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Korean Grand Prix: Who was your Driver of the Day?
Posted By: James Allen  |  24 Oct 2010   |  3:00 pm GMT  |  210 comments

Today’s Korean Grand Prix featured some very strong performances by drivers who got a result and by those who didn’t make it to the finish

So who was your Driver of the Day?

Fernando Alonso
Close to Red Bulls in qualifying, did everything right and when the Red Bulls failed in the race he picked up the pieces. Had to recover from a slow pit stop to repass Hamilton and did so easily. Now firmly in charge of the title race.

Lewis Hamilton
Didn’t have the pace in qualifying or in the wet to challenge for the win, but second place puts him back in the title hunt. Made a mistake at the restart to lose second place to Alonso, struggled with front tyre issues on a very stiffly sprung McLaren

Felipe Massa
A second podium in four races for Massa, which should give him some confidence going to his home race in Brazil in two weeks. Struggled to match his team mate in qualifying but kept out of trouble in the race to finish 3rd


Michael Schumacher
Arguably his best performance of the season, alongside Spain, certainly his best since then. Strong all weekend, he took advantage of a smart set up change on the second grid and the Mercedes straight line speed to pass cars and claim fourth place.

Sebastian Vettel
Didn’t finish as his engine blew up, but he had been perfect up to that point. Squeezed that fraction more out of the car in qualifying and easily controlled Alonso on the wet tyres.


Tonio Liuzzi
After a woeful qualifying in 18th place, had a stunning race, keeping out of the way of the many collisions and spins, was up to 11th within two laps of the race start proper and moved ahead of team mate Sutil in the pit stops. Followed Kubica for the rest of the race to claim sixth place and 8 vital points for Force India.

All photos Darren Heath


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210 Comments
  1. diane says:

    How many time this year vettel has lost a victory for car issue? more than twice!!! so unlucky!!! Well done to Lewis, yes he made a mistake but i think he would’ve finished 2nd anyway. Mclaren wasn’t that competitive after all. Thumbs up for Alonso! great drive! but he was quite lucky too! My vote goes to Vettel!

    1. StallionGP F1 says:

      This driver of the day poll is pointless as it is biased against vettel would be better for james to keep vettel out of this poll if he has to do it damages vettel as how could alonso be better than vettel my vote goes to vettel as well

      1. OldIron says:

        Slightly perversely, its tough to earn driver of the day if you have the best car on the grid – in such cases, winning is almost expected. Someone else is likely to have exceeded their cars ability, and thus would scoop the most votes.

      2. Thebe says:

        I think you are wrong on this, SV is driving a fast car and that very same car is driven by his teammate , when trying to determine who the faster driver is between the two, we look at the driver who is able to extract the most out of the car’s performance. In my view SV should also be on the driver’s poll but I think James’s reason for not including him probably has a lot do with the fact that he retired from the race and not because he is a superior car or not.

    2. Johnny86 says:

      A small mistake i noticed. In the championship standings kubica should be listed instead of vettel. Voted for fernando.

    3. Joe says:

      It is funny that when Alonso wins, it is because he is lucky. Had a certain other driver won this race, it would have been attributed to his “superhuman” wet driving skills.

      1. mtb says:

        Well, the ‘silky smooth’ and ‘cerebral’ Button, with his supreme wet-weather skills, put in a performance which demonstrated just how fortuitous his Melbourne victory was. Once again he had to change tyres after just a handful of laps on a wet surface, only on this occasion other factors did not work to his benefit. (No doubt his fanboys will come to his defence with convoluted explanations for his woeful performance. His poor qualifying position was apparently the consequence of low temperatures – of course his poor performance at Suzuka was the consequence of high track temperatures!)

        Alonso’s pace at the end demonstrated which driver takes care of his tyres.

        If anyone was lucky today it was Hamilton.

      2. Andy W says:

        and what about his victory in China? Or his 1st win in Hungary when he drove brilliantly in mixed conditions, or his race wins in the wet last seasons…. If you look back at Jenson’s performances in wet and changeable conditions across his career then its blindingly obvious to me that he is a driver who usual thrives in these conditions. That said his performance yesterday was woeful by his usual standards (something he himself alluded to).

        It makes more sense to me to look at this performance as a one off rather find convoluted reasons to dismiss his excellent track record in mixed conditions.

      3. Syed says:

        mtb : agree with you completely, button’s performances and sutil’s struggles throw light on how well alonso drove, should i also include hamilton making an amateurish mistake considering how talented he is. I recall how much hoola was made out of hamilton’s triumph at silverstone in ’08 when they said he was 2s a lap faster than others. well i recall timing sheets showing nando 4s faster than hamilton. tyre management or not, alonso blew the whole field and therefore shows that majority of F1 fans voted for him as the driver of the day. but surely disappointing and surprising to see button struggle this much, had it been raikkonen/schumi/alonso, brit media would have gone bizerk.

      4. Thebe says:

        You have to admit Alonso has been lucky this season, if you consider the number of times SV has been on Pole position, he has delivered some stunning laps everytime he put that car on pole, his biggest problem this year has been not being able to convert those poles into wins. I am pretty sure if had not retired from the race he would have given Alonso a hell of a fight. Take nothing away from Alonso’s drive this weekend he drove well , his car is not as fast as the RBR but he has been able to compete with RED BULL and I applaude him for that but we have to ackowledge that a bit of luck was involved in it.

      5. Stephen W says:

        How very true.

    4. Allan says:

      Laughable how low Vettel is rated on this pole! Just shows how pointless it really is.

      1. Stevie P says:

        Well, for me, a “driver of the day” has to get to the chequered flag… :-) Vettel would have higher ratings if he’d have done so.

        Was very interested to find out that Merc GP switched both of their cars to rain set-ups during the red-flag – anyone know if that’s allowed under parc ferme? I s’pose it must be as they weren’t reprimanded. Hats off to them 1, for trying it and 2, for doing so in time.

      2. Andy W says:

        Huh? Winning the race (or not due to mechanical failure) doesn’t make a driver the best driver on the day, in fact it often counts against the driver should they start on pole and lead the race from the front the entire race.

        Not to knock Vettel (because i do think he drove just as well as he needed to do under very difficult conditions only to have lady luck once again turn her back on him), but he didn’t impress me much (beyond any other driver who managed to keep their car on the track).

        I also think this is one of those rare races where actually half the field drove brilliantly (just to finish the race) but no one in particular excelled.

      3. Damian J says:

        Andy W,

        Agree 1with you 00%. Hamilton proved again that he was outperforming his car. Obvious that some have an agenda when making comments.

    5. Formula Zero says:

      Vettel’s car failure is called karma. Now the 2nd fav driver of red bull has better chance of winning the title. If red bull doesn’t back webber in the last 2 races, they might as well give the title 2 Alonso

    6. Aussie Fan says:

      He might have had a few failures along the way but remember how many races has he lost due to making mistakes & crashing into someone (2 & counting so far)

  2. Ben says:

    Driver of the day? Lewis Hamilton, no contest. No contest. The only driver who wanted to race when the conditions were tricky.

    But I voted for Alonso, because this poll is meant to measure driver performance, and Alonso was by far and away the best driver in that regard. His tyres were the only ones with any grip left at the end of the race due to his careful management allowing him to be 5 seconds a lap faster at the end of the race.

    He would have passed Hamilton at some point regardless and I think even Vettel would have fallen. It would be interesting to know the state of his tyre when he retired, but he looked on the ragged edge on the laps prior to his retirement whereas Alonso looked to be managing the gap and biding his time.

    1. I have to agree about Hamilton, he’s impressed me this weekend. We’ve seen just how much power the drivers have to get things their own way with the changes to Turn 16 and the extended safety car periods. Hamilton just drove around the troublesome kerb on Friday and just wanted to get on and race today. A lot of people have said that the drivers needed to man up, but Hamilton clearly didn’t need to and I have a lot of respect for that. If it wasn’t for his mistake at the restart I’d have voted for him, but ultimately F1 drivers are subject to trial by success.

      Ultimately that’s why I opted for Alonso. Vettel did nothing wrong and was fractionally faster, but there’s something about Alonso at the moment that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. He’s hungry and dangerous and I’m really glad I took that 5/2 bet on him for the title before Singapore!

