Posted on June 26, 2011
European Grand Prix – Who was your driver of the day? | James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1

Sebastian Vettel
Pulled together a near perfect lap to secure his seventh pole position in eight races this season. Made a clean getaway at the start and controlled the race from the front. Though he never pulled out a big gap, the German looked to be driving well within himself all race and never looked troubled as he secured his sixth victory of the season. The win extends his championship lead to 77 points – that’s more than the equivalent of three race victories.

Fernando Alonso
Looked competitive throughout Friday practice and qualified fourth place on the grid. Passed Lewis Hamilton at the start to run third and then began a race long battle with Mark Webber. With the help of the DRS overtaking aid, he passed the Australian on track, but lost that place in the second round of stops. Reclaimed second at the final round of stops to secure second – his third podium of the season.

Mark Webber
Showed good speed in qualifying to finish second fastest alongside pole-sitting team-mate Vettel and made a solid start to maintain his position in the first stint of the race. Gambled on pitting early to put the harder compound tyres on, but it didn’t pay off. Alonso stayed out for two laps longer and jumped him in the stops. Developed a gearbox problem in the dying stages but held on for third.


Jaime Alguersuari
Endured a difficult Friday practice with mechanical problems hampering his running while off-track there was growing speculation surrounding his future at the team. Went out in the first part of qualifying along with the new teams and started 17th. A two-stop strategy and consistent lap times on track saw him rise up to eighth for his second consecutive points finish of the season.

Adrian Sutil
Made it into Q3 but decided not to run in order to save a set of tyres. Starting ninth, Sutil passed Nick Heidfeld at the start. Dropped down as low as 14th after his final stop but fought his way back up into the top-10. Pushed Alguersuari hard with a new set of tyres, but couldn’t find a way past, eventually finishing ninth for his third points finish of the season.


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European Grand Prix – Who was your driver of the day?
142 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: Arry_2k
        Date: June 26th, 2011 @ 9:55 pm 

    Jaime! Why? Because despite being under pressure off the track and having a poor showing in quali, he made a tough strategy work, worked through the field and soaked up the pressure from Sutil at the end – all in front of his fellow countrymen. Good Job!!

    [Reply]

    Wayne Reply:

    Rather than ask who the driver of the day was we should be asking who the tyre management technician of the day was – that’s what these amazing drivers have been reduced to this year. I’m starting to really miss sensible ‘real’ racing between these guys.

    [Reply]

    Speed F1 Reply:

    Agreed 100%. All about artificial components this year.

    [Reply]

    Werewolf Reply:

    Is not all technology artificial by definition; and surely, a racing car is among the most artificial of any machine? F1 racing cars, in particular, are such extreme devices, they do not have very much resemblance at all to the job-of-work machines from which they were evolved, making themselves extremes of artificiality. The purest non-human alternative, I guess, is horse racing (yawn).

    Motorsport at any level is about driving fast and managing your machinery, together with all the kit at its disposal.

    In modern F1, it is the technology itself that has caused racing to suffer because overtaking has become so difficult on account of the aerodynamics. The technological solution as presented in the current rules, which seeks to improve overtaking and therefore competition without slowing the cars or reducing their awesome cornering abilities seems reasonable to me.

    In much of F1′s history, tyre management was also essential; not because of a tyre specification decision but simply because the things wouldn’t get to the end of the race in a remotely competitive state otherwise.

    Wayne Reply:

    Werewolf, F1 has never seen anything like these joke-shop tyres though has it? Not to this extent? For what proportion of Sunday’s race were the drivers actually able to drive to their potential 10% maybe? This is lower than anything we have ever seen in F1 isn’t it?

    DonSimón Reply:

    Your best bet is to wait until 2012 for the 100m. Of course it’s artificial. Turbo buttons were too. Wings are, engine mapping is. Thats our sport. Just enjoy it for what it is.
    Granted, the race this weekend was lousy but so far this season has been outstanding.

    Scuderia Missile Reply:

    I voted for Vettel as drive of the day. But I think Fernando managed his tyres the best, and as a fan, I think all aspects of racing (including tyre wear) are relevant.

    Racing isnt about going hell for leather, its about getting round the race distance in the shortest time. If tyre management achieves this, then its the best racing tactic.

    I cant agree with arguments about artificiality, as its a racing formula, the whole thing is artificial. I do agree with Mr Werewolf, though.

    Wayne Reply:

    I have no idea why the distinction between turbo buttons and wings and the rest of the car and DRS is so hard for people to grasp!

    All this ‘the whole sport’ is artifical business is just a lazy and patronising generalisation for poeple who want the instant gratification of seeing drivers sail past each other with barely a struggle and call that garbage ‘overtaking’.

    DRS deliberately hands the advantage to one driver over another at a specific time and place on the circuit. Therefore the rules say that Driver A will have the advtantage at a given time. This advtange is not a byproduct of skill or car design which is NATURAL it is contived by the rules which creates an ARTIFICAL situation.

    DRS is artifical in a way that the car or skills of the driver is not. The silly assertion that the car is man-made and therefore completely artifical is an extension too fra and has no value in the debate what-so-ever.

    The tyres are artifically engineered to fall apart, thus penalising aggressive, thrilling racers and supporting those good at conserving their rubber.

    Pretty soon the sport is going to be no placer for racers like Hamilton and Kobayashi. How can this possibly be? How can the most exciting drivers be increasingly alienated by this cycle of madness and artificality? Why let that happen?

    Take the first lap – all that excitment has gone now hasn;t it as all the drivers sit back and wait for DRS.

    Qualy is dead as a show.

    Oh, and the show has not really been improved – this season’s wdc is a complete walkover – it’s more predictable than ever. Vetell has already won.

    Hamilton and Massa went at it for the title 3 years ago and I was hooked all season. Hamilton, Massa, Raikonen and Alonso the year beofre – agin I was hooked.

    Speed F1 Reply:

    The point is not about the change of technologies or the new direction, my frustration is that now the drivers don’t have to have any specific skills to overtake, which means it doesn’t justify any credibility. We talk about great moves from decades back done by Senna, Prost, Schumacher & so forth, but now even the commentators say that it’s because of DRS & we see that ourselves as well. That’s artificial not skill.

    Scuderia Missile Reply:

    I have to say, I agree with DonSimon. Otherwise, If its that bad, turn off and stop posting.

    Wayne Reply:

    Scuderia Missile, I could, as you suggest just “turn off and stop watching” or I could carry on contributing to the ongoing and constructive debate about the sport that I love above all others, I’ll take the latter option thanks.

    unooc12 Reply:

    You mean the just drive as fast as you can with no real skill or ability to look after your car and make the most of it?

    4 time WDC Alain Prost wouldn’t agree.

    It used to be that the cars fell apart so the skill was in holding the car together, now the cars stick together so drivers have to make the most of the tyres, engine, gearbox etc…

    It’s hardly real racing if its 24/7 going hard no matter what. That isn’t a real show of skill, that’s mario kart

    [Reply]

    Wayne Reply:

    Alain Prost’s era was not utterly dominated by tyres engineered to fall apart after a dozen laps was it? Of course there has always been tyre management but this yera is far in excess of anyhting we have seen before. Drivers not fighting 100% for grid position in qualy because the tyres mean it’s just not all that important! Races utterly dominated and won off the back of tyre management rather than fast driving? Seriously?

    Wayne Reply:

    Additionally, If you do not think that lapping a 3 mile circuit at up to 200 mph, pulling in excess of 3g, accelerating, breaking and turning the mass of the car to within 100th of a second of each other consistently for 2 hours is not a real show of skill you are watching the worng sport.

    If the driver cannot drive as fast as his tallent allows more often than not what’s the point?

