Start, Sepang, 2012

Vote for your Malaysian Grand Prix driver of the weekend

2012 Malaysian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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

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

Driver notes

Sebastian Vettel – Chasing down Hamilton for a podium when he clipped Karthikeyan, puncturing his tyre and damaging his brake. The stewards blamed the HRT driver but Vettel should have exercised more caution.
Mark Webber – Out-qualified Vettel again but struggled at the race restart. Was passed by Alonso and Vettel – but re-passed his team mate. Eventually elevated to fourth by Vettel’s demise.

Jenson Button – Accepted the blame for hitting Karthikeyan after getting ahead of Hamilton, following his team mate’s slow pit stop. An extra stop for intermediates pushed his tally up to five, but his pace was comparable to Hamilton’s.
Lewis Hamilton – Pole-to-third for the second race in a row. Drove superbly on intermediates when the track was very wet, but couldn’t match Alonso and Perez’s pace in the second half of the race. Poor pit stops were only part of the problem.

Fernando Alonso – Dragged the F2012 into Q3. Produced one of his best performances when the track was at its wettest and took the lead. Kept everything under control in the second half of the race when Perez quicker to score an improbable and brilliant win – despite also losing his telemtry.
Felipe Massa – Seemed happier with his new chassis in qualifying. But the race was a disaster. After the restart on lap 14 he lost over a minute and a half to Alonso by the end of the race: a massive 2.18s per lap. As Alonso crossed the line to win Massa’s car was visible in the foreground, five seconds away from being lapped.

Michael Schumacher – Qualified third and didn’t make his customary brilliant getaway. Was tagged by Romain Grosjean at turn four, dropping him to 16th place. Coped better with the W03’s tyre degradation than his team mate, but even so was fortunate to inherit the final point for tenth when Maldonado retired.
Nico Rosberg – Seems to have lost his qualifying advantage from last year, and an extra pit stop for intermediates dropped him well out of the top ten.

Kimi Raikkonen – Quick enough for fourth in qualifying, a gearbox change penalty left him tenth on the grid. Struggled on unfamiliar intermediates but set the fastest race lap on his way to fifth.
Romain Grosjean – Made a much better start than in Melbourne – until he reached turn four. Tangled with Schumacher and fell to 21st. Gambled on staying out on intermediates but aquaplaned off when the rain got heavy on lap four.

Paul di Resta – Blamed Maldonado for a spin which cost him three places just before the safety car came out. Moved forward at the restart, passing Massa on his way to seventh.
Nico Hulkenberg – Not as quick as his team mate on intermediates in the middle part of the race, he was passed by Vergne and Senna. Nonetheless brought the car home in the points in ninth, 3s behind Di Resta.

Fernando Alonso, Sergio Perez, Sepang, 2012Kamui Kobayashi – Six-tenths slower than Perez in qualifying, he retired with ten laps to go with braking problems.
Sergio Perez – A breakthrough performance. Took the Sauber, which hadn’t looked great in practice, into Q3. Gambled on an early switch to wets which put him in contention for the lead with some great laps when the circuit was at its wettest. Reeled in Alonso in the second half of the race but a mis-timed pit stop and a mistake at turn 13 ultimately blunted his charge.

Daniel Ricciardo – Lost out in the opening laps but was one of the first to switch to slick tyres which paid off handsomely. He was the quickest driver by three seconds on lap 39, which helped him finish ahead of Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg.
Jean-Eric Vergne – Knocked out in Q1 after flat-spotting a tyre on his last lap. Bravely stayed out on intermediate tyres until the race was red-flagged, which took him up from 18th to seventh. Passed Massa on his way to claiming his first points for eighth.

Pastor Maldonado – Was up to fifth by lap five but missed his pit box when he came in on lap 14, dropping him to 20th. Much quicker than Senna in the first laps after they changed to slicks, he was running tenth when his engine failed two laps from home.
Bruno Senna – Lost his front wing on the first lap so he switched to wets early. Despite that he came in again for more wets six laps later. Having fallen to last, he had a strong second half of the race, passing Massa and Di Resta to finish sixth and score Williams’ first points of 2012.

Heikki Kovalainen – Started last following his penalty from Australia. Damaged his nose after being passed by his team mate and finished 18th behind Glock.
Vitaly Petrov – Kept Massa behind for 15 laps and took 16th, showing good pace compared to Kovalainen.

Pedro de la Rosa – Started from the pits and was given a drive-through penalty when his team failed to get off the grid in time for the restart. Caught Karthikeyan but lost more time pitting two laps later than him for slicks.
Narain Karthikeyan – Used wets for the first stint, like his team mate, and crossed the line in ninth place on lap 13. Was hit by Button and later made contact with Vettel – the latter while being lapped. Handed a questionable 20-second penalty for the Vettel incident which dropped him behind de la Rosa.

Timo Glock – Was chased by Kovalainen in the closing stages but held on to take 17th.
Charles Pic – Kept Kovalainen behind in the middle of the race after the Caterham driver’s extra pit stop, enabling his team mate to finish the race ahead of his rival.

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 Malaysian Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (0%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (1%)
  • Jenson Button (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (28%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Michael Schumacher (1%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (2%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (61%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (1%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Bruno Senna (4%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (0%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (1%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (0%)
  • Pedro de la Rosa (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Charles Pic (0%)

Total Voters: 874

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2012 Malaysian Grand Prix


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Image ?? Pirelli/LAT

149 comments on “Vote for your Malaysian Grand Prix driver of the weekend”

  1. Sergio is always going to win this one, but Alonso and Senna deserve a fair share of Kudos as well. It’s amazing what some rain can do to a race.

      1. Surely Narain Karthikeyan deserves some plaudits, all the extra coverage is bound to attract more sponsors to his beleaguered team.

    1. I’m not so sure. When I clicked the link I was sure I was going to vote for Perez but then I thought about it some more!

      Although he drove a stormer, Perez actually made two mistakes which cost him the win. Not to mention the team screwing up by not bringing him in at the same time as Alonso.

      Alonso on the other hand, dragged his Ferrari into Q3 when it didn’t deserve to be there. Drove consistently, with no mistakes and thoroughly deserved the win. I voted for him.

