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Posted By: James Allen  |  11 Jun 2012   |  8:24 am GMT  |  137 comments

This is one of the toughest to call Driver of the Day polls we’ve had on JA on F1: Lewis Hamilton produced a stunning driver to become the seventh winner in as many races when he triumphed in an exciting Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.

But the race saw some exceptional performances from other drivers, like Grosjean and Perez who made the tyres last and took podiums, while Alonso and Vettel were both on top at various stages, but lost out on strategy.

So who was your driver of the day? Please vote below and leave a comment if you want as well.

Lewis Hamilton

Began the weekend in the perfect fashion, finishing fastest in both Friday practice sessions and appeared pleased with the car’s pace. Struggled a bit on Saturday as the track temperatures warmed up, but saved a fresh set of tyres for Q3 and qualified on the front row in second. Kept paced with leader Sebastian Vettel and then jumped him during the first round of stops. Came out behind Fernando Alonso but passed him straight away. Led the middle part of the race but dropped back to third when he made second stop as Alonso and Vettel tried a one-stopper. With fresher tyres, he caught them both and passed them before easing to his first victory of the season and 18th of his career. He also took the lead in the drivers’ standings.

Romain Grosjean

Qualified a strong seventh, five places ahead of Lotus team-mate Kimi Raikkonen and made a good start to maintain position. Looked after his tyres well so that he could make a one-stop strategy work. Passed Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber when the two were forced to make a second stop and then eased by Alonso who was struggling on worn tyres. Crossed the line just two-and-a-half seconds behind winner Hamilton for his second podium of the season.

Sergio Perez

Made a mistake on his final qualifying timed lap, and struggled with the brakes, to miss out on Q3. Started 15th but showed good pace and made a couple of early passes. Made a one-stop strategy work by completing an incredible 41 laps on his first set of tyres and then strong pace late on, which saw him set a series of fastest laps, enabled him to fight his way by an ailing Alonso and up to third for his second podium of the season.

Sebastian Vettel

Was reasonably happy with his pace on Friday, but really came into his own in qualifying. Dominated each of the three sessions to secure his 32nd pole position of his career. Made a brilliant start to surge away in the lead however, Hamilton started to catch him as they approached the first stops. Was the first of the leaders to stop and lost out as both Alonso and Hamilton jumped him. Tried a one-stop strategy, but his tyres started to go off and he was forced to pit from third late on. Battled back to pass Alonso and finish fourth.

Fernando Alonso

Showed good pace on Friday following a raft of new updates, finishing second ahead of Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa in second practice. Qualified an impressive third and kept up with Vettel and Hamilton in the early stages. Jumped Vettel at the first stops after staying out longer and briefly led before Hamilton past him after coming out of the pits. Retook the lead when Hamilton made his second stop, but the decision to try a one-stop meant he lacked pace on aging tyres. Was passed by Hamilton, Grosjean, Perez and Vettel before holding on for fifth.up to 10th in the constructors’ championship.

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  1. It may be a cliche to vote for the winner, but Hamilton deserved it all the way.
    Excellent tire management, had the pace to push more, controlled the race and fought well.
    I happened to be a co-host for the commentary studio for the local national TV, so we had access to all resources and it was very good experience, so watching Hamilton pursing the win in all possible ways was very pleasant.

    1. Wayne says:

      I’ve got a crisp tenner for you Bernie if you sort it so that Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel can go balls-out racing each other on tyres that do not dicate the racing!

      1. Termagent says:

        Bernie doesn’t need your crisp tenner. A crisp ten billion might do it. :)

      2. AussieRod says:

        If Bernie accepted your tenner then all three would have one-stopped and the last 50 laps would have been processional.

        Thanks again to Pirelli for another exciting grand prix.

      3. Wayne says:

        Not even remotely true, Canada has almost never been a procession.

      4. Wayne says:

        “Though preservation – of tyres, of engines, of machinery, of concentration – has always been part of F1 and always will be, the pinnacle of motorsport should always have pace as its primary point.”

      5. Aussie Rod says:

        I didn’t say “Canada would be a procession”. It is a great track and produces fantastic racing.

        What I did say was that the last 50 laps after the top 3 had stopped (knowing now that there was no safety car; knowing that in the second stint Hamilton was edging ahead of Alonso who was in turn edging ahead of Vettel before any tire deg set in), would have been processional between these three.

        With tires not degrading and hence not changing the status quo, there is no reason to expect the battle for the top 3 would have been half as interesting as what we saw.

      6. legend345 says:

        You’re absolutely spot on AussieRod. Wayne, you have been whinging after almost every race. As if you are praying for a dull and processional race. I get the feeling your last name begins and ends with the two initials of Kimi Raikkonen.

      7. DMyers says:

        Tyres have always dictated the racing, or lack thereof.

      8. Wayne says:

        This statement is getting tedious – they have never dictated the racing to the extent they are doing this year is the point.

      9. Simon Lord says:

        The most boring statement in this (or any other) race report is ‘jumped him during the first round of pit stops’. I prefer to see my overtaking on the track, and DRS and the differing tyre strategies at least encourage that.

      10. James Allen says:

        Well you got two passes for the lead in this GP, so you can’t really complain about that.

      11. Richard says:

        This is very annoying point – ok so maybe the drop off was a little much (4 sec instead of say 1 sec, per lap) but ultimately it would have been much closer racing if the teams had all pitted their lead drivers wihtin 2-3 laps of each other.

        Alonso would have had a chance of victory, and leading the GP, even if he had pitted. They tried a different strategy, which was interesting and made the race v exciting in a different way, but that the racing overtakes were so lame (ie made very easily) was as much DRS and Montreal’s extremely long straight as it was tyres.

