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German Grand Prix: Who was your driver of the day the Nurburgring?
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Photo: Red Bull
Posted By: James Allen  |  24 Jul 2011   |  10:14 pm GMT  |  117 comments

A thrilling three-way battle for victory combined with strong performances all the way down the field made for an exciting race at the Nurburgring.

So who did you think was the outstanding driver at Nurburgring?


Lewis Hamilton
Drove the wheels off his McLaren to qualify second on Saturday behind pole-sitter Mark Webber. Made the perfect getaway to lead into Turn 1 and then spent the race jostling for the lead with Webber and Fernando Alonso. Pulled off a string of overtakes, including a spectacular move around the outside of Alonso into Turn 1 after the final round of stops, to come out on top and win his second race of the season.

Fernando Alonso
Refused to be downbeat after qualifying fourth, one place ahead of team-mate Felipe Massa. Made amends with a strong start to pass championship leader Vettel and slick pit from Ferrari saw him come out in the lead after the final stops. However, cold tyres meant he couldn’t defend the lead from Hamilton and settled for second – his third consecutive top two finish.

Mark Webber
Outperformed his team-mate in qualifying for the second successive race to take pole position at the venue where he scored his first F1 victory in 2009. A slow getaway allowed Hamilton to pass him, but the Australian battled hard against the Brit and Alonso all race long and ultimately finished third, one place ahead of team-mate Vettel.


Adrian Sutil
Qualified a strong eighth, four places ahead of Force India team-mate Paul di Resta, and stayed out of trouble at the start. Didn’t make any mistakes and passed Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg during the pit stops to finish sixth – the team’s best result of the season.

Kamui Kobayashi
Started 17th, one place higher than he qualified after Sebastien Buemi’s grid penalty, and jumped five places to 12th on the opening lap. The Japanese driver than maximised the team’s strategy to fight his way into the points and finish ninth – his seventh top ten finish of the season.

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117 Comments
  1. SRS (Swag Reduction System) says:

    Absolutely has to be Hamilton. Love him or loath him, you can’t deny that he extracted the maximum performance from his Mclaren. That qualy lap was simply sensational and he has shown signs of controlling his aggression, he seemed to channel his frutrations (being overtaken by Webber and undercut by Alonso) and transfer this into a ‘positive’ energy that yielded this result. If only he could maintain this and not let his frustrations get the better of him as is too often the case with Lewis. But is this do or die attitude exactly the reason why we loved Senna and why we now adore Hamilton?

    1. wayne says:

      Yes Hamilton was inspired all weekend – you could see his flair and brilliance on display from Sat through Sun and it was a sight to behold. When Hamilton is in that form he is indeed the fastest driver in F1. Sorry to all you people who hold the Senna name in reverence but he is very Senna-like both is terms of his driving and personality – incredibly arrogant and believes he is born to win.

      Alonso is increasingly becoming the modern day ‘professor’ of F1 for me. You can almost see his brain revving as fast as his car when he is driving – supremely talented and incredibly intelligent (in the car) with a bit of controversy and passion thrown in to ensure he is a colourful figure. If you were to bet you house on a man winning the wdc, all things being equal, it would be Alonso.

      Massa drove well to fend of Vettel considering he has been known as an ‘easy target’ in the past. He also passed Rosberg cleanly towards the beginning of the race – no easy task as those Merc’s are usually very quick in a straight line.

      Vetell was not just ‘low-key’, he was out and out poor. Vetell must be beaten on Saturday – qualify ahead of him and you have him beat. He can extract the most from a brilliant car over an optimal flying lap and do so consistently week on week. How many times does he have to prove that he is not a talented ‘racer’ before people accept it? All the pundits keep saying the jury is still out – I disagree, they have returned their verdict: Guilty of lacking a racer’s instinct. It’s how he copes with sustained disappointment that is still unknown.

      Button is, for me, the best ‘second’ driver in F1. As long as the team do not let him down you can count on him to bring home good points week after week and keep any ‘first’ driver on their toes.

      1. wayne says:

        Quote of the weekend from Hamilton ‘I gave him (Webber) enough room to be behind me’.

        Quote of the season still has to do to Coulthard though: “The only way that message could have been mores cary is if it had been delivered in the dark ‘he is faster than you and he will attack you’”!

      2. Sebwdc says:

        I think it may be unfair to say that Vettel has been less of a racer than the other top drivers. Usually, when he has trouble overtaking other drivers, it is due to a fault with his car, in this case, his brakes. Don’t forget his days fighting in a Toro Rosso, and how he charged through the field in Silverstone last year even with the Bridgestones.

      3. Phil says:

        His brakes were fine again at about the halfway point, and he still couldn’t get past Massa.

      4. Yo F1! says:

        Thank you. The message was delivered on lap 26, engineers way after he had spun and handed 3rd place to Alonso. Also, he was setting fastest laps in the beginning and the end of the race. When it mattered, his car was fine, no excuses

      5. Malcolm says:

        Clearly a well thought out analysis by Wayne!

