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Korean Grand Prix – Who was your Driver of the Day?
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Posted By: James Allen  |  14 Oct 2012   |  4:53 pm GMT  |  228 comments

Sebastian Vettel took his third successive win with a dominant victory in the Korean Grand Prix, but there were strong drives throughout the field. Who was your driver of the day?

Sebastian Vettel

Dominated second and third practice and continued that supreme form in the first two parts of qualifying. Made an error on his final qualifying lap in Q3 to miss out on pole position to his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber but made up for it by passing the Australian on the run down to Turn One at the start. Controlled the race from the front before easing off in the closing stages when his team told him his front right tyre could go at any time. Clinched his third successive win, fourth of the season and 25th of his career moving him level with Jim Clark and Niki Lauda in seventh on the all-time list. Took the championship lead from Fernando Alonso, moving six points clear.

Mark Webber

Struggled to match team-mate Vettel’s times in practice but hooked up a great lap in qualifying to secure his second pole position of the season but first on track after he inherited the Monaco Grand Prix pole as a result of Michael Schumacher’s penalty. Blamed his clutch for a poor getaway which dropped him to second behind Vettel, but matched his more decorated team-mate for much of the race and responded with ease when Alonso gave chase in the closing stages to secure second – the first time he has finished in that position in 2012.

Fernando Alonso

Focused on qualifying pace in practice which contributed to a solid fourth place on the grid, just three tenths off pole. Made a clean getaway to pass Lewis Hamilton into Turn One and gave chase after the Red Bulls. Lacked the pace to catch Mark Webber in the first two stints but began closing in the closing laps before settling for third – his ninth podium of the season. Relinquished his championship lead, but remains Vettel’s nearest challenger.

Felipe Massa

Oozed confidence on arrival in Korea following his first podium in 35 races last time out in Japan. Matched – and at times beat – his team mate Fernando Alonso in terms of pace during practice before qualifying a solid sixth. Kept his nose clean at the start, passing Kimi Raikkonen for fifth on the first lap. Caught and passed a struggling Lewis Hamilton for fourth and then closed down Alonso with ease before being told to hold station and not pass for the sake of the championship. Comfortably kept pace with the leaders for the remainder of the race to finish fourth.

Nico Hulkenberg

Outpaced Force India team mate Paul di Resta in qualifying, making it into Q3 and finishing eighth fastest while Di Resta started 14th. Made a clean getaway, passing Romain Grosjean at the start. Spent much of the race fighting the Lotus driver, but impressively held off the Frenchman before gaining a place as Hamilton was forced into a three-stop. Finished sixth for his ninth points finish of the season and also leapfrogged Di Resta in the drivers’ standings to 12th.

Jean-Eric Vergne

Started the race from 16th having struggled for pace in practice and qualifying. Made a clean getaway and avoided the carnage at Turn Three at the start to make up some places. Used the good straight-line speed of the Toro Rosso to cut through the field rising up to ninth in the closing stages. Passed his team mate Daniel Ricciardo, who was struggling with a mechanical issue, for eighth to equal his best Formula 1 result.

Lewis Hamilton

Led the way in first practice, but fell away as the Red Bulls began to dominate. Hooked up a nice lap to qualify third and though he made a good start, the 2008 world champion was squeezed out by the Red Bulls in the rundown to the first corner. Lost a place to Alonso as a result and then struggled with a mechanical issue – which later turned out to be a rear-suspension failure. Switched to a three-stop strategy which dropped him down the field but was challenging the Toro Rossos for eighth and ninth when a piece of artificial grass attached itself to his McLaren. Fell back but held off Sergio Perez to score the final point.

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228 Comments
  1. Bring Back Murray says:

    I’ll go for Vettel for the first time this season.

    OK so he’s had a car advantage recently but he’s still had to go out there and take it. Look at what the McClaren drivers have been doing with their car advantage all year.

    Nailed “not bad for a number 2 driver” Webber on the first corner, and controlled the race from then on in.

    1. JF says:

      after 3 years of awesome, what took so long

      1. Sebee says:

        Did you guys see Luca backtrack on Vettel to Ferrari talk? Now he says it’s too many roosters in the henhouse.

        It must sting a bit Luca to know that Red Bull have the bigger “rooster” in this henhouse?

