Start, Buddh International Circuit, 2012

Vote for your 2012 Indian GP driver of the weekend

2012 Indian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Which F1 driver had the best race weekend in India?

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

Indian Grand Prix driver-by-driver

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Buddh International Circuit, 2012Sebastian Vettel – Fastest in both sessions on Friday, Vettel secured passage through Q1 and Q2 using just eight laps. He nearly tripped up with a mistake on his first Q3 lap, but his final effort secured his fifth pole position of the season. He made no mistakes at the start, and never looked like bowing under pressure after Alonso took up second place behind him.

Mark Webber – Had a chance at taking pole position off Vettel but made a mistake at turn three on his final lap. Couldn’t get within range of his team mate at the start but probably wouldn’t have lost second to Alonso had it not been for his KERS problem.


Jenson Button – McLaren’s gearbox problems continued in India for both drivers. It cost Button significant running in the second practice session. He took third on the first lap but was demoted by Alonso and Hamilton in the DRS zone, and had a lonely run to fifth. Set fastest lap on the final tour.

Lewis Hamilton – Hamilton’s gearshift problem occurred in the race and necessitated a change of steering wheel which was accomplished with impressive speed. By that time the leading trio were already too far ahead, Hamilton having lost a place to Alonso at the start when he braked slightly too late for turn four. He reeled in Webber at the end but was unable to pass him for third despite getting within DRS range.


Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Buddh International Circuit, 2012Fernando Alonso – Before the race Alonso said his first goal was to pass the McLarens and then put pressure on the Red Bulls in the hope that something would go wrong for them. That was exactly how it panned out: he was up to third by lap four, then chased after the Red Bulls. How he must have wished the KERS problem had affected Vettel’s car instead of Webber’s. Second was the best on offer and it keeps him in range of Vettel.

Felipe Massa – Looks scruffy with spins in practice and qualifying, though at least part of that was down to a problem on his car on Friday. Never looked like figuring in the battle with the five cars ahead of him, but used DRS cannily to re-pass Raikkonen when he lost position to the Lotus driver after pitting. Coped with low fuel in the second half of the race to secure sixth.


Michael Schumacher – His race was ruined after minor contact with Vergne on the first lap left him with a puncture. The stewards ruled in his favour after drivers complained he did not respond to blue flags quickly enough.

Nico Rosberg – Rosberg found good performance on the soft tyres after several laps – but that was no use to him in Q3, so he didn’t set a time. In the race he slipped out of the top ten to 11th. He described his weekend as “pretty unsatisfactory”, saying his Mercedes “just didn’t have the pace”.


Kimi Raikkonen – Raikkonen blamed the changes he made to his car after final practice for a sub-par showing in qualifying. He started seventh and couldn’t make any headway during the race, losing out in his one chance to pass Massa after his pit stop. Since its Coanda exhaust update in Korea the E20 has been conspicuously lacking in straight-line speed.

Romain Grosjean – Stayed out of trouble and scored points again, though he missed out on Q3 for only the second time this year when he went off at turn six. Got past Rosberg on his way to ninth place.

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Buddh International Circuit, 2012Paul di Resta – Di Resta was distinctly unhappy with his car after the race and said he was unable to finish any higher than 12th. “I?ve struggled to find the ideal balance with the car all weekend,” he said. “We identified a few issues in the data last night, but they carried over into the race.”

Nico Hulkenberg – In the points for the third race in a row, he came out on top in a battle with Grosjean, as he did in Korea. A strong start was key to this, as he jumped up from twelfth to ninth.


Kamui Kobayashi – Using a low fuel load in Q2 backfired as an error with his brake balance settings left him 17th on the grid. Had an altercation with Maldonado during the race which resulted in the Williams driver spinning off with a punctured tyre. “It was a bit strange,” said Kobayashi of the collision. “He had overtaken me but then he suddenly came on my racing line again. I could not avoid having contact.” The stewards ruled it was a “racing incident”.

Sergio Perez – Qualified a strong eighth but unusually his tyres went off long before everyone else’s. Picked up a puncture after contact with Ricciardo which ultimately forced him to retire.

Toro Rosso

Daniel Ricciardo – Felt his car improved after switching to the soft tyres but was never in the hunt for points. “Not exactly an exciting race,” he said afterwards.

Jean-Eric Vergne – Knocked out in Q1 for the seventh time this year. Damaged his front wing colliding with Schumacher at the start which spoiled his race.


