Start, Shanghai, 2011

Who was the best driver of the Chinese GP weekend?

Debates and pollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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 (0%)

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

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

  1. Webber! No contest.

    1. 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.

      1. The vote is for the weekend as a whole

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

        1. 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.

          1. Last Pope Eye (@)
            19th April 2011, 11:31

            Took me time time to decide between Mark and Lewis but I voted Mark.

        2. Yep, my reasoning too

        3. 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.

      2. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. 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!

          2. 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.

          3. 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.


          4. 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.

          5. Last Pope Eye (@)
            19th April 2011, 11:35

            I agree, Webber did a great drive

      3. beckenlima (@)
        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.

        1. 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.

      4. 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.

      5. 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.

      6. 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?

    2. 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??

    3. 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.

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

    4. 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.

      1. William Wilgus
        19th April 2011, 8:05

        Yes. Webber, then Massa

        1. Last Pope Eye (@)
          19th April 2011, 11:37

          same here

    5. UKfanatic (@)
      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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. 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

          2. 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.

          3. 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.

        2. 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.

          1. 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.

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

      3. SVettel (@)
        19th April 2011, 9:59

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

    6. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. he admitted using it all.

          Really? Have you got a quote on that?

          1. 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.

          2. Got a link?

          3. 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!


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

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

          5. fullthrottle
            19th April 2011, 18:30

            +1 SeattleChris,i was expecting this

          6. 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…

          7. 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.

          8. 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.

      2. 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.

        1. 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.

    7. 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.

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

        Basing your call of hypotheticals is stretching a bit far.

        1. I went on to explain why i believe this using their comparable stint in which lewis was faster. Not entirely pointless speculation like u suggest

          1. Last Pope Eye (@)
            19th April 2011, 11:44

            Maybe right… maybe wrong

      2. boris the one-eyed numbat
        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…

        1. 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”?

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

          2. 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. 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.

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

      1. UKfanatic (@)
        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

        1. “Vote for your driver of the weekend

        2. 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?

        3. 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?”

          1. 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.

          2. 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.

          3. Last Pope Eye (@)
            20th April 2011, 4:46

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

          4. 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’?

          5. 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.

        4. 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.

      2. 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!

        1. boris the one-eyed numbat
          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?

    2. McLarenFanJamm
      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.

      1. 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.

        1. McLarenFanJamm
          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.

          1. 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.

          2. 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.

      2. He is answerable

        1. no, he’s not. it’s his ball and he can do what he likes with it.

          personally, i’ve found keith to be nothing other than impartial. it’s a sad state of affairs, and tedious as hell, when people think there’s ulterior motives behind every word that’s written.

        2. Also, I have answered already, further down this thread.

    3. 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.

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

      1. Good choice! Wish I’d thought of that.

    5. 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.

    6. 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?

      1. FlexiWing (@)
        18th April 2011, 23:15

        I’d say it was pure psychology?

        It’s the way people list things, what comes in their head.

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

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

  3. 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.

    1. BillFenner1967
      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!

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

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

      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. 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?)

    1. See Suzuka 2005.

      Alonso and Raikkonen start 17th and 18th respectivley. Kimi wins it with a last lap pass on Fisichella (a cracking pass) Fernando comes third after pulling off possibly the greatest overtake of all time round the outside of Schumacher at 130R going at 190mph.

      1. Rodger Chen
        19th April 2011, 5:18

        They both had safety cars helping them on that day.

        Mark had nothing.

        1. …but a car much faster than everyone elses.

          1. The car is only as fast as you can drive it.

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

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

  7. 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.



      1. bigbadderboom
        19th April 2011, 19:17

        :) TY Scribe, but I have 5 others in agreement now! Here starts the Paul Di Resta fan club!!!!! ;)

  8. 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 (@)
    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. 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

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

    2. boris the one-eyed numbat
      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. 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. Across the weekend, definitely Hamilton.

    1. UKfanatic (@)
      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.

      1. 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. 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.

    1. Hamilton opted to go for a good race result instead of qualifying. It worked.

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

  16. Very close between Webber and Hamilton, but I think that Kovalainen and d’Ambrosio definetely deserve some mention, Kovalainen is very much the driver to beat from the ‘new’ teams and d’Ambrosio sees to be a step up from DiGrassi.

