Start, Bahrain, 2012

Vote for the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix driver of the weekend

2012 Bahrain Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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”

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  1. 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

    1. Why would RedBull want to replace Webber when he so consistently scores points for the team.

  2. 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!

  3. 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

  4. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. AJ (@ascar2000us)
        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.

        1. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

    1. A 15kph top speed advantage didn’t hurt.

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

  8. 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 :)

    1. 11th is hardly the back of the grid, is it? :P

      But I agree Raikkonen made it entertaining.

  9. “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.

    1. @f1mre I didn’t say it was the closest he’d finished to Alonso, I said it was his best performance.

  10. 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.

  11. Vettel, Raikkonen and Grosjean all had great races, I decided to go for Di Resta though, it really didn’t look like his car deserved to be up that high and he was very smart with his defensive driving.

  12. Kimi is definaitely the driver of the day…..

    Had kimis tyres not degraded rapidly after the trying pass on vettel…he would have won.
    He also made rapid progress through the field, and vettel just had clear air to march ahead…
    Got stuck behind massa a bit and also lot crucial time….the pirelli tyre just scrubs off..if it goes past the operating window and by this respect..KIMI was amazing…..
    Cool and done great work..
    More to come from him….

    1. Driver of the day, maybe, but he was hardly the best driver on Saturday, and that does count in a vote of driver of the weekend.

      1. +1.

        But most will only vote as if it’s driver of the day…. Oh well.

        1. Funny how most of people who voted for Seb, feel obligated to make an excuse for people who didn’t.

      2. But that is the whole point, a poor position made up for in the race. If all you want is statistics there is no point having a poll.

  13. Vettel is the driver of the weekend this time. Kimi is amasing to watch though.

  14. Vettel. The Red Bull wasn’t the best car, and yet he managed to splendidly hold a resurgent Kimi back. More than made up for Canada 2011.

  15. Really wanted to vote for Kimi… and I had all kinds of 2011-style resentment for Vettel seeing him walk away with this one, but…

    Vettel was the best this weekend. He nailed the set-up where others struggled, qualified at the front, took fastest lap, defended fairly, nursed his tires, and brought home the win. Not the most hard-fought or sentimental victory, but honestly, what more can you ask for from a driver?

    That said, I really hope this season doesnt suddenly nosedive into 2011 levels of RB dominance, after holding so much promise for a wide-open title fight thus far.

    1. That said, I really hope this season doesnt suddenly nosedive into 2011 levels of RB dominance, after holding so much promise for a wide-open title fight thus far.

      I seriously doubt it will be the case. Last weekend there were talks about a potential Mercedes dominance and look where they were this weekend. We haven’t heard the last from Vettel and Red Bull this season, that’s for sure, but nor did we from Mercedes, McLaren, Lotus and Ferrari, to say the least…

  16. TheFinnishLine
    23rd April 2012, 20:55

    The driver of the weekend was definitely Pirelli!

  17. I voted for Vettel. Raikkonen was definitely driver of the race but Vettel was superb on both Saturday and Sunday.

    Grosjean, Di Resta and Schumacher drove a strong race as well.

  18. It has to be Kimi.

    In four races, he’s done what Schumi has (unfortunately) failed to do in two years and four races.

    Grosjean also deserves a merit

  19. Grand prize goes to Raikkonen this time. One of the most impressive drives this season, alongside Alonso and Perez’s brilliant performances in Malaysia.

    The rest of the pie – equally shared between Vettel, Grosjean and Di Resta, in this exact order for putting on solid performances as well, with maybe a small slice thrown down Massa’s way – for finally getting up to speed in a visible manner.

  20. I wanted to see Kimi win sooo bad. He was gaining on Vettel… It was exciting to see the Lotus make up so much ground. I really hope this is not a fluke and that Lotus will be strong in the races to come. I am also impressed with Grosjean, fantastic driving.

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