Start, Buddh International Circuit

Vote for your Indian GP driver of the weekend

Debates and pollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Start, Buddh International Circuit
Start, Buddh International Circuit

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

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

Sebastian Vettel – By any measure, a faultless performance. And all the more impressive for there being two different cars between him and his team mate at the end.

Jenson Button – A strong opening lap paved the way for another ‘best of the rest’ result.

Fernando Alonso – Kept Mark Webber under pressure to take third place and withstood pressure to hold onto it.

Jaime Alguersuari – Squeezed into Q3 by the tiniest of margins, scored more valuable points in the race for Toro Rosso’s late-season climb up the standings.

Adrian Sutil – A solid job under some pressure given the speculation over his future at the team.

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 team review – Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber
McLaren team review – Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton
Ferrari team review – Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa
Mercedes team review – Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher
Renault team review – Bruno Senna and Vitaly Petrov
Williams team review – Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado
Force India team review – Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta
Sauber team review – Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez
Toro Rosso team review – Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari
Lotus team review – Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen
HRT team review – Narain Karthikeyan and Daniel Ricciardo
Virgin team review – Timo Glock and Jerome d’Ambrosio

Vote for your driver of the weekend

Which driver impressed you the most throughout the Indian Grand Prix weekend? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

[poll id=”292″]

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Rate the Race: Indian Grand Prix

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

113 comments on “Vote for your Indian GP driver of the weekend”

  1. There weren’t any stand out drivers this race but because of the perfect result, I had to give it to the world champion. Flawless drive as usual.

    1. I must give the honours to Alonso – I wish the comentators would make more of the wonderful drive that he continues to have with Ferrari – it took the legend, Schumi 4 years to win with Ferrari – Alonso finished 2nd in his first year and could be second again – – BRILLIANT! The very best he should be is 5th but he drives the wheels off of that red car!

      1. Alonso’s third now, and was second last year. That’s the same as Schumi in his first two years with Ferrari, but the other way around.

        1. As far as I remmeber, Schumi was disqualified in his second year at Ferrari after intentionally hitting Villenueve in the final race of the season. I think, he was degraded down to third or so.

          1. No he was completely excluded from the world championship standings that year, i.e. he didn’t have a finishing position, Frentzen was second to Villeneuve and Coulthard third.

            Although they let him keep his wins, poles, points and fastest laps in his overall statistics.

          2. If we’re going to get all technical about WDC position, then I’ll just say- Alonso has won 6 races in his first 2 years at Ferrari, Schumacher won 8.

      2. Felipe Massa is making that Ferrari look worse than it is.

        Yes Alonso is driving very well but Massa has been really poor. Alonso’s been on the podium nine times and Massa not once. Not all of that is due to Fernando being fantastic.

        I would also say Ferrari were in a far worse position when Michael Schumacher joined them in 1996 having not won a driver’s title in 20 years than when Alonso joined in 2010.

        I think 1996-1999 was possibly the period in Schumacher’s career where he was at his best, he won three races in 1996 and Eddie Irvine could barely finish a race!

      3. Comparing Schumacher’s first few years at Ferrari with Alonso’s is, quite frankly, ridiculous.

        Ferrari hadn’t won a Championship in over a decade and had a car that was, even if you’re being kind about it, a complete dog when Schumi joined and he, Brawn, Todt et al had to completely rebuild the entire team around them whereas Alonso has walked into a team that has dominated the last decade of F1.

        1. whereas Alonso has walked into a team that has dominated the last decade of F1

          I agree to an extent but its fair to say that Ferrari are hardly the force they were in 07/08 never mind the early 2000s, they did only finish 4th in the WCC the year before Alonso joined.

          1. Obviously they’re not as dominant as they were in 07/08 but the team is still unrecognisable from the team that Schumi joined all of those years ago.

        2. Here,here.
          In India Michael Schumacher was red hot.Advanced through the field like a knife cutting through butter..He makes it all look so easy,and in that car!!
          Just wait until Schumi has the car as he wants it.!
          8th star on the way!

