Start, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014

Vote for your Chinese GP driver of the weekend

2014 Chinese Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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

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

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

    First to vote!

    Picked Alonso, drove brilliantly all weekend.

    1. Also selected Alonso, but at the time of writing I am the last to vote… actually so were you :)

      1. LOL Good point. My turn!!!

    2. I agree. He once again fought alone, whereas his teammate complained about driving styles and setup issues. Just gotta hand it to Alonso for his no nonsense-always-committed approach to racing. I’m more of a Ferrari fan, but shudder to imagine what the Scuderia would do without him.

    3. Alonso has to win this, Hamilton 1st and Rosberg 2nd is usually normal know, but Fernando’s driving this weekend was outstanding, what he did with that car is only for a few to do…

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

    1. 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…

    2. +1

      Alonso back in 2012 mode. Hope it lasts.

    3. 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. 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.

    1. Juan Pablo Heidfeld (@juan-pablo-heidfeld-1)
      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

      1. 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.

        1. Alex McFarlane
          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.

    2. 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. 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.

    1. Yes, I do think Kobayashi showed himself well @magnificent-geoffrey, I guess this is just the limit of what his car can do at the moment.

    2. Just like to point out he didn’t actually finish best of the back four, due to the race being called early. He deserved it though.

    3. I feel like you had thanking me since I’m the culprit who vote for Kobayashi
      :)

    4. I’ve never been fond of Kobayashi and didn’t think he deserved another chance in F1, but on his comeback so far he is showing he deserves this chance, and I’ve got no qualms in saying I may have misjudged him somewhat.

      And agreed, that pass on Vettel was hilarious!

      1. Yeah .. That was epic LOL

    5. Agreed. I really like Kobayashi for his commitment and indomitable spirit. Such a pity he’s at the back. I hope Caterham can get ahead of Marussia but with Ericsson I doubt it. (I don’t particularly know if Ericsson is bad, but he needs to be keeping pace with Kamui better).

  5. 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.

    1. Also voted for him. The kid is just brilliant. It shows that Red Bull knows how to pick their young drivers.

    2. I agree and also voted for him. Hamilton drove well, and so did Alonso. But somehow I didn’t think there was a standout driver this weekend. So in my view Kvyat deserves my vote once.

    3. Kvyat is a bit of a revelation. JEV’s place is looking increasingly shaky. I think it was Ted Kravitz who said his place may be taken later in the season by Carlos Sainz Jr.

  6. 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. 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.

    1. I agree totally and reasoned similarly to go with RIC. He might have had a chance at the podium had it not been for 11 laps behind VET. Be that as it may, he got the best out of his car and himself.

      1. It was just three laps behind Vettel. So he lost about 3-4 seconds, which is unlikely to have helped RIC to pass ALO at the end.

        1. My apologies – I stand corrected. Thank you for spotting that one Mike Dee.

    2. I can’t help but be super impressed with Daniel. He out qualified and out raced a 4 times world champion with ease. Didn’t even break a sweat. Ricciardo gets my vote.

  8. 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.

    1. 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)
    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.

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

      1. James (@speedking84)
        21st April 2014, 18:43

        Alonso really did extract the maximum from the car in the race, although he was a little careless at the start hitting Massa.

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

    3. 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. 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.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      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. 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. 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. Of the weekend? Hamilton, as much as I don’t like to vote for him, I MUST vote for him.

    1. @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.

    2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      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.

    3. 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. 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)
    21st April 2014, 13:05

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

    1. You have to give Max, and his mother, credit. The always manage to log on to F1Fanatic every week and cast their votes! :)

  16. Hamilton, Alonso and Ricciardo were my choices, and in the end I went with Ricciardo. Hamilton is starting to suffer from Vettel-syndrome (just cruising into victories, and I’m running out of excuses to not vote for him), and I’m not a huge Alonso fan. Granted, Ricciardo might, just might, have been able to be on the podium, but still, based on his qualifying performance and his racecraft, I voted for him.

  17. Alonso.

  18. I voted Grosjean. First time in Q3 for Lotus and he was doing a very good job in the race. It was heartbreaking to see him retire.

  19. A lot of people are going to vote for Hamilton for winning or for Alonso for being Alonso.

    However, I went for Romain Grosjean. He managed to find some pace in that Lotus, qualifying ahead of both McLarens and a Force India in the wet. But his race pace was also very good, and could well have scored a point or two until the car went pop.

