Start, Albert Park, 2014

Vote for your Australian GP driver of the weekend

2014 Australian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Start, Albert Park, 2014Who stood out from the pack during the Australian Grand Prix weekend?

Review the performances of all the drivers below and vote your Driver of the Weekend for the Australian Grand Prix.

Australian Grand Prix driver-by-driver

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel – A tenth consecutive grand prix victory never looked likely. Software problems caused a lack of engine power in qualifying, leaving him well over two seconds off the pace and unable to make the cut for Q3. His car still wasn’t running properly when the race started and he soon retired.

Daniel Ricciardo – Whether or not the fuel flow rate infringement which ultimately wrecked his weekend was significantly contributing to his car’s performance, Ricciardo coped with the pressures of performing for a top team for the first time on his ground admirably. His qualifying lap on a soaked track on intermediate tyres, which had shades of his predecessor at Malaysia in 2010, was a superb effort which demonstrated he deserves his place in a championship-winning outfit.


Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2014Nico Rosberg – Was a close match for Hamilton on pace all weekend but slipped up in qualifying, going off at turn nine as he began his final run in Q3. That left him without enough time to do another flying lap which might have netted him pole position. However he dodged his way through the front row at the start and spent most of the race measuring out small quantities of the W05’s vast potential. He’ll be grateful the front wheel hub damaged incurred at his final pit stop didn’t end his race, however.

Lewis Hamilton – Bore the brunt of Mercedes’ reliability problems which struck during first practice and – more significantly – the race. He’d take pole position in the rain-hit qualifying session but after losing a cylinder at the start he was never going to be able to do anything with it.


Fernando Alonso – An initial gamble on intermediate tyres in Q3 didn’t seem to be paying off, so he switched back to wets and took fifth. He was also cleared of allegedly impeding Gutierrez during Q1. Spent the first half the race stuck behind Hulkenberg, and though he got ahead at the second pit stop he couldn’t keep the recovering Button behind. That meant he finished where he started, before being promoted by Ricciardo’s exclusion.

Kimi Raikkonen – Had more problems with his car than Alonso in practice. In qualifying he crashed at turn three, but said he had already missed the cut for Q3 anyway. Like Alonso he had electrical problems on his car during the race, though Pat Fry said Raikkonen’s were more severe. Nonetheless he brought the car home in the points.


Romain Grosjean – The Lotus E22 is in dire need of further testing and on the rare occasions it ventured from the pits Grosjean had major problems with the car. He had to start from the pit lane and a procedural error by the team earned him an immediate drive-through penalty. The Safety Car helped him regain the field and he passed Maldonado, but both were doomed to retire.

Pastor Maldonado – Car problems kept Maldonado from even setting a time during qualifying. He was given a dispensation to start based on his FP3 lap time – a deliverance, as he hadn’t set a time in either of the other sessions, illustrating the scale of the task Lotus are facing.


Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, Albert Park, 2014Jenson Button – Missed the cut for Q3 as he had to back off following Raikkonen’s crash. Reacted quickly to the Safety Car deployment and his quick dash into the pits gained him three places. He then undercut Alonso and Hulkenberg at his second stop to pick up two more, and homed in on Ricciardo and Magnussen during the final stint.

Kevin Magnussen – It said a lot that Button singled out Magnussen’s qualifying lap in the rain as an even more impressive aspect of his race weekend than his classy drive to a podium finish on race day. He flirted with disaster at the start, almost spinning in front of the pack, but having kept it under control he sped off to a strong and thoroughly well-deserved result.

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg – Reached Q3, unlike his team mate, and ran inside the top ten for more than half the race. Front-left tyre graining was a problem and he ended up falling behind Alonso and Button ahead of the final stint.

Sergio Perez – Went off at turn three as the track conditions began to worsen in Q2, moments before Raikkonen crashed his Ferrari. Having pitted to replace a punctured tyre on lap one, due to contact with Gutierrez, he picked off the stragglers and was able to inherit the final point.


Adrian Sutil – The only driver to use a one-stop strategy during the race. It didn’t pay off, leaving him out of the points.

Esteban Gutierrez – Made a late start to Q1 due to ongoing problems with his car and blamed the resulting traffic problems on his failure to make the cut. Said his car had a “significant” lack of straight-line speed but at least managed to bring it home, outside of the points.

Toro Rosso

Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, Albert Park, 2014Jean-Eric Vergne – Given his many off-track moments during practice while he grappled with his car’s brake-by-wire system, it was a surprise to see him reach Q3. Vergne’s wet weather pace served him well once again. He was passed by Raikkonen and Bottas twice during the race but getting ahead of them once was an achievement, and an eventual eighth place a fair reward.

