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German Grand Prix – Who was your driver of the day?
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Posted By: James Allen  |  23 Jul 2012   |  7:27 am GMT  |  168 comments

Fernando Alonso became the first driver to win three races this season with a dominant victory in a thrilling German Grand Prix but who was your Driver of the Day?

Fernando Alonso

Looked quick in dry conditions on Saturday morning as he topped the times in third and final practice. Carried that form into a wet qualifying to secure his second pole position of the season. Made a lightening getaway from pole and controlled the race in the first two stints. Was put under pressure by Jenson Button in the final stint, but resisted the McLaren’s attack and then kept enough in reserve to pull away in the closing laps and secure his third win of the season and 30th of his career, one less than 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell.

Jenson Button

Topped the opening session of the weekend, but struggled to get his tyres working in wet conditions and could only qualify seventh which became sixth with Mark Webber’s five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change, one place ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton. Made a good start and rose up to fifth in the early stages before putting good moves on Nico Hulkenberg and Michael Schumacher at the hairpin to rise up to third. Slick pit work got him out ahead of Vettel for second before pursuing leader Alonso. Lost a position to Vettel on the penultimate lap but got second back after the race when Vettel was penalised by 20-seconds for an illegal pass.

Kimi Raikkonen

Looked good in Friday practice but struggled in wet conditions and could only qualify 10th. Showed good race pace and supreme race-craft, including a brilliant move on Paul di Resta early in the race. Ran the first two stints on the soft tyre which allowed him to climb up the first to fourth, finishing 16 seconds off leader Alonso. Promoted to third after Vettel’s penalty for his fourth podium of the season. Moved up to fourth in the championship with 98 points.

Kamui Kobayashi

Struggled in wet conditions in qualifying and failed to make it into Q3. Started 12th and showed that the Sauber had good pace in the dry, quickly rising up into the top 10 with some bullish moves. Ran deep into the race which helped him move up the order before crossing the line to finish fifth, one place ahead of his team-mate Sergio Perez. Promoted to fourth after Vettel’s penalty to score good points and strengthen the team’s grip on sixth place in the constructors’.

Sergio Perez

Like his Sauber team-mate Kobayashi, struggled for pace in qualifying and started a disappointing 17th. Showed impressive pace and made up seven places in the first 10 laps. Thought he had a puncture which forced him into an early pit stop, but battled back up the field with some good overtaking moves to finish a strong sixth.

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168 Comments
  1. Phil says:

    What about Lewis Hamilton?
    Did a good job unlapping himself and was fastest in the middle of the race.

    1. kp says:

      Agreed. He even managed to beat Karthikeyan. He now looks set on becoming a true middle order driver.

    2. DJFM says:

      The McLaren is now a fast car and he had fresher tyres on. It’s hard to really put amongst the drivers of the day.

    3. Mocho_Pikuain says:

      lol

    4. MCGARL says:

      Tee Hee

    5. Craig D says:

      His car was damaged. He was only quick then compared to others because he was on new tyres. his general pace wasn’t that great.

      An unlucky race but wasn’t able to do anything to warrant DOTD I feel.

    6. Dan says:

      Hamiltons tyres were quite a bit fresher at the time he was unlapping himself and going very quickly.

    7. Benjamin Bruyns says:

      Um, no.

    8. BBob says:

      Where did Lewis finish again? Dead last maybe? How does this equate to “best driver?”

      1. Sean M says:

        +1!!

      2. Peter C says:

        He didn’t finish, or did you miss that bit?

      3. Elie says:

        Hahahaha…. Hahahaha… Peter if you didn’t say anything they would be hangin Lewis by the gonads by now !!

      4. BBob says:

        So he didn’t finish. How does that make a difference in terms of the net result? How many points did he get for a DNF?

        Did you miss that bit? Lol

      5. Wayne says:

        Ok, so he does not really qualify for driver of the day. But finishing position is not really the deciding factor is it. If HK stars 20th and finished 12th he has potentially done a brilliant job.

    9. JB says:

      You’re joking right? Hamilton didn’t even finish.

      Kimi was easily the better driver on that day.

      Kimi has scored more points than Hamilton on his first comeback year while driving a mid-range Lotus.

      Mclaren may have lots of hiccups this year, but there is no doubt they are still one of the top dogs.

  2. That ought to be Fernando but voted Kimi for his outstanding overtaking moves between turns 6 and 10.

    1. Wayne says:

      If it ‘ought to be Fernando’ why vote a different way? I hope you don’t vote in elections or at your loacal parent teachers meeting in that manner. ‘I ought to vote for new text books but I voted for a new smoking shelter instead’.

      This one was not really all that difficult, Alonso won again in arguably the third fastest car. Thorough Hamilton fan here, but Alosno just gets better and better.

      1. Wade Parmino says:

        I don’t think the Ferrari is all that bad a car. It’s just that Massa can’t drive it.
        They should bring Giancarlo Fisichella in for the remainder of the season and for next year as well. Then get Perez for 2014.

      2. Thank you for your insight, it definitely adds to the debate.

        I clearly explained why I voted for Kimi. Do I need to justify the obvious context of every figure of speech I use in my comments? You’re better than that Wayne, and you know it.

      3. Peter C says:

        Wayne is EPIC……..& he doesn’t know it.

    2. JB says:

      Agree. If there was no Fernando on the list, then Kimi was the DOTD.

      He is very impressive consider the teams gave him wrong tires, his car is a mid-range machine and this is his first comeback year.

      Now, he ranks higher than Hamilton! who drives a top-dog Mclaren, and been there since day 1 of his F1 career.

      Of course, Alonso is the driver on form now. He is just supreme in every way. In the rain, on the dry track, keeping tires fresh, and making strategic call… This guy is just super.

