Vote for your Malaysian GP driver of the weekend

2014 Malaysian Grand Prix

Which F1 driver impressed you the most during the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend?

Review how each driver got on below and vote for who you think was the best-performing driver of the weekend.

Malaysian Grand Prix driver-by-driver

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel – Had he not been surprised by Rosberg at the final corner during Q3 he might have had pole – as it was he lined up just a few hundredths of a second off Hamilton. Rosberg beat him off the line and he briefly dropped behind Ricciardo before reversing the positions. Dropped back from Rosberg towards the end of the race as he saved fuel, but third remained an impressive achievement for the team so soon after their dire testing campaign.

Daniel Ricciardo – Said he was “a bit off in Q3″ and took fifth behind Alonso. But a superb start saw him pass the Ferrari and his team mate – and nearly Rosberg too. Vettel demoted him soon afterwards but Ricciardo kept pace with his team mate. But a string of misfortunes beyond his control ruined his weekend and, gallingly, left him with a ten-place penalty for Bahrain as well.

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sepang International Circuit, 2014Nico Rosberg – His first run in Q3, in the best of the conditions, was off the mark and though he managed to improve on his second run he missed out on a front-row start. He soon got up into second once the race began but seemed uncomfortable with his car’s balance and never got on terms with Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton – Aborted his final run in Q3 as he found himself too close to Hulkenberg but held on to his pole position. Never looked like being caught in the race and, much like his team mate in Australia, was even asking his team if he could do any more to look after his engine in the final laps.

Ferrari

Fernando Alonso – Qualifying almost went badly wrong as he tangled with Kvyat, incurring suspension damage. Alonso had been driving particularly slowly on intermediate tyres while most others were on wets. He could have done more to avoid the incident and the same was true of Kvyat, who locked a wheel before hitting the Ferrari, damaging its suspension. Impressively Ferrari were able to repair it and despite wonky handling he took an excellent fourth on the grid. Made an early move to hard tyres during the race allowing him to attack in the final stint and see off Hulkenberg for fourth.

Kimi Raikkonen – Seemed to have an edge on Alonso in dry practice but the rain which arrived during qualifying served to highlight his continuing discomfort with some aspects of the Ferrari’s handling. His race was ruined by the contact with Magnussen which cost him a huge amount of time and left him with a damaged floor.

Lotus

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Sepang International Circuit, 2014Romain Grosjean – Although Lotus’s problems continued during practice Grosjean dragged his car into Q2 and then all the way to the chequered flag. He was pleased to keep Raikkonen behind for 11th despite losing downforce due to a broken diffuser.

Pastor Maldonado – Was hit by an out-of-control Marussia at the start, then dropped due to a loss of power. His car was retired soon after to avoid damage to his engine due to a fault with his turbo.

McLaren

Jenson Button – A gamble on intermediate tyres in Q3 failed to pay off. But in the race he started well and was quickly up to seventh, from where he was unable to make any impression on Hulkenberg. Held off the Williams pair at the end.

Kevin Magnussen – Started ahead of Button again but an error of judgement spoiled his race when he tagged Raikkonen, damaging his front wing. He had a lonely end to the race, unable to rejoin the battle between his team mate and the Williams drivers.

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Sepang International Circuit, 2014Nico Hulkenberg – Easily outpaced Perez in Q2 and took seventh on the grid. Tried to use a two-stop strategy to finish ahead of Alonso but had to relinquish the place in the closing laps, but that still left him a strong fifth.

Sergio Perez – Struggled with rear brake locking during qualifying and was knocked out in Q2. Failed to start the race due to a gearbox problem.

Sauber

Adrian Sutil – Not getting an early ‘banker’ lap in during Q1 was a basic tactical error which left him 17th on the grid (promoted one place due to Bottas’s penalty). Gained places at the start and passed his team mate on lap 19 but an electrical problem halted him just after half-distance.

Esteban Gutierrez – Qualified 12th – a decent performance given the car’s lack of pace. Was passed by Kvyat early on and was running 13th when a gearbox glitch ended his race during his second pit stop.

Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, Sepang International Circuit, 2014Jean-Eric Vergne – Made it into Q3 – at the expense of his team mate – but a problem with his power unit was immediately clear at the start of the race. Bianchi clipped him as the Marussia went past, leaving Vergne with a puncture. He retired shortly after falling to last place.

Daniil Kvyat – Lost two places at the start but fought back with a handy pass on Gutierrez at the first corner on lap five. Though he couldn’t keep the recovering Magnussen behind he held off Grosjean for his second points score in as many races.

