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Posted By: James Allen  |  25 Sep 2011   |  10:58 pm GMT  |  126 comments

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel may have dominated the Singapore Grand Prix from the front to stand on the brink of his second world title, but there were also plenty of impressive performances from others further down the field. So who was your driver of the day?

Sebastian Vettel
Arrived in Singapore with a mathematical chance of winning the world title, but appeared unfazed by the pressure and produced another storming lap in qualifying to secure his 11th pole position of the season. Made a clean getaway from pole before flying off into the distance. Saw his lead evaporate when the safety car came out but kept his cool to ease away again and score his ninth win of the season, joining Michael Schumacher and Nigel Mansell as the only other drivers to have done so. First time he has led a race from start to finish this season and now just one point away from clinching the world championship.

Jenson Button

Put on the back foot when he couldn’t find reverse gear having almost crashed in Friday practice and thus missed out on 70 minutes of running. Out-qualified his team-mate Lewis Hamilton to start third and made a strong start on race day, jumping Mark Webber into second. Was untroubled thereafter, and even started reeling in Vettel towards the end of the race. Consolidated second place in the drivers’ standings.


Paul di Resta

A dreadful Friday saw him complete just 21 laps thanks to a hydraulics issue, but bounced back in qualifying to start 10th on the grid on his first visit to the track. Controversially didn’t run in Q3 which enabled the team to split the strategies and select what tyre compound they would start the race on. Went for the harder tyre (soft) and ran long in his first stint and managed his tyres well. Great pace in all stints, drove away from Rosberg in final sting to finish sixth – the best result of his F1 career.

Sergio Perez

Agonisingly missed out on the top 10 in qualifying to start 11th on the grid. Started on the super soft tyres and made them last for 15 laps before switching to the primes. Was running comfortably in the top 10 when Michael Schumacher hit him, puncturing his right rear and forcing him to pit. Recovered well and did well to score a point in 10th.

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126 Comments
  1. Jeb Hoge says:

    Has to be Di Resta. Seb & JB were great and I was hoping to see Jenson pull another Montreal upset, but what we got from them is what we expect to get from them. Paul Di Resta, though, really impressed…came out swinging above his weight and kept cool while he was at it.

    1. mac says:

      Spot on, Jeb. Although we can’t fault Vettel’s flawless weekend (again), or Button’s ‘never say never’ attitude (great start/last stint), for me it was Paul’s ability to keep similar pace to his teammate (who was on a softer compound), show the maturity to not scrub away his rears in futile battles with Alonso and/or Hamilton, and VERY consistent laps in the last stint not only confirm him as the driver of the race, but rookie of the year.
      Well done Paul!

    2. wayne says:

      I mostly agree, however I went for Vettel on this occasion as it was his defacto championship winning drive! This year, Vettel will deserve the inevitable driver of the year plaudits that always default to the driver who wins the wdc (so what’s the point?). However, last year he definitely did not deserve that plaudit in my opinion. In a superior car he squaeaked the title having never lead it, from a challenge from an ‘older team-mate’ and a slower Ferrari and McLaren. This year Vettel has become ‘great’ for me, last year he was far from it.

      1. wayne says:

        Additionally, I wonder if the presenters, pundits, promoters and teams are even on the same planet as the fans when it comes to what makes a ‘great’ and ‘special’ venue for a F1 race. I am tired of hearing the like of Jake Humphry telling us over and ober again how amazing Singapore is, how its the new this or a great that! We’ll be the judge of that thank you, and I for one would rather watch a race in Canada, Silverstone, Turky, Monza or Spa any day of the week and twice on Sundays! The Singapore GP is a generally dull affair (relatively speaking when compared to some of the great venues). If the likes of Jake and his team were a little less preoccupied with parties and shiny lights (Dubai anyone?) we might start to find some agreement between those privileged individuals and us fans.

      2. James Allen says:

        Fair enough, but if you went there and saw it with your own eyes, you’d think it was pretty darned impressive.

      3. Hi wayne,

        If I did not attend the race, I would probably agree with you.

        However, for me (and my wife), this is the grand prix to attend if I had to choose just the one.
        From a racing point of view, there are better venues, definitely. In the region, Sepang (Malaysia) lends itself to much better racing. Singapore on the other hand, is incredibly well attended from spectators coming from all over the world and by Singaporeans too (who can afford to go unlike in KL or China).

        This was the third time I attended the Singapore GP and I am already enquiring for plane tickets for next year (on the way back from Monza).

        Singapore is unbeatable for its carnival atmosphere in the week leading up to the race, amazing supports from the locals and businesses alike, entertainment package at the track and great parties all round.

        The fact it is located in the middle of the Colonial District with the skyscrapers from the Central Business District in the background only adds the feeling of grandiose.

        Because it is convenient in terms of location and transport, the locals have totally embraced F1 over the last four years. It just makes F1 easier to adopt for the casual fans, which is great (and they tend to become converts).

        I understand that ‘real racers’ want tracks that look good on TV but we also need tracks that just make those shinny F1 cars look beautiful when illuminated by the flood lights around the track to reward photographers and anyone who is interested into F1 car designs.

        F1 needs to cater for all and it is just a very different proposition to camping at the race track.

        PS: I am yet to meet someone who attended this race that has anything bad to say about it.

      4. wayne says:

        James, Damien – thanks for your replies. I understand your point completely and, in retrospect, it is the presenters’ job to convey all that they can see, hear, touch and smell to the home audience which, along wiht your testomony, explains their enthusiasm.

