Vote for your United States GP driver of the weekend

2012 United States Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Start, Circuit of the Americas, 2012Which F1 driver had the best race weekend at the Circuit of the Americas?

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

United States Grand Prix driver-by-driver

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel – Led the way in practice but Hamilton kept Vettel honest in qualifying. He was unable to draw clear of the McLaren in the race but his poor straight-line speed left him vulnerable to catching a lapped car in the twisty section before the main straight. When Hamilton seized his chance Vettel defended as firmly as he could before giving best to the McLaren, and crossed the finishing line still right on his tail.

Mark Webber – Unhappy with the lack of grip offered by circuit and tyres, Webber was well off Vettel’s pace in practice and qualifying. He briefly ran second before Hamilton demoted him to third, and then suffered another of Red Bull’s alternator failures. Remarkably for a driver whose name was once synonymous with this sort of misfortune, this was his first mechanically-included retirement since Singapore 2009.


Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Circuit of the Americas, 2012Jenson Button – It was Button’s turn to have the share of McLaren’s technical problems in America. A throttle pedal problem caused his elimination in Q2 and he lined up on the dirty side of the grid in 12th. His recovery drive to fifth included gritty passes on Schumacher and Raikkonen, but he was unable to use maximum KERS in the closing stages as he tried to gain on Massa.

Lewis Hamilton – Picked up where he left off when his car broke down in Abu Dhabi, splitting the Red Bulls to start on the front row of the grid with Vettel. He was predictably passed by Webber from the clean side of the grid at the start, but soon re-passed that Red Bull and went after the other one. His lap times dropped sharply at the end of the first stint but he came on strong in the second. When Karthikeyan presented the opportunity for him to pass Vettel he didn’t waste it, and was alert to Vettel’s firm-but-fair defending.


Fernando Alonso – A curious performance from Alonso who looked in good shape during practice then slumped to ninth in qualifying, beaten on merit by Massa for the first time since Korea last year. Grosjean’s gearbox penalty meant he would start eighth but Ferrari opted to sacrifice Massa to move Alonso further forward again and onto the clean side of the grid. That netted him fourth by turn one which became third when Webber retired.

Felipe Massa – Had it not been for Ferrari’s ‘Alonso first’ tactics it’s likely Massa would have had the beating of him here. He was quicker in qualifying and his race pace was better too. Ferrari made a better job of his pit stop than Alonso’s which briefly got him ahead of Raikkonen, and although the Lotus later passed Massa he was eventually able to claim the place back.


Michael Schumacher – Fifth on the grid was a promising starting place for his penultimate Grand Prix. But he struggled with his tyres from the moment the lights went out and dropped like a stone: by lap ten he was 13th. Pitted twice and finished 16th, behind his team mate who had started six rows behind him.

Nico Rosberg – Mercedes seemed to treat the weekend as an extended test session with Rosberg switching back to their pre-Coanda exhaust layout. He was last in Q2 and only moved up to 13th during the race as Mercedes extended their point-less streak to five races. “We have learned some important lessons for next year and that’s what counts at the moment,” he said.


Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Circuit of the Americas, 2012Kimi Raikkonen – Both Lotuses started on the dirty side of the grid, Raikkonen inheriting Grosjean’s fourth place thanks to his team mate’s gearbox change penalty. Having lost three places at the start Raikkonen made a steady recovery in the opening stint, passing Schumacher and Hulkenberg. He closed on Alonso but a slow pit stop by his team cost him a chance to get past. He said a fall in ambient temperatures during the second half of the race caused a loss of pace on his hard tyres and after that he fell prey to Massa and Button, ending up sixth.

Romain Grosjean – Out-qualified Raikkonen and although he was demoted by a gearbox change penalty he was back in front by lap two, opportunistically passing his team mate and Schumacher. But he spun while chasing Hulkenberg and dropped to 13th before making an early pit stop. A strong stint on hard tyres allowed him to recover seventh place.