Daniil Kvyat – Accompanied his team mate in Q3 despite his inexperience, the treacherous conditions and the challenging nature of the new cars. Gambling on intermediates for his last run didn’t pay off – he hit the wall – but nonetheless started a highly creditable eighth. He kept his nose clean in the race as well and became F1’s youngest ever points scorer.


Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Albert Park, 2014Felipe Massa – A disappointing start for his new team. Although the Williams was quick in the dry a lack of rear downforce made it a handful in wet conditions. He reached Q3 nonetheless, only to be wiped out at the first corner by Kobayashi.

Valtteri Bottas – A gearbox change penalty left him back in the pack. He wielded his much more competitive Williams to good effect in the opening laps but perhaps his exuberance got the better of him. Having picked off the Toro Rossos and Raikkonen he was lining up Alonso when he whacked the barrier at turn ten. He was fortunate to keep going and, thanks to the Safety Car, lose only a fraction of the time he might have. But it took until the end of the race for him to get back where he’d been.


Jules Bianchi – Electronic and gearbox problems hampered his qualifying. The gremlins remained on race day – he lost six laps at the start when his car died on the grid. Once he got going his race pace was considerably better than Chilton’s but the damage was already done.

Max Chilton – Said he only made one mistake on his clean lap in qualifying, and was two-hundredths of a second off reaching Q2. Like his team mate he had to start from the pits due to car problems, but was gaining on Ericsson’s Caterham even without the help of the Safety Car.


Kamui Kobayashi – Despite failing to complete a single timed lap on Friday due to various problems. Kobayashi got his Caterham into Q2 on his Formula One return. His raced ended early, but he was exonerated by the stewards after the first-lap crash with Massa, which was blamed on a brake-by-wire glitch on Kobayashi’s car.

Marcus Ericsson – Also did little running in practice – hardly an ideal situation for a driver making his F1 debut. His race was curtailed due to a loss of oil pressure.

Qualifying and race results summary

Driver Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 12th +2.373s 0/3 0
Daniel Ricciardo 2nd -2.373s 3/3 2
Lewis Hamilton 1st -0.364s 0/1 0
Nico Rosberg 3rd +0.364s 1/1 2 1st
Fernando Alonso 5th -1.689s 56/57 2 4th -22.391s
Kimi Raikkonen 11th +1.689s 1/57 2 7th +22.391s
Romain Grosjean 20th 6/29 1
Pastor Maldonado 21st 23/29 1
Jenson Button 10th +1.19s 0/57 2 3rd +3.25s
Kevin Magnussen 4th -1.19s 57/57 2 2nd -3.25s
Nico Hulkenberg 7th -3.635s 57/57 2 6th -35.198s
Sergio Perez 16th +3.635s 0/57 3 10th +35.198s
Adrian Sutil 13th -1.444s 56/56 1 11th -6.104s
Esteban Gutierrez 22nd +1.444s 0/56 2 12th +6.104s
Jean-Eric Vergne 6th -1.504s 54/57 2 8th -3.144s
Daniil Kvyat 8th +1.504s 3/57 2 9th +3.144s
Felipe Massa 9th -0.068s 0/0 0
Valtteri Bottas 15th +0.068s 0/0 2 5th
Jules Bianchi 18th +0.501s 0/49 2
Max Chilton 17th -0.501s 49/49 2 13th
Kamui Kobayashi 14th -0.883s 0/0 0
Marcus Ericsson 19th +0.883s 0/0 1

Review the race data

Vote for your driver of the weekend

Which driver do you think did the best job this weekend?

Cast your vote below and explain your choice in the comments.

Who was the best driver of the 2014 Australian Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (14%)
  • Nico Rosberg (5%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (1%)
  • Fernando Alonso (1%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (0%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Jenson Button (2%)
  • Kevin Magnussen (48%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (1%)
  • Esteban Gutierrez (0%)
  • Adrian Sutil (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Daniil Kvyat (2%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (24%)
  • Jules Bianchi (0%)
  • Max Chilton (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (1%)
  • Marcus Ericsson (0%)

Total Voters: 833

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Images © Daimler/Hoch Zwei, McLaren/LAT, Red Bull/Getty, Williams/LAT

114 comments on “Vote for your Australian GP driver of the weekend”

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  1. Daniel Ricciardo : the only great achievement which was absolutely unexpected. Everyone expected that Kvyat, Bottas and Magnussen would do a great race, but no one would have expected a Red Bull to perform great. Moreover, no one expected Ricciardo to shine while Vettel would be in trouble…

  2. For me it’s Kevin Magnussen. Starting the 2014 season with a lot of hype around and definitely the most sort after rookie by the media this year. Drove a great lap in qualifying when many faltered in those tricky conditions. His race craft was equally good. Defending Hulkenberg at the start an then managing the tires and fuel efficiently and keeping a calm head all the way through. He has a long and promising career in front of him. My Driver of the weekend.

