Jenson Button, McLaren, Melbourne, 2012

Button wins first Driver of the Weekend vote of 2012

2012 Australian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Ewa Zaborska

Jenson Button, McLaren, Melbourne, 2012Australian Grand Prix winner Jenson Button won your vote for Driver of the Weekend.

The McLaren driver was ranked ahead of two drivers who starred in the following race in Malaysia: Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez.

Driver of the Australian Grand Prix Weekend poll ?ǣ top three

1. Jenson Button ?ǣ 43.6%
2. Fernando Alonso ?ǣ 21.1%
3. Sergio Perez ?ǣ 8.2%

One reader ranked the drivers in exactly the same order F1 Fanatic readers ultimately chose:

If I had three votes I would go with:

1. Button
2. Alonso
3. Perez

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

PJA also picked this trio as the outstanding performances of the race:

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.

Jenson Button

Qualifying: 2nd
Race: 1st

Button was out-qualified by team mate Lewis Hamilton by a mere 0.15s, but he took the lead the moment the lights went off.

From that moment on he led the race virtually unchallenged to win the Australian Grand Prix for the third time in his career.

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

Got to be Button. Many drivers who raced well, didn?t get it together in qualifying including Alonso, Raikkonen and Kobayashi. Many who qualified well didn?t have a good race including Hamilton, Grosjean and Schumacher.

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

Fernando Alonso

Qualifying: 12th
Race: 5th

Alonso made a mistake in Q2 that cost him a chance of getting into the last part of qualifying.

However, on Sunday he drove a faultless race and maximised his car’s potential to finish a strong fifth.

Tthere are quite a few serious candidates: Button, Vettel, Alonso, Maldonado, Perez, Raikkonen… so since I can?t vote for all of them I picked Alonso for having the worst car of them all but still delivering.

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 ability 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 fifth.

Sergio Perez

Qualifying: 17th
Race: 8th

Last year Perez was voted Driver of the Weekend for this race, which marked his Grand Prix debut.

A gearbox problem limited Perez to 17th in qualifying, then a penalty for having the unit changed dropped him to last on the grid.

He raced through the field to finish eighth, three seconds behind his team mate, and was the only driver to make just one pit stop. He ran a mammoth 34-lap stint on the soft tyres.

Mightily 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 Keith 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 ten.

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.

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 seventh on the final lap, but I still don?t know whose fault it was. Eighth is still a very good result.

The Driver of the Weekend poll for the Malaysian Grand Prix is still open – add your votes here:

2012 Australian Grand Prix

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