Force India

Paul di Resta – Di Resta was curiously reluctant to share his debriefs over the intra-team radio but it didn’t help him stop Hulkenberg from out-qualifying him for the fifth race in a row. He made it up to fifth before a spin forced him to make an extra pit stop and killed any hope of a points finish.

Nico Hulkenberg – Hulkenberg was ‘relegated’ from seventh and the clean side of the grid to sixth and the dirty side by Massa’s team-inflicted penalty. He held his position at the start before passing Schumacher, but he couldn’t keep the Lotuses behind and was passed by both of them, finishing eighth.


Kamui Kobayashi – The combination of the tyre-kind Sauber and the gripless surface proved a challenge Kobayashi could not overcome. “For the entire weekend here I had warm up problems and didn?t get the tyres to work,” he said after finishing 14th. “We have to find out why this was.”

Sergio Perez – A huge Mexican contingent was present to cheer Perez on, though for the fifth time this year he finished one place outside of the points. He reckoned a top ten finish would have been possible had his brake pedal not gone long: “I had big difficulties before every corner,” he said.

Toro Rosso

Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, Circuit of the Americas, 2012Daniel Ricciardo – Ricciardo passed car after car at the start, taking the likes of Kobayashi, Rosberg, Vergne, Maldonado and Schumacher. He said if he had expected the hard tyre to work as well as it did he would have changed to it sooner. Having held fifth for three laps, racing with the likes of Raikkonen and Massa, his pit stop dropped him back to 12th, out of the points.

Jean-Eric Vergne – Made it into Q2 at the expense of his team mate. A lunge up the inside of turn one at the start didn’t pay off – he lost two places on the first lap – and a suspension problem ended his race early on.


Pastor Maldonado – The Williams pair shared row five but surprisingly Maldonado ended lap one behind his team mate, who had started on the unfavourable side. After losing a lengthy tussle with Button he was also passed by Ricciardo, but a well-timed pit stop pulled him back into contention and a muscular pass on his team mate put him back where he started at the chequered flag.

Bruno Senna – Started tenth and finished there after being passed by his team mate with five laps to go. “Unfortunately we came out of the pits behind Hulkenberg which was frustrating as he was just quick enough exiting turn 11 each lap and we couldn?t overtake him which damaged my tyres allowing Pastor to catch us both,” he said. “I knew Pastor would make a move and I wasn?t going to close the door as we needed the points for the team.”


Vitaly Petrov, Caterham, Circuit of the Americas, 2012Heikki Kovalainen – Battled with Pic at the start but he eventually overcame both KERS-less Marussias. The stewards examined his pass on Glock but decided the move was fair. “I?ve had issues all weekend with getting heat into the front tyres and it was the same again today for the first few laps,” said Kovalainen.

Vitaly Petrov – Got ahead of both Marussias at the start which was vital as they had decent pace – Glock eventually finished just eight seconds behind him.


Pedro de la Rosa – It was the usual story for HRT, albeit it with slightly less running than usual in practice. These were euphemistically referred to as “short programs” but the reappearance of Ma Qing Hua in Karthikeyan’s car indicates that the up-for-sale team is seriously strapped for cash. De la Rosa brought the car home, albeit almost a full minute behind the next runner.

Narain Karthikeyan – Having missed first practice and had little running the second, Karthikeyan looked like he mist be at risk of not qualifying. He made it onto the grid, though much to Vettel’s chagrin after a delay behind the HRT on lap 42 cost him the lead. But Karthikeyan’s driving was within the rules.


Timo Glock – Marussia were very pleased to have both cars in front of the Caterhams in qualifying, led by Glock. But Petrov was soon past them at the start: “The first lap was a bit all over the place; I lost the car twice,” said Glock. Kovalainen later passed him too and the team’s attempt to re-pass him via the pits was thwarted when Kovalainen came in on the same lap.

Charles Pic – Picked up front wing damage on the first lap and slipped out of contention in the team’s battle with Caterham.

