Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2012

Vote for your Abu Dhabi GP driver of the weekend

2012 Abu Dhabi Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Which F1 driver had the best race weekend in Abu Dhabi?

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

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix driver-by-driver

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2012Sebastian Vettel – Quickest on Friday, then qualified third despite being delayed by a technical problem in final practice. But was sent to the back of the grid after the stewards couldn’t get enough fuel out of his car.

Changed his set-up, started from the pits and was 11th when the safety car came out. Swerving to avoid Ricciardo he damaged his front wing for a second time and had to pit. Quickly passed Grosjean (twice), Di Resta, Senna, Ricciardo, Schumacher and others and ran second after the leaders pitted. Needed a second pit stop but the fortunate reappearance of the safety car brought him back within range of Button, who he passed for third.

Mark Webber – Joined Hamilton on the front row of the grid but made a poor start and fell to fourth, then was passed by Alonso. Tangled with Maldonado while trying to pass the Williams for third, losing three places. Went off the track while overtaking Massa, who then spun, but the stewards decided against a penalty. Got ahead of Maldonado through the pits but was caught up in the Di Resta/Perez/Grosjean collision and retired with damage.


Jenson Button – Was surprised at the gap to Hamilton in qualifying, most of which came in the last sector (half a second). Was passed by Alonso at the start and although he later overtook Maldonado he couldn’t keep Vettel behind at the end and slipped to fourth.

Lewis Hamilton – Planted his car on pole position for the sixth time this year – more than any other driver (and not counting the one he lost in Spain). Made a clean start but almost lost his lead with an error at turn eight on lap two. From there he pulled away again, including after the safety car period, until a fuel pressure problem forced him to retire from the lead on lap 20.


Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Yas Marina, 2012Fernando Alonso – Ferrari’s failure to improve its car’s pace was clear as he lined up behind a Williams and a Lotus.

He started well, gaining two places, but a mistake after the first safety car meant he was fending off Webber when he should have been pressing Maldonado, whose KERS had just failed. He eventually passed the Williams and closed on Raikkonen in the dying stages of the race, but time ran out for him to launch an attack.

Felipe Massa – Massa began to slip back towards the end of his first stint and was passed by Perez, but the team decided to keep him out. His race took a turn for the worst when he spun at turn 13 while racing Webber for position. “He cut the chicane and came back across the track, forcing me to spin to avoid hitting him,” Massa complained, but the stewards decided it was a racing incident. He held off Senna and Di Resta for seventh.


Michael Schumacher – Schumacher made an error with his KERS in Q2 which left him 13th on the grid. He got into the top ten at the start and was in the hunt for points until a puncture dropped him out of seventh place.

Nico Rosberg – Rosberg’s third first-lap incident in four races damaged his front wing and forced him to pit. While recovering he crashed into Kartyhikeyan when the HRT driver suddenly slowed: “There was no time for me to react and I’m very thankful that we are both fine,” he said.


Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Yas Marina, 2012Kimi Raikkonen – Said the car felt at its best in qualifying and took fourth place, his highest starting position since Belgium. Translated that into second when Webber made a poor start, then took over the lead when Hamilton retired.

Had to ward off a serious attack from Alonso in the closing laps, and had just enough in hand to pull clear of the DRS zone on the final tour. “I?m happy, but there?s nothing to jump around about,” he said in typically laconic style. “We still have a few races to go, I?ll try to do the same again.”

Romain Grosjean – Not for the first time this year he came limping back into the pits at the end of lap one with damage – in this case, a puncture. But there were no penalties this time and even Rosberg, who he tangled with, considered it a racing incident.

Having fallen to last, Lotus elected to pit him again during the first safety car period. After 28 laps his soft tyres were beginning to wilt and he came under simultaneous pressure from Di Resta and Perez. The two passed him with DRS heading to turn 11, then both went off the track and Grosjean collided with Perez as the Sauber came back on. Webber clipped the Lotus as well, ending Grosjean’s race for good.

