Vote for the best driver of the German GP weekend

2012 German Grand Prix

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

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

Driver notes

Sebastian Vettel – Reckoned he might have been able to beat Alonso to pole position had he copied the Ferrari driver’s tactics of pitting for a fresh set of wet tyres. Fended off Schumacher at the start and closed on Alonso, but was unable to pass. Being unlapped by Hamilton didn’t help his cause, nor did losing out in a battle for position with the other McLaren. Re-passed Button on the penultimate lap but went off the track to do it and was penalised after the race, dropping him to fifth.
Mark Webber – Qualified third but a gearbox change penalty relegated him to eighth. The Red Bull’s poor straight-line speed hampered his efforts to make up places. He passed Maldonado but was beaten on strategy by both Saubers, leaving him back where he started at the end of the race.

Jenson Button – A badly-needed return to form, bolstered by McLaren’s extensive upgrade package. Out-qualified Hamilton on merit for the first time this year, then passed Hulkenberg and Schumacher in the opening stages to join the battle for the lead. A record-breaking McLaren pit stop and a fast out lap got him ahead of Vettel, after which he caught but was unable to pass Alonso. His tyres went off in the final laps, leaving him vulnerable to Vettel. But of course, he got the place back on appeal.
Lewis Hamilton – Hamilton said his puncture on lap two was “cruel luck” and it’s hard to argue with that, although he wasn’t the only driver to suffer one. That destroyed his race and Hamilton’s head seemed to drop – he suggested to the team they should call it quits. But he pressed on and despite deteriorating handling due to damage he lapped quicker than the leaders after his second pit stop and even unlapped himself from Vettel. Despite the Red Bull driver’s protestations, this was entirely legal, though it proved to be in vain as he eventually retired with 11 laps to go. “With the damage to the rear, I think we were lucky to get that far, to be honest.”

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Hockenheim, 2012Fernando Alonso – Wet qualifying produced yet more mastery from Alonso who captured pole position for the second race in a row. Arguably his best lap came in Q2 when he secured a place in the final ten despite begin badly held up by Massa. He sussed out the advantage of switching to fresh wet tyres halfway through Q3 as the rubber began to wear on the rapidly-drying track. From pole he clung on to the lead of the race and although his pursuers got close, they never quite forced him into defending his position.
Felipe Massa – Went off during Q2 and failed to progress to the final ten for the seventh time this year. His race was spoiled at the first corner where he damaged his front wing. Without a safety car to aid his progress, an unlapped 12th was the best he could realistically have managed from there.

Michael Schumacher – Did well to qualify fourth having only just made it into Q2. He started third partly thanks to Webber’s penalty. Made a solid effort at passing Vettel on the first lap but had to drop back and couldn’t keep Button behind. Passed Hulkenberg after his first pit stop but then fell victim to Raikkonen. Mercedes had to run a three-stop strategy which dropped him to seventh, and despite setting the race’s fastest lap he was unable to catch and re-pass the Saubers.
Nico Rosberg – As at Silverstone, couldn’t make it into Q3 in the wet session. A gearbox penalty on top of that meant he started on the 11th row. Ran a three-stop strategy and passed Di Resta for the final place in the points.

Kimi Raikkonen – Like Alonso, Raikkonen also switched tyres during Q3 in search of more grip, but he couldn’t find any. That left him tenth on the grid but he made progress early on, passing Di Resta in his first stint, then Hulkenberg and Schumacher. His pace dropped after that in his second stint on soft tyres. He looked quicker at the beginning of his final stint on mediums but wasn’t able to get on terms with the leading trio. Vettel’s penalty promoted him to third despite Raikkonen not having run higher than fourth all race.
Romain Grosjean – Wrestled with his car during qualifying, ending up a poor 15th which became 19th after a gearbox change penalty. Clipped the wing-less Massa on the first lap which damaged his car and forced an early pit stop. Never looked like making his way back into the race from there, his grim weekend was compounded when he ploughed through the gravel at turn 12.