  17. Trulli, duh.

    Tough debate between Mark and Lewis. Mark was a force on Sunday but only because he did such a lousy job Saturday. I went Mark though because it was so freakin’ impressive.

  18. Surprised that Kovalainen isn’t one to consider. Anyway, I voted for him.

    1. Same here. I bet he will be nipping at the heels of the rest of the pack with the blown diffuser update in Europe. Gascoyne said they would have one in Turkey or Spain I think.

  19. Webber VS Hamilton! this is going to be a close one!

    I’ve voted for Webber.

  20. It’s for the weekend, so no, not Webber. Hamilton gets the nod not because of strategerie, but because of a combination of monk-like patience and then furious driving. His whole charge could have come for naught if he did not jam his car under Button when he had to and if he did not deal with Rosberg when he had to. All those lockups between Rosberg and Hamilton going into six, that was real racing. The way he had to get by Vettel, who was using some some solid old school technique to hold off a superior car—using surprise and a bit of daring—that was the real deal. Real racing, real passing, not $.99 Supersized DRS McPasses.

    1. @dmw: You tell ’em!

      We don’t need no DRS zone to make our passes! Take off the training wheels!

      HAM got my vote for precisely those reasons. Each pass was a critical one in the fighting for the lead and his execution of surprise passes every which way but where they were expected.

      But, all told, this was a tough vote, cuz Mark was so bloody fast in those final laps on fresh rubber… he was easily pulling 2 seconds a lap from the leaders. But in the end I thought it was too little, too late. But a superb 2nd half of the race from him…

  21. I have to add, I would suggest another list (like everyone else, right?). And I know it’s not exhaustive. But Massa doesn’t belong. Exceeding his own terrible standard is the faintest praise. Espeically when we had Kovalainen and even Kobayashi doing extremely solid work. Kobyashi is burnishing his star now. He is not wowing with swashbuckling passes or dismaying with pitiful gaffes anymore, but he is bringing home the bacon.

  22. Hamilton was brilliant this weekend, showed us why he is a world champion, and why he’ll be one again. Over-egging it slightly there i know, but was pleased for him.

  23. Hamilton. Good tyre strategy throughout the whole weekend, showing an intelligent response to criticism the previous week. Managed to stay calm despite having to dash to the grid with seconds to spare and with bits of the car still missing. Hampered by his team-mate ignoring the call to pit, but fought his way back cleanly and efficiently. Broke Vettel’s run (yay). Nailbiting, edge of the seat entertainment.

  24. too close to call. flawless from Hamilton, but I expected Webber to lose his head – and instead he dug so deep I think he just deserves it.

  25. I think Heikki should be up there for our consideration for beating 2 established teams on race pace.

    1. He would have been my second choice behind Webber.

  26. Webber for me too. Both him and Lewis had a good race and a mention surely must go to Kovalainen.

  27. Who was the best driver of the Chinese GP weekend?
    Hamilton, even person like myself who really dislike his attitude for most of the time must admit it.

    Who was the best driver of the Chinese GP?
    Webber for sure.

  28. Hamilton was supreme, but webber had a fantastic drive too. Massa getting up there and tangling with the big boys, when his car wasn’t quite up to it, is definitely worth special mention too.

  29. Many have thought of Webber and Hamilton for the drver of the week-end, but my vote goes to Nico Rosberg. Having a car which wasn’t very competitive compared to Red Bull and McLaren, he managed to lead a GP for some laps. He drove brilliantly, without any errors, and could have achieved more than a5th place, had he not need to back off due to his high fuel consumption…

    1. It’s the errors he made in the end that cost him though.

      It’s all good and well to drive around on your own and not make mistakes (like Button and Rosberg often do) Not to make mistakes when the pressure is up is when it counts. Both Button and Rosberg cracked under pressure.

  30. Great result for Webber, but doesn’t compare to Hamilton to any degree for me. He made a balls-up of qualifying and given the car he has, anything less than top 5 would have been disappointing. 3rd was really very good as it was – but practise aside, he didn’t really do anything out of the ordinary until the last 5 laps.

  31. I like how after a few accusations if bias in the rate the race feature, Hamilton is actually currently 2nd in this poll behind an Australian.

    1. I bet someone can give that a spin of bias as well :-) Remember how “the british media” were said to be liking Webber too much a few weeks ago?

