Start, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Vote for your Abu Dhabi GP driver of the weekend

Debates and PollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Start, Abu Dhabi, 2011
Start, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Who was the most impressive driver throughout the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend?

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

Lewis Hamilton – His best weekend in a long while, consistently quick and a deserved victory.

Fernando Alonso – Wrung every last thousandth of a second out of his Ferrari and came very close to snatching the lead off Hamilton.

Jenson Button – Qualified within a whisker of his team mate then coped well with a failing KERS to hold off his pursuers.

Nico Rosberg – Rosberg backed up his reliably excellent qualifying pace with a strong race drive, reeling in Felipe Massa is the closing laps.

Rubens Barrichello – Frustrated at every turn in practice and qualifying, he got the most out of his car on race day, even if it was only enough for 12th place.

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
McLaren team review
Ferrari team review
Mercedes team review
Renault team review
Williams team review
Force India team review
Sauber team review
Toro Rosso team review
Lotus team review
HRT team review
Virgin team review

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.

Who was the best driver of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (3%)
  • Mark Webber (1%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (45%)
  • Jenson Button (5%)
  • Fernando Alonso (35%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Michael Schumacher (0%)
  • Nico Rosberg (3%)
  • Bruno Senna (0%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (0%)
  • Rubens Barrichello (4%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Adrian Sutil (1%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (1%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Sebastien Buemi (0%)
  • Jaime Alguersuari (0%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (1%)
  • Jarno Trulli (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Vitantonio Liuzzi (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Jerome d'Ambrosio (0%)

Total Voters: 501

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Rate the Race: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

130 comments on “Vote for your Abu Dhabi GP driver of the weekend”

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  1. It talks about weekend, and Lewis has been absolutely on it all weekend, from FP1, he hardly had to push to keep Alonso ahead, and possibly could have beat Vettel if he made it past turn 2.

    1. Thats my reasoning exactly, if it was ‘Driver of the Race’ then Alonso would win for dragging the car around way beyond what anyone thought was its speed. But Lewis for the entire weekend was fast and consistant.

      1. Fair points, but free practice doesn’t count for a lot, does it? I only take qualification and the race into account when deciding my driver of the weekend. Lewis Hamilton was on top form, but I’ve settled for Fernando Alonso. I find it hard to like him but impossible not to respect his talent.

        1. Great last comment, agreed.

          1. sid_prasher (@)
            15th November 2011, 21:25

            I think that sentiment is shared by a lot of people :)

        2. I am an unabashed Lewis fan, but I am also a super admirer of Alonso. He is without an argument the best driver in F1. He is quick, smart and most of all RUTHLESS. That combination leads to killer instinct in any endeavor. I like that in Alonso and I think Lewis would be wise to learn that from him.
          As for this past weekend I would have to give it to Lewis because of his practice, qualifying and race form. But my eyes were on Alonso during the race.

  2. I’m a Hamilton fan but to be able to pull that kind of pace from the Ferrari during the race, gives Fernando my driver of the weekend vote. Points are won on raceday and I place more of the weight of my vote on race performance.

    1. I did exactly the same. Love or hate Fernando you’ve got to respect what an amazing driver he is, even in a car that’s clearly the third best it looks like he’s could end up getting 2nd in the championship for the second year in a row. Amazing effort, he deserves more than just 2 WDC’s.

  3. Fernando Alonso, because of his magnificent first lap. And because, yet again, he pushed that car to the podium.

    1. Hear! hear! I absolutely agree, I voted Alonso for the same reason…

      1. The same HERE! Alonso Grande!

  4. I had a hard time choosing between Alonso and Hamilton. Hamilton drove a superb race and it was brilliant seeing him up on the top step again. The only thing I can fault him at is not getting pole position and that’s what I think changed my mind from giving him the driver of the weekend. I don’t think he’d have won had Vettel’s tyre not disintegrated. Alonso somehow managed to keep within reach of the win until the pitstop with an inferior car. So Alonso for me!

