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Belgian GP – Who was your driver of the day?
Posted By: James Allen  |  29 Aug 2010   |  5:41 pm GMT  |  135 comments

We had some strong performances and some races to forget today. So who was your driver of the day?

Lewis Hamilton
Brilliant final lap in qualifying to improve despite the track getting wet. Got the jump on pole sitter Mark Webber and lead from start-to-finish for only the second time in his career after the 2007 Hungarian GP. Survived a scary trip through the gravel traps at the end when the team insisted on leaving him out on slicks in the rain. Used the McLaren’s excellent mechanical grip to its full potential in changing conditions.

Mark Webber
Celebrated his 34th birthday not with a Great Victory, but with a Great Escape. Webber recovered from a bad start, which dropped him to seventh place to finish second. But it means that as polesitters Red Bull have only won three from 12 poles. It’s Webber’s best finish on this track. Showed the consistency and calm that wins championships, especially when so many title rivals had bad days.


Robert Kubica
The Pole did a great job to qualify and finish third. It could have been second but for a late mistake in the pits. Renault made a big step forward this weekend with the new F Duct system and Kubica got the most from the car.

Felipe Massa
Still struggling with the demotivating blow of being told he’s number two at Ferrari now, he had a strong day, when his team mate made mistakes and ultimately crashed. Massa outperformed Alonso in qualifying and the race and that will put a small smile on his face.


Adrian Sutil
Another fine drive by the German in the Force India car. Fifth equals his best result of the season. They are now a regular solid points scoring team and Sutil got the most from what was a pretty competitive package this weekend.

Michael Schumacher,
Fought his way up to 14th from 21st at the start and finished seventh. However he hit Rosberg on his way past early on and then got some payback later in the race, when Rosberg repassed him and put the great man on the grass. Fantastic stuff!

All Photos: Darren Heath

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135 Comments
  1. Nazdakka says:

    Hard to choose. The top three all had generally great races, but all three made big errors at one point or other. Hamilton at the hairpin in the wet, Webber at the start, and Kubica at the pitstop.

    The other three all went well, but I really have to choose Schumacher as the star of the race – 21st to 7th is a brilliant race result, that’s the side of him I want to see, not the bad behaviour we’ve seen at other times this season.

    1. For Sure says:

      I disagree, it was dead easy to choose. It has to be Lewis even though I am not a fan. Admittedly as a Schumi fan, I voted for him because I think he should know that his fans support him no matter win or lose.
      Personally, it was a little disappointing performance from him. Well he did a solid job, but I remember his Barcelona 96 where he lapped 4 seconds faster than anyone in the wet. That’s not the case here. He didn’t even blow his teammate away. BUT great effort from an old man. I honestly don’t see Lewis or Alonso that competitive at 41 so all credits to him.

      1. Paul Kirk says:

        Funnilly enough, For Sure, I don’t see 41 as “old”. Seen through the eyes of a teen-ager it might be old, but a gifted athlete is not “old” at 41 (although a heavyweight boxer might struggle, but in motorsport I don’t think so) and while I’m not a Sandshoe Fixer fan, I do recognise his natural gifts, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets to the front of the grid next season or the next. (I certainly hope so!)
        Actually, I’m rather impressed by the way Shooi is handling his currant apparent lack of performance.
        PK.

      2. James Allen says:

        Who is Sandshoe Fixer, please can you use terms everyone can understand? Thanks

      3. For Sure says:

        Wow, I hope I didn’t offend guys in their 40s, I am 28 FYI and frankly, it doesn’t matter what armchair experts think of 41 years old. What matters is the opinion of 91 GPs winner who recently said that there is physics and he cannot be like the 23/24 years old guys at their peak.
        And you cannot compare F1 drivers with boxers or MMA guys like Randy Couture who is 47 and still he is pretty good.
        Speaking of the age, James it would be really helpful if you could educate us why age is a factor provided that a 41 years old can run as long and as fast as those in 20s?
        I mean you break, you choose the fastest racing line, you steer, take the corner flat out, why younger drivers have advantage over older drivers? I mean it’s not like football where everything is all about physics. After the races Schumi doesn’t seem to be that exhausted.

      4. James Allen says:

        Willingness to take risks, reaction times, less fatigue late in the race, hunger.

      5. For Sure says:

        Hi James,

        I thought MS still has extreme desire to take risk and win, we saw that when he aggressively defended his position with Rubens. He was risking his life there too. May be reflexes are the only thing that is missing.

    2. Julian says:

      Yeah but he was overtaken at the end by Rosberg, showing that nobody’s afraid of overtaking Schumi anymore.

      Undoubtedly DOTD to Hamilton.

      1. Paul Kirk says:

        Well Jillian, no racing drivers at that level (f1) are “afraid” of other drivers! Did you notice that Niko had new tyres on and Shooi was still on his originals (which were basically stuffed)?
        PK.

