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 (2%)

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. Aditya (@) said on 24th April 2012, 6:28

    Very difficult for me, I am a big fan of Raikkonen, but I gave my vote to Vettel because of the fact that, unlike popular opinion, it isn;t as easy to defend as to pass, especially with DRS and all. Raikkonen scythed through the field in a way only he is capable of, but Vettel was best over the course of the weekend. Great day for di Resta too, the defensive two-stop strategy working wonders for him, although had Ferrari been sharper with Alonso’s pitstops(as they were with Massa’s), and had McLaren not bungled, the Scot would have finished eighth, but evev that would have been a pretty good result.
    SPECIAL MENTIONS:1) Di Resta’ double pass on Maldonado and Perez. This is where DTM skill takes a man ahead of 2 GP2 aces.
    2) Alonso using Kobayshi’s tow across the DRS line, to activate his system, to prevent falling behind Hamilton, as Kobayashi was entering his stop. The Spaniard just continues to amaze me with his ability to think during races. He reminds me more amd more of Alain “The Professor” Prost.

  2. montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 24th April 2012, 11:26

    Kimi wins it for me slightly ahead of SV.

    After that there is a gap to Grosjean, Di Resta and Alonso who also had very good weekends

  3. Lothario said on 24th April 2012, 12:24

    Grosjean, easily driver of the weekend for me!

  4. rahul1810 (@rahul1810) said on 24th April 2012, 14:11

    I voted for Paul for the overall performance, given the car, the situation and the competition. Managing a race strategy which no one else could, one after which Schumi complained about wearing of tyres, Jenson Button would be proud of such management!

    If I had to rank I would have voted Paul>Grosjan>Kimi

  5. F1George (@f1george) said on 24th April 2012, 14:23

    Voted Grosjean, he had a fantastic race as well as out qualifying Raikkonen. Yes Raikkonen had a great race going from 11th to 2nd, Vettel led from start to finish and Di Resta made a 2 stopper work…but lets not forget this was Grosjean’s first (albeit delayed) podium.

  6. Chelseano161997 (@chelseano161997) said on 24th April 2012, 14:55

    Like seemingly most people the vote for me was between Kimi and Seb (would love to be a fly on the wall?/ court of the next badminton match!) Kimi drove well but in the end Seb’s defend causing Kimi to change his track position gave him my vote.

    I thought it was nice to see how relaxed the three drivers were just before they headed to the podium, also when Christian joined them and was saying how well Lotus did.

    I was also very surprised that Rosberg didn’t get a penalty if that had been Lewis I can’t see the judges ruling the same way. He nearly had Lewis in the wall! He may have to watch out next time around as his fellow drivers may not give him the room he expects on overtaking!

  7. BaKano (@bakano) said on 24th April 2012, 17:08

    My comments, without reading any of the previous:

    – Kimi was the best driver in the race, but qualifying may have let him down. Or was Lotus (and Kimi) not concerned of dropping out in Q2? They benefit from the end result so difficult call;
    – Vettel should be praised for his performance. Unexpected pole (according to him and the team), great pace at the start building that comfortable cushion and holding a faster Raikonnen behind and then pulling away in fresh rubber and posting the fastest lap. But he done it some many times in the past (without the fastest lap) that it makes it seems an “average” performance;
    – Di Resta really stands out for me, because he made it to Q3, was the only driver that made 2 stops work, managed his pace and fights remarkable and still left some KERS to defend from Alonso. Brilliant stuff.

    Considering everything and would say that Raikonnen did a “bad” job in qualifying (he should have qualified way further considering his pace) but took advantage of that with some luck in the mixture; Vettel was very good but somehow expected after getting the pole; Only Di Resta stands out for me by not doing any wrong and getting a better than expected result!

    Di Resta gets my vote.

  8. 91jb12 (@91jb12) said on 24th April 2012, 18:07

    Vettel, with di Resta a very close 2nd and Kimi 3rd
    What more could Vettel have done? and that Lotus was a bullet in the race and was passing cars for fun until Kimi got behind Vettel. Seb is ticking the boxes, as much as that may hurt some people.
    Kimi lost a point in qualy, so for me, he can’t be DOTW (maybe driver of the RACE) and only Vettel then di Resta got the best out of it in qualy and race for me.

  9. joac21 (@joac21) said on 24th April 2012, 18:55

    im dissapointed with nico hulkenberg so far. di resta is trashing him!

  10. xeroxpt (@) said on 24th April 2012, 21:49

    Kimi just because the start, in the end Vettels and RedBulls experience gave them a very emotional victory, really important to the 2 WCH.

  11. PJA (@pja) said on 25th April 2012, 18:32

    The drivers who impressed me most this weekend were Vettel Raikkonen and di Resta.

    Di Resta had a good qualifying, even though his efforts weren’t broadcast, and drove a great race managing to make the two stop strategy work and choosing his battles wisely throughout the race. I especially liked his double overtake on Perez and Maldonado.

    Raikkonen not making it into Q3 was a blessing in disguise as he had plenty of fresh tyres for the race, he still isn’t back to his best as I think a top form Raikkonen wouldn’t have let Massa through early on and probably would have made a better attempt at getting past Vettel when he had the chance. But I think his comeback is going to be more successful than Schumacher’s.

    As good as the over drives were I had to pick Vettel as it is a driver of the weekend vote. Pole, fastest lap and victory says it all.

  12. Chris Neal (@theracetalk) said on 26th April 2012, 2:36

    The vote has to go to Kimi. He is so close to a win he can taste it. Seb proved that he hadn’t lost his mojo but Kimi has been right there in the mix since Australia.

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