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Malaysian Grand Prix – Who was your driver of the day?
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Posted By: James Allen  |  26 Mar 2012   |  3:57 am GMT  |  211 comments

Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez tore up the formbook at Sepang International as torrential rain caused havoc at the Malaysian Grand Prix. Who was your driver of the day?

Fernando Alonso

Arrived in Malaysia adamant that Ferrari had plenty of work to do despite an encouraging fifth place finish in Melbourne. Looked uncompetitive in first practice on Friday but improved when the team bolted on a new specification wing. Sneaked through into top 10 in qualifying and started eighth. Inherited the lead after the restart when the McLarens pitted and then pumped in the lap times on the intermediate tyres to get a gap. Ferraris quick pitstops ensured he stayed ahead of Sergio Perez and despite late pressure from the Sauber driver, the Spaniard held on to secure his 28th career victory and take the lead in the drivers’ championship.

Sergio Perez

Showed encouraging pace in Friday practice sessions and then outperformed his Sauber team-mate Kamui Kobayashi by making it into Q3 in qualifying. Started ninth but dropped two places at the start. The team decided to pit him for full wets when the safety car pulled in – a move which proved inspired as the Mexican found himself third after everyone else had followed suit. Third turned into second when Lewis Hamilton had a problem in the pits and then the Mexican turned up the heat on Alonso. Came within a second of the Spaniard after setting a flurry of fastest laps in the dying stages, but a mistake saw him go off track and he ultimately finished second – the best result of his career.

Lewis Hamilton

Showed brilliant form on Friday to top the times in both practice sessions and then followed that up with a stunning lap in qualifying on his first attempt in Q3. Made a good start from pole to retain the lead into the first corner, unlike in Australia, and proceeded to pull out a gap over Jenson Button. Lost out to Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez in the pitstops, first having to wait to be released from his pitbox because of traffic and secondly having to wait for the team to remove take from the brake ducts. Struggled to with the intermediate tyres but limited the damage in the drivers’ standings, trailing Alonso by only five points.

Kimi Raikkonen

Started the weekend on the backfoot as he struggled with his steering and was then forced to change his gearbox following damage sustained in Australia. Showed the Lotus had good pace by qualifying fifth, though that became 10th after the five-place grid drop for the gearbox change. Got clean off the line and performed some good overtakes to rise back up the field. Admitted that he didn’t push to his maximum because of his lack of experience on Pirelli’s wet weather tyres but still showed impressive pace to finish fifth.

Bruno Senna

Outqualified by Williams team-mate Pastor Maldonado for the second successive race and started 13th. Made a good start, but contact early on forced him into the pits. Began the restart in last place, but battled his way through the field, including a brilliant move on Michael Schumacher around the outside of Turn 5. Good strategy from the team and strong pace on the intermediate tyre allowed the Brazilian to work his way into the points and finish sixth. His points tally was in this race was more than Williams managed to score in the entire 2011 season.

Jean-Eric Vergne

Had a nightmare in qualifying when he was knocked of qualifying in Q1 having flat-spotted his tyres and started the race in 18th place. Stayed out on intermediate tyres and found himself in seventh position when the safety car came back out. Managed to make the intermediate tyres work and though he lost a place later on, the Frenchman held on to score his first F1 points in only his second race.

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211 Comments
  1. Phil says:

    Alonso or Perez. It’s too hard to choose.
    Perez had such a great race! But I can’t help but vote for Alonso because Perez did through away a win. And Alonso really put that Ferrari where it shouldn’t have been at all (two weeks in a row). Also, I think Alonso did it the hard way, whereas Perez lucked in a little bit with early tire choice before the red flag

    1. tifosi down under says:

      Im agreeing with everything you said phil.

      Alonso for me aswell but dam its very close to call.

      1. Phil says:

        It’s too damn close!
        I feel bad now for not giving it Perez. I just can’t pick haha!

      2. jude says:

        Agree with you plus Alonso passed Perez on track for the lead and Perez also made a mistake to throw away a possible win.

      3. MC says:

        And Alonso/Ferrari made the right call on the switch to slicks. Had Perez come in first, he might have been the race winner.

      4. Anup Kadam says:

        I too agree and vote for Fernando because perez had the car and pace and still he couldn`t beat Fernando…the sauber car was good compared to that of Ferrari…

      5. Bob says:

        Perez.. it’s throw.. but the team did their best to scupper him by being cautious with pit stratergy and then interupting him at a vital time to tell him not to throw away second place.

        Have a bit more faith Sauber.

      6. Wayne says:

        Again Phil I am in agreement. Alosno also did the same thing all last year and the year before that. I am am LH fan but there is noone I would rather have in my car than FA if I were a team principle.

        On another note, I see that Sv is showing his true colours now that he does not have a car that will just cruise him to victory race after race. The following quote give you an idea of the real mentality of the guy:

        “Like on normal roads, you have some idiots driving around. It seems there is also one driving here,” the Red Bull driver said.”

        This from an incident that was surely SV’s own fault?

      7. Phil says:

        I take it as being a 50/50 between Vettel and Karthikeyan

        I’m no HRT fan. I was back in 2010 & 2011 but I’ve lost patience with them.
        I know it’s a racing incident 50/50, but I still am going to blame HRT and Karthikeyan. HRT shouldn’t be out there and nor should have. And if HRT has to be out there, they/he should be out of the way as much as possible. This isn’t the only time HRT & Karthikeyan have wrongly held up or gotten in the way of other drivers in the race or qualifying. It’s a worrying pattern that is increasing in frequency IMO.
        It reminds me a little of the Kovi/Webber incident in Spain in 2010. Not really Kovi’s fault but by gosh, he just shouldn’t have been on that bit of road like that at the time.

      8. Don Farrell says:

        +1

      9. JB says:

        agree, but I chose Perez because:
        1.You don’t expect anything less from a double world Champ.
        2. The young Perez hanged on to 2nd place after starting from 10th place (Alonso 9th).
        3. Many just gotten worse result than when they started including regular heroes like Hamilton, Button, Vettel.

        Finally, I want to see Perez in the Ferrari on the next race. Massa can go back to his old Sauber team. hehehe…

      10. OscarF1 says:

        You can’t expect less…???
        Yes, that’s the reason Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel both won a race that was über-won by Michael Schumacher…

    2. daphne says:

      Re “whereas Perez lucked in a little bit with early tire choice before the red flag” – was the call to change from the cockpit or the pit wall? Anyone know?

      1. Rudy says:

        It was Sergio’s call.

    3. [MISTER] says:

      I agree with you, but my vote goes to Perez.
      I’m a Ferrari and Alonso fan, but this young mexican made it very exciting for me. Very emotional finish.
      Very hard to choose between these two, but in the end we know what Alonso can do. His performance was not a surprised for me, while Perez’s was. I never thought much of him but this race opened my eyes.

      Good job on both of them.

      1. Phil says:

        It was emotional. I was sitting there in stony silence watching Perez catch Alonso. I didn’t want to cheer because I didn’t want to jinx him. But as he got within 3 secs of Alonso, a few ”come on’s” escaped from my mouth. On the lap where in spun out I was nearly out of my seat and had Perez got past and won I’d have been jumping around the room in delight. It would have just been sooooo amazing to see Perez win.
        But when he went off the track I felt so disappointed, for him! He really deserved to win (and it would have been amazing if he had). I went to bed after the race grumpy that he didn’t. So yes very emotional indeed!

      2. ADF says:

        I think Perez experienced a concentration lapse like Senna in Monaco 88. These guys feel comfortable at the limit, so telling them to be cautious will have some detriment to their concentration.

      3. JohnBt says:

        It was expected that Alonso performed at this level so I picked Perez too.

    4. zoidy84 says:

      Agree for same reason, Perez had great race but did make the mistake that cost him the win ultimately. While Alonso didn’t have a single moment while being caught.

      True, you gain that through experience but got to go for Alonso on this, he also deserves this win for not saying a single bad word against the team or car!

