Posted on September 9, 2012
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Lewis Hamilton ignored off-track distractions concerning his future to win his third race of the season in a thrilling Italian Grand Prix at Monza. There were strong drives all the way through the field so who was your Driver of the Day?

Lewis Hamilton

Arrived in Monza amid speculation he was to leave McLaren for Mercedes next season, but showed no signs of it distracting him as he set the pace in second practice on Friday, heading a McLaren 1-2. Looked comfortable with the car in final practice but struggled to keep pace with Fernando Alonso in Q1 and Q2. Hooked together a solid lap in Q3 as Alonso suffered a mechanical problem to take his 23rd career pole. Made a textbook getaway at the start to lead into the first corner and benefited from Felipe Massa leapfrogging team-mate Jenson Button into second. Controlled the race at the front, and stopped just once, to take his third win of the season and move from fifth to second in the drivers’ standings, 37 points behind championship leader Alonso.

Sergio Perez

Failed to replicate the pace Sauber showed in Belgium Grand Prix qualifying at Monza a week later and ended up 12th on the grid. The result worked in the Mexican’s favour as by missing out on the top 10 shoot-out, he could adapt his strategy for the race. Decided to start on the harder compound tyre, while all around him chose the option, which allowed him to go deep into the race before stopping. Pitted from the lead of the race and rejoined eighth before utilising the fresher option tyres, on a lighter fuel load, to climb through the field. Overtook the likes of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso on his way to second – his third podium finish of the season.

Fernando Alonso

Looked strong in Friday practice in front of his home fan and proved for the first time this season that the Ferrari has single lap pace in the dry by finishing quickest in both Q1 and Q2. A broken anti-roll bar in Q3 ended his hopes of getting pole and he qualified 10th. The Spaniard made up five places in the first seven laps to run fifth early on. Was forced off the track by Sebastian Vettel who received a penalty for the move but recovered to later pass the German. Rose to second, but was overtaken by Perez late on and settled for third to increase his championship lead.

Felipe Massa

Was within a tenth of team-mate Fernando Alonso in Friday practice and then delivered his best qualifying of the season to out-qualify Alonso for the first time and start third. Made an electric start to pass Button off the line and tried a move around the outside of Hamilton into Turn One before backing off. Ran second after the pit stops despite losing all his car’s telemetry but dropped off the pace as his tyres began to suffer severe degradations. Finished fourth to equal his best finish of the season but missed out on his first podium since the 2010 Korean Grand Prix.

Kimi Raikkonen

Showed good long-run pace in Friday practice but lacked the straight-line speed to challenge for the top grid places on Saturday and qualified seventh. Struggled to make progress in the race and actually started to drop down the field. However, a bold decision to run a one-stop strategy, coupled with several retirements, helped the Finn finish fifth. Now scored points in all but one race this season and his result at Monza has lifted him up to third in the drivers’ standings, one point behind Hamilton and 38 behind Alonso.

Michael Schumacher

Used the Mercedes good straight-line speed to his advantage to top the times in first practice before a DRS issue slowed his progress in the second session. A Kers issue hampered his programme in third practice, but he delivered a stunning lap in qualifying to finish fifth fastest – three tenths quicker than team-mate Rosberg. Started fourth after Di Resta’s penalty but struggled on his first set of tyres. Forced to do lots of overtaking because of a two-stop strategy, but showed glimpses of his former self as he battled through the field to finish sixth, closing to within 0.3 seconds of Raikkonen at the finish.


Italian Grand Prix – Who was your Driver of the Day?
238 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: Ed
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 12:05 am 

    Has to be Perez. I hope he’s wearing red next year…

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    Pat Guillon Reply:

    I agree had a great race & clean overtakes. He must be putting pressure on the red camp for a drive. If he did get a Ferrari drive next year would he be the first from their young driver program? James?

    [Reply]

    Andrew Carter Reply:

    Yes he would as the programe’s only been going for a few years.

    [Reply]

    ronmon Reply:

    Dear Ferrari,

    Please hire Sergio.

    Thank you,
    Your fans

    [Reply]

    Wayne Reply:

    Can’t imagine why they wouldn’t? What’s stopping them James?

    On a seperate note, I’d like to call out that section of Italy’s devoted ‘fans’ who felt the need to loudly boo the race winner on Sunday. It’s utterly disgraceful behavior best left to football. I hear enough of the likes of Humphrey go on about how amazing the fans are in Italy – seriosuly how amazing can they be if they behave like this?

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    poster bob Reply:

    No NO NO ! Don’t wish to see him play second fiddle to Alonso

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    ant Reply:

    yep, hope maclaren get him and alonso perez have some fair fighting !

    Ade Reply:

    I think Whitmarsh should pre-empt any move by Hamilton and sign Perez up for the 2nd Macca seat right now.

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    JayWest Reply:

    +1

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    William Wilgus Reply:

    I believe Hamilton is gone from McLaren and is being refused by the other teams.

    [Reply]

    Wayne Reply:

    Do you actually beleive that? Like really? No team wants Lewis Hamilton? Whotmarsh and Dennis are liars?

    Sebee Reply:

    What are you saying? Lewis would say no to McLaren without a confirmed contract in hand for next year? His Management would never allow such a thing to happen.

    William Wilgus Reply:

    I think McLaren doesn’t want him, and no other team does. It certainly would’t be because of his driving abilities. It would be a combination of his propensity to get involved in on-track incidents, not being a ‘team player’, a Prima Donna, and finally, putting confidential information on the Internet for all the world—including McLaren’s competitors—to see. Money may have something to do with it as well.

    I have no inside information . . . and I’ve been wrong before.

    Monza01 Reply:

    We are talking here about probably the fastest driver on the current grid and second only to Alonso in the ability to deliver results far in excess of the performance of the car.

    It’s inconceivable that McLaren wouldn’t want to sign him again and Mercedes would take him like a shot if they could.

    It could be that the American management team doing the negotiating are simply demanding too much from McLaren : after all, McLaren can offer a better car and a terrific track record : they should not need to offer quite so much as Mercedes

    James Clayton Reply:

    And you certainly are (wrong) this time!

    Fellowes Reply:

    Agree. If Perez has nothing in stone with Ferrari, then he’s a better option for McLaren than others such as Di Resta.

    [Reply]

    Chris_NZ Reply:

    Agreed. I believe he has earned it and has the experience.
    Ferrari should do it before somebody else takes him on

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    hippyneil Reply:

    Perez would be good for Ferrari and Ferrari only good for Perez if he doesn’t stay for more than two years – any more than that and he’d be in danger of becoming just another good South American #2 (a-la Barrichello & Massa). Checo can learn a lot from Alonso but would never beat him at Ferrari so he’d do well to look elsewhere after a few years.

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    6 Wheeled Tyrrell Reply:

    Mexico is not exactly in South America.

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    hippyneil Reply:

    Fair point. But I was trying to group him in with RB and FM and that was about the nearest I could get to make the point.

    puffing Reply:

    You could have said simply ‘America’, in all fairness.

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    KRB Reply:

    Or Latin America.

    Jeroen Reply:

    He did a great job but he did have the fortune to be able to chose the right tyre and somehow this coupled with the car performance on high fuel really suit him. I like to see how he does when he is in a top car, with a top team mate and I’m not sure he is mature enough yet and agree with Ferrari who will not pick him for next year.

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    Steve Zodiac Reply:

    What, why would he want to go in a slower car and be forced to follow “misery guts” home all the time?

    [Reply]


  2.   2. Posted By: tom in adelaide
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 12:11 am 

    12th to 2nd? In a Sauber? I think we have a winner…

    [Reply]

    SteveR Reply:

    +1!
    from a LH fan no less :)

    [Reply]

    M00bie Reply:

    I’m a LH fan too and was really pleased with his race on Sunday but had to vote for Sergio!
    One of the front teams need to hire him fast.

    [Reply]

    Wayne Reply:

    +1 from another Lewis fan. Although the strategy had as much to do with it as the driving.

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    BurgerF1 Reply:

    His driving, particularly in the first stint, is what allowed the strategy to work. They go hand-in-hand. Lewis did the same by pulling clear early on and then coasting when he could.

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    Wayne Reply:

    “They go hand-in-hand” – exactly what I said.

    **Paul** Reply:

    Agreed, great strategy from Sauber, but with a great strategy you need to make it work, and Perez did so.

    McLaren with the fastest package of the weekend for the third race running; that moves them into the best car on the grid overall this season now, ahead of Lotus and Ferrari. I think it’s testiment to Alonso that he’s extended his championship lead this weekend.

    [Reply]

    W Johnson Reply:

    Alonso only extended his lead because

    1. Vettel was unlucky with a DNF (Redbull had technical issues at Monza)

    2. A dubious penalty against Vettel.

    [Reply]

    Ed Bone Reply:

    3) Button retired

    4) Massa let him past

    Matt Reply:

    I remind you that Vettel was punished after Alonso had overtaken him.

    Caterham Fan Reply:

    Oops – after that performance there shouldn’t be any debate!