      1. And I certainly thought that the BBC seemed quite harsh on Hamilton in Malaysia, and also in China right up to the second half of the race – conversely, the were positive on Button until his mistake. Maybe it’s just a bit of human hypocrisy and short memory rather than bias!

  32. As ists the weekend its gotta be Hamilton, after all he won.
    Webber was sensational in the 2nd half of the race but he was a joke in qualifying

  33. My vote went to Hamilton.

    Over the whole weekend he wins. He did almost as well as possible in qualy connsidering Vettel was probably untouchable and saved a new set of softs for the race. In the race he made several key overtakes on similarly paced cars including Button and Rosberg that freed him up to go chasing Vettel and he didnt make any mistakes whilst always being under pressure.

    Webber had a great sunday, but theres no excuses for him not clearing q1 even on hard tyres and connsidering his KERS issues, especially when he was so much slower then his team mate. During the race he undoubtedly had great pace and overtook a number of cars, but his 3 new sets of soft tyres, having fundamentally the fastest car on the grid and probably having a ‘nothing to lose’ attitude, made overtaking slower cars relatively easy, and the front cars swapping places and slowing each other down also possibly helped him catch up.

    My 3rd vote for driver of the weekend would have gone to Kovalainen if I had one. Even if Maldonado and Perez had rubbish races he still deserves a big mention for finishing in front of an established team for the 1st time. And Di Resta also deserves a mention not so much for this race but for being by far the most consistent of this years rookies and beating sutil at all 3 races so far.

    1. Perfectly sums up what I thought. Lewis without a shadow of a doubt is my pick.

  34. Close call between Webber and Hamilton….probably should have gone for Hamilton to be honest because he was very good and more consistent over the whole weekend.
    But Webber’s race really made up for his poor qualifying. Top 6 would have been a good result, a podium is excellent. And I was expecting him to flounder at the back and confirm the view of many people that he’s lost it.

    In short, I’m going with my heart (which loves an unexpected comeback drive), rather than my head.

    1. I think that’s well summarised. Some are suggesting that it’s ‘clearly’ Webber or ‘clearly’ Hamilton, which is not true. Both were great I think. I suppose the close poll reflects that.

  35. As a massive Mclaren fan, I would say Hamilton…. however it’s Webber hands down! 18th to 3rd, that was great!

  36. Webber had a good race, but he had a horrible qualifying result. Of course he was hindered by the problems with his car, but in the end he’s in the fastest car and still he doesn’t manage to drive himself out of paper bag in Q1.

    Hamilton was just stunning. Great idea to go for a good race result and not to put much effort in qualifying. That extra set of softs helped him make up time in his third stint and then he whacked the whole lot over the head with his blindingly fast last stint on the hard tyres. He made up 10 seconds on Vettel, Rosberg and Button in just 17 laps.

    He had the balls to go flat out when his team kept whining that he should slow down. No guts no glory! Most importantly, he managed his tyres till the end of his stint when his competition faded out in the last few laps.

    Tyre management master = Lewis Hamilton.

  37. sorry had to make it 141 for webber :)

    1. bah some one make it equal almost immediatly

  38. hamilton beats webber for me. seeing as he actually won the race and didn’t mess up his qualifying.

  39. Mark Webber had a great drive, but for me, Lewis is the driver of the day…..just. Marks overtakes were more down to strategy, Lewis’ were just pure guts, and balls of steel!

  40. I hate stating the obvious but Webber’s terrible qualifying was due to a broken car. That car was sitting in the pits quite some time before getting onto the track for qualifying. To be honest, he was lucky to even make Q1 at all. Yes his time was not great, but the tyres were a team decision. And just one more minor point. For at least half the race (maybe more), Webber didn’t have KERS when the majority of those he passed did. He did have the advantage of some fresh tyres, as did Hamilton. If Webber had started his run just a few laps early, or had passed Petrov just a little earlier, he would have been fighting for the lead of the race. His, was a truly sensational and inspiring drive.

    1. It can’t of been that broken or it would have been mentioned earlier.

      Lets not forget Hamilton would have been starting from the pit lane if he would have left 35 seconds later, and, from personal experience in karting, theres nothing worse for a driver’s mentality from knowing you may have a problem with your car.

      My vote goes to Hamilton.

    2. Webber didn’t have KERS at all !!

    3. KERS is worth about a quarter of a second per lap in Shanghai.

      Webber was 0.8s slower than Vettel, who had KERS.