        3. It is not ridiculous at all.

          When Schumacher joined Ferrari in 96, in 95 before they won 1 GP and were 3rd in the Constructors. When Alonso joined Ferrari in 2010, in 09 they won 1 GP and were 4th in the constructors.

          Alonso will be 2nd and 3rd in his 1st two years at Scuderia, Schumacher 3rd and unclassified. Alonso also won 6 GP to Schumi’s 8 despite Alonso racing against 2 other competitive and faster teams, whereas Schumi had to deal with one, with inferior drivers.

          1. Forgot to add Vettel as DOTD – on a different level to the rest. They might as well give up and let him race on his own

          2. Schumacher joined a team that hadn’t even been in WCC contention for 6 years. Alonso joined a team that had a one year blip since they won the constuctors championship.

            Schumacher won 8 races in 33, Alonso 6 in 36. Both did very well, but I’d rate MS’s time so far a bit higher.

        4. it wasnt a dog. it qualified 3rd and 4th in australia in first race of season. It got a pole at imola.

          in 1995 ferrari lead about 7 races. usually in alesi hands. at the mid point of season alesi was in the hunt, albeit outside shot. Lack of reliability was the issue not speed. Remember suzuka? Monza, nurberg, spa, aida to name a few off the top of my head. all races alesi could of won

          Michael, rory, ross and co did great great job. But to say ferrari was a slow car is an insult to the people there at the time. The car was ok, not amazing but better than the mclaren and on par with the benetton.

          Its one of them the books say ferrari were rubbish so we all believe it….like a myth that become fact. They had issues but people act like they were arrows! lol

      4. Geoffrey Jeffrey
        1st November 2011, 16:09

        @Regan

        So Alonso wins DTW for what, exactly? Finishing third? Driving a Ferrari? Being called ‘Fernando Alonso’?

        Honestly, if Vettel doesn’t deserve DTW for his awesome dominance last weekend, then Keith might as well cancel this feature and replace it with a weekly ‘who is your favourite driver’ poll. At least then teary-eyed love-ins for personal favourites would have credibility.

  2. Hard to vote for anyone but Vettel. His last lap FLAP, apparently without KERS, on hard tyres, showed how much he had in hand over the field.

    1. yes, he did really have it all under control and got his grand chelem in.

      Perez did a good job on sunday, Karthikeyan did not do too bad and Kovalainen had another very good drive as well. Sutil was fine, but in the end both FI cars finished below where they started. Schumacher was nice on Sunday, but he just couldn’t get it right on saturday. Etc. Guess it will have to be Vettel here.

  3. Quite apart from his race win, Vettel also produced yet another last-gasp improvement in qualifying.

    It’s so easy to head out for a second time desperate to go faster; push too hard; and then return to the pits having made a mistake. But with Hamilton quite close behind his previous time, Vettel would have felt under pressure, and once again he pulled it off with several tenths’ improvement.

    Amongst the other front-runners, Alonso wasn’t really any faster than Massa, and if you can’t outpace your team-mate, then you’re hardly the driver of the day. Jenson was more impressive to me because of a great start, because he made the overtake of Webber look easy (and safe), and beacause he drove faster than Hamilton.

    But ultimately Vettel reigned supreme, in the same car that looked average in Webber’s hands.

    1. Vettel also produced yet another last-gasp improvement in qualifying.

      @alex I wasn’t quite happy about that lol

      My prediction in F1F for the pole time was just 0.004 short of the interim time set by Sebastian…. and Jenson / Lewis couldn’t beat that time.. yet, he went 3 tenths quicker in his final attempt….

      yet again, Seb it is

  4. Vettel, hands down, for a perfect weekend. I keep watching his pole lap over and over, since it is that good. Just can’t be anyone else.

    Button held his own in the race, but was outqualified by his teammate again. Alonso also maximised the result from the Ferrari, and the two Mercs and Alguersuari were pretty good again. But they can’t be any more than honourable mentions.

    I can’t help feeling that at least one person will vote for Felipe Massa, which will bring about jokes about the people who did so.