  3. Tough choice.

    I voted for the winner, Alonso, due to the fact that he has got a pole in a spectacular fashion, and was able to control the race to the very end.

    I can’t easily dismiss, however, the results of JB, who drove really good, make excellent fight with Vettel, was not afraid to lock his front tires and still chase Alonso.

    Good drive for Kimi and Perez.

  4. goferet says:

    Of course that man/machine/wizard —> Fernando Alonso was the driver of the day.

    Not many mortals can sustain that amount of pressure without cracking first from Vettel, then Lewis and lastly Jenson.

    But meh, Alonso’s consistency is draining the excitement out of what was originally turning out to be an F1 season made in Heaven.

    And that’s why pilots like Lewis make F1 seasons great for one day he’s winning, the next he’s crashing out but people like Alonso & Vettel with their constant podiums ruin it.

    Anyway also special mention to Jenson, Vettel and Kobayashi, they both had good drives.

    Kimi’s drive was solid and pulled off some gusty overtakes too.

    1. Gary says:

      But isn’t the excitement also in how the other teams are now playing catch up, they are having to gamble with strategies to get ahead, develop better parts etc etc. It’s hardly domination yet, and the winner is still highly unpredicatable, if you are finding this boring the switch off, your obviously just watching GPs waiting for crashes.

  5. AlexD says:

    This one is not easy, but the I giveit to Alonso. I was thinking between Button and Alonso. Button did a very good job and he got very close to winning the race, but the reason he did not is because Alonso was a better driver today.
    Alonso was astonisging yesterday and he took a pole. In the race, he had to fight every single second because hewas always under pressure from either button or vettel.

    My vote goes to alonso.

  6. Bring Back Murray says:

    Alonso was not only the driver of the day but driver of the entire race weekend, starting from Q3 where he had the sense, unlike any of his rivals to come into the pits and put on an extra set of wets.

    Stayed out in the lead the whole race, didn’t get phased when Jenson closed in then extended the lead when Jenson faded.

    At the start of this season I’d have said Alonso / Hamilton and Vettel were about even but Alonso’s running rings round everyone this season. Most defnitely in a class of his own.

    Also funny how Alonso naturally spoke in English during the warm-down lap. Its a shame Ferrai feel that they have to speak in Italian during the race, not necessarily because they are an Italian team and its easier to communicate this way (as others have argued), but to try and get one over on everyone else just for the sake of it. It’s a shame they feel like they have to operate this way. If it is more natural for them to speak in Italian, why not so on the warm down lap?

    1. Sebastian says:

      Your statement about Alonso being the only guy smart enough to change to a second set of wets is incorrect. Kimi changed to a second set of wets in Q3. Surely some of the others did too.

      1. Bring Back Murray says:

        I meant out of the top 3 teams, i.e McClaren and Redbull

    2. DJFM says:

      Maybe they want to share the celebratory congratulations and thank-you’s with their fans. It’s good PR after all.

      “Turn diff to Mix G” doesn’t have the romanticism or levity that Ferrari would miss not sharing with the world.

    3. Tlux says:

      This is the Formula One World Championship. Not the F1 british championship. Have you ever thought that people in Italy who watch the race might get sick of every driver radio being broadcast in English.

      Seriously, comments like this come off as a bit “white power”ish to me.

      1. Bring Back Murray says:

        Didn’t mean it to come across like that. To be honest I couldn’t care less what language any of the teams speak in!

        Well at least they are letting us hear the messages anyway – before they just used to press the red button didn’t they. I guess we should be happy!

    4. Haydn Lowe says:

      Funny… A Spanish driver who speaks fluent Italian, driving for an Italian team with many Italian crew and they speak Italian over the radio. Not a conspiracy, not thumbing their noses at anyone, just doing what makes most sense to them.

  7. Ram says:

    for me kobayashi …his seat is in threat with news coming off that HK is in the prime slot to bag the seat …this year is probably a make or break season for Koba …as of now the Japanese companies are no more that dominant in promting themselves via F1 so he does not come with load of money …somehow is there a glass barrier for a Japenese driver to get a crack on a top end seat of the likes of Mclaren, red bull, ferrari ..

  8. OscarF1 says:

    It has to go to Fernando Alonso.
    He drove a flawless race, always in control of his position under the attacks from Vettel and Button (and Hamilton).

    Button made a great race too, but he made a mistake in lap 44 which probably cost him his lack of pace in the closing laps and it’s arguable that he benefited from lapped team mate Hamilton move on Vettel to get to 2nd.

  9. Wombat says:

    Has to be Alonso – well judged race and a great weekend for him.
    Button did well.
    Vettel used his car well (and with some maturity) but lost it all with impatience when it really mattered (back to 2009?)
    Kimi and the Saubers deserve gongs for really trying hard all race and taking advantage of the situation on a day when two of the usual front runners had lost the edge.
    Surely Red Bull has to look at its policy of lower top speed in exchange for aero & engine management that gives more corner grip? If they fall back in the pack they can’t take advantage of their great cornering ability and are beaten on top speed by the rabbits.

  10. Lachlan Mackinnon says:

    James – Alonso a clear choice this weekend. Absorbs pressure like no other…..to the point of making the team radio sound like a testing session! I feel kimi drove better than button with great race craft shown throughout the race. Don’t quite understand the Lotus strategy choice of options in the second stint when he was one of the quickest guys the day before on the prime tyre?? Great race though and may it continue next weekend!!!

    1. Sebastian says:

      they were probably worried about having their race spoiled by getting held up by other cars, hence choosing the soft and have to shots at doing an under cut.

  11. Pman says:

    Perez was the star for me.
    What racing. This guy should be at Ferrari tomorrow.

  12. Richard says:

    Has to be Alonso. Controlled the race from start to finish. A clinically efficient drive under extreme pressure from two chasing world champions.