  41. Harder call than it looks.

    Lewis was supreme up the front, few mistakes I could observe.

    Was Webber’s bad qualifying due to a bad lap, or a poor decision helped by car problems? Had he had KERS working like Vettel then he would have made Q2 and then presumably Q3 easily. It has to count against him though. And his run through the field indicates perhaps overtaking being too easy – he DRS’d and Pirelli’d his way past a lot of people – he himself in an interview said it was less ‘racing’ and more tactical.

    But Kovailanen must rate a mention. He put his Lotus in front of the (admittedly poor) Maldonado legitimately. I can’t remember too many races where they have beat a top 9-team driver who hasn’t had mechanical problems in a safety flag-free race.

    I’m going for Heikki. He needs more than 5 votes.

  42. Lol how can you rip on webber

    – when he had 1 proper lap in p3
    – his car was fully rebuilt before quali
    – to the extent that his car was still carrying the kers sysyem but could not get it to work and had to send him out anyway.
    – webber is also one of the heavy driver due to his height and build. So carrying around a heavy kers is probly worth .5 per lap.
    – then his team tell him the harder tyre has the pase he agrees to get him through then send him out only giving him 1 lap to warm the tyre up at the end. evident in the lap he suffered lots of understeer due to cool front tyres.

    Im sorry but just to qualify 18 after a day like that is not to bad. Then to come back to p3 with no saftey car or rain was incredible. Even when he was on the softs he was quiker then everybody it even after 8-10 laps on his softs he was still faster.

    1. I would say that you are right, hence he is up there. But for me, this weekend there were drivers who did better, ie. Hamilton, and maybe even Rosberg.

  43. I’ve made about twenty attempts to write this post talking about teams, strategy, effort of pit crew, effect on driver etc. At the end of the day, however, I had to go for webber as, no matter who, how or why he qualified where he did, he made it up in the race, which, as the teams/drivers all keep pointing out, is where it matters.

  44. For some reason I don’t seem to have an option for voting. If I did, it would be for Webber without a doubt. Getting past all those KERS cars without KERS himself was some type of feat, even with fresh rubber. Also, just compare his best lap times to others, including Vettel and Hamilton when they were also on fresh rubber at various times. On Sunday, Webber was in a league of his own in terms of speed.

    1. Are you logged in?

  45. Those with 0 votes seems to have a thicker bar than those with 1 vote. In fact, 0 bar looks like 4 votes bar.

    Just nitpicking but otherwise good poll

  46. There were many good drivers today but I have to go for Webber cause as far as I can see next to Kimi’s drive in Japan 05 this has to be the second best drive of my life that I have seen.

    1. Montoya in Germany in his last season for Macca….20 to 2!

      1. Rubens in Germany 2000, 18th to 1st, He was flying that day.

        1. I forgot that race of Montoya but can’t remember of Barrichello as I didn’t saw that race.

  47. Obviously Webber. Shonky team discisions during qualifying, No ‘push-to-pass’ and stuck in 17th until lap 15. Miraculous drive!

  48. Webber was way faster than everybody else (even without 5 seconds a lap of 80 more horses). Another lap and he would have had Vettel. Superlative driving!

    1. A good car (despite KERS) and great strategy, actually, with a driver making very good use of his material.

      I didn’t give Vettel driver of the weekend in both first races, even though he was faster than anyone else, either.

      KERS isn’t worth 5 seconds, it’s about .3s a lap, more or less (did you mean .5s perhaps?).

      1. no, around 5 seconds per lap for which kers can be deployed. although, isn’t it 6 and and a bit?

  49. Hamilton.

    Webber/RBR messed up in Quali so for me he can’t take the vote.

  50. I’m surprised that Webber is leading, and I say that as a fan. He was certainly driver of the day on Sunday but his qualifying can’t be ignored. So on balance I have to give it to Hamilton.

  51. 5 votes for vettel… wow…

    i mean i get that a lot of people don’t really like him.. but he got an amazing pole time and drove “quite” a pretty solid race to salvage 2nd place.

    Either way great job for all the drivers. Driving an f1 car certainly does’nt look easy and i would probably lose to even karthikeyan!

    1. Oh, yes Vettel didn’t have a bad weekend. In fact, apart from his start, he drove about as well, and showed more in passing some and defending against Rosberg at the start and Hamilton at the end, than last race, but there was that start to hold him back.