Force India

Paul di Resta – Made a rapid start and got past his team mate but squeezed Hulkenberg too much, putting the other Force India out and picking up a puncture himself. Like Grosjean he pitted under the first safety car but he switched to the more durable medium tyres. Pitting again under the second safety car dropped him from fifth to eleventh, but he made up two places to claim some points.

Nico Hulkenberg – Out-qualified Di Resta for the fourth race in a row but was pushed into Senna at the start and crashed out.


Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Yas Marina, 2012Kamui Kobayashi – Started 15th after struggling with brake locking but avoided the first-lap collisions to holds eighth at the start of lap two. Perez passed him shortly afterwards, but Kobayashi stayed out of trouble to finish sixth, despite a gearshift problem limiting his ability to use KERS. He is now just eight points behind Perez in the drivers’ championship.

Sergio Perez – Looked on course for another good result after running a 30-lap first stint on soft tyres which included a pass on Massa. Briefly second, he emerged from his pit stop behind Grosjean and Di Resta. But an ill-judged move in returning to the track in front of Grosjean triggered a multi-car crash and earned him a costly ten-second stop-go penalty.

Toro Rosso

Daniel Ricciardo – Was running 11th when Vettel appeared behind him and nearly ran into him during the first safety car period. “I looked in my mirrors and saw him go through one of the polystyrene boards, but I have no idea what happened,” he said. Was jumped by Di Resta and Senna during his pit stop, falling to tenth.

Jean-Eric Vergne – Went out in Q1 for the eighth time this year after spinning at the penultimate corner. He switched to medium tyres during the first safety car period but had to pit for fresh tyres later on, eradicating the potential advantage and leaving him 12th at the end.


Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Yas Marina, 2012Pastor Maldonado – Qualified an excellent third and held the place until his KERS failed. After that he came under attack and was passed by Alonso and Button. Webber also tried a move but the pair tangled – the Red Bull driver not leaving enough space for Maldonado. Still had enough speed to come home fifth.

Bruno Senna – Delayed by Hulkenberg’s Force India going off at turn one, he fell to 19th on the first lap and began a trek back into the points. Ran a long, 32-lap stint on medium tyres which brought him out of the pits behind the delayed Massa. He wasn’t able to pass the Ferrari, but kept Di Resta at bay for eighth.


Heikki Kovalainen – Spent six laps occupying the 12th place craved by Caterham, which would put them back in front of Marussia in the constructors’ championship. The recovering Schumacher dropped him back to 13th, Kovalainen’s cause not helped by a KERS fault.

Vitaly Petrov – Not wishing to do a Di Resta on his team mate at the start, Petrov backed out of a move on Kovalainen as they headed to turn one. It didn’t look like he had the pace to stay ahead of him anyway, finishing 17 seconds behind the other Caterham.


Pedro de la Rosa – Had to start from the pit lane after his team failed to get the tyre warmer off his right-rear wheel quickly enough. Aided by the late safety car, he was seven seconds behind Petrov at the flag.

Charles Pic, Marussia, Yas Marina, 2012Narain Karthikeyan – Another race, another worrying incident involving an HRT. This time it was Karthikeyan’s, whose car suffered a hydraulic failure in turn 15, locking his steering solid. “I had to lift my foot off the accelerator. Unfortunately, Rosberg was coming from behind and couldn?t avoid me.” The Mercedes crashed over the top off Karthikeyan and was fortunate not to seriously injure either driver.


Timo Glock – Out-qualified by Pic but raced well, splitting the Caterhams, despite clipping his team mate on the first lap and damaging his front wing. He was particularly pleased to hold off the recovering Perez on the last lap despite the Sauber being within the DRS zone.

Charles Pic – A superb qualifying lap saw him beat Glock and Petrov – he was only a tenth of a second off the other Caterham, too. A mistake on the first lap allowed his two rivals past, and he was still embroiled in a tight battle with Petrov when his engine failed on lap 42.

