Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Valencia, 2012

Alonso is 2012’s eighth Driver of the Weekend winner

2012 European Grand PrixPosted on Author Ewa Zaborska

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Valencia, 2012European Grand Prix winner Fernando Alonso won the Driver of the Weekend poll after his charge to win from 11th on the grid.

He gathered almost three times as many votes as Sebastian Vettel, who led the race comfortably before retiring with alternator failure.

Michael Schumacher came third in the poll after finishing in third place for his first podium since returning to the sport in 2010.

Driver of the European Grand Prix Weekend poll ?ǣ top three

1. Fernando Alonso ?ǣ 51.7%
2. Sebastian Vettel ?ǣ 18.4%
3. Michael Schumacher ?ǣ 8.9%

Fernando Alonso

Started: 11th
Finished: 1st

Failed to reach Q3 on Saturday, but drove a fantastic race on Sunday to bring joy to his home crowd.

After a good start, he pulled a string of overtaking moves on Bruno Senna, Michael Schumacher and Mark Webber and got in front of Kimi Raikkonen in the pits.

He later used another slow McLaren pit stop to get in front of Lewis Hamilton and overtook Romain Grosjean after a restart in an opportunistic manoeuvre. Having taken the lead when Vettel dropped out he coped with tyre degradation in the final laps to take the chequered flag, becoming the first driver this year to win twice.

Here’s what F1 Fanatic readers had to say about Alonso’s drive:

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 11th.

Also great emotions after the race, shows that every one of these individuals are still human.

I 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.

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.

Sebastian Vettel

Started: 1st
Finished: DNF

Had a great qualifying session to secure his third pole position of the season by 0.3 seconds. Built a gap of over 20 seconds over the rest of the field in only 22 laps and was looking certain to become the first driver to win two races this season.

But alternator failure deprived him of what would surely have been a consummate victory.

This is strange feeling: it?s the first time I voted for driver which didn’t finish ?ǣ Vettel. He was untouchable not only in the race but also in qualifying and really deserved victory.

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.

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 Hamilton he wasn?t able to reel Vettel in.

Michael Schumacher

Started: 12th
Finished: 3rd

Was once again out-qualified by his team mate and had to start the race out of the top ten. Yet on Sunday good luck finally smiled at him when all things fell into place for the Mercedes driver.

He fought his way through the field in the closing stages of the race and took advantage of the collision between Hamilton and Maldonado to finish on the podium for the first time since 2006 – something even he wasn’t expecting after crossing the finish line.

My heart went for Schumacher in this poll. His second stop was very critical; managed to come ahead of Webber; 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.

I voted for Schumacher because that last stint was superb hunting down those that remained 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.
Force Majkel

2012 Driver of the Weekend results so far

First Second Third
Australia Jenson Button (43.6%) Fernando Alonso (21.1%) Sergio Perez (8.2%)
Malaysia Sergio Perez (61.4%) Fernando Alonso (28.1%) Bruno Senna (3.7%)
China Nico Rosberg (69.1%) Lewis Hamilton (10.0%) Jenson Button (6.4%)
Bahrain Kimi Raikkonen (56.3%) Sebastian Vettel (19.3%) Paul di Resta (10.6%)
Spain Pastor Maldonado (56.8%) Lewis Hamilton (27.5%) Fernando Alonso (6.4%)
Monaco Mark Webber (32.6%) Heikki Kovalainen (20.2%) Fernando Alonso (14.2%)
Canada Lewis Hamilton (58.7%) Sergio Perez (19.1%) Romain Grosjean (15.3%)
Europe Fernando Alonso (51.7%) Sebastian Vettel (18.4%) Michael Schumacher (8.9%)

Fernando Alonso may be the only driver who won more than one race this year, but this is his first win in Driver of the Weekend poll and his fifth appearance in the top three. This means we have eight different poll winners in eight races so far this year.

Sebastian Vettel is one of the top three drivers of the weekend for the second time and he is yet to win the poll outright. Michael Schumacher found himself in the top three for the first time this year.

We have now seen 14 different drivers in the top three of the poll so far.