  20. Hamilton dominated the race plus he got pole again under wet conditions, enough said.

  21. Has to be Lewis Hamilton again. Masterful control of the race, showing his teammate up on a track at which he is supposed to excel. Especially considering his tribulations in free practice, the commanding nature of his weekend – the result never looking in doubt from the start of qualifying – was admirable.

  22. At first I thought I cheated because I went Alonso with only his Sunday race in mind.

    But in hindsight he led a practice session, had a good weekend, and it’s probably a bigger accomplishment than we all realize to qualify that Ferrari in 5th over a single fast lap.

    Bravo, Fernando. Special mention to Ricciardo for speed and maturity.

  23. Alonso. Can’t stand the guy but can’t deny his performance yesterday. I don’t think Dan was held up enough by Seb to have made a difference in the result.

    As for Hamilton, it’s like he said about Vettel last year: it’s the car.

  24. has to be kobayashi for the entertaining cameo overtaking on vettel

  25. Between Daniel, Fernando, and Romain on this one:

    DR: Got the absolute most out of the RB10 in qualifying, and held his cool after a slow start. Once infront of Seb, the way he pulled away and started to catch Fernando towards the end, and especially his ultra-calm demeanour on the radio, stood out for me.

    FA: Once again a fantastic start, magnificently held on when the FW36 hit him, and held out Seb early on to drag the F14T onto the podium.

    RG: Again put the E22 in a place where it didn’t belong, and drove faultlessly until the loss of 4th gear.

    Hard to vote for Lewis here, as I feel his car is a large part of where he is. However, he is still a fantastic driver.

    Note: I reckon this race really highlights the need for a method where we can vote for our top 3 driver, not just one.

  26. I don’t understand how one can vote for Alonso when it was sheer luck that prevented him from pulling a nasty Grosjean-esque accident in weaving over and hitting Massa.

    I thought Ricciardo had an excellent weekend. Lewis was solid, but no one could even present him with a challenge, so through no fault of his own, he was unable to show off anything extraordinary.

    1. James (@speedking84)
      21st April 2014, 15:49

      Totaly agree, I find it funny how people only look at consequences rather than actions, on another day that could have been a big accident.

    2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      21st April 2014, 16:09

      I suggest you watch the onboard start again from Alonso’s car. It was Massa who came steaming up the inside and Alonso never once turned right while Felipe was still there. How you can point the finger of blame at Alonso is beyond me. I’m not a Fernando fan, I’m just stating what the footage shows.

      In fact, both of the Williams drivers were a little reckless at the start as Bottas didn’t leave enough room for Rosberg and just squeezed him too far right until they had contact.

      1. Massa was driving completely straight down the road when Alonso ran into him. Maybe you should watch a feed that isn’t Alonso’s onboard, which on only a glance understates that he is drifting to his right for several seconds (away from the line he’d want for the corner anyway– he’s pinching people off). If you look at either the general race feeds or Massa’s onboard, it’s perfectly clear that Alonso was solely at fault for their contact, and crossed over the track into Massa. Those cars are going so fast down the straight that the driver doesn’t have to do some aggressive twitch to the steering wheel to really move around.

        1. Alonso was squeezing towards the corner (as per the racing line) and *didn’t* turn right into Massa – he was heading that way anyway.

          Massa swung wildly over towards Alonso in a very risky move.

          BUT…the key thing is that Massa expected Alonso to spot him but when you look again Alonso just couldn’t see him (and I’m not sure what he could have done to change that).

          I’d agree with the commentators on both Sky and BBC…this was just a racing incident, but IMHO Massa was slightly more to blame because of the size of his weave over towards the centre of the track.

          1. Alex McFarlane
            22nd April 2014, 18:59

            Trouble is, Massa had Ricciardo in front of him all the way over to the right hand side of the track. Massa, carrying vastly superior speed had nowhere else to go. I think it was a racing incident, and wouldn’t put blame on any of the drivers.

