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Bahrain Grand Prix – Who was your driver of the day?
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Posted By: James Allen  |  23 Apr 2012   |  12:05 am GMT  |  210 comments

Red Bull Sebastian Vettel finally got his first victory of 2012 after being run close by the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen in an action-packed Bahrain Grand Prix. Who was your driver of the day?

Sebastian Vettel

After using the old-spec Red Bull in China, Vettel switched to the new package in Bahrain and looked strong in Friday practice. Almost got knocked out in Q1 and Q2 but got everything together in the shoot-out to take a shock pole position for the first time in 2012. Made a clean getaway and then pulled out a gap early on which allowed him to control the race. Resisted pressure from Raikkonen in the penultimate stint to stay in front and score his first win of the season and 22nd of his career to take the lead of the drivers’ standings.

Kimi Raikkonen

Qualified 11th but by missing out on Q3 saved an extra set of tyres which would allow him to start every stint in the race on fresh tyres. A disappointing start saw the Finn drop behind both Ferraris, but the Lotus, which had a new rear wing, floor and barge boards in Bahrain, looked fast and consistent in race trim. The Finn battled through the field, passing his team-mate Romain Grosjean for second before setting off in pursuit of leader Vettel. Put the German under pressure but couldn’t find a way and ultimately settled for second, his first podium four races into his return to the sport.

Romain Grosjean

Out-qualified Lotus team-mate Kimi Raikkonen to start seventh and start on the clean side of the grid. Made a great start, making several places and then battling Mark Webber for third early on. Rose as high as second with a supreme move around the outside of Lewis Hamilton and pegged the gap to leader Vettel. Could do little about Raikkonen’s pace and the Finn duly passed him. But the Frenchman looked after his tyres well and finished a strong third, the first podium of his career and the first for a Frenchman since Jean Alesi in the Belgian Grand Prix in 1998.

Paul di Resta

Missed second practice after the team decided to leave the track early so they could return to their hotel in daylight but made up for lost time with an extended programme in final practice. Made it into Q3, but didn’t complete a lap so that he could save tyres. Started 10th and showed that his Force India could look after its tyres as he made a two-stop strategy work. Ran as high as fifth before dropping a place when Nico Rosberg passed him on fresher tyres. Managed to defend his sixth place from Fernando Alonso on the last lap to equal his best ever finish.

Felipe Massa

Arrived in Bahrain having failed to score a point in the first three races. Showed encouraging pace compared to Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso in practice. Missed out on Q3 by just over a tenth of a second and started the race 14th. An electric start saw him rise up to seventh in the opening laps. From then on, managed to match his team-mate for pace and though he faded, he only finished seven seconds, and two places, behind Alonso in ninth which is a distinct improvement based on the season so far.

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  1. Richard says:

    Scintillating driving by Kimi Raikkonen helped by having a fresh set of tyres for each stint.

    1. Wayne says:

      Was indeed a great aggressive drive, reminded me of when we had Hamilton, Alonso, Massa and Kimi going at it a few years ago when the tyres were not a complete shambles.

      James, are you able to offer an opinion on the stewards decisions regarding Rosberg? They cannot have it both ways can they? If Rosberg was deemed to be driving within the rules then how can Hamilton’s pass off the track also be legal? Surely it has to be one of the below:

      1) Rosberg forced him off the track

      or

      2) Hamilton illegally overtook Rosberg off the track?

      What am I missing?

      1. James Allen says:

        I have to say that I agree with Jaime Alguersuari’s view on Radio 5 Live that they were both dangerous, but the Alonso one was worse. Surprised that he wasn’t punished and also that it was ok for Hamilton to pass with all 4 wheels off the track (not that he had much choice!)

        Those are two bad precedents for the future..

      2. f1kings says:

        i just got to say it , how in the hell rosberg don’t get penalize excuse my french for that dangerous damn driving not once but twice in one race is unbelievable .. the stewards are so inconsistent , some times they have to drive at a class above all racing and next time hell drive like it’s nascar it’s ok…mclaren is a top tier team but the errors this team is making is amazing !! four races four mistakes three left rear tyre problems two in one race is unacceptable for any pit crew .. but a top tier team it’s unforgivable .. and finally for lewis hamilton , master sun tzu said , anticipate the unexpected not only from outside forces but also from within .. you have what it takes to be world champion again stay the course little brother ….

      3. I don’t think there’s any doubt that had Lewis Hamilton been driving the Mercedes, he would have received at least a grid penalty or even a race ban.

        I’m no fan of Alonso but while his swerve was at least unwise, in terms of driver skill and the supreme turning ability of a modern F1 car, after reviewing the move in SloMo, I don’t think there was really any serious danger.

      4. Wu says:

        Was it crowding or were Rosberg’s “victims” pushing where they shouldn’t?

        As for Hamilton, he was given no choice by Rosberg and yet he passed him. That was an excellent overtake by Hamilton. Sure if you take into account the rules it was illigal, but that’s why you have stewards, not a computer making those decisions.

        My own take on the Rosberg moves were that they were very aggressive, but Rosberg had to defend those places. What most of the fans want to see is hard racing. This move over once rule is bad enough already, not being able to force people off the track (when it’s relativly safe to do so) would be even worse for the sport. Let’s just hope the stewards are as consistant as they were last year.

      5. DB4Tim says:

        I agree very bad precedence…and looking back…what is the difference between what Michael did to Rubens and what Nicko did to Fernando !

      6. Dxs says:

        the FIA often orchestrates/manipulates F1 to be the most competitive and interesting.

        I think they didnt punish Rosberg because it allows him to be in the fight for the championship, which should make the season more interesting.

        He won in china, so to punish him during the bahrain race may have hurt his chances at possibly getting an ok points position, or future penalty would hurt his chances in spain.

        This is why the double diffuser was allowed so Brawn could remain competitive, the Fduct was allowed for the season, eventhough it was dangerous, so Mclaren could be more competitive, there were extra tests on the front wing to try and remove RBR dominance, and the exhaust blow also removed to remove RBR dominance and now merc’s blown front wing is legal to try to get them to be competitive.

      7. Mercedes Fan says:

        As a Mercedes fan, I also find it hard to believe Rosberg was not being given time penalty. Ironically, if it was MSC who did the same thing, stewards must have been given severe penalty for that.

      8. Nick James says:

        I’m sorry James, but I disagree!

        Both of the moves Rosberg pulled were, legal, fair and not dangerous at all.

        The onboard footage from Alonso’s car clearly shows that he was behind Rosberg at all times. Never was any part of his car alongside Rosberg. Rosberg had every right to defend right to the line.

        Alonso had no right to moan.

        A simple lift of the accelerator or touch of brake and left turn on the steering wheel would have prevented Alonso going off track, just like he did on the previous laps.

        During the Hamilton incident, the replays CLEARLY show Rosberg anticipating where hamilton would overtake, and taking a defensive line before Hamilton even moves. He get’s nearly half a car width to the right before Hamilton moves. Hamilton FOLLOWED Rosberg to the line. Rosberg did not react to a move by Hamilton and ‘cut him off’ or push him off the track.

        In this instance Hamilton should have realised that Rosberg was closing the door and backed out of it, but he didn’t. He decided that he was going to go for the pass on the right and went for it, even with the door 3/4 closed already.

        Even David Coulthard on the BBC alluded to the fact that Hamilton had done it deliberately because he knew full well that there was plenty of run off area to complete the move.

        Yes, the incidents looked a bit grim live, but once the replays and on boards have been watched, it is clear that Rosberg did nothing wrong in either incident.

        I am NOT a Rosber fan (Button all the way for me) but I do not like to see drivers accused of dangerous driving if they did nothing of the sort!

        Please all watch the replays with an open mind and look at the incidents objectively.

      9. KRB says:

        The stewards’ report on the Rosberg-Hamilton incident make it clear that Hamilton was alongside Rosberg before all four wheels were off track, but that he was not “enough” alongside such that Rosberg should be penalized. Which I think is garbage. They say that Rosberg could not have known the difference in speed between the two, and so wouldn’t know where Hamilton would be.

        That move wasn’t just dangerous to Hamilton, it was dangerous for Rosberg. What if Hamilton held his ground while alongside? Rosberg would’ve been spun to the right and could’ve speared into the wall at a high rate of speed. It is a very bad precedent. It is now “ok” to chop an opponent.

        They have to sort this out soon before someone gets killed.