2012 European Grand Prix

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Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

73 comments on “Alonso is 2012’s eighth Driver of the Weekend winner”

    1. If you’re referring to his 11th place in qualifying, you can’t really forget that he consistently gets the most out of that Ferrari, and it’s hard to think that anyone else would have been able to better his position on Saturday. However, on Sunday he completely turned his fortunes around, whereas some others would not have been in the position to capitalise on Vettel and Grosjean’s reliability issues. I think that outweighs his ‘bad’ qualifying and makes him the driver of the weekend.

      1. I agree with @neelv in fairness; his qualifying performance wasn’t due to an uncompetitive car in a single lap, it was due to over-confidence in Ferrari’s part, thinking that they could do a single lap and get through to Q3.

  1. 100% disagree: Vettel should have taken this one.

    Some facts about Vettel’s weekend: he qualified first, 0.324s faster than the no. 2. He led the race until lap 33 with a maximum lead of 20.81s over Grosjean before the SC. Especially in the tight 2012-season, that’s a remarkably dominant performance, one that was only matched by Rosberg in China (voted driver of the weekend with 69%).

    I already expressed my opinion on the forum, but 18% of the votes for Vettel is incredibly unfair and doesn’t give him the credit for what he showed us in Valencia. That’s not because I support Vettel or dislike Alonso, that’s just a fact.

    1. @andae23 While I agree that Vettel drove a brilliant race, supported by a brilliant Q3 lap, Alonso still got my vote as he only missed out by the narrowest of margins for Q3 (0.004 I believe he lost to a resurgent Force India) and then had to fight and overtake for all his positions apart from Vettel for the lead. I fully believe that if Vettel hadn’t have retired, Alonso could have been fighting with him.
      The only other argument I can see is that Alonso benefited from the SC, which might have been true, but that doesn’t make it less of a great drive, the SC wasn’t put out to give Alonso an advantage, Vettel would’ve always lost out if a SC came out…

      Vettel drove a commanding race, and a commanding weekend, but Alonso drove an incredible race, taking every opportunity which came his way after a very unfortunate Q2…

      1. Here we go again… you can’t prove Vettel had the fastest car, nor that Alonso had. Just looking at the trend, it has been really tight all season long without an evident leader, so Vettel’s dominance really came out of nowhere. Was it Newey’s upgrade? Strange that Webber didn’t seem to be dominating this race like Vettel did…

        1. And you can’t prove otherwise either… Especially considering how year on year, drivers performances change dramatically compared to their team mates.

          It’s an opinion poll… If you make a comment, and someone disagrees take it with a bit of grace.

          1. @mike I’m sorry if you think my comment was disgraceful, but the statement he makes is simply not true. It really gets on my nerves when people say Vettel isn’t good but the car is, which isn’t the case in 2012.

        1. the same Newey that won bugger all for years in the 2000s and the same Newey who needed about 5 attempts at the exhaust earlier this year to get it right.
          He’s a genius but he has thick end of 80-100 others supporting him.

          1. bugger all for years in the 2000s

            It’s not like Ferrari had stupid big advantages like a whole tyre company dedicated to their car or anything…. wait….

    2. When, you(or the team) make compromises at some parts of the car to be faster, or push too much, nobody will vote for you. I don’t think is a coincidence that the faster cars had failed. Why the Webber’s and Raikk’s cars didn’t broke?? They had the same parts…

      1. @sorin
        I’m sorry but thats just utter nonsense.
        There is no way a driver should be able to kill the alternator half way through the race by simply driving quickly.
        The Alternator will run at slightly higher average RPM when you are driving faster, yes, but it cannot make the difference between lasting 57+ laps, or 33 laps. Its just not possible.
        Secondly, an alternator will be designed for flat out racing. If a driver has to drive slow on purpose to save the alternator then its simply not designed strongly enough.
        Renault themselves said that they were looking at either at a manufacturing fault, because the alternator on Vettel’s car was from a different production batch then the one on Webber’s car. So no, its not exactly the same equipment even if the specs on paper are the same.
        It has nothing to do with Vettel or the team making unnecessary compromises, or going too fast, its just that the alternator on his car wasn’t up to the standard.

      2. No – they didn’t have the same alternator parts.

        Both Vettel and Grosjean had alternator model replacements with their new engines for this race (alternators are part of engine package). ScarbsF1 went into this in detail on his blog site, after Renault’s mia culpa press release info.

