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

  1. KaIIe (@kaiie) said on 21st April 2014, 13:12

    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.

  2. zoom (@zoomracing) said on 21st April 2014, 13:25

    Alonso.

  3. Yobo01 (@yobo01) said on 21st April 2014, 13:26

    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.

  4. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 21st April 2014, 13:30

    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.

  5. Joaquin (@fat-tyre) said on 21st April 2014, 13:31

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

  6. 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.

  7. F1_Americana (@f1americana) said on 21st April 2014, 13:45

    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.

  8. curmudgeon (@curmudgeon) said on 21st April 2014, 14:04

    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.

  9. brelt said on 21st April 2014, 14:53

    has to be kobayashi for the entertaining cameo overtaking on vettel

  10. 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.

  11. Chad (@chaddy) said on 21st April 2014, 15:40

    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.

    • James (@speedking84) said on 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.

    • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 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.

      • Chad (@chaddy) said on 21st April 2014, 16:39

        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.

        • GeordiePorker (@geordieporker) said on 21st April 2014, 20:39

          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.

          • Alex McFarlane said on 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.

          • GeordiePorker (@geordieporker) said on 22nd April 2014, 19:41

            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

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 21st April 2014, 20:45

      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

  12. Calum (@calum) said on 21st April 2014, 15:57

    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!

    • Morty Vicar (@mortyvicar) said on 21st April 2014, 18:23

      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))

  13. Vincent (@vince04) said on 21st April 2014, 16:02

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

  14. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 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.

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