    2. RDN says:

      Lewis gets my vote too. Only because he was the only driver with the cojones to go racing in those conditions. It doesn’t matter that he struggled after that. Its just what the fans wanted to see and here after 15 laps behind the safety car.

      1. mtb says:

        The fact that he waited 13-14 laps before changing to intermediates suggests to me that perhaps his comments were not as sincere as he would have us believe.

      2. smellystudent says:

        He needed to get racing, being stuck behind the Red Bulls and Alonso. They were all happy to collect the points for being where they were.

      3. Gaza says:

        So you think he was bluffing and didn,t really want to race then? I don’t think so, he probably exagerated slightly how good it was to get the saftey car in as quick as possible. They could have raced 3-4 laps earlier easily.

      4. Galapago555 says:

        I agree that Lewis drove today superbly. He also showed a great attitude – maybe it was his only way to try to get into the fight. If the race ended in the same order as behind the SC – VET, WEB, ALO – this was a very bad result for Lewis interests.

        But do you really need to mention that he “was the only driver with the COJONES to go racing in those conditions”? I assume my English is quite poor, but I can’t believe that there aren’t any other words in English to express this idea, without using such nasty Spanish one.

    3. William Wilgus says:

      Agree—I understand that Vettel’s were pretty shot when he dropped out and Alonso would probably gotten by him regardless.

      1. Arri says:

        I think Lewis knew the radio channels were being listened to and made the perfect PR statement for his fans…that’s all

      2. Damian J says:

        “I think Lewis knew the radio channels were being listened to and made the perfect PR statement for his fans…that’s all”

        That is ridiculous!

      3. James Allen says:

        Not so ridiculous.

      4. Arri says:

        Ok….if it’s as ridiculous as you state then explain why everyone else was saying it was unsafe including Robert Kubica who IMO is a brilliant driver under any condition and had absolutely nothing to gain or lose? I am not saying that my reason is absolute fact but surely it’s a possibility? Hamilton definitely isn’t the only ‘true’ or brave racer out there?

  3. Galapago555 says:

    Schey was fantastic, almost nailing a podium. Fernando was simply perfect, being there just to get the best possible result. But he was extremely lucky, especially with Sebs mechanical issues.

    Finally, Tonio Liuzzi drove an impressive race to end 6th, best result this season, and far better than what he could ever expect.

    So my vote is for Liuzzi.

    1. mtb says:

      Schuey was good – I don’t know about fantastic though. Would he have been able to drive at Rosberg’s pace?

      1. camp6ell says:

        exactly. how is this being hailed as schuey’s best race yet, when he was – again – humbled by his team-mate. clearly the mercedes isn’t a bad car in the wet, or was semi-set up for those conbditions.

      2. Aussie Fan says:

        Schu was solid, but I thought he was actually stronger at Suzuka than here.

    2. Lilla My says:

      Hi, I’m so happy for Fernando! As far as his luck is concerned – he definitely was lucky, but he made his own fortune to use the opportunities once they arrived. And it was also nice to see him admitting that he made a mistake during his pit stop (“nice” meaning that he is able to take the blame for himself – he’s really matured a guess).
      I think he would have still caught Vettel in the end (he was faster than him) and try some move (I would really love to see that!). Anyway, so happy for the result :).

      As far as Schumi is concerned – nice move on Button (though I like Button and him finishing high would keep the championship battle even more intense), it was the kind of thing I was waiting to see from him.

    3. Ajay says:

      Schumi did have a good race. But he still can’t seem to get the intermediate tyres working for him. He pulled that move on Button and was catching Massa on full wet-weather tyres. After the pitstop for intermediates he was falling away from Massa by nearly a second a lap. Wonder why he’s finding it so difficult.

  4. Vinola says:

    Have to say Alonso, even though I dislike. Vettel had a strong race until his demise-quick yet controlled. Hamilton, I thought drove a rather matured race with the championship in his sight.
    I still hope Webber wins this thing (Lewis’s car is all talk and little action),but fear Alonso may just pull it off

    1. JohnBt says:

      (Lewis’s car is all talk and little action) – I agree with your statement.

      Personally Lewis is way overrated. He drives like a raging bull only to destroy his tyres majority of the time if not all.

      After the pit stop, on lap 35 Lewis was 1.5 secs behind Alonso, chquered flag he was 14.9 secs.

      1. Damian J says:

        Just possibly, Hamilton may have been outperforming his car!

      2. mtb says:

        This would explain why he overshot turn 1 on one of the restarts, thus returning to Alonso the second place that he had just inherited.

  5. PaulL says:

    My feeling is that car performance had dictated the run of play moreso this year than others.

    The drivers have been more passive contributors than usual I think. For example, I think Alonso, Hamilton, and Vettel have done the maximum possible bar their respective mistakes given their machinery. But who of those deserves the championship the most? I’d say it’s indeterminate.

    1. Chris says:

      I agree with this 100%

  6. Jo Torrent says:

    It is far from an easy call. Had ROSBERG kept his form from the beginning, he would’ve been my choice because he was really hot !

    I see that most people chose ALONSO, he’s the best in the last part of the season but today why put him ahead of VETTEL who did everything right. To me there’s no obvious choice and it’s certainly not Schumacher as he was far from his team mate’s pace judging by the few early laps.

    How could some vote for Hamilton. He was overtaken, handed a place on a plate to ALONSO and wasn’t on the pace (I know he had less grip, he reminded us in the press conference that it wasn’t his fault given that he thinks he’s the best in the rain !)

    My choice is then LIUZZI because of his great aaaaaaaaaaccent

    1. Peter C says:

      Jo, I know now to take your ‘Hamilton comments’ with a large pinch of salt as they appear so regularly.

      I’d go for for Vettel this time, an immaculate performance. Just unlucky again.

      1. mtb says:

        Re: Hamilton – Jo is spot on!

    2. haystack says:

      If you question Hamilton’s claims, please have a look at the performance his teammate was able to extract from the car. The same McLaren in an other world champion’s hands was good for a whopping ZERO points, without any sort of misfortune or obvious issues.

      1. mtb says:

        That probably says something about Button’s abilities. Hopefully people who were lauding him after his Melbourne performance will finally appreciate how fortuitous it was.

      2. haystack says:

        Agreed but still, it says just as much about the car’s competitiveness around here. It’s not like there’s a better benchmark to assess a driver’s contribution to the result than compare him to his teammate provided they both run a clear race.

        The MP4-25s’ front end grip was critical today as we saw and heard it multiple times but Hamilton was able to overcome that to a good extent, so there’s really no need to talk down his efforts as Jo did.

    3. Grant says:

      I vote Hamilton, Jo. When some drivers said it was too bad to race Lewis said it was fine and wanted to get on with it. When Vettel played politics and was claiming poor visabilty, Lewis was asked and he again said it was no problem.

      My driver of the day because he wanted to race. And it would have been so much of shame for so many if Charlie had acted on the words of Seb.

      1. Jo Torrent says:

        Sutil also wanted to race and he was the worst driver of the field. It is not the bravery before the race it is the bravery during the race.

      2. Lilla My says:

        I think it had something to do with the standings as well. Hamilton wanted to race because he needs every opportunity to keep his title hopes alive. On the other hand – Webber probably didn’t really need the restart (after the red flag) – without the restart he would have got half of the points and keep his lead in the championship.
        The same goes with Vettel – when he was leading the race he was in a position that would have given him the chmapionship lead, so he was complaining about the visibility – if the race had been finished earlier (i.e. with Vettel in the lead), that would be really good for him (Vettel).

        So I think that the opinions about the conditions were partly mirroring the drivers’ attitudes but they were also reflecting their position in the standings and their interests.

      3. Aey says:

        Decision of driver base on the WDC point is one thing.

        But I think that Hamilton need the point from the race, actual race. Look at Suzuka when the rain hit at the Qualifying, if Q can’t be done the starting order would be by the Car No.,which is in favor for McLaren, but he said he still need to go to Qualify.

        That why I think Hamiltion is real racer, real fighter. I think his decision to go to race because he want to race more than just the point disadvantage.