    5. Eamon says:

      I’m sorry.. Alonso did not put his Ferrari where it didnt belong, that was the Ferrari pit wall. Yes, Alonso should not have been at the front at all but his lap times.. he was hanging on. Perez worked much harder in a spec Sauber.. not as good as the Ferrari despite not qualifying well. He was eating into Alonso’s lead by 6 tenths of a second. Black mark against him though for not passing and taking a bit of time to pick his spot.

      1. mikey says:

        Eamon
        [mod] Ferrari is the 5th fastest car this season so far
        and the Sauber is a better car to drive currantly
        Yes Peres did fantastic but to say Alonso had it easy your so wrong and shows you know nothing about F1
        to give you an understanding of racing
        try driving at 100 MPH in the middle lane then at the last minuet over take and take the slip road without bracking and that will be a lil tease as to the feroshesness of speed into corners
        Its not that easy to overtake at high speed
        they both drove well for me its Alonso but hey
        please do not get me wrong
        thanks

    6. terryshep says:

      I think the question is pretty evenly balanced between Alonso & Perez, who is clearly a future challenger. However, I’m by no means convinced that he would have passed Alonso without being pushed into a mistake by that very wily defender. He did have one go with the DRS and didn’t make it, I’m not sure he’d ever have got close enough. Still, we’ll never know – and it was a brilliant effort.

      By the way, does anyone else think he looks a little like Tom Cruise?

    7. Simmo says:

      COMPLETELY AGREE!!!

    8. I gave it to Alonso but there’s one thing people aren’t looking at for Perez: pace.

      He was SO fast last week for so much of the race, how? Yes the Sauber is gentle on it’s tyres but he did well to turn them on at the beginning of a stint (difficult to do in a car that’s easy on tyres) and kept the performance up for the whole race.

      Also compare him to Kobayashi, he was WAY faster throughout the race which is so impressive.

      Yes, Perez made 2 mistakes in the race but his pure pace through the GP brought him up to such a strong 2nd. Perez wasn’t the only driver that made the early call to go on wets. And remember that Ricciardo got on slicks first but the rest of the drivers didn’t perform to the same level once they had that advantage.

    1. Stuart Harrison says:

      I’m surprised James felt the need to ask this question to be honest :) Still – seems a fair few voted for Alonso as well!

  2. Andrew Kirk says:

    I had to go with Perez, he made the race for me! With Lewis struggling on the tires, Button and Vettel out of it Alonso could have walked it but thanks to Perez in his little Sauber he made the race. If he can bring the car home in positions like that and cause the big boys headaches he will be in a Ferrari by if not next year or even the end of the season.

    1. Daniel MA says:

      I agree with you, and something that almost no one knows is that the first thing he told Alonso when both got out of the cars was “I would have beaten you on that lap” (when he made the mistake), would that have been the case? we’ll never know but that shows just how competitive he is.

  3. daphne says:

    Perez. Anyone who says otherwise is just plain wrong. Ferrari has a HUGE budget. Sauber do not, they just designed a slightly more intelligent car and had a good, brave driver. That was all driver out there today. Amazing stuff to watch, considering it’s only his second season in F1…

    1. Nathan says:

      May have a HUGE budget but the car is a dog and was slower than the Sauber. Perez should have won the race but made a mistake and didn’t. Alonso showed all his class today and thats why he got my vote. Perez was brilliant, but for one corner (costly corner). I think he will be Alonso’s team mate by round 8.

    2. Brett says:

      Budget doesn’t mean much when you are talking best driver of the day. Race pace, I bet the Sauber is actually ahead of the Ferrari in the dry right now.

      I would have given it to Perez except for missing the one corner. Alonso was perfect all day and that is why he won.

      Alonso, driver of the day.

    3. DTS23 says:

      I don’t see how the teams budget has anything to do with choosing who drove the best race. On the day there was nothing really between the performance of the Sauber and the Ferrari, and seeing as how Perez through the win away with a bad mistake, Alonso surely must be the driver of the day.

    4. Eugene Ryder says:

      Perez was great, but I couldn’t vote for him because the race was his and he made a mistake when it really mattered.

    5. Alectoris82 says:

      We are talking about drivers not about cars.

    6. HansB says:

      Mmm but I do not agree with you. Due to RRA every team is throwing around approx the same budget and with the limited testing it is not all about money.
      But that has nothing to do with the performance of the drivers. Fact is that the Ferrari is not a good car to say the least, yet Alonso managed to bring it home in first place without putting a wheel wrong.
      For me, if Perez did not make that error and had won the race, he would definitely be driver of the day.

    7. AlexD says:

      We are not voting for a team of the race, but for a driver

      1. LD01 says:

        Exactly.

    8. Monster says:

      It is driver of day, not team of the day.
      If you look at pace of Perez and Pace of Kamui at same time you could see that they were both going strong, Kamui started to climb up and setting fastest lap times also. But compare Alonso and Massa and you will see difference, so what Phil said, close call but still Perez made couple of mistakes and Alonso did none.
      Even as Ferrari fan i was cheering for Perez to win, cause he and team deserve it.

    9. ian says:

      Perez – up until the moment he drove off the track.

    10. Aussie Rod says:

      Alonso. Anyone who says otherwise is just plain wrong. Had one of the least competitive cars in the field yet qualified as high as he could, made a great start, battled his way past Webber, out-paced the McLarens in the crucial pit-stop phase to go to inters and then decisively overtook Perez to take the lead. Built a gap which he held on to to the flag despite a significant car disadvantage.

      Oh and never put a wheel wrong the entire race.

      Perez will win the vote because his result was more un-expected but Alonso was driver of the day.

      1. Justin Bieber says:

        Perez will win the vote because even if Fernando Alonso found a cure for cancer, he still wouldn’t get the credit that he deserve.

        Lets be honest, Perez made a mistake that cost him the race. Fernando’ drive was FLAWLESS.

      2. Mike J says:

        Agreed, well said

      3. Heinzman says:

        From another Aussie, you spoke as perfectly as Alonso drove. He was flawless in a worse car than Perez, who was also brilliant.

    11. Formula Zero says:

      There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Everyone sees a race from their own point of view & favor. But regardless of who has the bigger budget the question isn’t about the budget or the team, it’s “who is your DRIVER of the day”. So you are right about Perez & so are the ones that voted Senna or Alonso.

      1. Rudy says:

        +1. These “Driver of the Day” selection is quite subjective and results oriented. I can say Alonso and Perez put up a show which entertained us big time. Further down the order, there was Ricciardo, Senna and Vergne. The one who wins doesn’t have to be automatically “Driver of the Day”.
        Did you know Perez had an issue with the car (probably suspension/steering) when turning right? Remember Jenson some years ago when his helmet visor dettached from the retaining bolts in Germany and he had to drive and hold the visor? He ended in a pretty good position in spite of that distraction. Those are merits. But again, it’s pretty subjective!

      2. Sergio says:

        Did you know Alonso was driving with no telemetry so he had to manage that, comunicate with the pitwall the information and drive at the same time?

    12. Adam says:

      Spot on!

    13. Dave says:

      You said it. A vote for anyone else is just wrong. He went off the track twice but he kept pumping in those fastest laps, great drive. He’s living up to his potential.

    14. davies207 says:

      The Title of the Article is “Driver of the Day”. So the budget of each team is irrelevant- I see the Driver of the Day as the person who gets the most of out of his car provided to him.
      Although Perez did drive brilliantly and sure did make it a race, he got into second place after a mistake in Hamiltons pitstop. He also made a mistake at the end which meant that he missed out on the win, which at the rate he was closing on Alonso showed the car was more than capable of passing him.
      A great result for Perez and definitely one for the future, but my Driver of the Day was definitely Alonso.

    15. Matthew Yau says:

      Budget and whatnot is irrelevant. Otherwise, perhaps Vergne should be driver of the day because it was only his second race.

      Either Alonso or Perez should get the vote. Alonso for laps 16-32. Perez for laps 33-mistake.

  4. Bullish says:

    Must be Perez. He is a young driver in a mid-field team and then be able to challenge for the lead and bring it home in second, must be the DOD.

