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Posted By: James Allen  |  02 Sep 2012   |  11:20 pm GMT  |  153 comments

Jenson Button avoided the first lap carnage to take a dominant victory from pole position at Spa, but there were plenty of impressive drives elsewhere. Who was your Driver of the Day?

Jenson Button

Decided on a low downforce set-up after final practice and it appeared to be the right choice as he nailed a brilliant lap in the second part of qualifying. Two more scintillating laps in the top 10 shoot-out sealed his first pole position since the 2009 Monaco Grand Prix. A perfect start saw him escape the carnage behind him and though Sebastian Vettel looked quick in the second half of the race, Button responded with a flurry of fast laps before coasting to his second win of the season and retain hopes of fighting for the world title.

Sebastian Vettel

Was a shock absentee from the top 10 shoot-out in qualifying after making a mistake in the third sector of his final run in Q2. Qualified 11th but started 10th after a five-place grid penalty for Red Bull teammate Mark Webber. Avoided the first corner pile up but lost a few places as he negotiated the debris. Showed good race pace and pulled of a series of bold moves, including one over Webber at the Bus Stop chicane to rise up through the field. A one-stop strategy proved to be the right choice as he rose to second before easing off when he realised he could not catch Button. Climbed to second in the drivers’ standings, 24 points off leader Fernando Alonso.

Kimi Raikkonen

Considered one of the favourites for victory going into the weekend having won the race four times before. Looked strong in third practice but couldn’t get a lap together in qualifying and finished fourth fastest, which became third on the grid following Pastor Maldonado’s three-place grid penalty. Fortunate to avoid the crash at the start, but struggled for pace early on and lost a number of places. Unlucky to come out in traffic after both his two stops, but showed good pace in the final stint to pass Michael Schumacher among others and rise up to third. A sixth podium of the season keeps him in the title hunt, 31 points of the lead.

Nico Hulkenberg

Failed to make it into Q2 and started 12th while his teammate Paul di Resta started two places further up. Avoided the first corner melee to run as high as second early on, battling with Kimi Raikkonen and then Michael Schumacher. Decided on a two-stop strategy which he made work to finish fourth. It was the his best result of the season and lifted him above his teammate in the drivers’ standings while also helping his Force India team rise to seventh in the constructors’.

Felipe Massa

Looked out of sorts in practice and admitted struggling to get the car hooked up in the middle sector in qualifying. Started 14th on the grid and passed both Red Bulls before having to back off due to the first corner crash. That left him 11th after the first lap, but he used his car’s good pace and DRS, and cut out the mistakes, to rise through the field and ensure Ferrari left the weekend with some points after Alonso crashed out on the first lap. It was the Brazilian’s sixth points scoring finish of the season and second in succession.

Jean-Eric Vergne

Struggled for pace in qualifying to finish 15th fastest, one place ahead of his Toro Rosso teammate Daniel Ricciardo. Made a slow getaway, but that meant he was well away from trouble when the first corner crash happened and was therefore able to sneak through down the inside and make up some positions. Showed good race pace which combined with slick pit stops helped the Frenchman rise up the field to equal his best finish of the season and help his team score their first double points finish of 2012.

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153 Comments
  1. Me says:

    I am no Vettel fan but if he does not win this ‘poll’ then it is proof this is just a fanboy poll, not a real poll looking at the facts.

    Easily the driver of the day.

    1. Chris Normal says:

      I agree. Human bias is disappointing.

      1. Anonymous says:

        One should not be disappointed about human bias beacause it is, well, human.

    2. Frankie says:

      Really? What are your ‘facts’?
      Vettel gained about 6 places for free at the start by no doing of his own due to the crash, and a good strategy by Red Bull helped him to get ahead of two stoppers – he wanted to come in but they made him stay out. I’d admit he made some good overtakes but he wasn’t quite up to Button’s pace I don’t think. He finished more than 13 seconds behind Button. Almost enough for Button to do a two-stop and catch up with him!

      1. mayday says:

        Urm, no? In fact, he was somewhere in the 12th place after the first lap. Which means he dropped even more places, considering Alonso, Hamilton, Grosjean & Senna all crashed out. Facts.

      2. HansB says:

        Yes. He lost already 3 or 4 places at the start because he was sleeping not because of the start collision.
        He made some great overtaking moves but he had to make up from his mistake. Therefor for me Button was driver of the day. He did everything right and was never under threat.

      3. Ino says:

        He actually lost places at the start, ended up still 11th after cars in front of him retired. He just overtook them all!

      4. Calvin says:

        He was actually behind Kovalainen at the restart so he never made any places.

      5. Frankie says:

        Oops, thought he made up places at start.

      6. AlexD says:

        I think he was 12th after the crash…..

      7. James Enocre says:

        Button was driver of the weekend. He earned his opportunity for a win with as brilliant qualifying and never looked like screwing up on Sunday: didn’t mess up the start, so wasn’t in the crash and was leading behind the safety car. Didn’t mess up the restart. Didn’t try anything different on strategy from his main competitors. Didn’t destroy the tyres, didn’t throw the car off the track… Didn’t *need* to overtake anyone, didn’t *need* to put banzai laps in round the pitstops. So not driver of the day for Sunday.

