Vote for your Belgian GP Driver of the Weekend

2012 Belgian Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen, Spa-Francorchamps, 2012Which F1 driver had the best race weekend in Belgium?

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

Driver notes

Sebastian Vettel – Missed out on Q3 for the second time this year, by just 0.012s. Held up by the first-corner crash he fell to 12th but passed several cars including his team mate and Felipe Massa. Avoided pitting at the same time as Michael Schumacher and ran long, successfully completing the race with a single stop to take second place.
Mark Webber – Out-qualified Vettel but a gearbox change penalty dropped him back behind. Having got ahead at the start he struggled to slipstream past Senna with his inferior straight-line speed and ended up being passed by Vettel and Massa. Quick-thinking in the pits allowed him to avoid a penalty for an unsafe release.

Jenson Button – Opting to stick with McLaren’s new wing was clearly the right way to go and earned Button his first pole position in three years. He controlled the race from there.
Lewis Hamilton – Struggled with the old wing in qualifying and made a couple of mistakes in Q3 which left him seventh on the grid. Didn’t make a great start but was blameless when he was hit from the left by Grosjean, triggering the first-corner crash.

Fernando Alonso – Did his usual damage limiting job in qualifying but had no chance to do so in the race when he was taken out. His first no-score in 24 races.
Felipe Massa – Gave Ferrari some cheer by salvaging fifth, passing Webber on the way, after qualifying poorly. His lap times at the beginning of his second stint looked particularly encouraging for the team.

Michael Schumacher – In the points at his 300th Grand Prix appearance despite being slowed by a problem with sixth gear. Put a great move on Raikkonen early in the race and hung on doggedly with his DRS later on. Was judged not to have done anything wrong when he pitted while dicing with Vettel.
Nico Rosberg – His weekend was ruined when his car failed five laps into the only dry practice session. A gearbox change and a mis-timed final run in Q1 left him 23rd on the grid. Like his team mate he abandoned his attempt to make a one-stop strategy work. Caught Di Resta at the end but ran out of time to pass him for the final point.

Kimi Raikkonen – Lotus’s promised pace never materialised: Raikkonen started and finished third. The scrapping of the team’s Double DRS ‘device’ after the wet practice didn’t help matters, but the E20’s usual strong race pace was not in evidence. “My car wasn?t great all weekend and we couldn?t find a competitive setup,” he said. “On new tyres it was okay, but we had to use a lot of downforce to prevent sliding. ”
Romain Grosjean – Said his collision with Hamilton was an honest mistake arising from his mistaken belief he was completely ahead of the McLaren. That he admitted the error and accepted his punishment is to his credit, but it wasn’t his first such collision this year and his one-race ban will surely impress upon him the need to be more careful in future. There are other drivers who need to learn the same lesson.

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Spa-Francorchamps, 2012Paul di Resta – Elevated to fourth by the first-lap crash but knew from the start he faced a tough race without KERS. This made him an easy target for several drivers and he ended up slipping to tenth.
Nico Hulkenberg – Started on hard tyres and impressively passed Raikkonen after the restart to run second. He couldn’t keep the Lotus behind on raw pace, nor Vettel’s one-stopping Red Bull, but he raced well with Schumacher and hung on for a career-best fourth.

Kamui Kobayashi – An excellent qualifying performance turned out to be for naught. Managed to finish the race despite a significant amount of damage to his car.
Sergio Perez – Third place was on the cards in qualifying had he repeated his Q2 time in Q3 – as it was he started fourth. Was also eliminated in the Grosjean crash.

Daniel Ricciardo – Ricciardo moved up to sixth after the crash then passed Di Resta for fifth. But his pace slackened when he switched to hard tyres for his last two stints and he was passed by Vergne. Nonetheless, he equalled his best result so far with ninth.
Jean-Eric Vergne – His engine went into anti-stall at the start which proved to be a blessing in disguise as it kept him out of the first corner melee. He emerged in seventh behind Ricciardo. Lost time behind Rosberg on two occasions but nipped past his team mate to take eighth.

