Start, Valencia, 2012

Vote for your European GP Driver of the Weekend

2012 European Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Which F1 driver had the best race weekend in Valencia?

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

Driver notes

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Valencia, 2012Sebastian Vettel – On top form right up until the moment his car let him down. Produced a superb lap to claim pole position by over three-tenths of a second – a feat which seemed impossible after Q2. Scorched off into the lead and was 20 seconds ahead of the field after 22 laps. The safety car removed that margin, but it was alternator failure which denied him what looked set to be an emphatic victory.
Mark Webber – Had his share of Red Bull’s technical maladies in final practice and qualifying, leaving him 19th on the grid. A patient recovery drive and several cool passes saw him recover to fourth place in the race.

Jenson Button – Looked much more convincing in practice but stumbled in qualifying, falling to ninth. Still didn’t quite have it together in the race but was at least able to take eighth after passing Perez on the final tour.
Lewis Hamilton – Was surprised to put the McLaren second on the grid and it showed from the word go as it plainly lacked the pace to compete with Red Bull. Nonetheless it was a slow McLaren pit stop (yet again) which dropped him behind Alonso, costing him a shot at victory. Quickly passed Raikkonen and Ricciardo and the restart but his tyres went off badly in the final laps and Raikkonen took second place off him. Was blameless in the incident with Maldonado which knocked him out of the points.

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Valencia, 2012Fernando Alonso – Wrote off Ferrari’s chances of finishing on the podium after failing to make Q3 on Saturday. But he drove superbly from 11th to get in position to take advantage of Vettel’s retirement. This included a brilliant string of passes on Webber, Schumacher and Senna followed by the coup de grace – a fabulous opportunistic move on Grosjean which, by the end of the lap, put him in the lead of the race. Held his nerve as the tyres began to wilt in the closing laps for a richly deserved win.
Felipe Massa – Mimicked Alonso’s good start, gaining three places to hold tenth. But thereafter didn’t make the same progress through traffic as his team mate. Perhaps didn’t expect Kobayashi to make a passing attempt at turn ten where the pair tangled, leaving Massa with damage that ruined his race.

Michael Schumacher – Things finally came right for Schumacher in Valencia, though it didn’t seem like they were going to when he qualified 12th. Made strong progress through the field after his final pit stop and the Maldonado-Hamilton collision handed him a podium that was some recompense for his poor fortune earlier this year.
Nico Rosberg – Also had a strong run at the end of the race but left it even later than his team mate. Having been 11th with two laps to go he finished an excellent sixth.

Kimi Raikkonen – Out-qualified by Grosjean again and dropped back a place at the start despite getting off the line well. Passed Maldonado in the first stint but a slow getaway in his first pit stop cost him a further place to Alonso. Hamilton passed him at the restart but Raikkonen took the place back in the dying stages for second. Said the car lacked the pace to win.
Romain Grosjean – Didn’t get off the line well on the slippery side of the grid but made a bold move on Maldonado at turn two to take third. A few laps later he was past Hamilton for second but seemed unable to challenge Vettel. Should have been more alert to the threat from Alonso at the restart but in the end it only meant his alternator failure cost him second place instead of a win.

Paul di Resta – Got the most out of a questionable one-stop strategy. The safety car probably helped him more than it hurt as he lost fewer places than he might have and had chance to preserve his tyres. Demoted to seventh on the final lap.
Nico Hulkenberg – Qualified and raced strongly, taking his best career result so far with fifth place. Had his KERS been working, he might have stood a better chance of holding off Schumacher and Webber to claim the final podium spot.

Start, Valencia, 2012Kamui Kobayashi – Translated seventh on the grid into fourth by the end of lap one, but a slow first pit stop robbed him of much of that progress. Made a rather optimistic attempt to pass Senna on lap 20 which resulted in the pair tangling. His move on Massa later on was similarly ambitious and earned him a five-place penalty for the next race.
Sergio Perez – Soundly beaten by Kobayashi in qualifying but expected to have better pace in the race. Started on mediums but got stuck behind Senna so made an early pit stop. Didn’t have the same fiery pace seen in Canada and ended up ninth, struggling with tyre degradation.

Daniel Ricciardo – Briefly held third after the safety car period, and attempted a late second pit stop in the same vein as Schumacher and Webber. Although he didn’t have the pace of the Red Bull it might still have worked out well for him, but he clipped Petrov while passing the Caterham, losing time.
Jean-Eric Vergne – Beaten by Kovalainen in qualifying, he weaved towards the Caterham while passing it during the race, causing a completely avoidable collision. Justifiably handed a ten-place grid drop and ??25,000 fine.

Pastor Maldonado – Demonstrated his best and worst qualities in a single weekend. Having cheered the team with an excellent qualifying lap for third on the grid, he slipped back during the opening stages but was within a shout of a podium at the end. He undid that good work by barging into Hamilton having gone off trying to pass the McLaren, ruining both their races and picking up a penalty. Topped it off by hypocritically blaming Hamilton’s defensive driving, which was no different to the tactics Maldonado himself employed during the race.
Bruno Senna – Well off Maldonado’s pace and fortunate to pick up a point after his team mate’s penalty. Perhaps hard done by with his drive-through penalty for the tangle with Kobayashi, which the Sauber driver could have done at least as much as him to avoid.

Heikki Kovalainen – Shone in qualifying but his race was ruined by Vergne’s impetuousness.
Vitaly Petrov – Finished in front of his delayed team mate after four pit stops, one of which to replace the front wing he lost colliding with Ricciardo.

Pedro de la Rosa – Out-qualified his team mate – and the sole Marussia – and finished ahead of Karthikeyan as well.
Narain Karthikeyan – Might have beaten his team mate had he not received a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pits.

Timo Glock – Practiced but did not compete due to illness.
Charles Pic – Held the fort against HRT in Glock’s absence.

Qualifying and race results summary

Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 1st -0.769s 33/33 2
Mark Webber 19th +0.769s 0/33 2 4th
Jenson Button 9th +0.391s 0/55 2 8th Didn’t finish on same laps
Lewis Hamilton 2nd -0.391s 55/55 2 19th Didn’t finish on same laps
Fernando Alonso 11th -0.073s 56/56 2 1st Didn’t finish on same laps
Felipe Massa 13th +0.073s 0/56 4 16th Didn’t finish on same laps
Michael Schumacher 12th +0.266s 20/57 2 3rd -8.537s
Nico Rosberg 6th -0.266s 37/57 2 6th +8.537s
Kimi Raikkonen 5th +0.008s 0/40 2 2nd
Romain Grosjean 4th -0.008s 40/40 2
Paul di Resta 10th +0.24s 9/57 1 7th +2.873s
Nico Hulkenberg 8th -0.24s 48/57 2 5th -2.873s
Kamui Kobayashi 7th -0.655s 28/33 2
Sergio Perez 15th +0.655s 5/33 2 9th
Daniel Ricciardo 17th -0.279s 23/26 2 11th
Jean-Eric Vergne 18th +0.279s 3/26 1
Pastor Maldonado 3rd -0.637s 51/57 2 12th +18.669s
Bruno Senna 14th +0.637s 6/57 1 10th -18.669s
Heikki Kovalainen 16th -0.37s 18/57 2 14th +18.783s
Vitaly Petrov 20th +0.37s 39/57 4 13th -18.783s
Pedro de la Rosa 21st -0.356s 54/56 2 17th -9.267s
Narain Karthikeyan 22nd +0.356s 2/56 2 18th +9.267s
Timo Glock 0/0
Charles Pic 23rd 0/0 2 15th

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.

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2012 European Grand Prix

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222 comments on “Vote for your European GP Driver of the Weekend”

  1. I voted for Nico Hulkenberg. He was strong in qualifying; during the race he kept his head whilst others were losing theirs and brought the car home to a strong finish. The fact he raced 50 laps without KERS was also very impressive.

    1. I also voted for the HULK.

      1. so that makes us 3 constituting 3% with 119 votes :)

    2. An opportunity for me to vote for Webber in the year of the tyre, reliability problems ruined his practice with what is virtually a “new” car and left him in 19th place on the grid. By adapting his style to this years tyre reality he made 15 places up during the race, notably, having attempted and failed to pass MS he gave MS the room to drive fast rather than defensively and they progressed through the field together without unnecessary tyre wear. Luck played its part but everyone on the podium benefited as well.

      1. He also pulled off one very nice pass on Perez that was the epitome of experience over youth. Perez had to wonder just how that happened ..

  2. Has to be Vettel, would have won it with ease if it weren’t for that pesky alternator and what a qualifying lap! Great race from Alonso as well, obviously, but he couldn’t have won it without his rival(s) breaking down.

    1. @necrodethmortem Agree. Vettel, clearly.

      He was on top of everyone and by a long way. There was no way Alonso would’ve catched him. His qualifying lap was incredible, considering how tight it was, to pull out more than 3 tenths over the rest of the field was superb.

      Alonso’s weekend wasn’t that good until he put himself third at the restart, so my vote goes to Vettel. Could’ve been Grosjean too, but Vettel was in the way.

      1. I think I have to agree with both of you. In a season that has been so close between the cars, and so varied as to it’s winners, SV managed to dominate quali and run away with the lead. Not that I was thrilled to see him do that time and time again last year, but this year has been obviously way different so kudos to him for being so strong in a very close season up until now. I’m thrilled for FA too, but he did benefit from the attrition of others and that is racing but if I can only pick one then to me is has to be SV for showing clear domination while his car was working.

