Start, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, 2012

Vote for your Spanish GP Driver of the Weekend

2012 Spanish Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Which F1 driver had the best race weekend in Spain?

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

Driver notes

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Barcelona, 2012Sebastian Vettel – Minimised his running in qualifying to save tyres for the race. But a drive-through penalty for failing to slow sufficiently for yellow flags dropped him back into the pack. Passed Rosberg and the McLarens in his final stint to claim sixth, but it looked like fifth was the best he had on offer.
Mark Webber – His single run in Q2 was not good enough for him to reach Q3, so the pole sitter of the last two Spanish Grands Prix started 11th. Lost a place at the start, then pitted early in an attempt to make up ground. Like his team mate, his progress was slowed by front wing damage, necessitating a replacement. Couldn’t get past Hulkenberg for the final point at the end.

Jenson Button – Didn’t look comfortable in the McLaren at any point during the weekend. Missed Q3 and had a quiet race, finishing behind his team mate who had started last.
Lewis Hamilton – Faced with the sort of frustration that led to some of his worst performances last year, Hamilton responded commendably well. Relegated from first on the grid to last through no fault of his own, he took places when they were on offer and stayed his hand at other times, preserving his tyres. Was the only driver to complete the lap with two stops and even another McLaren pit stop blunder didn’t put him off his stride.

Fernando Alonso – The Ferrari looked a much more competitive proposition in Spain – at least, in Alonso’s hands. Out-qualified the Lotuses and snatched the lead at the start. But slipped behind Maldonado in the pit stops and, despite getting close, couldn’t quite take it back. Shares the lead of the championship with Vettel.
Felipe Massa – Over half a second off his team mate in qualifying, for which he blamed traffic, Massa started 14 places behind the other Ferrari. Disputed his penalty for speeding under yellow flags which dropped him behind Paul di Resta. He finished there, lapped by Alonso.

Michael Schumacher – Scraped into Q3 and moved up two places at the start to hold sixth, pressuring Romain Grosjean. But after Grosjean passed Senna and began to pull away, Schumacher’s eagerness to pass got the better of him and he ran into the back of the Williams. The stewards docked him five places on the grid for the next race.
Nico Rosberg – Couldn’t make the tyres last in his final stint and was passed by Kobayashi and Vettel. Had the race been 67 laps long instead of 66 he would have lost out to Hamilton too.

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Barcelona, 2012Kimi Raikkonen – Out-qualified by Grosjean but moved ahead immediately at the start. Said after the race the car had the potential to win but they didn’t get the strategy right. Spent the final stint reeling in Alonso for second place, finishing 0.6 seconds behind.
Romain Grosjean – Not for the first time this year he didn’t make best use of a good grid position. Quickly passed Senna and Rosberg after his first pit stop to take up fourth. Like Raikkonen, made a late final pit stop and was flying at the end, setting fastest lap.

Paul di Resta – There wasn’t much to choose between the Force Indias in qualifying. In the race the team felt they’d underestimated how well the tyres would last and Di Resta fell from 12th to 14th.
Nico Hulkenberg – Like his team mate in the last race, Hulkenberg had to cling on to his points finish, holding off Webber by two-tenths of a second for his second points finish of the year.

Kamui Kobayashi – Thwarted by an hydraulic problem in qualifying which prevented him from setting a time in Q3, Kobayashi held onto his ninth place at the start. A bold pass on Button halfway through the race allowed him to claim fifth, building up enough of a gap to stay safe from the recovering Vettel.
Sergio Perez – Started a career-best fifth but clipped Grosjean at the start and collected a puncture which destroyed his race.

Daniel Ricciardo – No Q3 heroics this weekend – in fact he was out-qualified by his team mate for the first time this year. He and Vergne were closely-matched in the race until the final dozen laps, when Ricciardo began to drop back.
Jean-Eric Vergne – Finished five seconds ahead of his team mate as he lost performance sharply in the final laps. Nonetheless he finished ahead of Ricciardo for the fourth race in a row.

Start, Barcelona, 2012Pastor Maldonado – Only 14th-fastest on Friday but said he was feeling confident. He was second-fastest in final practice and repeated the feat in qualifying before Hamilton’s penalty handed him his first pole position. Lost the lead to Alonso at the start but an aggressively early second stop got him ahead again. After that he withstood considerable pressure to deliver his first win and Williams’ first since 2004.
Bruno Senna – The contrast in fortunes between the Williams drivers was especially stark on Saturday as Senna spun out during Q1. In the race he delayed his first pit stop, moving up to seventh. On lap 12, shortly after being passed by Grosjean, he was rammed out of the race by Schumacher.