    By your logic F1 teams should not be looking for fast drivers (they don’t even need to worry about qualy now sometimes!) they should be putting out a firled of ‘thinkers’ and ‘nursers’ of tyres.

    Alain Prost’s style was always balanced by the likes of Mansell and Senna who were ‘racers’ – As great as Prost was, an entire field of Prosts would be a dull spectacle would it not?

    unooc12 Reply:

    Hardly, I want to watch a Formula 1 race where drivers have to get from the start to finish as fast as possible. Whether they floor it or look after it at the start and come home strong, or whatever is what I want to see, not just out and out speed continuosly.

    Alain Prost was a ‘racer’ FFS! He is a 4 times WDC, you don’t get that by noting ‘racing’.

    And entire field of Prost’s would be exciting for me, obviously some would get bored, but Alain Prost has the ability to make decision on how to run his race on the run.

    In one race he knew how much fuel Senna had compared to him. He knew he couldn’t win purely on pace, so he drove as fast burning fuel knowing Senna would do likewise. Senna then ran out of fuel and Prost knowing what he was doing went on to win! That is sheer class and brilliance.

    I would find it very interesting.

    It hasn’t always been the tyres, bakc 20 years ago the rest of the car would fall apart

    Wayne Reply:

    Additionally, I think we’ve all been focusing on the worng team when it comes to loosing performance due to the off throttle hot blowing ban. Wasn’t it Mclaren that were all at sea beofre the season started until they copied RBR’s system and were suddenly right in the mix? What happens when you take that system back off the McLaren I wonder? I bet you all £1 that McLaren looses more performance than RBR and Ferrari in Silversotne.

    [Reply]

    Martin Reply:

    Hi Wayne,

    my money is in Australian dollars so your pound is safe. An interesting point that you’ve made. I’ve been trying to compare Barcelona and Silverstone in my head for corner length as that is a key part of tyre wear, and that is an equaliser for race pace. Qualifying will be all about downforce and balance, and first race of the new regulations could be tricky to get the balance right, as the best front wing may have the wrong downforce level.

    in regards to artificialness, the DRS is a contrived device to get around aerodynamic turbulence that has largely prevented overtaking. (Different aerodynamic philosophies work differently when following other cars. The Brawn and recent McLarens have been better at following cars closely than Ferraris and Red Bulls (which is a credit to the designers at those teams)).

    If you have free tyres (as with multiple suppliers), then unless you have refuelling, the optimum strategy is going to be to conserve the tyres for part of the race as 20 seconds for a stop will be too much to make up for each additional stop. Gerhard Berger was often one driver to push too hard too soon and damage his tyres. If you have refuelling, you end up with strategy races, as it is simpler and less risky to pass in the pits.

    If we come back to the problem, which is aerodynamic turbulence, we could cut the downforce. But then the cars would be slow in lap time, which hurts the image of the sport. If we ditch the wings and go for pure ground effects to reduce the turbulence (or go even further and run sucker cars), then all those advertising surfaces (wings) disappear.

    F1 is a mix of sport and business. Its size means it needs to appeal to a mainstream audience for the revenue. The request from the mainstream was for more passing.

    Qualifying puts the fast cars at the front. Engine power is extremely important for qualifying as then the wing levels can be increased and cornering and braking performance maximised. Since the engines are now all just about the same, downforce makes most of the difference in qualifying. In the race, having marginal tyres means that downforce isn’t penalty free as it leads to increased tyre wear. Hence the situation in Spain where Vettel has quicker than Hamilton through the fast corners and slower in the slow ones.

    With tyres like those in 2007 and 2008, there was minimal disadvantage to the Ferrari and McLaren’s advantage over the rest of the field. But if you had Kimi’s problem in 2008, you could only get clear air when the strategy was in your favour.

    My contribution would be to give the cars a lot more power and torque, at least twice what they currently have, with no increase in grip levels. Make the tyres more durable, but certainly no softer. That should make corner exits more critical, and occasionally allow one driver to get a run on another.

    Personally, I find DRS interesting from and engineering and strategy perspective. It contributed to Vettel feeling the pressure in Canada – I believe he otherwise could have defended, in the unlikely case that Button was in second place. Hamilton may not have got anywhere near Vettel without DRS as DRS brought KERS usage at different parts of the lap into play. Otherwise, we have had the fastest car and driver combination starting at the front and winning. This is always a risk if one team has a consistent edge.

    cheers,

    Martin

    Scuderia Missile Reply:

    Martin,

    Thanks for posting the most eloquent, and comprehensible piece on why F1 is where it is. I find it much harder to diagree with a well argues, reasonable post than one which employs increasingly desperate sounding rhetoric to bully others into submission!

    Wayne Reply:

    Hi Martin, thanks for a great reply.

    Ben Reply:

    What are you talking about? Tyre management has always been a core skill in Formula 1. The Bridgestone era was the anomaly. And if the cars could push 100% all of the time like you are suggesting (And the tyres are not the only thing preventing them from doing that) then you would see the RB7 beating the rest of the field by laps at a time, rather than just seconds.

    [Reply]

    Wayne Reply:

    Come on Ben, there’s tyre management and then there is what we have this year which is far and a way in excess of anything we have seen before. This year it is ALL about tyre management and that is not racing is it?

    Ben Reply:

    Absolutely not. If there is any one thing this year that rises above anything else then it is aerodynamic performance (like every other year), which is why the Red Bull is winning every race. Tyre management enabled Alonso to keep in touch with the Red Bulls, if the tyres could last race distances then the likes of Hamilton and Alonso would have no chance to take the fight to them.

    Wayne Reply:

    No Ben I disagree. Vetell allowed Alonso to keep in touch because he just did enough all race (Webber is a different story and is not a driver in Alonso’s league this year). Alosno pitted before Vetell on both occasions suggesting that the RBR in Seb’s hands was every bit as good if not a bit better than the Ferrari at tyre conservation. I don’t see how tyres therefore allowed Alonso to keep the rbr’s honest – rather it was Seb simply daudling because he could.

    Ben Reply:

    The Ferrari and the Red Bull are fitted with the same tyres. Vettel driving within himself (or dawdling as you put it) is due to the Red Bull’s superiority over the Ferrari, nothing to do with tyre wear. Both cars pitted within a couple of laps of each other so each car had the same tyres with similar numbers of laps run on each tyre at any given stage of the Grand Prix.

    Dismissing Webber because you say he is not as good as Alonso makes no logical sense, if anything, it proves what you are saying is wrong. Webber was the first of the front three to pit on all occasions, because he was not able to make his tyres last as long. Alonso was able to equal Webber’s pace in his inferior Ferrari because he had managed his tyres better. If we were running Bridgestones then both RB7s would have been able to run at their maximum throughout the race and would have sailed into the distance.

    Unless you are saying that Webber pushing the RB7 is slower than Vettel dawdling.

    Wayne Reply:

    Honestly I can’t even recall what we are supposed to be debating here and am happy to admit tat I may have become a tad confused.

    My assertion is this: We have never seen tyre wear like we are seeing this year and the tyre wear is deliberately engineered. The likes of Hamilton were clearly stymied by their inability to manage the tyres as well as others on Sunday. This is certainly a weakness. However, I would rather see drivers like Hamilton unleashed and racing than bogged down with poor tyre management technique.

    Hamilton and Massa going at it for title 3 years ago was a great to watch as the advantage swayed all season long. Raikonen, Massa, Alonso and Hamilton the year before was also a great season of F1. There were no joke-shop tyres or DRS to cheapen the racing and it was still great F1 as far as I am concerned. The drivers were able to push and drive their cars to the limit much more often.