    Well done also to Alonso, it was a great win.

    Congrats also to Senna. He preformed very well in an average car.

  5. Sam says:

    Perez, Alonso, Senna & Kimi (in that order)

  6. Tim says:

    I couldn’t care that he made a mistake that arguably lost him the race, it still goes to Perez in my eye. Seeing the guy in the car with a third of the budget catching the behemoth at a rate of at times, over a second a lap, was just on the edge of seat awesome to watch.

    And I want to see it again.

  7. Chris_NZ says:

    Alonso, Perez and Senna all put in amazing performances and all deserve the credit.
    I’d pick Perez out of the three though.
    Shame he slipped on the kerb, otherwise he probably would have won the race

  8. wolf says:

    If Hamilton is on that list Webber should be too. He at least had the good sense NOT to fill his brake ducts or tyres with parts of the other cars. I thought he was a little unlucky to not overtake Perez just before the red flag when Perez left the track and forced Webber to brake in slippery conditions when he came back on.
    In any case overall Perez is an easy winner to get that car within a whisker of the win.

  9. Swifty? Huzzah! says:

    Got to be Perez.

    But so many great drives up and down the field. And you’d have to say the only poor performance by a driver would be Massa. Even though Grosjean, Vettel and Button had their problems, we can chalk those down to racing incidents, or shit happens, etc. But Massa? I’ve always been the guy who gave him the benefit of the doubt and would say, Nah stick with him, he’ll bounce back next year … but after today? I dunno. Maybe those wild Perez to Ferrari by the next race rumours have some substance to them?

  10. FletcherB says:

    Deciding between Alonso or Perez simply on the drivng abilities on show is tough….

    But Alonso is a known quantity. He has 2 xWDC ad we know he’s a great driver…. So I’m giving it to Perez…. they both had great drives, but his was the bigger surprise or revelation to us casual watchers…

  11. BavarianMaleWorker says:

    I must say, that I was hugely impressed with Perez. Unbelievable to see him not only have a handful of good laps, but maintain a huge level of consistency over the last 3rd of the race was quite enthralling to watch. What made it even more impressive was that it wasn’t on a static track, the track was changing each lap and more time was to be found, and each lap he found it and then some… Alonso was left wanting for a bit of pace and the only reason he won was that Perez had the minor off and Sauber pitted Perez 1 lap late.

  12. sumedh says:

    Tough to choose between Alonso and Perez. On the face of it, Alonso won in a slower car, hence he should get the vote.

    But I am going to give it to Perez. Simply because he did it in the supposedly inferior car. Also, Alonso will give me numerous chances to vote for him throughout the season. Pereze might not.

    This one’s to Checo!!

  13. Alonso. Won in a slower car. Did not make a mistake like many others did in changing conditions or under heavy pressure in the final laps. Perez would be my second choice. He was a second a lap faster then Alonso and should have won but made a mistake and went off the road to lose his chance. Still a great 2nd place finish.
    Senna was my third choice. Very surprised at how well he drove from last place. Always thought he was in F1 more for his name then for his talent. I may have to change my mind after this performance.

  14. Andrew Attah says:

    For me, it has to be Alonso.

    1. He won the race
    2. He wasted no time making a crucial pass, on track, on Perez
    3. Took the best advantage of the car when it was at its fastest – as soon as the intermediates went on, and pulled out a good gap to Perez during that period, which proved crucial at the closing stages when Perez proceeded to utterly demolish his lead.
    4. Kept a cool head when Perez was gaining, hand over fist, putting him under pressure.

    Obviously Perez is a close 2nd; he came one error away from a race victory and driver of the day. Just a final note worth mentioning, for the “Alonso dragged a dog to victory” crew, Pat Fry himself said, after the race:

    “The F2012 seemed to behave very differently depending on the conditions in which it was running: today, there were moments when it was absolutely competitive, others when it struggled. We had already seen in Melbourne on Friday that on a damp track, the situation was not bad and today it went even better.”

  15. Lindsay says:

    So many worthy drivers in that list on a normal day, but it wasn’t a normal day. It has to be Perez.

  16. floodo1 says:

    It’s nearly a toss up for me between Perez and Alonso. Given the obvious pace of the Sauber in the later stages of the race, and Alonso’s start, I have to give it to Alonso!

    Though the best moment for me was Perez in the post race press conference, being asked whether he thought he could have won the race…..the look on his face was fantastic. He had the opportunity to challenge for the victory, but Alonso was unflappable and in the end it was Perez who made the error.
    This is the reason I have to give it to Alonso, for holding on and winning. By all accounts he shouldn’t have won (regardless of Ferrari’s budget or might and Sauber’s lack thereof.)

  17. snitch7 says:

    Perez.

    BTW.
    If HRT got a penalty for Vettel cutting his own tyres(!??!), why didn’t he get a penalty for taking out Button as well?
    It’s always the backmarkers fault you know..

    1. Justin Bieber says:

      Come on, Karthikeyan was CLEARLY out of his depth. HRT & Karthikeyan are an embarrassment to F1.

      1. Phil says:

        Agree.

  18. Luke Byrne says:

    James do you think thats confidence booster bruno senna needed?

      1. amazon says:

        james, do you still think that perez is not world championship material.?

      2. James Allen says:

        I’m not sure. He’s doing well but still developing. Let’s not forget Massa put in some amazing drives in 2006-08 and now look at him

  19. LuckFF says:

    A close call. I’d give it to Alonso though.
    He did actually pass Perez on track not through pit stop btw. A brilliant move!!

  20. kfzmeister says:

    Perez sure is the sentimental favorite, but undeserving of this award for his mistake in turn 14.

    Had he not made this mistake, he would surely won the race and ‘hit it out of the park’!

    So,….that leaves only one man to win the driver of the race award!!

    :)

  21. David G says:

    I would’ve expected to see more votes for Senna, he had a fantastic race following the safety car.

    Also James a bit off topic but when Vettel got that puncture, Martin Brundle said that the sidewalls on the Pirelli’s are thinner than last year, why is this?

  22. Jay Castillo says:

    This was probably the most exciting race I’ve seen since the 1993 season. Here you had an absolute underdog, in Perez, going toe to toe with the big guns. Also, it was great to see Alonso putting on an unexpected performance at the front of the field. There were extenuating circumstances, but even then, given the overall adversity, these two drivers really put on a brave performance. I’d have to give it to Perez, although it would have been even better if they had had a chance to do some real sparring – with Perez making a serious passing attempt on Alonso. Nevertheless, it only hightlights the unexpected possibilities that lie ahead this season. I would also have to give great credit to Senna for a great late drive and come back. Hope to see more of Senna and Perez. Cheers to all.

  23. Michael says:

    Alonso for me. Although Perez’s effort was mighty, the fact is he made that crucial mistake whereas Alonso was flawless. Both of them put a car where it had no right to be but you just feel as though Checo threw away the win there at the end.

  24. Nathan says:

    Voted for Alonso. One of his best victories in a car that had no right to be where is was. Almost lapped Massa too! All class today. Perez was a very close second, but really should have won but for a mistake. Kimi and Senna were very good too.

  25. Simon Donald says:

    Perez gets it, but this should have been Sauber’s first win! Alonso was pretty much helpless to defend against him. It’s obevthingbto hold a car behind you at Albert Park like he did with Maldonado, it would have been a very different thing to hold Perez behind him for those full 7 laps had Perez not made that mistake!

    1. OscarF1 says:

      Yet… it was Pérez who made the mistake, and it was after one and a half a laps taking advantage of DRS in a faster car than the Ferrari

  26. Hendo says:

    Alonso – but its hard to tell when the director misses so much of the action, such as:
    1. Alonso pass on Perez,
    2. Button’s nose change
    3. and what ever happened to Webber going from 4th to 7th?
    But the nice slo-mo shot of the raindrops bouncing in the puddle more than made up for it!
    Who is the director and why is he still in the job? (And don’t get me started on the audio problems – everyone knows that it rains in Malaysia – get a back up system.)