      2. CH1UNDA says:

        PK there is always a reason why drivers overtake each and no one reason is a better justification than another be it new tyres, low fuel, DNF whatever. What counts is that he was overtaken by Rosberg.

  2. d.h. says:

    Well, it certainly isn’t vettel.

    Lewis Hamilton, led from start to finish, one dicey moment on a greasy section. Would genius be a good description?

    1. CH1UNDA says:

      Has to be Lewis. I recall Martin Brundle guiding him to lift off the throttle so that he does not dig into the gravel – so there was as much skill as luck in getting out of that one – but hell, he lived through it! And so did PDLR earlier on when he also had a similar trip through the gravel – looks like experience counts for alot in Formula 1.

  3. Banjo says:

    The top 5 all did a fantastic job but my vote went for Hamilton. Great job all weekend in tricky conditions. Fantastic race. Bahrain was such a long time ago!

  4. Peter says:

    Sorry, but all votes are strongly affected by the fact who has the most fans visiting that forum. Can I just say off topic, however, that F1 should pay some more tribute to the best circuits with the best tradition like Spa, Monaco, Monza, Silverstone, Suzuka etc. and establish a kind of Grand Slam of F1 where drivers could score more points. Everyone knows which are the real driver`s circuits, some of the others just don`t even come close. Politics would probably make it hard, though.

    1. S.J.M says:

      Its a nice idea, but undoable. Most of the classic circuits fall into the category of being vunerable to be replaced by a newer circuit at whereever Bernie wants a race to be held.

      Most drivers hold the circuits as prestige, and want to win them above others. Mark Webber at this years Goodwood FOS said that the 2 races he wanted to win the most was Monaco & Silverstone because of what they meant to him & F1. The FIA or F1 as a whole might not seem to tribute the classic circuits, but you can be assured the drivers value them more then we probably know.

      1. Paul Kirk says:

        And so do I, SJM, certainly not those bland, boreing, Tilky tracks!
        PK.

  5. Taz says:

    Schumacher! Of course cause I am biased and because it is the rise of the old Schumi. Can’t wait for 2011 season.

  6. Alen says:

    Schumacher hit Rosberg??? NO WAY!

    1. Shayne says:

      Alen, i wouldnt call that i hit, more like a rub! I thought Schumacher drove very well, possibly the driver of the day. I also liked Sutil’s spirit.

      1. CH1UNDA says:

        To be frank he could have collected a puncture from that wing

    2. Paul Kirk says:

      I agree Alen, to me it seemed like Niko understeered into Shoos right rear, so I don’t aportion blame on that one, let’s just call it a racing acident.
      PK.

  7. Ginger says:

    Lewis – he has confirmed himself as the best on the grid. It would be a shame if he didn’t win the WDC as he very clearly has been the best all year.

    Double WDC, fingers crossed.

    1. Banjo says:

      Driver of the year with out a doubt, just a shame he’s not got the car to back it up with. Otherwise he’d walk it.

      1. BillyBob says:

        It’s the car that’s winning it right now. Lewis is doing well, but the car is a winner. Last year, no car no LH.

      2. James Allen says:

        Hungary…Singapore????

      3. CH1UNDA says:

        Its well acknowledged that the McLaren right now is probably the 3rd fastest and 3rd most reliable car on the grid (RE: JA analysis a few weeks ago) so for it to be leading one championship and only a point behind in another is pretty much down to Lewis and Button – they have been the most consistent driver pairing all year and one just hopes that McLaren gives them a much improved machine for the last six races so that they can wrap both championships – they deserve it.

      4. Brent McMaster says:

        If it were only the car, why did Hamilton turn a faster lap in Q3 when everyone elses was slower? 4 tenths faster than Buttons best dry lap, as it started to rain. I’m not a Hamilton fan, but I would be suprised if the engineers at McLaren aren’t startled on a regular basis by how fast Hamilton can get the car to go. If Hamilton were in the Red Bull the championship would be over by now.

      5. James Allen says:

        You’ve hit the nail on the head there. Everyone was impressed with that lap

      6. BillyBob says:

        Who qualified first? Hamilton or Webber?

    2. Blackbandit says:

      Not a Hamilton fan but for me he’s done enough to deserve the title. Vettel definitely doesn’t deserve it as he finds a new way of not scoring any points at every race.

      1. Tripod Ape says:

        What was most impressive for me in Hamilton’s winning drive was his first lap: Having grabbed the lead he didn’t get carried away but proceeded just quickly enough to keep track position from Kubica, giving himself plenty of margin in case he arrived at a damp section of track – a really mature, intelligent piece of driving. His recovery from the gravel trap later in the race was also very Schumacheresque!

    3. Baz says:

      Two DNFs, not of his making, would have meant a healthier lead for LH, but that’s F1. The best driver this year, although Kubica has also impressed me this season.