Qualifying and race results summary

Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 24th +0.095s 8/37 2 3rd
Mark Webber 2nd -0.095s 29/37 1
Jenson Button 5th +0.66s 0/19 1 4th
Lewis Hamilton 1st -0.66s 19/19 0
Fernando Alonso 6th -0.141s 55/55 1 2nd -22.044s
Felipe Massa 8th +0.141s 0/55 1 7th +22.044s
Michael Schumacher 13th +0.591s 7/7 2 11th
Nico Rosberg 7th -0.591s 0/7 1
Kimi Raikkonen 4th -0.518s 37/37 1 1st
Romain Grosjean 9th +0.518s 0/37 2
Paul di Resta 12th +0.199s 0/0 3 9th
Nico Hulkenberg 10th -0.199s 0/0 0
Kamui Kobayashi 15th +0.522s 21/55 1 6th -36.692s
Sergio Perez 11th -0.522s 34/55 2 15th +36.692s
Daniel Ricciardo 16th -0.778s 37/55 2 10th -7.443s
Jean-Eric Vergne 17th +0.778s 18/55 2 12th +7.443s
Pastor Maldonado 3rd -0.423s 52/55 1 5th -10.535s
Bruno Senna 14th +0.423s 3/55 1 8th +10.535s
Heikki Kovalainen 18th -0.195s 55/55 1 13th -16.831s
Vitaly Petrov 20th +0.195s 0/55 1 16th +16.831s
Pedro de la Rosa 22nd -0.616s 0/7 1 17th
Narain Karthikeyan 23rd +0.616s 7/7 0
Timo Glock 21st +0.337s 41/41 1 14th
Charles Pic 19th -0.337s 0/41 1

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 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (27%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (21%)
  • Jenson Button (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (8%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Michael Schumacher (0%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (37%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (1%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (2%)
  • Bruno Senna (1%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (0%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (0%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (0%)
  • Pedro de la Rosa (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Charles Pic (0%)

Total Voters: 815

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2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Images ?? Red Bull/Getty images, Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Lotus F1 Team/LAT, Sauber F1 Team, Williams/LAT, Marussia

206 comments on “Vote for your Abu Dhabi GP driver of the weekend”

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  1. Kimi because he had a great start, consistency and took advantage of every opportunity he was given and managed to defend from Fernando towards the end.

    1. Meanwhile Vettel was involved in not one, but two incidents.

      1. And still managed to salvage third from the pit lane.

        1. Because of two SC periods and his second incident bringing him in earlier so he was on better tyres than everyone else.

          I was ready to be impressed by him today. I wasn’t.

          1. then needing to make a second pitstop to change tires again, when everyone else only 1 stopped.

          2. @paulipedia
            Yes because its no penalty to go from 12th to 21st under safetycar. No no. Yes it gave him a tyre advantage for the rest of the race, but he had to give up 9 places to get that advantage. Everyone else could just have pitted twice as well if it was so brilliant…
            And the last safety car only gave him the chance to gain one place. It also gained Alonso the chance of getting 1st place. Or Button to tke 2nd. Neither of them did that. Vettel did. Arguably because of his better tyres, but its not like it was all handed to him on a plate. I don’t think so anyway.

          3. I Love the Pope
            5th November 2012, 20:43

            Please. Kimi made one pass and that was it for the race. He was what Vettel is always accused of – a front runner. Seb is driver of the race.

          4. Vettel never won from forth position. ;)

          5. Seb is not a driver of the race for sure. Whome he overtook really??
            Apart from Marussia HRT and Caterham it was:
            Senna for first time (lost front wing)
            di Resta
            Grosjean (twice, as first was illegal so he had to give it back)
            Vergne (no fight, Vergne just let him go)
            then Senna again
            Ricciardo (same situation as Vergne)
            and finally Button
            Before first SC gap to Hamilton was almost 25 sec before 2nd 24 sec to Raikkonen…
            So he got extremly lucky, all thanks to SC in right moment for him.

            I voted for Kimi, well deserved win.

        2. @dirgegirl yes, the result was fantastic for him. his drive? no. anyone voting for Vettel after:
          -third in qualifying, behind his teammate
          -damaging twice his front wing
          -an illegal overtake which he then had to give back
          -being gifted 2 free pitstops with the safety cars

          is seriously kidding themselves. Vettel has had better drives, but this wasnt it.

