Vote for the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix driver of the weekend

2012 Bahrain Grand Prix

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

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

Driver notes

Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull made some small changes at the back of the RB8, including sealing a gap to redirect the exhaust flow, and suddenly it all clicked again for Vettel. After snatching pole position by a slender margin he used it as a platform for a 2011-style victory. He built up a big lead at the start which proved vital as Raikkonen came on strong later in the race.
Mark Webber – Fourth for the fourth race in a row – and out-qualified by Vettel for the first time this year. He got away well at the start despite lacking KERS, but was unable to keep the charging Lotuses behind him.

Jenson Button – Didn’t look happy with the balance of his car all weekend. Qualified his usual two-tenths-or-so off Hamilton but lost ground at the start. He was then passed by Raikkonen before making an early pit stop as his tyres started to go off sooner than expected. Was in with a shout of sixth when a host of problems ended his race: “In the last few laps, the car sounded really noisy. I think the initial problem was an exhaust failure, then my puncture, and then a differential failure; so I had to retire.”
Lewis Hamilton – Qualified in the top two again and held the place at the start. But his lap times tailed off quickly and he was passed by Grosjean. Slow pit stops cost him over 13s in pure time, plus more being caught behind traffic. Spent the final stint trying to pass Alonso, but couldn’t repeat his successful move from earlier in the race.

Fernando Alonso – Last week he scraped into Q3 at the expense of Vettel, this time it was Raikkonen. Made a great start, threading his way through to gain four places and hold fifth. Was passed by Hamilton after his second pit stop but Ferrari’s reliably quick service got him back ahead again. Had the finishing line been further down the straight he might have taken sixth off di Resta.
Felipe Massa – Finished seven seconds behind Alonso in what was clearly his best performance of the year so far. Started 14th but was up to eighth by the end of lap one. Fell behind Rosberg at the first round of pit stops and finished the race ninth.

Michael Schumacher – His unlucky start to the year continued in qualifying, when a DRS problem consigned him to elimination in Q1. That plus a gearbox change left him 22nd on the grid. He gained four places on lap one, then picked off the Toro Rossos and Petrov. Clean air in his second and third stints allowed him to make more progress, and he inherited a point when Button retired, holding Perez behind him.
Nico Rosberg – Was in the hunt for pole position until he made a mistake at the final corner and slipped to fifth. A poor start left him ninth and he lost time in the second stint stuck behind Alonso. When he jumped the Ferrari at the second stint he defended his position very firmly, provoking public criticism from Alonso after the race. But the stewards found nothing untoward in his driving in this incident and a similar one with Hamilton where the McLaren driver got ahead. After the McLarens took themselves out of the picture, he passed di Resta for fifth.

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Bahrain, 2012Kimi Raikkonen – Missing Q3 might have done him more good than harm as it meant his was equipped with more new tyres for the race. Lost crucial time after he was mugged by Massa in the opening laps before he re-passed the Ferrari. Fresh tyres in the first two stints helped him overhaul his team mate. He then had a crack at Vettel for the lead, but admitted afterwards. “I chose the wrong side.” Dropped back from Vettel in the final stint and finished second.
Romain Grosjean – Made a great start from seventh on the grid, moving up to fourth before passing Webber and Hamilton to run second. Lacking the benefit of fresh tyres he dropped behind Raikkonen at the end of their second stint, complaining that the team had left him out too long on his worn tyres. Closer to his team mate’s pace in later stints, he ended the race less than seven seconds behind for his first F1 podium.

Paul di Resta – Reached Q3 despite the team suffering the disadvantage of missing second practice due to safety fears following a petrol bomb attack earlier in the week. He was the only driver to make a two-stop strategy work in the race, offering little resistance to those much faster than him, choosing his battles with care. Kept a little KERS in hand to defend from Alonso at the exit of the final corner, which was enough to grab sixth place by a quarter of a second.
Nico Hulkenberg – Dropped back with a clutch problem at the start. Ran a three-stop strategy and had to make way for his team mate at one point. Passed the tyre-hobbled Kobayashi late in the race to take 12th.