Qualifying and race results summary

Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 1st -0.517s 16/16 1 2nd
Mark Webber 3rd +0.517s 0/16 0
Jenson Button 12th +0.821s 0/56 1 5th +56.432s
Lewis Hamilton 2nd -0.821s 56/56 1 1st -56.432s
Fernando Alonso 7th +0.363s 50/56 1 3rd -6.784s
Felipe Massa 11th -0.363s 6/56 1 4th +6.784s
Michael Schumacher 5th -1.399s 14/55 2 16th Not on same lap
Nico Rosberg 17th +1.399s 41/55 1 13th Not on same lap
Kimi Raikkonen 4th +0.121s 52/56 1 6th -5.888s
Romain Grosjean 8th -0.121s 4/56 1 7th +5.888s
Paul di Resta 13th +0.599s 4/55 2 15th Not on same lap
Nico Hulkenberg 6th -0.599s 51/55 1 8th Not on same lap
Kamui Kobayashi 16th +0.231s 0/55 1 14th Not on same lap
Sergio Perez 15th -0.231s 55/55 1 11th Not on same lap
Daniel Ricciardo 18th +0.68s 9/14 1 12th
Jean-Eric Vergne 14th -0.68s 5/14 0
Pastor Maldonado 9th -0.593s 6/56 1 9th -0.608s
Bruno Senna 10th +0.593s 50/56 1 10th +0.608s
Heikki Kovalainen 22nd +0.357s 0/55 1 18th +7.651s
Vitaly Petrov 21st -0.357s 55/55 1 17th -7.651s
Pedro de la Rosa 23rd -0.729s 53/54 1 21st -11.879s
Narain Karthikeyan 24th +0.729s 1/54 1 22nd +11.879s
Timo Glock 19th -0.608s 49/54 1 19th Not on same lap
Charles Pic 20th +0.608s 5/54 1 20th 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 United States Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (6%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (63%)
  • Jenson Button (3%)
  • Fernando Alonso (4%)
  • Felipe Massa (20%)
  • Michael Schumacher (1%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (0%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (1%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • 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: 704

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2012 United States Grand Prix

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Image ?? COTA/LAT, COTA/LAT, Lotus F1 Team/LAT, Red Bull/Getty images, Caterham/LAT

129 comments on “Vote for your United States GP driver of the weekend”

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  1. HAM. No one else. He came within a whisker of Pole in an inferior car to Vettel in qualifying trim at least. Drove a superb race and took his chance when it came.

    1. I agree… Hamilton, no doubt. He was always within a shout during the practice sessions (sometimes he didn’t manage to string the lap together, but his sector times were proof that he was right up there with Vettel) and when it mattered (qualifying & race) he extracted the maximum out of his McLaren. He managed to split the Red Bulls in qualifying & overtake them both in the race, & for anyone who keeps tabs on the live timing like I do, it was amazing to watch him consistently take at least 2 tenths out of the Red Bull in the first sector on every lap (Sometimes almost half a second! He always lost a little in the middle: both McLarens were bouncing off the rev limiter down the straights as well). Vettel moaned about being held up by Karthikeyan, but Hamilton also got held up by a Marussia while Vettel sailed by unhindered… Hammy didn’t moan about it on the radio either. Massa would get the nod for second: I’m so happy that he’s returned to form! All he needs to do now is carry it over into next season & make it hard for Ferrari to keep shafting him in favor of Alonso. I’m not criticizing Ferrari for their decisions this season though: one driver has a legitimate shot @ the WDC, the other does not. It’s a no brainer, really.

    2. That’s what did it for me. With the practice times, I thought Vettel would absolutely crush the rest of the field, but I was happily mistaken. Not to take anything away from Vettel, I really just wanted the championship to come down to the last race.

      Hamilton kept pushing and pushing, finally seeing a bit of luck. My guess is that if the whole race at the front was run in clear air, Vettel would’ve held hamilton at bay with the ~1s gap, but Hamilton finally saw a bit of luck with the backmarker HRT getting in the way (whether or not they belong in the championship is a different topic).

