Hulkenberg voted Italian GP Driver of the Weekend

2013 Italian Grand Prix

Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber, Monza, 2013Nico Hulkenberg took nearly half of the votes to win the Driver of the Weekend poll for the Italian Grand Prix.

His shock third place in qualifying followed by a strong fifth in the race was easily the stand-out performance of the weekend.

Surprisingly this was the first time Hulkenberg has appeared in the top three this year.

1. Nico Hulkenberg

Started: 3rd
Finished: 5th

Hulkenberg’s qualifying lap on Saturday was simply fantastic. He looked impressive throughout the session but really pulled out all the stops in Q3 to put his car behind only the Red Bulls.

His start and opening lap didn’t quite match this as he was demoted to fifth by the two Ferrari’s behind. He refused to drop any further however. A stern defence against Nico Rosberg earned him a well deserved fifth place just ten seconds behind race winner Vettel.

The fact he’d achieved all this in a car that’s clearly inferior to his rivals’ is what many of you picked up on and the reason many voted for Hulkenberg.

I?m a Vettel fan, but I voted Hulkenberg. Not that Vettel could have done any more or better, but qualifying third and finishing fifth in this year?s Sauber is a serious feat. So for me it?s logical he would edge it in front of Vettel.
Matthias (@mattds)

He qualified in a brilliant third only behind the Red Bulls, and finished behind Ferraris and Red Bulls. He finished one second behind Massa and ten behind Vettel. He was under pressure from Rosberg but kept his mind and didn?t make mistakes. Well deserved vote for Hulkenburg.
the_sigman (@sigman1998)

Has to be Hulkenburg, for me. Vettel did a very good job yet again, but Hulk was incredible. That car had no business qualifying third and finishing fifth.

Extraordinary performance from Hulkenburg.
MGriffin90 (@mgriffin90)

2. Sebastian Vettel

Started: 1st
Finished: 1st

Vettel never put a foot wrong as he topped every single session of the weekend with the exception of first practice. He always looked to have the race in control, even when threatened with gearbox problems.

The only driver who was flawless all weekend.
Lance (@lancelot)

Vettel should be the Driver of the Weekend for the dominance since second practice and also how professionally he handled the disgruntled fans.
iAltair (@ialtair)

3. Fernando Alonso

Started: 5th
Finished: 2nd

For Alonso, fifth place was a rare appearance inside the top half of the top ten this season, however he was still out qualified by Massa. He overcame this – and a poor start – to fight back brilliantly to second.

What more could Alonso have done?

Maybe a little more in qualifying, he would have had a shot at Vettel and that call not to come into pits went astray as the rain did not come, so two minor errors there. Otherwise a steady performance from him too and that overtake had me on the edge.
Akshay (@hamilfan)

Singapore Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend

Voting is still open for Singapore Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend – cast your vote here:

2013 Driver of the Weekend results

Race First Second Third
Australian Grand Prix Kimi Raikkonen (51.2%) Adrian Sutil (17.9%) Jules Bianchi (13.6%)
Malaysian Grand Prix Mark Webber (34.2%) Sebastian Vettel (17.4%) Nico Rosberg (13.6%)
Chinese Grand Prix Fernando Alonso (47.0%) Daniel Ricciardo (18.2%) Kimi Raikkonen (15.6%)
Bahrain Grand Prix Sebastian Vettel (32.2%) Paul di Resta (17.8%) Fernando Alonso (11.9%)
Spanish Grand Prix Fernando Alonso (61.4%) Felipe Massa (10.8%) Kimi Raikkonen (10.5%)
Monaco Grand Prix Nico Rosberg (54.3%) Adrian Sutil (22.2%) Kimi Raikkonen (9.6%)
Canadian Grand Prix Sebastian Vettel (36.8%) Fernando Alonso (24.6%) Jean-Eric Vergne (14.0%)
British Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton (52.5%) Mark Webber (18.4%) Fernando Alonso (10.2%)
German Grand Prix Sebastian Vettel (39.2%) Romain Grosjean (27.6%) Kimi Raikkonen (15.9%)
Hungarian Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton (63.9%) Kimi Raikkonen (12.4%) Romain Grosjean (12.0%)
Belgian Grand Prix Fernando Alonso (39.1%) Sebastian Vettel (38.5%) Jenson Button (6.9%)
Italian Grand Prix Nico Hulkenberg (48.4%) Sebastian Vettel (28.6%) Fernando Alonso (9.3%)

2013 Italian Grand Prix

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18 comments on Hulkenberg voted Italian GP Driver of the Weekend

  1. Albert said on 25th September 2013, 9:41

    Very well deserved! He also had a strong race in Singapore, which would have been even better if his DRS hadn’t failed in qualifying. He’s showing consistency in his strong performances.

    Here’s hoping that Lotus pick him, even if Lotus’ future is questionable at the moment. Or, even better, McLaren, who apparently aren’t too happy with Perez.

  2. WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 25th September 2013, 9:57

    And deservedly so. McLaren I implore you, stop pretending that Sergio Perez is worthy of that seat and give a genuinely brilliant young driver the opportunity he deserves. He’s young, so you have someone to take Button’s baton when he retires, and he is balistically, brilliantly, mesmurisingly quick. Actually McLaren, here’s what you should do…
    1. Tell Perez to get on his bike.
    2. Sign Hulkenberg as his replacement.
    3. Pay Marussia to field Magnussen and Vandoorne in 2014.
    4. Don’t “do a Massa” with JB, when he’s no longer quick give him the boot quickly.
    5. Promote the more impressive of the junior guys to replace him and promote Hulkenberg to team leader.

