Sergio Perez, Sauber, Sepang, 2012

Perez voted Driver of the Weekend for Malaysia

2012 Malaysian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Ewa Zaborska

Sergio Perez, Sauber, Sepang, 2012Sergio Perez was emphatically voted Driver of the Weekend after his remarkable drive to second in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The Sauber driver gathered over half of the votes cast by F1 Fanatic readers.

The unexpected winner of the race, Fernando Alonso, came second in the poll.

The third driver who caught the eye of the F1 Fanatic readers was Bruno Senna, who finished sixth for Williams.

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

1. Sergio Perez ?ǣ 61.4%
2. Fernando Alonso ?ǣ 28.1%
3. Bruno Senna ?ǣ 3.7%

The results of the poll may not reflect it, but the comments revealed that many of the readers had a tough time choosing between Alonso and Perez.

Heart says Perez. Head says Alonso.

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 (Silverstone 2011, Fuji 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.

Sergio Perez

Qualifying: 9th
Race: 2nd

Delivered a stunning performance. He managed to get to Q3 on Saturday, though the car didn’t look good in practice sessions.

On the race day, Sauber gambled with strategy changing Perez’s tyres to full wets on the opening lap of the race, which soon elevated him to third and put him in the contention for the win.

He showed strong pace on a wet track and was flying when the surface started to get dry, catching leading Alonso over a second per lap. Sauber’s conservative strategy and a late mistake that sent him briefly off the track prevented Perez from fighting for the victory.

Nonetheless, he made a strong impression on F1 Fanatic readers.

Has to be Sergio Perez. Out-qualified 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.

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

“A breakthrough performance” – That is still an understatement. Yesterdays race was Perez’s masterpiece.

As amazing as Alonso?s drive was I can?t give it to anyone but Perez, only two races into his second season and he comes up with an incredible drive, outperforming the car, his team mate and five 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.
Sam B

Inevitably there was much discussion after the race about Sauber’s radio message to Perez, seemingly telling him to settle for second place. The majority of the readers (65%) decided Sauber weren’t telling Perez to back off and let Alonso take the win for Ferrari.

Fernando Alonso

Qualifying: 8th
Race: 1st

The Ferrari was off the pace again, but Alonso managed to drag the car to Q3. His pit crew made all the right calls during the race, which accompanied by mistakes from main contenders and the Spaniard’s flawless driving gave him the lead.

He was the fastest driver in the wet conditions and though he lost his pace when the track was dry, he still didn’t put a foot wrong to win for the first time this year and unexpectedly lead the drivers standings after two races.

Yeah, look, Sergio was amazing, and I expected him to win this, but let?s be honest, this should be Fernando’s. 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.

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.
Dan Thorn

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.

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.

Bruno Senna

Qualifying: 13th
Race: 6th

Senna missed first practice as Valtteri Bottas was given a run in his car. He was out-qualified by team mate Pastor Maldonado and got into trouble at the start, losing his front wing on the first lap.

After the restart he was last, but had a strong second half of the race delivering a flawless performance in the wet conditions, which included passes on Felipe Massa, Paul di Resta and Michael Schumacher.

He finished sixth securing first points of the season for Williams.

Great drive from Alonso and Perez for sure. But I think Senna has to take the best performance in terms of number of places made up.

Bruno Senna did an incredible races in my opinion, clawing back from 23th to 6th is really good.

He proved he is great in the wet, just as his win in GP2 at Silverstone in 2008. He made several great overtakes as well, especially the one on Schumacher. If he can iron out his mistakes early in the race, I bet we will see more good results from him.

2012 Driver of the Weekend results so far

First Second Third
Australia Jenson Button (43.6%) Fernando Alonso (21.1%) Sergio Perez (8.2%)
Malaysia Sergio Perez (61.4%) Fernando Alonso (28.1%) Bruno Senna (3.7%)

Perez and Alonso were also two of the top three drivers in the Driver of the Australian Grand Prix weekend.

Perez was previously voted Driver of the Weekend for the 2011 Australian Grand Prix.

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Image ?? Sauber F1 Team