    1. @david-a But instead, Narain got one vote… lol

    2. He got a couple, and 8 even voted for Hamilton, which is also pretty baffling.

  5. As nearly anyone else, I picked Vettel. What can you say other than that he has obtained a Grand Chelem at 24 years of age?

    1. Ring-a-ding-ding? YES!

      (just making the unnecessary point that you can something other)

  6. Sutil, for having a flawless weekend under a lot of pressure and once again beating the ‘wonderkid’.

    1. I wouldn’t say he was better than Vettel, but he really is underrated, I agree.

      1. I think tflb was talking about the other Wunderkind of F1, the Wunderkind of all Rookies, lil Paul. :-)

        1. If you can call Pau “lil”

          1. @celeste
            Old skool gangsta rapper terminology, a true classic. He *has* to agree. :-D

        2. @Trix

          Oops. I can’t believe I said that now… :?

          1. @damonsmedley

            Better start believin’ it, babez, ‘cuz you FO SHO did.

          2. @Trix

            He’s been quiet lately, lil Paul.

  7. Vettel. No-one else had a weekend that was particularly great, and Vettel was just in control from start to finish. The grand chelem was just the icing on the cake.

  8. Vettel, a Grand Chelem itself is a feat. At a new country, brand new venue is nothing short of amazing.

  9. Vettel gets this one for me. Controlled from start to finish and joins the elite club of Grand Chelem. Well done.

  10. I think it’s enough of Vettel’s dominance, so I’ll vote Alguersuari.

    He’s surprising me a lot recently. Korea was great for him, and yesterday he pulled another great performance.

    It’s also weird he’s been in F1 since 2009, feels like a lot time and sometimes I have to remember he’s the first driver from the 90’s.

    1. It’s scary to think that in the next few years there’ll be drivers as young as – and younger than – myself… :?

      1. @damonsmedley well, it wasn’t funny to learn when he made his debut that Alguersuari was the first F1 driver younger than me :P

  11. Vettel, who else?

    No seriously, the perfect result says it all. The confidence this man has. Always doing it in qualifying, just driving away and then setting the fastest lap – despite the team not liking it.

    Now, that’s confidence and also smart, because after all speculation about helping Webber – probably mostly based on one quote from Horner and then blown up on internet – Vettel is so showing Webber and the team who’s the boss at Red Bull… If Mark beats Vettel next year, now that would be truly amazing.

  12. sid_prasher (@)
    31st October 2011, 19:51

    Has to be Vettel but voting Schumi for an honourable mention…

  13. Seb Vettel. Easy choice for me. If you get a ‘Grand Chelem’ while your team mate in the same car is unable to get on the podium and it doesn’t ensure you the DotW award, then probably nothing ever will.

  14. Does Narain Karthikeyan not deserve a mention. Under huge pressure to perform and sitting out a couple of races he jumps in the car and is just out qualified by 2hunderds of a second by the highly rated Riccardo.

    Karthikeyan finishes the race well ahead of Riccardo. Riccardo had problems but Karthikeyan had damage from the first lap on. So Narain gets my vote especially as don’t think he will be featuring again!

    Funny the difference in James Allen driver of day Schumi is way ahead of everyone but isn’t mentioned here.

    1. I mentioned on the live blog that Narain did well, as he beat Ricciardo so in that sense I agree with you. However I was then informed that Ricciardo lost 30-40 seconds with a pit stop problem, which takes the shine off it a bit. Still, Narain didn’t do as badly as some people say he always will.

      1. ya, Riccardo lost alot of time with a long pit stop then an extra one. Narain doesn’t really deserve driver of the day but guess was because I was expecting him to be trounced by Ricardo after sitting out races and all the media attention he was involved with.

      2. @David-A

        Still, Narain didn’t do as badly as some people say he always will.

        That’s because people genuinely believe he’s a bad driver. I suppose his terrible driving and lack of skill was the reason behind his rise through the ranks and ascent to F1.

        He’s not the best, but he’s not the worst we’ve ever had. He may even be better than Chandhok. It’s too hard/harsh to judge someone’s ability when they’re driving terrible machinery.