      I’m by no means wanting to take away from a huge performance by Perez and Sauber, but I just feel Alonso deserved this one!

      Also a nod to Bruno Senna who drove a solid race despite his customary errors!

      As for villain of the day, I have to say I was disappointed with Grosjean. Two weekends running he hasn’t delivered on the promise he showed in qualifying and he had the cheek to blame Schumacher for the collision between the two on lap one. He has so much potential but must start to deliver soon!

      1. Absolutely agree. Alonso and Pérez both produced very brilliant drives, but Alonso made no mistake and that’s a big difference in this sport

        1. Considering the wet track I think taking away from what Perez did due to the off near the end is unfair to what he got right.

          Anyway, Perez’s team did more damage than Perez himself, if they had pitted him when Alonso did he never would have had to push so hard in the first place.

      2. Exactly my thoughts about it too, except you said it better than I was thinking :P

        1. Me too…for me it came down to FA getting the win so I voted for him, but SP gets a big nod for his efforts…I see the majority are for SP, no doubt because that car/driver doesn’t belong anywhere near 2nd right now, wet or dry, and the Ferrari isn’t much better.

          1. Certainly not an Alonso fan, but I have to surrender – You are right, he deserves this one, for exploiting the possibilities brilliantly. So I voted Alonso, which I would normally never do. Perez and Sauber made 2 errors, but they did very well also. I’m very sorry we didn’t get the duels between Alonso and Perez and between Vettel and Hamilton.

      3. I’m agreed with you guys, Perez being up there is a great story and a great job by him, but Alonso was utterly faultless, another one added to his ‘how did he do that’ list of wins.

      4. GEOFFREY (@)
        26th March 2012, 20:48

        Aswell, i was sure to vote for Perez, but Vergne – the only rookie to score point this time- made me think twice, he made no mistake, drove like an accomplished driver for his 2nd race in Formula One under storming conditions, he’s also the only non-world-champion (alonso/hamilton) to outrace his team-mate from lights to flag. All top ten drivers diserve their world championship points except the 7-time world champion. My own thought.

      5. Voted Alonso simply because he produced a perfect drive for the second race in a row.
        Di Resta deserves some kudos for being not too far off the “faster than a Ferarri” Williams of Senna.

    2. Whiile I believe Perez drove a great race, I don’t believe he deserves DOTW because he made two mistakes that cost him the win, while Alonso simply drove his Ferrari perfectly.

    3. Shame that Senna in particular won’t get much recognition due to the outstanding performances of Perez and Alonso too.

  2. Has to be Bruno Senna for me. Nice overtakes, from last at one point to 6th!. Would have picked Perez if it wasn’t for his small run-off mistake… Really would have liked him to win.

    1. He certainly had a great race! Some wonderful overtakes and a well-deserved 6th place. If he can cut out his mistakes I really believe he has the potential to do something great (not as great as Ayrton… but perhaps a few wins!).

    2. Agreed.
      After Melbourne all eyes on Williams were on Maldonado and how if he’d managed to keep it on the track, he’d have finished 6th and score more points in one race than the team did in the whole of 2010.
      Fast forward a week, and didn’t Bruno do just that in worse conditions, after coming back from losing a front wing?
      Both Williams drivers are being looked down on as pay to race drivers, but after being outperformed by Maldanardo in Oz and Mal Qualifying, I can imagine his confidence was low.
      I’m still unconvinced about Bruno, but fair credit to him and I can only hope that he gets the opportunity to grow this year.

      1. I think he needs to get used to the car so he can challenge in dry conditions better. This showed his potential though.

  3. So many great drives but, even though I felt he let the win slip, Sergio Perez was my choice.

    1. It’s Pérez for me as well. Honourable mentions to Alonso, Räikkönen, Senna and Vergne.

      1. Its quite obvious that most people are going to vote Perez. The underdog generally has to get the nod. But if you really think about it Perez had the faster car, and really should have pulled off the win. I think if he had 5 more years experience, he would have got it with no troubles, even if the car in front was being driven by Alonso.

        1. Exactly @ivz, if he had more experience, but since he hasn’t, he has to be judged to have done a great job – more remarkable than Alonso, bc. we know already Alonso is able to do this. Not to say Alonso again showed us how it is done, and how good he is, but he’s not at the start of his 2nd year in F1. So Perez also got my vote, in the end, even though a vote for Senna might have had more effect :)

    2. one thing is certain, next race it will be all change once again.
      This championship will be wide open till the very last race, maybe even beyond: I anticipate disputes and shananigans and retrospective judgements …
      Says so here in my crystal ball

  4. Has to be Sergio Perez. Outqualified his team-mate pretty comprehensively, then put in an amazing race, once again putting his team-mate to shame (even if he did have a bit of luck along the way). The fact he nearly won the race — in a Sauber — says enough for me.

    Honourable mention to Fernando Alonso who was just incredible. I just hope he doesn’t give his fans false hope, because that really was a performance we’re unlikely to see repeated, at least while the car is still as poor as it is.

    1. Alonso in the post-race press conference: ‘I think it (the victory) changes nothing. We are in a position that we don’t want.’ That doesn’t look like false hope.

      1. @boundary-layer Sorry, I meant to say that I hope the idea of him winning lots doesn’t get into the heads of everyone as they’ll be disappointed. I know he was very realistic in the press conference, but he still won a race and that must have injected a lot of enthusiasm into the fans! I really hope Ferrari can challenge like they did in 2010, but I don’t see it happening just yet.

    2. Yeah, look, Sergio was amazing, and I expected him to win this, but let’s be honest, this should be Fernando’s poll. There is no doubt that the Sauber was a quicker package than the Ferrari. Aside from not making a mistake, he had to be driving the wheels off that thing through the middle part of the race to be putting in those laps.

      1. +1
        I can’t believe so many people chose Sergio. He had a great race, put lost the win due to 2 small mistakes. Alonso was flawless.

        1. Good point but Fernando has had more practise so I voted for Sergio. I have been watching him for a while and he just gets on with it and shows up in the most unexpected places. This should add to his confidence.