  2. Ralf F says:

    Seb takes the accolades from me for looking at the green light on the Lotus pitstop (!!!!)

  3. Lux says:

    I am astonished that Vettel isn’t leading this poll by miles. His drive today was one of the best I’ve ever seen.I am definitely not a fan of the guy but today he was in a class of his own. Sure he has the best car but Webber who’s praised by the British press and drove a good race, finished nearly 30 seconds behind his teamate!
    Burton’s charge at the end was impressive but let’s face it: Vettel was in total control and was never at risk of losing this race.

    1. Jeff says:

      You are right, I’m a Webber fan but what Vettel does with this car is amazing. He pulled out a massive margin from the start that won him the race in about 3 laps.

      1. Love integrity says:

        I am Webber fan as well.
        His poor result so far (especially a start) is weird ,considering last year’s excellent drive.
        Hope RedBull give him a better car with DRS working properly + dilegent staff+ clever strategy .
        Oherwise,what is the point for a contract with him in 2012, Just being there as a second driver,who played a role to impresses how Vettel & his car is special?

      2. The point of his 2012 contract? The constructor’s championship one would imagine.

        Vettel seems to be the favoured son, doesn’t he?

        Let’s see if the team gets 100% behind Webber for him to clinch a win once the WCC is in the bag.

      3. Lux says:

        This race confirmed for me that we’ve definitely entered the Vettel era. I’m worried about the next few years. Only thing that could prevent him from getting a string of world champion titles is if Neway’s next car is either uncompetitive (very unlikely) or unreliable (which has happened before but this year’s car so good from that point of view that that’s not very likely either).

      4. Rudy Pyatt says:

        Watching the coverage on Speed, David Hobbs said something I’ve said from the start of the season: What Vettel is doing, the Schumacher-era notwithstanding, recalls no one so much as Jim Clark. Extending that analogy, JB is in the role of Graham Hill. He’s been the most consistent runner this year, after Vettel, in a car that’s fast enough to win, if not as innovate or outright fast, and reliable. He may yet pull the title out at the last moment.

        Saying all of that, the Red Bull team also reminds me of the McLaren of old. Not in the Senna/Prost era, but in the CanAm, when the Bruce & Denny Show ruled supreme.

      5. To have a Vettel era, RBR will need to provide him with a winning car year on year, as I can hardly imagine leaving the team in the short run.

        As pointed out by Sean Kelly in Peter Windsor’s show, I’m sure we all thought this was going to be a Villeneuve/Alonso/Hamilton era when we saw them dominate for a couple of seasons in a row.
        The thought of Villeneuve being dominant will make most of us smile now, but back then, he was Williams’ favourite son (remember how Damon Hill moved to Arrows?).

    2. ddd says:

      it is ignorant to say that vettel is so great because he ended up 30 seconds ahead of webber.

      Anyone who knows f1 knows it is a dumb comment.

      Webber obviously was stuck behind alonso numerous times, let alone his bad start which put him behind even further.

      Time gap isnt really a good indicator, cause vettel had clear air the whole race.

      1. Webber also dropped the pace at the end of the race when Button became out of reach.

        There is no point sacrificing engine life to end up 12 seconds behind the leader instead of just securing third position (and being 30 secs behind as a result).

    3. Yes, I agree. Vettel’s ability for switching the tyres on the first lap is truly remarkable.
      All others had a good race, that’s right. I may also add Kovalainen who kept racing with the two Renaults for three whole race.

      However, Di Resta and Perez were not fighting for the championship and did not have the same pressure to perform.

      1. MISTER says:

        Pressure? What pressure? The pressure of having over 100 points lead? Is that pressure?
        Di Resta and Perez have more pressure then Vettel. They both need to impress if they want to keep a drive for next season.
        Vettel already showed what he can do and he has a huge lead. Even tho’ JB can still win this year, SV just needs a 10th place. Don’t tell me that is pressure…

      2. I think you are assuming Vettel puts less pressure on himself because he makes the job look easy.

        No, I don’t think Perez of Di Resta have the same pressure – it is much less.

        Let’s agree to disagree on this.

  4. Brian says:

    None of the above.

    1. Jeff says:

      OK, so who would you pick?

    2. Red5 says:

      Perhaps you were watching the Daily Politics conference special on BBC2?

      Pity, you missed what was a great show in Singapore.

    3. Bobby says:

      Agree, for me it was Lewis. Vettel and Button just held station for 61 laps, bo-o-oring!

    4. RickeeBoy says:

      I agree – Seb, Jens and Paul were total also-rans in the Drive Me Crazy Award ( Shut the F*** Up Championship )- Eddie Jordan was a Stand Out pain in Singapore.

  5. Cliff says:

    I wanted to vote for Paul Di Resta, my partisan side said JB, once again bringing a decent bag of points home for Mclaren. In the end I voted for Vettel. An excellent and controlled drive from lights to flag. The boys on another planet!!!

    1. Grabyrdy says:

      Exactly my own reasoning. With exactly the same conclusion.

  6. DMyers says:

    I think Kovalainen drove a pretty impressive race at the back, heading both faux-Lotuses for much of the race and beating one of them.

    1. Michael C says:

      “faux-Lotuses”

      Made me smile!!!!!

