Vote for your 2012 Monaco GP driver of the weekend

2012 Monaco Grand Prix

Start, Monaco, 2012Which F1 driver had the best race weekend in Monaco?

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

Driver notes

Sebastian Vettel – A set-up change on his car on Saturday left him having to work hard to get into Q3. Once there he chose not to set a time, and instead start on the soft tyres and run a strategy counter to that of the other. It would have worked better had Raikkonen’s tyres not gone off, creating a gap for the other front runners to make their pit stops and come out in clean air. Nonetheless he ran strongly to lap 46 on his softs before pitting, jumping Hamilton and Massa to take fourth.
Mark Webber – Beat Vettel again in qualifying – he’s 4-2 up now this year. Second became pole after Schumacher’s penalty, and he got off the line better than usual to take the lead. Weathered constant pressure from Rosberg at the end of the race, particularly during the brief shower, to take his second Monaco win.

Jenson Button – Failed to reach Q3 for the second race in a row and was delayed in the first-corner crash, falling behind Kovalainen. McLaren’s efforts to jump the Caterham through the pits failed. Button spun at the Swimming Pool trying to pass Kovalainen, then went off for good at Sainte Devote with eight laps to go.
Lewis Hamilton – For the first time this year, Hamilton wasn’t among the top two qualifiers. He made a slow start from third which he complained to his team about on the radio afterwards. More frustrations followed: he was jumped by Alonso during his pit stop, then lost another place to Vettel, and came home fifth.

Fernando Alonso – Started fifth and contained his pace in the opening laps, looking after his tyres. This paid dividends when it came time for his pit stop, allowing him to pass Hamilton. With hindsight, he admitted afterwards, he could have stayed out longer and gained more places – perhaps even taking the lead – had they suspected the soft tyres would take so long to warm up.
Felipe Massa – Only a tenth off Alonso in qualifying and finished close behind too in a much better showing.

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Monaco, 2012Michael Schumacher – His penalty from Spain cost him pole position, relegating him to sixth. The Mercedes stood up impressively well to a heavy whack from Grosjean on the run to the first corner. He fell behind Raikkonen, losing a lot of time when the Lotus driver’s tyres went off. Was on course for seventh when he lost fuel pressure – his fourth retirement this year and the third time it was out of his hands.
Nico Rosberg – Pushed Webber hard for the win, with rapid in- and out-laps around his pit stop, but couldn’t get the jump on the Red Bull. Second podium of the year moves him up to fifth in the drivers’ championship.

Kimi Raikkonen – Requested a steering change on his car after his installation lap in first practice, which meant he had little dry running on Thursday. Qualified over half a second off Grosjean, and slipped back in the first stint when his tyres went off. Was unfortunate to lose a place to Hulkenberg as Perez pitted. “Ninth was the best we could do today,” he reckoned.
Romain Grosjean – Looked very confident and quick in practice, though couldn’t find the same performance gain on super-softs that the others got. Started fourth but edging away from Alonso put him into Schumacher’s path, spinning him out of the race. Though he bears no blame for what was a racing incident, it was precipitated by another less-than-stellar start.

Paul di Resta – Unhappy with the car’s balance in qualifying, he started 14th. Moved up to 11th at the start, then ran long at his first pit stop to move up to ninth ahead of Hulkenberg. That became seventh at the flag.
Nico Hulkenberg – Was held up in the queue behind Raikkonen and made the unfortunate choice to pit on the same lap as the Lotus. Snuck past when Raikkonen was held up by Perez, and finished one second behind his team mate.

Kamui Kobayashi – Disappointed to miss Q3 and start 11th, he damaged his car making contact with Grosjean at the start and had to retire.
Sergio Perez – “I am disappointed and I expected a much better result,” was Peter Sauber’s short and stark assessment of qualifying after Kobayashi failed to reach Q3 and Perez crashed in Q1. Replays indicated Perez’s front-left wheel had sustained damage before he crashed – possibly from contact with the barrier – but at least this wasn’t as serious as his 2011 shunt. Recovered well to finish 11th for the third time in four races, and was hard done with his penalty.

Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, Monaco, 2012Daniel Ricciardo – Out-qualified Vergne as usual but dropped behind Kovalainen in the second half of the race. Retired after damaging his steering in the Swimming Pool complex.
Jean-Eric Vergne – Lost out badly at the first corner, slipping to 17th. His team countered with a bold strategy, switching from super-soft to soft tyres earlier than everyone else. His tyres were fading late in the race when he was running seventh so they tried another gamble, pitting for intermediates. But the rain never got heavy enough and he slumped to 12th.

Pastor Maldonado – From hero in Spain to zero in Moanco. Insisted his FP3 clash with Perez was accidental but it didn’t look it, and his ten-place grid penalties suggests the stewards weren’t convinced either. Piled into the back of De la Rosa’s HRT at the first corner
Bruno Senna – Was off Maldonado’s pace but at least he brought the car home for a point.

Heikki Kovalainen – A stoic drive from Kovalainen brought Caterham the 13th place they needed to overhaul Marussia in the championship. Struggled in the late-race rain, losing heat in his brakes and tyres, and had to pit for a new front wing after clashes with Button and Perez, but brought the car home.
Vitaly Petrov – Picked up damage early on so pitted for a new front wing, falling to last. Later retired with an electrical fault.

Timo Glock, Marussia, Monaco, 2012Pedro de la Rosa – Said he doesn’t enjoy Monaco and doesn’t think it’s safe enough for F1, so was perhaps not too disappointed to be taken out by Maldonado on the first lap.
Narain Karthikeyan – Comprehensively beaten by de la Rosa in qualifying to the tune of 1.2 seconds. Finished last, two laps down.

Timo Glock – Came very close to spoiling Caterham’s weekend when, with four laps to go, Kovalainen returned to the track less than a second in front of him. Had to settle for 14th – the time lost with a broken front wing early in the race proving costly.
Charles Pic – Infuriated his team mate in qualifying – Glock said Pic held him up – and retired with an electrical problem in the race.

Qualifying and race results summary

Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 9th +0.199s 17/78 1 4th +1.343s
Mark Webber 1st -0.199s 61/78 1 1st -1.343s
Jenson Button 12th +0.37s 0/70 1 16th Didn’t finish on same laps
Lewis Hamilton 3rd -0.37s 70/70 1 5th Didn’t finish on same laps
Fernando Alonso 5th -0.101s 77/78 1 3rd -5.248s
Felipe Massa 7th +0.101s 1/78 1 6th +5.248s
Michael Schumacher 6th -0.147s 0/63 1
Nico Rosberg 2nd +0.147s 63/63 1 2nd
Kimi Raikkonen 8th +0.56s 0/0 1 9th
Romain Grosjean 4th -0.56s 0/0 0
Paul di Resta 14th +0.297s 50/78 1 7th -1.025s
Nico Hulkenberg 10th -0.297s 28/78 1 8th +1.025s
Kamui Kobayashi 11th 0/5 1
Sergio Perez 23rd 5/5 1 11th
Daniel Ricciardo 15th -1.007s 39/65 1
Jean-Eric Vergne 16th +1.007s 26/65 2 12th
Pastor Maldonado 24th -0.683s 0/0 0
Bruno Senna 13th +0.683s 0/0 1 10th
Heikki Kovalainen 17th -0.866s 15/15 2 13th
Vitaly Petrov 18th +0.866s 0/15 1
Pedro de la Rosa 20th -1.214s 0/0 0
Narain Karthikeyan 22nd +1.214s 0/0 2 15th
Timo Glock 19th -0.529s 50/64 2 14th
Charles Pic 21st +0.529s 14/64 1

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 Monaco Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (7%)
  • Mark Webber (33%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (1%)
  • Jenson Button (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (14%)
  • Felipe Massa (6%)
  • Michael Schumacher (8%)
  • Nico Rosberg (3%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (0%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (2%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (2%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (1%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Bruno Senna (0%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (20%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (0%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (1%)
  • Pedro de la Rosa (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Charles Pic (2%)

Total Voters: 661

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2012 Monaco Grand Prix

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122 comments on Vote for your 2012 Monaco GP driver of the weekend

  1. melkurion (@melkurion) said on 28th May 2012, 16:29

    Voted HEikki, Mark did nothing special, all he did was use the nature of the track to keep rosberg behind him, big whoop

    • infy (@infy) said on 28th May 2012, 16:38

      I’m not normally a fan of Heikki’s work, but holding back a MCL with a that frog of a car was good to see. He got my vote.