          1. Well said @bobdredds, that’s exactly why my vote was for Perez over Alonso.

  5. I think this is a case where my driver of the weekend is the same as my driver of the day.
    He kept his nose clean during practice (and showed good pace to).He put the Sauber in tenth in a dry and very close qualifying session. Then on Sunday a mix of good strategy calls and more importantly very consistent and strong pace put him in a position to win the race.

    His mistake chasing down the grid’s fieriest competitor cost him the win but across the whole race weekend he was just sublime.

    1. It’s obviously Sergio Perez, well done Checo

  6. Sergio Perez.

    One of the all-time great underdog drives in history. No, he didn’t win. Yes, Fernando drove outstandingly to win himself. But Alonso is in a Ferrari – a team with an enormous budget – while Perez was in a Sauber – an independent team that don’t have anywhere near the resources that Ferrari have to be able to succeed.

    He made the right call on the opening lap to pit, he kept his head when he was third at the re-start, he drove like hell and managed to keep his Inters working beautifully for him and he almost snatched what would be an amazing, unforgettable victory before his only mistake of the day put him back. This from a young lad in his second season of F1 proving just how much potential he has. This podium will completely transform Sauber’s entire season and for the pure guts, mental strength and outstanding pace he showed when World Champions were cocking up through the field (Button, Vettel) he deserves to win this poll for his Sunday performance alone.

    God, that drive was awesome.

    1. @magnificent-geoffrey

      History is not on the track, actual physical cars are. You can’t escape from the fact that Sauber currently has a faster car than Ferrari, so Alonso should have get more credit for running away with a win in a weaker machine. Perez was in a better position, almost destined to pass Alonso until his own mistake which also should be reflected when judging his performance, he didn’t win the second place, he lost the first. Of course assuming the race result was determined on track and not on Sauber-Ferrari hotline.

      1. Words out of my mouth. Thanks Cyclops_pl.
        Just to add another fact, Alonso drove astonishingly in the rain, passed Sergio with an ease in the cloud of rain spray.
        Voted Alonso.
        Also worth mentioning is Kimi(still the coolest driver of all).

    2. Sure was, I had to force myself to even read the notes about the others here before voting Checo!

      I think that if Sauber had pitted him right behind Alonso, he might have gotten the win. But as it was we had a lovely few laps of catching his future team mate.

      I think there were quite a few guys doing memorably. Grosjean for making it a few laps into the race :-), Kimi for showing he really is back on top, Hamilton did go really fast at times, and never messed up. He could have been closer as well had they stopped him a bit earlier in that last stop. Webber did well not to lose out at the start and had a solid drive. Senna really showed the potential of the Williams again, and his composure to keep it on track, and so on.
      Surely Alonso keeps showing why he is worth the preferred treatment by Ferrari, even defending Massa afterward saying he was turning good speed at times.

      Vettel should have at least refrained from commenting on the get together with Karthikeyan, as he should have been paying more attention and leave more room, just to be sure. Button saved grace with at least admitting that his demise was his own doing.

      1. @BasCB

        You should definitely check out a few more camera perspectives. Comparing this to the Button incident makes little to no sense as well.

        1. Seeing camera perspectives does not change much in seeing a stuck up middle finger and hearing a drivers like Vettel say there is an idiot on track when its already some time after the incident.
          In short, that is not the kind of behaviour that endears him to me. I compared it to Button apologizing for hitting Karthikeyan and then laughing off the crazy result, because that is a far more gentlemanly way to get onwards.

          1. @BasCB Exactly this. I like Vettel, I think he’s a great guy. I was disappointed by how he responded on Sunday, even though I do think HRT are a bit of a pointless team and I certainly believe Karthikeyan has no place being on the grid.

            After my criticism of Alonso, a lot of people responded saying ‘oh, that’s just his killer instinct showing – many champions have behaved like that’. And that’s true, they have. But Button is a World Champion and he’s never really done anything so disrespectful as waving his middle finger at someone or weaving at and brake-testing a backmarker like Alonso did to Doornbos in 2006. That shows to me that you can be a truly great driver and not act like a numpty at the same time. Those are the drivers who I want to see win.

          2. @bascb, @magnificent-geoffrey – I somehow don’t warm much to Vettel, but I thought him to be funny, focussed and generally well behaved. Last weekend he wasn’t, seemed unhappy most of the time and took it out on Karthikeyan. Very disappointing from yet another double WDC. I thought he might prove to be different (well, so far he doesn’t seem a cheat).

            One reason to be impressed with Button is indeed that he’s a WDC who just about always manages to be calm and reasonable, gentleman-like as you say Mag. Cleverness or decorum? I’m not always sure, but it definitely is something to take as an example for other drivers.

    3. Brilliantly put :) agree 100%

    4. To think last week there were some people in here that didn’t think Sergio Perez was anything special. I remember arguing with them that he was looking very good, and his race in Melbourne was already strong.

      But I never imagined he’d surprise so quickly!

    5. Eternal Newbie
      27th March 2012, 20:16

      But Alonso is in a Ferrari – a team with an enormous budget – while Perez was in a Sauber – an independent team that don’t have anywhere near the resources that Ferrari have to be able to succeed.

      Such an argument! Sauber was much quicker than Ferrari in the dry. Making such a slow car with such a large budget doesn’t look good on Ferrari, but how does it detract from Alonso’s merit as a driver? If you have to drive a jalopy, the fact that it is an expensive jalopy doesn’t help that much.

      Rain is the great equalizer, and in the wet Alonso was the fastest, managing even a brilliant overtake on Perez. Something that Perez wasn’t able to return when he was bt far the fastest of the pair

      @mag, everyone is entitled to their own biases and loathings. But if instead of desultorily arguing beyond the realm of logic you had said “I will never ever vote for Alonso or anybody on a Ferrari, no matter what they do”, at least it would have been honest.

  7. I think Karthikeyan deserves at least some credits? Despite some stunning performances by other drivers and his controversial clashes, he still did a great job in the first half of the race.

    1. and he did his bit to ensure the title race stays close this year :D

    2. @lauericchunyip Fully agree. Taking into account the car that was at his disposal, Narain deserves a lot of respect for bringing it home, finishing ahead of his team mate and being lapped just twice. I’m also happy that someone’s managed to annoy the arrogant front runners, way to go HRT.