      It’s bad enough that an energy drink marketing company is winning the championship with a Renault engine and is now referred to as their “works team”, but to have an upstart splitting Enstone’s cars with that engine and the name Lotus… wow. Lux, Bahar and Boullier sure know how to wreck a team, starting with its fan base and reputation. I guess money and a cool black paint job isn’t everything.

      1. Duane says:

        Good comment! :)

      2. DMyers says:

        Hahaha! Seconded ;-)

  7. Mo says:

    Wow what a shocker, the British driver gets the most votes again by default.

    His drive was nothing special, just staying out of trouble and good team strategy and then safety car working in his favor.

    Can’t be anyone but Vettel, anyone who looks at it objectively.

    1. James Allen says:

      Sorry, but that’s an insult. The paddock view is that Di Resta was outstanding today. Nationality has nothing to do with it. Study his race and think again

      1. Jeremy Miles says:

        Indeed – and there are two British drivers in that list.

      2. Mac says:

        James, do the fans, F1, McLaren and Lewis a favour and get McLaren to give Lewis a field of vision test.

        I have said (since his first ever F1 race) that he has a weakness on his left hand side.

        If you look at his positioning on the track, his judgement is clearly better at judging lines and other cars on his right. (Just ride with him and see how he can bump kerbs on the right far more than he can on the left.)

        To his left, he has a problem (just remember when he nearly drove Alonso into the wall in the USA) – he never manages to take left hand turns as tightly, and a disproportionate number of his accidents occur on his left.

        I am ***NOT*** having a go at Lewis – and I in no way mean this as a slur.

        My sister has a blind spot on her left eye and I have had years of driving with her and seeing the difference in judgment between her left/right positioning on the road. It is not a huge difference, but at racing speeds it may well make all the difference.

        Maybe his vision is fine . . . but I really think (and have thought for years) that it should be checked with a specific field of vision test.

      3. Mac says:

        Spa – crash into the wall on the left

        Canada – - crash into the wall / JB on the left

        Singapore – clips Massa on the left

        Check every season and you’ll see the pattern.

        Just check inboard footage and see how much better he can take racing lines on the right.

      4. Parker says:

        Agreed, and I am not British and heck, I didn’t even know Paul is British.

      5. StackH says:

        So, are the paddock talking about which of the big teams will be signing Di Resta soon James? Perhaps Massa’s seat at Ferrari for 2013?

      6. James Allen says:

        He’s Mercedes’ man

      7. HFEVO2 says:

        James, surely there is room for both here :

        Paul did a truly outstanding job, best preformance so far in his F1 career and he thoroughly deserves to be praised for it.

        At this stage of his career it was a hugely impressive effort and bodes well for the future.

        But, if we are looking at the best performance, bar none, it surely has to go to Sebastian ?

        The very fact that he made it seem so effortless just demonstrates how good the boy is.

        I’m a McLaren follower ( and a wishful thinking Williams one as well ) but you can’t help compare Seb’s smooth and faultless performances in the last two races with those of Lewis.

        Sorry Paul and Jenson but, on this occasion, I have to give it to Seb, no question.

      8. Richard says:

        I’m with you on that James. If it was a partisan British vote surely it would have been Button!

    2. Michael Prestia says:

      [mod] I think Paul drove his best race of his career so there is some merit to the voting. I am not not a Vettel fan but he was on another planet again. Even with the safety car he still managed a massive gap to his team mate in equal machinery… that is truly a huge sign the kid was outstanding today and deserved my vote.

      1. Jeff says:

        Great drive from Vettel, but it’s a lot easier to drive well when you’re sitting out front in the best car on the track. I still have my doubts that Webber is getting equal machinery from Red Bull.

        Considering how little time Paul has had in an F1 car, his result today in a much slower car, handily beating a teammate that I always thought was one of the best deserves the vote.

      2. Dave Deacon says:

        “I still have my doubts that Webber is getting equal machinery from Red Bull.” I agree. There seems to be quite a disparity and I do not believe it is the drivers’ skill.

    3. Jon says:

      I voted for Di Resta as I feel he had the best drive today. Both Vettel and Button had pretty much untroubled races out front. We hardly saw Vettel as he was clearly out front in the best car.

      I’m british, but will vote for the driver I feel had the best drive of the day irrespective of nationality.

    4. Yomi says:

      I agree…Seb’s was the outstanding drive of the day. Dominated everybody else, safety car included. I don’t support Seb, however you have to respect the boy’s talent! Paul D’s drive was good and clean, that’s it. He is still developing his skills set, which will make him a much better driver in the future. The British press always over hype local talent…only to destroy them later (Button in his early career and Hamilton at the moment). I hope they will leave Paul alone to develop his craft in peace.

    5. wayne says:

      I’m not sure what it is that you are suggesting? Yes JA is British but people from all over the world read, post and vote here so what is your point?

  8. Bevan says:

    Definitely not the former young Mercedes development driver HH Frentzen,how could N Rosberg go so far off track,make a clear advantage & not collect a drive through,”outrageous”.
    Considering F1 is the benchmark in cutting edge race car engineering etc its judiciary really is like something from a banana republic,decisions & punishments seem to depend on if the FIA like you,followed by how much they like you.
    Ps,thanks for the flight Schoee,without your error it was a complete borefest IMO.

    1. Grabyrdy says:

      Rosberg carefully gave the place back to Massa as soon as he could. He’s not stupid this boy. No advantage, no drive-thru.

