Vote for the best driver of the Hungarian GP weekend

2012 Hungarian Grand Prix

Start, Hungaroring, 2012Which F1 driver had the best race weekend in Hungary?

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

Driver notes

Sebastian Vettel – Following the team’s struggles on Friday, third place on the grid was a good result, especially as his team mate failed to reach Q3.

Attempting to wrest second place of Grosjean at the start lost him a place to Button and consigned him to a frustrating two stints stuck behind the McLaren, which led to him imploring his team to “do something” on the radio. They gambled on a late extra pit stop which nearly cost him a place to Alonso.

He wasn’t able to catch the leaders but had Narain Karthikeyan’s retirement produced a safety car instead of a permanent yellow flag he could have had a very exciting end to the race.

Mark Webber – Missed out on Q3 but a superb start (how often do we say that about Webber?) put him on course for a damage-limiting drive. His final pit stop cost him three places including one to championship leader Alonso.

While Webber thought he could’ve made it to the end without a further stop, team principal Christian Horner said his differential problem made it necessary.

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2012Jenson Button – Fourth on the grid was his best since Bahrain but he was over six tenths of a second slower than Hamilton.

He didn’t have his team mate’s pace in the opening stint either, falling almost nine seconds behind in the first 14 laps. He managed his tyres better in the second stint and reduced the gap to Hamilton, so he was frustrated by how early his second pit stop was.

Worse, it dropped him behind Senna (as the team cannot have failed to anticipate it would) and ultimately cost him a podium. His admission that he was “not happy with the strategy after the race” suggests he will have some frank things to say about the team sacrificing track position for an unusable performance advantage at a circuit where passing is so tough.

Lewis Hamilton – Hamilton was hooked up in the revised MP4-27 right from the word go. But for Webber pipping him by less than a tenth of a second on Saturday morning, he would have headed every session including all three parts of qualifying.

The latter was essential to his victory chances as it allowed him to preserve two sets of new medium tyres to resist the challenge from the Lotus duo. His win was not as dominant as it looked like it might be on Saturday, and it breathed life into his flagging championship hopes.

Fernando Alonso – Damage limitation was the name of the game in Hungary and as usual Alonso did the best he could. He made one of the race’s few passing moves, taking Perez after his first pit stop before the Sauber had come in. Keeping Raikkonen behind probably wasn’t realistic but beating Webber and increasing his championship lead was the best he could have hoped for.

Felipe Massa – Closer to Alonso than usual, particularly in qualifying. But he fell behind Senna at the start and never looked like getting back in front of the Williams. Indeed, he dropped far enough back that Webber was able to come out of the pits between them, further evidence that Massa is falling short even in the diminished role of a ‘number two’ driver at the moment.

Michael Schumacher – Crashed in a wet second practice session on Friday for the second weekend running, though this appeared to be a case of misfortune, skidding off when the track was at its wettest.

He was last in Q2, leaving him 17th, but made the unusual mistake of lining up 19th at the start. He then switched his engine off when the restart was given and picked up a puncture when he was pushed into the pits.

Having completed a slow first lap he returned to the pits to change his tyres – and broke the speed limit, collecting a drive-through penalty. Adding insult to injury, the team then lost the telemetry on his car. They retired him short of the 90% classification distance so he can change his gearbox at the next race without a penalty – the only consolation from an awful weekend.

Nico Rosberg – Rosberg’s trouble-free run served to underline that Mercedes were nowhere on pace in Hungary, Schumacher’s dramas notwithstanding. Rosberg started 13th and climbed up to tenth to take the final point.

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Hungaroring, 2012Kimi Raikkonen – A less-than-perfect qualifying lap and losing a place to Alonso on lap one were the two things that kept Raikkonen from victory. A problem with his KERS following the delayed start contributed to the latter – Raikkonen had to ask his team how to reset it, something he had also had to do during practice.