          1. Well, over here in Lala-land I still think it was a very impressive drive under pressure.

          2. Jensen Button was voted driver of the race in Montreal last season. He held every position on the track, was given a drive through penalty, and took out his team mate. And he received help from a restart and safety car. How is that any different then Vettel this weekend. If its okay for Button, why not Vettel.

          3. @irejag you’re not doing yourself favours there, you’re basically admitting it was a faulty drive.

          4. @andrewf1
            Two free pitstops? Oh my.
            Didn’t you notice him go from 12th to… 21st after his first stop? That is 9 places. Hardly free if you ask me.
            1 free pistop? I could probably agree to that. But two? No way.

          5. To be very honest; without the safety cars he would’ve been no where near. Considering that the front wing damage occurred before the SC and his set up was optimised after starting in the pit lane.

          6. Incorrect: the front wing damage that forced him in occured behind the SC.
            After Senna they said “we are not worried about the front wing, we’ll change it during the [planned] stop”.
            If that SC had not happened, the incident with RIC would not have forced him in.

          7. @andrewf1 I am not taking sides lol, I am just saying that if Button is allowed to have a similar drive and get driver of the weekend, then why can’t Vettel…

          8. Let’s get the SC issues right:
            Without the 1st SC, he wouldn’t have fallen back (although he was at least partly to blame for that), and without the 2nd SC, he would still have finished fourth! So CMON!!!

          9. Well, the difference is that Button won, after forcing Vettel into an error on the last lap. Having said that, a great drive by Seb this weekend.

          10. Lost places from 12 to 21 and fall back behind who? 6 of those guys he overtook on 1st lap after restart, please dobt make me laugh even more… both pistops were for free…
            Fair play to that he had to change front wing which he damaged more under 1st SC but without that his balance was compromised anyway, causing possible locking up or other stuff…

      2. Really tough choice, Kimi or Seb, but in the end I think Seb’s F-Bomb trumps Kimi’s ****.

        1. @Mads

          You must have forgotten that Vettel managed to change his damaged front wing during the first SC period allowing him to lose minimum time.

          Vettel’s car was also geared to overtake, he over took much slower cars in two DRS zones. That’s not hard for a driver of his quality in the car he was driving.

          1. @paulipedia
            But without the first SC then Vettel wouldn’t have needed to change his front wing. It had a little damage, but evidently it was fine to continue and just change it when they had to stop for options anyway. But under the first SC they were forced to change it, pit for options about 20 laps too early to allow a 1 stop strategy. And they took that pistop in the WORST possible moment. Its an advantage to make a pistop right as the SC comes out, but Vettel had to pit when all the cars were bunched up together therefore he lost a massive number of places.
            He did loose plenty of time as a result of the first SC, as he had to negotiate 9 cars to get up to where he was before the SC.

    2. sounds like a normal Vettel race; and he never wins!

  2. Got to give it to Hamilton. He did nothing wrong this weekend. Was miles ahead on his team-mate in qualifying and on race-pace.

    1. @me4me Every single one of those things apply to Kimi too. Why did you choose Hamilton?

      1. Raikkonen won. But Hamilton could have won dominantly. I simply think he was more impressive this weekend. He had massive pace, and would probably have finished 10 or even 20 sec ahead of the field.

        1. @me4me
          But I do think that it is fair to assume that the McLaren was a fair bit quicker then the Lotus. Well, a fair bit quicker then any car I should say.

          1. @ME4ME
            I am 97% percent certain that you didn’t vote Vettel as driver of the weekend last week.

          2. Why should he have voted for Vettel last weekend lol. It was obvious he was driving the best car, like the rest of the last 4 races before ABD, as evidenced by the upturn of form from not only Vettel, but also Webber. It was completely different this weekend with Lewis. Button was nowhere near and this is one of the tracks where Lewis goes really well. One could easily say it was Lewis making the difference this race. Hence the vote goes to him.