      2. I disagree. We actually had a chance to might see a fight for the lead after the SC. Sure VET was far gone in the first part, but after SC came out it was a 3 car race (or 4 if HAM didn’t fall back). Who knows how fast Seb could have gone? I believe that 20s lead he created must have costed him some fuel… and that was the chance ALO and GRO had.

        1. It is driver of the WEEKEND
          Alonso fluffed up his Saturday

          1. My thoughts exactly

          2. Jayfreese (@)
            25th June 2012, 20:26

            Driver of The Weekend: Sebastian Vettel of course!
            Rookie of The Weekend: Romain Grosjean

          3. Alsonso made more than what could be expected from a lesser car.

          4. @xjr15jaaag

            *Waves arms wildly*, It’s an opinion poll!!!

        2. I believe that 20s lead he created must have costed him some fuel… and that was the chance ALO and GRO had.

          @arrrang I belive recovering from 11th to score a win would also cost Alonso fuel. Yet he pulled away from the rest of the guys.

          Vettel had a trouble free race. He was way ahead to control the race and take care of the car, as he’s always done in Valencia, and would’ve won easily had the alternator kept going.

          Besides, as the others say, it’s Driver of the Weekend. Vettel was on top form during the whole weekend, and something completely out of his control forced him to retire.

        3. If Alo and Gro only had a chance because of a safety car, then they weren’t better, were they?

        4. I’d sooner chalk that up to misfortune. Grave misfortune, in fact. Even if Vettel hadn’t lost his alternator, the safety car would’ve still screwed him over. Doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have gone on to win the race. We all saw what Button did in Australia, and I’m sure he would’ve still gotten the award had his car failed the way Vettel’s did yesterday.

      3. Third at the restart? He was running 4th behind Hamilton when the safety car was introduced! The safety car only helped him catch Vettel, not everyone else.

        But my driver of the weekend goes to Grosjean – He got overtaken at the restart for 2nd and was around 1 second adrift of Alonso for almost 20 laps… he could’ve won! Wait.. could’ve? That doesn’t sound too convincing… err…

        Vettel… Vettel is my driver of the weekend! Made a solid lead in the open air at the start, and took full advantage of a slow Lewis Hamilton who kept Raikkonen and Grosjean at bay. He sure knows how to bolt off in an open track!

        Although my DOTW is definitely not Alonso! Very little overtaking from him, almost none! Lucked his way to second, and got lucky to keep the lead. Adverse conditions always give him luck! He’s pretty lucky to even be in the championship hunt let alone leading it! 20 consecutive point finished… ahh… lucky!!! Man, how can he have so much luck? He should be fighting the Caterhams like Massa!

        1. are you kidding me? have you watched the race? and have you watched f1 at all? alonso=very little overtaking?

          1. Vettel. Alonso was easily the second best, but anyone that says he wasn’t lucky with the safety car and Vettel&Grosjean’s retirements deserves to be laughed at.

            Grosjean had poor pace compared to Vettel and, following the restart, was struggling to keep up with Alonso, so no chance for him. Although, if anything, that only serves to put Raikkonen in an even worse light.

          2. And that reply is in the wrong place. But yeah, the post you replied to was sarcastic.

        2. Aditya Banerjee (@)
          26th June 2012, 7:16

          Alonso made passes on Huelkenberg, Maldonado, Webber, Senna, Schumacher, di Resta and Grosjean. That adds up to 7, and the only behind the hard-charging, late-pitting duo of Schumi and Webber. Alonso was also the only finisher(apart from Karthikeyan), to not be overtaken throughout the race. Savvy?

          1. Jayfreese (@)
            26th June 2012, 8:27

            How did Alonso overtook Webber mate???

          2. Definitely hard to see how he just ‘put’ or ‘found’ himself third at the restart isn’t it? He’d still be my DOTW even if he finished second behind Vettel.

        3. The safety car allowed him to jump Hamilton and then mount his attack on Grosjean, who he overtook after the restart.

          He got there by merit, but the SC allowed him to win.

          I’m not saying Alonso doesn’t deserve it. His driving was superb, and he did the usual job: put himself in a position in which he can win. Regardless of what others do, he’s always up there ready to pick up “gifts” if you want to call them like that.

          All I’m saying is that Vettel’s weekend was much stronger, except for the alternator that broke. It’s the first time this year we see a 2011/2010 kind of domination and you have to give him credit for it. He pulled out a magnificient lap at qualifying, and his first stint was just electric! over a second a lap faster than anyone else, he got himself a whole stop ahead of everyone else.

          To me, he’s the DOTW. Alonso deserves it if he wins it, ofc, but it’s not MY opinion.

    2. Agreed.
      Shades of last year, Seb walking it while the rest behind him go crazy.
      Hard not to vote for Alonso, who drove a super impressive race but it it weren’t for the alternator Seb had this one in the bag.
      Honorable mentions also to Grosjean and Webber who both drove great races as well.

      1. These names would be my top 4, with an honourable mention to hamilton who drove a fine race with what was clearly a tricky car in race setup. he is having some dreadful luck this season, despite driving wonderfully (for the most part).

      2. Aditya Banerjee (@)
        26th June 2012, 6:08

        I would have voted for Alonso even if Seb had won it. Any fool can win if he has a car that is several seconds faster than the next fastest one;only legends win from the back and with inferior equipment

        1. Hear hear. Then to add to that, that the teammate with the only car that could challenge him had his car crippled al weekend again.

        2. @adibanf1 – Several seconds faster? Putting in a near perfect lap that is 0.3 seconds ahead of 2nd place is totally different than the scenario you’re describing.

          1. Aditya Banerjee (@)
            1st July 2012, 6:45

            It wasn’t a perfect lap, he flunked up the last sector.

          2. @adibanf1 – Nonsense. He nails pretty much every apex, and was fastest by 3 tenths. Where’s your evidence for “several seconds faster”, when it was 0.3?

          3. Aditya Banerjee (@)
            3rd July 2012, 14:17

            @David-A : He was 0.51 seconds up on Maldonado’s time in the second sector, but ended up 0.37 ahead.

          4. @adibanf1 – I didn’t say it was a perfect lap in the first place (I said “near-perfect”), but you seem so sure that he only took pole because of his car, when the field is incredibly close. There are no cars that are “several seconds faster than the next one”, and even last year’s RB7 was on pole by 0.9 only once.

            The third sector is supposed to be the most downforce intensive of the three. Maldonado’s Williams was even faster than Hamilton’s Mclaren in that sector, but he was 3rd overall behind Hamilton as well, since he was purely outdriven over the course of the lap. I’ve rewatched SV’s lap and he more or less gets the most out of his car, as he does so often.

          5. Aditya Banerjee (@)
            4th July 2012, 7:38

            @David-A – I admit I was only trying to say he had the fastest car, and I got a bit carried away. I was a big fan of Vettel till last season, until I saw the first two races this season and saw that when the car wasn’t working perfectly, Vettel was not being able to beat his teammate(in quali). Plus, I refrained from voting him DOTW, because there remains a question mark on the last 23 laps. It is too big a number to assume what “could” have happened(compared to, say, Massa’s 3 laps at Hungary 2008).

    3. I wanted to pick Bernd Maylander (SC driver) but there’s no box with his name.

      1. Aditya Banerjee (@)
        25th June 2012, 17:59

        LOL +1

      2. He did great in both GP2 series races…

      3. yes, his performance was crucial in creating the race final results ;)

    4. There no doubt that Vettel is a world class driver, especially good when he is 100% in control, like in qualifying doing that one perfect lap. And also in front of the pack, when there is just one job to do: drive concentrated in clean air (like in qualifying). Then he is on his best and better than the rest.

      But, he is not the best overall driver (I mean in different circumstances) and he is helped a lot by Newey. There is no doubt that Newey did it again: some kind of (legal?) blown diffuser is embedded in that car. We will see a lot of Red Bull in the coming races.

      1. I think a key strength of Vettel though is that he very rarely underqualifies a car, and as such he looks bad sometimes in the races because he’s ahead of quicker cars, which in long races will gravitate towards their “natural” pecking order.

        1. Good point.

    5. +1. Vettel was utterly dominant for as long as his car allowed him to be. Can’t ask for much more than that.

    6. I agree. If you aren’t to be coloured by the final result, and you take the whole weekend into account, it can only be Vettel.

      1. Sviatoslav Andrushko (@)
        26th June 2012, 9:13

        It’s easy to win with the best car. I haven’t seen Vettel winning from P6, or P9. His statistic says that he has won 18 GP from 1-st position. Obviously, he had the best car. Once he won a race from 3-d (Malaysia, better start), and 4 times from 2-nd, but that was because his rivals were failing in the race. Vettel is one of the best in Q3, that’s no doubt, but he win with the best car only.

        1. Sviatoslav Andrushko (@)
          26th June 2012, 9:14

          “but he winS”

        2. F1fanNL (@)
          26th June 2012, 10:22

          Or he puts the car at or beyond where it should be in qualifying and than has to fight off faster cars in the race. Like Canada last time out or, for example, Spain and Monaco last year.
          The only reason Vettel has won so much from the front is because he almost always qualifies at the front with spectacular Q3 laps whereas Alonso only rarely pulls a Q3 stunner out of the bag and then starts behind slower cars. Also, this year (as previous years) the Ferrari is much better in race pace than in qualifying. Everybody knows this. Alonso has said it many times so it should be expected that, when he qualifies just 2 tenths off the fastest man in Q2, he should be able to overtake or at least challenge the cars in front.