        Ultimately strategy played it’s part here, nothing to do with tyres. They should have all pitted and then gone racing on new rubber! Although I actually loved it, as an Alonso/Ferrari fan, that they tried to go for something different to win the race.

      12. Kieren says:

        James Allen Reply:
        June 12th, 2012 at 8:15 am

        Well you got two passes for the lead in this GP, so you can’t really complain about that.

        Well I guess this is very much a case of be careful what you wish for. I don’t really care how many passes I see, even for the lead. What I want to see is a battle for position. Neither of these passes were a battle at all. The first one made possible because of DRS was about as exciting overtaking a lorry on the motorway. I guess at least the second one had us waiting for Lewis to reel in the leaders. I remember the days of Murray commentating and saying things like “it’s one thing to catch up but another thing to pass”. Now we know if one car is catching another he *will* pass.

        Don’t get me wrong, I like that the tyres drop off. Without it we wouldn’t have had the split strategy that made this race exciting. But I don’t see many other racing playing out like this; the drop off is too costly even if a driver is kind to his tyres. It just needs a little tuning to get it right, there was a glimmer of hope this weekend. Maybe we don’t need the two tyre compound rule anymore.

        But we need to ditch DRS…

      13. Nazdakka says:

        That was a very entertaining race. I’m glad the tyres and DRS let us see more races like that one.

      14. Paul Kirk says:

        You obviously support the WTC and the WAC and the WLC, but don’t care about the WDC! (World Tyre Championship, the World Aerodynamic Championship, and the World Luck Championship).
        PK.

  2. Andy says:

    Perez just pips Grojean for driver of the day. Hamilton drove a fantastic race but making a one stop work to finish third from fifteenth, Perez deserves it for me. He was showing some genuine pace, as was Grojean, so their results were well deserved.

    1. Jeb Hoge says:

      Agreed. I was going to vote Hamilton because that was a blinder he drove, but I didn’t realize Perez had started that far back!

    2. PopsTwitTar says:

      This. Lewis had a great drive, but he didn’t have to manage his tires, and he was racing guys who were.

    3. Will N says:

      I’ll second that. I’m a bit Lewis fan, but you’ve gotta give it to Perez…

    4. Andrew says:

      So tyre management is more important to some people than actually driving the car fast? Strange.

      1. Andy says:

        Surely by finishing 2nd and 3rd they drove faster than the other 21 drivers.
        One of the main reasons people give for disliking the Pirelli tyres is that the driver cannot drive flat out. One of my hates is the teams deliberately under fuelling the car, which also means the driver cannot drive flat out. The example in Montreal was Rosberg. On lap 9 we heard his engineer telling him he needed to save fuel and to LIFT and COAST. As the pit radio is delayed, Rosberg would have been told this on Lap 8 or earlier. Lap 8 and you are told to lift and coast! How does this fit in with driving the car fast, on the limit etc?

      2. Andrew says:

        “Surely by finishing 2nd and 3rd they drove faster than the other 21 drivers.”

        They did go relatively fast but they also did one less pitstop than most people (saving 15+ seconds) hence all the praise for the fabled ‘tyre management’.

        I actually think driver skill differentials in the realm of “tyre management” are over emphasised (see Button), the car and the cars setup are much more important than how smooth the driver is on their tyres or how close to a lap Delta they can drive.

        I agree that fuel saving also limits a drivers ability to push to the limit (although to a lesser extent). I think banning refueling was a mistake.

      3. Kay says:

        By finishing second and third they didn’t drive faster, but their car’s performance on tyres allowed them to out-drive other elites i.e. Vettel and Alonso having cars that don’t do well on tyres.

        It’s like you fit a Toyota Corolla with slicks driven by Trulli and a Ferrari 458 with ice-skates driven by Alonso and then you claim the Toyota is faster and the driver is better. What a lot of nonsense.

      4. Paul Kirk says:

        Totally agree, Andrew! Definately STRANGE!!!
        I personally am keen to follow the WDC, I don’t give a stuf about the WTC! (World Tyre Championship)!
        PK
        In fact I find it somewhat frustrating! (To put it mildly!)
        Actually it shouldn’t evan be called a “World” championship, just a championship. (And evan that’s stretching it).

  3. DaveL says:

    The tyre management was good but they only got 2nd and 3rd because Ferrari and Red Bull cocked up.

    1. shinhawk says:

      Well yeah, capitalizing on the mistakes of others is what you do in competition. The fact that Grosjean and Perez can maintain fast laps and keep the tyre life longer than others shows what kind of skills they have.

      1. Alan P says:

        No, Chassis and setup dictate a lot of the tyre use. Using tyre performance at the right time is also proving crucial this year.

        Did you see Hamilton’s drive in Barcelona ?

        Lewis pulled off the Holy Grail of F1, a pass for the lead, twice if I remember correctly.

        Look at all the rare passes for the lead in recent years, it has almost always been Lewis.

        Watching his 2 title rivals not only get beaten, but slip off the podium was fantastic, alonso was left to crow that he had 10 points more than Button or Raikkonen… This he felt he needed to mention twice in 2 minutes, another glimpse of the crackpot mentality that is one of his biggest flaws.

      2. DMyers says:

        The Holy Grail is winning the championship, surely?

      3. Peter C says:

        Oops…….just waiting for the hornets nest to erupt.
        The one you just poked with a stick!

        However, I can only agree with you.

      4. PopsTwitTar says:

        Sorry, but as great a passer as Lewis is, these were not ones for his personal highlight reel. He was passing people going 3 seconds a lap slower.