    [Reply]


  3.   3. Posted By: Robert Gunning
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 12:22 am 

    I know you will probably state this in your strategy analysis, but could Alonso or Perez have won today? Ferrari knew Alonso had a suspension issue before Q3, so electing not to run and starting on the primes would prove to be a better choice in terms of race strategy. Also, with regards to Perez; had Sauber pitted him 3 laps earlier for the options, would he have had sufficient pace to catch and possibly pass Hamilton; or were Sauber trying gain better track position over the other surrounding cars?

    On a change of note, I was impressed with Schumacher’s drive today. If the rumours are to be believed (Hamilton to Mercedes), I feel privileged to have seen him race, despite not being a fan in his heyday. I hope the last few races of the season go well for him, so we can enjoy his talent while we still can.

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    Nigel Reply:

    I wondered that about Alonso, too – though that is with the benefit of hindsight.

    I don’t think Perez could have won. Hamilton clearly had a bit of pace in hand, and also I’m not sure the option would have stood up to another three laps of maximum attack without a drop off in pace.
    Perez himself said after the race that pulling off overtakes quickly was crucial, as there was not a lot of margin in the tyres.

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    Ric Reply:

    That leaves open the mirror move. I’d pay to see Michael in a decent McLaren next year.

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    AndyFov Reply:

    Watching Michael this last couple of races, I think he’d doing enough to deserve his place in F1 on merit rather than for the sake of who he is.

    He’s driving better than Rosberg at the moment, no slouch, and given some of the numpty rookie errors some of the younger drivers are making I’d not mind if he chose to string out his career for another year.

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    Dave Reply:

    I’m not sure Ferrari could have pulled it off. Sauber – and Perez – have shown they are kind on the tyres and often run unusually long stints.

    Ferrari, on the other hand, struggled with tyre degradation yesterday. Massa explains this is why they dropped off towards the end of the race.

    I am not sure Alonso or Massa could have made Perez’s strategy work, and it would have been one hell of a gamble which only in hindsight makes sense.

    [Reply]

    Jugraj Reply:

    Michael may still stay at Mercedes. Rosberg and Hamilton would switch.
    James what are the chances for this happening?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Piece coming up on this

    [Reply]

    darth_patate Reply:

    If the goes farther that the Lewis Situation into “2013 seats”, can you include potential rookies for next year ( i think of Davide Valsecchi for example ?)

    Zac Reply:

    this would be such an exciting combination, schumi and hamilton in one team! Not getting carried away because i suspect he may retire :(

    Sebee Reply:

    Interesting.

    This long season really pushes back the sumer silly season we’re used to. There are some good seats in play this year, as well as good drivers.

    [Reply]

    Lisa Thomas Reply:

    I really hope MSC stays another year. He deserves to go out on a high, with another one or two podiums like valencia under his belt. I think the crashes in fp in germany and hungary got him down, and earned him a bit of ridicule which must be difficult for a ‘historic’ legend like him to take.

    One more podium, at Spa maybe, with Alonso and Kimi and then the farewell.

    [Reply]

    Robert Gunning Reply:

    The reason I deduced that Schumacher is leaving was as a result of Bernie’s comments in Spa. Although those can be taken with a pinch of salt at times.

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    JR Reply:

    I believe they didn’t realized that the suspension bar was broken until Q3 had already started, so nothing they could do about it, they were suppossed to be fighting for pole.

    [Reply]

    gertrudas Reply:

    I dont think there was a broken suspension bar it looked as though he just messed it up in corner 1&2.

    [Reply]

    JR Reply:

    You are very wrong, he made two attempts in Q3 and was 1.5 seconds off the pace due the failure in the rear suspension that had to be fixed for the race.

    William Wilgus Reply:

    I think that both Ferrari drivers had no choice about which tire they started on. Certainly Massa didn’t, and as Alonso made a fast run in Q3 and started in the first 10, he didn’t either. Had Alonso not made a run in Q3 . . . aborted it . . . he might have been able to start on the hards. Regardless, it would have helped both if they’d started on the hards, but that would have meant qualifying on them as well—something that would have hurt them.

    [Reply]

    Robert Gunning Reply:

    I understand the situation with Massa, as his car was quick and it would make no sense to compromise his grid position for a potentially better strategy (as it was not known at the time it would be better to start on the primes and then change to options). However, Ferrari knew that Alonso’s car was damaged, so it would have made more sense for Alonso to aid Massa by providing a tow on either his out lap or flying lap, which would then be aborted. This would have provided Ferrari the opportunity for Alonso to start on a new set of primes, or have saved a new set of options.

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  4.   4. Posted By: Mike84
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 12:24 am 

    Alonso because… Hamilton just cruised due to yesterday’s work and a superior car (whatever he says, it left the Ferraris in the dust). Perez benefited from different tire strategy and his engineers planning that just right. Both of them deserve credit for great work, but what Alonso got today was more his own doing — passing so many cars, and salvaging the car in the Vettel incident; looked like it almost spun or wrecked there. And he kept his cool, didn’t rail on Vettel in the conferences.

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    Jonners Reply:

    FA said himself he had the fastest car this weekend. Also SP also said he thought the Sauber was even faster. So by that the Mclaren was the third fastest car actually.

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    Mike84 Reply:

    Looking at the graphs, it sure looks like the McLaren was faster and more consistent than anything else out there in the race. Massa was falling behind steadily while Lewis was pushing, and Alonso made only slight gains at a time when Lewis was cruising.

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    jonners Reply:

    FA is an intelligent guy. He’s not about to say he had the fastest car for no reason. He made up eight places and then lost one!
    Massa did alot better than usual and was forced into conceeding his position. No doubt at that point the motivation is pretty low!
    SP was around one to two seconds faster than LH for nearly half the race! And also had to make multiple (impressive) overtakes degrading the tyres.
    Not sure about your ‘graphs’

    William Wilgus Reply:

    Clean air vs. worn tires.

    Doug Reply:

    Can’t agree with you about the McLaren’s leaving the Ferrari’s in their dust!
    Did you see the practice results & Q1 & Q2?
    Ferrari were right there. If Alonso’s car hadn’t let him down in Q3 I’m sure he’d have been on pole.
    In the race it looked like both Ferrari’s were suffering slightly higher tyre wear than Lewis…but that could easily have been because they were having to work much harder in dirty air & fight for positions.
    Ferrari & McLaren seemed very evenly matched at Monza IMHO.

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    KRB Reply:

    Didn’t care for Alonso on the radio with (when still behind Vettel and before any decision on the investigation) “I need the penalty now, he’s ruining my race”, or something to that effect (the first part is right, I might’ve misquoted the second bit).

    To me, that’s equivalent to when soccer players wave the imaginary yellow card to influence ref’s to sanction their opponent. I don’t like that at all. And Stella’s replies (one was “it was very clear what happened”) are also totally FIA-directed as well. I would like to think that while they may work sometime (i.e. when it’s a pretty straight-forward call), that they backfire on 50-50 calls b/c they “show up” the officials.

    [Reply]

    mark Reply:

    They all do it alonso vettel hamilton button etc etc

    [Reply]

    Juanma Barranquero Reply:

    In any case, Alonso passed Vettel before the drive through.

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    Guillermo Reply:

    I agree with your argument, but I don’t think the McLarens were that superior to the Ferrari. In fact, I don’t think there was anything to separate them in performance terms. The difference was simply due to track position. I’m almost certain that if Fernando had been leading at the first corner he would have won by controlling the race from the front.

    The top three are all deserving of the DOTD, but Perez and Alonso had to take more risks to make their races work.

    On a side note, how awesome is Kimi? How can he be third in the championship and ahead of both Red Bulls?

    [Reply]

    Andrew Reply:

    “On a side note, how awesome is Kimi? How can he be third in the championship and ahead of both Red Bulls?”

    I seriously wonder whether some people on here actually bother watching the races or simply look at the scoreboard to decide who is the best.

    [Reply]

    Guillermo Reply:

    So does this mean you’re not impressed with Kimi…?

    I just think the fact that he’s outscored both Red Bull drivers shows what a great job he’s doing.

    Elie Reply:

    Rubbish Mike ! Ferrari themselves )Fernando even said he had the pace even in qualifying to match Mclaren- evidenced by such a close battle in Quali and for the first time ever Massa actually drivIng fast. Whilst Fernando drive brilliantly from 10th he was in a bloody fast car !& guess what He Got Passed By A Sauber from 12th- So hands down Sergio is DOTD this time!

    [Reply]

    Mike84 Reply:

    Maybe I’m wrong, but to me the graphs make it look like Massa was in an inferior car to Lewis. Maybe Lewis himself is faster, but not that much.

    If Lewis really is 2-3 tenths faster in a slower car, then he should get driver of the day.

    Later, as I said above, although Alonso was able to make slow gains, Hamilton had no reason to be pushing his maximum at that point.

    And for sure the Ferraris suffered worse tire degradation compared to the McLaren.

