Vote for your Chinese GP driver of the weekend

2014 Chinese Grand Prix

Start, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014Which F1 driver was the best performer during the Chinese Grand Prix weekend?

Review how each driver got on below and vote for who impressed you the most during the last race weekend.

Chinese Grand Prix driver-by-driver

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel – Not the first time he’s looked out of sorts in Shanghai, but this seemed to be more about the car than the track. Out-qualified by Ricciardo, he got ahead of his team mate at the start but plainly lacked the pace to stay there. Wasn’t receptive to being told to let Ricciardo past until his team convinced him they were on divergent strategies. It turned out they weren’t.

Daniel Ricciardo – Came on strong late in qualifying to claim his second front row start. Didn’t get off the line well, however, which ultimately meant he missed out on a chance for a podium finish. Looked capable of putting a pass on Vettel whether or not his team mate got out of the way, and having done so did his best to chase down Alonso.

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014Nico Rosberg – Even if he hadn’t spun his car while taking an ambitious line through the final corner in Q3 after misreading his dash display, it’s unlikely he would have been on the front row of the grid. Was unlucky at the start, however – a telemetry failure spoiled a vital early chance to get past the Red Bulls. Once that damage was done, he spent the rest of the race capably making up for lost ground.

Lewis Hamilton – Seized the initiative when it was presented to him despite having been unhappy with his car’s balance on Friday. Drove with flair for his third pole position in wet conditions this year, then took command of the race and was pleasantly surprised to find he could run a long opening stint on the soft tyres which made life easier later on.

Ferrari

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014Fernando Alonso – Fifth on the grid looked like the maximum the Ferrari was capable of. Vettel getting ahead of Ricciardo presented him with an opportunity which he and the team took full advantage of with a well-timed pit stop and Alonso’s usual relentless consistency. A very well deserved third place, though he was fortunate nothing came of his collision with Massa.

Kimi Raikkonen – Missing out on running on Friday morning was an unfortunate setback which he was still dealing with the consequences of on race day. Still looks distinctly uncomfortable in the F14 T – he lost almost a second per lap to Alonso in the race – but brought it home in the points.

Lotus

Romain Grosjean – Took Lotus into Q3 for the first time and believed the car could have started higher than tenth. He ran in the points until a gearbox glitch put him out.

Pastor Maldonado – A power unit problem left him unable to participate in qualifying, so his arguably lenient five-place penalty for flipping Gutierrez over proved entirely irrelevant. He went by his Sauber rival cleanly during the race on his way to a trouble-free 14th.

McLaren

Jenson Button – The team which began the season with a double podium finish seldom looked like points contenders at round four. A chronic lack of downforce meant they grained their tyres in the dry and couldn’t warm them up in the wet. Button ended the race 11th, several seconds behind Kvyat.

Kevin Magnussen – To McLaren’s woes Magnussen added a damaged front wing early in the race (again) on his way to a despondent 13th.

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014Nico Hulkenberg – Underlined Force India’s status as best Mercedes customer by resisting race-long attention from Bottas for sixth place. His early-season consistency has him fourth in the championship at this early stage.

Sergio Perez – Qualifying was poor – he simply couldn’t get his tyres up to temperature and was much slower than Hulkenberg. But his race performance was far more credible. Perez gained more places than anyone bar Maldonado (who started last) to take points for ninth.

Sauber

Adrian Sutil – Just when it looked like he was heading for another Q1 ejection Sutil pulled out a late flier which helped him to 14th. But an engine problem at the start of the race saw him limp around for five laps before retiring.

Esteban Gutierrez – Sauber’s upgrades did not transform the C33. Gutierrez started 17th and finished one place higher having been one of few drivers to make three pit stops.

Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014Jean-Eric Vergne – Vergne’s starts remain a problem – he lost three places on lap one in China which is considerably better than his average of 5.25. This was unfortunate as he’d qualified ninth and, as his team mate showed, the car was quick enough to finish in the points.

Daniil Kvyat – Got ahead of Vergne at the start which was to the benefit of his strategy and helped him to a tenth place finish – and a third points score in his first four races.

Williams

Felipe Massa – Made a stunning start – just as he did in Bahrain – but found himself hemmed in between three cars and banged wheels with Alonso. Then his team got his rear tyres mixed up at his first pit stop, ending his hope of scoring points.

Valtteri Bottas – Little to choose between him and Massa in qualifying. He could have ended lap one in sixth but tangled with Rosberg at the first corner and dropped back to tenth. Pursued Hulkenberg through the race but gained on the Force India too late to make a difference.