    I realise tyre management has always been part of the game. But at least, up until the age of the comedy Pirellis, we could watch F1 drivers pushing hard for maybe 50% of the race rather then the 10% they were on Sunday because the tyres just would not permit it.

    The % of time that drivers are ‘giving it the beans’ dropped through the floor this year. I hear more about tyres than I do about anything else in 2011. The tyres have destroyed qualy as a show (one aspect of F1 that had been perfected for me). Why do we need comedy tyres when we have DRS and KERS?

    F1 is becomming Wacky Races with tyres falling apart and double DRS zones all over the place. The drivers’ ability to drive fast is now nothing like as important as it was. It is now more about driving sensibly than it ever was. Who wants to watch 20+ of the world’s greatest drivers being sensible?

    Speed F1 Reply:

    I agree with you on tyre management partially. Yes it is a great skill, but not when it’s designed to fall apart so soon. Now this is what makes Alonso the most complete driver on the grid. Even though the design of his Ferrari doesn’t allow him to be as aggressive on tyres as Redbull, he still manages to achieve the most out of it. But I personally don’t support the idea of making the tyres the way they are now. I’d love to see the 2 different tyre suppliers & the refueling rule back & the DRS to disappear all together. One more thing i’m praying will not be introduced is v6 or v4 engine. That’s when the real racing will begin again. All these rule changes are costing more money than FIA wanted to save. Great driving & overtaking skill without the help of fake components is the race I’d enjoy. I guess one vote doesn’t count. Doesn’t it James?

    Ben Reply:

    Wayne, what is different to a driver managing the life of his engine, gearbox or brakes? And this has nothing to do with the four race life as it applies whether the engine has to do one race or twenty. Twenty years ago, it was typical for only half the cars to reach the end of the race, today the teams have a much better understanding of how to get a car to do a race distance,but more critically, the drivers are much better at being able to extract the maximum out of the package while making it last the distance.

    Hamilton only has himself to blame, we saw him like this at Brazil last year where upon getting ew rubber on his car on all three occasions he took too much out of the three in the first three laps and then had to manage them much more extremely for the rest of the race. And I reiterate, that was last year on the Bridgestone tyres.

    Ironically, Hamilton is actually one of the better drivers at managing his tyres when he wants to, however, when he makes an error that he feels he has to make up for his mindset changes and he pushes too hard to try and make amends for his error, only further damaging his race. We saw this at Monaco, Turkey and Monza where he qualified lower down than he was capable of and in Valencia he had a poor start losing two places into turn 1.

    Don’t get me wrong, Hamilton is a brilliant, brilliant driver, the fastest in F1, but where drivers like Vettel and Button have an edge on him is their ability to control their aggression when the red mist descends. The reason Vettel has won all but two races, and finished second in the other two, isn’t just that he has the fastest car. It’s because he has only used it as much as he needed to at any given time, or held off pushing at one moment because he knows he can push for longer later on.

    Hamilton can do this too, and when he did, he won the race in China, unfortunately he is a very emotionally charged driver – which is one reason why he is so popular – however it can be exploited as a weakness under the circumstances I previous described.

    SpeedF1 the period of two tyre suppliers enabled Schumacher to win 13 out of 18 races as the Bridgestone tyre was so dominant over the Michelin in 2004. The following year, Schumacher and Ferrari didn’t win any races that had Michelin tyres! The last era of refuelling had the lowest number of overtakes per race, as soon as it was taken away the number of overtakes dramatically increased.

    As for the V6 engines, these will be a lot more powerful than the current V8s. A 1.6 turbo only has to run at 1.5 boost to make it equivalent to a 2.4 in terms of displacement, but with lower mechanical energy loses. The rom isn’t going to be the 12,000 reported in the press. Adrian Newey said in an interview with the BBC that the rev limit will be between 14,000 to 16,000 rpm, with the turbos these engines will be a lot more powerful than the ones we have at the moment.

    And before we have comments of ‘this isn’t F1′ – Ayrton Senna won his first WDC with a 1.5L turbo V6 running at around 12,000 rpm.

    Wayne Reply:

    Ben thanks for this informative reply.

    Stefanos Reply:

    There seems to be a confusion here between close racing and a closely-fought championship.

    A closely-fought championship will only occur when top teams have reached a development ceiling. This can be avoided by frequent (and costly!) rule changes.

    Close racing has traditionally been on fans’ wishlists, but numerous rule changes have failed to deliver. The DRS and tyres seem to have yielded the desired effect, though it is artificial. The choice is artificial and overtaking, or non-artificial and less overtaking. You can’t have your cake and eat it, it seems.

    I would argue that the DRS has delivered less than hoped, as its often set up sub-optimally and that KERS is a PR gimmick (I don’t think the world needs to be convinced KERS is “cool” because F1 uses it, but will buy it when there is a tangible fuel economy benefit). Perhaps DRS will be used better next year.

    However, the tyres are an interesting case. Indeed, having been specifically engineered to degrade rapidly they introduce an element of arficiciality to the races. This is more a matter of image than substance, since we have often seen in the past racing and overtaking between drivers either with different tyre compounds, different brands, or different state of wear. Its just par for the course. And, besides, 3 stops is not THAT unusual.

    It is intriguing that so much of F1 is about image and branding. And that with so many image-related discussions, nobody thought to complain that Vettel is sailing away with the title and its only early July!

    Andy C Reply:

    Tyre conservation has always (barring a small period where it was just flat out all the way) been part of the sport in the modern era.

    I dont think its all about tyre conservation. The quick cars are still at the front. It needs a bit of intelligence to keep enough tyres for a push.

    [Reply]


  2.   2. Posted By: Robert Lujan
        Date: June 26th, 2011 @ 10:04 pm 

    Jaime should get this one. One would expect 2nd from Fernando. But look at where Jaime’s teammate ended up…. I hope he keeps it up and moves up to take over from Webber. Who will do himself good to move over to Renault.

    [Reply]

    PeteM Reply:

    Robert I cant imagine Alguersari taking over from nor getting the chance to replace Webber. His still under pressure to be consistently good which he is not.
    I think Ricciardo should replace Alguersari.
    Look at Hulkenderg last year with a fantastic Pole in Brazil. You cant be a one hit wonder and succeed. Look at Hulkenberg. A pole last year at Brazil and where is he now.

    [Reply]

    Alan Reply:

    No, Jamie was lucky with his strategy, nothing more, he was forced into it by his poor qualifying performance, again.

    He is one of the drivers we want to see kicked out of F1, he has had a chance and done little with it.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    23 laps on a set of soft tyres with competitive lap times? That’s not luck

    [Reply]

    DonSimón Reply:

    Beat me to the punch…

    Tim. Reply:

    Spot on

    unooc12 Reply:

    Alguersuari quali = 18th
    Buemi quali = 17th

    I wouldn’t say Alguersuari’s qualifying performance was the ‘bad’ thing that brought on the stratergy.

    [Reply]


  3.   3. Posted By: Mr Squiggle
        Date: June 26th, 2011 @ 10:09 pm 

    Hard to go past Vettel this time. I can’t see any real reason to vote for someone else, no standout reason to think anyone else deserves driver of the day

    [Reply]


  4.   4. Posted By: Michael S
        Date: June 26th, 2011 @ 10:10 pm 

    Why do we always skip Vettel for being top driver of the day…. Alonso was able to beat one Red Bull with a great pass… Why not the other? Can’t we just admit Vettel is on top of his game now and killing it?!

    [Reply]

    Alexis Reply:

    He went wide at one point didn’t he though? So did Alonso. In theory Hamilton had a better drive as he made no errors. JA gets my vote though for punching above his weight.