  15. I’d actually go for Schumi for being one of the contenders for DOTW,Surprised you didnt mention him Keith.But i cant help not voting for Seb,Grabbing his first Grand Chelem(Pole,Fastest Lap,Win & leading every lap) in once again a weekend dominated by him, I cant say no more.

    Intelligence,Confidence,A superior Car package & pure speed is with this man now,I kinda thought the race was won once he lead from the First Corner onwards.

    1. I don’t wish to start an argument, but what did MSC do this weekend that was special? I must have missed it.

      1. Yep, agree. It’s pretty normal for him to make up 6 places on his grid spot and beat his team mate these days.

        1. That was not normal last year…or even possible.

        2. That doesn’t make him DOTW, it makes him half the man he use to be. Didn’t he only beat Nico after Nico’s poor last stop, I can’t recall him passing him and I can’t recall him making q3 again.

          1. So if he’s ‘half the man he used to be’ and he still beat Rosberg, it doesn’t say much for good old Nico, does it – who lots of people still seem to think is some sort of incredible talent?

            In all seriousness, Schumacher was not DotW. But it was a pretty good performance.

          2. @Funkyf1 Schumacher didn’t beat Nico because of a poor last stop, which relatively wasn’t horribly poor (4.3 vs. 3.2 for Schumacher’s last stop). Schumacher was closing in fast on Nico in the laps leading up to Nico’s last stop and probably would have passed Nico within a few laps if Nico wasn’t called in. Also, Michael came out 4-5 seconds ahead of Nico after he pitted – clearly far ahead of the second he gained by the slower stop Nico had. Schumacher did a much better job of maintaining his tires through the whole stint than Nico was able to.

  16. No love for Heikki ? :( LOL:)

    1. Kovi ran in the top 10 for a while, so Lotus could have had their first point if Trulli brought out a red flag :)

      1. Voted for the reason that he out-shone Trulli actually had pace for time and was generally competitive.

    2. @LexBlair @David-A

      Ah, good point! I forgot about him. Why is it that he shines in the Lotus but was mediocre at McLaren? Or has Trulli just lost it and makes Heikki look good? :P

      1. I don’t think Kovy was that bad in the McLaren. He was about .2-.3s off Hamilton qualifiying. I.e., about where Button has been for two years. Button has found comparable race pace in his second year at McLaren. But unlike Kovy, Button did not have to deal with a horrible unbalanced car in his second year. Button has had a stable, strong platform to work out how to maximize the car this year. Also, in 08-09, Hamilton was not making such major errors.

        1. @dmw One moment that stands out in memory as being particularly bad was his first lap at Monza in 2009.

  17. Sebastian Vettel. Grand Chelem.

  18. Vettel. Happy to see him get some votes.

    If the Team principal is upset with his driver for going for the fastest laps, that says it all. On hard tires, with KERS off, with engine toned down they could not stop him from the fastest lap.

    Now in all fairness what is really helping Vettel are these criticism that he can only win from pole, he has good machinery etc. All this is driving the kid to up his game everyday. He is able to make his tires last better than Jensen nowadays. I guess all these criticism is making him stronger in an effort to prove. Good for him. Bad for the opposition.

    Look at 2002 and 2004, Barichello won a few times. He even had to give up his win in 2002. In 2009 again Barichello could win a few races with the superior Brawn Machinery. Fast forward to 2011. Mark Webber has not won a single race and for that matter never even seen challenging Vettel for a the victory except for that “hold position” from Horner which he did not accept anyway.

    Yes we can attribute the entire vicotry on Newey’s machinery. But ultimately it is the team and driver that help Newey. Newey spent 9 years in Maclaren with just a single title. Yeah even Jensen’s 2009 win can be considered Brawn magic. Again for Vettel he won in Monza on a Mindardi err typo Torro Rosso. No one want to remember that. He won the first race for Red Bull too. I think this kid is heavily underrated by all which actually serves as his strength now. Something same going on with Jimmie Johnson in Nascar. He was almost ignored by everyone everytime. But the guy has been champion for the last 5 years.