Marussia

Jules Bianchi – Had Chilton handled in qualifying to the tune of a second and a half but more importantly he didn’t spoil his race with any unnecessary collisions. Lost out to Kobayashi on the last lap but as things turned out it didn’t matter.

Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014Max Chilton – Kept the other Caterham – belonging to his old GP2 sparring partner – behind until the end of the race. But was half a minute behind Bianchi.

Caterham

Kamui Kobayashi – Certainly deserves sympathy for having his last-lap pass on Bianchi declared void for reasons entirely to do with someone else’s incompetence. Also had an amusing cameo when, on new tyres, he unlapped himself from Vettel. “I hear he wasn’t too pleased about that,” he said.

Marcus Ericsson – Said his race was “dominated by understeer” and was the last driver running at the end.

Qualifying and race results summary

Driver Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 3rd +0.505s 21/54 2 5th +20.642s
Daniel Ricciardo 2nd -0.505s 33/54 2 4th -20.642s
Lewis Hamilton 1st -1.283s 54/54 2 1st -18.062s
Nico Rosberg 4th +1.283s 0/54 2 2nd +18.062s
Fernando Alonso 5th -1.095s 54/54 2 3rd -52.731s
Kimi Raikkonen 11th +1.095s 0/54 2 8th +52.731s
Romain Grosjean 10th 26/28 1
Pastor Maldonado 22nd 2/28 2 14th
Jenson Button 12th -0.712s 40/53 2 11th -8.883s
Kevin Magnussen 15th +0.712s 13/53 2 13th +8.883s
Nico Hulkenberg 8th -1.417s 54/54 2 6th -28.352s
Sergio Perez 16th +1.417s 0/54 2 9th +28.352s
Adrian Sutil 14th -0.85s 0/5 0
Esteban Gutierrez 17th +0.85s 5/5 3 16th
Jean-Eric Vergne 9th -0.705s 4/53 2 12th +14.112s
Daniil Kvyat 13th +0.705s 49/53 2 10th -14.112s
Felipe Massa 6th -0.135s 9/53 2 15th Not on same lap
Valtteri Bottas 7th +0.135s 44/53 2 7th Not on same lap
Jules Bianchi 19th -1.539s 46/52 2 17th Not on same lap
Max Chilton 21st +1.539s 6/52 3 19th Not on same lap
Kamui Kobayashi 18th -1.386s 52/52 3 18th Not on same lap
Marcus Ericsson 20th +1.386s 0/52 3 20th 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 Chinese Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (1%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (8%)
  • Nico Rosberg (3%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (31%)
  • Fernando Alonso (48%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (1%)
  • Romain Grosjean (2%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (1%)
  • Jenson Button (0%)
  • Kevin Magnussen (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (1%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (2%)
  • Esteban Gutierrez (0%)
  • Adrian Sutil (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Daniil Kvyat (2%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (0%)
  • Jules Bianchi (0%)
  • Max Chilton (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (2%)
  • Marcus Ericsson (0%)

Total Voters: 772

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2014 Chinese Grand Prix

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Images © Red Bull/Getty, Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Force India, Caterham/LAT

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108 comments on Vote for your Chinese GP driver of the weekend

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  1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 21st April 2014, 12:34

    First to vote!

    Picked Alonso, drove brilliantly all weekend.

  2. I have to admit that Fernando Alonso made a perfect weekend, he certainly got the best out of the car.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 21st April 2014, 20:40

      I voted for Alonso and my second choice was Ricciardo, I didn’t vote for him because he did not translated his P1 into a podium finish but his weekend was very positive. Lewis was my third choice great pole lap and good race stark less on me due to his car advantage…

    • imarlab (@imarlab) said on 22nd April 2014, 10:39

      +1

      Alonso back in 2012 mode. Hope it lasts.

    • I just wanted to mention that even though Kimi had a poor weekend and Alonso drove a perfect race, both showed why they are revere among the best at what they do I’m just amazed at how smart these 2 guys are. Alonso driving style around Shanghai is distinctively different to anyone else, the way he protected the front tyres was key to his success and he knows that! On the other side Kimi struggled and he too was wary that with the lack of rear grip and such a heavy demand on the front tyres his driving style played the major role! Wow, Horner thinks the same way about Sebastian, but it wasn’t Vettel who came with that. Where’s Webber, these cars would play so well into his hands, apart the fact he wouldn’t fit and probably carry .5 sec on extra weight…

  3. Nick (@npf1) said on 21st April 2014, 12:40

    Has to be Hamilton, once more. This guy is on fire.

    Though I’m glad Alonso was on the podium, I can’t help but feel his great start and straight line speed got him 3rd. Both Vettel and Ricciardo gained tenths every lap going through sector 2. The podium feels a bit ‘lucky’, rather than a storming drive.