        Renault had introduced a new minor improvment variant of the alternator, and they are going to be looking into that model (testing at factory) for reasons why it should have got too hot in operation (many contributing factors from car cooling too). The RBR and Lotus alternators will probably be rolled back to the prior version at Silverstone GP to play it safe, until Renault have the chance to confirm if the newer alternator model is totally to blame. JF

    3. Vettel has the fastest car. It’s easy to be in front, when your car delivers such a great potential. to sorin “Why the Webber’s and Raikk’s cars didn’t broke?? ” that question has no answer. Just another easiest thing: to ask someone who cant give you an appropriate reply to make him feel embarrased. There is no point in doing such things.

        1. In Valecia that was obvious: the best car is Vettel’s. So, as I mentioned before, you dont have to be the best in that car, just dont make serious mistakes. As for Webber: he couldn’t go through Q1 because of the several failures on his car. How could he match Vettel’s pace starting from the back of grid (thanks to the team)?

          1. All I’m saying is that in both Valencia and China, one team evidently had the best car. But for some reason, Rosberg had 69% of the votes, and Vettel had 18%. That’s a significant difference, and the only difference between their performances was that Vettel’s car broke down and Rosberg’s didn’t. Coincidence? No

        1. When you are thrown out of Quali 1 into 19th place, because your car is lacking DRS and has hydraulic issues, then you are starting behind the turbulent air and wide asses of 18 other cars. To have steadily made your way back through the field to finish 4th in the race (retirements aside) is pretty damn impressive at a track like Valencia which doesn’t give any easy passes. Webber’s race strategy, pitstop timings and consistent speed in (and thru) traffic was damn good.

          In open air/track, for a brief period in the GP post his first pitstop, Webber was really flying around at Vettel’s lead pace. The open track didn’t last long though, and traffic ensued again.

          Webber also had to wonder how much he could push his #2 RB8, when it had not been wanted to play ball all weekend, right from FP1 on Friday. He could have been forgiven for taking it a bit easy on the car with so many weekend Gremlins. He didn’t though – Kudos. 12 WDC points is much better result than what he could have reasonably expected before lights out on the 19th grid spot. JF

    4. @andae23 – completely agree, I’m not doubting Alonso’s performance was fanatstic and he worked very hard for that win but as you said Vettel was untouchable all weekend. It took a safety car and a two broken alternators to give Alonso the win, and quite simply had his alternator not broken I am sure he still would’ve won by a sizeable margin even with the safety car disruption.

        1. That’s true for the so-called ‘World Driver’s Championship’, but this is about which driver was the best. Some people voted for Kovalainen, who didn’t even score points, but they still thought he was the best driver of the weekend. So… why is this argument relevant ???

        2. They all know this but, when you are a Vettel’s fan then you will remember this when Hamilton will broke his car(or will stay at pits too much) and Vettel will win…

          1. as I said before, I’m not a Vettel fan at all, nor am I a fan of any other driver. I just think it’s weird to judge someone’s performance by just looking at the results table and saying ‘Alonso 25 points, Vettel no points –> Alonso was better’.

    5. Vettel makes it look too easy at times, something which is often percieved as boring.
      If the car is front row material, he often puts it there and wins, rather than excite the fans by making hard work of it and having to pass cars to get to the win.
      What Alonso did was remarkable but this one should’ve gone to the one who made it boring for viewers (for 30 laps).
      It was the same in Bahrain, because it was Vettel it was boring, so we voted for the underdog Kimi who made it exciting.

      1. Vettel did have the best car in Valencia by quite a margin. Jack Flash’s explanation is enough. Alonso charged his way from 11th to 2nd on a circuit where overtaking has a reputation for being difficult. He even overtook the Lotus’s who both had faster cars, on track! Do you think he could’ve done what Alonso did in a Ferrari? I bet a farm against it.

        Race day is what really counts. And yes, Alonso was definitely better than Vettel when it mattered. Vettel was good, but Alonso was simply superb.

    6. As you said, Nico had similar dominance in China. Could you please remind me when was the last time a victory was achieved from outside top 10 in a dry race, on a circuit notorious for the difficulty in overtaking.

