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

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2012 Spanish Grand Prix

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

  1. Ash356 (@ash356) said on 15th May 2012, 0:04

    Hamilton – 24th to a good position, and kept his head! I’m enjoying Hamilton’s level-headedness this year :)
    Plus, I believe it was that pass where he ducked and weaved between the two Toro Rosso’s… (I believe it was them). That has to be one of the best pass’s I’ve seen all season – very ballsy stuff! :P

  2. bearforce1 (@bearforce1) said on 15th May 2012, 0:41

    Maldonado without a doubt was by far the best driver of the weekend. Seriously impressive stuff from chap with so little experience in F1.

    Man Maldonado is driving a Williams. PM showed something incredible in fending of Alonso of all drivers all race whilst being in an inferior car.

    Hamilton doing what is expected for probably the best car this year.If Hamilton had managed what he achieved in a Williams it would have been far different. I am just starting to warm again to Lewis after his weird freak circus last year but some of his fans are not making it any easier. Seriously these people vote for Lewis each and every race, regardless of how well he performed.

    Worst driver Naraain Kartikayan (can’t even be bothered with the spelling for this guy). He is just a menace and ruins whole races and sessions for so many other drivers and fans. He just has no idea who is near him, ever. As people here have commented he should be the expert at being lapped and having cars pass him cause he has the most experience at it.

    • Jake (@jleigh) said on 15th May 2012, 1:14

      @bearforce1 I’m a Hamilton fan. I haven’t voted for him since Germany last year (not even when he won in Abu Dhabi). I voted for him this weekend though, for the reasons a lot (many I know not to be Hamilton fans) have pointed out.

      I think a lot is being made of the fact that Maldonado was driving a Williams. Yes, he was, a 2012 Williams, not a 2011 Williams. Let’s take qualifying, Hamilton and Alonso both said they got 100% out of their cars. I believe them, and I think it’s a fair assumption they are quicker than Maldonado. As it’s impossible to get more than 100% out of a car, even if Maldonado did get 100% out of his Williams, we would have to conclude the Williams was at least the fastest car on the grid.

      So Maldonado did a great job bringing home at worst the second fastest car on the grid home in 1st, whilst the one car that might have been faster started dead last. Don’t get me wrong, it was a brilliant drive, but I suspect a lot of the votes are based on the view that “wow, I wouldn’t expect that”. For me personally, I don’t take into account previous reputations when voting for driver of the weekend.

      Hamilton on the other hand did something no-one else could, and no-one expected to be possible. He also pulled off some incredible passing moves and did all this under what must have been very difficult circumstances. So yes I voted for Hamilton, and yes I’m a Hamilton fan, but the two are not linked, and just because I support a certain driver doesn’t make me (or any other Hamilton fans) exactly the same.

      • Jake (@jleigh) said on 15th May 2012, 1:16

        *edit end of 2nd para* at least the 2nd fastest car

      • bearforce1 (@bearforce1) said on 15th May 2012, 1:31

        @Jake, thanks for the reply.

        It is nice to know that others think about the actual weekend and how the drivers performed.

        I don’t agree with you that Lewis did something “no-one else could”. Many drivers have started at the back and won races or achieved third or so many many times. I think Lewis performed well but from history a driver in the best car starting at the back will make their way to eighth easily and to fifth, third or so and sometimes win.

        I am sure some stat gurus on here will be able to quickly remind us where someone started at the back of the grid and performed better than eigth.

        • Kimi4WC said on 15th May 2012, 2:01

          Not to mention at no point he was charging in front or giving any hints that he was on fire. As he said him self he did a great job and did best damage limitation he could.

          He is a qualifying monster though!

        • Jake (@jleigh) said on 15th May 2012, 9:56

          @bearforce1 I was actually referring to the two stop strategy. Also, with the field being as close as it is this year, and Lewis having no new tyres, and the current tyres going off dramatically in dirty air, we can’t really compare it to the past instances such as Heidfeld last year, who did the same, but with heaps of brand new tyres and a far less competitive field to come back through.