  13. Cliff says:

    Alonso had all the bases covered and drove the perfect race, a great confidence boost for JB, but I give my vote to Perez.

    1. Wade Parmino says:

      I agree. He gained 11 places by the end of the race.

  14. Mike says:

    Kobayashi – the most flamboyant driver on the grid!

    1. Bring Back Murray says:

      I’ve got a mate in Japan who will be happy with that comment! He’s Kobayashi crazy!

      1. Mike says:

        There’s no denying it! A podium will soon follow.
        Is there an official fanclub beyond Japan?

      2. Wade Parmino says:

        Kobayashi is a great driver but his technique is best suited to touring car racing. He would be very successful in this type of category I think.

        Perez has had much less time in F1 but has attained podium finishes whereas Kobayashi has not. I think Perez will be much more successful in F1 over the long run than Kobayashi.

        I’d like to see Kobayashi in a V8 Supercar.
        That would be something! :)

  15. Jake B says:

    How can you vote for anybody but Alonso? He was absolutely superb.

  16. JohnBt says:

    Had to be Alonso for the tension he faced from Vettel and Button.

    What a well controlled drive and keeping his head together. well done Nando!

  17. pargo says:

    Alonso. Easily the best driver in F1 so far this season.

  18. DK says:

    Half way through the season and beginning to look like the WDC is Alonso’s to lose. I have voted for Kimi this time it is always harder to race from the mid pack and he has made a few fine overtakes during the race.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      Alonso won’t lose it, but Ferrari’s development is crucial

  19. Peter says:

    Button. This race was as simple as Button was the driver of the weekend.

    1. DJFM says:

      He was great but couldn’t take the fight to Alonso who was in a slower car. Didn’t even attempt a pass with the aid of DRS.

      1. Michael S says:

        I agree… McLaren had to be thinking “if only that was Lewis and not Jenson” Jenson typically tools around rarely pulling off a good pass…

      2. Peter C says:

        Nice one!

      3. Aey says:

        When did you see that Ferrari is slower car. Not at all, Ferrari one of the fastest car out there.

        When JB close the gap to Alonso, that doesn’t mean McLaren is faster, Alonso just drive at control pace to preserve his tyre. he know even let McLaren can run total lap at 0.1-0.2 sec faster than him but they can’t pass him.

        Alonso is always made fastest sector 1, with make some gap before DRS zone, so no one get close enough to him in DRS zone, just get closer but never attact him with DRS. So he know he is quite safe in passing zone.

        Right now, I don’t think Ferrari is slower than anyone.

  20. Panayiotis says:

    Alonso… Period.

  21. Anton says:

    Kimi’s still a top class racing driver. Love the way he lines up the other cars before pouncing.

  22. Mr Squiggle says:

    I would normally acknowledge Fernando’s start to finish performance as DOTD, but today its Jenson for me.

    Good to have him back on the podium, passing people and quick enough to come up the grid

  23. John McKay says:

    Hamilton’s desire to retire after his puncture was demoralising. Pathetic motivation. Should move to Ferrari.

    1. OscarF1 says:

      Why not HRT?

    2. kp says:

      Agreed. If only for the sake of McLaren.

      1. Serrated_Edge says:

        Agree- the Hamilton side show has been a hinderence for McLaren this season.

        Pair Di Resta alongside Button and McLaren will be able to concentrate 100 on motor racing.

      2. brendan says:

        what about the racing when lewis has been battling for podiums and wins but button has been a minute behind?

        lewis has his issues but he is always on it

    3. Mitchel says:

      It does make you wonder how valuable it is to ‘save’ the parts on the car, especially the gearbox…

      I’d be interested in some analysis with regards to the decrease in reliability this year, as obviously the gearbox and engines have to last longer now.

      Ferrari’s superb reliability seems to be a touch overlooked within their overall package.

  24. Munchies says:

    I’ve clicked on Alonso for driver of the day… Masterful performance in qualifying with a great stratergy by Ferrari. The on race day he went off on his own and stayed at the front of the pack.

    I don’t want to play the inferoir car card to much, but it is evident that the Ferrari is not the best car out there by some distance. Red Bull are still ahead of everyone and McLaren had a superior car in Hockenheim! It’s all very close, but for me it marks Fernando Alonso as a class apart!

    1. Peter C says:

      Why, when the Ferrari took Pole at Silverstone, again at Hockenheim with a lights to flag victory, is it the third fastest car?

      So has the Mclaren, with all the chronic problems & terrible results, been rated above Ferrari for speed all this season?

      I know Fernando is superb, a God to an increasing number of posters here, but the car MUST be better than most say purely by its WDC & WCC positions.

      1. James Allen says:

        Fuel corrected lap times. Actually the Sauber was 3rd fastest in Germany…

      2. Munchies says:

        I never said it was a rubbish car!

        It has BECOME a very good car over the 10 GPs we’ve had so far. But overall it isn’t the best car and anyone can see this without even having to be a “Motorhead”.

        McLaren have a fantastic car and they’ve been ironing out some glitches. Red Bull is by far the best machine out there and if it weren’t for some strange mistakes, everything would be much closer and Red Bull would practically have already won the constructor’s title. Or maybe I’m mad and I’m reading the whole scenario a different way.

        This isn’t just Alonso! It’s a factor between Maranello and Driver… That’s what makes this all so fascinating.

  25. Xman says:

    I dont think many would question these percentages for Fernando. Showing his skill and maturity. Controlling and measuring his runs in each stint. Taking it easy and looking after the tyres through the stints, only pushing 100% at DRS position not to be overtaken. Briliant drive, calm, aggressive when needed to be when Hamilton tried to re-pass him. Drove away easily from button with 5 laps remaining, showing he had more than enough tyres this time around.

