Start, Sepang International Circuit, 2014

Vote for your Malaysian GP driver of the weekend

2014 Malaysian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 (0%)

Total Voters: 787

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2014 Malaysian Grand Prix

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

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

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  1. Hulk all the way.

    Another faultless drive and notwithstanding Perez’s bad luck come race day, he has made him look decidedly average thus far this season.

    For me and I have no hard data behind this, but I think that Hulk is now the 4th best driver on the grid, and I say that as an ardent Kimi fan, who I’ve just relegated to 5th. I don’t think I need to tell you who I think the top 3 are…

  2. 1.hamilton

  3. Grosjean, for dragging a hugely uder-performing and unreliable Lotus not only into Q2 but he actually finished the race. On top of that, he stayed ahead of a Kimi, who was very much faster all through the race.

    :) Come on RoGro! (and Marussia)

  4. Who cares?
    Computer programmers matter more in today’s F1 than drivers.

    1. Just like before aerodynamicists matterer more than drivers.

      And suspension designers before that.

      And before that motor designers.

      And still we’ve cared about the drivers, and probably always will. Welcome to F1, it has only been this way for the past 70 years.

  5. Hulk really should be in kimi’s seat. This year doesn’t mean just turning up and driving, however big and clever that used to sound.

  6. Rosberg completely controls the first race of the year after an awesome start and leading every lap, getting the fastest lap along the way. Not even in the top 3 drivers of the weekend. I recall him getting like 6% of the vote.

    Hamilton’s at 55% for doing pretty much the same thing this weekend, except also having pole position. I understand there’s a few other factors involved, but not enough to warrant 50% extra than his teammate. Favoritism if ever I saw it

    1. Hamilton beat his teammate by 17 seconds

    2. @turbotoaster

      Check out Monaco 2013, Rosberg convincingly won that one… he didn’t for Melbourne 2013 because it was Hamilton who got pole and if his engine didn’t break down it’s unlikely Rosberg would have won.

    3. Rosberg is underestimated by many. He consistently out-raced Schumacher and it was written off as an unfair comparison against a much older man. He was on nearly level terms with Hamilton last year, accounting for Mercedes’ good points haul compared with other top teams where one driver often dominated the other.

      Rosberg is a PR dream; he has a “historic” pedigree, he’s good looking, eloquent and multilingual, very smart and likely to be running Mercedes’ sporting arm in fifteen years or so. He’s a golden boy. Maybe I’m cynical, but that’s why I think many of us British people don’t like him.

      1. “Rosberg is a PR dream; he has a “historic” pedigree, he’s good looking, eloquent and multilingual, very smart and likely to be running Mercedes’ sporting arm in fifteen years or so. He’s a golden boy.”

        I have to fully agree. If I had to spend an evening chatting with a mercedes driver, I’d love it to be Rosberg. But… I don’t believe he is the fastest of the two.

    4. @turbotoaster
      In Australia Magnussen got onto the podium on his début & Ricciardo got onto the podium in his first race for his new team (before being penalised) and both beat their more experienced team mates in qualifying and the race while Bottas raced through the field twice to earn 5th place in a Williams – as such all three exceeded most people’s expectations.
      Rosberg was outqualified by his team mate and then “inherited” the win due to Lewis’s engine problems which is hardly a performance worthy of a DOTW vote (for me).

      That isn’t favouritism, it’s just a reflection of the different circumstances surrounding the two races and I reckon Rosberg (or any other driver) would have won this weeks poll had he been the one to get pole position and the win instead of Hamilton (all other things being equal) and I reckon Hamilton would have struggled to get into the top 3 in the Australia DOTW poll if it had been Rosberg’s engine that had failed instead of his.

      Personally I’m not that big a fan of Hamilton and I’d love to see Rosberg win the WDC this season but I still voted for Hamilton in this poll as he did everything right all weekend and pulled off the perfect result in qualifying and the race while no-one else managed to do anything special enough to make me vote for them.

  7. Lewis Hamilton. Really easy.

  8. Hamilton, of course. Also Hulkenberg did a very good weekend. Vettel ok.
    By the way, I can not understand that there people that vote fo Alonso.

  9. I voted for Vettel. Hamilton had such a dominant car he could do little else but cruise around in front. Vettel had to ring the neck of the RBR car to even challenge Rosberg. He drove a flawless race in an inferior car. I had trouble splitting Vettel and ‘The Hulk” who also drove the wheels off his car. I think the Mercedes tactic was to keep Rosberg just far enough in front of Vettel to make him push in the hope of getting second. The fuel use certainly indicated that Rosberg had performance in hand when he needed it.

  10. Must be Massa… for having the guts to stay in F1 after all these “X is faster than you” ! Not that he’s the only driver that had this kind of “problem”, but it seems like a “Massa brand”. Sad to see F1 in this state especially now that we know it’s not something related strictly to Ferrari/Massa.

  11. My vote goes to the hulk. Once again he beats his teammate handily, puts a mid rank car where you don’t expect it and races hard and fair with the very best.

    The chorus of “put him in a top car” is deafening at this stage, but are Ferrari or McLaren really a step up nowadays? I’m not so sure.

    1. I think its ok for Hulkenberg where he is right now, If he manages to put in similar efforts henchforth then i wont be suprised to see him snatch a podium in this season… Just shows that its just notthe car technology but the driver skills as well….

  12. Yikes – I was voter number 666!

    On this site I am a “follower” of Button, Hamilton, Rosberg, Bottas and Magnussen – but Hulkenberg and Grosjean are probably worth watching closely too.

    I gave Hulkenberg some thought as I am biased towards Hamilton; but in the end it had to be Hamilton as he was in the zone all weekend.

    Hulkenberg was great though. Without such strict weight restrictions on the car/driver combo, he’d probably be in a top car. That would be very interesting.

  13. My Vote Goes for the incredible Hulk and force india. FI were really brave to do a two stop stratergy and make it work. I still think the perking order is not clear behind Mercedes and Redbull.

  14. I would like to point out that up until now (678 votes), the McLaren drivers received <1% of the votes each, while Button had a pretty decent race. That pretty much proves there is little favouritism for British drivers or teams, right?

    1. Them Brits are a voting for Hamilton en masse!

      1. @andae23 What he said. I think Button is loved by many Brits but they’ll cheer for Hammy even harder.

  15. Hamilton? Seriously? I think the poll’s question is wrong, it’s in fact “Who had the best car….. ?”

    1. According to Hamilton Vettel did.

  16. Its Hulk for me too, although i am surprised with people commenting that he was in a lesser car, cause he was in a lesser car last year and struggled at the start of the season to be in points. Good he didn’t sign for lotus.

  17. Hülkenberg, Alonso, Hamilton, Kobayashi, and Vettel as well, all seemed to have a good weekend and race. I voted for Hülkenberg, because the technical advantage enjoyed by Rosberg and Hamilton at the moment is so massive.

    Team of the weekend is definitely Mercedes, though; fantastic performance.

  18. Voted for Sebastian Vettel, it was a 3 man race, Hamilton, Vettel or Hulkenberg, decided for Vettel, Hamilton had a great race but in Qualification almost lost Pole for Vettel, if so i don’t think that would change a lot of things, Hulkenberg was in a great place, but i recon that’s just because of disqualifications and some accidents, so i went for Seb, dis what he could…

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