After that he demonstrated excellent pace in the Lotus again, especially when he enjoyed sustained clear air in his second stint, which allowed him to claim second at the expense of his team mate. Couldn’t get close enough to Hamilton to test his rival’s defences.

Romain Grosjean – Friday looked like a continuation of his dodgy weekend from Germany. So he reverted to an earlier set-up and was back on form on Saturday, claiming his first ever front row start.

Having rebuffed Vettel at turn one he went after Hamilton and despite a few scruffy corners on laps 25 and 26, kept the pressure on the McLaren. Alonso running long on his second stint and Schumacher’s reluctance to obey blue flags cost him second to his team mate – Grosjean was perhaps wise not to force the issue when Raikkonen appeared on the inside of him at turn one on lap 46.

Paul di Resta – The contest between the two Force India drivers remains one of the closest in the field. Di Resta was only 0.16s slower than his team mate in Q2, and finished a little over five seconds behind him.

Di Resta felt the car was capable of better than 12th: “My race was compromised by a poor start and I lost a few positions going into turn one. I had the same issue in Germany last week so we need to understand how we can improve that going forward because it?s hurting our track position.”

Nico Hulkenberg – Ran the same strategy as his team mate except that he had to start on used tyres, having made it into Q3. His tyres went off towards the end of the race but his team mate behind was grappling with the same problem.

Kamui Kobayashi – After Sauber took their biggest points haul of the season in Germany, Hungary was a non-race for them. “We have simply been too slow here,” sad Kobayashi. “We have been struggling all weekend, especially with the medium tyre compound.”

Kobayashi was squeezed wide at the start, dropping back four places to 19th. From there the team tried to salvage his race with an early pit stop, but that forced a long middle stint on the very tyres Sauber were having the most trouble with. Having recovered his place in front of the Toro Rossos an hydraulic leak ended his race early.

Sergio Perez – Sauber explored the possibility of running a one-stop strategy for Perez, delaying his first pit stop until lap 21. He couldn’t make the tyres last long enough, but ended the race catching the struggling Force Indias hand over fist.

Daniel Ricciardo – Once again the Toro Rossos were just behind the midfield battle. Unusually it was Ricciardo who went out in Q3 this time but he got ahead of his team mate at the start and finished there, albeit 45 seconds behind the next car and lapped.

Jean-Eric Vergne – Had to make an extra pit stop on the 65th lap to clear rubbish from his sidepod which was causing overheating.

Bruno Senna, Williams, Hungaroring, 2012Pastor Maldonado – Made a poor start from eighth and fell to 12th place. Made an attempt to pass Di Resta at turn 12 on lap 47 which ended in contact and resulted in a drive-through penalty for Maldonado which ended his hope of scoring points.

Bruno Senna – Reached Q3 for the first time and made a brilliant start, briefly getting ahead of both Ferraris. But he was out-accelerated from turn one by Alonso and Webber.

Nonetheless he kept Massa behind until the flag and was little troubled by either Button or Webber who briefly appeared behind him as well – the latter staying there.

Heikki Kovalainen – Within a few tenths of beating Ricciardo in Q1 but the Caterham was well over half a second off being able to reach Q2 on merit. Could do little more than watch the Toro Rossos pull away during the race.

Vitaly Petrov – A mistake at turn 11 left him over half a second slower than Kovalainen in qualifying. Wasn’t as happy with the balance of his car in the race: “The car felt very different to how it performed in qualifying and we need to go back and look at the data to try and understand why. It?s a bit strange as we had definitely improved it over the weekend, but in the race it just didn?t feel the same”

Pedro de la Rosa – Had a close race with Glock, finishing half-a-second behind the Marussia. “At the end I had Glock in my sights and he was blocking his tyres a lot, but the race finished before I could overtake him. The blue flags didn?t help much either and this time I was unable to pull it off.”

Narain Karthikeyan – Clos drove his car again in first practice which was a particular disadvantage at a track which he didn’t race at last year. His car was compromised by extra holes cut in its bodywork to aid cooling.

