Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2012

Vote for your 2012 Brazilian GP driver of the weekend

2012 Brazilian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2012Which F1 driver had the best race weekend in Brazil?

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

Brazilian Grand Prix driver-by-driver

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel – Vettel made an error on his first Q3 lap and followed it up with a conservative run to secure fourth place. But he was boxed in by Webber at the start and fell behind the Ferraris, then tangled with the unsighted Senna four corners into the race. Pointing backwards and having suffered a heavy hit on the right-hand side of his car, his championship hopes seemed in tatters. He quickly recovered to get within range of Alonso – and the title – but when an early rain shower abated the loss of performance due to damage was telling and he got stuck behind Kobayashi. Suffering a radio problem, he pitted for fresh slicks then had to pit again when the rain returned. However he finally passed the Sauber to get back into title-winning shape, and made further gains to secure his place as a three-times world champion.

Mark Webber – From fourth he was passed by the Ferraris and Hulkenberg within the opening laps. Having given Vettel little room at the start he moved aside for his team mate after they switched to intermediate tyres, but Vettel’s subsequent problems meant Webber finished ahead. This was despite him going off at the restart while trying to pass his team mate. He closed on the Ferraris towards the end while keeping Hulkenberg at arm’s length for fourth place.


Jenson Button, McLaren, Interlagos, 2012Jenson Button – Trailed his team mate in qualifying and at the start, though not by much. When the rain came Button briefly got ahead, only to be re-passed by Hamilton. In a repeat of last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix Button ultimately got ahead by correctly deciding not to put intermediate tyres on. However he lost the lead to Hulkenberg and their 45-second margin at the head of the field was destroyed by the safety car. Hamilton passed him at the restart but the lead fell back into Button’s hands later on and he delivered his third victory of the season.

Lewis Hamilton – Hamilton took pole position but lost the lead by changing to intermediate tyres. He recovered his place at the head of the field when Hulkenberg made a mistake at two-thirds distance. But he lost the chance to win his final race for McLaren when Hulkenberg spun into him while trying to take the lead back.


Fernando Alonso – Out-qualified by Massa for the second race in a row but this time there was no team-imposed gearbox penalty for Massa – something crowd would surely not have appreciated. Capitalised on Vettel’s problems at the start then passed Webber to reach the vital third place. But he lost that position when he went off at turn one – the first of two such mistakes – allowing Hulkenberg through. Briefly troubled by Kobayashi at the restart, Hamilton and Hulkenberg’s problems moved him back up to second, aided by Massa who moved out of his way. But second place wasn’t enough to keep Vettel from the title.

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Interlagos, 2012Felipe Massa – For the second weekend in a row Massa was quicker than his team mate in qualifying and the race – a remarkable turnaround from his desperate start to the season. Having taken third at the start he was shuffled back to sixth on the second lap. He stayed out on slick tyres longer than his team mate but eventually had to pit for intermediates. This left him a lap down, and he was fortunate the safety car allowed him to get back on the lead lap. From there he raced well, picking off Di Resta, Vettel and Kobayashi. Pitting two laps earlier than Alonso got him ahead of his team mate, but he inevitably had to hand the place back.


Michael Schumacher – Schumacher bade farewell to Formula One with a solid drive to seventh place despite starting 13th and picking up a puncture along the way – a situation not unlike his previous ‘retirement’. He was running in sixth place in the closing stages, but with Vettel coming up behind him and lapping around two seconds faster, did not put up much of a fight.

Nico Rosberg – Both Mercedes drivers suffered punctures during the race – Rosberg’s dropped him to last place after the first safety car period. Struggling with floor damage, he came in 15th.


Kimi Raikkonen – He may have rued his decision not to come to the circuit on Thursday to do the usual track walk when he tried to rejoin the circuit through a closed escape road during the Grand Prix. He had been running in the lower reaches of the points after running off the track on the first lap to avoid hitting Vettel. Di Resta’s retirement promoted him to tenth.

Romain Grosjean – Was fortunate not to suffer a worse accident after tangling with De La Rosa during qualifying. After that he failed to progress from Q1, started 18th, and crashed heavily at Mergulho on lap seven.

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Interlagos, 2012Paul di Resta – Di Resta ended the season with a sixth consecutive qualifying defeat to his team mate. Unlike Hulkenberg, he switched to intermediates early on, but the safety car brought him back into contention. After the restart he lost positions to Massa and Ricciardo, then Webber, Schumacher and Raikkonen demoted him in a single lap. He had just passed Vergne for ninth when he crashed heavily with two laps to go.

Nico Hulkenberg – Hulkenberg took advantage of the battle in front of him on lap two to pass Massa and Webber, then inherited third place when Alonso went off. He bravely gambled to stay on slick tyres on a damp track, and after Hamilton pitted he closed in on Button and passed him to lead. Force India were unhappy that the safety car eradicated his hard-won advantage, but he handled the restart well and maintained his led until a half-spin on lap 48 let Hamilton through. He tried to fight back on lap 55 but succeeded only in spinning into Hamilton, for which he was given a drive-through penalty. In light of Maldonado’s reprimand for a similar incident at Silverstone, this seems harsh. He returned to the track behind Webber and had to settle for fifth.


Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Interlagos, 2012Kamui Kobayashi – The weekend started badly when his team mate accidentally confirmed Kobayashi would not be racing for Sauber next year. The news was made official on Friday morning, the prelude to a disappointing qualifying session which left him 14th on the grid. But the race contained plenty of the Kobayashi verve which he impressed with on his debut at this track three years ago, not least his opportunistic pass on Alonso which temporarily gave him fourth place. He spun while trying to pass Schumacher in the latter stages, losing eighth to Vergne.

Sergio Perez – Started 12th in conditions that might have been tailor-made for him, but was too close to the unfolding Vettel-Senna collision on lap one to avoid it.

Toro Rosso

Daniel Ricciardo – Running ninth after the first safety car period, he dropped out of the points when he pitted for another set of hard tyres before the rain returned. He then gambled on a switch to wet weather tyres for the final laps but the rain didn’t get hard enough quickly enough. “In simple terms, it was a case of too many pit stops,” he said after making five visits to the pits.

Jean-Eric Vergne – Vergne fell to 20th place after clashing with Glock, but over the final 40 laps he recovered 12 places for a solid points finish. He admitted he made his own calls on tyre changes and left it too late to switch to intermediates at the end. Once he did, he was among the quickest drivers on the track.


Pastor Maldonado – Picked up reprimand number three and, consequently, penalty number ten of the season after driving past a red light in the pits during qualifying. Spun at turn three on the second lap and retired with damage.

Bruno Senna – Dived down the inside of Di Resta and Perez at the end of Reta Oposta on the first lap, but appeared alongside Vettel who was already turning into the corner ahead. From that point there was little either could realistically do to avoid contact, and the collision ended Senna’s involvement in his home race.


Vitaly Petrov, Caterham, Interlagos, 2012Heikki Kovalainen – Kovalainen’s race was ruined by a very slow first pit stop which cost him around 18 seconds. “We went onto full wets on the last stop to cover the chance of the rain increasing,” he said, “but there was very little grip until the last couple of laps on that set.”

Vitaly Petrov – Petrov’s race-long battle with Pic turned out to be the decider in the battle for tenth in the constructors’ championship. He lost the place when he spun as the second rain shower arrived, but re-took it from Pic with six laps to go, to the immense joy of his team.


Pedro de la Rosa – De La Rosa pinned blame on Grosjean for their tangle during qualifying. He briefly held ninth place in what will probably be HRT’s last F1 race, and came home 17th.

Narain Karthikeyan – Ran a similar strategy to his team mate and finished last behind him.


Timo Glock, Marussia, Interlagos, 2012Timo Glock – Had Marussia in a position to hold onto their tenth in the constructors’ championship until he was hit by Vergne. “It is a crying shame for everyone associated with the team as we have all worked so hard together to come this far,” he said. “It’s so sad to lose tenth like this because we were right on it and we had everything lined up to stay ahead of the other guys. Unfortunately, Vergne crashed into the back of my car and destroyed the race for me because it was right at the restart and I had to pit under the green flag. I went straight to the back of the field and worked hard from there, but there was very little we could do.”