    3. OMG (getting this from my teenagers phone), you have got to be kidding me. 2 laps down getting in the way all around the course and receiving a penality for clashing with Vettel. NK is the worst driver on the track of one.

      1. Eh, he provides me with entertainment so I like him :)

      2. Well, the attitude of Vettel, and of Horner to the BBC about it, shows why he was 2laps down: he’s expected to loose seconds to let faster cars past; being slower already, it only slows him down more, and makes him loose more laps. Get rid of blue flags and let the fast guys know they should pay attention to those around them, especially if they are slower.

        Narain has it right: it is dangerous if people are so dismissive of those they are lapping, it (can) lead them to disregard those cars, paying less attention to what they do.

        The Melbourne weaving/unlapping under SC episode had some of the same lack of regard for the needs of others on track just because they are behind you, and it is dangerous.

  8. One would have to be mad not to vote for Perez. He had a fantastic race and got a well deserved 2nd place.

    1. I guess i’m mad then for voting for Alonso?
      I think Alonso deserves the poll better than Checo because unlike Perez, he didn’t make any mistake and was obviously driving the slower of the two cars.

      1. I voted Petrov

    2. Agree with avegaille.

      I voted Alonso because Perez should have and could have won that race. His [Perez] drive was brilliant, no question, but his mistake and inability to pass Alonso (when it was clear he had the pace to) cost him the win.

      No one expected Alonso to remain in pole position for long, nor have any chance of being on the podium…he made no mistakes, and won. That is what sealed it for me.

  9. It’s tempting to vote for Sergio, but he was overtaken by Alonso and also made a crucial mistake that cost him the victory. Still, Perez did great and deserves all the praise he gets!

    Alonso meanwhile had a faultless weekend, qualifying the car as high up the grid as possible then winning the race in a dog of a car, driving sublimely in the wet. I think the fact that Sergio is a new face on the podium coupled with the fact that Alonso is almost expected to turn in masterful drives in sub par machinery will see Sergio win this poll.

    1. Agree completely!

  10. It’s a tough choice between Perez and Alonso, but I’ll go with Fernando here, mostly because of Sergio’s mistake in turn 13.

    By the way Keith, the Malaysian Grand Prix report has a typo. In Marco Schüpbach’s quote there’s “Chceo” instead of “Checo”.

  11. Alonso.
    It was a flawless performance in a car which is definitely off the pace.

    Perez did have an incredible weekend though. However, he did make a mistake, something Alonso didn’t do.
    If we were to hold them to the same standard, instead of handicapping both of those drivers based on previous achievements, Alonso was superior.

    That doesn’t mean that I don’t think Perez put in a stellar performance.

    1. That’s exactly my thoughts, great summation of why Alonso is my driver of the weekend. You’re right, we should hold every driver to the same standard. Perez was still brilliant!

    2. You are completely right and I only wish others bothered to think along logical lines here. I’ve always rated Perez, but let’s get real here. The Ferrari and the Sauber have almost the same pace in qualifying, but in the race the Sauber handles tires so much better that it is a faster car. What we saw was Alonso driving a slower car to victory. This is just obvious. Secondly, Alonso overtook Perez on lap 16 for the lead on track (director didn’t capture this but you can see it online). Third, Perez made a critical mistake towards the end in an obviously faster car. To give Perez drive of the day is just practicing a double standard, and those that gave him this would never qualify to be judges in any logical manner. I guess this is more of a popularity contest than a logical one, unfortunately it isn’t titled as such.

      1. +1 Buggaboo. Well put.

  12. Should be Perez for me by a whisker. I think the team cost him a victory first by a late change to inters at restart(Alonso passed him because of that), and then a very late stop to slicks. Shouldn’t forget Alonso, after all he wasnt driving a car that is much faster than Sauber. Senna drove brilliantly to 6th from last, but it was his mistake that he fell to last.

  13. Heart says Perez. Head says Alonso.

    1. Yep. I followed my heart. :D

  14. As amazing as Perez was, it’s a race he could and should have won. He made some mistakes but that’s down to inexperience, not lack of talent. He’ll get there. Even as a huge Alonso fan I was somewhat disappointed Perez didn’t win, because I knew he had every chance to do so but couldn’t take the opportunity.

    Alonso was immense, drove flawlessly and passed people on the track when it mattered. It wouldn’t surprise me to find out that the Ferrari is slower than the Sauber under normal conditions, and that’s what makes it such an impressive drive for me. His pass on Webber at the restart was marvellous, and he managed to pass Perez on the track after the Sauber exited the pits. When the track was wet he was peerless, and even as the track dried and Perez started catching him he didn’t put a foot wrong.

    Sergio will win this poll because it’s a surprise result (and also because he drove a belter) but I fear that will overshadow what was an even better drive by Alonso.

    1. Also, apparently Alonso’s car lost telemetry during the race, and he was having to radio his team with fuel readings, KERS settings etc. That’s seriously impressive in my book – I can only think of Schumacher and maybe Button who have the kind of spare mental capacity to deal with things like that, and to do it whilst under severe pressure for the lead is amazing.

      1. I keep being amazed by the things these drivers manage to do when driving in a rain race!

    2. I think that if Alonso wins this championship (so far he does everything he can to be right there when they hit the cars sweet spot) this race will be a very big part of it.

      He really showed he can grab an opportunity and make a great result out of it (for the second time in a row this year). But more importantly he knows perfectly well that it was a perfectly executed “making the best out of it” situation.
      And he finds the time to defend Massa as a good team mate and saying there is hope for him, something maybe even @steph is starting to doubt by now!

    3. However much I want to vote for Sergio you are spot on. The only reason a lot of people wouldn’t say Alonso is because 1. he’s driving a Ferrari and 2. it’s not even a surprise for him to do something incredible like what he did on Sunday, where as Perez was so unexpected.

  15. No doubt about it, Sergio Perez deserves this because he went in the pits before he finished the first lap. Great job Sergio, we’re looking forward to seeing and cheering for you in November here in Austin.

    1. nuff said

  16. Perez, but not easily so, and to me, not the no-brainer that a lot of people have said.

    His drive was stunning, and without someone else’s mistake (slow pitstop) and *possibly someone else’s mistake* (unnecessary radio warnings from the pit followed by a lapse in concentration) he would have won the race. He’s putting Kobayashi, who is rated very highly, to shame. He’s reliable, consistent, fast, and can outperform the car.