      10. Nick James says:

        Sorry, but I dissagree.

        Being the following driver, and in full view of the car in front, I believe it was Hamiltons responsibility to relaise that the door was being closed and back out of it, but he didn’t.

        As far as I’m concerened, this was ‘dangerous’ driving from Hamilton.

        And I also dissagree about Hamilton being alongside.

      11. KRB says:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iQurrE15bA

        Stop it 5 sec’s in … Hamilton’s almost fully alongside, and still four wheels on the track! How is that not enough for the stewards to say that at that point Rosberg was pushing him off the track?!?!

        Imagine if Alonso had done the same to Vettel last year in Curva Grande, or with Webber on the run down to Eau Rouge?!! Would’ve been curtains for Webber, surely.

      12. **Paul** says:

        It was very aggressive and made Schumachers driving at Monza look saintly but was it fair?

        I watched the in-car from Fernando’s car and Fernando wasn’t alongside, the front camera angle didn’t tell the whole story, the incar showed where he was. Hamiltons was hard to tell, from the front angle it looked like he got alongside, but the front on camera angle was deceptive in the Alonso incident, thus that one is hard to call. Unfortunately I only saw the rear in-car from Lewis’s car and that doesn’t really tell us anything.

        In both incidents though it’s worth noting that Rosberg was heading for the inside of the track to cover his line which is legal. Hamilton and Alonso will have known that, and tried to get into the ever decreasing gap knowing full well that he was shutting the door. It is unrealistic to expect a driver to jump out of the way when neither were alongside within the track boundaries for more than a blink of the eye. If anything Rosberg could easily argue he’d already shut the door. I’m a big fan of Fernando, but he is incorrect in stating Rosberg must leave room. If he’s driven upto the white line, then he is under no obligation to leave a cars width inside. Only if a car is alongside must you leave room, and its pretty touch with regards the Lewis incident. Ergo I can see exactly why Rosberg wasn’t punished.

        RE: DOD, a few good choices, Seb, Kimi, Paul… given I think Lotus had the best car I’d probably go with Di Resta or Vettel, both of whom outperformed their respective cars and team mates massively.

      13. Beka says:

        The two incidents were different. A move against hamilton was legal. Rosberg was fully ahead when he moved to prevent lewis taking the inside to the next corner. Instead of keeping it straight, hamilton followed rosberg and then went outside of the track. Look at Kimi’s overtake against Button on the same place. Button did the same but kimi did not follow, continued straight and passed around the outside. The car ahead has the right to chose the line. Well with Alonso it was different. Alonso’s front wheel was already at Rosbergs rear (approximately) when Nico started to go to the right. If they were entering a corner, Alonso should have backed off because if you are not within a half car length, the driver ahead is not obliged to leave you space. In this case however it was a straight line and Nico did not have right to push Alonso out as he did.

      14. Wayne says:

        The Stewards report disagrees with you. “at no time was Alonso alongside Rosberg”.

      15. Nick James says:

        Sorry Beka, incorrect about Alonso.

        Alonso’s on board shows that at no time was ANY part of his car alongside Rosberg.

      16. Beka says:

        True. I checked the onboard and Alonso was still behind.

    2. Simmo says:

      helped by tyres, yes. And why, because Kimi saved an extra set.

      Who’s was responsible for that? Kimi :)

      1. Richard says:

        I suspect that would have been worked out by the strategists within the team. – Unconventional but clearly a potentially race winning option. Indeed I agree with Wayne in that it was reminiscent of the era before Pirelli when the best drivers drove like they meant it. This era is a complete shambles with many of the decent drivers driving like they’ve had their teeth pulled.

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        I don’t think you can blame Pirelli. In fact last year, Pirelli were very unhappy with some of the advertising from their competition stating that Pirelli tyres didn’t last.
        Hardly fair, when the FIA and Bernie specifically asked for less durable rubber.

        I think we have to look at the wider picture here and it’s not about motor”racing” it’s about television.

        On track action is second to pit stop action, very often you will see battles on the track in replay because the producers have been following the pit-stop of any team. All those advertising logo’s for 20 odd seconds at a slow pace, perfect

      3. Richard says:

        No I quite agree I merely mention Pirelli as a point of reference. Obviously Pirelli have produced what was asked for as I’ve said a number of times on this site. Schumacher is spot on as far as I’m concerned. Personally I would prefer to go back to refuelling, and durable tyres.

      4. Simmo says:

        yeah, the team, but that is what I mean by Kimi :)

  2. shane says:

    Like last week, I thought the racing was excellent to watch today. Kimi was fantastic. As was his team mate. I thought Di Resta also drove a good race. Massa looks to have finally got on top of his issues with the troublesome Ferrari. Let’s hope this close and unpredictable racing continues all year.

  3. Church says:

    Romain was for me.I simply like his attitude and his race craft is obviously improving.He’s another young driver with equal measures of maturity and talent just like Seb.We’ll see him on the podium more in the future and it will be a delight.

    1. Mike J says:

      The freshness and absolute happiness with just sitting amongst the first three was great to see. He was like a kid in a lolly store trying to hide his smile. (ps..more to come)

      1. Sam B says:

        Agreed, I became a Romain fan on the stop!

      2. Sam B says:

        I mean spot!!

  4. Gamal Liranzo says:

    There is no doubt about, Kimi was on fire all race long :)

    Massa was great too by running almost at the same level as Alonso. Paul di Resta was amazing today running the Force India´s dog into the middle of the top pack.

    1. Kev says:

      How can you be potentially Driver of the Day by almost being able to keep up with your team mate!

      1. Lav says:

        Today I felt Massa was faster than Alonso. Since Alonso couldn’t pull a gap on him.

      2. DingBat says:

        Lets not forget that Massa was on softs and Alonso on mediums when he was trailing him.

      3. Amritraj says:

        When your team-mate is Fernando Alonso.

  5. Nick says:

    Good race, Raikkonen was great but Vettel did the best job (I’m not a Vettel fan either!).

    I’ve just read that Schumacher has criticised Pirelli. I was wondering what your thoughts are on this James? It strikes me that since his return he has not been happy with the ban on refueling. Having to drive within the limits of your tyres on heavy tanks is part of the challenge now isn’t it?

    1. wolf says:

      Maybe he’s unhappy about the refuelling ban because the team cant pick up a few seconds by tampering with the safety nozzle anymore?

      1. anil says:

        that was in 94 for a few races, not the rest of his career. Good effort on MS hating though *slow clap*

        He’s unhappy that he spend most of the race racing against a delta.

      2. Nick says:

        I agree driving to a delta time must be frustrating. It would be great if they got rid of the drivers knowing constantly what their lap times were and driving to the split. Only allow them to be told “slow” or “speed up” and then you would see how well they manage their tyres!

      3. Mike J says:

        ……..and he (or test driver) cannot do thousands of testing miles in the backyard in the test car?

    2. Tom says:

      he just have to have something or someone to blame for his lack of speed, because of course it can´t be his fault…

    3. Rudy says:

      He’s absolutely right. Pirelli has been changing the compound even in the same season (2011). The actual F-1 has been dancing on the tune they select. Even if a certain team or driver has the best set-up it all comes down to the punishing tyres. All this smells like FIA controlling the game from the backstage. If they can’t control the RRA they’ve decided to do so through the rubber. Hence the performance levels from teams that are well deep in the midfield like Sauber and Force India.
      Does it put up a better show? Yes, absolutely. So, this is Formula SHOW. Everyone gets DRS, everyone gets KERS, everyone gets punished by those floppy tyres. Modern tracks designed by one man only (Tilke) most of them absolute rubbish. What’s next? Just one or two engine manufacturers? I’ll be better watching GP2 or GT racing. F-1 artificial racing.

    4. hero_was_senna says:

      I’m quoting statistics, so maybe unfair, but 91 wins, 89 in the re-fueling era.

      And, of course he’s criticizing Pirelli, he would have said the same about MIchelin, Goodyear and even Bridgestone, because they aren’t designing everything around him.

      1. Jay says:

        “I’m quoting statistics, so maybe unfair, but 91 wins, 89 in the re-fueling era.”

        Mainly because he only drove the first 2 years of his main career in the non-refuelling era.

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        thnx 4 dat!

  6. LD01 says:

    KR gets my vote, but MSC gets an honourable mention. 22nd – 10th (a point) is not bad going. Well done him on speaking out against the Pirelli tyre lottery too.

