Vote for your 2012 Korean GP driver of the weekend

2012 Korean Grand Prix

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

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

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

  1. the_sigman (@sigman1998) said on 15th October 2012, 18:27

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

  2. 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.

  3. Estesark (@estesark) said on 15th October 2012, 18:44

    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.

    • 91jb12 (@91jb12) said on 15th October 2012, 19:11

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

      • Estesark (@estesark) said on 15th October 2012, 23:14

        “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.

  4. 91jb12 (@91jb12) said on 15th October 2012, 19:07

    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???

  5. foleyger (@foleyger) said on 15th October 2012, 19:17

    1/ vettel

  6. xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 15th October 2012, 19:18

    Sebastian Vettel; he dominated all weekend, apart from the 10 minute Q3 session.
    can’t get much better than that.

  7. bosyber (@bosyber) said on 15th October 2012, 20:13

    Vettel wasn’t perfect, but he has to be a contender by making the race winner never in doubt after the first few corners. Massa did very very well all weekend, as did Hulkenberg. The two Torro Rosso guys, while their car seems to lack some pace on Saturday, used all the pace they had where it mattered, and battled on track some too.

    Alonso probably did the best he could too, having a good start to get ahead of HAM (that would have costed him!), and hanging on. Can’t really take the effort to attack WEB very serious though, and I do think MAS was faster this weekend.

    I’ll give it to Hulkenberg because he took his car so much further than his team mate managed, both on Saturday and on Sunday, well done.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 15th October 2012, 20:17

      Oh, an honourable mention for HAM too, things clearly didn’t go his way (or that of his team) this weekend, but apart from a bit of moodiness when the car started crabbing about, he then got his act together and fought for what he+car was worth, even until the final corner. And on Saturday he got the car where it belonged too, I think he actually showed a lot of skill and determination in Korea.

      • Theoddkiwi (@theoddkiwi) said on 15th October 2012, 21:11

        Can someone explain to me why Hamilton had no right to be just a bit angry and disappointed. Three races three mechanical failures, Second position in the championship to 4th equal in three races and effectively out of the championship. Does that sound like something worth cheering about?

  8. melkurion (@melkurion) said on 15th October 2012, 21:01

    Boring race, boring pick for driver of the weekend, Vettel, no one else even comes close in my oppinion. Though hat fact makes me sad :(

  9. crr917 (@crr917) said on 15th October 2012, 21:27

    Massa could have finished 2nd maybe. Maybe not. No one knows. What if his tires died 5 laps too early?
    Hulkenberg had a nice drive but having seen penalties for offtrack overtaking this season, shouldn’t the stewards had a look? It’s not taking anything from the ability he showed but it does leave bad aftertaste, right? (having in mind Webber’s penalty at Singapore)
    Voted Vettel.

  10. mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 15th October 2012, 21:31

    How can anyone vote for Alonso when Massa showed the Ferrari had more in it today?

  11. Eleanore (@leucocrystal) said on 15th October 2012, 21:42

    Really hated to see Senna’s race pretty much ruined by the debris caught up in his wing at the beginning, and then just the overall lack of pace in the FW34 this weekend. He had another spectacular start (one of several this season), jumping almost immediately from P17 to P12, but those problems cost him too much of that gain to ever make it back up again. Pastor was quoted the other day as suspecting Williams have been left behind in the development race, and it certainly looks that way right now. Doesn’t help much that the team have been awfully slow with their pit stops in the last several races either.

  12. ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 15th October 2012, 21:44

    Hulk was very good, but I am giving it to Felipe, as he was the only person able to consistently match Vettel’s lap times which was very impressive considering the Ferrari wasn’t the best car at this track. Nice that he’s gaining some momentum heading into 2013!

    Also he made it to Q3 which is no mean feat for him in 2012! :P

  13. JenniKate (@jennikate) said on 15th October 2012, 21:48

    Hulkenberg for me, very solid weekend, made himself stand out yet again & massively outperformed his teammate. Extra points for the beaming grin and excitement shown in post race interviews.

    Also worthy – Vettel for another dominating weekend, Massa & the Toro Rosso boys, that car looked good out there

  14. “Felipe, Alonso is slower than you… confirm you understand the message.” is how Smedley should have told him to back off. Of course, we’d have been talking Rob Smedley having gone missing under mysterious circumstances the followng day if he had, but you could tell that back in 2010 he was gutted to have to relay the team orders. That just would have been perfect payback… :D

  15. Jake (@jleigh) said on 15th October 2012, 22:28

    I’m a little confused why Vettel has so many votes. He mucked up Q3, he made a couple of mistakes in the race, and had an easy job of taking the fastest car on the grid round at the front, a position inherited by a classic Webber start.

    For me it was the easiest vote of the year, and it goes to Hamilton. He recovered from a difficult Friday to qualify a very impressive 3rd, considering his team-mate was knocked out in Q2 (the yellow flags might have been a factor, but Hamilton being 7 tents quicker through the middle sector was also pretty important).

    Into the race, the wasn’t much he could do at the start, being boxed out. Then on lap 18 his anti-roll bar broke, a problem that cost Alonso 1.6-2 seconds a lap on the much shorter, simpler circuit that is Monza. Hamilton however managed to only lose 2 seconds a lap, for over 30 laps on a longer, more challenging circuit. He also managed some remarkable displays of defensive driving against the Lotus drivers, and attacked the Torro Rosso’s at the end, probably with the ability to take 8th before being attacked by some rogue AstroTurf!

    I agree with Martin Whitmarsh that Hamilton’s performance was truly heroic. I suspect it was a performance that will be appreciated more as time passes by and more realise how incredible it was.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 15th October 2012, 22:34

      I don’t even think this was one of Vettel’s best weekends of the year (but it wasn’t any easier a job than Button at Australia, for instance), but he’s been screwed out of the vote many, many times.

      • Jake (@jleigh) said on 15th October 2012, 22:38

        I agree, I’ve voted for Vettel on a number of occasions when he dominated the weekend etc, but this time he didn’t, he made mistakes, and I can think of at least 3 drivers who, for me, did a better job.

    • Estesark (@estesark) said on 15th October 2012, 23:17

      If Hamilton can somehow produce a miraculous comeback and win the WDC by a single point, we will be able to attribute it to his “heroics” in Korea. If he finishes 4th overall, though, it’s not going to make any material difference and will probably be forgotten in time.

    • mda (@mda72) said on 16th October 2012, 2:59

      Hmmm … “it was a performance that will be appreciated more as time passes by and more realise how incredible it was.” I take your point, but I felt similarly back in 1986 (!) when my then-hero, Alain Prost, made a stirring recovery during the last half of the Belgian GP, claiming fastest lap on the way to sixth (which was also a solitary point back then). I thought this drive completely outshone the winner’s that weekend (Nigel Mansell). Also, Prost was similarly heroic on his way to an eventual 7th at Hockenheim, when he ran out of fuel on the finishing straight, but then earned the undying admiration of the crowd by getting out of his car and endeavouring to push it across the line. (No points for 7th back then). He totally stole the show from Nelson Piquet, who won that race. But most people remember 1986 as the year Prost inherited the title after Mansell’s tyre blew in the last race at Adelaide. Still, we can dream that our heroes will be recognised for their heroics in times to come.

    • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 18th October 2012, 22:59

      Well, to be honest, I didn’t know why Vettel had so few at Singapore; he did all that was needed of him, and benefited froma retirement a la Alonso at valencia, and he won that poll by miles.

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