      The way I see it, they both drove flawless races, but luck went with Hamilton this time.

  2. Vettel!? Mmm, NO!
    My vote goes to HAMILTON!!! He thoroughly deserves it.

    1. Fairly, HAM was the best but I’m going political for this one and vote goes to MASSA.

      1. @jcost
        Well, Hamilton isn’t at all my favourite driver, infact I dislike his attitude and character a lot. But, when he shines on the track, one must acknowledge his talent and effort. Massa was close second…

  3. I vote Massa. He was clearly the faster one of the Ferraris both in the qualifying and in the race. The Brazilian had pretty much a flawless qualifying and race and finished convincingly P4 after starting from P11 due to a penalty.

    I could’ve voted Hamilton also, but you’ve got to choose one. And no, this is not a sympathetic vote. Yet one has to wonder, if Alonso always takes the maximum out of his car, then what the heck was Massa doing ;)

    1. Massa. And I am a great fan of Hamilton. It takes some kind of performance to best Alonso on a Saturday and a Sunday. Massa’s resilience has to buoy his team and confirm that his decision to stay another season was the right one. To outqualify Fernando and outdrive him – qualitatively speaking – in the race after being demoted through no fault of his own, MEGA. I sincerely hope he can challenge Alonso or at least keep him honest next year. He could be pivotal at Interlagos if he can help Alonso interrupt the Red Bulls.

      1. I agree, Massa really has found some form and this is an exciting prospect if it can continue next year.

    2. I voted for HAM. Massa only did what was expected of him, nothing more. In the past he has been terrible. On Sunday he was just not terrible.

      1. @infy

        In the past he has been terrible.

        And what has that got to do with the vote? It says Driver of the Weekend.

        1. @fixy I think what he’s suggesting is that Massa’s performance appears deceptively good as it is compared against his previous terribleness

          1. It may be, @jleigh, but then why did Massa “do was expected of him”? He should have been expected to drive badly if that’s what he’s done in the last three years.
            And no, I don’t think he has, I expected a good race from him as always but not so good. He was always faster than Alonso and recovered from 11th to 4th.

          2. Thats correct @jake

            @fixy I meant what the team expects from him as a driver. The only place Massa was quicker than Alonso was in Qualifying. In the race Alonso had a faster average speed (look it up).
            Another thing to look at was how Alonso was purposfully not pushing, as shown by the spike on lap 45. This showed us that he had a lot of time up his sleeve, ready to use if he needed it.

          3. @infy if you talk about things that didn’t happen just because you like to imagine them, I say Massa also had a lot of time up his sleeve. As he was not pushed by Button as much as we thought, he didn’t have to use it.
            Massa’s average speed was lower – oh really? Massa was stuck in the traffic and had to recover from 11th to 4th, how could you expect from him to be faster? He lost ages behind Schumacher.

    3. As I posted previously, Alonso is so good he takes the maximum out of his own car AND Massa’s.

    4. And there are people still saying Massa doesn’t deserve to be in F1!
      He was great, but what more could Hamilton do? Massa, although it could not have been his fault, lost time in Q3, when he was slower than Q2, and a badly-timed lap had him take the flag before other drivers who improved afterwards.

    5. Same here… I am a Hamilton fan and am very happy with the win but Massa got my vote. He is the driver of the weekend for me. Call Ferrari’s decision what you like he still managed to keep his cool and do an amazing race. This isn’t just ‘take one for team’ situation this is destroying a guys mojo, in my view. It’s almost as if he has to fight against Ferrari to beat his team mate. I noticed the sight delay on his pit stop to come out behind Alonso.

      1. @zicasso

        I noticed the sight delay on his pit stop to come out behind Alonso.

        That Ferrari will hobble Massa to help Alonso is surely not up for debate after this weekend. But there’s no indication they delayed his pit stop – which was almost three seconds faster than Alonso’s – and at any rate he was far more useful to Alonso at this point getting out in front of Raikkonen and acting as a buffer between him and the other Ferrari.

