Start, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014

Vote for your 2014 Spanish GP driver of the weekend

2014 Spanish Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Which F1 driver was the best performer during the Spanish Grand Prix weekend?

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

Spanish Grand Prix driver-by-driver

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014Sebastian Vettel – Having switched chassis for the weekend in the hope it might help cure his handling problems with the RB10, Vettel’s race build-up was marred by problems. He stopped after four laps in first practice and missed the rest of the day’s running as the team replaced his wiring loom. Then his gearbox failed in Q3, leaving him 15th on the grid. To recover from there to finish fourth behind his team mate, aided by a three-stop strategy and some bold passes, is the best he could have hoped for.

Daniel Ricciardo – Looked right on it in qualifying and it would have been fascinating to see how he stacked up against an unhindered Vettel. The only blot on his performance was an indifferent start where he was passed by Bottas and nearly Grosjean as well. An early first pit stop allowed him to jump the Williams – though he came close to making a move stick on-track – and after that he had plenty of free space to nurse his tyres through a couple of longer stints.


Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014Nico Rosberg – Missed some running in first practice due to a problem with his energy recovery system but looked to be on course for pole position when he headed the times in Q1 and Q2. Hamilton beat him to it, though, and as he didn’t get off the line well he was on the back foot once again. As in Bahrain he showed he had the pace to take the fight to his team mate, and was poised to launch an attack when the chequered flag came down.

Lewis Hamilton – Having described Friday’s running as his best for a very long time, Hamilton seemed to lose his way initially on Saturday. But he got it together in time to take his fourth pole position of the year. Nonetheless his handling maladies returned during the race – he struggled with oversteer on his middle stint on medium tyres and Rosberg continued to catch him over the final laps. But he hung on to take win number four and the championship lead.


Fernando Alonso – Out-qualified by Raikkonen in a straight fight for the first time this year (he had a problem with his car in Bahrain) but looked quicker than his team mate from the moment the race began. Probably should have jumped ahead when he got the benefit of the first pit stop, but used a switch to a three-stop strategy to his advantage and made a move on-track with newer tyres late in the race.

Kimi Raikkonen – While Alonso was brought in on lap 17 and switched to a three-stop strategy to cover what Vettel was doing, Raikkonen was not and ended up being passed by his team mate. “Going for a two stop strategy proved to be the wrong choice because tyre degradation meant I couldn’t push all the way to the end,” he said.


Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014Romain Grosjean – Had various problems with his car during practice but produced the goods in qualifying to put his Lotus an excellent fifth on the grid. He held that place until a problem with his power unit left him unable to keep the Ferraris behind on the straight. But eighth place meant he brought home Lotus’s first points of the year.

Pastor Maldonado – For the second weekend in a row Grosjean reached Q3 while Maldonado was eliminated in Q1: He spun into a wall just minutes after the session had begun. His race didn’t get off to a better start – he hit Ericsson on lap one, earning a stop-go penalty and licence endorsement. After falling to last place he came home ahead of the Saubers, but was passed by Kvyat after running a long final stint.


Start, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014Jenson Button – Took eighth on the grid and suspected there was only a little more time to be found in the McLaren. However a poor start – losing five places – left him with much to do. The timing of his second pit stop compounded his problems as he was held in his box while Kvyat went by, and then came out a lap down behind Hamilton’s Mercedes which was on old tyres. That left Button behind the Force Indias and out of the points.

Kevin Magnussen – A problem with his power unit in Q2 meant Magnussen was unable to set a time, leaving him 14th on the grid. He managed to avoid clipping Vettel and damaging his front wing on the first lap, but like his team mate couldn’t make any impression on the points places.

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg – Missed a place in Q3 by less than a tenth of a second but said his lap was “very good”. Ran ninth for much of the race but was demoted by his team mate during the final stint.

Sergio Perez – Aborted his final flying lap in Q2 because he hadn’t got his tyres up to temperature in traffic, which left him one place behind Hulkenberg on the grid. Both Force Indias ran long final stints – Hulkenberg 29 laps on hards, Perez 28 on mediums – and on lap 50 Perez got by his team mate on the outside of turn one.


Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014Adrian Sutil – Having been content with his car on Friday he couldn’t get on top of the tyre temperatures on Saturday and was knocked out in Q1 for the third time. Despite having shed weight from their car Sauber continue to languish at the back of the midfield: “We still have a huge problem with the grip level,” reckoned Sutil.

Esteban Gutierrez – Qualified 14th and felt there wasn’t any more in the car. A good start moved up up to 11th but the car plainly wasn’t capable of holding that position and he was demoted by Kvyat, Button and Vettel. But he grafted away on his three-stop strategy and at least had the satisfaction of passing Sutil on the final lap.