Paul di Resta – Joined his team mate in the top ten in qualifying. Briefly troubled Raikkonen at the start to run eighth, which was as high up the order as he got. Ran a two-stop strategy to his team mate’s three and this might have cost him a point – he lost out to the three-stopping Rosberg who’d started 12 places behind him.
Nico Hulkenberg – Demonstrated his flair for wet qualifying sessions again, taking fourth on the grid (after Webber’s penalty) despite a frightening high-speed spin into the gravel caused by aquaplaning. He was always going to struggle to race that far up the field in the Force India, and was mugged by Schumacher and Raikkonen together at one point. Nor could he keep the two-stopping Saubers behind, leaving him ninth at the flag.

Sergio Perez, Sauber, Hockenheim, 2012Kamui Kobayashi – Was passed by his team mate early on but claimed the place back as he was able to run longer in his first stint. That paid off after his second stint, during which he impressively passes Webber’s Red Bull. Fifth at the flag, Vettel’s penalty promoted him to a career-best fourth.
Sergio Perez – Should have reached Q3 but went off at the hairpin in the Motodrom when he was on course for a top ten time. A penalty for holding up Alonso and Raikkonen – somewhat harsh given the conditions and the fact that both made it through to Q3 – sent him back even further. But he came storming back in the race, picking off a string of cars in the opening laps. He would surely have progressed further but damage forced an early first pit stop which compromised his strategy. Nonetheless, sixth was quite a recovery from 17th on the grid.

Daniel Ricciardo – After 67 laps of racing the Toro Rosso drivers came out of the final corner nose-to-tail, Ricciardo ahead by just 0.136s. He’d run a two-stopper to his team mate’s three and his medium tyres were suffering after 29 laps on them. Ricciardo started 11th but was passed by both Saubers on lap five and by Rosberg the lap after that.
Jean-Eric Vergne – Narrowly eliminated in Q1 by Schumacher, he reeled in his team mate in the final laps thanks to his fresher tyres but ran out of time to find a way past. Had he not made his first pit stop early due to a puncture he might well have finished ahead.

Pastor Maldonado – An anonymous weekend for Maldonado, though that was perhaps an improvement following his recent troubles. Did his usual solid job in qualifying and started fifth, but struggled with a damaged car after his first pit stop and quickly dropped out of the top ten.
Bruno Senna – Had to change his front wing following the first lap altercation, which left him last for 17 laps. Spent the final laps trying, unsuccessfully, to pass Petrov’s Caterham. However he did finish in front of Grosjean, having been 12 seconds behind him following their enforced early pit stops.

Heikki Kovalainen – Ran into trouble halfway through the race when his lap times began to climb as he reported a problem with the front of the car. He pitted for a new nose in an attempt to cure the problem, which left him 19th at the end.
Vitaly Petrov – Held off the recovering Senna for 16th place. Earlier in the race he accidentally let Hamilton pass him while being lapped by Alonso, but that became irrelevant when Hamilton retired anyway.

Pedro de la Rosa – Passed Glock for 21st place in the final laps as the Marussia hit trouble: “I had a lot of fun in today?s race. Everything went well, we maintained a good rhythm and the tyres held out without any problems, but above all I?m happy about the fight I put up on the track.”
Narain Karthikeyan – Was closer to de la Rosa than usual in qualifying and finished a third of a second behind Glock, who in turn was just five seconds behind the other HRT.

Timo Glock – Suffered a series of problems with his car during the race: “Since lap ten the balance of the car did not feel right and it became very difficult to drive. We struggled for top speed on the straights and then towards the end of the race there was a problem with the differential and the last few laps were so tough.”
Charles Pic – Led the HRTs home while Glock struggled and was 12 seconds behind the delayed Kovalainen at the end.