  26. Crys says:

    I sometimes think the winner should be excluded from these polls, especially if they had a relatively untroubled run at front from the start. Having said that, some nice driving from Fernando this time (and I’m the opposite of a fan).

    Jenson had some nice moves and a great day (and got my vote), but there does have to be a mention in despatches for Lewis. The unlapping overtake on Seb was gorgeous, even if it did highlight a potential rules problem. Meeting the criteria for DRS and a blue flag is a bit of a conflict!

    1. JR says:

      Thank God that his team did not give him the OK to retire on lap 1 has he wished. If I’d be a Lewis fan I would be really worried…

  27. Munchies says:

    Special mention to Jenson Button, and that’s why I want to post this one on its own. Jenson has had a bad hand at too many races this season so far. He is a fantastic driver and yesterday he showed how good he really is with his solky driving. Classy performer and was miles ahead of the rest of the pack with Alonso first this week. I only hope McLaren really back Jenson a bit more. It always seems to me he’s second at McLaren… Don’t know why I get that feeling!

  28. Serrated_Edge says:

    Jenson Button, proved that when his team provide a competitive car he is one of the best on the grid.

    1. Mocho_Pikuain says:

      You cant be one of the best on the grid if u need a competitive car to prove it. Great drivers show their ability in every condition and situation. Fernando is a paradigmatic example.

      1. Serrated_Edge says:

        So Fernando would be leading the drivers standings if he was driving for HRT?

      2. Spinodontosaurus says:

        Where did he say or imply that?

  29. Rick says:

    James, this is way off topic, but I’m wondering why Ferrari are allowed to communicate with Alonso in Italian over the radio. This certainly doesn’t help the fans to understand what’s going on. Also, other teams don’ t know what’s going on either. Are we heading towards radio remarks in Russian, Spanish, German etc… ?

    1. Peter Johnson says:

      There is no rule against speaking Italian. Do you expect all the Ferrari fans in Italy to learn English for your benefit?

    2. Brace says:

      To be honest I find it quite adds to the whole spectacle. I really like it.
      On a more seriouse note, other teams have no business knowing what Ferrari is talking on their team radio!

      1. JR says:

        If they are capable of designing an F1 car and running an F1 team I’m sure they must be capable of learning foreign languages.

      2. JR says:

        Have you even considered the chance of F1 teams having Italian speaking personnel?

    3. JR says:

      This topic is getting irritating. Is it so hard to understand that millions of fans all over the world CAN understand and speak Italian and, at the same time millions of fans CAN NOT neither speak nor understand ENGLISH? There are lots of languages out there that are not English, you can survive if you speak them, you can even be a F1 fan if you wish.

      1. Peter C says:

        Well said. It is very irritating, the Little Englander attitude.

    4. puffing says:

      “Are we heading towards radio remarks in Russian, Spanish, German etc… ?”
      Dunno. May be. So what?

      1. Jean-Paul says:

        Hahahahaha, exactly!!

  30. MISTER says:

    I’m a Ferrari and Alonso fan, but Kobayashi was great in Germany.
    Durring and after the race, the main focus is on the leaders and we rarely have the focus on one of these guys which are producing quality drives.

    I just wish Kobayashi would be more consistent.

    Alonso also deserves a mention for driving without mistakes while under presure for basicaly a whole race.

    Perez also had another great race. The Sauber drivers need to put that car in the first 3 rows in qualifying to have a better chance at podiums.

    Looking forward to Hungary :D

  31. hero_was_senna says:

    His nickname amongst non supporters used to be Teflonso. U think the man should be called sponge, he soaks up pressure, drives his own race and is undaunted by whoever is behind him. We should be grateful that we are witnessing him at his peak

    1. Peter C says:

      Yes he drove really well……BUT, I don’t think he was under that much pressure.
      In the early laps, he pulled away from Vettel.
      Vettel then began to reel him in, but never got near enough to attempt an overtake.
      Meanwhile Button was closing on Vettel,passed him out of the pits, then got nearer to FA, but never near enough to attempt an overtake.

      Sure, FA was able to respond each time, apparently with ease, which was great….BUT, I don’t think he was under the race-long pressure some posters are claiming.

      1. DingBat says:

        Both Vettel and then Button were within the DRS zone to Alonso for most of the race yet neither were not able to pull a move in him. IMO he was under pressure from both throughout the race but was masterful in keeping them at bay when it mattered most not allowing them the opportunity. to pass him

      2. Peter C says:

        ‘Within the DRS zone…for most of the race’.

        No.

        Look, I’m not insulting FA as you can see from my previous post, but I like to deal with facts rather than make them fit my own agenda.

  32. Andrew Kirk says:

    Went for Kimi. While Alonso once again showed his class Kimi made up places and once again proved to someone you need to keep an eye on during the race.

  33. sumedh says:

    I am surprised that there is no Vettel in this list.

    I think the Red Bull was only the fourth fastest car yesterday. Behind the Mclaren, Ferrari and Lotus (in that order).
    He was still legitimately 3rd.

    Apart from the illegal overtake, I think he did a brilliant job while the Mclaren drivers worked together to steal the 2nd place off Vettel.

    1. AlexD says:

      Red bull was definitely faster than ferrari

      1. Peter C says:

        But couldn’t close on it, strangely.

        But when SV or JB got close, FA just opened the gap with 2 or 3 faster laps.

        In the 3rd or 4th fastest car?!!

        I’m beginning to believe the drip,drip,drip.
        It’s like brainwashing.

      2. AlexD says:

        Yeap, why then alonso did not the same with webber last race?

      3. Peter C says:

        Different race, different cicumstances.
        I’m just saying that the claims that the Ferrari is slower than RedBull, McL, Mercedes & Lotus are just not true.

        The car has been improved enormously, FA is at the top of his game – they are getting the results. They might have trailed at one time, but not any more.