        Vettel was the only driver closer to Button at the end of the race than the end of the restart lap and made multiple good over taking moves. It’s much easier to make a case for driver of the *day* for someone who didn’t qualify well or get a good start

        And Kimi’s move on MSC into Eau Rouge is my overtake of the season, but once again his race didn’t really work out as well as it should

      8. Mook says:

        Well said, Button best over the weekend. Vettel driver of the day. And i am a McLaren fan..[mod]

      9. Wiz says:

        So you were obviously watching a different race to the rest of us, as Vettel actually lost places due to the crash and was 12th at the restart.

    3. Racyboy says:

      I don’t think I’ve ever voted for Vettel before,but I have no choice today, he raced brilliantly. That Bus stop move was sublime…every time.

    4. Chip says:

      Being a Vettel fan myself, I still think Nico Hulkenberg should be a strong candidate for Driver of the Day.

    5. MikeyB says:

      Vettel clearly realised the opportunity that Alonso’s absence offered and drove like a man possessed. How he avoided Schumi’s late pit entry, I’ll never know, but that was just one example among many of his feisty commitment at Spa. It was exciting to watch Vettel’s progress through the field and showed that the current World Champion isn’t just sitting on his laurels – he’s in a race to the title with Alonso that promises to provide a scintillating second half of the season.

    6. Edison says:

      I am not Sebastian fan and I totally agree with you. Vettel drove with the knife between the teeths today. Superb drive by him and congratulation to Jensen.

    7. DK says:

      +1

      Jenson drove like Vettel did in many of his light to finish wins. Vettel drove like Alonso yesterday taking every opportunity along the way.

    8. Kevin says:

      Mate I’m Australian and I couldn’t agree more. His controlled aggression, strategy and overtakes were worthy of a dual world champion.

    9. Scott Walton says:

      Well, that may be a little strong, but I certainly agree that Vettel was a stand out. I would not be surprised if we look back at the end of the season and say, this is the race that really mattered in securing a 3rd world championship in a row.

      1. LD says:

        Good point. If he had given up and thrown a stop after finding himself 12 after lap 1, who knows what scraps of points (if any) he’d have won…

        If the WDC goes down to the last race, then this race will have been a crucial.

    10. Bart says:

      Apparently Vettel didn’t even win the poll at India last year.

    11. Msta says:

      Me too +1
      How good to watch was his near miss with Schu!

      PS. They shouldn’t have banned Gro but instead forced him to start from the Pit lane at Monza.

    12. simon says:

      You can’t not give it to Button. He was magnificent at the front careful enough to avoid the carnage and was dominant; nobody could get anywhere near him. If he keeps driving this way, he will become world champ, again.

      1. LD says:

        It’s pretty easy to avoid carnage when it all happens behind you.

        What are you talking about. Jenson was sublime, but we know from previous polls that leading from the front in the best machinery rarely wins the poll.

    13. Richard D says:

      I have to confess to being a Button fan and saw this poll as a simple choice between Button and Vettel. Vettel clearly had a good race with some significant moves, in particular taking his own team mate. He very nearly got my vote, but in the end I did opt for Button, not due to favouritism but purely because he drove such a perfect race. I hope this result shows that he’s finally got to grips with this cars and the tyres.

    14. JohnBt says:

      Correct. Voted Vettel without blinking an eye.

    15. AlexD says:

      I do not like Vettel at all….and really do not want him to do well, but I need to say that I have voted for Vettel.

      Best drive yesterday, by far……

    16. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      Vettel is a double champion being happy to be 2nd? No way, it is not my driver of the day.

      However, Hulkenberg did it all with a middle field car, fighting with the big cars and champions in the front, grabbing points and putting himself ahead of Di Resta in the WDC, and pushing ahead the team in the WCC, but most important, he delivered when it counts, now when Ferrari, Mercedes are considering their line-ups.

    17. Nando says:

      The lack of votes for Hulkenberg is what really shows the fan bias. Red Bull was the 2nd quickest car out there today, yes he made some nice passes but Webber essentially let him by without fighting.
      Red Bull deserve credit for making the strategy call, and not abating to Vettel’s requests to jump the gun and switch towith a two-stopper

    18. moxlox says:

      Button delivered the perfect weekend. Pole position, never overtaken, drove off into the distance.

      Vettel drove a fantastic race with sublime overtaking, but he didn’t perform in qualifying.

      So in this case, despite it being driver of the day, that is my discriminator. Simply Button was in a class of one this weekend and should be lauded for the fact.

      1. phil says:

        Would have voted for Vettel is the roles were reversed?
        I see a lot of people say this, yet when Vettel does exactly what Button does, he never wins a DoD poll

      2. moxlox says:

        Well I have voted for Vettel in the past in polls on here, so yes.

        For me Alonso, Hamilton, and Vettel are the best contemporary F1 drivers. In that order IMHO.

    19. KRB says:

      Why? Button did everything a driver could do to dominate the weekend! He led every lap, even as he pitted before Vettel (came out 1.7s ahead).