    However, As has been pointed out, Alonso drags the ferrari where it doesn’t belong, wins a race to restore honour to a team who were about to be ripped asunder by the Italians, and does so without any apparent effort. Pointing out that he out-performed his teammate is redundant at this stage.

    To drive from last to 6th is a stunning achievement from Senna, and in tricky conditions he proved he can control the car. Maldonado still seems to have the legs on him in pure pace however.

    Grosjean: Nice qualifying performances, but 2 avoidable retirements from 2 races shows that things aren’t all that different to 2009. The only non-technical retirement of the race in such difficult weather either means that every other driver did a superb job, or … ?

  17. Of course Checko!!! Viva el Mexico!!! Fantastic race!!! Nando is also deserves a lot of applause for perfect race on a bucket of bolts , but I gave my vote to Checo since Nando is a double WDC. Please don’t throw stones in my direction but third place I would give to my contryman Vitaly Petrov and not to Bruno. For solid race on an extreamly slow and unreliable car, for keeping Ferrari (Massa’s of course) behind for 15 laps and 49 seconds gap ahead of teammate (mega-super-fast imho )Heikki. And fourth place to Bruno, solid race but Williams made a quite good car this year so that was expectable.

  18. Perez will probably win this poll but I voted for Alonso. Purely for the fact that however unexpectedly brilliantly Sergio drove he should have won that race and a combination of his mistake and team strategy meant he didn’t.

    Alonso was flawless, at this point in time its arguable Ferrari is only the 5th/6th best car on the grid (and then only in Fernando’s hands) so to win the race was outstanding. I don’t like the man but he sure can drive a racing car. Bruno Senna was also outstanding, good to see him doing well and Raikkonen also impressed me.

    1. I’d say the Ferrari is 6th/7th fastest at the moment when you consider in the last two races Alonso has been hunted down by a Williams and a Sauber in the closing stages and only an error from Raikkonen prevented Massa from being eliminated in Q1 in Aus. It took the weather and a miraculous performance from Alonso to put the car anywhere near a winning position.

  19. Vettel was probably one of the biggest disappointments for me in the race, I thought he’d got over his petulant side from 2010, but it appears he hasn’t based on his middle finger to and comments about Karthikeyan.

    I voted for Perez as not only did he have an excellent race but he also had a very strong qualifying, easily beating Kobayashi and setting a platform for his race.

    1. i thought vettel too was one of the biggest disappointments…

  20. I sincerely think Kobayashi or Ferrari engineers should be on pressure. At end of each race we see Alonso being chased by Williams and Saubers and, even so, he manages to keep in front. For the next few races, I think we will still watch Alonso being chased by Perez/Maldonado/Senna/Grojean. because in someway he will find a way to put that car in front of them. If Perez had managed to pass him, I would have voted for him, but the most perfect driver of the week is, no doubt, Alonso.

  21. Perez did a great job, but for me it was Fernando again this weekend (I voted for him last weekend). The Ferrari is no where near as good as he is driving it. He (and Mass) qualified way down the list, but he still won the race. Alonso is the best driver of all on the track at the moment.

  22. Man…..no love for Iceman? Suggesting he ‘ll chop down the front runners in next race.

  23. The weather conditions obviously helped Perez and Alonso a lot. That said, you have to be able to capture the opportunity when it is there and both men did that excellently, while their team mates were quite far behind. It’s hard to choose between the two but my vote goes to Perez & his beautiful smile.

    Shout-outs to Paul di Resta & Narain Karthikeyan even though the latter one obviously destroyed his chances of replacing Webber at RBR in 2013.

  24. I’m a big Alonso fan but this time go for Perez for sure.

  25. Best Driver: Alonso. Faultless at any time. Great race with the weakest machine of possible contenders.

    Driver of the Weekend: Sergio Pérez “El Checo”. Many people sensed that there was a great driver in the making, and today he has been confirmed more than enough. Astonishing performance up to the moment his own team remembered him he was going to make history, and loose his concentration, making an error. An small fault for a young driver challenging a two times champion.

    My vote: Alonso, because the question who was the best.

    1. Ok, I voted Alonso thinking the question was who was the best, and now I realize that one must read the thread before make any comment!!!!! :-)

      So, the driver of the weekend is Perez!!!

  26. Went for Sergio… awesome srive

  27. This is one that I would bet my house on Perez winning. Alonso was spectacular and Senna was also worthy of an honourable mention, but Perez has to be the man of the weekend. Getting to Q3 and coming within a whisker of a maiden victory mean this has to be a no brainer.

  28. I think Perez will get the most votes but for me it has to be Alonso. He was faultless in treacherous conditions and managed it while having to relay info back to the team each lap due to telemetry issues. Perez made one mistake when he went off at turn 14 and while it was his only mistake, it was costly. Had he kept it on the road he probably would have passed Alonso and would have easily been the driver of the weekend. At the end of the day Alonso got the job done so he gets my vote.

    Also great to see nine different teams finish in the top ten. Australia suggested that this season was going to be close and Malaysia (even though it was a wet race) makes me believe even more that it’s going to be a cracker.

  29. Sergio Perez – A breakthrough performance.

    That is still an understatement. Yesterdays race was Perez’ masterpiece.

    1. Being so close to the victory but losing due to a driving mistake doesn’t count as a masterpiece in my book

  30. Sergio Perez did an outstanding, unbelievable job and exceeded everyone’s expectations. He was sensational and most other weeks I would have no problem voting for him, but I can’t, because this weekend saw one of the finest drives in the career of the best driver in F1 today. Alonso dragged every last thousandth of a second from a sub-par Ferrari that was even slower than the Sauber once the track began to dry. As fantastic as Perez was he made an error at the critical moment of the race and lost a potential victory whilst Alonso was flawless all weekend. I’ve no doubt Perez will win the poll, he won over a legion of new fans with a drive as impressive as it was unexpected, but I voted Alonso because I believe he produced the better performance.

