Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Bahrain, 2012

Raikkonen voted Bahrain GP Driver of the Weekend

2012 Bahrain Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Bahrain, 2012Kimi Raikkonen was voted Driver of the Weekend for the Bahrain Grand Prix following his run from eleventh to second.

Raikkonen spent the second half of the race chasing Sebastian Vettel for the win. Vettel came second in the vote.

Paul di Resta gained the third-highest number of votes after using a two-stop strategy to finish sixth, fending off Fernando Alonso at the end.

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

Kimi Raikkonen – 56.3%
Sebastian Vettel – 19.3%
Paul di Resta – 10.6%

Kimi Raikkonen

Start: 11th
Finish: 2nd

Raikkonen had the best drive since his comeback and claimed over half the votes in the poll.

Here’s what F1 Fanatic readers who voted for him had to say:

I voted Raikkonen but it was very tight between himself and Vettel. Vettel proved that as a driver he is in the right frame of mind for this season. Give the guy a car he can work with and he is a serious force to reckon with. A typical Vettel display which was even more impressive than usual with him pulling out such a significant gap at the start from Hamilton despite not enjoying the same performance advantage as last year.

I voted for Raikkonen because I think he drove a brilliant race. He attacked as much as he could when it mattered but also realised when it was over, a stark contrast to his disaster in China. He seemed to deal with his competitors quickly and utilised the Lotus’s straight-line speed strength to the absolute maximum.

For me it has to be Raikkonen. 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

It has to be Raikkonen.

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

There was much discussion over whether Raikkonen’s climb through the field deserved to be rated higher than Vettel’s lead from the front:

I suppose that Vettel?s performance doesn?t stand out ?ǣ more par-the-course leading from the front ?ǣ whereas Raikkonen is managing to do what Schumacher struggles to do… He?s stepped into a team and already is producing a package that can challenge the leading pack, despite qualifying. Raikkonen for me. Then Grosjean. Then Vettel.

Sebastian Vettel

Start: 1st
Finish: 1st

Vettel received around a fifth of the votes and many were disappointed he didn’t gain more:

Everyone will vote for Raikkonen but it should be Vettel. For some reason when Vettel wins from start to finish it?s not seen as a great drive but when others did it in the last few races (Button and Rosberg) they won Driver of the Weekend easily.

While Raikkonen had a great race he should have won that race. He had the chance to win it and he didn?t take it.

Vettel started from pole, set the fastest lap by quite some way and he also finished 40 seconds ahead of his team mate. He was also the only person who managed to successfully defend from the Lotus DRS slam-dunk which they did on so many cars throughout the race.

This was far from one of his 2011 victories, the Lotus was the best car out there and Vettel managed to beat them both

Really wanted to vote for Raikkonen 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 doesn’t suddenly nosedive into 2011 levels of Red Bull dominance, after holding so much promise for a wide-open title fight thus far.

The Lotus was the fastest in race trim ?ǣ but some brilliant defensive driving by Vettel ensured the victory was his. Driver of the weekend by a mile.

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.

Raikkonen 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 ?ǣ 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 you Hulkenberg and Webber too for speaking out, just a little bit, about having to race in Bahrain.

Paul di Resta

Start: 10th
Finish: 6th

Paul di Resta’s performance was all the more impressive as Force India missed second practice after their team members were involved in a petrol bomb attack outside the circuit.

More than one in ten voters picked him as Driver of the Weekend:

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.

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

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%)
China Nico Rosberg (69.1%) Lewis Hamilton (10.0%) Jenson Button (6.4%)
Bahrain Kimi Raikkonen (56.3%) Sebastian Vettel (19.3%) Paul di Resta (10.6%)

2012 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Image ?? Lotus F1 Team/LAT