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. Pastor Maldonado for me. I think we at last saw a glimpse of his true potential. Absolutely gutted for him and Williams when he went off on the last lap

  2. Lewis Hamilton – Brilliant pole lap but couldn’t match Button’s pace pace. <– I guess it should be race pace. Typo here?

    Driver of the weekend for me is either Button, who simply had perfect race and close to perfect qualy, or Alonso who again put the Ferrari where it didn't deserve to be.

    1. Changed it, thanks.

  3. JB for me, absolutely controlled the race. Plus his attitude was fantastic. He wasn’t dejected when he qualified second he just took in his stride and even knew where he got it wrong, he congratulated Hamilton on his pole with sincerity and was happy with only being half a tenth off the pole.

    Some noteworthy mentions have to go to Pastor Maldonado for his almost brilliant race and Fernando for his brilliant recovery drive. Right now I don’t know why Felipe Massa has a seat.

    Lewis Hamilton really disappointed me today, and not in the car either. He was unlucky to finish 3rd, but his attitude after the race stunk. He sulked thought the podium and the press conferences and said what he needed to say. When he said congratulations to JB and the team, he really didn’t mean it. He was unlucky today but the result wasn’t a disaster. He needs to improve his attitude or I really am going to start taking a dislike to my favourite driver. He’s supposed to be a professional world-class racing driver, not a little boy!

    1. Actually he was one and a half tenths of pole ;)

      1. Whatever it was lol it was close!

  4. Felipe Massa gets my vote, as he’s saving me the 30 odd pounds a month by not having sky. As a fan of his -his performance yesterday just confirmed I made the right choice!!

  5. I think it has to be JB.
    He wasn’t that good in qualifying, but not bad either. In the race though he was just a step above everyone else.
    Hamilton looked good in qualifying, but he was horribly slow in the race.
    Vettel was IMO even better then Button in the race. Pulled out great overtakes and really got some pace out of the car, but again a trip off the track and making a mistake in qualifying puts him out right there.
    Alonso was brilliant in the race and really dragged a dog of a car into a place very few could have done, but he was the only to blame for his mistake in qualifying which saw him miss out on Q3.
    Raikönnen was also very good in the race, but again, mistake in qualifying..
    Maldonardo was actually close to getting my vote, just until he lost the car on the last lap and threw away everything. Great race despite that though, but no. Just no.

  6. Being a Button fan and not an Alonso fan, I still have to give it to Alonso. Alonso never ceases to amaze me with his abilty to get the most of out of a car. I mean the car was slower than the Williams of Maldanado and he still came in 5th.

  7. Sergio Perez! From 22nd to 8th place in Sauber!

  8. Fernando dragged every last ounce of speed from his underdone Ferrari. He certainly earned his euros in Australia. Maybe he should consider being paid in Aussie Dollars ;)

    It’s great to see Williams and Lotus competitive again! What a great start to the season. Bring on Rd2

  9. Vettel. His race-craft was questioned in 2010 and even after 2011 there were still some doubters. The fact of the matter is that in 2011, Seb took risks but the cost of failure was not too high as he had often almost secured his championship. But this weekend, when it was all on the line he was able to recover from a poor qualifying to show some brilliant passing and split the McLarens who were looking dominant.

    1. Very true, however his mistake in the qualifying cost him quite a lot. And maybe he would have been able to challenge Button a bit more (Just maybe) if he didn’t get stuck behind Michael Schumacher for so long.
      His race however indeed was really good.

  10. I voted for Perez – 14 places gain is impressive for me. ( If Maldonado hadn`t crashed, I would vote for him. )

    And wait? Why Button has 44% of the votes. He did the same Vettel was doing last year and yet he won only 3 DoTW.

    1. Very true… Except that SV started from pole more often than not. But that’s a good point.

    2. @eaiorloc Yeah, it would have been a tougher decision for me if Maldonado hadn’t of crashed. Valiant effort though!

      I went for Perez as well.

    3. @eaiorloc It’s Vettel. Of course he isn’t going to get anything.

  11. Tough call this time, if you actually think about it. Ricciardo had a brilliant race, Maldonado would have been a great pick if he didn’t manage to throw it all away so close to the end, Alonso’s drive was brilliant, allthough if it wasn’t for the early retirements of Grosjean and Schumacher he’d look as mediocre as the Ferrari. Vettel managed to go cleanly from 6th to second with a brilliant move on Rosberg early on, catching more than 4 seconds on Button and Hamilton during the race (even though they apparently were on fuel-saving mode according to Whitmarsh).
    Hamilton’s qualifying lap was stunning, but his race performance was lackluster.

    The only flaw on Button’s weekend was that he didn’t take the pole when Lewis posted an amazing lap. But during the race he was untouchable. Before the safety car came out Vettel was closing in on both McLarens, so I was hoping for an exciting finish, but Button simply walked away. Not a single mistake, well deserved victory.