  31. As amazing as Alonso’s drive was I can’t give it to anyone but Perez, only 2 races into his second season and he comes up with an incredible drive, outperforming the car, his team-mate and 5 former Champions in cars that have been at least as quick as his all season so far. Not wanting to take anything away from Alonso of course, he was also incredible, but it has to be Perez for me, Driver of the Weekend for sure.

  32. Ferrari pit crew were pretty impressive.

  33. Tough call: either Alonso or Perez. Both drivers performed exceptionally well in the race: with a bit of luck they ended up first and second, but somehow they found some pace when the rain stopped. It’s incredible that Alonso always seems to win a race every season, even if the car isn’t capable of winning (UK 2011, Japan 2008). Perez seemed to be the quicker of the two in a slower car, but that could be down to Sauber’s tyre-saving car.

    To me it was qualifying that made the decision: Alonso put the car right where it belonged (you hear that, Massa?), while Perez drove the car to its absolut limit. Perez was the best driver of this weekend, and I hope he will get a win somewhere this year driving a red car.

  34. Great drive from Alonso and Perez for sure. But I think Senna has to take the best preformance in terms of number of places made up. Bet Renault/Lotus are kicking themselves now for letting him go in favour of Grojean with his 2 DNFs. Last years Renault didn’t do him any favours hopefully this result will put an end to the “Pay driver” comments that where flying around before the season had even began.

    I think it would be interesting to see how Senna and Petrov could preform in this years Lotus instead of the dog of a car they had last year.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. Both Petrov and Senna (particularly the latter) caught a lot of flack for their time with Lotus-Renault in 2011, but if you were paying close attention last year, you’d know that not only was the car getting markedly worse with every race (I think Senna’s KERS totally failed and was never repaired at least three races before the end, if not even earlier than that), but the team strategies were often terrible. I can’t recall off the top of my head which race it was, but on one occasion LRGP left Senna out until the third or second-to-last lap before his mandatory pit stop, and it cost him at least three places, when he’d been driving really well. Ridiculous.

      Mostly I’m glad to not only see Senna drive so well in Malaysia, but also to see him being realistic. He’s aware that losing out on the Friday practices is going to be a problem, but apparently not enough of one to screw with his head during the Sunday when it really matters. He also mentioned that he knows he needs to work on qualifying and his dry pace, which is true. That he’s aware of these things and seems very determined is, I think, a very good sign.

  35. Which F1 driver had the best race weekend in Malaysia?

    According to this instruction, the choice is not an easy one, especially with Alonso not making the mistakes that Perez did.

    For me, however, choosing the driver of the weekend is also a matter of the heart, so I am more inclined to give my vote to someone who has surprised me, or for whom the performance has special meaning. As some examples of the latter: Massa in Hockenheim 2010 (if Ferrari had allowed him to win), on the anniversary of his accident in Hungary, or Hamilton last year in Abu Dhabi, where his faultness performance in itself was not particularly stunning, but it came on the back of a very difficult second half of the season (I even voted for Webber in Brazil 2011, for putting in a strong performance and ending a disappointing season on a high – though not many people were with me on that one).

    Let me put it another way: if I could relate one aspect of this race to a friend who had missed it, would I tell him that Alonso had brilliantly won in changeable conditions? No, I would tell him of the day NARAIN DECIDED THE CHAMPIONSHIP by taking out two of the prime contenders!

    A joke, I voted for Perez obviously.

    1. @adrianmorse I approve this comment.

  36. Perez wins this one for me despite the mistake. A true breakthrough ultimate underdog performance. Slightly after Sergio is Alonso,as DC said “at his brilliant best”. Then a big margin until the next best performance which I think was Senna’s. After that is JEV who brilliantly stayed out on inters in a downpour. Grosjean in an arguably a better car couldn’t do the same. 5th place for me, as he was also in the race is KR-very fast but inconsistently so. Kimi’s getting there though.

  37. It has to be between Alonso and Perez. My view of the key moments of the race:

    Qualifying: ALO 1 -PER 1
    Driver mistakes: ALO 0 – PER 1
    Car Performance: ALO 0 – PER 1
    Overtakings: ALO 1 – PER 0 (btw the 2)
    Problems during race: ALO 1 – PER 0 (telemetrics)
    Team Strategy: ALO 1 – PER 0

    My vote to Alonso!

  38. Even though teflonso is the king i must vote for sergio i told friends he was a star before Oz 2011 and he confirmed that the last time i saw someone transcend their cars capabillities was vettel at monza 2008 in wet conditions. It was a very good race and if fernando wants the wdc these points could be massive with lh not winning seb struggling and jb out of the points the importance is emphasised.Hopefully with some upgrades to improve the cars pace a top 5 finish is possible if not then lets hope for some rain in china bcoz thst ferrari does not look quicker than the sauber or the lotus in pure dry conditions. I dont want to see checo on a ferrari it could do more harm to his career, the car isn’t the quickest and he has to be alonso’s puppet which he doesn’t deserve. A better bet would be to bring in Giancarlo Fisichella into the team if they want felipe out, i know he hasn’t driven the car in recent times but reserve drivers never get the chance and surely he can’t do any worse than felipe.

    Perez was simply world class, should have won but a star for the future. Very good performances from senna and kimi, Seb shouldn’t call narain an idiot but he had a poor day even without the puncture the red bull didn’t look quick in the damp conditions. JEV, the hulk and di resta looked solid, the mercs seem to be eating their tyres and r going backwards in races.

    On a side note what perplexed me was lewis hamilton couldn’t reduce the gap to perez and alonso, he might not have been going for it like he would in qualy but surely the mclaren is quicker than a midfield car in the dry and what the media has christened to be a dog of a car,perez was still flying in the dry, why is that could anyone explain.

    1. “On a side note what perplexed me was lewis hamilton couldn’t reduce the gap to perez and alonso, he might not have been going for it like he would in qualy but surely the mclaren is quicker than a midfield car in the dry and what the media has christened to be a dog of a car,perez was still flying in the dry, why is that could anyone explain”

      Last stint Hamilton and Alonso were on the soft (medium) tyre, Perez was on the Hard tyre, this was the better tyre in those particular conditions, Ham’s pace was matching the front runners but he’d already lost around 10 seconds after his pit crew did what they do best, mess up Lewis’ races, after his last pit, being on the unfavourable tyre, Ham couldnt then close down the leaders.