          Unfortunately many will still say that when Alonso wins it’s because he’s (by far) the best driver and when Vettel wins it’s because he’s got (by far) the fastest car. Even if Vettel wins from the back of the grid someday you’ll still say it’s because he’s got the fastest car.

        3. I haven’t seen Vettel winning from P6, or P9

          Isn’t he just so overated, just like that Ayrton Senna guy? Senna also never won a race from P6 or P9.

          Once he won a race from 3-d (Malaysia, better start), and 4 times from 2-nd

          Indeed in Senna’s first 5 seasons in F1 his record is very similar to Vettel’s (slightly worse having won fewer races and only four of them not from pole). His lowest career grid to win position was 5th I believe and his average qualifying position to win over his career was 1.5.

          but that was because his rivals were failing in the race

          Senna plyed his trade during one of the worst periods for reliability and car failure, he should really have been able to win races from way back on the grid.

          he win with the best car only

          And that’s exactly why Senna never went down in history as a very good driver either.

          When will people stop criticising Vettel for being good at qualifying? How can being on pole position make a driver less deserving of a ‘driver of the weekend’ award?

          1. Totally agree. Vettel is a class driver and the best way to win is from pole and he does that better than anyone. If Redbull have as it seems delivered a car with similar aero characteristics to last years then he could dominate like last year. Next race will tell. Bad news for Webber. Go Daniel.

  3. I voted Grosjean – phenomenal racing before his car sadly packed up. Ballsy moves whilst considering and respecting his fellow drivers (take note, Pastor).

  4. Went for Alonso in the end because he’s *always* there. He benefitted from others’ bad luck for sure, but he was there when the others hit trouble..and rose to the occasion once in the lead. His main rivals that were running weren’t able to challenge him. I’m not what you’d call an Alonso fan, but I can see the excellence in this performance, even if it was a little fortunate.

    1. Alonso is the class of the field. Someone like Vettel or Button only perform well when everything goes their way, others like Webber perform best when their back is to the wall. Alonso is just on top of his game all the time, no matter what else is going on. Sunday was a supreme example of that – to benefit from others misfortune (as some as have sugested) you have to first be in the mix to do so, and Alonso is always there, ready to maximise any opportunity. And that is why he is my DOTW.

      1. Wonderfully said!!!!!

      2. Aditya Banerjee (@)
        26th June 2012, 6:09

        +1

      3. F1fanNL (@)
        26th June 2012, 10:25

        Someone like Vettel or Button only perform well when everything goes their way

        You mean just like how everything went Alonso’s way on Sunday.
        Need I remind you what happened 2 years ago when it didn’t go Alonso’s way?

  5. This is strange feeling: it’s the first time I voted for driver which didn’t finish – Vettel. He was untouchable not only in the race but also in qualifying and really deserved victory. Alonso was also fantastic in the race, but he didn’t shine in qualifying.

    1. but he didn’t shine in qualifying

      i’m not discussing your choice but Fernando shined in the race when it counts there’s a big difference between qualifying & race i’m not ignoring Vettel’s grate ability & talent to get it in a single lap but i know also that the huge gap in qualifying & at the beginning of the race has a lot to do with his car’s supremacy otherwise why he wasn’t “untouchable” in Spain Malaysia Monaco China ……
      Alonso demonstrated that he’s the best in race condition’s always attacking from 1st lap until the end & squeezing the car until its limits

      1. Exactly! That’s I was trying to express in the above post.

      2. Well, yes, but the poll is about “Driver of the weekend”, so you have to take qualifying into account.

      3. But ti’s driver of the WEEKEND, not Driver of Sunday

        1. Alex (@smallvizier)
          25th June 2012, 20:41

          I often see this argument, but I think it misses our responsibility to judge which parts of the weekend are most important.

          Most of us will happily ignore Saturday practice, for example. We don’t normally take into account drivers’ performances at press conferences. We acknowledge that what matters is how drivers perform in their cars, when points are at stake.

          This weekend qualifying was very unusual because Q2 was so competitive. So much so that Alonso, Schumacher and Massa actually beat some of the Q3 times, being just 0.3s off the Q2 leader, and still didn’t make it through. In these circumstances I think it’s fair to say that actually, their performances were decent, but it was clear that consistency, strategy and luck over a full race distance would have a bigger effect than qualifying position.

          In general I think qualifying performance should be seen as a nice bonus, but no more important than other key single laps such as lap 1, a pitstop in-lap, or the first lap after a safety car. They’re all situations where a driver goes flat-out for one lap with points on the line.

          1. EXACTLY…most of us weigh the race more than the quli to give the final verdict…I surely do so. Nobody would even mention Alonso if he had qualified on pole and finished the race outside the podium.

          2. If I were taking in consideration 50/50% race and quali, then Hamilton did the best in a slower machine than Newey’s(Vettel’s).

          3. Except in this case, it was Vettel’s Saturday performance that allowed him to build a lead early on Sunday. Qualifying was extremely tight as you note, so the slightest slip would have seen Vettel start from behind drivers like Maldonado, and it’s debatable whether he would have shone then.

            The car failed on Sunday in a mysterious way, no fault of the driver, when he was well in the lead. The fact that he was so commandingly in the lead early in the race was due to his fine performance up until that point, not just in the race but in qualifying and practice it has to be said.

            What many are overlooking is that Red Bull only had Vettel for much of practice to provide feedback on a significantly revised car. Webber was struggling with technical issues. So, Vettel’s performance in practice early in the weekend was also key to getting him to the front on Sunday. Thus, this race is a good example of where we are not paying enough attention to practice in determining the driver of the weekend, not the other way around.

            I don’t often vote for Vettel, but I gave it to him this time. His performance over the whole weekend was impressive.

          4. F1fanNL (@)
            26th June 2012, 10:28

            @DVC,

            +1.

            Also, this is just another case of people not wanting to vote for Vettel.

          5. Indeed. Regulations approach follows the same line of thinking, there’s not points scored on Saturdays…

          6. @suka

            If I were taking in consideration 50/50% race and quali, then Hamilton did the best in a slower machine than Newey’s(Vettel’s).

            LH didn’t actually get any closer to Vettel than you would expect (being 3 tenths behind), so Hamilton was equal at best, and at worst, plainly inferior in terms of what he did with his machine.

      4. Its got to be Alonso. Forget Qualifying, if we have anything to go by, it suggests pole doesnt necessarily mean you’re gonna win. Its all about the race pace.

        Alonso drove a fantastic race, he passes 3 cars in as many laps, which was outstanding!

        1. If it’s all about race pace, then Vettel should win ;)

          1. Aditya Banerjee (@)
            26th June 2012, 6:12

            @above: You would do well to rephrase your sentence as “Newey would win”. I think even NK could have won had he been driving for Red Bull in Valencia,such was their dominance yesterday.

          2. @adibanf1: Neither Vettel nor Webber won. What would NK have done differently?

          3. @adibanf1 Like Hamilton stormed the field in his faster McLaren in the first races, right? I’m not a Vettel fan, but it’s about time people start recognizing that he does a whole lot more than bringing a superior car to the finishline.

    2. Aditya Banerjee (@)
      25th June 2012, 18:01

      Neither did Raikkonen at Bahrain, but he was Dotw there.

  6. It’s really hard to choose between Vettel and Alonso as they both delivered fantastic performances. I’m gonna pick Alonso solely because I didn’t like how Vettel couldn’t accept the failure with enough maturity and whined about safety car being sent out deliberately to bring the field together.

    1. Funny that you blame Vettel for whining. Seems like you forgot 2010 already.

      1. No I haven’t. But Vettel and Dr. Marko are now doing basically the same thing that Alonso and Ferrari did after the 2010 European Grand Prix, namely, they’re accusing FIA of manipulating the race, without providing any proof for it.

        1. I agree with that @girts, a real shame they turn to doing these kind of things. Its a bit like the constant complaining about the DDD being allowed from them in 2009 (we heard Horner, and sometimes Vettel say it in interviews at the time that it was an unfair competition)

          1. Or how they kept on going on an on how it was unfair that others had KERS when their car was obviously faster because of their deciscion not to go for KERS in the first place. Yet tactical errors kept putting them behind KERS cars as did Button, but he was perfectly capable of overtaking them.

        2. F1fanNL (@)
          26th June 2012, 10:34

          Before the SC Vettel had worked hard to built a 20 second lead. After the SC he had none. However way you twist that, it’s a manipulation of the race. Deliberate or not.

          I’ve never liked SC situations because they tend to turn races into lotteries. In recent years the SC rule has improved but you can’t honestly say it’s fair for a driver to lose a (decent) advantage he himself got through no fault of his own.

          1. manipulation implies that it was done to change things on purpose. However way you twist that, that’s not what happened.

  7. It is even harder to choose now than it was after the previous 2012 races. So so many faultless race.

    Hulkenberg during the whole weekend. (Mind you, di Resta only scuffed his Q3 lap, otherwise did just as well.)

