Vote for your Italian GP driver of the weekend

Debates and polls

Start, Monza, 2011

Start, Monza, 2011

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

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

Sebastian Vettel – Spectacular to watch in qualifying and equally so in the race with a brilliant pass on Fernando Alonso.

Jenson Button – Made two great, opportunistic moves to pass Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher in a single lap, before hunting down and passing Fernando Alonso for second.

Fernando Alonso – An excellent start set him on course for a podium finish, which was the very best the car could achieve.

Michael Schumacher – Another driver who made a great start, he fought hard with Hamilton and finished a strong fifth.

Jaime Alguersuari – Like Button, managed to pass two cars in one lap, while hauling his way up from 18th to a career-best seventh.

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: Bruno Senna 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: Daniel Ricciardo 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 Grand Prix weekend? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

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2011 Italian Grand Prix

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199 comments on Vote for your Italian GP driver of the weekend

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  1. jw393 (@) said on 12th September 2011, 17:44

    Keith MSC finished 5th i think?

  2. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 12th September 2011, 17:49

    Vettel.

    After Saturday, Seb firmly established himself in the very top tier of drivers over a single lap in the sport’s history. He didn’t get a brilliant start – but that’s literally the one single thing he can be criticised for. His move on Alonso was sheer brilliance as well.

    Special mentions for Alonso, Alguersuari and Button too. Alguersuari’s race was very impressive once again, but he should’ve been higher up on the grid after Saturday so he can’t really get my vote for ‘driver of the weekend’.

    It’s all about Vettel. The kid’s making it look easy. Two World Championships in no time at all. It’s frightening.

    • I agree with everything you’ve said.

    • It pains me to say it, but I agree too, although I hope Coulthard and Brundle don’t go on about him possibly being the new Senna or Schumacher too often.

      • Mike the bike Schumacher (@mike-the-bike-schumacher) said on 12th September 2011, 21:37

        They will stop saying he’s the new Schumi because soon they’ll be saying someone else is the new vettel!!
        and lol at those who voted for Liuzzi!

      • themagicofspeed (@) said on 13th September 2011, 11:07

        It annoys me when people say that, because Ayrton Senna is un replaceable. He is a legend who still transcends our entire sport. To compare this little kid of a driver, in relative terms, to Ayrton Senna is an insult to the great man. RIP Ayrton.

        Maybe he is Schumacher-esque but imo he has a lot to do before he can be counted among the true greats, like Schumi, Ayrton, Fangio, Prost.

        • dkfektor said on 13th September 2011, 18:05

          no its not, your putting emotion of his death into your assessment. you do realise Vettel just became the first man in f1 to get 10 pole positions in 2 seasons? senna was a qualifying specialist but never achieved that. if Vettel died at the next race he would instantly be called one of the greats, but instead he will win 8 championships and 100 races and 130 poles and people will still say he is not great because they have hate and jeolousy. he is the brilliant at the moment, the best of the field, and driving better then a 7 times champ, comparitively speeking for your sake, as yes we all know he has the best car, but is getting the most possible out of his car. also Senna and Schumacher have hit other cars into retirement to win championships, such great men, i dont think Vettel would ever have that sort of unsportsman behaviour. vettel has done nothing wrong, only right and deserves credit not criticism. well done to the young man, he is living many peoples dream.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 13th September 2011, 22:34

            While I agree with the spirit of your post, you stated that Vettel is the first to get 10 poles in two seasons. Senna did it three times.

          • Adrian J (@adrian-j) said on 14th September 2011, 14:42

            Let’s not forget that there are more races in a season these days as well so it’s almost easier to achieve 10 poles in a season.

            While he may not be my favourite driver, the only reason I don’t want Vettel to win everything is because it gets boring!! I like seasons where we have a closely fought championship battle between 2 or 3 drivers…

          • to be fair to Vettel, this year, he’s gotten 10 poles out of 13 races, unlike last year where it took the entire season to get to 10 poles. So one can’t make the argument that it was “easier” to get to 10 poles this year.

        • Senna is not a god. No sportsman ever trancends their sport, because without the sport they’d be nothing. And, as harsh as it may sound, no driver is impossible to replace. It is impossible to compare Senna and Vettel, just as it is impossible to compare Senna and Fangio – but that doesn’t mean Vettel is worse. As Martin Brundle once said about Vettel : he’s not the Baby Schumi, but he is the real Sebastian Vettel. I wish people would stop diminishing his achievments and finally admit that whether you like him or not (I don’t), Vettel is one of the greatest talents in the history of Formula One.