Heikki Kovalainen – A mistake in qualifying left him behind his team mate on the grid. But he passed Petrov at the start and finished the race 15 seconds ahead. He was 24 seconds behind the next car which, for the second time this year for Caterham, was Massa’s Ferrari.
Vitaly Petrov – Caterham did not run their new exhaust set-up in Spain, but despite that Petrov was three-tenths off Senna’s time in Q1. He wasn’t happy with his KERS map in the race and steadily dropped back from his team mate.

Pedro de la Rosa – Ran HRT’s new aerodynamic package and briefly stayed in front of Charles Pic at the start. Crossed the line in last place but was pleased to see the chequered flag at the Circuit de Catalunya for the first time since 1999.
Narain Karthikeyan – Retired shortly after his second pit-stop with a technical problem.

Timo Glock – Started behind his team mate for the second time after encountering yellow flags on his second run in Q1. Moved ahead at the start and brought the car home 18th, lapped twice.
Charles Pic – Pic had a spin early on in the race and was struggling with a driveshaft problem when Alonso came up to lap him. The stewards found Pic didn’t move aside quickly enough and handed him a drive-through penalty, but his car’s problem had already become terminal by then.

Qualifying and race results summary

Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 7th -0.093s 65/65 3 6th Didn’t finish on same laps
Mark Webber 11th +0.093s 0/65 3 11th Didn’t finish on same laps
Jenson Button 10th +0.479s 24/66 3 9th +7.106s
Lewis Hamilton 24th -0.479s 42/66 2 8th -7.106s
Fernando Alonso 2nd -0.582s 65/65 3 2nd Didn’t finish on same laps
Felipe Massa 16th +0.582s 0/65 3 15th Didn’t finish on same laps
Michael Schumacher 8th +0.022s 1/12 1
Nico Rosberg 6th -0.022s 11/12 3 7th
Kimi Raikkonen 4th +0.063s 64/66 3 3rd -10.915s
Romain Grosjean 3rd -0.063s 2/66 3 4th +10.915s
Paul di Resta 12th -0.052s 25/65 3 14th +15.951s
Nico Hulkenberg 13th +0.052s 40/65 3 10th -15.951s
Kamui Kobayashi 9th +0.124s 37/37 3 5th
Sergio Perez 5th -0.124s 0/37 3
Daniel Ricciardo 15th +0.177s 16/65 3 13th +4.866s
Jean-Eric Vergne 14th -0.177s 49/65 3 12th -4.866s
Pastor Maldonado 1st -1.601s 12/12 3 1st
Bruno Senna 17th +1.601s 0/12 0
Heikki Kovalainen 19th +0.23s 63/65 3 16th -15.151s
Vitaly Petrov 18th -0.23s 2/65 3 17th +15.151s
Pedro de la Rosa 22nd -3.567s 18/22 4 19th
Narain Karthikeyan 23rd +3.567s 4/22 2
Timo Glock 21st +0.45s 33/35 3 18th
Charles Pic 20th -0.45s 2/35 2

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 Spanish Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (1%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (28%)
  • Jenson Button (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (6%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Michael Schumacher (1%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (3%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (3%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (57%)
  • 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: 754

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Rate the Race: Spanish Grand Prix

What did you think of this weekend’s race? Give your verdict here:

2012 Spanish Grand Prix

Browse all 2012 Spanish Grand Prix articles

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images, Lotus F1 Team/LAT, Williams/LAT

202 comments on “Vote for your Spanish GP Driver of the Weekend”

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  1. I just saw Charles Pic having 100% of the votes for a moment!

    1. Funny thing voting. Last year in Barcelona Hiedfeld drove from 24th to 8th – as did Lewis this year

      He only got 9%, Lewis has 30%

      Maybe Lewis is getting some sympathy for the team’s mistake.

      1. James (@goodyear92)
        14th May 2012, 20:01

        It’s driver of the weekend though and LH was so quick in qualifying and didn’t deserve to be starting 24th. The cars are also closer this year, so making progress is harder. The tyres don’t like being in traffic and LH didn’t have half the amount of new tyres Nick did. All in all, Lewis was much more impressive.

