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. Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 3rd September 2012, 15:08

    Ok, of the weekend it may be Button. But clearly the best driver of the race is Vettel by a long shot.

  2. Button is the logical choice. However, it’s easy then you have the best car by a mile and when you are the only one who manages to nail the right setup. I know by some standards my judgement might not be a fair one but Button’s win, to me, looked more like a team effort than a driver one. Pretty much the same reason Vettel was not getting votes as driver of the weekend last year…

    Hulkenberg and Vettel however managed to perform above the capabilities of their cars despite their rather poor qualifying efforts, one of them being, by comparison of the technical package, a bit more impressive than the other. So Hulkenberg for me.

    Can’t help but wonder what this poll would have looked like if the Saubers were to make it past La Source in one piece.

  3. Alfie (@alfie) said on 3rd September 2012, 15:10

    This is very easily Grosjean’s.

  4. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 3rd September 2012, 15:13

    Keith on Romain learning a lesson:

    There are other drivers who need to learn the same lesson.

    Who on earth could he be referring to ;-)

    I voted for Button; his dominance was such that even the championship does not seem out of reach anymore (although I’m sure Alonso would have had the pace for second, seeing Massa’s race).

    I wonder where Vettel’s speed was in qualifying. He seemed capable of matching Button’s pace in the race (even if we don’t know how hard both were pushing in that final stint), but from 11th it would have been difficult to finish on the podium without the first-corner accident.

  5. Nick Jarvis (@nickj95gb) said on 3rd September 2012, 16:04

    Ricciardo. future WDC :)

  6. Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 3rd September 2012, 16:26

    JB all the way.
    No one particulalrly ‘shone’ in the practice sessions. Jenson seemed to surprise everyone is qualifying and then ran off and hid in the race. The TV coverage of him in the race seemed a bit thin because of everything that was going on behind him. Not his fault that he was so far ahead that it started to look boring.

  7. Enigma (@enigma) said on 3rd September 2012, 16:42

    Hard to decide. Button was on it both days, I didn’t think he’d get a pole this year. The first corner crash obviously helped him, but he had the race completely under control, very much in Vettel’s 2011 fashion. Great result for him and even if it’s a long shot, he’s now back in the title battle.

    Then there was Hulkenberg, who really took advantage of the first corner crash and drove very nicely to keep stronger cars behind and got a well deserved 4th.

    But I voted for Vettel. Could’ve done better in qualifying to get into Q3, and he was unlucky at the start to actually lose a couple of places. But he drove an impressive race with some great overtakes, and managed a one-stopper. On Sunday, he really grabbed every opportunity with both hands, took advantage of retirements and finished ahead of everyone that was beatable. In that respect he really reminded me of what Alonso’s been doing this year and I feel this was one of Seb’s best races.

  8. Grosjean’s performance was above and beyond them all. He absolutely destroyed Hamilton and Alonso, two of the best drivers on the grid :)

  9. djdaveyp85 (@djdaveyp87) said on 3rd September 2012, 16:56

    I voted for Romain Grosjean. He opened up the title battle again. Good job.

  10. HoolyF1 (@hoolyf1) said on 3rd September 2012, 16:58

    Haha. Clearly Grosjean still has family support getting 5% of the vote.

  11. Button was impressive and made the win seem easy. Clear DOW & not-so-sad times for the team.
    However, Vettel made the race worth the trek to Spa.

    Great Quali performance for both Saubers, got many of us going.

  12. tmekt (@tmekt) said on 3rd September 2012, 17:18

    Voted for Räikkönen. He performed superbly all weekend with a car that wasn’t very good (here). Vettel was close second for his race performance, Button did what he was supposed to do but it becomes a lot easier when your car is much faster than the others (you still have to drive it to win of course).

  13. 100% Nico Hulkenberg!

  14. Cas (@kazaluna) said on 3rd September 2012, 17:32

    I think Button was driver of the weekend, as some already have said he controlled from practice to finish line. However, I think Seb had one of the strongest races we have seen this season. He was behind Heikki after the first lap (finished 18th), and still finished up second. A great drive from the young German and I voted for him.

  15. Mike the bike Schumacher (@mike-the-bike-schumacher) said on 3rd September 2012, 17:54

    lol grosjean is in fourth atm

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