    Grosjean, who out-qualified Raikkonen once again, found the gap to squeeze past him, after Maldonado had Kimi back off at Turn 1, magnificient move on Hamilton, and considering the Lotus’ tyre management potential versus that of the Ferrari’s, could be on course for being the eight winner in as many races. Only his reaction after the SC restart was questionable – this cost him a place.

    Raikkonen also drove brilliantly, only the mentioned Turn 1 half-incident held him back.

    Schumacher had a lot more decent start than Rosberg and then practically stole the show during the second half of the race picking off opponents in tandem with Webber.

    Alonso once again delivered 110%, the one-and-a-half lap on which he made up three places could be somewhere near the podium of the all-time greatest laps in F1 history. (We all know which was the best.) Faultless during the whole weekend and had his fair share of luck towards the end.

    Hamilton also drove superbly, he was helpless with the pit work for an umpteenth time, and I think he did not do anything wrong during his latest clash with Maldonado. Probably failing to nurture his tyres towards the end could have been his only fault.

    Webber was stronger than his result and lap chart shows. He clearly had not have time to configure a Q setup, but was impeccable after that, great drive chasing Schumacher through the field.

    Vettel’s was another faultless weekend, no luck with the car failure.

    I think it has to be one from the Vettel/Webber/Alonso/Schumacher/Grosjean/Hulkenberg pack. I’d go for Alonso, after all, he had to do it the hard way down from 11th.

    1. Vettel and Hamilton will be feeling these DNFs for quite a time.

      This is going to be so close. Despite Alonso’s amazing win, I don’t think they will be able to challenge for top spot, but Alonso is making sure to take most of every single race, and if others will keep missing out on points Ferrari might just do it.

      I just hope Lotus will push through whole season. They got two very fast drivers, that means less points for competition, Kimi can do it!!!!

  8. There’s a lot to say for many drivers to get it, makes it really hard! But after just reading Peter Windsor’s race analyses in GP Week(for Alonso haters – don’t go there, you will start to feel good about him!) also talking a bit about the mindset of the drivers (Grosjean, Alonso, Vettel a bit less, and off course Hamilton and Maldonado) I will vote for Alonso.

    In second and third come Grosjean and Vettel. Grosjean for really inching close to that first F1 win, it feels as if its all but inevitable, but there are little things missing. Vettel, what to say about half a second gap for pole and building up a 14 second lead in about 7 laps other than it does get a tad tedious to look at. But by no fault of his own, he never got to show how he could bring it home, so he cannot win.

    Hamilton – No. First time this year that he is back to being the Hamilton we know. Impulsive at times, not giving up, but lacking the wisdom/will to give in when its hopeless (defending). Kimi, good race, could have been better. Hulk – really nice effort, especially when we take in account having ran without KERS since lap 7.

    1. What was impulsive about it? He had 3rd with 2 laps to go, what should he just pull over because it’s nigh on impossible to defend the position? No! He was defending his position as he has every right to do, and doing a bloody good job of it as well. The fact that he managed to keep a much faster Pastor behind him for as long as he did, showed extreme skill in the placement of his car. It was Pastor that was totally to blame, and completely impulsive, actually bordering on moronic with his slam in to the side of Hamilton. I really do detest the notion that if someone is struggling to hold a position for whatever reason, should merely concede it to the faster person. I think people who truly believe that should go and look up what ‘racing’ actually means!

      1. Alex (@smallvizier)
        25th June 2012, 20:49

        While Pastor ultimately caused the accident by not slamming the steering wheel to the left, it’s unreasonable to absolve Hamilton completely.

        – Hamilton didn’t leave Maldonado room, even when they were alongside each other into the corner. In squeezing him off the track, Hamilton broke the rules. If he’d left him space, there would have been no accident.

        – Certainly this was less dangerous than forcing somebody onto grass or into a concrete wall. However, look at *where* Hamilton put Maldonado. He left him on top of one of the rumble strips. A modern F1 car has such low ground clearance that the strips are real obstacles… at those speeds it would have been quite reckless to try and clamber over the strip and may have resulted in loss of control and a spin. Ultimately Maldonado rode the strip forward like a railgun and was fired straight into Hamilton’s side as Hamilton clung to the inside.

        Just to make it clear, I didn’t see much of an effort from Maldonado to get off that strip or completely get out of the way. I believe that, having been forced off the track, that’s what he should have done (and he’d have gained the position when Hamilton was given a drive-through penalty). So the crash was ultimately Maldonado’s fault. But if Hamilton had followed the rules, he wouldn’t have been in that position to begin with.

        1. Hamilton – a drive through penalty? you must be out of your mind. i’m seriously wondering what has happened to the fans’ perception of racing and fighting for position. Hamilton had EVERY right to plant his car and not leave Maldonado any room, he closed and defended the racing line perfectly within the rule -because he had the racing line. Maldonando was on the outside, there have been so so many situations like these in which the guy on the outside simply has to brake or cut the chicane – look at Hamilton vs Kimi in Spa 2008, or Alonso vs Kubica in Silverstone 2010. Seriously, just look at them, you can find them on Youtube and then have another say. In neither one of those situations did the guy on the outside T-bone the other opponent, even though they got squeezed to the edge of the track. Why? Because they are world-class drivers and fight within the rules, something which Malfunctionado is light years away from.

        2. Why on earth a driver already on the race line have to concede to whom from outside?
          HAM didn’t push Pastor out of track like he did to RAI at the start, he just kept his racing lines and what people talking about Ham’s red mist or that ol days’s immaturity things are totally biased and out of mind.

        3. Have a look at the replay. The vision from inside Mals car shows him going full left lock but the car refused to turn. I’m not defending him and he was completely at fault but from what I see he did try to go left. It was probably slipping on the kerb paint as well as being stuck on Hams car but he gave it try.

        4. Hamilton didn’t “put” anybody anywhere. Maldonado put himself in that position. Lewis was holding his line and he was completely entitled to do so. Hamilton didn’t have to leave room and Maldonado knew that there wasn’t enough space for a passing move, yet he kept pushing, went off track and then he t-boned his opponent. Seriously, what did he expect to happen?

        5. One more thing. Maldonado only started turning left when it was too late. Here is a shot from his car, he’s clearly off the track, he sees Lewis ahead and his steering wheel is turned fully to the right: IMAGE.

      2. I admire Hamilton’s attitude this season, and I fully understand his frustration in cockpit right after incident, it was long, close and tough race and being two laps to go did not help.

        But his interview right after amazed me even more, I’m starting to like the guy. I’m sure he would let Maldonado pass if he had another chance, cause after all the buzz he knows he would have hard time defending from Schumacher with the tyres he got, and it’s just a shame he did not get any points.

        Everything is for the better they say.

      3. @goodyear92, I was not saying that Hamilton was being impulsive there. I think this was the first time this year where Hamilton let this side of him get the overhand though instead of looking at the big picture, and bringing the car home.
        That was what he did in the first couple of races and it impressed me to see him being more mature in his approach. Maybe it was him being carefull not to get into crashes and his win in Canada brought back the confidence not to do so. If so, hopefully he gets back to that new impressive style next race and get back the WDC lead!

        I do think that he would have/could have/should have been more carefully with Maldonado, not that he was doing anything that is not allowed, but rather something that in the end caused him to crash. I said the same about Maldonado in last year’s Monaco incident, where he was in the right to defend from Hamilton, but this determination lost him a very solid 6th in Monaco.

        1. Maldonado had no reason to ram Hamilton and simply waited for the next couple turns to make the pass. Just as Alonso, Webber, Schumacher, Hamilton etc etc etc did. It’s just pure arrogance and disrespect the way this loon is driving.

          You can’t blame someone for getting rammed by a drunk driver.

  9. sid_prasher (@)
    25th June 2012, 13:28

    I think Alonso will win this…but for me Vettel was fantastic…33 poles already and was about a second lap faster during the race that too in a year where a few hundredth of a second can also make a difference….

    1. Aditya Banerjee (@)
      26th June 2012, 6:13

      Had Alonso been a red bull driver in 2010/2011/2012,he would have managed many more poles than the whining fingerboy

      1. If Schumacher had Alonso’s Renault and McLaren, Schumacher would of been a 10 times world champions. More than the guy who got beat by a rookie.

      2. F1fanNL (@)
        26th June 2012, 10:38

        Hello, sore loser.

  10. I went for Vettel. The mechanical failure cost him what was surely going to be a leisurely Sunday drive to the chequered flag. His pole lap on Saturday was incredible too.

    Alonso even without winning would have been in contention after hustling his car up from P11 to 2nd. However, I believe that he should have been higher up the grid, and he himself has admitted that he has driven better races. Still a magnificent performance!

    1. On Saturday I thought that Vettel had pulled sometihing special on Q3 but looking to his pace on Sunday it didn´t look so brilliant, he just had the fastest car by some margin.
      So even if he won and Alonso finished 2nd, Alonso would still be the driver of the weekend for me, he clearly hadn´t the fastest car but he took every opportunity, pit stop, overtaking to the limit and achieved a memorable result.
      I vote for Grosjean in 2nd because his race was very strong, he was the 2nd fastest on track and if it wasn´t that undeserved mechanical failure he was a serious contender for the top palce.

      1. Indeed. Vettel had been much faster than all of them all weekend. Maybe if Webber’s car had been working we could have seen how much faster that car was.