  5. One word: Fernando.

    I would vote for Lewis. He really needed this win and controlled Fernando very well, but Alonso’s start was brave and his pass in Jenson was the piece of cake in a very extreme and hard race:

    “…It was an individual race against time. I was doing qualifying laps every lap trying to close the gap but it was one tenth up or down for the whole stint and we dominated…”

    Another point: Fernando was very generous with Lewis this weekend. His compliment towards Hamilton in this difficult time was a proof that he is the leader in F1 right now:

    “…In fact, at the next winter testing he [Hamilton] will be the only one I’ll be watching closely. The other guys can win if they’ve got the best car; he’s the one who’s able to clinch a championship with a car that’s not the best…”

    I bet Hamilton can say the same about Fernando!

    1. he said it because its true, for shear talent lewis and fernando are the best. Fernando knows this from when they were team mates. It wasnt fernando being nice he always speaks the truth and thats why i like him.

    2. He did. He said that it isn’t easy to keep one of the best drivers of the world behind you. Obviously those two are showing each other (last weekend) great respect. Which actually should, cause I believe Alonso and Hamilton are the best drivers at the moment.

  6. Andy G (@toothpickbandit)
    14th November 2011, 17:27

    I was going to go for Alonso who drove the wheels off his Ferrari (in a good way, unlike Vettel) but then it’s a vote for best driver over the full 3 days, so Hamilton gets it for me.

    1. Exactly my thoughts. Much respect for Alonso’s efforts on race day (certainly the pick of the paddock), but the weekend belonged to Hamilton.

    2. The full 3 days? Seriously? Do you understand how much sandbagging happens on FP 1, 2 & 3? Not one team goes all out during FP, and you take that into consideration? And how many points are on the line during free pactice? Clearly, qualifying and the race are what its all about. Hamilton raced well, but has the faster car. Alonso is the most talented driver in F1, and everybody knows it. Too bad Nicole no longer celebrates with Hamilton after the win…

  7. I voted for Hamilton, but I must admit to not voting for Vettel when he simply maintained the gap.

    1. Don’t feel too bad. Vettel drives a Newey; Hamilton drives a Lowe. Neweys have a Maintain the Gap feature as standard equipment. Lowes only have MTG in limited edition models and usually only at the end of a season.

      1. yes, but this the end of the season :)

  8. Well, I voted for Alonso. But (tongue-in-cheek), consider Vettel!

    – Qualified first, even though the McLaren looked quicker
    – Did so with a last-gasp qualifying lap with the pressure on
    – Did so even though the Red Bull looked to have trouble with the corners (at least in the race)
    – Massively outperformed his team-mate yet again.

    In all seriousness, the award can’t go to someone who barely started the race. But in terms of performance under pressure, wringing the maximum from his car, and beating his team-mate, I think Vettel actually had (another) weekend to be proud of.

    1. +1 I agree. Specially because of his qualifying performance.

    2. and specially because of what he did after his race ended. He kept searching through laptops, and asking the mechanics what happened, looking at the suspension, and staying in the pit wall.

      That’s why he’s a world champion.

    3. Vettel had some impressive pace, but he did also crash in practice. I think if anything marks him out as the new Schumacher, it was him returning to the pit wall after his race ended.

    4. I honestly believe Vettel would have won that race if he hadn’t had that puncture. I also honestly believe he would have made that race a lot more fun to watch if he’d been able to stay in it after that puncture, fighting his way up the field from last place. There are parallel universes where these things happened — unfortunately, we live in this one, and I voted for Alonso. ;-) (Although it was close between him and Hamilton.)

      I agree, though: other than the crash on Friday, a weekend to be proud of. Because that kind of thing is going to happen to every driver from time to time, I don’t care who it is — it’s how you respond that that kind of thing that really matters!

      1. Totally agree. It would have been great to see Vettel fight back from the last place, and he said in an interview after the race that he just wanted to go out and race, in any car!

    5. Another point which I don’t think was picked up by many people is Vettel’s amazing pace for the few metres he actually managed in the race. If you look at the gap he had over the field as he entered the corner before the puncture took him out and compare it to how close the rest of the field were to each other it was massive. I’m not even sure how it was possible to be that far ahead in such a short space of time. (Of course this manic pace of the line may turn out to be a contributory factor in the tyre failure!)

      1. vettels amazing pace was his undoing …. you can’t corner at maximum speed with a car full of fuel and low tyre pressures …so he went right over the kerb and was out of the race …I call that driver error
        hamilton took it easier and made the corner …much more intelligent

        1. But then, he should have retired with punture since the first race at Australia. That theory was already discarted by Pirelli.

