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

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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. easy – Seb.

  2. Neil (@neilosjames)
    12th May 2014, 16:50

    Went for Vettel. Beautiful driving on the three-stopper, made it work despite not having the best engine for overtaking.

  3. I went for Bottas. Massa looked way better on Friday, but Valtteri delivered in qualifying and he was able to stay in front of the Ferraris in the race. He was able to defend from Ricciardo on track, but obviously the Red Bull was much faster and he lost the position in the pits.

    Bottas was voted a lot after the Australian GP, but I feel that this weekend’s performance was better, even if less spectacular.

  4. Wish I could split the vote between Vettel, Ricciardo, Bottas, Grosjean and Hamilton with an honorable mention to Rosberg. Not the way it works though, so Hamilton got my vote for being the DOTW. Was just a step ahead of Rosberg the whole weekend. One wrong step and Rosberg would have been there to pick up the pieces. Hamilton and Rosberg are so close in performance that the pressure on both of them could stagger a lesser driver. Hats off to both of them for not cracking under pressure and keeping it clean. Good on Mercedes for allowing them to race.

  5. The ant.

  6. Quite a few worthy candidates this time around.

    Lewis Hamilton: a lights-to-flag victory on paper, but in reality it was never quite that comfortable. Two slow pit stops from his mechanics brought Nico Rosberg much closer to him than would otherwise have been the case, and he did very well to keep calm and drive consistently fast to keep his lead to the end of the race. He produced another great lap in qualifying as well, of course.

    Daniel Ricciardo: earned his first legitimate podium finish with a solid qualifying performance and good race strategy.

    Sebastian Vettel: qualified in 15th through no real fault of his own and, once again, made a mockery of those who say he can’t race from anywhere but the front by fighting his way up to fourth.

    Valtteri Bottas: the rest of the top seven was a clear indication of the pecking order amongst the teams at this weekend’s Grand Prix: a pair of Mercedes cars, followed by two Red Bulls and the two Ferraris. Bottas did really well to disrupt that order, first by giving another demonstration of his remarkable (but still sporadic) qualifying ability, and then by driving a clean, fast race. I think he could have finished ahead of Vettel with a better strategy. He now has nearly three times the points of Felipe Massa and has caught right up to the highly-rated Nico Hülkenberg in the standings. He’s having a quietly impressive season.

    Romain Grosjean: scored his team’s first points of the year with a really impressive weekend while his team-mate was busy picking up points of an altogether different kind.

    I’m torn between Hamilton, Vettel and Bottas, but I’ll give it to Vettel for producing the most exciting and impressive race of the three.

  7. “Fernando Alonso – looked quicker than his team mate from the moment the race began.”

    Really?? Where did you get that from? Look at the second stint. Kimi was pulling away.

    A terrible, terrible strategy (probably intentionally) handed 6th to Alonso. Kimi was the faster driver in quali and the race, and Ferrari know it.

    1. Look at the second stint. Kimi was pulling away.

      He wasn’t doing anything of the kind. Look at the gaps and you can see Alonso could bring the gap between him and Raikkonen down to the normal 1.5-2 second range when he pleased, which is what he did before making his second pit stop.

  8. Vettel for me, given all the problems he had in practice and quali I didn’t expect him to come through the field like that. Honourable mention to Grosjean.

  9. in Teds Notebook they mentioned that the team changed the setup even though Lewis told them not to, I assume they found something that they thought would have made the car better but since the temps changed and it rained overnight removing the rubber the setup went the wrong way and Lewis had loads of oversteer. Its still amazing how he can still get pole and win even with a bad setup. This year Nico has only been closer when Lewis has had a bad setup so was Nico really faster because he was faster or is it because Lewis slowed down a bit.

  10. Vettel this time. But also good weekend for Hamilton, Rosberg, Ricciardo, Grosjean and Bottas.

  11. I can’t believe it’s not a straight fight between Bottas and Rosberg!
    It looks like about 3 people have voted for Rosberg but over the whole weekend I think he did an excellent job. Bottas was mighty, too. I see a few mentions of Bottas in the comments but nobody even gives Rosberg the time of day… he put Hamilton under pressure all weekend, his practice and quali were excellent, he pushed hard right to the line. All in all, just the sort of driver we want to see!

    1. James (@goodyear92)
      12th May 2014, 20:29

      Rosberg did a good job to be so close in performance to Hamilton, who’s in tremendous form at present, but he still qualified and finished the race behind. As a general rule, finishing behind your team mate under normal circumstances rules you out of DOTW contention. As you say, he pressured Hamilton through qualifying and the race. He looked more comfortable in the car, whilst Hamilton suffered with a particularly wayward rear from Saturday practice onwards. Therefore, that he still managed to snatch pole from Rosberg and go on to win is a real credit to his performance, and is less favourable when evaluating Rosberg’s performance over the weekend. So, it is perfectly understandable that he is amassing votes and Rosberg is not. Simply put, he couldn’t possibly be credited as DOTW, since his team mate beat him fair and square.

      1. @goodyear92: But this is not “driver of the race” – it’s the whole weekend. If we all just voted for whoever won the race there would be no point.
        Rosberg was consistently a class act all weekend, and no-one seems to have noticed.

