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

Browse all 2012 Korean Grand Prix articles

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. dennis (@dennis) said on 15th October 2012, 22:30

    Every time Vettel absolutely owns a race weekend, I can not wait to get here to see what excuses people come up with to not vote for him.

    Never getting disappointed.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 15th October 2012, 22:36

      @dennis Well, in fairness he’s getting the votes for once this time.

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 16th October 2012, 1:36

      @dennis, I will do my best in my upcoming comment.

    • Roberto38 said on 16th October 2012, 1:48

      hahaha, me too Dennis.. absolutely spot on.. have stopped taking these votes seriously a LONG time ago.. :)

    • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 16th October 2012, 11:39

      To be honest, he didn’t dominate in the same manner that he did last weekend. Webber took the pole position and Vettel was struggling to make his tyres last on the final stint – it seems he was close to having a puncture (and if he did, no one would say he deserves to be DotW). Yet he didn’t win Japan DotW vote, but he seems to win this one. Weird.

      I think there were many drivers who performed well in Korea – Vettel, Massa, Hülkenberg, Räikkönen, Ricciardo, Vergne and Hamilton at least, and I think this is the toughest DotW vote we’ve had this season. It’s true that Vettel often receives a lot less votes than he should (Japan is a perfect example), but I don’t think he’s been underestimated this weekend.

  2. F1fanNL (@) said on 16th October 2012, 0:17

    Uh-oh. I think a lot of people tried to vote for Webber and accidentally clicked on Vettel instead.

  3. Michael Brown (@) said on 16th October 2012, 0:44

    Easy. Vettel

  4. Casanova (@casanova) said on 16th October 2012, 0:48

    Vettel lead the whole way but didn’t have a convincing dominance over Webber this weekend, who asserted himself against Vettel by taking ‘his’ pole and fastest lap. Hamilton drove with tenacity and resilience but he must surely be partly at fault for not reaching a setup he was happy with on Friday. Alonso got the most out of the car as usual but never had to fear Massa might put any pressure on him. I voted for Hulkenberg, who punched above his car’s weight on Saturday and Sunday and pulled that great double pass on Grosjean and Hamilton with finesse and skill.

    • Casanova (@casanova) said on 16th October 2012, 0:51

      I should add that I considered voting for Kimi, but he made very heavy weather of passing Hamilton and lost the chance to pressurize Massa later in the race as a consequence. Both Toro Rosso drivers impressed me too, but not enough for DOTW ahead of the Hulk.

  5. Drop Valencia! said on 16th October 2012, 1:18

    Karthikeyan is a joke, if HRT put a real driver in there he may not bring money but he would bring much needed positive glow to HRT.

  6. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 16th October 2012, 1:50

    A difficult choice this weekend, as there were few standout drives. The obvious choice is Vettel, who led from start to finish yet again, but (here we go, @dennis ;-) for me the emphasis is on yet again. He’s now led every lap since Hamilton encountered the first in his latest batch of car problems. I’ve developed a low resistance to Vettel dominance over the course of 2011, and after such a promising start to 2012, I am very disappointed to see the season develop in this fashion. Back to my rationale for not voting for Vettel, Sebastian is now back in the routine of controlling every race from the start, and there is nothing standout about it anymore. Also, this was not Vettel’s best weekend; he didn’t deliver in the practice session when it counts most: the second run in Q3 (and it wasn’t just Felipe Massa that cost him pole, his S2 was poor, and S3 could have been stronger too).

    So in the end I voted for Ricciardo. He made his way up from 21st to 8th, and the fact that he had to relinquish that place due to mechanical problem does not diminish his achievements in my eyes. A pity for him, though, that this drops him back even further behind his team mate in the standings (and also annoying that on James Allen’s blog you can vote for JEV but not RIC as driver of the day).

    • dennis (@dennis) said on 16th October 2012, 13:27

      Yeah, here we go.
      Blah, blah, leading from start to finish, blah, blah… Not a Vettel fan, blah, blah, boring, blah, blah.

      “Nothing standout” really caught my attention, though. Yeah, it’s really a shame he only won with a 10 second gap, and not with a sommersault over the finish line chopping Psy’s hand off with a part of the front wing.

      • McGregski (@mcgregski) said on 16th October 2012, 13:47

        ATTENTION! ATTENTION! Vettel Fan-Boy Alert! :)
        Blardy-Blardy Blah…

        I understand both views though… I got very bored of watching Vettel dominate last year so there is no novelty to it now BUT if you look at how much Red Bull were struggling earlier in the year compared to now then you can only really credit Newey for the turnaround.
        I think (given how close Webber and Vettel were this weekend) Newey probably driven himself and got the win

      • so you want us to believe that you vote completely untainted yourself, or is it just when Vettel is not voted for enough (in your opinion) that it bothers you?

        If this was about the result itself there wouldn’t be much reason to vote now, would there?

