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. I’m sorry, but where is Webber in your shortlist?! He was absoutely on it, one of the few drivers consistently overtaking and managed to clain fourth despite being let down by his team with a slow pit stop and a bad strategy and that’s not even mentioning all those qualy style laps he had to do in the penultimate stint!

    Seriously, how can Rosberg make the list but Webber cannot is beyond me.

    1. Because he qualified 4th and his teammate 1st?

      1. Points are earned on Sunday, not Saturday.

        1. Read the headline, that should sort out the confusion. “Vote for your Abu Dhabi GP driver of the weekend“.

          1. He still warrants the shortlist. It’s not as if a bad qualifying can outweigh all the good work done in the race and he didn’t even have that bad a qualy session. We all know he struggles relative to Vettel, and the Red Bull didn’t appear to have that amazing advantage it usually does over the McLaren

  2. Was hoping for Alonso to come just ahead of Lewis in the last pitstop an then see a furious battle afterwards. Well, it came close to be but didn’t. Hamilton did well but had it too easy inheriting the lead and keeping ahead with the fastest car. My vote goes to Alonso, specially for a superb first lap.

    1. Ah, and another lost opportunity. After Vettel limped to the pits, I was hoping to see him climbing up position after position, maybe up to the podium, up to the points for sure. Again it didn’t happen. After the first lap and with the exception of the buildup to the last pitstop, the race was pretty boring, one of the worst this year.

  3. Things were going reasonably well while I was on the Softs, but with the Mediums I was really struggling to keep the car on track because of the lack of grip

    The above comment from Felipe (admittedly a bit of a complainer and with a different front wing) puts into perspective how Fernando drove this race so my vote goes for him

  4. I’ve gone for Nico Rosberg. Pushed his Mercedes to the limit in qualifying and the race to turn the tables on Michael Schumacher, who has recently been doing better in the races.

  5. I give Hamilton the DOTW. He did everything right. He didn’t get pole but, good grief, he took his 8th front row position, ahead of his teammate and another RedBull. It just goes to show that people basically expect him to take pole if he has a car within a few tenths in performance of the faster car.

    My hand hovered over the Alonso bubble, but really, he ended up beating a stricken second McLaren, Webber, and his slow poke teammate. He kept Hamilton honest, sometimes, but ended up more than 8 seconds behind.

    However, and here is my DOTY preview, because what are we waiting for, I expect to name Alonso driver of the year precisely because he finds himself in these somewhat unexpected podium positions almost every time.

  6. Close between Hamilton & Alonso as both deserve it equally but I have gone for the winner of the race.

  7. this week was a pretty tough choice.

    Rubens had a great driver from 24th to 12, but that would put him running for Driver of the Day.

    Nico started 7th and would’ve finished 7th if Vettel hadn’t punctured, so it’s hard to look at that as being anything more than what was expected and no different than MSC.

    Fernando had a brilliant first lap and kept Hamilton honest in the same way Button kept Vettel honest in India, but ultimately, he also was a case of a Driver of the Race candidate.

    The only really standout drivers for the entire weekend were the Macca boys and Vettel.

    Button was strong in practice and while he was pipped by Hamilton in Qualy, his speed was on par with Hamilton’s (9 thousands of a second is a blink of an eye, or less). Then he topped it off with a brilliant drive to defend against Webber, with a couple of champion level re-overtakes of Webber. Managing the Kers issue with Massa and Webber hard on him was massive.

    Hamilton had a “Vettel-esque” weekend, strong in practice, on it in Qualifying and flawless in controlling the race from the front. I wouldn’t rate the FP sessions as much of anything, McLaren has done well in practice but not delivered in Qualifying or the race. Also with Vettel out, Hamilton then suffers from the same critique as Vettel gets quite often, which is “stayed out front in the fastest car, what’s special about that?” What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and Hamilton inherited the lead through an odd misfortune rather than through anything special he did.

