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. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 3rd September 2012, 20:26

    Button, without even the slightest doubt. All the rest of the top finishers, aside of Raikkonen who was doing well all the weekend, can attribute their Sunday results largely to the first corner rampage, especially the Red Bulls gained a lot.

  2. Jorge Lardone (@jorgelardone) said on 3rd September 2012, 21:27

    Button for me. But good weekend for Vettel, Raikonen, Hulkenberg and Kobayashi (he finish the race after his car was heavy hit, and of course, his front row)

  3. I must confess I didn’t see the race, so I concede it is arguable my comments don’t count, but I threw my hat in the ring for Massa. Normally I vote for the person who wins because they and their team have put in the best effort and played their cards the best, but in this case “random chance” took out a whole swathe of other potential winners who were just behind Button, and affected the rest of the field in a way that didn’t impact on Button.
    I believe Massa put in a supreme performance. He’s had a lot to put up with since that accident with the spring. When Alonso’s car was taken out the Ferrari mantal fell on Massa and he produced his second best result for this year after starting from 14th on the grid.

  4. mda (@mda72) said on 3rd September 2012, 22:30

    Button was unchallenged across the whole (shortened) weekend, so definitely first. It’s hard to say how they panned out below them, given so many top drivers had no race to speak of, but of those that did, I’d actually say Webber ahead of Vettel. Webber outqualified Vettel quite clearly, and in all fairness his inferior race was probably down to his team choosing set-ups and strategies to favour Vettel.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 4th September 2012, 0:46

      @mda72 – Both Red Bulls had short gearing and couldn’t take the Williams of Senna in the DRS zone.

      Vettel found other places to pass Senna, Webber himself and other drivers, and made the 1 stopper work. Webber had no choice but to 2 stop, since he made no progress against Senna. Webber qualified better, but to say Vettel only had a better race because of favouritism is total rubbish. When will the anti-Vettel excuses end?

  5. Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 3rd September 2012, 22:48

    For me, the Top 5 (in terms of race result) are my DOTWs, plus Schumi but obviously I had to choose one & I found it difficult to pick someone other than Button: A sublime & dominant drive that pretty much began from FP3 with the correct decision on downforce-levels, almost Australia-esque. If Hamilton can stay out of trouble & not get into a decision regarding wing angles/downforce-levels then I reckon Monza could be a dominant weekend for McLaren, they’ve always gone well around there, consistently being one of the two quickest cars throughout the weekend in recent years (2005-)

    Vettel really demonstrated he was a racer & pulled off some good, intelligent overtakes in being plausible & acknowledging the weaknesses of that Red Bull during the race, strangely his race looked more like a damage limitation one rather than one based on making the most of Alonso’s DNF & grabbing as many points possible via a conventional strategy.

    Special mentions: The surprise for me during the weekend was Force India’s package, Hulkenberg in the race particularly, really got the maximum out of the car (race pace was up there with Red Bull & Lotus I reckon) & made a two-stop strategy work surprisingly well although a podium was always going to be a tough ask in the middle to latter stages when Vettel & Raikkonen were making their strategies work to get themselves on the podium.

    Other special mention is for Massa, in relative to the others & the start, he had a bit of a subdued but controlled drive to bring home a fairly decent amount of points & being further up was possible, with him catching Hulkenberg however failing to make

  6. Lothario said on 3rd September 2012, 22:53

    Button or Hülkenberg, hands down! :)

  7. montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 3rd September 2012, 23:00

    Button will win this deservedly. But I’ve chosen to vote for Kobayashi, the unsung hero of the weekend whose race was ruined through no fault of his own. Despite all that he has done during his short career, KK is still underrated which is why it’s important for me to vote for him

  8. baldgye (@baldgye) said on 4th September 2012, 0:44

    Jenson had the perfect weekend. Vettel made for a great comeback, but I feel we where robbed of a real battle with Hammy, Alonso knocked out.

  9. F1_Americana (@f1americana) said on 4th September 2012, 1:19

    Voted for Vettel. Not my favorite driver, but he displayed a level of controlled aggression when overtaking that was pretty brilliant. Great drive from Button, too, but the McLaren (in particular, *his* McLaren) looked unstoppable from qualifying onward. Pity about Alonso and Hamilton, but they’ll be back in Monza.

  10. bosyber (@bosyber) said on 4th September 2012, 8:00

    Button is the obvious candidate, of course. Still, I didn’t always vote for Vettel last year when he had similar performance, bc. I felt he did the job, and did it great, but didn’t actually show a great deal of racing. Vettel himself did though, and drove a great race, as did Huelkenberg, who showed to me great weekend. Since Button already looks like winning this, I thought I’d give it to someone else.

  11. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 4th September 2012, 8:28

    For me it’s a toss up between Button and Vettel.
    Button because he drove flawlessly 100% of the time and took control of the race by the scruff of the neck.

    And Vettel because he had incredible pace and came from 10th to 2nd.

  12. Tilly (@nudihunter) said on 4th September 2012, 12:04

    JB without a doubt. Drove a flawless race after putting the car on pole in style.

  13. george1066 (@george1066) said on 4th September 2012, 15:38

    Great race for JB. did anyone hear about Kimi R being told over the radio to save 10% of kers each lap. If he did so the whole race,maybe he deserves some cred as well. Shame so many were busted at the first corner.

    • Kimi4WDC said on 5th September 2012, 6:09

      Kimi’s race engineer: Kimi we have to push this couple of laps!
      Kimi: THEN GIVE ME MORE POWWAA!!!!

      It was epic :)

  14. We have to remember this was a very strange race weekend. There was almost no running in either P1 or P2 so P3 was crucial in order to set up the car for qualifying and race. Either you get it right or you get it wrong as we could see comparing Button and Hamilton. Button found the perfect setting from the get go, the low downforce setup was the way to go as downforce has been reduced so much this year that corner speed couldn`t make up for time lost on the straights. Others got it wrong choosing a high downforce setup and messed up qualifying.

    Button did very well and I totally understand why many would vote for him. I have to choose Vettel though for several reasons. Firstly it was an impressive race coming through the field as he did, especially considering his lack of top speed. His overtaking was inspired.
    Secondly we must remember that the pressure was on Vettel to put on a great performance. When Alonso was eliminated from the race Vettel got an opportunity to catch up in the Championship standings, and so he did..

    Many have been referring to Vettel as a driver that cracks under pressure, but my take on Vettel is very different. In my view he`s a very determined character that is able to raise his game when the chips are down. Just look at the second half of both 2009 and 2010, Vettel grew in stature as the championship got tighter and the pressure was on. I got a funny feeling we might see more of the same in the second half of 2012.

    Hulkenberg and Raikkonen also deserve credit for making the most of the equipment they had. It is good to see Hulkenberg coming on strong, he must have felt absolutely gutted when he was sidelined in 2011 despite his performance in 2010. He didn`t deserve that.

  15. Had to be Button for me, although it was also a good race from Vettel after a poor qualifying and a good showing from Hulkenberg as well.

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