        Meanwhile, even though he didn’t use a V8, that Felix RB Stratos stunt over the weekend was really something. Now that is what I call a giant leap.

    2. Ahmed says:

      +1
      Massive pressure at the start, and cool and composed, led into the first corner and managed the race perfectly from there.
      A close 2nd to Massa, his confidence is back so watch out…
      When Massa is infront and Alonso cannot pass “Fernando is faster than you, do you understand?”, When Massa is behind and easily catching Alonso “You are too close to Fernando” i.e. back up or else your Ferrari contract is finished for 2013!

      1. JR says:

        What a simplistic analysis, where has Massa been all this time?

      2. Ahmed says:

        Massa has struggled with the car ever since Alonso’s arrival, and everyone knows he is a confidence driver. His confidence took a hit when Alonso joined the team and all development was based on Alonso’s driving style and prefeerences, his accident in 2009, and team orders when in line for a win in Hockenheim 2010. I just think Massa looks like he’s finally adjusted his driving style to suit the characteristics of the Alonso Ferrari, and he is starting to get his confidence back. At his best Massa is not as good as Alonso, however he may challenge on a few occasions…

    3. Wayne says:

      The McLren DRIVERS have done brilliantly with their car advantage. The McLaren TEAM have let them down unforgivably with pit stop blunders and poor reliability.

      AB, from BBC Sport called it: “If anyone had reason on Sunday to regret what might have been, though, it was Lewis Hamilton, who has driven fantastically well all season only to be let down by his McLaren team in one way or another”

      Driver of the race? Massa for me. Last time out he did not deserve his place on this list in my opinion, having pootled around to second place after being lucky in the first corner but never staying in touch with Vettel. In this race, I reckon he was faster than ALO at times. He was consistent AND fast.

      1. Bring Back Murray says:

        Yeah the team haven’t exactly been helping poor Lewis out all that much have they – especially earlier on in the season.

        Whitmarsh really needs to be held to account for what’s gone on this season.

    4. Ferrari6655299 says:

      From AD PF1: “In Monza it was a fuel supply problem that hurled away a bagful of points for Jenson. In Singapore it was a gearbox issue that chucked away the win for Lewis. In Japan it was an unusual problem with a suspension ‘clunk’ for Lewis and a changed gearbox for Jenson, then a box that kept dropping into neutral. McLaren said it wouldn’t happen again. And now it’s a suspected anti-roll bar failure that has denied them a fourth or fifth place. The Ferraris have been faultless in that time”

      The McLaren drivers have had nothing to do with it. McLaren are a shambles.

    5. Vettel was supreme – and got my vote too.

      It’s a shame we can’t know how much far ahead of Alonso Massa would have been, as otherwise, he would have probably had my vote.

      1. marcelo valois says:

        That’s one interesting consideration and I’ve been wondering about it. Ferrari played by the rules, that is not under discussion. But were not we, the audience, prived the chance to see a Massa vs Alonso and, possibily, a Massa vs Webber battle? That’s kind of letting the sport’s entertainment aspect in a lower level.

    6. Old Bob says:

      McLaren Drivers???? What have they done wrong? Hamilton is better than ever this year. With the support on offer from McLaren – an unreliable car and Pit team – he may as well go to Merc next year. What does he have to loose! McLaren cannot even win a championship with the fastest car over a season!

      McLaren are a disaster area where championships are concerned and have been for 20 years!

      1. Bring Back Murray says:

        Agreed. Should have worded that differently. Button’s been rubbish though.

    7. Alexis says:

      Odd that so many are voting for Massa. For once he merely drove as fast as the car could go, which is something he couldn’t manage for most of this year.

      1. Peter C says:

        Had it occurred to you that Massa’s car has not been a patch on Alonso’s up til recently?

        IMO Massa has always been capable of driving like this, but being a No2 at Ferrari takes a terrible toll, although pretty good pay.

        All F1 drivers really want to WIN, it’s so important to most of them because of all the years in junior formulae, that the money come secondary to success, although not always!

        Massa’s great performances of late have been ‘allowed’ because there is a Constuctor’s Championship at stake in a few weeks.

      2. Alexis says:

        So Ferrari have been giving Massa a B-spec car all year and been telling him to drive slowly until recently?