He crashed out late in the race when his car failed: “With five laps to go, the car was steering to the right, it was getting worse, and coming out of turn three the steering broke, so we have to figure out what happened exactly.”

Timo Glock – Was unhappy with the balance of his car. An early spin compromised his race and left him under attack from De la Rosa.

Charles Pic – Impressively beat Glock in a straight fight, both out-qualifying and out-racing his more experienced team mate.

Qualifying and race results summary

Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 3rd -0.308s 65/69 3 4th -22.844s
Mark Webber 11th +0.308s 4/69 3 8th +22.844s
Jenson Button 4th +0.63s 0/69 3 6th +30.243s
Lewis Hamilton 1st -0.63s 69/69 2 1st -30.243s
Fernando Alonso 6th -0.056s 68/69 2 5th -11.697s
Felipe Massa 7th +0.056s 1/69 2 9th +11.697s
Michael Schumacher 17th +0.828s 0/58 2
Nico Rosberg 13th -0.828s 58/58 2 10th
Kimi Raikkonen 5th +0.364s 31/69 2 2nd -9.486s
Romain Grosjean 2nd -0.364s 38/69 2 3rd +9.486s
Paul di Resta 12th +0.16s 1/69 2 12th +5.604s
Nico Hulkenberg 10th -0.16s 68/69 2 11th -5.604s
Kamui Kobayashi 15th +0.405s 0/67 2 18th Not on same lap
Sergio Perez 14th -0.405s 67/67 2 14th Not on same lap
Daniel Ricciardo 18th +0.451s 68/68 3 15th -20.237s
Jean-Eric Vergne 16th -0.451s 0/68 4 16th +20.237s
Pastor Maldonado 8th -0.404s 0/69 2 13th +29.707s
Bruno Senna 9th +0.404s 69/69 2 7th -29.707s
Heikki Kovalainen 19th -0.591s 66/67 3 17th Not on same lap
Vitaly Petrov 20th +0.591s 1/67 3 19th Not on same lap
Pedro de la Rosa 23rd -0.262s 60/60 2 22nd
Narain Karthikeyan 24th +0.262s 0/60 2
Timo Glock 22nd +0.232s 0/66 2 21st Not on same lap
Charles Pic 21st -0.232s 66/66 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 Hungarian Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (1%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (55%)
  • Jenson Button (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (3%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Michael Schumacher (2%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (30%)
  • Romain Grosjean (2%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Bruno Senna (6%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (0%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (0%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (0%)
  • Pedro de la Rosa (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Charles Pic (1%)

Total Voters: 597

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2012 Hungarian Grand Prix

Browse all 2012 Hungarian Grand Prix articles

Images ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei, McLaren/Hoch Zwei, Lotus F1 Team/LAT, Williams/LAT

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114 comments on Vote for the best driver of the Hungarian GP weekend

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  1. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 30th July 2012, 13:34

    Easy one again. Lewis.

  2. McGregski (@mcgregski) said on 30th July 2012, 13:39

    This is too easy, Lewis was on it all weekend, drove his heart out in the race and got the result he needed to

  3. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 30th July 2012, 13:39

    Another clear decision: Hamilton. On it all weekend. From FP1, he nailed everything together, and by qualifying, he was far ahead of the competition.

    Special mention to Senna. He had a very strong weekend. And Kimi too, ofc, his race pace was blistering: sad he qualified so far back!

  4. Dimitris 1395 (@) said on 30th July 2012, 13:39

    I would vote Raikkonen but you can’t look behind the winner

  5. 91jb12 (@91jb12) said on 30th July 2012, 13:39

    Lewis, but I voted for Pic because it deserves a mention.
    Lapped Glock, was keeping Petrov in sight, doing extremely capable laptimes, especially in his 2nd stint (1:28s and 29s).
    It even made a few people mention it on forums I go on, so it must have been impressive

    Lewis was faultless and was the only other candidate, and he;ll probably walk this poll but Pic deserves some praise too.