    [Reply]

    brendan Reply:

    hardly lewis, he did ok. but when team warned him about preserving his tyres. he effectively said he couldnt.

    its got to JA or Fernando.

    and of course vettel for doing just enough

    [Reply]

    **Paul** Reply:

    Exactly. Killing you tyres nearly cost Lewis a couple of extra places.

    Peter C Reply:

    James Allen?

    [Reply]

    PaulL Reply:

    I’m an Alonso fan, but I agree with you to the extent that Vettel’s achievements are consistently passed over unjustifiably.

    As I’ve said before, it’s just the historical conditioning of a subjective judgement that a Newey designed car makes it something your grandma could drive to win a Grand Prix. But clearly 6 wins to your team-mate’s none is nothing to be glossed over. I know Webber’s not been in the best of form this year, but his race performances have been strong in places. Vettel’s just so clean and always something else in the way of pace.

    [Reply]

    krieng Reply:

    Your grandma better than Webber! Amazing grandma.

    [Reply]

    Jonny M. Reply:

    Two drivers of the day, Vettel and Jaime!

    [Reply]

    John Reply:

    How do we know Vettel is at the top of his game? There is no comparitive point in most of the races. He qualifies first and usually drives at the front. His car is so much faster than most everyone else. He outperforms his team-mate but at the same time his team-mate has had I think 70% of race weekends with car problems, including this weekend. He hasn’t really had to drive the wheels off his car much at all this year. The other guys apart from Webber are having to drive for everything, take higher risks. Higher risk, higher reward. I don’t think Vettel is the best driver this season, just my two cents, and we saw in the previous race that, with limited pressure from Button, he slid off. If thats the top of his game then thats no game at all.

    [Reply]

    Steve Reply:

    That one mistake is still a lot less than any of the other frontrunners have made so far. Who do you think is driving better and more consistently?

    [Reply]

    John Reply:

    The guy doesn’t really even have to push his car, the others are driving on and above the limit….how can you compare them as mistakes or consistency? I don’t think he is driving the best, to be honest. In my opinion Alonso, then Vettel, then Button/Rosberg…I don’t think Button is driving that well, but Alonso clearly is in a much slower car.

    John Reply:

    The guy doesn’t really even have to push his car, the others are driving on and above the limit….how can you compare them as mistakes or consistency? I don’t think he is driving the best, to be honest. In my opinion Alonso, then Vettel, then Button/Rosberg.I don’t think Button is driving that well, but Alonso clearly is in a much slower car and is consistent.

    Steve Reply:

    Alonso has been as high as 2nd and as low as 7th and collected every place in between along the way. Not sure what’s consistent about that.

    Hezla Reply:

    No one is even near Vettel. Pole, fastest lap, victory, what else do you want.

    [Reply]

    **Paul** Reply:

    I agree with this. Had Alonso or Hamilton done this everyone would be voting for them. Vettel can only beat what is put infront of him and at present he’s doing an incredible job. He has a quick car yes, but in race pace terms it’s very close, as we’ve seen in Canada, Spain, Monaco and China. The stats do not lie and they say that Vettel in the same car as Webber has won 6 races to Marks 0. They also say that Vettel has led some crazy number of laps this season compared to everyone else, again including the guy who has the same car as him.

    Winning races isn’t easy, especially with tyres that are unpredictable. It’s a huge huge achievement by Seb to have won so many races. This guy is well on his way to becoming the younest double world champion as well the youngest WDC and the youngest runner up. It’s high time people stop pointing at the car and start questioning why someone with the same machinery, and those with very good cars and far more experience are getting slaughtered.

    I still think both FA and JA had awesome races though. Especially glad for Jamie, he’s so young that he’d be easy to boot out of the team so to put a performance like that in was great.

    Thus I voted for Vettel by a whisker from FA & JA.

    [Reply]

    Dino Reply:

    I think he gets skipped primarily because he is never presented with any opportunities to demonstrate his driving ability. I can’t imagine it’s easy to start from pole, and lead the race until the final lap, but it’s undoubtedly easier than starting from halfway down the field and winning, or fighting from the back to the front (as both Webber and Button have done this year) and (arguably) more exciting and entertaining for the fans.

    Vettel is not offering good entertainment value driver by winning every race (the two he “lost” this year he was winning until the last few laps). Last year he was more erratic and more entertaining as a result.

    You could argue that “Driver of the Day” more most people is actually “Most Entertaining Driver of the Day”. In that light, it’s easier to see why Alonso is topping the votes. Otherwise it would be a simple case of always giving it to the winner, or the driver who made up the most positions.

    [Reply]

    devilsadvocate Reply:

    It’s not like he is gauranteed pole every weekend… I guess that means he hasn’t shown his skill since it’s hard to overtake when people are rarely fast enough to even get in front of you. Moreover, he’s not simply beating webber 6 wins to 0, Webbers best has only been 3rd all season in the same car. If Nico was doing this to Schumacher people would be calling for the old dog to retire instead of the litany of excuses and whining about how RBR isn’t fair to webber. Vettels gonna have to win with a wheel missing or the car on fire to get driver of the day, but even then the Brits will get on here and whine about how he should have been black flagged.

    [Reply]

    Kenny Carwash Reply:

    It’s a fair point, but I think Vettel has won some of these races at a canter so I guess it comes down to what you think constitutes Driver of the Day. Races like yesterday’s, Vettel wins them with his performance on Saturday and in the first 10 laps. Then he can just cruise home. Driver of the weekend, certainly, but driver of the day? Debatable.

    [Reply]


  5.   5. Posted By: James b
        Date: June 26th, 2011 @ 10:11 pm 

    Alguersari for me just from alonso. 2 guys out performing there cars the most. One getting between the bulls the other saving and possibly starting a career.

    [Reply]


  6.   6. Posted By: TG
        Date: June 26th, 2011 @ 10:19 pm 

    Voted Alonso – outstanding (and that’s coming from a McL fan).
    Shame its all a bit late for anyone to challenge RBR. I don’t think I’d ever vote Vettel unless he comes back from a major error to win a race.
    Sorry, that’s probably unfair to many, but Schumacher’s dominance virtually killed my enthusiasm for F1 and I don’t want to see any one driver do that again.

    I think, at the end of the day, if we want season-long championship battles FIA has to start standardising aero. But then they’ve already standardised virtually everything else, so doing that would damage the sport’s point of difference. Catch 22.

    If this happens next season, though, I’d put the Texas GP’s longevity in the low single figures.

    [Reply]

    Rich C Reply:

    > if we want season-long championship battles FIA has to start standardising aero. But then they’ve already standardised virtually everything else,…

    Well IndyCar will have some oldies to get rid of for next season, so…

    [Reply]

    Michael S Reply:

    2 differences for me though with Vettel vs Schumi. Schumi had teammates move over on several occasions and there was no need for it as he was already winning titles by a truck load of points…

    The other is that Ferrari used to get all the breaks… In this case they still are as the FIA is clamping down on engine mapping and off throttle which are both Red Bull strengths

    [Reply]

    Søren Kühle Reply:

    FIA are clamping down on it because they deem it illegal.
    Everyone is doing it to some extent to try to close the gap to RB. Since Ferrari is doing it too, I dont see how it can be considered favoritism from the FIA.
    http://www.formula1.com/news/interviews/2011/6/12223.html

    [Reply]


  7.   7. Posted By: Nando
        Date: June 26th, 2011 @ 10:25 pm 

    Alguesari for me. Alonso was superb to keep up with the bulls, although Vettel obviously had plenty in reserve, but only finished one place higher than the car deserved.

    [Reply]


  8.   8. Posted By: Harvey Yates
        Date: June 26th, 2011 @ 10:57 pm 

    I thought of voting for Vettel just because he ended the race as quickly as he could.