      6. F1_Badger says:

        I like your analysis of Button Wayne. Too often he is put down. he’s a great team member to have and more than good enough to keep Hamilton honest and the competive fires burning. I hope he sorts out his quali performance so he can add to the battle for the title. Sen is clearly the likely winner but I think the rest of the year will be close between the top 3 teams.
        I hope Hamilton continues finishing races for the same reasons.

      7. San K says:

        Sorry but I havent seen any instances of ‘jenson keeping Lewis honest’. In fact the only driver/team mate which kept Lewis honest was Alonso. Dont think jenson is enough of a challenge for Lewis – Lewis doesnt seem bothered at all about jenson..maybe thats why they get on so well?

        They are usually quite apart in the races…qualifying too Lewis has been at least couple of cars infront of jenson; Also in wheel to wheel battles…Lewis has always come out on top.

        jenson is a good driver but it makes me laugh sometimes when some of his hard-supporters makeout as if things are really close between them. It only gets close (points) between them when Lewis makes mistakes or takes risks which end up working against him – its not as if jenson is catching up because he is outdriving & outpacing Lewis on the track.

        As jenson himself has said last week…”If you are having a bad day then he (Lewis) will destroy you. But if you have a good day & he has a bad day..then its possible to beat him”.
        -In other words…in order for jenson to beat Lewis he has to hope that Lewis is having a bad day. If both guys have a good day then Lewis still ends up infront.

        jenson is a nice guy..no doubting that – but this overexageration about jenson is something that puts me off as I dont like it when any competitor tries to jump above their actual weight….If you talk the talk then you should be able to walk the walk.

      8. wayne says:

        Yes, I was one of those guys giving him stick until he joined McLaren whihc is undoubtedly one of the bravest decisions of this type I have ever seen a F1 driver take.

        As I said on another site, up to and definitely including his wdc year, I had no time for Button at all. For me all he showed during his title year was that he could keep an obscenely fast car on the road and even then not qualyfy it very well. However, since moving to McLaren I do have a great deal of respect and admiration for Button and see his career to date in a different light. I see it as a tallented driver who was on the brink of giving up all hope of ever achieving his dream of a wdc and that frustration weighed heavily on him and brought his performances and him down to a sub-par level. Since moving to McLaren he has kept the fastest driver in the sport perfectly honest, has no doubt contributed to and heavily responsible for the development of the team’s harmony and is, along with Webber, the most honest, straight talking driver on the grid today. He is not a ‘great’ F1 driver like Alonso and Hamilton either are already or surely will be, but he is bloody good and much better than he is usually given credit for. I am really very happy to be proven wrong by JB for all the years I knocked him.

      9. F1_Badger says:

        No need to be sorry there, you are welcome to your opinion.
        I’m not a die hard Jenson fan. I also don’t subscribe to the trash talking put everyone down way of thinking.
        Hamilton is faster that can’t really be questioned. He is also young and I believe still learning. I’m relishing the prospect of a more well rounded Hamilton as I think there’s very few that could compete with him in a competitive mclaren.
        I’d still have jenson as his team mate as I believe he brings a lot to the team and quite rightly avoids the issues of having a team mate with equal pace. Keeping him honest does not mean equal chum.

    2. Malmedy says:

      Sutils performance was more impressive: he did everything Hamilton did but in bigger style. WE don’t love Hamilton. He is probably the fastest man on track, but his brain fades put him one step below Alonso and Vettel. He would probably be level on points with Button hadn’t Mclaren screwed up Buttons car twice in a row.

  2. Becken says:

    Easy: Lewis!

  3. InternetF1Fan says:

    Hamilton and Webber are the only drivers in the top who didn’t make a mistake. And given Webber started and pole but Hamilton won the race, you can only give it to Hamilton.

  4. Galapago555 says:

    Lewis Hamilton.

    A fantastic qualifying lap, almost perfect, he was able to take all the possible performance out of his car.

    http://t.co/XJz1ZlZ

    A superb race, from lights to flag, flawless, aggressive,…

    So my vote is for Lewis.

    1. Andy C says:

      Did you have a bump to the head today Jose? ;-)

      I agree, although Sutils drive was also noteworthy (as much as I’m not a great fan).

    2. **Paul** says:

      Vettel has done this many times this season yet on many occasions he’s not won driver of the day. Granted some of that is because people, perhaps incorrectly, assumed he had the quickest car (as Lewis did at Nurburgring given JB looked to have the pace to catch & pass FM & SV!), but the point remains.

      1. wayne says:

        Vetell has done what exactly? He certainly has not strung together successive overtakes and put together a solid defence under presuure to win a race. What he has done has driven very measured, well-paced and increasingly intelligent races from the front of the grid, Looking after his tyres and car well along the way. That is a different skill.

        If you are talking purely about qualy – then it has nothign to do with driver of the day on Sun.

      2. **Paul** says:

        Given that I was reply to the above Vettel has driven….”A fantastic qualifying lap, almost perfect, he was able to take all the possible performance out of his car.