      Vettel wasn’t in Q3 b/c of a mistake in qualifying. Vettel did very well in the race, a great drive as you say, but better than Button’s? He came thru more people of course, but that’s what happens when you start 10th.

      Button edges it for me, and trust me, I am no Button or Vettel fan. As for the others, there’s only one other driver that could possibly be seriously considered, and that’s Hulkenberg. Anyone who thinks that Kimi was driver of the day is just a fanboy.

      1. mayberth says:

        why? hulkenberg didn’t struggle with his car and was comfortably faster than kimi on S1 and S3~~ Kimi keep battling with his own car, kers issues, lack of straightline speed etc to make it through p3…..~~ you’re argument are pure hatred and nth more

      2. Bart says:

        “Why? Button did everything a driver could do to dominate the weekend! He led every lap, even as he pitted before Vettel (came out 1.7s ahead).”

        Yet on this very website, Vettel didn’t get the votes when he led every lap in India and Singapore, or all bar 2 laps in Bahrain this year.

      3. John says:

        That would be because Vettel had by far and away the best car last year.

        For this race Button had an improved car but had no idea how quick it really was. We should not forget this was a perfect drive from a driver who has struggled for much of the year.

        Button delivered his first pole for 3 years and the first lights to flag victory of the year – all after having virtually no Friday running. Neither did any of the others but to make it look so easy was as if he had been driving the same perfect car all year.

      4. Bart says:

        @John – It was hardly “far and away” the best in several races Vettel won last year- Belgium, Spain, Monaco, Italy, Korea and Malaysia for instance, were races where his rivals could easily have challenged or beat him, yet he didn’t win the poll. Button wins in the same manner, and wins the vote in a landslide.

        And how about Bahrain this year as well? The Lotuses stormed past everyone, including Webber, but Vettel beat them. Kimi won the vote.

      5. JF says:

        By my memory, Vettel has never got driver of the day on this poll. The win usually goes to the race winner, unless the winner is Vettel. A shame really, Vettel is the most underrated driver in F1 right now.

    20. Richard says:

      I agree. Vettel lost places at the start, but with good strategy, and some good passes he was able to finish 2nd which with the amount of work required was fine driving from the young German.

    21. Glennb says:

      [mod]

      I too voted for Vettel. Great fight back, lots of overtaking and a great result.

    22. Steve says:

      I’m not sure if Seb has ever won a driver of the day on here, the only reason he’s even a chance of winning the poll this week is because Hamilton was a DNF.

    23. Steve Zodiac says:

      Romain Grosjean, what a driver, fast starting, even faster stopping!!

  2. h.a.m. says:

    Romain Grosjean! For being away for 3 weeks

    1. Rogelio Carballo says:

      He’s the man:
      - For making Alonso’s gap smaller
      - For reminding us Formula 1 is still a dangerous sport
      - For binging back memories of some other admired killed drivers
      - For making every Hamilton fan taking care of Alonso’s health
      - For taking back a 1 race ban from the old rules book
      - Because he desearves it…. as a Lorel ad….

    2. Bill of Lading says:

      What a discrace. A one-race ban is the smallest penalty that could be awarded for that crash. It’s not inconceivable that had Grosjean’s car flewn 50 cm to the left, F1 would have had it’s first lethal casualty since 1994…

      In my opinion, he should lose his super license.

    3. Allwyn says:

      True that, definitely deserves the driver of the day award

  3. Stormbreak says:

    Vettel or Hulkenberg. Jenson dominated the weekend, but clearly the car was just beautiful this weekend. Vettel’s dominating victories never get driver of the day, so I think it’s fair that his drive through the field gets some recognition.

    1. folkdisco says:

      Yes, but look how much faster Jensen was over Lewis, the best way to avoid a first corner pile up is to be at the front. Also impressed by Jaime Alguersuari, who predicted Jenson on Friday.

    2. Mitchel says:

      +1. I went with the same rationale.

    3. **Paul** says:

      Agreed; I think both SV and NH put in stunning drives. Not sure who to pick though, NH for his awesome pace and thrashing his team by 45s+ (yes DIR had no KERS, but that’s doesn’t account for that size of gap), or Vettel with a series of overtakes in a car which rarely had the legs on anything on the straights due to their super aggressive gear ratios.

      1. Elie says:

        A second a lap I reckon is about what you would loose without KERS at this horsepower circuit cause you can’t overtake when everyone has 60-80 advantage

    4. Pete says:

      what a dreadful qualifying from the German drivers

      and what a sensational RACE from Vettel, the Hulk and Shoemaker

      Hülkenberg and di Resta are said to be in the running for the Massa seat at Ferrari

      and surely, Hülkenberg is edging ahead of the Scot now

      a monster-drive by Schumi as well: imagine him, Vettel and Alonso driving the same car

  4. Steve says:

    I’d like to vote for Schumi, he should be DOTD simply for driving that dog of a car. ;)

    1. NJ says:

      Yeah, that Mercedes wasn’t worthy of being in the Top 10, let alone fighting for 2nd, and Michael would have stuck it in 3rd too if it wasn’t for that gearbox problem with 10 laps to go.

