Start, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, 2011

Vote for the best driver of the Spanish Grand Prix weekend

Debates and pollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Start, Barcelona, 2011
Start, Barcelona, 2011

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

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

Sebastian Vettel – Was made to work a bit harder for this one and rebuffed some serious pressure from Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton – Dogged in his pursuit of Vettel but never really had a chance to make a move.

Fernando Alonso – Excellent qualifying lap, brilliant start, lacked the car to do much else.

Nick Heidfeld – Started last after a fire in practice, but finished ahead of his team mate, who had started sixth.

Kamui Kobayashi – Another driver who made an impressive recovery, after picking up a puncture on the first lap.

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

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

  • Sebastian Vettel (24%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (40%)
  • Jenson Button (6%)
  • Fernando Alonso (13%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Michael Schumacher (2%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Nick Heidfeld (9%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (0%)
  • Rubens Barrichello (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Adrian Sutil (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (4%)
  • Sergio Perez (1%)
  • Sebastien Buemi (0%)
  • Jaime Alguersuari (0%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (0%)
  • Jarno Trulli (0%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (0%)
  • Vitantonio Liuzzi (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Jerome d'Ambrosio (0%)

Total Voters: 482

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Turkish Grand Prix result

Fernando Alonso was voted the best driver of the Turkish Grand Prix weekend:

1. Fernando Alonso – 37.8%
2. Kamui Kobayashi – 25.8%
3. Sebastian Vettel – 22.1%

Rate the Race: Spanish Grand Prix

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

Image ?? Pirelli

130 comments on “Vote for the best driver of the Spanish Grand Prix weekend”

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  1. Jenson Button. Did a solid job on Saturday and made up a lot of places after his start, made his strategy work beautifully with those passes on Webber and Alonso.

    1. @ Icthyes

      Agreed! And all the time he was asleep (according to our ‘experts’)

      That’s some driver….

      :) :) :)

      1. Dave Blanc
        24th May 2011, 4:11

        You guys must be kidding. Button finished over half a minute behind the leaders and it would have been more like 40 seconds if Hailton had got past Vettel such was his pace.

        No wonder people think Button is over rated if you’re going to put him as your driver of the weekend in this instance.

        I can’t stand Vettel or Alonso to be honest, but for me those two along with Hamilton were head and shoulders above the rest of the field today.

        Vettel and Hamilton will continue to battle it out at the front for the rest of the season, whilst Button will try and come up with some risky leftfield strategy to try and luck-in on a win as he did last year. Unfortunately he just doesn’t have the raw pace or racing ability to beat Hamilton.

        1. It’s a tough one. I could easily have voted for Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso or Button. @Dave Blanc I think you’re being a bit harsh there. Button did a superb job to get the most out of that strategy after being 10th at the start. But this has been the toughest vote for the driver of the weekend I can remember. Everyone was on top form.

          1. Don’t get me wrong – Button did very well to get 3rd place given his nightmare on the 1st lap. I’m just struggling to see how people can vote for Button as driver of the weekend given other people’s performances.

            I guess that’s why we are all different which can only be a good thing!

            But Button – really…? Come on now people!

          2. I see what you mean. Voting for Button is to suggest he drove better than the rest, when he didn’t. As I said, it’s almost impossible to single out one driver as the best of the weekend on this occasion.

  2. Do not understand people voting for Hamilton or Alonso.

    Alonso had a great start but that is all – he was only holding up the drivers because overtaking was not that easy.

    Hamilton to my knowledge did not actually overtake anyone on the track – yes he was quick and pushing Vettel but did not overtake just followed Vettel.

    There is only 1 that can be called best driver it must be Vettel – most because of his important overtakes just after his 1st pitstop and also keeping Hamilton behind with KERS problems he lapped all but top 4.

    1. Hi fellow Dutchy,

      Obviously, Hamilton didn’t need to overtake on track whereas Vettel had to (strategy-wise). And the overtakes were rather straight forward passes since both Button and Massa did already 10 laps on their softs, whereas Vettel just got fresh ones.

      By the way, it took Vettel 2 pitstops to pass Alonso. If he overtook him on track those first 19 laps (especially since Red Bull were much much faster dan Ferrari’s), then even I as a Hamilton fan, would rate Vettel as the driver of the weekend.

      And for those who claim that McLaren had better race pace, think again. In the first and second sector it was Red Bull who was the faster car. The third sector, with the long straight however, it was where Hamilton made up the losses of the first two sectors. And Barcelona was always Red Bull territory, so no way McLaren was quicker than the bulls.

      Vettel drove a great race and he definitely deserves the win, but he still had a faster car.