    [Reply]

    James Clayton Reply:

    Firstly I think it’s pretty much accepted that Lewis *IS* faster than Massa, so that probably contributed 50% of the pace. Secondly, the car running at the front in clean air has always had an advantage this season. So there’s your other 50%


  5.   5. Posted By: Irish con
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 12:28 am 

    Unquestionably it’s Perez this weekend. I havnt been convinced by him overall this year as I don’t really rate kobayashi and he under qualified yesterday but a great race today. Now as a Ferrari fan if he moves to us next year i won’t complain.

    Ps if alonso hadn’t of been took out in spa and the q3 problem on Saturday this championship would be over.

    [Reply]

    Pranav Haldea Reply:

    Had Hamilton not lost the advantage due to safety car in Australia, rain in Malaysia, gearbox penalty in China, bad pit stops in Australia, Malaysia, Bahrain, Canada and Valencia, fuel issue in Spain, Maldonaldo crashing into him in Valencia, puncture due to debris in Germany and of course first corner carnage in Spa…he would have won the championship by now!

    Ifs and buts…tch tch…

    [Reply]

    Elie Reply:

    EExactly Pranav ! I’m getting sick of the “Fernando Train” despite Respect his talent!

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    Quattro_T Reply:

    …Why don’t you continue with all the “misshapps” of 2011 and 2010 as well, when you are at it…you will end up with a couple of nice titles.
    You do not wonder how come the (“bad luck”) list just gets longer and longer for certain drivers…no matter how competitive package they have at their disposal, MAL being another example, while other drivers drive around these issues and manage podiums and wins from 12th or whatever pos…consistently? (ALO).

    [Reply]

    Pranav Haldea Reply:

    Bro..No need to get so agitated…I was just responding to Irish cons message above of

    “”Ps if alonso hadn’t of been took out in spa and the q3 problem on Saturday this championship would be over.”"

    KRB Reply:

    QT, which incidents were Hamilton’s fault in 2012?

    Silly to bring Maldonado into the discussion … he’s the poster boy for mucking up what should be consistent points finishes in a halfway decent car. He hasn’t scored since his win!!! Considering the car he has, and how his (slower) teammate has fared with it, that is unforgiveable.

    Alonso’s had great luck compared to Hamilton this year, even with what happened to him in Monza (“10th after a sway-bar break?! Luxury!! I got sent to back o’ grid ‘cos some wally forgot to fill tank!”). Alonso’s finished 12 races this year, Hamilton 10.

    Quattro_T Reply:

    @KRB

    “he’s the poster boy for mucking up what should be consistent points finishes in a halfway decent car”
    MAL this year reminds me of how HAM was 2011. A driver with a very fast package, but without risk management skills.

    “which incidents were Hamilton’s fault in 2012?”
    European Grand Prix. HAM could easily have take good points by letting MAL by, instead of engaging in a meaningless fight that could only end with him being the looser. I will agree with you though that HAM has improved considerbly compared with prev years.

    “Alonso’s had great luck compared to Hamilton this year”
    I do not consider being forced to start season with a car ~1,5 seconds slower PER LAP than pole sitter, and racing with that crap for four long races, as being lucky. Even less so when considering that Ferrari has been playing catch up even after Mugello test speedwise (see qualy times) – being constantly up to 9 tenths slower than the fastest (Mclaren/RB/Lotus). Having ~6th as average capability of car during qualy, consistently forcing you to start lower on the grid, significantly increasing risk for incidents at start, is not being lucky. Having to finish 5th (Canada), due to team miscalculating tyre situation/strategy is not lucky. Getting (the only in over 2 years) 2 poles in very difficult weather conditions is not being lucky. Being hit from behind and taken out by GRO/HAM crash at start at SPA (and nearly severly enjured) is not being lucky. Being hit by all different kinds of reliability issues at Monza at practice, qualy AND race, is not lucky.
    Calling ALO lucky, especially this season, is laughable IMHO. You seem to somehow confuse HAM (sitting in fastest car for majority if not all season) having pit problems 2 times and a puncture, with ALO being lucky.

    jonners Reply:

    Very well pointed out Pranav. Luck has been so against Lewis its actually a feat for him to still be in with a chance.

    [Reply]

    W Johnson Reply:

    The same could be said for Lewis Hamilton with the unfortunate mishaps he has suffered this season…..”Alonso mania???

    [Reply]


  6.   6. Posted By: Chris
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 12:35 am 

    Anyone think the first win will come this year?!? I also want to see Kobayashi in the podium @ Suzuka. He deserves it thoroughly.

    [Reply]

    Bim Reply:

    +1

    [Reply]


  7.   7. Posted By: JR
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 12:36 am 

    Difficult call between Pérez and Alonso. Alonso’s first laps were a brilliant display of controlled aggression. Perez drive was stunning coming from behind. Will give it to Pérez as in the end he gained more places.

    [Reply]


  8.   8. Posted By: Darren
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 12:37 am 

    Perez, with Alonso close behind. Lewis was also perfect.

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  9.   9. Posted By: Esplanadist
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 12:41 am 

    Many will vote the race winner DOTD.
    I think LH is presently at the very peak of his talent as a driver and could be the fastest on one lap and on race pace. [The other 3 title contenders are also at their peak, esp Alonso]
    But there are worrying signs about his current situation, and James will probably have a good idea what is happening…
    Martin Whitmarsh is a terrific team principal but it’s clear he is under a lot of pressure right now. McLaren is not a happy ship, and it seems:

    1 – WM and LH cannot get on and things have got nasty behind the scenes

    2 – Ron Dennis has been brought in to calm Lewis down and act as a go-between

    3 – Lewis is making too many demands in the mistaken belief that he is indispensable to McLaren

    4 – WM would like LH to stay but is just as keen to get one of the force India boys, or Kimi

    5 – WM may not have unanimous support in the team

    6 – Only one of the two will remain for next year

    James, you know the ins and outs, please correct ….

    [Reply]

    olivier Reply:

    I’d be surprised if Mercedes GP would allow Lewis to have a bling lifestyle. £20 million/year he wants? That’s £1 million/race. Sounds a bit otherworldly.

    If Hamilton does go to Mercedes, then McLaren should sign up Kimi. It’d be a shame as I like the Hamilton Button pairing.

    It sounds like Kubica is back in the (rally) game. I’d prefer to see him at Ferrari i/o Perez. Time will tell.

    [Reply]

    Richard D Reply:

    Who’s WM?

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    Doug Reply:

    Good observations…but who’s WM?
    Whitmarsh’s Mum? :-D

    [Reply]

    Lisa Thomas Reply:

    Don’t know about fastest. Can he beat Kimi at clocking up the laps for an undercut? There’s Vettel also…..

    [Reply]


  10.   10. Posted By: Josh Hill's Biggest Fan
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 12:46 am 

    Has to be Perez but Alonso is always a contender. 12th to 2nd for Perez and 10th to 3rd for Alonso. Hulk did well too.

    [Reply]


  11.   11. Posted By: @Damien_Marquez (GrandPrixAdvisor.com)
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 12:54 am 

    Sergio was amazing today, especially when compared to Kamui. A first win isn’t far off.

    [Reply]

    **Paul** Reply:

    I agree Damien; Perez looks on course to be the first driver to win a race in a non front running car since Vettel took Torro Rosso to victory in Monza.

    [Reply]

    oak Reply:

    maldonado?

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    tmekt Reply:

    For all we know, Sauber could’ve been the best car on Sunday. How do you define a non-front-runner car?

    [Reply]

    @Damien_Marquez (GrandPrixAdvisor.com) Reply:

    No, I don’t think so. It appears to be a good all rounder but not a top dog.

    The McLaren had the legs when it needed to. I reckon second was the best they could achieve if you listen to Hamilton and Sam Michael’s interviews in James’s BBC podcast.

    Anil Reply:

    I really feel for Kamui though. he made it through to q3 which meant he started the race on used medium tyres and had to finish it on hards. Meanwhile Perez doesn’t make it to Q3 so starts on hards and gets to be on the faster tyre at the very end.

    Cant help but think this ‘you have to race on your qualy tyre’ rule is just awful. If i remember correctly the same thing happened at Canada too!

    [Reply]

    James Clayton Reply:

    Yes I think that if you’re in a Sauber, p12 is better than p8. Probably better than p4!

    [Reply]

    @Damien_Marquez (GrandPrixAdvisor.com) Reply:

    The thing is, Kobayashi favoured qualifying performance over race pace. Maybe he (or his engineeer, or the team) needs to look at their strategy.

    Mind you, it is probably better not to put all your eggs in the same basket.

    [Reply]


  12.   12. Posted By: Husker
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 12:55 am 

    Checo Perez without a doubt. What a spectacular drive that was!

    Been thinking about this since the race ended:
    If Hamilton indeed goes to Merc for 2013, wouldn’t McLaren be interested in a driver like Sergio?

    He doesn’t want, or need at this point in his career a -one year only- Ferrari contract playing second fiddle to Alonso but he would be treated as an equal at McLaren and could learn a lot from Jenson.

    Sure he’s part of the Ferrari Driver Academy but I don’t think that binds him to Maranello in any way or form, so Checo could be a good option for McLaren if Hamilton leaves, wouldn’t it?