    • Juan Pablo Heidfeld (@juan-pablo-heidfeld-1) said on 21st April 2014, 13:21

      If you put a spin on it, Alonso drove fantastically considering the advantage the Red Bulls had through the corners to catch him. An ace start moved him ahead of one rival, and a good strategy called moved him ahead of Vettel.

      If you start using the word lucky to describe someone’s car it’s a slippery slope. A lucky podium would involve safety cars, rivals crashing, etc

      • Nick (@npf1) said on 21st April 2014, 16:51

        Alonso did well, but lucky wasn’t the right word. Circumstantial, rather. Maybe I’ve become so cynical about Ferrari that I can’t be happy with a podium if they’re still lagging behind in qualifying and outright pace.

        • Alex McFarlane said on 22nd April 2014, 18:42

          Surely that’s all the more reason to give Alonso the vote? In a car with serious question marks over it following Bahrain, Alonso made his own luck through skill and judgement to get that car into a podium finish.
          After Ricciardo had got past Vettel I worried that Alonso’d miss out on the podium but for quite a number of laps he managed the gap to the Red Bull extremely well.

    • DaveD (@daved) said on 22nd April 2014, 0:33

      I voted for Alonso, because Lewis seemed to have such an easy time of it. But it’s probably not fair to hold it against Lewis because he totally dominated. It’s not like he dominated things by accident.

  4. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 21st April 2014, 12:40

    He won’t win, but I genuinely feel Kobayashi is deserving of an honourable mention anyway.

    Fastest of the ‘back four’ in qualifying, provided major lolz by unlapping himself with Vettel in the race and overtook a rival Marussia to ‘finish’ best of the back four on the final lap with a typically monster move. So glad to have you back in F1, Kamui.

  5. Rigi (@rigi) said on 21st April 2014, 12:41

    since everyone will vote for alonso or hamilton, i decided to take a diffrent approach.

    i voted for kvyat. he’s very impressive and managed to finish in the points once again. after such little mileage in an f1 car he’s able to take the fight to vergne, who has 2 years of experience and has been able to challenge ricciardo here and there. many people thought red bull were wrong to sign him instead of da costa, but i think they’ve all been proven wrong. and he’s only 19 years old! i’m pretty sure that kid has a bright future ahead of him.

  6. Peter (@boylep6) said on 21st April 2014, 12:42

    Alonso — Hamilton wasn’t severely testing the limits of his car, and Alonso dragged his ferrari ahead of the RB’s and well ahead of Kimi.

  7. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 21st April 2014, 12:43

    This time it’s quite difficult to pick one driver, that really stood out.

    Hamilton drove brilliantly, but he wasn’t opposed there at the front, so he could take a nap or two during the race and still win it by a huge margin.

    Alonso just got everything out of that Ferrari as always and earlier pitstop was crucial in Alonso getting that podium.

    If I voted after every race for Hulkenberg, I wouldn’t be too far from truth every time. He is like Alonso – just squeezing everything out of the car and taking every opportunity with both hands.

    But it’s Ricciardo that gets my vote this time. I’m a Vettel fan and it hurts when a young lad beats my favourite driver which is 4 time WDC. But it just adds respect for Ricciardo. He took opportunity in wet qualifying and seized second place, which was probably the best he could’ve achieved. He lost several positions at the start but drove calmly saving his tyres and waiting for his opportunity. Then he beat his 4 time WDC team mate (at least by being faster, because it’s hard to tell whether Vettel let him by) and finally hunted Alonso for that elusive podium, which every time seems to be taken from him somehow.

  8. Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 21st April 2014, 12:46

    It’s difficult to overlook Fernando Alonso this weekend. While his team mate struggled to control the F14T, Fernando was a regular top 3 and in the race he didn’t budge when Massa hit him. A well deserved Driver of the Weekend.

    Notable mentions – Lewis, Hulkenberg and Bianchi.

    • Morty Vicar (@mortyvicar) said on 21st April 2014, 18:10

      I gave my vote to Alonso. To come in 3rd in an up-to-now underperforming Ferrari and with Kimi in 8th shows excellent race-craft. I think Alonso and Hamilton are the most complete drivers out there. Alonso was smart to realise that he was unlikely to hold off Rosberg but that if he didn’t ruin his tyres and kept fuel usage to the absolute minimum he could repel the Red Bulls. Alonso knows (probably like everyone else other than Rosberg) that while the WDC (and WCC) is out of reach, the fight is to be “Best Of The Rest” and he performed admirably in driving to that goal this weekend.

  9. James (@speedking84) said on 21st April 2014, 12:53

    Chose Grosjean, a solid qualifying performance, did a good clean start, race pace was good considering the difficulties they’ve had, should have got a point at least without the reliability issue.