        1. I could be wrong here @Keithcollantine but it wasn’t as fast as it normally is. And if to compare it against Alonso’s pit stop, Alonso’s was slower due to problems with one of his rear wheels, no. Anyway, it all worked well for Alonso, Ferrari and Massa(the solitary fighter).

    6. I also thought that apart from Hamilton, Massa was the other one to have a great weekend. Button did a nice race, but failed in qualifying. Vettel was the best on Friday to Saturday, but got beaten by Hamilton. Alonso did the job in the race but failed in qualifying as well (and while it might be about the car, Massa outqualifying him shows there was enough speed in it.)

      Schumacher did an amazing job to maximize what the Mercedes DDRS gives them in qualifying but couldn’t do anything but drop back in the race.

      I voted for Hamilton, as this might be the last such a weekend in the next year or so. But Massa really showed that when he is on it he can still be a top driver.

      1. Nice summary, had to be Hamilton to me … he someway gave us a race to watch, without him Vettel would have been a solitary front runner as everyone loves.
        I’m not sure it’s all Button fault if he finished where he did. Poor qualifying because of failure, we know the end of the session was the best and he failed to run his 2 last laps (which should have been the one they counted on at McLaren in all logic). Then during the race, starting on hard is a guaranted loss of places at the start with this slippery track and hard to warm tyre, after this all went right for him. (Still behind Ham – Vettel for the best Week end and Massa is well ahead as well).

        For Alonso, can’t understand who voted for him this week end, he was well below par. Nothing like him, poor quali, great team and teamate to save his week end. If it wasn’t for the team Massa would have been a long way ahead. Only great moment of Alonso this Week end : his start, it saved the WDC or at least kept it alive for another week

      2. @bascb, @jearnrien, I guite agree with both of you, though I think I’d add Hulkenberg as having had a very good weekend.

        Button’s drive wasn’t bad, but compared to the speed of his teammate, it is hard to be impressed with it here – he did have the Q2 problem though, and KERS failure at the end of the race

    7. I think this just proves that Ferrari’s upgrades on Fernando’s car are a step backwards. No way massa would beat Fernando using same kit.

    8. @hotbottoms

      one has to wonder, if Alonso always takes the maximum out of his car, then what the heck was Massa doing ;)

      Too true. All people seem to talk about lately is how amazingly Alonso is dragging his dog of a car onto the podium against all odds. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s been fantastic this year and for the first half of the season Massa was fairly dreadful, but recently Felipe has upped his game and this weekend he had the better of Alonso the entire time. Even with the grid penalty he ended up just one place behind his teammate (whom he’d never have been allowed to overtake, so it’s the best he could possibly have hoped for).

      If the F2012 really is the horrendous wretch people claim it is, then what Massa achieved at COTA was nothing short of incredible.

    9. @hotbottoms

      if Alonso always takes the maximum out of his car, then what the heck was Massa doing

      I don’t imagine there’s anything to it, but it’s curious that Alonso had a fairly sub-par weekend in America. When the race was held at Indianapolis, it was the one track where he usually did not do as well as his team mate, which is unusual for a driver of his calibre.

      Of course something like that is usually down to the track and not the environment, and after one race I’m obviously not going to assume COTA is a bogey track for Alonso. But it did remind me of his Indianapolis anomaly. He can’t have been too disappointed when that track went.

      1. @hotbottoms @KeithCollantine I don’t think it had anything to do with the track, it’s just that Massa has considerably upped his game after the summer break, while Alonso’s performances have become a little less impressive. The combination of both meant that Massa outperformed Alonso in Korea and at Austin.

        Some drivers are without a doubt greater than other but their greatness is always more or less inconsistent. Sometimes Webber can get more out of the car than Vettel, Petrov is the quickest Caterham driver on some weekends and it’s just normal that Alonso is sometimes slower than Massa. It’s actually annoying to watch fans of any driver trying to find excuses for every small dip in their idol’s performance, instead of admitting that the other guy simply was better this time.

