Vote for your Italian GP Driver of the Weekend

2012 Italian Grand Prix

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

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

Italian Grand Prix driver-by-driver

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel – Fifth on the grid was a good result as Red Bull were outside the top ten times at the end of practice. But he received a drive-through penalty in the race after the stewards deemed he transgressed while defending from Alonso, though Vettel insisted on the radio he hadn’t pushed the Ferrari driver off. Was on course to salvage some points only to retire with alternator failure for the second time this year.

Mark Webber – Failed to reach Q3 and started poorly, slipping to 14th. Found passing easier than it had been at Spa, taking Ricciardo, Rosberg and Di Resta, and claiming a place from Senna when the Williams driver went off at the Roggia chicane. Had just inherited sixth from his team mate when he spun at the exit of Ascari. “The rear tyres were completely finished,” he said. “I managed to keep it off the wall, but then the tyres were so heavily flat-spotted, I was worried about damaging the car. We do 330kph around here, I couldn?t see the track, so we decided to retire.”

McLaren

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Monza, 2012Jenson Button – Joined Hamilton on the front row and although he lost a place to Massa at the start he passed the Ferrari on lap 19. Was on course for second place when his engine died: “I’m told it was a fuel system problem that we?re still investigating,” he said.

Lewis Hamilton – The endless quizzing about his future clearly did not disturb his performance. Now has the most pole positions of any driver this season after claiming his fourth. He then equalled Alonso’s three wins this year with a fairly comfortable win. However, having backed off the pace when Button retired he had to get back on it as the progress of Perez gave McLaren cause for concern.

Ferrari

Fernando Alonso – For once, Ferrari were right up there on one-lap pace in dry weather conditions. So Alonso was frustrated at missing out on an “easy” pole when a rear anti-roll bar failure at the beginning of Q3 left him tenth on the grid. A good start saw him claim fifth from Schumacher by lap seven, and he emerged from his single pit stop right behind Vettel. Was furious after being edged onto the grass at Curva Grande but passed Vettel on the track before the Red Bull driver got his penalty. Massa then got out of his way but he couldn’t hold back Perez. That left him third, but his championship situation still looks healthy with a 37-point lead.

Felipe Massa – Massa nearly sent the Tifosi into rapture as nearly passed both McLarens at the start – he had to settle for just taking Button. That was the highlight of a race made difficult by a loss of telemetry. Button passed him before he pitted, and after that there was no question of him being allowed to hold position in front of Alonso. Perez breezed past him as well, and by the end Massa’s tyres had gone off so badly he was almost caught by the Raikkonen/Schumacher battle.

Mercedes

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Monza, 2012Michael Schumacher – Led the first practice session and “secretly hoped” that would lead to Mercedes making progress this weekend. Radio messages revealed the team keeping an eagle eye on tyre temperatures with both drivers – two pit stops were the order of the day for the W03s. Schumacher slipped back from fourth at the start, but he roared back into contention after his final pit stop. When the chequered flag fell he was in sixth place with Raikkonen’s Lotus in his crosshairs.

Nico Rosberg – Started sixth but made life more difficult for himself with a dreadful start. By the end of lap one he was 11th and still wasn’t done going backwards: Perez and Webber demoted him further. “I had no grip on my option tyres in the first stint, which were the same set that gave me problems in Q3,” he said. After dumping them he began to make progress. He was much happier on the hards and was within range of Schumacher at the end, setting fastest lap on the way.

Lotus

Kimi Raikkonen – Fifth was slightly better than Raikkonen expected to get from the weekend and he moved up to third in the drivers’ championship. “But we lost some points to Fernando [Alonso] which is not ideal,” he said.

Jerome d’Ambrosio – A one-off race appearance is a tricky needle to thread in these days of virtually zero in-season testing. Fortunately he’d already driven the car at Mugello. Hulkenberg’s problem helped him progress to Q2 but he could only manage 15th on the grid. He had an off-track moment during the race and aggravated the recovering Force India driver with his defensive moves. But he brought the car home on the lead lap in 13th despite losing his KERS on lap six.