  4. Tolga YILDIRIM says:

    This one is really tricky cause looking at hamilton,his blistering speed,management of tyres and composure,he is the driver of the day. However when you look at the young mexican and the machinery under his disposal. I think he showed everybody that in today’s modern f1 fastest car is not requred for a very good result. He managed some brave moves (such on nico) and raced very consistently and effectively to go for third. He is evolving and for sure he needs a lot to develop but coming to 3rd spot with a sauber starting from 15 is always remarkable

  5. Raymond YZJ says:

    James – why limit the number of votables to 5? In this case my driver of the day was in the choices, but who knows – maybe someone else thought Rosberg was the driver of the day? Or someone else?

    1. Kirk says:

      If someone thought Rosberg was the driver of the day, it is extremely unlikely they watched the race.

      At the end of the day, five may be limited, but can you really think of anyone else that had a good drive? I agree with the point above that luck had a lot to do with it for Perez and Grojean, but including Vettel is a stretch really. He had a nice first 10 laps, but that was the limit of his abilities for the day.

      1. Peter C says:

        Jenson Button?

      2. Kay says:

        You gotta be kidding…

      3. Peter C says:

        Er…………yes.

      4. Raymond YZJ says:

        Hey Kirk – the comment was not actually aimed at this driver of the day post in particular. It was a general, broad sweeping comment at the way driver of the day works here at the JA on F1 website. Someone might (it could happen) want to nominate/vote for someone else that wasn’t in the top 5.

      5. Kirk says:

        Fair enough, I was being a bit facetious anyhow.

        But I do think you have to stop somewhere, and a fifth of the field seems reasonable.

  6. Joe B says:

    Hamilton was a different class yesterday, long may it continue! I was astounded at Ferarri and Red Bull both making such a huge strategy error. Long may that also continue… :D

  7. Tlux says:

    There is only one choice, Lewis Hamilton.

    Perez and Grojean lucked into 2nd and 3rd. I think Alonso and Vettel were playing the long game(ie championship) and only trying to cover each other.

    But seriously, how did Ferrari and Red Bull make such a massive mistake? Alonso finished 13.4 seconds back, and was lucky to not end up 6th.

    In a sport where millions are spent on 10th’s of a second, how can a team mess up strategy by 13.4 seconds?

    1. Søren Kühle says:

      They took a gamble, it did’nt work. Simple.
      Points for trying though. :)

      It seems that all the teams are more or less in the dark in terms of tyre deg. If a butterfly flaps it’s wings at the end of the straight, it means 2 laps less on the tyres. It is getting ridicoulus. But it is only a matter of time before some engineer finds the solution. Until then it’s lottery grandprix’s (Which is entertaining to some extent, but I’d rather see the likes of Hamilton, and Vettel and Alonso duking it out on more nonrandom playingfield. But the current formula is probably good for business).

    2. shinhawk says:

      If they remain too focused on one person, someone else is going to pick them off before they know it. By the time Romain and Perez got into the picture, it was too late for them to do anything.

      Even in the long run, if they get picked off by the smaller players here and there, it’ll cost them.

    3. Aaron95 says:

      Ferrari and Red Bull gambled. If they pitted for tyres when Hamilton did they were going to finish where they were – 2nd and 3rd.

      Instead they gambled to try and get the win. They stayed out knowing if the tyres lasted to the end then one of them would have won the race. If the tyres didn’t last they were going to lose several places. As it turned out the tyres didn’t last and they ended up 4th and 5th.

      Can’t blame them for trying. Surely that’s a better thing for the sport than teams just settling for a nice safe 2nd place.

    4. Elie says:

      “Lucked in” from 15th place- Cummonn man! Are you kidding.! Yeah sure Vettel and Alonso messed up on strategy. But both Romaine and Sergio had to come a long way to take them.! Also they beat Sebastian on one less stop and that’s Phenomimal! Respect where its due. I thought Romain at first but might change that to Sergio because he came from much further back. Not taking anything away from Lewis he drove exceptionally and thoroughly deserved the win.

      1. Kirk says:

        I think the point is that if Alonso and Vettel came in for tyres around lap 50 too, they’d have ended up 2nd and 3rd. Because they didn’t, Grojean and Perez got past, which despite impressive drives from both of them, they didn’t necessarily deserve. Both did an excellent job, and got some purple laps in, but Alonso and Vettel should have been 2nd and 3rd had the teams been doing their strategy properly.

      2. speedy_bob says:

        “Because they didn’t, Grojean and Perez got past”
        And what if Perez and Grosjean would have double stopped too? If you give Alonso the benefit of “would have been faster if stopped twice”, it woudl only be fair to give P&R the same benefit.
        Who knows just how much P&R held back to save their tyres? Saving tyres and still putting in purple times…how’s that not impressive enough?

      3. Kirk says:

        Oh, it is very impressive. Completely. And to make the tyres last that long (what was Perez first stint – 42 laps or something silly?) just shows how great they can be.

        But Alonso only had the tyres for 3 laps longer than Grojean. I don’t know, and I’m no fan of Alonso, but is he really that bad a driver to make the tyres go off that quickly? Or is it the car? There’s no doubt that Grojean and Perez are both very light on tyres, but there’s also no doubt that the Lotus and the Sauber are too.

        I just think it was a bad call by the teams in this case, rather than necessarily poor driving.

      4. Max Smoot says:

        Agree completely — Grosjean and Perez both played the long game perfectly, pushed when they needed to and stayed out of trouble. The short pit entry and exit didn’t appeal enough to the one stoppers who saw pace and patience as bigger advantages. RG and SP are showing up their more storied teammates and will feature on the top step yet.