Williams

Felipe Massa – Neither Williams driver made it beyond Q2, both switching between the intermediate and wet tyres as they tried to find some grip. From 13th on the grid Massa gained five places in two laps, but voiced his displeasure at his team mate’s driving as Bottas tried to pass. After spending the rest of the race stuck behind Button, Williams decided to let Bottas have a try, but Massa refused to let his team mate through.

Valtteri Bottas – Picked up his second grid penalty in a row but this time he was to blame after holding Ricciardo up during Q2. Once again he started very well and was soon on his team mate’s tail – which was where the trouble began.

Marussia

Start, Sepang International Circuit, 2014Jules Bianchi – Easily had the beating of Chilton in qualifying but threw away a good qualifying position by making contact with Vergne at turn four. The resultant puncture sent him spinning into Maldonado.

Max Chilton – Got onto Ericsson’s tail at the end of the race but couldn’t get past for 14th.

Caterham

Kamui Kobayashi – Had yet more problems in practice, covering just a dozen laps before qualifying. However in the race his car ran reliably and he finished 40 seconds down on the Kvyat/Grosjean/Raikkonen battle.

Marcus Ericsson – Ran out of road at turn three during qualifying and smacked the barrier. But in the race he brought the car home, holding off Chilton in the final laps.

Qualifying and race results summary

Driver Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 2nd -1.055s 46/49 3 3rd
Daniel Ricciardo 5th +1.055s 3/49 5
Lewis Hamilton 1st -0.619s 56/56 3 1st -17.313s
Nico Rosberg 3rd +0.619s 0/56 3 2nd +17.313s
Fernando Alonso 4th -1.043s 55/55 3 4th Not on same lap
Kimi Raikkonen 6th +1.043s 0/55 3 12th Not on same lap
Romain Grosjean 15th -1.872s 7/7 3 11th
Pastor Maldonado 16th +1.872s 0/7 0
Jenson Button 10th +1.84s 53/55 3 6th Not on same lap
Kevin Magnussen 8th -1.84s 2/55 3 9th Not on same lap
Nico Hulkenberg 7th -1.672s 0/0 2 5th
Sergio Perez 14th +1.672s 0/0
Adrian Sutil 17th +0.997s 16/32 2
Esteban Gutierrez 12th -0.997s 16/32 2
Jean-Eric Vergne 9th -0.255s 0/18 2
Daniil Kvyat 11th +0.255s 18/18 3 10th
Felipe Massa 13th -0.296s 49/56 3 7th -0.461s
Valtteri Bottas 18th +0.296s 7/56 3 8th +0.461s
Jules Bianchi 19th -1.686s 0/8 1
Max Chilton 21st +1.686s 8/8 3 15th
Kamui Kobayashi 20th -0.812s 54/54 2 13th Not on same lap
Marcus Ericsson 22nd +0.812s 0/54 3 14th Not on same lap

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 Malaysian Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (7%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (1%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (54%)
  • Fernando Alonso (3%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (1%)
  • Romain Grosjean (3%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Jenson Button (0%)
  • Kevin Magnussen (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (24%)
  • Esteban Gutierrez (0%)
  • Adrian Sutil (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Daniil Kvyat (1%)
  • Felipe Massa (1%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (1%)
  • Jules Bianchi (0%)
  • Max Chilton (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (2%)
  • Marcus Ericsson (2%)

Total Voters: 787

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2014 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Images © Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Force India, Red Bull/Getty

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117 comments on Vote for your Malaysian GP driver of the weekend

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  1. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 31st March 2014, 13:33

    Hamilton and Vettel were both great but could have got a bit more in quali perhaps, despite their strong grid position. So I’ve gone for Hulk. Doesn’t matter whether he’s in a Williams, Force India or Sauber, he still manages to fight towards the front. What does that guy have to do to get a call from a top team?

    • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 31st March 2014, 15:14

      Probably win the lottery..

      • Palle (@palle) said on 31st March 2014, 18:20

        Change nationality? It seems as if there are too many German drivers, which makes it difficult to get a good sponsor, when You are a bit down the chain. If he were Italian, I’m sure where he would be now;-)

    • grat said on 31st March 2014, 19:05

      Wait– How could Hamilton get a better result than pole, in such heavy rain he couldn’t see out of his mirrors?

      • spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 31st March 2014, 21:14

        @craig-o Agreed.
        His situation would be a bit better if they could adopt a new rule with a, say, 80kg cap (or anything reasonable) and add weight to the seat if a driver weighs less. Not a new idea.
        But they want to stick with the reality of the car production? Good news, the average car driver weighs more than 60kg.

  2. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 31st March 2014, 13:36

    I voted for Hulkenberg. He stood the most in the race. Of course, Hamilton was flawless, but he was driving calm race without the need to push. But Hulk seemed to be wringing every juice out of his Force India and performed well above his car’s potential and gave us some beautiful defence driving and gave some short but hard time for Alonso. He also performed well in qualifying, thrashing his team mate.

    I just wonder, what he could do in that Mercedes as Hamilton’s team mate.

    • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 31st March 2014, 15:15

      He out-performed Perez the same amount as Bianchi did to Chilton. And Perez looked strong in the 2012 Sauber, against Kamui who now looks strong in the Caterham.

      I thought the same thing… Hamilton, Vettel and Hulkenberg in equal machinery would be a sight to admire!

      • Sven (@crammond) said on 31st March 2014, 17:44

        Perez certainly looked closer to Button last year than to Hulk this year… Button in turn was a bit better (though not in quali-speed) than Ham in their McLaren-years… if one believes in that kind of crosscomparisons.
        But yes, I voted Hulk, even though it was just his normal level of performance. To me, nobody delivered something really exceptional this weekend.

        • OMG you new by any chance, maybe you was a an of 2011,Hams worst year ever, still won as many races as JB. Please dont say JB was often fastest in race, its insulting when both times cars finished Ham was like 31-15 or something in Hams favour, 9wins to 8 atleast 3 wins he retired from in 2012. Ham easily was the better guy, people are hilarious when they think JB is better cuz he scored more points lol, Ham beat Button in 2 seasons to 1 so what does points matter.

          Ham was having an absoloute crisis of a year in 2011 yet came back and really destroyed Jenson last season.

          • gwenouille (@gwenouille) said on 31st March 2014, 22:51

            Huh ?
            I’d say, ONLY points matter.
            You can turn it around the way you want, in the end JB scored more points, whether you like it or not.
            It’s easy enough to divide their time together as 3 seasons and deciding “2-1 to LH, so no question !”
            One could say that in 2010-11-12 LH couldn’t do better that 4th in the WDC whereas JB has been runner up.

        • GB (@bgp001ruled) said on 1st April 2014, 0:26

          agree with you: no driver was outstanding.

      • Nickpkr251 said on 2nd April 2014, 6:56

        Hulk got the test car, Perez the new one it seems nothing works ok on that one, besides getting a puncture in Australi just as Kimi on thisone, but perform about the same.
        Hulk hasn’t race Perez yet so as redbull says is immature comment.

    • grat said on 31st March 2014, 19:08

      Well, yeah, but Hamilton also destroyed his teammate– by the end of lap 1. By lap 4, Rosberg was complaining of rear tire wear, and Hamilton was 4 seconds down the road. Hamilton also consistently used less fuel (at least partially because he was so far out in front, but later, when Nico was 9 seconds behind, and one assumes not affected by Lewis’s turbulence, Nico was still using more fuel).

  3. Ive gone for SV He was sublime in Q after the restart of the Car in Q1 and He taken fight to Rosberg in Race
    Complements to Hulky , FA, LH

  4. Alehud42 (@alehud42) said on 31st March 2014, 13:40

    There’s only one answer here, right?
    Lewis’ performance was the most brutally efficient I’ve seen by a non-Vettel driver since Silverstone 2008.

    • Dirk (@dirksen) said on 31st March 2014, 14:10

      Indeed, Hamilton had a perfect weekend.

    • Jason (@jason12) said on 31st March 2014, 14:47

      Yea: Grand Chelem

    • Bobby (@f1bobby) said on 31st March 2014, 16:17

      Agreed. Flawless.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 31st March 2014, 16:24

      I’m guessing by brutally efficient, you mean a perfect performance in a perfect car. There have been drivers who have had much more impressive performances, but if you mean perfect car + perfect race from pole, then Rosberg 2012 China was brutally efficient as well.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 31st March 2014, 17:29

      Wasn’t Hamilton only 2nd on the grid for that race? Kovalainen’s first pole?

    • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 31st March 2014, 22:00

      @alehud42
      @timi
      How do you define “brutally efficient”. If winning a race in a dominant car is “brutally efficient”, then what do you call winning a race in a donkey of a car? AKA Brazil 2003 or Malaysia 2012.

      • Albert said on 1st April 2014, 8:40

        @kingshark

        Malaysia 2012.