        2. Man, and you’d think Vettel might have learned something like that over the course of all these races… Huh. If only someone had mentioned it to him a long time ago, he might have made something of himself by now!

          In all seriousness, he went over the same bit of kerb everyone else did, so I’m not sure I follow your logic.

      2. It was ridiculous how he rocketed away from the first corner, it was like the Millenium Falcon leaving the star destroyer in its star-streaked wake. But you really have to be joking to say this is a record deserving driver of the weekend. That is like saying I should be declared the runner of the race for the New York Marathon because I was first at after two blocks and then collapsed.

        1. I did say it was tongue-in-cheek :)

          My message was really, this guy’s consistency is godly; he performed well yet again, and it took a technical faliure to stop him.

          For me the DotW was a straight choice between Alonso and Hamilton, Alonso being my choice because I think the McLaren was much quicker than the Ferrari that weekend.

    6. Vettel is under no pressure at all at the moment though. he didn’t need pole.

      1. But he gets it anyway. He pushes to beat his rivals at every opportunity, no matter if the championship is on or not.

  9. If it was race only – Alonso. But it’s best driver of the whole weekend. Lewis it is.

  10. Has to be Lewis Hamilton for me, dominated practice, and didn’t put a foot wrong in the race, a return to form for Lewis.

  11. Alonso.

    Made it stick at the start, did what he had to do and could keep up with a car that was as quick if not quicker than a Red Bull this weekend. Alonso, as he does so often, showed why is the complete package. Whatever car he’s given, he does the job. Efficient, ruthless and clever. Nothing too dramatic. He doesn’t need a girlfriend to help him out at the track.

    Talking of someone who does, I don’t think Hamilton’s race was all that great considering that he just had to maintain an inherited lead in a superior car. If Vettel wins from the front no-one considers it to be a big deal. This isn’t the ‘Hamilton of old’ – the Hamilton of old laps people at Silverstone, races from whatever position (13th, 14th?) to third in Brazil in not exactly a top car and gets on the podium in his first nine races in F1.

    As much as I was happy to see Hamilton do well again, Alonso was in a different league I’m afraid.

    1. A quick research showed me he actually started 18th. I got him confused with Button. Case in point.

    2. lapping the whole field will rarely be done anymore, even if he was able to, it’s better to stay at a controlled pace and preserve the engine.

    3. As much as I would like to say Alonso, its got to be Lewis. With all the issues he’s been having, his drive was calm and controlled, reminiscent of Alonso’s win at Marina Bay last year where he managed the gap to Vettel all race long.

      If Ferrari had decent pace on the Hards, the result may have been different, as we saw on the soft, Alonso was clawing back significant amounts of time as Hamilton’s tyres went away.

    4. Victor, spot on. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Alonso is the most talented driver in F1. Simply amazing what he did with an inferior car. Can’t imagine how hard he pushed (the entire race) to get in front of a guy he can’t stand. Sure came close, but his car just isn’t fast.

  12. My vote is for Lewis. It was almost the perfect weekend for him and his fans. Strong and concentrate, quick and with a very good job in the pit lane.
    Alonso made a impressive race but Hamilton did it again. Let’s see what the man can do in Brazil, hopefully with Vettel on a complete race.

  13. I’m really not sure who to vote for. I think Hamilton had it under control the whole race and was simply running at a safe pace relative to Alonso. But Alonso even being there in that Ferrari was impressive. I want to give it to Hamilton, but I think Alonso deserves the recognition more.

    1. Ooo, and my vote brought it level at 19 votes each.

  14. For me it’s Alonso. He did the best he could in qualifying, coming close to the front two teams and outpacing Massa by quite a bit. In the race I thought he was outstanding, with a great opening lap to pick off Webber and Button then pull away. He kept Hamilton honest right to the flag.

  15. How can people vote for Vettel when he only did 1 and a half corners

    1. It’s driver of the weekend.

      1. Yes, but it´s not like he was supreme at any point of the weekend other than the final lap of Q3…..i give the lad credit when he is due but let´s not over-do this whole “Vettel-is-being-treated-unfairly” ****….