    The gimmicks of DRS and KERS were just about tolerable, but adding the Wacky Races tyres to the mix seems like it’s taking F1 away from a sport and more about being a ‘show’.

    1. SImon Donald says:

      Kimi gets my vote too.

      Must admit I have to disagree with the tyres. I think this is one of the most exciting eras of F1 in terms of races that I can remember. I find DRS and the shape of the nose and wings to be more of an affront to F1 than anything else. F1 has historically been about tyre and fuel management which we got away from during the nineties and noughties. I for one am quite happy to see the back of the ever lasting Bridgestones and the sprints between refuelling stops that we had in the generally no overtaking snoozeathons between around 2000 and 2010.

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      Be careful what you wish for. Pirelli are manufacturing tyres as requested by the FIA and Bernie.

      KERS i accept as relevant technology in the motor industry, but DRS?
      As for the double standard displayed by MSC, all F1 teams will now have to invest millions copying the Mercedes double DRS system because although it’s technically legal, it’s completely against the spirit of the regulation

    3. zx6dude says:

      I totally agree. KR with an honorable mention to MSC. What a shame tyres are having such an impact on the sport. Yes, tyre management is part of F1, but it should not be this important.
      And Rosberg? What the heck is going on with that?!?! I’m pretty sure I have seen drivers being punished for less, but maybe my memory is playing tricks on me…

  7. Dan Orsino says:

    Superb drive by Kimi. Could have been a win, if the Pirellis had allowed more than one shot at Vettel. Maybe this time a slightly longer life for the tyre could have made for more excitement in the final laps?

    Well done to James for coming back safe and sound

  8. Randy Torres says:

    I’m shocked that Raikkonen beat out everybody, including di Resta by so much! I mean how can it not be di Resta: a 6th place finish in a Force India and ahead of the 2 Ferraris for what is essentially a rook? C’mon people show the kid some love.

    1. Laurence H says:

      We all love Kimi!!!! He could retire on the first lap and still get Driver Of The Day from some… :-)

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        Tragic

      2. Randy Torres says:

        Fair enough, but if its a question of who’s your favorite driver then I would vote Alonso all day long. Its an objective question the answer should be as well, at least that’s how it seems to me.

      3. Laurence H says:

        I didn’t say that I would vote for him all the time. But he is great!

    2. Tom says:

      he did a wonderful job, but…pitting only twice he was also a block for faster drivers, sometimes, but on same lap, so… but really he did a good job, happy for him

      1. Randy Torres says:

        Well but isn’t a two pit stop strategy a race strategy and isn’t race strategy a part of the analysis (kind of like Lotus team orders benefiting Kimi)? Being objective, what impressed me was that this kid, practically a rookie, starting behind Alonso, was able to finish ahead of the 2 Ferraris, in inferior equipment AND with an aborted practice schedule, which meant less information on tyre degradation and more guesswork in set up. So he blocked faster drivers, well that’s racing, he did what he had to do just like Nico did TWICE. To me, of the people in Allen’s list, he did the most to deserve driver of the day. But hey you have your opinion, I have mine–that’s what moves markets!

  9. Stevo says:

    Romain is a star, cheerful, competent and competitive.

    What a smiley fresh face he is!

    Excellent!

    1. Divesh says:

      I agree, it is rather refreshing to see someone who has such a beaming face sitting in a post race press conference.

      A genuinely likeable guy, i wish him many more podiums in the future.

      Kimi was the star for me though, his aggressive overtaking has been a highlight this season, he has shown that he has lost none of his racecraft in the 2 years he was away.

      1. Angelina says:

        Stevo.
        Vettel too was fresh faced till 2009.
        When he became a favourite to win the championship in 2010, many started hating Seb Vettel.

  10. DK says:

    Kimi easily get my vote for this one!

    Ha, it seem nobody in the team forgotten to tell him that team order is allowed since 2011 as Kimi said in the post race interview that ” there were no team orders, we know the rules …”

    Seriously, I think Lotus should have let Kimi pass Grojean earlier if they really wanted the win. Kimi was on soft and Grojean was on prime at that stint and getting stuck behind Grojean prevented the best use of his new soft tyres.

    More so, I think Lotus pit stop was not as efficient as RBR therefore Vettel was able to pull away a little more right after the last stop.

    Hopefully, Lotus can keep up the developement race the rest of the season. I hope Kimi get to fight for win more often.

  11. wolf says:

    I’m amazed more people haven’t voted for diResta.
    I get that Raikkonen did well, but he was in the fastest car and squandered a couple of opportunities for the win (especially by not undercutting Vettel at the last stop).
    On the other hand diResta managed to make 2 stops work for 6th place in a car that was well off race pace.

    1. Simon says:

      Agreed he put his car in a position it didn’t belong and coped well with an alternative race strategy, he is really good at looking after his tyres, would like to see him in a top team next year, move over Schumi!!

    2. Rishi says:

      I voted for di Resta too – a really good job on the 2-stopper. There was a time last season when he seemed to be in the wars a bit – typical rookie season but since about the Hungarian GP he has got stronger and stronger and is displaying some impressive maturity. I thought his intra-team rivalry with Nico Hulkenberg would be extremely close this year but since Australian GP qualifying Paul has had a noticeable edge. Pressure on Nico for the start of the European races I think!

      Kimi? Agree with you – though I guess he is a popular guy, and it is easy to overlook how seamless he has made his transition back to F1. As Martin Brundle pointed out, his racecraft has been strong right from the off while Michael Schumacher was a bit rusty when he came back in 2010.

  12. Neil Jenney says:

    Has anyone else done the math on who would be leading the championship if Kimi’s tires hadn’t fallen off the cliff in China?

    1. Brian says:

      Probably not, because then we’d have to do the math on the championship had Vettel not had his incident with Karthikeyan or if Hamilton and Button had better stops or Schumacher hadn’t almost lost his wheel or so on and so forth.

      Usually its just better to stick with reality.

      1. Neil Jenney says:

        I guess it depends how superficial your analysis of any given situation is and if you choose to limit your thinking that way. A deeper look at the alternate scenarios within each race can produce insight into different aspects of the sport.

  13. JohnBt says:

    KIMI drove brilliantly and deserve all the appraisals he will be receiving. Very impressed by his ability to manage his tyres. I will not be surprised if Kimi’s in the WDC fight.

    Ferrari struggles once more but Massa was much closer to Nando.

  14. Anthony says:

    How can people vote for massa instead of grosjean for example???? Not because massa was good, only because he improved in his customary bad performances. Anyways he finished 2 positions behind alonso and alonso isn’t even on the list!

    1. F1Fan4Life says:

      I totally agree lol Massa is apparently on the Star of the Race list because of…pity? Because he finished only 2 spots behind his team mate? Because he was only I would guess a half second slower than him in qualifying? Meanwhile Alonso is not in the Star of the Race nominee because well we all expected him to do that. That said nobody says “a lil bit” cuter than Massa in interviews, so I wouldn’t mind seeing him on the podium for…a lil bee.

    2. Norman C says:

      Good point.

      Most improved driver relative to team mate is NOT a driver of the day measure. That puts Massa in a second class championship of some sort.

    3. Nathan says:

      100% agreed! It is his second best track behind Brazil and he gets a pat on the back for finishing 2 places behind his teammate. If a rookie did it, fair enough. But Massa has had 10 seasons under his belt.

    4. Kev says:

      Agree. What is he doing on the list!

    5. Paul J says:

      I agree. It’s amazing the plaudits that massa is picking up just for being ‘close’ to his team mate. Alonso had a far stronger race than massa and wasn’t even an option for DOTD.

  15. vvipkho says:

    another great battle in bahrain gp..

  16. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    James, I cannot put a comment in the post about the race, I cannot see this space there to put the comment, thanks.

    Today I love Raikkonnen, Grosjean, Di Resta (nobody loves Vettel :)), it’s the spirit of racing: Speed and going forward!

    1st time I agree with Schumacher about his critics against these Pirellis that oblige drivers not to reach the speed limits from themself and from the car!

