Magnussen wins Driver of the Weekend vote on debut

2014 Australian Grand Prix

Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, Albert Park, 2014Kevin Magnussen was voted as Driver of the Weekend after claiming a second place in his first grand prix.

A lap in the rain good enough for fourth on the grid and a strong drive coupled with Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification, gave Magnussen the highest finishing position for a first-timer since Jacques Villeneuve in 1996.

Valtteri Bottas’s charge through the field was enough to be voted second, while the unfortunate Ricciardo was third in the polle. Nico Rosberg, who scored a dominant victory, did not feature in the top three, taking 4.7% of the vote.

1. Kevin Magnussen – 48.38%

Started: 4th
Finished: 2nd

Magnussen impressed from the moment he first set foot in the car during winter testing, and carried the form through to Melbourne. He mastered challenging conditions in a rain-hit Q3 to claim fourth on the grid which even drew praise from team mate Jenson Button.

But as Magnussen pulled away from the grid it briefly looked like he might throw it all away. His slewed alarmingly to the right in front of Fernando Alonso, but the McLaren driver regained his composure without losing any positions.

Further around the opening lap he picked off Lewis Hamilton’s troubled Mercedes and thereafter drove a solid race. He closed on Ricciardo in the final laps but was unable to get a run at the Red Bull.

I voted for Kevin Magnussen. He kept his nerves and beat his very experienced team mate in tricky wet qualifying in a difficult track. On Sunday, he drove calm and controlled race without mistakes and fully deserved a spot on podium. It is more impressive considering his age and that it was his first race ever in Formula 1.
@Osvaldas31

Life as a rookie is very, very hard these days, since testing has been restricted. And to out-race and -qualify a driver, who is a world champion and has many many years of experience, on his FIRST race weekend, is simply astonishing. Magnussen put together a brilliant drive and has shown more maturity than a few more experienced F1 drivers.
@Rigi

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.
@Mads

2. Valtteri Bottas – 24.49%

Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Albert Park, 2014Started: 15th
Finished: 5th

Bottas was the undisputed overtaking star of the race having fought his way through the field twice to take fifth place. Despite being strong in testing the Williams showed a lack of pace in the wet and Bottas had to settle for tenth in qualifying – that later became fifteenth on the grid due to a gearbox change.

A strong getaway nearly got him into trouble at turn one – he had to steer clear of the collision between his team mate and Kamui Kobayashi – but placed him in the points at the end of the first lap.

He made some impressive overtakes – around the outside of Jean-Eric Vergne at turn three and then up the inside of Kimi Raikkonen at the same corner a few laps later – but threw away his hard-won advantage by clipping the wall on lap ten and damaged a wheel.

Following a trip to the pits for repairs Bottas returned to the track and continued where he left off. The Safety Car helped him close to the back of the pack and he then picked off driver after driver on his way to fifth, with the second fastest lap of the race.

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.
The Bear! (@Justgassing)

I voted for Bottas because his mistake probably came from consistently pushing to the edge of adhesion. I have to forgive him after witnessing similar mistakes from previous world champions. He may not have driven the perfect race but it was the most entertaining especially with that eye candy livery!
Tim (@Grez76)

3. Daniel Ricciardo – 14.05%

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2014Started: 2nd
Finished: DSQ

Few expected Ricciardo to put in the performance he did in Australia – especially compared to his four-time champion team mate.

While Vettel battled reliability issues however Ricciardo showed that Red Bull aren’t as far off as originally thought – performing superbly in qualifying by not finishing out of the top two in any session – and eventually claiming his first front row start in second.

A lacklustre getaway allowed Rosberg to steam through but Ricciardo held his own with a brave move on the inside of Hamilton into turn one. From then on Ricciardo drove solidly – fending off late pressure from Magnussen – to cross the line as best of the rest behind Rosberg, only to later be disqualified for a technical infringement.

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.
Chris (@Tophercheese21)

2014 Australian Grand Prix

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Images © McLaren/LAT, Williams/LAT, Red Bull/Getty

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46 comments on Magnussen wins Driver of the Weekend vote on debut

  1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 21st March 2014, 12:09

    Nico Rosberg not in the top 3….

    • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 21st March 2014, 12:16

      Well, to be fair, everyone expected Mercedes to dominate last weekend and they did. Not saying it was easy for Rosberg, but he was always in control of that race from the first corner. He had enough time in hand to ask the team if he could do any more to help with reliability – which shows just how much in hand he probably had.

      Winning like he did is certainly to be commended, and I’m a great admirer of Rosberg and have always rated him, but you can’t really argue that Rosberg overcame greater adversity and challenge to finish first than Magnussen or Ricciardo did to finish on the podium (albeit before Ricciardo’s disqualification).

    • craig-o (@craig-o) said on 21st March 2014, 12:31

      Well when there were plenty of other drivers out there impressing, it’s easy to forget Rosberg, who hardly put a foot wrong all weekend, but in the DOTW polls, having a car that’s clearly considerably faster than anything else on the grid, doesn’t really do much for your votes. Remember Vettel struggling to get DOTW wins when his car was quite clearly quicker, even though he didn’t put a single foot wrong.

      • Sven (@crammond) said on 21st March 2014, 19:45

        I guess the driver of the weekend is often voted because he delivered the drive(s) of the weekend. A driver in a dominating car rarely does so, not because he can´t, but because he doesn´t need to in order to win. Not putting a foot wrong isn´t enough to win this poll if other drivers didn´t put a foot wrong either while having to push harder.
        That said, I guess Rosberg prefers a race win, a dominant car and 25 points over winning a poll, a slower car and 18 points. And if Rosberg had said “I don´t care about preserving the car and possible reliability issues, I want to win not only the race but also f1-fansite-polls, so I´ll try to lap everyone twice”, guess how his engineers and bosses would like that ;)

  2. AdrianS said on 21st March 2014, 12:27

    A little surprised to see Bottas there. He drove a great race, but he also made a very costly mistake and was overtaking cars that were much slower. I think he really should’ve been on the podium.

    • Having gone through all of the comments it seems the main reason Bottas was voted was because he made the race interesting. Granted that doesn’t make him the best driver of the weekend but the Williams’ cars in general struggled in the wet Quali, so you can’t mark him down for that, and while he did make a mistake he recovered well and really set about trying to make amends. Too often in the last few seasons we’ve seen driver’s have an incident in the opening few laps and then just give up. Bottas persisted and while – yes, he does arguably have a quicker car – he made good use of it and really showed he was trying. With everyone else it just seemed like follow the leader.

  3. Sébastien (@mclaren-forever) said on 21st March 2014, 12:42

    This podium seems fair to me.
    Magnussen was clearly the attraction of the Australian GP. I would have place Nico in third position if he hadn’t make a mistake during Q3. The guy was in a rocket ship, so he has every reason to be happy anyway.

    • Toxic (@toxic) said on 22nd March 2014, 6:28

      Can anyone remind me his mistake? If anyone made a mistake it was his team as he ended his last lap way before Q3 was finished so the timing wasn’t too good.

      • juan fanger (@juan-fanger) said on 22nd March 2014, 21:14

        Q3 – Ran off the road on 2nd last lap, costing him that lap and the couple of seconds he needed to cross the start/finish before the chequered flag for one more lap and possible pole.

  4. OOliver said on 21st March 2014, 12:47

    Kvyat’s result may not be as impressive as that of Magnussen on the surface, but I believe his drive to be of equal or even greater feat considering his limited testing and exposure to and F1 team.

  5. JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 21st March 2014, 12:56

    Does this make Magnussen the Giancarlo Baghetti of F1F Driver of the Weekend?

  6. caci99 (@caci99) said on 21st March 2014, 12:58

    I know this is driver of weekend, so arguably Rosberg should have been there, but I am “guilty” myself for voting Bottas. Fact is, Bottas was the only entertaining factor of the race for me, and you can’t remove that feeling when you vote for the driver of weekend. On the other hand, Rosberg ran away unchallenged (not his fault) and I barely managed to see him 5 contiguous seconds on TV :).

  7. Garns (@garns) said on 21st March 2014, 13:04

    I don’t think its that people have dismissed Nico’s “Seb-like” drive but maybe more its great to see 3 young up and comers all have a great race.

    Lewis is right in that the ‘changing of the guard’ has not yet taken place, but when it does we have some pretty quick and exciting young talent ready to pounce on them!!