Force India

Paul di Resta – Qualified a superb fourth but had to start ninth due to a gearbox penalty. He was passed by Perez early on, then came under attack from Senna. The Williams went off at the Roggia trying to pass Di Resta, but the stewards judged the move to be fair. Webber passed him next as he struggled on the medium tyres, but he liked the balance of the car on hards much better. Was passed by the faster two-stopping Mercedes towards the end.

Nico Hulkenberg – A fuel pick-up problem in Q1 ruined his weekend. He started on hard tyres but felt his brake pedal go long early on which hampered his ability to make up places. It was this that ultimately led the team to retire the car.

Sauber

Sergio Perez, Sauber, Monza, 2012Kamui Kobayashi – Having qualified in the top ten he had to start on medium tyres, unlike his team mate. Perez came past him on lap seven and by the end of Kobayashi’s stint the other Sauber was a second per lap faster. Felt his problems on Friday – when the car was bouncing so much he “nearly spun on the straight” – impaired his ability to find a good race set-up. Came home ninth.

Sergio Perez – Started on hard tyres then switched to mediums. At all stages he was consistently among the quickest runners even as he had to pass a string of cars. By the end of the race his victims included both Ferraris and Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus – three times. Didn’t have enough time to catch Hamilton but gave it a go anyway, and was three-tenths off the fastest lap on the final tour.

Toro Rosso

Daniel Ricciardo – Entered the Parabolica in tenth place on the last lap but lost power as he headed to the line and was passed by both Williams drivers.

Jean-Eric Vergne – Spun violently at the Rettifilio on lap nine and was pitched into the air by the kerb. “I don?t know why I crashed,” he said. “All I can remember is that when I braked, I completely lost control of the back end of the car.” He later Tweeted the problem looked like suspension failure.

Williams

Pastor Maldonado – Started 22nd following his two penalties from Belgium. Recovered to finish 11th after having exactly the kind of quiet weekend he needed, a point reinforced by the “less trouble, more speed” slogan on his helmet.

Bruno Senna – Had an incident-packed start to the race, being edged over the run-off at Rettifilio by Rosberg, then having his run-in with Di Resta – the latter costing him a place to Webber. Picked up a point on the last lap while under pressure from his considerably faster two-stopping team mate.

Caterham

Vitaly Petrov, Caterham, Monza, 2012Heikki Kovalainen – From early on in practice Kovalainen said he was much happier with the Caterham’s balance than he had been at Spa. But he was less happy with his race pace: “I didn’t really have the performance I had on the longer runs on Friday and the grip level felt lower so I couldn’t really attack and that held me up a bit on each set of tyres.”

Vitaly Petrov – Was less than two-tenths of a second behind Kovalainen at the flag, the other Caterham having been able to use his DRS because he was close to Alonso.

HRT

Pedro de la Rosa – Led his team mate home comfortably and was 12 seconds behind Glock’s Marussia.

Narain Karthikeyan – Out-qualified de la Rosa for the first time this year. But he damaged his front wing at the start and had to change it.

Marussia

Timo Glock – Lost time with an early pit stop after losing part of his front wing on the first lap. “From there I couldn?t really do much as we had lost a bit of performance and the car was just ‘okay’ to drive.”

Charles Pic – Led Glock home for the third time this year but he also switched to a two-stop strategy during the race.

