Start, Melbourne, 2012

Vote for your Australian Grand Prix driver of the weekend

2012 Australian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Start, Melbourne, 2012Which F1 driver had the best race weekend in Melbourne?

Compare all the drivers’ performances below and vote for who you think was the best driver of the Australian Grand Prix weekend.

Driver notes

Sebastian Vettel – Superb lap-two pass on Rosberg, rode his luck to claim second from Hamilton.
Mark Webber – Pipped his team mate in qualifying despite not having KERS, lost ground at the start but rallied to take best-ever home result.

Jenson Button – Beat Hamilton off the line and never looked back.
Lewis Hamilton – Brilliant pole lap but couldn’t match Button’s race pace. Unlucky to lose second.

Fernando Alonso – Qualifying mistake cost him a better grid spot but wrung every last hundredth from the car in the race to take fifth.
Felipe Massa – “This has been a really poor weekend for me,” said Massa, and he wasn’t kidding: Several spins in practice, well off Alonso in qualifying, poor race pace.

Michael Schumacher – Qualified and raced well before gearbox problems put him off and forced his retirement.
Nico Rosberg – Blew his only new-tyre lap in Q3, started well but was shuffled back into the pack with weak race pace.

Kimi Raikkonen – Looked a little race-rusty as a mistake and poorly-timed final run saw him go out in Q1. But pulled off some good passes in the race – especially when he gained three places in the last-lap scramble.
Romain Grosjean – In contrast to Raikkonen, starred in qualifying with a superb lap for third in his eighth F1 appearance, but lost ground at the start and went out in a needless collision with Maldonado on lap two.

Paul di Resta – Said he failed to get his tyres warmed up adequately for his qualifying lap but stole a point on the final lap of the race by saving KERS until the last corner.
Nico Hulkenberg – Qualified well but was unlucky to go out on lap one at Melbourne – again.

Kamui Kobayashi – His Q1 lap would have been good enough to get him in the final ten had he done it in Q2. Put a superb pass on Raikkonen during the race which put him in a position to claim sixth when Maldonado crashed.
Sergio Perez – Relegated to last on the grid by a gearbox change penalty but gained ten places on the first lap. Ran a customary long first stint to briefly hold second. Safety car probably cost him track position to Maldonado, suggesting sixth place was on the cards.

Daniel Ricciardo – Squeezed off at the first corner and spent the race making up for lost time. Passed his team mate on the final lap en route to snatching two points for ninth place.
Jean-Eric Vergne – Narrowly missed out on Q3 on his Grand Prix debut. Had an off during the race and lost out in the last-lap scramble for the final points places.

Pastor Maldonado – Qualified well and raced strongly for 57 laps. The final 58th tour was where it all went wrong – he nearly rear-ended Alonso at turn three, then shunted heavily at turn eight.
Bruno Senna – Poor qualifying left him vulnerable to midfield mayhem – which duly claimed him at the first corner. Fell to the back of the field and was fighting his way through when he made contact with Massa.

Heikki Kovalainen – Lost KERS at the start and was without DRS for the first few laps. Retired with suspension problems but not before incurring the wrath of the stewards by passing cars during the safety car period.
Vitaly Petrov – Out-qualified by Kovalainen but enjoyed a more straightforward race until his CT01 also failed.

Pedro de la Rosa – Beat his team mate in qualifying despite only setting his first lap in the car during final practice.
Narain Karthikeyan – Almost matched de la Rosa in qualifying but both were well outside the 107% time and were not allowed to start.

Timo Glock – Brought the car which hadn’t run in pre-season testing home in 14th place.
Charles Pic – A classified finisher on his F1 debut, despite having to stop a few laps from home having lost oil pressure.