      This is on a weekend where Sector 2 times for the W03 were only 0.5 quicker than an HRT.

      Also fantastic robust defence and duped Pitlane Entry to confuse Vettel.

      Only MSC can deliver that.

    2. Kay says:

      Gimme that car and vote for me.

      1. NJ says:

        If you can take that W03 car and pass Raikkonen and Vettel and keep both of them behind you for an entire stint(never mind having to start from 13th).

        Yes I’d vote for you to be DOTD.

      2. Kay says:

        Well OP said he’d vote for MSC for simply driving it without mentioning passing Raik or Vettel or anyone. So I’ll just do the same and I should get a vote for DOTD :D

    3. Janis says:

      Agreed!
      Sure, Button did it all right, and Vettel also had to work hard, but IMHO Schumi deserves the DOTD this time for squeezing everything and more out of a not-so-great car.

    4. Daniel says:

      100% agree with you

    5. Baart1980 says:

      Agree witch You men !

  5. olderguysrule says:

    Considering his experience and the quality of his car, I voted for the hulk.

  6. Andrew M says:

    Button by a landslide. Most dominant weekend of the season so far.

    Non-driver of the day goes to Charlie Whiting for his classic shake of the head following Maldonado’s jump start!

    1. Veteran says:

      Button? He was lucky to not have to avoid the big crash…
      Vettel was 12th after that… Had to negotiate through the rubble, had to overtake to get to 2nd. Button just had to nothing. Just be consistent…

      1. Andrew M says:

        It wasn’t really luck, Button qualified on pole and was therefore out of the way of any incidents, Vettel qualified

        And Jenson did more than just “being consistent”, he managed to do a one stop race and was still lapping faster than most of the field. He was never challenged for the lead at all because he could lap so quickly on worn tyres. Look at the others who tried a one stop and had to bail out (Schumacher, Senna) to see haw difficult that was.

        Vettel did well, but he’d already lost places at the start before the crash. Also, I’m a bit wary of giving drivers who qualify 11th and 18th place DOTD, because they have an inherent strategy advantage over drivers who qualified above them with extra new tyres. Vettel could start on new tyres and this probably helped him make a one-stop work, as opposed to most of the top 10 (including Webber) who had to do a two-stop race.

      2. Andrew M says:

        *Vettel qualified lower down the grid and was therefore caught up in the accident.

    2. Michael says:

      That shake was priceless!!!

  7. Irish con says:

    I think we should have a race in Ireland. Think we could rival spa with the hills and gradient in our country side would be lethal. Also bare in mind our weather and it would be the best race of the season LOL ojojojoj

    Spa it was a pleasure once again. Pity we can’t have more tracks like this.

    Jenson driver of the day

    1. Aljo says:

      Would love to see that!

      And it is quite simple. All Ireland needs is a huge oil well, which would also help out with a few other problems too.

  8. Jon T says:

    Button by a country mile for me. He looked flawless all weekend and ran the perfect race. Made a one stopper work out as well where others struggled. Granted he got some help at the start but I doubt anybody could threaten McLaren’s pace this weekend. It’ll be interesting to see if that holds into Monza.

    Close second for the Hulk though, that Force India always seems to go well at Spa! Great drive from him. I think he got pretty much all he could from that car.

  9. unF1nnished business says:

    Jenson deserves it – what a comeback from what appeared to be a dismal year for him. I’m somewhat surprised by the significant performance boost of McLaren’s new rear wing. Hats off to Vettel and Raikkonen as well.

  10. Frankie says:

    So the Red Bull lack of qualifying pace and penalty was very much a blessing in disguise given the first corner crash.

    Did anyone else find the Jacky Ickx interviews strange? Love the guy but it all seemed a bit odd..

    Even though Vettel climbed up from a poor starting place it’s gotta be Jensen for the day.

  11. Phil says:

    Roman Grosjean: For having a bigger effect on the race’s outcome than any of the other drivers listed here.

  12. AGO says:

    Vettel and the Hulk to me. A good day for Masa too. Macca and JB in another planet today.

  13. kp says:

    Are you all fools? Hamilton gets my vote. Who needs to drive the whole race when you can still get paid the same for driving less than 500m!

    1. Big bear says:

      here here

  14. Andrew Carter says:

    Tough choice between Button, Vettel and Hulkenberg. Went with Hulk because there’s no way a Force India should be fighting with Red Bulls, Ferrari’s and Lotuses.

    1. Rishi says:

      Agreed. One of those cases where response to “Driver of the Day” probably needs to be made distinct from “Driver of the Weekend”. The latter was definitely Button; the former a choice between Vettel and Hulkenberg. Some very good overtakes by Vettel and he made a one-stop strategy work well, but I too voted for The Hulk. Yes he benefitted from what happened at the start but he stayed up there and showed very good race pace throughout.

  15. Becken says:

    Grosjean. At crashing into Alonso, he brought some thrill to the championship battle again.

  16. Juanma Barranquero says:

    Grosjean, obviously. No other pilot had half as much impact on the result as he did.