Kamui Kobayashi – Was the only driver to start the race on medium tyres but had wheelspin and lost a place. Tried to run a two-stop strategy but his tyres went off late in the race.
Sergio Perez – Sauber split their strategies, Perez running a three-stopper after starting eighth. He was passed by di Resta early on and slipped out of the top ten. Poor straight-line speed left him powerless to pass Schumacher at the end of the race, leaving both Saubers out of the points.

Daniel Ricciardo – An exceptional qualifying performance put him sixth on the grid. Unfortunately his start was a disaster, and he came around at the end of lap one behind his team mate who’d started 17th. Never showed anything like his qualifying pace in the race: “I need to be hard on myself now and find out what I did wrong to make sure I don?t do it again,” he said. “It was a race to forget.”
Jean-Eric Vergne – Continued to be slower on Saturday – but quicker on Sunday – than his team mate. “We must find a solution to this, because if we can start further forward with the pace we have, then we should see a more positive result on Sunday,” he said.

Pastor Maldonado – Started 21st after a gearbox change but got up to 11th after his first pit stop. Had just switched to medium tyres at his second pit stop when a left-rear blow out sent him into a spin and out of the race. The team are investigating the cause.
Bruno Senna – Made a good start from 15th but slipped back through the pit stops before stopping three laps from home: “Towards the end I started feeling a lot of vibration in the brake pedal. The engineers were looking at it, so I kept pushing as you never know what will happen, but the vibration got worse and the decision was made to pit to avoid risking an accident.”

Heikki Kovalainen, Caterham, Bahrain, 2012Heikki Kovalainen – Qualified 16th, beating Vergne on merit and taking advantage of Schumacher’s problems. But he was hit from behind on the opening lap and sustained a puncture. He recovered to finish 17th.
Vitaly Petrov – Lost time with a damaged floor in FP3, then didn’t like the balance of his car on softs in qualifying. But showed encouraging pace for the team during the race, finishing 14s behind Ricciardo’s Toro Rosso.

Pedro de la Rosa – Started in front of Glock but was never going to be able to keep the car there. “We have to gain some speed per lap, more than anything because we want to be fighting our rivals on a consistent basis,” he said.
Narain Karthikeyan – Ran a four-stop strategy – the only driver to do so intentionally – yet finished just half a second behind his team mate. “My race performance was extremely good, I?d say it was my best Grand Prix so far this season,” he commented.

Timo Glock – Made a mistake on his qualifying lap, leaving him on the back row of the grid. Struggled for pace in the race and was unhappy with the balance of his car, saying: “I had no balance in the car, no speed and no chance to push after the second or third lap. The rear tyres dropped off massively and every time I did try to push, the rears locked under braking and I had no braking stability.”
Charles Pic – Started in front of Glock and stayed there in the race, lapping more quickly than his experienced team mate. Retired with a problem with his engine’s air valve system on lap 24.

Qualifying and race results summary

Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 1st -0.215s 57/57 3 1st -38.788s
Mark Webber 3rd +0.215s 0/57 3 4th +38.788s
Jenson Button 4th +0.191s 42/55 4 18th Not on same lap
Lewis Hamilton 2nd -0.191s 13/55 3 8th Not on same lap
Fernando Alonso 9th -0.509s 56/57 3 7th -7.196s
Felipe Massa 14th +0.509s 1/57 3 9th +7.196s
Michael Schumacher 22nd +0.277s 3/57 3 10th +16.03s
Nico Rosberg 5th -0.277s 54/57 3 5th -16.03s
Kimi Raikkonen 11th +0.543s 32/57 3 2nd -6.861s
Romain Grosjean 7th -0.543s 25/57 3 3rd +6.861s
Paul di Resta 10th -0.297s 55/57 2 6th -18.996s
Nico Hulkenberg 13th +0.297s 2/57 3 12th +18.996s
Kamui Kobayashi 12th +0.146s 23/57 3 13th +17.632s
Sergio Perez 8th -0.146s 34/57 3 11th -17.632s
Daniel Ricciardo 6th -1.026s 4/56 3 15th Not on same lap
Jean-Eric Vergne 17th +1.026s 52/56 3 14th Not on same lap
Pastor Maldonado 21st +0.173s 15/25 2
Bruno Senna 15th -0.173s 10/25 3 22nd
Heikki Kovalainen 16th -0.971s 0/56 4 17th +11.187s
Vitaly Petrov 18th +0.971s 56/56 3 16th -11.187s
Pedro de la Rosa 20th -0.431s 47/55 3 20th -0.596s
Narain Karthikeyan 24th +0.431s 8/55 4 21st +0.596s
Timo Glock 23rd +0.222s 0/24 3 19th
Charles Pic 19th -0.222s 24/24 1