      1. BillyBob says:

        We’ll know who the best driver is at the end of the year. Hamilton is doing a fine job. He’s an awesome talent. But he did have a bit of luck this weekend (by his own admission) to go along with his solid performance.

  8. Jason C says:

    After the horror of a year he’s had so far, Michael Schumacher did extremely well. So maybe I’ll give it to him.

  9. NJoy says:

    I’d give it to both Schumacher and Petrov, especially taking into account the fact that if Renault came up with a better strategy he could have been 6th ahead of Michael.

    1. NJoy says:

      And I was quite disappointed with Massa. Nice qualy but pretty unremarkable race

      1. F1Maniac says:

        I think while Massa was unspectacular he did a fine job of bringing the car home in a good position, same for Mark Webber, he had a clutch problem at the start but maintained his composure and got the points.

        Sometimes slow and steady wins the race :-)

      2. J says:

        Unspectacular seemed to be the aim this weekend. I think Massa did well, especially given his reputation in the wet (spin spin spin!) If Hamilton or Kubica hadn’t had their incidents – so been less remarkable then they would have been much better drives!

  10. F1 Novice says:

    I wonder Mercedes GP thought when the Force India breezed passed on the Kemmel straight :)

    1. Shayne says:

      Yeah, i loved that move, should be interesting at the next race.

    2. Aussie Fan says:

      I know, that Mercedes has NO straight line speed, they are going to struggle so badly at Monza.

      Does their “Passive” F-Duct even do anything? It certainly doesn’t seem so, all season I can remember all sorts of cars just driving straight past the Mercedes in a straight line.

      It makes me wonder why Merc didn’t just go the conventional way with their version of the F-duct, as the other teams have done. It certainly couldn’t be worse than it is now, where it doesn’t seem to work at all, or very badly at best.

      1. F1Maniac says:

        Yeah, I’m also baffled as to how come Mercedes don’t have an F-duct. I mean if Sauber could have got it right so early in the season, a “big” team like Mercedes should have been able to match them at least.

        This all seems to be a legacy of how far behind Brawn were in 2011 development last year while they were fighting for the championship, they definitely have 2009 hangover in terms of development for this years car.

      2. Filip says:

        IMO, though I may be mistaken, Mercedes GP are perfecting their “non-conventioanl” passive system for next year, when the “conventional” will be banned, therefore giving the Merc. GP the early advantage that McM had this year.

        P.S. James, do you have any info on the passive Merc. system, i.e. will it also be banned next year together with the conventional F-duct?

    3. Jey says:

      But wasnt it much to do with the fresh set of tyres that Sutil had.

      I was following live timing on F1.com and while MS and Nico were doing 1.52′s on their worn out hard tyres,Sutil was doing 1.50′s on fresh tyres and even momentarliy set the fastest lap of the race

      1. F1Maniac says:

        Interesting point Jey, so are you saying that Sutil’s fresher tyres perhaps gave him the advantage up Eau Rouge and that’s what made him breeze past Schumi on the straight?

        I haven’t thought about that before, nice post.

      2. Jey says:

        I believe yes.After Adrian’s pitstop,the running order was Michael \ Nico \ Adrian.

        Adrian was doing 1.50′s and first overtook Nico.It was never shown on the TV and neither did the commentator’s mention it.Then he went past Michael which was dramatised by the TV’s showing him just zooming past Michael on that straight :-)

  11. leespurs76 says:

    how about petrov???? he went from 23rd to 9th, same amount of places gained as schumacher but is forgotten….

    1. JD says:

      I agree. He’d be my driver of the day. Didn’t even manage to complete a flying lap in qualifying, yet still managed to score points. Impressive.

  12. James Bond says:

    Massa definetly.
    All the other guys made mistakes in difficult conditions. Massa performed beatifully without placing a foot wrong.

    1. **Paul** says:

      Ah someone who gets what driver of the day should be about! Good choice Mr Bond.

      For me it couldn’t be Hamilton (he ended up off the track, as normally happens when it rains). It couldn’t be Webber as his start was awful (although he did well in the rest of the race), and it couldn’t be Kubica because he nearly took his pit crew out. That leaves Mr Massa…

      Whilst commenting on the race can anyone explain why at the end of lap 1 no penalties were given to Hamilton, Vettel, Kubica and ?Massa was it? all of who blatently cut the chicane out. Button didn’t he got back on the track, which cost him track position. The rest of them could have done the same thing, they chose not to. I know F1 is competitive but it was as good as cheating from them, all of them should have taken a drive through for missing the corner out. The impact of which would have meant JB leading the race with ease and not having Vettel in the side of his car. Mr Button can feel very hard done by, and perhaps in future he’ll have to be less honest like those I mention above.

  13. Guy says:

    Lewis for all the right reasons – brilliant qualifying, great start, managed to avoid a disaster knocking off a wheel just brushing the tire wall, believing in the team, showing great respect and humility in the post race interview. Way to go Lewis!