  17. FerrariFan says:

    I surprised myself by voting for Vettel. Those overtakes were great and clean. Though I felt the Torro roso’s were instructed not to fight hard. The Hulk was also great. I think Hulkenberg has quietly proven his worth this season.

    1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      Very good point about the Toro Rosos, IMO that diminished Vettel’s result.

  18. Wu says:

    Schumi would be in my top 3 drivers of the day, along with Button and Vettel.

  19. bob says:

    Grosjean, for showing us he really, really wants to drive for Red Bull.

  20. Louis says:

    Jenson Button for sure, he had a perfect weekend!

    Concern about the pace from the Lotus, after last 2 races, they don’t have any advantage toward the tyre any more, Mclaren & Redbull are doing 1 stop in the race with no tyre problem at all, if Alonso was not out, you will see the speed of that Ferrari as well.

    I wonder what they doing over the summer break, or they just enjoying the success too much. they always got problem in their car compare to others, I hope they can sort out the problem quickly, if not I don’t think Kimi can win in that car. All sudden it looks like Mclaren, Redbull, Ferrari and even Sauber are faster then Lotus.

  21. JB says:

    The Mclaren is much faster now than before. Despite the imposed mid-season break, Mclaren appears to have a very different design this time around. Button is able to dialled in the settings and made it work. Hamilton wasn’t.

    RedBull is still leaning on an ‘old’ car as this team do not have the budget to pump out new designs so frequently.

    That said, Vettel is definitely the DOTD for me. Esp Vettel, coming from 1.1 secs off to end up in second is a really great “damage control” race from Vettel. Similar to the level of Alonso. AND something J.Button has not shown this year.

    Both Raikkonen and Michael deserves a consolation price (if there is such a thing). Both of them still show they are legends of SPA. Put on a great show and it is only their machinery which let them down.

    Lastly, I really love the bit on the podium interview when Raikkonen was given the loudest cheer. He is definitely the fan’s favourite!

    1. KRB says:

      Red Bull don’t have the budget?!? You do know that it’s them that’s stopping the RRA from coming into effect, right? Because they want to spend Mateschitz’s money!

  22. richy says:

    i almost want to say Hulk, cos that was a great result and a real good drive, but JB just bossed the weekend so comprehensively it would be criminal to nominate anyone other than him.

    on a different note; James, who’s idea is that cringe-fest that is the driver interviews on the podium ??
    it’s horrible, it needs to stop.

    1. James Allen says:

      Interesting to see a lot of negatives about them this time

      1. Quick Nick Rules says:

        Probably because the last 2 races were on Sky and thus no one saw the ghastly post-race interviews. With Spa being open to the masses, the full horror of a senile has-been asking staid questions in broken English to drivers who would clearly love to be anywhere else is revealed! Truly cringeable.

  23. TheGreatTeflonso says:

    Has to be Hulkenberg for me. Button did well but his car was sublime, and Vettel did well but his car also was excellent. Nico did a great job in a car that should have finished much lower.

  24. Tom says:

    Vettel. After this race, I don’t know how anyone will be able to claim that he can’t overtake.

    1. Chapor says:

      Will have to grudgingly admit that he made some really good overtakes as of late. And I had to vote for him, even though I cannot stand him. At all… But credit were credit is due.

    2. Steve says:

      When you point out instances where he overtakes the McLaren fan boys just switch back to the “he has the fastest car, of course he can overtake!” argument.

  25. Sri says:

    Many times the vote is given to a top driver disregarding the car and experience of a young driver. Why every time the poll winner is either race winner or at most a podium winner? I think this poll is just a popular perception in the viewers, it does not mean the driver is actually the best on that day.

  26. vinod says:

    Hi James,This question is slightly out of topic we have been hearing a lot from Mclaren and lewis they are very close in signing the contract but nothing signed as of yet yet Mercedes is placed in similar position with Schumi. Have read report that Bernie saying that Schumi may not race next season. So is there chance that Lewis might go to Mercedes and if it happens who might be the likely candidate to come to Lotus would like your opinion

    1. James Allen says:

      He’d be brave to leave McLaren for Mercedes, but Ross Brawn said that he’s got the group he wants now and that 2013 will be a different story so you never know.

      I think Hamilton is keeping an eye on Red Bull too, if Vettel goes to Ferrari in 2014, then that has to be the seat for him

      1. Pete says:

        @James

        please enlighten us on the Mercedes situation

        German media report that the “Stuttgarter” may be on their way out, with Zetsche, the CEO, saying it’s all about “winning or nothing”

        Bernie’s Concorde agreement does not seem to help either

        Ross Brawn has now been in charge of Mercedes for a few years, with very little to show for his efforts, even Sauber are ahead of them; there are now some reports suggesting Mercedes either pull out altogether,

        or

        hand over the reigns to the current boss of AMG, with Ross Brawn getting kicked out; in this case Schumi would stop racing and become Co-team-boss

        the only thing stopping this scenario from becoming reality are Schumi’s and Brawn’s opposition to play along

        as for Bernie’s comments of Schumi retiring at the end of the season: the usually well-informed German media have not really picked up on this or verified it with their own sources

        and considering that Mercedes and Bernie do not see eye to eye, it’s hard to see why the company would allow him to be the first one to spill the beans; sounds more like the trouble-maker is at it again

        still, James, what’s the gossip about Mercedes’ future in the pit-lane

        thanks

      2. James Allen says:

        There seems to be some substance to the idea that AMG may be lined up to be the brand racing in F1 going forwards, rather than Mercedes.