          3. Yes, Hamilton and Alonso outdrove their horrible cars once again. Those cars would have finished back with the Marussias but their supreme skills dragged the sorry machines up the grid through sheer skill and determination. The absolute maximum was achieved, nay, beyond the maximum by these epic heroes. Meanwhile a retarded chimp could lap the field three times if it was in the Red Bull last weekend.

          4. @tigen. Thank you Sir. You just made my day! ( yes I understood your sarcasm and it put a smile on my face)

          5. @shrieker – Just because Button’s pace was useless doesn’t mean Mclaren didn’t have a car that was as fast as Red Bull had in India.

    2. Could not agree more with Hamilton. Everyone expected a Vettel waltz, but Hamilton was fastest when it mattered in qualifying and would have won the race by the length of the Melbourne Cup had it not been for a faulty McLaren AGAIN! Raikkonen was close, but it was great to see the Iceman back where he belongs. Vettel made amateur mistakes, but still it was a mega drive to third.

    3. completely agree. without the car failing, hamilton was the best driver of the weekend. took the required pole and was very comfortable for the race win. the car let him down.

      kimi had a fine race and his radio messages were pure class, but this wasn’t enough to wrest DoTW from lewis.

      vettel, whilst doing a good job at coming from the back of the field made too many mistakes. the 2nd safety car was the only reason he managed to get past jenson and even then took his time doing it, despite being on better rubber and a car geared for a higher top speed.

    4. If that one goes to HAM, then Vettel should have cruised through Valencia! If you voted Vettel for Valencia, you may vote Hamilton this time around!

  3. Voted for Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton and Raikkonen both drove brilliantly this weekend and I could have given it to either to be honest but I guess the fact that Hamilton would surely have won the race had he not had his problem. When people like Hamilton and Raikkonen put in flawless drives I can’t vote for Vettel considering he was out qualified by his team mate and crashed twice in the race, however good the rest of his race may have been.

    1. I’m sure Hamilton not only would have won the race, but he would have set fastest lap, he would have crushed the previous lap record, he would have lapped the field and possibly been Knighted for being the best driver ever.

    2. Jayfreese (@)
      5th November 2012, 19:07

      Bernd Maylander hasn’t made a mistake aswell for the whole weekend, but gave this one for my Mclaren mucked up boys (Kimi Raïkkonen & Lewis Hamilton).

  4. Hamilton. Once again Mclaren let him down, that’s it. He didn’t set a foot wrong all weekend, just the car did. Vettel really did well, but a lot of what he achieved was down to luck with those safety cars, but at the end of it he knew he had to capitialise it to succeed, Alonso’s obviously rubbing off on someone. Kimi yes he won the race, but that effort was a long time coming, just this time Lotus got the break they needed.

    1. I’m not a fan of Hamilton, but he didn’t put a foot wrong this weekend. Would have won had the car not let him down. Betwen him and Raikonen, this time I had to put Kimi second best driver of the weekend.

      1. Exactly my thoughts (including the no-Hamilton-fan clause)

    2. Actually, Lewis made a small mistake in the opening laps, allowing Kimi to have a go at him. But he retained the lead despite Kimi getting alongside, so it wasn’t a big issue. I still voted for Lewis.

  5. Love that whenever Vettel delivered perfect weekends, he didn’t get driver of the weekend because he was “boring”. Meanwhile today, Hamilton and Kimi, who both didn’t pass a single car after after turn 1 on lap 1 are leading.

    1. 59 votes is not exactly statistically significant! I wouldn’t buy a hair product on that few opinions.

      1. In Abu Dhabi 2011, Vettel comfortably outqualified his team mate, got pole and was stopped by a technical malfunction while in the lead. He got 3% of the vote.

        1. and was stopped by a technical malfunction while in the lead

          It’s hard to vote for somebody who hasn’t done more than a few corners though. At least Vettel in Valencia, and Hamilton here and in Singapore demonstrated that they could maintain a lead.

          1. Vettel doesn’t win this with perfect weekends, and he doesn’t win it with flawed, but nontheless impressive and courageous performances. No chance for Seb around here!