        I might as well say that because Bradley Wiggins came 14th on one sprint stage on the Tour de France, there must be a dozen riders better than him. Not at the end though.

    2. Joe B says:

      That’s Vettel in the Red Bull, right? With the legal-only-in-the-strictest-sense engine maps and the illegal attitude to overtaking?

      Just checking. Because he was legitimately fifth, and incredibly lucky to not be legitimately disqualified before the race even began.

    3. Esplanadist says:

      James why not Vettel? Did all was asked. Car clearly not faaster than the ferrari.

      I feel Seb was let down by the team. Horner & co should have twigged quickly and given Seb 2 bits of advice:
      – Don’t worry about HAM, let him pass you asap
      – Give BUT p2 back, because p3 is better than a penalty
      Sometimes the prob with pitwall personnel is lack of ruffage in the diet, leading to sub-optimal performance. I recommend weetabix and/or prune juice. Plenty of liquids.

      1. Jeroen says:

        Agree with your second point but having HAM in front of Vettel and NOT in front of Alonso was obviously crucial. The point is that you didn’t know up front whether or not Alonso would be able to keep Lewis behind, however there were 2 possible outcomes:
        - he did keep him behind, which would put a car in between, therefore giving Fernando another second or so in between him and Vettel, crucial in pitstops
        - he could not keep him behind, which would have meant Lewis was a lot faster and could drive away from the Ferrari. In this case there would have been no difference.

        The point is, was it worth for Vettel to push hard to keep Lewis from unlapping him (yes perhaps but what would it have done to his tires).

        So all in all I think Horner and co did the right thing by not telling Vettel to let Hamilton pass.

    4. Rishi says:

      Vettel drove his heart out admittedly but not letting Button back past was an error of judgement sufficient to leave him out of the DOTD list in my view. I’m not really sure how he expected to get away with that one, and if he’d let Button past straight away and tried again with one lap left he should have been able to make the move stick that time.

      Also there were a lot of strong drives out there yesterday. I actually went for Kamui Kobayashi because he has flattered to deceive a lot this season, really needed to start delivering results and gave the perfect response. But all the other nominees drove very good races, as did Nico Rosberg (21st to 10th). Hence there wasn’t really room for Vettel after that error either.

  34. monktonnik says:

    Great Race.

    I voted for JB, but it really could have been any of those guys.

    I could see Alonso starting to open a lead in the championship. His consistency, combined with his relentlessly good driving is impressive.

  35. Galapago555 says:

    Fernando Alonso is at his all time best IMHO.

    Not only driver of the day for me but also driver of the weekend, outperforming all his rivals either in the wet and dry conditions.

  36. Sanjog says:

    Brilliant from Kimi and the Saubers. Supreme from Nando as well…. Kimi for driver of the day for some cool overtaking..

  37. someone says:

    It’s so easy to vote for the guys on the podium, but I for myself, judge those higher who gained a lot of places, having to cut through traffic, as I think it’s the better and harder job.

  38. azac21 says:

    Fernando -THE GREAT- again….

  39. chris says:

    Alonso. How bad is he making Massa look.
    Jenson – nothing that great about his move on Schumacher. It was just pure DRS and nothing more.
    Special mention for Schumacher based on qualifying and fastest laps of the race by the oldest driver. Just needs that car to improve, but you cannot deny his motivation.

  40. Chris says:

    I should really go for Nando but opted for Kimi as he seems to have his killer instinct back with his great moves yesterday!

  41. Elie says:

    For me Its hard to pick the pole sitter in a Top 2 car/ Team because when you start in clear air you expect to win.
    I think Jenson driove a gutsy determined race, but I could not split Kamui Kobayashi or Kimi Raikkonen only because they had to fight the cars ahead and behind so well and made ground on leaders. Kimis passes on cars of similar pace where nothing short of phenomenal I watched the lap times on the App during ads &the purple sectors on Worn tyres from both Kimi and Kamui were brilliant. Kimi had the fastest lap on worn mediums which I think was only surpassed by MS on new softs. Vettel passed illegally and went backwards- hence he should not qualify in my opinion.

  42. Eric says:

    Another win in not the fastest car for Alonso. He continues to impress me this season where I feel he’s driving better than he did in his championship years. We’ve seen this season how hard it is to defend against DRS but he made it look easy on Sunday. Driver of the day by a wide margin.

    Also, interesting that you highlight Kimi as being 4th in the championship James. He’s been quietly putting in consistent drives this season and if the pace of the lotus improves could even mount a serious challenge this season. I hadn’t considered this until you mentioned it.

  43. Dean Simwell says:

    Tough decision but my vote goes to Kimi. Brilliant overtaking/racecraft… Although I fail to understand Lotus’ strategy in puttin him 2 stints on softs when he did the fastest lap in Q1 on med. It seemed like a no brainer to go SMM like the others in the front.

  44. JR says:

    Alonso, no doubt about it, perfect execution from start to finish, there is no possible way he could have done anything better.

  45. Peter says:

    Kimi for his hard, but very fair overtakes. It was very entertaining during the first half of the race. Also, should not been forgotten, that Lotus is still not Ferrari, RB, or Macca…

    1. Peter says:

      …nice to see midfiled teams to be able to race and entertain fans (Lotus, Sauber, Williams).

  46. RobF says:

    Who else but Fernando? He put in a Senna-esque race, dictating the pace of the race and not succumbing to pressure from behind on virtually every lap. Masterful, and the kind of stuff that will lead him to his third title by season’s end

  47. Michael S says:

    as funny as it may sound. If Lotus could qualy better I think Kimi would be up there chasing Alonso. However, he tends to spend his race workign his way up to 2nd, 3rd or 4th and has noting left at the end for the leader. Great race from Kimi but needs to be starting top 6 each week in order to be in with a shout.