        In Q1 and Q2 all they need to do is get a lap in that’s not too bad to go through. It’s just one lap in Q3 that matters and that is when they all go for it (the other lap in Q3 is generally on old tyres). Vettel never need to put in even a banker lap because the car was so much faster.

  11. Very very difficult to choose. Alonso was fearless throughout the race, but he got lucky. Vettel was brilliant but unlucky. RoGro was also brilliant till the alternator went kaput!

    Was impressed by Michael’s drive as well, but again he was lucky (it was due).

  12. Vettel was just in a different class compared to the others. His Q3 lap was astonishing, and his race pace was faultless. Even after Grosjean passed Lewis he wasn’t allowed to reel him in.
    Alonso drove brilliantly, no doubt, but he had quite some luck on his side, and wasn’t exactly brilliant in qualifying.
    So Vettel it is.

    1. Vettel was just in a different class compared to the others

      the different class=RB8

      1. @tifoso1989
        Sure it helped, but what other driver was as faultless and in control as him all weekend?

        1. @mads I would argue Hamilton. I know it’s not the obvious choice but lets look at the whole weekend.

          On Friday, Mclaren turned up with the wrong set-up, meaning Hamilton spent a lot of time trying to sort out his set-up, and didn’t get the oppurtunity to get a long-run simulation. This is a pretty big disadvantage this year, just look at Button in Canada. However, moving onto Saturday, he worked well to improve the car.

          Then we get to qualifying and Hamilton somehow drags his Mclaren, which had no updates, and appeared to be more like the 4th/5th fastest car, up to 2nd on the grid, despite struggling for pace throughout the session.

          In the race, Hamilton was again brilliant. He became the first driver from GP2, GP3 or F1 not to fall back from 2nd on the grid at the start. He then held off the much faster Lotus for a number of laps, and although he was eventually passed, he can’t really be blamed. He then made a number of very quick passes once he came out the pits, on Senna, Schumacher, Rosberg and Di Resta (possibly more). All the while, he was showing quicker pace than his teammate, who had been able to do a long run on Friday.

          Then came the disastrous pitstop, and crucially, the loss of the place to Alonso. Of course, there is no blame at all to be laid at Lewis’ door for this. If Hamilton was in the lead, after Vettel and Grosjean retired, you could argue that, being able to control the pace rather than trying to stick with Alonso, the tyres would have lasted longer, and he could’ve won the race.

          But back to what actually happened, Hamilton opportunistically passed the much faster Lotus of Raikkonen for fifth, then quickly passed Ricciardo for fourth. He then did a great job of holding off Raikkonen till almost the end of the race, but due to the fact he didn’t do a long run on Friday, and the Mclaren was hard on its tyres all weekend, it was inevitable his tyres would go. However, his defence of his position was truly brilliant defensive driving, despite being multiple seconds a lap slower than the cars behind. Then Maldonado hit him, through absolutely no fault of his own. Some have inexplicably claimed that Hamilton shouldn’t have defended, or that he was wrong to use all the track, leaving Maldonado nowhere to go, but quite simply, they are wrong.

          So in sum, Hamilton massively outperformed his car all weekend, qualifying above many faster cars, and staying ahead of most of them throughout most of the race, despite losing 14 seconds in the pits. He put in some great overtakes, and did so quickly and with conviction, and then drove brilliantly defensive, until he was rammed off through no fault of his own.

      2. Oh really? Considering he was always half a second a lap faster than Webber!

        Keep kidding yourself Alonso is the difference when you got some guy like Massa on the other side lol. Even Pastor, Kamui would do a better job than Massa!

        1. Considering he was always half a second a lap faster than Webber!

          Webber who ????????????????

          Keep kidding yourself Alonso is the difference when you got some guy like Massa on the other side lol Even Pastor, Kamui would do a better job than Massa

          He finished the race ahead of all the drivers not only ahead of massa
          looooooooooool

        2. Webber in a broken car you mean? Or when he was fighting all race to make up for the problems with his car on friday and saturday?

  13. If he were to finish on the podium then for sure it would be Grosjean for me but starting from 11th then passing Romain on the out lap, & winning on the worst F1 circuit (not anymore for sure) it has to Alonso,but also gusty drive from Kimi & Schumi.

  14. Fernando Alonso the great, pilot knows, knows how to manage what you have, available to when,how and where

  15. Dimitris 1395 (@)
    25th June 2012, 13:40

    My opinion is: You can’t look behind the winner…

  16. I went for Alonso. Obviously there are Vettel, Grosjean, Schumacher and Webber worth mentioning. The passes that Alonso completed on the Schumacher train were for me the crucial point of his race, his team did well once more to put him ahead of Hamilton, while McLaren failed, and his pass on Grosjean was perfect. Because of all that he found himself in the position to benefit from the misfortune of Vettel.

  17. Vettel without a doubt: together with the Chinese GP, this was a weekend dominated by 1 driver. The only difference was the result: Vettel didn’t win the race because of some electrical fault. He was clearly the best driver.

    I’m surprised to see how many people are viting for Alonso: I guess people are blinded by the fact that Alonso won from 11th on the grid, but in fact he should have finished third behind Vettel and Grosjean. He was very lucky that the safety car came out and that the competition had issues, else he would not have got close to winning this one. And for some reason, people seem to be forgetting that he qualified in 11th, which is a pretty embarrassing result (for sure when Montezemelo is there to see!).

    1. Even though I’m an Alonso fan my head tells me to vote for Vettel. He was flawless all weekend, his car was not.
      But i disagree with you on one thing. If Alonso qualified 11th with a 1+ second gap to 1st then sure its embarrassing, but when the gap from 1st to 11th is 0.2something seconds, that’s more unfortunate than embarrassing.

      1. True, but why do drivers like Vettel, Hamilton, Grosjean, Raikkonen and Rosberg all make it through Q2?

        1. They don’t always.
          Same goes for Alonso, Schumacher, Webber, Button et al.

    2. @andae23 “I’m surprised to see how many people are viting for Alonso: I guess people are blinded by the fact that Alonso won from 11th on the grid“… Thts the great thing about the win , isnt it…?

      Anyone would love a guy who comes thru the field and wins and not someone who has noone in front of him. Vettel was brilliant but it takes guts to start from 11th, make crucial passes most of them on the outside of corner in a season where every single point is vital for the championship. People are often blinded by their hatred towards one driver and the above comment is nothing but that. Moreover, ifs and buts and qualifying dont earn you points, its the finishing position in the RACE.

      1. @gill hatred? Seriously? I regard Alonso as the quickest, the most mature and most complete driver on the grid, but you have to say that even though Alonso’s win was great and exciting (don’t get me wrong on this one), Vettel was by far the quickest driver this weekend.

        1. @gill “Vettel was by far the quickest driver this weekend.”

          Vettel had by far the quickest car this weekend, but Alonso with the car he had was the fastest driver.
          It´s not the winning that makes a driver DOTW, it´s the drive itself.
          It´s doing so much with less than many others.

          1. @pnunocosta If you take your criteria, then everyone should be the best driver of the weekend: I believe that every race driver tries to get the maximum out of the car in every race, but each race just a few of them get credit for that.
            I would say that Vettel was the best driver this weekend because he didn’t put a foot wrong this weekend and thus should have won this race easily.

          2. I think everyone had less than SV this weekend, and aside from that I’m not sure FA still has less than many others with his current Ferrari vs. the Ferrari he and FM started pre-season testing with.

          3. @pnunocosta – How are you so sure that Alonso’s pace was due to him, but Vettel’s was down to the car?

          4. (@david-a)

            It´s pretty evident that RB made a significant step forward with their upgrade. Next races will confirm that. Vettel did a good job, he was fast and did no mistakes and was very unlucky as he had the race win on his pocket.
            Ferrari was maybe the 3rd or 4th fastest team, behind RB, Lotus and maybe at same level as Mclaren (just Hamilton).
            But for better anwering your question – when was the last time we saw a driver charge from 11th and win a race in the dry doing a dozen passings (ok, Kimi almost did it in Bahrain and if he had the Alonso´s luck we would have nail it :))?

          5. @pnunocosta

            At the same time, Ferrari have some pretty handy race pace nowadays too. As much as FA was the fastest out of the finishers, and drove a great race from 11th, SV was indeed the fastest driver overall, considering how close the top 6 or more teams are.

        2. (@andae23) – I say the same as you, many drivers don´t put a foot wrong during the weekend, but very few do that almost perfect race, where luck, skill and heart combine so graciously. The win was just the cherry on top of the cake.
          Vettel wasn´t the best he was the fastest.

          1. Can you prove Vettel has been the quickest driver of the weekend? That Red Bull was clearly the best car. Could Vettel have done what Alonso did in a Ferrari? I doubt it.

          2. @kingshark At least the assertion that Vettel was quickest can be supported with actual facts, like his qualifying lap time and the massive lead he opened up at the start of the race. The assertion that Vettel couldn’t have done what Alonso did in a Ferrari, though — can you prove that?

          3. @kingshark

            Can you prove Vettel has been the quickest driver of the weekend? That Red Bull was clearly the best car. Could Vettel have done what Alonso did in a Ferrari? I doubt it.

            We could easily twist it around and say “Can you prove that Alonso could have done what Vettel did?”

            Given that Vettel took pole and had a 20 second lead, he was the fastest driver of the weekend, until his alternator failed.