  14. I was at Spa this weekend and saw all the drivers’ efforts. I have to say, Schumacher impressed me a lot for the first time this year, mainly because I could sense his determination from Friday yet. The way he was testing his braking points in every practice session and even the installation laps on Sunday, the way he pushed to pass the cars during qualifying in order to set his time early, etc. Had the safety car not been deployed, he would have finished a respectable 6th, with Rosberg noteably further behind.

    Hamilton was really the man of the day, though, he grabbed the opportunity from Saturday on and never let go. Fantastic stuff from Lewis, taking a win at a very critical point for the championship race. He was by far the most impressive driver in braking and passing through the corners.
    I voted for Michael, though, to help him show further up the poll. ;-)

  15. Harvey Yates says:

    I did not see the race live but have just watched it on Sky+. I found it a difficult decision to make for man of the match and much of the advantages/disadvantages depended on happenstance.

    Kubica continues to impress but a smile might be nice.

    Schumacher’s passes on the backmarkers didn’t seem to me to be that great given the superiority of the Mercedes. In fact I predicted fifth for him although that was with slightly more attrition than we had. So not a brilliant drive and one that seemed to owe much to the tyre call from the team.

    Massa did well and Sutil slightly better I felt but not that dramatic.

    That leaves Webber and Hamilton. Both their races were dictated by a software failure, postively for LH, the other way for MW.

    Given the weather conditions most drivers out there drove heroically. LH’s off-road excursion was minor and he won, doing just enough for the rest of the time. That didn’t quite put him into MotM for me. However, his obvious enjoyment at his victory was enough to push him over.

    But only just.

    The first three on the grid came in one, two and three. How many times have we seen that at Spa? How many times have we seen that at any GP when we’ve had periods of heavy rain?

    A remarkable race and one that sets up the championship nicely with half-a-dozen races to go.

    A shame for Button. And McLaren as well come to that. It must be a bitter pill to be one point off the WCC when it was the team in front that cost you.

    An interesting race with poor performances from Alonso and Vetttel at a time when they needed to show well.

    A thoroughly enjoyable race and exciting all the way.

  16. Henrik says:

    For me the driver of the day should be the one who did something unexpected good.

    Hamilton did that in quali. It was unexpected that times could get improved when he did, but in the race it was expected that the race was his when he took the start.

    Petrov ended as no. 9, that should at least put him on the list of choices.

    I vote for Sutil

  17. Dave Roberts says:

    I think Hamilton was superb today and deserved his win. That said, I think the race was brilliant and as such there were creditable performances from several drivers.

    The driver who seems to be going backwards not only in the championship but reputation is Vettel. I am not sure what must be going through his mind at the moment but getting into so many scrapes in one race made him appear more like Buemi or Sutil!

  18. Richard says:

    It’s got to be Hamilton for the way he took the lead at the first corner and then held it throughout the race. He can be excused his off as the team told him to stay out on slicks when it was clearly time to change to inters.

  19. Spencer says:

    It has to be Lewis for me. The second Q3 performance to gain 4 tenths then to drive such a controlled race in those conditions, he sounded so calm on the radio.

    James, is there going to be any insight on the strange over run noise from the McLaren this weekend in the LG technical review? It sounds like they have developed a way to keep the ebd full of gas even when the driver is off the throttle. As I understand RedBull only use this in Q3 as it cooks the engine. Any truth in the new rumpled?

  20. Érico says:

    Hamilton, because he put a drive of a champion in very tricky conditions. And this is right when the championship pressure will increase and some guys will leave when they find they can’t take it.

  21. John 85 says:

    Overall hamilton drove the race that he had to today. He got the jump on Webber at the start and then handled the tricky weather well, and even kept it out of the wall well.

    I think i’m going to have to go for Schumi though. He drove like the schumi of old today. You could colour his mercedes red, put 2005 as the year and people would be saying he drove like the champion he is. Yes he clipped rosberg as he went passed him, however you must remember that these wings are very long and in 2006 there would have been no contact. He then got jumped at the restart by rosberg late in the day, and considering rosberg started 4 places ahead of him, then finishing 1 place behind him is a good result!

    Lets hope that the same shumacher turns up at Monza and gets the result that his driving this weekend deserves!

  22. Thomas, Canada says:

    Hamilton’s lap in qualifying defied belief and it lay the foundations for this victory. Without a doubt the DOTD. The guy is getting better and better.

  23. I wish we had seen more of Schumacher coming through the field, it would have been worth some camera time, but didn’t really get much.

    Saying that, when all was said and done, our analysis at ratef1.com shows that Vettel did more to add excitement to the race than anyone else, and I would have to agree.

    1. Bevan says:

      Vettels incompetence is becoming a habit,that off was extremely similar to the Turkey incident,both times ruining the race of innocent parties,& rateF1 reckons he was the only real excitement available,LMAO.