  39. My top 3:
    1. Perez – incredibly astonishing. His strategy was very wise at the start and he took up P3. I was worried he’d drop down the order (like Karthikeyan did) but he was actually faster than anyone else, and quickly reduced his gap to Alonso on more than an occasion. Unfortunate, too cautious to pit one lap later than Alonso, and unluvky with his only mistake.
    2. Alonso – astonishingly incredible. His strategy was also very wise but I think the F2012 is better than the C31 (I may well be proven wrong) so I can’t explain his relatively slow pace, compared to Perez, if not saying the Mexican drove better.
    3. Raikkonen – showed how fast he still is. After two years out of F1 he has had a great comeback, and his qualifying and race performance highlight his skills.
    – Also, my compliments to Karthikeyan – reaching P10 on intermediates on a flooded track! Unlucky with the collision with Button, a little too optimistic in the crash with Vettel.

    1. Ignore the last part – I’ve just discovered Narain started on full wets! Remarkable anyway though!

  40. I voted for Alonso. I believe Perez rang the last drop of pace out of his sauber, but in doing so he made a few mistakes.
    Alonso however never put a foot wrong and I don’t believe his car was any better than the sauber on the day.

    This puts Ferrari in a good position, if they can sort out there problems by the time they reach Europe Alonso might get a car under him that can compete in normal track conditions and he won’t be too far off in the points race..

    I get the feeling Mercedes could rectify their race pace issues and get in the mix… can’t wait for China..

    And BBC coverage is back for free :)

  41. In my opinion it’s a 3-way race. Alonso, Perez and Senna. Alonso’s superb drive in a “not so fast” car, although he had a bit of luck or should I say, McLaren’s bad luck opened a room for him and he just took what was offered. Pretty much the same goes for Perez, but him catching up with Alonso reminded me of Fisichella in Spa ’09 and again Ferrari got the upper hand. And Bruno, in second part of the race, reminded a bit of Ayrton with his brilliant passes in wet, after it dried up his progress trough the field stopped. In the end, pretty impressive drive from an underrated driver.

    In the end I voted for Perez.

  42. As impressive Sergio was I believe that Alonso is the driver of the weekend. Alonso was absolutely flawless during the race while I did see multiple mistakes from Sergio.

  43. Sergio showed an exceptional skill & abilities of driving in wet conditions he did a fantastic job but Alonso for me was not simply the driver of the weekend if he continues driving like that maybe he’ll be the driver of the year (regardless who will be the world champion)
    it’s simply very rare to see a driver wins with such an inferior car, the examples of such demonstration of driving are very rare :
    Gilles Villeneuve Jarama 81
    Ayrton Senna Monaco 84
    Michael Schumacher spa 92
    Ayrton Senna Donington 93
    Michael Schumacher Barcelona 96
    the triumph of Alonso at Sepang 2012 is comparable to those victories & Worthy to enter the history of motorsport

    1. Fernando Cruz
      30th March 2012, 19:40

      Ayrton Senna did not win Monaco GP in 84, Jacky Ickx didn’t allow him to do that; Senna’s epic win was in Portugal GP in 85…

  44. Perez. Never have I been so certain of a driver of the weekend.

  45. Perez, Alonso, Senna and Vergne all had great races considering either their relative inexperience or poor car.

  46. Everyone knows that I can’t stand Alonso, not even to look at his face on the tv screen. But on sunday he made clear that he is in a different league. Driving a golf cart under the rain he was just perfect: clean driving, no mistakes, stayed out of trouble, good timing to go to pits and kept it easy when it was obvious that Perez was MUCH faster. Absolute spotless race.
    I hate to say this, but my vote goes to Alonso.
    Perez did a great race but he had a very good car in his hands.

  47. I know I should vote for Fernando, he was supreme all weekend, dragging that Ferrari to places it can’t go, he’s definitely one of the fastest drivers we’ll see for a long time. It was also great to see Bruno absolutely fly in the wet.

    But, I had to give it to Checo, he was just amazing and gave the race it’s epic plot, a couple of mistakes, but he’s still young and in a Sauber he was great.

  48. Alonso was the best for a simple reason: he did a perfect race, with no mistakes at all.
    Perez race was great, but non perfect. He will be a great driver one day, that’s for sure… but THE POINT IS:
    if a young Alonso was driving Perez’s Sauber and if Michael Schumacher was sitting in Alonso’s Ferrari… do you think that Fernando would have made such a silly mistake and renounced so easily to a maiden win?

    1. good question…

      i think Alonso could have won in your hypothetical situation.

  49. Bruno Senna did an incredible races in my opinion, clawing back from 23th to 6th is really good. He proves he is great on wet, just as his win in Silverstone 2008 GP2 under the wet. Made several great overtakes as well, especially the one on Schumi. If he can iron out his mistakes early in the race, I bet we will see more good results from him.
    If we just count the race itself, I will go for Senna. But if we count the performance on the whole weekend, including Qualifying, I will go for 1. Perez and 2. Alonso

  50. I wanted to vote for Perez, but I pushed the kers and voted Alonso.

  51. Ferrari are in trouble. It is only going to get much worse. The air of despair and heads rolling are just around the corner. Alonso got lucky in a race that was an equalizer. He didn’t do anything but catch the lucky dice. Next dry race will show the desperation of this team. Ferrari has had their moment in the sun, actually the rain and unless they build an MP427 they will flounder.

  52. I think alonso was the best driver of the day, the ferrari is much slower than the sauber. however we expect to see him have great results, so id give driver of the day to perez

  53. 1. Perez
    2. Alonso
    3. Bruno

  54. Mine goes to Perez. Yes Alonso drive was perfect but everybody knows that he is one of the best drivers ever, so it wasnt unexpected. But Perez. He is young, unexperienced and paied driver (the last doesnt really have an inpact on driving abilities but in psychology it is a minus) but drove near perfect race. Kobayashi wasnt able to match Perez pace who after lap 35 had personal best after personal best almst till the end.