  3. plushpile (@plushpile) said on 15th May 2012, 2:10

    Pastor is going to romp this one in…

  4. Kimi4WC said on 15th May 2012, 2:27

    Hahaha, is this true?

    Raikkonen congratulated all mothers with Mothers Day while he was asked to do his press conference in Finnish after the race?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tCWrIrufWE&feature=relmfu

    Epic.

  5. JUGNU (@jugnu) said on 15th May 2012, 3:56

    Lewis Hamilton is my driver of the Weekend. Through out the weekend he showed his usual top class pace and overtaking. Also displayed great maturity after getting penalty and looked after his tires so well. He shined in all departments both off track and on track like qualifying pace, race pace, overtaking and looking after tires. Old Lewis is BACK.

    • Gill Parry (@welshwitch) said on 15th May 2012, 9:51

      Absolutely, 100%, Killed his critics (well the ones with intelligent thought processes anyway, lol) with his attitude and spirit and he definitely added suprise to the tyre management issue, there may well be other drivers who have gone from 24th to 8th or above, but have they done it on a 2 stop strategy in a car and with a driver, that from past history don’t like the tyres and taken them 31 laps while other drivers tyres are falling off the edge after a lot less?

  6. Sato said on 15th May 2012, 4:05

    Kobayashi

  7. Pamphlet (@pamphlet) said on 15th May 2012, 4:49

    People are saying that Maldonado shouldn’t get it simply because he pulled a Vettel.

    You certainly weren’t saying that when Rosberg won, did you? Double standards, much?

    100% Pastor. I don’t even see what was so impressive about Hamilton’s race. All he did was show that Button had no pace all weekend, but otherwise even Massa kept him on his toes before the penalty.

    • Pamphlet (@pamphlet) said on 15th May 2012, 4:50

      won, were you*

      • Gill Parry (@welshwitch) said on 15th May 2012, 10:02

        I agree with you on the Maldonado/Vettel issue, Maldonado was fighting all the way, so nothing like Vettel or even Rosberg, a well deserved win but also no reason to critcise other voter’s reasons for giving it to Hamilton, he was superb all weekend and would have still been on pole position had the car not been under fuelled, there a lot of people on this site who aren’t Hamilton fans but have voted for him anyway, which after last season speaks volumes and as for the Massa comment, he isn’t capable of keeping anyone on his toes at the moment, sorry mate!

    • Jake (@jleigh) said on 15th May 2012, 10:00

      Hamilton lost a lot of time behind Massa firstly because both had DRS making it useless, and then because of the HRT on the straight meaning Lewis couldn’t use his DRS.

  8. cosicave (@cosicave) said on 15th May 2012, 4:52

    Impossible not to give it to Maldonado on his maiden victory.

    A near faultless drive, including substantial pressure from Alonso towards the end. Both were conserving tyres and aware of Räikkönen closing rapidly. This is a difficult balancing act to hold together, particularly with the vastly more experienced double WDC Alonso closing in on younger tyres.

    Alonso himself put in a superb performance, as did Räikkönen.
    The other candidate has to be Hamilton, whose job was extremely difficult in almost every way imaginable. 24th to 8th at Barcelona is no mean feat, even in a quick car. And even with DRS this is one of the most difficult circuits for overtaking – especially when conserving tyres two do just 2 stops!

  9. Stephen Jones (@aus_steve) said on 15th May 2012, 8:02

    Notch one down for Maldonado

  10. Mouse_Nightshirt (@mouse_nightshirt) said on 15th May 2012, 10:19

    It’s an easy choice this weakened. Simply has to be Narain in the HRT. I mean what a performance. So sublime Keith could only write two sentences about it.

    On a serious note, vote goes to Pastor. Had such excellent pace, kept Alonso at bay in a Williams and topped it off by helping people out of the Williams garage during the fire.

  11. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 15th May 2012, 11:16

    Extremely hard to choose between the two. Maldonado’s drive was superb. Very measured, very controlled, pushed hard when he needed to and held station when he didn’t. He soaked up the pressure from the most relentless driver on the grid, and put in a performance which must be considered pretty well flawless. He may have gained pole position thanks to Hamilton’s penalty, but the fact he was on the front row to start with was no fluke, having also set fast times in the other qualifying sessions. He showed that even if you don’t have the fastest car on the grid, you can still achieve a win, despite this supposedly being an era where the driver isn’t supposed to be able to make a difference.

