last couple of races.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th April 2011, 7:43

      I’m not telling people how to vote, that’s up to you.

  3. Andy92 (@andy92) said on 18th April 2011, 19:29

    I’m not saying Webber had a bad race, but I don’t see why people have been singing his praises so much. He had the fastest car on the grid, more sets of new tyres and clean air for all but his first stint. Its not like its that difficult to overtake cars that are 1.5s slower than you.

    • BillFenner1967 said on 18th April 2011, 20:45

      He had “clean air” for all but his first stint? Not at all. If you followed his progress via the driver tracker on the BBC website, as I did, you’d have seen that he was ALWAYS having to pass other cars throughout the race. In fact, he passed guys like Schumi, Massa, Kobayashi and others two or three times!

    • Ragerod said on 19th April 2011, 2:25

      Not sure about the clean air bit but agree about Webber’s praise.

      Yes, he raced well but he arrived in the best car, was out-qualified by Pastor Maldonado and finished behind his team mate, again.

    • llama said on 19th April 2011, 2:37

      If his car was the fastest, why was it 18th. He had no KERS, but was still carrying the battery load. His air wasn’t clean, he had 17 cars in front of him – Lewis had 2.

      His only advantage was that he did the heavier fuel load on the hard tyres… that’s it.

      Honestly, if Webber had poked out one eye, cut off his right foot, glued his head to the sidepod, and done the whole race in reverse, nobody here would be impressed.

      ‘Lewis would have done it with both eyes poked out….’, they would sneer.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th April 2011, 7:50

      You can see how much ‘clear air’ Webber had using the race progress chart in the race analysis article:

      http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2011/04/17/2011-chinese-grand-prix-analysis/

      As you’d expect, he had periods in traffic and periods where he was able to lap freely. You can see about three separate phases where he had a good dose of clear air, coming after each of his pit stops, as you’d expect.

  4. Philonso (@philonso) said on 18th April 2011, 19:32

    I just rashly voted for lewis due to the elation when he won. really should have voted webber as his ascendance was possibly the best ever. Even better than hamiltons when he was in gp2 in 2006 (turkey?)

  5. driftin said on 18th April 2011, 19:32

    Hamilton. I would’ve said Webber for the GP alone but his qualifying effort was poor.

  6. 3v3r10n9 (@3v3r10n9) said on 18th April 2011, 19:33

    I would have to say Lewis solely because he had more TV time compared to Webber.

  7. Bigbadderboom (@bigbadderboom) said on 18th April 2011, 19:43

    I would have voted for Hamilton or Webber but for me taking equipment and experience into consideration, I gave Paul Di Resta my vote, for me his performance was as good as he could deliver. A true shining light for the future, I have been very impressed with him.

  8. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 18th April 2011, 19:46

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

    That means Saturday too, so Hamilton. Strategic use of qualifying and a great race.

  9. FlexiWing (@flexiwing) said on 18th April 2011, 19:52

    Jenson Button.

    Just because of his pit stop. That’s the best thing I’ve seen in a while.
    World champion parking his car in the wrong pit garage.

  10. Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 18th April 2011, 19:53

    I’d vote Hamilton, with honourable mentions for Webber and Massa

    By the way Keith, I reckon the poll would look better if you limited it to the top 5 candidates. 99.9% of the time you will be able to identify the 5 potential winners, and if anyone disagree’s with the choices they can make their case in the comments

    • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 18th April 2011, 20:13

      Good idea Ned.

      I was kind of surprised with the poll results actually. I mean it had to be Hamilton or Webber, but Massa is 3rd in the poll with only 3 votes, and Vettel has 1 more than Rosberg who in my mind definitely performed better.

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 18th April 2011, 22:16

        Over the whole weekend though Vettel arguably performed better than Rosberg. Who know though, if he hadn’t had to dial back his engine, Rosberg might’ve won the race.

    • boris the one-eyed numbat said on 19th April 2011, 12:51

      Don’t try to take away our hard-earned democratic rights! It is our inalienable right to vote for any driver of the weekend.

      Where would we have been, for example, after the previous race when Webber wasn’t even in Keith’s “Top 5″ and yet he was for many the driver of the weekend? In fact, in most of the comments immediately post-race he was praised for the drive of the race (and not only by fan-numbats). He dominated FPs on Friday (or don’t they count because that isn’t on the weekend?), had a reasonable Qualifying (not great) and overcame being swamped to the first corner by cars with KERS and recovered brilliantly to nearly make the podium.

      Keith – please don’t rig the elections!

  11. Jagogen (@jagogen) said on 18th April 2011, 19:57

    I didn’t want Vettel to win a third time this year.It seems like the only guy able to get close to him(in Qualy)or stop him for now is Hamilton and in Shangai he did it in style and with a lot of emotions going on.I only realised Webber is doing good when he was about to overtake Jenson.He had the freshest tires(soft) combined with less fuel(therefore less degradation) so I am not surprised at all he finished third or even higher if the race was longer.My vote goes to Hamilton though.

  12. David-A (@david-a) said on 18th April 2011, 19:57

    Across the weekend, definitely Hamilton.

    • UKfanatic (@) said on 18th April 2011, 20:37

      @David A you surely know that the race is all that matters theres no across the weekend the most impressive drive was from webber the victory was for Hamilton and mclaren who made a great strategy 3 stops and nice stints.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 18th April 2011, 21:30

        Hamilton got qualifying right (or not badly wrong, with Button in 2nd and Lewis 3rd), so he was able to deliver an impressive win. Webber was the best in the race, but shouldn’t have needed to come through the field from 18th. That’s why Hamilton gets my vote across the weekend.

  13. Hamilton – this was a victory all of his own making. What a refreshing contrast to Vettel’s customary lights-to-flag victories.

  14. Scalextric (@scalextric) said on 18th April 2011, 20:10

    Anyone who beat VET on this far east road trip deserves a vote. But HAM was out-qualified by his team mate for the first time. And WEB did what he did without KERS. So I’d vote for both if I could, instead I chose the race winner.

  15. d3v0 (@d3v0) said on 18th April 2011, 20:18

    Heikki! Excited to see the blown diffuser updates back in Europe :D

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