    5. James Encore says:

      Ferrari and Red Bull got it wrong, but it wasn’t that easy to predict when they made the call. If they had followed Hamilton in they’d have made sure of 2nd and 3rd. They didn’t know what he would do to his tyres chasing them down, and what would happen to theirs in the meantime. Their only chance to beat him was to stay out and hope. By the time it was clear Hamilton was going to catch and pass them, they’d lost too much time to Perez and Grosjean to stop and get out in front of them. So they gambled on keeping in front rather than putting new tyres on and getting past.
      Alonso not copying Vettel left him open to getting reeled in but from the Ferrari pit wall that must have looked like a crazy move. Hindsight’s always 20-20: if you could predict staying out would cost Alonso the win (never mind a Podium) on Lap 50, you can choose my lottery numbers any time :-)

      1. jeff says:

        Given the topsy-turvy nature of this season, Fernando and Seb may come to rue those missed podium spots at the end of the year. Lewis was quoted earlier on this year as saying that he was going for consistent finishes, rather than race wins (though taking the wins when they’re offered).

        Had it not been for McLaren’s strategy and pit blunders this year, Lewis would have been leading the championship by over 50 points by now. Even with those problems, he’s now top of the heap, helped largely by consistently grabbing whatever points have been on offer in the races.

        Alonso in particular was the big loser this weekend. He should have taken the 2nd place and maintained lead of the championship. Now he’s been displaced, and he may not get it back.

      2. Steve G says:

        Similarly, Lewis may come to rue not pushing harder in some of those races. Alonso the “big loser” is only 2pts behind in the championship, history isn’t going to care who was leading the championship in June – but who is leading it at the end.

        Hamilton finally wins a race in a season where 6 others have already done so and already people are awarding him the WDC!

    6. Daniel Hoyes says:

      I think it was entirely the right thing to try from Alonso and Vettel’s point of view. Alonso was only 4 laps away from winning the race, and a safety car at any point in the last half of the race (a likely prospect in Canada given the tyre degredation and amount of walls) could have easily taken the win away from Hamilton.

      I’m not saying it wasn’t a gamble, but it was reasonable to think the main threat would come from two-stoppers on newer tyres, and Rosberg and Webber were too far behind. Remember Grosjean and Perez were on very similar strategies, and for them to be so much faster on the end was incredibly impressive. I can’t see how they lucked into it at all.

      Neither can I see how it was such a bad decision from Alonso and Vettel. When Bernie proposed his medals idea, it was the hardcore fans that hated it the most. Ok, it wasnt a serious idea but there was a solid point behind it – F1 had become too much about driving for points and not proper racing. Given the evidence at the time, Alonso made entirely the right call. Not the call an engineer or mathematician would make (or an F1 fan it seems), but the call a proper racer would make.

      1. Søren Kühle says:

        exactly! a racer’s choice.

      2. jeff says:

        Surely a safety car after Lewis’ last stop would only have benefited Lewis? The gap to Alonso and Vettel would have closed down to zero, leaving them sitting ducks on worn tyres. Had the safety car came before Lewis’ stop, Romain or Sergio would probably have taken the Chequered flag on better preserved rubber.

        As it was, Fernando and Seb’s tyres fell off a cliff, and on newer rubber Lewis was closing at 2, then 3 seconds per lap. Definitely a blunder from Ferrari, and to a lesser extent from Red bull with Seb, who did eventually realise that pitting was beneficial, allowing him to leapfrog Fernando before the end.

    7. Steve G says:

      The same way Mclaren can stuff up a tyre change twice in one race I assume.

      1. jeff says:

        To be fair to McLaren, only the second tyre stop was slow last sunday. I think the first tyre stop was so fast that Lewis was surprised when they told him to go, and hence he muffed his launch :-)

      2. Steve G says:

        Not the race being referred to.

    8. Daniel MA says:

      They where expecting a safety car, and who can blame them? but anyway I’m sure they’ll play it safe for the next race.

    9. Matthew Yau says:

      Read Gary Anderson’s review of the race. Ferrari should not have made such a catstrophic strategy call. They had three chances to pit him. Personally, I knew it wasn’t a good sign to leave him out when Hamilton pitted.

      Hamilton isn’t that hard on his tyres and he was leading (so running in clean air) yet his tyres were still going off. There was no way Alonso or Vettel would have lasted.

    10. JB says:

      Lucked into 2nd and 3rd? wow….
      To me Perez is definitely driver to the day. Hamilton is in a top team and started 2nd place. He has been fast all weekend, so it is not a surprise that he won.

      Perez started 15th on a driving a mid-range car and end up 3rd. He made the 1stop work, and still able to keep up with the top runners.

  8. AuraF1 says:

    It is a tough call, I think you could easily make a case for several DOTD but I’ve voted for Lewis just for the determination he showed in catching. It may have been an advantage of fresher tyres but if you saw how close he pushed it to the wall on every lap you knew he wasn’t holding back – risking it all for a win. Which is kind of the reason Lewis was famous in the first place. He doesn’t do conservative.

  9. Rich Tysoe says:

    I have to say Grosjean as, despite the fact he didnp;t win, he did a perfect tyre management job to get the better of two drivers who really should be able to do a better job of it. Had McLaren not brought Lewis in when they did, the Lotus could have taken the win.

    1. Peter C says:

      If my Auntie had balls………you know the rest.

  10. Rob Newman says:

    It is very difficult to decide if it is Grosjean or Perez. Both were brilliant. But I will give it to Perez because he started way back in 15th and did some fantastic overtakes on track.

    1. Daniel MA says:

      Yes, you have to wonder if Grosjean or Pérez would have won if they had qualified a couple of places ahead, but we’ll never know.