        I’m trying to get some insights into this and will post when I have them

      3. Thejusge13 says:

        Alguersauri to Ferrari?

      4. Serrated_Edge says:

        James, Surely Hamiltons antics of Tweeting telemetry sheets is hardly the actions of a driver wanting to stay with his current team?

        I can’t see Ron Dennis being too happy with Hamilton who is increasingly acting as if he thinks he is bigger than the team.

  27. vinod says:

    Button was flawless, Vettel was impressive but I would rate kimi and Schumi to have driven the best race because both the cars were not well suited for SPA. Yet both of them had brilliant race

  28. Tim says:

    DOTD: Vettel
    Honorable Mention: Massa

  29. Hendo says:

    Has to be Vettel.

    Any chance we could get a stewards report after each race so we know what happened to all the incidents, like Heiki’s & Webber’s unsafe pit release etc. Thanks

    1. KRB says:

      http://tinyurl.com/spa-stewards-rpt

      They’re all there. Document 60 covers Webber’s unsafe release.

  30. AlexD says:

    I don’t even want to pick one because we did not see how several other guys would have challenged Button for the win.

    In this case, it shall be Grosjean.

    P.S. James, on the other hand…what do you think Grosjean will think of himself knowing that he could be the one killing the hope of Alonso to win the tile?

    I still hope though that Ferrari will be capable of maintaining this lead…and just wish that Alonso wins in Monza. It would be the best remedy

    1. James Allen says:

      He’s got to be pretty embarrassed

  31. Tolga YILDIRIM says:

    Romain Grojean….easily the driver of the day…made a fascinating start ….made a great impact in the race and took out 5 drivers easily….

  32. Eduan says:

    Come on James I think Michael deserves to be on your list as well!

  33. Daniel says:

    James, you forgot Grosjean! He`s my hero for Sunday! I want to give him my vote for Driver of the Day. No driver has got his name mentioned in the press as often as him during this weekend`s GP :) He`s the PR champion!

  34. I’m not the largest Vettel fan, but I think he drove really well, made some nice overtakes, on the Bus Stop especially, and finished on the podium after starting from 11-th.

    I’m not taking anything away from Button, but that race looked very easy for him.

  35. Dean V says:

    It has to be Vettel. The race looked too easy for Button.

  36. Mohomed says:

    Vettel by a Mile. Funny how when Vettel wins from lights to flag, and makes it look effortless (as did Button with this win), everyone sais it’s just the car and he did not have to work hard for it???
    What a performance from Vettel, starts P10, does well to avoid the chaos in the first lap, drops to 12th, then works his way through the field with a car that was 10-15 Kph slower than almost all other cars. Brilliant moves to overtake in the bus stop chicane, which were very risky but beautifully executed! Webber could not pull off the same move (when behind Senna), however Vettel made it look easy and overtook Webbber and Senna within a few laps. Looked after his tyres well to jump Raikonnen into 2nd place.
    Championship battle back on! i’m sure we dont want any driver to have a 40 point lead.

  37. FletcherB says:

    I’m a McLaren fan, so it would be easy to vote for Button’s easy dominance…

    But I think Vettel takes it, not only for the reasons noted in James’ introduction, but for his avoidance of Schumi’s pit-entrance antics, and then not just avoiding contact but flipping his tail around to keep on track and on path…

    Masterful!

  38. Spinodontosaurus says:

    Button had it pretty easy during the race.
    Vettel had a fiesty race, and climbed through the field to finish 2nd; the highest his car could probably achieve.
    If this had been 2011, Button would be being hailed as heroic for such a drive that Vettel had today, whilst Vettel would be slated with ‘its just the car’ had he won like Button did.
    Yet Button is winning this poll.
    Where is the consistency in judgement..?

    1. John says:

      That would be because Vettel had by far and away the best car last year.

      Since so few read through these comments thoroughly here is my response to another similar comment:
      For this race Button had an improved car but had no idea how quick it really was. We should not forget this was a perfect drive from a driver who has struggled for much of the year.

      Button delivered his first pole for 3 years and the first lights to flag victory of the year – all after having virtually no Friday running. Neither did any of the others but to make it look so easy was as if he had been driving the same perfect car all year.

      1. Bart says:

        Here’s my response to your earlier comment:

        It was hardly “far and away” the best in several races Vettel won last year- Belgium, Spain, Monaco, Italy, Korea and Malaysia for instance, were races where his rivals could easily have challenged or beat him, yet he didn’t win the poll. Button wins in the same manner, and wins the vote in a landslide.

        And how about Bahrain this year as well? The Lotuses stormed past everyone, including Webber, but Vettel beat them. Kimi won the vote.

