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. Bottas overtook plenty of cars that were slower than his, had an uninspiring qualifying and hit a wall. Button’s qualifying was unfortunate, and during the race he gained quite a few places. Daniel qualifying in a seemingly less powerful car and drove it to the finish, from second to second; no doubt his car was illegal, but the advantage couldnt be very large.

  2. Magnussen. Also good work by Rosberg, Ricciardo, Button, Bottas of course and Kyvat.

  3. It could only be Kevin: As good as Villeneuves record first ever F1 race from 1996, but not in the fastest car on the grid. Other drivers also shined very bright, but for years to come we will still talk about K-MAG’s first ever F1 raceweekend.

  4. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    18th March 2014, 0:11


    He didn’t put a wheel wrong all weekend in a car that is visibly slower in a straight line.

    Managed to bang it onto the front row in a very tricky qualifying session, on what was arguably a slower tyre for the conditions.

    And then in the race managed to fend off a hard charging Young Kevvy Magnussen for 2nd place in his home race.

    Incredible drive.

    Honorable mentions to Magnussen, Button, Kvyat and Bottas.

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      18th March 2014, 0:12

      How could I forget, a big honorable mention to Mr. Rosberg. Crushed the field.

  5. Magnussen – mature drive. no errors.
    Bottas – showing what he’s capable of.
    Kvyat – inexperienced but showed that he can drive the car and no retirement.
    Chilton – finished the race again

  6. It was very close between Magnussen and Daniel. I went for Ricciardo . I know that his car was illegal . But what a qualifying session ! He had a storming drive . Even , Magnussen did a top job . He would have got Daniel had the red bull been legal I guess. In the end I went for Daniel as I didn’t get a chance to see kevin’s wheel to wheel stuff yet. But great drives ..

    and yeah honourable mention to Mr.Bottas. Had he not touched the wall …….. ….. I wonder .

  7. It has to be Ricciardo, we don’t know if he would beat Vettel but he was seemingly blessed with luck after a reliable weekend and a quick one. Magnussen is a notable second he qualified well and run a similar pace to Button.

  8. As an Australian it pains me to vote against RIC but given the fuel flow thing I cannot say that he drove on equal terms to achieve his position while other teams took the crappy FIA sensors in thier stride. ROS did well to control the race from the outset, but cannot vote him driver of the weekend because he qualified 3rd in clearly the strongest car. I must give my vote to MAG as he easily out qualified his team mate and put in a respectable drive to finish on the podium.

  9. Hulkenberg really is the unsung hero of the weekend for me. Completely demolished his highly regarded team mate and finishing 6th ahead of a Ferrari at his bogey track is an excellent result.

    1% of the vote seems pretty harsh.

    1. I tend to agree with You, but again when we have seen a driver surpassing Hamiltons feat in his debut F1 raceweekend, I don’t understand why Kevin only gets 49% of the votes. Ricciardo’s performance in qualifying in the rain was great, and he had a good start and raced well, but firstly he is no rookie, secondly he can have had an unfair advantage from the fuelflow.

  10. Chilton was the best by a mile. He continued his perfect race finish record – albeit at the wrong end of the field. If he keeps performing like this he may be the first driver in history to finish every race – in last position.

  11. It just has to be Magnussen. Beat his team mate on his début, Kvyat came close to doing that and Ricciardo beat his world champion team mate, but with technical superiority and not as a rookie. Magnussen finished on the podium and made absolutely zero mistakes, whereas Bottas, who had an exceptional race, spoilt it with that minuscule mistake which sot him more points.

    1. He’s mega unlucky though. Most weekends, running that wide wouldn’t even get anyone excited about white lines!

  12. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    18th March 2014, 11:44

    Couldn’t make up my mind between Dan and Kevin but I ultimately went for the latter as it was his debut.

  13. Kevin Magnussen for me.
    He exceeded all expectations.
    Special mention to Nico Rosberg & Daniel Ricciardo

  14. Has to be Bottas, inspired drive including the mistakes, which makes a good driver great. Picked himself up after the penalty, and again after kissing the concrete, which because he was the only person to actually race anyone, makes him man of the match.
    Magnussen had the most consistent weekend possible and was well rewarded for his skill and ability, and poor Daniel was handed the joker by a team that unfortunately put themselves before the driver….again.
    Roseberg proved Merc’s performance will be a bonus for either driver, and i felt sorry for both Kobayashi and Massa who ended in the kitty litter after a few meters.
    Alonso and Raikkonen are fighting with one hand behind their backs, Torro Rosso have a new star in Kvyat, and Sauber were disappointing. I still get the feeling Hulkenberg is on a tight leash because the car is not up to his talent yet.
    Lotus are on the back foot and unless someone like Brawn comes along to help i reckon it’s going to be a bum season for them.

    1. “only person to actually race anyone” I think Vergne, Kvyat, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Kimi and co might disagree. Although obviously Bottas’ moves were just fantastic!

  15. Magnussen for me. Bottas is obviously a consideration but he didn’t get qualifying right and hit the wall in the race. Ricciardo had a decent drive but we’ll probably never know if that was down to Red Bull taking the rules into their own hands whilst others were conservative to ensure they didn’t break any regs.

    As it was Magnussen’s first race in F1 as well, it was hugely impressive to see him drive such a faultless race.

    All 3 were hugely impressive though IMO.

  16. No brainer, Kevin Magnussen.

    His debut was arguably even better than Hamilton’s in 2007. He had to qualify in appalling conditions, then in the race he didn’t make a single mistake. He didn’t look like a rookie at a single stage of the weekend, even when he got close to challenging Ricciardo for second.

    He blew away his WDC team mate in his very first race. This kid is a future champ for sure.

  17. well I am pleased to see that kevin topped the poll with a rookie performance not seen since hamilton ,but it disappoints me the way certain posters distort facts to justify their choice eg
    ricci sticks it to vettel …was there ANY point during the weekend when vettel’s car ran properly ?
    kevin outqualified button ? no mention of the fact that button lost his qually run due to kimi’s crash
    bottas charged through the field ..but had a much faster car than anyone he overtook !

  18. I voted for Magnussen, superb all weekend and it never looked like it was his debut Grand Prix, have McLaren got another top rookie.

    Second would be Kvyat, not as impressive a debut as Magnussen but good all the same.

    Third would be Ricciardo, his multi World Champion teammate may have been handicapped by reliability troubles all weekend, but Ricciardo made an excellent start to his Red Bull.

    Bottas would have been up there, he probably put in the most entertaining drive but he hit the wall, otherwise he probably could have achieved a podium.

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