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.

[poll id="341"]

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2012 Monaco Grand Prix

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images, Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Red Bull/Getty images, Marussia

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

  1. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 28th May 2012, 20:11

    Went for Alonso. Don’t know exactly why, it was a strong performance but nothing spectacular. The only other two I would give the nod to are Webber and Kovalainen.

  2. evolutionut (@evolutionut) said on 28th May 2012, 20:26

    alonso – qualified on place where car belongs, gained position on start due perfect start(again) …pushed purple hard when it mattered and overtook hamilton during pit stop..could not do more so settled for decent third and leading championship now

  3. Aлександар (@dzaci214sid) said on 28th May 2012, 20:32

    Vergne was good until unnecessary last pitstop.

  4. James_mc (@james_mc) said on 28th May 2012, 22:13

    I voted for Vettel. It’s nice to see him do something other than storm away at the start and sit 1.00000001 seconds away from the pursing pack. His strategy came very close to working incredibly well, and he didn’t need Webber to back up the pack – as was noted repeatedly on the live blog, Mercedes suspicions were unfounded as Nico was always at least 1.5 seconds behind Webber while Vettel was pursuing.

  5. xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 28th May 2012, 22:22

    heikki kovalainen!!!!!!!
    The way he managed to hold back a train of 4 cars or so, which included Perez was captivating.
    His quali lap was 0.9s faster than vitaly. What a great drive by him

  6. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate) said on 28th May 2012, 22:40

    I voted for Charles Pic for the heck of it and seems like someone else did as well :). No one driver’s performance really stood out that much. Sure Heikki did some decent driving, but it wasn’t that spectacular. I guess Kimi’s avoidance was intriguing as well. Massa drove decent…. Finally.

    In a mediocre race, nothing stood out to me… So Pic it is.

  7. schooner (@schooner) said on 29th May 2012, 1:11

    For me, picking a standout driver for the weekend was a bit of a tossup. This was a pretty boring race. Webber (finally) got a decent start from his fortuitous pole position, and with his smart driving and good pit stops, he was always going to be difficult to get by. There was potential for some excitement when the rain started to spit down towards the end, but it never came to pass. Monaco, more than most circuits, really needs some rain to give us an exciting race. I wound up voting for Alonso, btw.

  8. DaveW (@dmw) said on 29th May 2012, 2:13

    Webber. First of all, he didn’t get this on a silver platter. The recent past has shown that having a quick car is not enough and one car up front does not prove that condition. Ask Button and Vettel. Second, his Q3 lap was heroic. That car never showed that edge to that point. He wrung it out of the car. (Schumacher was quicker Saturday, but he didn’t have to be the fourth car wide going into Ste. Devote. He knows better than that. That was a GP2 fail. In any case you can’t make a case for DOTW based on ifs and buts.) Third he was flawless in the race. Then there was the rain. It’s one thing when its pouring and you sort of know what the track will bear, but when its spitting or raining in some corners and dry in others, you have to be kind of a genius. If you pile into a corner 5kph too quick, you are in the barriers instantly. If you go too slow you have the man behind right on you looking for the wiggle that will allow the pass. The guys behind have the complete luxury of watching your apex and exits, looking at your wheel spin, and just shadowing your pace. He was perfect. He never had a “moment.”

    I’m not so thrilled with Kovalainen. He did a great job jamming up faster cars. Somehow I’m not impressed by that. Then he dinged his wing. Alonso and Vettel did well also.

    Goat of the weekend must be shared by Button and Maldonado. Button has lost his mojo but worse he lost his cool. If that were a Hamilton performance he would be back on the couch and we would all be talking about Rihanna and his management and whatever again. Another shocker from him. He’s falling down the points table like a rock now. Maldonado just showed his true colors again. Rogue roja.

  9. Kimi4WC said on 29th May 2012, 3:18

    It is disappointing to see following from Lotus after race:
    “Conversely, the tyres had their part to play. Once their lifetime is run, the super soft compound seem to go further than merely ‘falling off the cliff’, they dive head first from it.”

    I was biting my nails ever since lap 15-18 for Shummi not getting past Kimi, cause it was obvious Kimi started having traction problems every time he was exiting the corner. I think it’s insane all fact considering they choose to let him fall behind even more than if he did two stops, in addition they opened window for front runners, to whom they basically gave up, even thou they were close behind to start with.

    Some mediocre race decisions from Lotus this year, if they keep this up, it’s only right they didn’t win so far.

    Now Kimi must win in Canada to keep his WC hopes up. I’m sure Grosjean will turn around good, he is mega fast.

    Good job on Webber for keeping Vettel honest. And Alonso as usual made best out of circumstances.

  10. BasCB (@bascb) said on 29th May 2012, 6:40

    Haven’t seen many people mention him for DOTW, although he has been talked about for setting the fastest lap of the race, showing to what extent the leaders were playing it save with the 1 stopper.
    And he made about 100% of the successfull on track passes I saw this weekend. Who you ask? Sergio Perez!

  11. OOliver said on 29th May 2012, 7:43

    Heikki.
    He kept a much faster car behind him for 71 laps. Webber’s job was easy, none of the cars he raced against had a performance advantage.

  12. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 29th May 2012, 8:19

    Mark, no contest.

    I also do not consider Heikki’s performance extraordinary. Accident in the first corner and the track itself made his result. If it was anywhere else, he would have been devoured by Button and several other drivers. Similarly Massa on any other track would have dropped behind the top group, given his difficulties to keep up with Alonso since about lap 16 (his bad tempo up to the pit stop resulted in dropping two positions while having one of the fastest pit stops).

  13. Sam B (@sb360) said on 29th May 2012, 9:52

    I voted for Perez, he was quick all weekend and got unlucky in qualifying, I feel that the failure on the left front was quite possibly as a result of Maldonado but he still had a good race, quick when he was able to be, and unlike most (particularly Button) he made some passes on slower cars, it was all abit ragged but it at least showed a bit of ambition and made the race at least slightly interesting. I feel he was hard done by with the drive through as well, I didn’t see anyone else diving into the pits taking a tighter line.
    On a related note would it be possible to use the rain light as some sort of pit in indicator just before the final corner? to stop things like this happening again, I would say controlled by the team rather than the driver, and put on late enough to not give opposition teams time to get out into the pits etc, it could even be automated, IE if the team are in the pit lane ready, and one of their drivers goes past a marker on the final corner the light flashes just as a warning to the following driver that the car in front may be slow through the final corner and then peel off.

  14. Guy (@guyc) said on 29th May 2012, 11:25

    Pretty dull race overall – Webber deserved the much overdue win, but he did nothing amazing – he was just consistent and didn’t put a foot wrong.

    Hekki really troubled some of the front runners in Q1, and went on to drive a great race, fending off drivers in much more competitive cars. Also he completely out-drove his team mate all weekend. So he got my vote.

  15. Sem (@05abrahamsemere) said on 29th May 2012, 11:42

    Worst drive of the weekend: Jenson Button. Terrible qualifying and blames Heiki for being ‘too slow’, well Jenson..it was your quali that got you there in the first place. What I think is happening with JB’s performance is that all the cars are closely matched this year, meaning that a driver like JB, who can’t adapt to ‘balance’ issues, will often finish in the lower half of the points and can’t escape like last year with the performance difference between the cars. If this is so and JB does nothing about it…I think it will be a long, frustrating season for Button.

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