Pastor Maldonado – Qualified third but a penalty for impeding Hulkenberg dropped him to sixth. His jump start evoked memories of Olivier Grouillard’s 20 years ago. It put him in the firing line of the first-corner crash, and although he was able to keep going he then crashed into Glock at the restart ending his race. He picked up three penalties in one weekend and carries two of them on to Monza.
Bruno Senna – Spun in qualifying, damaging his front wing and ending up 17th on the grid. Was coming under pressure from the Toro Rossos for eighth when a slow puncture forced a pit stop which dropped him out of the points.

Timo Glock, Marussia, Spa-Francorchamps, 2012Heikki Kovalainen – Had a scruffy race including a spin and a half-spin at Pouhon. A slow getaway from his first pit stop led to him clipping Narain Karthikeyan’s HRT. The team were fined ??10,000.
Vitaly Petrov – Finished 14th despite a slow first pit stop.

Pedro de la Rosa – Comfortably ahead of his team mate as usual, he fell behind the delayed Kovalainen three laps from the end and finished last.
Narain Karthikeyan – Moved up to 14th at the start before slipping behind the Caterhams and Kobayashi. Might have had a chance of beating de la Rosa but he crashed out at Stavelot when his front-left wheel came off after the nut had been cross-threaded during his pit stop.

Timo Glock – Pronounced himself “very happy” after taking 15th following a spirited dice with his team mate. Glock was especially pleased with Marussia’s upgrade: “It was great to be really ‘racing’ again after some very positive steps forward for the team. Not only have we brought some strong updates to the car, the team have worked really hard to get on top of the problem I experienced in the last few races and here it looked positive.” Team principal John Booth felt Glock would have had an even better race had he not been hit by Maldonado at the restart.
Charles Pic – The only driver apart from the top two finishers to complete the race with a single stop, Pic said he struggled with tyre degradation.

Qualifying and race results summary

Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 10th +0.246s 31/44 1 2nd -17.62s
Mark Webber 12th -0.246s 13/44 2 6th +17.62s
Jenson Button 1st -0.821s 0/0 1 1st
Lewis Hamilton 7th +0.821s 0/0 0
Fernando Alonso 5th -0.549s 0/0 0
Felipe Massa 14th +0.549s 0/0 2 5th
Michael Schumacher 13th -0.439s 44/44 2 7th -11.737s
Nico Rosberg 23rd +0.439s 0/44 2 11th +11.737s
Kimi Raikkonen 3rd -0.333s 0/0 2 3rd
Romain Grosjean 8th +0.333s 0/0 0
Paul di Resta 9th -0.126s 0/44 2 10th +35.94s
Nico Hulkenberg 11th +0.126s 44/44 2 4th -35.94s
Kamui Kobayashi 2nd -0.348s 0/0 3 13th
Sergio Perez 4th +0.348s 0/0 0
Daniel Ricciardo 16th +0.189s 26/44 2 9th +4.117s
Jean-Eric Vergne 15th -0.189s 18/44 2 8th -4.117s
Pastor Maldonado 6th -1.308s 0/4 1
Bruno Senna 17th +1.308s 4/4 2 12th
Heikki Kovalainen 18th -0.228s 7/43 2 17th +56.574s
Vitaly Petrov 19th +0.228s 36/43 2 14th -56.574s
Pedro de la Rosa 21st -1.959s 3/29 3 18th
Narain Karthikeyan 24th +1.959s 26/29 2
Timo Glock 20th -1.157s 17/43 2 15th -15.574s
Charles Pic 22nd +1.157s 26/43 1 16th +15.574s

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 Belgian Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (20%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (0%)
  • Jenson Button (53%)
  • Fernando Alonso (1%)
  • Felipe Massa (2%)
  • Michael Schumacher (3%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (5%)
  • Romain Grosjean (4%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (9%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (1%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Bruno Senna (1%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (0%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (0%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (0%)
  • Pedro de la Rosa (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Charles Pic (1%)