        A superb race, from lights to flag, flawless, aggressive,…”

        May I also point you in the direction of the Spanish GP which Vettel won thanks to overtaking 4 cars in two laps(IIRC) and then holding off a clearly faster McLaren (of LH) for the last 10-15 laps. Granted he hasn’t overtaken lots of people on track this season, but that’s kinda hard to do when you lead so often. It’s also worth pointing out that the top speed advantage that both Ferrari & McLaren have over the RBR makes overtaking a whole different ball game in that car. We’ve not often seen a Red Bull out drag another car this season, as we’ve seen from both Ferrari’s and McLaren’s. This downforce advantage should help RBR out this weekend, but come Monza they’ll be sitting ducks as they were last year. The whole philosophy behind the RBR is that the car will be leading, not overtaking, and that, along with a weaker KERS system, is largely what you don’t see Webber or Vettel passing many cars of the same sort of pace on track. The only reason Webber got passed LH was because of his error, and the McLarens superior straight line speed and KERS system saw him drive straight past on the start/finish yesterday.

        So the point remains Vettel has driven many faultless races this season, yet often not won driver of the day.

        That’s my view, but then again I’m neither a Hamitlon fan or Vettel fan really.

      3. Jaco says:

        “He certainly has not strung together successive overtakes and put together a solid defence under presuure to win a race”

        I would suggest you take a look at the 2011 Spanish Grand Prix. Vettel overtook 3 cars (form top teams) on his outlap… at Barcelona. And his defence at the end wasn’t solid? He clearly didn’t have the fastest car at the end, but he held the win.

      4. wayne says:

        Spain is ‘it’ though Paul for progressive, battling drives. All other attempts by Vetell have ended in failure.

        I quite acknowledge that Vetell can drive fast and flawlessly from pole to flag. I do, however, maintain that the minute Vetell does not have the best qualy car his wins will dry up completely.

      5. San K says:

        Well in Spain the overtakes and defending by vettel was more down to the car – the emmence downforce they had in the infield parts of the tracks.
        The reason Hamilton couldnt pass was because his advantage on the straights were cancelled out by the redbull’s advantage in the high-speed corners.
        Lewis would find himself closing up on vettel at the end of the straights only to lose that same distance in the high-speed corners – It was like a constantina effect.

    3. mtb says:

      You failed to mention Alonso.

      Expert analysis, provided as recently as Saturday, showed that the McLaren is the only car capable of taking on the Red Bull. The Ferrari, on the other hand, lags some way behind both of these cars. Based upon the analysis that was provided, it would appear that the Red Bulls and McLarens firmly adhere to the track surface, whereas the Ferrari performs like a rubber-soled shoe on black ice. When one takes these indisputable facts into consideration, Alonso’s performance was ethereal.

      1. Tim says:

        Not sure Alonso agrees with you on this one, good performances at valencia, silverstone and the nurburgring, all different types of tracks suggest that the ferrari is looking good at the moment, maybe even better than the mclaren at least.

    4. Lilla My says:

      Every true F1 fan knows that it was Lewis Hamilton on Sunday ;-)

      1. mtb says:

        Indeed. It would not be unreasonable to arrive at the carefully-considered conclusion that he was blatantly the best driver :)

  5. aj says:

    Kamui Kobayashi, this year has proven that he can score points on a regular bases and is strong contender for best midfield driver.
    definitely deserves a quicker car.

    1. Chris Chong says:

      Not to mention the problems Sauber have had with pace all weekend.

  6. coolparty says:

    Hamilton smashed it today. Thoroughly deserved victory…

    1. Peter C says:

      No, he didn’t smash it this time. He won the race.

      1. OscarF1 says:

        LOL +1

  7. TRM says:

    Although there is no doubt that Lewis Hamilton was sensational this weekend, I believe the performance of Adrian Sutil this weekend was equally spectaular.

    Whilst his team mate Paul di Resta has been receiving massive praise (his Silverstone Qualy performance basically saw him beat Michael Schumacher only, Hamilton and Nico Rosberg couldn’t be compared) and racing poorly, yet another race affected incident today, the pressure has been building on Sutil.

    However, in his home GP, he not only managed to beat di Resta very comfortably in qualifying but produced a faultless race, finishing an exceptional 6th and yet again comfortably beating his team mate.

    Force India have three very talented drivers on their books and hopefully all three will be in competitive cars next year.

    1. **Paul** says:

      I agree, Hamilton did nothing wrong at all, and put in a sterling performance, but Sutil’s performance was amazing. He beat both factory Mercedes drivers on pace… in a Force India. Given the pressure that Sutil is under from both Di Resta and the case with Eric Lux hanging over him this was an awesome performance.

      Driver of the day IMO.

      1. Andy C says:

        I thought he did a good job too, but those performances are few and far between.

        It seems that Hulk is a shoe in for next years seat, so unless Di Resta ends up at Mercedes next year I cant see he’ll keep his seat.

        James,
        have you heard any more on Nico’s contract at Mercedes? I heard Ferrari was very interested…

      2. James Allen says:

        I’m still pretty sure he’ll stay at Mercedes

  8. Ian C. says:

    Funny that two weeks ago on the outstanding driver at Silverstone poll, Alonso who started 3rd and won got 62% of the votes with Hamilton getting 28%. Yet today Hamilton starts second and wins yet has almost 80%, Alonso finishes second and gets just under 9%.

    1. wayne says:

      Ian, I can help you with that. Alosno romped home in the UK, Hamilton did what he does best and raced the hell out the car – people like that.