  6. Expecting Vettel to easily win this, but I really have no clue who to vote for.

    Sure, Vettel came from 24th (Well, 23rd) to 3rd, but would have been nowhere if it wasn’t for a lot of luck, in both timings of safety cars and competitors taking each other out (With the help of his team mate on Massa as well). He made a few good passes, but made them look harder than they should’ve been (fresh soft tyres vs worn medium tyres, Button wasn’t driving that well!). He also made some pretty stupid passes, crashing into Senna and quite obviously taking Grosjean off the track. Can maybe forgive him do trying to remove the DRS zone with his front wing, but maybe not.

    On the other hand, Kimi had an excellent start, and held station from there, managing his race perfectly with enough pace to keep everyone at bay, after inheriting the lead with some luck of his own thanks to Hamilton’s retirement.

    Hamilton had a great weekend, drove well in practice, out-qualified everyone with ease and put Button to shame (I’m a Button fan) by completely outclassing him in Qualifying. Unfortunately his car was unable to stay running (as usual for Mclaren this season) so it’s hard to vote for someone that didn’t even finish the race.

    Think I’ll give it to Kimi, not sure though.

  7. Mark Webber… no, ofc, I’m kidding.

    I’ll go with Alonso. His overtake on Webber at the start was crucial, and he was close to victory. Even if he was “lucky” too to get where he ended up, just like Vettel to some extent, I think he did the best.

  8. Hamilton – a good example of a driver making the difference. He just looked way quicker than Button round the mickey-mouse corners at the end of the lap. Very tempted to give it to Kimi – he led and controlled the race beautifully – but would never have got there if Lewis’s car had kept going. Vettel had an amazing result but his weekend overall was a bit messy.

    1. It is easy to be 0.5s faster than your teammate, if you just change to a smaller brakes, smaller radiator, or playing with the engine or electronics…but you might not finish the race.

  9. some say, that he was seen sleeping walking the circuit at 3 am, the day before the race and he learned his english alphabets by spelling mumm champagne… all we know is, he is called the iceman

    1. “yes yes yes yes, I’m doing all of that, you don’t have to remind me every second!” $:)

  10. I voted for Vettel at Valencia and for Hamilton at Singapore. I will vote for him here as well. Guess I am a sucker for unlucky drives.

  11. Driver of the WEEKEND? Lewis Hamilton. Absolutely DOMINATING.

  12. While all of their fans will bicker amongst each other, I must say that Hamilton, Raikkonen, Alonso and Vettel all drove absolutely superb races, it was an amazing spectacle to watch those guys race.

    While the other drivers seemed to be acting like GP2 drivers, those four showed why they are absolute world class. They all deserve massive respect for their drives.

    By the way, I voted for Hamilton.

    1. Agree. All four you mentioned were DOTD. Best race of the year.

    2. I went for Raikkonen, but I agree with you post, they all drove great.

  13. Credit where credit’s due – Vettel had some luck, but also drove well, minus the couple of silly incidents. Hamilton did an incredible job in qualifying, but there you go, I probably do have a bit of a bias towards attacking drives rather than controlling from the front, and while he looked sure to win, we’ll never know. As for Raikkonen, great start, good race but he still does seem a little bit overly conservative with overtaking (vs. Hamilton I think after the re-start when his tyres were cold).

  14. Voted for Raikkonen. He drove perfect race, didn’t make mistakes, contrary to Vettel and wrang out everything from far from 4th fastest car on the grid – E20.

    1. I’d reckon the Lotus was the 3rd fastest car, ahead of the Ferrari, which is why I voted for Alonso.

      1. If you look at sector times, you’ll find that Ferrari was considerably faster in sector two and three and marginaly slower in sector one. Jenson and Kimi were flying in sector one. The issue for Ferrari was Fernando, left it too late to make a charge and he was not nearly as consistent as Kimi prior to charge, though he already got two chances when the 10 second gap was cut by safety car.

        Kimi delivered when it mattered, his drive was the definition of why he is Iceman. Getting purple sectors right off the restart (after the epic-radio messages), no wonder Martin Brundle was most impressed.

