Vote for your Spanish GP Driver of the Weekend

2012 Spanish Grand Prix

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 (1%)

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

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

  1. Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 14th May 2012, 16:35

    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.

  2. necrodethmortem (@necrodethmortem) said on 14th May 2012, 16:36

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

  3. MylesW (@mpw1985) said on 14th May 2012, 16:36

    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.

  4. Jake (@jleigh) said on 14th May 2012, 16:43

    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??

  5. Lotus49 (@lotus49) said on 14th May 2012, 16:50

    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.

  6. Gill Parry (@welshwitch) said on 14th May 2012, 16:54

    I thought Pastor Maldonado was great and deserved the win as it stands, but as for driver of the weekend it has to go to Lewis Hamilton, great attitude, great qualifying, great racing and if he hadn’t been given the penalty, would probably have won ….. here’s to Monaco!

  7. JCost (@jcost) said on 14th May 2012, 17:01

    Maldonando was very throughout the weekend, grabbing his first top three quali, but for DOW I pick Lewis Hamilton. He was fantastic on and off the track. After that lap he branded as his “best ever” and a harsh penalty for an error by his team he did not blamed anybody and took it as a team mistake, “win as a team, lose as team” philosophy is something to be praised in every sport.

    On Sunday Hamilton was the only two-stopper showing the world he nurse hit tyres well enough to find grip to fight for position until the last lap.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 14th May 2012, 17:02

      [FIXED]

      Maldonando was very good throughout the weekend, grabbing his first top three quali, but for DOW I pick Lewis Hamilton. He was fantastic on and off the track. After that lap he branded as his “best ever” and a harsh penalty for an error by his team he did not blamed anybody and took it as a team mistake, “win as a team, lose as team” philosophy is something to be praised in every sport.

      On Sunday Hamilton was the only two-stopper showing the world he can nurse his tyres well enough to find grip to fight for position until the last lap.

  8. Ral (@ral) said on 14th May 2012, 17:06

    Lewis Hamilton. Didn’t get off to a great start in FP1, so he worked on what was wrong. Got it right for FP3 and qualy and the race, only to be thwarted by a mistake by the team. So he’s put on an almost impossible task of making a 2-stopper work and he does, despite another pit-stop gremlin and remembering that this is the track where last year people were having to make 4 stops while he is labelled as someone unduly harsh on his tyres.

    Maldonado had an amazing weekend. But, luckily for him, he didn’t have to overcome the obstacles Hamilton’s team put in front of him. In fact, Maldonado’s team strangely enough seemed to do all in their power to help their driver win. And he repaid them in kind by doing so.

    Honourable mentions to Alonso for his customary demolishment of Massa, Raikkonen for driving the nuts off his Lotus and Lotus for giving their drivers the car to do well (although then seemingly, with less than 100% information available to me, making it hard work to do well). Also to Kobayashi for an outstanding race and finally, to…

    ..Rosberg for keeping up the hopes of the other 1-man team. Sauber are now within 2 points of Mercedes in the constructor’s championship with Sauber’s drivers 3 points apart from eachother. Guess how many points Rosberg’s team-mate has scored so far this year.

  9. Hallard (@hallard) said on 14th May 2012, 17:10

    Maldonado will win this poll, but I voted for Hamilton. He was completely without peer on saturday, and in spite of starting from the back through no fault of his own, he put his head down and put in a great race. He made the hard tires work better – for longer – than any other driver, had some great overtakes, kept his nose clean, and altogether brought home more points than he should have been able to.

    Pastor’s win is a glorious result, no doubt about it, and I completely understand why people will vote for him. But when it comes to the best driver of the whole grand prix weekend, it has to be Hamilton this time around.

  10. David-A (@david-a) said on 14th May 2012, 17:18

    Equally Maldonado and Hamilton.

    Lewis Hamilton couldn’t have been asked to do any more- took an excellent pole by half a second, but DQ for a team error. Still, he put that behind him, and stormed through the field to beat Jenson Button easily, with good passes along the way, like on the STRs. He didn’t even lose his cool after the pit error in the race. He’s got himself into the right frame of mind since the start of this season.

    Pastor Maldonado, after so much criticism over being a pay driver, and having a poor 2011 season littered with incidents, answered his critics in the ultimate way. He withstood the pressure throughout the race from Fernando Alonso and held on for a fantastic maiden win.

    • Yeah, I agree, it was almost impossible for me to choose between the two of them, although I ended up going with Hamilton in the end. He was fantastic in both qualifying and the race, and he didn’t allow himself to be distracted by any number of things that would have put many drivers off their game, at the very least. And if someone had said to you before that race, “Pick the one driver who will stop only twice,” how many people would have chosen him?

      It was a tough call, though!

  11. Fixy (@fixy) said on 14th May 2012, 17:23

    Without a doubt Maldonado.
    Hamilton was once again great, a deserved pole position and a good recovery from 24th. But, let’s remember he has a McLaren.
    Alonso was superb but he still couldn’t beat Maldonado.
    Raikkonen was yet again very good, his laps at the end of the race were amazing stuff.
    Grosjean is a little “crazy” when it comes to overtaking. He should be more patient and careful, after all his car is much stronger than others’.

  12. BS (@bs) said on 14th May 2012, 17:25

    Easily Pastor Maldonado, didn’t make a single mistake all weekend. Brilliant qualifying, aggressive in the race when he needed to be, calm and composed when he needed his tires to last, while fending off two attacks from Alonso in the final stint. There were more good drives, but only one great one.

    I was quite surprised to see the amount of votes cast for Hamilton. He was a star in qualifying but merely good in the race. Nice overtakes, but nothing amazing. Reading through the comments though, many people were impressed by his composure in spite of the misery, which is a fair point I hadn’t considered, but I don’t let that weigh very heavily. He’s been driving solidly so far this season, if McLaren can get their act together, he’s still my favorite for the WDC.

    I thought predicting 6 different race winners for 2012 might have been optimistic. Now I think we’ll get to that come Monaco. It would be very cool to see Hamilton up there, and I’m not a supporter of any particular driver.

  13. Ninad (@nin13) said on 14th May 2012, 17:29

    I think there is no doubt in this, its clearly Pastor Maldonado.
    I think what people forget to see is that it was just not brilliant driving by Pastor but also brilliant strategy by Williams to get him for 2nd pit stop early, having confidence in the car and driver to get the job done. Despite having not won for 8 years they were braver than Ferrari to take the risk. Normally you think Ferrari would be more experienced with all the wins in last decade to take such strategic gamble. In the you can just say Williams team had not forgotten to win they were just waiting for things to fall in right place.

  14. Ral (@ral) said on 14th May 2012, 17:30

    I love this quote from the Autosport weekend report (requires subscription or one-off payment) about Maoldonado:

    Gillan was coy about the exact upgrades the team had incorporated, but had seen the funny side on Saturday night when asked if he knew why the team was quick.

    “It’s a good question,” he smiled. And a valid line of inquiry given what we’ve seen thus far in 2012. The FW34 has always had decent race pace this year, but in Barcelona it could qualify as well.

    “We came here believing we had a better car, but I don’t know about a front-row car,” he admitted. “Barcelona can be a fickle circuit and it’s very changeable. You see the track temperature changing quite a bit and it’s about handling those conditions. Pastor also did a great job in qualifying. He’d got out of the car after P3 and told us not to touch it.”

  15. Kudos to Pastor for that performance, but I think Lewis Hamilton was outstanding. As Keith says, he faced all sorts of problem on race day, and yet, *still* finished in the points. Brilliant stuff!

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