          2. Alex, I definitely agree it was a racing incident. I suppose when I say blame I’m thinking more that Massa was taking a gamble

    3. Let’s suppose that it was Fernando’s mistake, what about the rest, that Ferrari shouldn’t be on podium in the first place, have a look at Raikkonen and you will understand it, BTW i’m not surprised with these kinds of comments coming especially from a Vettel/Red Bull fan

    1. +1 . LMAO

    2. Even I have to say good one ;)

  27. Fernando.

    Somehow dragged a podium out of the F14T and showed up his fellow World Champion team mate by being ahead in 54 of the 54 laps.

    ¡bien hecho!

    1. I’m feeling really bad for Kimi this season. While I tend to prefer Kimi over Fernando as a character, Kimi’s really having to scrape for excuses why he’s being pummeled by Alonso. I hope he can do something about it! (Not a Ferrari fan, nor really pulling for any one driver but more pulling for great racing. So far I think I like F1 2014 (as Martin Brundle said))

  28. Simply Alonso. Drove brilliantly, took a fight with Rosberg in a slower car

  29. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    21st April 2014, 16:04

    Went with Alonso.

    It felt very much like his racing in 2012, not a great car, but still wringing it’s neck to get more out of it than it would be otherwise capable of.

    Had a decent start and a great first lap to get from 5th to 3rd (and almost 2nd at Turn 6).

    Didn’t make any errors during the race, and beat his team-enemy by almost a full minute (53 seconds), and Raikkonen is no slouch.

    Honorable mentions to:
    – Daniel Ricciardo – Again drove a stellar race, beating his illustrious teammate yet again to claim a well earned 4th.

    – Lewis Hamilton – Utter domination, and made it look easy, saving fuel, tyres and going faster than almost everyone.

    – Nico Rosberg – Did pretty well to shake off what was turning out to be a pretty poor weekend to still finish 2nd, even if he’s in a vastly superior car to 20 other drivers.

  30. It’s funny so many people voted for Alonso, I didn’t even consider it.

    My vote goes to Ricciardo for both outqualifying and outracing his team-mate.

    1. Alonso drove a car that’s a bit slower than the RB10 and put it on the podium; only behind the Mercedes pair. So no points to you for “not even considering it”.

      Yes, it sure is funny. Hilarious even.

  31. Difficult. I think, for me, it was between 6 drivers, so I cut them down 1 by 1.

    First to go is Rosberg. For me, he struggled a bit in qualifying, but still managed a decent position (though really, it should have been 1st or 2nd). He then lost a few positions, however, he had a good race through the field to make his way to 2nd. But out of the 6, he was the lowest.

    Second to go is Hulkenburg. Once again a massively solid race, essentially being the best of the rest of the Mercedes team’s once again. I’ll always say it, that this guy is really, really impressive, and reminds me very much of Alonso… Always doing the best he can with what he has, but with a bit more qualifying pace. Still hasn’t got the relentlessness of Alonso, but, that’ll come.

    Third to go is Grosjean. He played his part rather well. He qualified the Lotus well, and was running in a high position, before retiring. He did his best in every session. However, it’s hard to give him it as he wasn’t really in the race long enough to determine 100% how he did.

    Fourth to go is Ricciardo. Solid, solid race. Beat his 4x WC team mate comfortably, qualified supremely well, and had a mature race. Very solid, very impressive, and gets my third place vote.

    Fifth to go is Hamilton. Could have easily voted him as number 1, and it was close between him and the first place driver. His qualifying was remarkable, smashed everyone. And then in the race, completely untroubled, and untouchable, showing a very mature race which is good for every Hamilton fan to see. He’s turning into a very different driver than he used to be, with a cleverer head on his shoulders.

    But, that means, my top driver of the weekend was Alonso. How often do we see it from Alonso where he drags everything out of a slower car? The guy is just mesmerizing to watch. He’s relentless, he’s intelligent, and he knows what he’s doing. Him letting Rosberg through so that he had the tyres to hold off Ricciardo at the end was a stroke of genius. He qualified literally best of the rest as expected. He was basically as good as could be all weekend. Hamilton was the same, but as I think it was easier for Ham to do so, I have to give it to Alonso.

    1. @philereid completely agree with your characterizations of Hamilton and Alonso. As a Brit in the past I’ve struggled to support Hamilton and in the end haven’t been able to do it, mostly because of his petulance and mistakes. He’s really matured this year and is very impressive both as a driver and increasingly as an individual. Once again, Alonso shows why he is probably the most complete and most intelligent driver out there by getting the best position he possibly could, barring retirements, for his underperforming Ferrari. I thought Rosberg might be as smart as Alonso but with a better package. Maybe he is but he doesn’t have the incisiveness or killer instinct, or in the final analysis the ability to bring it all together like Alonso has.

