Start, Singapore Grand Prix, 2012

Vote for your Singapore GP driver of the weekend

2012 Singapore Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Start, Singapore Grand Prix, 2012Which F1 driver had the best race weekend in Singapore?

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

Singapore Grand Prix driver-by-driver

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel – Topped all three practice sessions but was mystified at his inability to turn a lap quick enough for pole position in Q3. From third on the grid he picked off Maldonado at the start and was perfectly placed to claim victory when Hamilton retired.

Mark Webber – Singapore seems not to be a favourite track of Webber’s. He qualified seventh and was using a three-stop strategy to try to gain ground when he was compromised by the appearance of the safety car. Spent the final laps trying pass Ricciardo without success. After the race he was penalised 20 seconds for putting all four wheels off the track while passing Kobayashi. Though he had clearly violated the rules, Webber was perhaps unfortunate as he had little time to decide whether to let Kobayashi re-pass him.


Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Singapore, 2012Jenson Button – Lagged behind Hamilton in qualifying by a similar margin to that which separated the Red Bull drivers. Followed Vettel past Maldonado at the start and was able to run slightly longer in his first stint. This might have helped him later on had the safety car not appeared.

Lewis Hamilton – Snatched pole position off Vettel and maintained a lead of one to two seconds before a gearbox glitch put him out. The team first noticed a problem with the gearbox during the race and Hamilton reported difficulties shifting before it failed.


Fernando Alonso – Decided the high-downforce rear wing brought by the team was not an improvement and didn’t use it. He made an unusually poor start from fifth and was beaten to the first corner by Di Resta, but quickly re-passed the Force India. He seriously tested Maldonado’s defences but didn’t manage to find a way past the Williams. The demise of Maldonado and Hamilton’s retirement elevated him to third.

Felipe Massa – Never looked like making it into Q3 – he was over three-quarters of a second slower than his team mate. Picked up a puncture in the first corner melee when he was hit by Petrov, but the safety car brought him back into contention. Made an arms-and-elbows pass on Senna at turn 13 and complained he had been blocked but the stewards didn’t share his view. He later overtook Ricciardo and finished eighth.


Michael Schumacher – Fell behind Rosberg on the first lap, then ended his 300th start in a violent crash after the first safety car period, slamming into the back of Vergne at turn 14. He initially accounted for the crash saying: “I was braking but the deceleration was not as strong as it usually would be”. But the stewards noted he accepted responsibility and gave him a ten-place penalty for the next race.

Nico Rosberg – Like Schumacher he elected not to set a time in Q3 to save tyres. He incurred damage at the first corner which cost him some downforce. However he was able to pit for soft tyres during the first safety car period and run to the end for fifth place, his best result since Monaco.


Kimi Raikkonen – Lotus made extensive changes to their car on Friday night which improved its performance, but Raikkonen wasn’t able to get through to Q3. Spent much of the race stuck behind Schumacher until the Mercedes driver crashed out. Then Grosjean let him by into sixth, but he couldn’t progress further. “You cannot overtake,” he complained afterwards.

Romain Grosjean – Out-qualified Raikkonen after returning from his ban, but a scruffy Q3 lap left him eighth. He probably would have beaten his team mate had the team not ordered him to move aside: “It?s never easy as a driver to let someone past ?ǣ even if it is your team-mate,” he said, “but we need to be intelligent in these circumstances”.

Force India

Paul di Resta, Force India, Marina Bay, 2012Paul di Resta – Force India showed good pace from early in the weekend and Di Resta capitalised, putting his car sixth on the grid. He may regret not being firmer with Alonso at the first corner given that he ultimately finished behind the Ferrari. Even so, fourth was a career-best result.

Nico Hulkenberg – Knew his car was good enough for Q3 but missed the cut. That doomed him to spending the first part of the race stuck behind Schumacher and Raikkonen. After they pitted he was able to run long on his soft tyres, but gambling on staying out when the safety car was first deployed ultimately compromised his race. Picked up a puncture while trying to pass Kobayashi and ended up 14th.