    1. Boulay says:

      Almost as bad as when the director was showing a boring shot of webber in the pits instead of showing whether Hamilton would exit the pit lane ahead of button going past…..

  27. bearforce1 says:

    No it is definitely Perez.

    Both Perez and Alonso lucked out but I think Perez was more amazing in keeping his position. How often do we see reshuffles of the pack order due to rain and then the main players make there way back up the field overtaking everyone.

    Just my two cents. As you say very hard to call.

    ps Massa needs to go now. Staying can only make it worse for him.

  28. LiamC says:

    Agreed Daphne. Perez shone. And to say he lucked into his tyre choice I think does him a disservice.

    I’d also place Webber before Kimi and Maldonado before Senna and Vergne in their respective drives. Given that at least one of the Lotus’ has qualified ahead of the Red Bull’s, and they seem to be able to put in a quicker lap time, then you could argue that Kimi had a faster car to come in behind Webber. And this week, PM was just plane unlucky despite showing good car speed.

  29. Just A View says:

    I thought Perez and the Sauber team played it beautifully yesterday. Only a fool would have nakedly put down a key supplier and I think they showed their not fools and ran their race to perfection. So its got to be Perez as the best driver because he clearly made his car the fastest in very tricky conditions.

  30. Panayiotis says:

    Indeed hard to choose between the two. Went for Alonso finally since he did make no mistakes in the end.

  31. Lew says:

    Perez.A couple more drives like that and Checo will surely find himself sitting in Filipe’s seat.

  32. Kay says:

    Where is Narain Karthikeyan? I wanna vote him for letting Vettel chop on him and ruining his own tyres! :D

    1. BoV says:

      Agree with you. Karthikeyan was real sensation of the race. Be on 10th place with HRT is unbelievable. It was shame that JB a Vet destroyed his race.

  33. Steven James says:

    Has to be Perez, great drive, feline must be very worried now. Fernando showing what we all know, best driver in the field. Great race for Lewis though too, he’ll receive lots of criticism as always but he should be really happy to bring in solid points and a consistent performance

  34. C. George says:

    Perez of course, he turned to NEW hero!

  35. BW says:

    Senna. Top 2 guys gained from Q3 positions and good tyre decisions at the beginning, whereas Senna forced his way through the pack, with plenty of nice maneouvers.

    1. Mark says:

      From last place to sixth and not one story on Autosport.com! Only the Williams post race comments. Perez re-started P3 after due to great pit strategy and did not pass Button or Hamilton on track.

  36. dan b says:

    pretty close call i think between Alonso and Perez, hard to decide. Alonso did a fantastic job with that Ferrari, but I have just edged it to Peez, who could have won it, and given the budget and team, and driver, it was a great result.

  37. Bhodha Gezi says:

    Perez

  38. jjpm says:

    Definitely Perez above the lot of Alonso, Senna et Vergne and Maldonado.

  39. Baktru says:

    If he hadn’t made that mistake in the final laps I would have voted Perez. Second is still impressive, but he could have gotten the win if not for that error. So my vote is Nando.

  40. Matthew says:

    It can’t be anybody other than Checo Perez, though Senna would be my second choice. Perez drove the wheels off that Sauber, a car that should be inferior to the Mclarens, Ferraris, and Red Bulls; yet he was consistently faster than anyone. It was a brilliant strategic decision that saw him bumped up to third, and he was on the pace all day. He made a small mistake towards the end, to be true, but keep in mind this is only his second season; I don’t expect flawless driving. What a magic day for him and the Sauber team!

  41. Enzo says:

    Alonso, for forcing the Ferrari to do what he wants, and he overtook Perez on track, to become raceleader, so definitely Alonso!

  42. Alectoris82 says:

    How can you vote for Perez He wasted a quite easy victory!!!

  43. Adam says:

    Perez in a landslide, he didn’t ‘luck’ the tyre choice, takes guts to make that call. He was easily the fastest car all day, pulling away from Mclaren & Red Bull, and catching Ferrari.
    He should have won the race, would have too if the team didn’t put him off with radio communications… I think he will win a race, sooner rather than later. Melbourne showed that the Sauber is a pretty quick, nicely balanced car.

  44. Can’t be Perez, simply because he made a mistake. Plain and simple. The rest was admirable.
    As for Alonso – we should exclude him from the driver skills ranks – he’s always at the top.
    I must admit, however, that Ferrari were lucky having chosen setup for rain, but that’s motorsport.

  45. DanWilliams says:

    - Perez (Utterley impressive drive to say the least, understandable mistake in turbelent air with fronts degrading on that particular neg cambered high speed wet corner)
    – Senna (impressive drive in changeable conditions from the back of the field)
    – Vergne (Amazing ability to keep it on track and competative with inters when everybody else is on full wets, then had a good drive to keep it there until the end of the race)
    – Raikkonen (after having no experience with inters or full wets, keeps it on track, overtakes people, does competetive times, and then sets fastest lap on dries)
    Alonso (true to Alonso form, never gives up, drove a relentless pace for the car he was in)
    Hamilton (not sure why he is considered DOTD, but did a good start and kept it on track..)

  46. Galapago555 says:

    I tweeted it yesterday, I keep thinking the same: Alonso was the driver of the day, but Pérez was the hero of the day.

    Hope to see him soon at Ferrari.

    1. OscarF1 says:

      I can only agree :D

  47. Hard choice between Perez and Alonso. I voted Perez despite the mistake at Turn 14. All the other guys have been very good.

    Very impressed by Senna, I hope this is the beginning of him maturing as an F1 driver.

    Final thought, where would Kimi have finished had he started from 5th?

  48. Norman C says:

    Perez……. I have not been so anxious about a race since Mikka passed Schumi and Zonta at Spa in 2000.

  49. F1Fan4Life says:

    Hi James, I was wondering if you could touch on the incidents with Karthikeyan. The first being Jenson who admitted it was his own fault. The second with Vettel, who chose instead to berate Karthikeyan later to the press, and show his middle finger to him at least twice during the race. Of course Vettel was backed by his team owner (and head cheerleader of the Seb Vettel fan club) Cristian Horner. What is your opinion James, do you feel Karthikeyan deserved that, or like David Coulthard do you consider it to be a racing incident?

    I’d like to point out that last year a lot of people were prophetic in praising Vettel (not I) as some racing god that was only getting better. Well so far this year he’s been matched by his team-mate, and really hasn’t been anything special. With 10% of the season gone, Vettel and Hamilton and Button have actually scored less than they should have with their cars, while a couple of drivers have scored more than they should have in lesser cars.

    1. GWD says:

      Firstly, I’m not a major SV fan (don’t get me started on Suzuka ’07…), but I think the Vettel comment may be a touch unfair at this point: we’ve had 2 less than ideal conditions for practice and racing with new cars that have had their rear downforce device removed right at the beginning of a new season. Vettel was certainly competitive at Aus. What will have to happen is for Vettel to develop race craft in less than ideal conditions, such as most of the other top drivers have had to do. It’s just part of the process that possibly Vettel has been shielded a little from having such an ‘out-in-front’ domination season last. It’s very easy to become rusty in race craft if you’re not having to use it week-in week-out. Let’s see where Vettel is after 6-8 races and see if his race craft improves, as one would expect it to.

  50. AlexD says:

    Not easy for me between Alonso and Perez. Emotionally it is Perez, because he really did a great job in a car that is not McLaren or Red Bull. But, his car was faster than Ferrari and he should have won.

    Alonso won the race in a car that should not have won – amazing! It is not like he had an incredible luck…he did everything right.

    I vote Alonso.

  51. matthew cheshire says:

    Has to be Perez.

    Alonso proved again that a fighting spirit goes a long way, but he would have fallen short if Perez had stayed on the track. He did well enough for second and was gifted first.

    Perez did well enough for second but he put himself in the winning position.

    Perez made a mistake, but he made more with his machinery and the conditions.

    And what was Sauber thinking telling him to preserve his 18 points? How do you ever win if you aim for second?

    If a driver can haul his car up to the lead in 53 laps of changing conditions, you need to trust his judgement for 3 more.