  6. matt90 (@matt90) said on 30th July 2012, 13:42

    Hamilton- he dominated the race and qualifying, soaking up pressure from the Lotus’. His only notable mistake was a poor first corner, but thankfully that came after a fantastic start. I also considered Raikkonen (might have won had he done better in qualifying, so despite a great race he cost himself victory), Grosjean (great qualifying, but didn’t do enough to trouble Hamilton, and was passed by Raikkonen who was faster when it counted), and Senna (he had a good race for the first time in a while, but it was good not spectacular, and only of note due to his poor recent performance).

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 30th July 2012, 13:46

      Actually, saying Senna’s race was good but not spectacular seems a little unfair, seeing as he was the highest placed driver outside what seem to now be the top 4 teams, and he took pressure from Button very well. But still, I would probably only rank him as the 4th best driver of the weekend.

      • Not intending to take anything from Senna – he’s had a great weekend, but I have to agree: not spectacular. He took pressure from Button and Webber very well but on a track where overtaking is virtually impossible anyway.

        Plus, we all know by know that the Williams is a fast car that has been drawn back all season by its underperforming drivers. Williams belongs there in the upper midfield with a chance to snatch points off Massa, Webber, Button or Grosjean once every couple of races..

        I’d say Senna had a good weekend in Hungary, as most of the other weekends should be for him and Williams, and hopefully he will keep this kind of performance up. This looks like a fair statement to me, rather than something involving words like “spectacular” or “outstanding”.

        • Jon (@patomilan) said on 30th July 2012, 18:49

          I believe that now he has 6 point finishes as opposed to 2 by Maldonado and 5 from his closest rivals from Sauber and Force India. He doesn’t have spectacular races but he is slightly more consistent than his rivals and much more consistent than Maldonado. I’m not saying you guys are criticizing him but he doesn’t deserve the bashing he receives from many people.

          • Jon (@patomilan) said on 30th July 2012, 18:52

            We also have to consider that he only gets one practice session on Fridays which sort of explains his poor qualifying…

          • Eleanore (@leucocrystal) said on 31st July 2012, 6:08

            Agreed. Also, he was one of the few to pull off a pass on track in Hungary (as opposed to overtaking via pit stops), a very nice move on Perez around the outside of turn 2.

        • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 30th July 2012, 21:18

          I think in this Pirelli era it’s hard to judge drivers and cars. The optimum is so small, we even see tyre-master Jenson suffer.

          For some reason people always ‘blamed’ Vettel’s performances on driving the best car, but now they say that Maldonado and Senna are bad and not the car.

          It’s probably in between…

          Senna came back from a bad period and showed racecraft in defending from Button, driving just that other line in turn 2 – 4 to make sure Button could do nothing. And he did well even after giving his car to Bottas again.

          I voted for Bruno.

        • clay (@clay) said on 30th July 2012, 23:26

          I reckon you’re on to something about how good the 2012 Williams is – just imagine how it could have gone if Kimi had signed for them like we all were thinking late last year…

          • Antonio Nartea (@tony031r) said on 31st July 2012, 2:03

            That car still looks like it could have the potential to be fighting with Mercedes and Sauber for 5th in the WDC, in my humble opinion.

            And this is the reason why I would avoid describing Senna’s weekend as “amazing”. He did not perform above the capabilities of the car. He finally matched those capabilities. Describing his weekend as “astonishing” or what-not would only look like praising someone for finally doing their job right…

            Plus, it’s not Senna’s potential of shining on some of the tracks we should be looking at. It’s his consistency rates. Hungaroring could have been a turning point in his season or it might have been a one off performance. We don’t know yet. Spa will hopefully reveal that.