        In contrast, Vettel reply immediately after he pass 75% of lap and get 100% what he need, he don’t want to risk anything for the remaining laps as alonso closing to him quite a bit, sound a bit less sportman. The race still continue for about 25 min. more, the bad light that could make the problem should be about last 2-3 lap, at lap 43 the light is not so good but should be fine for a little longer period. If the RB ask him at lap 50+, the answer was dark is OK, but at lap 43 it light should be OK so I don’t feel good for that answer.

    4. James Punt says:

      Have to agree that Rosberg could have been driver of the day. Mercedes had thier car set up very well for the conditions and I would have loved to see just what Rosberg could have done. Shame for him.

    5. Damian Johnson says:

      I might have been watching a different race. It looked certain that Vettel was going to win until misfortune came his way. But don’t let this fact get in the way of claiming that Alonso’s win was anything else but luck.

  7. Red5 says:

    Only one man came away with Maximum points today.

    Hard to bet against Alonso and Ferrari.

  8. d.h. says:

    Went for msc, first few laps were vintage schumacher, when behind the safety car he was constantly pushing finding the braking limits ready for the restart.

    reminded of a race (cant remember which)where he constantly went off line for several laps into a braking point, cleaning it up ready for a overtake which he pulled off.

    couldnt help but cheer when the red bull engine decided to spread itself all over the straight.loved the piston that went skidding off at 90 degrees with sparks for added effect.

    1. Drkaks says:

      Nurburgring 1995

  9. Jo Torrent says:

    James, why we shouldn’t vote for the worst driver of the day ? It might make dull races more enjoyable trying to find the winner.

    Today, Jenson behaved well in that category. He’s a champion in the making. But PETROV is a very consistent fellow and edged him.

    The champion today is obviously SUTIL.

    1. Ken says:

      Brilliant idea!

    2. Andy C says:

      I’m with you on Sutil. Apparently Sutil stands for subtle in Spanish.

      Well it also stands for kamikaze in the wet.

    3. J. Singh says:

      Yes, James let’s try a worst driver poll.

    4. James Punt says:

      Sutil, yes, what a tool he was today. Normally a great wet weather driver but he must be begining to believe his own press. Tried to be agressive and just ended up looking like a banger racer.

      1. mtb says:

        In his defence, the brakes on Sutil’s care were performing in a far from optimum manner. According to information that I have read elsewhere, his decision to continue to racing in these circumstances was a factor in the grid penalty that has been applied for the next race.

        What excuse did Button have? Perhaps he believes his own press!

      2. Stevie P says:

        My, my, you’re on an anti-Button crusade aren’t you, mtb! :-)

        If my brakes weren’t working correctly, I wouldn’t be pushing them… as Mr Sutil was!

        According to information I have heard elsewhere Mr Button had a different car to Hamilton. Yes, ok it was still a McLaren, but there were bigger differences than usual between the two cars… still no excuse though; Button had a shocker and he admitted that afterwards -> “I was pretty much the slowest car out there. It was a pretty horrific day.”

    5. mtb says:

      This really depends on what criteria are used. The driver who performed worst, given the equipment at his disposal, was Button. He should never have been in a position that enabled Sutil to push him wide. A number of people have commented recently that Button is a driver who can ‘carry’ a car home (an oxymoron if ever there were one), rather than crash out, when a victory/podium is not possible – perhaps he can, but I am sure that Martin Whitmarsh expects him to ‘carry’ the car to a higher position.

      1. Damian J says:

        Massa is also a contender for worst driver of the day given the equipment he has at his disposal!

    6. Jo Torrent says:

      I wasn’t aware of Sutil’s problems when I wrote the article so my vote go to JB. The car was different because he wanted to add a new stuff to the suspension which hamilton wasn’t happy with.

      So it was his decision and he admitted it. Among the title contenders, he’s the one I like most in character (he’s really cool, humble and honest !) but in the race he was really RUBBISH

      So JB you’re my WDD (Worst Driver of the Day)

  10. Richard says:

    Heh I love that someone has put “bert mylander” in as their driver of the day.

    1. Milton says:

      He certainly holded Vettel very well for a good part of the race.

      1. Jo Torrent says:

        half of the grid is already german, and you dare add Bert Mylander to them. It’s an invasion.

        we’re going to loose a worthy german though. Hulkenberg is leaving Williams because Williams needs money. What a shame for him and mainly what a shame for WILLIAMS to be seeking money from drivers

  11. Lewis says:

    Hamilton for manning up when everyone else wanted to hide in the pits.

    1. Flintster says:

      Agreed, he was the only one with balls at the start…. and everyone watching agreeded with Hammy….. Crack on – its just abit of drizzle!!!!

    2. devilsadvocate says:

      hardly manned up, all the anouncers calle him on it, he wanted to race because his championship can pretty much only be won at the misfortune of others. Webber and Vettel would never have DNF’d if the cars stayed in the pits. Hamilton cold certainly do no worse because if he chucked it or scored a low points haul he would be out of the championship equally if the race never started (which he was on track to do before 3 people in front of him checked out). However with the cars on track there was a very high chance of what happened today coming true. Its near impossible to bin the car or blow an engine sitting in the pits. Alonso was extremely fortunate he didnt crash out or blow his engine because he had the same risks. The non-UK commentators did a good job of calling Lewis out for his ambition to get on track. Now if he can win out, he has a chance at the title whereas before Webber only had to come home second and make sure Seb and Alonso only took 1 win each to wrap it up. He’s still in it though, just gotta work a lot harder.

  12. Lopek says:

    On the track in the race it was Alonso by a country mile – completely mistake free, quick and looked after his tyres better than anyone.

    But I’m giving driver of the day to Lewis for having the balls to stand up and say they should be racing, both during the drizzle at the start and at the end when it got a little dark.

    Was shameful to see the millionaire “world’s greatest drivers” all whining about a bit of rain while fans were waiting around the world and were getting soaked in the stands.

    1. Jo Torrent says:

      So you’re praising Lewis for his talking not for his driving.

      Ayrton SENNA used to say that he hated it when it rains yet he was much faster than anybody else. Lewis loves it but he’s slower.

      Seriously, the reason Lewis pushed is strategic because he needed a chaotic race because he had nothing to loose the same way REDBULL wants a cancelled race because they had few to gain and a lot to loose.

      1. mtb says:

        When listening to comments that Hamilton makes, his track record should be considered.

      2. Gaza says:

        Your not wrong there, beaten every team mate he,s come up against.

      3. Damian J says:

        Jo,

        I think you may be confused. Lewis made no secret that he wanted to get on with racing. One would describe this as a normal race NOT a “chaotic” one!

    2. MAS says:

      Even though Lewis’ remarks were just as much a strategic lie as the complaints, it was still good to hear. Both because it alleviated the image of the spoilt, overly careful F1 driver and because it was just a lie to counterbalance the influence of other lies on Charlie an co.

      That also goes for his remarks about visibility after Seb started complaining when he felt his engine go. Besides, knowing Lewis, he probably really wanted to race anyway. I my mind he deserves an extra championship point!

      *cough* I still voted Alonso *cough*

  13. MAS says:

    I voted for Alonso because he seems to extract the absolute maximum possible from his car and made zero mistakes in a situation where many others faltered. What was also impressive is the fact he somehow had the most life in his tires in the last 5-6 laps and was still comfortably pulling away by several seconds a lap when others (including those who pitted after him) were struggling very hard.

    Vettel drove a clearly superior car, though he did so sublimely and would have been a worthy winner. There isn’t anything he could have done better and the engine-failure was a great pity. Complaining about the light was a rather transparent ploy but he was hardly the only driver guilty of such tactics today. Besides, he later acknowledged that since nobody crashed, it was apparently okay anyway (contrast to Button’s post-race interview).

    Hamilton too, did well when many others did not and Liuzzi was very impressive (for the first time ever, but still).

    This is the second time this season a failing Renault engine denied us the potential for a dual between Vettel and Alonso. Despite Alonso’s good tire-situation, however, it probably wouldn’t have come to that anyway. Both drivers are far too pragmatic, as the Singapore GP illustrated.

    1. Andy W says:

      I think you are wrong about Alonso, I think he would have had a go at Seb in the closing laps, but I think if Seb had been able to punch a fast lap back Alonso would have settled for second…. but he would have pushed.