      3. Andrew M says:

        That’s why it’s a “Driver of the Day” poll, not “Driver of the Season”.

      4. JF says:

        Isn’t the job of a driver to “merely drive a car as fast as it will go”. Maybe he has been all year long.

    1. kfzmeister says:

      How is he driver of the race? That was horrible. Only the second time in his career to finish tenth.

    2. Lindsay says:

      Hamilton’s the obvious comedy option this time around, so I voted for him.

      1. Wheels says:

        Hello F1 fans!

        I see where some of you on this site consider it a joke that Lewis Hamilton is even considered as a candidate for “driver of the day in this column.”

        Well, just consider this…. A malfunctioning anti-roll bar can affect numerous aspects of a cars handling and overall performance, including: the effects of camber both rear and front, (no handling!). In fact, even cancelling both (rear and front camber) out, all together!

        A faulty anti-roll can also induce, both, over-steer and under-steer at precisely the same time. Not to mention, centrifugal force, and the obvious relation between the car’s center of gravity and it actual roll axis, (cornering!) which is all but destroyed when the anti-foll bar is whacked!

        And really folks, the above is just a short list of the problems created in a modern F1 car that’s suffering such an immense problem. That’s why Martin Whitmarsh praised Lewis’ drive in the press because almost any other driver would’ve parked it and called it a day! (Scared s***less!)

        Yet, here’s Hamilton battling in the top 10, all race long, at speeds of well over 200 mph and cornering at speeds of 150-170mph, fighting for position against other competitors whose cars were performing near perfect, at the least. All the while, he’s struggling to keep his McLaren from flying off the track!

        Hey, still think it’s a joke? Anyway, I know who my driver of the day is…. James, you knew, precisely, what you were doing including Hamilton in this vote….

      2. brookz says:

        +1 couldn’t have said it better.

    3. timW says:

      because he battled a car with a broken anti roll bar and a piece of carpet stuck to the side pod into 10th place, a lot of drivers would have retired that car, rather than continue to pitch it into corners at 150+ mph.

    4. unF1nnished business says:

      Started 3rd…finished 10th…really?

      1. Peter C says:

        It’s not result of the day.

    5. F1Fan says:

      I’d agree it’s Hamilton. Given the broken roll bar, I’d say this was one of the best drives Hamilton has ever produced, particularly for his tenacity. He fight with Raikkonen was great. That he was able to hold off Raikkonen so long showed how well he was driving defensively. Regrettably it takes him out of the WDC contention, but I think Hamilton can be justifiably proud of his drive yesterday.

      1. **Paul** says:

        I’ll disagree. There was nothing spectacular about the Hamilton drive prior to lap 18 when the rear ARB broke. After that it’s simply guess work to see how good his drive was. Whitmarsh can roll out the superlatives again – but his views are so one sided that his words are barely worth the ink to print. Ergo although Lewis seemed to do ok with a broken rear ARB, I think far too much is read into it. It was hardly MSC stuck in 5th at Barca territory.

        DOTD was probably Hulkenburg for me, although it was a close call between him, VET and MAS.

      2. F1Fan says:

        Prior to the failure he was in 4th with his times competitive with Alonso. Right after, if you were watching the live timing you would have seen how he started to lose time. More on point, he was able to fend off Raikkonen for quite some time, at one point repassing Raikkonen after he had been passed. And he was doing all that in very close quarters to Raikkonen, with an ill handling car that was consuming its rear tires (driven tires).

        Even his battle with Verne is a bit misleading on its face. Sure it was a Toro Rosso but from very early in the race, Verne was setting some of the fastest sector 1 times, in fact at times he was going purple in sector 1.

        In the second half of the race Hamilton was doing battle with cars that were 2 seconds a lap faster so the fact he was able to make it a fight with them, and didn’t crash out, makes his drive worthy of consideration.

    1. Stuart Harrison says:

      :D Was probably the dullest race of the season. Noone stood out in my opinion, so yeah, give it to Newey and his Champagne Goggles.

      1. Bring Back Murray says:

        That’s the first race of the season I bothered getting up early for (well relatively early)

        What a waste!

    2. Cedricbaum says:

      Who was the DRIVER of the day!

      1. Bring Back Murray says:

        Adrian Newey was the driver behind the teams success!!