        1. @girts Nicely said, have to say Massa has been pretty impressive on this second half of the season and at least twice Alonso got on the podium thanks to the team rather than his superiority over his team mate. It has been some races Massa was totally a match to Alonso, thus no reason to talk about tracks or car spec, just have to admit they could be almost equal (at least on track) at some times (even if that correspond at a high for Massa vs a down for Alonso)

  4. Romain Grosjean, Oh my god…
    Great recovery from everything (Penalty, dirty side of the grid, spin, apparently a water leak during the final laps) and that pass he made on Raikkonen and (I believe) Schumacher was really amazing! He also made his Primes last for 46 laps, while still being able to fight his teammate! I think that he was really impressive this weekend! Also props to Vettel, Hamilton and Massa!

    1. Sorry, but he spun through a stupid driver error. How can you possibly give the guy DOTW for that. He was quick all weekend and I agree he had a strong race / qualifying, but that rookie spin undoes all of that good stuff. Came 7th, when with his pace he should’ve finished 4th, or possibly even 3rd. Cost himself and the team at least 6 point through his careless error.

      Kimi was slower than him this weekend, but still beat him in the race.

      1. You got a point there. However, I really hope he is going to be quick in Brazil and stay at Lotus for 2013

    2. While I wouldn’t vote for Grosjean, I have been (again) mightily impressed by him this week end. The pass was great (on par with Raikonnen’s pass on the outside later on) and his pace almighty. But why oh why did he spin carelessly ?

  5. H.A.M gets my vote!

    1. Ha ha. If you put something silly like that on your helmet you better kick some serious tail. And he did it. So, yeah, H.A.M. for the win.

      People laughed and jeered about this but remember, Hamilton has got a free hand in marketing with Mercedes. This may be the first step in his hip-hop themed F1 merchandising juggernaught. Look out for “H.A.M’-themed mouse-pads and car window stickers on the Home Shopping Network. Look out Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

  6. Hamilton of course!

  7. Massa. because f1 is a team sport and he played one for the team. if Alonso does win the championship he really has to thank massa for all the support.
    Hamilton deserves alot of credit, is he the first driver to ever beat vettel when vettel starts on pole. Alonso did but that was because of vettel’s DNF.

    1. Ever, or just this season? The latter is technically true, but Hamilton actually already managed it in Canada.

  8. Felipe Massa.

    Second time I chose him. Why? Well, for once he started 11th and made steady progress to 4th, and was faster than Alonso for a large partof the race, and also qualifying. But most importantly, he hitted back from what surely was a big psicological blow with the gearbox penalty (he was clearly unhappy, even if he understood… “it’s hard to find a driver like me”).

    His best race of the season, definetly. Special mention to Hamilton (gladly I predicted him as winner) and Vettel, of course, his qualifying lap was perfect (who said he wasn’t precise?).

    1. I’m actually with you for once with this one @fer-no65 . This is, in my opinion, the first time Massa has out-driven Alonso while they’ve been teammates, great performance under difficult circumstances.

  9. Tough call for me. Lots of drivers had a good weekend. massa deserves a mention for a weekend where he was genuinely quicker than alonso, but of course Ferrari’s focus has to be on the driver fighting for the championship at the moment. Hopefully it foreshadows a much stronger year for Massa in 2013, and perhaps be part of the title fight.

    I don’t think I could really go with anyone other than Vettel though. From the moment tyre touched tarmac, he was leagues faster than anyone else. First time anyone has been fastest in every practice/qualifying session, which is especially impressive in the difficult conditions they were faced with. Ultimately he wasn’t able to defend the relentless attack from Hamilton, but I wonder if any other driver has managed to absorb so many laps of constant pressure without making a single mistake. Very impressive performance from Vettel, even though I’m sure he won’t be seeing it that way himself.

    1. +1 Hamilton was also great, but looking at the lap times I think it is likely Vettel would have another Grand Chelem under his belt were it not for Karthikeyan (not that I want to crucify the man though, backmarkers are part of the sport).

