Vote for your Malaysian Grand Prix driver of the weekend

2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

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 (1%)

Total Voters: 874

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2012 Malaysian Grand Prix


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

  1. Ads21 (@ads21) said on 26th March 2012, 14:00

    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.

  2. Sam B (@sb360) said on 26th March 2012, 14:01

    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.

  3. Xenon2 (@xenon2) said on 26th March 2012, 14:02

    Ferrari pit crew were pretty impressive.

  4. andae23 (@andae23) said on 26th March 2012, 14:08

    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.

  5. Jonathon (@gambisk) said on 26th March 2012, 14:10

    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.

    • Eleanore (@leucocrystal) said on 27th March 2012, 4:44

      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.

  6. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 26th March 2012, 14:13

    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.

  7. montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 26th March 2012, 14:14

    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.

  8. chemakal said on 26th March 2012, 14:26

    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!

  9. Tayyib (@m0nzaman) said on 26th March 2012, 14:28

    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.

    • “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.

  10. Fixy (@fixy) said on 26th March 2012, 14:30

    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.

  11. MW (@) said on 26th March 2012, 14:38

    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 :)

  12. skodarap (@skodarap) said on 26th March 2012, 14:40

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 26th March 2012, 15:10

    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

    • Fernando Cruz said on 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…

  15. RumFRESH (@rumfresh) said on 26th March 2012, 15:12

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

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