Total Voters: 571

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Rate the Race: Belgian Grand Prix

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2012 Belgian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Force India F1 Team, Marussia

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148 comments on Vote for your Belgian GP Driver of the Weekend

  1. Bazil (@bazil) said on 3rd September 2012, 13:58

    Vettel. He was way down the order yet made a 1 stop work even though he was at front running pace throughout the race and had to pass cars on track, something that a 1 stopper usually rules out. Schumacher tried the same but couldn’t make it work and Webber was nowhere, even after out qualifying him and on a strategy that should have seen him posting quicker lap times than Vettel, which helped to outline how much of a good job Vettel did.

    The Mclaren won that race, not Button – you don’t go from being convincingly beaten by your team-mate to being much quicker than him without something changing somewhere – the rear wing… If both Hamilton and Button had the rear wing and the performance gap remained the same, it would have helped Button’s case, but alas no.

    Raikkonen did a great job even though he clearly lacked everything in sectors 1 and 2, he made a truly calculated move on Schumacher (which in retrospect was futile as Schumacher pitted twice anyway, but he didn’t know that at the time), but results wise ended where he started even though Kobayashi ahead of him was taken out. A 1 stop wouldn’t have helped him either so you could argue this was the theoretical maximum for Raikkonen.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 15th September 2012, 10:17

      @bazil

      If both Hamilton and Button had the rear wing and the performance gap remained the same, it would have helped Button’s case, but alas no.

      But they didn’t, and that wasn’t down to chance. Button chose what was probably the correct wing and reaped the benefits. If he won the race by making the right decision after final practice then he deserves credit for that, because Hamilton had the same opportunity but went the other way.

  2. Tinakori Road (@tinakori-road) said on 3rd September 2012, 14:06

    Jenson had the best car this weekend and is an obvious choice, but to me, Vettel passing 10 cars in the race with a car that was off the McLaren’s pace is more indicative of the best. Kimi’s pass of Schumacher on lap 33 after the DRS detection zone and on the outside of Eau Rouge so he could pull away in the DRS zone was best tactical and racing pass of the race.

  3. JCost (@jcost) said on 3rd September 2012, 14:08

    Easy one. Jenson for best driver. My rank is as follows:

    1. Button
    2. Hulkenberg
    3. Vettel

    On my book, race day weights 70% of the weekend.

  4. I Love the Pope said on 3rd September 2012, 14:16

    Great drive by Seb on Sunday. It showed me that he is not merely a front-runner.

    But for the whole weekend, it has to be JB.

  5. I was going to just give a shout-out to Kobayashi for even just finishing with that amount of damage. But had to vote for him (given the result is already pretty much clear and pretty much correct) after seeing this:

    http://imgur.com/a/ETPea

    Stunning how he avoided getting the car totalled.

  6. I voted for Button as well, but Hulkenberg should be second, not Vettel. For his standards, Nico’s weekend was much more superior to Sebastian’s.
    Jenson did everything right, he set his first pole since Monaco 2009 and won on a one-stop strategy; awesome stuff.

  7. Button was driver of the weekend. Stellar in qualifying and he did exactly what he had to do in the race. Good to see him really on form for once.
    That is why I voted for Vettel.
    Because while Vettel wasn’t very good in qualifying, and made a poor start, his recovery was excellent. Fantastic passes on pretty much everyone including his team mate, drifting out of the Bus-stop after a slightly hairy moment with his old mate. He also made those tyres last a long distance even though he had to be very hard on them under breaking to make up positions despite his poor straight line speed. And he was fast on them as well.
    He was the driver of saturday for me, so while Button was the driver of the weekend i simply vote for Vettel as an hournurable mention. Button is going to walk this poll anyway, in the same way he did with this weekend actually.