    [Reply]

    Galapago555 Reply:

    Brilliant.

    In fact he had finished the race at the first corner – as usual.

    [Reply]

    Rich C Reply:

    LOL Good enough reason!

    Me too!

    [Reply]

    kkrodd Reply:

    Yeah! and any expectator that endured the whole race without falling sleep!

    [Reply]

    boulay Reply:

    hopefully as soon as he is mathematically unbeatable they will just cancel the rest of the races and allow the teams to go back to the drawing board and try and make next season vaguely competitive…..

    [Reply]


  9.   9. Posted By: Liam Smart
        Date: June 26th, 2011 @ 11:01 pm 

    Obviously Karthikeyan! It takes skill to finish that far behind 23rd place.

    [Reply]

    Phil Reply:

    Agree!

    [Reply]


  10.   10. Posted By: William Keller
        Date: June 26th, 2011 @ 11:27 pm 

    Alonso gets my vote, fantastic start to set the mood for his race. Regardless of how you feel about Vettel, you have to admit he is virtually untouchable this year. Could we be seeing the next MS?? Looking forward to seeing them battle in Austin next year, in my back yard!

    [Reply]


  11.   11. Posted By: Paulo Miranda
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 12:00 am 

    Jaime,

    very simple, he had a hard friday, big pressure to perform with rumors about Ricciardo taking over his place, pressure at home grand prix to catch some love from Spanish passionate fans at his home grand prix (2nd home GP but still), and he is still very young.

    With that said he underperformed on Sat, only 17th, but kept his cool in post-Qual interview and drove very well today.

    More than the place that he achieved he have to have in account that there was no SCs to help him get more posisitions, in a race very hard on the tyres, and he was under pressure a lot of times, even defending in DRS zone from cars at least as fast.

    Very impressed today.

    Vettel drove a good race as always, but one quote of him that made him say that he loved this boring race was that “it was only about him and the car”, which pretty much sums up why i don’t like him as a driver. Superb fast making several qualifying laps but i still believe that when he has to fight from the back in the middle of the pack he will fail, because its about him and the car, not the other drivers.

    Alonso had a fantastic race, and showed why he is the best driver in F1, keeping Webber away as soon as he passed him. Ferrari needs to learn to make some calls to, not just react… didn’t they said that they learned from abu dhabi? Today it could have costed, the last pit was the right call though.

    Webber, underperforming in a very good carm, still a very important voice in the paddock. He has so much will but not on top form, last year must have left some scars.

    [Reply]


  12.   12. Posted By: CartRider
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 12:11 am 

    Managed tyres well, had a decent start, didn’t allow anyone to pass him on the track, took everything out of the car: these go for both Vettel and Alonso but my personal sympathy is on Alonso’s side.

    [Reply]


  13.   13. Posted By: Graham Coles
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 12:19 am 

    Button – for the simple reason that he managed to keep going. By his own admission he didn’t see a car all afternoon after about lap 12.
    Lucky him, we had to watch the …[mod] lot of them droning by with about 5 secs between each of them for an hour and a half.

    [Reply]


  14.   14. Posted By: Jeebus
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 12:19 am 

    Lewis.

    [Reply]


  15.   15. Posted By: Ncedi RSA
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 12:22 am 

    I think Fernando and Jaime, pushed hard to get all they could out their cars and in front of the home crowd.

    Mention to Sutil, points when he’s going through a tough time off and on track.

    I’d like to point out that I’m South African. Any Aussie will tell you the rivalry between our countries (particulary rugby and cricket) is quite big. But today I was so sad for Mark Webber, honestly he looked so dejected. Something MAY be going on there.

    All in all though, Vettel did really well and looked to have more in reserve. I’m beginning to believe all the hype…

    [Reply]


  16.   16. Posted By: Jason C
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 12:23 am 

    For me, it’s pretty tight between Vettel, Alonso and Alguersuari. Alguersuari just taking it on this occasion.

    Vettel may be driving the fastest car, but he drove a brilliant race today, managing to be quick and easy on the tyres with no big mistakes. Alonso managed to beat Webber to the line (perhaps aided by MW’s problems) in an inferior car – just look at his team-mate. But Alguersuari coming through from quite far down the order, while under pressure and defending from Sutil at the end was a good job by him.

    [Reply]


  17.   17. Posted By: eric weinraub
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 12:45 am 

    James, sometimes you really need to think! When you have one of the worst races there are NO great drivers. I am sure the promoter feels great. I am sure Speed/Fox TV feels great! Those of us who suffered through 90 minutes of bordeom don’t feel great! This is your website, not ITV-F1, FIA, FOX, or ESPN. This is one race that needs go go… just like Hungary, Monte Carlo, and any other track where we get roped into watching and then NOTHING, repeat NOTHING, happens. Seriously, Tilke should be fined for this.

    [Reply]

    DonSimón Reply:

    Hmm, you probably lost all of your sympathy with the Monaco thing. Valencia isn’t great, Hungary is a bit of an enigma, but Monaco? Are you crackers?
    The issue is, if the race was wet and there was chaos with Hamilton winning from a stop-go or something like that, then we would all be saying ‘Valencia has finally arrived.’

    Certainly would rather see the A1-Ring back on the calendar as the European race, RBR winning back-to-back driver/cpnstructors championships must be a step in the right direction, the first two corners are worth it alone!

    [Reply]

    NickyStuu Reply:

    How likely is a chaotically wet race in southern Spain in the middle of summer…!

    I agree that Valencia must surely have a very weak hold on its position in the calendar. There is pressure coming to bring GPs back to a number of historical European venues (France and Austria spring to mind) and it must be difficult to justify Spain – or any country – hosting two races now.

    I’d love to see France hosting a GP again, but I’m nervous about proposals for it to alternate with Spa – which is surely one of the greatest tracks and also gives a very high chance of rain! Why not drop Valencia and have a permanent French GP in its place?

    [Reply]

    Ian H Reply:

    why does the European GP have to be at the same track for several years. I know the answer before I ask this question will probably come down to money, but why can’t the European GP be held at a different Euro circuit each year – especially those circuits which have fallen off the calendar or are unable to be able fund holding a GP over a multi year contract e.g. A1 ring, Jerez, Paul Ricard etc

    [Reply]


  18.   18. Posted By: Dave Aston
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 12:46 am 

    Vettel for me… dominant car or not, he controls the races so beautifully, it reminds me of Michael at his peak. Also, he quickly put Canada’s disappointment behind him. Alguersuari gets a mention for a great drive under pressure. And Perez probably deserved points too; after yesterday, and Australia, he’s shown he has a gentle touch on these tyres. Great coverage, I enjoyed seeing all the midfield dicing.

    [Reply]


  19.   19. Posted By: Bevan
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 12:52 am 

    Very difficult to pick a driver from such a mega borefest.
    The GP of Europe is a yawn filled exercise in endurance for this & many spectators,DC’s description of controlled discipline is his brave face on an entertainment flop.
    Alguersari has to take it for me.

    [Reply]


  20.   20. Posted By: rvd
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 1:26 am 

    Alguersari & Alonso – dead heat.

    [Reply]


  21.   21. Posted By: Ron Grable
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 1:33 am 

    By now the funny colored Bulls should be aware of that prancing horse nipping at their heels. Hopefully near seasons end Vettel will feel some serious heat. It’ll be interesting to see how he does if he starts from the 2nd row.

    [Reply]

    Kenny Carwash Reply:

    Are you the Horse Whisperer?

    [Reply]


  22.   22. Posted By: Steve Selasky
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 1:34 am 

    Boring GP.

    [Reply]


  23.   23. Posted By: pargo
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 1:44 am 

    Lewis. Didn’t take anyone out.