Bruno Senna, Williams, Buddh International Circuit, 2012Pastor Maldonado – Got into Q3 but was already slipping backwards when his race was destroyed by a puncture following contact with Kobayashi.

Bruno Senna – Looked quick in practice but failed to make it into Q3. “I made a mistake on my lap which is disappointing because I would have been in the top ten if that hadn?t happened,” he said. However his race pace was good and he passed his team mate early on. Another pass on Rosberg secured his first point since Monza.


Heikki Kovalainen – Began the race planning to stop twice but switched to a one-stopper. By half distance he was just over five seconds behind Kobayashi, but KERS failure spoiled the second half of his race.

Vitaly Petrov – Out-qualified Kovalainen for the third time in four races. He dropped behind his team mate and Pic at the start, but soon passed the Marussia. Kovalainen’s KERS failure allowed him to pass his team mate for 15th, but he was later demoted by the recovering Vergne and Maldonado.


Charles Pic, Marussia, Buddh International Circuit, 2012Pedro de la Rosa – De la Rosa made a terrific start and briefly held 17th before the Caterhams and Marussias came past him. On lap 43 he suffered the latest in a series of brake failures for HRT, putting him into the barrier at turn four.

Narain Karthikeyan – Treated his brakes gently to survive to the end, albeit 40 seconds behind the next car.


Timo Glock – Said his car’s long run pace felt good on Friday but couldn’t replicate it in the race, finishing well behind his junior team mate.

Charles Pic – Qualified last but made a great start and held off Petrov for several laps. Finished ten seconds behind Kovalainen but at least half that was down to blue flags late in the race.

Qualifying and race results summary

Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 1st -0.044s 60/60 1 1st -13.217s
Mark Webber 2nd +0.044s 0/60 1 3rd +13.217s
Jenson Button 4th +0.115s 5/60 1 5th +12.357s
Lewis Hamilton 3rd -0.115s 55/60 1 4th -12.357s
Fernando Alonso 5th -0.084s 60/60 1 2nd -35.237s
Felipe Massa 6th +0.084s 0/60 1 6th +35.237s
Michael Schumacher 14th +0.598s 0/55 2 22nd Not on same lap
Nico Rosberg 10th -0.598s 55/55 1 11th Not on same lap
Kimi Raikkonen 7th -0.035s 51/60 1 7th -10.876s
Romain Grosjean 11th +0.035s 9/60 1 9th +10.876s
Paul di Resta 16th +0.748s 0/60 1 12th +27.817s
Nico Hulkenberg 12th -0.748s 60/60 1 8th -27.817s
Kamui Kobayashi 17th +1.143s 4/20 1 14th
Sergio Perez 8th -1.143s 16/20 2
Daniel Ricciardo 15th -0.519s 59/59 1 13th Not on same lap
Jean-Eric Vergne 18th +0.519s 0/59 2 15th Not on same lap
Pastor Maldonado 9th -0.348s 19/59 2 16th Not on same lap
Bruno Senna 13th +0.348s 40/59 1 10th Not on same lap
Heikki Kovalainen 20th +0.744s 39/59 1 18th +8.671s
Vitaly Petrov 19th -0.744s 20/59 1 17th -8.671s
Pedro de la Rosa 22nd -0.001s 42/42 1
Narain Karthikeyan 23rd +0.001s 0/42 1 21st
Timo Glock 21st -1.049s 3/58 1 20th Not on same lap
Charles Pic 24th +1.049s 55/58 1 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 2012 Indian Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (27%)
  • Mark Webber (1%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (1%)
  • Jenson Button (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (59%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Michael Schumacher (1%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (0%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (3%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Bruno Senna (4%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (0%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (0%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (1%)
  • Pedro de la Rosa (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Charles Pic (2%)

Total Voters: 481

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2012 Indian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images, Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Sahara Force India F1 Team, Marussia

119 comments on “Vote for your 2012 Indian GP driver of the weekend”

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  1. Alonso for me. Knew he didn’t have the quickest car and knew what he had to do to limit the damage – and drove 60 qualifying laps to do it. Very impressive.

  2. I have one word for Alonso – Respect! He had a car that was not even 4th best and yet had to finish at least in second to have any hope of staying in the title hunt. And if anyone thought that Ferrari might end up 3rd or 4th at best were in for a surprise. McLaren found that out the hard way and in the end Webber could not keep him off. KERS or not, I think Fernando would have taken second on a flat tyre as well, such was his determination. End result, he is just 13 points off and as viewers we get to witness a very absorbing title fight.