        1. James (@goodyear92)
          12th May 2014, 21:00

          I’m fully aware that voting should take into consideration the whole weekend and not just the race, and stated as much in my original comment. Hamilton bested Rosberg in the race, and also qualifying. The practice sessions are pretty much irrelevant, but if you want to look at every session during the weekend, then Hamilton finished ahead in two versus Rosberg’s one. And though Rosberg seemed more comfortable on Saturday and Sunday, Friday and Q3 demonstrated that Hamilton did not lack for pace, and fully comfortable, was faster than Rosberg. It’s just that his side of the garage went in the wrong direction on set-up, and as a result, he struggled in the car more than Rosberg. And yet, still qualified and finished ahead, which is what counts. His performance was just better. Rosberg fell short when it counted most, despite having that upper hand.

          1. @goodyear92 – Sure, I understand your point. But Vettel was out-qualified and beaten in the race by his team mate too. Yet 52% of us voted for him (and yes, he did an amazing job on race day).
            My worry is that Rosberg seems to be invisible while Hamilton seems to be invincible. And I’m a big Hamilton fan.

          2. @tribaltalker it was a straight fight between Hamilton and Rosberg though, and evidently he was not better. Whereas it was far from a straight fight between Ricciardo and Vettel.

          3. James (@goodyear92)
            13th May 2014, 16:54

            @tribaltalker Yes, but under very different circumstances. Apart from Rosberg being down a bit on power for his final qualifying run, which even he admits wouldn’t have made enough of a difference to put him on pole, his fight with Hamilton was on an even playing field. Vettel on the other hand didn’t have a fair chance to out-qualify Ricciardo, as his car let him down not once, but twice: during FP1 (which also caused him to lose out on FP2), and during Q3, negating his shot a final qualifying effort. Then he suffered a grid penalty, whilst Ricciardo started from 3rd. So it was far from an even shootout between the two, and both performed very well under their respective circumstances, but Vettel did slightly better for me to come back from where he did.
            Rosberg’s far from invisible. He’s giving Hamilton a fight for it, but ultimately Hamilton’s been the better of the two over these five races. When he’s got it all hooked up (Malaysia and China) he’s obliterated Rosberg, but when the tables have been turned, and Lewis has been on his backfoot somewhat, (Bahrain and Spain) he’s still managed to snatch it from Rosberg, as with this weekend.

        2. @tribaltalker – Rosberg did well but the fact remains that Hamilton was not at his best this weekend (which is why I don’t think he deserves the Driver of the Weekend) but he still finished ahead of Rosberg in a straight fight….

  12. Went for Bottas . He qualified well above the class of his car and used his mercedes engine advantage at the start to capitalize positions by storming off the line . Tried his best holding off Ricciardo . I was amazed how he held off the faster RBR for quite a while despite DRS . Would have sneaked in a 4th place had it been for the Vettel charge . Great defensive driving and giant performance which stood out to me .

  13. Marcus Ericsson… end of the story !

  14. I really tried to vote for someone other than Sebastian V but in the final analysis he drove the best race. I also tried to push Nico ahead of Lewis and wish that Kimi and Felipe could get it going….. Daniel R is also a favorite plus Bottas and Grosjean. I think this series of unusual circumstances (bad luck some would say) for Sebastian V is good in a way as it will remind him of what life is really like in the long run. He never seemed to become arrogant but this year has given him a good dose of reality and I believe he will be a better person and a better champion be it this year or the next several. RnR

  15. Vettel for me. Did nothing wrong all weekend, just bad luck in qualifying. We can all say ‘yeah but Red Bull is the 2nd best car’ but he pulled off some good overtakes and certainly got the maximum out of a seemingly hopeless situation.

  16. Vettel. Only 24 laps in free practice, a car that breaks down in Q3 and a grid penalty for a gear box change. To surmount that kind of “tough luck” and have the confidence to do some of the overtakes he did requires racecraft and perseverance. I would have expected him to end up 8th or 9th, I was amazed to see him charge through the field like that.

    This year might just be a blessing for him, some misfortune, a strong team mate, new regulations that don’t fit the style he developed to the extreme these last 4 years, and a dominant competitor… it’s safe to say he’s not been enjoying himself but it builds character and might just give him a chance to silence his most tenacious critics.

    1. Haha, I see what you did there! To be fair, he showed some of his qualities yesterday and I was actually curious to see just how high he could get. Also, he seems to have picked up Mark Webber’s traits somewhat this year – Mark was a bit of a high downforce specialist and Seb’s done well in Malaysia and Spain (possibly the two highest downforce circuits so far), which isn’t that surprising if it means the downforce level is closer to the lowest level of his 2013 comfort zone.

  17. Had to be SV. Great recovery drive an really got the best from the car.

    Honourable mention to Lewis for getting a win his car setup didn’t really deserve, and to Bottas for a good clean drive in the Williams.

  18. Uzair Syed (@ultimateuzair)
    12th May 2014, 20:34

    I voted Ericsson because he somehow survived Maldonado…… nah I’m joking!
    I voted for Grosjean due to putting a Lotus where it isn’t supposed to be on the grid and somehow stayed in the points despite a power unit problem.

  19. This one’s easy: Bottas.

  20. Grosjean for me – he forced the Lotus into Q3 (fifth) while Pastor binned it again (this time in Q1), then drove a flawless race only to be beaten by the two Ferraris and the recovering Vettel due to having car problems again. You can’t fault him for effort, 10/10!

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