      Do I take it HHF was driver steward this w/e ? I’d missed that. Maybe it was him who organised MS into the wall ..

      1. markus says:

        Like it!

      2. Bevan says:

        It was actually,the Schu was stewing on the fact that HHF had 1st dip.

      3. Rudy says:

        Yep, Corinna related.

  9. Yafet says:

    Di Resta. We expected excellence from Button and Vettel. Not DR. Kudos to him.

  10. Nigel (USA) says:

    I voted for Di Resta but I’m surprised you left Hamilton off the list. He had a tough quali and was left on the second row with one set of supersofts less than anyone else. He got blocked at the beginning and also got too close to Massa but drove an inspiring race to fight his way through the field at least twice.

    1. Jeff says:

      His start was unfortunate, but even after the first corner he was slow enough to get passed by Michael. He then got too close to Felipe and collected a damaged car and a drive-through. I want to see Lewis do well, but today we saw yet another example of his Jekyll and Hyde nature, I’m afraid.

      He’s definitely one of the fastest in F1. If only he could temper that speed with a little more intelligent decision making, he could have been challenging Jenson and maybe even Sebastian for the podium spots today. As it was, he damaged his car because he was too impatient to get past Felipe, and he only got the points he did because of the safety car.

      Sure, it was exciting to see him scythe past slower vehicles, but it was his mistake that put him back there in the first place, so he didn’t deserve to be on the list today.

      Contrast this with Jenson’s faultless performance. There were many people who thought that Jenson was going to be very much Lewis’ number two at McLaren, and he’s making those people eat crow this year. Sure, he may not quite have the outright pace of Lewis over a single lap, particularly when the car isn’t perfect. Who’s faster over a race distance is not so clear cut, and if the car (or pit crew) doesn’t fail, he brings it home with the maximum achievable points. This is why he is likely to finish this year comfortably ahead of Lewis in the championship.

      I note also that Felipe appears to be building something personal against Lewis. Lewis made a mistake. Unfortunate, but not deliberate. There’s also nothing in the rules against passing another car on the out lap of qualifying. Get over it Felipe!

      Jeff

      1. Grabyrdy says:

        Nothing against it in the rules, but it’s not something you see often. Dangerous too, with cars liable to be weaving around to warm up the tyres and doing mini-burnouts. Also stupid, because if he didn’t want to be so close behind, you can wait 5 seconds at the end of the pitlane before you start. And unsporting of course.

        But not illegal.

        Yet.

    2. Kevin says:

      Haha, Hamilton “got too close to Massa”. Are you serious? Don’t you mean that, yet again, Hamilton crashed into someone like a rank amateur? If Hamilton weren’t driving a car which gave him so many advantages, just imagine how many incidents he would have gotten into in the middle of the pack.

      1. Bevan says:

        It would be interesting to have a squizz at angry Massa’s throttle telemetry though eh Kevin,”lift off anyone”.
        I reckon FM’s still stewing after his little trip into the tunnel wall at Monaco C/O the former WDC rank amatuer you mention.
        Notice how LH doesn’t block like a spoil’t brat,like a pro he allows them to pass as he has the patience & faith in his own skill to know there will be another chance as he clearly demonstrated to you & the world at this race.Its like the Schu said over the radio to R Brawn at Monza-

        R Brawn-”Michael,if you cause a crash” ?

        Michael- “Its alright Ross,he (Lewis)gets the blame for everything”.

    3. Baktru says:

      The reason I think he’s not on the list is exactly that. He had a storming race after ruining it for himself in the first place with that contact with Massa. If Hamilton had done a truly good race, he would clearly have been on the podium.

      My vote went to Vettel, his drive was stellar, he never ever even looked slightly in trouble again. It was a close call though, I could just as well have voted for Di Resta or Button.

    4. JC says:

      Lewis season is what someone could have expected on his rookie year. Keeps crashing and is miles away from the very cool driver we saw in ’08.
      A bit more patient and could have been in the podium. No driver of the day in my view…

    5. Aaron95 says:

      I doubt Felipe Massa would agree with you. Hamilton only had to fight his way through the field because he made mistakes and lost his front wing.

    6. Nick says:

      I’d agree with Hamilton. Yes, he had the incident with Massa that was his fault, but after that he was fantastic. He stormed through from way down the field back to 5th only 1:07 off of Vettel who won. That time is about what the extra stop for a new nose and a drive-through penalty equals.

    7. wayne says:

      I would never have voted for Hamilton as I do not think drivers should get merrit badges from recovering from a position that was totally self inflicted. He only came from 16th to 5th because he put himself in that position. The potential of his car in his hands was second, perhaps even a shot at first place! I adore hamilton but I have ot be realistic…. I was dissapointed that Webber was included in one of these polls earlier in the yera when he had a ‘great revovery drive’ to 4th.

    8. adi says:

      Thats the funniest thing ive layed on since i read ‘The Far Side’ by Gary Larson

      1. adi says:

        if only i put ‘eyes’ between ‘layed’ and ‘on’…………

    9. Grabyrdy says:

      Inspiring to whom ? A stupid mistake due to inattention ruined his race, and Massa’s too.

    10. dzolve says:

      I guess it depends on what your criteria are. If it’s the driver who just goes round and round but outperforms expectations by finishing 6th then PDR is a fair call but if it’s the one driver who gave us some entertainment (and isn’t that what it’s all about?) whether you like him or not, then there’s only one person it can be!