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      Really? MSC is right just because things don’t go his way? What a joke.
      Throughout F1 history, drivers have had to adapt to different disciplines in a race car.
      The 80′s explosion of technology brought about fuel economy with 220 litres then 150 litres for the race. Qualifying tyres and 4 different grades of tyre could be used during a race, so if the left front took more punishment, they would use a harder grade.
      Refuelling required different skill sets, as did qualifying with your race fuel on board.
      With the refuelling era, it brought about over taking in the pits, hardly ever on track, testing has been removed, traction control also.
      In the current era, Pirelli have been tasked with disintegrating rubber.
      What about the grooved tyres they ran from 1998. Several drivers hated them but Schumacher had tailor made rubber so was hardly going to complain.
      Ultimately, Schumacher hasn’t got to grips with the sport, Rosberg has made him look practically pedestrian and he’s finding excuses for his problems.
      Please retire, you were the best between 1995 to 2003, but that was almost a decade ago

  17. Andrew Woodruff says:

    Good race, but a number of things that didn’t make a lot of sense!

    How did Vettel leapfrog from second best to his team mate in pretty much every session so far this season, to a classy pole position and a lights to flag victory?

    How did Kimi beat Grosjean? He qualified about 5 places lower, and then went backwards at the start. I can’t believe that one set of extra tyres made all that difference, so the conclusion must either be that Grosjean seriously under performed (despite it being his best race yet) or
    Kimi is simply the best driver on the grid by far!

    Why do McLaren ALWAYS shoot themselves in the foot?!

    1. Andrew Carter says:

      Kimi was 8th after the first lap, thats a 3 place gain. It would have been 7th but Massa’s start was even better.

    2. MISTER says:

      Great drivers shine when they drive a dog of a car, but still manage great possitions consistantly.

      Best driver is not the one who wins races in best cars, but those who dispite problems and weaker equipment, they prevail.

      Kimi best driver on the grip..LOL. Go on, tell us another one :)))

      PS: I did vote for Kimi as driver of the day in Bahrain, but lets not take it too far.

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        Completely agree MISTER.
        The Greats win races in cars that shouldn’t be in contention.

        Of the current grid, I’d say that the Great drivers would be Schumacher for some of his great drives in 1996-1998. After that I don’t think he was ever pushed consistently because his car was always so good.

        Alonso, without question. Some of his drives over the last 3 seasons have been astounding.

        And Hamilton, who when he’s on it wins races that he shouldn’t

        All Vettel, Kimi and Button have proved, is that when the car’s the best, they can win, but they have never carried a poor car to placings it didn’t belong in.
        Vettel has driven Newey equipment practically all his F1 career, including the 2008 Toro Rosso.
        Kimi did nothing remarkable at Sauber in 2001, raced for Mclaren and Ferrari and won when the car/team was competitive.
        I know someone will say Japan 2005, from the rear of the grid, but he was driving the best car in the field.
        Button, won with Honda in wet race in Hungary when many of leaders retired, dominated with Brawn when they had advantage and then has won wet race lotteries with Mclaren. But he has never been able to carry a poorly performing car into positions it didn’t warrant.

      2. FrancisFuku says:

        I disagree regarding Kimi when he’s driving a poor car:
        - In 2003, he almost won the championship with an outdated 2002 car.
        - In 2004, he managed to win a race with a good but not outstanding (I’m talking about the second part of the season, but it was the unbeatable Ferrari against him) McLaren at Spa, the quintessential driver’s circuit. His pole at Silverstone was also great (on ITV, James and Martin Brundle were stunned when they saw that Kimi was P1, considering his rather poor S1 comparing to the Ferraris) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZlpWqRhfns
        - In 2009, his summer (after Massa’s accident) was incredible, when you consider the car he had (and when you consider that Ferrari stopped its development): 4 podiums in a row, and a superb win at Spa (once again, a driver’s circuit…). I remember reading on this blog James reporting a Ferrari engineer who did not understand how Kimi had won this one with such a car. Of course, you can say ‘it’s all about KERS’ but if you look at it closely, he did 95 % of the job without KERS, when he was almost full throttle on the Raidillon at the restart with cold tyres (he just had to lift off to avoid contact with Fisichella) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaAk0eLEDMg

        So with these examples, I think that it’s a little bit unfair to say that Kimi has always won on dominant cars…

      3. etcyu says:

        you’re full of BS~!! 2009 spa who won it?? kimi…winning car??? nope…not even near and the car has stop its update bcoz the team gave up on it~!! 2004…winning car?? nope..win Spa again~!! 2003 3 point adriff from winning the titles…winning car??? nope…mclaren gave him a 2002 version car~~ and he nail it while his teammate screw up

      4. etcyu says:

        pls try to come up with better statement to level down kimi ‘s successes ~~ and stop making a fool out of urself…LOL

      5. Kokkis says:

        Kimi on underperforming car with normal circumstances: Spa 2009. What do you think about that?

      6. etcyu says:

        did you watch 2003 f1??? when mclaren gave kimi a 2002 version car??? and what did he do with it??? won in Malaysia…3 point away from winning the championship at the end~!!! Also in 2004, did kimi has winning car??? He won spa when ferrai dominant that season with the arugably best car ever F2004, Schumi said Kimi was unstoppable in this track~!! lets go to 2009…did ferrari F60 a winning car???? kinda dog and doesnt matter…kimi won Spa again follow by 5 podiums….and mind you..ferrari already gave up on that car and move on to F2010~!! lots of crap you’re talking here trying to disminish kimi ‘s success~!!

      7. hero_was_senna says:

        2003, the FIA changed the regulations before the start of the season, Ferrari had designed a long wheelbase car for better race performance. At the time, they qualified with zero fuel and raced with whatever strategy they chose.
        For 2003, they changed this so you qualified with the fuel you would start the race with.
        It penalised Ferrari deliberately.
        The 2003 Mclaren was an updated 2002 car, like Ferrari had used their previous seasons cars in 2001 and 2002.
        Mclaren had basically got it wrong with the MP4/18. Don’t forget also that Michelin were very strong in 2003.
        In 2004, if you know your history, Mclaren unveiled the MP4/19, a disaster of a car. It took until the German GP to build a updated car, the MP4/19B
        It wss this which allowed Kimi to compete at Spa, but you may want to find that race, I have the race report and video of it, it was cold and there was two restarts which gave advantage to any Michelin car that needed to heat its tyres up quickly. Bridgestones needed 2 laps to be back at operating temperature, which is how Kimi got past MSC. Yes that day Kimi was unstoppable. But where had he been all season
        Ret,Ret,Ret,8,11,Ret,Ret,5,6,7,2,Ret,Ret,1,Ret,3,6,2
        Look at Alonso this year, in a car that performs to a similar level.

        As for 2009, Massa was beating him easily before his accident.

      8. etcyu says:

        as in 2009, the team did the wrong thing by focusing on Massa, he basically just make this shit car more shit~~ when he was injured…ferrari gave up on development, and kimi get to customized the car to his preference, and it changed that shit car to winning car~~ but surprisingly, the changes only worked with kimi, not badouer, fisichella~~!! I still remember Fisi mentioned about getting older while finished his first race with F60~~

    3. Vince says:

      Absolutely concur. Kimi’s pace after he got past Massa was relentless and it can’t be explained with just tyres.

      Such a joy to watch!

  18. Jamie Ramsamy says:

    Disappointed Kimi didn’t win. Thought he’d challenge more for the win but he mentioned tires went off and apparently front wing was damaged.

  19. t3x says:

    Raikkonen for sure !!

    I’m so happy he is back, can’t wait for the next race.

  20. tara says:

    Kimi for sure.
    Wasn’t sold on his return to F1 but i think he’s a great addition to the personalities on the grid :P
    Honorable mention to schumacher i reckon as well.

  21. Timwahoo says:

    Well i was asleep for most of the race cos its so boring but Kimi is always driver of the day

  22. My driver of the day – Pedro de la Rosa. For no apparent reason once again. But GRO did good, good performance. I liked that.

  23. etcyu says:

    it doesnt require you to hv IQ lvl above 50 to ans this…..ICEMAN ALL THE WAY!!!

  24. A.B.Normal says:

    Maybe Vettel deserves driver of the day, but Kimi drove his heart out. The old badger can still race an F1 car. (And besides, Vettel doing rabbit ears behind Kimi on the podium disqualifies him from consideration in this poll. Kimi is old enough to be his father in the Ozarks.)

    1. Jay says:

      “And besides, Vettel doing rabbit ears behind Kimi on the podium disqualifies him from consideration in this poll. ”

      Wow, someone doesn’t have a sense of humour.

    2. Baktru says:

      I loved that actually :) Vote went to Kimi but it could have gone to any of the drivers mentioned.