            And as far as the drivers go, I’ve said it before: Kimi is better off at Lotus but Williams would have been in a very good position now with two drivers like Barrichello and Sutil in those seats.

          • Drop Valencia! said on 31st July 2012, 10:19

            But the thing is Kimi wasn’t bringing 30 million dollars, the Williams would be slow without Maldo.

      • xeroxpt (@) said on 31st July 2012, 17:36

        Sennas only quality is his well measured aggresiveness, that’s not enough for any F1 team, he is consitently slower than his team mates. People really want to see the Senna name in F1 even if Bruno family name is Lalli, Brazils economy is flying therefore alot of brands are using him to sell their products he has so much sponsoring that he’ll always find a way to stay in F1 especially if the grid remains as brazilianless as now.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 31st July 2012, 5:45

      @matt90, we say it was a bad 1st. corner but I am not so sure, by braking late and going deep he minimized the chance of being taken out by someone making a kamakazi dive down the inside and I suspect this may have been on his mind.

  7. smifaye (@smifaye) said on 30th July 2012, 13:45

    Lewis Hamilton for me. Stuck it on pole by quite a large margin and drove a great race even with McLaren almost mucking it up for him. It was just the result he needed to mount a championship charge after the summer break.

    He sounded calm in his car on the team radio and his pace versus Buttons pace shows how well he did.

  8. the_sigman (@sigman1998) said on 30th July 2012, 13:45

    Raikkonen, he gained 4 places at the second stint.

  9. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 30th July 2012, 13:46

    Has to be Hamilton really. Raikkonen had a great weekend but Hamilton’s win was pretty much never in doubt from the first practice session. He’ll need a few more of those this year though if he’s going to have a hope of winning the championship.

  10. I’m gonna go sideways here and say Raikkonen.

    Of course Lewis is the obvious choice but, as a viewer I feel he failed to do one thing – provide an element of surprise. Raikkonen on the other hand did that, with an amazing second stint, plus he finally managed to locate the (almost) full potential in that Lotus. That has to count.

    • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 30th July 2012, 13:57

      Raikkonen probably would have been my choice, but he was out-qualified by Grosjean. He maximised the performance of the car during the race, but Grosjean’s qualifying time tells us there was more speed in the car than he was able to extract. Had he put in a similar qualifying performance to his teammate, he may well have won the race. Ultimately, Kimi drove a great race, but clearly he didn’t achieve as much as the car was capable of. For that reason I don’t think he had as successful a day as Hamilton.

      • sorin (@) said on 30th July 2012, 14:38

        No… For Raikkonen, the race was exacly what happened in Bahrain. He used less tyres than Grosjean in quali(with a disadvantage of some position at start). As a result, in the race, at the second stint, Grosjean had used soft tyres from quali. At the second stint, Raikkonen had new soft tyres, but he waited the drivers in front to go to pits, meanwhile he didn’t abuse of his tyres, and when Button got to pits, he started the rampage with that tyres. He gained 7 seconds by all of the drivers who were in front. That’s why he gain 4 position, and for sure because he is very fast. So if you want to really compare Grosjean and Raikkonen in quali you should see how much tyres they use. And, he didn’t win not because Hamilton was fast, because overtaking with a lotus a newly upgraded mclaren in a the worst circuit in overtaking after monaco is imposible. Raikkonen, by far for me.

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 30th July 2012, 13:58

      Raikkonen’s qualification was horrible though. It clearly (with hindsight) cost him the race win.

    • Jake (@jleigh) said on 30th July 2012, 22:12

      seems a little harsh to mark someone down for being so brilliant the whole weekend it was no surprise at all to see him win.

      • Antonio Nartea (@tony031r) said on 31st July 2012, 1:30

        It’s also harsh to mark Raikkonen down for not winning even though he posted insanely good lap times for half the race, went through his second set of tyres like no one else on track and provided the main spotlight in an utterly boring race. It could go either way.