Kamui Kobayashi – Was eliminated in Q1 after struggling with his car, with similar problems to those he experienced in Hungary. Senna and Glock passed him at the start and it took Kobayashi until lap eight to get past the Marussia. A clash with a Force India ruined his race: “I couldn?t avoid touching Nico Hulkenberg,” he said. “There was no space to go. For me it was a race incident. Nico said sorry when we met after the race; apparently he had oversteer, I lost my front wing and had to pit.”

Sergio Perez – Said the team’s latest upgrade had failed to deliver the expected downforce gains. Having qualified 14th, he chose the usual Sauber gambit of starting on the harder tyres. But the safety car appearance neutered any advantage this offered – he finished 11th on the road and was promoted to the final point by Webber’s penalty.

Toro Rosso

Daniel Ricciardo – Ricciardo started on super-soft tyres and was able to make his second and final pit stop after the safety car appeared. He was eighth when the race resumed and although Massa passed him he had more success keeping Webber behind.

Jean-Eric Vergne – Still nursing a sore neck from his Monza acrobatics, the last thing Vergne needed was another crash. He was running tenth when Schumacher took him out, but the safety car had already scuppered his strategy anyway.


Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Singapore, 2012Pastor Maldonado – Maldonado produced the surprise of qualifying, planting his Williams on the front row. He avoided causing the widely-predicted first corner apocalypse, though he did lose places to Vettel and Button. Withstood pressure from Alonso but hydraulic failure meant his redemptive performance ultimately ended in disappointment.

Bruno Senna – Hit the barriers a total of three times in practice and qualifying. But he was in with a chance of claiming a point when he suffered an alarming technical fault – his team told him to pull over and jump out of the car without touching the ground in case of a KERS problem. On top of that, his car broke down in the pre-race parade as well. A weekend to forget.


Heikki Kovalainen – Unusually he was out-qualified by Petrov. The team dropped the ball on strategy as well, not pitting him during the first safety car and then switching him to super-softs, which had to be changed again before the end of the race. Disastrously, that let rivals Marussia beat them to a precious 12th place finish.

Vitaly Petrov – Hit Massa at the first corner (“I?ve already apologised to him as we get on well”) and had to pit for a new front wing. The safety car offered him a chance to get back into the race but he was sent from his pit box with a loose wheel nut and had to be pushed back to his garage.


Pedro de la Rosa – Finished a lapped 17th: “The last five laps never seemed to end because I had no tyres left and I started to lose ground on Glock and Pic and Kobayashi, Kovalainen and Hulkenberg, who were flying, passed me like nothing.”

Narain Karthikeyan – Out-qualified de la Rosa for the second race in a row but had fallen behind his team mate when he hit the wall at turn 18: “I went on the dirty part of the track and the car didn?t turn which resulted in me going into the wall.”


Timo Glock, Marussia, Marina Bay, 2012Timo Glock – Glock had a scare when he clouted the wall early on: “The rear tyre pressures came up a bit too much and I overshot the car in turn 19 and hit the wall. In the first moment I thought the race was over and I realised that the toe was really out; I had to change my driving style and, actually, changed everything that I could do to keep the car on track.” Glock pitted for soft tyres shortly before the first safety car period and stayed on them until the end – over half the race distance. Retirements ahead promoted him to 12th which elevates Marussia to tenth in the constructors’ championship.

Charles Pic – Pic was handed a 20-second race penalty and ordered to spend a day assisting an FIA road safety awareness campaign after failing to heed red flags during practice. In the race he did a long final stint on super-soft tyres and finished 16th.