Toro Rosso

Jean-Eric Vergne – A wheel came off his car during practice, earning him an automatic ten-place grid penalty. Therefore Vergne elected not to set a time after reaching Q2. But his fortune did not change on Sunday: The team were aware of an exhaust problem on his car before the race started, and it proved terminal.

Daniil Kvyat – Tyre degradation forced him onto a three-stopper. He passed two cars in his final stint to finish 14th and was reeling in Massa and the McLarens at the end.


Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014Felipe Massa – Admitted he made a mistake at turn ten on his final flying lap, losing the rear of his car, which left him five places behind his team mate. The race didn’t go much better – he seldom managed to break out of traffic on his three-stopper and couldn’t make a move on the McLaren drivers.

Valtteri Bottas – Didn’t look comfortable with his car in practice, having sat out Q1 while Felipe Nasr drove, but set-up changes during final practice helped him take fourth on the grid. A decent start moved him up to third. But it always looked unlikely he was going to keep Ricciardo at bay, or the three-stopping Vettel who appeared during the final stint. Fifth place equalled his best result so far.


Jules Bianchi – Lost time at turn ten on his flying lap but still out-qualified the two Caterhams. Pulled away from Chilton but the Marussia wasn’t on the pace of the Saubers, meaning Bianchi had a lonely race.

Max Chilton – Spun into the gravel twice during practice, so it was a surprise to see him out-qualify Bianchi. However his three-stop strategy dropped him behind Ericsson, losing time. An engine oil pressure problem in the closing stages threatened to end his 100% finishing rate but he made it to the flag again.


Kamui Kobayashi – Claimed Bianchi held him up during qualifying, costing him a few tenths of a second and leaving him last of those who set times. His race ended on lap 44: “I had a pretty scary moment going into turn one when the left front brake failed and I was just able to keep the car out of the wall,” he said. He had a similar scare in Australia, but fortunately Massa wasn’t there for him to hit this time.

Marcus Ericsson – Out-qualified Kobayashi for the first time but was concerned about his car’s unpredictable handling. Having been assaulted by Maldonado on the first lap he brought his damaged car home in last place.

Qualifying and race results summary

Driver Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 15th +0.439s 0/66 3 4th +27.688s
Daniel Ricciardo 3rd -0.439s 66/66 2 3rd -27.688s
Lewis Hamilton 1st -0.168s 60/66 2 1st -0.636s
Nico Rosberg 2nd +0.168s 6/66 2 2nd +0.636s
Fernando Alonso 7th +0.036s 13/65 3 6th Not on same lap
Kimi Raikkonen 6th -0.036s 52/65 2 7th Not on same lap
Romain Grosjean 5th 65/65 2 8th -33.542s
Pastor Maldonado 21st 0/65 2 15th +33.542s
Jenson Button 8th -0.11s 58/65 2 11th -0.657s
Kevin Magnussen 14th +0.11s 7/65 2 12th +0.657s
Nico Hulkenberg 10th -0.317s 46/65 2 10th +10.404s
Sergio Perez 11th +0.317s 19/65 2 9th -10.404s
Adrian Sutil 16th +0.189s 28/65 2 17th +3.124s
Esteban Gutierrez 13th -0.189s 37/65 3 16th -3.124s
Jean-Eric Vergne 22nd +0.12s 0/24 1
Daniil Kvyat 12th -0.12s 24/24 3 14th
Felipe Massa 9th +0.77s 0/65 3 13th Not on same lap
Valtteri Bottas 4th -0.77s 65/65 2 5th Not on same lap
Jules Bianchi 18th +0.591s 55/64 2 18th -40.691s
Max Chilton 17th -0.591s 9/64 3 19th +40.691s
Kamui Kobayashi 20th +0.063s 33/34 1
Marcus Ericsson 19th -0.063s 1/34 2 20th

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 Spanish Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (52%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (4%)
  • Nico Rosberg (2%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (20%)
  • Fernando Alonso (1%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (1%)
  • Romain Grosjean (11%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Jenson Button (0%)
  • Kevin Magnussen (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Esteban Gutierrez (0%)
  • Adrian Sutil (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Daniil Kvyat (0%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (7%)
  • Jules Bianchi (0%)
  • Max Chilton (1%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (0%)
  • Marcus Ericsson (0%)

Total Voters: 708

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2014 Spanish Grand Prix

Browse all 2014 Spanish Grand Prix articles

Images © Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Lotus/LAT, Williams/LAT, Sauber, Red Bull/Getty

160 comments on “Vote for your 2014 Spanish GP driver of the weekend”

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  1. As much as I don’t like to say it, Seb drove a great recovery race and showed why he is a 4 X WDC.