Qualifying and race results summary

Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 6th +0.017s 58/58 2 2nd -2.408s
Mark Webber 5th -0.017s 0/58 2 4th +2.408s
Jenson Button 2nd +0.152s 57/58 2 1st -4.075s
Lewis Hamilton 1st -0.152s 1/58 2 3rd +4.075s
Fernando Alonso 12th -1.003s 46/46 2 5th
Felipe Massa 16th +1.003s 0/46 3
Michael Schumacher 4th -0.35s 10/10 0
Nico Rosberg 7th +0.35s 0/10 2 12th
Kimi Raikkonen 17th +1.26s 0/1 2 7th
Romain Grosjean 3rd -1.26s 1/1 0
Paul di Resta 15th +0.772s 0/0 2 10th
Nico Hulkenberg 9th -0.772s 0/0 0
Kamui Kobayashi 13th -0.414s 18/58 2 6th -2.692s
Sergio Perez 22nd +0.414s 40/58 1 8th +2.692s
Daniel Ricciardo 10th -0.11s 1/58 3 9th -0.292s
Jean-Eric Vergne 11th +0.11s 57/58 2 11th +0.292s
Pastor Maldonado 8th -0.457s 52/52 2 13th Didn’t finish on same lap
Bruno Senna 14th +0.457s 0/52 3 16th Didn’t finish on same lap
Heikki Kovalainen 18th -0.339s 13/34 3
Vitaly Petrov 19th +0.339s 21/34 1
Pedro de la Rosa -0.148s 0/0
Narain Karthikeyan +0.148s 0/0
Timo Glock 20th -0.747s 52/53 2 14th Didn’t finish on same lap
Charles Pic 21st +0.747s 1/53 2 15th Didn’t finish on same lap

Review the race data

Vote for your driver of the weekend

Which driver do you think did the best job this weekend?

Cast your vote below and explain your choice in the comments.

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

  • Sebastian Vettel (4%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (2%)
  • Jenson Button (44%)
  • Fernando Alonso (21%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Michael Schumacher (1%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (7%)
  • Romain Grosjean (1%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (3%)
  • Sergio Perez (8%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (2%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (6%)
  • Bruno Senna (0%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (0%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (0%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (0%)
  • Pedro de la Rosa (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Charles Pic (0%)

Total Voters: 861

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2012 Australian Grand Prix

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181 comments on “Vote for your Australian Grand Prix driver of the weekend”

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  1. I feel Alonso did an incredible job in the race to drag his car in to a race finish it was clearly not deserving of, but Button had been flawless for most of the weekend and fully deserving of his win.

    1. I agree. Button was in a (self created) comfortable position. But Alonso really dragged that car to 5th.

      Would have voted for Maldonado if he didn’t crash on the last lap.

      1. If I had to choose either button or alonso it has to go to Button, no doubt. Because of Alonso’s mistake in quallifying cost him a better grid slot. (it’s driver of the WEEKEND, not just the race).

        1. What he said.

    2. Same here, I loved Jenson all around performance, but Alonso IMHO did an outstanding job taming that car into submission. Just take a look at Massa’s performance on the same car. Worst spirited driver award in my book goes to Lewis, he looked like a spoiled brat on the interview. Just look at how Jenson celebrates and congratulate Lewis when he wins…

      1. Lewis congratulated both Jenson and the team in multiple interviews. Looked a bit disappointed he didn’t win, couldn’t match Jenson’s pace, had to wait so long for his first pit stop losing seconds cause the tyres were finished, and then lost second to Vettel at the next pit stop. Had every right to look disappointed, but spoiled brat? No.

        1. Lewis has to take off the boxing gloves and stand his ground. Button has a smug look now that he has Lewis cornered and has Witmarsh on his side. Three yrs ago on another site I said Lewis would never win a DWC under Witmarsh and I stand by it. They might both be British but in Wits view he most probably sees JB as more British!
          Lewis has nowhere to go and so he will have to fight. Teams can mess with drivers in minute ways and it shows how JB is being favoured against LH. Lewis should have been brought in before JB. Lewis pace on the graph shows that he pretty much matched JB. I just do not see the fair play at McLaren at the moment. Wish Ron was back but then beggars would ride!

          1. Rubbish. At most teams, the leading driver gets the first chooise for pitstops. There is nothing wrong with what Mclaren did. Instead, is was Lewis himself who couldn’t match Button this weekend. No excuses. That said, it was only the first race and he might improve over Button in Malaysia.

          2. That would be a dangerous approach. Lewis just didn’t get all he could from his car and failed to keep P1 after turn 1. Jenson did a better job but I don’t read much into it, Jenson must step his qualy game up because he will not have perfect starts all season long. Lewis should not panic, it’s the first GP and he has a good car.