      1. haj muntz says:

        Michael Schumacher!
        My heart was in my mouth.
        Rest of the GP was boring. Singapore and night racing might be great if you are there. but on tv…

    11. Ant says:

      Sorry Nigel

      but to suggest that Hamilton should have been on the list of driver of the day is a little far stretched. For driver with some much talent he seems to have transferred all his brains to his big toe!

      I’d say a good shout for chump of the weekend

      1. Nigel (USA) says:

        Whoa, tough crowd!

        Hamilton is an aggressive driver, he was clearly faster than Massa. He was on the outside and behind the Ferrari, and if he made an error of judgement it was that he clearly expected Massa to not be braking so early into the turn.

        The incident says as much about Massa’s average performance this year as it does about Hamilton’s spirited driving. The drive through penalty was OTT. Personally I’d rather see Hamilton going for it than a procession of drivers afraid to overtake.

        P.S. I still think Di Resta was the driver of the day.

    12. Matt says:

      Hamilton was completely out of sorts and in no way can he be a contender for driver of the day. Mclaren clearly had the second fastest car here and by rights Hamilton should have been second or third after Webber’s poor start, but I think he’s not driving to his potential at the moment. The irony is that that the more he seems to be developing an awareness of the need to be circumspect (and recent interviews suggest this is the case), the more he seems to get caught in situations that result in some controversy (and although I am no Hamilton apologist, he does seem to be the driver being made an example of with penalties while others seem to get away with it – Rosberg in Singapore for example). He is undoubtedly one of the best but I can’t see him getting out of this spiral this season given the current standings – and crucially I am unconvinced his management deal gives him the best support in this situation. I hope I’m wrong – he is massively exciting to watch and can take the fight to anyone at his best but at the moment he’s facing a lot of criticism, some of it, including Massa’s petulance on Sunday, a worse reflection on others than on him.

  11. Vinola says:

    Vettel by a mile. Every one agrees that the RBR is the best car out there, but that verdict would have been less clear if that judgement is based solely on Webber’s performance in this race and those preceding it. And Webber is a very good driver.
    Equally, Di Resta punched above his weight. Plucky drive.
    Lewis deserves a mention in my view for reasons already stated by others.

  12. devilsadvocate says:

    I had to go with Vettel today for the sole reason that he is not jogging or taking it easy. If he finishes in the points just once for the rest of the season he will win yet he is driving like his place was switched with Button at the moment and I have massive respect for that as he isnt taking the easy route. He could have checked out and relaxed 3 races ago like a certain world champion did a couple of years ago but he is continuing to give 100% week in week out and that shows heart, determination, and respect for his fellow competitors as it challenges them to raise their game because he certainly wont take it easy on them. Would love to see him win the rest, but I guess to do it with class all he really has to do is make sure he finishes in front of Button next weekend.

  13. Freddie Teo says:

    I was at the race last night and one particular thing that shocked me was how far away Seb was from the safety car when he passed the bay grand stand. We expected the 10 car length distance…but Seb didn’t appear until a few secs later (there’s more than 10 car lengths when Seb finally passed me, he was practically chasing after the safety car at the point in time. Then lo and behold, the back markers appeared even much later, holding up Jenson and just about everyone else. And for Kamui to say he was NOT aware that he’s being lapped…oh come on…the blue lights were flashing the entire time! During the restart, Seb was practically alone thanks to the back markers…that was really painful to watch in person.

    Driver of the day has to be Di Resta.

  14. unococ says:

    What about Riciardo.. haven’t investigated yet, but after the first lap was fso far back due to an extra pit stop and front wing down that he was lapped on lap 5.

    He then finished ahead of his teammate and others

  15. Glenn says:

    Too easy!!!
    Webber by a mile. He only lost 2 places off the start. Well done Mark!!!
    Seriously, Di Resta’s drive impressed me but who couldn’t be impressed with Vettels perfect drive? Not that we saw much of it ;)

  16. Daniel From Down Under says:

    Driver of the day for me was Paul as well. hamilton must pull his head in. It seams that Button is carrying that team at the moment, very impatient driving. From a world champion I would expect better

  17. JC says:

    Vetted is so in the zone, only need to see the gap vs webber in all races during 2011. This race again was total domination probably by the largest margin.
    However I voted for Paul as his driving has been just brilliant, ahead of sutil and nico. A great result especially in his rookie season.

  18. Rang says:

    Hi James,

    I guess Hamilton deserves to be in the list too.

    -Rang

  19. Red5 says:

    Very good job by Paul.

    We expect Jensen and Seb to be fighting for wins and that takes nothing away from 2 almost flawless back-to-back championships for team Red Bull (surely at Suzuka).

    I hope Force India can keep up the pressure on the teams in front next year, give Paul a well deserved chance to shine.

  20. George C. says:

    I vote for Lewis, SV really is the driver of the day and of the weekend and of the year etc.. but that was LH who managed to make the race so fascinating (and amazingly, this owing to his accident), with so many overtakings and it’s pity he could not compete with FA, this would be the corona of the day – as the same in monza – FA and Ferrari scarcely escaped shame.

  21. CGM says:

    Must admit that I’m becoming more and more impressed with Button particularly in regard to his racecraft.
    In 2011, he’s beaten Hamilton 8 races to 7.
    LH qualifies at an average of 3.8 on the grid and finishes at an average of 3.8.
    JB qualifies at an average of 5.0 on the grid but finishes at an average of 3.3.
    HUGE turnaround from the 2010 stats where LH was all over him both in quali and in racing.