    • Jake (@jleigh) said on 12th September 2011, 19:13

      i was going to give it to Vettel, until I found out he made a complaint to the stewards about Alonso, so instead gave it to Button

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 12th September 2011, 19:43

        To Button, who complained about Schumacher’s driving more than Hamilton did?

        • 1 of the 3 said on 12th September 2011, 20:39

          Absolute ace response there David A. Button on Schumacher “Maybe he has just lost his memory.” Button had done all the talking with his overtaking and then he goes and says that.

        • Jake (@jleigh) said on 12th September 2011, 21:24

          Schumacher’s driving was dodgy to be fair. And for me there’s a difference between giving an opinion to the media and crying off to the stewards.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 12th September 2011, 21:43

            Button’s opinion suggests that he would have complained if in Lewis’s position. So deciding against Vettel for something that did not affect what he did behind the wheel while brushing a similar attitude under the carpet doesn’t make much sense.

          • id rather see michael race like he did than button deciding to cut a corner(melbourne) and think he can get away with it, just cos massa put up a fight.

            i dont think officially the rules have changed since spa 1995 it terms of ’2 moves’ and on that basis michael was fine, he moved to defend and then return to racing line. Thats fine.

            I think the amount of complaints from other drivers, ie button and vettel and lesser so lewis over radio is a great shame….Ill laugh my head off next time they praise senna in an interview. Cos if they do that stinks of double standards. What michael did was tame compared to what they used to get up to!!! or even what michael and juan pablo got up to, and that was only 10 years ago!

      • dkfektor said on 13th September 2011, 18:10

        Well if you watch the onboard from vettels car you will see why, they were doing about 300kmh there and Alonso squeezed him to the grass, alonso apologized after the race so he too though it was a dangerous squeeze. as a comparison shumacher squeezed hamilton at a slower point, and it was more obvious he would squeeze him there, infact hamilton should have know schumacher would make the move.

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 12th September 2011, 19:15

      After Saturday, Seb firmly established himself in the very top tier of drivers over a single lap in the sport’s history.

      I think he did that before Saturday, but of course every continued pole position just puts more emphasis on it. It’s entirely within the realm of possibility that he’ll pass Häkkinen and Fangio for 6th all time by the end of the season. Pretty staggering for someone who’s easily got another decade of racing left.

    • Agreed. His move on Alonso was particularly impressive, as he really didn’t need to do it (as the championship is already over) but he got it anyway.

      • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 13th September 2011, 3:16

        It seriously was. I think he is tired of his critics, he drove with emotion and conviction this weekend and finally people are giving him his due credit.

    • TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 12th September 2011, 22:06

      If Vettel doesn’t win this one he’ll never win a driver of the weekend.

      For me Vettel is the clear winner with Alguersuari, Schumacher, Alonso and Button behind him.

    • Agree with all that.

      And hope this finishes the ongoing thing that “vettel is a good qualifyer, but can’t overtake”. As I’ve said many times that was risk management.

      Hamilton, “the great overtaker” was many laps stuck behind Schumi, and Button did it on his first shot………

      • Deurmat (@deurmat) said on 13th September 2011, 7:29

        Because Schumacher had no more grip in his rear tyres at that point after having to defend for rounds from attacks from Hamilton.

        • dkfektor said on 13th September 2011, 18:25

          he still didnt get past him after button got past him. buttons move was actually very brave, he braked on the outside line, he actually tried to pass on the outside of that turn which hamilton hadnt tried. button himself later said it was one of his bravest overtakes. maybe hamilton has become too used to “mercedes power, mercedes kers, mclaren drs and slipstream” overtakes, and has forgot how to do late braking moves from a car length behind, he hasnt had to do them since his rookie year, he is to used to mechanical overtaking. he had more downforce then schumachers car so should have tried to outbrake him.

          • Barodog said on 14th September 2011, 0:13

            Nope, Schumi was simply can’t defend with worn tyre as Merc car eaten them faster than others. Ham is a great overtaker but can’t. So JB was just waiting when both great racers lost their grip then easy for him.

    • For me passes of the season so far both go to Vettel.

      1 – pass on Rosberg round Blanchimont at Spa
      2 – pass on Alonso on Sunday at Curva Grande

      Both absolute class. So he’s made a couple mistakes this season, but apart from that he’s been near perfect.