Charles Pic – There will no doubt be speculation that Pic, who heads to Caterham next year, gifted his future team the position they needed to take tenth in the constructors’ championship. But he had spent most of the race until that point behind Petrov, and all year long Marussia have struggled to defend against their KERS-equipped rivals.

Qualifying and race results summary

Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 4th +0.179s 44/71 4 6th +4.517s
Mark Webber 3rd -0.179s 27/71 3 4th -4.517s
Jenson Button 2nd +0.055s 24/54 2 1st
Lewis Hamilton 1st -0.055s 30/54 2
Fernando Alonso 7th +0.266s 61/71 3 2nd -0.861s
Felipe Massa 5th -0.266s 10/71 3 3rd +0.861s
Michael Schumacher 13th +0.486s 51/70 4 7th Not on same lap
Nico Rosberg 9th -0.486s 19/70 4 15th Not on same lap
Kimi Raikkonen 8th -0.535s 4/5 3 10th
Romain Grosjean 18th +0.535s 1/5 0
Paul di Resta 10th +0.417s 0/68 3 19th Not on same lap
Nico Hulkenberg 6th -0.417s 68/68 2 5th Not on same lap
Kamui Kobayashi 14th +0.146s 0/0 3 9th
Sergio Perez 12th -0.146s 0/0 0
Daniel Ricciardo 15th -0.045s 45/70 5 13th Not on same lap
Jean-Eric Vergne 17th +0.045s 25/70 4 8th Not on same lap
Pastor Maldonado 16th -0.521s 0/0 0
Bruno Senna 11th +0.521s 0/0 0
Heikki Kovalainen 20th +0.013s 11/70 5 14th +27.637s
Vitaly Petrov 19th -0.013s 59/70 3 11th -27.637s
Pedro de la Rosa 24th +0.123s 62/69 4 17th -32.325s
Narain Karthikeyan 23rd -0.123s 7/69 4 18th +32.325s
Timo Glock 21st -0.596s 30/70 4 16th +34.578s
Charles Pic 22nd +0.596s 40/70 3 12th -34.578s

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 Brazilian Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (18%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (13%)
  • Jenson Button (17%)
  • Fernando Alonso (7%)
  • Felipe Massa (16%)
  • Michael Schumacher (2%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (1%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (21%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Bruno Senna (0%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (0%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (4%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (0%)
  • Pedro de la Rosa (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Charles Pic (0%)

Total Voters: 851

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2012 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images, McLaren/Hoch Zwei, Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Sahara Force India F1 Team, Sauber F1 Team, Caterham/LAT, Marussia

176 comments on “Vote for your 2012 Brazilian GP driver of the weekend”

  1. I’m an Alonso fan, but seeing Vettel facing the other way and then coming back… Bravo Seb you deserved it.

    1. If it wasn’t a championship decider, Felippe – Hulk – Petrov

      1. @meek This is the top three I had in mind too.

      2. Totally agree!

    2. I really, really hope we get some kind of onboard footage of Vettel’s drive from 22nd to 7th in about 5/6 laps. That would be great to watch.

      You listening, official DVD review!

      1. Yeap, after the incident he was just driving like a lunatic and we sadly couldn’t get a lot of the overtakes in the live broadcast. Also Alonso would advance positions without us seeing how… the race needs more watches from much more cameras.

        1. Don’t see why we don’t have a side-by-side camera thing so we can see two bits of action at once.

          1. There would be so much amazing footage we’ll probably never see. I mean, we went onboard with Fernando for a few seconds and he very nearly lost the car. There were another 18 or 19 drivers battling in those conditions at the same time, so it’s fair to expect the same would have been happening to everyone! The fact something was happening everywhere the cameras looked means there was always something happening. We didn’t even see how Maldonado crashed at turn 3 (which reminded me of never seeing Piquet’s crash in the 2008 race at the same corner…)!

      2. Not so impressive when you consider:

        6 of the cars were new team cars and so moved over for him.
        2 of the cars were torro rosso’s and moved over for him.
        1 was Michael and moved over for him.
        2 cars retired by the 2nd corner.
        1 car was his team mate.

        So thats 12 cars which pretty much out of the way and considering the RBR’s pace on a wet track, it should have been no surprise that he would have easily caught back up to 7th.

        1. This. When Vettel started his recovery, not a single car put up any sort of fight to him, until he reached Massa. Probably the logic was that he was deciding the championship, so the other drivers parked his cars to let him pass. When the others put some fight, he managed to overtake Massa but then the Ferrari was with slick tires in the wet.
          If we consider the race, my vote would go to Hulk or Massa, but for the whole weekend I think Lewis was spotless.

        2. +1 @infy couldn’t agree more.

        3. @infy – Webber finished ahead of Vettel. Those 6 cars were breezed past because the Red Bull is a better car with a better driver at the wheel, not because they “let him through” – I’m sure you’ll find nearly the same thing happens to other drivers. They weren’t under a blue flag situation but they know how to pick their fights.

          The two Toro Rosso’s and Michael would’ve been disposed of anyway, so that’s nearly completely irrelevant – if the Toro Rosso drivers chose not to hold Vettel up because that would merely slow their own race then that is their decision. As for Schumacher, I actually agree with you! He shouldn’t have just let Vettel by; sure he didn’t have very good traction out of the corner but that doesn’t excuse moving off the racing line.

          Now may I ask how many cars did he overtake by your logic system? Judging by your count it is still at least 5 cars, without factoring in overtakes after pit-stops (which would increase that number vastly). This all with a damaged car that you can’t say was supremely fast because quite simply it wasn’t (as was evident when the track dried). So without a performance advantage, having been facing backwards on lap one he had recovered to 6th by the end: despite having made an extra pit-stop which lasted 11+ seconds due to a broken radio. Fair enough you are entitled to your opinion but to say it is no surprise that he recovered to 7th 6th is a bit unjust for what was a very solid drive.

      3. 25 overtakes Vettel made on Sunday, though 1 was a spun Webber and 2 were from Marussias running wide
        Edit, maybe 26, as he passed Kobayashi before KK got to the pits (the yellow flag? pass)
        I made it 14 were NOT on the 3 tailend teams and a couple of others on STRs
        Tom, I’d also love to see a video of his charge. Someone made one for Abu Dhabi, hope they do the same here, his first few laps were amazing

        1. Seeing purple times crop up on Lap 2 for a driver in 20th place with a damaged car and whilst slicing past people

    3. José Vélez desires all the best for Vettel and RedBull for next couple of years.

  2. Voted Button because in the changing conditions he had the strategy and speed edge over Hamilton and Hamilton was only in contention again because of the safety car. Hulkenburg did well but he lost control to gift hamilton the lead and was responsible for Hamilton’s retirement later.

    1. Are you sure of buttons speed? In the first few laps Hamilton was gone, then the rain was favouring Button which help him close the gap. Mclaren strategic error put hamilton way back…We saw after the safety car that Hamilton blast passed him…only to be thrown out by hulk.

      1. @Ibra, I am led to believe that the strategic error was made by Hamilton. What we know of McLaren’s tire decisions in wet races they seem to let the driver’s decide. In Hungary last year and in Brazil this year, we saw Jenson go brave when given the choice while Hamilton pulled the trigger.

        That said, Hamilton did clearly have the pace, especially in dryer conditions, just not the strategy or the luck.

      2. Hamilton wasn’t ‘gone’ in the first few laps. In fact, Button was sticking right with him and even pulled a move on him, before Hamilton was able to get back passed. So if anything, in the opening laps, they were similar on pace.

        1. As i mentioned, the rain helped button, it started raining on lap 5, before that lewis was pulling away…and notice that jenson had more downforce when you look at the speed traps which helped him a lot when it rained.