      Kimi in Suzuka 2005 was probably the last one.

      That’s why Alonso won the vote.

  2. overtook Romain Grosjean after a restart in an opportunistic manoeuvre

    Now, don’t get me wrong since english is not my language, but opportunistic manoeuvre doesn’t mean an unfair move, or is it rather exploiting the opportunity?

  3. Alonso was brilliant in the race – he didn’t destroy his tyres in the first 10 laps, trying to fight for 7th or 8th or 9th, he preserved them, got the go-ahead from the team and overtook the people he needed to, good pit work from Ferrari got him ahead of Kimi and Kamui, great decision to go for options for that stint, he overtook all the one-stoppers and late-stoppers, pulled off a stunning manoeuvre on Grosjean and even in the worst case scenario he would’ve finished 3rd. By any measure that is an outstanding drive. The F2012 is poor in qualifying, so he had to do everything the hard way on Sunday. He rose to the occasion and deserved the success.

    1. @ssvracing – driver of he weekend includes his performance in qualifying also; that’s why I believe he shouldn’t have been driver of the weekend. Ferrari weren’t slow in qualifying, they were over-confident. They thought they could get away with one run in Q2 on the softs and failed to get through. Granted, that is moreso a team mistake than a driver but realistically Ferrari could have got through to Q3 but didn’t.
      As for the race, he made a brilliant start (although his was second to Grosjean’s in my opinion for best start) and then managed to climb through the field with some great racing, whilst out front Vettel (after taking pole by nearly 4 tenths) was going over a second quicker per lap; he was so quick he had a pit stop in hand after the first phase of the GP.
      Alonso in my opinion should be second; a valiant effort to take an opportunistic win, but he couldn’t hold a candle to Vettel.

      1. Yes, Fernando might have got through to Q3 if they’d done another lap on the soft tyres, maybe not – with the field so closely bunched up, we’ll never know for sure. Team strategy mistake. Even so, we know the F2012 isn’t a sharp tool in qualifying, I reckon the maximum Fernando could’ve achieved is a 8th or 9th place in Q3. Using up a set of tyres for that would’ve negated any advantage of starting a couple of places ahead of 11th.

        Vettel was brilliantly quick, but he owes a lot of that to the Valencia updates his team gave him. A couple of tenths in Q3 might be down to his raw talent, but a second a lap during the race in bone dry conditions is mostly down to the car. Therefore it was who Alonso had to fight his way into winning contention, using his wits and taking risks, and then fight to stay ahead, whereas Vettel merely maximised the excellent aero package his team provided him with. I don’t wish belittle his efforts saying ‘merely’ – as a car/driver package, RB7/Vettel was peerless but it was Alonso punched well above his -and the F2012’s – weight.

        1. So if Vettel had not maximised the car and only been a tenth a lap quicker to make it look like he had a less good car, would he have been given more credit.
          Maybe Vettel, like Alonso (and maybe others) was on the limit of the car’s performance capability.

      2. @vettel1 Driver of the Weekend includes the race as well. Vettel did not finish the race, meaning he couldn’t have been driver of the weekend either. The reason I say that is because we have no idea what might have happened if he had not retired. For all we know, he might have crashed out due to driver error. So to say one driver cant win driver of the weekend because he was a few hundredths outside of the top 10 in qualifying, but then allowing another driver to claim he award when he retired in the race (the only session that counts in reality) is madness.

        1. @infy – it was his performance up until that point that he is therefore judged upon, and going by that he was undoubtably the best driver. Sure he could’ve crashed, but he could’ve also won by over a minute, so you cannot base your opinion on speculation. And this is Vettel we’re talking about here; he thrives on being able to drive away and run his own race, as he’s proven many times before and as he proved in the first half of the grand prix.

          1. Well you just said it yourself. You cant base your opinion on speculation. We dont know what might have happened to Vettel and so it would be wrong to rate him to the same length and surety as you would have rated some one who had finished the race.

            My original point is that you cant regard one aspect (11th in qualifying) while completely disregarding another aspect (retiring) in your overview of a drivers weekend. That is hypocritical as both issues were arguably out of the drivers control.

          2. @infy
            But Alonso didn’t get to Q3. Had he done so he could have put the car in the wall on his flying lap in Q3.
            Why should driver performance be based on “what if”?
            What about judging them on the actual performance that they did put on display?