      1. Jeff says:

        And Fernando made a key mistake early in the race, putting himself back behind Vettel with an unforced error, running off the track.

    2. Peter C says:

      British driver, British site. We haven’t a lot to cheer about ,most of the time – so give LH a good go now!

      1. wayne says:

        Could not disagree more that this is the reason. Hamilton rarely comes out on top in these votes despite it being a British site.

      2. Peter C says:

        OK. then.

    3. Mad Marz says:

      @ silverstone alonso had the help of a poor pit stop from vettel who then got stuck behind a slower hamilton, so he didn’t have to fight as much for the win.
      @ this race hamilton webber and alonso had quite equal performance and hamilton came out on top.
      the fact that alonso was overtaken around the outside of turn 2 by hamilton may also have had something to do with it

  9. Dave says:

    It’s got to be Hamilton, although Sutil put in a strong performance too that shouldn’t go unrecognised.

    Slight correction – Hamiltons move on Alonso was not turn 1. It was either 2 or 3, but both are left handers and can’t remember exactly which it was.

  10. Dave says:

    Just watched it on the BBC website – it was round the outside of turn 2 :)

  11. Jeb Hoge says:

    All Lewis. The McLaren team was all set for this to be an off weekend from everything I’d read, and then Lewis went out and beat all expectations. I don’t think he had a single flaw all race.

    1. El Shish says:

      Going wide at the chicane where Webber past him.
      The only one as far as I can recall.

  12. David says:

    I think you have to give it to Sutil. Yes, Lewis raced his heart out today, and everything came together for a great win.

    But Sutil showed us a very mature performance, in a team that deserves real commendation.

  13. Trent says:

    Would have to be Hamilton, but I’m tempted to choose Webber for re-implementing the long lost tradition of giving another driver a lift back to the pits!

  14. Shane says:

    Love Alonso, he had a stupendous drive! That being said, Hamilton definitely edged out all others for his drive to victory.

  15. Peter says:

    Only one winner for me. Hamilton. Alonso and Webber drove superbly as well but the best of those three was always going to win the race.

  16. fieraku says:

    Lewis Hamilton! ”Pure Magic”

  17. irish con says:

    lewis on that form in and out of the car is hard to not like. hope he keeps the mindset of today rather than monaco and canada and he will get less abuse [mod] i dont think it will last tho.

  18. Bmuz says:

    Kobayashi. Of course Lewis will “win” this poll because of the mostly Brit readers of this site, but MY driver of the day was kobayashi. 2nd to webber for sticking it to Vettel but the cold track meant the undercut didn’t happen.

    1. Andy C says:

      Here we go again. can someone (perhaps the moderator) please repost James comments on how this is not a british only site and that the readership is all british.

      Its a little like a broken record that one.

      I think also you’ll find that Kamui has a massive following on this site. He’s an absolute fans favourite – he wasnt the driver of the day by the way.

      And before you ask, I voted Adrian Sutil (against my better judgement ;-)

      1. Chris Chong says:

        I’m not British but I visit this site every day :)

        I’m a huge Kobayashi fan but gave the nod to Lewis this time. His drive was truly inspiring.

      2. James Allen says:

        60% of the readers of this site are not British, so you are in good company!

    2. Jeff says:

      Would love to see Kobash in a decent car. He definitely deserves a top ride.

    3. Nando says:

      Kobayashi generally gets a very high rating on this site, relative to his actual race performance, due to his entertaining style.

  19. Vinola says:

    Hamilton; annihilated his WC team-mate in qualifying, overtaking moves on Alonso and Weber, defensive driving on cold tires with Webber, and winning the race in changing conditions. Senna-esque.

  20. Adrian Minister says:

    Without a doubt the driver of the day has to be Lewis Hamilton.

    Fernando Alonso drove a good race, but he was comprehensively out-performed by Hamilton; the overtake of Alonso on the outside of turn 1 was superb. Mark Webber made poor use of the Red Bull’s speed today, and was also the target of 2 other great moves by Hamilton.

    Sutil and Kobayashi both had great races and are deserving of votes too.

    So my votes, in order of merit, for driver of the day would be:

    1st place – Lewis Hamilton. Master-class
    2nd place – Fernando Alonso. Stoic
    3rd place – Kamui Kobayashi. Spirited
    4th place – Adrian Sutil. Determined
    5th place – Mark Webber. Steady

  21. Mayank says:

    James do you carry some bias towards Schumi?
    Not only did he have more speed, but he did overtake lot more people on track than Sutil or Kobayashi.
    And we know how difficult it is to overtake seeing Vettel or Button struggle.

    1. James Allen says:

      Not at all, but he did lose control of his car and he was beaten by a Force India

    2. Shane says:

      Vettel and Button were struggling to overtake at the front of the grid where it is notoriously difficult to pass. I think that each move up the grid is exponentially more difficult to make, especially once you get past your “natural” position.

      Both Sutil and Kobayashi were able to place their cars well above their natural positions, which must be down to the driver. Sutil drove a brilliant race, and Kobayashi did what he normally does which is to outperform his car.

      That being said, Michael did a good job, but only really brought it home in the position it should have been all along.