    [Reply]


  24.   24. Posted By: devilsadvocate
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 2:23 am 

    Vettel, simply because this race and all season has been about not making the same mistakes, last race in Canada he got caught out by not pulling a gap so this race he put nothing to chance an stomped everyone taking pole, fastest lap and not ceding race lead for a single lap… just sit for a second and think about that. Vettel is in a different class this year.

    [Reply]


  25.   25. Posted By: Tom
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 2:26 am 

    Jamie. Going from 18 to 8 is damn impressive.

    Hopefully the speculation that he is about to be replaced is going to end, especially considering Daniel Ricciardo lackluster performance in Formula Renault this year. He has been fairly consistently outclassed by Wickens, Korjus, and Vergne.

    [Reply]


  26.   26. Posted By: Tyre Moaner
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 3:07 am 

    Vettel couldn’t have done a better job obviously, spot on and he deserves to be champion again this season but today Alonso was the one who did the most work, beating Webber, constantly in battle with him.

    Also, this is not F1 anymore, but Tyres1. 2011 season has nothing to do with racing but with managing tyres, saving tyres and taking care of tyres.

    I counted for “fun” how many times Brundle and DC would say tyres or somthing relating to tyres, after 15 minutes it was over 80 times and then I stopped counting.

    Yeah, the race was that boring, I started doing stuff like that, haha.

    [Reply]


  27.   27. Posted By: Richard
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 6:12 am 

    Rather a boring race apart from one or two moves near the front. I think Alonso did well to take second given the supremity of the Red Bull car. Vettel appears to be peerless, and we must give him full credit for his performances, but the it is a fact that he is not really being challenged. In China with Hamilton, Vettel was beaten by Mclaren using a better tyre strategy, and in Canada it was a combination of tyre strategy and the prevailing conditions that allowed Button to beat Vettel. Sebastion Vettel is a great driver in a car that is in a class of it’s own. I think given equal machinery the story would be quite different with Hamilton, Alonso, and possibly Button seriously challenging Vettel. It has to be said that the Red Bull car has untouchable agility with huge amounts of downforce that allows Vettel to grab pole every time. Then once a gap is established it is fairly easy for him to control the race. Vettel needs to be challenged and that will only happen when another team can match or improve upon the Red Bull car. Right now it is too easy for him!

    [Reply]


  28.   28. Posted By: Nick4
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 6:25 am 

    Sadly I missed the race but friends who did said Alonso was their driver of the day. However, without diminishing Vettel’s achievements thus far, he clearly has the car of the moment; he’s making his opportunities stick like Mansell did in ’92 with another Newey inspired car the FW14B. All we can hope for now is that Alonso or Button can spoil Vettel’s party as much as possible for the rest of the season. Lewis like Senna in 92 offering to drive a Williams for free, is obsessed with landing a drive in a RB and will probably blow hot and cold for the rest of the year. No wonder Alonso is still rated the most complete driver. He never gives up, staying incredibly focused in the process and will pounce on any mistake Vettel makes if he can get close enough. Really now, the WC is all for Vettel to lose and perhaps the mind game will start to favour the chasing pack.

    [Reply]


  29.   29. Posted By: hugh
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 7:38 am 

    For me it has to be Vettel. Super pole lap, run his race at the front and you always felt he had more if needed. It’s not his fault he’s above the competition. If he wasn’t in the field we would be having a championship as it is he is running away with it. I don’t think if Vettel was absent Webber would even be as fast as he is now. Webber is really proving to be a nearly man, just hasn’t got it, Eddie Irvine MK2

    [Reply]


  30.   30. Posted By: Janis
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 7:41 am 

    Vettel for me. Walked on the edge exactly balancing the need for speed and tyre wear.
    Sure, having the best car helps, but it was a fine drive all the same.
    As for that “dominance” thing – I don’t mind it. I rather look at a great master at work dominating the field than at a bunch of mediocrities having a close fight among themselves. Was the same with Schumi…

    [Reply]

    The Talent Reply:

    I agree with you 100%…Vettel is a class above everyone else, just like Schumi used to be.
    And its a joy watching his talent shine through.

    [Reply]


  31.   31. Posted By: Quercus
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 8:29 am 

    Well, I’ve had a night’s sleep since the race and frankly I’ve forgotten what happened — apart from Vettel won (again). It was just that dull. So everyone said the concrete walls of the circuit were boring; so they painted them blue — and it was just as boring. Watching the TV images I couldn’t tell where they were on the circuit (with the exception of where they crossed the swing bridge). Roll on Silverstone!

    [Reply]


  32.   32. Posted By: monktonnik
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 8:32 am 

    Fernando.

    Apart from JB’s early pass he was the only one who provided any excitement in a very dull race.

    As an aside; with 21 venues vying for 20 races in 2012 you would have to question the value of Valencia for the TV fans. Even a few more overtakes couldn’t keep me awake and watching!

    [Reply]


  33.   33. Posted By: Fastmikey
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 8:44 am 

    Mark Webber? Really? He shouldn’t be on the list, unless its a being destroyed by teammate list. He’s just not on it this year.

    [Reply]


  34.   34. Posted By: Ginger
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 9:10 am 

    Jaime. P18 to P8, no SC, no major crashes in front of him and he is under pressure.

    Keeps him in a job for a few races more…

    [Reply]

    DonSimón Reply:

    Quite right as well. I don’t think he’s a bad driver and really he’s much better than Buemi, plus he brings a bit more personality to proceedings.

    [Reply]


  35.   35. Posted By: Fluebroggle
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 9:17 am 

    I have been thinking for a while now about what I might do if Vettel wins again. Do I bother watching the rest of the season or not.

    It is like watching a 2 hour film and then half way through, someone tells you what the ending is. So what is the point of watching the rest of the film!

    [Reply]

    Kenny Carwash Reply:

    How about because in life, the journey is more important than the destination?

    [Reply]


  36.   36. Posted By: Andy C
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 9:45 am 

    I was very interested to see Jaime being interviewed on BBC.

    It just reminds me how young the guy is, and what a ridicolously bad decision dumping him now would be.

    F1 for too long now has been far to cut throat (i.e the binning of the undoubtedly talented Grosjean).

    I hope to see him given the time to develop.

    I have to say though, the Valencia GP could not even be made exciting by the excellent contribution of Pirelli this year. It is about time they put a French GP back on the calendar, and dropped one of the borefests from Spain. Along with bahrain, two of my least fav GPs of the year.

    [Reply]


  37.   37. Posted By: Werewolf
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 9:53 am 

    For me, that one was Vettel’s.

    What surprises me is the number of contributors that have suggested they might not watch the remaining races because of his dominant results this year, yet we have had so many stunning races in 2011. Sure, the WDC is the long game but are the individual races not what we actually watch?

    Moreover (to the older werewolf), we have just been joyfully celebrating the centenary of arguably the greatest driver ever, Juan Manuel Fangio; and on this very forum, there were passionate and some well argued suggestions that Michael Schumacher deserves the tag. What cannot be argued is that both were the dominant drivers of their era and both deserve the label of great.

    Are (certain) people suggesting we should no longer apppreciate truely great drivers and do not need them of the present generation?

    I am not, incidentally, making a case at this stage as to whether or not Vettel is actually a great, as this remains to be seen.

    [Reply]

    Stevie P Reply:

    I guess it depends upon how long you’ve been watching F1? I’ve been watching since the late 70′s and I love it all, even a race as “dull” as the Valencia event (I say “dull” in quotes, as I didn’t find it that dull, but in comparison to early races this season you could call it that).