      3. ……Mclaren strategic error……
        You know what…. i am so sick of that **….. Button was already in front of him by that point, thus he had the choice to come in first….he declined to do so…. Hamilton followed everybody else, despite already knowing that Button would stay out…. and like oh so often he was wrong… done!… There is only so much the team can do/judge for you….The choice, if you can still drive the car in whatever condition is completely on you…

      4. then the rain was favouring Button

        I’ve heard so many accusations of the FIA favouring Ferrari/Red Bull but I can honestly say this is the first time I’ve seen the rain blamed for favouring one driver. I’m not sure what kind of rain that must be – racist rain?

        1. Aren’t they both Englishmen, though?

        2. This is an English turn of phrase. I’m afraid you’ve completely misunderstood the guy.

        3. Have you not heard of conditions favouring one driver over another before?

        4. When i said that the rain was favouring Button its because hé had a slightly more downforce than Hamilton … And yeah sorry if my english is not that good, im french….

      5. I’ve got a timing app on my phone and Jenson was faster on normal race tyres than people on intermediates. He and Nico were pulling away fromLewis ,it was only the safety car that enabled him to catch Jenson and Nico

    2. Not sure I agree with all the votes for Button. He was on the pace all weekend (although fractionally behind his teammate) and made the right call on strategy. Roll of the dice that didnt pay off in the end through no fault of his own. Otherwise he did little except keep it on the road whilst others had moments… Maybe its simply the lack of mistakes that could differentiate button.

    3. Please. After the SC both Hulk and Hamilton had left him for dead. If not for Hulk taking out Hamilton and himself Button finishes third.

      1. These anti-Button comments are hilarious. The argument for Button not being any good on Sunday is “if it wasn’t for the safety car wiping out Button and Hulk’s 40 second lead then Hamilton would have left them for dead”. Button is simply excellent in these conditions and has consistently proved it since his first win in 2006 (the one exception that proves the rule is Malaysia this year I suppose!). Hamilton did exactly what he did in Hungary last year and bungled a strategy call, luckily the rest of the field did the same thing.

        Maybe Hulk would have won the race without the safety car, but clearly Jenson had dropped Hamilton. At any rate, I still think Button would have won it anyway once the conditions got worse. I didn’t vote for him for driver of the weekend simply because it’s what I’ve come to expect and also it was a great day for the #2 drivers with Massa being awesome.

        1. … with Massa being awesome.

          what a great sacrifice – actually twice – once in blocking webber to allow alonso overtake both of them, massa ended up losing many more places because of losing momentum. Then, letting Alonso gobble up his 2nd place towards race end.

    4. Its got to be Jenson, I would have voted Hulk if it hadn’t been for the crash. Great driving from both, but Jenson was almost perfect in terrible conditions. He was smooth and controlled, its almost as if he found a whole new racing line of grip! This is one of the reasons why I rate Jenson very highly, he is able to maintain his calm and manage his race in difficult conditions, not something many drivers can say they have mastered. If you take 2009 out of the equation, off the top of my head I would say that most of Jenson wins have come in similar conditions? Great drive by Jenson.

      I dont think Vettel deserves the DOTW, he managed a great salvage drive, but it was his fault for not being able to keep his nose clean.

    5. I also voted Button. He and Hulkenberg had a massive 50 second lead over others due to great driving on wet track and clever strategy. Unfortunately for them, SC took their lead away, yet Button still won the race.

      Hulkenberg would’ve been the obvious choice for DotW, hadn’t he retired by his own mistake.

      I’m extremely surprised to see that Jenson isn’t at the moment in the top three. Of course the margings are small, but I expected Button and Hulkenberg take somewhat 90% of the votes. Sure, everyone has their opinions and I don’t want to complain.

      I can even see why some have voted Vettel and Massa, but I’m having a hard time understanding why some have voted Hamilton. It’s true that his retirement wasn’t his own fault, but Button had gained 50 second lead over Hamilton after picking a better strategy before SC and he wasn’t really slower before rain or after SC either.

  3. Wow, I just had a look and was astonished to see that there’s no one voting for Hulk. Almost put my vote in for him (instead of going for Massa, who I was planning to vote for), but then realised that with only 7 votes cast its not too bad.

    1. At the time of writing, he’s now in the lead by 2%!

    2. @bascb Oh, Massa… thought about him aswell. What did they put in his champagne bottle in Suzuka? really, the guy transformed after that podium. Such a convincing drive from him, and a great end of the season.

      Ferrari decision to re-sign him is really justified after all… hope he can challenge Alonso a bit next year !

      1. Too early to make such a call. He’s only performed at 3 races of 20. One of those 3 were on his favorite and home track.

        1. I’d say he’s been on form since Belgium and been outstanding in Singapore, Japan, South Korea, USA and Brazil. Also – in Italy, USA and Brazil he had to let Nando past. Certainly more promising than we’ve come to know from Massa since 2010. More of the same please.

      2. Having re-watched the race I have to say Massa was awesome in the first phase of the race, expertly blocking others, then helping Alonso get ahead – it cost him a few places, but that’s no problem for Ferrari. And then at the end he was very much on it again, I really loved seeing him in this race.

  4. Had to give it to Vettel for all the obstacles he overcame. Though was a close call between him and Button.

    1. The problem is that the obstacles were put there by himself. i.e. mistake in qualifying, bad start, swiping across Senna. I’m not taking anything away from his recovery drive, but driver of the weekend is seriously pushing it IMHO.

      1. my thoughts exactly @john-h

  5. It is hard decision to single out someone. It has to be Button. He drove without making mistakes in the race and won by big margin, where everyone were all over the place.

    Of course, it should’ve been Hulkenberg. But he made two crucial mistakes, which ruined his race (the first one was more psychological).

    Vettel was driving very good too, though he wasn’t very lucky this time. But was fighting with teeth and nails for his third WDC. Alonso was very consistent as usual, but didn’t shine as in previous races.

    I should also mention Petrov. He claimed 11th place – best for Caterham so far and drove really well. He also outqualified his team mate and not for the first time. He had upper hand for the last few races.

  6. For me, the world championship contenders, Hülkenberg, Button and Petrov would all be worthy DOTW’s. I was almost definitely going to pick Hulkenberg had he not had his two incidents (the spin and his collision with Hamilton) so consequently I have gone for Petrov. A very solid race, out-qualified his teammate yet again and got the 11th place Caterham desperately needed.

    Also, Schumacher had his best race in a while upon his retirement and Massa did very well at his home race. Räikkönen definitely wins comedian of the race for his adventure onto the old circuit!

    1. Voted for Petrov as well, was surprised to see he only has 3%. Lotus need to build a Satnav for Raikkonen for 2013!

    2. @vettel1 Worth nothing Hulkenberg reported he was getting “too much push” on his downshifts after lap 43 – five laps later he had his moment that cost him the lead, and not long after that he tangled with Hamilton. Both occurred at points on the track where he would probably have been down-shifting. Might have played a role.

      1. @keithcollantine – I wasn’t aware of that, thank you.

  7. I voted Hulkenberg in the last races, but I think that this time I am going to give it to Massa. Absolutely fantastic, he was faster than Alonso pretty much in every session and once again he finished behind him only because Ferrari forced him to.
    I’ve never seen Massa so fast since 2008, I guess. I hope that he will carry this momentum to next year.

    1. Yes, that was a fantastic job of Massa. Hopes that he keep this form.

    2. I’ve been so bored with Massa for the past couple of season, until these last few races of 2012. I really hope he can retain this recent form in 2013 as then we could be in for a really exciting battle within Ferrari.

  8. It was a tough call today. Vettel certainly earned his championship today after overcoming the first lap spin and some poor pit-stop calls, Jenson also earned the win quite certainly with his gutsy instinct to stay out on slick tyres when others opted for intermediates. I went with Hulkenberg though, as he was the outstanding star for me and I don’t think he deserved the penalty he was given—without which he would have likely finished on the podium.

    It is likely he was following Button’s example by staying out on slicks, but that still takes some serious gonads. He also did a good job of managing the grip level, pushing too hard only twice. Considering how many times we saw Alonso having a moment and catching his car before it spun, I’d say that only over-doing it twice is a real achievement, given more experience he might have been able to catch it those two times like Alonso did.