      Other special mention has to go to Alonso for being smart enough to manipulate those around him on track. He went forward while the others went backwards.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 28th May 2012, 16:42

      Use the nature of the track? As in…one mistake and you are toast. I think you are underestimating the pressure these guys are under, and the fact that a bit of rain occured probably made it an absolute nail-biter for them. Huge kudos to MW for keeping it together, and NR for keeping the pressure on in a mistake free manner, all the while being pressured by FA from behind, too. Don’t understand NR’s low rating in this poll for his weekend.

      • Yeah, I really agree with @robbie, which is why I voted for Webber. It might not have looked spectacular from where we were sitting, but pulling off that win without making any mistakes, especially with the rain and with Rosberg (and Alonso and Vettel and Hamilton right behind) breathing down his neck for so much of that last stint, could not have been easy. Plus, good job from him on Saturday.

    • Thecollaroyboys (@thecollaroyboys) said on 28th May 2012, 23:34

      Nothing special!? MW had 6 WDCs behind him and a the very quick Mercedes of NR. Nothing special about that at all (not). Let us all know when you see that “special” moment.

  2. andae23 (@andae23) said on 28th May 2012, 16:44

    Very difficult choice: I think the entire top six drove a superb race without a single mistake, this may have been the best ‘race’ I have seen in a long time. Schumacher did superb on Saturday and did well on sunday before resigning. Vergne actually drove his best race so far this year before the team made a mistake which cost him points. Solid race from the Force India guys, and congratulations to Karthikeyan for finishing :).

    I think I’m gonna go with Webber: he hasn’t put a foot wrong this weekend and thoroughly deserved this win. Is Webber a title candidate? Well, he has shown some remarkable consistincy in the first 6 races, so I would say so!

  3. Jarv F150 (@jarvf150) said on 28th May 2012, 16:47

    Probably should vote for Alonso but KK getting his car airborne was the highlight of the race so I voted accordingly.

  4. Goodness Me (@goodness-me) said on 28th May 2012, 16:47

    I plumped for Vettel as my driver of the weekend, for making an alternative strategy work (let’s not forget he was going to start on the prime regardless, read his comments after quali) and especially for keeping up, and even fighting, with cars in the first stint who were running on tyres that were meant to be worth up to a second per lap more. He could also have challenged for victory if Kimi’s slow pace hadn’t left such a huge gap for Webber, Rosberg et al to run in clean air.

    While I don’t agree with the whole ‘not running in Q3 to preserve tyres’ thing, that is hardly the fault of drivers and teams, and until that loophole is closed we are going to keep seeing it on a Saturday!

    • katederby (@katederby) said on 28th May 2012, 19:13

      As I understood it, the idea to put Vettel on an alternative strategy was an enforced one, due to the amount of Super Soft tyres he’d used to get into Q3. For whatever reason, he struggled on Saturday and fell well short of his team mate.

    • SimBri (@f1addict) said on 29th May 2012, 0:25

      Vettel got lucky at the start, though. Had he still been behind Raikkonen I’m not sure how high he would have finished – maybe behind Massa.

  5. PhilEReid (@philereid) said on 28th May 2012, 16:59

    Voted for Di Resta, simply for the fact he moved up from 14th into a good points scoring position (7th). Had a good drive through the race in the end. Other shout outs are to Heikki, a very impressive run, and holding back Button was a good effort; Perez, due to being pretty much the only car to overtake on the track, and for moving up a huge amount of places; Webber, for doing a super job at the front, and being the first into the wet conditions having to be the person who judges the speed, a great effort from him; Alonso, playing the race out perfectly behind Hamilton, and then getting past in the stops after some stellar laps; Massa, who performed well this weekend, mainly the qualifying though being his strongest point for a good weekend, and then there’s Vettel, who whilst on the soft tyres was pulling some great lap times at the front to get ahead of Hamilton and Massa.