          3. I think we are all getting ahead of ourselves after the first race. Button had a better day than Lewis, and that is it.

            Hamilton has shown in 2010 that he can outqualify and outrace Jenson nearly every weekend of the year. 2011 was Hamilton’s poorest season to date.. while 2011 was Jenson’s strongest season to date. They both ended the season on the same number of wins.

            That just goes to show that once Hamilton finds his form and rhythm again, there is absolutely no competition between them. I think Button should enjoy his moment in the sun, as there is no way this feeling is going to last forever. Soon Jenson will be back to talking about the ‘lack of grip’ , ‘not finding the right balance’ and his usual bunch of excuses for not matching his teammate.

          4. i hope you are not going on the coulour of lewis skin when you say he is not as british as JB,if you are tut tut

          5. Button was quicker than Lewis all race, in fact, he was quicker than anybody all race. He got to pit first because that’s how teams have taken to doing it, the lead driver makes the call.

            Anyone trying to say that one driver or the other is being given and advantage from Mclaren is doing a disservice to the driver they support, and is insulting Mclaren, one of the teams who absolutely shines in having two top drivers, giving them equal support and making it work.

        2. he had to wait long in pit stop because he was second, and button got priority for being first. tyres were finished because of his driving style, and because he was second in line for pit stop because button beat him. lost second to vettel because he couldnt drive as fast as button, so put himself in that position when a safety car came, like it does often in australia. he did look like a spoilt brat, not just dissapointed, he should realise a podium is a priviledge many drivers in f1 never get to experience. his attitude is pathetic. if he thinks he is the best, he should start driving like the best, which he hasnt done since his performances in 2007/08. his driving has got worse since 2008, maybe he was lucky those tyres didnt require as much management as they do now. its clear he thinks he has this sense of entitlement, he still thinks he is the next senna. he is getting further and further from being the next senna. his podium performance at melbourne was really pathetic.

          1. You sound angry…

          2. Wow abit over the top. I know why he had to wait, all I said was it was a negative factor to his race that was bound to get him down. That said Mclaren knew Jenson wasn’t comin in for a while, what was wrong with bringin Lewis in abit earlier so he didn’t lose more time and as a team that would be the best choice. Actually the statistics show his degredation was no worse than Jensons. He was just out a lap longer and Mclaren let it a little too late for both cars. He just couldn’t match button on pace, which to be fair, is a very rare occurence. He lost second to Vettel because of the timing of the safety car, nothing more. He had to complete a whole lap at safe pace, Vettel didn’t and jumped ahead. Get your facts before you comment.
            No disappointed was all he was, he wasn’t happy with himself, but still managed a smile and congratulated the team and Jenson. How is that acting spoilt? He does drive like the best very often, but can’t do it all the time.
            His driving in 2009 was hampered by a car that was actually three wheeling through corners yet when it improved, he dragged i to victory. 2010 he was superb, the most consistent driver, in the third fastest car, topping the championship untill Monza, where the troubles that affected him in 2011 started. 2011 was a bad year, yet he still managed three brilliant wins, which says alot about the talent he has.

          3. more likely he was disappointed that he had not been allowed to race Vettel due to having to stay in fuel saving mode. I think I’d be a bit miffed in those circumstances.

          4. “his podium performance at melbourne was really pathetic”

            Hahahahahahahaha! :lol:
            What a weird thing to say!

            “Sorry Lewis, your Podium Performances are really below par. Now, sort it out, or you’ll be driving for HRT next year”

        3. Sure he has the right to look dissapointed, but you will never see Jenson arriving third to Lewis and looking like a kid that just lost his dog.

          Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a hater. I love Lewis… when he is on the track. His attitude outside the car is something else, every time something doesn’t go as he wants, he acts not only dissapointed but as if somebody took something out of him. I think that attitude is costing his career dearly.

