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

Loading ... Loading ...

An F1 Fanatic account is required in order to vote. If you do not have one, register an account here or read more about registering here.

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