Vote for your Abu Dhabi GP driver of the weekend

2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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

Loading ... Loading ...

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

2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Browse all 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix articles

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

Advert | Go Ad-free


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

  1. matt90 (@matt90) said on 5th November 2012, 17:32

    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.

  2. Cristian (@cristian) said on 5th November 2012, 17:34

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

  3. Fixy (@fixy) said on 5th November 2012, 17:37

    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.

  4. Slr (@slr) said on 5th November 2012, 17:42

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

  5. andae23 (@andae23) said on 5th November 2012, 17:44

    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.

    • LosD (@losd) said on 5th November 2012, 23:06

      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.

      • LosD (@losd) said on 5th November 2012, 23:17

        - 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).

  6. Estesark (@estesark) said on 5th November 2012, 17:48

    It’s difficult to choose between Räikkönen, Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton. All four drove well enough to deserve the title of driver of the weekend, which is fitting, as they are the four best drivers in the sport right now.

    Hamilton was pretty much flawless, claiming pole position, retaining his lead at the start – even after making a small mistake – and then building up a considerable lead before being forced into retirement. Normally I would vote for a driver in that situation, as I voted for him in Singapore and Vettel in Valencia. But… I have to give it to Räikkönen this time. He deserves it after a fantastic comeback season in which he has been the very definition of consistency, including in Abu Dhabi, where he never put a foot wrong, even after his lead was wiped out by the Safety Car. That’s not to mention his classic radio messages and podium interview. Welcome back, Kimi!

  7. drmouse (@drmouse) said on 5th November 2012, 17:49

    I find this difficult. Immediately after the race I would have said Vettel, but now I have had chance to think about it I am not sure.

    Vettel did a fantastic job getting from the back of the pack (twice) up to 3rd. However, the start of his race was very scrappy, and he had a lot of help getting there from incidents. This has to count against him.

    On the other hand, there were several others who did a great job without the mistakes.

    First off there’s Hamilton. As this is driver of the weekend, you cannot take away from his incredible performance top to bottom. In qualifying he decimated his opposition, then dominated the field in the race until his car let him down. Had this not happened, I can’t see how he would not have lost the race.

    Kimi also has to be up there. He does not have the best car, yet he was on form today, pushing at every step. He stayed out of trouble, had a very clean drive… In fact I barely noticed him most of the race. A solid performance, made even better by keeping Alonso behind him in the closing stages and his legendary radio messages.

    Alonso impressed, too. Again, he out drove the car, made some great passes, and put himself on the second step of the podium.

    There are several others who impressed me in this race. So much so, that I cannot vote for one driver of the weekend. I just can’t decide on one driver which deserves it more than the others.

  8. thejudge13 (@thejudge13) said on 5th November 2012, 17:52

    Can’t give it to Vettel as I’m irked the rules allowed Red Bull to reconfigure the car completely and create an ‘overtaking machine’ that mitigated the penalty issued by the FIA – it was exciting to watch and maybe McLaren should’ve have done something similar when Jenson qualified outside the top 10.

    Think Kimi handled the pressure well when Alosno was catching him in the closing stages – when he could have baulked remembering his final few laps going from 2nd to 14th in no time in China

  9. Its either kimi, lewis or fernando this time. no one else is in contention.

    Hard to split them. lewis did nothing wrong, but it was a great performance from kimi showing you never forget how to win. reminded me of Fuji 08.

    And fernando was at his brilliant best. Got the max out of everything.

    Vettel closely follows them, but his errors of judgement cant be ignored in terms of driver of the weekend. but a great recovery result from himself and the team.

  10. Maldonado. Impressive qualifying and he managed to keep up with the leaders quite well in the opening laps. I honestly think that without that KERS problem he would have finished on the podium. And he finished fifth, which was not bad, all things considered.

  11. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 5th November 2012, 17:58

    So this will be one of the tighest battle of the year between the obvious DOTW podium contenders, Vettel, Raikkonen and Hamilton.

    Vettel drove superbly all weekend and still performed when things began to fall apart for him from FP3 on. Little mistakes when colliding with Senna, passing Grosjean illegally and probably when behind Ricciardo during the SC period. He had many things to disrupt his flow, which is an alleviating circumstance. Though passed a countless times, he really didn’t have to push hard, things came to him.

    …Unlike Raikkonen. He had to wrung every last hundedth of a second from his Lotus after Alonso gave chase. Alonso himself pushed himself to the absolute limit in the dying stages for that elusive victory, nearly hitting the wall on the penultimate lap, which Vettel brushed during qualifying. He was visibly exhausted, more than Raikkonen and Vettel at the end. I’m not surprised he is way off the mentioned three drivers, because his was not a fireworks performance, but I’d include him among them as well, because he did just as well as them IMO.

    Finally, Hamilton. Poor guy. Out from the most secure of leads for the second time in five races. It is scary to think he lost 71 points due to team blunders this year. And I only took into account the most disastrous errors: the underfuelling in Barcelona, where he would have most likely led off into the distance from P1, the Singapore and the Abu Dhabi early exits. Not to mention the crash with Maldonado in Valencia, his retirement with the fastest car in Germany, etc. More points have lost. He is 90 points off the pace in the championship currently.

    I cannot decide between these four.

    • alonso performace was fireworks. he overtook button, webber and Pastor. and held off webber and then button both of who are in quicker cars.

      in terms of racing. proper racing (not passing a marussia) he did more again than anyone out there. and did it without error. i bet he winced when he passed the williams!

    • Kimi4WDC said on 5th November 2012, 23:01

      Fernando got out raced by Kimi. I’m not sure if Ferrari were hoping for Lotus tyres to go off, he got a perfect help with second saftey, but frankly did not deliver when it really mattered and let Kimi get away again. Ferrari did have the pace as Fernando showed in dying lap, he just wasn’t able to produce it as consistent as Kimi.

      • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 6th November 2012, 13:46

        He was allegedly 1.03 secs behind Kimi at the first DRS detection point on the penultimate lap. 0.03 sec simply cannot be considered as down to lower intentional driving skill put into practice at that moment.

        He then made the slightest of mistakes, an oversteer at ‘Vettel’s wall’ on the outside of T19 on the same lap. I believe that cost him the victory, because he couldn’t slash the gap in S3 as he did during the laps before. That can be considered a mistake, which resulted in going the slightest bit over the edge after pumping through the whole race. I generally believe, he was on the edge the most during the race (and season, frankly), that’s why he finally made a mistake, a small, but crucial one. He was visibly the most exhausted after the race. Also, one has to consider the dirty air he was getting behind Kimi – that disrupted a lot of passing by others in the first half of the race when the guys were bunched up; no wonder it might did so again.

  12. Even though im a Alonso fan, i really waited for Vettel impress me. He didn’t.
    This one has to go to Raikkonen!

  13. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 5th November 2012, 18:06

    The composition of that picture of Maldonado is simply stunning. It really encapsulates the speed of the cars, yet it somehow illustrates the many quick, but cagey direction changes of the last section of the Abu Dhabi circuit.

  14. James Hunt said on 5th November 2012, 18:12

    The Iceman without a doubt. His post-race attitude was almost more impressive than his driving.

  15. Alfie (@alfie) said on 5th November 2012, 18:12

    I voted for Jev. If it wasn’t for that 2nd pit stop he surely could have finished higher.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.