        To keep a Red Bull in front from start to finish impresses me just as little as it did keeping a Ferrari in front in the 200x’s.

  7. duncanmonza (@duncanmonza) said on 16th October 2012, 1:55

    I went for Ricciardo. Despite starting five places behind his team mate, he was 10 seconds ahead of him on lap 44 when his car got a brake problem. Ricciardo has easily been the better driver of the two this year, it’s just a shame that the points tell a different story.

  8. mda (@mda72) said on 16th October 2012, 2:45

    You cannot go past the man who only missed out on pole because he got checked by Massa on his last lap in Q3, then jumped his teammate at the start despite being on the dirty side of the track, then led every moment of the race from then on without being threatened by anybody. Vettel had the race so completely under his control from turn 1 lap 1 that he made it boring after that first lap. If that is not true class I don’t know what is.
    I rate Webber next best. He did in fact win pole & fastest lap, he was never really in doubt for 2nd after his teammate, and there is a good case for saying he was driving to a team plan to ensure Vettel was not threatened for the win and that Alonso be restricted to a maximum 15 points from the weekend. Webber’s jousting in sector 1 lap 1 to let Vettel into the lead, while simultaneously keeping Alonso and Hamilton at bay, was masterful if it was indeed the execution of a team plan.
    Massa was third best for me. He would have beaten his teammate fair and square and finished on the podium if he had not been so bluntly told to back off by his team.

  9. Romesh82 (@romesh82) said on 16th October 2012, 3:59

    I think Vettel did nothing special in the race apart from running well in degraded tyres.. Mark webber was too easy @ the start on vettel . didn’t even make a single move across to defend the position . Vettel had the best car on the Grid yet he was not on POLE. So there’s nothing special about it .
    Webber’s action @ the start can be justified. as Vettel needs every single point to win the WDC 2012.
    Massa was better than Alonso but he was not that gud in quali..
    So it went with HULK. mainly due to the race he had with an underperforming force india.

    just my idea… @ least …

  10. Silverkeg (@silverkeg) said on 16th October 2012, 4:20

    I try and look at driver’s who didn’t make a mistake all weekend. So despite Vettel’s dominance, his mistake in Q3 rules him out. He thoroughly deserved to win DotW in Japan but will win it here instead.

    Daniel Ricciardo again drove great all weekend, undone by mechanical problems. I don’t believe the Massa hype, he drove extremely well but I feel he was still outpaced by Alonso.

    It’s between Kimi and the Hulk for me. But I favoured Hulkenberg in the end because Kimi seemed a little timid in his one on one battles. Hulkenberg put the Force India higher than it’s pace with some excellent racing and a 55 lap battle with Grosjean. He was a joy to watch.

  11. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 16th October 2012, 9:57

    Got to be Vettel’s this time. He blew everyone else into the weeds. Not getting yet another pole position was a minor blip in the context of the weekend and the championship.

  12. Troy Longstaff (@troylongstaff) said on 16th October 2012, 10:21

    I’m sick of voting for Vettel, so I’ll go for Ricciardo. Started from a much lower position than his teammate, passed every driver Vergne did and would have finished in front of him had it not been for a few late-race problems. Did well in what is an improving car, and should finally finish higher than ninth in the last few races :)

  13. Himmat said on 16th October 2012, 10:23

    Felipe Massa gets my vote. His past 4 races have been stellar – beginning with Monza. But at both Monza and Korea, he had to cede to Fernando. At Suzuka, w/o Fernando’s ass poking in, he clearly showed he had the speed. Same with this weekend. I thought he’d have taken 2nd place only if the team gave him a chance. Oh well…

    And here’s one for the cynics: I think Massa will win in Budh International Circuit….and Alonso third! (Vettel in between of course!)

  14. smifaye (@smifaye) said on 16th October 2012, 10:29

    It’s getting pretty easy to pick driver of the weekend with Vettel’s performances lately. I was shocked like many that he didn’t take pole position by 4 tenths or something silly like that. The race, unfortunately, was won in the 1st corner and he was just untouchable.

    When Vettel gets out front he is a very hard man to beat and this weekend showed this.

  15. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 16th October 2012, 11:20

    My vote went to Grosjean. On the surface his seventh place finish doesn’t look like anything to write home about, but I think in the context of the enormous pressure being put upon him, his clean and solid drive to seventh place is almost as good as a win. He finished only a little way down the road from Raikkonen despite being told explicitly not to get involved in any tangles, and in spite of having a car which didn’t have the benefit of the coanda-effect exhaust. Under the circumstances, Grosjean could well have been expected to either buckle under the pressure and crash out, or to pootle around slowly before finishing outside of the points. He didn’t do either of those things; he drove a clean race to a good pace, got the most out of the tyres and finished well in the points. More than that, he proved to all his detractors that he is doing his best to address the problems he’s had in recent races, while still not sacrificing out and out pace in the process. A very mature and impressive drive, when all things are taken into consideration.

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