    1. thats a reasonable comparison because although i don’t watch that many of the NASCAR races (maybe a third of them this year) all I hear is Dale Jr, JPM, Carl Edwards

  19. It’s about time I voted for Alguersuari, so I did.

    1. @Icthyes

      I haven’t voted for Trulli yet this year. I think it’s about time I did… ;)

  20. I wathced the first part of the race on Sundy. What a bore. Not sure if any of them deserve Driver of the Day.
    Disappointing. I think I’ll vote for Kobayashi or Massa.

  21. It was a weekend under pressure for the come back driver. But he successfully reclaimed his title of “world’s fastest Indian”. Go Narain! :-P

    Seriously though, Vettel deserves it.

    1. Nah. This bloke’s the Worlds Fastest Indian http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rakesh_Sharma or maybe it was this tragic lady http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalpana_Chawla.
      Jai Hind!

  22. For once its looking like a landslide Vettel victory!
    But think about this
    2nd in FP1 to a lap done under yellows
    2nd in FP2 to light Ferraris
    1st in FP3
    2nd in Q1 to a Renault on softs
    1st in Q2
    1st in Q3
    1st in Race
    Fastest lap
    Lead every lap

    How can such a dominant weekend NOT get driver of the weekend?

    1. Honourable mentions though to Kovalainen (first stint pace was amazing), Alguersuari, Button, Alonso, Sutil, Narain and Perez

  23. I already said it on another thread, Vettel is the obvious choice by a big margin. But I also believe that Alonso deserves more than an “honourable mention”; he’s driven extremely well this year with a car that is obviously not capable of winning. Massa after all is no slouch (despite hitting high kerbs twice this weekend) with the “same” car — but Alonso seems to be consistently able to score more points when it counts. I can hear the muttering coming about team orders, first drivers, experimental front wings (maybe more), but Alonso has shown true, way above average talent driving a “third rate” (1=RB, 2=McLaren, 3=Ferrari/Mercedes) F150Italia.

    It will be interesting to see if he can make a dent in Buttons lead for “best of the rest” in the WDC.

  24. Who voted Massa? I can’t think of a reason except maybe for providing entertainment in the form of crashes.

  25. Has to be Vettel, he pressed every single ‘win’ button to be had this weekend, whether I actually liked the race or not. Honorable mentions of course to Button, driving a stellar ‘drivers’ race and Alonso for putting lipstick on a pig and making her fly.

  26. Surely, this is going to be the biggest winning margin for driver of the weekend this year.

  27. Seb was flawless…agree..we expected him to win and he delivered. The fact that he keeps growing the distance between himself and team mate is also worthy of mention. I voted for shumi though. based on from where came and the fact that he took Nico in the pits. He had a good race and did some solid laps when needed…

  28. Vettel of course! Faultless except for the fact that he talks to much in the press conferences. This guy will soon be the most successful driver in the history of F1.

  29. Karthikeyan

  30. Vettel for sure pole, win & fastest lap,you can’t ask for anything more from him.

    1. @wasiF1

      you can’t ask for anything more from him.

      I’m not so sure about that… He could have lapped the entire field. That’d have been more impressive! :P

    2. @wasif1, I would kindly ask him to cut out the lame lines after winning, and talking for hours in the press conference. But I guess that is about it for improving himself!

  31. Vettel – and I can explain why in two words!

    Grand Chelem.

  32. Vettel. A Grand Chelem is no mean feat; and perfect icing on the cake of his domination of 2011.

    A long overdue one too; he probably should have gotten it in Britain 2009; Suzuka 2009; Singapore 2011. It’s very scary what this young man is doing so young.

    I fear the only hope for F1 in the near future would be for Vettel to look for the challenge of building up a small team like Kovalainen; or the German-Austrian anthem mix could be the next installment of the German-Italian that was heard so often 10 years ago

  33. Vettel, easily. I don’t see how you could say anyone else did a better job. His first grand chelem and another demoralising performance. For the sake of us fans, he should never have decided to be a racing driver!