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 Bahrain Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (19%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (1%)
  • Jenson Button (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (1%)
  • Felipe Massa (1%)
  • Michael Schumacher (1%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (56%)
  • Romain Grosjean (8%)
  • Paul di Resta (11%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • 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: 641

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2012 Bahrain Grand Prix

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157 comments on Vote for the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix driver of the weekend

  1. Girts (@girts) said on 23rd April 2012, 14:27

    I think that Raikkonen will win this vote but I believe that Vettel was the best. He was under a lot of pressure all the time and was able to keep Lotuses behind even though the latter seemed to be slightly quicker than Red Bulls on Sunday.

  2. Julian (@julian) said on 23rd April 2012, 14:27

    Pole, fastest lap and the win. Has to be vettel seeming how it’s driver of the weekend after all.

    Won’t be surprised of he doesn’t win it tho.

  3. AlexNK said on 23rd April 2012, 14:30

    It must be between Vettel and Raikkonen, but since we are voting for the driver of the weekend, Raikkonen is right out of it. Definitely having a top-3 car he not only lost to his not-so-stellar teammate but didn’t even make it into the top-10. Seb, on the other hand, put his car, that lacked one-lap pace, on pole and outqualified his teammate as well as Hamilton, who was very quick in the quali-trim. So, there’s no question that Vettel did much better job over the weekend, so my vote goes to him.

    • SpaFrancorchamps (@spafrancorchamps) said on 23rd April 2012, 15:46

      That lacked one-lap pace? I don’t agree. They had updates on their car and with the high temperatures they just had the best car. Over the whole weekend, the Redbull was the best car. But the durability of the tyres on the Lotus were just better.

      • AlexNK said on 23rd April 2012, 16:13

        Nope, this is just not the case. They were not fastest cars neither on Saturday, nor on Sunday. They used up all the available softs to qualify, Seb did a total of 18 laps in quali, Mark did 17, while Lewis and Romain did 13, and Nico – 10. Vettel had serious problems getting into the Q3, and only there he pulled out something special. But at no point of the weekend was RB8 the fastest car out there.

        • AJ (@ascar2000us) said on 23rd April 2012, 17:24

          No no.. how can that be… Vettel cannot win in a car that is not the class of the field…
          how else would LH and FA fans find reasons to belittle seb..

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 24th April 2012, 9:49

      Alex, you don’t make sense. SebV had the fastest lap in qualifying and the race. Webber qualified 3rd. only Hamilton could stop a front row lockout and he went backwards in the race, Webber had Kers problems and still finished 4th. the time gap between Vettel and Webber is not indicative of the cars pace, once the Lotus’ or Loti got so far ahead Webber only went fast enough to keep his position and points.

  4. Heart says Raikkonen but I voted for Vettel. For the same reasons I voted for Alonso over Perez in Malaysia. Raikkonen and Grosjean were both great in the race though, I am so so pleased Kimi is back and competitive.

  5. dennis (@dennis) said on 23rd April 2012, 14:45

    Hard one between Kimi and Vettel.
    Allthough Kimi’s performance in the race was stunning, so was Vettel’s.
    And Kimi’s decision to not drive in Q3 put him into the situation to have to start from far behind, while Vettel was able to control from the front with a stunning pole lap. Vettel, even though he had only one fresh set of tyres left managed his rubber best and apart from the one situation, where Kimi came close enough looked like he has everything under control.

    So Vettel – by a slight margin. Honorable mention to Grosjean.