    Was Sauber scared Alonso would preserve his place at any cost, or was he afraid of Ferrari?

  52. Freddofrog42 says:

    Tough call, Alonso Vs Perez.

    I give it to Alonso over Perez but only because he kept it on the track and actually overtook Perez after the first stops. Both did superbly well and blitzed their team mates and indeed were consistently faster then the likes of Vettel and Hamilton etc.

    Arguably the Ferrari is inferior to the Sauber but the driver made the difference today. Massa sadly was no where. Hope his lot improves and can’t help wondering if swap between him and Perez might be good for all parties?

    Top marks to:-

    Kimi – where did that fast lap come from?
    Senna – great to see, had his doubters
    Vergne – for keeping the spot he gained with staying out on the inters. I suspect he’s the heir to the Webber seat in a year or two.

    Poor marks to:-

    Vettel – stupid to move back on line so quickly, it’s not the first time…
    Button – man enough to fess up. One of those days…
    Rosberg – lost his edge over Schumi
    Grojean – 2 races, 2 needless DNFs. His time will come, just take it easy for a few laps!!!

    Consolation prize to Schumacher – 2 races and 2 poor result through no fault of his. Also to Rubens, what could have been….

    It’s a close championship so far!

    FF

  53. Nick says:

    For me it was Alonso. This is for best driver, not best strategy. Under pressure Perez choked. Still a great drive from him, but not as good as Alonso.

  54. Dean says:

    Perez easily. An honourable mention for Bruno Senna, he had crazy pace.

  55. Kevin Green says:

    Hard to say exactly its obv to be one of only 2 drivers but i suppose at this stage its still hard to exactly how bad the Ferrari is or how good the Sauber is, as said prev its hard to know where everyone is form wise be it drivers or teams/cars until race 4 or 5 the only thing unarguably clear so far is the great talent of Alonso all in all.

  56. iDagger says:

    I can say that without a shadow of a doubt in my mind, Sauber cost themselves the grand prix win by not pitting Perez on either the lap before Alonso, or on the same lap as. He ended up losing a huge amount of time due to the massive undercut Alonso gained with the fresh slicks on.
    If they had pitted him earlier then he would of jumped Alonso and been able to lead from the front rather than charge from behind and make the unfortunate mistake through pushing to his limits.

  57. Owen says:

    Definitely Alonso, he not only won the race but was able to keep Perez behind him when the Ferrari was on the worse tyre, many would have broken under that pressure but he didn’t let up for a second.

    Perez had a great race though, he would be a good number 2 for Alonso at Ferrari!

  58. Joe S says:

    My heart says Perez, but we can’t dismiss Alonso’s performance just because we expect nothing less from him. Also, while a superb drive from Perez, he did throw away the victory, so my vote has to go to Alonso.

  59. AussieWoZ says:

    I wanted to vote for Perez but he made a crucial mistake that cost him a win. Alonso did not.

    Great stuff for the Sauber team! Almost cried when I saw Peter Sauber tearing up. This season is simply amazing! More please …

  60. Mocho_Pikuain says:

    Must be Fernando! Sergio did a nice race but, in the end , he din’t do anything better than FA. Both had a nice run (Fernando with inters and Sergio qith slicks) and both outraced their cars, but the Sauber was generally a faster car and Sergio made a mistake, so the vote has to be for Fernando, no more options available. This is probably one of his 3 best races, and probably the best in wet.

  61. Matt W says:

    Perez. With the team he is in, it was an astonishing result in tricky conditions.

  62. Fabrice says:

    For me its got to be Lewis, simply because he sees the big picture, Lewis of old would have gone all out for the win with a risk of throwing valuable points away, as matter of fact if the roles were reversed between him and Jenson, this place would have been filled with praises for the later telling us how smart and mature he is. His attitude yesterday sums up what his farther been telling us before the start of the season”you are going to see a different Lewis this year” He now gets it, driving exuberantly doesn’t win you a world championship, consistency does. He accepted the situation and decided to live and fight another day. That’s why he gets my vote.

    1. JR says:

      So, “Lewis of the day” then :)

      1. TheGreatTeflonso says:

        Hahaha. So true, Lewis of the day. This is more a popularity contest than a true vote/debate of which single driver truly demonstrated the most skill. Hint hint…only one was flawless at this race.

      2. LD01 says:

        So true. I cannot understand how any F1 fan can watch that race and with a straight face argue that Hamilton was the DoTD. It’s even a little embarrassing that he’s in the shortlist if I’m honest.

        It’s not that Hamilton isn’t an amazing talent, he is. But when we look back on his wonderful and likely fruitful career is anyone ever going to remember yesterday?

        Next people will be voting the likes of Narain Karthikeyan DoTD because he finished a race or did a good pit stop.

      3. JR says:

        Sure, you could say that Lewis was the best of the rest but Alonso and Perez just detroyed him (and the rest of the field) both in wet and dry conditions. My vote went fot Alonso, flawless race in an inferior car, a win that will be remembered for ages.

  63. Mingojo says:

    Taking in consideration that Ferrari is slower than Mclaren, Red Bull, Lotus, Mercedes and probably Willians and Sauber, I think Fernando was the driver of the day, but Sergio drove really well. A star for the future.

  64. Mark - OZ says:

    In the race coverage I saw the McLaren rear jack man was unable to get the rear jack in position, loosing Lewis time. I haven’t seen any mention of this. Good race by Sergio!

    1. Andrew M says:

      Martin Brundle mentioned it in the commentary, he said how Lewis missed his marks and the whole pit crew had to move up to compensate. I can’t remember whether that was the stop from wets-to-inters or inters-to-slicks though.

  65. Alex W says:

    I’m no fan of Alonso, but I wish I was, he delivers the maximum more than any other driver, a shame Perez didn’t pip him for the win, a great effort for both drivers.

  66. Martin says:

    Close call, but Alonso takes it. Forget budgets, its what the car is capable of and Perez and Alonso were next to each other on the grid… Fernando has an amazing knack to get results above the capability of the car.

    James, any chance of having a worst driver of the day too? ;-) I am a Button fan, but I’m wondering why he ended up using a Hamilton strategy to racing over-doing it (he chucked the championship lead away today, I hope he doesn’t rgeret it), whilst curiously Hamilton seemed to lack something, both supposedly being masters of the wet conditions! I was also majorly disappointed by the lack of respect Vettel had for his fellow drivers; making silly comments about the backmarkers is not professional, and they could have an issue with him cutting back so vigorously.

  67. AB says:

    Perez for me and Daphne summed up the reasons perfectly. How anyone could even dream of voting for Hamilton is beyond me. Currently he has the car advantage that Red Bull supposedly have had the past couple of years and he could not make an impression on either Perez or Alonso in any of the conditions.

  68. Grande Daig says:

    In all seriousness I think Alonso deserves it….Massa, who at the moment is obviously in no good form, however is a handy peddler of an f1 car was made to look as though alonso had an extra 200HP available!! To wrestle such a car past the likes of mclaren/red bull is a testament to Alonso’s skill. Best driver in f1 at the moment; way outperforming the car.

    Even though Sergio Perez did the drive of his life and almost equaling the gravity of Seb Vettle’s win in the wet at Monza 2008!! But it was that error late in the race that costs Sergio Perez the claim of drive of the day. Such a harsh analysis must be made.

    At that exact point where Sergio made the mistake he was the equivalent to Ricardo Rosset when he spun it at monaco ’98 and failed epically to flick spin the car around!! He just smoked up the rears and launched it into the barriers harder than Schumacher Ralf over the top of Rubens in 2001!!

  69. David Hewitt says:

    Perez. Should have won it though.

    Alonso drove well, but he’s a double world champion – he’s supposed to do that!

    Senna & Vergne both drove very well, and it makes me extra happy to see Williams regain some form.

    Kimi drove a composed controlled race, I’m looking forward to see him fully comfortable with the car.