        Hamilton was brilliant in Hungary but Raikkonen posted just as good of a performance. It’s a matter of choice from here on, to be honest, nothing more. :)

        • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 31st July 2012, 8:48

          Why is it even driver of the weekend and not just driver of the race? Is it because of the great haul of points you get during Friday practice, or even qualifying? It’s ony the race that truly matters.

          • Girts (@girts) said on 31st July 2012, 9:05

            @Kingshark You’re right by saying that it’s the final result that matters but a driver’s performance in FP & particularly qualifying sessions seriously impacts his prospects on Sunday. For instance, Raikkonen was probably the most impressive driver of the race but he buried his chances to win the race on Saturday by having an insufficiently good qualifying result. Moreover, it could happen that a driver shines in qualifying but has to retire on the 1st lap because of a car failure or if someone else takes him out.

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 31st July 2012, 9:06

            Because if you based it solely on how they perform during the race, then the driver of the race will always be the winner won’t it. This poll is about looking at individual performance regardless of finishing position. Taking into account the job the driver does through the practice sessions and qualifying, since these are integral parts of what makes a driver a good driver. By taking this into account you can also go some way to negating the performance differential between the cars; you can see how consistent the performance is over the weekend. So if a driver gets consistent times through practice, beats his teammate in qualifying, and then puts in a solid, mistake-free performance in the race, then that driver has had a great weekend. Even if they finished 20th.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 31st July 2012, 9:11

            @kingshark

            Why is it even driver of the weekend and not just driver of the race?

            Because qualifying is a competitive session.

            It seems odd to come off the back of the race such as this one where track position was everything and dispute the importance of qualifying.

  11. SirCoolbeans (@sircoolbeans) said on 30th July 2012, 13:48

    Lewis and Bruno Senna for me. They both performed well throughout the weekend.

  12. Girts (@girts) said on 30th July 2012, 13:55

    I voted for Bruno Senna. It’s hard to know what the Williams car was really capable of this weekend but he impressively outpaced Maldonado, who’s often lacked intelligence but never the speed. Moreover, Senna managed to leave two championship contenders’ cars, one Red Bull and one Ferrari, behind him. It’s too early to declare this a turning point in his career but the whole weekend must have been very encouraging for Bruno.

  13. robbiepblake (@driftin) said on 30th July 2012, 13:57

    Hamilton, easily. Fastest in all but one of the practice sessions, fastest in all three qualifying sessions, lead the entire race from pole, and despite having a lot of pressure applied on him from Raikkonen and Grosjean, kept his composure and made that win look effortless.

    • sorin (@) said on 30th July 2012, 14:51

      The pressure was not so big, not because Raikkonen or Grosjean weren’t fast, because circuit is not for overtaking at all. For Hamilton was the same as for Webber in Monaco.

      • Gill Parry (@welshwitch) said on 6th August 2012, 16:59

        Sorry, but the lotus WAS faster, also it’s a difficult circuit to overtake on but not impossible and certainly nowhere near as bad as Monaco, other drivers managed to overtake, so no excuse really.

  14. Pedro Costa (@pnunocosta) said on 30th July 2012, 13:58

    A close call between Hamilton and Raikkonen, the British was always in the front all weekend so it would be unfair not to give him my vote, however Raikkonen made a fantastic race, was always on the top places in practice and qualifying and recovered a 15 s disadvantage to the leader mainly in the second stint, and on a “normal” track he would have won this race.
    My mind says Hamilton and my heart Raikkonen, but as I criticize others who vote on their favourite driver despite the track performance I can not do the same so Hamilton it is.

  15. ledzep4pm (@ledzep4pm) said on 30th July 2012, 14:00

    Kimi was best on Sunday, he produced a great drive (if not a little thwarted by the inherent difficulty in overtaking at the Hungaroring). But across the whole weekend it could only be Lewis, fastest in FP1 and FP2, nearly top in FP3, dominant in Quali and a Race win, not far from a perfect weekend.

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