      2. Cedgy says:

        Ok I’ll vote for Bernie Ecclestone then for being the”driver” behind F1′s success then! Haha

    3. JF says:

      Absolutely, he and Rory Byrne are the two most winning men in F1. drivers come and go.

  2. chris says:

    Schumacher – for having to drive that garbage car around for couple of hours.

    1. Val from montreal says:

      + 1000

    2. Tim says:

      Agreed. I’d vote for Schumacher too. Such a waste seeing him drive that rubbish.

      1. Peter C says:

        Hamilton fans ought to vote for him as much as possible for the remaining races of 2012.

        The thought occurred to me that he may not even be on the DofD list when he’s driving Tim’s ‘rubbish’.

      2. Tim says:

        To: Tim
        From: Tim (original? Tim)

        There appears to be 2 of us now, using the same online “name”. If you wish, I’ll relinquish mine, which I’ve been using from the start, many moons ago, and switch to another. I’d prefer to keep it, but I’ll let you have first dibs. Please let me know ASAP! Thanks.
        Regards,
        Tim

      3. Peter C says:

        All he has to do is be Tim2, but perhaps that’s asking too much?
        Very reasonable of you.

      4. **Paul** says:

        I had the same issue Tim – although not with the name Tim… add a couple of stars ;-)

      5. Tim W says:

        I’ll change! Sorted.

      6. Tim says:

        Thanks Tim W

        Regards,
        Tim

      7. F1racer says:

        Sad to see the legend drive the last remaining races of his career in that dog of a car, which is currently just better than caterham, marussia and hrt.

    3. Bring Back Murray says:

      That Hamilton’s going to be driving round in 8th place every race from 2013 onwards

  3. Nic says:

    Daniel Ricciardo for sure! Excellent drive

    1. AussieRod says:

      +1

      From 21st to 8th with some great overtaking, solid lap times and on track for his best result of his career. Only a mech issue cost him the place to JEV.

      Why is Hamilton on the list, he had a shocker?

      1. miso says:

        I was coming here to vote for Daniel as well. Surprised he isn’t on the list.

      2. Jamie Ramsamy says:

        Exactly! Ricciardo should have been there.

      3. RCOne says:

        100% Ricciardo.

        Despite having a drive shaft problem in qualifying, he still out qualified Vergne. Rose from 21st to 8th in the race and was 10 secs clear of Vergne before suffering brake failure which gifted Vergne the 8th place.

        Surprising Ricciardo is not on the list, particularly when Hamilton is on it.

      4. Geoff says:

        Agree about Ricciardo. His lap times were considerably faster than JEV’s and quite few in front of him until he struck mechanical problems.

      5. Luca says:

        +1 DR was the only stand out performance of the race for me.

      6. Jako says:

        Yep, Daniel Ricciardo was my Driver of the day.

        All others ahead of him pretty much did what was expected of them (or worse), except JEV whom DR would have beaten if it was not for a mech prob

        cheers

    2. Sean says:

      Another vote here for Daniel Ricciardo. What an amazing drive to go from 21st on the grid to finish 2.2 seconds behind his team mate with a mechanical issue. Drive of the day by a long stretch.

    3. Rishi says:

      Also surprised Ricciardo didn’t make the list. That said, I’m not sure it would have changed my choice. Both Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg drove fantastic races, but I decided to go for Jean-Eric Vergne.

      I think its because of what we got on the world feed. The Toro Rosso had decent pace and once Ricciardo got through the Caterham, Marussia and HRT teams he was able to catch JEV while the latter was stuck behind the Williams cars. But JEV always had to do the dirty work of overtaking the Williams cars (particularly when DRS was disabled after the Rosberg yellow flags), while Ricciardo could then follow him through.

      Ricciardo may have been faster thereafter but, unlike the Williams overtakes, we did not see much of this in the coverage. Furthermore, Vergne has visibly struggled more than Ricciardo (who has been the better driver overall) this season so his also impressive Korean performance particularly caught my eye as it has been a difficult, some would say disappointing, season for JEV this year.

      1. Fahim says:

        Another would-be vote here for Daniel. +1 for Ricciardo.

  4. Stef says:

    I wish they’d let Massa through to have a go at Webber.

    If he’d caught him, and they’d struggled for a few laps, that would have slowed them both down, let Alonso catch up and maybe get a sneaky second, with Massa letting him pass again, either way.