    That being said I am enjoying Dan’s efforts in showing why he deserved that seat- some thought not and I hope he is changing their opinion. That’s not to say others like JEV, for example, would not do as great job, but happy our young Aussie is.

  2. Has to be Grosjean. He pulled the slow and difficult to drive Lotus into Q3 and look where his teammate was! He truly outperformed the car this weekend and hung on to points even when he faced a PU issue.

  3. Had to be Vettel. The HAM/ROS battle was great but it is kinda expected from them (atleast to keep the season alive).

    As for vettel, just look at the starting grid and finishing top 10. Hope to see more such drives from him this season.

  4. This time it’s Vettel. Missed all Friday practice and couldn’t participate in last qualifying session purely down to car problems, but finally got the chance to show his skills during the race by rising through the field. Made some fantastic overtaking moves (Kobayashi style) and again proved critics he can overtake, and even more so, do it in style.

    Also it must be mentioned that he set the fastest lap of the race, even though Mercedes cars were driven in anger (though on different strategy). All in all, a brilliant drive from four time world champion, who showed his class.

  5. Juan Pablo Heidfeld (@juan-pablo-heidfeld-1)
    12th May 2014, 14:56

    Went for Romain, did excellently all weekend, crushed his team mate. Vettel did well considering his lack of running, but Lotus have barely done any running this year! Supreme from the Frenchman.

  6. Bottas is driver of the qualifying, Vettel is driver of the race and Hamilton is driver of the weekend.

  7. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    12th May 2014, 15:31

    Has to be Vettel, and it’s not even close.

    Going from 15th to 4th is a manic amount of overtaking, especially in a car that’s down on power, however good they are through the corners.

    His overtaking lunges into T10 were mighty impressive.

    Honorable mentions to:
    Hamilton – Yet again dominated the weekend and resisted his hard charging team mate.

    Grosjean – Actually managed to score some points in a car that’s an absolute dog.

    Ricciardo – Did a sterling job all weekend, and got his first (second) podium of the year. The boy is as talented as his smile is gleaming!

  8. Vettel, for obvious reasons.

    Hamilton and Grosjean were both superb, too.

  9. Seb! But Romain and Valtteri came close this time.

  10. Vettel! Clean overtakes. Outside of DRS zone as well. He was in good control of his car throughout although he had issues throughout the weekend.

    Reminded me of his Spa 2012 performance.

  11. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    12th May 2014, 15:59

    Hamilton – the pressure he was under at the end of the race was simply incredible. I think this circuit favors Rosberg and Hamilton really pushed himself to the edge to win. The strategy went against him, the pits cost him 1 and 1.3 seconds apiece and he had 3 kgs more of fuel at the end which must have slowed him down but still held it together.

    No racer can do better than that! As for Vettel, it’s a lot easier to come from behind with a quick and incredibly stable car than the other drivers than it is to hold on to the lead with harder tyres.

    1. How easy was it for Hamilton to come from behind in the fastest car of the weekend, with a top speed advantage, only 2 years ago? Oh yeah, he only finished 8th..

      1. Well ,that year,the Mclaren were not always the fastest, the tyres were made out of cheese and he had to deal with construction workers for a pit crew . But how does that matter . Just say Vettel did a great job . Don’t try to compare as these things are anything but accurate

      2. @mnmracer You’re also ignoring the fact that while vettel came from 15th to 4th, Hamilton came from 24th to finish 8th, so factoring out the 4 easy positions from Marussia and Caterham, Hamilton still gained more positions than vettel! Still as @hamilfan says its silly to try to compare these things as it’s two completely different situations.

        1. 20th to 8th is one more, that doesn’t even justify the use of plural. Bigger difference than 1 position, is having a car that’s 5th on the speed trap, rather than 21st.

    2. No racer can do better than that! As for Vettel, it’s a lot easier to come from behind with a quick and incredibly stable car than the other drivers than it is to hold on to the lead with harder tyres.

      That was interesting…. last year Vettel was bashed around for winning the race from the front and not able to show his meat from the back of the grid….. Now It looks like coming from back of the Grid is just a easy thing . Looks like Pole to Win is an incredibly difficult thing :) WOW amazing perspectives !!!!

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        13th May 2014, 2:49

        That was not an easy victory at all. Lewis fought hard to stay ahead and Rosberg was on the softer tyres with plenty of laps to go.