    2. The fact that he has little votes doesn’t mean that we think he sucked and he wasn’t good. It’s just that they were others who did better and you can vote only one.

  52. Webber had a great drive on Sunday, but he and his team forgot to realise they were slightly on the back-foot in qualifying. Rosberg did really well all weekend with his finally working Mercedes. Massa got close to the max out of the car on Saturday, and did the best he could with the car and strategy on Sunday, and since his teammate didn’t manage that in the race, it reflects well on him, but Ferrari need to do better as a team.

    However, Hamilton had a great drive to a win, and had the foresight to trade off qualifying for it (and proud as a puppy about it :-p), something I think doesn’t come entirely naturally for him, so my vote goes to him. Button would have been a contender if it hadn’t been for his silly mistake!

    1. It is interesting that both Hamilton and Webber compromised their qualifying to get more tyres for the race (okay, Webber not voluntarily, but he still did!), and had it work for them.

      Even if Webber would have started on the first or second row, he would probably have been just behind Vettel at most, so it did help him on Sunday (but maybe Vettel wouldn’t have been third after the first corner with Webber there …).

  53. Hard to choose between Hamilton and Webber. (coin flip) Lewis it is.

  54. Lewis probably has to be driver of the weekend for learning from the previous week’s mistakes and doing everything right in the race after such a hectic start to fix the car but I haven’t found it so clear cut.

    Rosberg put in a stunning qualifying lap and went very well in the race but he didn’t really blow his team mate away as Schumacher had issues in qualifying so was a tad unlucky but then raced very well also. Vettel was mind blowing in qualifying and I know he had a poor start but he showed some impeccable race craft by overtaking Lewis and then defending from him when he had absolutely dead tyres and he could have thrown in the towel. Di Resta too as been nothing but impressive since he got in that Force India car too and is possible driver of the season so far not just the weekend.

    After Jenson’s brilliantly smart race at Malaysia I have no idea who showed up on Sunday but maybe he’s just so desperate to drive the RB7 he thought he’d force his way into the team. I voted Lewis but it was a tough one.

    Mark put in a sensational comeback drive and maybe it’ll be looked back on as his greatest ever drive but that was just one part of the weekend. He came away with the points he should have with that car but only after making life very difficult for himself so there’s no way I can vote for him as driver of the weekend. I know he had car troubles which may have been a distraction but so did Lewis on Sunday morning and that he would have lost some laptime in qualifying but not as much as the gulf there was between him and Seb.

    I felt really sorry for the Ferrari’s and Seb on the two stop strategy as at the end it was painful to watch them slip behind (very exciting though). Once the Pirelli’s are dead that’s it there was nothing they could do really even if they desperatelly fiddled on their steering wheels it’s like a bird smoothing its feathers out only to realise its wings have been clipped. They may not have been able to compete for pace at that stage and nailing strategy is a big part of the race but I still think that Sebastian in particular, hung on very well.

    1. Once the Pirelli’s are dead that’s it there was nothing they could do really even if they desperatelly fiddled on their steering wheels it’s like a bird smoothing its feathers out only to realise its wings have been clipped

      Nice one! So when are you starting to publish your own column?

      1. Nice one! So when are you starting to publish your own column?

        Ha! Good one. It’s more likely that I’d have success in F1 or the lottery than that :P

        Sorry this reply is ridiculously late too!

  55. It was Lewis Hamilton for me although Mark Webber’s pace was very impressive, almost as if his car had nothing legal on it! But at the end of the day, I think the pressure is higher when someone is starting from P3 than P18 because everybody’s expectations are higher and Hamilton came through as the undisputed winner by beating heads-on both his teammate and the reigning world champion. A faultless and mature drive which was very exciting to watch!

  56. Although Webbers drive was good i think it’s being drastically overated.

    Tyre where a massive factor in this race and the fact that Webber qualified 18th gave him a heap load of brand new tyres. Due to being so far back the strategy picked itself, starting on the hards during the traffic and then going onto the softs for the last stints with drastically reduced fuel loads, and with by far the fastest car on the grid gave him a massive advantage at the end

    You don’t need to be a fantastic driver to overtake cars that are over 3 seconds a lap slower than you.