    I would have voted Vettel otherwise but his domination this weekend was not as spectacular. His drive in Singapore was his best of the season for me. What Newey does with those cars seems like black magic.

    The other really good drive was from Nico Hulkenberg. He drove very coolly and maturely. With all the talk surrounding how Perez could be a future world champion and Maldonado being tipped as one to watch for in the future, everyone seems to have missed this bloke and now he is starting to make a case for himself as having the potential of maybe being a World champion one day. Certainly, if he keeps driving with this level of maturity, driving for a bigger team than Sauber might not be a very distant dream.

    1. @mahavirshah
      4th best car? really?
      It was easily the 3rd quickest in qualifying, and on par with the Red Bull in race pace, or at least pretty close. I just can’t see how that car could be any worse then the 2nd best car on race pace. Alonso drove very well, but I don’t think that there is any indication that his car was even close to 4th best.

      1. @mads If they were 3rd best in qualifying then they would have qualified 3rd wouldn’t they. By fourth best I meant in terms of grid places and not as in 4th best team. And it has happened quite a few times actually that the ferrari has way better race pace than qualifying pace. All through the weekend it seemed that only Mclaren could match the Red Bull’s on pace and Ferrari to beat them and one of the Red Bull’s was very impressive to me.

        1. Surely 3rd best car would put them in 5th and 6th in Qualifying? erm… which is where they were?

          Race Pace and One Lap Pace are two very different things and it’s easy to say with hindsight that Ferrari has the 2nd best race pace – He would have struggled for 2nd if Webber hadn’t lost KERS.

          Unfortunately for all the “non-RBR fanboys” – RB seem to have the fastest one lap and race pace which is a shame considering how unpredictable this season has been so far

  3. I haven’t voted for this one yet. I simply can’t split Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton or Hulkenburg.

  4. I see some people suggesting Alonso did a normal job and his 2nd place was thanks to DRS and Webber’s KERS failure. But the fact is, Seb can turn up at any circuit now expecting to have the car to take pole, set fastest lap and win. Alonso does not have that luxury, and must drive every corner of every lap during the weekend with the pressure of knowing one mistake is a hammer-blow to his slim title chances, since he doesn’t have the car to make up for it the next race. To absorb that kind of pressure, and still turn in the sort of clinical performance that he did wins it for me. Alonso without a doubt.

  5. Amazingly, 88% of the votes (at the moment) are shared between Vettel and Alonso. I guess that’s due to the fact that no-one really impressed during this race, and therefore the votes are going to the race winner and the guy that made up the most places (overtaking dnf/puncture drivers excluded) during the race. And deservedly so, imo

    1. Not exactly equaly shared though 60-26 at the mo to FA

  6. I voted for Lewis’ mechanics who were able to swap out his steering wheel without impacting his pit-stop time. Getting that new steering wheel on in the right position at the first stroke from outside of the car in the heat of the moment was masterful.

    1. Oh yes, remarkable moment. That surely will go down as one of the best things ever happened in F1.

    2. Pit-stop of the seasson!

  7. Alonso on the basis that on Friday it looked as though Red Bull had a half minute in hand. No-one expected anything other than a RB one-two. Granted Webber’s KERS failed but it is further proof that Fernando values the last ten laps as the most important of the weekend (bar the start obviously). His negotiation of the two McLarens was special. Deliberately hampered his qualifying to run a longer seventh gear to attack in the DRS zone. Vettel was special again but knowing that his team mate would not challenge him meant that he was effectively maintaining the gap from turn 3.

  8. Vettel, of course! The best driver after Schumacher.

    1. Not in this race! but in modern formula 1.

      1. Do you not have eyes?? The poll is for the best driver of the weekend,not for the best driver in modern F1!!!!

        1. Yes, I have eyes and I am votin for the best driver of the weekend and my comentaru is that he is the best formula 1 driver after Schumacher in modern era.

          1. But is he? Really? Or is he blessed with Newey’s masterful car designing skills?

            We’ll never really know – statistically, yes he is up there with the greats and time will no doubt bring his all time stats closer to that of true legends but in reality… if Alonso, Hamilton or Kimi were in Webber’s car I’m not so sure that the results would remain in Vettel’s favour.