    2. f1twat says:

      “Creating” excitement by driving like a loon, certainly does not make you the Driver of the Day!

  24. Pierre says:

    Hamilton and Sutil.

  25. Coltswald Native says:

    Without a doubt it has to be Schumi, i think we are getting to see slowly the old Michael Schumacher back, its a shame that the stewarding system is a bit confused, if 2 similar incidents happen, why penalize one and leave the other and i also believe that it will play a huge role in the outcome of the championship, which will rob the fans.

    Mercedes is a huge company and they need to learn the patience game and Ferrari, McLaren and Williams have lost many years of not winning championships, they still work hard and never give up, either in business or other fields, success takes time and I believe that Mercedes will benefit a lot and be on the right direction with Schumacher to guide them.

    1. John 85 says:

      2 similar incidents? which ones? obviously the schumi 1, but which other 1?

  26. Chris C says:

    I have voted Sutil. He continues to show very good results in what can be considered an average (or below average) car. One has just to check his performance versus his team mate. Within the specific race he did not do anything wrong, he managed to avoid trouble and finish with an excellent result for his team.

    I also liked the performance of Hamilton (despite his one error), who did an excellent job as usual. Webber and Massa were just lucky to get their respective results thanks to the other dropping off. I liked a bit better Massa, who I expected to make one of his usual bad wet drives. Kubica & Schumacher had good drives but made mistakes that cost them.

  27. Rob says:

    When will Vettel learn to overtake and not wipeout other drivers??? Poor Button, he would surely have come second. And Vettel also took off the Force India’s front wing.

    1. JohnBt says:

      I thought Button was travelling by train with all the tenders trailing him.

      1. AndrewJ says:

        He did have a broken front wing, remember, which affected the handling of the car, making the rear-end twitchy. Considering how that’s not the type of handling he likes I think he was doing a pretty decent job of keeping that train behind him until Vettel intervened.

  28. Langue D'Oc says:

    I would say ‘none of the above’ and nominate Rosberg. He nailed Schumacher back after the second safety car and otherwise had a pretty creditable race. All of the drivers on the current choice-list made a mess of their race in one way or another – with the exception of Massa, who didn’t really do anything at all!

  29. James W says:

    Very tough one to decide. I went with Schumacher because today showed that he is finally slowly getting back to his former self. He’s driving a car which was not designed to his liking or his driving style, but he still battled on. Shame that Rosberg managed to get him back, but an otherwise excellent race by the great man. Long may his return continue.

    1. Steven says:

      If the car has to be designed to his driving style in order for him to win, that doesnt make him that great. It only means that he has to have an advantage. Great drivers can win with any car that is capable of winning, weather it was designed to his liking or not. Look at Rosberg, consistently fast than MSC even thought the car wasnt designed to his driving either.

      The truth is that MSC got lucky with the rain, and with alonso loosing the plot amd with Vettel taking Button out.

      1. Paul Kirk says:

        There’s something in what you say, Steven, but wouldn’t you agree that if a driver’s got the abillity to recognise what characteristics to build into the handling of his car to make him faster, and be able to comunicate that to his pit crew in a way that they can analize it acurately and achieve the desired effect, then he must be good. I recon there’s plenty of drivers who could do better than they do if only they could develope the car to suit them. Don’t forget this is Shoo’s first season back so he has to settle in again, and if the car has an inherant issue that doesn’t suit his technique, then he’s not doing too bad.
        PK.

  30. type056 says:

    My driver of day was Vettel.

    1. JohnBt says:

      You can’t be serious.

    2. Aussie Fan says:

      lol, yeah being an Aussie I had a wry smile on my face too, although I do like the guy I think he will have many more chances & I really hope Webber will be the 1st RBR driver to win the WDC, he deserves it for all the hard work he has put into the team over the last few years.

      1. Paul Kirk says:

        Absolutely!!!!!!!!!!
        PK.

  31. Lilla My says:

    I voted for Webber – he had a bad start, which was not his fault so can’t blame him for that. He still managed to finish second (though with a little help from his teammate).

    Hamilton drove well, but he didn’t have to really do anything apart from staying on the track (which he didn’t at one place – I know he had slicks then but so did Kubica at that time, who managed to stay on the track) – he didn’t have to overtake anybody (passing Webber at the start doesn’t count as Webber had problems with the car) nor to defend himself. So that was a really good race, but not a driver of the day for me. Sorry to all Lewis fans out there (though I still think his joy on the podium was cute!).

    Kubica would be my choice if not for the stupid mistake that cost him second place.

    Schumacher also did great but I can’t vote for him as he was overtaken by Rosberg at the end.

    Massa was great too – consistent and faultless. I was actually choosing between him and Webber but since Webber finished higher, I voted for him.