    1. And catching that slide of the line too! Man that was scary!

      1. Yeah. A rookie mistake but he nearly took out Alonso!

  3. Really tough. Bottas lost it when he hit the wall, despite being otherwise great. Rosberg was dominant, but without any competition and in that car he had to be-plus his team mate out-qualified him, and probably only got passed at the start because he was already down a cylinder (can anybody confirm when that happened?). Hamilton himself had a great qualifying, but that can’t be enough. Ricciardo impressed me a lot. It’s a shame Vettel was so hindered that we couldn’t get a proper comparison. Magnussen was solid. Nothing spectacular in terms of action, but for a first race it was impressively smooth and an amazing result. Same with Kvyit, but he had the mistake in qualifying. Hulkenberg was good, just a shame he faded.

    Gotta be Magnussen.

  4. Has to be Magnussen as he was faultless all weekend – I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up beating Button this year.

  5. To me, there were only three drivers worth mentioning: Bot, Mag, and Ric. I could have given it to each of them for various reasons but I found myself pulling for Bottas the most despite his faults….which almost made it better. I love to see someone put it all on the line and nobody else did that. So I gave it to Bottas.

    1. My apologies: Kvyat deserved a mention as well. A rookie with a lesser car, scoring points in his first Grand Prix and breaking Vettel’s youngest points scoring record….definitely deserved consideration.

  6. Honestly, I wish we could vote 5 times, I think many of the drivers really deserve it:
    Daniel Ricciardo
    Nico Rosberg
    Kevin Magnussen
    Daniil Kvyat
    Valtteri Bottas

    Ultimately, it went to Magnussen. 3rd / 2nd on his first ever race is not something many could do, even with a car like that.

    But I just cannot wait for the next race!!!

  7. Juan Pablo Heidfeld (@juan-pablo-heidfeld-1)
    17th March 2014, 19:29

    Ricciardo for me. Fantastic qualifying and proved that he has race pace as well. The reason he didn’t at Toro Rosso was due to him outdriving the car and compromising qualifying.

    Magnusson a close second, Bottas third. Bottas drove well but his error cost him a podium.

    Alonso, Kyvat, Vergne and Rosberg also drove well

  8. Rosberg had the car of the weekend, and in some ways Magnussen did too. Bottas did really well, but he didn’t make the most out of Quali for a driver we know to be spades in the rain and also had that mistake in the race. I think Ricardo did the most as a driver, far and away out-qualifying his team mate, an amazing recovery at the start, and holding off some hard charging very race-y McLarens at the end.

  9. Daniel Ricciardo. I disagree with people voting Bottas. He hit the wall and ruined a possible podium position. Magnussen was great too, especially for a rookie, but he doesn’t get bonus points for that in my book. Ricciardo was just a bit better, in my opinion.

  10. Went with Magnussen, especially because of the qualifying in difficult conditions. Was pretty much alone all race, but good pace and no mistakes in his first race surely is a good thing, too.
    It´s not Bottas because: poor qualifying on Saturday, mistake on Sunday. Still only just came on 2nd for me, showed good overtakes.
    It´s not Ricciardo because: I don´t know how his pace was compared to the genuine Red-Bull-car´s-pace (as I don´t know how fast that car is), I don´t know wether that fuel-thing helped, and he was alone all race long.
    It´s not Rosberg because: He didn´t pull a stunning drive, and one can only wonder wether he would have if he had needed to do so. He just cruised around.
    It´s not Button because: Bad Qualifying, and most of his gained positions came from safety-car-luck and strategy. Still good though.
    It´s not Kvyat because: Behind Vergne (whom i rate considerably lower than Button, the other teammate of a rookie), was overtaken, did not overtake.
    And, well, Hülkenberg… this was just average for him, I think. Now that´s it with the honourable mentions ^^

    1. @crammond – “It´s not Ricciardo because: I don´t know how his pace was compared to the genuine Red-Bull-car´s-pace (as I don´t know how fast that car is), I don´t know wether that fuel-thing helped, and he was alone all race long.”