Qualifying and race results summary

Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 5th -0.122s 43/47 1 22nd Didn’t finish on same laps
Mark Webber 11th +0.122s 4/47 1 20th Didn’t finish on same laps
Jenson Button 2nd +0.123s 0/32 1
Lewis Hamilton 1st -0.123s 32/32 1 1st
Fernando Alonso 10th +1.431s 16/53 1 3rd -9.073s
Felipe Massa 3rd -1.431s 37/53 1 4th +9.073s
Michael Schumacher 4th -0.293s 52/53 2 6th -2.291s
Nico Rosberg 6th +0.293s 1/53 2 7th +2.291s
Kimi Raikkonen 7th -0.666s 52/53 1 5th -44.98s
Jerome D’Ambrosio 15th +0.666s 1/53 1 13th +44.98s
Paul di Resta 9th 44/50 1 8th Not on same lap
Nico Hulkenberg 24th 6/50 1 21st Not on same lap
Kamui Kobayashi 8th -0.218s 6/53 1 9th +39.542s
Sergio Perez 12th +0.218s 47/53 1 2nd -39.542s
Daniel Ricciardo 14th -0.129s 8/8 1 12th
Jean-Eric Vergne 16th +0.129s 0/8 0
Pastor Maldonado 22nd -0.222s 11/53 2 11th +0.538s
Bruno Senna 13th +0.222s 42/53 1 10th -0.538s
Heikki Kovalainen 17th -0.505s 47/52 2 14th -0.199s
Vitaly Petrov 18th +0.505s 5/52 2 15th +0.199s
Pedro de la Rosa 23rd +0.188s 29/52 1 18th -14.868s
Narain Karthikeyan 21st -0.188s 23/52 1 19th +14.868s
Timo Glock 19th -0.034s 6/52 2 17th +27.393s
Charles Pic 20th +0.034s 46/52 2 16th -27.393s

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 Italian Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (1%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (30%)
  • Jenson Button (1%)
  • Fernando Alonso (11%)
  • Felipe Massa (2%)
  • Michael Schumacher (1%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (2%)
  • Jerome d'Ambrosio (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (51%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Bruno Senna (0%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (0%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (0%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (0%)
  • Pedro de la Rosa (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Charles Pic (1%)

Total Voters: 650

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2012 Italian Grand Prix

Browse all 2012 Italian Grand Prix articles

Images ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, McLaren/Hoch Zwei, Sauber F1 Team, Caterham/LAT

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136 comments on Vote for your Italian GP Driver of the Weekend

  1. TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 10th September 2012, 14:02

    I’ve never bought into the story that Perez wasn’t ready for Ferrari and now I’ve sussed it.

    We saw today that Ferrari need someone like Massa who won’t take points away from Alonso, Alonso can win the title on his own. Perez has proved his year that he’s an absolute superstar, he is World Championship winning material but he can’t get into Ferrari until Alonso has won a title.

    It’s not that Perez isn’t ready for Ferrari, Ferrari isn’t ready for Perez.

    • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 10th September 2012, 20:33

      I absolutely agree with this comment. I always spoken out how a clear No. 2 driver makes Alonso better. Sole responsibility makes him better. In-team fighting does not. See his McLaren spell. I think if he would have driven half as good in 2007 as he does since Hockenheim 2010, he would have been world champion in that year as well. Exaggerating, but you get the point.

      When he finds his team mate is lacking something in pace, he, Alonso, clearly has, he suddenly starts to own that team mate. Look how nervous he was when it seemed destined Trulli will be in prime form in 2004. Alonso slammed into the barriers in Monaco being unable to find a way through. Trulli won. Once Trulli lost it a bit, Alonso was there and did not look back. Same with Fisico. At first it was unclear if Alonso was clearly better. Fisico won the season opener in Australia in 2005 and went well during the next couple of races. Then Alonso began to dominate and the more he beaten Fisico, the less of a threat the Italian was. Piquet was a no brainer, the weakened Massa neither, and his Minardi teammates were below par as well.

      Look what happened with Hamilton. Alonso has not beaten Hamilton comprehensively, in fact Hamilton won the intra-team fight, won over the team and Alonso had to go, he was completely separated by Brazil. Alonso spun at Fuji under pressure, throwing away a possible win and a championship. That’s how things go, when he has a world-class teammate.

      In this sense, I think he is a bit similar to Senna. Senna was at his best during his years with Berger. Senna was a different class entirely by 1993, see Donington or Montreal, was a contender with a below par Lotus in 1986 and 1987 alongside Dumfries and Nakajima, whereas he often lost his composure when he had Prost as a teammate.