      2. John says:

        Not being the fastest car does not stop a car being the best. Last year Red Bull arrived at each circuit with massive confidence in their cars. This meant that, whilst at certain circuits other cars might have been slightly faster, Vettel knew practically everything there was to know about how to make his car work. He never had to think about changing his driving style in order to win a race and when he didn’t win it was never the same driver meaning his championship was never under threat. Earlier this year we heard about how much harder the RB mechanics were having to work to try and make their cars work.

        As for Bahrain I don’t remember Kimi losing out from his grid position despite several cars in front crashing out. I don’t think a DOTD can ever be one that has slipped so far backwards without any external cause.

        At spa Button’s first stint was incredible – every green flag lap was within 0.7s – amazing consistency over so many laps on a circuit known to be a severe test of a driver’s skill. To achieve such a dominant win without any worthwhile running on the Friday with a car that was largely untested was a remarkable feat from Button and, therefore, definitely worthy of DOTD.

      3. Bart says:

        The only real considerations that will affect the performance of a car before considering the driver, will be the speed/handling, and the reliability. The Red Bull was not the clear best on all 19 weekends of the season, even though it was the best on average across the year.

        Yes, Button is worthy of DOTD for Sunday, but how can anyone prove that Vettel didn’t do the best job when he was the one pulling out incredible margins over the field, like on the same demanding Spa circuit last year, or leading every lap in Singapore and India (where he even pushed for fastest lap)? Even Webber gets more recognition for a comeback through the field, or a win from the front.

  39. Bobby says:

    Schumacher! Gave the best entertainment throughout the race.

  40. Jake B says:

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Vettel was the most impressive driver of the day. The McLaren and Lotus were clearly quicker than the Red Bull, and Vettel made a one stopper work despite even the team thinking it wasn’t possible.

    1. KRB says:

      Before the race didn’t Gary Anderson say that RBR had asked the FIA to instigate every team having to do three stops, for safety reasons? (FIA said no) Was it just a feint, or did they get it so very wrong?

  41. Lisa Thomas says:

    James, I’m baffled as to why my post was deleted ??

    1. James Allen says:

      No idea, we’ve had 400+ in the last 18 hours. Must have broken the rules. What did it say?

      1. Lisa Thomas says:

        Hi James, I don’t recall ever being rude to anyone
        it said I knew Vettel and Kimi would come through, basically

        BTW My friend and I sometimes post from the same lap top, and once or twice his posts didn’t appear, or both. Don’t know any reason for it.

      2. James Allen says:

        Well this got through. We have some keywords that mean automatic deletion, swear words and also words to do with liking or disliking drivers which do not pass moderation automatically

  42. Mr Squiggle says:

    I came so close to voting for Vettel. It was undeniably a good drive, but I think the six DNFs ahead of him on the grid flatter to deceive.

    Jenson was my DOTD.

    As an aside, the votes for Grojean here are a bit disturbing. There was a time that no race fan would joke about that incident, not even privately.

    Every now and then there is an accident that has old school F1 fans holding their breath (Schumi at Abu Dhabi two years ago, Webber looping at Valencia etc).

    Fate can be tempted for too long and too many times.

    Sometimes a balancing event is required.

  43. jjpm says:

    James, just a few minutes before the Schum/Vettel “pas de danse” we heard Mercedes radio tell to Schumacher to pass to plan “B” which was obviously a second pit stop. apparently, Red Bull didn’t notify Vettel of that situation… imho, if they had told Vettel he would have waited rather than try to pass in that complex portion…

    Jenson is my DOTD

  44. RedChimp says:

    I’m a JB fan but I would have to say Vettel. He was awesome in coming through the field.

  45. Chris says:

    Not a Vettel fan by any stretch but he was fantastic. That drive has gone a long way to dispelling my doubts about his racecraft when in amongst the pack.

  46. Mart says:

    Has to be Vettel this time.
    A blistering pace, some very good overtaking, and very mature racing. If he would have been at places 2-3 after the start, I’m sure he would have raced Jenson for all it’s worth.

  47. anthony says:

    Vettel by far the best out there & i dont like him ! it was a championship winning drive which i actually havnt seen him do much of !

  48. S2K says:

    Kimi… for saying “Give me more power” on the team radio in the final stages of the race. That WAS the quote of the day, ha, ha, ha.

    1. nusrathullah says:

      Hilarious indeed… Brilliant performance… but the Quote of the Decade “Why all the time they are showing me blue flags” – Kimi “The blue flags are for the cars behind Kimi and not for you” – Team Lotus.

  49. Elie says:

    Defintely Vettel DOTD-he did awesome to come back from 11th and make the 1 stop work. His passes on Webber and Michael were brilliant- not to mention others.
    Next would be Hulkenberg who really put in a great performance the whole race.
    Kimi drove fantastic in a Lotus that struggled with its KERS again and balance which was surprising for this circuit.His move on Schumacher was epic! I think the cars deficiencies masked a first class drive ( probably his best in2012)
    Jenson drove faultless but was in a car that was 1 sec faster than everyone. Hope this post makes it through!

  50. Shah Alam says:

    Well done button another contender to the mix. It going to the wire, the makings of yet another classic season.