Qualifying and race results summary

Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 3rd -0.57s 59/59 2 1st -67.175s
Mark Webber 7th +0.57s 0/59 3 11th +67.175s
Jenson Button 4th +0.577s 3/22 2 2nd
Lewis Hamilton 1st -0.577s 19/22 1
Fernando Alonso 5th -0.777s 59/59 2 3rd -27.602s
Felipe Massa 13th +0.777s 0/59 3 8th +27.602s
Michael Schumacher 9th -0.12s 0/38 2
Nico Rosberg 10th +0.12s 38/38 2 5th
Kimi Raikkonen 12th +0.732s 13/59 2 6th -0.939s
Romain Grosjean 8th -0.732s 46/59 2 7th +0.939s
Paul di Resta 6th -0.308s 54/59 2 4th -80.35s
Nico Hulkenberg 11th +0.308s 5/59 3 14th +80.35s
Kamui Kobayashi 17th +0.878s 10/59 3 13th +46.522s
Sergio Perez 14th -0.878s 49/59 2 10th -46.522s
Daniel Ricciardo 15th -0.075s 11/38 2 9th
Jean-Eric Vergne 16th +0.075s 27/38 2
Pastor Maldonado 2nd -0.315s 35/36 3
Bruno Senna 22nd +0.315s 1/36 3 18th
Heikki Kovalainen 19th +0.291s 57/57 3 15th Not on same lap
Vitaly Petrov 18th -0.291s 0/57 4 19th Not on same lap
Pedro de la Rosa 24th +0.983s 27/30 3 17th
Narain Karthikeyan 23rd -0.983s 3/30 1
Timo Glock 20th -0.392s 47/59 2 12th -61.007s
Charles Pic 21st +0.392s 12/59 2 16th +61.007s

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 Singapore Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (19%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (26%)
  • Jenson Button (1%)
  • Fernando Alonso (4%)
  • Felipe Massa (9%)
  • Michael Schumacher (1%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (1%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (26%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (1%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (3%)
  • Bruno Senna (0%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (0%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (0%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (0%)
  • Pedro de la Rosa (0%)
  • Timo Glock (8%)
  • Charles Pic (0%)

Total Voters: 639

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2012 Singapore Grand Prix

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Image ?? Singapore GP/Sutton, Pirelli/LAT, Sahara Force India F1 Team, Williams/LAT, Marussia/LAT

140 comments on “Vote for your Singapore GP driver of the weekend”

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  1. Tough one, this. DiResta and Massa were the only drivers to actually do anything in what was a processional and tedious race. As always, the safety car appeared but in Singapore, it only seems to ruin strategies, not mix things up (2008 being the reprehensible exception).

    Massa did awfully in qualifying, but for the first time this year actually did something about it and raced up the field. I’m pretty sure, however, that his move on senna was borderline reckless, and something he would have attacked another driver for if they did it to him (see last year). He also pulled one of his old tricks more than once that I saw, namely ignoring the limits of the track and cutting corners.

    So while he did well, I can’t nominate him. Pastor drove well, but as I’m of the opinion he’s a reprehensible, dangerous lout who doesn’t deserve to be in a car, he’s not getting it either.

    DiResta had a solid drive, but like the rest of the top 4 he was driving in place. Ricciardo? I honestly didn’t see enough of his race to judge, and keeping someone behind is mitigated by the fact that it’s almost impossible to pass anyway.

    I’m tempted to give it to Glock just because it’s about the only positive thing to happen to him since Toyota closed, and he foolishly signed up for another year in marussia so it’s unlikely anything good will ever happen again.

    1. I did give my vote to Glock

  2. Ok. Di Resta – your time. There’s something about this guy and Singapore and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins it next year or the year after next, provided Force India improve a bit or that he lands in a Mercedes or McLaren or something. Well done.

    Vettel, Hamilton, Button and Alonso are worth a mention here as well. And if it was driver of the race I would have given it to Massa. No doubt. :)

  3. When you look at the lapchart, Massa passed more cars from the back of the pack after receiving a puncture on a hard-to-pass track. His save on passing Senna counts also

  4. Would give it to Timo Glock. Great results for Marussia, the pace says everything on this track which not everyone loves & performs well.

  5. I voted for Hamilton, for the same reason I voted for Vettel in Valencia. Both took pole position and both were controlling the race comfortably before being forced to retire through no fault of their own. There isn’t much more that can be asked of a driver.