      Its nice to see that F1 finally has its version of Valentino Rossi.

      • You mean of all the two he made this season, they are the best two?

        Button has made more than 40 ontrack passes for postion this season.

      • Nah, Hamilton on Schumacher at Monaco for me- that was immense how they came so close without even touching, especially considering how far back Hamilton came from. It just so happened that he made a couple of less well judged overtakes in the same race so that largely went unmentioned in the post-race uproar.

        I’m glad you mentioned Vettel on Rosberg at Blanchimont though- i cant believe how little credit that received. No action replays, no mention post-race, it was almost as if nobody actually noticed it happen.

        • dkfektor said on 13th September 2011, 18:27

          hamiltons move was nothing, slow speed and suicidal – schumacher chose not to turn in to continue racing instead of retiring. vettels moves were at 300kmh.

      • Vettel’s pass on Alonso, whilst good, is being blown somewhat out of proportion. Alonso was a sitting duck after putting his car where it had no right to be.

        MSC driver of the weekend for demonstrating the lost art of defensive driving, causing moral outrage amongst the BBC and for putting Hamilton on the grass.

    • craig-o (@craig-o) said on 13th September 2011, 10:44

      Took the words right away from my fingers there…

  3. I’m ashamed to say I voted for Schumacher, despite my initial selecting of Vettel! I really want to see Schumacher doing well, so when he does show signs of his former self, I can’t help but select him.

    Vettel truly deserves this one, he raced without incident and actually made the overtake that his critics said he couldn’t do. This weekend has sent him far up in peoples estimates.

    • I feel silly now – I wish I could go back and vote for Seb now I’ve thought about it!

      • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 12th September 2011, 22:03

        I was also torn between those two guys and had a hard time deciding who to vote for, but now it’s all clear to me: I’ll vote for Vettel and restore the balance. There’s no need to thank me, that’s just what I do ;)

    • bsnaylor (@bsnaylor) said on 12th September 2011, 17:56

      Schumi all the way for me. Cracking race all round! Had to watch it twice to take even half of it all in.
      Was due to be there this year too, sadly couldn’t make it.

      • Schumacher drove a fantastic race, but I wasn’t sure some of his moves defending against Hamilton were at all fair, and based on that I gave it to Vettel instead (Button was considered but let himself down in qualifying and the start).

        • bsnaylor (@bsnaylor) said on 12th September 2011, 21:33

          I can see where you’re coming from, but I personally think they were all “legit” (cough), if a little bold, if not he’d have been penalised by the stewards.
          It’s not like Lewis has been “legit” recently with a lot of his moves :)
          All in all, it made for a fantastic race, don’t you think?

          • No, but when lewis hasn’t been ‘legit’ he’s been penalised either by the stewards or by crashing… That one steward apparently wanted to at least look into it shows that it was at least marginal a couple of times anyway. He did drive well, I just thought he was a little ‘strong’ with his defence a couple of times, so based on that I passed it to Vettel (and because of his near faultless performance).

        • bsnaylor (@bsnaylor) said on 13th September 2011, 10:08

          Yes, he was penalised cos he made stupid moves. Schumis moves were all legal, moving once and then moving back onto the racing line is legal.
          I just think it was great RACING, which, quite frankly we haven’t seen much of in the past years and what F1 needs.
          After all, racing is what F1 is about.

          • Pink Peril said on 13th September 2011, 11:44

            I have been hanging out for what we saw on Sunday for years – Schuey & Hamilton going at it hammer & tongs. It was absolutely awesome. Sure some of the moves were harsh but this wasn’t a tea party. I am torn as to who is the DOTW, so many contenders. But in the end I think I’m going to have to give it to Vettel. Didn’t put a foot wrong all weekend, as I consider its no shame to be passed like he was by a fired up Alonso in front of the Tifosi. And he got his own back & then some. Vettel it is then.

          • Totally agree on the Hamilton Schumacher battle, it was nice to see, good to see Button end up in the mix too and taking advantage.

            The continuous talk about whether or not Schumacher did something wrong really detracted from the quality of an otherwise excellent fight.

          • It was a nice battle but if Lewis was in front, you, well I, would no doubt believe it woundn`t get past ten laps without a penalty to Lewis. I`ve come to realise its just a show run by fat middle class white men.

  4. Surely Vettel’s going to win this one!
    Schumacher and Alguersuari deserve honourable mentions though.

  5. Actascedin (@actascedin) said on 12th September 2011, 17:54

    Tough one.