    3. You shouldn´t be so surprised. People are not blind by someone who took 3 positions in the first corners and afterwards passed 6 or 7 pilots ahead (some of those passes were simply great, specially Grosjean´s). People are just able to see that Alonso can take every circunstance in a race and keep it in his pocket. That´s what he normally does. And that´s why even not having the fastest car, he is nearly always in points, and fighting for the championship till the last race.

  18. Surprisingly tough choice, I guess it comes down to what “driver of the weekend” means for you. It was one of the best qualifying sessions for years, and then different drivers stood out on race day. Vettel was impressive both days, but he was parked and throwing his gloves at the wall with just over half the race gone. Same for Grosjean.

    But I’m going for a guy who qualified a Ferrari 11th – because it’s the race that matters, and Alonso earned his victory by racing.

  19. Sebastian Vettel was clearly the best driver in Valencia. Amazing lap in Q3 and superb domination in race.

  20. I guess Grosjean only had a single error, Raikkonen wasn’t far of him and luckier. Schumacher didn’t get it done on Saturday but finally finished again and drove to a great podium. More or less same for Webber (though he probably did the best possible in qualy too, sans DRS). The whole Force India team did great this weekend, though it might have been even better. And Rosberg finally had a comeback instead of a last lap lack of tyres to make it a good weekend.

    I think Alonso probably got the best out of this weekend on Saturday and on Sunday that he could. HAM too seemed to get everything he could out of it, until MAL struck, but that wasn’t a win. But Vettel was without error and showing great speed the whole weekend until the car gave up on him or he would have won this easily, have to give it to him.

  21. I voted Alonso. He was out of Q3 but he was only 0.218 seconds off the pace in Q2 and 0.004 seconds off Kobayashi’s time, so we can’t say that it was his fault. Also, the fact that he won the race maybe was helped by exiting Q3. In the race he was extraordinary. He made 12 overtakes in and (mostly) outside the DRS zone. Of the 12 overtakes the 6 were very difficult. In the final stint he pushed when he wanted to and it’s a shame that many say that he was lucky to win. His best victory by far in his career and it was on home soil.

    1. and it’s a shame that many say that he was lucky to win

      In a sense he was quite lucky to win. I was watching in disbelief the whole race, everything went his way, you couldn’t have scripted it better. His major rivals DNF’ing, the only driver in a position to overtake him near the end DNFing. I was thinking to myself “who did he pay to make this happen and how much!?” It was incredible.
      That being said however, if Alonso hadn’t driven a fantastic race with so much agression, determination and at the same time patience, he wouldn’t have been in the position to benefit from that luck.
      There is that ol’ F1 cliche that says ‘You have to make your own luck’ and Alonso’s race truly was the perfect example of this.

  22. Vettel’s qualifying was superb, and his race pace was simply unbelievable, especially in the first stint. However, his race pace was so much better than the rest of the field that a large part of his advantage had to be down to the fact that his car/tyre combination worked far better than those of the competition. Vettel, in other words, had a fairly easy afternoon [note that I’m not saying anything like “Vettel is not that talented, he only has the best car”], and coupled with the fact that he didn’t finish, he doesn’t feel like the driver of the weekend to me.

    So I went for Alonso instead. He had to work very hard to get to the front, pulling some amazing passes, and I think his win was not only special for him, but also for his fans and, who knows, all of Spain too.

  23. Vettel. He was competitive from the beginning. Fantastic Q3 lap, more than 3 tenths faster than anyone else, who would have thought.
    And he was perfect in the race. Such a shame that his car broke down, it was probably his best weekend of the year.

  24. Vettel as he was in a league of his own until the car failed although prob the car upgrades made him look so good but he gets the benefit of the doubt.

    A lot of other drivers had really good performances especially Hulk with no KERS. Schumacher and Webber double charge at the end was great to watch although Red Bull didn’t do themselves any favours with the Schumacher DRS yellow flag accusations when they knew their own driver had gone way faster than Schumacher in that section.

  25. Has to be Alonso for me. Once more a truly staggering performance, pushing the car to the very limit, seizing every opportunity and managing the tyres at the end to drive home what was a brilliant victory from P11. Also great emotions after the race, shows that everyone of these individuals are still human.

    Also great driving by Vettel and Grosjean, both were really unlucky with their failures. I was disappointed to hear Vettel’s comments after the race, he seems to be a pretty bad loser…

    Also great to finally see Schumacher on the podium, he really deserved that after all of his bad luck this season.

  26. As DC said, Fernando is the true example of a team leader and indeed, his drive was just unbelievable.

    But then, my heart went for Schumi in this poll. His second stop was very critical; managed to come ahead of Mark; kept him at bay in a track where he drove only on two occasions before (and both the time it was a disaster); managed several places at the end…

  27. Definitely Vettel, without a doubt. He drove an absolutely flawless race

    Honourable mentions go to Alonso (for winning, obviously!), and Webber (19th to 4th is a great effort!)

  28. The best driver on the grid won on Sunday.

  29. Alonso for me. There is no way Vettel would have done better if in Alonso’s Ferrari. Honourable mention for Hamilton who fought real hard ’till the end of the race with an exceptional qualifying effort in not so tuned Mclaren.

  30. spankythewondermonkey (@spankythewondermonkey)
    25th June 2012, 15:08

    despite his DNF, finger boy was my choice. just. alonso pipped to the #1 by his not getting into q3.

  31. I picked Sebastian Vettel. He was dominating the race, again, after dominating qualifying, and had to retire through no fault of his own. The lead he had built on Hamilton, who isn’t certainly a bad driver, was amazing, 20 seconds in 20 laps is something I’ve only seen in videogames.
    Hamilton was excellent as well, but not to Vettel’s levels. I have no idea why he was so slow at the start of the race, nor why his tyres went off so suddenly at the end, but he’s the perfect racer for F1: he knew Maldonado would’ve passed him soon, but he still defended his position. Sadly Maldonado spoilt both’s races.
    Alonso was awesome during the race. Sure, luck was on his side, but overtaking at Valencia has never been easy and I think his passes during the Grand Prix add up to half of the total overtakes the circuit has ever seen.
    Grosjean was on good form as well and unlucky to retire; his only mistake was letting Vettel escape and being passed by Alonso after the restart.
    Massa continues to impress me for his bad luck. He had pitted just before the safety car, and was out of the points when Kobayashi hit him. He could’ve reached the top ten having seen the development of the race.
    Kobayashi was brilliant at the start and faultless with Senna, maybe a little careless. Definitely his fault with Massa’s crash, though.

    1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
      25th June 2012, 15:54

      Its funny how everyone is voting for Vettel because he blitz the field in Q3 and dominated the race, yet when he did that last year nobody gave him any credit. In fact, everyone used his dominance as an excuse NOT to vote for him.

      1. spankythewondermonkey (@spankythewondermonkey)
        25th June 2012, 16:12

        2012 is a little different to 2011. last year, it was a case of red bull being first, then a question over who was 2nd. we’ve not had that to the same extent this year, so there is more merit to the ‘same’ achievement. my 2p on it anyway.

        1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
          25th June 2012, 17:21

          I think it comes down to the fact that people don’t like his temperament. They mistake his confidence for arrogance and therefore are less likely to give him credit. Take Jenson for example, he is praised on a regular basis (even when he’s god awful) because he’s a ‘nice guy’.

          1. I disagree…I think it is as spanky put it…last year it seemed ‘easy’ for SV due to the dominance of the car, and in general I think people gravitate to who did the unexpected, usually implying with lesser equipment, as to who should be DOTW. Who did more than his equipment should have allowed.

            This year no one driver/car has been dominant and the field has been much closer, so when SV dominated Valencia like he dominated most of last year that was something new and different this year, so I think that’s why he is getting the backing of so many.

            At least speaking for myself it has nothing to do with his temperment, nor do I find him arrogant. And I voted for SV. I think he had done plenty to stamp his authority on the weekend by the time his car failed him.

  32. Had to be Alonso, but kudos to several drivers this weekend, standoputs were:

    Vettel, for that incredible qualifing lap and the running away with it in the first stint;
    Grosjean: great race, feel he could have taken Alonso for the lead late in the race;
    Hulkenberg: for getting the max out of what seems like a much improved FI;
    Schumacher: welcome back on the podium, mate :D

  33. Have to vote for Alonso. Sure, Vettel was 2 seconds a lap faster in the beginning but I think half the field could do that with a perfect car on a clear track.
    But Alonso had a lot of overtaking to do, being patience, attack when needed, conserve tires, etc. And doing it from halfway the field makes it more impressive.

  34. Easily Sebastian Vettel, Fernando was opportunistic in taking the victory for sure but it was just that; opportunistic. He hadn’t earned this victory, he merely capitalised when Grosjean & Vettel’s cars failed them.
    Vettel meanwhile built up a 20 second lead; that’s a huge margin considering the amount of time he did it in. He looked set to rebuild that after the restart but his car failed him. Also his pole position lap was almost perfect; only a minor loss of traction through a corner (can’t remember which one) stopped it from being perfect – he hit every apex.

    1. He had earned 2nd place a with a car that shouldn’t quite be there, after the team made a strategic mistake forcing him to overtake almost half the field to get there on a circuit many say it’s impossible to overtake on. Sure Vettel was dominant and likely to win, but he did have the car to do so.