          1. No Jenson probably wouldn’t, but that’s more down to the fact he has experienced years where he got bad results constantly cause of bad cars.
            I don’t think Lewis was disappointed at anyone but himself, he wanted to start the season in command, but Jenson was the faster car in the dry for the second time and quite abit faster. I think he’s wondering what he has to do to beat him after that and it’s not gonna be easy. I think he has to just stay out of trouble and get a nice string of podiums and build the confidence he seems to have lost since 2011.
            I don’t think it’s a bad attitude, although Monaco 2011 was, but he wears his heart on his sleeve. He congratulated Jenson and the team and it seemed genuine, he just couldn’t figure out why Jenson was so much faster.

    3. Alonso was clearly the driver of the race. Just looking at him sliding around the car in practice, qualy and race shows the phenomenal work he did. I still mantain he’s the most complete driver in the grid…

      BUT, as it’s the Driver of the Weekend award, I think it should go to Button. He was on it since friday and just missed pole. Then in the race, he was faultless.

    4. For driver of the race, I easily would pick Fernando Alonso but his awful qualifying performance would make it unfair. I loved Kimi’s race but again, he was not that impressive on Saturday. Lewis was terrific on Saturday but failed to materialize his pole position on the “money day” so all I’m left with is Button and Vettel, once the Briton was reasonably fast on Saturday and Sunday I pick him as weekend’s Best.

      1. I agree with Alonso. Considering what he had to drag round the track and where he ended up his performance was phenomenal. As much as I dislike Alonso the person, Alonso the driver is possibly the best on the grid.

    5. Alonso was a miracle worker.

  2. If not Jenson I would vote for Sergio. Great drive by both of them.

    1. Interesting that everyone is talking about Perez and not Kobayashi.

      I agree that Perez drove a great race on his usual one-stopper, but surely the driver that finishes ahead in the team performed better, assuming there were no major incidents, which there weren’t yesterday.

      Both Sauber drivers performed brilliantly, but i’m surprised about the fuss around Perez in particular.

      Bright futures for the both.

      1. I beg to differ, I chose him as my top driver. Not in a majority though :D

      2. All the fuss is valid. Perez started last, and was up to 7th (then 6th as Maldonado crashed) in the very last lap.

        1. I may be wrong, but isn’t the reason why Perez was ahead of Kobayashi at the last stint because of the Safety Car? It was deployed just after Kamui made his stop, and it played perfectly into Perez’s hands.

      3. Yes he did drive a great race and you’re right Kobayashi did too – I just love that line-up. But Sergio out-performed Kamui in the race (and wasn’t as bad in qually as his position suggested), though Kamui made for some spectacular viewing as usual. There was a major incident in the race, which specifically affected the positions of that group of 4 including the Sauber drivers, otherwise SP would have led KK home. But kudos to them both. SP got my vote.

    2. Jenson Button. He wasn’t far from Lewis in quali and found speed at will compared to Seb and Lewis during the race. How did he manage a 2 second gap in one lap after the safety car? Clearly he had his eyes on Seb last year.

  3. there were some drivers that had a great race day, namely Alonso, Perez and Webber, but Button was absolutely untouchable…

    1. Webber? Really?!

      I went for Alonso. A great race performance.

      1. Agree :)

      2. lol, sorry i meant Vettel…

        1. i voted for Massa,
          because i reckon i will then be able to see where my one vote is.

          1. hahaha, nice

      3. If you look at the timings, Webber put in a lot of very fast laps and fastest laps too. He ultimately lost out to his poor start. He would have finished P2 or even challenged for the win imo if he’d started better.

        1. This is the thing with Webber though. It’s all “would have”, “could have” and “should have”. His starts have been consistently terrible, in fact, I can’t remember his last really good start.

          If he can get that sorted he’ll save himself a mountain of time stuck behind other cars and challenge for wins. But, at the moment, it’s just not going to happen.

  4. Button made it look easy, he had Hamilton & Vettel chasing him at different times of the race… but neither of the two could come close to challenge him for the lead. Good qualifying, great start & brilliant race control. If anyone has any doubts about Button being the biggest threat to Vettel’s retaining the championship needs to look at this performance.

    1. I couldn’t agree more!

    2. Alex (@smallvizier)
      19th March 2012, 19:12

      Button is my favourite driver for all sorts of reasons and I think he did everything that could have been expected of him last weekend.