      Vettel obviously got a good win, similar to what we saw all too often last year. Spirited drive from the Iceman, GRO was good as well, Massa was close to Nando most of the race finally.

      Bahrain was not as good as M’Sia or China, but at least it was a reasonably good race. Now on to Spain and a fifth different winner :)

    3. Lynn says:

      Hahaha only Vettel dares to do it on Kimi.

    4. BWG&B says:

      haha. i liked vettels stunt on kimi… we talk about kimi as the iceman, but IMO its vettel who is (and has been) seriously lacking in the personality department.

      more fun little jabs (like the bunny ears) would help boost his public image… its like… i WANT to like vettel. but, ya know…

      flipping the bird at karthikeyan was a good move too. LMFAO.

      1. Baktru says:

        You should go and see the segment when SebVet was on Top Gear. It totally changed my view of the guy. He does seem a pretty cool bloke, it just doesn’t come out all that much in the F1 emissions.

        I’d still rather have a beer and an ice cream with Kimi though :)

  25. JC says:

    Fantastic race. Vettel gets my vote with a very close second by Kimi who would have gotten it by more overtaking attempts and or using the undercut advantage to jump past Vettel at the last stop. Great drives also by DI Resta and Romain. Can’t understand Rosberg getting away without penalty.

    1. DanT says:

      As it looked to me on the TV, and I understand to the stewards too, both Hamilton and Alonso were behind Rosberg when he moved to the edge of the track. Alonso pulled out and moved back so there was clearly room. My initial view was the Hamilton should have been given a drive through for overtaking off the circuit but the stewards have more data than us and they obviously know better.

      1. KRB says:

        http://www.fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/f1_media/Documents/bhn-document-42.pdf

        Reasons
        1. The driver of Car 8 commenced his move to the right after the exit from T3 and moved to the right in a constant and continuous straight line manner, not making any sudden movements (as evidenced by telemetry and video evidence) and;

        2. At the time he commenced his move, Car 4 was behind him and no part of his car was alongside Car 8 and;

        3. The driver of Car 8 made the move to the right prior to the driver of Car 4 making the same move and;

        4. For more than half of the distance travelled by Car 8 in moving in a straight line towards the right hand edge of the track, Car 4 remained behind Car 8 and;

        5. Because the delta speed between the two cars was quite significant it was difficult for Car 8 to detect the exact position of Car 4 in relation to his own car;

        6. Had a significant portion of Car 4 been alongside that of Car 8 whilst Car 4 still remained within the confines of the track, then the actions of Car 8 may not have been considered legitimate.

        So, to summarize, Hamilton was alongside before being off track (from #4), but not enough in the stewards minds for Rosberg to know to stop his move.

        Being alongside, and being pushed off the circuit, Hamilton had no choice but to complete the overtake outside of track limits, and was ok to do so as he did it to avoid a collision.

        That’s why it wasn’t an either/or scenario.

      2. DanT says:

        Many thanks KRB, as I said they have more info. BTW I can see now when I said “they obviously know better” it might have sounded sarcastic but it wasn’t meant to.

  26. JB says:

    wow! 75% voted for Kimi.. He is a real treasure for F1.
    BTW, I also for Kimi.

  27. Tay says:

    Let me go ahead and preempt the inevitable justifications for Raikkonen’s 2nd place finish:

    1. Whether or not he had the advantage of a team order, Vettel hasn’t had that advantage this season and he’s managed to top the driver’s championship without them.
    2. Although he almost might’ve passed Vettel, he didn’t.

    His race pace was something to be in awe of, but Vettel got pole and kept it through the checkered flag. Vettel is the driver of the day.

    1. F1Fan4Life says:

      Uh huh. Except 80% don’t agree. The only reason Kimi didn’t win is because Lotus and he made a terrible decision in qualifying. Lotus had said clearly in the build up that this track suited them. Unfortunately, as much as I like Grosjean’s beaming face, its refreshing, he should have easily won this race, he had the car to do so. I think Vettel won more from a mistake by Kimi in qualifying, and this is a driver of the day poll, not driver of two days. The driver of the day is Kimi, by a mile.

      1. Ro_Jo says:

        And let’s not forget Lotus being very rusty in the pits… Kimi could have saved at least a couple of seconds if they were quicker… Hope Boullier & co. clean this up before the Spanish GP… I believe we’ll see the Iceman move into the 20′s in term of GP victories this year…

      2. Tay says:

        No number of “could’ves” = a single “did”. Raikkonen could’ve done one thing different. His team could’ve done one thing different. The Red Bulls did, and that’s why Vettel won.

      3. hero_was_senna says:

        Murray Walker used to say “F1 is if spelt backwards”
        Keke Rosberg once said ” If my Auntie had ***** she’d be my uncle!”

        If covers a multitude of sins, it’s happened, move on.

      4. Lav says:

        Again we are talking driver of the day, not team of the day. From what they did and where they started, Kimi’s job was much more difficult than Vettel.
        I cannot diminish Vettel’s effort but, I still voted for Kimi. He came all the way from 11 to nearly overtaking Vettel.
        As a comparison, if Grosjean had the same pace as Kimi, he would have been first. So Kimi was clearly much faster.

  28. Pat Guillon says:

    I gave my vote to Grosjean for the huge step forward he’s made & all the criticism he had to take. For someone that Kimi was supposed to wipe the floor with he has out qualified him more often than not. The way he got past Hamilton & Webber was without fuss & showed maturity. The way he raced Kimi was also intelligent, he didn’t roll over but also made sure that he didn’t do anything rash when Kimi got past. Kimi & Sebastian were both mighty but at a level expected, Grosjean’s performance was less expected & therefore more deserving of driver of the day.

  29. glenna says:

    Voted for Kimi but all the nominations had great races.

  30. Persi says:

    Kimi. In general I also prefer his attitude to Vettel’s.

    Boy was Alonso angry…I know he does hand gestures when annoyed but don’t recall seeing a full fist till yesterday.

    1. S2K says:

      Shouldn’t he be? I can’t believe how Nico got away with nothing after those two identical incidents with Lewis and Fernando.

      1. Glennb says:

        Nico’s move on Lewis (and Fernando) was considered legal. How about Lewis’ move on Nico? Overtaking off-track and not giving the position back. Opens up a tin of worms I say.

      2. Persi says:

        Yes that’s what I was stating, that he was angry. Am Alonso fan anyway.
        I expected Rosberg to get some sort of penalty, maybe not very harsh but something…very surprised nothing at all. Someone said earlier that if Hamilton in Merc stewards would act differently. I have to say that was my first thought when Rosberg did both moves. Could imagine Lauda saying someone will get killed etc.

  31. bearforce1 says:

    Kimmi was amazing.

    The big question is where will he drive next year?

    Every major team will want Kimmi for sure. Kimmi will have his pick of teams. I wonder which apple cart he will upset. Some number 1 driver is in for a shock when Kimi arrives at their team.

    1. Bluefroggle says:

      If I were Kimi, and if as it looks like will happen that, Lotus are going to be WDC contenders, why move to another team?

    2. mvi says:

      Kimi was indeed outstanding.

      He might not want to move to any other team next year. His car is very good and he could add to the history of the Enstone team, which won championships twice as Renault with Alonso and twice as Benetton with Schumacher. Would be great to see.

    3. surya kumar says:

      My suggestion is to have Kimmi Back at Mclaren with Lewis Hamilton. Just think of that combo. I am sure that would be Mouth Watering and would be great for Kimmi to come back to where he belongs.

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        Except Mclaren had the opportunity in 2009 to sign Kimi for 2010 but didn’t really commit themselves.

        And why Lewis, they have a multi year contract with Button.

    4. Buttface says:

      I think he has a two year contract with Lotus so…

    5. hero_was_senna says:

      I would like Massa to join Kimi at Lotus, to show the world once more, Kimi ain’t all that…

      1. etcyu says:

        massa was lucky in 2008~!! all his win came from misfortune of kimi (france , leading but finished 2nd due to exhaust pipe failure….and leading on last lap of Spa but spun off the track) and lewis as well~~!! anyone who watch that season should knew that Massa did nth impressive except being lucky

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        let me get this right. all his wins came from misfortune for Kimi…
        Kimi won in Malaysia. Massa had spun off.
        Massa won in Bahrain, Kimi was second.
        Kimi won in Spain, Massa was second.
        Massa won in Turkey, Kimi was third.
        Massa won in France, Kimi was second.
        Massa won in Valencia, Kimi retired engine failure.
        Massa won in Belgium, Kimi 18th
        Massa won in Brazil, Kimi was 3rd.

