Start, Monza, 2012

Vote for your Italian GP Driver of the Weekend

2012 Italian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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.”


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 (0%)

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

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

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  1. Driver of the weekend? It’s a close contest between Hamilton and Alonso.
    Driver of the race itself? That’s even closer between Hamilton, Alonso and Perez.

    I’m going to go for Hamilton on this occasion. It’s not a biased decision either, as I support all three of them to varying degrees. However, I feel with the extreme distractions of losing a close family member recently (his aunt) and the difficult contract negotiations looming over his head; delivering the sublime; controlled, and utterly dominant performance that he did, was just an exceptional feat. It didn’t matter who was in second at any given time; be it Massa, Button or Perez, he always did just enough to maintain his lead comfortably. Once it was above the four second mark, it never once dropped below that. He also aced the start; something that’s been a frequent issue for him in the last few races.


  2. For me it’s either Hamilton or Alonso so I won’t vote on this one. We can only wonder what kind of epic battle we would have if Alonso hadn’t been cursed with technical gremlins on Friday and Saturday. Lewis was cool, fully in control and Fernando made fantastic comeback, fighting his way through the reigning champion, among others. This time I don’t mind he benefited from team orders, because the situation in the championship has never been clearer. He’s going for the title, Massa has never been near it this season. Felipe’s goal is to keep his Ferrari seat, thus helping Alonso plays to his advantage. Both of them benefited from the situation.

    Of course Perez did some very good driving there, but his remarkable charge in the end has to be attributed to the tire advantage. Strategy masterpiece, not driving masterpiece.

    1. his remarkable charge in the end has to be attributed to the tire advantage.

      Then perhaps Pic was the driver of the weekend. All those who finished above him have an obvious car advantage.

  3. Perezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  4. I feel I should vote for Maldonado here, you have to give the man credit, he didn’t actually crash this weekend!

    I actually voted for Perez – without him, the race would have been unwatchable.

  5. I didn’t vote for Button last weekend and I won’t vote for Hamilton now, based on the same logic / arguments, to be honest. McLaren simply delivers now both as a team and as a technical package.

    As much credit Hamilton may deserve, I somehow still feel more might be due to Perez and Alonso, overperforming in those cars. Both had brilliant runs on Sunday and made up for pretty much everything that was exciting in that race.

    So…of the two I have to hand it to Perez again.
    Notable mentions should include Massa, Schumacher and Ricciardo.

  6. Monza driver of the day have to be #Perez,but gutsy drive by #Alonso.This race may help him to win his 3rd WC!

  7. Perez for me. He was on it from the word go with his race and used the C31’s strengths to it’s full potential. I had my doubts after qualifying as they weren’t as high in the speed trap as I expected they would be but he delivered and Kobayashi also stuck them in the points. Admittedly he wasn’t really making waves in qualifying but harking back to that speed trap data again makes me think that perhaps that was the intention, knowing they could benefit from high temps on tyres they could charm into working for them.

    Hamilton of course drove very well and was totally faultless. Hounourable mention to Massa for keeping in touch when his tyres were starting to go and he didn’t seem to choke like he did in Montreal where I remember he was also running quite high when he kicked out the back end of his F2012.

  8. Perez, really? Weekend? Lewis topped p2, p3, quali and the race and all in the second fastest car according to Peter Sauber

    1. Yes, Mclaren has a great car, the second fastes?….. they hace the car of the year, and they’re loosing constructors and drivers….

      1. “fastest?…they have” sorry

  9. Unfortunately for alonso he wasn’t able to show his speed due to the mechanical failure. Alonso was the fastest in q1,q2 and was slower than hamilton in p3 by 0.001 . So to me alonso would have won the race, unforthnately we will never know. Also for all hamilton’s fans enjoy it while it lasts. Ferrari have the biggest upgrade for the f2012 since barcelona for the next race. I doubt mclaren have anything close to it. Forza alonso and forza ferrari

  10. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d love to hear a translation of what ALO said in Italian on the podium. I know it probably won’t be much more than what he said in English, but whatever he was saying made that crowd listen and go very quiet, before erupting again when he finished!

    1. He finished he’s speech with “We will never surrend, avanti!”

  11. @Keith you really should consider renaming this poll to “Best driver of the Race” regarding this whole discussion

    1. sorry. I mean @Keith Collantine

  12. I was so glad Lewis won this one (and quite gutted for Button, the only chance for a decent fight at the front and Vettel, the only chance for a decent top gun comeback). But I hardly ever voted for Vettel in his dominants fests and really, that is what Lewis produced. It is great, it shows huge talent to do it so effortlessly, but this time I have to go with Perez. This was such a brilliant drive ! Mature, fast, composed. He might be slightly flattered by his car’s tyre conservation and the 11th man advantage, but that remained a great drive not everyone can produce. (look at Webber’s race !) And yes, he wasn’t on top form all week end, Koba went faster than him in quali, but there you have it : the race outshines the week end, especially when you climb 10 places through a tight talented field with a midpack car.

  13. Monza is special for every driver. Because of the nature of the track, the tradition and the tifosi.

    All this brings a tremendous amount of pressure for all drivers, let alone Ferrari drivers.

    And then you have technical problems.

    So here you are, at Monza, the tifosi are going beserk and your car has problems…. Meaning your engineer cannot coach you like you’re used to, but he still can use the radio to point out that your teammate is on fresher tyres…

    Think about being in that situation.

    At 330 km/h.

    Your salary, your contract, your family, your honor, your pride…

    Just finishing the race only one position behind his teammate in those circumstances, makes my vote going to Felipe Massa.

  14. Can’t see how Alonso can be voted for driver of the weekend. Perez, in a worse car, outdrove the two-time world champion to claim second and, given a few more laps, quite possibly the win.
    Perez was most definitely driver of the race. No denying that. However, this is driver of the weekend, and Hamilton dominated most of practise and qualifying and took an excellent win from pole position. I can’t see how it can be anyone other than Hamilton for driver of the weekend.

  15. Strange to find out 0% of people voted on D’Ambrosio, at least i know someone voted on D’Ambrosio, he did a nice job having thousands of miles less running than others.

    1. @ukfanatic There were three votes for D’Ambrosio, 0.46%.

  16. Sorry, can’t agree with the majority who say Perez. If it was only the race I’d say yes but on a saturday he’s been beaten by his team-mate. There was only 1 driver who had a perfect weekend in Monza and it was Hamilton

  17. Hamilton delivered.

  18. Hamilton had a perfect car no doubt about it

  19. Without a doubt it must be Lewis Hamilton. Fantastic qualifying and fantastic race. Didn’t see much of him in the race and this shows how dominant he was.

    Driver of the race must have been Sergio Perez but he was outqualified by quite a large margin by Kobayashi so I’m afraid I can’t vote for him as driver of the weekend.

  20. This was a difficult DOTW to choose. I though Lewis, Fernando and Sergio were all strong in different areas. Lewis was strong throughout the weekend.. during FP sessions, quali and the race… but then again he also had the fastest car this weekend, so it was expected of him
    Sergio dropped the ball in quali again but was the most stellar driver on Sunday. Executed a different strategy perfectly and did a great amount of overtaking to work it up to P2.
    Fernando was stellar up unto Q3 where through no fault of his own he had to start in P10. On Sunday, he was absolutely awesome at the start of the race as he had made up 4 positions by the beginning of lap 2. A stellar drive to recover to P3 and take a podium finish.

    Tough choice .. but I went with Fernando in the end.

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