      But that’s the thing – it is expected of him. We all know that Jenson can display supreme consistency and focus in a race. When I was talking on the ‘phone the day before, I predicted Jenson’s race from the first corner to the last one.

      Alonso’s, I didn’t even consider. I thought he’d be behind both the Mercedes; I thought, given Grosjean’s pace, that even Raikkonen might catch him. What had we seen this winter to suggest that the Ferrari was the third-best car? I’m still not sure that it is, in fact, but that’s where he put it.

      Ultimately if one driver performs serenely, but simply does what I already know he can do; whereas another driver blows my socks off; I’ll vote for the second. Even if Button is still my favourite.

  5. Plenty of good drives to choose from, but I will vote after reading all the team-by-team analysis articles. I think that was a good feature last year, to force readers to look at the whole field before voting. I often ended up voting for Glock that way, instead of one of the front-runners.

  6. Button’s and Alonso’s were the two most impeccable driving on race day; Button nicks it for me with Alonso making a mistake in Q2.

    1. I voted Fernando, Buttons was a clean race but other than the restart behind the safety car the race held few challenges for him. Alonso simply outperformed his Ferrari by miles, he was fighting the car all the way, and as Martin Brundell said on Sky, “That boy could drive a one wheeled wheely bin fast” Not a fan of the man Alonso but you have to respect race craft like that.

      1. Completely agree about Alonso, I’m far from what you could call a fan of his, but with performances like he had yesterday you really can’t knock the guy’s abilities.

        1. Same here. What a driver.

  7. A tough choice between Maldonado, Massa and Karthikeyan.

    Seriously, I considered Maldonado as one of the candidates until the final lap, even despite his controversial clash with Grosjean. That was a strong performance but he spoiled it in the end.

    Congratulations to Vitaly Petrov, I didn’t expect him to be that strong in his first race for Caterham. Should Kovalainen start to worry? Let’s see if Vitaly’s able to outperform his team mate once Heikki’s DRS and KERS work. Timo Glock deserves a big thumbs up for bringing the virgin Marussia home and scoring a possibly important 14th place for the team.

    But the DOTW award goes to Button. There was no rain, no lucky circumstances and Hamilton made no silly mistakes. Button beat everyone fair and square and even the safety car that deleted the gap over his rivals couldn’t do anything to hamper Jenson’s triumph. I still refuse to believe that Button really has what it takes to be McLaren’s de facto number one driver but this parade was a serious blow to my scepticism.

    In the other news, I prefer the new F1F’s weekend review format over the old one.

  8. I gave it to Kobayashi. For once he did not grace us with huge passes (I didn’t see the one on Raikonen) but he ended up scoring very decent points in a difficult mid field with a very mature race. Looks like a more than decent experienced driver. Happy to see how far he has gone since 2010. (and seriously, who to give it to ? Alonso ? Button ? Vettel ? Perez ? Probably any one of them, but really, today was a good Koba day.)

    1. I’d like to add Keith, that I really like the new format for your DOTW run duown (all drivers + additionnal data). Great stuff.

      In the same vein, I’d like to say how happy I am of the quality of the field this year.
      Grosjean will be one to watch. Raikkonen isn’t as rusted as I feared, Maldonado showed why he became GP2 champion (and also why it took him some time to achieve it) .Vergne raced well despite losing it in the last lap, not a bad start for a first F1 race. Pic did what was expected from him. The Sauber drivers are both young, exciting and fast. And obviously we have our established drivers who do not disappoint. I only have a problem with Senna and Massa really (and obviously, the HRTs, but since they haven’t raced…). If the field remains as tight as it was yesterday, this year’s world champion will be able to say he won in one of the most difficult years ever (a bad start, a bad strategy call, and even a top car ends up in a midfield where any car is fast enough to be a real pain to overtake).

      1. Yep, the new format for this is a great improvement. The last system of individual posts for each team got a bit spammy by the end of the weekend. Still looking forward to some great analysis though.

        1. @hairs I wish I could still commit the time and effort into going through every driver’s race in the same detail as I did last year. Rather dejected to see my efforts described as “spammy”.