    His performance proved to me it should be him moving to Sauber and not Di Resta and I now look forward to seeing him in a Sauber next year. Hopefully the Sauber is as good next year as it seemed to be this year.

  9. For me, it was a tough call between Hulkenberg and Button. During the race, I was thinking about it, but in the end, I had to go for Button. Both did excellent jobs in the difficult conditions, but Button made fewer mistakes, and would have had a huge margin by the end of the race had it not been for the safety car periods.

    Special mentions to Hulkenberg, Massa and Petrov too. Each of them did a great job in both qualifying and the race too.

    1. Why is everyone going on about Button and Hulkenberg’s margin? The reason is was so large is because the main drivers behind them had stopped twice! It wasn’t based on race pace.

      1. Because they made the brave call to stay out on slicks on an increasingly wetter track.

        1. Yep, that was indeed a great call from both of them. To be honest, it was also Buttons finest moment for me in the race, he wasn’t entirely convincing for the rest, but maybe he had trouble getting the tyres warmed up after the SC to explain his lack of pace to HAM, HUL. Hulkenberg though was very impressive, his slipup not withstanding.

  10. So many superb performances this time, it’s hard to choose between Massa’s speed and teamwork (hustling Webber and giving Alonso breathing space), Alonso’s razor-sharp overtaking, Hamilton and Hulkenberg’s outstanding pace, Vettel and Schumacher’s recoveries or Vergne’s strong drive (I like a driver who makes his own tyre calls).

    But I’ve gone for Button. He was right up there in qualifying with Hamilton (who was saved by the safety car in the race), and predictably very quick in the wet, without the mistakes which cost Hulkenberg in the end.

  11. Voted for Seb. sealed the championship, drove an amazing race from start to finish, overcoming an accident, an extra pitstop, and being the fastest car of all towards the end with awful conditions and a horribly banged up car.

    can’t wait for next season, which by the way should be awesome. after building totally different cars this season and next season having no major changes, we won’t have any lottery winners and will probably see all the teams on top of their games.
    i think next season will truly separate the drivers, and show exactly who are the best.

  12. Voted Hulkenberg. He did a very good qualifying. Then he proved that he is a very good strategist but also had very nice pace. His collision with Hamilton wasn’t his fault because he lost it before he hit Hamilton, and he took an unfair penalty, which costed him a potential podium. I’m really looking forward to see his future.

    1. Of course it was his fault, he was driving the car. Obviously he didnt intend to spin, but he made the deliberate choice to make a risky move in difficult conditions. He alone was responsible for the consequences and paid the price for it.

      But yes… Without that he would have won this poll hands down.

      1. He saw it as his only chance, it was an opportunistic one.

    2. How was it not his fault just because he lost it before the contact? Almost all contact is from drivers losing it immediately prior to the actual collision- if they didn’t lose it prior to the collision, then there would be no reason for the collision.

  13. Massa every day of the week. He drove a superb race. He held up a train of cars whilst Alonso struggled, he vigorously defended his team mate when people tried to overtake him, hounding them and denying them space on track. He was fast, he was smart and he still managed to get 3rd. It was a masterclass in wingmanship.

    Normally Massa gets little love from me but here he was inspirational. That was probably some of the finest teamwork I’ve ever seen in F1. He deserves his seat next year from that race alone.

    1. I was surprised that the Sky commentators didn’t highlight Massa’s wingmanship. It was the most effective seen in F1 since Schumi supported Irvine in the 1999 Malaysian GP.

      1. Trouble is I think most people are seeing drivers that went quickly and there was so much action that it was hard to track everyone but people who did not notice the class of massa the first time around should get on iplayer sit down and have a second watch of the race paying close attention to the tactical intelligent driving on show. He was just so tenacious.

  14. Felipe Massa for me.
    A really good performance in qualifying and even though he spent a lot of the race trying to defend Alonso he still managed to end up third in what was one of his best performances in F1.

    I’ve been one of his biggest critics when he’s had poor performances but this weekend we saw Massa at his best and I can’t think of anyone else who put in a better all round performance all weekend.

    1. +1 – You and @Tdm almost convinced me to vote Massa, even if I’m very impressed with the way Vettel handled the pressure he must have sustained during the race. And to recover and race up through the field to the end with that much damage – impressive and lucky with the weather as he clearly strugled most in the dry conditions. Webber did prove himself to be a team-player, but only once, almost ruining Vettels race later, trying to overtake him, where he couldn’t. Others have argued why it shouldn’t be Hulk, and I think Button was good, but why didn’t he and Hamilton work together instead of fighting each other. Maybe McLaren lost a 1-2 victory because of their internal fighting in the opening stages.

    2. I ended up voting Nico over Massa, because apart from his incident with Lewis it was an amazing weekend for him. However Massa was also amazing, the perfect team mate for Alonso. It shows you how lucky Ferrari is to have a driver like him.

  15. I’m so happy I finally get to vote Massa as my driver of the weekend. In a race as chaotic and action filled as it was it’s very difficult to pick out one drive as the best, but I feel Massa truly deserves it. He looked fast all weekend, beat his team mate in qualifying by a decent margin and played his role as defender of Alonso’s title challenge superbly. Third place was less than he deserved, but no more than he was ever going to get.

  16. voted for Massa, what a performance,he has really upped his game and to outrace and out-qualify Alonso two weeks in a row when Alonso is fighting for the world championship and is in the form of his life is very impressive.

  17. Hamilton, Button, Massa, Schumacher, Petrov are all contenders for me…

    I really cannot spot any mistakes in their weekends, particularly not in the sessions which counted (well, all of them counted of course, but you know what I mean)… Dunno… Take pressure: the future is sealed for all of them, that’s equal… Hamilton largely got the beating of Button in the race! Ha. I can discount one man, good… Massa made a wrong strategy call, he’s out too. Petrov spun… Now, I can sport mistakes… That leaves Hamilton and Schumacher, the two men bowing out of their respective team…

    Sportsmanship decides this for me: although Schumacher was my favourite driver during his ‘first career’, I refuse to vote for someone, who stepped aside that spectacularly from the way of its fellow German competitor.

    I mean, I accept if Massa step aside for Alonso, that’s what is called a certain philosophy of team sport, something which is an acceptable team decision. A true professional, dedicated to his team and his principle of giving 100% for his team and himself on track, would have put up the fight on an adversary, no matter if he is called Vettel, an old fellow of the same nationality, and is on his way to his title. Especially that he did not needed sixth…

    So Hamilton wins this for me.

    The guy impressed me this year massively. I really really wasn’t fond of him in 2007, I thought he was too arrogant – at that time, I disliked Alonso as well, because I felt he was overly arrogant as well. And I thought he matured greatly, when he got beaten psychologically by Lewis. He became a more complete driver, more humble. I think Hamilton’s own challenge was called ‘distraction’. He battled it in 2011 and won his own personal battle, also matured and was phenomenal this year. I truly wish him the best at Mercedes, because I have grown to like him more as well as he got more completed.

  18. Vettel for me.
    Had it been any other weekend then either Massa, Petrov or Button could have got it as well, but I vote for Vettel simply because of the pressure and stress that he overcame. Even though he screwed up in qualifying, and then made a misjudgement into T4 on lap 1.
    But the pressure that he had to overcome was astonishing.
    I cannot imagine what was going through Vettel’s head when he found him self facing the wrong way with cars coming his way after taking a huge shunt. At which point he would know that Alonso was well up there, and whether he was even able to continue was still a big ‘if’.
    To then soldier on, regain 7th in no time with a damaged car in terrible conditions which saw many drivers falter. But Vettel didn’t. He raced cautiously, but he was still the quickest car out there in the wet. When it dried out he saw his pace disappear, then the radio failure. A massive strategic blunder as a result, and he still kept cool. He raced on. No mistakes, not taking unnecessary risks. Apart from T4, it was a very intelligent, skill-full and remarkable drive under massive pressure.
    While his performance wasn’t perfect, I still think that the way he handled the pressure was fantastic to watch. I think it was a showcase of the difference between a good driver, and a great one.