Qualifying and race results summary

Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 2nd -0.47s 67/67 2 5th -23.209s
Mark Webber 8th +0.47s 0/67 2 8th +23.209s
Jenson Button 6th -0.073s 56/56 2 2nd
Lewis Hamilton 7th +0.073s 0/56 3
Fernando Alonso 1st -1.691s 67/67 2 1st -71.428s
Felipe Massa 13th +1.691s 0/67 3 12th +71.428s
Michael Schumacher 3rd -3.541s 67/67 3 7th -19.919s
Nico Rosberg 21st +3.541s 0/67 3 10th +19.919s
Kimi Raikkonen 10th -0.845s 66/66 2 3rd Not on same lap
Romain Grosjean 19th +0.845s 0/66 3 18th Not on same lap
Paul di Resta 9th +1.388s 10/67 2 11th +11.065s
Nico Hulkenberg 4th -1.388s 57/67 3 9th -11.065s
Kamui Kobayashi 12th +0.052s 42/67 2 4th -5.971s
Sergio Perez 17th -0.052s 25/67 2 6th +5.971s
Daniel Ricciardo 11th -0.225s 54/67 2 13th -0.136s
Jean-Eric Vergne 15th +0.225s 13/67 3 14th +0.136s
Pastor Maldonado 5th -2.021s 66/66 3 15th -28.361s
Bruno Senna 14th +2.021s 0/66 3 17th +28.361s
Heikki Kovalainen 16th -0.911s 31/65 4 19th Not on same lap
Vitaly Petrov 18th +0.911s 34/65 3 16th Not on same lap
Pedro de la Rosa 23rd -0.318s 61/64 2 21st -5.483s
Narain Karthikeyan 24th +0.318s 3/64 2 23rd +5.483s
Timo Glock 22nd +0.071s 0/64 2 22nd Not on same lap
Charles Pic 20th -0.071s 64/64 2 20th Not on same lap

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 German Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (2%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (2%)
  • Jenson Button (13%)
  • Fernando Alonso (62%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Michael Schumacher (0%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (6%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (9%)
  • Sergio Perez (3%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Bruno Senna (0%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (0%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (1%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (0%)
  • Pedro de la Rosa (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Charles Pic (2%)

Total Voters: 524

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2012 German Grand Prix

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Images ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Sauber F1 Team

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77 comments on Vote for the best driver of the German GP weekend

  1. Yobo01 (@yobo01) said on 23rd July 2012, 18:24

    Hulkenberg. I think he did a very good job this weekend. P5 in quali is surely good enough, considering that Di Resta started in P9.
    His car was very slow, actually. But he always defended really well, especially against Perez.
    He did too much considering his car, so driver of the weekend for me. And I’m quite surprised that only a couple of F1fanatics noticed that.

    Obviously Alonso was perfect during this weekend, but it’s clear that he is going to win the poll, so I decided to give my vote to a different driver.

  2. Overwatch (@overwatch) said on 23rd July 2012, 18:41

    Clearly it is Alonso, then Kobayashi, Button, Raikonnen for race and Schumacher with Hülkenberg for quali.

  3. I Love the Pope said on 23rd July 2012, 19:20

    We almost need a “Best Driver Who Did Not Win” category.

    If it existed, I would have voted for Kobayashi.

  4. JupiterX (@jupiterx) said on 23rd July 2012, 20:14

    A flawless weekend for Alonso: negotiated the tricky qualifying conditions (and Massa during Q2) to put the Ferrari on pole; made a clean start; managed his tyres through the stints and ultimately controlled the pace of the race. Particularly impressive was his ability to consistently deliver a fast sector 1 time to stay just out of reach of his pursuers at the DRS zone.

    Also strong race performances by both Sauber drivers and Button, although I wonder if Button extracted all the pace that was available from the McLaren upgrades.

  5. Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 23rd July 2012, 20:15

    It’s Fernando once again. Really clever driving under pressure meant he never had to really defend while he also preserved his tyres. He really is the complete package, and he’s never been better than he is now.

    Honourable mentions to Button and Kobayashi who also drove excellent races.

