Vote for your Australian Grand Prix driver of the weekend

2012 Australian Grand Prix

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 (1%)

Total Voters: 861

Loading ... Loading ...

An F1 Fanatic account is required in order to vote. If you do not have one, register an account here or read more about registering here.

2012 Australian Grand Prix


Browse all 2012 Australian Grand Prix articles

Image ?é?® Pirelli/LAT

Advert | Go Ad-free

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

  1. suka (@suka) said on 19th March 2012, 9:46

    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.

  2. skodarap (@skodarap) said on 19th March 2012, 9:50

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

    But in all honesty, Button deserved it.

  3. Ral (@ral) said on 19th March 2012, 9:52

    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

  4. Mike (@mike) said on 19th March 2012, 9:56

    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.

  5. Aussie Rod (@aussierod) said on 19th March 2012, 9:57

    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.

  6. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th March 2012, 9:59

    This is a difficult one for me to pick: I was most impressed by Sergio Perez, Jean-Eric Vergne and Pastor Maldonado.

    Maldonado was very strong, and if he can replicate his feats (except maybe the crash) in Malaysia, I think it will go a long way towards silencing critics who claim he has no place in the sport, least of all because he obliterated Senna. I’ve spent some time saying that Maldonado might be a Williams driver, but he is not a Williams driver. What he produced this weekend was exactly the kind of drive one associates with a Williams driver, so I’m happy to be proven wrong. But it was still a bit of a scrappy Grand Prix, so Maldonado just misses out on my vote.

    Like Maldonado, Vergne misses out because of his mistakes. He went off once or twice, and there was a slide at Turn 13 on the final lap that cost him a points finish. Still, he did make Q2 and qualify eleventh on his debut, and I cannot think of a harder race for that to happen at than Australia – Daniel Ricciardo has been receiving a lot of attention from the media and the public of late, so Vergne really needed to stop it up a notch to deliver, and I think he did an admirable job. If it weren’t for that error on the final lap, he probably would have beaten Ricciardo home and earned a point for his efforts.

    Ultimately, I have to give it to Perez. I am amazed at his ability to produce laps that are as fast as the leaders, even when he is on the harder compound. Not even Jenson Button can do that. Just for once, I’d love to see Sauber put Perez on a two-stop strategy, and tell him to go bananas with the lap times, but I suspect they won’t, because they value the conservative strategy that nets points. Still, I think someone needs to give Perez a top-line drive, and soon.

    But, at the end of the day, I’m going to be watching these three very intently this year.

    • James (@goodyear92) said on 19th March 2012, 10:31

      I agree about Pastor. If he can do that more often (minus the crash), he will haved proved the doubters wrong. I didn’t like him last year because of his attitude in Spa and some of the anger issues he has had in past formula, but if he can calm down abit and continue to drive like that through the season, I will definately start supporting him. Perez? Definately a favourite for the Ferrari seat next year.

    • phildick (@phildick) said on 19th March 2012, 10:34

      Same three-way choice by me but with different outcome. It would be Maldonado if he didn’t do a Hamilton (@ Monza ’09), so I went for Vergne. Very good qualifying, consistent race pace, FLAP at some point of the race, just unlucky at the end.

  7. Fellipe Massa is the best driver without any question.
    I bet if the HRT were running they would have been ahead of MAS

  8. infy (@infy) said on 19th March 2012, 10:08

    Alonso, obviously.

  9. James (@goodyear92) said on 19th March 2012, 10:15

    Button did a great job. I think it’s too early to say he is the favourite for the championship as this race and Japan have been the only two races in the dry where he has been unbeatable, since joining Mclaren. I was glad we didn’t have to see the finger, but now we have the “W”, god help us lol. I was hoping for a Lewis win, but he drove a solid race with a great pole lap and was slightly unlucky to lose second, but ah well that’s racing. I’m sure he’ll get his confidence back slowly over the first part of the year with some solid podium finishes and then we’ll see the fiery Hamilton that didn’t seem to be there on Sunday. I plumped for Fernando, you can always count on him to drag the absoloute maximum from a car, but that was something else indeed. Brilliant drive and I hope Ferrari improve fast, so we can have him in the title fight and hopefully at some point, Fernando Vs. Lewis for a race win ;)

  10. icemangrins (@icemangrins) said on 19th March 2012, 10:16

    Guys….. It is more than 4 months since I contributed last in this forum. I had to travel back to India last month to address a personal situation. Missed the prediction championshiop too :-(

    WOW.. new site layout. Great job @keithcollantine

    Watched the race yesterday… shame for Michael and Lewis. Voted for Jenson and had to agree with Steve Slater (Star Sports commentator)… he may win this years WDC as per the stats.

  11. It can only be Jenson Button. Pretty much perfect from start to finish.

  12. There were several contenders for this in my mind, but consideration of qualifying performance along with the race narrowed the field to Button and Perez. Had to go with Button in the end.