  19. I haven’t thought about this before, but I think the best driver of every weekend was Michael Schumacher. Whatever anybody did, he still was the only one with 7 WDC’s!

    However, I thought about this, because I wanted to salute Michael and his wonderful career (which has been a major factor – for better and for worse – in my F1fandom)!

  20. Hulkenberg, Massa and Vettel all drove well but also made big mistakes (Vettel’s crash, Massa getting lapped and only recovering because of the safety car and Hulkenberg’s collision). Button drove well and may well have won without the safety car too. Hamilton was hard to fault but without the crash I expect Button or Hulkenberg may have had the win anyway and I think Button was generally more impressive in the conditions. Alonso did a decent job but nothing spectacular (his double pass on Massa and Webber early on was good but he also slid badly wide a couple of times). Grosjean and Kimi are out of this one. Looking further back it could have been Pic or Petrov but I didn’t really seen enough of what they were up to or how they got where they were to decide.

    For me it has to be Button or Hulk – it will be a late call when I click the voting button.

  21. Im going to vote Hulkenberg simply because of his speed all weekend. A great qualifying effort but him in contention for when the rain started. If it wasn’t for the accident with Hamilton he may have won the race and there wouldn’t be as much talk about how amazing Button is in the wet but how good Hulkenberg was. I find it funny how since signing Perez, Hulkenberg has been brilliant :D

    1. Agree with that. I voted Hulk too. Amazing drive, could have easily won the race if it wasn’t for the Marussia and Caterham getting in the way.

      Even after his collision he should have been on the podium but apparently you aren’t allowed to make a tiny error any more without the power-hungry stewards giving out penalties for racing incidents.

      1. :))) Hulkenberg did a mistake when Hamilton was behind him, and he lost the first position. Then he made another mistake when he slided into Hamilton. Maybe he’s fast on wet but,this is not enough.

      2. If that was Hamilton or Ferraris on Hulk, no pen. You can be sure of that.

  22. Voted Jenson. He drove well all weekend and excellently as ever in the changing conditions. Vettel’s opening lap spin and mistakes in Q3 dented his chances of getting my DOTW (I gave it him in India & Korea) – Lewis & Felipe were SERIOUS contenders and so was Nico Hulkenberg but his mistakes in the race made it a no-brainer not to give him the vote. Fernando, out performed by Felipe again and thus he didn’t deserve DOTW. Actually no driver stood out over a whole weekend except Lewis actually who probably would have got it had he not retired.

  23. Tough choice between Hulkenberg, Hamilton and Massa. All three of them beat their team mates in qualifying, and started the race perfectly. Hulkenberg was the fastest driver and took the lead, stayed out on slicks and attacked bravely Hamilton. He skidded by a few centimetres but there was no space for him, so he was unfortunate as was Lewis. Definitely the penalty was the wrong decision. Hamilton took pole and was in the best position to win: unfortunately he didn’t take the decisions by himself as Button did and pitted, which proved a wrong move. He was able to take the lead back after the Safety Car and was unlucky when Hulkenberg put him out. Probably slower than Hulkenberg and Button in the race. Massa was awesome as his start showed, and stayed out on slicks despite falling down the order. He had lost the lead he had built when the others had stopped when he himself stopped, but despite this great disadvantage came back to fight for the podium and was 5 seconds in front of Alonso, who he let past. Showed great speed and he proved himself capable of thinking while driving, staying out of trouble and thinking of Alonso first than himself.
    Now that this post has helped clear my mind, I’ll go with… Hamilton/Massa/Hulkenberg… Massa/Hulkenberg… Hulkenberg!

  24. I’m really surprised to see Vettel and Hulkenberg getting so many votes here, considering that both of them took another driver out of the race with… optimistic maneuvers… and nearly took themselves out in the process. On the other hand Hamilton, Button and Massa didnt really put a foot wrong all weekend.

    I get that Vettel won the championship so he’ll get a showing of support here regardless, but can you honestly say that he or Hulkenberg were the best drivers of this grand prix weekend?

    1. I agree with every word you said.

  25. Even with his mistake when overtaking Hamilton, the Hulk was for sure the one who impressed me the most in this race. He was the only one who had pace to the Mclarens, matching Hamilton in the dry while beating Button, and matching Button on damp conditions while being faster than Hamilton.
    I´m pretty sure Whitmarsh is knocking his head on a wall for taking a pretty inconsistent Perez having the Hulk available.
    If the decision was to be made after the season end I have no doubts who would be chosen.

  26. Voted Hulkenberg, he drove so great that for most of the race I didn’t care about the championship, just wanted him to win

  27. Button finds himself in a (un)fortunate situation. People praise him for actually qualifying behind his teammate, just not ‘too far’ behind, then is praised when he picks up yet another win in a race where the leader was taken out.

    If i was him i’d feel incredibly patronised, but whatever.

    Driver of the weekend.. hard to pick one really. Possibly Hulkenberg if he didnt swipe out the race leader. Possibly Hamilton, Possibly Massa.

    1. wow, that assessment sounds like ti could have been for Alonso too lol. And we know Alonso doesn’t feel patronized at all …

  28. Voted for HULK!!! He deserved it as he drove fab! Racing with the McLaren’s and keeping up with Hamilton needs skills and he certainly possess many!

  29. Been a long time since I posted here but how can anyone who has watched this sport for more than a week vote for anyone other than Vet. He did exactly what he needed to do in P1/2 and 3. Was where he needed to be in a slower car in quali. Was stuffed at turn 4 on lap 1, his team made an error in the pits and he still did more than required to become 3 times WDC. Pressure to some may happen playing a game, he did it for real and that’s from a ferrari fan of more than 40 years. Grow up and stop looking for the most obscure performance of the weekend. Button did well, so did Hulk, Mas, Ham and Alo. Vet did everything he had to.

  30. Closest and most contested DOTW poll ever?

    Went for Hulkenberg, but could be anyone between him, Vettel, Massa, Hamilton and Button. All five were brilliant

    1. @guilherme,

      Closest and most contested DOTW poll ever?

      Even the DOTW poll is a thriller!

  31. What a disaster the collision between Hamilton and Hulkenberg was! I would have loved to see Hamilton win, or at least be on the podium, in his last race for McLaren, and a Hulkenberg win/podium would have been great, too. Also, I would have been able to unreservedly vote for Hulkenberg as DOTW, but the collision ruled him out for me, and also Hamilton for not finishing the race. So I voted for Button instead. He was fast, clever, and faultless all afternoon, a feat matched by no-one.

  32. Massa gets my vote and hope he wins the poll. He would have been up fighting with Button were it not for team orders.

    Hulk was awesome, but let himself down at the end. This one will be close.

  33. Vettel is my choice. Also good weekend for Massa, Schumacher, Petrov, Pic, Vergne, Kobayashi.
    And Hamilton, the unclucky guy of formula 1.

    1. add Button to the list.

  34. @keithcollantine – it’s almost too difficult to decide between some of them! There were so many good drives this weekend I wish I could vote for several!

  35. I voted Vitaly Petrov because he scored the teams best ever position.

  36. I don’t usually like Massa to be honest but what and how he managed this race was just awesome. Do a few more races like this one… I will declare myself a Massa fan ! I did voted for Massa.

    “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.”

  37. This is probably the hardest DOTW choice I’ve had to make all year.

    Hamilton was the fastest man around the track, but lost out largely through no fault of his own. Hülkenberg excelled in the conditions and could have won the race if he had been a little more patient when trying to overtake Hamilton – what happened next was a shame for both of them. Button did his usual job of keeping calm and knowing which tyres to be on at all times, for which he deserves credit. Alonso did everything he could to try to win the title and picked up yet another podium finish. Massa was arguably quicker than Alonso in the race; he definitely was in qualifying. Performances like those justify Ferrari’s decision to keep him (not that you could tell from his tears on the podium). Kobayashi had a spirited race knowing that it would be his last for the team and possibly in the sport. Petrov and Pic put on a great fight for eleventh, and the former’s result meant so much for Caterham.

