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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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”

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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 ;)

  7. 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))

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

  16. 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…

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

  18. 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.

  19. The perfect Lewis!

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