  11. Stickymart says:

    It is a tough call this week because of the efforts of Perez and Romain but Lewis pretty much nailed it all weekend. Good qualifying and then drove the car exceptionally well on the day to get the win. During the first stages of the race he never let Vettel get too far ahead and then drove the a*se off the car at the end to nail him and Alonso. Superb win for Hamilton, but what the dickens is going on with Button? If he doesn’t improve it could hurt Mclaren’s constructor run. Did anyone see the post race interview, he looked shattered.

    1. scottd says:

      I really feel for Jenson. There is clearly a major problem in setting the car up to his tastes. There is no way that this result is reflective of the relative skills of Button and Hamilton, as no one stops being a world class driver overnight. Personally I think I would be insisting on a precautionary chassis change. Either way, I hope his form improves soon for the show.

  12. Dave Aston says:

    Perez.

  13. Andy says:

    Tough one. All the top 3 deserve it, but Perez just pips it for me given where he started.

    An almost faultless race from Lewis (only the getaway from the first pitstop blotting his copybook), Grosjean answering his critics somewhat by completing more than two laps and once again Perez’ tyre management looking superb. Really can’t wait to see him in a more competitive car next year. (Although the 2012 Sauber isn’t too shabby).

    It’s just a shame that we were denied seeing some real wheel-to-wheel racing due to the DRS being too easy in Canada. Before Lewis passed Alonso, he did make a half-hearted attempt up the inside of the hairpin, but wisely backed out of it. He would have a distinct advantage down the straight knowing Alonso could only make one move, so Lewis would simply throw a dummy and then go the other side. Either way, Fernando could do nothing about it.

    1. Andrew Barker says:

      At times DRS may look easy but what happened when a train of cars were stuck behind Di Resta nobody passed and anyway even without DRS Lewis would have passed them anyway and anywhere with fresher tyres so many of these moves were probably tyre related by getting better traction out of the hairpin.

      Kind Regards

      Andrew Barker

  14. Frank Oosterhuis says:

    Lewis was absolutely flying in Canada1
    Brilliant drive!

    Fernando and Sebastian messed up their strategy by not adding an extra stop when it was obvious they needed to.

  15. Andrew says:

    Only one driver lapped their team mate (who also happened to be a former world chapionship winner) and that was Lewis Hamilton, awesome drive.

    1. Mitchel says:

      +1.

      It is amazing how Button’s poor form is quietly swept under the carpet. When it’s Hamilton, the world is on his back!

      1. Mark Williams says:

        I think the reason for this is because Lewis has a massive amount of expectation on his shoulders. People see him as the best talent Britain has produced in F1 for years and when he’s not performing people become upset. On the other hand Jenson has never had this kind of expectation on his shoulders. A lot of people don’t rate Jenson alongside Lewis, although his stock has gone up since joining McLaren for sure.

      2. Arne says:

        You are definetly right on that one. If hamilton makes a mistake the critisism he gets is highly overated. But I see it as a compliment. He is the Michael Jackson of F1! Anyone agree?

      3. Nathan Jones says:

        +1, and +1 again.

        I don’t think any F1 site can be said to be an exception to this phenomenon. They were all over Hamilton’s misfortunes last year. Relentless.

        With Button there is the odd token mention that he performed weakly, but nothing like the microscope attention that was blasted over Hamilton. And absolutely no mention of the McLaren intra-team rivalry/who-is-No.1-at-McLaren detail that the journos loved to write about last year.

        When Button beat Hamilton last year, the only thing I heard from BBCF1 was that “Button has got into Hamilton’s head”. That never was a factor then, and it’s not a factor here, but why not the same questions now?

      4. Jan De Boer says:

        “Button has got into Hamilton’s head”

        Well, Hamilton’s inserted a Pneumatic Drill in Button’s head this year…Jense looks confused.

      5. James Allen says:

        It’s not Hamilton. It’s the tyres and the warm up of the fronts in particular.

      6. Jan De Boer says:

        James, your logic, I’m very sure, is spot on. However, referring to the argument put forward by Nathan Jones, Lewis was attacked by the media last year for being unable to look after his tyres. Relentless. The argument was, “everyone is in the same boat”. JB was hailed as a tyre master.

        This year, isn’t it ironic that Lewis has clearly demonstrated that he can look after his tyres (Spain), whilst JB can’t look after his? After all, aren’t they all in the same boat?

        Food for thought.

      7. Simmo says:

        Bear in mind Hamilton had an entire bad season, Button has only had 2 bad races.

      8. blackmamba says:

        actually, Jenson has only managed to score in just 3 races. the other 4 are an embarrassment.

      9. Simon says:

        An entire bad season? In the 19 races of 2011, even with his problems, Hamilton had 10 podiums including three wins and finished in 5th place in the WDC, 43 points behind Button.

        So far, out of 7 races this season, Jenson has two podiums to Lewis’ four and is already how many points behind Lewis? 43.

      10. Matthew Yau says:

        Button is having engineering issues that he and his team are trying to fix. I agree about the expectation thing but failing due to set-up issues is less prominent than failing due to driver-error, which Lewis had a lot of last year.

      11. Nathan Jones says:

        Totally disagree.

        Driver error is exactly that. ie. an error of judgement. It doesn’t mean you can’t drive well, it means you screwed up.

        Engineering issues relate to your ability/inability to drive around problems with your car. If you can drive around a problem with your car’s set up, how is that different from being able to drive a car that is not very good? It is equivalent, in my view. Of course, if you can’t drive around a problem with car set-up, how will you fare in a car that is not up to scratch?