    It’s difficult to say that Vettel performed better than all of those drivers, but the overwhelming factor in his favour is that he did what he had to do to become a triple world champion even after being at the very back, even after losing his ability to communicate with the team, even after making one unnecessary pit stop and one very slow one. He just keeps getting the job done, and for that reason, my vote goes to him.

  38. Had to give this plenty of thought and I’ve decided on Massa. He’s been absolutely everything he needed to be this weekend, qualified exactly where he should have, out-qualified Alonso, we could say he out-raced Alonso, finished on the podium at home and all this while still providing his team mate with all the help needed. He’s been on it in free practice as well and he’s ended a bad season on high. Everyone likes a happy end.

    Hulkenberg would have been my immediate back-up choice as he was the only one of the DoTW-eligible who found himself at the top while no one expected him to be there. But, even though his second mistake is forgiveable and even though he did not deserve the penalty I feel the first mistake he made while he was in the lead was the one that actually gave birth to the Hamilton situation and actually cost him an otherwise inevitable win.

    Other mentions, in order: Button, Petrov, Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso, Schumacher, Vergne, Pic.

  39. Sem (@05abrahamsemere)
    26th November 2012, 21:13

    Button was the best driver of the day and in fact I would now rate him as an established top three member of the ‘best drivers’ on the grid along with Vettel and Alonso. Sadly, for Hamilton his best days are behind him and the top three (Alonso, Button and Vettel) will battle it out for the crown for many more years to come.

  40. I’m going to give my vote to Button, as his times in P1, P3 and Q3 were strong. Combined with his skills keeping it on the road whilst still on slicks, when most others were struggling on Inters, building a 45 second lead that was negated by the safety car. Believe he got 2nd fastest lap of all too. Nico drove well too, until he was too ambitious attempting to get Hamilton in turn 1. Can’t overlook Hamilton either, great racing between him and Button in the first few laps, after an awesome lap to get Pole.

    1. He didn’t “build” a 45 sec lead, unless you were watching a different race. The 45secs was due to the fact the Vet, Ham and Alo had all stopped twice! When you put 2 pit stops into the equation, then 45secs is not that big a margin. The credit is due to him for staying out, but don’t lets blow it out of porportion.

      1. Yes, but why did they need to take 2 stops?Button and Hulkenburg did not. They were pulling away from Hamilton until the Safety Car, even though they were on the “wrong” tyres.

  41. In my opinion it was Hamilton, who was gaining pace again (probably he could have chase Jenson) but Hulk messed it up

    Hulkenberg was great, Alonso too (but helped by Massa), Vettel too (but helped by Webber and a little by schum), Button ran very well (most of his victory is for a good strategy…)
    A hard one to decide this time.

    1. How can you give it to LH when Button and Hulkenberg were,by and large,quicker than him for most of the race??? And i cant really vote for people who suffer DNF’s halfway into the race,as anything could have happened to them in the latter parts of the race…

  42. I voted for Button. I would have voted for Hulk, if not for the overtaking incident. I believe it wasn’t all his fault. Nobody expected that Caterham in front would slow down so dramatically. I think he was trying to let the leaders by. For me it was racing incident.

    I just want to thank PIRELLI, for one of the greatest seasons I’ve witnessed in my 30 years of following F1.
    Keep up the good work!

  43. Voted Button as he didn’t seem to put a foot wrong all weekend. Special mention to Hulk who had a brilliant one aside from the slip & in my opinion undeserved drive through.

  44. In light of Maldonado’s reprimand for a similar incident at Silverstone, this seems harsh. He returned to the track behind Webber and had to settle for fifth.

    The stewards’ crackdown on driving standards didn’t come into effect until after Silverstone, hence the harsher penalty for Hulkenberg.

  45. Was immensely difficult to choose a winner; it was between:
    Vettel, Hülkenberg, Petrov, Button and Hamilton.
    But for me, I had to go for Vettel; he was facing the wrong way after lap 1, fought to a good enough position for the title with a damaged car, and was just superlative in the rain, along with Button.

  46. This is the toughest vote I’ve ever had to do. Button controlled the race brilliantly, and put on a show of what he can really do when the situation suits him. Hulkenberg was astounding at the front, and probably would/should have won it, if not for that crash, which I think the penalty was too harsh. Massa and Alonso were impressive in different ways. Hamilton, again, deserved a sweeter result, but like so many other races this year, had it torn out of his hands.
    But Vettel was just brilliant. When he was punted at turn 4, I thought “That’s it, championship over.” He was lucky that the car survived, but his charge back up the field was a true champion’s drive. One of the best drivers I’ve ever seen.

  47. This is tough.

    The obvious suspect is Vettel, as he clinched the title. He recovered remarkably well after his early crash, even though his car was severely damaged. However great that was, I still think that his start was overly cautious, and his overview in turn 4 was Grosjean-like. In my opinion, the DOTW should be a driver that drove flawlessly, therefore no Vettel-vote.

    Felipe Massa is definitely a good candidate. Again he showed he has retaken the initiative at Ferrari, and then to be rewarded with a podium at your home track – that’s wonderful. Very tempted to vote for him.

    The McLaren boys were both quite evenly matched in the race. Hamilton took an advantage over his teammate after Button misjudged the rain. Hamilton was in my opinion the better of the two this weekend, a man on a mission.

    Michael Schumacher: last race, good result. I might have considered him, were it not for him letting Vettel through. I am absolutely disgusted that he preferred Vettel over Alonso – that is in my opinion non sportsmans-like and therefore I refuse to take him into consideration.

    And finally Nico Hulkenberg. He was quite lucky with his rain-strategy, but even in the drier period his pace was impressive. And then seeing him pull that all-or-nothing move on Hamilton that ended in tears was a big dissapointment. Still, with a drive-thru he finished in a fantastic fifth place.

    I usually never vote for a driver that makes mistakes, and Hulkenberg’s move on Hamilton can definitely be considered as one, but I thought Hulkenberg’s drive was impressive enough to get my final vote of 2012. Also, Hulkenberg showed a fighting spirit yesterday, not only for a podium, but also for the race win. That’s remarkable, and I think we should appreciate drivers that drive purely to win the race.

    1. @andae23: Try and watch the race again up until Vettel overtakes Schumacher and then tell us that You seriously think anyone can hold back a driver comming up from behind gaining about 2 sec a lap?

      1. @palle That is not my point: surely Vettel would have passed Schumacher anyway. My point is the way that Vettel eventually passed Schumacher: he didn’t put up a fight at all, but simply stuck to the inside of turn 5, effectively giving the racing line to Vettel. One cannot defend that this move from Schumacher was not purposely, and that’s what I find unfair. If every driver would have let Vettel through, then the entire race would have been a mockery, probably even worse then 2005 Indianapolis. So, that’s my reasoning.

        1. Well, Vergne, Riccardo, Schumacher & Webber. Add Vettel (as he doesn’t have himself for competition), there’s one fifth of the field already dealt with. Then add 6 backmakers who can’t really put up a fight, you are left with, what, 13 cars? He took out two in the first lap himself, Grosjean flew off the track, so that’s 10. Hulk took out Hamilton, so that’s 9. Ok Webber in the end finished in front of him. And in the end, with all that he managed 6th or 7th! That’s underwhelming if anything.

          1. @brace – Given the amount of time and positions that he had to make up, with a damaged car, remember, to use the word “underwhelming” is typical of the extent that people love to pick holes in anything SV does.

          2. He didnt pass the ferraris on track either. All in all,he made only 5-6 proper passes. And david-A,vettel was responsible for the damage he incurred on lap 1….

          3. @chicanef1 – It was a racing incident, rather than SV being “responsible”. Vettel did move across, but Senna dived up the inside of several cars just to be there.

  48. Sebastian V3ttel.

    Someone give me a reason why I shouldn’t have voted for him?

    1. @andrewtanner

      Someone give me a reason why I shouldn’t have voted for him?

      He messed up his first run in Q3.
      He was out-qualified by his team mate.
      He (arguably) caused the crash with Senna which left him last with a damaged car.

