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 (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

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

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  1. Gill Parry (@welshwitch) said on 15th May 2012, 12:57

    Why can’t some people on here just cast their vote giving the reasons why they chose that particular driver, instead of criticising other voters and drivers by dragging up irrelevant happenings from the past. It’s meant to be an overall vote on how well drivers did the weekend just gone, not an analysis on whether another driver did a comparative drive, in another race, in another season, if we had to consider all that information no-one would ever vote!
    @alexNK : I will repeat (before I get accused of causing aggro), Pastor drove a great race however, I don’t think this year’s Ferrari is actually capable of getting away Vettel style and using the same argument in reverse, Alonso (who overtook Maldonado at the start of the race) didn’t allow Maldonado (after a strategic pit stop by Williams put him in front) to do so either.

    As for Hamilton’s pole lap being irrelevant, that’s like a jury being told to ‘disregard that last piece of evidence’, regardless of the penalty awarded, he got pole position and would have done, even if the car had been fuelled correctly. His overtake on the two Toro Rosso’s was sublime and his tyres at the point when Vettel overtook him were how many laps old? Vettel was on fairly fresh tyres what would have been the point of trying to defend? As for Rosberg (who was also overtaken by Vetttel quite quickly), again his tyres were nowhere near as old as Hamilton’s yet given another lap or so Rosberg’s 7th place would have been doubt.
    To conclude : Alonso, started 2nd in what is considered to be a not particularly competitive car, led the way after an overtake, lost it through strategy, 3 pit stops, but managed to hassle to the end and finish 2nd;
    Vettel, started 8th in a fairly competive car this year, 3 pit stops and a drive through penalty, superb overtaking and finished 5th in front of his team mate;
    Hamilton, started 24th after losing pole position in a car is questionably (when compared to last season’s Red Bull) the fastest as each race (not qualifying) this season has produced different results, 2 pit stops, superb overtaking, only driver (in this race) to make his tyres last 31 laps, finished in 8th, ahead of his team mate who started in 10th;
    Maldonado, started on pole-due to Hamilton’s penalty putting him to the back of the grid-in what appears to be a fairly competitive car, lost the lead to Alonso in the first corner, 3 pit stops, one of which got him back out in front of Alonso, no overtaking, kept his cool superbly under pressure from a 2x WC, finished 1st.
    It’s not black and white, it’s personal choice, given the relevant facts :)

    • jonnypwtf (@jonnypwtf) said on 15th May 2012, 18:20

      First you describe how sublime Hamilton’s double overtake was, then try to defend him for being passed by Vettel. The two statements are contradictory.

      Hamilton was on tyres that were only a couple of laps old when he made the double overtake, and RIC/JEV both pitted a lap or two later. Brand new tyres versus very old tyres.

      Vettel pitted around lap 43 and made the pass on Hamilton around lap 62, making his tyres 20 laps old. I wouldn’t call those “fairly fresh.”

      So you can’t say that Hamilton’s pass was sublime, yet Vettel’s was simply down to a difference in tyre wear.

      • Gill Parry (@welshwitch) said on 15th May 2012, 22:46

        LMAO ….Yes I can, what a ridiculous thing to say, they were at completely different points in the race, the only time you could call my comment contradictory is if all the cars were on tyres that would last the entire race. Hamilton’s pass was on two cars in a corner and Vettel’s pass was on a straight coming up to a corner where he had the advantage of DRS and Hamilton’s tyres were quite a number of laps older, I also said that Vettel did some great overtaking or was that not worth a mention because it ruined your invalid points?
        And did you completely miss the point of the comment …. PERSONAL CHOICE given the facts without being criticised, you just proved my point perfectly!

    • AlexNK said on 15th May 2012, 18:48

      If you look at the performance, this year’s Ferrari was the worst in the winter tests. The way the car is now, it is FAR more stable and driveable. Of course, if you choose to only look at Massa, you can claim it’s a dog, but using the same reasoning Williams in Senna’s hands sucks balls. In fact, after all the upgrades, Ferrari is faster than Red Bull, so I do not believe that your claim that F2012 in Spain was ‘not particularly competitive’ and Red Bull being ‘fairly competive car’ is validated by the practice or quali times.

      P.S. I really can’t get people saying ‘even if LH was fuelled correctly he still would have gotten pole’ or ‘the punishment was too harsh’. There is ONLY ONE punishment in the books for running an illegal car – disqualification, and there is no ‘shoulda coulda woulda’ in the results of the weekend.

      • Gill Parry (@welshwitch) said on 15th May 2012, 19:33

        I didn’t mention the punishment, I merely said he would still have taken poll if the car had been fuelled correctly, a fact more relevant (in terms of how the car was running in practice) to this race than those which you brought up.