      1. Completely agree with both of you, it was awesome to see the two best drivers do a whole race of qualifying laps, and kudos to both of them for not cracking under pressure whilst leading. Voted for Seb, because he was dominant the entire weekend and should have won IMO, but as u said, backmarkers come and go and their part of the race

      2. Once Hamilton got ahead of Vettel the German couldn’t keep up with him and was more often than not over a second behind.
        Hamilton kept in touch with Vettel for many consecutive laps despite his aero suffering from the Red Bull’s presence and obviously to the fact the RB8 is better suited to the twisty parts of the circuit. If Vettel was as fast as you say, how come he didn’t build a larger advantage?

        1. @fixy This may be pure speculation on my part, but it may be that the McLaren was better suited to the harder tyres. It doesn’t matter that Red Bull had more downforce if it wasn’t working it’s tyres as well as the McLaren. Vettel had the upper hand on the mediums, but once they swticed to softs, Hamilton became marginally, but visibly better. Both drivers are very gifted and very fast, let’s not kid ourselves into believing that somehow Hamilton can transend he limits of his car while Vettel was not going as fast as the car could handle. There was so little between the two that it only took a backmarker to make such a difference (Vettel lost a full second behind Karthikeyan if I’m not mistaken, feel free to correct me otherwise). You said Vettel didn’t open a bigger gap to Hamilton, but it’s not as if Lewis disappeared on Vettel, they were always betten 1.2 and 1.8 seconds, always trading tenths every sector.

          1. Ops, I obviously meant “switched to hards

          2. @guilherme if you say both cars had the same potential (and I don’t agree – Hamilton was perfect but wasn’t on pole) then Hamilton still drove better than Vettel as not only did he beat him, but did so after starting from behind.
            And Hamilton didn’t lose ground in the first stint, and made up in the second. Vettel should have built a larger lead in the first stint if his tyres were better suited to his car.
            Karthikeyan was lapped by everyone and although he may have slowed Seb down more than Lewis, Hamilton was within a second of him by then. Once ahead, Vettel kept the pace of the McLaren, after a few laps though, once Lewis had built a slight lead.

          3. @fixy we will have to agree to disagree then. Yes, Hamilton wasn’t on pole, but qualifying speed does not equal race speed, just ask Alonso. When you say Vettel should have built a larger lead in the first stint you’re basing your claim on the basis that the RB8 was significantly faster, which is just not true – Vettel has already proven dozens of times that if he has the car to open a substantial gap, then he will do so. Yes, I said that possibly the mediums worked better to Vettel, but they weren’t bad for Hamilton either.

            About Karthikeyan, I stand by my point. Vettel had Hamilton within a second of him for a lot of laps and Lewis never looked like overtaking him until Narain came into the equation. I’m not critising Hamilton, I just believe that they were as close as they could get in performance yesterday, I could have gone with either on my vote.

          4. @guilherme Vettel did build the lead he is used to, but not on Hamilton. The pair were half a minute ahead of Alonso but Hamilton kept Vettel in sight. We can say that if the performance of the two cars was similar then the two drivers drove similarly well, but as Hamiltn had the upper hand I voted him. That’s my reasoning.
            Or if Vettel had the best car, Hamilton still gets my vote. Now, if Hamilton had the better car… but I don’t think so.

    2. There was no DRS back in the day, but as examples I would say .. Schumacher from Alonso and then Alonso against Schumacher in Imola (track is terrible for overtaking though) and Alonso in front of Vettel in Singapore for an entire race the gap was never more than 2s, most of the time around 1 or under. Singapore is also hard to overtake though. Obviously those were different regulations and different tyres and such, so, you can take them or leave them ;)

    3. @mazdachris Maldonado put up with great pressure from Alonso to win in Spain, although I’m not sure for how many laps. It was certainly a long while for Vettel…

  10. Felipe Massa; I really expected the Ferrari decision to destroy him mentally, and that he would slip down the field, which was basically the effect Hockenheim 2010 had on him.
    But he didn’t. He instead drove a throoughly determined race, and was brilliant.
    Other notable mentions go for Hamilton and Vettel, as all 3 of them also outqualified their team-mates by fairly significant margins.