  6. Girts (@girts) said on 23rd April 2012, 14:59

    To be honest, I feel like we’re watching ‘Alguersuari vs Buemi 2′. Ricciardo (Buemi) regularly beats Vergne (Alguersuari) in qualifying, Vergne comes back in the race but neither of them sets the world on fire. For sure, it’s far too early for definite conclusions but, if it goes on like this, then 1) something must be seriously wrong with RBR’s young driver program 2) RBR should really think about an ‘external’ replacement for Webber in 2013

  7. cg22me (@cg22me) said on 23rd April 2012, 15:01

    I voted for di Resta, but thought it could have gone to a couple of drivers.
    My Order of Notable Drivers are:

    1) di Resta
    2) Vettel
    3) Raikkonen
    4) Grosjean

    All performed brilliantly in their respective feats!

  8. Eric (@fletch) said on 23rd April 2012, 15:07

    For me it has to be Kimi. I loved the way he spooked Webber into just getting off the race line a couple corners before that pass. Top notch driving. He was fun to watch

  9. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 23rd April 2012, 15:40

    Vettel was the best driver for me. Super pole lap, and that familiar blinding start and opening laps from last year, even if this year’s Red Bull isn’t way ahead like the 2011 one. He even had to do a bit of defending, and it was enough to stop Raikkonen’s charge.

    Kimi got knocked out of qualifying, but hugely impressed with his race. I don’t remember him charging around like that in a Ferrari, or even McLaren. And I admire what he said afterwards – invited to whinge about team orders and Grosjean, instead he pointed out that he lost more time behind Massa, and by admitting his own mistakes you get the impression he’s learned from them. Be very afraid, because he’ll have better races than that.

    Good on ya Hulk and Webbo too for speaking out, just a little bit, about having to race in Bahrain.

    • Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 23rd April 2012, 16:23

      Agree with what you say about Kimi. He used to wait for the pitstops, set blinding laps and get ahead that way, but recently he’s been showing us just how good he is at wheel to wheel fighting. We didn’t see enough of that with refuelling.

      • AJ (@ascar2000us) said on 23rd April 2012, 17:29

        and unlike a lot of drivers he admits to mistakes he’s made… unlike some who look for somebody else to blame…
        @bullfrog Suzuka 2005. 18th to 1st. That is kimi’s best drive ever. Bahrain 2012 comes close.

        • Kimi4WC said on 24th April 2012, 0:29

          Bahrain 2006 Kimi started 22nd, finished 3rd.

          Didn’t Shumi start 22nd ? :)

          I truly hope Kimi wins another or a couple more World Championships, cause he is one of the best World Champions out there.

  10. SpaFrancorchamps (@spafrancorchamps) said on 23rd April 2012, 15:41

    I vote Raikkonen but I wish I could vote 3 times. I think Di Resta had a really strong race as well and Hamilton drove a strong race too. Besides that he kept his head cool with everything that went wrong, he is my nr.3 driver of the GP. I do have McLaren glasses however ;p

  11. The RedBull is still faster than the Lotus as vettel says, it was just tyres why Kimi was able to close in for those brief moments to attack.

  12. Fixy (@fixy) said on 23rd April 2012, 15:46

    Kimi wasn’t good in qualifying, Romain was good in qualifying and race but not particularly, as was Sebastian.

  13. Rahim.RG (@rahim-rg) said on 23rd April 2012, 15:56

    Kimi….was just 3 races into his comeback….and he proved he still has what it takes to be a world champion again…and the biggest reason why i voted was that it was Fun to watch him come from the back…He made it entertaining :)

    • F1fanNL (@) said on 23rd April 2012, 21:04

      11th is hardly the back of the grid, is it? :P

      But I agree Raikkonen made it entertaining.

  14. Imre (@f1mre) said on 23rd April 2012, 17:11

    “Felipe Massa – Finished seven seconds behind Alonso in what was clearly his best performance of the year so far.”

    He finished five seconds behind Alonso in China.

  15. I think the vote has to go to Vettel. Raikkonen drive brilliantly but given the tricky start to the season that Vettel has had he did very well to get the win.

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