    [Reply]

    JayWest Reply:

    Agreed! Perez doesn’t need to be playing second driver to Alonso next year. Just look back at the last few #2′s at Ferrari and where it got them. Whitmarsh would be smart to snatch up Perez quick – he would be a great team mate to Button. Other than Red Bull, and that’s iffy as things go so far, McLaren would be the best outfit for Perez to step up.

    [Reply]


  13.   13. Posted By: Andrew M
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 12:56 am 

    It’s got to be Perez. The only thing that sticks in my craw a little is that he actually benefitted from missing out on Q3 and starting outside the top 10 on fresh tyres – surely it’s unfair that a driver starting 12th has an advantage over those starting around 8th-10th (like his team mate).

    Still a great performance, but it just niggles a bit, it’s one of my biggest gripes with the qualifying/race format at the moment.

    [Reply]

    Richard D Reply:

    I agree with you on that. It is one of the biggest flaws in the current qualifying format. This coould be simply resolved by getting rid of by having a single compound of slick tyre that is not designed to wear out on only a few laps.

    [Reply]

    Andrew M Reply:

    I personally think that everyone should have to start on the tyres they qualify on (not just the top 10), I’ve never understood this discrepancy.

    [Reply]

    Stephen Reply:

    Any driver that qualifiy in top ten have the option of doing an outlap on hard tyres therefore starting the race on them. It’s wrong to suggest that only those outside the top ten have a choice.

    [Reply]

    Andrew M Reply:

    Fair enough, but you have to bail on qualifying in order to do it. Qualifying should be about drivers trying to get as much one-lap performance out of the car as possible, anything which punishes a driver for trying to qualify higher up the grid is wrong and counter-intuitive in my opinion.

    [Reply]

    James Clayton Reply:

    No. You have to use the tires that you set your fastest lap time with.

    [Reply]


  14.   14. Posted By: Peter
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 1:00 am 

    This week is easy I dare say Perez! think a lot of us wrote him off pitting as late as he did, but he mate those options work hard for him. well deserved his 2nd place.

    [Reply]


  15.   15. Posted By: Rishi
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 1:19 am 

    Just like Jenson Button last weekend it is to Lewis Hamilton’s credit that he did not have to fight his way through the field, and instead controlled the race in a textbook manner for a lights-to-flag victory.

    However, focusing on the race itself rather than the weekend as a whole means one is often inclined to go for a push through the field, so I voted for Sergio Perez. A fast, hard-charging drive throughout.

    [Reply]


  16.   16. Posted By: WA Justin
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 1:20 am 

    My first reaction was to select Perez. Great drive in a Sauber. However, Alonso from P10 to podium was also impressive. Whereas Perez excelled through strategy and tyre management, Alonso made up several places very early and on-track with some gutsy overtaking. Plus the pressure of the home race for Ferrari, and I gave my DOTD to Alonso.

    [Reply]

    joshua Reply:

    I have to agree…….

    I saw the race and instantly thought perez for dotd. But after a good nights sleep knowing Hamilton is closing in with a good car I can’t see past alonso for dotd. Whilst perez made excellent use of strategy and tires, which in itself is an achievement, having a 1+ second per lap advantage makes it easy to overtake.

    Alonso starting from 10th on used tires and pulling off those passes was fantastic.

    Hamilton, of course a faultless drive and I would always look to give him dotd first but very hard to know when its lights to flag how much is driver and how much is machine. By his own admission he was taking it easy.

    This has to be the best season I have seen ….so far

    [Reply]

    chj Reply:

    good, at least someone out there understands how it all works, Alonso had to drive to the front without a 1 sec per lap tyre advantage

    [Reply]

    mark Reply:

    + 1 as much as i admire perez and he drove fantastically well he was helped by his strategy also alonso’s car was damaged after vettel tried to run him off the track.

    [Reply]


  17.   17. Posted By: Tombstone
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 1:24 am 

    Tough one really.

    Hamilton on pole and a win? Can’t move up any places from 1st on the grid really, can one?

    Perez? Higher up the grid he could have won, perhaps?

    Tough call, but on the day the winner did what it took to take 25 points; McLaren, and every patriot, can’t ask for any more.

    [Reply]


  18.   18. Posted By: danny11
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 1:31 am 

    As much as I like Fernando I have to say it was Perez then Alosno and finally Hamilton. If Fernando would have started from pole he would do the same thing Hamilton did I am sure. He proved he had the pace for that but seven over takings on the track(well minus one, Massa) shows how big was mountain he had to climb! It sure took a lot from those tires, with no clear air ahead.

    [Reply]


  19.   19. Posted By: Kay
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 1:34 am 

    Massa for such a great come back! Pity lost out to Perez due to tyre strategy.

    [Reply]


  20.   20. Posted By: CartRider
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 1:56 am 

    Perez. Alonso was impressive, but even pure stats say that Perez achieved more in the race. As for Hamilton, even he himself said that he was cruising in the race. Practically, he had no challenge today except for the start and most of that advantage was provided by the speed of the car.

    [Reply]


  21.   21. Posted By: IP
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 2:01 am 

    Hamilton was faultless, but Perez outperformed his car and team mate. I think he deserves the gong this week.

    He may even have won had he stopped a few laps earlier. The only thing he really did wrong was to beat Alonso and take points away from a potential future employer

    [Reply]


  22.   22. Posted By: Wombat
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 2:59 am 

    Has to be Hamilton – he won from the front and had a great weekend overall. Perez, especially his Sauber Team, deserve a big medal for strategy and not losing their nerve when it mattered. They have the best understanding of tyres & tyre wear in this current era.
    Ferrari should have won………….however?
    Red Bull seems to have lost the plot since the blown-rear-end trick was closed to them. They seem to lack strategic thinking – so used to winning from the front, perhaps? And R-B appear to have limited understanding of current era tyres. I read, because they lack top speed (low-power Renault engine plus unslippy aero?), they have geared the cars to get acceleration out of bends to gain a gap on any following DRS guys. I wonder if this, coupled with the traditional high R-B cornering speeds, increases tyre wear relative their competitors? Perhaps this is offset to some extend by the better weight distribution in the Vettel car? Maybe this is also the reason for the Webber car’s gearbox problems?

    [Reply]

    Martin Reply:

    I’m not so sure about Red Bull having a poor understanding of the tyres. Webber’s race performances have been variable, but look carefully at Vettel. Pretty much every race he has been around or ahead of the car’s qualifying pace. Canada was the only exception that came to my mind.

    Greater downforce will increase tyre wear, all things being equal. I’d be surprised if wheelspin was a cause of increased tyre wear though. The increased downforce, even at low speeds, would counterbalance the increased torque from lower gearing. All drivers have to modulate the throttle in slow corners, unless they want to drive like Schumi out of the Roggia chicane.

    You might be right about the weight distribution. Only those in Red Bull would have worthwhile facts to contribute to the answer.

    Cheers,

    Martin

    [Reply]


  23.   23. Posted By: John tsoutis
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 3:04 am 

    Undoubtedly Perez. The recurring theme to this year’s races is to have a late or mid race charger (usually Kimi) to set up an exciting race finish, yet we always seem to just run out of laps to have that exciting last lap joust for the win… Perhaps Silverstone excepted but Webber didn’t come from 12th. It would be an amazing story if someone like Perez could do 12th to win at a race this year…

    [Reply]


  24.   24. Posted By: olderguysrule
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 3:06 am 

    Perez? Probably. But maybe FIA, Some argy bargy, but no big wrecks. Maybe they got the attention of the drivers.

    [Reply]


  25.   25. Posted By: JohnBt
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 3:28 am 

    SERGIO PEREZ, no need to think about it.

    [Reply]


  26.   26. Posted By: Jamie Ramsamy
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 3:56 am 

    Has to be Perez. There’s really no other better argument for anybody else.

    [Reply]


  27.   27. Posted By: tom in adelaide
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 4:05 am 

    In other news, is it now safe to say that RedBull were using that ride height adjuster button for quite some time before it was picked up? What other explanation for their dramatic drop in qualifying pace yeah?

    [Reply]

    Doug Reply:

    I’d say you’re bang on the money with that observation!

    [Reply]

    **Paul** Reply:

    I think it’s more the nature of the track. Red Bull have long struggled for top end pace, that is an issue at 4 or 5 tracks in the Calendar; China, Canada, Spa, Monza & I suspect India also.

    Ergo, the ride height issue hasn’t really changed much for them, it’s the cars lack of top end speed which hampers them.

    Speed Trap Data from Qualifying

    China: 19th & 20th
    Canada: 23rd & 24th
    Spa: 1st & 2nd? ?? – seems odd ? I thought they’d gone too short on gear ratios here according to Horner, and VET had trouble passing on the straight with DRS open?
    Italy: 21st & 22nd

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Spa speed trap was at Eau Rouge, not the end of the straight. They were well down there

    [Reply]

    Ryan Eckford Reply:

    Should the speed trap be at the fastest part of the circuit, James?