      1. MAS says:

        To clarify: when I call Vettel and Alonso “too pragmatic” I just mean in their recent approach to the championship, not in general. And I don’t blame them either: in the current situation it’s the sensible thing to do.

        Alonso certainly would have applied pressure to try to force a mistake. If that had worked he’d have obviously gone for it but it would probably have ended the way you describe (so roughly like in Singapore with positions reversed).

        I was hoping for more than that, like an actual duel. In Bahrain that might have actually happened but not today. Lets hope by Abu-Dhabi the gap will have closed enough to give them an incentive to really go at it Kobayashi-style.

        Oh well, enough complaining. The race was great and I won’t suggest otherwise because of some fantasy-scenario of mine wherein Seb’s engines don’t explode all over the track every time Alonso is behind him.

  14. Sebee says:

    Alonso.

    I saw somewhere once that a very high percentage of winners of first race of season go on to win the championship. Seems Alonso is on track to prove stats right.

    I think now Redbull have no choice but to back Webber, right?

  15. Michael S says:

    not sure how anyone could vote for Alonso over Vettel.. he got 2nd when Webber crashed and first when Vettle died…..

    Vettel did not put a tire wrong, and yet he got barley any votes… huge bias agianst Vettel

    1. mtb says:

      I agree with you about Vettel doing nothing wrong, but Webber made a mistake.

    2. MAS says:

      Both did very well. The reasons I choose Alonso over Vettel are as follows:

      One. He finished the race. It was not Vettel’s fault he didn’t, true. But that also goes for Glock and Rosberg, who drove well. When choosing a “Driver of the Day” finishing tends to give one an edge, though it isn’t, nor should it be, decisive.

      Two. Vettel clearly has the superior car. This was especially clear in qualifying: Alonso has had to wring the Ferrari’s neck to get within a tenth or two and Vettel did not even have all personal best sector times. Despite the performance deficit Alonso set the fastest lap of the race (before Vettel went out). Again this is not really Vettel’s fault but it does make Alonso’s achievement just a tad more impressive, lucky though the actual result was. A good performance by Vettel is just expected with his fantastic car. Though just keeping it on the track should not be under-appreciated in these kinds of circumstances, that goes for the both of them.

      Voting Alonso over Vettel for today is not a result of bias against Vettel (and would probably not favour Alonso if it was – he’s generally even more hated on the anglophone sites).

      Besides, James’ blog is probably one of the best and most objective formula one sites out there and in turn attracts a readership that appreciates those qualities. In this comment-section people can generally see the difference between subjectively liking a driver and objectively analysing their performance. Irrational driver-bashing does occur here (there’ll always be some nutters), but is far rarer than at most sites.

      1. James Allen says:

        We are weeding it out with tighter moderation.

    3. SHIPARCH says:

      Well, Alonso pushed while Webber made a mistake and the Ferrari engine is clearly superior to the Renault on the RB5 therefore both Alonso and the car won this race.

    4. Aussie Fan says:

      Not Bias, just a recognition that quite a few people could do the same thing in a car THAT superior in the conditions.

  16. momo says:

    lewis have balls made of diamont for been the only racing driver of the lots talking about whinning never hear even my wife doing as much so for that i gave him 10 out of 10 we need more like him on the grid..

  17. Jaco says:

    I can’t imagine how anyone can name Hamilton driver of the day. He got overtaken TWICE and never really looked near the pace. Lucked into 2nd place and finished 15 seconds behind Alonso. He didnt’ even attempt one overtaking move that I can recall.

    There’s nothing impressive about wanting the race to start either – he obviously had less to lose than everyone else and wanted the race to be a complete lottery. If Bruno Senna or Lucas di Grassi kept shouting for the race to start would they be driver of the day?

    1. mtb says:

      Hear hear! His “start the race” comments were probably nothing more than PR. Charlie Whiting makes the decision based on a number of factors, and Hamilton’s comments would have had minimal, if any, influence (which he undoubtedly knew). He suggested that the track was almost dry enough for intermediates, but waited another 13-14 laps before changing to intermediates. If the level of water on the surface is suitable for intermediates, then surely the smart thing to do would have been to have changed to intermediates much sooner.

      1. Gaza says:

        [mod] it wasn’t PR, he needed the race to get underway, he had nothing to lose. The kids a born racer
        My driver of the day was Alonso by the way. Shame about Rosberg.

      2. mtb says:

        It is a shame that he didn’t show such enthusiasm to get on with it at Hockenheim last year. I seem to recall him being admonished over the radio by the team.

        Unfortunately the guy is a walking PR machine – it’s not really his fault, as that is the culture that his team inculcates. I always admired Raikkonen’s ability to avoid the PR twaddle and simply drive the car when he was at McLaren.

        Hamilton undoubtedly knew that whatever comments he made would have had little (if any) impact on whatever decision race control reached, hence he had nothing to lose with a spot of bravado.

        By the way, my driver of the day was Vettel.

      3. Gaza says:

        Get real….all the drivers were trying to influence race control to there own ends…..I don’t recall anybody else complaining about the light except Vettel at the time……prehaps because he was leading the race.
        You may not like Hamilton but to accuse him of not really wanting to race……I don’t think you have a very balanced view.

      4. mtb says:

        Race control knows what the drivers are up to, and rightly pays scant regard to their remarks, as James pointed out in another article. Hamilton undoubtedly was aware of this fact.

        If you are unwilling to accept that there may be some truth in what I say, then it is clearly you who lacks a balanced view.

      5. Gaz says:

        James comments where that
        “Lewis Hamilton in contrast was keen to get on with it, because he sensed an opportunity to make up ground. Button was having a difficult time getting his tyres to work and so was complaining about the conditions” so I believe his views are the same has mine, you are of course entitiled to your view, why do I have to except ther may be some truth in them?

      6. Damian J says:

        Truly amazing how some don’t miss a trick to make spurious criticisms of Hamilton even though ALL drivers had an opinion to offer Charlie Whiting on racing conditions.

    2. Steven says:

      And alonso didnt “luck”into the win?

      1. devilsadvocate says:

        In terms of driving and execution Hamilton wasnt even on the same planet as Alonso today. Alonso hunted down Vettel for the entire race in horrible conditions and only lost his place briefly when his pit crew botched his stop. He then very quickly reclaimed his spot from Hamilton who spent far more time than he typically does going backwards in the order. You could say the Ferrari was the better car than the Mclaren, but the Mercedes has not been updated since spa or something like that and Rosberg passed Hamilton like he was a backmarker not a frontrunner. SO I guess you could say that while Alonso and Hamilton were both very lucky for the misfortunes of others today, Alonso drove in a way that far more deserved the race win, even if it was gifted to him by the surrender monkey French engine in the RB6.

      2. Jaco says:

        I guess you could say Alonso did luck into the win. But I can understand that someone would name him driver of the day – very fast, very consistent and running away from the field at the end.

  18. peter says:

    I don`t think Hamilton should be on the list and it must be Vettel.

  19. NJoy says:

    Why is my comment not getting posted? Is it because of the link?

    1. NJoy says:

      Oh, I see now. Well, let me try and rephrase the question
      James, there is quite a stir going among Petrov’s fans, with some people suggesting it might be a technical fault that lead to the crash rather than his mistake. Hard to believe, but they do point at some parts of the car that look rather awkward, as can be seen on this picture – upload. akusherstvo. ru /image300527 .jpg (you’ll have to remove spaces) Could you take an educated guess to what those actually are? An opinion of an expert such as yours would be much appreciated

      1. James Allen says:

        Didn’t look like that to me, but I’ll find out

      2. NJoy says:

        thanks for the reply. However, it has already been found out that this is a little air deflector on the side of the nose.

    2. NJoy says:

      And yeah, regarding the driver of the day – my vote goes fo Schumi today. Very nice and confident drive!

  20. Jo Torrent says:

    James,

    McLaren are under threat from FERRARI for the second place in constructors championship. It’s incredible how everything has turned upside down !

    It’s unbelievable, I recall not long ago at silverstone, I was questioning the ability of Stefano DOMENICALI as a successor to Jean TODT and here we are now.

    1. mtb says:

      Ferrari had a few things to against them at Valencia and Silverstone. A number of people were very scathing of Ferrari, and Alonso in particular, after Montreal, but they are mostly taciturn now!