        1. And his 30 or 31 lap stint on his tyres, I mean, that was impressive by anyone’s standards, and considering his normal destruction of the tyres, a fantastic job, and was still pushing to overtake Rosberg at the end.

        2. Agree, Hamilton certainly did a very nice job in qualifying and a composed, controlled and successfull race to get in front of his team mate in the end.

        3. The Mclaren would have helped though…

      2. Im none-impressed with LH this weekend. All these accolades for his behavior, when really, he is only (finally?) starting to act in the way a driver of his talent and position is supposed to act – cold, results-driven, professional.

        PM, now thats an achievement. He had a bit of luck with LH’s Q3 DQ, but was able to make the most of it, hold off FA, one of the best in the business, keep composure, and bring home the first win in a long time.

        It was a display of driving prowess, teamwork, luck, ceasure of the moment and adding a dash of historical significants as well. Good on him.

        1. How can you not think lewis hamilton drove an amazing race? He went from last to 8th in a field where the cars are closer than ever! even more impressive that he finished in front of his teamate who started 14 places ahead in the same car!

          Congrats to maldonado, he drove a very mature and controlled race and it is wonderful to see a williams win again. He deserves to be driver of the weekend but no true race fan could argue that lewis was not very impressive this weekend.

    2. Jayfreese (@)
      14th May 2012, 21:03

      Can we get Worst Driver of the Weekend? Voted Hamilton, shared feelings with Maldonado and Alonso, all of them biiterly beat their teammates on and off track this weekend!

      1. Pic should win for worst driver for getting in the way of Alonso. I agree about the great driving by Hamilton, Alonso, and Maldonado.

  2. Never thought I would, but Pastor Maldonado without a doubt. Genuinely expected him to choke. Big brownie points to him.

    1. Exactly! Hamilton was a close second but the pressure Maldonado dealt with put him #1 for me.

  3. Pastor Maldonado.
    Looked lively all weekend. Amazing qualifying lap, worked his strategy well and kept behind one of the best drivers on the grid.
    What more could you ask for?

    1. I briefly thought of Hamilton, for his moving from 24th to a decent finish. However, he wouldn’t have been there to begin with if the team hadn’t messed his fuel load. Besides, Pastor did a great job and truly deserved the vote – so he got it.

      1. Well it’s DRIVER of the weekend, not TEAM and dismissing him because the race he had was as a result of something out of his control is not what this vote is about ….. he still did what he did, but hey each to their own logic!:)

        1. jimscreechy (@)
          14th May 2012, 21:17

          My thoughts Exactly Gill. Yes Pastor drove a good race but I wouldn’t call it great, or for that matter anything we don’t regularly see at least a dozen times in any seasond. He only really had to deal with Alonso, and it wasn’t like he made any fantastic overtaking manouvers or anything like that, in fact he lost a place and it was only recovered by the pit stop via good team strategy and not through any tenacious decisions from him. I will give him credit for not folding under pressure, and still for doing a good job in the car, but that alone cannot really justify (for me) driver of the weekend. That has to go to hamilton not just for his race but for his performance conduct and unfailing support for his team in the face of adversity. A spectacularly mature response from him all round.

          1. “He only really had to deal with Alonso” – that would be Alonso the double world champ and one of the best drivers of the last decade. Yep, easy peasey.

          2. For me, Pastor’s win was more spectacular than Rosberg’s by far and deserved DOTW more than Rosberg did.

          3. jimscreechy (@)
            15th May 2012, 8:47

            yes and Alonso in a clearly inferior Ferrari let me add.

          4. Rosberg had no one chasing him, especially it was not Button who qualified 5th and finished 20+ seconds behind…..

          5. with the “superior Mclaren”

          6. I agree with those saying PM’s was greater than NR’s.
            Dont forget, he drives a Williams, only in 2011 did they return from the from the catagory of the “embarrassingly bad”.

            NR is driving the progeny of the mighty BrawnGP, with the full weight of Mercedes, Ross Brawn, and Michael Shumacher behind it. Indeed, with all that firepower, their current dirth of success can only be looked upon negatively.

    2. My words exactly.

      1. Steve (@machinesteve)
        14th May 2012, 22:21

        Pastor’s race not great…..anyone who gets into a battle with Alonso for the lead and comes out on top drove a GREAT race.