  13. CarolinaBlue704 (@carolinablue704) said on 19th March 2012, 10:42

    If I had 3 votes I would go with:

    1. Button
    2. Alonso
    3. Perez

    Button drove a flawless race after overtaking Hamilton at the start. Alonso, just like last season, was able to seemingly push his Ferrari past its capabilities. Perez did a great job of fighting trough the field to finish 8th after starting in last place.

  14. brum55 said on 19th March 2012, 11:15

    Funny how Button is winning DOTD yet Vettel rarely won last year despite performances identical to Button’s on Sunday.

    My vote goes to Alonso but special mention to Kimi, I’d forgotten how exciting he can be when he has the bit between his teeth, especially with those blue flags distracting him. =)

    • Funny how Button is winning DOTD yet Vettel rarely won last year despite performances identical to Button’s on Sunday.

      Yeah, I was just about to say the same thing: So many people are citing Button’s “Vettelesque” drive (and even using that word) as their reason for voting for him — and I have to wonder how many of them voted for Vettel after those drives in the past…

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 19th March 2012, 12:07

        Yeah that’s true…last year it seemed it was the ones who qualified poorly and worked their way up the field during the race that got all the accolodes.

        I think with this race the difference is that most were thinking SV would be the one to beat on both days, and most were thinking LH would start out fresh and have a better year, and sure enough, got pole, so I think JB gets the nod because he did something that wasn’t entirely expected.

    • I think it is because there is still a perception generally (I guess I still believe it too ) that Hamilton is a better (or should that be faster) racing driver than Button, whereas it is generally accepted Vettel is a stronger driver than Webber so it is not as impressive. Button was quicker than Hamilton yesterday on race pace, and even last year that still wasn’t the case that often

    • Hairs (@hairs) said on 19th March 2012, 14:09

      I think that difference is partly due to the fact that last year the RB6 was massively more dominant than the rest of the field. When the guy on pole has a car which sometimes has a second or more advantage over the rest of the field, it’s difficult to hand him credit for winning.

      McLaren had a car advantage today, but not a massive one. Furthermore, the “Slower” teammate beat the “faster” one, so as @debaser91 said above, Button did something we didn’t expect him to do. I think the McLaren drivers are far more evenly matched nowadays than they were in previous years, and the perception that Button is slower is as much down to the fact that he takes longer to get in the groove, and the historical “years of underachievement” than their respective pace this year.

      • Hairs (@hairs) said on 19th March 2012, 14:10

        Durr wrong RB codenames there. Sorry.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 19th March 2012, 14:30

        Very true @hairs…I think JB is doing tons to errode this perception that he is the slower driver…and true enough, JB didn’t always have top 3 cars, whereas LH has. And this after everyone’s perception for quite a while now has been that the team is LH’s.

        I also take into account that JB is not the same JB he was before his WDC, and I think after last year he is probably better now than he has ever been, something that I don’t think many of us are taking into account when we assume LH is the faster driver. He wasn’t yesterday. The rest of the season will be fascinating.

        • brum55 said on 19th March 2012, 17:56

          Its a good point. I think the current regulations suit Button’s smooth style a lot more than Hamilton’s aggressive approach. But throughout last year though Button has been getting the better of Hamilton, so it shouldn’t be a surprise.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 19th March 2012, 22:15

        @hairs

        blockquote>When the guy on pole has a car which sometimes has a second or more advantage over the rest of the field, it’s difficult to hand him credit for winning.

        Except the margin usually was half a second or less in 2011.

  15. Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 19th March 2012, 11:18

    We all know Alonso can drive, but what’s not to say Felipe is driving poor rather than the car being so bad?

    • Julian said on 19th March 2012, 12:25

      Because you could see how hard Alonso had to fight with the car to get that speed out of it.

      Felipe is at best a solid driver; far from the best, but not the worst. He hasn’t got that ability to get the most out of a poorly performing car, so in a sense he shows the cars true pace.

      I say true as in ‘this is the best the car can do’ because Felipe doesn’t have that ability to extract more from the car then it is capable (like Alonso does), he can take it to its limit but not beyond it.

      So, yeah, he shows its true pace.

      • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 19th March 2012, 13:12

        Now I am hoping that Ferrari get rid of Massa and pair Alonso with a decent driver, just so I don’t have to read any more of this nonsensical ‘extracting more from the car than it is capable’.

        And I don’t think Alonso’s weekend was that spectacular. A rookie mistake in Q2, and his fifth-place finish has to be seen in the light of most of the cars around him running into some kind of trouble (Hulkenberg, Schumacher, Grosjean, both Toro Rosso drivers, Kobayashi).

        • suka (@suka) said on 19th March 2012, 13:54

          Succeeding not to run into “some kind of trouble”, could count as a skill. Also Kimi showed the similar trait.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 19th March 2012, 22:22

          @adrianmorse I read a few nonsense comments yesterday from some people about how Alonso could have won the race in a Lotus or Mercedes. Therefore, I agree, Massa really was ludicrously out of his depth on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and is making Alonso’s weekend look better than it was.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.