        Of those, I’d agree Kimi was unlucky in France, and to this day, I still don’t get how Massa won the Belgian GP, he should have been classed 2nd because Kimi had already lost control of the car in Blanchimont.

        But don’t forget, Massa was 3 laps away from winning the Hungarian GP that year when his engine blew as well. Kimi was 4th at the time.
        He was leading in Singapore when he re-fueled and leaving the pits on the traffic lights signal, the hose was still connected.

        Bear in mind, that Kimi qualified on pole twice that year, whereas Massa was on pole 6 times.

        Still, these “facts” will mean nth to you etcyu, I’m starting to get an understanding of you way of thinking.

      3. elie says:

        Cause Fellipe wont be in F1 much longer fool!

      4. hero_was_senna says:

        “If one does not understand a person, one tends to regard him as a fool.” Carl Gustav Jung

        “Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists of not exceeding that limit” Elbert Hubbard

        ;)

      5. Spinodontosaurus says:

        As much as I like Massa, he wouldnt have much hope without the team being focussed on him, building the car for him, and developing it towards him.

  32. BW says:

    Kimi made it nine places up, through battles won mostly, and did put pressure on Vettel (how often did we see pressure on Vettel?). So it was his day, even if he didn’t manage to pass VET (nice defence from him, I admit).
    Some people say di Resta.. well, he had nice fight with MAL, and good defence on last laps with dying tyres, but he didn’t hold off Rosberg. In some boring race, this would be enough, but not this time.

  33. Sam says:

    Kimi! Welcome back to the sport! – Stand Out driver of the day.

    Grosjean looks like a real star and a new nice guy on the grid.

    Lets hope we see a fifth and sixth different winner this season with Schumacher and Webber.

    McLaren pit crew earn the entertainment of the day award – Im still picking my jaw off the ground that they messed up twice!

    I don’t remember F1 being this good!

  34. Racyboy says:

    Slightly off topic.
    Just curious,

    Did anyone else have trouble with F1.com live timing?
    I couldn’t get it until about 2mins after the race.

    1. Antti says:

      I had problems with it the whole weekend, maybe the attack by anonymous had something to do with it?

    2. Crom says:

      Yep, same here

    3. surya kumar says:

      I had the site down for the entire race and was not able to get any live timing data.

    4. Tom says:

      worked but not as good as usually

    5. Keith Read says:

      Just for a change my timing screen worked perfectly throughout the event.

  35. Andrew Kirk says:

    Kimi gets it for me! It’s like he has never been away, looks quick, refreshed and entertaining. In my view the fact that Massa quafilying 14th and finishing 9th still behind Alonso sums up the state of his career at the moment. Yes it was a much better drive than the 3 races before but that’s not saying much is it?

  36. ramprasath says:

    veteel gets my vote. iam not avettel fan at all. but hats off to him for winning in the second best car on the day. kimis drive looks impressive because he didnt qualify where should have been (the front row)

  37. Andy says:

    A difficult one this week, Kimi, Grosjean and di Resta all deserve to be driver of the day.
    Grosjean gets it for me. Considering this is his second stint in F1 after being dropped and his lack of finishing so far this season, he kept his head and drove well.

  38. Very sensible offers, James.
    I voted for Kimi, but cannot miss Vettel’s flawless drive and good start, Massa’s points and Di Resta’s efforts and Romain’s podium.

  39. matthew cheshire says:

    Had to give it Vettel for a faultless race. Same plan as always but he made it work with a slower car and fewer new tyres.

    I’m starting to worry that Webber is trying to win the championship without stepping on the podium. Now that would be crazy record that couldn’t be repeated.

  40. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    Kimi gets my vote. He made the best of the softs when everyone else thought they wouldn’t last as long as they did. Especially given they would have taken a pounding whilst he was overtaking everyone.

    James – someone should shake those Enstone guys’ hands. They have done very well to produce a good car given the turmoil the team has faced over the past few years with Renault leaving, key staff departing, and the alleged instability under their new masters.

  41. Truth or lies says:

    Kimi drove a great race no question, but overall he failed to deliver, he and the team failed to qualify in the right position for the car, fell behind at the start (over taken by Massa in that dog of a Ferrari), then failed to take the race to Vettel by pitting first for their final stops and furthermore fluffed a decent chance to overtake Vettel.

    Is Kimi really good ? Of course and it’s nice to see him back, but I just can’t imagine Alonso or Hamilton, maybe Webber too, not nailing Vettel if they’d been as close as Kimi. For me, while Massa improved and drove solidly, Grosjean too, Paul Di Resta was my driver of the day. I guess for some people, no matter what, Kimi will their be driver of the day!

    I get that and understand it, he’s a special guy whom I like a lot too, but in all fairness to Di Resta he drove a great race.

  42. Stephen Kellett says:

    Worst driver of the day: Nico Rosberg. Drove Lewis off the track (and had the cheek to complain about being passed off the track) and then tried to the same thing to Alonso.

    It’s almost as if he’s turned into Michael Schumacher. I was pleased for Rosberg last weekend but that win seems to have turned him into a rather unpleasant racer if Bahrain is the standard of how he is going to race.

    A race of twos:
    Two Mercedes powered cars had exhaust failures.

    Two left rear wheel change problems for McLaren.

    Two Lotus Renaults on the podium.

    Two bad moves by Rosberg.

  43. Peter says:

    Kimi. Great fighting spirit this year, very hard, but fair overtakes and intelligent driving. Cant wait for Spa 2012.

  44. Mr Squiggle says:

    I’m usually prepared to acknowledge a pole to flag performance from Vettel (albeit with gritted teeth while sticking a fork into my thigh).

    This time however, it has to be Kimi, fourth race back, challenged for the lead….

  45. gonzeche says:

    All fine but… anyone noticed that there are at least eight cars faster than the Ferrari (McLaren, Red Bull, Mercedes and Lotus) and that Alonso is fifth on same points than fourth and only ten points behind the leader? Race after race, season after season, Alonso proves to be the driver of any day in any car and under any circumstances. Superb.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      I remember Brundle once saying in commentary that the one driver that they all hated seeing behind them was Alonso. He just doesn’t give up.

      I hope to God that the updates will give him an equal footing, I’m not looking for dominance, just a fighting chance, because then I think you’ll see what Alonso is truly all about.

  46. Geenimetsuri says:

    Driver of the day: Räikkönen.

    Best driver of the race.

    Driver of the weekend: Vettel.

    Pole and relatively easy win from a good position with a win to boot.

  47. Señor Sjon says:

    I would vote Schumacher. For the first time in years, someone who critizises these gummybear tires. He is usually PR-friendly, but finally he chooses the attack in the media. :D

  48. Andrew Carter says:

    Difficult choice between Di Rest and Kimi, both drove brilliantly. Surprised to see Massa on the list, he drove better than he has done all year but he was still off Alonso’s pace.

    By the way James, I dont seem to be ably to post a comment on the race report, the reply button and comment box at the bottem are both missing.

    1. James Allen says:

      Sorry about that, we’re working on the problem

  49. Bam says:

    Kimi easily easily ….. pushed an managed all day unlike other that couldn gain … followed by a good one from Schumacher

    as for Der straight faced Resta an grosjean… ye sure there best finishes .. but dont kid yaself jus cos the managed to hold there spot or gain a place or 2 doesn really count for drive of the day .. well in my eyes anyway …

    vettel.. in clean air all day .. so .. meh a good win for him

  50. Jon North East says:

    Kimi Driver of the day!!
    Four races, Four different winners in four diferent teams, what a season so far, How about Kimi to win the next race to make five different teams and drivers to win the first five races, roll on Spain!

  51. Tom says:

    I’m a massive fan of Kimi, and he certainly drove a great race, but for me it’s gotta be Paul di Resta. The guy drove brilliantly to hold off the faster cars on newer tyres. And that having missed an entire practice session. Top notch – Mercedes should snap him up when Schumi decides to call it a day.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      Mercedes should have the balls of LDM and sign him up and make Schumi call it a day.

      Schumacher is racing on his laurels, he was once the best, but despite his 7 WDC”S he would struggle to get into anyones top 10 now.

      1. Spinodontosaurus says:

        So which races are you basing this off then?