    James Allen Reply:

    Normally it is, but not at Spa

    KRB Reply:

    Who knows? JA, we haven’t heard much about the FIA keeping their eagle eyes (i.e. Joe Bauer) on Red Bull? Are they still watching them like a hawk? First non-points race for RBR since Korea ’10, wow. Having said that though, Ferrari haven’t had one since Silverstone ’10, and McLaren not since Abu Dhabi in 2009.

    [Reply]


  28.   28. Posted By: jT
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 4:07 am 

    I can not imagine there is any doubt as to the DOTD here. Absolutely supreme drive. We can see that Sergio has really matured this year. Look forward to seeing him in red very soon!

    [Reply]


  29.   29. Posted By: Riccardo Consulini
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 4:21 am 

    If Alonso hadn´t had mechanical problems on Q3 he would probably start on the first row and then his race would have been different. Sergio??? Well…What´s to say..The man is just outstanding.

    [Reply]


  30.   30. Posted By: JOdum5
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 4:26 am 

    I voted Hamilton. He didn’t put a foot wrong all day. Very happy to see Perez and ALonso have great races as well.

    [Reply]


  31.   31. Posted By: KL
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 4:32 am 

    Absolutely Perez for me. Mature and patient drive to a pre-determined strategy.

    Put the boot in when it counted. Some of his moves ducking out from behind cars were gasp-inducing with how late he left them.

    Good drive, Chico!

    [Reply]


  32.   32. Posted By: Hammad
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 5:05 am 

    Perezzz. i think this guy has done a phenomenal job and so has Sauber. This is the under dog team and has certainly shown what a well designed small budget team can do. With what 7 races to go if they continue with the same pace and keep scoring well they can certainly pip Mercedes for the 5th position in the constructors Championship.

    [Reply]


  33.   33. Posted By: Kris Grzegorczyk
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 5:11 am 

    I guess yhis officially needs to be called driver of the weekend now…. Most of the descriptions for each of the drivers use practice and qualifying in their arguments for the respective driver.

    Driver of the day can only be Alonso or Perez. Driver of the weekend has to be Hamilton.

    [Reply]


  34.   34. Posted By: B Grylls
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 6:00 am 

    Obviously Perez. Him. Starting fresh tires has something to say though…

    BG

    [Reply]


  35.   35. Posted By: chj
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 6:05 am 

    Perez was very good, his strategy man was awesome…wouldn’t have had Alonso if he’d made it into Q3

    got to understand F1 to understand

    [Reply]


  36.   36. Posted By: Michael
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 6:19 am 

    How can Alonso even be nominated for driver of the day when he needed teamorders to get past his teammate? Not that he drove a bad race, but Massa was clearly the better Ferrari at Monza.

    [Reply]

    vic Reply:

    Alonso overtook Raikkonnen, Schumacher and Vettel (besides others) in this race and you think he was unable to overtake Massa? They simply wanted to avoid any time loss for both drivers in order to defend from Perez/attack Hamilton. At the end was the same, but you never know. In a few races we will see Hamilton doing the same with Button and Im sure I wouldnt think Hamilton would be unable to pass Button without orders, it just speed things to avoid any time lost for both drivers involved

    [Reply]

    James Clayton Reply:

    Did he ‘need’ team orders? I think he would have cleared him eventually without them. But there’s no point in risking that when you have the option of implementing team orders.

    Massa was on much better form than we’ve recently seen, but he was still not faster than Alonso.

    [Reply]

    Michael Reply:

    They would not have used teamorders if Alonso was clearly faster. He wasn’t (for the first time in a long period) so they did.

    [Reply]

    Juanma Barranquero Reply:

    A few laps after the pass, Massa had already lost like three seconds. Good pace indeed.
    And before the pass, Alonso had DRS at his disposal, which Massa had not. There’s little doubt that Alonso would pass Massa sooner or latter.
    And, did you miss that the P2 for Massa had a little help from Alonso?

    Carl Craven Reply:

    Because that is the agreement they have. I am not fan of team orders or winning with that kind of help, but it is part of racing.

    Alonso did overtake more than just his team mate and did all he had to to keep his title challenge on target.

    It was a very well judged drive.

    [Reply]

    KRB Reply:

    Obviously Ferrari switched it up, and so it was an easy pass, but do you really believe that if they were racing that Fernando wouldn’t have eventually found his way past?

    [Reply]

    Kay Reply:

    Must’ve been a difference F1 I watched last weekend!

    From what I saw, Fernando overtook four cars on lap 1 alone. Don’t think Massa is the biggest mobile chicane for Alonso to deal with in F1.

    [Reply]

    puffing Reply:

    Look into the graphics in ‘How Perez Go Into Second Place and the High Gamble Teams Took in Monza: Analysis’ to see that Massa was not clearly the better Ferrari in Monza.

    [Reply]

    puffing Reply:

    That is, Alonso was clearly faster than Massa last Sunday in Monza. May I add, as always he has been, no doubt about it?

    [Reply]

    Michael Reply:

    If you look at the graph, you will see that Massa was about 1/10 per lap faster up to lap 39 (where he got the call). Only other exception was the pitlap, where he was slower.

    [Reply]

    Puffing Reply:

    Looking at the graph, I can see than Alonso was catching Massa since lap 35, well before the lap.


  37.   37. Posted By: Knees
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 6:45 am 

    And my driver of the day has to be………Robert Kubica for winning his first competitive Motorsport event since his accident. What an inspiration that guy is! Let’s hope massa can keep his seat nice and warm. Sorry it’s off topic. Hey Perez also drove pretty well too.

    [Reply]

    AndyC_F1 Reply:

    Agreed. Great to see Robert back driving competitively again.

    [Reply]


  38.   38. Posted By: Pranav Haldea
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 7:05 am 

    James

    No comments on Massa’s supposed ‘tyre degregation’ issues to let Alonso pass?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    It was clear what happened, there are no rules against it. What more can you say?

    [Reply]

    Paul Reply:

    I agree there are no rules against it. So why do they have to pretend…..

    [Reply]

    tom in adelaide Reply:

    Because they are managing the ego of a two time world champion….. Best to tread lightly.

    Michael Reply:

    Well, they couldn’t say that Alonso was faster, because he clearly wasn’t. That would have been bad publicity, regardless of the rules.

    Nick Reply:

    Btw: Can Alonso overtake Massa this time if there was no team order ?

    Button and Alonso knows it’s hard to overtake him when he has pace in a race. Just recollect German 2010, Alonso couldn’t pass him fairly several laps, only after the team order …

    Btw2: we all know that Alonso has “his magic” why not to train this magic one more time, on Massa, when he has a chance ? :)

    P.S.[mod] I do respect his masterful skills to push any cars to the limits. Anyway, for me, nominating Alonso to the driver of the day is a bit unfair …

    Doug Reply:

    Old habits die hard!

    It was interesting hearing Rob Smedley trying to lift his spirits afterwards…I do think Ferrari are mainly responsible for breaking Massa.

    James Clayton Reply:

    Yes that’s what irritated me too. I’d have been much happier if it had been “let him past” or if they wanted to be semi-discreet about it a simple “the car behind you is Fernando” would have been fine. That tyre-management stuff was wearing…

    Njeil Daniel Reply:

    Habit.

    Mike84 Reply:

    Because there’s still a rule about not making the sport look bad. Even though it’s OK and most people know what’s really happening, it’s disguised to avoid looking so ugly to those who don’t understand why it has to be done.

    People do this all the time socially, rather than saying something directly they’ll veil it to be more polite — some things are fine but only when they’re subtle, not explicit.

    W Johnson Reply:

    Exactly….let’s not prentend….so when Alonso wins the WDC by a few points it will be a shared trophy with Massa!

    Phil Reply:

    I’d like them to be honest with the radio call. What’s the point of this “code” that a five year old can see through. Rob Smedley must hate that charade almost as much as Massa

    Might be legal but it still sticks in my throat. It’s a shame that the rules were changed because it was impossible to police. Either way a (better?) driver shouldn’t need help to pass his (weaker?) teammate

    [Reply]

    TheGreatTeflonso Reply:

    I really can’t understand why some people harp on this issue. Massa is nowhere in the championship, and therefore logically he should give way to his team mate. What gets me is Alonso would probably have overtaken him on pace alone anyway. Yet some “fans” apparently want a team to scream on the radio to move over, to blatantly blurt out strategic calls. This is competitive sport, not marriage vows, and these fans don’t deserve to attend the wedding anyway.

    [Reply]

    Pedro Reply:

    No, but there are Morals, Honour, Integrity and Karma.

    None at Maranello.

    Will Massa be credited half Alnoso’s WDC if he wins ?

    Given we are now off to some higher downforce circuits, we will see the red cars further down the field and Lewis, deservedly in Pole position to take it off them. :)

    [Reply]

    Pranav Haldea Reply:

    Certainly a lot was said in Germany ‘Fernando is faster than you’ 2010 race…including some very uncomfortable questions that were thrown both to Alonso and Massa in the post-race press conference…

    Transcript produced below:
    http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2010/7/11072.html

    Yes, team orders were banned back then and are OK now. But apart from the legality, questions about fairness of such a practise still remain.

    I was/ am just surprised to see that the same issue has not raised as much controversy in the media, with journalists etc. as it did in 2010.