  2. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 10th September 2012, 14:04

    I had a look on JamesAllenOnF1.com before voting here, and there it was a landslide for Perez (currently 1861 out of 3079 votes), with Alonso and Hamilton a distant second and third with 427 and 417 votes respectively. I agree that Perez drove a fantastic race with many fine overtaking manouevres, yet it still puzzles me how he did it. Much has been made over his reverse strategy, but would he only have finished 8th if he had started on the mediums and finished on the primes? I wonder whether Sauber have any idea why, on a couple of occasions this year, Perez has been able to get so much out of his car and tyres – and sometimes not.

    I voted for Hamilton, though. He was on it all weekend, despite the distractions and the dragging contract negotiations which clearly bothered him. His race was superb, although Hamilton’s consistency was of course less spectacular than Sergio’s overtaking. To pre-empt comments along the lines of “then why didn’t you vote for Vettel last year?!”, I did in fact vote for Sebastian on quite a number of occasions last year, and besides, I’m nowhere near tired of seeing Hamilton win from pole yet…

    • I think really you are pointing out the nature of this season not to mention the nature of DotW. Even the teams don’t know why on one occasion they are so hooked up and on another they are not, such is their difficulty in predicting these tire’s behaviour. It’s a very fine line between nailing the combination of setup vs. ambient and track temp. and how said combination is going to affect tire performance throughout the race. You could ask the same question of many teams and drivers this year. eg. Rosberg winning with conviction in China and not threatening to win since. Same guy has on several occasions seemed to be nowhere in the race and yet at some point gets hooked up, pulls off some fast laps of the race, and ends up in not too bad a spot by the final lap considering where he looked to be at mid race.

      Might I assume James Allen’s poll was for driver of the race? I think many would give the nod to Perez for that, and many have here too, even though it is for driver of the weekend. I think in general folks look for someone who did something more unexpected, and Sauber not being a top team means that Perez did something ‘more special’ than did a proven WDC in a top car who had pole. Taking the whole weekend into account, I think the nod unquestionably should go to LH.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 10th September 2012, 17:45

      @adrianmorse Three points I’d make about comparing that poll with this one:
      1. That poll is for driver of the “day”, not weekend;
      2. That poll is restricted to a limited selection of drivers (so if you were paying close attention to Charles Pic’s race and thought he drove a blinder, tough!);
      3. F1 Fanatic polls are limited to registered users to reduce the possibility of the results being unduly interfered with, e.g. by users of a forum supporting one driver or team sending thousands of voters to skew the results. That does not appear to be the case with this poll.

      • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 10th September 2012, 18:50

        w.r.t. to point 3, I refreshed the page to check an updated vote count, and could vote again…

      • McGregski (@mcgregski) said on 11th September 2012, 10:22

        @keithcollantine
        Maybe you should think about adding two more polls each week:
        1. For the Driver of the Race (for the people that can’t fully understand the title of the Driver of the WEEKEND poll)
        2. For the Fan Boys and Haters (just so they can vote for whoever they like without justification)

        Just a thought, every time we have a DOTW poll it gets into a debate about better in the race vs better all weekend

        I voted for Hamilton for smashing the weekend, pole may or may not have been different if Alonso didn’t have the issue in Q3, Lewis had to battle through the mental strain of being hounded about his future and still kept his cool and performed solidly for the three days.
        Big shout out for Perez for his race performance – he definitely pulled a rabbit out the hat on Sunday!

  3. Difficult to say. In the end i picked Alonso because he was excellent and only missed out on pole due to a damaged roll-bar. Despite starting tenth he was 6th by the second lap and passed other cars. He tried a brave move on Vettel and was catching Massa before the team order came. The fact he started so far behind gave him no shot for victory and his strategy put him behind Perez.
    Perez was good on the Sunday but his strategy helped. he must have had his reasons for a disappointing qualifying, maybe preparing for the great race he had.
    Hamilton was surely quick but also lucky as to what happened to Alonso. Massa was never going to challenge him and he built his lead at the start.
    The top 3 were all very close though. Massa was good as well, probably one of the best races he’s had in two years, but obviously the top 3 were better.

  4. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 10th September 2012, 14:30

    Perez will obviously win this one, with Alonso registering another ‘podium’ here in this poll series. I think Hamilton will get third, or possibly second with Alonso third.

