Start, Suzuka, 2011

Vote for your Japanese Grand Prix driver of the weekend

2011 Japanese Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Start, Suzuka, 2011
Start, Suzuka, 2011

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

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

Jenson Button – Quick from the word go, thoroughly deserved victory.

Fernando Alonso – Just keeps on wringing the maximum out of the Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher – Good effort to bring the Mercedes home in front of one of the Ferraris.

Sergio Perez – Another very strong performance, bouncing back from a technical problem in qualifying to score points despite being ill.

Vitaly Petrov – Managed his opening stints on medium tyres well, then battled his way into the points at the end.

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

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

  • Sebastian Vettel (2%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (2%)
  • Jenson Button (67%)
  • Fernando Alonso (13%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Michael Schumacher (6%)
  • Nico Rosberg (1%)
  • Bruno Senna (0%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (0%)
  • Rubens Barrichello (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Adrian Sutil (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (5%)
  • Sebastien Buemi (0%)
  • Jaime Alguersuari (0%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (1%)
  • Jarno Trulli (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Vitantonio Liuzzi (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Jerome d'Ambrosio (1%)

Total Voters: 533

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Rate the Race: Japanese Grand Prix

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

2011 Japanese Grand Prix

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

91 comments on “Vote for your Japanese Grand Prix driver of the weekend”

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  1. DOTW has definitely got to be Jenson,Quick all round,His amazing ability of conserving the tyres with his Precision enabled him to win the race.Ignoring the fact Seb got pole by the tiniest of margins,Jenson has more or less dominated a race weekend in my opinion for the first time since Monaco 2009 & also outperforming Lewis for the first time since being at McLaren.

    This is psychologically a massive weekend & possibly even a turning point for him,maybe this might be the story from now on,Lewis will definitely pick himself up for certain but maybe the No.1 at McLaren would be a different driver to the one everyone is used to seeing.

    Apologies for Duplicate Posts,This is slightly modified

  2. Easily Button, he’s going to walk away with this one and deserves it too.

    Having said that, why is everyone voting for Button’s “dominating” weekend, when nobody voted Vettel in on his equally dominating weekends at the start of the year? Simple: Nobody likes the idea that it’s more down to the car than the driver, and the RB was so crushingly peerless at the start of the year that Vettel’s success was as much “Don’t make a balls of it” (which is harder than it looks) than dictating the pace through talent.

    1. People still believe the Red Bull is a better car, and that this weekend was all Jenson.

      1. I think most people on here realise that the mclaren has caught up now, but at the start of the year the red bull was clearly faster

  3. A difficult decision. Perez or Alonso. Probably Alonso.

  4. JB – easy peasy!

    It’s time for Lewis to take stock and simply allow Jenson to be team leader. Jenson is really proving that his experience and maturity are getting the job done. Now brimming with confidence he also has the speed. Lewis has truly met his match.

    Lewis must learn from this – his raw talent, undoubtable speed and passing skills are no match for the technical excellence of Red Bull + Sebastian Vettel. Jenson on the other hand has played a crafty game. Probably the best race craft of the season if not tied with Alonso.

    If Lewis does this – much like he managed in 2009 with the sub-standard MP4-24 – he will learn so much more instead of scrapping over team leader status. Let Jenson soak up the pressure on that one :)

    Oh and Lewis, you need your coach, manager, Dad…

  5. Driver of the race would be very difficult to pick, but driver of the weekend is no doubt – Jenson Button.

  6. Has to be Jenson, no one else had the level of domination he displayed this weekend, I think this shows that he can drive the car well and is actually a top class driver proving that 2009 wasn’t just a fluke for having the best car.

  7. Button’s drive this year reminds me of 2004 championship where he was a very regular visitor to the podium apart from the man himself. In fact he made it 10 times to the Podium without a win. He was very consistent that year. If not for the very strong Ferrari he would have been a strong title contender in 2004 for the WDC. But then alas everything vanished for 4 years until Brawn found the magic car.

    I hope this year does not end as 2004 for Jenson with a sudden loss of form the following year. Either way he drove a good race this time denying Seb of the magic weekend. I strongly believe next year will be a great comeback year for Lewis.