    Petrov should also be mentioned. I was expecting him to make some mistakes like always, but he didn’t and finished 9th when starting 23rd. That’s a great result for a rookie.

    On a lighter note: why don’t pick Vettel as a driver of the day? He makes races so exciting! You can never tell who he’ll take out this time. Fascinating drives, though probably not in a sense he would like them to be…

    1. James W says:

      How was Webber’s start not his fault? It was his clutch control skills (or lack of today) which resulted in the anti-stall kicking in…

      1. Lilla My says:

        Well, he said he had some problems with the clutch and as I’m not that good in technical details (which I’m very sorry about when it comes to F1), I believe him and decide to turn a blind eye on his start. Having said that, if you explain me the exact problem convincing me that he could do better, I will count that as his mistake and vote for Massa twice to level my previous vote for Webber (I might not be good in technical aspects by myself, but I do understand them quite well if somebody explains them to me and I’m really keen on learning more as I’d like to understand F1 better and better).

    2. thomas_b says:

      “Hamilton drove well, but he didn’t have to really do anything apart from staying on the track”

      Had he not had that 11 seconds gap he would have been passed by Kubica when he was in the gravel. The truth is that he drove 0,6-1,0 sec faster than anybody almost every single lap, didn’t matter to him that it was dry, greasy or wet!

      Massa didn’t do anything all race. He was invisible. He didn’t make a single mistake, he was just plain slow. (He could have won it btw, had he put on the inters a lap earlier at the end, but Ferrari is really missing Ross Brawn it seems…)

      Webber capitalized on Vettel’s self destruct, he gained two positions, and then when Kubica made his mistake. He would have been fifth at the end.

      Vettel… come on, you can’t be serious…
      I don’t remember a clean overtake from him all year. This guy can’t overtake with his superior machine. He only wins when he’s out in front alone and can’t hit anybody. Without his idiotic move it could have been a McLaren 1-2.

      Yes, I voted for Hamilton, and yes, I’m biased :)

  32. Malcom says:

    Lewis gave a championship performance today, and received a well deserved win. It amazes me in the double standard that has been applied towards Hamilton, and the amount of criticism that he has received, in his very short F1 career, and the complete lack of criticism at some of the antics by Sebastian Vettel. Sebastien’s petulance on the radio with his team, and with FIA officials, only to be exceeded by his crashing into opponents, with some very poor passing technique. If Hamilton’s record was any way similar to that of Vettel’s, there are his critiques who would demand that Lewis be thrown out of the sport, but with Vettel….hardly a whimper….I wonder why??

  33. Gilberto says:

    What about Kobayashi? He made an impressive race! today!

    1. JohnBt says:

      I was going to post Kobayashi, so I’m not alone on this.

      This young lad must be credited, always somewhere in the top ten. He held his race very well. Even Alonso had a hard time trying to overtake him.

      Kobayashi, a quiet man who talks on the track.

      As for the selected three, keep in mind they had very good cars.

      Somehow my heart goes to the driver who nurses a lesser car well. Like what Alonso did in Malaysia this year with his clutch and gear problems.

      Petrov too deserves a mention.

    2. Chris Chong says:

      I vote for Kobayashi too! Started in 17th, made a fantastic tyre choice in the opening laps (though the pit crew struggled to get out a set of rubber) and even climbed up to 7th at one point ahead of Rosberg. Defended well against a charging Alonso too. All in a car that’s got no business fighting with the bigger boys.

  34. jjpm says:

    I vote for them all + Petrov who did a super job too, mind you with a better car than Michael’s Mercedes.
    And I’m very happy to have correctly guessed the grid position 21st and finishing 7th place of Michael(Thanks to the SC).

  35. John H says:

    Didn’t Hamilton lead from start to finish at China 2008?

  36. Paul says:

    Definitely Lewis, he led a very mature and controlled race, pushing as hard as he needed to and not too much more for pretty much the whole race.

    His off near the end was unfortunate but I guess is part of the difficulty of leading in changing conditions. Push too hard and your off and those chasing you know to be more cautious. Go too slow and those behind you will see that you are ok and push a little harder to catch up.

    In the end he handled it well and had been good enough to establish a large enough buffer over Webber to accommodate the off.

  37. Noj says:

    Without the safety car periods, there was a good chance that Lewis Hamilton would have been a minute clear by the time the rain appeared. Too many of the other drivers were happy to stay within their safe zone, whereas Hamilton was prepared to push his car to the limits and create a safe zone between himself and the rest.

  38. Nathan Smith says:

    Why can’t I vote for Vettel? ;)

    1. f1twat says:

      cause his driving stank?

  39. TG says:

    Hamilton and equally Kubica – for getting the absolute maximum out of their cars, neither of which can be said to be the most competitive pieces of kit.