    I sincerely hope we get a decent battle for the title next year, although, really, he did have to work hard for this one and the fact that his team-mate that nearly won the title last year can’t even fill the second spot in the WDC shows just how remarkable Sebastian has been this year.

    I really don’t want him to win the remaining two races (I like seeing everyone having a go), but if he does, you couldn’t really begrudge him. Who’s going to step up and stop him?

    Jenson seems the only person likely to challenge him on a regular basis at the moment. He’s easily been the second best driver this year and I hope he gets another win and secures the second spot in the championship. He was probably the second best driver this weekend, too. Although Alonso was pretty good too.

    One thing I am excited about (if Ferrari ever sort their problems out and challenge Red Bull) is the prospect of Sebastian Vettel vs Fernando Alonso. I think we have some terrific battles in store for us in the coming years, and for me, they’re the two best drivers in F1 at the moment, with Jenson not far behind.

    1. Wholeheartedly agree with you Damon!

      1. Me too! :P

  34. Has to be Vettel. Flawless performance yet again. What I find incredible is that unlike many dominant champions, who tend to do all their winning at the start of the year and then tail off for whatever reason, Vettel is just as enthused and as dominant now as he was at the start of the year. A remarkable season.

    1. Remarkable indeed. But scary is a more apt word, I feel! :P

  35. Well, suppose I’ll go along with most others and vote for Vettel. Alonso also did well again, but his pace wasn’t really better than that of his teammate; Button did go much faster than his teammate, who might have had motivation or car problems, and Button also quickly got himself second. But as good as he is driving, it is really hard to genuinely believe in him putting Vettel under real pressure, even if his car is fast. Vettel is just in control.

  36. It was a close one between JB and SV for me. But I gave it to Jenson simply because he outpaced LH by around a second a lap, which is good by anyone’s standards and further cements him as equally as good, if not better.

    Obvious props have to go to Seb, but it’s kind of expected now. Also to JA and MS for some great drives.

  37. Vettel all the way. No one else really stood out for me this weekend. Not much to say really, Jenson Button and Jaime Alguersuari again did great jobs too. Familiar pattern here

  38. JustOne Pound
    1st November 2011, 12:36

    OK, Vettel did it all. But I fail to see how could Button have done any better than he did. And Alonso’s only glitch was at the start, a move than could have won him a couple positions but instead he almost lost control in the dust and lost one.

    But anyway my vote goes for Massa, I still have a soft spot fot him, and I do not think the fault of the crash was entirely his. It has been said before but I think the panalty was a kind of “compensation” by the judges after having penalised Hamilton for crashes than also were not 100% his (H’s) fault.

  39. The main factor in my choice is usually which drivers stood out or impressed me most over the weekend. As I expect Vettel to get pole and win easily when he does achieve this it doesn’t surprise me and I normally vote for someone else.

    This weekend I wasn’t surprised by another faultless performance from Vettel but he did get my vote.

    Other drivers who stood out for me to varying degrees were Schumacher, Alguersuari, Sutil, Perez and Kovalainen.

  40. Yinka Babs (@)
    1st November 2011, 13:57

    I’m unconcerned about vettel getting the grand chelem.
    My driver of the day is Schumacher.
    He managed his tyres well in middle stint, which helped him stay out longer and jump team-mate.Saved his KERS until the long back straight whichallowed him to make up three places.

  41. I’ve disguised my answer in an extremely cryptic riddle.

    His first name can be shortened to rhyme with Pleb, which is what he made everyone else look like..

    His Surname rhymes with Metal which is what he showed in qualified to improve on an already quick time and what he kept his pedal to (except when it was necessary to decelerate) during the race..

    That should keep you busy for a few hours :)

  42. Vettel. You can’t ask for more than perfection. A+.

    I can give a nod to Alonso for dogged work in the race too. He is maximizing the car.

    Button did a great job in the race but his qualifying was lousy.
    So the “W” part of the award doesn’t work out for him. If Button had qualified as well as Hamilton, he could have won this race or made it a heck of a lot more interesting.