    Vettel had an outstanding weekend himself. Struggled in FP, but found the magic and pulled out P1 when it counted and in a car that was clearly not the fastest. In the race, his biggest challenge was going to be Hamilton and getting through turn 1 in the lead. Last year it was extremely tight and Hamilton said he wouldn’t back down this year. Vettel again delivered with a strong start and had 2-3 car lengths on Lewis out of turn 2. Just as Lewis pulled over 2 seconds on Fernando in lap 1, Vettel was on course to do the same with Lewis. But his tire blew.

    So how to rate it. For sheer consistency, and because the gods of racing are fickle but you have to give it to them, in the same way Vettel deserved a brilliant victory in Monaco, and Jenson deserved his victory in Canada, Lewis putting himself in the right place at the right time to take advantage of the vagrancies in fortune that happen in racing and driving flawlessly from lap one onwards, he’s my DOTW.

  8. Since Hamilton and Alonso have it covered, i voted Button for he should be the third driver of the weekend.

    Three things to highlight his performance:

    -Faulty KERS for 20 laps, then manual system reset, then another fail after two laps.
    -Much has been said about upset braking ballance with faulty KERS harvesters, which make it doubly difficult to keep pace (but what do we know about this stuff really?)
    -Despite that, brilliant and clean fights with Webber.

    That being said, many praises for Hamilton and Alonso for champion’s drives.

    1. Not to mention that Button has a history of complaining about the balance of the various cars that he drives. He did amazing to keep his race under control. I have at least tripled my opinion of Button this year.

  9. For me it is Hamilton. He showed great pace throughout the weekend and for people to be predicting him on pole and to be surprised by Vettel getting it is saying something. He drove a mature race and didn’t seem worried at all when Alonso was breathing down his neck. Superb drive which will hopefully give him that buzz back and turn his results around.

    Alonso also has to be mentioned as he drove a great race and was putting in superb lap times and showing great pace that we hadn’t seen all weekend.

    Jenson Button did well to hold off the attacks of both Massa and Webber to get his third third position at Abu Dhabi.

  10. Who voted for Pastor? Come on, speak up.. i would love to know why!

    1. I would love to know the person who went with MSC as well! :)

      1. Perhaps being seventh with a car which loses pieces its enough to receive the vote. :)

        Its much worse to vote Pastor, what an awful race he did.

  11. I voted for Kovalainen. Nearly 1 second quicker than Trulli in Q, and he was running a solid 13th before the first round of pit stops. Admittedly there had been a few cars at the back of the grid which were out of position, but he stayed in front of them and was even pulling away. Also his pace at the end of the race was more than enough to catch Senna for 16th if he hadn’t had to jump out of the leaders way to accord with the blue flags, unlike most other backmarkers it has to be said.

    A stellar drive from someone deserving of a better car IMO.

  12. Went for Button. McLaren gets the biggest performance advantage from KERS, it collapsed, played havoc with his set up for the entire race, an yet he still got himself onto the podium.

  13. Lewis Hamilton is driver of the race. Isn’t that a shock!?!

  14. I’m a HUGE Hamilton fan and I can’t stand Alonso, but Alonso out performed the hell out of that Ferrari. I voted Alonso.

  15. I voted for Lewis, and I don’t get this “McLaren” had the quickest car business. If they did, why wasn’t Button on pole. Is Buttons pace a reflection of the car’s true pace, or is its Lewis’s pace? If he made a mistake in Q3, it is probably because he is on the limit of what the car is capable off. There was less heat on the track than in Q2, and this affects all the cars differently, and also taking into account different driving styles.

    if anyone really thinks that the McLaren is suddenly faster than the Red Bull, then have been drinking too much Red Bull. If Vettel had been in the race, Lewis would have challenged him, but would not have had the pace to win it outright. Maybe an unlikely Red Bull fumble in the pits would have given it to him, but that’s about it.