    McLaren’s Uncertain Future = Sorted.

    • Numerous problems with that suggestion. Telling Perez to get on his bike will loose them a heap of Mexican money and a potential new title sponsor. Not to mention this is Perez’s first season in a top team which has produced a shocking car, and he has the most experienced driver on the grid as his team mate.

      Paying Ferrari-powered Marrusia who are currently fielding Ferrari academy driver Jules Bianchi to allow McLaren’s young drivers to test isn’t probably going to down well with Ferrari.

      And finally getting rid of Button will be the worst mistake. I’m nowhere near Jensons biggest fan but he is doing a very good job in that car. Getting rid of him and leaving Hulkenberg and Magnussen/Vandoorne will be quiet silly as none of those drivers have an experience in a top team and will probably lack the knowledge and leadership to take the team forward. Allowing one of them to learn from Button would certainly be a better option.

    • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 25th September 2013, 11:38

      Am I the only one who thinks that Perez is worthy of a top drive? I mean, some of the performances he pulled off in 2012 were incredible.

      Not to discredit Hulkenberg because I think he’s a superstar in the making, but I don’t think it’s right to simply shelve Perez because Hulk is better. Perez is a dam good driver. He’s worthy of a top drive IMO.

      • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 25th September 2013, 12:13

        @tophercheese21, for me, it’s difficult to judge drivers, including Perez, in the Pirelli era, where it’s often difficult to get the most out of the tyres. In this year’s GP2 championship, for example, I was very surprised to see Coletti winning races and leading the championship early on, as he is not a driver who had accomplished much before. Since mid-season, however, he has fallen back into the midfield, and hasn’t scored much since.

        As for Perez, his podiums last year were stunning, but it looked to be very a case of Perez in last year’s Sauber getting more out of the tyres than anyone else. Of course, this points to some sort of skill, although not one he has been able to transfer to this year’s McLaren.

        Although less important than in the Bridgestone era, I still consider raw speed to be the most important factor in judging a driver’s skill, or, as Eddie Jordan put it, what a driver builds everything else on [when discussing whether Schumacher's experience could make up for a loss of speed]. And Perez’s qualifying performances have been inconsistent,; this year, but also in years before. Hulkenberg, I would expect to qualify further up more consistently, so in the absence of any politics and financial considerations, I think he is the driver McLaren should pursue.

      • dutchtreat (@dutchtreat) said on 25th September 2013, 18:13

        Chris,
        I also think that Perez has a lot of talent. He is doing well with that McLaren and had some very good races in 2012.

    • I want to see Hulkenberg get a top drive as much as the next person, but dropping Perez after a season would be a bit of a knee-jerk reaction. He should be given another season so McLaren get a better idea of whether he’s good enough to remain there. And about what DaveF1 said regarding Mexican sponsors: I don’t think they have any influence on Perez’s position.
      I agree with the paying Marussia, but I only think they’ll put one in (Magnussen) for next season. Chilton will have the other seat while Bianchi moves up to Sauber.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th September 2013, 12:24

      @william-brierty Perez’s first season at McLaren hasn’t been outstanding but nor has it been bad enough for him to be dropped right away. I think he needs to raise his game but on the strength of 2013 so far I’d keep him for 2014.

      Unless they’re sufficiently convinced of Magnussen or Vandoorne to put either in the car right away – after all, they’ll have a far better understanding of their potential from the simulator than we can tell from Formula Renault 3.5.

    • I think it’s too early to judge Perez. I’d say he has been a disappointment, worse than Kovalainen in 2008 (and Heikki wasn’t bad, it’s just his team mate was so good), but he definitely deserves yet another year.

    • ThrillerWA09 (@thrillerwa09) said on 25th September 2013, 15:36

      Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes.

      Yes so hard. I love this.

    • ferrox glideh (@ferrox-glideh) said on 25th September 2013, 21:03

      “Get on your icecream bicycle Checo, and sell on some other street!”

  3. iAltair (@ialtair) said on 25th September 2013, 14:33

    I wish to see Hulkenburg in a somewhat top tier car. He should be good to challenge the front runners with his pace in Monza.

  4. He deserves this one – he didn’t put a foot wrong all weekend. Hopefully now he can get a higher seat on the grid for next year, as I’d say he’s easily the most promising young driver.

  5. Very well deserved. I have noticed one thing. The Hulk gets better as the season progresses. His best performances are in the second half. Kind of similar to Vettel.

  6. ferrox glideh (@ferrox-glideh) said on 25th September 2013, 21:15

    Great job by Hulk. Perez came so close to pulling a “Grosjean-at-La Source” that he should start an introspective phase before he drives himself out of a job, not that it was a completely victimless move. Karma boomerangs on Lotus this year!

  7. Too bad it looks like he may not have a drive next year. I wonder if FI would take him back?

  8. I would have loved having Hulk in the 2012 Sauber!!!

  9. Sam Gibson (@samgibson) said on 26th September 2013, 21:53

    No surprise. Under pressure from Nico Rosberg pretty much from lap 1 and handled that pressure like a boss. Give this man a decent car already!

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