  48. Mitchel says:

    On an almost entirely trivial note:

    Does Button actually get the trophy which Seb had his mitts on? And does Button in turn give his trophy to Kimi?

    Do they actually bother, I wonder…….

    Would be great to see a mumpy Seb hand over the goods!

    1. Lynn says:

      And Kimi would possibly be very pleased to collect the trophy without having to do the PC, ha.

      Anyway some great overtaking by the Iceman.

      Looking like its Alonso’s year!

      1. Andy says:

        +1
        +1
        +1
        (To all 3 comments)!

  49. Die Scuderia says:

    It has to be Fernando Alonso for me. He was under pressure for the whole race (the only gap was on a last lap when I managed to breath as well!) and still managed to remain calm and did his thing. Whilst this might be controversial…2nd is Lewis Hamilton for me. Jumping Vettel was a burst of fresh air (you all know why). That move was very important. Very.

    DS

  50. Joe B says:

    Alonso for me. I’ve been critical of him in the past but this whole weekend was another example of great driving from him. I don’t think the Ferrari is as bad as Massa makes appear, but it’s still not as quick as the Red Bull or McLaren, and yet Alonso’s still pulling away at the front. Really, class of his own so far this year.

  51. TitanRacer says:

    what a difficult event for all involved. and prolly half the field could be considered for drive of the weekend on some reasonable level!!
    I actually DO closely follow the entire field and felt C. Pic had the event of his young career. kudos to him and his boys! I think he woulda had the upper hand even if Timo had not had his car issues…
    just kinda shows the depth of talent in F1 drivers, engineers, pit bosses, and Teams this year!
    having said all that, I voted for Alonso. with NO disrespect to any driver, ever – including a few of my life-long heros, Alonso simply has it going on. it takes dozens of attributes to be the biggest, baddest dawg behind the wheel. I gotta rate Alonso “among” the very bestest ever in EVERY category – and only top dawg in one – being the most bad-ass Pit Bull to grab a F1 steering wheel… BTW, I do not hate Ferrari – just never been a huge fan… and still cannot read whether their deal with Massa has been grossly incompetent or the result of an incredibly awesome company!!!
    I won’t even consider argueing too much with all you awesome knowledgeable fans on this site – most of u are that damned good…

  52. aadil says:

    This race was an example or why Webber is not a title contender!

    He started 8th with best car on the grid and got beaten by Sergio Perez who start 17th, Kobayashi who started 12th and Kimi who started 10th!

    Theres not excuse for such poor perfomance when you driving the best car and your teammates fighting for the win.

    Winning the odd race here and there isnt going to win a world title!

    Webber is decent afew weekends every season and Rubbish the rest!

    Vettels out scored Webber in every season for the past 4 years including his debut year driving a Toro Rosso!

    If Webber could beat a 19yr old kid back in 2009 he sure isnt going 2 beat Vettel the double world champion neither is he going 2 beat Alonso the double world champion.

    1. DJFM says:

      Red Bull is not the best car on the grid. McLaren was the best on race day.

      1. James Allen says:

        Not yet, not quite

      2. aadil says:

        Button may have looked faster towards the end but he wasnt exactly looking after his tires!Alonso was wise enough too and if he wanted to im sure he could have pushed and gone faster!Anyways he did set 1 1:19.1 on his second last lap faster then anything Button or Vettel managed and he still had tires left @ the end!

        Theres no doubt Mclaren have improved but it took them a full 9 races to bring this update.Where Red Bull and Ferrari already had big updates much earlier it wont be long before they bring big improvements to their cars either and im guessing by the time the summer breaks over they would clear of Mclaren yet again.

    2. aadil says:

      Red Bull may be clever enough to find every loophole possible like their special engine maps in Germany but they dum enough not have a no1!Webber a average driver but his a good no2!

      The tention between Vettel and Webber has never left its still there and Sooner or later Vettel and Webber will find themselves fighting for places or for a win this yr and the result of that isnt going to be that good
      for Red Bull!I can imagine another situation like Turkey coming very soon!Red Bull are shooting themselves in the foot by allowing this to continue.

      As for Mclaren I think they need 2 be realistic if they want 2 win this years drivers title!Button is 86 behind Alonso realistically he doesnt stand a snow balls chance in Hell! if they were clever they would make him support Hamilton for the remainder of the season!

      During Schumi’s days at Ferrari they clearly knew they had the best driver in the world and they were intelligent enough to not shoot themselves in the foot by not fully supporting him!

      If Red Bull ever want 2 dominate they way Ferrari did they clearly need 2 fully back Vettel!if Red Bull left the past 2 seasons 2 Webber Alonso would be a triple world champ and Button would be double world champ!

      Im sure everytime Webber takes points of Vettel and Button takes points off Hamilton Stefano and Luca have a gigle! :)

      Only 1 driver can be champion and if you have 1 of the 3 best drivers in the world like Red Bull and Mclaren do!Clearly u want to give him every chance of been champion like Ferrari did with Schumi and now with Alonso not keep shooting them in them foot!

      I really find it amuzing how naive Red Bull and Mclaren are! :)

  53. Fireman says:

    Hi James,

    What do you think of the mental fibre of the current top contenders? Alonso seems unmatched.

    1. James Allen says:

      Great question. Deserves long answer

      1. Mocho_Pikuain says:

        Article coming? :)

      2. Romeo - MEX in USA. says:

        Looking forward James and thank you for your great job.