    Hamilton…..well, he finished higher than Button :-)

  70. JPS says:

    Alonso, he is the master of winning with a car no one else could. And James what’s with Karthikeyan getting penalised for Vettel cutting him off. If that’s the case you should penalise Button for running into the back of Karthikeyan? It’s not the first time Vettel has cut someone off is Webber! I’m not saying Karthikeyan is a great driver but I didn’t see that he did anything wrong?

  71. Andy says:

    I was thinking Perez, then I thought about his off costing him the win. So after a rethink I went for Perez, If Seb can have an off on the final lap and lose the lead and still teach everyone a lesson as he did last year.

  72. Adiel says:

    Perez but admired Alonso’s skill and crafts to bring that Ferrari home in first place. I don’t know whats going on with his team mate not even finishing in the points. HUGE difference in talent at Ferrari.

  73. Andy says:

    James,

    How much choice do these younger drivers get on tyres. Like Vergne, how much choice did he have to stay on inters?

    1. Andy says:

      Just to clarify. How much choice does the team give them

  74. Quattro_T says:

    Perez had a much faster car than Alonso. He did benefit big times from the very early pit stop to put inters on, which gifted him a place at the front. He then used the speed of the car to keep that spot until the end of the race. He also made a misstake that could have cost Sauber the 2nd place and was lucky to stay away from the gravel.

    Huge budget or not, Ferrari had a car significantly slower the half of the field and Alonso managed to put it at the top spot, and keep it there, in very difficult conditions. He also managed to keep a much car that was lapping ~1 second faster (Perez) behind him.

    Car of the day would definitly be Sauber. Driver of the day, without any doubt Alonso.

  75. meltwaterfalls says:

    Perez, not bad for a pay driver :)

    A bit of a tough one to call as Alonso was magnificent and that Ferrari has no right winning a race at this stage. But Perez provided so much excitement, and it could have been even better if it wasn’t for just one small error on a wet curb.

    Brilliant start to the season.

  76. Seán Craddock says:

    It has to be Perez! Everybody says what Fernando did in the Ferrari was amazing (it was impressive) given the car he has. But the fact is, the Ferrari has been quick in race trim!

    f1.com had a poll last week asking who did best given the potential of their car. But it was the first race, so how do we know the potential of the car?

    Sauber and Perez had a brilliant race

  77. Steve says:

    To be perfectly honest I believe you should have included an extra option “to close to call” every driver listed fully deserves to be driver of the day. Every time it rains we are treated to a great spectacle,you can see where Bernies going with his sprinkler idea!

  78. Andrew Carter says:

    Under no circumstances should a Sauber outpace a both McLarens and Red Bulls, yet thats exactly what we got with Perez so he gets my vote.

    Mind you, the Ferrari shouldnt be able to do that either but its not exaclty unexpected that ALonso is outperforming his car.

  79. Thompson says:

    +1 Perez

    He may never get close to a result like this ever again and he gave it his all. To the point of almost losing everything. You have to admire that.

  80. Wu says:

    I can’t in good faith give Perez Driver of the Day because of that last moment slip up. Still don’t know what that was, a moment of error or deliberate way of not holding station behind Ferrari. It left a sour taste in my mouth though.

    Can’t give it to Alonso either, because many drivers beat their teams hands down, and he was not the fastest either.

    I’ll give it to Senna, as this will shut people up finally about Senna being useless. Raikkonen is another stand out, didn’t crash into others like his teammate, and like Senna carved through the traffic for highish score finishes.

    As for the losers… Grosjean for making a rookie mistake and then blaming it on the other driver, Vettel for not giving enough room anticipating things like what happened sometime happen, and Button for… well the obvious.

    Another worrying day for Massa and Mercedes. Massa simply couldn’t understand the tyres and he pitted because of it… I don’t know about his perdictement, but Rosberg’s tyres were still in tip top shape when he pitted for the second set. At least Schumi lucked in a point, and managed to stay out on the tyres he also struggled with long enough to go on straight to the slicks, and as the track dried, Merc at least showed some pace, nowhere near the front runners, but I doubt under normal conditions Merc would end where it did.

    p.s. How nice did F1 look with the bright orange background? Not many times we see that kind of sky colour in F1 in a tropical setting, is there?

  81. Diogo Tavares says:

    Sergio Perez for sure. It is remarkable after Friday practice where the car was (according to him) undrivable, then a surprising performance on qualifying and the race, well, I am too young, but wasn’t anyone reminded of Ricardo Rodriguez with this performance?!
    My bet for the red car, maybe even before year’s end. Massa take care…
    A note also for Alonso, impressive drive also.

  82. Diogo Tavares says:

    Plus, also great to see Kimi back in action..

    1. raj says:

      no doubt kimi was super

    2. Dean says:

      Totally agree. Watching his performances in these opening races made me realize just how much I missed this guy.

  83. Rishi says:

    One week later and it boiled down to the same two guys for me – Alonso or Perez. This time I went for Sergio – of course it was a fine victory by Alonso but also a very good drive from Sergio and perhaps the real glimpse of how good he might become in future.

    All the guys nominated drove good races – though Hamilton was surprisingly subdued once he fell behind Alonso and Perez. I agree with those in the previous feed in believing that the McLaren would come back at the guys in front once they all switched to dry tyres (though I wasn’t sure he would pass them because he had lost a lot of time to them on inters) – but it didn’t really happen in the end.

    Bruno Senna didn’t have a great start to the race and I remember him letting Ricciardo through after some poor positioning. But Williams were quick and once he got into a rhythm he really exploited that and demonstrated good racecraft too. Having been quite critical of him earlier in the race, he had me calling for the humble pie at the chequered flag!

    Of the other two, Vergne drove sensibly throughout; Raikkonen scored some good points. I’m not sure he’s been brilliant so far, but he’s been solid, seems to enjoy racing in F1 and could well improve as the season progresses.

  84. Alain says:

    Perez
    agree 100% with Daphne and also considering how Perez outperformed his team mate who is in my mind one of the best driver in tricky conditions (much more than declining Massa)

  85. sender says:

    I think that there should be one more option – team of the day. It was Sauber and their strategic approach. Perez was good but it was a 50/50 effort. I would even say team 60, Perez – 40.
    He drove a fine race, but nothing that would suggest to call it brilliant. The car had the pace and he made almost most of it.
    To be honest, there was no driver who was just supreme. Alonso was close, but I would not call him driver of the day just because you have to name somebody.
    I would also recommend to Ferrari to be careful about the rumours that Perez could replace Massa. Fisichella also almost won a race in Force India before joining Ferrari. Everybody remebers what happened there. Also I do not know if it would be best for Perez. To be honest, every party in this situation has to be careful.
    Of course, some people could say that Massa is not performing well and anybody could be better, but there is no guarantee of that. There are some examples in sport where these kind of changes not work at all.

  86. Dan Orsino says:

    This looks a year when several teams will have the odd weekend of glory.
    This was Ferrari’s
    Alonso may yet grasp another win and Hamilton will no doubt have a good race at some point.

    But I expect BUTTON, VETTEL, and KIMI [once he and the team settle down] to shine the most.

  87. SP says:

    Given that Alonso’s car is a ‘dog’, my driver of the day goes to him. His stint on the inters was brilliant and was also looking pretty strong in full wet conditions.

    Look forward to seeing a problem-free weekend for Lotus and Kimi. Really want to see what the combo is capable of. He would’ve had a better result here if his team were quicker to react!

  88. SP says:

    Haha, I’ve just seen this -

    http://planetf1.com/driver/18227/7627300/The-Ice-cream-man-giveth

    Apologies for posting here. Didnt know where else would be suitable.

    1. GWD says:

      Now if only they paint his car pink lower half, white upper half, stick an orange flashing light on top of the T-Bar and have ‘Greensleaves’ blasting from it as it tears down the straight…

  89. Peter says:

    Maybe not the driver of the day, but remarkable performance from Kimi considering all circumstances.

  90. albertov says:

    [mod] Alonso came back on the track after Checo and passed him fair and square. http://h9.abload.de/img/untitled-26agy7m.gif

    Hard to chose a best driver for today. Checo did an absolutely brilliant race but the mistake he made before what would have been a sure pass on the DRS zone tips the balance in Alonso favor, IMO. He drove a flawless race and won it.