    If every race were to be like the Valencia event then you’d get masses turning away from the sport, but they’ve got to recognise that on occasion a team can find an advantage, keep it (for a time) and thus appear to dominate. Seb would have dominated last year too, if it weren’t for RBR’s early unreliability.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    It’s the same for everyone and there is great skill in preserving tyres while still going quickly. The 1980s and 1990s were all about that too.

    [Reply]

    Richard Reply:

    This is precisely where todays F1 has not been thought through properly. – It is not the same for everyone! Slower cars actually suffer a double wammy in this seasons high degradation tyre scenerios. Given the supremcy of the Red Bull car with extremely high downforce, slower cars that are less agile have to push harder to try to make up the deficit, and as a consequence of that wear their tyre out even quicker. That being the case it is all to easy for Vettel to set a fast lap to take pole and control the race thereon in. If the tyres were more durable drivers like Hamilton and Alonso that can really race would stand more of a chance. – I’m afraid it is just not F1 racing anymore despite the increased spectacle for the viwing public as it has become sanitised by the need to look after tyres in what is a tyre strategy contest.


  38.   38. Posted By: captainj84
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 10:12 am 

    I voted for alonso because i think he outdrove his car and gave me a glimmer of hope that ferrari will find their form and really start piling on the pressure with red bull (i think they will be the only challengers because i can see mclaren going backwards from silverstone onwards). One other point, when voting for drivers of the day let’s not forget about the smaller teams. liuzzi and karthikeyan both managed to finish a grand prix in that dog of a car so for that i reckon they were the real drivers of the day :)

    [Reply]

    Red5 Reply:

    Yes please. Want to see Ferrari back at the front challenging.

    Alonso is one of the most tenacious drivers on the grid today. Would love to see him wheel to wheel with Seb and Lewis (car permitting).

    [Reply]


  39.   39. Posted By: Dex
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 10:17 am 

    Vettel, no doubt about it!

    [Reply]


  40.   40. Posted By: james encore
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 10:24 am 

    Lord, I hate voting for Alonso, and I usually say he can’t overtake. Well his moves at the start and the move he put on Webber go some way to disprove that. His was the best performance in the dullest race of the season so far. I actually fell asleep before the end.

    Most interesting events were Brundle’s comment about Maldanardo joining from another track and Hamilton’s Radio messages first “I can’t go any slower” and then “I can’t go any faster”. Otherwise I could have watch the face of Ceefax.

    [Reply]

    DonSimón Reply:

    “I could have watch the face of Ceefax.”

    Surely this is one of the greatest phrases ever commited to ascii?

    [Reply]

    james encore Reply:

    er that should have ended… I could have watched the Race oN Ceefax.

    [Reply]

    Irish con Reply:

    I think Suzuka 2005 proved alonso can overtake and many many since and before then.

    [Reply]

    Shane Pinnell Reply:

    Alonso most certainly can overtake! I think he is more of a reserved, calculating driver than others.

    Alonso won his WDCs by gaining the maximum available points. We the win was not attainable, he pushed as hard as he needed to secure maximum points.

    I can’t wait for Silverstone and on… I think Alonso will be a man on fire. Once he knows he has nothing to lose I suspect he will be hanging it out. Unless Ferrari want to secure maximum points for the money.

    [Reply]


  41.   41. Posted By: Paul Harman
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 10:27 am 

    My driver of the day was Martin Brundle, for somehow managing to stay awake while commentating.

    [Reply]


  42.   42. Posted By: Red5
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 10:31 am 

    Yes, Jamie certainly did a good job moving up the order.

    However, this could possibly have been the race where Vettel extended his championship lead out of reach the other title contenders.

    Whilst I recognise Jamie’s excellent performance yesterday it looks very much like Seb will be double WC by season end. Have to admire the RB driver + car package this year.

    [Reply]


  43.   43. Posted By: Kenny Carwash
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 10:58 am 

    Definitely Alguersuari for me. He put in a great drive under pressure, very mature for such a young driver. With high track temperatures and an expectant home crowd, he could’ve easily overdriven and taken too much out of his tyres.

    Elsewhere, I thought Alonso and Hamilton both did well to finish ahead of cars with superior race pace. Conversely Webber and Massa should be slightly disappointed with where they finished. Button did as well as could be expected, although he wasn’t helped by another signature Jenson Button start – a half-hearted early move that sees him boxed in or forced off the throttle.

    [Reply]


  44.   44. Posted By: Donna Arnold
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 11:46 am 

    James,

    I was wondering if the difference we are seeing between Vettel and Webber this year is due to kers. Since Vettel is lighter than Webber does this give him more ballast to move around (and balance the car better) whilst Webber appears to struggle more with rear tyre degredation?

    [Reply]


  45.   45. Posted By: Kevin
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 12:04 pm 

    Jamie for me – not only was it the in car performance of the day but his after race comments to the BBC regarding his seat were insightful, mature and intelligent. I hope that the experience he’s picking up isn’t just cast aside and wasted.

    [Reply]


  46.   46. Posted By: Ncedi RSA
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 12:31 pm 

    Just as an aside, am I the only one who feels that everyone else should just go BANZAI on Vettel. As in if you get anywhere near him (not neccesarily one second) just throw one up the inside.

    Alonso, Hamilton, Webber, Button need to get into Vettels head. Honestly they don’t have much to lose, history shows people only remember who comes first.His confidence is a factor that’s helping him win, if you put a target on his back and make him very aware of it by constantly taking shots it will rattle him!!

    I guess my thinking comes from Alonso in Monaco along the lines of “I have nothing to lose, if we crash we crash”

    I loved that he said it

    [Reply]

    captainj84 Reply:

    agreed, only one problem, they need to catch up with him before they throw one up the inside!

    [Reply]

    KS Reply:

    They could wait for being lapped, as Barcelona showed, it is possible.

    [Reply]

    Shane Pinnell Reply:

    I think in Monaco it was just a saying… I think after Silverstone it may be action.

    I hope we see Alonso, Hamilton, Button and Massa putting their cars on the offensive. Make Vettel decide to turn in and contact or let the others through.

    If Vettel is smart, he will qualify P1 and finish P5.

    [Reply]


  47.   47. Posted By: Matthew
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 12:36 pm 

    I think the FIA need to re-think the off-throttle ban and replace it with an Adrian Newey ban.

    This has gone on for too long now. Adrian has been ruining championships for nearly 2 decades and with 3 separate teams.

    Of course this is tongue in cheek.

    Adrian, you are the finest engineer ever to have graced the sport that you love. You have conquered everything but please hang-up your pencil, as it’s just not fair for the others.

    Unfortunately, there is a World Drivers’ Championship to consider and it’s just a bit of a sham with such an advantage.

    Anyway, I’m sure Adrian won’t retire, in which case get Hamilton to Red Bull sharpish, so at least then we’ll get to see how fast Vettel really is.

    [Reply]


  48.   48. Posted By: Manish
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 12:44 pm 

    It really is a shame to see FA getting more votes here than Vettel. I dn’t understand why people don’t rate him as the Driver of the Day?
    It is not as if he sits in the car and the car does all the driving! You need to put a top notch drive to maintain the first place that he usually has.
    Overtaking is not the only metric to rate someone as The Driver of the Race, is it?
    I wonder if Hamilton, Alonso or Button were to be leading the championship like Vettel people would rate them on par with Senna or the other greats.