          3. @infy
            But I don’t base my vote on that. I based it on a stunning qualifying lap, and race pace that we didn’t think was possible with the current tyres. Where he finished, could have, or would have isn’t relevant to me as he was cut short by a technical glitch.

  4. Voted Vettel myself but it was a tough choice between him and Alonso. They both drove very different weekend so it’s difficult to make direct comparisons but Vettel stuck it on pole more than comfortably which is the reason why I voted for him. Of course, people will argue it’s the car blah blah blah, but Webber didn’t manage to get anywhere near Vettel during qualifying. It was just another typical Vettel display, doing what he does best, which never gets any less impressive.

    1. Yes, Webber only qualified 19th but I think that’s been explained already. No FP3 running, brake faults and no DRS resulting.
      And Vettel? Yes, he was unlucky too after doing everything right.

  5. One thing I don’t understand is thsi:
    During the safety car period, why were all the lapped cars allowed to overtake the leaders? I thought that rule had been abolished, as it meant less actual racing

  6. Only twice so far this year that the driver who didn’t win the specific race they won D.O.T.W. on, being Checo in Malaysia and Kimi in Bahrain. Two drivers who should have won those races in my opinion – and this will fare well in whoever I think will win the next D.O.T.W. competition.

  7. It was tough to chose between Vettel and Alonso.. How I chose was by asking myself, if the drivers swapped cars which driver would achieve the other drivers result?
    This is completely subjective obviously but in my mind there’s no doubt that Alonso could dominate in the RB8 and pressumably his alternator would blow up too.. But I’m not sure Vettel is capable of Alonso’s drive from 11th. That took incredible race craft, composure and great driving despite problems inherant in the F2012..
    This is underpinned by the fact that Alonso has a very respectable lead in the championship in a far inferior car..

    1. Believe it or not, I did the same when deciding the vote and voted the same.
      Alonso would probably have qualified as good Vettel in that RB8.
      I doubt Vettel would have driven that F2012 better than Alonso starting from the 11th.
      Vettel has had problems winning races when qualifying beyond the 4th.

  8. OK, personally, im getting really tierd of all this Alonso promotion. Don’t understand me wrong, i respect him hugely, cause he is simply an amazing driver. But every time people on this forum mention him, people praise him for doing miricales with a bad car.

    Vettel on the other hand, always gets his performances declared less-impressive “cause he has the best car”.

    Now, that could very well be true, but the difference in performance gets way exaggerated. Please .. give Vettel some credit for what he does, cause right at the end, in Q3 when it all counts, he is there and performs brilliantly. Then on sunday, he does nothing wrong, and performance great too.

    People seem to think it’s easy, and expect nothing less than a win. They even think Alonso can do it better.
    Well .. I honestly don’t think so. In the race, they probably would be evenly matched. In qualifying ..Alonso would be beaten. Alonso isn’t particulairly good at it. Even Massa sometimes gets close to beat him.

    All im saying is, Vettel deserves ALOT more credit than he is given here on f1fanatic. For some reason, Alonso and even the British drivers always get alot more support, no mather what. It bothers me, and im sick of it. :

    1. @me4me The problem is Vettel makes it look easy when he leads from the front, Alonso obviously had to give 100% to come through the field and stay ahead. I voted for Vettel in this poll because his pole lap was incredible, as was his pace at the start of the race.

      My feeling is if you put them both in a good car Vettel would come out on top, if you put them both in a bad car Alonso would come out on top.

      1. actually, I agree with your last sentence.
        People rave on about “If Alonso had an RB6/7/8 he would do this, this and this”

        Give them both a good car and Vettel would qualify higher more often i think and also be able to stay ahead for a lot of races
        Give them a twichy car which isn’t as glued to the road and Alonso can drive round the problem better than Seb and he would get better results.
        But Alonso has had 100 races more than Vettel, so I’m hopeful that Seb can cope better with that in future.

    2. His qualifying was impressive, and everyone praised him for that.

      Would have he delivered on Sunday, he would have won this poll hands down. As it happens in racing, he was not able to pull through the finish line – that’s just racing. Others did, and in quite a fashion.

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