    2. alonso was ahead of grosjean when his car broke down
      vettel was unstopable however in terms of speed

    3. If you think that overtaking 10 positions in a race. Making 8 or 9 passes (some of them wonderful) is just a question of opportunity, you are not being objective. Vettel drove wonderfully till he could, and Alonso was just awesome. Taking advantage in every situation. That´s why he is the best driver by far. By really far.

  35. How is Alonso winning this? Its driver of the weekend not race. Vettel was untouchable in qualifying and in the race. If it wasn’t for the retirement he would have won be miles. Very good race from Alonso but driver of the weekend? No chance in my opinion

    1. i think briliant overtakes make him a strong contender for driver of the weekend
      had he finished behind vettel he still would be driver of the weekend for me cos show he put on

  36. “Felipe Massa – Mimicked Alonso’s good start, gaining three places to hold tenth. But thereafter didn’t make the same progress through traffic as his team mate. Perhaps didn’t expect Kobayashi to make a passing attempt at turn ten where the pair tangled, leaving Massa with damage that ruined his race.”

    There was a problem with Massa’s car.

    1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
      25th June 2012, 17:31

      Your right @oel-f1 the problem was a sub-par driver was behind the wheel.

  37. Sorry, but Alonso won the race almost by defult. For me without a doubt Vettel was the best driver for the whole weekend.

    Did a near perfect Q3 lap to put him on pole and controlled the entire race from a commanding lead, untill his car gave up on him. He should have won and was near on flawless all weekend.

  38. Whilst I am by no means going to vote for him as my DOTD, I think Bruno Senna deserves a bit of recognition, especially when compared to his looney team mate. Yes he qualified badly in comparison, but barring Pastor’s win in Spain he has been the more controlled, reliable and consistant driver this season. He seemed to be doing OK in Valencia until the Kobayashi incident (which I cannot beleive he was given a drive through for) and before all the attrition in the final few laps was running 14th, exactly where he started, which considering the race he had, wasn’t too bad. And then he managed to get a point out of it, whilst his “superior” team mate nerf’d his car into Hamilton’s McClaren.

    1. Eleanore (@leucocrystal)
      26th June 2012, 8:02

      Late to catching up with F1F this weekend, but I agree. I don’t think you’ll find many others who do, sadly, but just thought I’d throw that out there. A definite “never say die” race from him; the commentators (along with me, I must admit) assumed that hit from Kobayashi was probably a race-ending moment, but he controlled it through the spin and just kept going.

  39. Vettel was i a class of his own and was definitely driver of the week-end. He would undoubtedly have won easily despite the safety car.

    But F1 is a sport where both driver and car matter, and the Red Bull broke down. You cannot be driver of the weekend if you don`t finish the race. Alonso is driver of the weekend for me, he made the most of others misfortune and tokk the opportunity given to him. The key to his victory was passing Grosjean when he did, and that was a great move.

  40. I voted for Alonso because he made an extraordinary race, in every aspect, being conservative when necessary and very aggressive whet it counted.

    On the other hand, I would like to comment something about Vettel. In every Vettel win, I hear about how Newey has improved the car, how they are now understanding much better the new tires, or even how some reporters are commenting the sound of the RBR seems they have set a new throttle off some kind of invention as new secret weapon, blah blah blah… I seriously think the secret weapon of RBR is just Sebastian Vettel a “unique master piece” of driving.

    I’m an Alonso supporter but all my respect for this guy and his extraordinary talent. I think he is the most serious candidate for WDC this year. We will see, and I hope to be wrong, as I would love to see Alonso winning his well deserved 3rd WDC.

  41. Decisions, decisions. It has to be Alonso though. Even though he posted an average performance in qualifying, I feel he made up for it and more in the race!

    Vettel did indeed shine all the way through but, somehow he shined too brightly. I don’t want to take anything from him. He is indeed a brilliant driver and he’s one of the few that can really capitalize on a brilliant car but I’m afraid that makes the common viewer (myself included) a bit skeptical about how evenly split the merits are between him and the Red Bull.

    If it wasn’t for these two, other sensible options would have been, in order: Grosjean, Raikkonen, Schumacher, Webber, Hulkenberg, Di Resta, Petrov or Kovalainen.

    Oh, and who voted for Maldonado?! WHO?!

  42. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
    25th June 2012, 18:00

    I was going to vote for Alonso, but changed my mind and voted for Kovalainan instead. Superb qualy to start p16, had a solid race and managed to finish p14 despite the collision with Jean-Eric Vergne.
    I think Heikki has matured as a driver and is far more consistent now than he was at McLaren. Its a shame he’s not in the No.3 car instead of Jenson.

  43. Maldonado for me. The man is fast as hell and managed to take out Lewis :D
    He’s absolutely battering Bruno in that Williams

    1. I have to agree to certain extend, beside this mans aggressive blunders he is extremely fast and I’d imagine Bottas is already looking forward to taking over Senna’s seat. Bruno really need to start scoring and be way further up through out whole weekend if he to have a chance to have any seat next year. This was good start for him, but he must be way further up, considering what Maldonado is able to get out of the car.

  44. Aditya Banerjee (@)
    25th June 2012, 18:03

    Anyone else noticed Nick Heidfeld joining in with Ferrari’s celebrations during the podium?

    1. He was there with Sky TV team all Sunday, if you refer to podium, ceremony.

      1. Aditya Banerjee (@)
        26th June 2012, 7:23

        Thanks for clarifying!! I thought for a moment he was there looking for a job..

  45. I’d like to vote for both MSC and WEB, who were a spectacular tandem to watch cut through the field after their final stops, all the while battling each other, too.

    Unfortunately, one can’t vote for two drivers, and so my vote goes to VET, who dominated Q3 and would’ve walked away with the race if not for the mechanical defect taking him out.

    1. On Sky, the commentators called them the tag team!

  46. Aditya Banerjee (@)
    25th June 2012, 18:11

    I voted Alonso. It was close though, but Vettel retired straightaway after the safety car and that was 23 laps before the end of the race so that remains a question mark. Whatever the reason, Vettel should not be voted as DOTW because the last 23 laps remain a factor.
    Alonso’s Sunday performance outstripped his Saturday afternoon blues. He took calculated risks, which worked. In fact, he was the only driver who moved upwards continuously. Also Massa’s pace in the middle stint(whence he was dropping back to Huelkenberg) was much slower than his teammate.

    1. nor should Alonso then as he didn’t make Q3

  47. Alonso was at his brilliant best in the race but Vettel was awesome all weekend and was cruelly denied what was probably a win
    Good mentions to Webber who did well given the hand he was dealt with and for Hulkenberg and Hamilton solid drives

  48. Tough choice. Vettel’s usual style, Webber’s 15 place climb and I remember Alonso overtook 3 or 4 guys in one lap. Grosjean nice first lap. He and Hamilton is good but couldn’t touch Vettel. I’d vote for Vettel but doesn’t mean Alonso did any worse.

  49. Vettel, though quite a few had very good races. Vettel, though, was in a class of his own, and would surely have won without that alternator failure.

    Honourable mentions to Alonso, Grosjean, Schumacher and Hulkenburg for doing a good job and getting (or being an alternator away from getting) great results.

  50. I like this theory somewhat.

    Newey already tried about half dozen way to bring back the forbidden diffusor aero help, cos exactly that was Vettel’s one and only big gun in the last years, without it he is simply one of the rest…the real best are who can prove it in very different situations like Alonso, but this crying kid is nobody without his game, and now everybody knows it, even Red Bull, thats why they try cheating again and over, when that aero help works with the actual trick, the german suddenly be fast, not a miracle, but very boring and annoying, FIA must declare that who even only try bring that back again, will get a ban penalty

    1. We can say a lot of things about Vettel, but one thing is for sure: he has the most imaginative haters.

      1. “Imaginative” is one word for it…

      2. I was thinking bitter, jealous etc

  51. it’s sad that the field is as balanced as it has ever been and yet people credit vettel’s performance more to his car than to him. he’s always been good at valencia, so exactly what evidence is there that the car is making most of the difference rather than his own ability? oh wait, there is none. people are just jaded because last year’s RB was so dominant.

    I also like how capitalizing on the misfortune of others is somehow a point in favor of Alonso. he’s surely the best overall driver on the grid, but everyone capitalized on drivers who DNF’d by default. Vettel is the most obvious case. with him out of the running, EVERYONE made the most of it by finishing at least one position better than they otherwise would have. this took no bout of racing – it just happened because certain drivers had crap luck external to their own performance.

  52. Alonso by far, as the poll shows

    1. How was he better than Vettel though?

      1. @hallard.. Becasue on his merit he climbed to 4th from 11th on the grid before safety car came. Ham handled him 3rd and he took 2nd from Grosjean, in the meantime, only thing Vettel was doing to drive his ultra fast Red Bull to its limit which has already proven to be .3 sec faster than the next fastest car in qualifying.

        I hope this explains how Alonso was better than Vettel in Valencia.

        1. @gill – Alonso probably deserves DOTW, but you’re seriously underrating the idea of pushing a car to its limit. Only the best extract the max from a car, and that’s technically the “only thing” Alonso did in the race as well.

          1. @david-a, there is one more thing there besides the max from a car, clean air in front or cars to be passed. Do you really think F2012 is faster than RB8?

          2. @suka – I do not believe that the F2012 is faster, I never said that. But he poster above claimed that Alonso was better simply because he passed people, while Vettel was out front. By his logic, how do we know that some of those cars FA passed shouldn’t already have been put behind him on Saturday?