  54. Rene says:

    Hello James, an off-topic question:
    Why does it take the stewards so long to make decisions? Surely the Vettel penalty is not really ‘fair’ – he deserved to come third at least (even though I am a Kimi fan).
    It is very disappointing that drivers and results get messed around due to the indecision of the people that are supposed to know the rules. I can understand it if a technical or complicated issue needs to be resolved after the race, but simple things like Vettel going off track (to possibly avoid a collision) should be dealt with immediately. It would have given the fans the excitement of watching him attempt the overtake again, in the last lap, and would have resulted in ‘more representative’ finishing positions than we have now. There is no way that Vettel deseves a 5th place finish.
    Surely anybody can go through the rule-book after the fact and apply them unthinkingly – but the stewards are supposed to be able to interpret the spirit of the rules on the spot (much like a referee in another sport)- if they are unable to do this, why have them?

    1. someone says:

      Giving him the third place would regulate the unfair advantage he gained by going off track, but it’s not really a punishment, rather an invitation to do it again, since you had nothing to lose if it didn’t work out.

      1. Rene says:

        I don’t think that he tried anything sneaky with that manoeuvre – it was not a blatant case of cutting a corner. Do you think that the punishment fits the crime? I don’t think so – that is why informed people are needed to make a judgement call on the spot, not ‘stewards’ who need to look through the rule book to tell them what to think.

      2. Rene says:

        I’m not suggesting that a fan like me should do the thinking, but surely the FIA can do a better job at making real-time calls on 50/50 incidents like this one.

  55. Haydn Lowe says:

    Quite simply has to be Alonso. My prediction after 2004 was that Fernando would be ‘the next Schumacher’, not simply in terms of Championships won, but in temperament, racecraft, guille and class, and this season is simply proving just how right I was.
    It interests me that, despite there being several younger champions in recent years it looks like Alonso is reaching his peak at around the same time Schumacher did (Schuey was also 31 when he went on his 5xWDC streak, Alonso is 31 next week…). It does seem that experience still counts for something despite all appearances being that ‘youth’ was becoming the defining characteristic for a champ in the last 7-8 seasons. Alonso is a much better driver than he was in 05/06 (and I don’t want to get into how badly the regs. hampered Ferrari in that era…) and no-one would bet against him making it to 4 or 5 championships. Still, it does make one wonder how good Vettel will be in his 30′s. He starts from a much higher base than either Alonso or Schumacher (imho) and could win a truly staggering number of titles!

  56. Dave Aston says:

    Great race, Alonso was my DOTD, I love how he managed that race, awesome. Kamui and Kimi were great too. Lots of dicing, clean racing, gloat listing, all good stuff.

  57. CanadaGP says:

    Good point about the 31 years of age comparison. I do agree that of all the drivers on the grid today, Alonso is the most Schumacher-like in terms of all-around ability and race craft. He’s always had the race craft and doggedness but not the one lap qualifying blitz or the wet driving ability. Now, he seems to have both covered as well. Due to the budget restrictions today, I doubt he’ll equal Schumi’s 7.
    Vettel still tends to make mistakes, loses his cool at times, but then he’s also much younger. He’s going to get better still but what will he be like at his peak? Newey gifted him 2 WDCs early in his career.
    Hamilton looked like he was going to be an all-time best in 2007 after the best rookie season of all time. Somehow, he has not improved as much as expected or needed. Jackie Ickx was a young phenom too but never went on to the next level of the immortals.
    Just like any sport, a drive’s career is not judged on the base talent they started with but how they worked on their craft their entire career.

    1. James Allen says:

      I couldn’t agree more; very well expressed

      1. Monza01 says:

        Hear ! Hear !

        Lewis and Seb both have plenty of time to Improve their race strategy but I doubt whether they will ever match Alonso in this respect – he is hardly an old hand himself !

    2. OscarF1 says:

      I agree with most of your comment but I hope you haven’t overlooked Alonso’s skill in the wet. Hungary 2006 or Germany 2007 are just a few examples with plenty of footage available.

      1. chris klees says:

        Alonso’s drive at Imola 2005, in a Renault almost two seconds slower than MS’s Ferrari for 13 laps he held the F1 superforce at bey whilst being hit with everything MS and Ferrari had from behind, 7 WDC crown’s all the records you can imagine….. but did Shuey get passed, nope, Alonso was 23… and even with the new regulations i don’t see why he can not equal MS if thats his goal…….

    3. Wade Parmino says:

      Yes, Newey gifted him the 2011 championship but the 2010 championship was much tougher to earn.

      1. Nuno says:

        the 2010 was gifted by Ferrari

      2. Spinodontosaurus says:

        The RB6 had silly levels of grip, so not really. Aside from the reliability issues, Vettel was on a mission to crash his WDC chances away in 2010.

  58. Kilby says:

    Has to be Alonso. Simply put Alonso is the class of the field because of one thing in my opinion and that is called race craft. Nearly anyone can drive fast, but not everyone can think a race through, the way that Alonso seems to be able to.

    He seems to be able to forward think during the race and have the bases covered, eg: knowing when to be quick, knowing when to slow things down, knowing when to push and when not to. This is the difference, and is seen only in a few drivers. Anyone can be quick, but speed does not necessarily win you races.

  59. Charles Montera says:

    Alonso. RBR and McLaren had a quicker car than Ferrari, but the way the Spaniard managed to stay out of the DRS zone in the crucial moments of the race was amazing. The smart use of DRS while passing lapped cars to resist Jenson’s attacks was fantastic. His mental strength is phenomenal and unmatchable.

  60. Patrick Byrne says:

    I think you’d need to be blinkered or biased to vote anyone but Alonso. A race win in a car that is not the fastest – in this era of DRS and KERS – is surely noteworthy. Not as emotional or exciting as Valencia but perhaps a greater victory…

  61. Steve says:

    I can’t see an argument for anyone else but Alonso, sheer class.
    On another note, James will you PLEASE release a book at Christmas full of posts on this site by McLaren fans in particular Hamilton fans they are so funny it would make the perfect Christmas gift!It would keep us all laughing through to the start of next season.