    Thanks for your reply James

    Cheers
    Pranav

    [Reply]

    Quattro_T Reply:

    You got to love the hypocricy and double standards. BTW thanks for the transcript. Here I give some moving picture and audio as thanks, Enjoy!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHd8n1D4wkM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5GTlupZuEI (1:50 is relevant for you!)
    Yes, HAM became DWC 2008, 1 point ahead of Massa!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g63ocC1KsV0 (2:13 – same as above but better camera angles and some nice replies)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykI39M27y10&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYPCS3VXxGY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKFP8ba9aPA

    Cheers.

    OscarF1 Reply:

    The rules at Germany 2010 were the same as in 2008.

    It just makes me sick a terribly worded command (which was thoroughly aired) can be greeted so much differently than another one implying exactly the same facts.

    “The only thing we do is advise our drivers of the respective pace of the other driver,” he said. “They ultimately call it.”

    “Lewis was nearly one second quicker and when he was told Lewis was quicker he just let him past. It was a tremendous sporting gesture,” Dennis added.

    Pero Reply:

    No, but there are Morals, Honour, Integrity and Karma.

    None at Maranello.

    Will Massa be credited half Alnoso’s WDC if he wins ?

    Given we are now off to some higher downforce circuits, we will see the red cars further down the field and Lewis, deservedly in Pole position to take it off them. :)

    [Reply]

    Quattro_T Reply:

    I think for your own health sake, you should consider looking for another (more friendly sport). Sorry to break this to you, in case you are a new to F1 (which I believe you are), but if you are talking about team orders (and equalling that to lack of “Morals, Honour, Integrity and Karma”), Maranello (Ferrari I assume) should be one of several teams you should be mentioning (~12 in todays currency).

    Take a look at my post above yours for a few examples. I think at the end, what you believe depends largly on what media source you are mostly exposed to, not actual facts.

    Regarding the races coming and car-performance differences. I guess time will tell, but at least judging from (relevant) history (2010-2012) driving a slower to much slower car, have not stopped ALO from consistently beating both Mclarens in the medium-to-long term. So think twice before making bets with your hard-earned cash. ;)

    Pranav Haldea Reply:

    Hi Moderator

    Why have you not approved my post reverting to Quattro_T’s post above?

    Pranav

    James Allen Reply:

    Because it was defamatory and libellous against one of the F1 teams. Simple really.

    Comments like that are not welcome here – Mod

    ArJay Reply:

    Should be ‘less to say’ rather than ‘more to say’ – like ‘Let Alonso through’ as others have suggested.

    [Reply]

    Rich C Reply:

    What *I found a bit obnoxious was the drafting together they did in qualy.

    Again, probably no rules against it, but a good argument for single-car qualy.

    [Reply]


  39.   39. Posted By: Alistair
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 7:10 am 

    Perez, no question about it.

    [Reply]


  40.   40. Posted By: Kedar
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 7:13 am 

    James,
    Any idea why both the saubers were so wide apart in the race in terms of performance? Perez was challenging for the lead and kobayashi was fighting in the midfield

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Kobayashi went for a soft set up for qualifying which hurt him on full tanks

    [Reply]

    Ram Reply:

    Is Kobayashi’s seat under threat … it will be a shame to see him without a f1 seat @2013. I hope Sauber stick with him …i wish he lands himself a couple of solid points in the coming races …perez has been stellar to add to his woes …

    [Reply]

    KRB Reply:

    There was lots of overtaking in that race yesterday, and lots outside of the two DRS zones (the majority were non-DRS I’d say). So being able to start with new hards, and then go to new options helped Perez a lot, vis a vis Kobayashi.

    I said there was lots of overtaking, and there was, but really only the Vettel-Alonso incidents, and the Di Resta-Senna contact were not kosher. Most everyone drove expertly, and sensibly.

    [Reply]


  41.   41. Posted By: Galapago555
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 7:25 am 

    I would vote for Lewis If there was a poll to chose the “driver of the weekend”. As driver of the day The only option IMO is Perez.

    [Reply]


  42.   42. Posted By: Eduan
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 7:34 am 

    Perez was great but my driver of the day is Schumacher. He drove a solid race and again out drove his circumstances for a second time in a week. He is out driving Nico Rosberg at the moment.

    [Reply]


  43.   43. Posted By: Craig in Manila
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 7:47 am 

    Perez.
    And the more that I think about it, the more that I hope that he doesnt succumb to the “lure” of Ferrari.
    I, for one, do not want him to ever become a No.2 driver who has to backoff or move over to enable No.1 to get better results.

    [Reply]


  44.   44. Posted By: PB
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 8:49 am 

    Cant believe Massa has been voted for at all!

    [Reply]

    Kay Reply:

    It IS afterall his best performance to date since German 2010 / entire 2008 season

    [Reply]


  45.   45. Posted By: stuart briggs
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 10:03 am 

    Maldanaldo!!!!!!! Just saying :-)

    [Reply]

    Kay Reply:

    How about naming Grosjean for not crashing into any cars despite sitting in the garage ;)

    You never know he could’ve been in the safety car you know..

    [Reply]


  46.   46. Posted By: Marc Aubry
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 10:30 am 

    I voted Perez without having to think too much about it.
    Alonso did a great job as well and had he kept Perez behind my vote would have gone to him. To the fans who seem to think Massa did a better job than Alonso. Sure Massa scored his best qualifying spot of the season and had to let his teammate pass him, but in all fairness Alonso caught up with him after starting 10th and very obviously was much faster than Massa. I believe that in a fair fight, Alonso would have been able to pass Massa just as well.
    Lewis did well and deserve his win. I hope though, that for the sake of entertainment, McLaren is not going to run away with the championship and that at least one team will be able to take the fight to them. Nothing against McLaren. Just dislike a team being so ahead of the others a la 2011 RedBull. Marc

    [Reply]

    KRB Reply:

    I don’t think anyone is going to run away with things. Lewis is still 37 points behind! Granted, if he had been really lucky and snagged Jenson’s points from Ger and Bel, he’d be leading by six now.

    I said before the season that for Lewis to win the DWC, he’d have to win more races than ever before, which would be six-plus. Of course, at the time, I wasn’t thinking the season would be as competitive or close as it has been, and was factoring in the 20-race season, compared to when he won 5(6*) in 18 races in 2008. But it seems to me it still applies, that LH will need at least six wins to take the DWC.

    So that’s three of the next seven races. If all development stopped right now, I think Lewis could count on snagging those three wins, by just letting the car do the talking. But I’ve no doubt that Ferrari and Red Bull, and Lotus, will make strides in the races ahead.

    [Reply]


  47.   47. Posted By: James Enocre
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 10:37 am 

    Hamilton did a faultless job, but all the groundwork was done on Saturday.
    As for contracts I suspect it works out like this:
    Red Bull and Ferrari don’t want to pair Hamilton with Vettel or Alonso, they won’t win any more races will have a marginally better chance in the constructors championship and risk losing the drivers through in fighting (see Mansell and Piquet, and McLaren ’07).
    If Schumacher quits Mercedes lack a star. So if Hamilton leaves McLaren that’s a good route and his management company probably potential in the global brand. He’s got a much better chance of another championship at McLaren. He let the silly season play out and got on with his driving.

    Perez and Alonso improved on their Saturday. Alonso did well not to lose the car in the tangle with Vettel who had a right to feel agreived with his Penalty. Alonso jumping on the radio to complain and get the team to protest showed his true colours.
    Perez beat Alonso. Running a long first stint on hard tyres, and running softs with the car lighter and the track rubbered in was a very good strategy for him and the car. Only Hamilton was able to pull out enough of a gap on him when he had hard tyres on against their softs not to get overhauled at the end, and there was enough doubt about that to keep it as a race at the end.
    Dare I suggest that that Ferrari are back pedalling on Perez as a replacement for Massa because he might show Alonso up ?

    [Reply]

    Puffing Reply:

    “Alonso jumping on the radio to complain and get the team to protest showed his true colours.”

    Such a biased commentary!!! Alonso did the the same radiocall as Hamilton, Vettel and everyother does in similar cicumstances. Just to refresh your memoriy, the same complain than Hamilton did in Bahrein after being outracked by Rosberg.

    [Reply]

    James encore Reply:

    Yes I’m biased. There is a good case for arguing Alonso is the best driver in F1, but his sportsmanship isn’t the highest. I’m sure I don’t need to give you a list.
    As for Hamilton and Rosberg, they both got the radio to give their cases, Rosberg that Hamilton passed him off the track, and Hamilton that Rosberg forced to go off the track. Rosberg got no penalty because Hamilton got past. Alonso on the other hand backed out of it and got the stewards to do the job for him.

    [Reply]

    Puffing Reply:

    [mod] What you says is part of the truth, but not all the truth. I disagree with you on this. Alonso’s sportmanship is among the highest. And please, I beg you not to give me any list. I feel I will know all the details of a such a list, after all these years reading biased commentaries on Alonso, which were concocted by some tinted media back in Alonso’s years with MacLaren.