    I can’t say the same for Webber because given the performance advantage, particularly through the middle sector, he should have nailed it. Times that by infinity for Seb “The Next Schumacher” Vettel and Fernando “Obvious #1″ Alonso, neither of whom seem to be living up to their names, strangely enough.

    Interesting to hear Whitmarsh’s and Brawn’s comments about the decreasing performance gap since the FIA introduced its new flexiwing rules. Monza in the dry will be the true test, and I can’t wait, but it does look like RBR and Ferrari were delving into the dark arts for their flexiwings. Good on ‘em for trying, but now its sorted it means a tighter race to the title for us fans.

  40. Spyros says:

    I was about to vote for Lewis, but I had to give it to Massa – like Mark, after having his front wing ‘stolen’ from his car, he returned, fresh from the summer break by outperforming his teams [now official] No1 driver. I didn’t see his face after the race, but he must have been elated.

    Thanks for pointing this out James.

  41. Stephen A says:

    VETTEL – Not!!!

    What a plank the guy is turning out to be – maybe now the flexi-wing and the flexi-floor are on the way out, he thinks that is the way to win – he should have learnt from his mistake on MW in Turkey.

    Why people rate him SO highly, I will never know…

    Driver of the day – Liuzzi…

  42. BA says:

    Sutil! and Hamilton

  43. Parthi says:

    Petrov, did exactly what he needed to do with his seat in doubt and following a silly mistake in quali.

  44. Kitty says:

    I think they all did quite well. Petrov, too.

    I’m very sorry but I just simply cannot summon any respect for Schumacher. Not then, not now.

  45. El shish says:

    Has to be Hamilton.
    Driver of the year so far, without doubt. I know vettel has been a shade unfortunate with failures in Bahrain and Australia but wow, think about the points Hamilton would have on the board if not for technical failures in Barcelona and Hungary… Would have been a race-win out in front in a car that largely has no business being there.

  46. Ken K says:

    Come on it had to be Vettel, again he has shown that he is an appauling driver, and seems to have no regard for others on the track, especially in the wet. So for me he is the most outstanding driver of the day, he hit everything accept for the pace car..

  47. Kent Paul says:

    Vettel

  48. D. says:

    Easiest call of the season so far: Lewis was the driver of the day by a long shot. Took the lead at the start, survived accidents, SC, weather and a moment on lap 35, capitalized on the car’s strengths and now leads the WDC. And McLaren’s race management expertise remains best in the paddock, still.

    1. James Allen says:

      The poll result agrees with you

    2. Pawel says:

      Wasn’t there kind of team order-cooperation that helped Lewis?: after Button got passed Kubica, he had a very slow pace to help Lewis getting advantage of 9 seconds. I’m sure that Kubica was able to keep Lewis pace as he said that.

      1. James Allen says:

        Button had damage on his car

      2. Diana says:

        You clearly didnt watch the race if you believe jenson was slower on purpose.

        My drive of the race: Lewis Hamilton.

  49. BMG says:

    You would have to say Hamilton was the driver of the day. Webber then Kubica and I hate to say it. “Schumacher”
    James was Webbers start problem his fault today. He does seem to have a poor record with his starts.

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes, although in the press conference he seemed to imply that the technicians had set it up for the start and that if it happened again in Monza he’d be “getting the boxing gloves on” – so a hint of tension there

      1. Paul Kirk says:

        Yeah well I’ve been thinking for a while that the cars must have some sort of “launch” or “traction” control because we rarely see any tyre smoke/wheel spin at the starts any more, so maybe they have adjustable progressivly engaging clutches like they use in drag racing, no reason why not. And RBR may not have adjusted it quite right.
        PK.

      2. For Sure says:

        Wow, you mean the mechanics tried to sabotage his car to favor their NO1 driver?

        If that’s the case that just very very bad. I cannot believe that a racing driver cannot his own mechanic. I know F1 is a dodgy business but never thought F1 driver needs to worry about something like that, not even Alonso in Maclaren 2007.

      3. Grabyrdy says:

        I wouldn’t think that would be true. Maybe it’s to do with having no chance during the w/e to set it up in the dry. But at this level you’d think it’s something they should be 100% sure on.

      4. Banjo says:

        I think Hamilton would have won even if Webber had had a good start, he was in a league of his own this weekend. Drove superbly.

  50. RickeeBoy says:

    Have to go with Lewis as driver of the day, but really enjoying Mark’s driving – but very worrying aspect to to Mark’s post Qualifying and and post race interviews as he blatantly sings Lewis’s skills and whilst I think he’s right, I just think he needs to not rate him so much and be super proud of himself to make himself push for the championship otherwise he’s gonna give Lewis the Championship.

  51. Andy Fov says:

    I’d say Lewis. He’s better composed these days, and is showing a maturity that Vettel is yet to.

    For balance, can’t we have a Muppet of the Race poll too? I can think of a few candidates!