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        Spino, I don’t judge someone because of what they have done recently. I look at a problem over a period of time and make my conclusions then.
        Schumacher has been consistently slower than Rosberg since he came back to F1.
        In theory, you can choose any race from 2010, 2011 or this year.

        I know Rosberg has just won his first race, but Schumacher, despite his incredible fitness, just isn’t at the top level any longer.
        He is 43 years old.

        Kimi has returned this year after 2 years out and has already won a podium. But significantly, he is 10 years younger than MSC.

        Back in 2006, they tried to create a GP Ms
        asters series, similar to the Tennis Seniors tour.
        Mansell won from Fittipaldi and other ex F1 winners and racers.
        One of the important criteria, was that a driver had to be older than 45 to qualify.

        Time stand still for no-one, and no matter how good his fitness, it will never be as good as it was at 20 to 30.
        Fair play to the man that he’s having fun, fair play to Mercedes that they feel they are getting good revenue from his inclusion in the squad, but his legacy isn’t what it once was.

  52. Stuart Harrison says:

    Close call as there were many great drives. Kimi certainly deserves some credit, but arguably should be performing this well. Grosjean gets my vote as he’s definitely stepped up to the plate. To finish a few seconds off his far more experienced team mate shows just what promise he has.

    Good performance (and defence) from Di Resta and nice to see the Ferrari’s performing admirably as well.

  53. mosar says:

    not bad for someone who been away from F1 for 2year eh..Kimi’s drive yesterday reminds me of his time in Mclaren years ago, and what makes him ever so entertaining to watch..

  54. Steve says:

    Can’t be anyone but Kimi; outperformed teammate, car, and most of the field despite starting (albeit tactically) 11th. Kimi must be the most split personality on the grid – laconic insouciance outside the car transforming into a fearsome competitor once he’s buckled in. Welcome back Iceman!

  55. KRB says:

    Kimi edges it, having started 11th, but Vettel did what was needed to keep Kimi behind (w/o pulling a crazy Rosberg move – how either wasn’t penalized is beyond me!), so another pole + win for him. RBR is back.

    Here’s a question: what happened to the investigation into a Potential Unsafe Release for Alonso/Ferrari? I don’t recall seeing any graphic saying no further action, etc. It did look like an unsafe release, that sorta hampered Perez’s ability to come into his box (he had to brake, then duck in behind FA’s car). No steward’s document about that up on the FIA’s site.

    McLaren, oh McLaren! Being a fan is now approaching the same levels of misery, disappointment, and shock as that of being a fan of the England national football team! Only finish is between the two Ferrari’s?!? A disastrous weekend for them. Even worse for Williams, though.

  56. Rach says:

    Kimi baby!!!!!!!

  57. S2K says:

    Kimi of course. He made Michael Schumacher, who is driving a winning car by the way, look like somebody that needs to prepare himself for spending time with his grandchildren in the playground not waste his time on the pit lane…

  58. Richard B says:

    Paul di Resta showed good racecraft and excellent maturity. His drive made the car look better than it probably should have.

  59. Dan says:

    Di Resta got my vote. Mature and thoughtful driving was required to make the strategy work.

    Something ominous about Vettel’s weekend. Great pole lap on saturday, then dynamite start followed by pulling a 3 second gap in first few laps, then controlled race and defended well when Kimi got close. Sound familiar?

    1. Robin says:

      The London Times story that ran in Canada’s Globe and Mail this morning described him as, “the alarming Vettel”. I of voted for him here and predict even if he runs away with the world championship in 2012 he won’t ever score more than about 15% in any Driver of the Day poll.
      Robin

  60. Mike J says:

    Drive of the day has to be Webber. Held his position to Turn 1 and didn’t lose a spot on Lap 1…..as good as a win isn’t it?

    Seriously, i would have to go with Vettel. Kimi did a great job but he did have 3 sets of unused tyres. I think sometimes we lose the impact of these fresh sets especially with the closeness of cars this year.

    Vettels first 3 laps where he drove away from Hamilton cemented his win. Over in 3 laps. And faultless.

  61. Darren says:

    Well, I guess that’s pretty unanimous then! Kimi was fantastic. I can’t remember the last time there was an exciting chase down for the lead under normal conditions (by that I mean no rain or other factors like Buttons win in Canada, Hamiltons in China etc). Someone will no doubt say there was one not long ago but it feels like ages, most of the exciting battles have been midfield.

    Grosjean was also good, good pace and mature driving. Di Riesta also deserves an honorable mention, he drove a very mature race. He chose not to fight when Webber passed him, although yes that probably denied us the potential battle but it was inevitable that Webber was going to pass so why loose more time fending him off, excellent drive.

    Never thought I would say this but that was quite an exciting Bahrain GP!

  62. jay harte says:

    Kimi driver of the day no question .
    James of the the upcoming tracks which one would you fancy a kimi/lotus win at ?
    Im thinking montreal as it is usually safety car affected which will not let vettel/hamilton build up a huge lead early on. any thoughts ?

    1. James Allen says:

      I think they are quite quick everywhere, especially warm locations. Depends on the rate of development of them and rivals

  63. Keith Read says:

    I voted for Paul di Resta. Although the who, by leaving his first pot stop very late actually led the race for one lap, as did Grojean.
    My absolute driving hero of the day is the Manama taxi driver who got all those fans to the circuit. How else could all those alleged 28000 fans have got to the circuit. Aerial photos of the circuit on Sunday show the car parks, behind the main grandstand, to be almost empty.

    By the way James what colour was the wristband worn by the spectators? Was it bright green as shown in the FOM photos of a packed grandstand?

    Photos of Button climbing into his car on the grid show a half empty grandstand in the background

    1. James Allen says:

      Not sure what aerial photos you looked at, but my view across the car parks from the grandstand was that there were many cars there. 28,000 isn’t just over a quarter of the Silverstone crowd

  64. Richard D says:

    I think too many people vote for their favourite driver rather than the one that actually did the best! So if you ask the question, who achieved most out of the machinery available it has to be DiResta! The Lotus was clearly very good this weekend but was Kimi that much more special as his rookie team mate finished only seconds behind? Kimi has a big fan base; say no more!

    1. etcyu says:

      go watch the race and say no more

  65. Nando says:

    Kimi. The fresh tyres gave him the edge, but he still had to come through the field.
    Vettel impressive but far easier to keep the tyres in shape when you’re leading. Only came under real pressure for a few laps; on similar tyres, last stint, the Renault didn’t have an advantage.
    Honourable mention for Di Riesta.

  66. Mohan says:

    Kimi broke my heart. Would have been happy if he had won. He overtook more cars in this one race than his entire last year of racing.

  67. Trixie says:

    Kimi, driver of the day for sure. Only 4th race on his comeback and he’s driving like he’s never been away for two years.
    True to his words, he made it to the podium and was honest and candid enough to admit to his errors which cost him the win.
    Kimi’s back where he belongs. Let’s hope Lotus keep up with developments to provide him a winning car.

    My 2nd vote goes to Di Resta for making a 2 stopper work, fighting off Alonso right to the very end. Good drive, Paul.

  68. Magos says:

    Vettel! Hat-Trick!!!

  69. Chris says:

    Kimi all the way for me… but there were drives that were better than Massa, I can’t even contemplate how he made the shortlist.

    *MSC had a pretty decent drive from 22nd to 10th.

    *LH pulled off some great passes and looked much faster than his team mate despite Mclaren doing their best to riddle their collective feet with bullets.

  70. Wu says:

    Must be Massa for me… impressed me a lot this race, and shown that he can still do it when he gets his act together. Also laughed at Brundle’s dry “Felipe is faster than you” comment.

    1. Anthony says:

      Massa? WHAT? For being half a second off alonso’s pace in qualy and 2 places behind in the race? come on!!!

    2. Anthony says:

      If he impressed you, then I guess you’re still overwhelmed by Kimi/Grosjean/DiResta and cannot even type how you feel!!!

  71. Allan says:

    Lotus certainly looked sharp in the race and may have been the best car on the day. Kimi did have to come up through the field, but he also had fresh tires each each round. As we saw last year, in some races with fast tire degradation, this can be a significant advantage.

    So, it is hard to pick between the top three for this one. I know a lot of people here are against Vettel, but he drove very well under pressure. Kimi had an intelligent and agressive race, and Romain broke through. I wilsh I could vote for all three. At the end of the day, I chose Vettel. Defending under pressure is a real challenge.