    KRB Reply:

    I don’t remember Hamilton complaining about that move from Rosberg in Bahrain (or at least, didn’t hear any team radio of it), but I do remember Rosberg on the radio complaining that Hamilton had passed him off the track!!! Well no guff Nico, ‘cos you shunted him completely off it! Alonso’s team radio after getting shunted (“You always have to leave the space!”) is already an F1 classic.

    [Reply]


  48.   48. Posted By: Andrew Carter
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 10:59 am 

    Can I say Robert Kubica? Won on his first competitive outing since the accident on a national rally in italy yesterday, by over a minute.

    OK, seriously, Perez.

    [Reply]


  49.   49. Posted By: peter
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 11:00 am 

    Alonso.

    Re Perez. Performance was good but nothing spectacular. Reason I say that he was on the optimum strategy whilst the others weren’t. I’m surprised more.teams don’t split there strategies more often .

    [Reply]


  50.   50. Posted By: James McNulty
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 11:33 am 

    Driver of the day – Pastor Maldonado

    For managing to keep his car in once piece, not coliding with another driver, or being under investigation and…

    …oh wait a minute he still didnt score any points!

    [Reply]

    Rich C Reply:

    +1

    [Reply]

    nusratholla Reply:

    hahahaha

    [Reply]


  51.   51. Posted By: Carl Craven
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 12:07 pm 

    Perez drove great for sure, but I think the real mover and winner was Alonso 10th to 3rd was no less impressive than Perez’s 12th to second if you consider Perez had a tyre advantage and Alonso started on the back foot.

    However, Perez did drive great and did all he had to do to light up his career and provide us with some excitement.

    Alonso gets my vote.

    [Reply]

    StallionGP F1 Reply:

    Dis comments continue to sound irrational the more I see it what people miss out is the fact that at the beginning Perez was able to match the race leaders on the slower tyres on ful tank but people failed to notice this early on.

    [Reply]

    carl craven Reply:

    No, what you are missing is that Perez didn’t start in the top ten and so had the luxury of a new set of UNUSED tyres, this is considered a tyre advantage. He ran longer on his newer tyres and had a shorter stint at the end in which he was on soft tyres and thus had a lot more grip and hence speed.

    While Perez did drive very well, it was more strategy helping him than actual race speed/skill over anyone else. He is without a doubt a precocious talent in the making, but it is my opinion that Alonso’s race was better.

    If Alonso had finished anywhere worse than 3rd I doubt I would have been giving him my vote. But it was obvious that he was cutting through the traffic early in the race when it mattered.

    [Reply]


  52.   52. Posted By: KRB
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 12:20 pm 

    I think the order you have them James (Ham, Per, Alo, Mas, Rai, MSc) is the correct one.

    [Reply]


  53.   53. Posted By: Mark
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 12:44 pm 

    I’m a big Lewis fan, and have even warmed to Fernando this season (easily the best overall driver this season), but yesterday? Perez stole the show.

    [Reply]


  54.   54. Posted By: EC
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 12:58 pm 

    Oh you British fans, how can you say you aren’t prejudiced against Vettel? Last week at Spa Vettel came from 12th (after the start) to 2nd and he got so little votes from you, compared to the number Button, who lead from front and was faultless, was given. This week for Monza Sergio Perez gets 60% of your votes (undoubtably deserved) for an effort you could in some ways compare to Vettel’s at Spa. But more interestingly, Hamilton who led from front and was faultless (like Button did last week) has got LESS votes than Alonso, who made up places pretty much as Vettel did last week. And you say you are not prejudiced…

    [Reply]

    Andrew Reply:

    Totally agree, Vettel was robbed of DOTD last week.

    [Reply]

    Ahmed Reply:

    100% spot on. Let’s try and be unbiased when judging ay?

    [Reply]

    Kay Reply:

    Well, taking people off track and not admitting wrongs, calling other cucumbers and stealing your teammates parts isn’t exactly the best way to go about creating a fan base, let alone making friends. So not surprising really.

    [Reply]


  55.   55. Posted By: Stickymart
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 1:01 pm 

    It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if Button hadn’t had mechanical issues. Would Alonso and Perez have caught him I ownder? Perez was flying at the end. Superb tactics by Sauber.

    [Reply]


  56.   56. Posted By: Kevin
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 1:13 pm 

    I believe that RBR put their KERS battery next to the gear box, causing overheating and subsequent failures. Lotus have had a run of KERS related problems; are they employing the same technique?

    Ps Perez for DOTD

    [Reply]


  57.   57. Posted By: aadil
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 1:20 pm 

    Hi James

    Isnt it funny how last week Sunday Red Bull were celebrating Alonso’s failure to score points!

    Over the past few weeks Horner and Marko had alot to say about how Alonso was due a bad race and last week it seemed their wish come true!

    Well well look who was next in the que to have a bad race!

    Next time that moron Marco should think a little before he shoots his mouth!

    With every failure Red Bull seem to be getting more sour and its starting 2 look pathetic!

    The engine maps and front ride height saga seem like they were more an act of desperation rather then been inovative or reading the rules better then any1 else!
    It reeks of a team desperate to hang on to glory!

    Adrian Newey is loosing his effectiveness!
    His always been good around rule changes like in 1998 however just like then his edge didnt last long!He is good theres no doubt but ppl seem to forget he hadnt designed and built a championship winning car for 11 years between 2000 and 2010.

    Red Bull are a team struggling to cope with losing and thats their biggest weakness.
    More then that its evident for world to see they struggling to deal with it!

    Red Bull have had 3 good yrs particularly the past 2 but they not all they made out to be!
    Even with Adrian Newey there should they loose Vettel their days of been a front running team will most likely be over.

    Red Bull need Vettel much much more then Mclaren need Hamilton!

    There young driver program is a flop!
    They spend millions running a junior team and spend afew more millions sponsoring young drivers and yet if look @ 2012 non of the top young talents are linked to Red Bull!
    Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenburg, Paul DeResta are all future stars and yet non of them belong too or came from Red Bulls young driver program?

    Although they probly would but they cant claim to have found Vettel either because BMW did!BMW gave Vettel his first break to be a friday test driver BMW gave him is first chance GP and a chance to collect his first points!

    BMW let Vettel go because at the time they most likely felt Kubica was going to be better
    and because he never did drive a race winning car (1 win doesnt count) I guess the world will never know if they were right.

    all those millions and there young driver program has nothing to show for!

    Vergne and Recardo are looking like drivers heading for the same path as the drivers they replaced.

    the next 24 months will tell us whether Red Bull truely are 1 of the Big 3 or nothing more then a stepping stone on Vettels path to greatness.

    [Reply]

    Rich C Reply:

    Don’t like RB much?

    [Reply]

    Kay Reply:

    +1 lol.

    Button also shot himself in the foot. Early 2012 he dismissed Alonso as title contender. Now see who’s on the back foot? LOL.

    Karma just has a way of giving the person who cursed a dose of his own medicine.

    [Reply]

    aadil Reply:

    lol its amazing what a big head Button has these for sum1 who has so little talent.

    The first 7 or 8 yrs of his career he was rubbish!He was given away by williams and got regularly beaten by his team mates!Mclaren & Ferrari couldnt care that he even existed and by the end of 2007 he was so rubbish he didnt even deserve a place in F1!

    Just because he got lucky in 2008 he now thinks his sum1 special!

    Not only did Ross Brawn save his career he made him a world champion and what did button do? Stabbed Ross in the back @ the first chance and ran off to Mclaren.

    If Ross didnt keep Button on in 2008 his career would have been over.

    Anyways his title isnt worth the paper its writtin on.

    His probly the worst world champion of all time.

    I look forward to the day that useless annoying prick finally leaves F1.

    [Reply]


  58.   58. Posted By: Elie
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 1:39 pm 

    Perez then day light people ! He passed Both Ferraris both of which were faster in Quali and both Started ahead of him NUFF SAID!

    Special mention for Lewis “cruising” drive. Kimis fighting drive in a very slow Lotus and Long run ( 35 laps) on hards.

    [Reply]


  59.   59. Posted By: Rich in Norway
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 2:11 pm 

    James, please what is your hunch in regards to Hamilton. Do you think he may be on the move? And what about Schumacher? I though you were certain he was staying put for 2013!

    Thanks.

    [Reply]


  60.   60. Posted By: TitanRacer
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 2:17 pm 

    not my driver of the day, but if reports were accurate that Jerome had no KERS for the race, it seems to me he really DID step up to the plate! nobody can assume he may not have run the tires off the car or run off the road due to faster speed, but consider this: with KERS, he potentially coulda finished in 10′th spot merely .3sec a lap slower than Kimi!
    he never impressed in previous series. he only raced for 1 season in F1. he never got to race on Monza last year due to mechanical failure. he merely got to drive a what (?) for 1 year?
    I think he can hold his head high with a great big smile. Lotus needs to commend his contribution and acknowledge their failure.
    Jerome will never be a WDC, but he is a racer who deserves a spot on the F1 grid!!!
    awesome job, dude!!!