    Good to see every team and driver in with a chance this season. Vettle was expecting to be like Shumacher and I felt his attitude changed from when he one his first Championship.

    All the drivers are philosophical about their chances and Spa is a case in point. You never know when you can get taken out.

    Some times you need a little bit of luck.

  51. Mark says:

    [mod] he drove superbly in a car that was clearly hamstrung on the straights to take second second after coming out 11th/12th after the restart.

    Take nothing away from Button, he drove supremely; however, he happaned to have that bit of luck with the right car, with the right setup, at the right track.

    Vettel, on the other hand, grafted and pulled off a truly great drive

  52. Dave says:

    To be honest it’s a tough choice between Vettel and Button. Vettel did make up all those places however the dominance shown by Button who had every response ready for any move made by anyone else along with his consistency makes his drive just as good as Vettel’s. People forget how hard it is to keep consistency up at spa. For racing’s sake it was Vettel’s day, for driving’s sake it was Button.

    And for shear outperformance of the car – Hulkenberg. For making the best of a bad situation – Massa. He always seemed to be put at the wrong end of any line of cars all GP and he managed to overtake Webber

  53. Ral says:

    Probably Vettel. Made some amazing overtakes to earn his spot, while Button was pretty much cruising and still had enough of a buffer that he could have pitted once more and come out first.

    But I have to mention Kobayashi. I was going to say Sauber probably aren’t too pleased with his start (they still may not be). But given he did have a bad start and what happened to those around him, he made an epic save to allow him at least a chance of finishing the race, huge gaping hole in his sidepod and all:
    http://imgur.com/a/ETPea

  54. Wiz says:

    Sorry – thought this was driver of the day, not JB fan club poll! Last year so many of you were refusing to vote for Vettel as driver of day with the reasoning that he just led from lights to finish, yet JB did exactly that this weekend and leads the poll. Be real, although JB had a well deserved win, Vettel had a better drive and deserves driver of the day, followed by Hulkenberg.

  55. Ben James says:

    I can’t believe Romain Grosjean didn’t make this list?!! lol

  56. zx6dude says:

    Voted JB. Can’t penalise someone for having an “easy race”, he did everything right and deserves my vote.
    Kudos to LH and FA for the maturity they showed on their comments post race – lets not mention twitter ;)

    James: is it a record for a driver to be penalized 3 times on the same weekend or has it happened before?

    1. James Allen says:

      Must be a record, right?

  57. Tim B says:

    Vettel or Button – almost impossible to separate. Both got the best out of their car and themselves. Vettel was more entertaining because he was racing other cars all day. Vettel’s drive was also very important in championship terms.

    Button was sublime to watch, though – so fast and so smooth. Vastly different from the last few races. It’ll be interesting to see whether this heralds a breakthrough for him in using the tyres well, or whether it’s a one-off.

  58. Wombat says:

    JB – his weekend and great to see.
    Vettel also had a classic-Vettel-type aggressive drive using his undoubted rapid reflexes to the limit. Clearly a man on a mission early in the race. His aggressive approach worked out this time but it was edgy at times and could so easily have ended in tears. Also had the benefit of the Webber early stop so the team would know his tyres could last.
    Give Massa a score – he had a good race especially towards the end – maybe enough to dial him back in? Hope so.

  59. nusrathullah says:

    Even though Button dominated and Sebastian was brilliant. Both deserves every vote they are getting and rightfully so.
    Having said that, from the perspective of who combated adversities and drove beyond the car was Kimi Raikkonen. You could see he was struggling to match the Mercedes powered cars. He also two brilliant moves of Schumacher and the second of the two being the most spectacular of the year so far. He has been consistently been providing the spectacle unlike any driver in 2012. His moves in Australia on Kobayashi, and moves on Massa, Webber, Button in Bahrain, and in Germany the moves on Di Riesta, Hulkenberg, Michael were simply spectacular. His burst of speed in Hungary and his aggressive defending of his team mate. In this race him going through Pouhon even when behind Schumacher was simply breathtaking.

    So, for that, he is definitely the most spectacular driver of 2012 and fastest by far.

    Him having not won a race so far is strictly down to a combination of things, like qualifying and steering issues, bad strategy calls, deferential issues, and in Spa the mediums were a disaster on his first stint and had to pit early to compromise on that.

    So, irrelevant to who wins the WDC. Kimi Raikkonen wins the Most Spectacular Driver of the year… Anyone with it is simply being biased.

  60. nusrathullah says:

    * Anyone who disagrees with it *

  61. Andrew says:

    DOTD = Race Winner (unless winner is Vettel)

    Ridiculous.

  62. MrShades says:

    I have always followed Formula 1 since the early 90`s but the last 2, 3 years i have found F1 boring.
    But now Kimi is back and that makes Formula 1 fun again!
    The most talented driver ever. He also have some kind of speed that comes natural to him.
    Kimi never does mistakes. You never see Kimi on the way back to the pits to change a broken front wing.
    The driver that is most like Kimi, having that smooth drive must be Jenson Button.
    Well, thanks to Kimi for making F1 worth watching again!
    MrShades

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