Debates and polls
Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button have won the F1 Fanatic Driver of the Weekend polls more often than any other drivers this year.
But world championship leader Sebastian Vettel has not been voted Driver of the Weekend so far this year.
Guest writer Ewa Zaborska reviews your Driver of the Weekend picks for the 11 races so far this year.
Australian Grand Prix
Driver of the Australian Grand Prix Weekend poll – top three:
Sauber were disqualified from the Australian Grand Prix, but Perez’s performance in his very first F1 race was so impressive that he was still voted the Driver of the Weekend.
There was another close contender – Vitaly Petrov, who after a troubled rookie year delivered a mature race to grab his first podium finish in F1.
Easily Perez, going completely against the grain, keeping decent pace throughout the race and only pitting the once.
Hope this is a trend and wasn’t just complete, having one driver that’s able to double the life of the tyres would make for an interesting season.
On top of all that, it was his debut race… amazing. Pity the Sauber wing was illegal, he’ll have to come back strong in Malaysia
Malaysian Grand Prix
Driver of the Malaysian Grand Prix Weekend poll – top three:
In Malaysia, Heidfeld followed his team mate’s footsteps and scored a podium finish.
Dennis appreciated his efforts but also gave a nod to the dominant race winner:
Heidfeld for me as well. The way he kept the Renault under control with Hamilton and later on Webber behind him was wonderful to watch.
Although it’s a tough one yet again with the flawless weekend that Vettel put together.
Chinese Grand Prix
Driver of the Chinese Grand Prix Weekend poll – top three:
Webber was eliminated in Q1 and lined up 18th on the grid, yet he managed to climb to the podium. His fightback earned him the title of the Driver of the Weekend.
However, it was a close call between him and the Grand Prix winner Hamilton, who was second in the poll with more votes than many winners this year have had.
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 six 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.
Turkish Grand Prix
Driver of the Turkish Grand Prix Weekend poll – top three:
After Ferrari’s bad start to the season, Alonso scored first podium for the Italian team, having started 5th on the grid.
Alonso’s performance impressed even his severest critics:
Best driver of the weekend overall has to be… *gulp*… Alonso
His performance was outstanding in the race. He was opportunistic in the first few laps, and his overall pace allowed him to bring the fight to Webber. After having troubles in practice, he bounced back with impressive determination and calm. He showed the kind of mental strength that I think was lacking in his performances last year (and arguably cost him the 2010 title).
I may loathe/detest/abhor/despise Alonso, but I have to begrudgingly admit that he was the most impressive driver of the weekend. Touche, Fernando.
Spanish Grand Prix
Driver of the Spanish Grand Prix Weekend poll – top three:
1. Lewis Hamilton – 39.6%
2. Sebastian Vettel – 23.9%
3. Fernando Alonso – 13.3%
Hamilton won the poll due to his great pursuit of Vettel. But the choice of the Driver of the Weekend was much closer than the results suggest.
TommyB89 is one of many who couldn’t decide which driver to pick:
Too hard to call. I can’t remember a race where it was so hard to choose a driver of the day.
Vettel drove arguably one of his best races. He didn’t win from pole, had to overtake several cars after his pitstop and resist the huge pressure from Hamilton.
Hamilton drove an incredible race to finish 0.6 seconds off an unbeatable Red Bull on a Red Bull-favoured track
Alonso did amazingly well to keep Webber behind him for so long. His incredible start led to him leading many laps in an average car.
Heidfeld, while not making as many places up as Webber in China, drove a great race. He started from last on the grid and remember the Renault isn’t nearly as quick as the Red Bull.
Other shout-outs to Button, Schumacher and the Sauber guys.
All I know is that it definitely wasn’t Felipe Massa.
Monaco Grand Prix
Driver of the Monaco Grand Prix Weekend poll – top three:
1. Jenson Button – 33.1%
2. Fernando Alonso – 18.8%
3. Sebastian Vettel – 17.0%
Button chose a different strategy to other frontrunners, which could have given him victory if it wasn’t for the red flag.
For me Jenson Button did a great job. I think the red flag in qualifying did maybe flatter his starting position but still, I only think Hamilton could have improved his time.
I put Alonso on pole after his performances in practice, and was surprised to see Button ahead of him, especially as Alonso seems to own this track.
Button again went for a different strategy, and one that was looking like it was going to give him the win. The team did really well to put him in clear air every time and the red flag at the end really made a great end to the race vanish.