  32. Neil (@neilosjames)
    21st April 2014, 16:15

    On this occasion I went with Ricciardo. Don’t think anyone expected him to walk into Vettel’s team and instantly cause him major problems.

    Just a shame he got a poor start.

  33. Not a fan of Alonso but I had to vote for him… the same reason anyone would have voted for Vettel in Malaysia, to even get that tin can of a car (In comparison to the Mercs anyway) near Rosberg is an achievement given how everybody else is left behind… honorable mentions go to Ricciardo, Hülkenberg and Grosjean for impressive drives.

  34. Hmmm… Alonso or Ricciardo? Was close to decide via coin-toss, but went with Alonso, as ultimately I´m suspect the RB might still be the better car. Also, as Ricciardo beating Vettel seems to slowly become a pattern, I can´t allways vote him when he does that.
    Also mentioning: Hülkenberg delivering exactly what his car is capable of, as usual. Kobayashi being Kobayashi with a pass so much last-lap, it was beyond last-lap. And Kvyat, this weekend alone doesn´t really deserve a DotW, but 3 points-scoring finishes in his first 4 races is a remarkable achievement. Also, finishing ahead of Vergne sounds better and better everytime Ric (who wasn´t really far ahead of Vergne) beats Vettel.

  35. Lewis Hamilton, of course. He did the best work all the weekend.

  36. Sure Alonso wrestled a dog and won, showing yet again how ineffective his massively overrated teammate is.

    Hamilton driving the undisputed finest machine on the grid just did exactly what he was expected to do. Q1, Q2 & pole and a stroll to an emphatic win (and way ahead of his teammate again.)

    It’s got to be Lewis…

  37. I will go with Alonso. Another example of extracting absolutely every bit of performance his machine has.

  38. Bruno Senna

    1. Ha ha. Bruno is doing a really good job on the Sky F1 commentary team. It’s a pity he won’t be around again until Hungary. Hopefully he’ll be driving instead.

      1. Another example of extracting absolutely every bit of performance his microphone has.

  39. The perfect Lewis!

  40. Magnussen’s not had a single clean race since Australia, he really needs to step it up.

  41. I gave Alonso for one reason..his incredible first stint, and his solid second stint. I was shocked to see him lapping that quickly early in the race, so much so that it was a surprise he was getting caught by Ricciardo at the death. He’s showing not only the relentlessness of old, but the ability to adapt, something which has always been a strong point. I still marvel at how much his driving style has changed in the last 6-7 years or so. His decision not to fight Rosberg to conserve tyres was a tactical masterstroke, and probably made him stay ahead of Ricciardo.

    Hamilton drove a near faultless race and I wanted to give him, but I’m sure he’ll get a lot more ;)

    Ricciardo was sensational, and if he had taken Alonso at the death, I’d’ve given him DoTW.

    Can’t quite go for Kvyat as he was beaten by Vergne significantly in qualifying, but he’s showing an incredible amount of steadiness and race craft. He’s really going places.

    Kobayashi drove a strong race, but his pace was flattered a bit by a three stop, unlike Bianchi who switched to two and was struggling at the end. Kudos to Kamui however.

    Grosjean was another star, might have recorded a points’ finish for Lotus (their first since Austin last year). It was a shame he couldn’t finish the race, but Lotus are improving, it’s a good sign.

  42. Hard to argue with pole and the win, but I felt that Alonso was punching way above his weight all weekend, so he got my vote.

  43. Can be only one – LH. Dream weekend.

  44. My criteria is to respond objectively, and in that line the best pilot was the winner (I believe most of the times is), Ham. I could choose Alonso, but I had to choose Nico first, because he started in 4th, was overtaken by Alonso and still managed to grab the 2nd place. Na, I’ll keep it simple and objective, and the winner was the best pilot. Ham it is.

  45. Luth (@soulofaetherym)
    21st April 2014, 21:31

    Hasn’t Fernando Alonso lead Raikkonen every single lap this year so far? That is pretty telling.