    [Reply]


  61.   61. Posted By: OzFormula
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 2:29 pm 

    Ricciardo had a very good result too until his car failed on the very last corner. He was running in 10th.

    [Reply]


  62.   62. Posted By: Cem
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 2:53 pm 

    Hi James,

    I am not sure if anybody else noticed it but while LH waiting in the room for podium, he pointed his helmet andshow the red portion. Also I noticed he talked a bit italian on the podium conference and complimented the Ferrari Tifosi.

    Do you think this is an indication of him may be moving to Ferrari next year?

    Also this will explain the team and LH problems.

    What do you think ?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    No, he was trying to show he’s into the Italians

    [Reply]

    James Clayton Reply:

    I just think he was very proud to finally win at Monza. He’s always said how much he wants to with there, and I *think* it’s the last on his list of ‘all time classics’ that he wanted to win?

    [Reply]

    Kay Reply:

    Isn’t red also a McLaren colour? They wear “rocket red” t-shirts when they win afterall…

    [Reply]


  63.   63. Posted By: Quattro_T
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 3:06 pm 

    I am surprized Perez is getting so much votes. For sure it was a very good result, but it came mainly due to the strategy the way Sauber is taking car of its’ tyres. He started with hards, stayed out longer than everybody else and finished strongely on the softs, making full use of the Sauber car being gentle to the tyre. The overtakes he made were nothing special, as those he overtook had much older tyres.

    My vote goes to Alonso. He have had all kinds of problems in practice and qualifying, limiting his running. Made the podium from 10th, despite having the regular tyre strategy, being stuck behind VET for many laps and managing the damage to the car that he had after being off track at high speed. Most his overtakes were real, against cars with same tyres as him. Damage limitation does not get better than this.

    [Reply]

    StallionGP F1 Reply:

    He wasnt stuck behind Vettel he couldnt overtake him early enuff dats all

    [Reply]

    KRB Reply:

    It’s clear you’re an Alonso fan QT. I don’t think anyone is surprised that you would vote for Alonso.

    Alonso drove really well, there’s no doubt. But he had a car that would’ve qualified P3 at worst, so it was expected that he would come up through the field. He had problems in practice, but those one’s didn’t harm him too much (i.e. no grid places lost). Alonso hasn’t had to change out a gearbox to date, whereas Webber’s had at least two if not three!

    Perez’s drive has to be recognized, also b/c of the disparity in resources between Ferrari and Sauber, in terms of real-time strategy management.

    [Reply]


  64.   64. Posted By: UncleZen
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 3:35 pm 

    James, 2 questions.
    1) any thoughts/views on why the Di Resta incident on Senna went unpunished

    2) Theres a few 5 place penalties recently owing to changing a gearbox. What I dont get is why this is so if the teams have to set the gear rations on friday and therefore must open the gearboxes to swap cogs. Surley thhey must notice at that point that the gearbox is on its way out.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    1) Senna was behind, not alongside.

    2) Yes, sometimes that happens. They also have sensors all over the thing too giving them data

    [Reply]

    KRB Reply:

    Yeah, it was a weird one. Senna was behind when Di Resta started moving back to the racing line to take the corner, and then just didn’t brake as hard as Di Resta, ending up beside him. I think Di Resta was playing with fire moving that way and not leaving a car width, and I’m surprised that the incident didn’t even merit a investigation by the stewards.

    [Reply]


  65.   65. Posted By: Rich C
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 4:21 pm 

    How embarassing: Ferrari beaten at *Monza by a customer.
    No trickery, no fluke, just… beaten by their own engine.
    3-car Monte ought to just buy Sauber and re-badge them.

    LOL

    [Reply]

    Puffing Reply:

    Err, how about Mercedes/MacLaren? LOL x n .

    [Reply]

    Kay Reply:

    +1

    [Reply]


  66.   66. Posted By: nusratholla
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 5:11 pm 

    I voted for Perez, he drove beyond the car’s capabilities… fascinating drive… even though Hamilton won… he undeniably had the best package for Monza and did justice to the car’s potential… nonetheless, the driver of the day is Sergio Perez.

    About Ferrari hiring him? I think they should without further ado… if he is not hired next year and if the Sauber is not a good car… it could demoralise him… I think Massa has had more than necessary window to make his worth asserted for that seat but unfortunately failed.

    I think the best seat would be going back to Sauber for Massa. And gauging by Rob Smedley’s pit to car radio which is flat, I think Ferrari has already decided to show Massa the door.

    And I read above that no teams wants Hamilton???

    I think any team in their sane mindframe would refuse Hamilton a drive. I think the drivers that are already placed in teams are petrified of Hamilton… Like Vettel in Redbull, Alonso in Ferrari… for Hamilton is way faster than these two in any given day… especially after he mastered the Pirellis which he translated in his win in Hungary this year.

    The only teams he would be welcomed and their drivers won’t be afraid of Hamilton is Mercedes and Lotus.

    I think Kimi must go to Mclaren… they need him back for if Hamilton leaves… they need someone with the pace of Hamilton which is Kimi… Button is modern day Coulthard… he’ll be blown away by Kimi as he is been consistently blown away by Hamilton.

    Schumacher to Mclaren??? Now that is the making of another World Champion… Undeniably.

    [Reply]


  67.   67. Posted By: Bru72
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 6:04 pm 

    Perez, what a drive. Also disproves the paranoia that Sauber operate under team orders from Ferrari.

    [Reply]


  68.   68. Posted By: Dmitry
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 6:30 pm 

    Lewis by a mile.

    I can understand why people voted for Perez, but I completely don’t agree. Yes, he finished second, but it was not a spectacular amazing finish… he just strated on hards and had the car which is very gentle on tires. If he was in McLaren, Ferrari or RBR – he would not get higher than 5th or 6th.

    And overtakings?I already told numerous times – DRS is a joke… plus he was on fresh mediums compared to others on older hards…

    [Reply]


  69.   69. Posted By: Sensei. GT
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 6:44 pm 

    So Rosberg for Hammy? Macca gets a mature, professional driver, possibly free engines for a few more years. Merc gets an immature, manboy who believes his own hype! Sounds like win- win to me! Do it!

    [Reply]


  70.   70. Posted By: Cyberorio
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 6:48 pm 

    Perez had an astonishing race in Monza also helped by his strategy of Hard and Medium. The medium didn´t suffer at the end of the race as expected due to low fuel and the rubber on the track.

    Alonso did also a very good recovery with a great first lap overtaking 4 cars. This race could be really important for the Championship.

    [Reply]


  71.   71. Posted By: Seb
        Date: September 10th, 2012 @ 7:55 pm 

    Why are so many people demeaning Perez’s result? If it is so easy to get a second place when starting from 12th on new hard tires, why haven’t the Force Indias. Mercedes, and all other second-tier teams been consistently getting on the podium by taking advantage of the rule? Probably because it cannot be done, it also requires a great drive to achieve it.

    [Reply]


  72.   72. Posted By: Dave Aston
        Date: September 11th, 2012 @ 1:26 am 

    PEREZ!

    [Reply]


  73.   73. Posted By: john 51
        Date: September 11th, 2012 @ 3:13 am 

    Let’s see Kobayashi in a McLaren or a Ferrari and then we’ll have another real racer lighting up the race days.

    [Reply]


  74.   74. Posted By: Jon Wilde
        Date: September 11th, 2012 @ 9:32 am 

    James, I realise this is off topic, but I think it’s topic worth discussing with fans of F1, please post, edit or delete as you see fit :)

    I’ve been to Monza 4 times now, in 06,09,10 & 12 and whilst I have been witness to many classic moments in motorsport such as the announcement of Schumacher’s first retirement and Hamilton’s GP2 championship clincher. I have to say I’m increasingly disappointed with the track infrastructure and team/ sponsor support. The Fanzone or F1 village this year was less than a third of the size it was 6 years ago, and basically comprised of a series of merchandising stands. Whilst I understand historically a lot of the fan engagement came from automotive manufacturers I think it’s time the sponsors did something to speak to the fans attending race weekends. The likes of Unilever, GSK, Vodafone, AirAsia, Telmex all have significant on car presence but little or nothing at the track. Race attending fans are the perfect target consumer for these companies, why is no effort made to build consumer loyalty? Commenting on Monza itself I don’t understand how the track get escape Bernie’s wrath for having made no investments in the facilities in the entire time I have been attending races at the venue, being the home of Ferrari clearly excuses a lot!

    A side comment on the Tifosi, I was horrified this year to see the level of booing and jeering for any driver (including Massa) apart from Alonso. Respect above all is, for me, what differentiates Motorsport from most other sports and in some ways elevates it to a par with the Olympics. The behaviours I witnessed over the weekend did a damage to my perception of this.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Things are a little tight financially in Italy, that was clear at the weekend.

    Interesting to hear your comments on the facilities for fans.

    The paddock had a big upgrade a few years ago so that side is up to standard.

    [Reply]

    KRB Reply:

    Agreed that it’s only yobs that boo drivers from rival teams, etc. Applaud and cheer your favourite louder than all the rest, for sure, but acknowledge and respect the achievements of all the drivers, and especially those on the podium.

    [Reply]

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