    Don’t get me wrong im a Webber fan but i do think this drive is overated

  57. Also who the hell voted for Alonso??

    1. His mum might have an account here?

      Then again, Schumacher got 6 votes too …

  58. Very close but due to no KERS for most of the weekend, not just the race, having his car rebuilt more than once, only just making qualifying after only 1 lap in FP3 I’m going for 15 overtaking moves and Webber.
    Also of course new tyres was a big help, Hamilton too had a new set for his final stint, so they both had that advantage.

    1. I’m going for 15 overtaking moves

      Do you know he made 15 passes or are you just guessing based on where he started and finished?

      1. Haha. If indeed, were they to be considered overtaking or drive-throughs?

        1. Most didn’t even make it onto the FOM feed but the ones we saw were class and with no “push to pass KERS button” lol.

      2. I wouldn’t have tried guessing… here’s the link to the info I used;

        Is it reputable?

        1. Not sure – can’t get in without a registration so I’ll have to have a look when I’ve got some time to spare.

          1. Keith,hope this helps… seems some people here don’t want to believe Webber can overtake… 15 times in 1 race.

            Lap 2 – 2 Webber passed 17 Pérez for 16th

            Lap 4 – 2 Webber passed 11 Barrichello for 15th

            Lap 12 –
            2 Webber passed 25 D’Ambrosio for 19th
            2 Webber passed 24 Glock for 18th

            Lap 13 – 2 Webber passed 18 Buemi for 17th

            Lap 16 – 2 Webber passed 21 Trulli for 16th

            Lap 17 – 2 Webber passed 20 Kovalainen for 13th

            Lap 28 – 2 Webber passed 11 Barrichello for 14th

            Lap 31 – 2 Webber passed 17 Pérez for 10th

            Lap 34 – 2 Webber passed 10 Petrov for 7th

            Lap 38 – 2 Webber passed 7 Schumacher for 6th

            Lap 45 – 2 Webber passed 5 Alonso for 6th

            Lap 51 – 2 Webber passed 6 Massa for 5th

            Lap 54 – 2 Webber passed 8 Rosberg for 4th

            Lap 55 – 2 Webber passed 4 Button for 3rd


          2. seems some people here don’t want to believe Webber can overtake

            That’s a bit harsh, I just wasn’t sure how many he’d actually done and 15 seemed a bit high. That’s why I asked.

            Thanks for the data.

        2. Of course it’s reputable. They painstakingly work out all the overtakes. they even post clips featuring all (or most) of them.

  59. Great pic and caption from Darren Heath of Hamilton neck and neck with Vettel…Actually the caption was in the email (“This Years Senna”). It’s a great site to visit for F1 photography.

  60. Webber for sure, what he did was magnificent and he did it without KERS in the RB number (spare parts) car! True Grit.

  61. I’m going to say Webber, and that is factoring in the entire weekend. His qualifying result was ruined by mechanical gremlins, but he wasn’t far off Vettel’s pace (who had a working KERS system in Q1). So I don’t view Quali as a negative mark against him like so many seem to. As for the race, he edges out Hamilton in my book.

  62. Mark Webber, no doubt.

  63. What the hell? Why is no one talking about Massa driving over the white line at pit exit???? Will someone please explain the exact rules…………

    1. The Last Pope
      20th April 2011, 1:57

      he didn’t cross over the line on to the track. He was still inside the pit lane and off track when he crossed the line so it wasn’t a dangerous move. He was within the line as he rejoined the track which is the important thing.

    2. That wasn’t the pit lane exit line.

  64. “What the hell? Why is no one talking about Massa driving over the white line at pit exit???? Will someone please explain the exact rules…………”

    This might be the wrong forum mate for your request mate.


  65. According to Christian Horner, Webber physically passed at least 12 cars (possibly 13) actually on track. The others were passed through pit stops. That’s very impressive.

    1. Webber said he was still not much of fan of the system, saying “the other cars had nothing to fight back with”. Once he was finished with his stint on the hard tyre it was a breeze for him to pass the slower cars or any car running on the hard, which is the tyre all the front running cars were on in the last stint. I can understand why people are voting for Webber, but lets get real here people – Lewis was clearly the standout driver. Some wonderful and meaningful overtakes outside the DRS zone; compromised by his team mates late pit on first stint, and all this after he was just able to keep his cool and let his mechanics get to work to sort out his car that just managed to make the race. Even before the race pundits and commentators predicted marks slice through the field. Don’t get me wrong, on another day this would have been hands down the drive of the day, but what Lewis did was just fantastic.