    Alonso wouldn’t have lost out at all, and we’d have had a little more entertainment at the front!

    Great to see Massa back in the hunt!

    1. kfzmeister says:

      What hunt would this be?

      1. Veena says:

        Rubens Barrichello Place. Funny thing is they both are from Brazil.

    2. [MISTER] says:

      Stef, I got nothing against Felipe, but to catch and overtake Webber, he had to be like half a second faster than Webber. Alonso was having the same pace as Webber, and Massa didn’t caught up with Alonso at half a second per lap.

      I am also pretty sure that The RBR cars weren’t going flat out and that Webber could’ve increase his pace if necessary.

      Having said that, letting Massa have a go and then give the place back to Fernando would make sense..for us..the fans. But not for Ferrari who got ALOT of points on McLaren today and if they finish second in constructors, Massa’s points today could be worth millions of Euro.

      Just think about it..
      1. give the go ahead to Massa to try and catch Webber,
      2. overtake him,
      3. slow him down enough for Alonso to catch and overtake Webber,
      4. than let Alonso passed,
      5. then stay in front of Weeber until the finish.

      All this while risking to run out of tyres (especially right front) and lose 12 points which in a championship so tight like this are so so valuable.
      Or he could just keep his nose clean and bring the car home and 12 points.

      I wish we could see drivers go flat out all the time..and that at least once in a while we lose all this tyre conservation and forget about all the money involved in Formula 1..just go race as hard as you can. But that’s not the reality.

      If they would’ve allowed Felipe to go after Webber and his tyres would go off and lose 3-4 positions, Ferrari would’ve made the newspaper’s front page for the wrong reasons.

      Just my 2 cents..

      1. Kay says:

        “Having said that, letting Massa have a go and then give the place back to Fernando would make sense..for us..the fans.”

        Yer, just imagine the huge uproar from around the world in Ferrari manipulating the race outcome like that.

        Team orders are one thing, but playing like that is quite another… o_O

    3. DK says:

      Sometimes ego is too big to pass …

    4. Max Smoot says:

      I thought the very same at the time. Great to see Massa regaining form.

  5. FerrariFan says:

    Massa for me. Wonder if Ferrari will let him overtake Alonso early next year if he shows this form.

    1. ed24f1 says:

      They showed at start of 2010 and 2011 that they let them race at the start of a season.

    2. Bring Back Murray says:

      The only way he’ll be overtaking Alonso is if Alonso drives into a wall!

    3. AlexD says:

      In 2007 Kimi was much faster, in 2008 Massa was much faster and Ferrari was perfectly OK to support Massa over Kimi. This year Massa was not scoring at up up until very-very recently, so I hope people understand it. Alonso was not as fast as Massa yesterday, but please consider the whole season

    4. Bim says:

      Massa for sure.

      Hilarius radiomessage: “Felipe, Fernando is slower than you, do you understand”

      1. zombie says:

        LOL!

  6. Chris says:

    Curious as to why JEV gets a mention despite RIC starting a few spots behind him, and being ahead of him until that mechanical issue? Either way, i thought they both did a good job today.

  7. Miha Bevc says:

    James, can I ask you something? How many times (and when) has Vettel been driver of the day on this forum? I don’t want to start discussion how everything is easy for him, I’m just REALLY interested. Hulkenberg probably deserves it today.

    1. Miha Bevc says:

      Actually it would be nice to see a list of top DOD’s, year by year… to see who won the most of them

    2. Robin says:

      I’d love to see this too. I’ve been avidly following JAonF1 since I heard about it sometime in 2010 and I’m pretty sure he has NEVER won. I’ve seriously pondered going back over the last three seasons and getting this data out but haven’t had time. If all the votes were recorded in a spreadsheet it would be a pretty rich data set to study driver popularity!

