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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

  8. 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?

  9. Hamilton.

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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 …).

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

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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

  17. Also who the hell voted for Alonso??

    1. His mum might have an account here?

      Then again, Schumacher got 6 votes too …

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

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