  53. Vettel, impressive performance until car failure!

    but I also admire Hulk, Alonso, Grosjean and Schumacher

  54. I had to vote for Vettel. If not for a technical issue, that race was in the bag. And he would have won it in stype

    I know someone’s going to say “It’s not who’s out of the race; it’s who’s in,” which I totally stole from this weekend’s Indycar Iowa 250, but even if he didn’t finish the race, that can’t be attributed to his driving. He was simply flawless this weekend. His engine just let him down.

  55. themagicofspeed (@)
    25th June 2012, 22:53

    Vettel doesnt need a driver of the weekend, he basically sunbathed his way to an easy WDC last year.
    Alonso surpassed even his own expectations and delivered a stunning victory, so he is my driver of the day.

    Alonso was exceptional from lights to flag. He wanted that win so bad, and from the get-go he was faultless. Im beggining to think he may even have very seriously challenged Vettel anyway if he had not retired. Good drive nevertheless by him, but its Vettel, its normal. It would be a bigger deal if he performed badly.

    Grosjean is pretty impressive, he’s the shock of the year for me. For a rookie, he has speed AND maturity AND consistency, he is definitley one to watch. He is never intimidated by Raikkonen when they find themselves on track together, or of any other driver for that matter. Most certainly one to watch. He is my reserve driver of the day, so to speak.

  56. themagicofspeed (@)
    25th June 2012, 22:55

    By the way, who on earth voted for Charles Pic ? :S

  57. Had to vote for Vettel. No disrespect to Alonso, who drove a great, if fortunate, race; but Vettel had this one in the bag before his car gave up. Credit where credit’s due.

  58. It’s incredible to see Mark Webber rating so low. He raced from 19th to finish 4th. Unbeaten(?) in terms of positions gained from the grid. Remarkable effort.

  59. it has to be webber. imagine starting 19th on the grid? that is a daunting task for anyone especially in a car that has proved unreliable all weekend. the fact remains, despite benefits from attrition, he made up 15places and the second fastest lap of the race. hard to pick between webber/alonso but i will go for webber due to the sheer number of place he made.

  60. Alonso. One of the best drives in history, surely to be remembered for decades. Superb overtakes and a very emotional win on home ground. But before I cast my vote I’d like to see someone replying in disagreement with that…

  61. People not votting for Alonso probably don’t like real racing, overtakes, consistency, driving the car on the limit, consistency, maximizing the opportunities… pretty sad that again some brith fans can handle and accept Alonso’s skills.

    Vettel did great but he did nothing but drive a super car, most of the drivers can do that.

    1. Most sensible people can accept Alonso’s skills and he probably deserves DOTW. At the same time, people can vote for whoever they like, so long as there are good reasons to, and there are always good reasons to vote for various people.

      I’d say it’s pretty sad that you’re claiming that most drivers could do what Vettel did, given that he was also driving on the limit throughout qualifying and the race.

      1. Most sensible people can accept Alonso’s skills and he probably deserves DOTW. At the same time, people can vote for whoever they like, so long as there are good reasons to, and there are always good reasons to vote for various people.

        Exactly that @david-a, otherwise why have a vote.
        And really the best part about the vote is reading people’s comments when they explain why they voted say Hulkenberg, or Senna, Kovalainen or even Pic!

      2. I’d say it’s pretty sad that you’re claiming that most drivers could do what Vettel did, given that he was also driving on the limit throughout qualifying and the

        yeah yeah, because the other drivers on the grid are donkeys and they can drive a car in the limit, only Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso can do it, right?, all the drivers in F1 or at least more than half are amazing drivers that can push their car.

        1. F1fanNL (@)
          26th June 2012, 10:46

          That’s not the point.

          Almost every time Vettel delivers a strong performance you guys will say; “So what, he’s got the best car.”

          When it’s Hamilton or Button or Alonso though it’s; “He’s by far the best driver on the grid.”

          Sad really.

          1. But hasn’t it always been the case when Hamilton or Alonso won in the last 3 years that Red Bull had the fastest car? I can’t remember a race back to 2010 in which Vettel won with an inferior car. Do you?

            To make it clear, I don’t doubt Vettel’s abilities at all. But I´m not surprised people think like this given the impressions of performance in the last two and a half years.

          2. Actually the Red Bull had already the best car in 2009. Apart from 2 or 3 races out of the first 7.

            Trouble is, they seem to be able to only build one working car and even that single working car sometimes breaks down.

  62. I would say this is the most aggressive Alonso I have seen since when I dont remember. He generally plays number game perfectly, tries to avoid contact with others at any cost and bringing the car home everytime to score points. But in Valencia, he was aggressive from the start and it showed the way he wasnt wasting any time in trying to pass the cars ahead asap. I must say I m loving this Alonso.

  63. Mark Webber gets my vote.A great drive from 19th position to finish 4th.Kept his nose clean and had some good battles.He benefited from others misfortunes but then,so did everyone else.

  64. Wow this was a tough one to decide! Most people have obviously gone for Alonso as it was an amazing victory after a great action packed race, I can barely remember everything that happened. I however have gone for Romain Grosjean. I think he showed such maturity and great overtaking skill and was best throughout the weekend. He qualified well and made a great move past Maldonado. He looked like the win was on and was biding his time until he could take advantage of the Lotus’ kindness on it’s tyres. I was so disappointed to see him not finish as he would more than likely on the podium.

  65. Voted for Alonso because he benefited the least because of other driver’s misfortune. He was running second after safety car stint when vettel came to a stop and thus gained one position. What about others? grosjean, hamilton and maldonado had DNF’s which benefited drivers like schumacher, webber gain 4 places. Alonso would still be on the podium had these retirements not happened. I have never seen him drive so aggressively and the passes were brilliant. Alonso was brave and fortune favors the brave !!

    1. @biju1984
      Although Alonso still had to make the pass on Grosjean at the restart (he got the job done, fair play to him) he only got the opportunity because of the safety car. He also got ahead of Hamilton as a result of the failure of McLaren’s front jack and passed Kimi due to a slow first pit-stop.

      It’s always down to circumstances and there are lots of ‘what-ifs’, but to suggest Alonso benefited any less from others’ misfortune is a stretch.

      1. Alonso overtook Hülkenberg, Maldonado, Webber, Senna, Schumacher, di Resta and Grosjean.

        It was a bit more than just “luck with the SC” that he finished so high up.

  66. I voted for schumacher because that last stint was superb hunting down those that remaind between him and the podium and remind you keeping Webber at bay. Yes the Maldonado-Hamilton incident handed him the podium but its still sweet revenge.

    1. I would also add the fact that Schumi did keep for a few laps a full train of cars, while his Merc ate his rear tires. I believe his drive this time was both defensive and aoffenisve, when his car (read: tires) would allow it. Anyways, being a Schumi fan, I might be slightly biased… ;)

  67. Mr. Alonso gets it. Althoug it has to be said, had it not been for the DNF, I would not be able to pick anyone but Vettel.

  68. This is a hard choice as it is driver of the weekend not just the race.

    Vettel put in a stunning lap in qualifying and looked like he would have another comfortably win, even with the safety, like he did most of last year until his car gave up on him.

    An amazing drive from Alonso in the race, yes he benefited from some good luck but he still put in a performance that showed why many, including myself, rate him as the best driver in F1 at the moment.

    What is making the decision tough is that Vettel didn’t put a wheel wrong it was just his car that let him down, and the fact that Alonso didn’t make it to Q3 on Saturday.

    But in the end I had to pick Alonso.

    For a few races now I have thought that while Red Bull probably have the car and driver line-up to win the Constructors Championship the form Alonso is in he is going to win the Drivers Championship even though the Ferrari is not the best.

  69. We have to give this to Alonso. But Vettel, Hamilton, Grosjean, Raikkonen and Schumi all performed well.

  70. I voted for Vettel. While perhaps he didn’t provide excellent viewing from the front of the race, he earned that position and it was just a continuation of his dominance from qualifying. A 20s lead is always impressive but after only 22 laps is just brilliant. He even looked strong after the Safety Car and didn’t seem to suffer under pressure.

  71. Some great drives by various drivers: Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso, Raikkonen, Webber and Schumacher but my vote for this race is going to the ‘smilemaster’ Romain Grosjean, well done!

  72. Button for sure a gentleman, didn’t bother anyone in Q3!
    Promote Hamilton’s set up to his own while he said he love it and in the race stood out of the way of anyone needing to go to podiums or higher on the grid and even won one position to his start. Even got more points for the WDC.

  73. Considering how close qualifying was until Vettel set his pole time, that was an amazing lap. Sebastian was also clearly dominating the race up until the alternator problem. He gets the nod for driver of the weekend for me. Honourable mention to Hulkenberg for finishing 5th without KERS.

  74. Trenthamfolk (@)
    27th June 2012, 20:37

    Again, this pains me… PAINS ME, but I have to go with Alonso. I know this is driver of the weekend, but the weekend is all about the race. Despite his HUGE eyebrows and his girlie strop attitude, Alonso showed a brilliance that I am totally in awe of. The race was his, and he therefore owned the weekend. There’s no points for Qualifying or practice, which demonstrates my point.

    I’m going to go away now and have a little weep… Monobrow in a pony-mobile gets my vote, what has my life come to! Blart blart…

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