    1. In fairness, Button was out-qualified to that extent due to his car going to sleep during quali. I believe Hamilton would’ve still outqualified Button if Button got into Q3, but nowhere near the same degree.

      1. Very true, but still…
        It was very impressive by all the mentioned people.

  11. Has to be Massa this weekend. Outperformed his team-mate in quali and would have finished ahead of him in the race most likely. Massa’s race was impressive as well.

    1. Don’t mind the last sentence, no idea why I put it there.

      1. Haha. Massa did well…
        On the other hand, I voted for Massa as he did well, too.


    2. I don’t think Ferrari would have allowed it tbh, but I think that he should have; only 10 seconds behind him at the end I believe.

  12. Ive just added all the percents together and i got 101%

    1. Sounds like fun

    2. Yeah the GP was that good….

    3. @colm you bored? it rounds up some of the numbers…

  13. I voted Hamilton but could easily have gone with Vettel. Both driver’s were in a class of their own this weekend!

    1. I just can’t understand Vettel admirers, he’s good.. I just question his real ability. It’s gonna take Webber retiring or Vettel moving to another team to validate that opinion. My guess is Vettel doesn’t have the balls to drive in the same team as one of his main rivals.

      1. I just can’t understand people who question Vettel’s ability. He’s a two-time world champion with 100 races under his belt, 26 wins, 36 pole positions and 15 fastest laps. He rarely makes mistakes, he can manage the gap when he’s leading, he can overtake when he’s charging from the back of the grid and he is beating his teammate on a regular basis.

      2. My guess is Vettel doesn’t have the balls to drive in the same team as one of his main rivals.

        So presumably you’re also not impressed with Alonso sharing a team with a driver who’s not only slower than him than Webber is compared to Vettel, but who also gets less equal treatment than Webber does at Red Bull?

    2. It’s not an easy choice, because Hamilton, Vettel and Massa were brilliant. Still, I’m voting for Sebastian. At the moment he has just 6% of the votes and I think he deserves more for his performance this weekend.

  14. There were so many great drives, but I don’t think they compared with a battle for the win which spanned almost the entire race length.
    Hats off to both Hamilton and Vettel but I have to give my vote to Hamilton.

  15. Voted Hamilton, because he pulled the absolute maximum out of that McLaren. Honourable mention to Massa, whose performance has gotten much much better in the last few races.

  16. Has to be Massa. He drove very well all weekend and had the upper hand over Alonso. He deserved a podium a lot more than Alonso, who claimed third place only due to Ferrari’s dirty games. I wouldn’t be surprised if Massa would be used in Brasil to somehow ruin Vettel’s race or at least qualifying.

  17. Hamilton – because he found 1 second in his lap between Q2 and Q3 and continued to do so in the race. The fight with Vettel was brilliant – the 2 going 50+ qualifying laps opening up 30+ seconds to the rest of the field.
    But kudos to Button being 17 after lap 1 and still making 5th is pretty good too :) – Massa had a good race too.

  18. Lots of drivers showed crazy skills over the weekend, can i vote for the whole top 10 of the race ? well, anyway if i had to pick one it is obvious HAM got the lead, always pushing the limits of the car toward the perfect lap.

  19. Shane (@shane-pinnell)
    19th November 2012, 17:27

    Hamilton and Massa drove fantastic races. By the slimmest of margins my vote is for Massa. Mostly because he manned up and got the job done after what must have been a fairly disheartening decision to promote Alonso one position (a decision I agree with by the way).

    Hamilton was sublime though!

  20. I voted Hamilton: he performed very well in qualifying to go second to Vettel (who was undoubtably very fast over one lap) and in the race he overhauled him (albeit perhaps aided by a better race set-up). Very well deserved win. Credit to Massa also for being so positive about having to concede 5 places on the grid to aid Alonso after out-shining him in qualifying.

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