Vote for your European GP Driver of the Weekend

2012 European Grand Prix

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.

Who was the best driver of the European Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (18%)
  • Mark Webber (5%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (2%)
  • Jenson Button (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (52%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Michael Schumacher (9%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (2%)
  • Romain Grosjean (5%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (2%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (1%)
  • Bruno Senna (1%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (1%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (1%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (0%)
  • Pedro de la Rosa (0%)
  • Charles Pic (1%)

Total Voters: 738

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2012 European Grand Prix

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

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  1. apole said on 26th June 2012, 6:44

    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.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 26th June 2012, 7:03

      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.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 26th June 2012, 8:04

        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!

      • apole said on 26th June 2012, 8:54

        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.

        • F1fanNL (@) said on 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.

          • Wallbreaker (@wallbreaker) said on 26th June 2012, 15:14

            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.

          • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 26th June 2012, 22:02

            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.

  2. Gill (@gill) said on 26th June 2012, 7:28

    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.

  3. Melchior (@melchior) said on 26th June 2012, 7:46

    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.

  4. smifaye (@smifaye) said on 26th June 2012, 8:58

    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.

  5. biju joseph (@biju1984) said on 26th June 2012, 9:43

    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 !!

    • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 26th June 2012, 14:18

      @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.

      • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 26th June 2012, 22:08

        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.

  6. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 26th June 2012, 10:19

    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.

    • Mauri (@erioni) said on 26th June 2012, 13:46

      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… ;)

  7. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 26th June 2012, 12:00

    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.

  8. PJA (@pja) said on 26th June 2012, 18:17

    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.

  9. F1Rollout (@f1rollout) said on 26th June 2012, 19:10

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

  10. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 27th June 2012, 8:05

    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.

  11. Gill Parry (@welshwitch) said on 27th June 2012, 12:27

    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!

  12. Nickpkr said on 27th June 2012, 15:39

    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.

  13. RumFRESH (@rumfresh) said on 27th June 2012, 19:19

    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.

  14. Trenthamfolk (@trenthamfolk) said on 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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