  21. Dave Aston says:

    Vettel was my driver of the day for sure. Pleased to see Liuzzi have a good run, loved to see Hamilton want to get on with it, and enjoyed seeing Kobayashi in action, as always.
    Loved the track… what an awesome season…

  22. Nick T says:

    Is it just me or does it seem that Massa is no longer the racer he once was? I know that he has been complaining all season that he can’t get the tyres working for him, but watching him race in the wet in Korea, he seemed very cautious and appears to have lost some of that agressiveness that had him fighting right up until Brazil two years ago!

    Have to wonder if the Luca will be re-thinking the decision to have him as the 2nd driver next year as he has done little to help the team (and Alonso) as he and the team have said he would.

    The accident last year firghtening and the fact that he has come back this year is remarkable, but to me it appears as though the accident has dimmed the fire in his eye and he just isn’t the racer that he once was.

    1. mtb says:

      I get the same impression – it’s a real shame.

    2. William Wilgus says:

      I forget which race it was this year that he was leading and might well have won except for the “Alonso is faster than you” team ‘non-orders’

    3. Mick says:

      Massa is exactly the same driver he always was, the exact same driver that Schumacher dominated in 2006. The only difference now is that his team mate and benchmark is Alonso, a driver a level above the over hyped and over paid Kimi. Unlike many people, I KNEW, Alonso would destroy Massa this year, and I never bought the hype of Kimi and Massa. Two drivers who wasted amazing machinery in 07/08.

    4. Carlos says:

      He’s never been a particularly great wet weather driver, so I thought it was a good performance. But he didn’t seem very happy.

  23. Stevie P says:

    Mine: Alonso. Would have been Vettel but boom! – another Renault-engine went pop!

    Noteable positives: Schumi and Liuzzi. Still feel Tonio won’t be at Force India next season though.

    Total shame for Rosberg – he looked menacing.

    McLaren were smiling about the weather at first, but their car seemed not so good in those conditions, perhaps their updates affecting them in the adverse conditions?

    What on earth was up with Sutil… did he have the “red mist”?

    1. Peter C says:

      But does Vettels engine letting go preclude him from being ‘Driver of the Day’?
      You are then saying that you must finish the race to be the best driver. Weird.
      Perhaps it should be called ‘Winner of the Day’.
      That would make it nice and easy.

      1. Stevie P says:

        Very funny Peter! For me, as I’ve said elsewhere, I only select a driver of the day from those who finish (not that my opinion means a lot in the grand scheme of things). I also give kudos to those who I feel put on a good performance but who might not make it to the flag e.g. Vettel and Rosberg.

  24. Nando says:

    Alonso for me, extra-downforce approach set-up worked perfectly and he never looked in trouble. Schumacher looks to have done extremely well but didn’t see that much of him on the coverage. Slight shame we didn’t see any overtaking moves between the front-runners.
    Thought the race was spoiled by an overly conservative stewarding approach. If the condition of the track/arena was an influencing issue they simply shouldn’t of been there and serious investigations should take place.

  25. James H. says:

    Button and Sutil were the most entertaining. Vettel had a flawless qualifying and race until the obvious, so I think he was the driver of the weekend.

    1. Jo Torrent says:

      most entertaining … against their own will

    2. mtb says:

      I can understand why you chose Sutil, but what on earth did Button do?

      1. James H. says:

        Button had a day from hell at the office, which considering he is the current WDC provided a jerk like me with a twisted sort of amusement. I like him, but maybe these are not conditions in which he excels, like Webber I’m afraid. Massa, on the other hand, helped to rehabilitate a similar embarrassment at Silverstone.

  26. Lilla My says:

    Schumi was great today and I think Rosberg was really unlucky – I felt really sorry for him – that pass on Hamilton was surprising IMHO!

    But my vote has to go for Alonso – I was quite worried about him before the race as he made some mistakes earlier this season in the rain, but he managed to stay totally faultless and lucky too (especially when he maneged to avoid crashing into Webber), but I also have to give some respect to Hamilton – if what he said during one of the SC about his tyres being so bad was true then he did really well and I was really sorry that he made that mistake – I was so hoping for a proper battle between him and Alonso. The same goes for Vettel – I was hoping Vet and Alo would fight for the position.
    Apart from that – really disappointed with Button – he changed his tyres earliest to intermediate right (I’m not sure if I remember correctly)? Was it another gamble from him (didn’t pay off if so) or were his tyres so bad that he really had to change them? Anyway – not a nice view to see the current world champion fighting for such a distant position especially in a competitive car like McLaren.

    To sum up – Ferrari did a good job today and Alonso was brilliant. I’m so happy he’s leading the standings now (though Red Bull’s DNFs didn’t make me happy – I still prefer to see racing and do not wish bad luck to anybody).

    1. Stevie P says:

      I think it was Ted Kravitz (during the BBC coverage) who commented that Button’s extreme wet tyres had completely lost their tread, hence why he pitted for inters… and thus came out behind a train of cars, some of whom collided with each other which should have made his race easier, but it didn’t, he couldn’t make it past anyone – very strange!

      On the forum, that followed, Button said his car was different to Hamiltons or rather that he had chosen to run with certain parts that Hamilton hadn’t.

      1. Lilla My says:

        Thanks a lot! I thought he just gambled again like in Oz and it backfired. We have a really bad coverage where I live (no interviews etc., they don’t even show the press conference after the race/quali) and the commentators seem not to notice/know many things, so it’s often difficult to understand some things.

        Anyway, Button seems to have many “problems” lately (mostly with the grip). I know he’s still got a chance to win the title but I don’t see that happening. I think it’s going to be aither Alonso (hopefully!) or Webber. Wouldn’t mind Hamilton either as he gained my respect last and this year – yeah, I know it’s quite uncommon to be a huge Alonso fan who pays respect to Hamilton, but this two are simply the best out there so I would really love to see them fighting wheel to wheel.

        Apart from that that was a really entertaining race today :).

  27. Lee R says:

    I think the new banner (new before Korea) says all that needs to be said about this championship… The 3 drivers (Alonso, Vettel & Webber) looked like the most likely to win the WDC, but one race on and you’d put Lewis in there and would possibly remove Vettel… Much the same way most people thought after Spa that it was between Lewis and Webber now… I would bet (and would hope, for the good of the WDC) that Alonso has a bad one next time out… Who knows, perhaps even Jenson could still get back in there.. But that’s unlikely now; still 4 split by a win with 2 rounds to go is amazing

  28. Janis1207 says:

    Must be Vettel. Did everything right in both qualifying and race, and it was not his fault the engine gave up the ghost.
    Both Mercedes drivers were worthy second best in my opinion. Pulled off impeccable overtaking moves at the sharp end of the grid.
    Then its Alonso. Did what he could and lucked into a win.
    How can anyone vote for Lewis is beyond me. He had a sloppy race, was overtaken by Rosberg, then lost a place (win?) with an off-track excursion, and in the end wore out his tyres completely. No good.

    1. Peter C says:

      The wearing out of tyres isn’t necessarily the fault of the driver. It can also be the set-up of the car which is wrong.
      Hamilton is usually harder on tyres than Button,but to see JB wrecking his tyres like that must indicate that something more than just the driver was causing it.
      McLaren need to get their act together. 2011?

      1. SB says:

        Its the driver that helps set up their car…. Maybe Button and Hamilton didnt choose the right set up for the wet…. May not be a Fundamental issue with the car.

  29. paxdog57 says:

    How about Bernard Maylander for trying to drive the heavy SLS thru those conditions. Also kudos to Charlie Whiting calling the start of the race at just the right moment to get all the race in. Charlie must be glad to be getting out of Korea, first with inspecting the track for race approval and then juggling that wet mess. F1 should be looking for his replacement. One day, he will decide to watch the f1 season from the comfort of his couch.

    1. James H. says:

      Agreed. Speed Channel coverage pointed out that Bernard Maylander has led something like 75 laps this year. I think, tho, that a Formula One standing start is almost essential to the spectacle, even if it means shortening the race and reducing the points.