      Robin

    3. Sergey says:

      It’ll be irrelevant because mainly the visiters of this website are Brits I suppose. So they are mostly fans of HAM/JB. So no matter what, they’re voting for them. Also there is a lot Alonso’s fans. When Vettel dominantly wins, they are screaming – “Too easy! He’s not a true champion. Newey made a better car. My grandmother would’ve do it.” But when Lewis wins in such style they’re saying: “What a dominant win! What a racer! Controlled the pace, did everything right, blah blah”
      But they don’t understand, that Vettel wins in such style because he is the fastest in Q3 (mostly), he doing everything right in the race, he agressive when he needs to go through traffic, etc. As every driver, who had win in such style. And they suddenly forgot that Webber has the same car but he can’t match Seb mostly. When Alonso delivered I voted for him. And I’m not fan of Alonso. I would’ve said quite opposite. Man with nickname Bring Back Murray in the first comment said it quite clearly – what McLaren did with its best car, they’re not even second in both championships.
      I agree about Hulk. Incredible move on Lewis and Grosjean. He was so far behind on the straight and did it. Managed to hold Lotus of Romain. Also Massa showed who he is. He was even faster, than Alonso. Who knows, maybe he could’ve got Webber!
      Sorry for my bad English.

      1. Bring Back Murray says:

        I’m a Brit but I rate Alonso just as highly as I do Hamilton

        Also I appreciate Vettel because he’s a class driver

      2. Sergey says:

        There was no claims to you. Just to clarify (I have very bad English, so my phrases could sound a bit wrong, with some rudness or claims to you).I just said, that you mention very interesting aspect. McLaren had the best car at the start of the season, in the midseason. And they lost both championships. Lewis year ago or so said – if they will have the best car at the begining of the season they will win it. Of course, this season its a lottery because of Pirelli. But they had problems with pitstops, mistakes in setting cars, unreliability. And RB with Ferrari did a very good job to be consistently at the front. And sometimes people saying that Alonso and Vettel just lucky to be there. But their teams did the better job (Ferrari did very reliable car and RB did the fastest when it counts). And driver involved in it too. If you cannot set you car properly, its your fault too, not just engineers.

      3. F1 + Nismo says:

        The set up problem with Lewis Mclaren is suspension a problem (damper) that affected the set up and balance of the car(Japanese GP). then came Korea, Lewis qualified 3rd, lost out on the start rying to get second but the doors were closed and Alonso comes through. Lewis’s car was following Alonso, but the anti bar fails just after lap 18. This could be related from the damper issue that happened at Japan GP (Johnathan Neale claimed after the race on Monday). Damper was replaced but anti roll bar was not changed for the Korean GP?…maybe it looked o.k. to Mclaren, but mechanically failed due to the previous damper issue whilst racing?.

        We can also say that Lewis has been great at setting up cars, take a look at the Canadian GP, the car was to Lewis’s liking, Hungarian GP and Monza. He has made the mistake at Belgium GP but we would never know in essence due to the 1st lap shunt.

        Australia GP Pole, raced: 3rd
        MALAYSIA GP Pole, Raced: 3rd
        China GP 2nd (5 grid penalty – gearbox change) Raced 3rd
        Bharain 2nd Raced: 8th
        Spain: Pole (demoted to the back of the grid due to team under fueled car below legal limits- car stops after Q3!!) Raced to 8th
        Monaco: 4th Raced: 5th
        Canada: 2nd Raced: 1st
        Europe: 2nd Raced:DNF, o.k. 50/50 on crash between Lewis and Pastor, however if the PIT was done without any fault, lewis would have been leading the race/

        Great Britain: 8th Raced: 8th
        Germany: 8th: Raced: DNF (puncture then damage to car)
        Hungry: Pole Raced:1st
        Belgium: 8th Raced: DNF, 1st lap incident
        Italy: Pole Raced: 1st
        Singapore: Pole Raced: DNF – while leading Gearbox E-shift failure.
        Japan: 9th Raced: 5th (issues with setting up car, later transpired to Damper issue)
        Korea: 3rd Raced:10th, (Anti roll bar failed therefore car was hard to drive in terms of looking after the tires).

        In terms of theory i.e.
        4 races where he qualified on Pole and did not win them. Now how many has Lewis actually won 3, if he had those 4 poles into wins with his actual ones he would be on 7 wins: total points with wins = 175 pts, now we add the other results below Lewis standard would equate to 200 points, therefore 47 points have gone…….

        This season was Lewis’s better performance as a complete package. This is one thing I like about this sport “what if?”. Yes What if Lewis had won those races, he would be leading comfortably and Mclaren with their WCC. This makes me feel that the MP4 27 had the raw pace, just very delicate in setting the car up. Frankly Mclaren do not understand the car quite well, Sam Michel openly admitted that Lewis is able to dial into a car with issues.
        We would never know, if Lewis would have gone on to dominate like the predictions but who knows what could have been.