    2. Laranja Mecanica
      24th May 2011, 1:11

      Alonso had a great start

      I’m seriously surprised, you don’t say his start was rubbish

  3. Vettel for his brilliant Crazy Frog team radio!

  4. It was not easy at all this time for me. Most of it has been said already but here goes.

    Heidfeld got out of a burning car to make the most of it and do a Webber to get solid points. Kovalainen qualified 15th, helped a bit by technical problems and strategy choice at FI, but still. And his racing was great until he overdid it for his car.
    Kobayashi had to stop and then mirrored Nick to get solid points. Perez had a silent but error free race to get points. Schumacher (with some help) won from his team mate and actually finished better than where he started.
    Webber did a great lap in qualifying to give us some change. And he brought us the Webber used by Heidfeld to good effect here. Shame about the race really.
    Button had a very good qualifying and a great race after that horrible start.
    Alonso showed he is worth every penny of those 150 million by outdriving the car both on Saturday and from the start line. Thank you for making this a good race Fred. Now if only Ferrari had managed to make a car that works on these tyres. A stong choice for man of the race, but being lapped just doesn’t cut it for me. Better one next time then (and he got the vote in Turkey).
    Lewis Hamilton did a good job to nail 3rd on saturday and did everything he could to win the race. His crew did find him the right strategy (albeight the stops themselves could have been 0.5 faster) to make it possible and he needed only that slight glitch by Vettel to get past. Would be a deserved man of the match as well. But in the end he did not really do any passing at all.

    So we get to Vettel. Not the guy I normally rally for. But this weekend he got the car miles ahead in Q3, did get his teammate at the start and reacted good to make the undercut work.
    Those crucial passes were just what was needed as well, reminds me of Button passing exactly where needed in 2009. Good job by the team to do some top notch stops for him as well. And having Hamilton behind for over 10 laps in a car that was faster on the hards made it a great last 1/4th of the race.
    So Vettel it is this time, he even changed the lame victory cry (not that I liked his new one, but thanks for the change anyway Seb)

    1. The problem is with this vote, everyone is providing good examples and backing up their choices. I did vote for Hamilton, but there were 3 or 4 others that were just as good as him this weekend. And it wouldn’t matter who I chose – I’d still feel I’m neglecting the others.

      So Vettel it is this time, he even changed the lame victory cry (not that I liked his new one, but thanks for the change anyway Seb)

      I know his team radio after a victory can be annoying, and he seems to say the same thing a lot, but it must be hard to come up with something new every time in a foreign language, which to Seb, English is.

  5. Kobayashi is driving really well if he keeps it up all season who knows where he might be next season

  6. Best case is for Vettel. Looking at the weekend, he was shaded by Webber on Friday, but he finished a couple tenths behind Webber on Saturday with no KERS. He beat his teammate off the line and left him for dead in the race. Then he had Hamilton on his back the last 1/3rd and didn’t put a wheel wrong. All the while he also has to play flight engineer and turn the brake bias this way and that and fiddle with the KERS. If he so much as sneezed Hamilton would have been on top of him.

    My hand hovered over Alonso’s for a moment though, but couldn’t do it. On Friday, he was doing work when Massa was in the gravel. On Saturday he flattered that car to the extreme, and on Sunday, he did the start of the year. In all stages he beat Massa soundly. However, I can’t look past the horrendous swoon at the end. He finished precisely where the Ferrari is in the pecking order now, as the 3rd best car. So in the end, he really didnt ultimately “out-perform” the equipment. It’s also his job to set up the car, and I just cannot accept that the Ferrari is 1 minute behind the McLaren in ultimate capability. That was a really pathetic showing in the end for the team, which takes the glow off his work. As far as Massa, beating him is becoming increasingly faint praise.

    I find Hamilton a close second. He maximized qualifying, he kept it clean Friday. On Sunday, he ran his appointed strategy to perfection, he was flawless in his driving. His FLAP on 10-lap tires in stint two to get into 2nd, jumping an RB7, was amazing. Ultimately, it was his (and the team’s) opportunity to jump Vettel at the last stop. The car had the pace; they didn’t do it.

    Heidfeld gets an honorable mention here. If he starts from 6th, he would have been podium threat.

    Button, as he is coming up here. Weak sauce. Outqualified again. He loses 15 seconds at the start due to a poor start and finishes more than twice that behind in the end, and clearly Vettel was holding up the guy in the other McLaren. Why does he continue to get laurels for saving tires? Does the team sell the left-overs on Ebay after the race to raise funds? The point of the race is to win, or finish the distance in the least possible time, not to collect tires.

    Kobayashi is becoming a very solid driver with these recovery performances. But here I’m not sure he really separated himself from Perez.