  30. devilsadvocate says:

    to “diane” I edited your response a little, I think you meant he would have finished 5th or 6th given he had an uncharacteristically difficult time keeping competitors behind him today. Nico, before he got punted, passed Hamilton by off line outbraking in the rain with the ease and comfort of someone lapping a backmarker and then Fernando came back from a severely botched pitstop as well. For all his gusto and bravado Hamilton had a strikingly mediocre race only helped out by 3 retirements in front of him. He drove a terrible race, torched his front tires, and had Massa been on Alonso’s form wouldnt have even pulled 2nd, luckily he had a big gap to nurse his inters-turned-slicks at the end there.

    I vote Vettel and Alonso tied as driver of the day. Two flawless drives (from a driver standpoint) in horrendous conditions without so much as a slip or twitch before Vettel’s Renault handgranade popped. I also imagine his dropoff in pace to be related to the engine in its death spin. Most of the US announcers commented on how Vettel was complaining about visibility conditions in his last laps to try and get a redflag because he knew the ole V8 was in its death rattle. Alonso was closing real fast in the lap or two before it went

    1. mtb says:

      Spot on about Hamilton!

      Christian Horner made comments on BBC that dispute what some people have been saying about Vettel’s reasons for commenting on visibility.

      1. Kent Paul says:

        Alonso was helped by Red Bull’s mistakes as well. Granted that he saved his tyres well at the end, he is in the 2nd fastest car.

      2. Damian Johnson says:

        Only a fool would accept Christian Horner’s comments on visibility without questioning his motives given that his team would have benefitted from a cancelled race or one that was significantly shortened.

      3. mtb says:

        And who is accepting Horner’s comments? I merely pointed out what he said.

    2. **Paul** says:

      I agree pretty much entirely, nicely summarised.

    3. Steven says:

      And alonso wasnt lucky that the RBs didnt finish? Only Hamilton?

    4. Dave says:

      Lol, bit of a subjective view on hamilton!

  31. downforce says:

    There’s a lot of talk about Alonso’s extreme luck regarding Vettel’s mechanical problems. That were it not for Renault’s engines flaws he wouldn´t be so up in the championship.
    However, I recall a lot of people putting him out of the battle precisely due to the bad prospects regarding his own engines, as he was the only one without a new one left.
    But this is Formula 1, this is sport, and you can’t take anything from granted till the checkered flag.
    Maybe it’s not luck, but fine management of the resources you have.

    1. mtb says:

      Yes – Alonso once again demonstrated that he is the most complete driver in the sport.

      1. Damian Johnson says:

        MTB,

        Alonso a complete driver? I don’t think so. A jump start in China, a crash at Monaco, distratected by Hamilton’s dribve at Valencia and be overtaking by Kobayashi in a Sauber at the same race. And of course, Schumacher’s overtake on Alonso at Monaco following release from the safety car while the light was at green. So no surprise then that Ferrari relied on their friends at FIA to rescue them from Alonso’s Monaco embarrassment.

      2. mtb says:

        I said that he is “the MOST complete driver in the sport”.

    2. Syed says:

      Guys, one thing i’ve noticed in this decade of Formula One is that the driver winning the opening race of the season has won the title except for only ’03 and ’05 season. Here’s for the record : –
      2000 – Australian GP won by M. Schumacher
      2001 – Australian GP won by M. Schumacher
      2002 – Australian GP won by M. Schumacher
      2004 – Australian GP won by M. Schumacher
      2006 – Australian GP won by F. Alonso
      2007 – Australian GP won by K. Raikkonen
      2008 – Australian GP won by L. Hamilton
      2009 – Australian GP won by J. Button
      2010 – Bahrain GP won by F. Alonso

      It goes to show that Alonso is on course to winning his 3rd title and this theory is further strengthened when he won yesterday’s Korean GP.

      1. SuperOsnola says:

        And every time he wins in Bahrein, he becomes world champion.

  32. martin says:

    Hamilton, no doubt. Not because of driving – Alonso was better today. But because having balls and wanting to race, when all the others were crying of poor conditions..

  33. J Jay says:

    If Hamilton was leading the race/championship and the Red Bulls were chasing, I’m confident he wouldn’t have been so eager to get on with it. It’s easier to chance your arm if you’ve got little to lose and lots to gain.

    However, Lewis’ race was one of the best of the field. He took a little bit of luck (being passed by Rosberg!) and made it go a long way to finish a deserved second. Unfortunately his sole mistake cost him any chance of winning, but since he was already driving a car which did not like its inters, I think he would have had to relinquish the lead to Alonso.

    Speaking of whom, it’s all going to plan it seems! Apart from his only mistake in his pit-stop, he was closest to the ailing Bulls, and in prime position to pick up the carcasses and not throw it into a wall himself. Who would’ve thought that Fernando would ever lead the WDC after Ferrari’s 800th GP [Turkey] horror show?

    I do feel a bit sorry for Seb. Had his engine held up, I feel he would have held off all-comers and taken the win and my DotD plaudit. This is more like the intuitively quick sensation that dominated the soaking Italian GP in the midfield Torro Rosso, and it will be needed again if he is to haul himself back into contention.

    But my driver of the day is Liuzzi. Drove consistently well, massively outperformed his dodgem-wannabe teammate, avoided making silly but costly errors and as a result, finished in a much higher position than his car would have warranted.

    Okay, maybe this is a bit harsh against the front-running teams (who will always be expected to take the top spots), but to the midfield teams, the battle can be just as intense and important!

    1. Syed says:

      I agree with you but only this race has Liuzzi impressed otherwise he’s generally been disappointing. But he was good at this race while his teammate was out on a demolishing derby. In the end he demolished himself while trying to take down the Kamikaze kobayashi.

  34. seth1066 says:

    Forgot to put this one on the DVR. Anybody have a count of how many times Sutil was off the track, near hits on other cars, accidents caused and total dangerous moves?

  35. michael grievson says:

    Alonso and Hamilton drove the wheels off and Vettel at times was a lot faster. I may just give it to vettel. He resisted all the pressure and didn’t make any mistakes.

    I think failure of the day goes to Button. We hear him all the time complaining about a lack of grip but like Heikki he’s just being out performed by Lewis. He needs to up his game

    1. mtb says:

      Yes, Button reminds me of David Coulthard during his McLaren days.

    2. MonzaOne says:

      Jenson Button had a problem of locking brakes during the race.

      It is noticeable that both Vettel and Button have many people trigger ready to criticize anything they do.

      Yet, Hamilton is treated with kid gloves.

      Comparing Coulthard and Button is an insult to Jenson.

      1. Michael Grievson says:

        I’ve always been a fan of Button but he’s being outclassed by the guys at the top. He lacks the ability to drive around his problems

      2. MonzaOne says:

        Outclassed? You mean as he was during the first quarter of the 2010 season when he won difficult races and led the WDC? Or how he did so well at Monza using an unconventional set-up?

        Jenson drove the race in Korea with locking brakes on a wet, greasy track. He did not crash or manage to wreck the car, he finished the race – albeit having to struggle with a car that was two seconds off the pace.

        This is not a driver who justifies to have his ability questioned.

      3. mtb says:

        “Comparing Coulthard and Button is an insult to Jenson.”

        If anything, it is an insult to DC – the latter may have never won the WDC, but at a similar stage in his career he had won more races than Jenson (despite being the unofficial no.2 at McLaren). Also, he was in all likelihood the better driver at Williams in 1994-5, but suffered all of the bad luck. (i.e. he was generally better than (future WDC) Damon Hill)

      4. Damian Johnson says:

        MTB,

        Your direct comparison between DC and JB on the number of wins is spurious. DC was in McLaren for many years so arguably he should have made more of that opportunity but never won a WDC. Compare that to JB who chose the more difficult option of driving for Honda to develop their car into a winning team. And won a WDC with Honda’s successor.

      5. Aey says:

        Only word that I heard from car radio or from the interview from Button since last year when he was not perform is ” The car is undriveable or there is no grip from my tyre “, I hear it very often while rarely hear the same complanit at the same race from his teammate either Ruben or Lewis.

        When the car radio from Button show on screen, I prepare myself or guessing to hear the same complaint, luckily I hear what I think the duplicate voice most of the time.