      Had this not been the title decider and had he not gained enough points to win the WDC I reckon a lot of people who voted for him would have voted for someone else, for me it was a choice between Massa, Hulkenberg and Button but as Button was out-qualified by his team mate and Hulkenberg caused the crash with Hamilton I went for Massa who I thought had an excellent weekend.

      1. Also, had his team mate and Schumacher not aided his recovery, he may have had a less flattering finishing position.

        1. Plus the position gained by Hamiltons DNF. Vettel should consider himself very very fortunate.

          He drove fantastic in the race, but driver of the weekend? No.

          1. If you’re going to count the Hulkenberg/Hamilton collision against Vettel you should also note that without it Alonso wouldn’t have been on the podium, and therefore Vettel’s finishing position as far as the championship was concerned wouldn’t have mattered.

          2. You’re absolutely right, Keith. Actually the collision between Hamilton and Hulkenberg, and the following punishment of Hulkenberg was very much against Vettel. Alonso moved up from 12 points to 18 points by this incident alone. I was very impressed with Vettels cool ability to concentrate and not get overly frustrated because of the string of bad luck that hit him: Damage to his car, extra pitstop and a ****** up delayed pitstop as well. He could easily have lost his temper and overdone something later in the race.

        2. @matt90 you forget the other Red Bull team.

      2. @beneboy Those are all good points..but they don’t detract from the fact he worked from the back to nearer the front! Sometimes the facts, for me at least, just aren’t important :P

        1. @andrewtanner
          To be honest mate I only replied because you asked for someone to give you reasons why you shouldn’t have voted for him :-)

          1. @beneboy You make a good point!

  49. Tough one. I had to give it to Petrov. He delivered what was really the WCC fo the backmarkers. I didn’t follow his race closely but it doesnt’ seem he made big gaffes. Everyone up front was either lacklustre or made a critical error or lacked in the W part of the DOTW. Petro also outqualified Kovy again.

  50. Hulkenberg for me. I was expecting him to crack, at some point Lewis was catching him .1-.2 a lap. But those two just kept on cranking out identical sector times one after another with Nico pulling away. It’s a shame Nico lost his back and ended Lewis’s race, but I’d imagine considering the rate he was catching Lewis and that back-marker there it was just a too much of an inviting opportunity and it did not pay off. Jenson would have been a sad potato if Nico and Lewis didn’t crash out – he got out raced.

    I wish McLaren signed him instead of Perez.

    Going to be interesting who does Caterham keep, Petrov got them the money, will they reward him with a place or Heikki?

  51. Voted for Jensen Button. He did great all weekend, testing something different in FP1 and 2. Then being quick in FP3 and qualifying very closely to Hamilton. Then in the race, it was a typical Button situation where he made right calls, kept his car on track, and didn’t do anything stupid. It was pretty much a perfect weekend for him. Vettel did great too, but it seems he was nervous all weekend, and didn’t perform like he normally does. If he had driven to his potential, he’d for sure qualified on the front row, and had an easier race and finished on the podium. Also like to mention Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Massa and Petrov for some great driving. What a race.

  52. would be hulk until he spun then later crashed. gotta be button purely for judging the changable conditions well like always. and he won.

  53. I gave my vote to Petrov. It’s unbelievable that he managed 11th in a Caterham. Brilliant drive.

    Vettel was amazing, of course.

  54. I’m a little confused that Vettel appears to be on course to win this vote, despite being out qualified and out raced by his team-mate, who also span, and was asked to let Vettel through at one point.

    1. 4 people ceded track position to Vettel too easily : his teammate,the 2 toro rossos and Schumacher.

      1. his teammte was the root cause of it all, pinning him in at the start, putting Vettel in the path of the carbon fibre brigade.

        1. @91jb12 – Vettel was in Webber’s blind spot at the start, and had Webber run wide trying not to make the corner, he would have probably slithered into Huelkenberg.
          I also saw something interesting on Monday, but I can’t find it now. I saw a video in which Vettel guns past one of the Toro Rossos at the straight, at a moment when there were yellow flags at the entry to the Curva do Sol, where the DRS detection zone was placed, which meant that DRS was not being used by Vettel. If so, then I find it difficult to see how a car which is slowest on the straight-line can gun past the quickest car on the straight-line so easily. I must conclude that the STR guy was sandbagging. And commentators all over the world were surprised at how easily Scumi ceded the place to Vettel.

    2. I agree. To my mind, the current top 2 in the votes were worse than several other drivers.

  55. This is simply between Vettel and Hamilton.
    How anyone could vote for Button or Hulkenberg is beyond me. The former was outqualified by his teamate, and also overtaken on the track by the same teamate. Yes, he drove a great race, but he didn’t have the pace to ultimately challenge either Hulkenberg or Hamilton. If not for the incident, he would have finished 3rd.
    The latter did drive a very good race, but had took the leader of the race out, whilst making an amateurish pass – This simply cannot be overlooked. And before anyone claims racing incident, a lot of wheel to wheel duelling had occured before that between more seasoned drivers and it didn’t end in tears. He was well off the racing line on a damp patch of track, so at best, he was wishing for a bit of luck in making the pass stick.
    Also, this issue about the lead they built up – why is everyone forgetting that the guys behind them had stopped twice before the safety car? The lead was not down to their pace in the wet. If you factor in 2 stops, then a 45sec lead is not that amazing!

    As said earlier,its between Vet and Ham. Though Vet choked at the start, he more than made up for it, and did what he had to do to win the championship. Ham was imperious in qualifying, driving a storming lap, and in the race did not do anything different to the other drivers around him with the exception of Button and Hulk. He then passed 2 cars to get the lead back, and would surely have won the race if not for the incident. My vote goes to Lewis.

    1. May I ask how a gap of 5 hundreths is a ‘storming lap’?

      1. Its “storming” because it was won against a Red Bull. Plus this year, the gaps have not been that large anyway.

  56. This one is particularly tough. It certainly can’t be Alonso- Massa outperformed him throughout the weekend. I’m not sure about Vettel either- he made up a lot of places after his early collision, but I haven’t seen enough to know for sure whether the reason he span at the start was his fault or not anyway (although his unspectacular start contributed to finding himself in such a low position anyway), and his return to the points was aided by many of the less experienced drivers struggling in the conditions ad apparently falling off the track in front of him. I can’t give it to Schumacher, as in his last race he destroyed any lingering respect I might feel by letting through his preferred champion. Hulkenberg blotted his copy-book by taking out the leader- by unfortunate accident of course, although that does not excuse such an error, even considering the considerable performance he put in up until that point. Hamilton and Button are up for consideration though. Hamilton was clearly better on Saturday (typically). He was unlucky in his pitstop choice (the tyre decision didn’t seem at all unreasonable, given the conditions at the time), whereas Button was typically decisive and ultimately clever. In contrast, Button was also unlucky to lose such a large lead to Hamilton due to the safety car, although over the time they raced together, Hamilton seemed to have slightly better pace whenever they were on the same tyre.

    I think that I will give this one to Massa, which I never expected to do. Button and Hamilton are difficult to separate (either would have deserved the victory, although Button’s decisiveness perhaps puts him slightly ahead), whereas Massa not only out-drove his illustrious team mate, he did so while driving incredibly tactfully to aid his team mate by trying to distract or slow Red Bulls and not lose time himself.

    1. For comparison, Perez was (I believe) voted as driver of the weekend in Malaysia. This was a similar giant-slaying performance to Hulkenberg. But whereas Perez slipped up and cost himself the chance at victory, Hulkenberg slipped up, however minor it was, and cost himself and the actual leader the chance at victory. That is far more serious. Inexperience can excuse making a mistake which costs yourself the win, but it should not be an excuse for ruining another’s race as well.

      1. I don’t think it was the question of experience. He was catching him .5 a lap at that stage and was reasonably close. I would think he would have waited with the overtake if back-marker wasn’t there. Initially Lewis got closed behind Caterham, but then deeper into the corner was released and could defend. Nico just went for the gap and it did not paid out.

        With field as competitive as ever, it is harder than ever to have an edge to overtake and when you do it, you know that you are likely to get penalty if anything goes wrong. Hand out trophies after qualifying?