    Hamilton’s qualifying was nothing short of brilliant. Given his form in recent years, he could perhaps have been forgiven for letting his head drop after being disqualified, but instead he knuckled down and delivered a great performance scything through the pack. There was none of the half hearted, clumsy wheel banging which seemed to define his performances last year. Vintage Hamilton, showing controlled aggression, made all the more impressive by also managing to preserve the allegedly mega-fragile Pirelli tyres better than anyone else.

    Both drivers managed to put in brilliant performances through the whole weekend, despite starting from opposite ends of the grid. However, my vote goes to Maldonado, on the basis that Hamilton used a superior car to overtake inferior cars, while Maldonado used an inferior car to beat the superior cars.

  12. Jonathon (@gambisk) said on 15th May 2012, 11:26

    A well deserved win for Pastor, but I voted for Hamilton as arguably his charge form 24th to 8th was more exciting to watch and its good to see that he can remain calm and composed, looking after the tyres and getting the best from the car in a tough situation that was no fault of his own.

  13. AlexNK said on 15th May 2012, 11:34

    How can it be anyone other than Maldonado, it beats me. Got pole while his teammate qualified 17th. When Alonso does that, he’s praised beyond the skies as outperforming the car, when Pastor gets over 1.5s advantage on his teammate in the same session, that’s not even mentioned, he just has a fast car, right? Lost the start but drove superbly, didn’t let Alonso to get away Vettel-style and eventually passed him in the pits and kept the lead despite poorer pit-stops with respect to Ferrari. When people say Alonso couldn’t catch Maldonado because when you follow a car your tyres degrade faster, they forget that Pastor was able to catch Alonso following him and didn’t destroy his tyres.

    Hamilton, on the other hand, did a good quali lap but it is irrelevant since the car was illegal. He still has the best car and had a good recovery drive, but it was not something special that we haven’t seen before. Heidfeld managed the same thing last year (not having the fastest car) and didn’t get much praise. Schumacher went from 22 to 10 in Bahrain, where he didn’t have even top 3 car and there were much fewer retirements than in Spain. Yet I don’t recall anyone regarding MSC’s drive as the best. Hamilton was passed by Vettel in the closing stages of the race and didn’t show any defensive driving to write home about. Didn’t even manage to pass Rosberg who was by that time a sitting duck, as Vettel and Kobi has proven. So, Hamilton’s drive was not even close to what Pastor did over the weekend to get his maiden pole and win.

    • gambits said on 15th May 2012, 14:45

      Correct me if I am wrong, that diference you of 1,6 seconds you point out comes between a car that was out of the race after just 12 laps, of course with far less fuel and other factors you increase your best lap later in the race.

      Anyway you have a point, Maldonado showed a terrific performance.

      • AlexNK said on 15th May 2012, 18:35

        No, the difference I was referring to was the difference between Maldonado and Senna in Q1

  14. Karthikeyan (@ridiculous) said on 15th May 2012, 12:12

    Hamilton performed miracles like walking over a car with 1.3 litres of fuel and turned a grid position of 24 to 8 fine, but there is one thing that made me choose Maldanado – gaining 1.3 seconds on the middle sector in his outlap when Fernando just about caught Pic. I know Hamilton qualified half-a-scond ahead, but this was more than exceptional outlap that won him the race.

  15. d3v0 (@d3v0) said on 15th May 2012, 12:50

    Stunning drive. I was in nearly tears at the end – and as a driver Pastor is probably my least favorite on the grid.

    • d3v0 (@d3v0) said on 15th May 2012, 12:51

      I mean, talk about a comeback for Williams. What a brilliant thing. Shame about the fire, but ….I feel like picking maldonandnaodnddononadoo for a win/podium in Monaco. He was 7th on merit in that dog of a Williams last year…this year when the car is actually good? Lets see.

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