          2. @mcgregski
            It’s not just Newey that makes the car go faster.
            Newey is a vital cog, but almost everything on the car is designed to make it go faster.
            One man can’t single-handedly design every single aerodynamic device, develop it, test it, fit it to the car, etc…
            He is an absaloute genius, and without him, Red Bull arguably would be nowhere right now. However, the Red Bull team as a whole need at least some of the credit when a red Bull wins.
            The mechanics need some praise; without them, the car either wouldn’t be built, or would fall to pieces.
            The whole areo team need credit, because without them, the car wouldn’t be developed, or designed in time for the next race.
            The fabricators at the factory need credit, because without them, the aero pieces would break, or just cease to be at the races at all.
            #You see the point I’m trying to make?

            Newey leads the team, but he isn’t the only factor in car performance.

  9. Difficult to decide between Alonso and Vettel. Vettel did again a wonderful job during the weekend, it may look easy on that RedBull car, but I don’t think so. On the other hand Alonso during the race was impeccable. That first lap was simply beautiful, and he emerged victorious on that battle. After that, although the redbulls have created their usual margin he kept on and finally grabbed the second podium spot. So, Alonso for me.

  10. Not an Alonso fan, but he did as always drive a superb race, so he got my vote.

    1. But I nearly voted for Charles PIC, sterling work at the back, he is now looking ready for a faster team, hopefully with their introduction to KERS next year, he will be lining up against Timo Glock again, and hounding the midfield for points.

  11. Voted Alonso even though I’d suggest he did only get past Webber because he lost KERS but if 3rd was the best Alonso could have got, I’d have probably still voted for him for passing the Mclarens and for his attitude. Vettel and Webber got everything they could from the RB8 so the top 3 were all excellent.

  12. Vettel was the undisputed king .. He has shown what ” I came, I saw , I Conquered” means again .. and this is Formula One .. This ain’t about coming second .

    1. @nimba – fanatstic point. You don’t get remembered for coming second, second is another name for the fastest loser!

      Good drive form Alonso, but he wasn’t driver of the weekend.

  13. The difference between the Mercedes drivers is clearly noticeable. Almost 6 tenths faster was Rosberg in qualifying, and he managed to avoid trouble at the start and have decent race pace.
    Just a point, in no way do I think he was driver of the weekend!

    1. Lol.

      Newey, Newey, Newey….

  14. if there is a rating for a best pit crew.. the honors should go to Mclaren for the awesome steereing wheel change

  15. Have to vote for the finger waving one albeit reluctantly!

  16. Sem (@05abrahamsemere)
    29th October 2012, 20:06

    Alonso is the driver of the weekend, but Button is a close second. Vettel did well but he had the fastest car, JB in a Mclaren beat Vet’s fastest lap so it isn’t all that impressive. Button obviously had rear tyre issues as he mentioned earlier otherwise he would have been much closer to Hamilton or possibly ahead of him, as we all know who is the best driver out of them two anyway. But this was an average race 6/10.

    1. Button did very little to justify himself being better than Hamilton or Vettel this weekend.

    2. @05abrahamsemere – Button may have set fastest lap, but Bruno Senna had the fastest lap before then. Does that make him better than Vettel? Sure, he was faster, but you saw the sparks form Vettel’s car. Anyway, McLaren were the quickest on the hard tyres.

      If I’m honest, Hamilton was much better.

  17. I felt Alonso was going to be leading before I looked at the results, and I was right, but I decided to be contrariant and say Vettel. After all he took the maximum out of the car, again, and almost achieved a Grand Chelem – which I always regarded as the best indicator of a driver’s talent. His car had little problems towards the end but he striked me with his fastest lap on the final tour. He was so determinated to achieve it and I was actually sad to see him beaten by Alonso and Button, although I’m, like many, bored by the lack of variety in results since Vettel has re-started winning.
    Vettel did everything, led FP1, FP2, FP3 and Q2 and Q3, being second in Q1, and won the race leading every lap. True, he had a better car than Alonso who was absolutely perfect during the race, but his pace over the McLarens suggested he could have beaten at least one of them in qualifying. Or maybe he couldn’t, but I’d pick Vettel anyhow.

  18. I voted for me. My endurance and never-say-die racing spirit in watching every lap of the most boring race of the year is worthy of VOTW (viewer of the weekend). There was no “I can’t catch him, sniffle sniffle” in my lounge-room.

    Oh, it’s about drivers, sorry. Had to go VET, simply brilliant.

  19. I seem to remember Webber changing steering wheels during a pit stop too, I just can’t remember where, and I’m not even sure if it was in 2010 or 2011. Does anyone remember? How long did that pit stop take? Would be nice to compare that with McLaren’s pitstop from yesterday.

    1. I think it was Canada 2011… when Webber also had, surprise, surprise; KERS failure!

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