        Due to track condition, consistency that Lewis and Nico had, was mind blowing. All the best to them in 2012!!!!!!!

  57. Everything that can possibly go wrong with Vettel had occurred,when I saw him spinning I thought “Alonso is te 2012 WC” but a great drive from him.

  58. Hulkenberg for me. Very good qualifying and very good race pace. I think Williams would be thinking what could have been if Hulk was driving this year’s car instead of Senna.

  59. Well it surely will be divided opinion on this. As much as Seb did a great recovery drive he had assistance from a couple of drivers and a Safety car. So results wise looks good and he was WDC but not the best driver of the weekend.
    Hulk lost it and took out another driver so despite the great drive. So he’s out of contention for me.
    So for me that leaves just Button. OK, Hamilton out qualified him by a tiny amount but Button was just supreme in the race. He made that race look easy in tricky conditions.
    It really is ironic though. We pull Buttons leg about moaning about no grip and then when there really is no grip he drives off and beats everyone. :D

  60. Nice to see such an even split of votes (for the time being, at least). This is the first race I can recall where I could happily give my vote to about five different drivers.

    In the end, I went for Hulkenberg. I know Di Resta’s form has dropped of late, but the comparison between these teammates this weekend really shows that Hulkenberg has the potential to be something very special.

  61. Felipe Massa, for the best team driving I’ve seen so far.

  62. I voted for Felipe because of the amazing turnaround he has had. That was one of the best races of his career on Sunday. He fought incredibly hard and he easily deserved to be on the podium. Seeing him so emotional showed just how much it meant to him. Easily driver of the race for me.

  63. This is so difficult, hardly anyone had a error free weekend, certainly hard to see how Vettel was DOTW…
    He was out qualified by his team mate, took out 2 cars on the first lap, finished behind his team mate despite a great come back drive. But the damage was self inflicted.
    Hamilton made few mistakes, neither did Button (unless you count losing out on pole to his team mate) but both had the fastest car.
    Hulkenberg was outstanding all weekend, bar one slip up.
    Massa had a hard battle but only made the podium when a fast closing Webber (over a second a lap at the end) was halted by the Safety Car.
    Alonso did the very best he could with a much slower car but again was outdone by Massa in qualifying.
    Webber was unlucky to get tagged by Kobayashi and did out qualify Vettel but made mistakes (one while trying to avoid Vettel at the restart).
    Vergne had an impressive drive as did Petrov.
    Just such a great race, seems unnecessary to pick out one driver.

  64. Alexander Jansson (@)
    27th November 2012, 10:41

    Vettel has now twice come from last to make a great result, and he clearly can’t get your appreciation… What more should he do win the WDC a couple of times more??

    1. Not make the mistake to get into last place to begin with.

  65. How can anyone vote for anyone but the flawless Hamilton?

    Hulkenberg dropped it just by outbreaking himself when in with a chance of a win, Felipe’s was a great race but only seems so amazing given his dreadful form of last 12 months. Vettel past parked cars as has been explained, and only cos he dropped it/didnt leave space, so lucky not to get colllected, or exhausts exploding. Button also had an impeccable weekend.
    Letting Hamilton go for Perez is just stupid.

    1. Hamilton did not finish the race for whatever reason. I haven’t even considered him. A DNF is a DNF…

  66. Difficult choice but I voted for Petrov. Outqualified his teammate and finished 11th, securing 10th in the championship for his team.

  67. I went down to the pound and adopted a puppy. I got the puppy home and fed it, letting it sleep in an old duvet to recover from the car trip. While it slept, I painted its paws green, red, blue and brown, one colour per paw. When it woke up I let it walk over newspaper until the paint dried . Then I did it again, but while the puppy was walking, I showed it a picture of an ocelot, and marked the position where it stopped. I pinned both sets of newspaper over the window, one on top of the other.

    Under the position I’d marked, I drew a shape around the 6 nearest blue colours. I wrote the names of all the drivers within that shape on a paw mark. Then I wrote down any drivers name if they were on a green paw mark, giving them a number.

    Then I threw a dice.

    It seemed the fairest method.

    1. Next time just write “=randbetween(1;24)” to your Excel :)

      1. Then the puppy wouldn’t have a home.

        You cruel, heartless, puppy hater @f1mre.

        Shame on you.

  68. Would’ve voted Massa, he was mega ALL WEEKEND and didn’t make any errors in tricky conditions.
    But having seen how close it was, Voted Vettel.
    What an effort with the car almost falling to bits

  69. Michael Brown (@)
    27th November 2012, 21:33

    Definitely Vettel. Everything seemed to be against Vettel this race, when he suffered damage, was facing the back, then had a radio problem causing the team to give him the wrong tires. And yet he overcame all of that to finish just high enough to win the championship.

  70. Lewis fan but voted on Hulk. Not a tough decision since Hulk’s been showing good results. It’s a shame he got that penalty for colliding with Hamilton, but still a great race for him.

  71. Voted for Petrov.

  72. Will this be the first DOTW who had a drive through penalty?
    Deserved on not, in your opinion, it was still a penalty.
    So, at the time of writing this, at least 20% of readers think that penalty was undeserved.

  73. Has to be the Hulk.

  74. Anyone thinking of voting Vettell? add to the easy passes on Schumi, STRs, Webber illegal pass under yellow flag:
    HRT and Kobayashi legitimate
    STR illegal

    1. There’s already a lengthy thread on that in the forum which does a good job of debunking the claim it was an illegal pass:

      The eagerness with which some people have seized on this as proof of wrongdoing on Vettel’s part without scrutinising the video, looking at what the rules say or even considering the likelihood that Ferrari would overlook it says nothing about Vettel but an awful a lot about how desperate his detractors are not to afford him the credit he’s earned.

  75. I feel like Massa had the race of his season, he did everything asked of him and should be proud despite it being out of his hands what happened.

    I don’t understand how Hulkenburg can be highest rated so far. Sure he had a good start and kept up with Button, but he lost control of his car and crashed Hamilton out of the race, and not apologise for it.

  76. Wow I voted Massa! I was trying to think which McLaren should take it, or should it be Alonso or Vettel but then I thought about Massa. Qualified ahead of his team mate and finished on the podium. He might have been running a different setup but it was still impressive from him in a car that isn’t good enough.

    He was also a lap down at one stage but was helped out by the safety car. He did fantastically well to get back to third and even though he inherited a few places it was great to see him back on the podium.

  77. I had a short list of four drivers for my driver of the weekend Button, Hulkenberg, Massa and Vettel.

    Button and Hulkenberg stayed on dry tyres when everyone else pitted for intermediates early in the race and were unlucky with the safety car which erased their lead, without that it would have been a battle between the two for the victory.

    Button was closer to Hamilton than usual in qualifying and his gamble not to pit during the first shower proved correct, yes he benefitted from Hamilton’s retirement but without the safety car Button would have had a big lead over his teammate.

    Hulkenberg unfortunately made a couple of mistakes during the race which firstly lost him the lead, and then took out Hamilton which earned Hulkenberg a drive through, otherwise I think he could have earned his and Force India’s first victory.

    Massa again outperformed Alonso, he always seems to perform best at his home Grand Prix, he then did everything he could in the race to help Alonso’s title challenge. He may have been poor earlier in the season but Ferrari could not have asked anymore of him this weekend.

    After facing the wrong way on the opening lap, dropping to the back of the field and incurring damage to his car, it looked like Vettel might not be Champion for 2012 but he put in another great drive through the field, even if some drivers didn’t put up much resistance, to earn enough points to become a three time World Champion.

    I honestly could have voted for any of them, but in the end decided to vote for Massa, I think this as partly influenced simply by his improvement in the latter part of the season, hopefully he can keep carry this form over into 2013.

  78. Hulkenberg made only one mistake last weekend and unfortunately, it cost him a podium. He was superb in qualifying, he made an excellent start and when it started raining he was supreme in mixed conditions. If he was a bit more patient he could score a podium. He drived phenomenally and he will take many victories in the future.

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