    1. Bevan says:

      Yeah I’ve started to take notice of JB’s results of late too,he’s definitely Mr Consistent however team Mclaren have made 1 or 2 strategic errors this year that didn’t affect JB’s side of the garage as much as LH’s,team error wise I think its 3 to LH,1 to JB.I’m sure you’ll find the numbers are more even when you take the whole team thing into account.

      1. CGM says:

        Yep, agreed.

  22. Richard D says:

    I voted di Resta as he drove intelligently, didnt get involved in other peoples battles & beat his team mate even with team instructions!

    However, considering the pressure that Vettel is under (or should be under) he was flawless and was my second choice. Button, as in Canada, was only brought back into the race with a safety car & again it worked to his advantage for the final few laps although I suspect Vettel was just gapping him to the flag. Perez I didnt see too much of so cant really comment.

  23. Tony Swales says:

    I want to vote for Lewis, fair enough he made a slight error (locked is breaks and touched Massa) but to go from 15th to 5th is impressive.

  24. Andrew J says:

    Vettel did a great job leading from start to finish. That said, it was kind of expected for him to win as the driver and car combination clearly suited the track.

    More impressive was Button who having lost 70 minutes of track time on Friday hadn’t even had a chance to drive on a full race load of fuel. A nifty overtake of Webber at the beginning and he was pretty much as untroubled as Seb for the rest of the race. His post-race comments that the team instructed him to go for it in those last few laps also indicate that maybe he could have done a little more but the strategy was to preserve the car, though I doubt he’d ever have had enough there to pass Seb. An impressive drive and showing far more class than his team-mate.

    Great as those two drives were, it’s Di Resta that gets my vote. To finish sixth in your rookie season is pretty good anyway. To do it at the toughest track of the season is remarkable. An outstanding drive and surely a sign of great things to come.

  25. Jasonae says:

    PDR for delivering a result greater than the car and his much more experienced teammate. He has really impressed this year and that’s before you take into account he is a rookie!
    I love the way people talk about Vettel – let’s remember he is a top driver in by far the best car with confidence and self belief – that always makes you a winner in F1. His progress from last year is a result of his change in mental state.

  26. MISTER says:

    Di Resta

    Great drive in a car that I am glad works better now. Let’s not forget that this was his first night race and had reduced mileage in the car on Friday. Also he had no experience with high fuel.
    Seb and Button both had faultless drives, but we would expect that from champions.

  27. Dave says:

    I have to say Vettel. I think far too often I’ve just overlooked him because he was out in front and did what on the face of it appears to be nothing spectacular.

    But I think this time I should give him the vote. He could have been double World Champion yesterday, and he certainly did his part of the job. Led from the start, pulled out a huge gap, and then just had to drive it home. It was looking tense at the end as he approached traffic stuck in their own battles, but he handled it well and got through.

    As much as I wanted Button to catch him, I do often feel like Vettel and Red Bull are just managing the gap and, if required, they could probably have stepped it up a bit.

  28. Alex Yoong says:

    Agree re Hamilton, good recovery drive.

    What about Kovalainen? He beat Petrov to 16th on merit.

  29. Sergio says:

    Depending on the track, some teams are in better shape or worse, the only exception is Vettel’s Red Bull. At Singapour Vettel’s RB was the first, second: McLaren, third: Webber’s RB, Fourth: Ferrari; fifth: Mercedes; sixth: Force India (very tight with MB). From this point of view you can measure if drivers succeded or failed accordingly. RB and McLarens are far away of the rest (Ferrari included). This “little” detail is very often missed for the crowd or those journalists who are alwais hailing “espectacular” moves or other reasons more prosaic.

  30. james encore says:

    DiResta.
    Vettel and Button didn’t really do much for their first and second places did they.
    Hamilton drove a great recovery to almost cancel out the poor start, silly mistake and stewards bias.
    Perez – I only noticed when Schumacher hit him.
    DiResta drove intelligently made some good moves got his best race of the season. But there wasn’t a standout performance from anyone.

  31. Andrew Carter says:

    Di Resta was supperb today, I can see why he beat Vettel in equal cars in the F3 Euro Series. Vettel was brilliant in the first 10 laps but from there on it was pretty much cruise and collect since he had no challenge, helped by Trulli falling asleep at the restart. Button was also very good but he was in no-mans-land, too quick for Alonso/Webber, but not fst enough to race with Vettel.

    Then there’s Kovalinen who despite qualifying a second off Petrov, raced with the Renault’s and Torro Rosso’s and even beat Petrov in the end.

  32. dramaqueen says:

    Hamilton on the list, *cough*.
    Webber should be there before Hamilton.

  33. Had to give it to Vettel. ‘Commanding’ is the word. Button was also excellent and Di Resta put in his best performance of the year to date. They would be my top three.

    Thinking back over the race, the standout driver was Hamilton and I thoroughly enjoyed watching him fight through the field. But it was his own fault that he ended up back there, so I wouldn’t consider him for DotD purely on those grounds. Maybe we should have a second award for Entertainer of the Day!

    1. James Allen says:

      Hamilton or Kobayahi would win most of the time!

  34. sumedh says:

    PDR definitely. Superb drive. And very well managed by the team too. Sutil let him by as the strategies were different.