    I could have easily voted for Vettel here too, mind, as well as Paul di Resta.

  6. Driver of the weekend is Vettel for me. He didn’t deliver in Q3 and might not have won if it wasn’t for Lewis’ gearbox, but this was a classic Seb victory. Not a fan, but well deserved.

    Honorable mentions for the race: Senna, Massa, Maldonado.

  7. My vote was for Hamilton, his race pace was amazing and that qualifying lap was unreal. When Alonso says he “was on another planet” that means something. I was happy to see Alonso retain his 1+ race advantage over his nearest rival, though RedBull and McLaren are closing in slowly. Hamilton was putting in a phenomenal performance when his McLaren let him down, I am not a necessarily a fan of Hamilton’s but his talent cannot be denied.

  8. I was tempted to opt for Pastor Maldonado, but his race pace wasn’t as impressive as his qualifying. Timo Glock did well, Paul di Resta ran a great race in 4th, Lewis Hamilton was fast before his retirement, but for me it has to be Sebastian Vettel. He was on it all weekend (except in Q3) and I’m certain that he could at least run Hamilton to the line or at best beat him.

  9. Would have voted for Lewis but chose Massa purely for the amazing save when overtaking Senna ! Made me go OMG which hasn’t happened with Massa for a long time ! Maybe Canada 08 when he overtook 2 cars at the hairpin – made it look like they were sleeping. He seems to have a bit of his spark back lately.

  10. Who voted for Kamui??

  11. Went for Gloc, great drive. The best ever for Marussia

  12. These polls seem more like driver ‘fan’ counts based on Michael Schumacher getting votes for best driver?????????????? Thanks R & R PS or maybe it is family based…

    1. @racernorriski

      These polls seem more like driver ‘fan’ counts based on Michael Schumacher getting votes for best driver?

      I don’t agree. At the time of writing the most popular driver on the site the last I checked the numbers (Jenson Button) has 1% of the votes in this poll.

      Have a look at the popularity ratings here and it’s pretty clear there’s no correlation:

      1. @keithcollantine, I wonder, do you keep statistics about how often this comment is not required in DOTW polls?

        1. @adrianmorse Well, it’s not an unreasonable thing to ask, and it’s partly why I wanted to have a means for people to show who they’re supporting.

      2. Haha, I can’t believe you seriously think these biased votes represent an objective opinion Keith. So I wonder if Vettel will finally earn his first DOTW this week, you know, since he’s the closest to Alonso in the championship (with an average car for most of the season) and won 2 races this year, including this one. Hmmm.. now what makes this doubtful…

        1. As I said I don’t believe there’s much of a correlation between which drivers people support and how they have voted.

          You seem to think that because others don’t share the same opinion as you, that automatically means they’re “biased”. That doesn’t make sense to me. Others are as entitled to their opinions as you are.

          1. They certainly are entitled to an opinion (nothing against that), but that by definition makes these votes subjective ( The standard of voting is changed to suit the situation (and driver) and is all over the place. One race a driver gets it because they managed to overtake and go from 10th to 2rd in the race, yet given the same situation (Belgian GP) they are shunned. Oh and at the same time Button, who like Vettel in 2011 had the best car, drove into the distance (Pole/win) got the votes, which was so frowned upon last year. If this is not confirmation of bias, I don’t know what is. Also, let’s look the the DOTW results of the year so far: Ham: 2, Alo: 2, But: 2, Rai: 1. Vet: big fat zero. These are your top 5 championship drivers by points atm. Actually JB is not even in the top 5.

          2. You’ve made an assumption that if a driver performs in a certain way (e.g. takes pole position and wins the race) that automatically means they should win the vote. If that were so, then there wouldn’t be much point in having a poll.

            And of course the poll is subjective (no dictionary definition link required, by the way), it’s a question of people’s opinions.

          3. I haven’t made that assumption Keith, I’m only observing the results of the majority of votes. I used that last bit of information only to strengthen my point, which was made in the few sentences above that.

            It’s hard to take something like this poll seriously when prejudice (towards a driver) dictates how people vote. Granted, prejudice/opinion, ridiculous statements/votes are always present in any poll, as demonstrated by votes towards Schumi/Karthikeyanin this race. It just seems to be more extreme in Vettels case, which skews the credibility of the results.

            I’d like to point out that I’m not even a Vettel fan, just dislike the treatment he gets here and like to point it out. If anything, the fact that the majority (going by comments/votes on this site) of people here don’t seem to appreciate his skills make me like him more.

  13. Toss-up between Vettel, Hamilton, di Resta and Glock. In the end I went for Glock because he had a great weekend in a car which is too slow for his talents – and because I love the idea of an F1 driver who can also put up your scaffolding for you. Speed AND practicality!

  14. While Vettel, di Resta and Glock all had good weekends, I do think Hamilton out performed them.

    My heart is saying vote Glock! My head is saying Hamilton does deserve it this time – so Hamilton it is.

  15. Michael Brown (@)
    24th September 2012, 21:11

    Vettel was on it all weekend. The only reason he wouldn’t get Driver of the Weekend is because he’s Vettel. Such a shame for him.

    1. or it might be that he fluffed his lines in Q3 and that would have cost him the chance of victory if it were not for Hamilton’s unfortunate failure…

      1. Or because Di Resta had a great weekend altogether in an inferior car. :)

      2. Yet he’s lost DOTW on nine of his wins when he was fastest in Q3 (and on a further 2 race wins when he wasn’t). And twice it went to the driver that inherited the win off a Vettel car failure (one this year, the other Korea 2010).

        Nevertheless, this time it does go to PdR in my opinion.

    2. Michael Brown, right on the money.

      1. Yes, I agree.

  16. Very difficult.

    Hamilton was the stand-out performer from Saturday onwards.

    Vettel drove a strong race, he certainly would have pushed Hamilton close (he did seem to be faster during the second stint until Hamilton retired)

    Di Resta had a very strong performance

    Glock produced a strong result, regardless of the misfortune suffered by others. And managed to do this after completely clattering his car off the wall – what on earth is that Marussia made out of!!

  17. Hard to pick a driver out, it wasnt a great race & we were robbed of seeing a good battle between Vettel & Hamilton. These circuits might look cool & rake in tons of cash but they really make you want to switch off at times. Need more tracks like Spa. Hope new track in Texas breaks the trend of boring new circuits like valencia & singapore. I choose Vettel, after his blip in Q3 he did well to take Maldonado & then reel Hamilton in. Not his fault his car was reliable & finished the race.

  18. The article says that Petrov finished ahead of Kovalainen – but he didn’t???

    1. Indeed he didn’t – sorry about that. have changed it.

  19. It feels a bit churlish because these are really talented people… but I don’t really feel like anyone deserves the ‘driver of the week’ this time.

    Partly this is because the saftey car. If there hadn’t been one then Vettel might not have managed a two-stopper. On that basis Jenson paced himself perfectly, keeping in touch with Vettel so that when the German made the extra stop, the Brit would have taken the win. We’d have hailed Jenson as a genius and said that Vettel just wasn’t quick enough.

    As it is, Vettel got a free stop and 9 laps behind the safety car, in a shortened race. No more problems with tire wear. Now Vettel’s small speed advantage sees him pull away from Jenson, who can’t keep up.

    So did Vettel walk it, or was Button denied a win? If Hamilton had kept running, how would his tires have held up? Button’s were much newer… it could be that Button would have won even without the retirement (assuming no safety car).

    Basically, I’ve just got no idea how to gauge the top 3’s performance in the race. The same goes for Alonso… he beat the cars he’s expected to beat, as he normally does. But how quick was the Ferrari? For all we know, 3rd place represents a minor miracle.

    In the end I voted for Maldonado. It was a controlled race from him following a good performance in qualifying. Okay, plenty of other drivers can say the same. But this time, I don’t think anyone put up a driver they’ll remember a year from now.

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