    1. albertov says:

      Is there any place I can check the rules for posting comments here so my message won’t be moderated in a way that distorts its meaning? Nothing offensive was said to warrant moderation, IMO, judge for yourself: “James, you said that Alonso inherited the lead after the restart but that is not true. He came back on the track…”

      I can’t believe a blog that I liked so much has disappointed me in this way. Heading for greener and less biased pastures now.

      1. James Allen says:

        I’m sorry about that. Not sure what happened there. We had over 500 comments on Monday, so it may have been done in a bit of a hurry and misread.

        We take note of suggestions and corrections from readers.

        For the record, the rule is that anything which is offensive or which lowers the tone of the debate is moderated out.

  91. adrian says:

    So many brave drives. It is reasonable to expect that most of the drivers could finish where they did except for Perez. For this reason SP gets my drive of the day. Oh how I wish he didn’t make that small error. It would have been fun to watch the battle with FA!

  92. Il Leone says:

    I am still a conspiracy theorist and I think there is no way in heck that Ferrari were going to let a Sauber Ferrari win the race. So, Perez is my driver of the day, as I am not sure Alonso would have won, had it all been ‘fair and square’ til the flag. And feel free to decry me from the rooftops….but that’s how I feel.

  93. hero_was_senna says:

    Alonso.
    Ferrari may have a huge budget, but their car isn’t as intelligent as the Saubers. Perez is brave, but Alonso has been since he started in F1.
    Take a look at the video of him overtaking Schumacher around the outside of 130R a few years back.
    Both 1st and 2nd was all driver yesterday..

    1. Kevin Green says:

      certainly in Alonso’s case lets see what Perez is up to over the next couple, seems impressive so far this season well up the ranking in my view but its only one race!

      1. Kevin Green says:

        thing is with a very clearly open Ferrari seat pending there’s going to be so much experienced and less experienced drivers trying to catch the eye in the next few races, there bound to have raised (or tried to) by a good percentage.

        Cant see Ferrari acting too quickly though they will be wanting to get it right for the long haul like there original intention for Massa i reckon Webber will be wondering if his chance has passed.

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        I wish I had an inside track to LDM.
        I’m not sure that was Ferrari’s original intention. Massa is managed by Nicolas Todt, Jean Todt’s son. Nepotism got Massa his job with Ferrari.
        When Massa was a test driver for Ferrari in 2003, I could see the way it was going, but Massa wasn’t signed in to be a number 1, he was always cannon fodder.
        The problem was Massa got a taste of the high times because Kimi couldn’t be bothered and Massa has ultimately been found out.
        Alonso’s greatness has made a good F1 driver and winner, look completely ordinary.
        I’ve said before, and no doubt it’s nauseating to some, but I truly believe, in the last 30 years, Alonso’s talent is only headed by Senna
        It doesn’t matter who you put in beside him, they won’t be anything but a support.

        But to assume that drivers won’t go there because they fear him, well you don’t understand the competitive psychology. Like Button going to Mclaren, these guys want to beat the best, they all have egos to feed.

      3. Kevin Green says:

        Somewhat don’t agree Massa was certainly a somewhat better driver Pre spring off the noggin! and of course every team dreams of the situation when the apparent no2 steps up to the game and turns out to be as good if not better than his team counterpart why would they not??? very nice problem to have.

        And at which point did i say any driver would swerve driving beside Alonso?? and in particular at Ferrari of all places i would think pretty much 90% of the grid would jump ship to get a Ferrari seat at any point simply through historic’s!

  94. Mitchel says:

    Has to be Alonso. Faultless. Had to fight to get past Perez too.

    Perez did well, but made a big mistake- enough to rule him out in my book.

  95. **Paul** says:

    Perez for me. In those sorts of conditions to get himself up into 2nd place on merit was a huge achievement. Lets not forget that Fernando has experience of our performing a car and running higher up the order, Perez does not – that’s what swings my vote.

    I’m still unsure as to the true order in F1 this season. I think we need a dry race to see where people are, obviously McLaren have the fastest car and HRT the mobile chicanes, but the rest of the grid? Who knows!

    1. OscarF1 says:

      So, in your opinion:
      “A driver who has previously outperformed his car can’t be chosen DoTD”
      Interesting…

  96. Mr Squiggle says:

    Driver of the day is Nando,

    ‘we are not worthy’

    Yes- Perez was mighty, but he is young and made some spectacular mistakes, (more than one).

    Fernando a cut above,

  97. Andys says:

    Perez!

  98. declan says:

    For me, it was Lewis. He didn’t feature in much of the excitment of the race, but it was a ‘mature’ drive from him which is a word that he usually isn’t associated with!

    With all the pitstop set backs, the old Lewis would have shown his impetuous streak and overdrive or collide with someone. Outside of the car, I haven’t seen a quote from him putting down the team.

    He didn’t have the car today. But he is looking at the long game of building the results for the world championship.

  99. Stephen Singh says:

    I go for Alonso. Perez was fantastic though he did go off track in a big way twice – on a less forgiving track (ie Albert Park one week ago) it would have been a DNF.

  100. Andrew M says:

    Clearly a straight fight between Alonso and Perez, and Perez gets it in my boat. Where he put his Sauber was more impressive than where Alonso put his Ferrari in my book. Only negative against Perez is that he almost certainly should have won this race, or at least hounded Alonso to the flag. Instead he was compromised by errors, both by the team (pitting him too late for slicks) and his own (running wide towards the end).

    And I’ve never been a huge Alonso fan, but his progress up the all time win rankings shows how deserving he is of being mentioned as an all-time great. I think it’s possible he’ll be behind only Schumacher when he retires if he gets a decent car.

  101. TheGreatTeflonso says:

    James, you know so many sites now have this similar poll, driver of the day or weekend. Given that we have a painful three week break from F1, why not consider a different kind of poll, like…”Worst Driver of the Day”, “Best Moment of the Race” or “Best Team of the Day”. Just a thought, and frankly I’d love to see the first suggestion come up because it would be a real insight into the other side of the coin to what fans think. And it would be hilarious.

  102. Clay says:

    Definitely Perez! Hope Kamui can pick it up in the coming races as well

    James and everyone else may also like to know that Webber is still “a Canberra milk kid”. Those cheapo ads just keep pumping out every ad break. Love it :)

  103. ronmon says:

    It would have been Perez if not for the one small mistake, which cost him the win in my opinion. He put on quite a show.

    But I have to give it to Alonso and say that he drove an absolutely perfect race.

  104. Kenji says:

    Perez.

    But honestly, a really tough choice to make for driver of the day.
    Alonso, just made the impossible possible, proves to show the sort of driver he is.

    Perez drove brilliantly and even added a bit of pressure to Alonso. If it wasnt for that little excursion off track, I think it could have been a Sauber win. But for a small team, they made the right calls in difficult conditions, and Perez was able to deliver what was expected of him to come home the way he did.

  105. Robert Lujan says:

    I had picked Perez after Australia as my Driver of the Race. He did it again this race me thinks! Viva la Mexico!!

  106. Justin Bieber says:

    Alonso!

    The reason Perez did not win is because he made a mistake. The reason Alonso won is because he didn’t make a mistake.

    It is quite obvious that the Ferrari is very slow on low fuel when it get to the end of the race. Twice now we saw Alonso having good pace during the race but losing that pace when he enter the low fuel phase of the race. Both times he had a mid-field car putting pressure on him and they both went off.

    Perez had a fantastic race and deserve a Ferrari seat next year but today Alonso was the driver of the day because he got the job done with a car that barely made Q3.

  107. Bayan says:

    There were a few outstanding drives in this race. But Perez is the one who stood out. Senna though had an amazing race too.

  108. Boulay says:

    Got to be massa, drove a dog of a car and manged to get it up to p15! He managed to beat most of the other limited back marker drivers as well.

    Congratulations felipe!!!!