  8. Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 21st March 2014, 13:57

    I somehow feel Ricciardo did better than Bottas considering he din’t make any mistakes . The Quali was fantastic too. .

    • Le Jimster (@lejimster82) said on 21st March 2014, 14:45

      It should be Ricciardo, Magnus in that order. Considering how little running and unreliable the RB has been, the conditions and how much he out qualified his supposedly superior team mate by.. Magnus did a great job, but had a much better Power Unit at his disposal and the track time to back it up in qualifying..

      Bottas did well, but I would probably rank Kyvat higher because once again he has had very little running and to do such a great job in his first race is impressive.

  9. Hemz Shaw (@hemzshaw) said on 21st March 2014, 13:59

    The other two drivers who I felt could be choices for 4th and 5th were JB and Hulkenberg. Especially JB since the way he came all the way up to 4th was worth noticing.

  10. This result is not that much surprising as i believe his driving is superb and he is main the attraction for the Australian GP.

  11. Todfod (@todfod) said on 21st March 2014, 14:36

    Magnussen was definitely DOTW.

    I thought Bottas really showed some great racing prowess on Sunday, but he botched up his quali run and also made an error while trailing Fernando. Thought Ricciardo was a whole lot more impressive, and so was Alonso and Rosberg.

    • Constantine said on 21st March 2014, 16:14

      @todfod

      Thought Ricciardo was a whole lot more impressive, and so was Alonso

      He wasn’t. He really wasn’t. He was good enough, sure, but “impressive”? Not.at.all.

      Just because you like a driver it doesn’t mean everything he does is impressive.

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 21st March 2014, 21:08

        He finished 4th with a car that barely had any power down the straights, and was overall maybe only 5th fastest of the weekend (behind Merc, Will, Macca, and RBR). I’d say that’s pretty impressive.

        • Albert said on 21st March 2014, 21:26

          @kingshark

          behind Merc, Will, Macca, and RBR

          So, in theory, any competent driver should have finished 9th.

          Now take Vettel, Massa and Hamilton out, it means 6th.

          Take Bottas because of his accident, we go to 5th.

          Take Riccardo for his DSQ, we move to 4th.

          So he finished exactly where he should have.

          Not bad, that’s for sure. But not at all impressive. Unless we’re claiming that 3 first laps retirement and one DSQ are also because of how good of a race he did, hehe.

          • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 21st March 2014, 22:19

            ^^ This!

          • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 22nd March 2014, 3:59

            Actually I’d put down the reason for Alonso’s poor performance mostly to his tools. You can’t drive a nail with a pencil . Unless , it’s a fingernail ;-)

          • Albert said on 22nd March 2014, 13:58

            @hamilfan

            No one’s saying he did a poor performance. Given the car he had, he did well enough.

            But he finishing 4th wasn’t due to an impressive performance like @kingshark almost cynically claimed, since 4 of the 8 faster cars left due to the reasons already explained.

            But it was not a poor performance.

  12. xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 21st March 2014, 15:14

    I voted Kvyat
    I genuinely don’t understand why Bottas is there though; the reason he made those passes late in the race is because he HAD to make them due to a previous error.

  13. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 21st March 2014, 15:36

    @keithcollantine , just as an opinion, but as a new year has arrived, it was the right chance to state a 3-2-1 points system in the DOTW poll, to avoid the “consolation vote” we saw many times last season. Well, I’ll keep my hopes alive for 2015 then…

  14. Brian C (@bcracing) said on 21st March 2014, 16:09

    Bottas drove into a wall, DRIVER OF THE WEEKEND, he beat Vettel.

  15. tvm (@) said on 21st March 2014, 19:28

    Sorry to beat the dead horse but:

    “Further around the opening lap he picked off Lewis Hamilton’s troubled Mercedes and thereafter drove a solid race. He closed on Ricciardo in the final laps but was unable to get a run at the Red Bull.”

    F1 troubles in a nutshell, driver of the race (not that I don’t agree, I’m danish) and the only action was on opening lap passing a piston-challenged Hamilton and then on the last few laps with a half hearted attempt for position that didn’t materialize.

    Excellent pit-stops though.

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