  6. Yobo01 (@yobo01) said on 28th May 2012, 17:26

    Kovalainen. Good quali, but what convinced me was his race.
    It was incredible to see him racing, he was fighting from start to finish. I was really impressed, I wonder when he is going to get his secondo chance in a top team.

  7. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 28th May 2012, 17:35

    Not an easy choice, with not one standout driver during the weekend. My considerations were:

    Alonso: he had so much pace left in his car by the time the first stop came, though ultimately he did not get the most out of them by running longer. Also his qualifying was a little disappointing, struggling to stay ahead of Massa and just a little further behind than I had pegged him.
    Vettel: the driver of Sunday for me. I was very impressed by what he did on those old soft tyres, eking out a gap to those behind him who had 30 laps less on their tyres. However, the reason he started so far back, and was allowed to start on the primes, was that he had a very poor Saturday – especially by his standards.
    Webber: he wasn’t quite the quickest on Saturday, and he struggled in the second part of the race, but he did start the race on pole and won it, withstanding pressure from behind in slippery conditions. My vote is for him (alright, I like him better than the other two :-) )

    So far, it looks like it’s going to be close between Webber and Kovalainen for the DotW, but I was not that impressed with Heikki on Sunday. Sure, he held off a McLaren, but that McLaren wasn’t particularly quick yesterday and Jenson isn’t exactly the master of the balls-out overtaking moves. I was impressed with Kovalainen’s pace compared to the frontrunners, but then the Marussias were also able to do a similar pace (if I remember correctly). Most of all, though, I thought Heikki was doing a bit too much wheel-banging for my liking (which is not necessarily the same as your liking).

  8. Pedro Costa (@pnunocosta) said on 28th May 2012, 17:40

    I´ll vote for Kovalainen for is combativeness. He really wanted to stick to that place and it was nice to see him on the final part of the race, with a broken wing fending off a Mclaren.
    Only in Monaco!

  9. bosyber (@bosyber) said on 28th May 2012, 17:50

    Considered going for Heikki, he did a great job. But in the end Webber did the best job and came home in first.

  10. Alfred (@afya) said on 28th May 2012, 17:57

    Voted for Webber, because of qualifying, unusual good start, P1.

  11. paulipedia (@paulipedia) said on 28th May 2012, 18:07

    Paul Di Resta, made up 7 places more than anyone

  12. AndrewT (@andrewt) said on 28th May 2012, 18:28

    Heikki Kovalainen has been driving everything (or mabye more) out from his Lotus/Catheram for the last like two years, and under the circumstances Monaco provides, it was finally visible for everyone. Maybe a top team as McLaren was a bit too early for him in his second season, but now he could really capitalize on the experience he gained. Voted for him, although it’s clear, that many other guys have had a hell of a race. So although it could have looked like “nothing happened” yesterday during the race, of course it did, but maybe not in the most spectacular way.

    • Girts (@girts) said on 28th May 2012, 18:52

      @AndrewT Couldn’t agree more. I voted for Heikki, too. What I admire most about him, is the fact he is hungrier than ever despite having spent more than two years at the back of the grid and still with no points (let alone wins) in sight. Several F1 drivers who have been winning races with top teams have later struggled to find motivation when driving for weaker teams. I hope Heikki gets a better car soon, I don’t want to wait until Le Mans 2022 for his next victory.

  13. Girts (@girts) said on 28th May 2012, 19:04

    A great review. And this has to be one of the quotes of the year:

    Pedro de la Rosa – Said he doesn’t enjoy Monaco and doesn’t think it’s safe enough for F1, so was perhaps not too disappointed to be taken out by Maldonado on the first lap.

  14. cduk_mugello (@cduk_mugello) said on 28th May 2012, 19:48

    Races like this show up the flaws in having a first past the post voting system for DOTW. A more proportional system, whereby we rank our top three, would perhaps give a fairer reflection of general opinion.

  15. Paul_2012 said on 28th May 2012, 20:07

    Considering the final result Alonso was the best driver, no question about it.

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