        As for the fastest car I don’t believe there is one, not a consistent one anyway and in individual races unless you’re in the fastest car out front it’s really irrelevant!

        • AlexNK said on 15th May 2012, 19:50

          I am not a big fan of guessing what would have happened, but hypothetically speaking, since we know how narrow the preformance window of the Pirellis is, I could argue that even 1 kilo of the fuel can have a huge influence on their performance. What we know for sure (Whitmarsh admitted that much in an interview) is McLaren knew they’re underfuelled when Lewis started his lap, yet they didn’t called him in. Nuff said.

          As for a fastest car, many experts, including James Allen who is not known for rush statements, firmly believe that McLaren have the best package. Why they didn’t capitalize on that, that’s another matter.

          • Gill Parry (@welshwitch) said on 15th May 2012, 23:04

            @AlexNk : Yes, you’re quite right you could argue that and you have every right to do so but from my point of view Lewis had 1.5 litres of fuel in the car when it stopped, 2 litres would have got him back to the pits and then he would have had to provide .5 of a litre as a sample so he was light more or less 1 litre of fuel. that isn’t going to affect his performance by 5/10s, which is what he won by. As for Mclaren having the best package, maybe they have but in this season, it doesn’t necessarily mean race wins!

  2. brum55 said on 15th May 2012, 13:07

    Hamilton. It is a lot harder to follow cars and make your way up the field as we’ve seen with Webber and Button but to do so whilst having a tyre disadvantage to everyone bar the top 4/5 qualifiers and after the disappointment of Saturday. Great performance.

  3. Tango (@tango) said on 15th May 2012, 14:19

    Maldonado may clinch that one (and as I’ve stated, seriously, nobody can argue that was a fine display), but I think I’ll also remember the race for how good the field generally was (excl. Massa and Schumi).

    Hamilton’s double pass on the Toro Rosso was mouth dropping and reminded me of the brilliant triple pass Grosjean did last year in GP2. A bad moment for a Toro Rosso fan (are there any, though?).

    Kobayashi’s very gutsy move on Button might also end up in the top5 overtakes of the year. A shame really for Kobayashi, hadn’t it been for Maldonado and Hamilton, there might be a case for a driver of the week medal.
    With all the well deserved hype surrounding Perez, it’s easy to forget Kobayashi really has some great qualities too. That was a great race for him, and I really hope he gets a first podium / win soon, if only because it’s long overdue “having too small eyes to see the other cars” is rewarded.

    And a Ferrari laping another… Ouch.

  4. THOMF1S (@thomf1s) said on 15th May 2012, 16:32

    Quote of the season from Frank Williams in an autosport article…

    “When asked if Maldonado was only at Williams in the first place because of money, Williams said: “Yeah, he was to some extent. I’m not denying that. But if we thought he’d been a wanker, he wouldn’t have got in the team no matter how much money he had.”

    Old People!

  5. sid_prasher (@) said on 15th May 2012, 19:21

    Maldonado easy choice for me….simply for the remarkable turn around for the team, how clearly he beat his team mate (who can say he didn’t get the best out of the car like Alonso did) and how he didn’t choke.

  6. Hairpin (@hairpin) said on 15th May 2012, 19:22

    Lets reverse the situation of Lewis and Pastor – Pastor gets pole in an under fueled car and is sent to the back of the grid, Lewis is promoted to pole and the race pans out as it did on Sunday, Lewis wins and Pastor comes through the field to eighth. Would anyone be considering Pastor as a dotw in those circumstances ?

    No I don’t think so. So why Lewis ?

    • Gill Parry (@welshwitch) said on 15th May 2012, 19:42

      Bit arrogant assuming people wouldn’t vote for him, not good to judge others by your own standards and actually I WOULD vote for him under those circumstances and just on the race, whereas I voted for Lewis because of his maturity and demeanour throughout the whole weekend, not just the race, this after all a Driver of the Weekend vote!

  7. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 16th May 2012, 13:07

    Little late to the party here but I voted Maldonado.

    He drove an incredibly mature race right from the start. I think he had a reasonable start, but he was up against Alonso so it was always going to be tougher than usual for him. The way he squeezed him showed that he didn’t lack confidence but he left enough room for Alonso to get by, which I’m sure went down well, considering the Ferrari drivers comments about a lack of driver respect at the moment. He stuck to his guns and didn’t make a mistake, he didn’t panic when Alonso was catching him and when he did finish the race he didn’t make a huge deal out of it. Of course, there is nothing wrong with making a big deal of it, it is a big deal, but I just thought his mood at the end of the race was reflective of his on track characteristics.

    Having a winning driver is one thing, but how you win is very telling. I’m sure Williams will be very confident in Maldonado for the future.

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