  52. Ian says:

    I can understand the votes for Lewis as he was the race winner, but in reality he was inches from a DNF and had a pretty easy ride up front the whole race, especially with Button backing up the pack. My vote is for Michael, he earned it with the charge from the back.

  53. Donuts says:

    Everyone knew that the MP24-5 was going to be strong at Spa and Hamilton had a clean race due to Webbers misstake. How on earth can he be the driver of the day? Especially when he made a huge misstake, unthreatend!

  54. Banjo says:

    I think Petrov had a very understated drive. From the back of the grid to finish in the points was fantastic. While his qualifying let his weekend down, surely a recovery drive like that would impress Renault?

  55. Steve says:

    not vettle.

    a prat.

    again.

  56. Grabyrdy says:

    15% for Schumacher ? You’re having a laugh. He made up ground at the start, but Petrov made up more, then he knocked a bit off his team-mate’s car, and finally got nutmegged at the end by the same team-mate, who had spent half the race with an handling disadvantage. Hardly stellar.

  57. Eamonn Mc Cauley says:

    Not Rubens. 300th race and he was the first out. To busy giving out T shirts than thinking about his race weekend. Schumacher on the other hand 21st to 7th. What could he have done if Rubens hadn’t nearly put his car into the wall in Hungary and then cried about it to the press. At least he can “always smile”.

  58. Ben says:

    James – Over the last few years Alonso has always been labelled the “most complete driver on the grid” and the best by most pundits.

    This year however, Lewis seems to have really grown as a driver, he isn’t just an aggressive driver anymore, he seems much more rounded and certainly the criticism of wearing out his tyres too early can’t be used anymore and for me he has jumped Alonso this year as the very best on the grid.

    Would you agree or is this just a bit of an off year for Fernando and is he still better?

    1. James Allen says:

      I agree with you about Lewis. I was saying last winter if you remember that the tough year in 2009 had improved him. He’s still quite dependent on his team to make calls for him but what he’s doing week in week out is top drawer. He’s becoming the driver we expected him to when he burst onto the scene in 2007

    2. James Hunt says:

      One area Alonzo needs to improve on is perhaps his ability to drive in wet conditions.

      Where as Hamilton, Vettel, Button and Webber seem to have better records in wet races.

      1. For Sure says:

        As much as I dislike Alonso, I thought he was the next rain master when I saw his driving in Hungary and it was painful for a Schumi fan.

        IMHO I do think that the most “consistent” guy is nothing but a pure myth. He was consistent when he was leading the championship by a large margin which is something you would expect from a world champion.
        But I feel that since 2007 when he had to chase for the title, he cracked under pressure just like everyone else. It’s always been like that all the time if you noticed. What do you make of that James?

  59. Jey says:

    I voted for Michael.He reacted quickly to the red mist that surrounded Nico’s eyes after that restart.Else we would have had 2 DNF’s for Mercedez GP

  60. kiss the apex says:

    Thanks James for the ‘inside touch’ that your website provides, much appreciated.

    Lewis Hamilton is a legend in the making.
    We are all blessed to watch it as it happens.

    Peace and Respect

    1. C Pitter says:

      I agree with you. It is a real privilege to be around watching Lewis Hamilton from the start of his career.

    2. dans says:

      I was doubtful in 2008-9 but now its clear, hes clearly Senna reborn.

  61. Andy C says:

    Just further proof the proper race tracks create good races.

    The climate at spa always creates opportunities for people to

    isn’t it funny how after race 1 everyone was saying it would be a processional race year. I’m pretty glad it has been one of the best battles for years.

    James,

    big prediction here, but I don’t think vettel will ever deliver on the obvious talent he has.

    I can’t help thinking he is another montoya.

    I would vote for

  62. dans says:

    Thats easy, Kubica would have taken it hands down if its wasnt for the slip in the pits. Instead the crown goes to Hamilton for that stellar quali lap and the win in the face of Maclaren ineptitude.

  63. Gravelrash says:

    Hi James,

    I know everybody has moved on.. but out of the top three Webber is my pick as he had a completely incident free run. He mentioned to martin brundle on the grid that the race was about survival and thats what he did.The start was a car problem, not his and then on the back foot managed to stay in 5th. In the first lap rain incident he was the only front running driver to stay on the track and from then on kept doing exactly that. he didn’t have the fastest car, clearly Lewis had him there and he picked up the places as those made mistakes ahead of him. He could have been first except for the lucky escape through the gravel trap by Lewis. So error free second place on a very difficult day. Championship winning stuff……

  64. mtb says:

    Kobayashi was great again!

  65. Jimmy says:

    I’ve been wondering for the last two days, how come there has been no penalty for Felipe Massa because of his starting position? He started with his car WAY out of the starting “box”, at least a metre and a half, and noone (stewards, drivers, team crew)has said ANYTHING about it. You can look for “formula 1 belgica anderson” on youtube and watch it.

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