    And here you see that Vettel and Alonso appear to be the only complete drivers now.

  43. Vettel, simple as. It was a case of “Catch me if you can!!” and they couldn’t. He destroyed the field.

  44. lewis and massa deserve a shout for make a dull race interesting for a while.

    i bet bernie got the radio to lewis ‘ lewis mate, i know your not going to like it but this is india’s first race and its a bit of a damp squid can you help us out bud….you know it makes sense’

    ”dont worry lewis, we will make sure your not blamed this time’

    lap later

    ‘well done lewis, your diamond’

    :D

  45. A tough one, but I’ll have to give it to Alguersuari. The race to be the “STR driver not to be replaced for Ricciardo” is really heating up, and at different stages of the season both Jaime and Buemi have risen to the challenge. Jaime has been very impressive over the last few races, and has now got the bit well and truly between his teeth and is showing Buemi the way it should be done. A very nice surprise. Well done sir!

  46. My vote goes to Sebastian, he (once again) had a perfect race, its simply amazing to see how he makes the difference in the first laps with a frightening pace and then he controls the situation perfectly well.

    I would like to mention Michael´s race too, with a great start and a good pace, he had a perfect strategic vision of the race so he choosed the perfect moment to overtake Nico in the pits.

  47. You know, I may be talking out of the wrong hole here but does anyone else think it is strange that Vettelis SO much faster than Webber? I don’t believe that Vettel is that much better than Webber but still he beats him by a substantial margin week after week.

    My wife and I have been discussing this and are wondering if there is a difference in the cars to favour Vettel. After all we all know that he is the favoured driver as far as the Red Bull powers that be are concerned.

    1. Your wife discusses F1 with you! She’s a keeper :)

      I also have no clue but I think it’s likely that most teams inject all their resources into one driver and use the 2nd driver as a strategic tool and test guinea pig.
      Considering how fine tuned their efforts to win are it makes sense that they would spear head their efforts like this.

      In the case of Mercedes it’s almost as if they’re writting the script of Schumi’s success story.
      Year 1: Outclassed by Nico
      Year 2: Pretty much level with Nico with top 5 results
      Year 3: Year 3 will see a massive improvement in the car and Schumi completely dominating Nico and winning the WDC..

      Imagine the sponsorship deals you’d get with a story like that!

      Are we entering the farcical realm of WWF style F1.. I hope not!

      At least McLaren appear to be purists the button Hamilton battle will be great to watch next year..

    2. There was a substantial difference in speed in ’09 as well (15-2 in qualifying I believe). Only that year Vettel made a lot of mistakes which meant Webber scored roughly the same points as Vettel.
      Last year was probably a combination of Webber having an excellent year (like Button is having now) and Vettel getting frustrated seeing Webber win several times while Vettel struggled to bring the car home in one piece (like Hamilton now).
      This year Vettel started as the World Champion, had no car troubles whatsoever for the first several races, like he did last year in Bahrain, Australia, Spain, Monaco and Turkey and Webber has had trouble getting used to the Pirelli tires while Vettel scored pole after pole and win after win building more confidence as he goes.

      So now Vettel is the man brimming with confidence and Webber is the one constantly worrying about one thing or another and getting frustrated almost every race.
      And as we know, confidence is key and frustration is the enemy in F1 so that is probably the main reason why Webber is struggling to even get on the podium while Vettel is dominating the season in the same car.

      Off course there is a preference from Red Bull towards Vettel (they’ve said they want to built the team around him) but seeing as Webber has been a part of Red Bull for some time and the fact that Newey and Webber are good friends I don’t think Red Bull are giving Webber lesser material.

      1. I think the reason they are buildidng the team around Vettel is continuity. From the start Webber had only agree to sign one year at the time with RBR (maybe at the beginning he though that the team was not very good, or was hoping for another deal, or simply he knows that he is one of the mature pilots on the grip and wants to be able to leave whenever he wants… ) Instead with Sebastian they know they have him signed at least until 2011, and with RBR clauses in Vettel´s contract for every time that Sebastian reached at least top three or won certain number of races his contract was inmediatly extended another year ( I believe the first time that the “build team” around Vettel came around the middle of 2009″), so the safest bet to structure your team is doing so around the pilot that you are sure is gonna be with you for a long time.