  15. I surprised myself and ended up going for Maldonado.. Other drivers and the reasons for not choosing them would be;
    Vettel; great battle through the field but did make two unforced errors IMO and got very lucky.
    Kimi; pretty much flawless weekend, plus great radio banter but he didn’t have to work very hard for it i.e not tested
    Hamilton, obviously he was hooked up completely and on for the Grand Chelem but who knows what would have happened.
    Maldonado showed fantastic pace to snatch 3rd and then composed himself in his many battles, showing more controlled aggression. He held his line when Webber tried to close him off. 5th was the absolute best that Williams could achieve.

    1. @mw thought about Maldonado aswell. His Q lap was impressive, and he’d have finished on podium without that KERS failure.

    2. @MW I voted for Maldonado exactly because of the reasons you mentioned. He reminded everyone why he’s more than just-another-pay-driver. A superb qualifying lap, very mature drive, well-judged moves, careful but strong defense. I believe he really deserved a podium finish.

    3. Yeah he did a really good job. He seems to be swapping with Perez for the driver everyone should watch their mirrors for :P. I’m not sure you can turn around such a hot-headed character so quickly, but I’d be happy to be proven wrong.

    4. and then composed himself in his many battles, showing more controlled aggression.

      @MW, perfect sum-up of his race. Voted for Kimi but thought exactly same here on Pastor, and a very good comparison to Checko. Seems Pastor is truly un-honed gem fast and learning quickly.

    5. Yup, voted Maldonado too

  16. Very tough decision between Hamilton and Vettel. Completely undecided at the moment. One dominated, particularly in qualifying, whereas the other delivered a great, if very lucky, recovery drive.

  17. Hamilton at 27% He is loved around here a lot !

  18. I had no doubts over this one. Hamilton for me. He beat two Red Bulls to pole, whilst Button was further behind, and led comfortably before and after the first SC. He was favourite to win and was very unlucky to have a failure, but although Kimi took advantage of the other drivers’ problems Lewis was perfect all weekend.

  19. I voted for Hamilton as he was quick and did everything right all weekend up to his retirement which was cruel on him.

  20. This was a real tough one. First of all Hamilton: he should have won this one comfortably, but he didn’t because of that fuel issue. He made an error on lap two, and didn’t really dominate this race I think. Therefore I am not voting for Hamilton this time.

    Then Raikkonen, our winner. He did very well, kept his head cool all weekend. Definitely a good candidate. Alonso finished second again, but couldn’t quite match Raikkonen, who usually has the upperhand. So therefore, no Alonso vote.

    Sebastian Vettel did very well. His race effectively began after the first safety car period, and had a bit of good fortune to be in the position to attack Button at the end. But he messed up the first part of his race, and him swearing on the podium kind of ruined it for me.

    Finally Pastor Maldonado: no KERS, and still finish fifth, way better than what he usually does. And uncharacteristically, in a race where everyone seemed to crash into everyone, he was the one that came through it all unscaved, even though Webber tried desperately to end his and Maldo’s race.

    So either Maldonado or Raikkonen. When I looked at whether these drivers did something incredible, or just put the car where it belonged, I kind of thought that Maldonado did something incredible, whereas Raikkonen’s win was more of a consequence of Hamilton’s and Vettel’s misfortune. So, I voted Maldonado.

    1. But he messed up the first part of his race, and him swearing on the podium kind of ruined it for me.

      Dangit. Never noticed him swearing on the podium. It was pretty hard to choose between him and Hamilton, and I went with Hamilton at the end.

      Had I known that Vettel had the balls to actually swear on the podium, I’d gone with him. Anybody that gives the finger to correctness is a hero in my book.

      1. – OTOH, now I think about it, I’m still glad I went with Hamilton. Being able to change the car setup to a pure racing setup probably gave Vettel a huge boost, which is completely undeserved in my mind.

        I hope they outlaw it for next season, and only allow true repairs, not any kind of setup changes that doesn’t have a reallygood reason (of course, racing teams are experts at inventing good reasons).

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