        How do you call that? A lucky one, considering both Button and Hamilton had problems when they were ahead of him.

        It was a good performance from Alonso, but the win wasn’t due to his performance but due to his rivals having problem that weren’t their fault.

        Similar to this year’s 4th place in Australia ahead of Vettel, Ricciardo, Massa and Hamilton, which you also tried to relate it to Alonso’s performance, he he.

      • Guccio (@concalvez00) said on 1st April 2014, 10:00

        @Kingshark, Alonso only won that race because McLaren messed up Hamilton’s 2 pitstops and neglected his strategy, it had nothing to do with Alonso’s so called skill.

        • CashNotClass (@cashnotclass) said on 1st April 2014, 10:11

          It had everything to do with Alonso and Ferrari’s ‘so called’ skills. After all, they won the race, and others did not. You need to be right up there to be able to take advantage of other people’s mistakes, which is the best they could do on the day. Strategy and pitstop teamwork are all part of the game and McLaren collectively failed that day, which is why they did not win.

          • Albert said on 1st April 2014, 11:14

            @concalvez00
            @cashnotclass

            No need to go to either extreme.

            Neither did it have nothing to do with Alonso’s skill nor did it have everything o do with it.

            Alonso drove to the max and flawlessly (in rain!), which definitely deserves recognition.

            But the first place wasn’t a consequence of him outperforming faster cars, but of those faster cars having problems outside of their driver’s actions.

            I’d agree Alonso was the best driver that race, but it’s silly to simply ignore the facts that surrounded his first place.

            See Vettel in Singapore that same year. He finished ahead a clearly faster McLaren. Amazing!!!!!!
            Yeah, Hamilton retired due to mechanical issues.

            Does it make Vettel (or Alonso) any less of a superb driver? Not at all. But as I said, just pretending some incidents didn’t happen is silly.

        • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 1st April 2014, 19:44

          @concalvez00

          Alonso only won that race because McLaren messed up Hamilton’s 2 pitstops and neglected his strategy, it had nothing to do with Alonso’s so called skill.

          For starters, McLaren only messed up one pit stop because they had to wait to release Lewis when traffic was heading in the pitlane. Nonetheless, Hamilton was 2 seconds behind Alonso when released out of the box, and 20 seconds behind Alonso when they switched to dries. Lewis and Vettel were thoroughly outpaced by both Alonso and Perez in the wet, and the Ferrari was a donkey of a car early in the 2012 season.

          • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 2nd April 2014, 6:33

            How do you call that? A lucky one, considering both Button and Hamilton had problems when they were ahead of him.

            How fast were Hamilton and Button compared to Alonso in the wet?

            Exactly.

          • Albert said on 2nd April 2014, 9:58

            As I said, he was the best that race, clearly.

            But he didn’t win because of that.

            He may still have won, sure, but what would have happened if LH haven’t had the pit stop problems or Button the accident? It wouldn’t be the first (nor won’t be the last) time Alonso fails to pass slower drivers.

            As I said, Alonso was the best that race, but he won because his biggest competiton had troubles. Those are the facts.

  5. Diceman (@diceman) said on 31st March 2014, 13:40

    1. Hulkenberg
    2. Hamilton
    3. Alonso

  6. Got to be the Hulk!!!! The best Drive!!! He is amazing to watch!!!

  7. Tango (@tango) said on 31st March 2014, 13:43

    I know I’m going to get labelled as a Grosjean fan, but I gave him my vote. Seeing him battle for 11th was great and I really hope he can score points this year. I guess the car isn’t as bad as that but he has dragged it further and faster than I would’ve thought.

  8. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 31st March 2014, 14:02

    Hamilton

    Drove a very fast and controlled weekend. Handled the torrential qualifying conditions to take pole on what was supposed to be a banker lap.

    He then converted the pole into a superb drive on Sunday. Drove more fuel efficiently, and was faster than anyone, finishing the race with considerably more fuel in hand than anyone else.

    Two words: Grand Chelem.

    Honorable mentions to: Vettel, Hulkenberg, Koayashi and Grosjean.

    • Wait, and no mention to Kvyat?