    Force India seemed to be getting stronger as well. They started the season at par with the Toro Rosso. And they are now well ahead of them and Sauber. With a little bit of luck, they could even snatch 5th place in the constructors from Renault (Nick Heidfeld must be a happy man after yesterday’s race :) )

    With the Indian Grand Prix a month away, a strong showing from Force India would be the icing on the cake.

    1. MISTER says:

      To be fair to you, I don’t think Heidfield could’ve done anything yesterday. The car was just slow. Even one of the Lotus cars beat Petrov. And Petrov was pretty much on same performance with Heidfield.

      Don’t know what’s wrong with their car, but I do hope Force India keep the momentum going. This way we get more action and that will put presure on Petrov and Senna.

      Looking forward to that.

  35. Paul H says:

    Di Resta for me. Vettel was flawless and Button drove well but Di Resta was the standout driver for me. It’s one thing to do well in a good car, lead from the front in clean air and I agree Vettel deserves the championship as he hasn’t put a foot wrong. Di Resta on the otherhand was at a racetrack new to him, in his rookie year and not in one of the top cars. He made a different strategy work and stayed out of trouble to bring home a good points haul. I’d say Vettel in second place, Jenson third. Also honorable mention for Heikki who got a good result beating Petrov on pace. Any reason given for this mechanically or was Petrov just really struggling at this track?

  36. Richard A says:

    Sorry James, but your site need to allow us 2 votes! One for Vettel, who is in a class of his own and thoroughly deserving everyone’s vote for yesterday’s drive, and one for someone else. For me, that would be Paul, for the same reasons give above. Outstanding display of intelligence, maturity and outright pace yesterday.

    I wonder if Martin Whitmarsh is looking at ways he can replace Hamilton with DiResta when contracts allow. A Paul/Jenson line up would be fantastic for McLaren now that Lewis seems intent on proving he has lost his form both on and off track every race weekend.

  37. Alen says:

    in my humble opinion Massa is the driver of the day (even considering putting Hamilton on the list would be pretty cheeky)… but I must reflect on something else -
    ‘Does he (Schumi) really have to drive in the middle of the night and fly into the barrier’ – Mediocre ex f1 driver Brundle said today… Schumaher had a good race, and I can’t but comment on the way these ex mediocre f1 drivers and now so called ‘f1 pundits’ on BBC are slurring Schumi, week after a week… they’re openly running this anti Schumi campaign and are too leninet on Hamilton’s mistakes which often leave other drivers’ races completely ruined, yet they are quick to compare Schumaher’s moves two weeks ago to Hamilton’s today when he ruined Masa’s prospects of earning some good points… he was rightly punished, but hey – they opted to slur Schumi and question the stewards’ decison… and Brundle was so glad about Schumacher’s DNF, it could be easily noticed in his sudden swing of mood… pathetic… so I understand all of you who are trigger happy when it comes to Schumaher, you are really under some heavy propaganda…

    1. James b says:

      The funny thing was brundle and coulthard discussing why he was still competing after he crashed. I wonder if he has ever asked DC why he bothers with DTM also himself as he has said he wants to do le mans next year!!

      I just don’t understand there agenda as it’s obvious that he is still competitive and if mercedes build a good car he will win races. No sane man thinks he is as good as he was when he was 30 but he is doing his job and is getting possibly more fulfilment, he certainly looks happier and slightly less serious.

    2. tara says:

      i’m glad someone else noticed this – not so much on the schumacher thing but i’ll keep an ear out in the future. Hearing them rip into other drivers for mistakes but then patting Hamilton on the head when he does the same or worse. I enjoy their commentary but surely they shouldn’t be so biased…in a perfect world i guess.

  38. gil_dogon says:

    I think James, and the rest of us expect more from Hamilton. Of course he fought well through the field, but this was due to his (yet again) mistake with Massa. He seems to be going through a bad patch right now, but luckily it is in a period where championship is anyway out of reach. Hope he can finally learn from his mistakes, (and the example set by Vettel) Get his head together, AND that Mclaren can produce a car closer to RB’s level next year …

  39. G.C. says:

    sounds odd, – perhaps one can consider, LH intentionally rammed Massa, like an answer to his ‘retorts’..

  40. Stu says:

    Di Resta for me too. Very impressed by him now he’s got a dodgy 1st half of the season out of the way…

  41. Jon Wilde says:

    Vettel was in a class of his own this weekend.

    Di Resta and Button put in great drives, but nothing in comparison to Vettel. I’m worried he is the new Schumacher. (can we stand 5 more years of this?)

    That said the last

    James, I’m clutching at straws but do you know what Vettel went back to his car for before he went up the the podium? I’m hoping it was to cover up that secret go faster button he’s been running all season!!

    1. James Allen says:

      Maybe his lucky charm. I think it’s a pig or something like that

      1. Grabyrdy says:

        Would that be because the pig is the smartest animal there is ? (That’s what Orwell thought anyway). And Seb is outstandingly smart this year.

        Actually I thought I saw him go back to the car to kiss it. What’s this one called ? Sexy Susie or something ? You gotta keep the girlfriend sweet.

  42. doug vx says:

    Tough to call. Vettel’s got the best car but really made the most of it…loved his thinking in the pitlane!
    Paul showed his skill with his best drive to date, but Jenson just gets it for his awesome last stint & fastest lap.
    How fit must he be to push that hard at the toughest race of the year? Respect!