      2. @tmax – Don’t you know the rules? If Vettel does well, it’s because of the car but if Hamilton does well, it’s because of his pure racing excellence?

        He got the setup wrong and he’s heralded for doing a great job despite this issue… Vettel goes from 15th having had a series of issues meaning that he missed most of free practice, couldn’t compete in Q3 and got a grid penalty and despite fighting through to 4th place with some great overtaking moves (don’t forget, he’s rubbish at overtaking) and it’s still all down to the car!

        haha :)

    3. Abu Dhabi 2012 where Vettel started from pit lane to finish 3rd.

      Yeah you may say Safety Car played a part, but that Safety Car did send him to the back too.

      So how do you justify a 20th to 8th?

  12. Under adverse conditions, Vettel was amazing to watch. He just went for it, cleanly, and that’s what I watch F1 to see. I was actually cheering for him- Driver of the Weekend!
    Honorable mention goes to Bottas, who’s first podium seems to be just around the corner.
    Dishonorable mention goes to Maldonado, again. I hope he’s paying Lotus enough to keep fixing his car, but he is bad for their image. However, he does make Grosjean look good.

  13. Vettel. My expectations pre race: 8th. After 10 minutes: 12th. What he delivered: 4th. Impressive stuff.

  14. It is rare that I find myself voting for a driver that was beaten by his team-mate in both Qualifying and the Race, but I find myself voting for Vettel on this occasion. He bounced back from a difficult Friday and looked in decent shape on Saturday until the Q3 problems. He started 15th, made 1 more pitstop than his teammate and finished around a pitstop behind him, and had to overtake to get up to 4th. None of this ‘strategy’ nonsense putting him up in 4th, he had to overtake. BBC showed his overtakes in the post-race. I counted 7, and I believe a lot of them were done on corners, not a DRS blast-past that others have criticised F1 for.
    Rosberg and Hamilton made the race brilliant, Vettel made it entertaining in the first place.

    1. Hear, hear!

  15. why are people voting for vettel? the only reason he moved up so many positions was through pit stops, he only overtook three cars on track i believe.

    i voted for grosjean, simply because he got that dog of a car, that was struggling to keep up with caterhams at the start of the year so far up the field in qualifying and didn’t loose too much positions during the race.

    1. @rigi

      Far more than three.

      Vettel on-track overtakes:

      Magnussen (ok, with Magnussen going off-track)
      Grosjean (I think)

  16. I’m a Vettel hater – I voted Vettel.

    1. +1 for honesty!

    2. May I ask what it is about him that you hate?

  17. Totally off topic but Ferrari’s pit strategy did not make sense to me until late in the race. Fernando could not jump Raikkonen on merit, so the team did everything in their power to try and intervene in order to save him the indignity of being lapped in front of his home crowd. It bothers me how Ferrari are so biased towards Alonso.

  18. Vettel. And I’m not a fan of his.

  19. Sebastian Vettel. After facing the adversity of having next-to-no running on Friday – missing out on setting a qualifying lap in the most representative conditions during FP2 and having indeed any long run practice at all – and then to be befallen with technical problems when it was crucial his car functioned to perfection was a massive setback.

    Coupled with the already demoralised demeanour of having been out-paced by his teammate in the previous rounds, the need for a gearbox change must have only served to compound his misery.

    And how did he react? By putting on arguably the drive of the season so far. After an imperfect start, his third stint on the mediums was a mesmerising display of pace, and his overtaking in they final stint was sublimely executed in a car which is notably lacking in straight line speed, on a track where it is already difficult to overtake.

    He was faced by adversity, and he certainly flew in it. That performance marked the return of the champion.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      12th May 2014, 17:52

      I agree with you in part but I have to say that the RB had a lot more downforce than the other cars. That’s why Vettel could literally overtake anywhere he wanted. I think Daniel’s car also displayed the same poise in his passes.

      Obviously, RB are continuing to increase the downforce but the engine performance is out of their hands for the time being although I’m certain RB are frenetically trying to improve the engine’s performance of course. You’d expect no less from a top team that swept both championships over 4 years straight.

  20. Vettel did it for me.
    He came into the weekend, already on the back-foot. A new chassis to evaluate, and then all hell breaks loose. Barely any running in Practice. Then another car failure dropping him to 15th.
    Would he give up hope? I know I had. But he most certainly did not.
    Normally it would be impossible to overtake with such a top speed disadvantage, but Vettel simply accepted that he had to do it regardless. And so he did. Lunged down the inside from a mile back, and made it stick each time.
    Not only that, his speed was also excellent. None of the sluggishness we saw in Bahrain and China.
    He was just on it.

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