2011 Belgian Grand Prix
Michael Schumacher became the seventh different driver to be voted Driver of the Weekend this year.
Championship leader and seven-times race winner Sebastian Vettel is still not among them.
Schumacher had a substantial margin over closest contenders Jenson Button and Vettel in the voting:
Driver of the Belgian Grand Prix Weekend poll – top three
1. Michael Schumacher – 45.1%
2. Jenson Button – 28.2%
3. Sebastian Vettel – 14.7%
The results may suggest that the choice was easy, but the comments show many of the F1 Fanatic readers struggled to choose one driver only:
It’s just so tough again to vote on this. We had Bruno Senna and Jaime Alguersuari doing a superb job in qualifying, but Senna had his (forgiveable, but still) mistake at the start and just a solid drive to bring it home after that. And Alguersuari never got a chance even at that much.
Mark Webber made a sure candidate for the pass of the year, but he just cannot seem to get the Red Bull off the line. Lewis Hamilton started off well, with some nice moves and keeping out of trouble, only for it to end in a collision that needn’t have happened.
Schumacher was really great, lets hope we see him and Mercedes like this more often now (didn’t we say that earlier in his second career as well?). Surely a serious contender for driver of the weekend.
Nico Rosberg made a great start, but got caught by the horribly chosen DRS zone placement. He did his best, but not superb.
Button has a stellar drive, comparable with Canada but this time in the dry and not making a single mistake on his part. And some of his passes were really excellent and gutsy. This is the Button we want to see each weekend. Even the qualifying thing was not really his mistake, so he is a serious contender.
Vettel did a qualifying stunt once again, he was not perfect off the line, but he did get Rosberg with fine employment of DRS as soon as it was there.
He had the safety car exactly come to him and solve his pit stop dilemma for him, and then he made an excellent pass on Alonso before DRS got enabled again (passing Webber on the go somewhere). And he did pass Rosberg again after his first pit stop.
Was torn between Button and Schumacher, But Jenson had it for me this weekend. I thought it was a great race with some brilliant performances from loads of drivers. Viva F1!
Schumacher’s 20th anniversary race weekend did not start well as he lost his wheel in Q1 on Saturday and was forced to start the race from the back of the grid.
But he produced a great recovery drive to finish fifth – one place ahead of his team mate.
His performance impressed F1 Fanatic readers so much that he gathered nearly half of the votes in the poll and over three times as many as Vettel. Here are some of your comments justifying the choice of Schumacher as the Driver of the Belgian Grand Prix Weekend:
Hard to do much better than start 24th and last and end up 5th and ahead of your team mate who started 5th.
Easily Schumacher. Did not put a foot wrong all weekend, whereas Vettel has struggled until Q2 as he admitted, and Button managed not to see the green lights in a critical moment which could well cost him a victory. [...]
It was Schumacher who ran the show on Sunday, I think. Impeccable drive.
Button was another driver who was forced to fight his way through the field on Sunday. After a tactical error in qualifying, he started the race 13th, but despite some damage to his car, he managed to secure a podium finish.
Many F1 Fanatic readers found his performance impressive:
I voted for Button as the qualifying error was purely down to bad communication. He had shown some good pace in qualifying before that.
His race was fantastic to follow and he really showed his overtaking skills with many gutsy moves. I was really impressed with the way he attacked the race, it was more like a Hamilton drive rather than Button.
Both Schumacher and Button deserve but I voted the later as he showed that he can be a aggressive driver when required and unlike his team mate he is calm and cool.
The winner of the Belgian Grand Prix took third place in the poll for the Driver of the Weekend.
Vettel clinched yet another pole position on Saturday. Despite blistering tyres he delivered a flawless performance on Sunday with some great passes to win the Belgian Grand Prix for the first time in his career.
The Red Bull pilot won over many fans with his drive:
I never voted for Vettel before but this weekend he showed all his abilities as well as being as clinical as ever. He definitely gets my vote. [...]
Vettel was forced to perform some magic this weekend under huge pressure and he made it look easy.
I too was torn between Button and Schumacher, so I voted for… Vettel. This didn’t seem like a race that was handed to him by any means, he had to defend a bit, he had to pass (more than he usually does).
I’m also going to be unpopular and say Vettel. He deserves a DOTW but unfortunately a drive through the field is seen as a much better drive than winning from pole.
Still, he didn’t have it easy. He ended up making 3 passes for the lead, one of which wasn’t DRS on Alonso who had better straight line speed. His move on Rosberg was also brilliant.
I’m saying Vettel too. Everyone else had something go wrong at some point, whether it was their fault or someone else’s.
Vettel didn’t, and managed this odd blistering situation fairly well, winning having scored pole. Plus he did some overtaking.
2011 Driver of the Weekend results so far
|Australia||Sergio Perez (36.3%)||Vitaly Petrov (32.5%)||Sebastian Vettel (12.0%)|
|Malaysia||Nick Heidfeld (38.4%)||Sebastian Vettel (16.0%)||Jenson Button (12.1%)|
|China||Mark Webber (47.8%)||Lewis Hamilton (42.4%)||Felipe Massa (2.5%)|
|Turkey||Fernando Alonso (37.8%)||Kamui Kobayashi (25.8%)||Sebastian Vettel (22.1%)|
|Spain||Lewis Hamilton (39.6%)||Sebastian Vettel (23.9%)||Fernando Alonso (13.3%)|
|Monaco||Jenson Button (33.1%)||Fernando Alonso (18.8%)||Sebastian Vettel (17.0%)|
|Canada||Jenson Button (61.0%)||Michael Schumacher (27.8%)||Sebastian Vettel (2.2%)|
|Europe||Fernando Alonso (32.6%)||Sebastian Vettel (27.6%)||Jaime Alguersuari (25.7%)|
|Britain||Fernando Alonso (53.0%)||Lewis Hamilton (22.3%)||Mark Webber (8.0%)|
|Germany||Lewis Hamilton (76.6%)||Adrian Sutil (9.8%)||Fernando Alonso (5.6%)|
|Hungary||Jenson Button (50.7%)||Paul di Resta (14.4%)||Lewis Hamilton (11.8%)|
|Belgium||Michael Schumacher (45.1%)||Jenson Button (28.2%)||Sebastian Vettel (14.7%)|
It was Schumacher’s first win in the Driver of the Weekend poll.
The result also mean that the championship dominant leader, Sebastian Vettel, is still yet to win driver of the weekend. However he has appeared in the top three eight times, more than any other driver.
Do you agree with the results so far? Have your say in the comments section below.
2011 Belgian Grand Prix
- Rate the race result: 2011 Belgian Grand Prix
- In the Paddock Club and in the stands at Spa
- Leimer’s crash and in the pits at McLaren – fans’ videos from Spa
- 2011 Belgian Grand Prix: complete race review
- Vote for your Belgian GP driver of the weekend
- Red Bull: Newey relieved after “scariest race ever”
- McLaren: Button hit by debris in first-lap scare
- Ferrari: Harder tyres still the car’s weakness
- Mercedes: Schumacher climbs 19 places to fifth
- Renault: Petrov buoyed by R31 upgrades
Image © Mercedes