    Vettel was spectacular, Button and Alonso drove faultless races and Schumacher seemed to be back to his old self. Still, I have to go for Jaime. From 18th to 7th in a Toro Rosso is just ridiculous. His pace was amazing, with only the guys in the top 4 teams being able to consistently put in faster laptimes.

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 12th September 2011, 19:20

      I think Schumacher’s been up to it for a while now, the car just doesn’t normally put him in a position to be fighting the front runners, and as a result he’s not been covered much in the broadcasts. He and Rosberg would both be up right at the front mixing it up with the other top drivers if only Mercedes could give them a car to drive. I hope they can sort it out in time for 2012 so we can see both drivers genuinely in the mix for next year’s championship.

      • interesting thought, how long would rosberg been able to hold off lewis?

        a lap? maybe 2 at tops 5 IMO.

        • Fangio1st (@fangio1st) said on 12th September 2011, 23:56

          you are rigth they say that mainly Nico is a better driver than Schumi, et poles this year is the only place where I think that will fit. Because on the sunday race Michael rules by a long shot.

      • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 13th September 2011, 3:20

        Yes, I really hope Ferrari and Mercedes and even Renault take a step forward next year.

        Yes Ferrari has won a race, but only due to an inspired Alonso. 1 race win compared to 4 for McLaren and 8 for Redbull isn’t good enough.

  6. damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 12th September 2011, 17:54

    For the second successive race, an incidentally the only two times this season I’ve done so, I voted for Vettel.

    He once again showed that he was capable of taking the Red Bull to pole at yet another track that shouldn’t have suited their car, and in the process, completely humiliated his team-mate and the rest of the grid. It really is ominous to think that Red Bull can be on pole in Hungary and Monza.

    But it’s even more ominous that Vettel gave everyone the slightest sniff of his championship lead in the middle of the season, yet has managed to come back and demoralise everyone at two of the tracks few people expected him to do well at. His race was yet again, sublime. He did everything right whilst everyone else faltered, which in a way sums up his season. His start was the only mistake he made all weekend, but even that might have been down to the fact the Ferrari is naturally quick off the line and faster in a straight line. And then there was his pass on Alonso. I won’t deny that I have been sceptical of Vettel’s race-craft and bravery, but that would have to be one of the overtakes of the year, only behind Webber’s pass on Alonso in Spa. Alonso made it very clear that he wasn’t going to let Vettel through, and the only reason he didn’t push him any further onto the grass was the fact it would have almost definitely caused an accident. But it surprised me that Vettel, with two wheels on the grass at over 300km/h, didn’t even think about lifting, and then managed to outbrake Fernando into the chicane.

    For me, his last two races have cemented him as the driver of the season, and a very worthy double World Champion.

    • Stefanauss (@stefanauss) said on 12th September 2011, 18:38

      I also voted for Seb on just these 2 occasions.
      I’m more than happy that he finally proved his overtaking skills to the skepticals. They have been the most boring thing to read in F1F comment over the whole season.

    • redlight said on 12th September 2011, 18:58

      You mention Spa, I was really frustrated by all the action we didn’t see broadcast from Spa, not even as replays. I think we could’ve missed a great move by Seb on Webber after the safety car restart.

      I’ve watched the footage back carefully and know that Webber exited La Source ahead of Seb but by the time they hit the Kemmel straight Seb was infront. The pass was never shown on the BBC at least.

      • How big a fight do you think Webber put up?

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 12th September 2011, 21:58

          Probably not much. It was most likely an opportunistic pass that Mark wasn’t expecting (like Schumacher on Massa and Kobayashi at Montreal), rather than one he was prepared to defend from.

      • F1fanNL (@) said on 13th September 2011, 21:15

        And what about the other overtakes in or after Blanchimont we didn’t get to see. I’ve reviewed the Spa GP and noticed he was overtaking a few other people besides Rosberg in the last sector and based on the delta’s they we’re showing I think he took those places in Blanchimont also.

    • Puffy (@puffy) said on 13th September 2011, 7:29

      This. I really don’t have too much to add about Vettel, this season he’s really started to show his maturity and skill. While he has often led from the front, making it difficult to judge his race craft, his overtaking manoeuvre on Alonso was sublime, and gutsy to boot. As Damon says, a very worthy doubly World Champion.