  72. elie says:

    Absolutely Kimi then daylight to the next driver.Honestly he made everyone look like amateurs out there. That was beautiful to watch- controlled aggression that maybe only Alonso sometimes has.
    As for Mercedes- how on earth can they get away with that. If that were Hamilton he would get 20 sec for each incident. Must be Ross Brawn magic tongue to officials again!

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      elie, post 71 explains the tyres situation perfectly.

      As to your point about Kimi’s controlled aggression, only Alonso displays it all the time.
      With Kimi it’s on occasion.

      1. etcyu says:

        you dont finished 2nd from 11th with fresh sets of tyres solely…..dont forget his front wing was damaged, and the technical director spotted a drop in aero performance….or else he could hv enough speed to nail that move on vettel~~~

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        Maybe, maybe not.
        Webber finished 3rd in China last year after starting 18th.

      3. elie says:

        I hear you on the tyres but to pass 9 of the best inc your quick team mate on the high deg track and to make it seem so easy. Even Schumi feared Kimi when he was winning- drivers know who is the best.
        I dont get how people go Sebastian when he started on pole and nearly got passed by 11th!. Yes he did win but this is about drives. Huge rap on Di Resta drive also.
        As for Why Maclaren would sign Kimi-he is much faster than Jenson & he won races forMclaren when Nobody could.
        Think Lotus will be consistent next year anyway- he should stay.

      4. hero_was_senna says:

        elie, you may want to read James book about Schumacher “the edge on greatness”
        Schumacher respected Kimi and Montoya etc, but it was when Alonso was testing for Renault in 2002, not race-driving, that when asked, Schumacher identified him as the one he feared.
        I’d read that in interviews myself back in 2001 and 2002, but the book reminded me.
        In the same way, Senna identified Schumacher as he heir in 1991/92, not Hakkinen, or any other driver.

      5. etcyu says:

        who cares schumi identify whom as his successor?? i dont give a crap to these things~~ deep down we all know kimi is great driver with the best natural talent ever, he nvr plays tricks, always fair on the track, and nvr bother about PR activity as his job is to race. The true racer compare to the rest on the grid~~

      6. elie says:

        I dont doubt Schumacher was great. He WAS my favourite. But ANY driver who does what he did to Damon Hill, Jacqies Villeneuve, and more recently Rubens Barichello -is low and should not be allowed on a race track.!
        When Kimi came to F1 he was (and remains) a breathe of fresh air.! No BS, unbelievably aggressive, smooth, fair and has remained so. Same for Fernando I can hardly split them but Kimi is better at passi.ng than anyone

      7. hero_was_senna says:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYKtqJZhq2g

        Listen to the commentary, even James was exclaiming out loud. This to me is the best pass I’ve ever seen.
        Renault’s telemetry showed Alonso’s entry speed into this corner was 208mph, and that was against Schumacher.
        Personally I feel Alonso, Hamilton and Webber are better overtakers, but everyone has different ideas.

        I don’t disagree with your comments regarding Kimi, but personally I like someone who is a little more passionate about a sport I love.
        Watch any football match and witness a team after scoring a goal. The crowd ( us ) goes absolutely crazy and the players run around like lunatics, lol.
        I don’t follow football but have the same outpouring of emotion watching F1. I want to see the driver express himself and show he shares the same emotion as us. I watched Kimi for 3 years at Ferrari and always felt that his non BS attitude, whilst admirable none too endearing.

      8. elie says:

        Definitely Kimi does not show emotion is a little annoying at times. But I dont doubt his passion for the sport. Look up Hamilton & Kimi at Spa 2008? On utube. These two are the best overtakers in the business, and in terms of raw natural speed they are the fastest. Agree Fernando is likely just as quick–I dont think any other drivers have their tenacity skill..Webber -no chance, he will always get beaten in a dual Seb will beat him from now on you watch now that he has sorted out set up on RB-8

  73. Michael S says:

    Can’t say enough about Kimi’s drive… part of me is a little miffed they did not get Romain out of his way while his tires were fresh to go after Seb sooner. on the other hand 2nd and 3rd is a lot of points for Lotus and perhaps next go they will be more agresive in strategy

  74. Andrew says:

    Vettel I guess….

    I really object to all this praise on the Lotus drivers, they only performed well because their cars worked on these ridiculous 2012 Pirelli’s.

    The only drivers that out performed their team mates were Vettel and Di Resta and this is only because they managed their tyres better. I couldn’t care less who managed their tyres better, I want to see the fastest drivers out performing their cars – clearly on these current tyres drivers are unable to do this.

    All this praise for Raikkonen’s 2nd place is a distraction, the race was a farce in my opinion.

    1. Sri says:

      “I really object to all this praise on the Lotus drivers, they only performed well because their cars worked on these ridiculous 2012 Pirelli’s.”

      This age old-debate of man and machine never ends, right? How can you prove that Vettel’s was not due to the car (to let you know: Vettel and Webber do not have the same car either)? It is better then to not vote for anyone if you don’t know whether it is due to car or due to the driver.

      1. Andrew says:

        I didn’t vote for anyone, it is a ridiculous poll. Any of the other drivers could have been driver of the day, it is virtually impossible to tell who is outperforming their car when the opertating conditions for these new tyres are so limited. It is vitually impossible for the fastest drivers to shine.

        Vettel’s drive looked good but so far this season everybody that has led into the first corner has won apart from Hamilton in Malaysia (where the restart and rain massively effected the outcome). This is obviously because it is much easier to manage the tyres in clean air.

        So much for this “new exciting F1″, pole position is more crucial than ever as anybody behind another car is at a huge dissadvantage.

      2. Angelina says:

        Andrew,Sri
        Vettel and Webber do have the same car.
        So we cannot say Vettel won because of car as his teammate was behind both the Lotus cars.

        Lotus drivers were 2 and 3. Kimi only beat his teammate to be 2nd(although starting 11th in a faster car with more new tires left).
        Vettel also beat the fast Lotus cars.

  75. carly says:

    Kimi – without a doubt

    James , is Kimi the most popular of the present day drivers – his comeback can only be good for the sport – what do you think?

    1. James Allen says:

      He certainky has a huge fan base.mnotvsure if he’s most popular

      1. etcyu says:

        throughout the globe….Kimi has the biggest fans base all around the world~!! Alonso and Lewis are more of a homesoil kids with huge support from their native~~ well finland is too small to overcome that number, nevertheless the globe loves him =)

  76. Rob Gregory says:

    I think its a sad state of affairs that Massa should even make the shortlist for Driver of hte Day for coming in 9th. sure it was his best performance of the year, but thats not exactly difficult after the previous races this season

  77. hero_was_senna says:

    James, is there any significance to the 1st four places being Renault powered cars?
    Ferrari said before Bahrain, that this circuit would be a poor one for them. Is there something within the Renault’s performance that suits the circuits characteristics?

    In China, Mercedes and Mclaren were the dominant cars, both Merc powered of course.

    1. KRB says:

      Rosberg’s team radio at the end said he had a cracked exhaust, and isn’t that what happened with Button? The ultra-reliable McLaren (from winter testing) hasn’t been that reliable in the four flyaways.

  78. Grant says:

    Good to see Kimi on the podium and Lotus (Renault) do well. Always been a fan of Kimi and his driving approach. Good to see Webber get a good start off the line (without KERS) and secure 4th place. Also, Massa showed some of his old skills, so hopefully this may turn things around for him. Amazing how varying temperature plays such a massive part in engine and tyre performance. Dare say the Renault powered teams are praying for sunny days ahead. Will be interesting to see what the pecking order is after the next round of tests in May and updates to cars, which will no doubt change everything again. 3 drivers within 5 points for the Championship….can’t wait for Spain !

  79. Persi says:

    Bit off topic but does anyone think Sky’s David Croft makes quite a lot of mistakes? Every race so far I think. And more than one mistake per race. He sometimes blames lack of graphic but you can spot the drivers from the car + helmet (besides Vettel most use the same). I do like the Brundle/Croft combo but I think Croft needs to polish up his act, he’s meant to be a professional afterall.

  80. Marc says:

    I voted Kimi he brings an exciting blend of talent and controlled agression in the car and so cool out of the car lol. He even acknowledged his teamate as he passed him at the finish of the main straight. Paul Diresta gets the second vote a mature and great performance. What a season so far bring it on !!

  81. Angelina says:

    poll not pole

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