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 (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

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

  1. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 18th April 2011, 22:32

    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.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th April 2011, 7:01

      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?

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 19th April 2011, 9:23

        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!

  2. 91jb12 (@91jb12) said on 18th April 2011, 22:35

    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

  3. wigster (@wigster) said on 18th April 2011, 22:46

    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.

  4. Mark Hitchcock (@mark-hitchcock) said on 18th April 2011, 23:12

    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.

    • Andrew G said on 19th April 2011, 3:16

      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.

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

  6. Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 18th April 2011, 23:31

    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.

  7. Mach1 (@mach1) said on 18th April 2011, 23:56

    sorry had to make it 141 for webber :)

  8. sato113 (@sato113) said on 18th April 2011, 23:57

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

  9. djdaveyp85 (@djdaveyp87) said on 19th April 2011, 0:08

    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!

  10. Brendan said on 19th April 2011, 0:16

    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.

    • TrueF1Grit (@truef1grit) said on 19th April 2011, 0:33

      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.

    • Hairpin (@hairpin) said on 19th April 2011, 1:04

      Webber didn’t have KERS at all !!

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th April 2011, 8:11

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

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

  11. Toro Stevo (@toro-stevo) said on 19th April 2011, 1:03

    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.

  12. ben0058 (@ben0058) said on 19th April 2011, 1:05

    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. This.is 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.

  13. mags (@mags) said on 19th April 2011, 1:10

    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.

  14. Brendan said on 19th April 2011, 2:17

    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.

  15. adaptalis (@adaptalis) said on 19th April 2011, 3:22

    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

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