      1. Mayank says:

        Shane no way I am demeaning Kobayashi or Sutil. Infact being an Indian I am happy atleast force India has shown some form and Kobayashi as usual provides the fireworks in mid field :).

        But keeping this all aside, I dont see why Schumi is not included in top driver choice. After the spin he dropped to 11 or 12 th position and dont think mercedes had an upper hand over force India this weekend. See at Rosberg+ Schumi pace wrt to Sutil+Resta.

  22. Glenn says:

    Simple… Lewis. Not just the day but the weekend. Reminded me of a younger, more humble Lewis Hamilton when he got his first drive with McLaren along side Alonso. I reckon he drove beautifully and spoke well all weekend. Congrats Lewis.

  23. paulusa says:

    Alonso gets my vote, even with the disadvantage of the cold track temps, to jump both Red Bulls and come within 25 odd meters of winning the race is impressive.

  24. Toby says:

    Had to go with Sutil on this one. He’s been a bit embattled of late, with talks of alleged violence, dismissal and mistakes that won’t go away, but he gave the best response by shining on Sunday. Plus, he was the only German (with the possible exception of Hamilton’s Merc engine)at his home Grand Prix that wasn’t at least a bit flat on the day.

    Finishing sixth may not have the lustre of a win or a podium, but that car had no place finishing in the position it did. Great drive from Sutil.

  25. JF says:

    Alonso did the best drive, had the slowest car in the top 6. Hamilton had the best car so was his race to lose, he and the team made no mistakes and absolutely nailed it. The red bull were not on song this weekend.

  26. jf says:

    Interesting that when Hamilton wins its because of the driver. When anyone else wins its because of the car. That said the McLaren/Hamiton package was the best out their today, well deserved win.

  27. TG says:

    Brilliant drive from Lewis in a brilliant race.

    Nice to see drivers actually fighting to win a race, instead of taking it in qualy and enjoying clear air to the finish.

  28. Nick Ward says:

    Nice to see a big happy smile on Lewis face…after a good race with Fernando and Alonso… The car looked like it was in its element in the conditions…

  29. Schu_forever_Kamui says:

    Well done, Hami. I am not a big fan, but you sure drove very well. Both Alonso and Mark was very quick as well, the German drivers and fans will be extremely disappointed. The one takeout from this race is that it is not over yet, if you have 2 or 3 folks pressuring Vettel hard he will crack. So the championship is not over, it will feel very different if Vettel is ‘just’ ahead by 50 points in 2 races time.

  30. f1kings says:

    it was just about a month ago that people was talking so negative about lewis hamilton. he did not have the intelligence and skills to be a f1 driver . he could not focus because of the time had talking to rihanna and ice t ,in the hospitality area . but today all praises and job well done. all the things we all ready knew and if those critics did not know it, his team has always known it.
    chance favor the prepared mind .
    and we were branded beasts among every feast before we were call men.

    1. Peter C says:

      It’s the internet….where you’re 100% right or 100% wrong. There is no middle ground, but the anonymity helps a lot – most don’t have to be involved in a rational discussion.

  31. Jagannath says:

    Has to be Lewis, arriving at the circuit doubting that he could even fight for victory, to actually standing on the top step is pretty special.

    All the top 3 outperformed their team mates comprehensively this weekend. It would’ve been interesting to see where Jenson would’ve ended up relative to Vettel and Massa

  32. Jolene says:

    It has to be Lewis Hamilton. He was flawless the entire race and kept it together against extreme pressure from Alonso and Webber. At no point could he relax. Very impressive racing from the top 3, but Lewis definitely had the edge.

  33. Dave Aston says:

    Hamilton was my driver of the day, it was some of his best work, brilliant. Sutil gets a mention for p6, and the commentators barely mentioned him. Kobayashi too, from 17 to 9th, consistently in the points, 11th in the drivers championship or, ‘best of the rest’ behind the top 5 teams; he keeps delivering. I thought Michael looked good too.

  34. Thomas, Calgary says:

    No brainer, this one. Hamilton was awesome all weekend; stupendous qualifying effort and masterful race.

  35. JB says:

    For me it is a tie between Kobayashi and Hamilton. The Sauber driver did an outstanding job of finishing in points and incredible overtaking as well.

    Hamilton was really fantastic to watch! Keep it up…

    Note: I voted Kobayashi in the poll coz deserved a lot more votes than the other 3 drivers in the list.

  36. F1Fan says:

    If driver of the day is the driver who did the most to secure his result, then that honor goes to Hamilton. While Webber and Alonso also had inspiring drives. if either of them had done enough one of them, and not Hamilton, would have won the race.

  37. Mike J says:

    My vote is for Lewis Hamilton. Really drove a superb race, with pace, controlled aggression, and ‘even head’. Whilst i have been a questioning him of late, he really has got his act together here which is only great for F1..and lewis/mclaren. This has put behind him some ‘not so good’ races. Keep it up

  38. Darren says:

    I really think Lewis deserved this win. Probably outperformed the car all weekend and certinaly made Jensen look second rate.

    Very tough fight with the always brilliant Alonso and Webber who desperately wanted to convert a pole to a win.