        Come on admit it – we all expected him to choke at the start, fade during the race or to **** it all up by spinning or going in the gravel – but instead he drove a faultless race, kept cool after a cock-up in the pits then faced down Alonso. Serious drive.

        1. did he even lock a brake? if he did i didnt see it.
          amazing drive.

  4. Hands up everyone who can pick who the winner’s going to be this week.

    1. My hand is certainly up! Can’t choose between Hamilton or Maldonado. Chose Maldonado in the end because it was his first win, preserved the tyres and held back Alonso in the race, and was pretty quick most of the weekend. All that in his 2nd year of F1 racing. He kept a very mature head. Hamilton was also extremely competitive, particularly in qualifying (hence his pole position.) Even if he had enoughh fuel, he would have edged Maldonado for pole anyway. Certainly, Hamilton’s display reminds us all just what he can do in an F1 car, pulling off some excellent, and critical overtakes. A shame about the penalty, but his performance should give him confidence going into Monaco, one of his favourite tracks. But will McLaren be ready?……

  5. Does anyone know how the Red Bull front wings were damaged, you can clearly see the damage in the picture but what caused it?

    1. @jimbobian

      In “auto motor sport” they quoted Christian Horner saying that debris – possibly from the Schumacher/Senna incident caused Vettel’s wing to get damaged. However, they still had no explanation why there was a loss of downforce (which they could measure from the pits) on Webber’s car.

      1. Steve (@machinesteve)
        14th May 2012, 22:24

        Yes something seriously tricky going on in there….Webber let it slip when he said that something broke and a part that was meant to move stopped working. Something that was meant to move in the nose? Shifting mass?

        1. Hmm, fishy, fishy…

  6. With no doubt Pastor

  7. It’s hard not to chose Pastor Maldonado as the DOTW.

    He looked “rusty” ever since his debut, so it was surprising to see him offer such a strong performance. I thought he would crack under pressure from Alonso, but he didn’t. It also helped him that Williams know a thing or two about winning: had he raced for Sauber, I’m not sure he’d have won…

    1. I also thought he would crack, but in the end he did a really nice job of keeping Alonso behind. My second choice would have been said Alonso, because he really got almost the maximum out of that Ferrari again.

      As discussed shortly yesterday, I very much agree with you on Williams showing they know about winning and not faltering in the excitement.

      1. and not faltering in the excitement.

        …some may count blowing up their own pit garage during the celebrations as faltering in the excitement! But I agree, Williams weren’t settling for second place in this race – they were solely out there to win it.

    2. I think he’s been much better in general this year

  8. Sviatoslav Andrushko (@)
    14th May 2012, 16:19

    Voted for Maldonado, because he and Williams team made much better job than Ferrari. I believe reds were at some points of race much faster and they could have won the race. But strategy was on Williams side. Great for them.

  9. Brilliant qualifying, a penalty not of any fault of your own, and a great race through the field from last to 8th (with a team not doing much to help you) and finishing ahead of your world champion team mate. Or a great unexpected first win in style ahead of two world champions ? Difficult one here.

    I guess Maldonado will get our vote, just because, well, I have just watched a race where Maldonado beats Alonso in a straight fight. And I swear, I’m sober.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. +1

  10. UnitedKingdomRacing (@unitedkingdomracing)
    14th May 2012, 16:21

    For me it’s pretty tight between Maldonado and Hamilton. Yes Maldonado won the race and fought fantastic against Alonso. But Hamilton set an even faster Lap than Maldonado in Quali (which hadn’t any affect thanks to his team) and beat his teammate in an equal car, while starting 14 places behind him. People only see Maldonado because noone would have expected such a performance from him.
    Therefore I will also go for Maldonado, but it is not as obvious as the actual result might show.

    1. I don’t think it should be Maldonado. It was pretty tight between him and Hamilton, but then I realised that his performance was about the same as Vettel’s was last season – nothing really spectacular, but still won the race. No amazing overtakes, no amazing strategic decision, no fight through the pack… nothing. And look at how many times Vettel won DOTW last year – nowhere near as much as he won. Hamilton had all of these things. Now it may be more “expected” for Vet/Ham to do well, but IMO that doesn’t matter. It’s “Driver of the Weekend”, not “Driver who outperformed what he normally does.”

      1. I expected a McLaren to do well. Hamilton surely didn’t underperform like his teammate, but I don’t think his drive was any special either.