      1. Agreed 100%

        His race in the second half of the race was a doddle for him on Far Superior fresh tires in a far superior car, Kers or no Kers

  66. It was Button for me LOL….. oh he did make me laff

  67. bobjenkins (@)
    20th April 2011, 8:38

    Clearly alguersuari was the most impressive. No other driver managed to drive on less than four tyres

  68. The real winner last weekend was Mr Pirelli.

    Five laps less and Vettel would have been victorious. Five laps more and Webber would have been victorious. Great stuff, Pirelli!

  69. Tough to say, but clearly between Webber and Hamilton. I’ll go with Hamilton in this one.

  70. Webber. It was a tough decision, but he impressed me more than Hamilton. Just.

  71. Webber, did you see those laps times!!

  72. Keith, I was refering to the poster who laughed at the figure of 15 ….

    “Haha. If indeed, were they to be considered overtaking or drive-throughs?”

    1. Ah OK :-)

  73. Had to be Webber for me. Although Hamilton did have one of the race’s of his life, Mark Webber was outstanding. I have to say, this could be one of the most exciting seasons of Formula One we have had in a long long time!

  74. I do love these ‘debates’!

    However, I don’t understand the critique of the tyres & DRS rules creating “false” or unsatisfying overtaking and somehow cancelling the legitimacy of one driver’s passes vs another.

    One of my favorite races of all time was the ’08 Turkey race (won by Massa). The reason the race was so exciting was because they had to force Lewis onto a 3-stop because the Bridgestones couldn’t handle Turn 8 in the McLaren.

    So, purely because of Tyre degradation and the strategy it forced McLaren into, we had a ripper of a race… with cars fighting for track position (for the lead!)… Lewis was much lighter and faster at some stages… but he had to make the passes stick. And Felipe made it real difficult.

    watching these races, and having watched races in years past, we all know that even a 1.5 sec / lap difference is not enough all the time. Alonso stuck behind Petrov last year kinda proves it. Does anyone remember 10 laps of Trulli trains? Having the pace at the wrong part of the lap can also be useless.

    Anyway, McPasses or not, “I’m Lovin’ It!” (pun intended)

  75. It is between Hamilton and Webber but it is hard to choose when taking the whole weekend into account.

    Hamilton learned from the previous race to save some fresh tyres for the race and then had a great race including overtaking his teammate who was on the same strategy.

    Although Webber’s problems in qualifying were down to reliability issues he and the team took to big a risk in Q1 by leaving it late to set a time and using the hard tyre after his lack of running in practice.

    Not making it past Q1 had the upside of Webber having new tyres for every stint during the race and add that to the fact the Red Bull is the best car enabled him to produce a great drive to the podium.

    I voted for Webber in the end but for me Hamilton and Webber were joint drivers of the weekend.

  76. Narain got one vote??!! Whoever voted please explain. I am curious. How do you even know how he drove when you don’t get to see him much on tv?

  77. The Last Pope
    21st April 2011, 1:59

    Just looked at the votes for the whole season so far, to see who has yet to get any votes at all. Adrian Sutil is in that group and being hugely out voted by his team mate. How many more poor races can Sutil afford before Force India feel the same as our voters and replace him with Hulkenberg?

    Trulli is another with zero votes and having a team mate racking up the votes. Is his seat safe?

  78. I would give it to Hamilton (my vote, that is) but he loses it to Webber for his Hollywood teeth, Craig David beard and earrings. McLaren’s drivers’ appearances are certainly changing since Ron slung his hook!

  79. OK I am biased but blaming MW for a problems arising from a technical fault seems unfair to me and clearly saving the soft tyres was the strategy, not a lucky mistake, for a car likely to start without KERS. The mistake was thinking that other teams would also want to save the softs until it was too late to go out and set a faster lap on the hards. With the last minutes of Q2 turning into a fiasco for Renault, Schumi etc. who knows where he may have started from, if say Williams or Force India had stayed on hards for Q1 to save their softs for the race.

  80. clearly webber. to come from so far back requires both luck and consistantly fast laps, and hard to see where he made tooo many mistakes (odd for him). wouldve loved to see him make the pass on ?? at turn 6 in the marbles but wasnt to be. mechanical troubles throughout qualifying and practice, as well as losing kers early in the race and having one of the slowest top speeds in the field just did it for me

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