  43. Rudy says:

    I am not impressed by any of the above mentioned. Vettel? Maybe, if he had made up from the middle of the pack. Like Shu in his glory days, alone in the front… almost anyone.
    What calls my attention is how we switch from amazing circuits where there’s overtaking, tyre strategy variables and then… limbo. Zero. Tracks like Singapore, Valencia (waterfront) do nothing for the sport. I think we have enough with venues like Hungary and Monaco. Look at the past races, all borefest, safety car, Renault’s crashgate and yesterday Schu’s mistake. Nothing to do with appropiate racecraft. Looks more like Indy. Just a show. Sorry.

  44. Harvey says:

    perhaps everyone who thinks Hamilton was the driver of the day for his performance rising from 16th to 5th should have nominated the safety car driver instead, which was the only way Hamilton was able to elevate his standing. James, I’m wondering if a driver has ever been suspended by the FIA for unsafe driving practices? Just how many drive through penalties can one receive before a suspension is issued? Anything in the F1 rules covering this?

  45. David Ryan says:

    It’s a close call for me between di Resta and Vettel, and for me Vettel edges it simply because of the dominance of that performance. He may have the best car, but my word does he know how to use it. That said, di Resta’s was a very intelligent yet fast drive, and I think it cements his reputation as one to look out for in the future. As far as Hamilton warranting drive of the day is concerned, the fact that he ended up in 15th as a result of his own clumsiness (for which a drive-through was warranted – others have received similar penalties this year) is reason enough for his exclusion from the list.

  46. eric weinraub says:

    I doubt Diresta would have even gotten a mention had Schuey, doing what he’s paid to do ie overtake moving road blocks (Perez) until they stupdily don’t look in their mirrors, because Schuey would have certainly gotten by Rosberg and been the best of the rest…

  47. AdrianP says:

    (1) Another flawless race from JB. Reading between the lines, it seems likely that he was short-fuelled, with Maclaren hoping for multiple safety cars and it was only in the last 12 or so laps that he was able to let rip. So, impressive to keep SV honest and outrace MW.

    (2) Oh dear, oh dear Lewis. It’s the same old story, sniffing around other cars rear ends rather than (or, to be fair, as well as…) making proper overtaking manouevres – from memory, I list: Lewis v Massa (Monza last year), Lewis v Massa (Monaco this year) , Lewis v Maldonado (Monaco this year), Lewis v Webber (Canada this year), Lewis v Button (China this year – not a crash but only because JB jumped out of the way), Lewis v JB (Canada this year), Lewis v Schumacher (Monza this year – not a crash but the same sort of trying to put his nose into a non-gap) – all very similar sorts of misjudgments. They’re all ‘computer game’ / touring car manouevres, where you overtake by nudging up the car in front’s rear quarter.

    And then one has to add to that, incidents like Lewis v Kobayashi which was sheer inattention (cf. Lewis on Raikkonen in the pitlane at Canada a few years back) and totally unnecessary episodes like Lewis v Massa in qualifying at Singapore and Lewis v Maldonado in qualifying at Spa (even though mainly Maldonado, Lewis was rightly adjudged to have also been interested in a bit of afters).

    Unfortunately, this sort of thing starts to become self-perpetuating. Lewis really needs now a two or three good clean performances in succession otherwise this season will really spiral into the scrapheap.

    (3) Schumacher – a shame for Schumi, but a clear misjudgment as he accepted. He would, I think, undoubtedly have got a penalty if his car had not been so dramatically wiped out and/or if Perez’s had not been able to continue relatively unscathed. As it was a reprimand is perhaps on the lenient side, but it doesn’t seem to me like this is any evidence of anti-Lewis favouritism.

    (4) Class drive from Di Resta – no question he’s good, and perhaps he’s very good. He certainly seems to have a good racing head in terms of driving to a strategy.

  48. Julian says:

    I really think Vettel ought to be driver of the day for once. As much as he was in the best car, you wouldn’t expect him to lap at least 1 second faster than Button at most stages. Both drivers had clear air on track. If it wasn’t for the safety car he could’ve won by 45 seconds.

    I agree di Resta was outstanding especially as he has never raced here before, but in a way I felt the strategy of doing a “Sauber” (2 stopper) helped as well as Sutil letting him through easily in the early stages which meant he can push harder.

    Lotus Renault were abysmal. Would be incredible if FI can overtake them for 5th in the Constructors as they have Sauber well beaten now.

  49. Goober says:

    Vettel easily. Trouble was after about lap three, we hardly saw any of it.

  50. It was probably Vettel’s best drive of the year, but I’ll go for di Resta, because I always like to see drivers performing beyond the “expected”. It’s been some time since he drove that well and he needed that. Paul is actually behaving as if he was not a rookie, on and off track. I like that.

  51. Red says:

    I thought Lewis recovered pretty well to finish 5th after the Massa incident. However, Di Resta was definitely driver of the day for me. He’s showing great signs so far in his rookie season and looks set for a seat in a top team in the upcoming seasons.

  52. I was wondering – why there’s no best backmarker or something like that category? My vote goes to D’Ambrosio just in case best back-of-the-grid teams/drivers get their separate poll here.

  53. tara says:

    My vote went to Di Resta followed closely by Button.
    Di Resta for keeping his head down and not doing anything stupid when he had an aggressive Hamilton on his tail.
    And though Button started chipping away at Vettel too late it would have been impressive to see how close he could have come if it wasn’t for the Williams.

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