      That is the sad part for Ricciardo. We will never really know whether this drive was due to his skills or whether he had an advantage due to his team violating fuel regs. Red Bull let him down by not complying with the FIA and letting the chips fall where they may. RB sacrificed him, evidently, to protest the FIA approved fuel flow meters.

  11. A lot of contenders.
    In no particular order:
    – Ricciardo – Really showed his worth, exceeding my expectations massively.
    – Magnussen – What can I say. A rookie doing what Hamilton did, in a relatively inferior car and significantly less test miles under his belt.
    – Bottas – The way he drove in circles around Kimi was stunning to see. An unfortunate mistake spoiled his race quite badly though.
    – Rosberg – nailing the start and controlled the race from there.
    – Kvyat – Didn’t beat his team mate, but considering his young age he showed excellent maturity and potential.

    In the end though, I think Magnussen deserves the vote.
    The only time this weekend that he looked like a rookie was when he caught massive wheelspin at the start, but he caught it and continued with a cool head and pushed Ricciardo hard.
    As well as having the nerve to pull a move on the outside of Hamilton, although the latter was down on power it was still a brave and well executed move.
    And do I need to mention his qualifying performance? I think not.

  12. Young Kevin Magnussen, for sure. Podium in his first GP ever. Calmly aggressive all weekend long. Bold move at the start, cool head and great driving throughout the whole race. Never looked like a rookie during his entire first race weekend.

    Very happy that things happened to work out that he landed at Mclaren this season rather than the original plan to start out at a lower rung team and work his way up. Team McLaren must be ecstatic. This young man will win races.

    Honorable mention to Ricciardo, great race weekend, heartbreaking DQ.

    Honorable mention to Bottas, great drive and comeback after putting only one foot wrong. Glad to see him showing what he can do with a proper car.

    Hard not to give a shoutout to Rosberg. Great job all weekend long and he never put a foot wrong in the race. Just because he is in the best car doesn’t mean he didn’t drive superbly.

    Final honorable mention to Kvyat. Very good in qualifying and the race after some tough going in the earlier practices.

  13. There were a few great drivers over the weekend, but my pick was for Magnussen. Not only did he qualify fourth (especially good considering his rookie status), it was also in wet conditions when other drivers couldn’t handle it. Apart from the dodgy start, his race craft and pace was very good as well.

    Obvious honourable mentions are to:
    Rosberg – Never looked like he was under any pressure of not winning the race, however, his qualifying was why I didn’t pick him.
    Button – Drove fantastically well in the race, his intelligent driving paying off as per usual, but unfortunately the incident in qualifying put him out of the running of DOTW.
    Ricciardo – I was always going to have a tough time calling it between Ricciardo and Magnussen, but the FIA made it a little easier to pick.

    1. Also to Bottas for a great drive, though somewhat lack lustre in quali, and the mistake in the race.
      I think one person that many will forget is Max Chilton. He wasn’t great last season, but to out-qualify his team mate by half a second, almost make it into Q2 and a 13th place, which could prove vital (Though at this point, I think somewhat unlikely).

  14. Magnussen was great in quali and on race day, but for the weekend it’s gotta go to Ricciardo.

  15. Kevin Magnussen
    An impressive start, consistent and mature.

  16. I voted for Ricciardo who shined all weekend, didnt’t put a foot wrong in neither qualifying nor race – he was the best of the rest.

  17. I voted for Magnussen but I think someone could easily put up an argument for Chilton for once. Half a second quicker and lead his teammate every lap.

    1. he lead his teammate every lap as Bianchi didn’t get off the grid and lost 6 laps. He did well in qualifying alright

    2. As a Chilton supporter I’ll take any accomplishment I can get.

    3. @theo-trp Bianchi had a battery problem in quali…it generally costs you a lot nowadays with the MGU-K…

  18. 1. Magnussen
    2. Bottas
    3. Kyvat

  19. Mag. The kid was perfect. Nice to see a new face doing well on F1.

  20. I had to pick Kevin. Watching him throughout the weekend made it easy to forget it was his first race. And his car was nowhere near as good as Lewis’ was on his debut, so I’d say that makes Magnussen even more impressive.

    It would close between him and Ricciardo, though. Ricciardo was so massively impressive, but I can’t help but wonder where he would’ve finished if his team had heeded FIA warnings. It probably wouldn’t have made much difference, he probably would have finished no worse than 3rd. But it’s that doubt that prevents me from saying he was the most impressive driver of the weekend.

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