    1. I remember JB made some stunning drives that year. The ferrari was simply untouchable that year though

  8. Lewis Hamilton’s team mate old what’s his name

    1. You know that guy that was making such a big mistake joining Hamilton’s team.

  9. I’m gonna give it to Alonso.

    Button had a solid race but he should have been on pole with the fastest car over a single lap.
    I don’t care what drivers do in practice sessions because that’s always irrelevant with different teams testing different things and different fuel loads. The only thing you can say about the practice sessions is Vettel made a mistake in P1.
    The only reason Button won is because McLaren didn’t put enough fuel in his car, allowing him to run with less weight than he normally would have and because Red Bull had absolutely horrible pitstops with Vettel (4.6, 3.9 en 3.7??! Where did the low 3 second or high 2 second pitstops go that Red Bull were so notorious for in previous races…).
    Alonso may have been beaten by Massa in Q3 but his pace was incredible.
    The way I see it Alonso set his car up perfectly for the race. And although that probably cost him a grid slot it enabled him to keep up with 2 faster cars and ultimately pip Vettel when his team did another cautious pitstop.

    Button should have been on pole and got the victory handed to him by Red Bull, Vettel made a mistake in P1 while dreaming about title #2 but Alonso made the best of his weekend by far.

    And this is coming from someone who doesn’t like Alonso one bit.

    1. BTW,

      About that fuel strategy McLaren used. Wasn’t there a rule that said each driver should be able to drive back to park fermé AND have enough fuel in the car? They weren’t happy when Hamilton stopped on track after taking pole at Gilles Villeneuve in 2010 so why do they allow Button to cross the line, park his car and bugger off to the podium without a peep?

      Furthermore, what would McLaren have done if there hadn’t been a SC. They would have looked like total morons if Button had to retire from the lead or concede his place to Alonso and Vettel with 2 or 3 laps to go. Is it worth that much to try and beat Vettel?

      It does put Hamilton shunting Massa in a different light though… Singapore 08 anyone? ;)

      1. I think it was the noble thing to do. It would have been crass to waltz around on a victory lap trying to steal Vettel’s moment having won the championship. Also, 2KG of fuel is more than enough to complete the slowing down lap. They only use 3 ish kgs at race race speed.

        You wouldn’t want to finish the race with much more than 2 KG of fuel on board as that would mean you’d been carrying unnecessary weight around throughout the race. Also, it wasn’t just Jenson that had the Safety car to contend with, everybody did so everybody was able to lean out the fuel mixture for a few laps to save some fuel for a last hurrah at the end of the race which is what happened. I doubt any car had more than 2 KG of fuel left at then end of the race, Kravitz means well but he does tend to overly dramatise the very ordinary.

  10. Jenson Button – without a shadow of a doubt. To be fastest in all three practice sessions, be 0.009 off pole and win the race on a track that suits Red Bull and that Vettel loves shows Jenson’s class. If McLaren build a car next year to rival Red Bull from the off, Jenson will be one to watch definitely

  11. Button deserve it as he was the best all weekend except for quali but to me Alonso is the most deserving,raced well the car isn’t good but he took that Ferrari a place where it shouldn’t be.I guess race trim Mercedes was a better car then Ferrari this weekend.

  12. Apart from the race winner of course. For the second time this season im going to say Alonso Ferrari and Alonso really worked alongside their problems and managed to make the perfect race set up as they stand they couldnt have done better, they knew that the loading of the tyre was the key factor to tyre saving so they went for less downforce and a more conservative qualifying lap. Other teams had concerns about the tyres camber levels were the measure proposed by Red Bull but I guess it wasnt enough they had to pit to early I saw it as necessity

  13. A lot of shout-outs this time.

    D’Ambrosio had another good weekend, outqualified his much more experienced team mate and finished the race just one second behind him. Kovalainen was the best of the ‘new guys’ once again, made an incredible start and kept a bunch of quicker cars behind himself for many laps. Ricciardo keeps steadily improving as well, he outperformed Liuzzi and fought closely with both Virgins over the whole race.