    As most people in the pits already know, and as Hamilton alluded to, Red Bull DO turn something up in the car in Q3, and have consistently done it all year round, and last year as well – probably a engine mapping to feed the diffuser more exhaust air, so i don’t understand the memory lapse in everyone. They have also turned it on for short whiles in certain races. Again, is Vettel’s pace a true indicator of the Red Bull car is capable of?, Or is it Webber’s pace? Or is it that Webber lacks some engine mappings that Vettel has? (This is not as preposterous as it sounds)

    With regards to Ferrari, again, their pace on the Softs were comparable to McLaren’s – once they are warmed up. The Ferrari has trouble “switching” on and getting heat into its tires – exactly the way it was designed; which is why it is kinder to its tyres than other cars. This also explains their poor qualifying pace, but electric race pace this year (at least before the tyres go off)

    1. (This is not as preposterous as it sounds)

      Yes it is, not for simply mentioning it like you have, but because some like to twist it into the predictable, slandering nonsense that Webber is only being beaten because of unfair treatment or inferior equipment.

      Mclaren have had a car in various qualifying sessions and races that has been capable of matching or beating the Red Bull, or at least getting closer to it than their drivers have. LH went 0.2s slower, and threw away pole like he did in Hungary, and like he (and his team) did in Japan. Button’s qualifying, like Webber’s just isn’t good compared to his teammate.

      1. It may not be the “only” reason, but it may well be part of the reason. What i am saying is that we cannot discount it as incidences which suggests that this practice may exist at Red Bull.

        Also, i am not aware of any tracks this season that the McLaren have been capable of beating the Red Bull – on race pace. Getting pole, as Lewis did in Korea didn’t translate into beating the RBR, and if Vettel hadn’t retired in Abu Dhabi, he wouldn’t have beaten him either.
        “Matching” something, and “beating” it, are not the same. And how do you know he “threw” away pole? Because his Q2 time was faster? Or because he made a mistake in Q3? Either way, there is no evidence anywhere he threw it away, as you can explain those scenarios. Even Hamilton said he had done his best.

        1. “Also, i am not aware of any tracks this season that the McLaren have been capable of beating the Red Bull – on race pace. ”

          Hungary comes to mind, which was a brilliant pole by Vettel, but the McLarens definitely had the best race pace.

          Germany? Vettel and Mark felll away. And consistently throughout the season, Mark’s race pace has been below Hamilton, Button and Alonso.

          Spa was another track ideally suited for McLaren. Monza as well – McLaren had the pace but blew it on the start and restart which put them in a massive hole.

          Abu Dhabi, McLaren had better race pace than Webber in the RB7.

          Ferrari had the race pace over RB in the dry.

          So actually, there have been a few tracks where RB wasn’t dominant, but still pulled out poles and wins.

  16. Alonso for me. One of his best results for me. Clearly he had the pace to tackle Hamilton but just couldn’t get the tyres working on his last stint. He was the one to watch during the race for me.

  17. My vote goes to Fernando, he combined a very strong start,overtaking Jenson and Max, with the usual superb pace in the long stints. With a clearly slower car than Mclaren he put Lewis under a great pressure. Although it was very tactical, the batlle between them was very interesting.

  18. Such a shame for Vettel, as he would probably have been my driver of the weekend if he hadn’t retired.

    I ended up going with Alonso, but it was very tight between him and Hamilton. Vettel was by far the most impressive on Saturday, however, and I dare say he’d have won the race on Sunday… What a shame.

    1. And I was very late to comment on this as I didn’t even see the article go up!

  19. Glad to see the best 2 drivers in the grid showing respect for each other. My vote for Alonso for the great 1st lap and again outperforming his car.

    Funny to see people voting for Vettel in this race whereas other WEs when he does the complete package (Ps, Pole & win) he doesn’t get the driver of the WE trophy!!!

  20. This was a hard one for me, the same drivers that Keith mentioned are the ones that stood out for me also.

    Immediately after the race I probably would have voted for Hamilton, but I have since changed my mind and decided to vote for Alonso.

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