        People need to make a fundamental distinction here. The problem is not with the MP4-27, the problem is with Jenson Button. The car is there to be used, set-up, hustled, altered – like Lewis is doing; if you are so finicky that you can’t get the car to your liking no matter what, then the shortcoming is yours – not the cars.

        Why are people dropping the blame on the car and the engineers?

      12. Matthew Yau says:

        Pfft…I understand your point but it’s a long-shot. Only because I (and I assume you too) have no experience in a F1 car.

        The problem with your argument is that everything is so finely balanced. Yes, some issues you can drive around, Alonso is the master of this. I doubt Button is lacking the ability is drive around certain problems but the ones he is encountering seem very fundamental to the pace of the car.

        Maybe James can shed some light on this but it appears Button can’t get his tyres working which tends to come down to set-up. It’s very odd for Button to be so far away from Lewis. It almost seems like there is something Button’s car is doing that Lewis’ isn’t or vice versa.

        I reason I don’t blame Button is because he has always been better than Lewis on the engineering side of things and set-up. Lewis is faster for sure, but engineers will tell you that Button knows more about what’s happening with his car and for him not to know is a concern.

  16. Richard says:

    Unquestionably a thrilling drive from Hamilton reminescent of the times with a decent car and durable tyres. – A thoroughly deserved win!

  17. andy hart says:

    Incredible that given the relative ease to overtake and short time required for a pit stop that Ferrari and red bull tried a one stop. Maybe Perez and grojean could have been faster on a 2 stop if they pushed the tyres harder.

  18. Aaron95 says:

    Got to be Hamilton surely. He drove several sections of that race on the absolute limit in order to win the race, and passed both his main rivals on the track. OK the passes in the closing stages were easy, but he didn’t hang around after the first pit stop and quickly disposed of Alonso.

    You could see he was buzzing after the race as the win was earned by his series of very fast laps after each pit stop. That race was a classic Hamilton drive – pushing to the limit and keeping the car out of the walls, rather than winning through slow laps and clever tyre management.

  19. Rishi says:

    I’d love to vote for both Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez but sticking to a principle of one vote then I’d go for Lewis…just! Fantastic job throughout the race (think leapfrogging Alonso just after the first round of stops and the quick pulling out of a gap in the laps straight after). Great to see ‘Checo’ back amongst the points (even another podium!) after a drought since Malaysia, and doing so again through his diligent tyre management.

    Really pleasing for Romain Grosjean too – another really good job to silence the “I wouldn’t want to be near him in Turn 1″ critics post-Monaco; my Dad was particularly pleased for Romain. Alonso fought gallantly but I wonder if Ferrari rue not following Hamilton in; it would have been 2nd rather than 5th. Do we criticise Ferrari for not delivering the optimum result, or praise them for going all-out for victory?

  20. Ravara Mike says:

    Yet another brilliant race and another really well deserved fresh win in a season that continues to delight. Couple of questions for James: 1. Did Hamilton have the union flag in the car with him to wave when he won – or did someone pass it to him unseen by BBC viewers? 2. Apart from Ayrton Senna, which other drivers have waved their national flags after winning a grand prix?

    1. Peter C says:

      Nigel Mansell, for one. Maybe James Hunt on one occasion, I think.

      1. James Clayton says:

        Didn’t Hill (D) also do it?

      2. stuart briggs says:

        Alan Jones in 1980 french gp with a union jack.No aussie flags there but sure annoyed the french!!!!

      3. Ravara Mike says:

        Thanks for that Peter C. Did he have the flag in the car in anticipation of getting the win?

      4. Peter C says:

        No, he didn’t. He had the Union Jack given to him by spectators who invaded the track.

        Like Nigels ‘cojones’ it was a HUGE one…..

  21. Chris says:

    Easy one this week, Lewis all the way for me. Would have preferred to see him pass Seb and Nando without DRS (driver reduction system) but beggars can’t be choosers.

    1. Kirk says:

      I was just thinking about this. Yes, the DRS overtakes do look a little silly. But – is it better that we have Lewis spending 10 laps effecting an overtake because the aerodynamics make it so difficult, or that we actually get some results?

      Personally, it was quite obvious that Hamilton could get past them, and it’s infuriating to see them constantly trying and failing, so I do think this is actually a good thing.

      1. Chris says:

        At some tracks where overtaking is more difficult, maybe DRS is still a good thing. But Canada has always provided overtaking long before DRS and I personally feel that watching Seb move over and allow Lewis to pass was a bit of a let down. Can’t blame Seb as he stood no chance of preventing the DRS move anyway but I feel we were robbed some excitement.

  22. surya kumar says:

    Lewis all the way, for me. For all the moments he was let down by the team this year this win was due and it couldnt have been better to lap your own team mate who was the last year winner on the same track. Beautiful indeed.

  23. JohnBt says:

    Hamilton drove brilliantly. Watch him this year fighting with Nando for WDC. Lewis has matured so much.

  24. Ben says:

    Fantastic race from lewis with nearly pulling off a faultless drive! After the first pit stop he always looked like he was going to win! Alonso and vettel tried to make the one stop work but needed a longer first stint to have any chance of pulling it off. Fair enough they gambled for the win but that gamble has now cost them the lead in the WDC.

    Both Perez and grosjean drove incredibly well to pull off the one stop both of them catching and overtaking great drivers on younger tyres! I think someone needs to get Perez a nurse’s uniform! It would be interesting to find out how he is driving differently to maintain quick times without ruining his tyres.

    What is happening to button tho? He is almost making massa look good… In post race interviews he seemed very confused, claiming it wasn’t the tyres so I can only think it is problems with his set up, maybe he is over thinking it. Does anyone know if the Mclaren driver’s share set up data? Do all team mates share set up data?