    1. James Allen says:

      No chance! I will be putting out the end of season book as usual

  62. Deep Freeze says:

    McLaren should have ditched LH when they had the chance in 2007… They’d have at least two world driving championships by now. FA is more consistent and a better driver/team player than LH on all counts. Ohhhhh…. right… it might of been the team as well… :-)

  63. Wade Parmino says:

    With the inconsistency of most other drivers, Alonso just has to average a 4th place each race for the rest of the season and I think that will be enough for the Championship. He should be able to do this.

  64. Stone the crows says:

    Alonso, without a doubt, he didn’t put a foot wrong, and has made more of the Ferrari than anyone expected. Kudos to the team as well giving him an excellent strategy. It is especially impressive given the way Ferrari struggled at the begining of the year and that they still do not feel they have the best car.

  65. Andy says:

    New found respect for Alonso. Incredible year(s) (incl the last year) for the greatest driver alive.

    1. F1Racer says:

      I couldn’t agree less (coming from a Schumacher fan)!

      1. chris klees says:

        It could not have come from anywhere else……

        Watch the scrap between Alonso and Shuey at Imola 2005, where the “greatest ever” was given a lesson in race craft from a 23 year old in a car two sec down over 13 laps……

  66. Ram says:

    has there been in the history of f1 ..where a WC has won the championship by winning the least number of race or better no race in that season

    1. Wade Parmino says:

      1982. Keke Rosberg only won a single race.

  67. Sebastian says:

    If starting on pole and winning by four seconds makes you driver of the day, these polls are useless.

    You guys should point out that driver of the day isn’t about who won the race… and even less how you performed in qualy…

    1. Kev says:

      Yes, they should give the title to who has the best reason for retiring from the race.

      Lewis would have won that for Germany:)

    2. chris klees says:

      OK, so you start from pole and you know that your car is not the quickest on the grid, Vettel 2nd on grid lost four places Shumacher 3 on grid lost 6 places, so by keeping track possition, fending off faster cars managing his tyres showing master class race craft fending off three WDC winners in marginable faster cars does not quallify for driver off the day , Kev’s reply makes equal sense

      Please state your criteria for drive of the day and i am sure someone in here will enlighten your insite :-)

  68. It’s a slightly difficult one to call. Alonso drove a strong race throughout, but was never really challenged. Button looked very good, but ultimately didn’t get the job done.

    My vote is for Kobayashi, who teamed his trademark gutsy overtakes with impressive speed and tyre management. It’s good to see Kamui moving out of his teammate’s shadow again. Sauber have a very able driver pairing at the moment.

    1. chris klees says:

      Never really challenged……… constant pressure e from behind, yes a few breathers, mid race and after Button the magic Tyre man had to back off due to lack of grip, only then at the very end was the mid race gap retained, when Alonso was able to put the hammer down due to masterful race craft and tyre management

      Look at how close the race and order was, one small mistake and three four cars could pass, look at Vettel, had he settled for third instead of fighting it out with Button…..

  69. Steve says:

    think you will find Jack Brabham fits that criteria

  70. Rayz says:

    I understand why the top finishers are receiving much of the plaudits here. Alonso drove a commanding race, led from start to finish, and there can be no doubt that he is, on current form, the best driver in F1.

    Jenson had a good race, no more. He made the moves he needed to make early on in the race which allowed him to compete for the victory. However, it has to be noted that his overtakes at the start of the grand prix were on much slowers cars, Schumacher in the Mercedes was a good second a lap slower. Nonetheless though, a good race. But not driver of the day by a long shot.

    To me, driver of the day is about more than just finishing on the podium. Although Raikkonen had a supreme race and deserves all the credit he has received, even his tactical nouse at outright speed is not enough to class him as driver of the day.

    You cannot look further than the two Sauber drivers. Kamui and Sergio both drove absolutely stunning races. Perez came from the back of the grid, burning past all in his way. Webber, Di Resta, Hulkenberg, Schumacher but to name a few. Even more stunning was the pace of both drivers when in free air. Anyone who was keeping an eye on the F1 Live Timing screens throughout the race will have seen just how quick they really were. Not only were they at front running pace, at times, Alonso was a good half second slower. Kobayashi simply ran out of laps versus Raikkonen. We think of the Lotus as a quick car but the Sauber had it beaten all ends up in a straight fight.

    With that in mind, the two Sauber drivers take a joint driver of the day in my book. 4th and 6th was the least they deserved and the team are looking very competitive as we head towards Budapest.

    On a final note, I never hear any discussions for worst driver of the day. People have been raving about Romain Grojean of late. Its true, on average his one lap pace has been a fraction quicker than Kimi so far this season. But his race craft and general intelligence has to be called into question at this point. There is only so many first lap incidents that can be attributed to “bad luck”. Romain is beginning to cost the Lotus team valuable points with his inability to keep his nose clean at the start of Grand Prix. The skill to get through the first lap without incident is in my opinion, one which cannot be thought (despite Sir Jackie Stewart believing otherwise). It is not a skill that Romain appears to have and although experience will reduce the number of errors Romain makes over time, I’m affraid its looking as though he is yet another driver who is lacking in a crucial area of motor racing. All the speed in the world is no good without it.
    Jean Eric Vergne is the other driver I would put in the category of flop of the day, along with Mark Webber. Neither showed any real pace throughout the weekend.

    To summarise:

    Drivers of the day;

    1. Perez
    2. Kobayashi
    3. Raikkonen/Alonso/Button

    Flops of the day;

    1. Grojean
    2. Webber
    3. Vergne

    Rayz

    1. Rod Salazar says:

      In what’s channel you broadcast? None? You should

      1. Rayz says:

        Thank you! :)

      2. Paulo C says:

        Mr Rayz, I agree with Rod, you did a great analysis and even better comments

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