    • Lemon (@lemon) said on 31st March 2014, 19:45

      I’d like for anyone to correct me on the following if they have any further knowledge, But I suspect the FOM graphic giving us the fuel percentages is invalid… It wouldn’t make sense for Hamilton to carry a certain amount of fuel and then not consume everything he was carrying before the finish line (with an amount left over for the fuel sample of course)…. As far as I remember Lewis finished the race with about 93% of his fuel consumed(on the FOM graphic). Lets suppose he started with the maximum 100 kg and then finished with 7kg left over, that leaves enough for a sample and some..From the outset It wouldn’t be worth him carrying 7kg more than he needs, if you do the maths that’s a lot per lap he would be losing. Mercedes arn’t stupid. So i’m suggesting that perhaps lewis only ran with say 95kg of fuel to begin with, and the FOM graphic just shows the amount of fuel he’s used as a percentage of the expected 100kg fuel load… This makes sense given that the FOM are presumably relying on the fuel flow reading from the much talked about FIA homologated sensor, and that that measures the rate of flow and therefore the amount that passes through the sensor…. So what I’m trying to say is that Lewis potentially did actually consume all of his fuel, but he just ran with less to begin with. which is consistent with what Paddy Lowe said about their fuel efficiency… of course all of this relies on the FOM readings having some degree of accuracy…

      • Luke Adams (@devious) said on 31st March 2014, 21:18

        Yet this assumes they also did not put enough fuel in, in for the occasion that the race did not go flawlessly, and thus would have to fight for position. People have said that the Merc had plenty more to show, yet did not need to push. Hence, fuel left over?

        Just a hunch though.

      • OOliver said on 31st March 2014, 23:55

        I believe the FOM graphics of fuel consumption is normalised to the prescribed max weight of fuel the car is allowed to consume for the duration of the race, in laps and out laps are not part of that weight. So its up to the teams to start the race with 90kg or 110kg but just don’t consume more than 100kg during the race and also have sufficient fuel in your car to give a specified mass/volume of fuel, after the race is over.

    • Lemon (@lemon) said on 31st March 2014, 19:55

      Unless the FOM do in fact know the amount of fuel on board before t.he race.

  9. Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 31st March 2014, 14:03

    I voted for Hamilton . Determined to make up for the loss at Melbourne , he managed to hold of a resurgent and firing Vettel in Q3 for pole. It was possible that he could have found few more tenths in the last lap , but as he said , no one could see anything in the spray. For the race , it was absolutely crucial that he got the start perfect . Any touches like in Suzuka 2013 ,and it would be further disappointing.Despite not being known for rocket style launches, he got that pin-perfect , launched away and got a quick lead as the others were bickering behind him. He controlled the race as beautifully as possible and got the maximum points for the day thereby opening his account for 2014 in emphatic fashion .

  10. Keith Campbell (@keithedin) said on 31st March 2014, 14:03

    Had to go for Hamilton. He wasn’t pushed but got the pole in wet conditions (which nullifies some of the car advantage) and more significant was how comfortably he outpaced his teammate in the race.

    Mentions to Vettel, Alonso (particularly if his steering was as bad in qualy as he suggested), Hulkenberg and Button who all seemed to get the best out of their cars.

  11. Rigi (@rigi) said on 31st March 2014, 14:18

    tough call. hamilton was good throughout the weekend, so was hulkenberg. but i’m going to give my vote to romain grosjean, simply because everyone wrote lotus off at the beginning of the season, classed them even behind caterham and marussia. due to a superb drive and a brilliant qualifying (considering he’s usually not good in the wet) it got him a very valuable 11th place. holding off kimi was a brilliant job.

    also, honorable mention to kobayashi, caterham are now closer to the midfield than last year.

  12. Aled Davies (@aledinho) said on 31st March 2014, 14:26

    Voted Hamilton for the sheer pasting he gave Rosberg but hard not to go for Hulk. Probably the best driver defensively in the field??

    Wish he’d been given the nod over Kimi at Ferrari butt hank god he didn’t go to Lotus!

  13. Dan_the_McLaren_fan (@dan_the_mclaren_fan) said on 31st March 2014, 14:27

    - Felipe, Valteri is faster than you, don’t hold him up.
    - [Silent Felipe doesn't let his teammate pass him].

    I voted Felipe, and it’s more of an emotional choice than a carefully thought one.

  14. Hans Herrmann (@twentyseven) said on 31st March 2014, 14:36

    I went for Alonso here, if I could vote for Hulk too I would as they both out performed their cars. Couldn’t vote Hamilton because he turned his engine down half way through the race, that’s not a display of his driving skills.

  15. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 31st March 2014, 14:56

    For me, as it was last year, 99% of the time a driver gets a Grand Chelem is because he is the DOTW. So Hamilton gets it. Any other answer would just mean I’m blindfolding myself.

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