  12. Might, mighty impressed with Sauber this weekend. My vote goes to Perez.

    I knew he had the capability to have a good race starting from the back with fresher tyres. Like @keithcollantine said it was a customary display of how to look after your tyres that he executed well and he ultimately ended up comfortably in the top 10.

    Plus, after being disqualified last year (although it of course has no bearing on his performance this year) I just thought it was extra special for him.

    1. Fully agree with you there Andrew.

    2. Comfortably in the top 10? He only just made it by .4 of a second…!!

  13. A lot of great driving; Vergne and Ricciardo both qualified well and had good races with a little contact. Grosjean’s Saturday, Perez race strategy, Raikkonen’s comeback, Button’s start, Webber’s qualifying without KERS ahead of Vettel and there’s still some confusion about where the start problem came from but to come back from that and 2011 shows character.
    Hard to pick but I’ll go for Alonso; that car is hideous in more than looks and he was only behind McLaren and RBR.

  14. This is quite a tough vote with a lot of great, or mixed, performances up and down the grid. Added to that I was watching over a dodgy connection instead of the TV, so my viewing of the last 10 laps or so was scraggy.

    Alonso proved why Ferrari made the right decision making him #1 driver. There’s never been any evidence that Massa is capable of putting in those sort of relentlessly determined performances, and as they killed his spirit, I’m sure he can’t rise to the challenge now. The Ferrari looked like an unpredictable dog of a car to drive all weekend, and for a large part of the race Alonso made it look stable. Maybe that’s due to high fuel making up for lack of downforce, though, because it got twitchy again towards the end.

    Massa … I don’t know. Perez should have had his seat this year, and will almost certainly do next year. Great performance from him, and as other people have commented, Sauber need to let us see what he can do with a less conservative strategy.

    Maldonado drove a strong race, but again showed a lack of judgement more than once, and needs to show a lot more maturity and sense.

    Raikkonnen did well, but making a mess of qualifying didn’t do him any favours. In contrary to years of “Kimi’s lazy and unmotivated” commentary, I got the impression we had a “Kimi’s manic and grabbing the whole thing by the throat” this weekend. Sounds like a fun combination for race fans.

    Grosjean did himself a massive amount of favours in qualifying, showing his detractors (like me) that he deserves the drive, but then losing places at the start and a fairly needless clash with Maldonado gave his detractors a lot of reassurance that he still has a way to go. As to the incident, I don’t have a very high opinion of either driver, so I’m not inclined to apportion blame either way. Both got too close unnecessarily and if either one of them were better at thinking things through, we probably wouldn’t have had the incident at all. Still, he deserved better than that as an end to his race.

    All in all, I think we had the same as last year: do you give the DOTW to the guy who never put a foot wrong, and dominated the whole race against a strong field, or to the guy who dragged a bad car where it didn’t belong, but has a few mistakes here and there? Tough one to call, but I went for Button because I’ve liked his attitude, and I voted for Seb in similar circumstances last year.

  15. Voting Button as the best at melbourne is a little over the top. He actually started from P2 and only drove past Hamilton. Of course he really did well and had a great race in winning. To be fair…Perez or Kimi R. would be a better choice, then again I of course am not being biast. My fav is Michel Schummacher and he didnt have such a great race.

  16. Im stunned very few people mention M.Schumacher. He did great in all of the practise sessions, constantly being at the top. Then he put in a good lap at Q3 and even outqualified Rosberg. Problem was that his car failed, he wasn’t really to blame.

    Still voted Button tho, he was mighty this weekend. But Schumacher for #2 for me. Vettel probably 3rd.

  17. It was Perez for me: unlucky in Q2 due to his gearbox and also had a penalty, but took revenge from last year running the same strategy and making it work again; he was unlucky to lose P7 on the final lap, but I still don’t know whose fault it was. P8 is still a very good result.
    Button was great: after leading FP1 he was in P2 in Q3 and won deservedly.
    Vettel’s qualy lap was slower than Webber’s.
    Webber’s best home result wasn’t enough unfortunately.
    Alonso’s low qualifying position was his fault.
    Vergne was very good.
    Grosjean was very good.

    1. Maldonado was amazing as well, unfortunate with his collision, but I’m looking forward to seeing him this season.

  18. Voted for Alonso – He really did drag that car up to 5th. Massa continues to show what a dog it is :)

  19. I went for Vettel, although I struggled to choose with Button, Alonso and Perez all being outstanding. In the race he really seemed to get the most out of the car, never gave up and was rewarded when the safety car helped him leapfrog Hamilton.

  20. The drivers who stood out for me were Button, Alonso and Perez, I was impressed by Maldonado until he crashed on the last lap.

    Button’s race was almost a copy of a number of Vettel’s races last year, leading after the first lap and quickly build up a cushion so DRS wasn’t an issue and then did the same after the restart.

    Alonso again outperformed the car, but he did make that mistake in qualifying, although on reflection I doubt he would have finished better in the race.

    Perez started from the back and managed to use his one-stop strategy to finish in the points.

    In the end I had to give it to Alonso even taking into account qualifying the race performance was just so impressive.

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