        1. James (@goodyear92)
          14th May 2012, 17:08

          His drive was extremely special. His pole position was blistering and it never looked like anyone had an answer to his pace. He was 24th through no fault of his own, had to fight his way through the field whilst also conserving all his tyres (31 laps on Pirelli’s tyres is no easy feat) and he did so calmly and brilliantly. The pass on both Torro Rossos was sublime and definitely one of the best this year. He had a disadvantage with his DRS (hitting top revs halfway down the straight) and showed once again he doesn’t need it to pull his passes on a track famously hard to overtake on. His teammate started 10th and was able to go at a quicker pace due to a 3 stop strategy, but he still had no answer to Lewis (who started 14 places back) and finished 8s behind him.
          There is no debate on Lewis’ drive being one of many spectacular drives on sunday.

        2. especially considering Lewis has the fastest car on the grid.

          1. James (@goodyear92)
            14th May 2012, 17:14

            There is no fastest car on the grid, have you been paying attention to the season so far?

          2. fastest car on the grid because he had no weight in the fuel tank. that’s why he was sent to the back of the classroom. so he wasn’t the fastest according to the rules

          3. One extra lap’s worth of fuel on board doesn’t increase a laptime by 6 tenths.

          4. On a grid that is possibly the closest it has ever been!

        3. I think making his 2 stops strategy works is eye popping. He was (is) the McLaren driver known for not taking care of his tyres and for being too aggressive.

        4. @Jimmy :Were you watching the same race as me? Hamilton’s race nothing special? He made 2 stops, looked after his tyres better than anyone else and went from 24th to 8th doing some superb overtakes, eventually finishing ahead of his team mate?? Also it’s driver of the WEEKEND ….Unbelievable lol …. sorry but you have no idea what you’re talking about!
          @infy : Lewis has the fastest car on the grid?? Quick call Mclaren and tell them ‘cos I’m not sure they have this information :) working your way up from the back in this season isn’t really just about speed now is it? It’s about team strategy and tyre management, haven’t you been watching?

          1. Actually I agree with infy (to a certain degree). Let me clarify – I think to say it’s “the fastest car on the grid” is probably too general a statement, but it does seem to be the best car overall IMO.

            Having said that, Maldonado for me as driver of the weekend. But credit to Hamilton as well.

            It’s been a great start to the season, but I really feel if McLaren sort out the blunders – and LH and the team remain grounded/upbeat despite the mishaps – they/LH will win the WDC in commanding fashion.

          2. Yes, I agree with “infy” and “1 of the 3”. Mclaren have had the fastest car on average this year, and only Hamilton is getting the most out of it, with 3 poles. Button was poor in Sepang and Barcelona, Hamilton wasn’t great in Melbourne, and the team have made errors.

          3. Lets face it, if Lewis hadn’t been penalised he would have run away with it. Pastor is a terrible paid driver who fluked it. One on one with Lewis he had no chance.

          4. @ MU C – Pastor hasn’t proven himself as the best, but it’s pretty ignorant to say he’s terrible.

    2. Maldonado easily for me. Hamilton second and also good drives from Alonso, Kobayashi, Vettel and Raikkonen.

      Maldonado was just sensational all weekend. Yes Hamilton came through the field but Maldonado won the race when his team-mate couldn’t even Qualify in the top 16. He also took the fight to and beat Alonso, something Perez didn’t manage.

      A world class drive. Really thought he’d crack under the pressure from Alonso.

      1. but hamilton got pole by half a second when his teammate couldn’t even get into Q3. And I think we can all agree that the Button (WDC 09) is better than Bruno Senna who missed a practice session.

        1. @ 1 0f 3 : I appreciate what you’re saying but when someone is trying to move up through traffic, getting stuck behind people and trying to manage their tyres in a 2 stop strategy, even the fastest car (which I really don’t believe the Mclaren is – Jenson was in one too) would struggle so therefore my point is, in this situation speed isn’t everything and credit should be given to the driver :)

          1. @ mu c : I agree that Lewis would probably have won, had he not been penalised but harsh to say what you said about Maldonado: 1. Keeping completely calm when you have a 2x world champion crawling all over your rear and in a car that wasn’t considered very competetive isn’t a fluke, proving that 2. He isn’t a terrible driver who bought his seat!

