Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Korea, 2011

Hamilton wins close vote for Korean GP Driver of the Weekend

2011 Korean Grand PrixPosted on | Author Ewa Zaborska

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Korea, 2011
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Korea, 2011

Lewis Hamilton won the Driver of the Weekend poll for the third time this year after his performance in the Korean Grand Prix weekend.

It was a close call with Hamilton leading Jaime Alguersuari by 67 votes and third-placed Sebastian Vettel by 69.

Here’s what F1 Fanatic readers had to say about the drivers’ performances in Korea.

Driver of the Korean Grand Prix Weekend poll ?ǣ top three

1. Lewis Hamilton ?ǣ 36.4%
2. Jaime Alguersuari ?ǣ 22.6%
3. Sebastian Vettel ?ǣ 22.2%

Magnificent Geoffrey also picked these three as his top drivers of the race:

This is another one of those tricky ones. I have narrowed it down to three, Alguersuari, Vettel and Hamilton.

Alguersuari had another brilliant race. I now completely refuse to accept any suggestion that his place in a racing seat is under threat. He?s proved multiple times this year that he has the ability and the racecraft to stay in Formula 1 on merit. Last weekend was another example.

Sebastian Vettel had another Sebastian Vettel-like weekend. He took another dominant victory having skilfully worked his way past Hamilton on the opening lap. There isn?t really anything else to say, really.

But I think I?m going to have to give this one to Lewis Hamilton. There is something seriously not right with the lad at the moment and even after all of the criticism, all of the pressure and all of the contact, he produced a brilliant qualifying lap to take McLaren?s first pole of the season and while I?m sure he was hoping for more, he proved that he hasn?t lost any of his truly exceptional racing potential on Sunday.

The way he managed to keep Mark Webber behind him on merit despite all of the odds being stacked against him was very impressive.

I?m sure 2012 can?t come soon enough for Hamilton so I imagine these final, pressure-free races are going to do wonders for his confidence that I am sure has been rocked over the past few months. If he keeps producing these sorts of drives for the final few races, the real Lewis Hamilton will be back for 2012 ?ǣ and I would be very afraid if I was one of the top guys.
Magnificent Geoffrey

Lewis Hamilton

Qualifying: 1st
Race: 2nd

In Korea, Hamilton became the first non-Red Bull driver to secure a pole position this season – a fact which surely prompted many to pick him as Driver of the Weekend.

He was unable to hold Sebastian Vettel behind him on the opening lap, but later delivered a great defence against attacking Mark Webber to finish second.

Here are some of the comments from those who chose him as Driver of the Weekend:

Hamilton for me, there was a lot of negativity surrounding him after his poor (by his standards) performance in Japan, but he was strong through all the practice sessions and qualifying, then the only mistake he made in the race was letting Vettel past on lap one.

I had to make the choice between Hamilton and Vettel. I think they both were brilliant but I think Hamilton had more weight on his shoulders. Vettel had already clinched the second title before the race, there wasn?t much pressure on him, while Hamilton must have felt uncomfortable after all the misery in the previous races. He delivered, he didn?t break under the pressure and his drive was really worthy of a world champion.

I chose Hamilton because he was impressive all weekend and the first driver this year to knock Red Bull off pole. Despite his understeer issue, he was able keep Webber behind him for long time with some impressive defending.

Jaime Alguersuari

Qualifying: 11th
Race: 7th

Alguersuari matched his best ever race position, finishing the race seventh. He secured it on the very last lap by overtaking Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg.

I voted for Alguersuari. What a great final stint against Rosberg he drove.

He had to give his car to Jean-Eric Vergne on Friday, but out-qualified his team-mate on Saturday and then drove a faultless race, only beaten by the mighty Red Bulls, McLarens and Ferraris.

He showed great maturity in his fight with Rosberg and it paid off on the final lap.

For me it was Alguersuari, no question. He qualified well, just missing out on Q3 and his race was superb.

At some points he was running as high as third and ended up ‘best of the rest’ only being beaten by the Red Bulls, Ferraris and McLarens.

From the guy who was ‘too young to drive’ and ‘only in F1 because of sponsorship’ he really is having a great season.

I voted for Alguersuari. Did a decent job in qualifying and drove a stunning race. Best of the rest in a car that six years ago was a Minardi glued to the back rows. It really shows how the small teams (Toro Rosso and Force India) are making progress.

Sebastian Vettel

Qualifying: 2nd
Race: 1st

Vettel did not manage to win on Saturday, but he made a good start from the dirty side of the track to hold to his second position and overtake Hamilton on the first lap. When in front, he controlled the race and won for the tenth time this year.

Hamilton was great but Vettel was smart during qualifying and did everything right during the race. It was a really close call for me between the two but given how close qualifying was and then how much Vettel flew during the race it just had to be him for me.

I had to go for Vettel this time for that superb pass at the start, the way he pulled away with clinical precision before the DRS was activated, how he controlled the race from there, and winning not from pole.

For me Hamilton was the driver of the day on Saturday, but Vettel did an impressive job on Sunday.

He is starting to demonstrate Red Bull’s success is not only the car, but the driver also. The way he managed all race after this impressive start (from a very dirty side in Korea) showed me the excellent driver he is.

2011 Driver of the Weekend results so far

First Second Third
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%)
Italy Sebastian Vettel (38.2%) Michael Schumacher (29.6%) Jenson Button (18.2%)
Singapore Sebastian Vettel (41.8%) Paul di Resta (30.9%) Jenson Button (15.6%)
Japan Jenson Button (67.3%) Fernando Alonso (13.3%) Michael Schumacher (6.3%)
Korea Lewis Hamilton (36.4%) Jaime Alguersuari (22.6%) Sebastian Vettel (22.2%)

Vettel is still the driver with the greatest number of top three poll results ?ǣ he has been there 11 times this year.

Hamilton is in the top three for the first time since Hungarian Grand Prix and was chosen the Driver of the Weekend for the first time since his win at the German Grand Prix in July.

It is also the second time Alguersuari reached the top three.

2011 Korean Grand Prix

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images