  109. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    You can say that Alonso was “lucky” because so many drivers got in troubles, but Perez was Great going forward, so I vote for PEREZ.

    I don’t understand why you put Hamilton in the short list of drivers of the day, because he did not make anything extraordinary in race day… He was great in pole, but that isn’t race day, and he lost 2 positions.

    The rest of the list I agree 100%, excelent drives.

    Just one more point: what do you think about Grosjean spectacular start? Disregarding his troubles from there, I guess we have in Grosjean a super driver in qualifies and starts, he can be just in the front very soon with little more experience.

  110. Geenimetsuri says:

    Fernando Alonso benefited from successful team tactics, as did Perez – somewhat – but he was faster on track than Alonso. In terms of team performance, the best team was Ferrari: Alonso’s win is a team success.

    Perez on the other hand made a mistake while trying to overtake the Spaniard, so he was not the *best* driver on the grid on Sunday.

    Therefore my vote has to go to Räikkönen: 2 years away, 2nd race, unlucky in practice -> Q-penalty, no mistakes in a wet race with completely new (to him) tires and finally when the track dried a bit the fastest lap of the race.

  111. Horseshead says:

    Perez for a stunning race –albeit in BBC highlight form.
    Sauber:
    Transmission: Ferrari 7-speed quick-shift carbon gearbox, longitudinally mounted, carbon-fibre clutch
    KERS: Ferrari
    Engine: Ferrari 056 Motor

    Machiavellian thoughts cross my mind of Sauber being told in a gentle Italian whisper: ”Signore, your driver, he no finish in front of ours eh….?”
    ‘Course this is F1 in the 21st Century and things like that just don’t happen…….do they……..? ;-)

  112. EJ says:

    I vote Alonso…..but……I don’t trust this win……

    Alonso overtakes Perez in a flash…while Perez is much faster……Than Perez gets back to Alonso at an atonishing pase…..there is the call: be careful we need this position…..oeps, Perez makes a mistake….one he can correct in an easy way……Alonso wins….they need it ….Perez is in Ferrari Academy and wins too…..a nice seat….

    I live in Italy, I love Ferrari. But nothing is what is seems….not even in F1….:+)

    1. Nelson Pissquick says:

      I don’t think so. Sauber called it right, just look what happened to Maldonardo last week, pretty much in the same situation. Perez wasn’t far from the gravel when he went wide.

      1. EJ says:

        OK, maybe it’s like that….. I sure hope you’re right! We will see how the season evolves….

  113. Michael S says:

    I have to give Kimi a lot of credit, he qualied 5th so if he does not get the grid penalty I think he is up there fighting for the win… Being away for 2 years and have two solid point finishes in a row is very good to see. Hope to see him on the podium soon

  114. Ash says:

    Hamilton – PERIOD!!!

  115. NM Photog says:

    Alonso – because he won the race and like him or hate him, he’s the number one driver of making something out of nothing, again and again. But much like a young Alonso or Hamilton – Perez proved he will be on top top of the podium many times in the days and years ahead.

    After only two races Vettel, on the other hand, has shown a total lack of class and experience in the field with 6 champions. He doesn’t look or sound like one at all.

    1. Nelson Pissquick says:

      I agree,, Vettel is turning out to be a cry baby. If he asks nicely I’m sure Hamilton would lend him a dummy (if he’s not using it of course). Compare that to Button who showed how to act when you’ve make a mistake.

  116. Hermann says:

    In humid conditions Alonso was the best, while on a dry racing line Perez was much better. But I still can’t understand certain comments that Perez did the mistake deliberately, that he didn’t attack Alonso in a decisive manner, that the pits told him to be careful and take care of that 2nd place, etc, etc. Please bear in mind how much this result mean for Sauber: money, morale boost, constructor’s classification, aero development, driver development – I still remember when Peter Sauber launched Raikkonen and Massa and other valid drivers. I don’t think there was any wrong doing. Perez did a great job but his race engineer was wise enough to hold his (Perez) youth inexperience and enthusiasm which could have cost him a podium. We all know that in F1 there are a bunch of drivers who are quite difficult to overtake, like Alonso, Hamilton, Button, Vettel and others. The saying says it all: play it safe and steer away from propellers!

    1. EJ says:

      You are probably right….The team knows Perez better than I (we) do….But the effect is the same …they gave Ferrari the win….Perez was seconds! per lap faster and there was plenty of time to prepare the move…..but you indeed need some experienced guy to do it under pressure…(we might have seen the proof of that)..Perez will be back…I hope….;-)

  117. Don Farrell says:

    Massa was my Driver of the Day for keeping his Prancing Horse ahead of the HRT’s & Marussia’s! ;) lol

  118. amazon says:

    it has to be alonso because with both cars capable of winning, he took it.
    Perez was brilliant, and let’s not forget he is almost a rookie, but the victory is what a f1 drivers lives for.

  119. Pat Guillon says:

    Very subjective but I went for Bruno Senna just because of the way he passed so many cars to get the position he finished with in very difficult conditions. Having watched the Prost Senna battles of the 80′s & 90′s it was great to hear that Senna name in the call doing what his uncle did so brilliantly, passing cars in the wet. Perez & Alonso also had fantastic races. All round a great race for the audience!

  120. Mat says:

    thanks for removing my post James (sarcasm)

    but how is Lewis on the list he went from pole to third in the best car!!!!

  121. Liam in Sydney says:

    How is Lewis even considered in this list? He started from Pole and finished 3rd. That rates as an average drive in anyone’s books.

    1. James Allen says:

      A driver on the podium deserves to be DOTD, it’s standard form

  122. Nelson Pissquick says:

    Alonso for me, When Perez caught him, I thought he would pass him with aid of the DRS. but he couldn’t. Maybe it was gear ratios, but Alonso defended to the left for the S bend (unlike Rosberg). In the end great result for both drivers.

  123. JohnBt says:

    Driver of my day:

    1.Perez
    2.Alonso
    3.Kimi

  124. natsnoC says:

    Alonso, and the Perez. If Perez had waited, he will have passed Alonso with no problems. Of course Sauber made Perez loose the race on the pit stops, but he had the chance to win on track and he made an error.

    The issue is that this error, with grass or gravel off track, may had cost a lot. Nowadays errors seem not to be important because it’s only 2-3 seconds, but they ARE important. A similar error may cost an abandon in a different track (it already happened in Australia), so I think it’s something to put Perez second in this poll.

  125. Eduan says:

    I will tell you who is the chop of the day:
    Grosjean! I really think he is disapointing he qualifies well and then he goes and mess up Schumacher race and he his own. He is over eager and trying to hard to impress.
    Definately chop of the day

  126. OscarF1 says:

    Hard to say, really too hard to say this time.
    I think I’ll choose Alonso only for not making a single mistake and overtaking Pérez on track.
    I really want to see more races like this.

  127. Anthony says:

    Alonso for me, he made no mistakes in difficult conditons or under pressure form a flying Perez. If Perez had made NO mistakes i would have choosen him for getting that car way up there – a brilliant drive, but you need a certain amount of luck if your making mistakes……….

  128. XC says:

    Let’s think for a moment: Alonso is expected to perform this well. But Perez? He was a revelation! I hardly remember being this excited about a race like I did this Sunday.

    DOD is PEREZ

  129. rudyBB says:

    Alonso.
    top speed ranking (19th)
    fastest lap ranking (7th)

    Regards

  130. Reeky says:

    why not Perez but Alonso?
    1/ Alonso passed Perez
    2/ Alonso made no mistake and win
    3/ Ferrari car seems to be slower than Sauber for most of the time.

  131. gondokmg says:

    I heard during the Malaysian GP that the teams are allowed to make changes to the wing settings, etc under the red flag. If I remember correctly, Vettel and his engineer decided not to change his set up expecting it to dry up quickly. It did not!

    Could that explan why the top teams (Mclaren, Red Bull) were faster before the red flag but slower thereafter. Did Ferrari and Sauber gamble on a wet set up under the Red Flag?

    McLaren had a wet set up in Canada last year, which is why Jenson (and Hamilton before his crash) was so much faster.

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