    Great race, great driving from so many drivers up and down the field, and a deserved win for Lewis and McLaren who have bounced back from quite some stick with a very professional win.

  39. Thebe says:

    Oustanding performance from Lewis, what a drive!

  40. Bigade says:

    No mention of Massa? I thought he did well to hold off Vettel for so long and was ultimately only denied fourth due to a slightly long pit stop that was out of his control.

    1. Peter says:

      Who else out there is suffering from a constant broken heart as a Massa supporter? I understand Alonso is quick and seems (9 out of 10) to have 2 or 3 tenths on him but the ongoing bad luck and lack of support from the pits is killing me! I can’t help thinking that one weekend, one win will finally correct his mojo loss following the accident and get him firmly back in the mix. I don’t know how he keeps his head up when the team treat him so badly!

      1. Peter C says:

        On the nail, couldn’t agree more. Why do Ferrari

        treat second drivers so badly? It’s almost as if

        to say “We’re paying you oodles of money, what

        more do you want?” These guys are all top-class

        drivers, they all WANT to win. It’s true Massa

        hasn’t entirely regained his form since the

        Brawn coil spring, but it’s there – just that

        the Latin temperament needs a big confidence-

        boost. He’s not really getting that from the

        team.

  41. Syed says:

    I’m an Alonso fan but this is the first time in my life that I have voted for Lewis. Not because he drove around the outside of the Ferrari but because of his tenacity and controlled aggression, something he himself mentioned after the race. We all know he put in a very good lap in qualifying but in the race also he was very good.

    After coming under pressure from Mark and being overtaken on the track, he was vicious and immediately came back, one of his traits. Had he not done that, he would have been swallowed by Alonso as well, as Ferrari was fastest of the trio at that time. And then after coming out behind Alonso, it was quite visible that Alonso had cold tires and very little grip in turn 1 but Alonso gave him far too much space at the following bend and Hamilton as always was more aggressive than any other driver would have been at that time and did drive around the outside and then pulled away and maintained his lead till the end. But it wasn’t only down to him, it was also down to his Mclaren which was the fastest car of the day.

    Alonso did everything right the whole weekend except not making life harder for Lewis when coming out of the pits, just like Lewis had done to Mark the last lap. I think Alonso matches Lewis for everything speed, overtaking, defending, race craft, qualifying but what Alonso does lack at time is that aggression, he does have it but the extra aggression at times is sometimes lacking, well it has been Lewis Achilles heel this season but nonetheless . Alonso was happy with his second place but I think his team and he himself threw away the win. Had he retained his lead after the stops, he’d have probably made it to the chequered flag as the victor.

    But then all in all, Lewis was excellent and so was Alonso. My vote goes to Lewis just because Alonso lacked that extra aggression after his pit stop although I know and understand that he had cold tires and 150 Italia does take time to heat up the black gold. Alonso should have made life harder for Lewis, had he done that, i’d have voted for him because he deserved it.

  42. Peter Freeman says:

    James how about giving us an option of a No.2 and No.3 choice, perhaps even a second and third poll? To me Lewis out drove Alonso and Webber in what I suspect is a car that is not quite as quick as either the Ferrari or the Red Bull. That makes him top in Germany.

    However I am so impressed with Sutil and Kobayashi! Sutil out drove his car, an Kobayashi fought up the field from so far back… Stunning drives!

  43. Chris Mellish says:

    Great drives by Alonso, Sutil and Kobayashi, and Webber made his team mate look ordinary today. However there can be only one driver of the day and Lewis Hamilton stood head and shoulders above his peers today with a near flawless drive with some amazing passes.

  44. Dmitry says:

    Amazing race!

    Lewis may have done some questionable moves and behaved strangely in previous races, but this Sunday he was absolutely fantastic!
    Actually, I can’t explain even to myself, how he did what he did – being more than a second faster than Button in Qualification in the same car! Or was it the same?
    Does anybody know if Lewis used some other car configuration/updates to Jenson? James?

    This year’s WDC is probably already finished, but in this particular race Lewis was a champion, perfect to the very edge of perfection.

  45. McLarenF-1 says:

    Hamilton was the best on the track!

  46. Richard says:

    I think Sutil was the outstanding performer as T1-3 on the opening few laps for a mid field team is extremely treacherous – Hamilton got the gift of a poor start by Webber & never had to look back. Winning by less than 10 secs does not elevate you to awesome performance or driver of the day especially when that covered the top 3! All three would then be equally justified if you look at their overall performance vs their team mates. It is starting to annoy me with the BBC & press that every time he wins it is his best ever. Great drive yes, but best ever … A Force India beat both Mercedes, that is an awesome performance & fully deserves the driver of the day.

    A few things were on my mind the whole race but I didnt hear an answer or comment so here goes

    a) Hamilton was over a second quicker than his team mate in quali where he is normally 0.3-0.5 quicker.
    b) Hamilton was 10kph faster in a straight line than other cars. Didnt use his new DRS that much as he was normally in front.
    c) Alonso ran out of fuel (down to 1ltr) on the slow down lap.