    I’m surprised we still have naysayers about the tyres, I thought Hamilton showed that you can push the tyres most of the race and still win, while careful driving can put you in a really great position. I’m assuming it is just the kettle/alonso crowd that are unhappy

  25. Christos Pallis says:

    Hamilton deserved the driver of the day for three main reasons.

    1. He was on it all weekend, the extra downforce of the Redbull will always help them switch on the tyres for a 1 lap qualifying attempt so Hamilton’s 2nd place start was the maximum he could expect.

    2. Getting himself up into 1st place was all skill. He made the others try go for a 1 stopper and his driving forced them into a decision. (Ferrari should have pitted the lap after Hamiltons second stop – there only chance)He kept it cool away from the walls and didnt try and rush the overtakes on Vettel or Alonso.

    3. Perez and Grosjean were worthy podium sitters but their 1 stops were made possible by the cars they were driving. More benign cars make 1 stops possible, Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel could not make that work because of their pace and machinary. therfore they don’t quite pip Hamilton for driver of the day for me.

    Also look at where Button was in the same car?!?! I like Button but this is turning into a Alonso – Massa scenario in these last three races.

  26. Richard D says:

    I’m rather surprised that you say this is one of the toughest DOTD polls! It’s so clear that Hamilton was in a class above the rest. Notable performances by Gosjean & Perez; I wonder if one of them might be a candidate for the eighth different winner in eight races?

  27. Seán Craddock says:

    I found it very interesting how different the McLaren pit stops are. You can actually see how they have changed to prevent mistakes. Now when the wheel man is done he sits right back and holds the gun against his chest; completely different to the ‘traditional’ hand above the wheel signal.

    Also James, I heard they have changed their wheel rim so the nut is part of the wheel. But I thought the design of the wheel had to be finalised by the start of the season and couldn’t be changed. Could you check this for me please?

  28. James Encore says:

    From the BBC TV footage, which is all I have to go on. Lewis, easily. But Perez making those places to get on the podium and beating Vettel and Alonso by making 2 sets of tyres last so much better than they did and sticking in a bunch of fastest laps on tyres which were getting on a bit ? If I’d been watching Mexican TV’s edit I might be saying “Sure Hamilton won, but …” . And on any other day Vettel’s late dash might have done it. (I’d like to see anyone explain a vote for Alonso Today).

    But what I saw was Hamilton doing nothing wrong an a whole lot right, to go and get the win.

    1. Bluefroggle says:

      Try vipbox dot tv for live streaming of race

  29. pallys says:

    Lewis for me. He attacked the race, had to overtake Alonso twice because he got jumped at the pit stop. Excellent stuff.

    Perez/Grosjean did well but they were endurance racing and this is not as exciting watching Hamilton race on the limit.

  30. Kidza says:

    Hamilton takes it hands down. He set out to win and went for it. The others like Perez and Grosjean waited for things to fall their way and fortunately for them, it did due to poor decisions by Ferrari and Red Bull.

    Were it not for mistakes by the other teams, we probably would not be talking of Perez and Grosjean but Hamilton would still have won!

  31. Andrew Carter says:

    Difficult decision between the top 3, but I went with Perez, since he started 15th and even today, a 12 place improvement on your starting place is quite an improvement.

  32. Vinola says:

    Tough call?..lol, perhaps recalling JB’s performance may help in framing Lewis’s win. I recall Jb’s well deserved win in Australia and the predictable hoopla that followed on these pages and others. I dont recall the decision to hail that perfromance as being “tough”. Lewis was 3rd in that race.

  33. Kevin McCaughey says:

    I am not a big Lewis fan, but I think he really earned it on Sunday. He was abreast of all the strategy whilst driving and pushed to the limit each time he needed to cover whatever was thrown at him.

    It was an all-round top drive in every respect I thought, and worthy of a Champion.

  34. Jamie says:

    This race was a greatly contested affair. It might not have been the best race I’ve watched however I do believe that this race illustrates the skill that comes with respect to tyre management.

    People are over-reacting over tyre wear this season. This season has been ‘one’ of the most exciting and unpredictable seasons since I’ve started watching F1 over 20 years ago.

    Precessional racing is boring and tedious and Formulas below F1 are have never been so reliant on technology and most importantly monetary influence and that is where drivers learn true racecraft. Even when we start racing in karting, tyre management is essential since it’s unfeasible to buy brand new tyres every race.

    The top 3 amongst others showed that they were able to retain life in their tyres whilst others fell by the wayside. Additionally, whilst some might argue the McLarens may have had the superior pace the entire weekend, I draw your attention to the fact that Button did not show the some pace that Hamilton had. FYI, not a Hamilton fan but he drove a good race.

  35. Nil says:

    It’s refreshing to see a driver whose emotions are so evident. Romain is beaming when he’s in the driver’s press conference and looks dejected when he does not finish.

    1. Andrew says:

      Romain is beaming most of the time, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a happier looking sportsman, it’s quite endearing really.

  36. Racyboy says:

    Off Topic

    For anyone who gets The Letterman show, Vettel is on Monday night. Tues for Australia.

    1. spyke says:

      thanks for the heads up dvr being programmed as of now!

    2. Elie says:

      Cheers mate

  37. bearforce1 says:

    Kimmi to Mclaren. Sorted.

  38. Pedro de la Rosa, no doubt. He outpaced Mayrooshas like kids, Pat Symonds should’ve done a bit better really. Maybe they’re concentrating on 2013 now, dunno, but de la Rosa and HRT will most definitely wipe out Caterhammers and Rooshas next year.

    Voted for Grosjean since there’s no PdlR option.