  6. Hallard (@hallard) said on 23rd July 2012, 20:18

    I actually thought that Lewis drove an excellent race. In spite of the unlucky puncture, he raced tenaciously at the back of the grid, and his un-lapping move on Vettel was one of the true highlights of the race. I can imagine Hamilton thinking at the time: “Well I may be a lap down due to a puncture now, but I’m gonna race the leaders anyways… for the hell of it”. Of course, he wasnt really a factor in qualifying or the race, even if he was very quick at times, so I cant vote for him.

    Button drove an excellent race, and to climb to second from sixth was most impressive. Also, he outqualified Hamilton for the first time this year, which is impressive. If it were just driver of the race, I might have voted for him.

    Raikkonen and Kobayashi were also very impressive, and I would have loved to see what they could accomplish from further up the grid, but neither were able to do much on saturday in the tricky conditions.

    Meanwhile Vettel was seriously ragged, and almost reminded me of his Silverstone 2010 drive, when it seemed like he’d just lost his cool. A poorly-judged illegal pass on Button sealed his fate, but the inconceivable arrogance shown by him and Horner after the race in their comments towards Hamilton certainly didnt help his case.

    Alonso? Well, he was in control, full stop. He controlled qualifying in what looked like very, very tricky conditions. He controlled the race with an excellent start, and subsequently withstood pressure from Vettel and Button (and even Hamilton to a lesser extent) for a hard-earned victory. The most impressive part of Fernando’s performance, for me, was his defense against Button. Even though Button closed the gap and got within DRS range, Alonso didnt let him past, but also didnt drive the tires off his car trying to escape button. Which meant that he was in a good position all the way to the checkered flag. It was very calculating, and very effective, which really epitomizes Alonso’s driving this year altogether. Either way, he is DOTW for me, by quite a margin.

  7. Lord Stig (@lord-stig) said on 23rd July 2012, 20:36

    I don’t like Alonso at all, but this was a super drive. He was able to master the wet conditions in Q3, while others (such as Raikkonen) faltered. His pace carried into the race and was able to control the race from the front. His tire preservation in the first stint was excellent. Although I don’t think the Ferrari is the fastest car Alonso makes it seems like it is.

  8. Fixy (@fixy) said on 23rd July 2012, 21:56

    Do we have any choice? I’m almost sorry for Kobayashi who was amazing, but Alonso is perfect.

  9. ME4ME (@me4me) said on 23rd July 2012, 22:15

    Alonso. Looked confident right from FP1 and trough the weekend. Didn’t mess up, and simply delivered.

  10. Umar Majid (@um1234) said on 23rd July 2012, 22:43

    so my top 4 was right in the predictions. right up until vettel overtook button, damn!

  11. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 23rd July 2012, 23:04

    Perez got my vote. I knew both guys had a good race at Sauber but even after his penalty he delivered and bagged some valuable points. A great demonstration of how to look after your tyres once again.

  12. Daniel Brown (@scuderiaferrarifanatic) said on 23rd July 2012, 23:12

    Got to be Alonso, once again his performance was faultless and nobody else really stood out that much.

    Alonso really only has to win a few more times, and pick up points in every race, to maintain some cushion over the Bulls.

    But it could all change so fast. Nothing is final yet. A DNF for ALO with VET or WEB winning would change everything.

  13. plushpile (@plushpile) said on 24th July 2012, 1:09

    I expect Alonso to walk this one in, clearly the class driver of the weekend.

  14. Estesark (@estesark) said on 24th July 2012, 8:00

    It really is difficult to look past Alonso for this vote. Honourable mentions go to Jenson Button, Kimi Räikkönen and Kamui Kobayashi.

  15. MW (@) said on 24th July 2012, 8:12

    I was curious to see if Button would pip Alonso in this one.. It was a great race from him and great to see him back at the front end, showing his ability as a racer..
    Keith’s description of Alonso’s “Mastery” is bang on though, he’s a clear winner IMHO.

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