    My thought was that the other teams didnt gamble and went for a mix set up of dry & wet running – more downforce & less fuel as slower expected lap times of wet running. Hamilton has nothing to lose in the championship & took the gamble of a dry race set up. With no rain (even though it was widely predicted) it paid off. I was hoping for some rain to see if I was correct about his set up.

    In contrast to all the above, Hamilton appeared to have a lot of front end grip which contradicts the dry set up gamble, did he get an upgrade that Jenson didnt & that was why he was 1sec faster?

    Vettel was not a happy camper the whole weekend & with a rear brake issue for part of the race stood no chance of a podium.

    It was also clear to see that McLaren were the most effected by the blown diffuser row.

    Christian Horner was not too distressed after the race & seemed quite relieved to be heading towards Hungary.

    Richard

    1. Steve says:

      Really in the end despite all the action in between the result came down to who pitted first for that last stop. With all the talk of the harder tyre being 2 seconds slower Mclaren took a gamble and blinked first anyway, this time it paid off.

      No good for the constructors that Jenson had another unfortunate DNF either.

  47. Steve says:

    Just about the easiet selection so far. Lewis was head and shoulders above anyone else at the circuit this weekend, extracting more from his car than the rest of the field. Stunning performance in qualifying then converted into a hard fought win with the Alonso overtake a highlight, along with the Webber defence on the same corner.

  48. I’ll go for Lewis on this one. That’s the kind of races and racers we need in F1. It’s all about performances that catch you out of surprise, that are not expected before the weekend and are earned with fights throughout the race. Lewis fought every battle like his life depended on it. Brilliant. Alonso was great too.

  49. james encore says:

    It was another great race but JA summed it perfectly on twitter

    “Great win for Hamilton, based on great quali, great start and the overtake on Alonso after the second stops.”

    I’d add re-pass of Webber, and Hamilton finally saying he needs to let his driving do the talking. The frame of mind he was in Monaco and Canada one of those moves would have ended in tears. Perhaps he’s accepted the championship is gone, but he can still put some great races together. Alonso looks like he in good form too. So we could have more great races in the second half of the season.

  50. CGM says:

    Easy one : Hamilton.
    Spoke with modesty in the lead-up and downplayed his chances then let his driving do the talking both in quali and the race.
    Clean and strong overtaking togetherwith really fast laps when they counted. Excellent stuff.
    Re Vettel : still think it’s a bit early to be saying that he can’t race unless he’s leading. Quite possible that he was happy to pick-up points and thought it was a bit dangerous to go sticking his nose down the inside of Massa !
    Championship is almost-certainly a lost cause but suddenly we have the chance of seeing some new podiums.
    Memo to Webber : the snide comments are getting old. To say that the overall result was a good thing (i forget the exact words): Its getting a wee bit tiresome methinks.

    1. CGM says:

      Clarification :
      MW’s exact words were “I hope so” when asked if these sorts of results would continue for remainder of season.

    2. Bmuz says:

      Webber is the only one from the top teams that seems to not be afraid to say what he wants. We always see corporate friendly, bland, boring and predictable comments from most of the others.

      I think it’s the complete opposite of a wee bit tiresome.

      1. CGM says:

        Totally agree re your comments that Webber is refreshing compared to most others (who are overly corporate-aligned, repetitive etc etc).
        I just get the feeling that lately he is saying things purely/solely for the theatrical value and to create a bit of friction. Just a percepton of course, could be totally incorrect ! Cheers.

  51. Pete Doughty says:

    James – a quick Rules Query:

    When Massa exited the pit lane after one of his pit stops, Webber was coming down the main straight. They were clearly racing for position around Turn One. Massa had the inside line and arguably position. However, in maintaining his position Vs Webber, he pushed Webber outside the painted white line of the racing track. Not only was Webber forced to have all 4 wheels off the ‘track’, but in pushing him – Massa also clearly had all 4 wheels off the track. Is this FIA legal?

    Great website by the way, I check it every day – thanks!

    1. James Allen says:

      No idea. Good question though. I’ll ask in Budapest this week

  52. Harvey Yates says:

    I’m undecided. It seems unfair to pick one of the top three drivers as it condemns the others. It was the three of them who made the race. Alonso and Hamilton were on top of their cars, pushing them to the limit all the way through the race. Hamilton did make a mistake, the chicane, and it cost him a position, albeit only for a few seconds.

    Those top three though were superb. It was what GP racing is all about. After the final tyre stop when the race was all but resolved we than had the excitement of the battle between Vettel and Massa.

    So I’m abstaining. Bit of a cop-out I suppose. hamilton probably thoroughly deserves the award but got the bonus of the win. Wanting more is just greedy.

  53. Sergio says:

    Where is Jenson in that list? Maybe he deserves more than anybody in Macca some recognition. The English dominates his team mate in Canada: 101 – 85! After Europe GP, he was 109 – 97 over LH. I still remember Monaco 2010 and even Bahrein 2007. Bad luke from one side of the garage if you are Hamilton’s team mate. Ok, Ok you probably will rubish the facts explained in plain English but two races out in a row by team mistakes it is too much for a thinker or a gift for a Lewis supporter.
    GP after GP I see the face of Ron Dennis and I think: poor Jenson.