    I’ve no doubt Raikkonen is a great driver, and that he is struggling to adapt to his car, but that is not an excuse to underperform. Adaptability is one of the skills a driver must have, if he wishes to compete at the highest level, because every point counts, towards the championship and towards the team, not just him.
    I’d also like to tell everyone to enjoy what remains of Alonso’s career, because you don’t see a driver of his calibre too often, and it can be a long time since Spain at least sees another one like him.

  46. Lewis seriously earned his DOTW last race in Bahrain but not in China, he was unchallenged, coasting most of the race. Even if he had done nothing wrong, that’s not enough for a DOTW in my book (and he wasn’t perfect either, he went off to pasture and lost a good few seconds, but had such an advantage it didn’t matter).

    Well, it’s certainly not Lewis’ fault if nobody ever came close, but I appreciate the effort of those who struggled all race long to get the most of their cars. Alonso, for one, with a most unlikely podium, after a near perfect race (his one mistake: he didn’t see Felipe coming. But he came unharmed from the wheelbang, altough Felipe lost some momentum). Also Nico Hulkenberg, Kamui Kobayashi, Daniil Kvyat, Romain Grosjean were IMO more deserving than Lewis (but didn’t get a podium). Also a honorable mention for Dan Ricciardo, it’s always a pleasure to see him beating the stuff out of his much overrated teammate, and his race would have been flawless but his poor start ruined his chances to be the best non-Merc.

  47. Hmmmm. Which is stronger: My admiration for Alonso (leading me to vote for him) or my dislike for Seb “Bieber” Vettel (leading me to vote for Kobayashi)?
    Well, we are never supposed to treat democracy as a joke, so I’ll go for Alonso. Seriously, if his clear outpacing of Kimi does not show once and for all who gets the most out of the car he is driven, I don’t know what will.
    In fairness to Bieber, Alonso shows that sometimes petulant young champions can grow to be worthy of respect. Easy to forget sometimes how young these guys are when they come on the scene.

  48. I think Hülkenberg’s result was very good.

  49. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    22nd April 2014, 4:06

    I voted for Hamilton.

    He was stellar in qualifying during the rain and he was sublime on race day! Job well done, my vote goes to Hamilton.

  50. I voted for Alonso. He qualified to the maximum of his and his car’s potential . IN the race , he came alive like 2012 when he was brilliant at the start and took one of the bulls .That scrap with Massa almost ended his race but he kept on going unscathed like if a sprinter keeps running even after you punch him slightly. He could not hold off Rosberg . That would have been impossible even with ” 110 % ” effort . But again as Martin Brundle says ” He is a wily old racer ” . He didn’t put up too much of a fight with Rosberg as he knew that doing so would put his tyres under jeopardy and his podium place as well .Managed to match the pace of Ricciardo nonetheless in his strong sectors . All in all , drove a controlled fantastic race . I take my hat off to Alonso .

  51. I voted for Alonso. Finished higher than he should of done really. Just showed us how good a driver he is. I’d love to know why Kimi cant get to grips with his car at the moment, im not enjoying watching him struggle. Move of the day for me was when Kobayashi pasted Vettel to unlap himself. I thought I was seeing things at first! great stuff!

  52. Went with Kobayashi for his impromptu cameo with Vettel.

    Out of spite I’m going to attribute Ham’s success this year entirely to his car and the designer instead of his driving ability and skill.

    Good drive from Alonso but his bump with Massa at the start soured me to him this race.

    Great drive from RIC!

  53. Has to be Fernando Alonso for the 3rd place finish. Nothing else.

  54. Hamilton dominated qualifying and the race again and I could have easily given voted for him but I decided to vote for Alonso in the end, another top performance from Alonso getting everything he could from the car.

    Third would be Ricciardo who continues to impress against his multiple world champion teammate.

  55. This is 2011, 2012 or 2013 all over again. The idea that *somehow* someone would vote for Alonso in a race like this one just make no sense to me. He did a great race, as usual, but to believe that somehow his performance clouded the most dominant performance of any driver so far this season is quite a big stretch.
    So, my question is: What else does driver has to do to be called Driver of the Weekend, BEYOND what Hamilton did in China?

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      23rd April 2014, 1:37

      +1 I agree, the expectations we have of Hamilton are just incredible. This was vintage Hamilton – commanding, magisterial display of skill all throughout the weekend.

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