      Button has also been supreme of late, while not able to match Hamilton on raw pace, he seems to be the more complete driver, cool and calculating and his over taking this season has been fantastic. If he can just get to terms with Hamilton in terms of speed, he’ll really shine next season.

      It was good to see Schumacher pushing the car to the limits for the second race in a row, and his defence on Hamilton was right on the edge, but in the end fair I would say. I think he got the highest possible place he could have this weekend, I’d love for Mercedes to be able to give him and Rosberg a car that really showcases their talent.

      Alonso drove as well as could be expected in an under performing Ferrari, was lucky to get a podium and can thank Schumacher for holding up Hamilton. Massa drove a good recovery after his tangle with Webber, decent qualifying from him and very magnanimous (as Rob Smedley would say, I’ll explain it to you later Felipe) of him to give Alonso a tow around the circuit.

      Alguersuari drove nicely through the field considering his grid position, but this seems to be almost a strategy this season, it seems to me that qualifying doesn’t count nearly as much these days.

  7. Think Vettel might get his first of the year here, untouchable in quali and the race (except for the start), and no one else had a really stellar weekend.

  8. GreeenWolf said on 12th September 2011, 17:54

    This will be the first time this season I’ve picked Vettel. He drove a great race, kept his foot in when passing Alonso and gave us a fantastic moment, and then kept it calm and composed from there on.

    I’m sure the argument often goes back and forth about whether Vettel is any good when he parks it on pole and disappears early in the race, but for me that was one of the bravest passes I’ve seen in a while. The only other recent one I can think of that impressed me as much was Kubica last year at Valencia. And with that, I can’t really deprive him of my DOTW vote. Everyone else has had their grumbles this weekend, and yet Vettel has once again aced it.

    On a somewhat related note, I genuinely hope that Vettel clinches the title at the next race. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a McLaren fan and would frankly rather see anyone else winning at this point, but the teams and drivers refusing to accept defeat is driving me loopy. Yes, I understand that the sponsors would go off it if they admitted it, but it’s been sounding like a broken record for as long as I can remember.

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 12th September 2011, 19:27

      I agree, for me that was easily the pass of the year, and more impressive than Webber on Alonso in Spa, which was largely down to the speed differential on pit exit. Webber himself even downplayed its significance after the race. It took massive “attachments” as David Hobbs says, to attempt and complete that pass around Curva Grande. Honorable mention to Schumacher for basically pulling off the same pass on Hamilton a few laps later.

      • I agree.
        Furthermore when Webber overtook Alonso through Eau Rouge, Alonso bailed out before they entered the corner really. It was brave yes, but Vettel were controlling at car at 300km/h with one set of wheels on the grass at full beans around the outside of another car. I think that was maybe not just as brave as Webber’s move, but required a lot more skill to keep his car from spinning out or fishtail violently underneath him.

      • dkfektor said on 13th September 2011, 18:41

        webbers moved seemed not so in control and lucky that alonso lifted otherwise it would have been an accident, but then he was brave enough to put alonso in that position to have to lift off. both moves were brave and equally impressive when watched from onboard.

  9. MICHAEL SCHUMACHER ,without a doubt the best,most experienced and classiest driver in Monza with a car only half as good as the leaders.
    He should win this week again!!

  10. Finally the time has come for Vettel to be driver of the weekend. Really flawless performance. If Vettel had failed to pass Alonso, then MSC would’ve gotten my vote.

  11. I chose Vettel.

    His only mistake all weekend was on one of his qualifying laps and yet he still managed to set the two quickest times.

  12. Like at Spa, I voted for Vettel. Beating his best time in qualifying by so much showed he was able to put in a perfect lap. His race was awesome, he had the race’s best overtaking manoeuvre and he understood the importance of his win when he got emptional on the podium. He showed himself a human, not a machine, and one that gets such great results consistently deserves to win.

  13. raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 12th September 2011, 18:09

    Wow. Vettel is leading the poll! Is that a first this year?

  14. David-A (@david-a) said on 12th September 2011, 18:13

    Vettel hands down. Lost the lead to another great Alonso start, but showed once again that he isn’t afraid of going wheel to wheel with the best by getting the lead back with a courageous, determined pass on the Ferrari (ironically seconds after the other Red Bull crashed trying pass the other Ferrari). From there on in, the rest of the field had no answer.

    Schumacher, Button, Di Resta are honourable mentions.

  15. Great performance from Vettel. DOTW for sure.

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