    1. Astonished
      24th May 2011, 8:25

      The set up might heve been influenced by the “in breach of the spirit of the regulations” preventive ban of the rear wing. In these days of blown diffusers, fducts, flexible wings, you name it, a funny decission IMHO. I guess that all the innovation has come so far from breaching the spirit but adhering to the letter of the code.
      Well it was an inspired weekend for the FIA tech boss, anyhow. Not only because of this :-)

  7. I’m gonna go with Kobayashi. The guy was not just last but a whole pit-stop away from the rest after his incident in the start. So basically his position was even worse than the last time and in a track that doesn’t favor passing threw cars and traffic can kill you. Yet he still managed to finish in the points. The guy is driving a Sauber btw.

    He didn’t get much camera time but the achievement itself was not easy and yet he made it.

    1. Not to mention he effectively did 2 stops as he pitted in lap 1 for a puncture when they were new softs. Mind-boggling stuff!

  8. Vettel. This is the first win after the one in the Torro Rosso that I genuinely think he deserves full props for.

    He did everything right, including some excellently ballsy overtakes. If he’d left these overtakes much longer, his tyres would perhaps not have allowed him to make them any more and he would have lost more time than he had in hand at the finish line.

    Second driver of the day would have to be Lewis Hamilton, third Kobayashi.

  9. Fernando Alonso. The greatest driver of this era, hands down.

  10. Bob Littleroot
    23rd May 2011, 22:07

    Wow, Lewis, huh? I guess I should not have turned off the program after Alonso lost the lead in the pits

  11. In a clearly inferior car to Redbull, Hamilton almost won. Had it been any other track where overtaking is possible(in barcelona, hungry, valencia, abu dhabi..etc overtaking is close to impossible), Lewis would have passed Vettel. Still a very strong performance from Lewis and that’s why i voted him best driver of Spanish GP 11.

    What is most impressive is Lewis was in the dirty air of RBR and Vettel was in clean air, the trublence of RBR must have hurt MP4-26’s handling but Hamilton still chased Vettel so closely. This again proves that Hamilton unlike some other drivers example Button, can get a good laptime from a less than perfect balanced and stable car.

    BTW Webber and Massa were dissapointing.

  12. I think Karthikeyan deserves a mention purely for driving through the pain. In terms of performance, though, it has to be Heidfeld for me. Once luck and reliability starts going his way he’ll score several more podiums before the season’s end IMO.

  13. I understand its between LH and SV, but mine was Button with the bad start he had.

  14. Really can’t decide between Vettel, who for the first time had to seriously work for his win this season, Hamilton who did his best to catch Vettel, or Alonso who pipped everyone else at the start but was outpaced at the later stage of the race. I guess the winner takes it all so I vote Vettel.

  15. Jake (@kraemerson88)
    24th May 2011, 0:38

    Erm, Hamilton did not have an “inferior” car. His lap times were faster than both red bulls. Buttons were faster than webbers. In race trim it seems the McLaren is the equal or faster than the red bull. therefore vettel is the driver of the week. Sometimes bias is so obvious its redonkulous.

    1. Did you even look at sector times? Vettel was quicker in all sectors except 3. The Mclaren does not have an aero package even close to that of the Reb Bull. I’d say that is pretty close to inferior.

  16. Vettel get’s my vote, he won, Hamilton couldn’t make the pass with 10 laps left, but really only a mistake from Vettel would have let that happen.

    Great job to the mclaren mechanics, they are the stars this weekend, they gave Hamilton a car that he can fight with!

  17. Voted for Schumacher.

  18. I am surprise that you didn’t name Button there, as despite making a bad start he recovered well with his three stops & made some good moves early & in the middle of the race overtaking both Webber & Alonso when they were on prime & he was on option.Have he spend too much time behind them then he could have lost third place to Webber.But Vettel’s out lap after his seacond pit stop was awesome & no one can take away Alonso’s start.

  19. They both drove brilliantly. It’s very reminiscent of 2010, where the RB6’s qualifying pace was untouchable but McLaren could match them easily in race trim. This year, however, it takes a bit more effort to keep slightly faster cars behind you, and therefore my vote still goes to Vettel (and after all he DID win).

  20. My head says Vettel but come the vote my heart overruled and went with Alonso.

    To be honest though, there are so many drivers who had excellent weekends than any one of Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton, Button or even Heidfeld would deserve to win this poll.

    Quick shout out to Karthikeyan though, got very close to Liuzzi in qualifying and drove a sizable amount of the race in some pain. Good effort.

    1. How surprising… Dan Thorn votes for his favourite driver! :P But I wish I could have voted for Alonso, but a poor strategy coupled with an uncompetitive car made it impossible to tell if he really was the best out there. He was impressive, nonetheless.

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