    Force India boys had bad luck. Unsurprisingly, Perez made the 2-stop strategy work brilliantly. Schumacher had another strong race and Rosberg recovered well after starting from the back of the grid. Alonso seemed to get the most out of his car on Sunday but lost out to Massa on Saturday. Vettel clinched the championship in mature and convincing manner.

    Button had a great weekend. He was closer to the pole position than any non-Red Bull driver had been this season. On Sunday, he didn’t let the slightly questionable start incident unbalance himself, pushed when he needed to and drove a superb race. So it’s really hard to decide but Jenson gets my vote for the DotW.

  14. This is extraordinary.

    Jenson is astonishing, his every win this season was a special treat. Japan for his girlfriend, winning his 200th race in Hungary, and Canada – you just need one quote from Wikipedia to sum it up:

    “Button made five pit-stops, had his teammate crash into him, served a drive-through penalty for speeding under the safety car – dropping him to last place – as well as sustaining a puncture from a collision with Alonso, and made 27 on-track passes to win the longest Formula One race in history.”

    That’s something to put in your CV. I started watching F1 because of Jenson, and i am so delighted that i did. What a fantastic carreer.

  15. Vettel was a brilliant driver in Japan, a worthy world champion from the start of the year. Schumacher also did well, proving me wrong about Mercedes’ pace in Spa and Monza alone, I see Schumacher going on to good races next year if he continues.

    But I don’t think there’s any doubt about it on who gets my vote. Button drove an excellent race, calmly driving through to leap Vettel at the pitstops, and clearing off to win the race. I used to only thing Button could win races in the wet, but this proves it. He did what he had to do to keep his championship hopes alive, such a shame that the other part of the plan didn’t quite go his way.

    Also, I noticed something during Qualifying. The top 3 seem to be Vet/But/Ham.. Does this imply that Mclaren have a far better car? Or that Mark Webber is just hopeless this year?

    1. Of course, I forgot Alonso, but he’s been getting 120% out of that Ferrari for most of the year.
      Doesn’t make it any less amazing though..

    2. Not sure Mark Webbers hopeless, but I wouldn’t put him up to the standards of the mclaren drivers or vettel.

      I’m pretty sure the red bull has basically been designed around vettel as well which won’t help

  16. I can’t, and don’t want to, see past Jenson Button. A near perfect weekend in a car that can’t compare to the Red Bull.

    Button and Alonso have consistently outdriven their cars and have been my stand out drivers of the season.

    Vettel of course has been faultless all year, so kudos to him!

    Another mention to Michael Schumacher, who has been quietly collecting points and is far closer to Rosberg on points this year.

  17. One of the easiest driver of the weekend polls purely because Button was stunning all weekend. Fastest in all three practice sessions, just 0.009 behind Vettel in qualifying and a superb race win. Button is really showing his worth this season and that he deserves his place in the upper reaches of F1.

    He has shown extreme maturity and Sunday’s race was a perfect example of this. The start could have ruined his race but he showed how he can be calm within the cockpit and deliver the lap times when it counted. To win at Suzuka which many believe to be Vettel’s track was extremely impressive.

    An honourable mention must go to Alonso as beating Vettel is something to savour this year it seems.

  18. Vettel was clearly bringing the 2nd fastest car on pole, while neither Button or Hamilton (though partly due to not getting his final run in), so for saturday he was the best by quite a large margin.
    Alonso was the best on race day, I think. He was getting that Ferrari up into 2nd despite being in the 3rd fastest car.
    Button though, was in my opinion not the best in any of the sessions (those that matters at least), but unlike Vettel, who didn’t really have a very good race, and Alonso who had a terrible qualifying, Button didn’t have a bad session he was in true Button style, consistent. So as for driver of the weekend it just has to be him.

  19. JB, no contest, great race craft, excellent race management, and pushed the car only when he felt he needed to. HAM should be looking over the garage and taking note of the benefits bought be being calm and considered about how you go about your business. JB’s maturity buying him many friends and much support. HAM take note!!!

  20. Hell Yeah!!! Jenson was simply fantastic all weekend,great job,i really hope Mclaren can have a fantastic car from the beginning of next season.The Red Bull are going to see silver and red in front of them the whole season :D

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