  54. JohnBt says:

    I voted Sutil this round, felt he deserved credit for his two stops to be placed sixth.

  55. Paul D says:

    I am often quite critical of Hamilton, but he was simply stunning all weekend.

    There can be no other choice for driver of the day.

  56. Lilla My says:

    Have to give it to Hamilton this time – brilliant performance. However, I wouldn’t call his move on Alonso “spectacular”. It was cheeky and bold, but not as outstanding as people try to make it look. Hamilton had the advantage of warmed up tyres and Alonso chose not to be too agressive. And before somebody comes with the argument of similar Webber vs. Hamilton battle not long before – yes, I know, I saw it and hats off to Hamilton for keeping his place. I still reckon an attacking Webber is quite a different thing to an attacking Hamilton and also Alonso tends to be less aggressive towards other drivers than Hamilton.

    All in all, great drives by all top three drivers. Hamilton wins it fair and square for me. Good job by Sutil and Kobayashi as well :).

  57. Paul H says:

    Totally agree with your choice of options James. Hamilton the clear winner, but I would say that after such a close race between the front three that whoever crossed the line first would have been the driver of the day. All three drove superb races, under pressure and chasing the win, yet very few errors between them.

    Kobayashi almost goes unnoticed simply because we have come to expect him to move up the placings and he is so often in the points. Another great drive and I reckon he’ll have another year at Sauber before moving on to another team with more resources. Sutil had a great result today, kept it clean and stayed out of trouble and outpaced the Mercedes works team.

    I think Massa deserves credit too, he drove fantastically well under some pressure with Vettel behind him without making any errors, defended well and fairly. I think it’s a little off people saying how the team should feel ashamed for letting him down in the pit stop – the reason pit stops are loved is because anything can happen. The pressure is intense, the slightest evenuality can lose major time and in moments the mechanics go from sitting around watching telly to intensely pressured activity needing split second timing. If pit stops were cut and dry then everyone would do what Vettel did and let the pit crew make the difference.

    On the subject of Vettel I don’t think he had a bad race as many are saying. It was just his lack guile. I just think he struggles when he isn’t at the front in a vastly superior car. It will take a number of far more racy, combatative performances for him to change peoples opinions on his ability. Whilst I understand that he doesn’t need to chase points, I can’t believe that Alonse or Hamilton, or Webber too, wouldn’t have put more effort into passing. Not that Vettel will care one bit what people think so long as he in winning!

  58. Jon Wilde says:

    What an amazing race! Lewis pulled something amazing out of the team and the car this weekend. He never gave up!

    For Lewis to win the championship he needs to take 9 points or more off Vettel’s lead at each race. Unlikely I grant you, but with the odds at 25/1 and with a performance like we saw this weekend. it’s got to be worth a few pounds right?

    My friends in Budapest are forecasting rain for the weekend… Go LEWIS!!

  59. Eduan says:

    Hi James I have to say nothing can take away that Hamilton was nothing short of brilliant! I also thought Sutil drove fantastically and he needed to put in a performance that we know he can put in. Then I have to say it although he spun I though Michael Schumacher comeback to finish in 8th and just under 10 seconds is was great! Apparently he lost something like 15 seconds? Please note I take nothing away from the nominees that you have nominated they all deserve some credit.

    I don’t know if you remember but in Hungary 2005 you commented with Mark Blundell and Schumacher and Ferrari performance began to imporve and in Hungary he got pole and then kept Raikkonen behind him until the second round of fuel stops. Do you think with his upward trend in form he will get it right in Hungary? Mercedes has been improving and his pace has been stronger than Nico’s. Take nothing away from Nico is very consistent and that is why is scoring better than Michael.

    I sure hope we will see up there this weekend!

    I just finished your book The Edge of Greatness! Loved it!!

    1. James Allen says:

      Thank you for that

  60. Hermann says:

    This Grand Prix confirms my observations:

    1. The top two drivers are still Hamilton and Alonso (or Alonso and Hamilton, take your pick).

    2. Under pressure, Vettel goes haywire: Montreal, Silverstone, Nurburgring.

  61. BMS1 says:

    Here’s an interesting stat I just worked out…

    Hamilton has now been on the podium at every single circuit he has raced on in F1! Before yesterday, the Nurburgring was the only circuit where he hadn’t achieved a podium.

    That’s very impressive!!

  62. Tim Parry says:

    Hamilton lived up to the brochure this time. He won because he drove with his head as well as his heart. Sign of things to come?

  63. Paul says:

    For me it was Sutil by a nose, I thought he was sensational considering the equipment he had underneath him.
    Hamilton isn’t always my cup of tea but he was a very close second, a real virtuoso performance which demonstrated (incase we’d forgotten) what a great racer he still can be.

  64. jimmy k. says:

    I have never been terribly impressed with Vettel, lewis is a better starter, better in the rain, and he and alonzo are better passers. Vettel is only the best when he has pole but who other than webber wouldn’t be. We will see how good vettel is now that the big three seem to be of equal pace. Best driver, hamilton. 2 alonzo. Don’t mean to anger anyone, just my opinion. LET’S GO RACING, Y’ALL.

  65. Lewis deserved top spotat the nurburgring. Vettel had a strange day indeed.

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