        I have read the last interview from him that he has changed his mind that is not ready to help Lewis, I curiios about what he think about, with 31 point in 3 races is nearly imposible, and now 42 point with 2 races, what kind of Miracle he need now. He have to win 2 remaining race, and all the 4 guys in front must have all DNF or finish very very low for those 2 races, there is no posibility, that dream won’t come true.

        for Vettel, 25 point for 2 races with the better car is still very very difficult, for Button point standing, there is no chance.

        Compare to Teammate of Lewis, for the pure performance, Jenson is a bit better than Hekki, Button just drive the car and that it, hardly saw him try anything harder.

        He is fast only when the car is perfect, while Lewis try hard to bring the last bit out of the car even when the car is not good, Lewis always make the car look better than it has been, but no push for Button.

        If not count for Situation win of Button, If both of them finish the race normally, how many time Button finish in front of Lewis or race at the same level with Lewis, very few.

  36. Nesto says:

    Alonso for sure !! Okay, luck came his way but something needs to be said of how reliable his car always seem to be over the years and I think that comes down to his ability to manage the entire thing, pre-race with setup and with his excellent racecraft. Webber is also pretty good but makes mistakes. Button is good as well but was off the pace all weekend (and considering his strategies of late, I believe McLaren are favoring Hamilton and using him as a guinea pig). Vettel reminds me of Raikkonen, super fast in a super fast car but oddly, his car seems to break down often. The sister car of Webber has been near perfect, so definitely something must be amiss with Vettel’s driving.

    Alonso has stated hes not the outright fastest but he is the most consistent. Hes made plenty of uncharacteristic mistakes earlier in the year but in a race, has crashed out only once (Spa) and blew his engine while nursing a gearbox issue all race and trying desperately to get by Button (Malaysia). Otherwise, hes recovered well in all his other mistakes aside from being punished too severely IMO in Silverstone and Lewis being naughty in Valencia prior. Minus Turkey, Alonso could very well have been in the top 4 in every race. Luck does indeed play a part, it goes both ways and as Alonso says, in the end it all balances out. Who has had the worst luck ? Its between Alonso and Vettel, possibly more so Vettel since hes lost the lead due to mechanical failures but is it honestly down to the car alone? You need to be good AND lucky. Alonso can take care of his car, Vettel seemingly can’t. His blazing speed comes at a price.

    1. SB says:

      The link between Raikkonen and Vettel.. Adrian Newey. Designs fast cars, pushes the envelope on design at the cost of reliability?

      Alonso has made more mistakes then that….

      1. Nesto says:

        Alonso has made A LOT of mistakes but I didn’t list them because he was able to salvage something from them for the most part. Trust me, I know every painful mistake.

        Newey is known for his fragile designs but look at Webber, his car has been pretty stout. Maybe because Newey’s “fastest/lightest” parts go to the favored one ? Then again, Webber’s chassis is lighter due to his larger frame. Also, Kubica and Petrov haven’t blown their Renault engines that I can remember. Some drivers manage their cars better. Hamilton is also fast but how many times have his brakes/tires gone out over the years ?

  37. Flintster says:

    Alonso, after the start of the year he’s had, it would have been easy to get fed up and well give up!

    Myself included had writen off Alonso after Silverstone….but look at him now – Leading!!! Brilliant – Just pure genius that boy.

  38. Taz says:

    It was by far the best Schumacher race I have seen this year, and I am so glad I stayed up till 5am to watch this awesome race.

    Otherwise, Vettel gets my vote, because it is not his fault that his engine blew up. He was amazing the whole weekend and Alonso as always is there to pick up the pieces of someone else’s misfortune. Reminds me of 2006 WDC when Schumi’s engine blew up and Alonso won…. Can’t believe someone winning 2 WDC because of others misfortune. That is not the sign of any one being good, let alone great.

    1. HansB says:

      I can’t help thinking you’re a bit dissapointed by todays result.
      Since the british GP, Alonso has made 68 points MORE than Hamilton and a whopping 75 more than Button.
      RB was more consistent but extracting 48 points more than Vettel is not that bad either.
      From my POV that has nothing to do with collecting from someone else’s misfortune.

      Especially McLaren dropped dramatically since the British GP.

  39. Kedar says:

    Alonso of course. Albeit a bit lucky amazing race

  40. Andy C says:

    I haven’t voted but I’d go for vettel today. I think had his engine not let go that he would have comfortably won.

    Great drive from alonso too. A close second

  41. Dianna says:

    Michael Schumacher has my vote,and my family all thought much the same,without any dispute.I feel he is regaining his earlier form and by next year he will be back to normal and in a great car.
    Well done Michael,you are truly BACK!!!!

  42. Lilla My says:

    James, you should change the number of points in the picture on top of your page and the pictures of the drivers as well as we have a different leading three now ;).

  43. mo kahn says:

    Alonso: Drove with his head
    Hamilton: Drove with despair
    Vetel: Drove to disaster
    Webber: Drove like an idiot

    BUT SCHUMACHER WAS ALL HEART :)

    Welcome back El Maestro :)

    Can’t wait for your 2011 Attack :)

    1. SB says:

      Webber had his second DNF this season, think the other drivers on you list have had more non finishes…. Everyone is allowed to have a bad race.

      1. mo kahn says:

        I was being race (Korea) specific :)

  44. MonzaOne says:

    Definitely the quickest driver in f1 for the past two seasons and, brilliant in the rain: Sebastian Vettel.

    Fernando Alonso remains the best driver in F1.

    Great to see a good result from Schumi.

  45. **Paul** says:

    Vettel for me. Who else drove a fault free race? Alonso made a tiny error in the pits, Hamilton basically lucked into 3 positions and made errors, Schumi did well and Massa should have done better.

    Shame Rosberg was taken out by a careless Aussie who turned his wheel back across the track and didn’t brake, otherwise I think Nico would have beaten Hamilton and Massa with some ease today.

    Now where’s that person who told me Alonso wouldn’t win the WDC gone…..

  46. Andrewshould be working says:

    It seems that yet again Maclaren missed a trick. If you noticed, Mercedes used the red flag down time to carry out mods to their cars which made them extremely competitive when the racegot underway properly. If they thought of it why didnt the rest, seems the story of this championship is about Whitmarsh’s pit team being out thought

    1. James Allen says:

      Hardly – they nicked P2 by bringing Hamilton in as soon as Safety Car was deployed. They’ve done okay this year.

  47. DaveF1 says:

    Those who are saying Lewis had a mediocre race because Rosberg passed him, need to learn more about the sport. Mercedes made a change in both cars before the restart and they were better than mclaren in wet condition. The car has to do with driver perfomance if you guys didn’t know that.
    [offtopic]Just like Singapore, mclaren seem to struggle to set up the car for race pace with their new updates. Seem to close the gap for qualify but struggle to keep it on sunday. Both drivers had trouble to look after the car behind the safety car, same thing happened to them in suzuka.

  48. Nilesh says:

    Any idea what was the deal with Vettel at the end of the race? Did he really find it hard to see or was it because he noticed a problem with his engine? Lewis had more to gain with the race continuing so it’s hard to say his comments about the light were objective too. What’s your take James?

    1. James Allen says:

      To answer your question I’ve done a post on Race Control

      1. Nilesh says:

        Thanks James! Extremely informative and incisive post.

  49. ajpandabear says:

    JAMES,
    Considering red bulls position now. Vettel can win the WDC (slim chance). But have a better chance with Webber.To make sure of a WDC they should be putting all they efforts into webber.would i be right in this? would you think this should be the way to go?

    1. James Allen says:

      Of course, but would McLaren do that? Ferrari would for sure. Red Bull will not do it, as they said very clearly this weekend. Alonso will seek to exploit that,

      1. Nando says:

        Didn’t Mclaren say they’d leave it down to the drivers? You’d expect Button will do what is best for the team now he’s out of the running.
        Will be interesting to see if Vettel helps Webber if he’s out of contention by the final race. Horner can say what he wants but ultimately it seems he can be usurped by Matecwisz.

  50. Chris Orr says:

    How crucial was the 7 points Massa gifted Alonso at the German grand prix now?
    It will be deciding the title for sure.

    I wonder what the future of team orders holds for f1.
    I am surprised at Red Bulls stance not to favour Webber as he is clearly advantaged in winning the championship.
    It raises some question as to what are Red Bulls priorities? A world title, or a world title with their favoured driver?