    [Reply]

    boulay Reply:

    i think that Vettel’s problem is simply that his car is so much better than the others. i know he is beating Webber but does anyone really believe that webber is one of the top 5 drivers on the grid?

    if vettel’s car was just slightly better than the ferraris and mclarens and that he had to regularly spend races fending off the opposition then he would get kudos however his car has such an inbuilt speed advantage that as long as he gets a good start he can make up enough distance in clean track and air to mean that he is rarely under real pressure.

    it was deeply frustrating listening to the bbc commentary about how wonderful he was at maintaining his tyres without them mentioning once that unlike webber, alonso, hamilton and button he was never having to work them as hard in a defensive or offensive situation. once he was a good distance ahead after a couple of laps he could effectively cruise around on the best racing line and thus take less out of the car (of course that is difficult in itself but easier than having to come from behind with a slower car, no?).

    [Reply]

    Shane Pinnell Reply:

    I think we all know that Vettel is doing an amazing job, but he doesn’t earn driver of the day in my book. He started first, led comfortably and finished P1. He was able to easily maintain whichever gap he wanted. What Vettel secured for himself today was the race win.

    He could have easily ran away with the race, but his engineers give him a target and he stuck to it. They are thinking big picture. Vettel was perfect, but perfect doesn’t warrant “Driver of the Day” to me. Winner, yes, driver of the day, no.

    Imagine if I was playing basketball one-on-one against Michael Jordan. In 5 minutes of play, Jordan would easily score 100 points on me, but if just once, just once, I managed to shoot the ball and hit the rim I would feel like I was the player of the century. Player of the century even though the score was still 100-0.

    Vettel is doing an amazing job in an amazing car. He is expected to qualify on pole, have the fastest lap and finish in first place. Alonso, Alguersuari, Sutil and others (minus Webber) are outperforming their cars. They elevated themselves to a position that their racing cars do not warrant.

    This is the human element of sport. We don’t always see the winner as the best performer. Logically the winner would always be the driver of the day, but the winner is the winner, which deserves it own accolades. Many times the driver of the day is someone who doesn’t even get close to winning, at least as far as I see it.

    [Reply]


  49.   49. Posted By: Stevie P
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 1:55 pm 

    I’m looking forward to the strategy report for this event ;-)

    The young Spaniard got my vote, particularly because I was giving him some jip last week, in suggesting he was about to be replaced at Torro Rosso. Seb V 2nd, Fernando 3rd.

    [Reply]


  50.   50. Posted By: Hisham Akhtar
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 2:25 pm 

    Vettel was driver of the day in Barcelona and Monaco. Today? Hardly.

    I’m giving it to the 2 spaniards, FA and JA.

    [Reply]


  51.   51. Posted By: Stony
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 2:38 pm 

    Although I think the European Grand Prix suffered a bit from expectations after the epic Canadian GP, it certainly showed us how quickly teams adapt to change, and how quickly the revert to status quo. After eliminating race refueling, adding moveable aero devices, and tyres that deliberately degrade a specific rate the place where the top three drivers found a bit of an edge was in the pit stops.

    [Reply]

    Stony Reply:

    Oh, and I voted for Alonso, he’s the driver who came the closest to ending another Vettel slam-dunk. Other than that, even Schumacher’s broken wing and subsequent loss of positions was an all too common eventuality.

    [Reply]


  52.   52. Posted By: Shane Pinnell
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 5:47 pm 

    I voted for Fernando Alonso. even though JA did a stellar job. I think that each successive step closer to P1 is exponentially more difficult to achieve than the one before.

    In my opinion moving from 4th to 2nd is much more impressive than 17th to 8th. Even accounting for the natural order of things (Hamilton should not have been able to qualify P3, that was an amazing feat) Alonso moving from 3rd to 2nd is more impressive to me that JA’s drive from 17th to 8th.

    This may sounds counter-intuitive but I think that the further down the grid you are the easier it is to move up. This isn’t saying that it is easy. JA’s drive is still remarkable, but Alonso’s Ferrari has no business finishing P2. When you start in 17th, luck, pit-strategy and the minor mistakes of other drivers reap greater rewards than when you start P4.

    Of course, I am generalizing and different situations arise which invalidate my points, but in this case I think it holds.

    [Reply]


  53.   53. Posted By: Richard
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 7:29 pm 

    There’s no doubt that Vettel is a masterful driver, but until the competition have cars of similar agility we will never know just how good. The Red Bull car produces downforce by the bucket load, that in turn then helps Vettel look after his tyres while negotiating medium to high speed corners with comparative ease. Slower cars and that means everybody else producing less downforce will wear their tyres out faster without any help from the driver, because of the lack of downforce and the need to push harder to keep up. While I accept this is a generalisation and there is an optimum amount of downforce that tyres run best at, it is a fact that high degradation tyres signification reduce the latitude that would otherwise give slower cars more of a chance. It is in my opinion a double wammy, and unfair. I think the difference between Vettel and Webber is down to driving style, bad luck, and Vettel’s abilty to get to grips with the Pirelli tyres so quickly.

    [Reply]


  54.   54. Posted By: T Ramp
        Date: June 27th, 2011 @ 7:51 pm 

    There should be a rule that after you have won a certain number of races you have to stop for a certain number of races as this would make the next number of races more exciting.

    [Reply]

    ACB Reply:

    That happens nowhere in sports, except at the lowest minor league levels. Perhaps there needs to be a loosening of the sporting regulations to allow teams to be able to do more to develop their cars and improve the performance.

    [Reply]


  55.   55. Posted By: zombie
        Date: June 28th, 2011 @ 3:08 am 

    James, are u tempted to look at Schumi’s return in the same perspective as come-back of another legendary ‘Michael’ – Michael Jordan and Wizards ? There are so many similarities. There was so much anticipation before Jordan’s comeback, and immense pressure but except for specks of old brilliance, it was mostly a disappointing 2nd career. I think in retrospect, Schumi’s comeback would probably be looked in the same way.

    [Reply]


  56.   56. Posted By: Clinton Lee
        Date: June 28th, 2011 @ 4:00 am 

    Want exciting racing????

    Clean up track of “marbles” to encourage a variety of passing and racing lines

    Clean up aerodynamics to reduce turbulence and encourage slipstreaming

    Wet weather racing by:
    Modifying all current tracks on F1 calender with better drainage / water run off

    A more aggressive Super Wet weather tyre

    Front windscreen (motor bike style)for wet weather races only

    LED headlights mounted with the in car camera

    Create more suspense and a variety of strategies by:
    Allowing teams to choose ONE TOY ONLY for each race and which is only disclosed to the FIA :

    either KERS or DRS
    If Kers is available to a car for 1 x 10 second boost, those cars that choose DRS get is also for 1 x 10 second

    [Reply]


  57.   57. Posted By: seifenkistler
        Date: June 28th, 2011 @ 11:02 am 

    I think Sutil had the problem of a too low top gear. It sounded as if he was hitting the limiter when he was using DRS on his tries to overtake. Anyone knowing if it was so?

    So without it he would probably ranked 8 and should have more votes than the 1.4%.

    [Reply]


  58.   58. Posted By: Will Rook
        Date: June 28th, 2011 @ 1:30 pm 

    Agree with a lot of people here complaining that F1 is no longer ‘racing’ but management of tyres.

    On a different note, I desparately want to see VET vs HAM in the same car. It’s what everybody wonders and it’s what everybody wants to see. Settle that one properly. Can’t help thinking it’d be Prost Senna all over again!

    [Reply]


  59.   59. Posted By: Pawel
        Date: June 28th, 2011 @ 10:12 pm 

    To me, honestly, boring season…
    RBS have the best car ever…

    [Reply]


  60.   60. Posted By: JohnBt
        Date: June 29th, 2011 @ 3:14 am 

    NANDO – for driving balls out to catch Vettel even though it was impossible.

    There’s no doubt Vettel is much more calm and composed but still have not caught my eyes as driver of the day.

    Come Silverstone I hope Ferrari and McLaren will be much closer to RBR.

    A glimmer of hope is all I’m asking for.

    [Reply]

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