    • JenniKate (@jennikate) said on 21st April 2014, 17:55

      I also went for Grosjean. Looked on track to get a point before the car fell over. Also impressed by Kobayashi and Alonso.

    • aym (@cyberk) said on 22nd April 2014, 12:19

      Grosjean also, getting that car into Q3 and keeping it inside the points throughout the race untill the DNF is not a easy feat

    • Alex Brown (@splittimes) said on 22nd April 2014, 15:30

      Agreed. Biggest step backwards by any team, he’s gone from hunting down his first win to this kid of struggle. His team-mate is no help at all. He looks totally demoralised out of the car, but in it he’s occasionally showing up people like Button and Raikkonen.

      Also credit to Ricciardo for being so diplomatic with the press after the race. I like it when drivers speak their mind (so kudos to Seb), but he seems so genuinely understanding that what could become bad blood is just racing, and forgotten about.

  10. bosyber (@bosyber) said on 21st April 2014, 12:55

    For me, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, and Kvyat all might be deserving. Hamilton had it a bit too easy, and already won the race itself, which is probably all he cares for, while Rosberg dropped it on Saturday :)

    Since I can guess that Alonso is likely to win this poll, I’ll shore up Hulkenberg’s tally a bit.

    • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 21st April 2014, 19:07

      Hulkenberg continues to impress -how ironic that Hulkenberg’s pass on Alonso was the final blow that cost Domenicali his position. If I recall, Domenicali didn’t even bother to call Hulkenberg last year :-)

  11. DaveD (@daved) said on 21st April 2014, 13:00

    I had to vote Alonso. I’m a Lewis fan, but he really wasn’t opposed. Probably not fair to say that because he put himself in that position with a brillian qualifying in the wet and a clean start that left everyone far behind. But Alonso clearly has a lesser car and is outpacing Kimi terribly in every respect. To put that Ferrari on a podium was impressive.
    Also honorable mention to Kvat for scoring points in every race with a very late mid-field car. RIC is making it a habit of beating Vettel…I may have to start giving him a vote.

  12. andae23 (@andae23) said on 21st April 2014, 13:01

    Difficult one, I think the entire top three drove brilliantly. Hamilton didn’t do anything wrong, despite missing an entire session. Rosberg made an error in qualifying and the lack of telemetry messed up his start, after which he had to fight back. Alonso did a fantastic job getting and staying ahead of both Red Bulls.

    However, in the end I voted for Grosjean: he did an unbelievable job dragging his car into Q3. In the race he lost out to Bottas early on and lost another position to Raikkonen during the first pit stops, but it still left him ninth. Such a shame that his car broke down.

  13. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 21st April 2014, 13:03

    Of the weekend? Hamilton, as much as I don’t like to vote for him, I MUST vote for him.

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 21st April 2014, 13:27

      @omarr-pepper – Similar thoughts here. He was amazing in qualifying and his race was stellar. What more can he do? As neither a Hamilton supporter or detractor it is impossible to ignore that his level of concentration and focus on racing is reaching historic levels so far this season.

    • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 21st April 2014, 15:44

      @omarr-pepper – I profoundly disagree. Alonso found a way with the F14 T so that he could outperform the comfortably quicker RB10s of Vettel and Ricciardo. Steller performance – drive of the season so far.

    • Morty Vicar (@mortyvicar) said on 21st April 2014, 18:16

      While Hamilton performed almost flawlessly (apart from the off at turn 14), it’s difficult to give him the driver of the weekend accolade for keeping the best car circulating at the undisturbed front of the field. While arguably (IMHO) one of the 2 top drivers in F1 in 2014 (the other being my vote-getter Alonso), he didn’t have to display much race-craft or strategy whereas everyone else behind him, especially those not in a Mercedes W05, did. Hamilton is driving brilliantly this season but as often happens in F1 these years, you get one car-driver combo that is the class of the field and has to work hard to not win a championship.

  14. Keith Campbell (@keithedin) said on 21st April 2014, 13:05

    Finding this one a difficult choice. Hamilton drove a good qualy but was unchallenged during the race so it was mostly a cruise for him. Alonso was very good in both qualifying and the race, getting the absolute best from the car, but i feel he was mostly at fault for the contact with Massa at the first corner so was very lucky to be able to continue.

    After much deliberation i’ve gone for Ricciardo. Like Hamilton and Alonso, he nailed his Q3 lap and he had significantly superior pace to Vettel throughout the race. His only drawback being a slow start, but there was some talk of there being some oil on his gridslot so i’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

  15. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 21st April 2014, 13:05

    Max Chilton putting in his 1% as usual :-)

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