Canadian Grand Prix
Driver of the Canadian Grand Prix Weekend poll – top three:
1. Jenson Button – 61.0%
2. Michael Schumacher – 27.8%
3. Sebastian Vettel – 2.2%
When the drivers had half of the race distance behind them, Button was in the last position, yet he still managed to achieve a remarkable victory. The McLaren driver made it two in a row in the Driver of the Weekend polls.
WasiF1 recalls all the adventures from this eventful race by Jenson Button:
For a driver who been hit by his team mate, got a penalty, was on the wrong tyres when the rain came heavy, had a puncture when crashed with Alonso to win by overtaking Webber, Schumacher and forced Vettel to a mistake he deserves it.
Schumacher was the second best, not sure what happened to him in the end of the race but he deserved a podium.
European Grand Prix
Driver of the European Grand Prix Weekend poll – top three:
1. Fernando Alonso – 32.6%
2. Sebastian Vettel – 27.6%
3. Jaime Alguersuari – 25.7%
Alonso rose to the challenge of his home Grand Prix and separated the Red Bull drivers on the podium, which gave him the title of the Driver of the European Grand Prix Weekend over the race winner – Sebastian Vettel.
For me it was close between Alonso and Vettel as both were flawless, but I voted Alonso because Vettel had the race under control and was cruising, whereas Alonso pushed very hard until the very last stages and still made no error.
British Grand Prix
Driver of the British Grand Prix Weekend poll – top three:
1. Fernando Alonso – 53.0%
2. Lewis Hamilton – 22.3%
3. Mark Webber – 8.0%
Fernando Alonso once more impressed the F1 Fanatic readers with his pace. The Spaniard won Ferrari’s first race in 2011 on the 60th anniversary of Scuderia’s first ever F1 victory.
The Ferrari driver’s performance was once again appreciated even by his rivals’ fans:
I say this as a Hamilton fan: Alonso’s drive was stunning and it reminded me of some of the all-time F1 greats. I was in complete shock at what he was able to do once he took the lead, and at a circuit with several high speed corners nonetheless. This was arguably the drive of the season.
He benefited from Vettel’s pit stop, but that shouldn’t go against him when considering who the best driver was. Alonso’s pace was so impressive that Horner believed Alonso would have won regardless of Vettel’s pit stop.
There were some good drives today, notably Hamilton’s, but Alonso was by far the best driver of the weekend.
German Grand Prix
Driver of the German Grand Prix Weekend poll – top three:
1. Lewis Hamilton – 76.6%
2. Adrian Sutil – 9.8%
3. Fernando Alonso – 5.6%
Hamilton withstood the pressure from Webber and overtook Alonso in a crucial moment to win his second Grand Prix this year.
There’s no real doubt this week, it was Hamilton’s weekend. He pulled out the a dream qualifying lap putting him between the Red Bulls then drove an near flawless race.
He made the most of out of the McLaren’s pace in the cold conditions and pulled off two critical passes on Alonso and Webber – who both had good weekends, but Hamilton had a great weekend.
Hungarian Grand Prix
Driver of the Hungarian Grand Prix Weekend poll – top three:
1. Jenson Button – 50.7%
2. Paul di Resta – 14.4%
3. Lewis Hamilton – 11.8%
Jenson Button called mixed conditions right once again and won his 200th race on a track that brought his first ever F1 victory back in 2006.
Has to be Jenson. He made all the right calls, kept it on the track, was quick in all conditions and took one of his best ever victories. Why can’t he do this every race?
Results so far
Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso were voted Drivers of the Weekend most frequently – both of them have won the poll three times.
Another driver voted the Driver of the Weekend more than once is Lewis Hamilton, who was appreciated for his performance twice.
Surprisingly, despite his clear dominance in the championship, Sebastian Vettel has not yet been chosen the Driver of the Weekend.
But he has taken second or third place in the poll seven times. He was closest to winning the European Grand Prix poll, losing to Alonso by 23 votes.
Other drivers to get to the top three in the poll more than once were: Fernando Alonso (six, including three wins), Lewis Hamilton (five, including two wins), Jenson Button (four, including three wins) and Mark Webber (two, including one win).
Nico Rosberg is the only driver from the top seven teams in the constructors’ championship who has not made it into the top three of the poll so far this season.
Perez is the only rookie to win the poll so far. He did it for his performance in his very first F1 race, in Australia. The other rookie who managed to score a top three finish is di Resta, who came second in the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend poll.
Does Vettel deserve to have won Driver of the Weekend so far this year? What do you think of the ratings so far? Have your say in the comments.
This is a guest article by Ewa Zaborska, who will be reviewing your Driver of the Weekend picks after every race.
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Image © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo