Start, Korea, 2012

Vote for your 2012 Korean GP driver of the weekend

2012 Korean Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Which F1 driver had the best race weekend in Korea?

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

Korean Grand Prix driver-by-driver

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Korea International Circuit, 2012Sebastian Vettel – Another crushing performance secured his third win on the trot and the lead of the drivers’ championship. Pole position looked like a formality until he got too close to Massa on his final run and had to settle for second. But as in 2011 he was quickly into the lead at the start. He locked up heavily on the in-lap at the end of his second stint so the team responded with repeated warning about the state of his tyres during the final stint.

Mark Webber – Snatched pole position from Vettel but didn’t got off the line well enough to keep the lead. From there on he was in a race for second and he kept Alonso well out of range.


Jenson Button – The yellow flag during qualifying didn’t help his cause but he was at risk of missing Q3 without it. Could have had an interesting race starting from 11th on soft tyres, but was hit by Kobayashi at turn three and had to retire.

Lewis Hamilton – Car set-up problems gave him a headache during practice, and not for the first time this year. A strong late effort in qualifying secured third but he spent the race slipping back from there. The process was hastened first by a broken rear anti-roll bar, then an extra pit stop due to increased tyre wear caused by the problem, and finally by a piece of Astroturf which got stuck to the side of his car. Having faced all that, a point was a triumph.


Fernando Alonso – Best of the rest behind the Red Bulls. Alonso made a serious effort to go after Webber in the final stint, but just couldn’t find any more pace in the F2012.

Felipe Massa – Over three-tenths of a second off Alonso in qualifying but only two places behind him on the grid. Squeezed past Raikkonen at the start and later passed the struggling Hamilton. After that he was warned not to get too close to his team mate. This was the first weekend in a long time that Massa had a genuine chance to finish in front of Alonso on merit but he isn’t the rooster in this team.


Michael Schumacher – Schumacher made it into Q3 but rarely figured in the race: “We didn’t manage to get the tyres working properly over the race distance, which made for inconsistent lap times, and accounted for our step back in performance.”

Nico Rosberg – Out-qualified his team mate but was eliminated at the start by another driver for the second race in a row.


Start, Korea, 2012Kimi Raikkonen – Raikkonen was the only one of the two Lotus drivers to use their new Coanda exhaust. This produced a quicker lap time at the expense of some straight-line speed, which was evident in the difficulty he had overtaking Hamilton. That cost him some seven-and-a-half seconds, without which he might have given the Ferraris a harder time.

Romain Grosjean – No Coanda exhaust for Grosjean, whose brief this weekend was to stay out of trouble. This he did with a circumspect drive to seventh place, electing not to try anything too risky while battling for position with Hulkenberg.

Force India

Paul di Resta – Blamed traffic for failing to reach Q3 with a car he admitted had top-ten pace. Started on the soft tyres, which didn’t last long enough, then had trouble with graining on the super-softs. Came in 12th, a long way behind his team mate.

Nico Hulkenberg – Was very pleased to split the Lotuses for sixth place. He lost position to Grosjean following his second pit stop but took advantage of a slow Hamilton and Grosjean’s timidity to execute a superb double pass.


Kamui Kobayashi – From Suzuka hero to Korea zero. Was unsure about exactly what went wrong at the start but accepted the blame: “I had Nico [Rosberg] to the right and Jenson [Button] and Sergio [Perez] on my left-hand side. Someone hit my rear tyre and then it was impossible to control the car, but I had to brake at some point. I didn?t manage to avoid the accident, and I feel very sorry for ruining someone else?s race, and certainly this was not my intention. It was just a very difficult moment and I had nowhere to go but I think it was my mistake.

Sergio Perez – Felt the yellow flags in Q2 cost him a chance to reach the final ten. Ran a long first stint but was delayed by a slow first pit stop. “This was when we lost the race because I dropped behind a group of cars,” he said. However the race chart indicates he came out behind Vergne who pulled away from him and went on to finish in the points.

Toro Rosso

Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, Korea International Circuit, 2012Daniel Ricciardo – Finished behind his team mate but was clearly the quicker of the two Toro Rossos this weekend. Relegated to 21st on the grid due to a gearbox change penalty, he was running ahead of Vergne when his car developed a fault which sent him off the track: “At first I thought it must have been a suspension failure,” he said. “I realised I could keep going, even if every time I braked the car pulled to the left and I was locking the front a lot. Unfortunately, that cost me eighth place, but at least I was able to give it up to my team-mate.”

Jean-Eric Vergne – Made his way past the Williams drivers in the opening laps despite pressure from his team mate. Ricciardo jumped him by staying out a lap longer at the end of their first stint, but the positions were reversed when Ricciardo hit trouble later on.


Pastor Maldonado – The yellow flag wasn’t a concern for Maldonado in Q2 – he simply didn’t feel the car was capable of reaching Q3. Unusually he ran a one-stop strategy in the race, but lacked the pace to make progress and couldn’t get ahead of any of the cars he started behind.

Bruno Senna – Was knocked out in Q1 for the third time this year. In the race he got stuck behind his one-stopping team mate and lost a lot of time.


Vitaly Petrov, Caterham, Korea International Circuit, 2012Heikki Kovalainen – “We were simply too slow,” he admitted after struggling to find a set-up he was happy with. Swapped places with his team mate in the final stint but ended up over ten seconds behind due to the blue flags.

Vitaly Petrov – Out-qualified and out-raced his team mate, the pair finishing in front of the Marussias.


Pedro de la Rosa – Not for the first time this year HRT pulled one of their cars out due to a safety concern: “Unfortunately, we had a problem with the throttle pedal since the fifth lap,” de la Rosa explained. “At the start it would get slightly jammed but as the laps went by it got worse so the team decided to pull me out. I think they made the right decision because, not only was the car very difficult to handle and we were going slower and slower, but it was also dangerous.”

Narain Karthikeyan – Pitted just once and finished well over a minute behind the next car. Had a scare during qualifying when a brake disc shattered as he approached turn three, sending him spinning off at speed.


Timo Glock – Pushed the Caterhams during the race but fell back in the final stint when his front-right tyre started to go off.

Charles Pic – Had a very lonely race from last on the grid following an engine change penalty. He lost time picking his way past the HRTs at the start and was too far back to get on terms with his team mate and the Caterhams.

Qualifying and race results summary

Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 2nd +0.074s 55/55 2 1st -8.231s
Mark Webber 1st -0.074s 0/55 2 2nd +8.231s
Jenson Button 11th +0.441s 0/0 0
Lewis Hamilton 3rd -0.441s 0/0 3 10th
Fernando Alonso 4th -0.35s 53/55 2 3rd -6.224s
Felipe Massa 6th +0.35s 2/55 2 4th +6.224s
Michael Schumacher 10th +0.152s 1/1 2 13th
Nico Rosberg 9th -0.152s 0/1 0
Kimi Raikkonen 5th -0.309s 55/55 2 5th -18.073s
Romain Grosjean 7th +0.309s 0/55 2 7th +18.073s
Paul di Resta 14th +0.215s 2/55 2 12th +39.147s
Nico Hulkenberg 8th -0.215s 53/55 2 6th -39.147s
Kamui Kobayashi 13th +0.134s 0/16 1
Sergio Perez 12th -0.134s 16/16 2 11th
Daniel Ricciardo 21st -0.256s 34/55 2 9th +2.198s
Jean-Eric Vergne 16th +0.256s 21/55 2 8th -2.198s
Pastor Maldonado 15th -0.419s 31/55 1 14th -1.978s
Bruno Senna 17th +0.419s 24/55 2 15th +1.978s
Heikki Kovalainen 19th +0.126s 39/54 2 17th +10.72s
Vitaly Petrov 18th -0.126s 15/54 2 16th -10.72s
Pedro de la Rosa 22nd 14/16 0
Narain Karthikeyan 23rd 2/16 1 20th
Timo Glock 20th +0.054s 50/53 2 18th Not on same lap
Charles Pic 24th -0.054s 3/53 2 19th Not on same lap

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 Korean Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (34%)
  • Mark Webber (3%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (10%)
  • Jenson Button (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (3%)
  • Felipe Massa (20%)
  • Michael Schumacher (0%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (2%)
  • Romain Grosjean (1%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (17%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (1%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (6%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (3%)
  • 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: 522

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2012 Korean Grand Prix

Browse all 2012 Korean Grand Prix articles

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images, Red Bull/Getty images, Red Bull/Getty images, Caterham/LAT

113 comments on “Vote for your 2012 Korean GP driver of the weekend”

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  1. “but he isn’t the rooster in this team.”

    Big lol on that one…just for that I’m voting for FM…it understandably took him a while to get where he has in FA’s Ferrari but considering how many had written him off earlier in the year, I think this was like a win for FM.

    1. And not being on the podium while he was worth second (3rd in worst case) is quite something as you said after his year, this is quite a new Felipe …
      My vote still going to Vettel, have to reckon he hasn’t made many mistakes on the WE. 2nd driver is definitly Massa

    2. “but he isn’t the rooster in this team.”

      Does this mean Massa is a hen… lol Voted Vettel…

  2. It cannot be anyone else than Vettel imo. Again a perfect demonstration of how to command a race when you are leading by the end of the first lap.

    Special mention to both Hülkenberg and Hamilton. Hülkenberg might not have had the pace to challenge the Lotuses, but with that great pass at turn 4 he did secure 6th place.

    Hamilton’s race reminded me of Gilles Villeneuve: even though everything is not going the way you want it to go – rear-suspension failure, heavy tyre wear and Kermit the frog stuck to your car – and still not giving up. I don’t know by hard what year, but it was a bit similar to Villeneuve driving his 312 Ferrari at Zandvoort with just 3 tyres for an entire lap with incredible pace. In the end, Hamilton was lucky Perez got held up by Di Resta at the end, else the final point would have gone to the young Mexican.

    1. “Kermit the frog stuck to your car”…funny one. I actually thought perhaps they had put LH on early garden leave.

    2. How about driving with a broken front wing that also happens to block your view… in the rain?

      Would’ve given it to Vettel if he had had pole, now I gave it to Hulk because he was really solid.

    3. I voted for Hamilton because despite everything he kept flogging his dead horse when he could have just retired and blamed the team he is leaving. Plaudits to Ricciardo for same reason. I considered Webber for a perfect execution of the plan, he has well and truly earned his contract extension.

      1. Definitely showed fighting spirit this race! Ricciardo too, as you say.
        And I think both Vergne and Hulkenberg showed us some really nice racing this weekend.

        I am afraid I agree with you on Webber as well, surely he was careful not to get too close too early, so as not to hear the same message that poor Felipe was getting, now that he finally found some speed!

    4. I can’t give it to Vettel as his quali was pretty poor. Also, I don’t see how this one cant go Hamilton. What he did out there was truly astonishing!

  3. A real tough one. Wanted to give it to Vettel and probably should have as well. Still went for Hulkenburg. Somehow it felt that Vettel’s win was made all the more easier by Webber. The impact of the win was lacking for me, quite in contrast to Suzuka. It is true though that no team had the pace of the RBR’s and I wonder if say Alonso was second, would the fight have been stronger for first place.

    Hulkenburg kept his head and even though lost out to Grosjean mid race, kept up behind him and executed the double pass beautifully. Not an easy thing to do when both the cars ahead of you have better pace even if they were handicapped in some way. I really hope FI dont let him go to Sauber. They could do with a stable line up for next year.

    1. Totally agree!

    2. “Somehow it felt that Vettel’s win was made all the more easier by Webber.”
      I totally agree. Webber clearly drove with the purpose of maximising the WDC result for his teammate, and the WCC result for his team. This race was a masterclass by RBR. Just as you could call the way the Dutch played football in the 70’s “total football”, you could call what Red Bull did in Korea “total racing”. Despite being 20kph off the pace in straight-line speed, nobody else laid a glove on them for the 1-2 finish – and in the right order, too.

  4. He may be a chicken most of the times. But his crowing in Korea was definitely that of a rooster and the best rooster in Formula 1 was reduced to being the chicken that day.

    Cock-a-doodle-doo, to you Felipe! Cock. A. Doodle. Doo.

  5. I feel ashamed but I’ll vote for Felipe Massa. Such a convincing performance, could’ve snatched 3rd place off Alonso, and maybe fight Webber – if he had a chance in the team, that is.

    Maybe he’s getting back to where he used to be, and that Suzuka podium really got his confidence back up.

    Other than that, I’d vote for Hulkenberg, or Vettel. But I feel like Massa deserves my vote this time. Specially after all the bashing.

    (and yes, Felipe, I said back in the day that Ferrari would renew your contract ! How mad it’s actually going to happen…)

    1. @fer-no65 Early on in the year i was one of the 4% (Last I checked) that Massa would beat Alonso in the team-mate battle. That Massa could potentially beat Alonso if the team had permitted him atleast helped me partly vindicate my stand :D

    2. I don’t know how much was luck and how much skill but with Massa’s tires in such good shape he definitely could have contended for 2nd. And who knows.

      He doesn’t deserve driver of the weekend though. Qualifying wasn’t good and ultimately it’s on him that he agrees to sit behind a teammate. “Could have” is not proven and in the end he merely “was not bad” in a car which is evidently second only to the Red Bull.

      Hulk had a near perfect weekend. But then so did Vettel when it really counted, and battled strongly on the first lap. I voted for Vettel.

      1. @tigen Massa had to stay behind Alonso, at Ferrai it’s well worth a no-seat for next season while you can be just okay at RedBull or McLaren … But totally agree, difficult to say what he could have done as it didn’t happened as for Jenson who seemed well above Hamilton and having great race pace during practice … we’ll never know

  6. As in Japan, Vettel was the best driver. His only faults were his second lap in Q3 and the lock-up on his in-lap during the second stint.

    1. Special mention to Hulkenberg also, he drove a fantastic race and the pass he pulled on Grosjean and Hamitlon was brilliant! Well and truly beat his teammate once again.

    2. Ably assisted by his team mate.

      1. Vettel, that is.

      2. @hohum – No, Vettel well and truly outclassed Webber. He bet him into turn one and from there Vettel built a gap.

        1. @vettel1, C’mon Max, get real, you can’t really be that naive, Webber set fastest lap in qualifying and in the race, he had the speed to fight all the way to the finish but that was not in the script.

          1. Vettel outclassed him in the race, Webber posted a fantastic lap in qualifying to pip Vettel for pole.
            Realistically though, Webber probably only set the fastest lap to annoy Vettel!

          2. @vettel1 – As surprising as it is, I’m happy Vettel didn’t get fastest lap. At least I won’t be thinking “not getting pole is the only thing that cost Vettel a grand chelem”.

    3. can’t argue with any of that, which was why i also voted for finger boy for the 2nd week in succession.

  7. he isn’t the rooster in this team

    As much as I hated to watch ‘Alonso is faster(?) than you 3’, I think that every other team would have done the same if they were in Ferrari’s situation now and that Ferrari wouldn’t have issued team orders if this was only the third race of the season or so.

    1. In fairness, I agree with you. At this stage in the season, it was necessary that FM not rob FA of points as he is the team’s only WDC hope. And I think it would have been too much of a long shot to try to have FM go by FA, then get ahead of MW and hold him up so FA could get by both of them for a second place. And I would like to think FA himself would not like to have that much help. He probably would have been embarassed if he had that kind of help, or at least I’d like to think so. MS in the same situation would have felt it was his god-given right and well earned by him and would have pumped his fists and basked in the glory of his achievement of a second on the podium…and then would have thanked everyone including the janitor back at the factory.

      I’m just not exactly feeling all warm and fuzzy about Ferrari today, obviously after reading LdM’s quotes, but yes for sure any team, especially ones that have given both their drivers a fair shot and for whom it just didn’t work out for one driver, while the other has a legitimate WDC shot, would be giving it up for the one with the shot right now. That’s how F1 is supposed to work, imho. Would they have issued the same team order to FM if this was the 3rd race? Today I am feeling like perhaps they would, although in my heart I actually do believe that they are not doing it quite to the extent of the MS/Ferrari way and in fact yes I think FM would have been allowed by if it was the 3rd race of the season. At least I keep trying to look at the glass half full.

    2. Totally agree @girts.

      Any team with one driver on 194 points and the other on 69 points would, as you say, do the same.

      Moreover, Massa is (despite his recent form) lucky that he wasn’t given the bullet mid-season, if not at the end of 2011. He owes the team big time.

      Finally, it’s not as if Ferrari makes any secret of the fact that Alonso is number one. Felipe has obviously decided that no. 2 at Ferrari is better than trying his luck with another team. You have to accept the consequences of the choices you make.

  8. Looking at the current standings, im amazed to see Webber 0%, Alonso 1% … while Kobayashi gets 4% !? I mean, whaat? :(

    1. @me4me – he provided just about the only excitement in the entire race!

      1. In this case the 4% refers to the amount of Kob’s car that remained untouched by another car at the start. And it also apparently represents his chances of being re-signed by Sauber.

  9. Massa deserved it last week in Suzuka, in my opinion. I choose HulkenBerger.

    1. I was trying to decide between Hulkenberg, Massa and Vettel. I chose Massa in the end – I think he had the potential to finish 2nd.

  10. Will Vettel ever get close to 40% on this blog?

  11. The drive that impressed me the most was the one of the Hulk, he got everything from that car, in qualiying and on the race and that move on Grosjean and Hamilton was the highlight of the race.
    Next up both Toros, in my opinion their drive of the year. It´s fair to mention Massa, he seemed really fast on race trim.

    If there was a vote for the worst driver of the week, which I think it would be very interesting, the prize would go undisputably to Kobayashi – in that accident was it pressure for feeling that is place was in danger and he had to show strong results to remain at Sauber?

  12. Not a Hamilton fan by any means but he really drove his ass off considering the mechanical problems he had. Runner up imo would be Raikkonen, decent qualifying and finished where he started. Quite good for someone who has never raced at Korea before.

  13. Gagnon (@johnniewalker)
    15th October 2012, 18:07

    My vote goes to JEV, Great race for the torro rosso driver.

    1. Ricciardo was better than Vergne.

      1. They both had great races but for me Vergne just ahead. He was ahead of his team mate after the first stops, came out after the 2nd stops 3 places behind but still finished ahead, overtaking Di Resta, Perez (I think) and Schumacher on the way.

        1. I’m fairly sure Ricciardo had a suspension problem or something. As Keith has said, he was clealy quicker; he qualified ahead of Vergne (but dropped behind him on the grid due to a gearbox change) and managed to get back ahead, before the problem occured.

          1. Yes Dan was unlucky and drove a great race but he only passed his team mate in the 2nd pit stop. My reason for saying Jev was his race craft; he passed good drivers on track.

        2. Actually, despite Ricciardo starting five places behind Vegne, he got ahead him on lap 16 and continued to pull away from him for the remainder of the race, passing everyone that Vergne did. He had a brake problem develop on lap 44 which slowed him down and allowed Vergne to catch and pass him, otherwise Ricciardo would have been convincingly 8th.

      2. I agree Daniel Ricciardo could have finished 7th if he did not have the brake problem starting from 21st great drive.

      3. Yeah not going to lie, I gave my vote to Ricciardo. From 21st position on the grid he would have beaten his team mate by atleast 10 seconds if it wasn’t for that damned brake problem.
        Same as in Monza, his car died on the last corner. He’s outclassed Vergne this year.

  14. Hamilton, no contest. A completely broken car, and he STILL managed to make Raikkonen have to fight for it, and even retook his position for a while, despite Raikkonen being much, much faster.

  15. Hamilton. With a broken car he demonstrated why he is one of the better drivers of Formula 1 today. His spirit is amazing.

    1. “guys I think we should retire the car”
      Lewis Hamilton, German GP 2011 Lap 2.
      He drove very well in almost impossible circumstances yesterday but don’t forget his amazing spirit in Hockenheim

      1. 2012 German/ GP sorry

        1. So were you in the car experienceing the difficulty and damage he had to try to manage?

      2. @91jb12 How does a Grand Prix that happened three months ago relate to this race?

    2. He isn’t the most positive driver on the grid, he sounded rather disheartened and negative on the radio. Still, he did do well to score a point (if we exclude his off).

      1. Yeah because he should sound more like this:
        “Hey guys I am having a wonderful day, this is soo much fun. Just before i finish the car is totally unstable, the tyres are wearing out very quickly and everyone behind me is catching me. Dont worry i dont mind having a third car failure in three races and now my championship hopes are in tatters. I mean its not like you guys have cost me over 50 points this season. This is soo much fun. I love this car, I love this team”

        1. Exactly why he got my vote.

        2. LOL Well said.

  16. Sorry Seb, but this has to go to Ricciardo.
    Amazing performance especially in the first laps.

  17. I’ll give this one to Massa as I believe this was the performance that finally consolidated his return to top form. Decent quali, there or thereabouts all weekend and superb pace on Sunday. It’s the second GP in a row where Massa is the one who gets the most out of his Ferrari, not Alonso.

    Notable mentions, in order: Vettel, Webber, Ricciardo and Hulkenberg.

  18. I know Vettel dominated once again, but it just felt so lacklustre with Webber in second place. The Red Bull car was clearly streets ahead of the rest. I voted for him after Japan, so I’ll go for someone else this time, and it’s a toss-up between Massa and Ricciardo for me. I think I’ll give it to the Australian.

    1. “clearly” being 2 tenths clear in qualy and 10 secs over a 55 lap race.

      1. “Clearly” being first and second in qualifying and first and second at the chequered flag, with no other cars ever having been in front of them (except maybe at pit stops – I know Vettel led every lap, but I’m not going to check the lap chart to see if Webber was ever lower than second). It doesn’t really matter what the time gap was, particularly at a track like Korea: if any other car had got close, they could have used huge DRS zone (as well as Red Bull’s relatively poor straight line speed) to get past without too much difficulty. That they did not even have the opportunity is enough for me to think that the Red Bull had a distinct advantage.

  19. I actually thought Hulk did the best job over the eekend, so I’m very pleasantly surprised Vettel leads this poll. What has come over everyone this week???

    1. Everybody loves a winner baby…….
      That’s no lie

      1. they love a winner, when it isn’t Vettel! This may be his first DoTW this year!

        1. Not always other winners get it either; for example, Perez(Malaysia/Italy)Vettel was not the winner but Alonso/Hamilton.

  20. 1/ vettel

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