    1. Nando says:

      No team can make a public stance saying they will issue team orders, the rules still don’t allow team orders and the verdict that Ferrari breached them still stands.
      Ferrari getting away with a wrist slap doesn’t mean other teams will, if Ferrari had used such flagrant team orders in the final race of the season to win the championship they would of probably been given an appropriate punishment.

    2. Carlos says:

      Call me a cynic, but I think Red Bull’s stance is a sign that they don’t trust either of their drivers to finish both of the remaining races.

      1. James Allen says:

        There is always that point of view.

  51. Kishan says:

    James,

    I have a suggestion can you start a segment for each race for the ‘worst move of the race’. Was going to suggest worst driver of the day, but feel it may sensationalise something which intended to be lighted hearted and fun and only concentrates on an single instant of drivers switching their brain off.

    My first two recommendations would be Adrian sutil at the end of the lap whilst defending against heidfelt and also the virgin moving into trulli.

    1. James Allen says:

      How about Howler of the Day? Nice idea but there isn’t always a candidate..

      1. Kishan says:

        True not always a candidate but feel I would stimulate some debate. Think it over.

        I am mclaren fan but feel Hamilton would be a contender for a few races this year!

  52. nmphotog says:

    I think we saw the best of the best come through today. Schumacher seemed to come into his own. Alonso drove like a bat out of hell after Vettel fell by the wayside. Kobayashi even had a good showing. Plenty of great drives today. From all the action on the track, it makes me wonder if regulations giving the teams an overpowered car with extremely low grip is the answer to the processional racing. Something to think about.

    1. Jeremiah says:

      “From all the action on the track, it makes me wonder if regulations giving the teams an overpowered car with extremely low grip is the answer to the processional racing. Something to think about.”

      That´s a good point mm
      2B considered by authorities reading this blog

  53. Jonas says:

    Will Vettel cop a 10-place grid drop in Brazil for breaching the max engine limitation?

  54. John says:

    Hi James,
    Question for you as this is sort of making the rounds. Do you think its possible that Ferrari would opt to have a new engine for Alonso in Brazil and take a 10 spot penalty, given that he now leads the championship?

    Noting that Brazil is an engine heavy track and he would be reusing the Monza engine, and that overtaking is very possible in Brazil and he could likely gain a number of places back in the course of the race?

    1. James Allen says:

      No, they will take the chance that everything will be fine, I believe. 10 places is too big a drop to volunteer for

  55. Nuno says:

    Alonso has beeen much better than the car he has been driving.

    During the weekend his performance was awesome. Ferrari has been progressing but…in fact Alonso has been making all the difference.

    A very fast driver, very inteligent, with an uncommon self-control, with great leadership.

    Congratulations to him.

  56. Sangeen says:

    James,off topic but has the joker engine change rule been scrapped or do the teams get a free engine change at the last race?

  57. Aden says:

    Drive of the day should go to liuzzi. Firstly for a force india car that has been uncompetitive for the majority of the season to nearly crack the top 5 is impressive. Secondly not being one of the top drivers to stay on the track, deal with the conditions and hold on for such a solid result while others such his teammate Sutil and Petrov couldnt stay on the track is a credit to the Italian.

    Mark Webber for the WDC!!

  58. Seifenkistler says:

    Hamilton:
    If he would be a better driver Rosberg wouldn’t have overtaken him and it would have been Hamilton who crashed into Webber.
    Vettel:
    All chances robbed by Renault. 25 points lost and needing a new engine so 10 places back next race? Don’t think that he was pushing the car too much, It was still wet and lower than normal speed.

    ROSBERG:
    I would vote for Rosberg, Even it was a very short race for him. I wonder how Rosberg would have performed if Webber wasn’t shocked this much at the crash to forget to brake to prevent rolling back to the pist. Mercedes was clever enough to change setup at red under no park fermet and i wonder how far he would have gone.

  59. Josh says:

    I thought Vettel was faultless the whole weekend and really was stiff to miss out on any points at all.

    James, is it possible to get a rundown of how many engines have been used by the top drivers and the penalty should they go over their alloted amount?

  60. For Sure says:

    It has to be Vettle I think, not to take anything away from Alonso tho but that win was a gift from Redbull engine department.

    By the way did anyone actually realize that we had one of the weakest championship defense this season.

    I think after this race, you can put Button into JV and Damon bracket, decent drivers who lucked into a far superior car.

  61. snafuracer says:

    Of course it was Alonso – extracted the best from the chaos, thus turning himself to a firm title contender. Back luck in the box, overtook Hamilton, because of his mistake, and didn’t make any errors till the end. Pushed Vettel enough to stress his engine, preserved the tires at the right time, and subsequently won the race.

  62. Adrian Mauron says:

    Liuzzi bexause he came through all th carnage from the back and drive a beutiful race. It is said many times the Force India has less downforce than the leading cars. He did great job to not make mistakes when many big names with more grip did.

  63. Mr G says:

    Driver of the day needs to go to Alonso.
    James, did Ferrari play cat and mouse with Red Bull during the race ?
    Did Ferrari used a very rich fuel mix during the second part of the race to push Vettel.
    All cars had a huge amount of fuel to burn due to the safety car start therefore it looked like Alonso pushed Vettel all the way and it might have caused the Renault engine to blow.
    As far as I can remember, RB has always struggle when the car has been running not a full speed for a longish period, having always a little problem with cooling.
    Moreover I noticed that Vettel was not pushing more than necessary during the first part of the race after establishing a gap of a couple of seconds, any more inside information James ?

    1. Damian Johnson says:

      Only luck allowed Alonso to win today. He never looked like passing either of the Redbulls.

      I would hand the driver of the day to Vettel considering he managed to stay P1 for most of the race until his car let him down!

      1. Mr G says:

        Hi Damian,
        in my opinion the result is not due to luck.
        Red Bull have had issues with cooling when they are not running at full speed, their car is always being marginal in the cooling department.
        Moreover rain often doesn’t cool air down and rainy weather produce a heavier air, reducing its cooling capacity.
        I believe that Ferrari was running a very rich mix after the SC after the second start and they tried to push Vettel all race.
        As Alonso said, as soon as Webber crashed, Ferrari changed strategy and they went for Vettel instead of trying to take a second place home.
        It is very interesting to see that when the cars restarted after SC, both time vettel was capable to gain nearly 1 full second just in sector 3 and then another 0.5 seconds in the following lap.
        After that he was “cruising” and maintaining a 1.5-2 seconds advantage despite being able to open a much bigger gap if he wanted.
        Am I reading too much into it ?

        Any other ideas anyone ?

  64. Wombat says:

    It has to be Alonso (again!), he alone drove a well-judged race following the maxim, if you want to finish first, first you have to finish!
    But I’d like to give M Schumacher an encouragement award, he showed some of his old ‘brio’ (and that is saying something – I still can’t forgive or forget Adelaide’94).

  65. Steve Rogers says:

    I don’t see how Vettel didn’t win this. He drove faster than Alonso.

  66. Christian says:

    I don’t think people truly appreciate how bad that Mclaren is and how well Lewis is driving it. I can’t wait till he gets a car worth of his ability.

  67. Darren says:

    There is a very simple reason no one voted for Vettel, he is generally unliked in the UK where most of the posters on this site come from.

    Also lights to flag winners generally dont get great reviews on these types of poles. The winners are typically people like Kubica who regurarly exceed the ability of their cars. I remember last year the likes of Hamilton & Raikkonen did well in the poles driving their awful cars into places they shouldnt have been.

    British people like a plucky guy who overcomes the odds to.

    I didnt vote because I didnt know who to vote for, ironically after all that I would possibly go for Vettel.

    Alonso kept his car pointing straight and had some cracking pace at the end, I think he would have possibly beaten Seb anyway. But was he any better than Massa at the end of the day? Massa kept the car on the straight and narrow and if he started 3rd would probably won (team orders aside ;)

    Hamilton & Webber made mistakes.

    Liuzzi & Schumacher did good jobs, both were lucky to make up as many places as they did, but in those kind of conditions you make your own luck to a certain extent

  68. AdrianP says:

    Alonso definitely at the top of his game, now.

    Unlike last race, no complaints about Button not making it onto that list. Certainly a race to forget for him…

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