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

Browse all 2014 Chinese Grand Prix articles

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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 .

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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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