  11. I think starting from the back of the grid and finish 8th beating your team-mate who qualified 10th (after penalty) is something special. And then go on a set of tyres for 30 laps and only going into the pits twice.
    Not to take away from Pastor’s win, but Hamilton is definitely a worthy runner up, if not driver of the day

    1. Libellula (@ladyf1fanatic)
      14th May 2012, 16:28

      Indeed! .-) then that double pass on Toro Rosso drivers was mesmerizing! Last year was an awful season for him but this one, he’s really doing his best to race like the champion he’s. Showed some maturity in his driving and self-discipline behaviour till saturday! Well done! .-)

    2. The less stops for Mclaren the best result the team gets !

    3. Yes but having the fastest car doesn’t hurt ey?

      1. Well that’s arguable, the Williams was no.2 in quali despite Pastor making a few mistakes in his fast lap, Jenson qualified far from his team mate.
        I think that with the racing as close as it is (thankfully), it’s a little more down to the driver – just look at Fernando

        1. Yes, the racing is very close this season, but there is this thing with the tyres. The performance changes so much so easy. I don’t believe that Pastor is so much faster that Bruno (IMO is faster that him, but only a fraction) nor Button is so much slower that Lewis. The same with Mark and Sebastein. I would say the same for Felipe and Fernado. What is going on with these Pirelli this year? Who is fighting for the championship this season? Will Kobayashi be the first Japanese driver to win a gp?

          1. Those last three questions sum up the greatness of these Pirelli tyres: uncertainty. It’s a race for the teams to maximise performance out of the tyres, and unlike what others say, I don’t think it makes “fake racing”, I think it rewards the one who is able to make the best of their set up, attack quickly and successfully) and at the same time balancing tyre wear – it makes it much more difficult for the driver which is part of the spectacle – especially the endings. And what I really like is that it gives opportunities to he midfield teams to be up there, there seems to be no “dominant” force in F1 for now – and I think the majority of F1 fans love it!

  12. Libellula (@ladyf1fanatic)
    14th May 2012, 16:24

    Voted Lewis Hamilton…Coming through adversity, fighting your own team, the car and even those Pirelli tyres (31 laps on them) the only one of 24 drivers on a 2-stopper…then putting up a smile and thank the team for everything…just WOW! I LIKE THE NEW HAMILTON version! 2012 is really an interesting season!
    Williams and MALDONADO did well yesterday, very well and congrats because Alonso is a tough guy, but they are not a serious contender to the WDC this year.

  13. Expected Maldanado to choke the start and be passed by quite a few cars, anyone who chooses a different driver must be an idiot, Maldanado drove the perfect race for the perfect win

    1. Excuse me but everyone is entitled to their opinion and it’s a VOTE, Maldonado did well to win but other drivers had more to contend with and also it was driver of the weekend, not just the race, so kindly keep your insults to yourself!!!!

      1. Steve (@machinesteve)
        14th May 2012, 22:27

        Vote….opinion? In the true spirit of Venezuela and Hugo Chavez, we have chosen Comrade Pastor for his great and mighty victory….the people have spoken and any counter-revolutionary opinion will not be welcomed.


        (Is there a symbol for irony?)

  14. Maldonado, Alonso, Hamilton and Kobayashi I’d say all deserve it. Hamilton and Kobayashi performed well in qualifying only for problems which were not their fault to hinder them. They bounced back however by showing their excellent racecraft during the race with great skill and bravery whilst passing their rivals.

    Maldonado and Alonso were both very solid at the front for much of the weekend. Alonso showed his great ability, just as he does every race, and deserved to win as much as Maldonado. Maldonado drove really well and it was amazing to see him keep his head in the closing stages.

    I’ll vote for Maldonado because what we saw from Hamilton, Kobayashi and Alonso, is what we have come to expect from them. With Maldonado, we knew he had good pace, but I’m sure many believed he would crack under the pressure at some point during the race. He never did and never showed signs of doing so, this is why I voted for Maldonado.

    Jenson Button was no doubt in my mind the worst driver of the weekend. It’s weekends like this which stop people from rating him alongside the likes of Alonso and Hamilton. Button can seemingly only perform when the car is completely fine, the slightest difficulty with the car, and he struggling like hell.

    1. I voted for Lewis because of how he’d been all weekend but I completely agree with you about Pastor Maldonado, we’ve seen other drivers not used to being up front, crack under pressure such as Rosberg (not talking about his win as he was way out in front). Maldonado had Alonso on his tail for practically the whole race and not one single lock up, superb.