        1. Agreed. That could be the reason why RBR choose (or have chosen really) to built the team around Vettel.

    3. It’s interesting that no one is talking about Alonso being SO much faster than Felipe.

      The conventional wisdom holds that the car is 80% of the result and the drivers the other 20%, yet when we see a disparity or lack of disparity between certain drivers (Vettel and Webber in your case, Nico and Schumacher with @MW) there’s an assumption it has to be the car. If Hamilton was well ahead of Button this year, most would chalk it up to Hamilton being the faster driver.

      Using Hamilton as an example this year, where his head is clearly not in the game, we can see how much that 20% the driver contributes can impact the results.

      What I find strange is that people think Webber is anywhere near as fast as Vettel. There’s a reason drivers like Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton, and Schumacher come in and win races at very young ages, become WDC champions at very young ages, and in the case of 3 of those above, become the youngest 2x WDC at the time they won their second WDC. It wasn’t a fluke with Schumacher, Alonso, Hamilton, and it’s not a fluke with Vettel. Don’t forget Vettel finished ahead of Webber in the WDC in a Toro Rosso in 2008 when the Torro Roso was a dog of car until midway through the year, and while it had some DNA from Adrian Newey, the RB4 was a full Newey creation and was pretty strong from the start.

      The difference between Vettel and Webber in the RBR is that Webber makes tiny mistakes throughout the lap, Vettel doesn’t make any. Also, Webber takes the life out of the Pirelli tires quicker and in the second part of each stint starts losing time. If you compare Button and Hamilton, Hamilton also runs through his tires at a faster rate — Hungary being an excellent example of that. If you listen to Button talk about the first stint vs. Webber in India, he said after the first 8 or 9 laps Mark fell off because he’d worn out his tires and Button could focus on Vettel. The problem catching Vettel was he gets in a rhythm and doesn’t make mistakes.

      Nigel Mansell tells a story about how early in 1992 his teammate Patrese thought he was being given a slower car than Mansell. In Brazil, Nigel had put the car on pole by almost 2 seconds over Patrese in his first run. So Nigel convinced the team to allow them to swap cars for the second qualifying and he then went and put Patrese’s car on pole by a second and a half over Patrese. He said that formed a bond with Patrese, because Patrese then knew the cars were equal, and it was up to him to find that extra time.

      On the whole, disparities between drivers in a team are probably because of the drivers. I think drivers on the shorter end of that stick (and their fans) have trouble accepting that they might actually be slower. I think Alonso suffered from this in 2007 at McLaren because he couldn’t believe that Hamilton, a 22 year old rookie, could be as fast as him. It must have been the car.

      But I guess it’s really not strange that folks will look for the more complex and sinister explanation :-)

      1. I like your comment. And I didn´t knew that story with Mansell and Patrese, very nice. :)

        1. Mansell told the story (much better!) on the Flying Lap last week.

      2. I would like to second Celeste’s liking of this comment!

        I think Mansell must have told that story during one of the times I had to leave the room during that episode, so clearly I need to download it and watch the whole thing!

      3. In full agreement as well.

      4. Exactly.

        When you hear hooves, think Horses, not Zebras.

        Although I’m not so sure whether drivers make 20% of a difference. But that is something unmeasurable so it doesn’t really matter.

  48. I thought Alonso drove brilliantly defending from Webber, and Button drove a flawless race.

    I enjoyed Schumacher’s performance, and Senna did a good job on an unusual strategy also.

    But there is no doubt whatsoever in my mind who to give it to. Sebastian Vettel. The one and only. The best. The champion. The winner. It was telling that we barely saw him on the footage all race, because he was so good. Even when Button was closing him in, I never even thought about Button passing him.

    As an Alonso fan, it’s painful to say this, but congrats Vettel, you’re the best.

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