        1. Some people will be impresed with the Q lap. At the end “Driver of the Weekend” is selected by everyones own opinion… Those who voted for Vettel were impresed by him, the rest will vote for another driver… is the beauty of the system…

          1. albeit a biased system,:) but you know
            “C´est la vie”…..

          2. It´s just that most people vote for their favourite driver altogether, regardless of their performance, shown at the race weekend…´s a shame because there are a bunch of drivers who perform great from time to time, but due to them not being popular enough on this side, are not getting the credit they deserve…

        2. I didn’t vote for him, but it’s far more understandable than Hamilton getting the fourth highest number of votes at Monaco.

  16. As a Hamilton fan who used to despise alonso (not anymore) – DOTW was between Lewis & Fernando, but considering that Lewis showed great form consistantly throughout the weekend despite all the negativity the media cant seem to let go of…for me DOTW is Lewis…closely followed by Fernando.

    Even though fernando pushed his car…Lewis had an answer for him thorughout.

    1. all the negativity the media cant seem to let go of

      When a driver has bad form, negative questions will follow. That’s inevitable, it’s the way of the world.

      Hamilton has made a rod for his own back on occasions by leaving races after bad results without talking to the press, making it inevitable that he’ll have to face questions about his latest blunder when he turns up at the next Grand Prix – Singapore being a case in point.

      1. I’m pretty sure Webber and Massa have had bad form though, and they don’t seem to get similar attention.

        Yes he makes a rod for his own back that’s for sure, but sometimes there’s no shortage of journalists ready to push it in (and I don’t mean you of course Keith!).

        1. I’m pretty sure Webber and Massa have had bad form though, and they don’t seem to get similar attention.

          Because expectations of those two aren’t as high. It’s not just a Hamilton thing. Remember the criticism Schumacher got in 2010? Or Vettel when he had a bad patch last year? I’m sure Alonso would get the same treatment if he were to have bad form.

      2. Are you really saying he gets his stick with interest if he delays talking to the press? There must be some formula to set that out. I also don’t think he has ever left the premises without giving and interview. And certainly not in Singapore—for some reason I clearly remember his interviews in Singapore.

  17. This is my 1st ever comment in this blog. I would like to congratulate Keith for such a magnificent job. I’m from Argentina and have been following F1 since 1962 when I was 12 yrs old. I was a Jim Clark fan on those days.

    Both Lewis and Fernando deserve to be the drivers of the weekend but I voted for Fernando as he outperformed his car, had a great start and drove consistently through the whole race (the same goes for Lewis on this last remark).

    Sorry for my bad English!

    1. @mariano On the contrary, your English is fantastic!

      1. Thank you very much!

    2. Parallels, two old timers, one from the Argentine Pampas and the other from the Texas equivalent, starting watching F1 at the same time! Amazing world.
      Completely agree with your comments on the race, Fernando is in a different league.
      Your English, by the way, is better than mine.

  18. Couldn’t choose between Hamilton and Alonso, so I went for Rosberg. Destroyed Schumi in qualifying as usual, then recovered well from a bad start even though Schumi seemed determined to push him off the track. I was hoping we’d get a camera on him on the last lap, but no luck :(.

  19. It might look odd, but I voted Sebastian Vettel.

    It was clear from the first FP session that it was going to be a race for McLaren, and that it will be difficult for red Bull to win it. But his pole lap was just superb, I would never have believed that Vettel would do it. It’s a shame he retired on the first lap, because I think we could have witnessed a great duel between him and Hamilton.

    1. I think he’ll get a few votes. All he did wrong was crash in FP2 but pulled a qualy lap out of the bag again but sadly didn’t last long in the race. Would have been a very interesting race. Hamilton for me had pace to spare and would have used that had Vettel been in front, would have been very close i feel.

      1. I was very sad that he had to retire, I was also looking forward for the race. But my prediciton actually was that Mclaren was gonna win due the pase that they have…

  20. I feel people concentrate far too much on the drivers who finish on the podium. Therefore, I give driver of the weekend to either Kobayashi or Sutil. Both beat their teammates convincingly, and Kobayashi’s race pace was great. Don’t forget, he was 24th after about 5 laps.

    1. Without taking away anything from Sutil’s or Kobayashi’s performances, DiResta had a rubbish strategy, and Perez had to pit for a new nose on lap 2, also putting him on the back foot on strategy.

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