          1. @keithcollantine Ah well I hope you understand that in this context I mean “providing a lot of information in rapid sequence” rather than “providing information of no value”. As always, I think F1 Fanatic provides among the best analysis of F1 anywhere on the net, and puts most of the professional print/tv media to shame. But if you didn’t keep up during the weekend last year sometimes there could be quite a bit to catch up on! We all appreciate your efforts, don’t worry!

  9. Ham. Claimed pole and did the best he could under the circumstances during the race.

    1. I don’t see how good is he yesterday. At all.

    2. Circumstances? What, like starting from pole in the same car as the eventual winner? Yep, tough break.

    3. @mattynotwo – Hamilton was outpaced by his teammate during the race.

    4. I’m a massive Hamilton fan, but I can’t see how he was driver of the day unfortunately. Lacked some of his usual fire in the race.

      1. I’m not sure what the issue is ? Ham was 2nd in P1, 1st in P3, 1st in Qual, 3rd in the race. Thier is in fact, very few driver’s, who had a better weekend than that. Ham is a perfectly acceptable choice for driver of the weekend.

        1. I agree it was a solid weekend for him, but he wasn’t faster than Button in the race, which he usually is and he needs to ask himself why. He should have been second, if not for the safety car, but that’s racing and luck swings in roundabouts. I think for driver of the weekend, it has to be someone who was outstanding. Alonso for me was outperforming his car by miles and so gets it, even with the spin in quali. Lewis, you have to say, was underperforming in the race unfortunately.

          1. It’s still not clear what your issue is.

            It’s obvious that Ham had a better weekend than Alo – that is the question, driver of the weekend, not, driver of the race.

            Alo made a massive mistake in Qual, while Ham was on Pole, Ham was on the podium in the race, while Alo, finished down the order.

            When reflecting upon these facts, it becomes obvious, it’s a massive mistake to vote Alo, driver of the weekend.

          2. @mattynotwo – Ham was better in qualifying than Alo, but Alonso was far better in the race, considering that he did not have a car as good as Hamilton’s. In the most important session of the weekend (the race) Hamilton was outpaced by his teammate and struggled to stay ahead of Vettel in a slower Red Bull prior to the safety car.

            It’s definitely no bigger a mistake to vote for Alonso as DOTW than it is to vote for Hamilton.

          3. @david-a
            ‘he did not have a car as good as Hamilton’s.’
            Well, who’s faults that!
            The cars not designed for me, is it?
            The cars not designed for you, is it?
            The cars designed for Alo, with input from Alo, is’nt it?.

            Like I said, it’s obvious, that Ham had a better weekend than Alo, & that is what the question is, not driver of the race.

          4. @mattynotwo – Well, if you’re going to highlight driver input as the key to how fast a car will be, you’d better have been giving Vettel every last drop of credit for winning 11 races last year.

            And no, it isn’t obvious who had the better weekend. Hamilton had a good qualifying session, but had a poor race where he was outpaced by his teammate. Alonso had a poor qualifying session, and a very good race, since he moved forward and finished ahead of several faster cars.

  10. Got to be Button. Many drivers who raced well, didn’t get it together in qualifying including Alonso, Raikkonen and Kobayashi. Many who qualified well didn’t have a good race including Hamilton, Grosjean and Schumacher.

    Button was on a short list of drivers who remained solid throughout the weekend. He showed his doubters that 2011 wasn’t just a good year for him because Hamilton was poor, Button truly has upped his game. I can’t wait to see how the battle between Hamilton and Button transpires over the year.

    Maldonado also deserves a mention, I would have likely voted for him if he didn’t put it in the wall on the last lap. He qualified very well, a looked strong for the majority of the race. The incident with Grosjean was unfortunate, but a racing incident in my view. He also went of the track early on in the race and of course he crashed at the end. If Maldonado can maintain his pace over the season, and cut out the mistakes, he could have a great future in Formula One.

  11. Maldonado for me.He outperformed Senna all weekend and he was so close to that 6th place.Even Alonso said he deserved it.

  12. I’m a Vettel fan. But my vote gave it to Jenson Button. Totally flawless just like Vettel last year. No doubt, Vettel will be my 2nd.