    This wihout checking the current results aaand…

    • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 10th September 2012, 14:33

      …yes, Hamilton is ahead of Alonso. I’d argue with this. Neither put a foot wrong all weekend, but I think Alonso had a harder job, because he had to overtake more, and complete more laps with 100% concentration.

      I’m an Alonso fan, but I think this is a valid argument nevertheless.

      • Yeah I see your point, but I think it is safe to say that all the drivers (including LH on Sunday) need to concentrate 100% at all times for every lap, no matter their situation, and especially with the amount they have to ‘read’ the tires these days, poised for the cliff affect to hit. It’s a shame FA was held back in quali by a technical issue and I find that clouds the debate. ie. he was better than his car on Saturday. On Sunday he, and FM, showed that the Ferrari is no slouch, and I certainly don’t think of it as a fourth fastest car as has been suggested in recent weeks. You are right that FA had to overtake more, and unfortunately the difficulty of that gets clouded with DRS and the chance that some cars one might approach from behind are on ‘cliffed’ tires.

  5. GROJEAN here.

  6. Difficult choice Hamilton was good during the last stage of qualifying but what if Alonso hadn’t had a car problem, would he still have been in pole? Massa did well beating Alonso but the same comment applies. During the race Hamilton managed the situation and his lead well but I wonder if Perez would have caught him if there had been a few more laps. In the end I went for Perez his strategy and tyre management were excellent and his lap times at the end were impressive.

  7. spankythewondermonkey (@spankythewondermonkey) said on 10th September 2012, 14:44

    perez was the best in the race, based on the number of positions he made up through perfect tyre management, however hammy was the driver of the weekend.

  8. sumedhvidwans (@sumedhvidwans) said on 10th September 2012, 14:44

    This race is kind of similar to the last race. Winner wins from pole, guy in 2nd makes a dazzling drive passing multiple drivers on-track and providing great entertainment.

    If people are fair, Hamilton should win this as Button did previously. If Perez wins, I am afraid we have to conclude that Vettel and Hamilton have too little fanboys compared to Button and Perez.

  9. I considered voting Perez. But Hamilton was just supreme, whereas Perez qualified behind his team mate. I also find it hard to believe that Hamilton wasn’t controlling his pace at the end.

  10. Pedro Costa (@pnunocosta) said on 10th September 2012, 14:51

    It´s all between Perez and Hamilton, a close call but I voted in Perez simply because it is much harder to do the race he did in a Sauber and get 2nd than to win with a Mclaren that is dominating at the moment.
    Alonso has to be mentioned also, those first laps were phenomenal.

  11. necrodethmortem (@necrodethmortem) said on 10th September 2012, 14:57

    Okay, Hamilton didn’t storm through the field like Perez did, but he didn’t have to.

  12. McLarenFanJamm (@mclarenfanjamm) said on 10th September 2012, 15:10

    Voted Hamilton, but Perez is clearly going to win despite it being ‘driver of the WEEKENDNOT ‘driver of the RACE

  13. Hamilton said he was “cruising”for parts of the race in the post race press conferance.
    It’s hard to vote for someone with the luxury of cruising when Checo faught tooth and nail to make his strategy work and pulled off some of the most impressive overtakes in the process.
    Alonso, was 2nd best for meanother stellar drive hampered only by a mechanical issue in Q3.

    Checo for the win in singapore :)

  14. Nick.UK (@) said on 10th September 2012, 15:19

    Perez certainly deserves driver of race, Sunday only. He wasn’t that notable in Practice or qually especially. It was close for me between Lewis & Fernando, but based purely on results I gave my vote to Lewis.

  15. As crazy as it sounds a Vettel supporter to back Hamilton, he should win DOTW. Perez drove a corker on Sunday BUT got outqualified by Kobayashi and therefore had that strategy option available.

    Hamilton DOTW
    Perez DOTR

    Like many of Vettel’s wins, it was pole to flag- just because it isn’t exciting doesn’t mean it wasn’t good.
    Respect the performance, not the show!

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