  8. xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 3rd September 2012, 14:25

    DOTW: Button or Hulkenberg
    Driver of Sunday: Vettel
    Driver of saturday: Button

  9. CUatFinish (@cuatfinish) said on 3rd September 2012, 14:28

    I don’t see any other option than Jenson this weekend. Drove three pole laps on saturday and lead the race from start to finish with almost all the time a gap of 10 seconds + behind him. My vote goes without any doubt to him.

  10. Dargo (@dargo) said on 3rd September 2012, 14:39

    Has to be Button. Made qualifying look easy and then looked after his tyres through the race and was never challenged a peerless performance.

  11. matt90 (@matt90) said on 3rd September 2012, 14:48

    Difficult choice between Hulkenberg and Button. I normally would be tempted not to give it to somebody like Button, but such was his margin over everybody in both qualifying and the race, particularly in a close season which hasn’t seen a single dominant victory quite like it until now, that I think it has to go to him. Unlike Hulkenberg, it is difficult to imagine that the race would have gone any differently even if the first corner shunt hadn’t happened. Hulkenberg, despite a hugely impressive performance where he did mix it with some faster cars at times, could have easily been in the lower reaches of the points had that crash not happened. Although that shouldn’t detract from his performance, it is worth noting to be used as a sticking point between the two drivers.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 3rd September 2012, 14:52

      Also, Vettel might be my third choice, but he would be far below the other two. His race performance and overtaking was fantastic, but it was necessary because he didn’t do well enough in qualifying, and like Hulkenberg he was helped by not having many truly competitive cars between himself and 2nd place (only really Raikkonen, whose car wasn’t particularly well suited anyway, and Webber, who he outclassed) after Grosjean’s antics. Even if he had started in a better position though, it is hard to imagine he could have done much to trouble Button.

  12. Has to be JB, dominant in the qualifying (not his forte) and then lead off and controlled the race from the restart. Would go as far to say that if was possible one of his best weekends we an unpredictable card (based on the split strategies made by the team) and he still dominated.

  13. Button, flawless weekend.

  14. Jarv F150 (@jarvf150) said on 3rd September 2012, 15:05

    I often voted against Vettel last year for driving away from pole at the start with a much faster car; so for consistency I must vote against Button this time.

    Vettel gets the vote for fighting through the field from 11th to 2nd.

    Special notice of Romain Grosjean for helping make the championship closer. Senna & MSC made their car’s wide enough to make things interesting too.

    • Roberto (@roberto) said on 4th September 2012, 3:17

      If only everyone was as honest as you he’d be DOTW for sure (and I’d respect the results of these votes). Gotta love the double standard on this site. If Vettel had driven like Button today everyone would’ve shrugged it off (as it’s all about his car being the best right?) and voted someone else, especially if they managed to go from 10th to 2nd while showing some great overtaking. This is evident by pretty much ANY race where Vettel got podium and won. The Bias is just laughable.

  15. CUatFinish (@cuatfinish) said on 3rd September 2012, 15:05

    This was originally a response to one message of the above, but since some others can’t see it either, I made this a normal post:

    Yeah, I agree he did an awesome job in the race, but shouldn’t Vettel have done a better job on saturday in the first place? Since this is a driver of the weekend voting I just don’t see how he could be on top. If he would have won the race or at least closed down the gap a little bit to Jenson than it would be a different story.
    Saying the McLaren won that race and not Button is just ********. Button drove supreme without any mistakes and super smooth. He has his difficulties when he isn’t feeling good with the balance of the car, but when he gets his balance spot on as he did this race he’s just in a class of his own, a bit of a Prost like property. And if Hamilton would be so much quicker with that new rear wing like some of you said, why didn’t he go like about 7 tenths quicker in FP3 than to beat Jenson? he had that wing in that session. Lewis said by himself that he didn’t feel comfortable even with that new wing. Sure, there will be more races where Lewis will be the faster one, but beware, it’ll be the other way around also frequently.
    I’m really becoming very bored, tired and ****** off by the stories that Jenson is a lucky dumbass who can’t win without any luck. I heard that crap for about 7 years now. If some people still can’t see he’s a world class driver after this race, they should let their eyes being checked.

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