  13. I’m picking Kimi because of where he started and the car he has to work with.

    1. I agree. His race pace was amazing considering it was his first race after 2 years of absence! Perez would be my second candidate.

    2. But that car qualified 3rd.

      1. I don’t believe it was that fast. Schumacher could have beaten Grosjean with a better lap in the qualifying, and Rosberg would have surely beat him without the mistake he did. And Grosjean lost drastically positions right at the start. So I’d say Lotus was 4th-5th quickest car. Probably 4th.

        1. @huhhii The mistakes of others just highlight how well Grosjean did in Q3. Kimi still made an error which meant he qualified 18th, a very poor effort, and finished 7th, which is roughly where the car should have been in the first place, according to your estimation of 4th fastest. He did well on Sunday, but for me isn’t a DOTW candidate for this weekend.

          1. True. But I was heavily leaning on fact that it was his comeback race after 2 years of absence, and that made him a worthy of DOTW.

  14. Just missed the hat trick pole fastest lap and race win, there can only be one choice this time.
    Would have loved to see Grosjean race for a bit longer, then he might have been a candidate.

  15. Went for Ricciardo, after a contact at the first corner and his pit stop he almost managed to match the pace of the front runners during his first stint. After the safety car came in he was dead last in the train of cars (15th I think) and during those 17 finishing laps, he was able to beat his teammate and get into the points. Also great drives by Jenson and Seb.

    1. @tomand95 He did have a cracking end to the race. Toro Rosso are looking pretty good this year.

  16. For me it is the race that I weigh upon to decide the driver of the Weekend. Honestly, there are quite a few serious candidates: Button, Vettel, Alonso, Maldonado, Perez, Raikonen… so since I can’t vote for all of them I picked Alonso for having the worst car of them all but still delivering.

  17. I voted for Perez only because I don’t vote for GP winner.

    But in all honesty, Button deserved it.

    1. @skodarap I have to ask… why not vote for the driver you think deserved it, just because they won the race?

      1. @keithcollantine

        In this case pure Sauber bias, but I do tend to vote for drivers that improve the most throughout the race from “no so good” qualifying.

  18. Button, no contest. Almost pulled it out of the bag in qualifying and actually knew exactly where he’d lost time, down to a tenth. And obviously did the business in immaculate fashion on race day.
    Alonso had a storming race, but with that crappy car had to push too hard and made a mistake in qualifying.
    Hamilton had a storming qualifying, but gave up after the first corner, partly due to apparently the team miscalculating the fuel load.
    Vettel’s weekend was a bit patchy and he did rather luck into his 2nd place finish.
    Webber’s start messed up his race, in a similar fashion to Hamilton’s. I hope he can stay on top of his car this same way for the rest of the season and I think he can beat Vettel.

    In all, I have to say though a very good case could be made for pretty much everyone in the midfield who made it to the finish. It really is so tight there that even after the race, still pretty much all of them said “we could have had a better result” and it was hard to really contest that.
    Obviously Maldonado lost his result on the very last lap and his pace shows Senna might have done better if he hadn’t had the problems he did. Both Saubers might have done better if they’d qualified where they were able to. Grosjean was set for a good race until (inexperience?) he decided not to get out of the corner Maldonado had forcibly taken for himself and obviously Raikkonen might have done better if he’d qualified where he should have. And then both Toro Rosso drivers had really decent races given their inexperience at this level, pressuring the people in front of them to the very end.

    Bring on the rest of the season, I say :D

  19. Button all the way. Alonso gets a mention but so should Pastor despite his mistake.

    I’m feel for Schumacher because I think a top five place was at least on the cards for him, I think he’d have gotton many votes should his car have lasted.

  20. Maldonado’s performances in qualifying and the race completely shook off his ‘pay-driver’ tag and probably would have made him, at least one of, the drivers of the weekend. But then he binned it on the last lap when he was in a position to score more points in the first race than the entire team did in the entire season last year.

    On race day Alonso (as always), Vettel, Raikkonen and Perez all delivered great performances, but they didn’t do the business on Satday.

    Plenty of other ‘nearly’ stories to add here but for me driver of the weekend is Button. It was a stunning performance and if you want proof how much so, just look at Hamilton’s body language post-race.

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