    2. I would put in a vote for Schumi as worst driver of the weekend. Ok, he did get into Q3, but then he lost patience behind Senna and speared him. Feel rather like a rookie (and by now he is not even a rookie if we would count only his comeback), than a former 7times champion.

  15. James (@goodyear92)
    14th May 2012, 16:32

    I voted Lewis in the end, but it was difficult. Had the same problems as his teammate in practice, but he managed to overcome them and show how fast the Mclaren truly was albeit slightly flattered (probably by about 0.100s) by being lighter on fuel. Nevertheless, he still demolished everyone in qualifying and has been the most consistent driver (in terms of performance, the results don’t tell the whole story.) this season.
    The race… wow. 24th to 8th on a track notoriously difficult to pass on and while he was having to run about 2s off the pace to conserve his tyres. He completely destroyed JB this weekend (finishing 8s ahead) and has firmly put to bed the belief that he is hard on his tyres. It really would be a beautiful moment in the season if he were to finally get his first win of the season at his favourite track.
    It really was a tough one though with Pastor and Sebastian both putting in sublime performances this weekend, but I genuinely believe LH was better over the entire three days.

    1. James (@goodyear92)
      14th May 2012, 16:53

      I forgot to mention Kobayashi. Another driver who was further down the grid than he should have been through no fault of his own. He drove beautifully to make it up to fifth with his trademark ‘SURPRISE IT’S ME’ overtakes.

      1. That’s what yer supposed to call them then! ;D

  16. There’s only one winner, Maldonado, but Hamilton and Alonso were both very good. Hamilton probably had winning pace had he not been sent to the back, and his drive through the field was mature (in the sense that you suspect he would have crashed out in the same position last year) and he made the two-stop strategy work. Alonso was again so much better than Massa. That he’s euqal top after 5 races in that car tells you everything.

    But Pastor defied expectations and drove a smart and fast race to victory. He was deserving of the criticism last year, and he’s equally deserving of the praise this year. A worthy DOTW.

  17. If I knew nobody would vote for Kobayashi, he would’ve gotten my vote.

  18. Definitely a close call between Lewis, Pastor, and Alonso.

    1) Maldonado: all around superb drive from pole position. Dominated his teammate the entire weekend, and held off the pressure from Alonso. Was fast when he needed to be, and conserved his tires brilliantly in the final stint.

    2) Hamilton: another lost weekend for Lewis, but he performed valiantly and kept his head up (and kept his cool) during the race. Like Maldonado and Alonso, pretty much dominated his teammate in qualifying and during the race. Was especially impressive during his last stint as he made some great overtakes but still made his tires last for 31 laps. Easily could have won if McLaren would get their act together this season.

    3) Alonso: again, as usual, completely dominated his teammate and wrung 100% out of the F2012. Great start, but questionable pit strategy probably cost him the lead to Maldonado. Chased Pastor bravely during the final stint, but seemed to abuse his tires in vain trying to pass the Williams. All around great drive.

    For me, however, when looking at driver of the weekend, it’s a story of what could have been. Lewis’ pole position was brilliant (would have been ahead regardless of missed liters of fuel), and his race was calculating and aggressive. Again, it’s an incredible close call, but I feel that Lewis really was the best driver this weekend, considering his circumstances.

  19. In any other circumstances it would easily be Maldonado, but I honestly still can’t get over the brilliance of Hamilton’s performance all weekend. He destroyed everyone in quali, even without the weight advantage of less than half a 10th. A lot has already been said about his superb drive from last to 8th in the race, and one comment summed it up for me yesterday when they said “Hamilton was taking the mick out of Button”.

    We also have to take into account the difficulties and adversities faced by Lewis this weekend. I can’t even imagine the devistation he must have felt on saturday night. But he dealt with it all with extreme maturity and grace, sticking by his team whilst everyone else was turning against them. Oh, and lets not forget that overtake on the Torro Rossos. Best of the year so far??

  20. I have to vote for Michael Scumacher. No-one else showed such total self-belief. No one else would have had the temerity to make such creative and imaginative excuses.
    “I made a mistake and hit him up the backside”. Would have been so much better Michael. It’s called humility. If you find it difficult go and ask Jenson.

    1. Lol ….you have to love him though!

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