  55. Always going to be Perez, but a very honourable mention to Alonso and Senna for great drives.

  56. Try to explain this to someone who doesn’t follow F1:

    Driver A had a great pace but driver B won the race even though his car was clearly slower and had serious technical trouble. Also, driver B managed to overtake driver A on track early on the race for the lead while driver A got stuck behind driver B near the end of the race but couldn’t overtake him for the win. Driver A went off the track twice, he was lucky enough to get back on it without losing positions but the second time probably cost him the win; meanwhile driver B made no mistakes even when he was collecting fastest lap after fastest lap in extremely slippery conditions. Obviously, I voted driver A for best”
    Your partner would say, you crazy or what? Which would prove she doesn’t know a thing about F1

  57. Sergio was fantastic and an obvious choice, Fernando great, as usual. But I want to give Bruno my vote, because he showed something I wouldn’t have expected from him – a brilliant race! Perez had shown talent and promise, Bruno only now really showed his potential.

  58. We should be able to pick 3 drivers to get a more accurate reading. everybody is having a hard time picking just one.

    VIVA MEXICO!

  59. Sergio Perez of course, great surprise, totally unexpected…

  60. Perez, obviously.

    Even with his mistake costing him a possible race win he just had a superb race.

    You expect Alonso to profit from McLaren screwing up and then not make any mistakes controlling the front. You don’t expect Perez to be chasing down a Ferrari for the victory at the closing stages of the race.

  61. A few corrections Keith,

    “Sebastian Vettel – Chasing down Hamilton for a podium when when he clipped Karthikeyan, puncturing his tyre and damaging his brake.”

    He didn’t clip Karthikeyan. Karthikeyan was the one who moved.

    “Mark Webber – Out-qualified Vettel again but struggled at the race restart. Was passed by Alonso and Vettel – but re-passed his team mate. Eventually elevated to fourth by Vettel’s retirement.”

    Vettel didn’t retire.

    1. I’ve changed the second thing but the first is a difference of opinion, not a “correction”.

      1. Exactly.

  62. Although Perez had a fantastic race as did Alonso and Senna, I feel that Jean-Eric Vergne’s efforts have been overlooked!

    Starting in 18th, he managed at one point to get his less powerful car up to 7th and then finished the race in 8th! After a great performance from both Toro Rosso drivers in the first round, i think he’s done an excllent job at maintaining the points in Malaysia. Ten places gained from the start, that’s more than Perez’ 9 places (could have been 10 also were it not for the mistakes from his team and himself!)

    Cracking race from 3 underdogs and 1 class driver with an under-performing car!

  63. It has to be Alonso. On any other weekend it would have been Perez, spectacular drive from him. But the way Alonso just seem to get every last bit of performance out of that dog of a car is uncanny to watch. Who would have thought the Ferrari would be slower (or at the very least in the same group of performance) than Williams and Sauber this year? Still he manages to put that car in a position to fight for good points and even now a win. Immaculate qualifying as well. Heck, even the way he handles the press during the weekend is impressive.

    Very good drives from Kimi and Senna as well!

    A bit disappointed Grosjean robbed us of a 3-way fight for the win though by taking out Schumi, I had high hopes for seeing him fight for podium this weekend. Someone really needs to teach Grosjean to take it a bit more easy in the opening laps. He seems to think he is driving Demolition Derby :)

  64. Well I just voted for Sergio, and I’m an Alonso fan. I understand why Alonso should maybe get it, but Perez was pulling away from Hamilton who is in a quicker car, and he was catching Alonso who is a formidable driver, even if his car isn’t firing on all cylinders at the moment. Perez was consistently 0.5-1 second faster lap by lap. It was tricky conditions and yeah he did make one mistake but for a virtual rookie F1 driver in a mid-field team he drove a fantastic race.

    He’s such a nice laid-back guy, there’s many great things to come from him, and I’m most definitely a fan now. I’m just annoyed he overshadowed Kamui, another favourite of mine for his fantastic overtaking and bursts of speed. Absolutely fantastic surprising race, and it’s nice seeing Red Bull and McLaren scratching their heads for once!

  65. Alonso for me. As good as Perez was Alonso was flawless and considering he had issues with tethoughlemetry makes his drive even more incredible. Perez was superb, made a bit of a rookie error but his pace was outstanding, lap after lap as well. Were it not for running wide at the end he’d be my DOTD.

    Bruno was also fantastic in the wet and Kimi is just great. I had no idea I’d be so happy to see the Iceman back in F1.

  66. Alonso for me. As good as Perez was Alonso was flawless and considering he had issues with the telemetry, it makes his drive even more incredible. Perez was superb, made a bit of a rookie error but his pace was outstanding, lap after lap as well. Were it not for running wide at the end he’d be my DOTD.

    Bruno was also fantastic in the wet and Kimi is just great. I had no idea I’d be so happy to see the Iceman back in F1.

  67. This was a tough one. For me it was between Alonso, Senna & Schumacher, but I gave it to Alonso.

  68. I just voted Alonso cause the Ferrari is even slower than the Sauber.

  69. Shane (@f1champion18)
    26th March 2012, 23:53

    Who chose Charles Pic? XD

  70. Easy. Perez.

    Honourable mention to Alonso too.

  71. I think it’s Kimi. Two races in he looks like he’s never been away! It will be interesting to see what happens at a dry race.

  72. voted Alonso, Ferrari isn’t much better than Sauber and he didn’t make mistake.
    Though Perez had a great race.

  73. Alonso hands down and hats off to Perez.

  74. It’s a close one between Alonso and Perez.

    You could say that Alonso had a more flawless weekend as Perez ran wide in the race.

    But while the F2012 may not be very good and few drivers would have been able to get the performance from it that Alonso has, I had to vote for Perez.

    If he continues like this then he surely must land a seat at a top team next season.

  75. Had to give it to Alonso. He had an inferior car compared to Perez, but kept his nerve to take the win. Could’ve been easily Perez but his mistake cost him DOTW. Some say Perez has only been in F1 for 2 years, but surely it’s not the first time he’s raced competitively and have had to chase down a leading car to take the win. The win was there for his taking but he made a simple mistake. Nevertheless it was an impressive drive from Perez, but compared to Alonso he had a superior car.

  76. I almost voted Karthikeyan just for annoying the hell out of Vettel :)

  77. Sergio Perez by far stole the show and should have won the race if it weren’t for the off at turn 14.

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