  39. ferggsa says:

    Perez because he gained 12 places, but also was driving fast and passing other cars: Massa with a little help from Rosberg, held Webber at bay, and setting fastest laps until Vettel beat him to it with fresh red rubber
    Sure, strategy wise Sauber beat RedBull and Ferrari, but Perez was not just cruising waiting for others to do extra pit stops (that is true for Grosjean as well, but he started higher up)
    Regarding DRS, even if I don’t really like it, I think general opinion is a bit exaggerated as to its actual effects
    LH would get past FA anyway because he was lapping 3 secs faster at the time, of course DRS makes it easier, but when cars are more even, it is still difficult to pass, ask Webber or Roseberg or Massa or Kobayashi, or anyone else who was “stuck in traffic”

  40. Thabang says:

    Lewis is the driver of the day…his wasn’t about a one or two stop race nor was it about tires, well a bit of the latter. He is the driver of the day because he won the race going flat out, pushing the car and the tires to the limit – giving race enthusiasts a fix of what we’ve been missing for a long time, a quick ballsy fast drive from lights out to the chequered flag

  41. Rich C says:

    I’m a big Hamilton fan, but it has to be Perez this time.

    Everyone else mentioned started at or near the front and more or less finished there.

    Perez started at the back and finished at the front. What more could you ask of a man?

  42. Andy R says:

    Button, for not messing up the set-up for a dominant Mclaren. Else he’d influence a “smoother”, “conservative”, “light” set-up leading to a Mclaren 4-5 rather than a 1-16. ;)

    1. Vinola says:

      Funny. Don’t forget, he got into LH’s head with his “incredible” performance last year (Coultard, Autosport etc). Come to think of it, how come he has so much trouble with set up when he’s the acclaimed “brain” behind their weekend set-ups?..what a farce. Feel sorry for him though, I just can’t stand his mega-phones…aka “journalists”

  43. Riz says:

    Comon guys, please stop complaining about tyres They are all the same for everyone and at the end of the day, see cream is on the top and the back markers are well.. back markers. The best drivers are in the front but everyone is getting breathing space (i.e. points for breathing cash). And please please no comment against DRS, it just allows a fast driver to pass in a sport where passing otherwise is impossible. Using DRS only a faster driver can pass the slower driver, he first needs to get “in zone” and then get out of zone. Previously it was so annoying to see a fast driver stuck behind a slow one and not being able to pass, so we never got to see who was really fast!

  44. Nic Maennling says:

    I am getting really tired of the tire Grand Prixs. Manufacture them to last and see who the best car/driver is.

    1. Hector Velazquez says:

      So, you like more the races where the car can make the difference? i mean its the same, if you want some even GP’s you should ask for same car, same motor, just like GP2 where things are more even.

  45. Hector Velazquez says:

    For me, Perez, why? 12 places, yes, it was a 1 stopper, but just finished 2.7 seconds away from Grosjean who started 7th. Hamilton won but imo he used DRS to make the passes, Perez made with and without DRS.

  46. Ayrton Joao says:

    Hamilton for sure!
    What an amazing drive! Lewis is the reason that put us in front of the TV.

  47. Graham Dugas says:

    Sebastian and Alonso were right to “gamble” and cook his tyres faster than Roman or Sergio because Canada has had a safety car period for the last 7 or 8 years. And that is all they would have needed to fight strongly for the win. Lewis was lucky there was no safety car. It’s a gamble for sure either way. Seb and Fernando went with history, lewis bet against it.

  48. Cammage says:

    Hamilton deserved this one. After 2 monments in the pits (anti-stall and RHR wheel issue)where he could have had a brain explosion, he still held it together to take the win. Well done to him…..but thats enought for him now. Webber’s turn.

  49. Wombat says:

    Lewis Hamilton is the stand out, both he and his team did the job that day. Alonso and Vettel were let down by their teams. Their team’s forgot the first two rules (1) ‘run the current race not the one that might be’, closely followed by (2) ‘keep in touch with those around you’. Grosjean and Perez lucked-in – if Alonso and Vettel (and even Webber & Rosberg) had tracked Hamilton and kept up the pace – Grosjean and Perez may have finished well back. But as it was their team’s strategy and their careful driving worked brilliantly and well done to their teams.
    But it does beg the question, why are the Q3 guys penalised by not having a choice in tyres for the race? It would seem in today’s tyre-wear-oriented environment, having a good set of tyres is more important than being on pole (just ask Vettel!). We may see more teams, especially those not expecting to be on the front two rows, not to contest Q3 and with it lose the attraction of that spectacle.

  50. Kay says:

    All this tyre management stuff are getting stupid. It’s like as if they took a management course in F1 University and upcoming drivers gotta take various management courses to make it to F1.

    What next? Engine management, Steering angle management, Overtake management, Racing line management, Pit lane management, Blue flags management, Safety car management, Safety car without a door coz it was hit by Heidfeld management, Car rolled over management, Car lost a wheel management, Head got hit with a spring management, Car flip management.

    Seriously come on! This is racing to the flag, not management to the flag.

    FIA might as well startup their own education institute and run their own Bachelor and Master programmes etc.

  51. Andrew J says:

    Lewis did a great job this weekend, showing the kind of driving maturity that was often missing last year. His reeling in of the leaders after his final pit stop was wonderful, and fantastic to see him on the top step again.

    That said, Perez gets my vote for Driver of the Day. To start 15th and make a success of a strategy that a few of the ‘better’ teams failed to make work is no mean achievement.

  52. Skippy says:

    Perez deserves a standing ovation, never have I seen a driver make a set of tires last 41 laps. Driving fast is one thing, but managing your tires is an art, and Perez has clearly got it down.

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