        This year is about managing tyres well, Strategy, Pit stops, Reliability, consistency and continuous development(of which Redbull have been great at and we know why?, Adrian Newey). Whats gone wrong here: Mclaren and Ferrari would good at this as numerous times, in 2009 Mclaren were good just after the half way mark. 2010 Not so good, Ferrari were catching Redbull on the second half. 2011, Mclaren were good but no match the Redbuls. This year Mclaren is the best car, but with lack of continuous development (not going outside of the box -like Adrian Newey).
        Williams were so dominant in the 1990′s Redbull could be doing the same of 2010′s (2010, 2011, 2012, Predict 2013).

      4. Andrew says:

        “But when Lewis wins in such style they’re saying: “What a dominant win! What a racer! Controlled the pace, did everything right, blah blah”

        You obviously missed the DOTD poll for the Italian grand prix, you know the one that Hamilton dominated the race in a car that was arguably NOT the fastest (most people, including Alonso and Ferrari, believe that Alonso would have easily got pole position but lost out because of suspension failure). Hamilton received just 13% of the vote, the winner Perez received 58%.

        Lewis is pretty unpopular on this site and by the British public in general, particularly in comparison to the ‘great white hope’ Jenson Button.

        I agree with you that Vettel is seriously underrated on this site, he should have won the DOTD for the Belgian GP by a mile but the golden boy Button won that poll (in a race that he cruised from pole to victory in the fastest car).

      5. Sergey says:

        In Monza Perez outshined everyone, even Alonso. But in Belgium you made a good point. British driver won and Vettel who did a great job lost on this. But it’s ok. I presume Germans would prefer to vote for German driver rather than British.
        “Lewis is pretty unpopular on this site and by the British public in general, particularly in comparison to the ‘great white hope’ Jenson Button.”
        I’m watching BBC and sometimes I saw, that JB gets a bit warmer support from public. But I thought that Lewis more popular than JB in Great Britain. It’s quite a surprise for me.

    4. AlexD says:

      I do not remember that I have seen Vettel taking the top spot here. But I also think he doesn’t care really – he will soon have 3 titles.

      1. James Allen says:

        Maybe 4 by the end of 2013

        No rule change from 2012 to ’13, RBR super fast at the end of this season

        2013 could look a lot like 2011.

      2. AENG says:

        Perhaps Schumi-2 in a row? -10 years later :)

      3. Kay says:

        Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……………..

        Don’t feel at all sorry that I missed the last two GPs, and agreeing with you on what 2013 might be like, it’s gonna be quite a big turn off for fans.

  8. sam w says:

    I would have said Riciardo

    1. Iwan Kemp says:

      Yes!

  9. Tim says:

    DOTD: The HULK
    Honorable Mention: Massa – For me it was a bit of a toss-up. I’m partial to Massa, but felt guilty that I’ve never been completely sold on Hulk. Hulk is better than I previously thought.
    And Felipe, keep charging, bloodied but unbowed!

    Tim

  10. Andrew says:

    There were no real standout performances today, I voted Hamilton for managing a point with a car that was seriously broken for the majority of the race.

  11. Søren Kühle says:

    Close one.. Between Vettel and Alonso.. Voted for Alonso though. That start was awesome, and he drove a measured race from there. So did Vettel, but I can’t help thinking that Webber let him have the start.

  12. Mark says:

    I would have preferred I seen Daniel Riccardo on there. Great drive from 21st on the grid

    1. Wade Parmino says:

      Absolutely!

  13. ChrisJ says:

    The front runners were the usual suspects in team order. My choice was between Hulkenberg and Vergne, both had a great race today. Went for the driver that I’d like to have seen got Hamiltons seat at Mclaren – Hulkenberg!

  14. Chris says:

    How do I vote for none of the above?

    1. JF says:

      Watch a different sport

    2. JF says:

      Watch a new sport, you don’t appear to enjoy f1

  15. CanadaGP says:

    I voted for Nico. One of the best passes of the year and winning the best of the rest race. Glad to see Felipe getting the most votes though as driver of the day also includes best teammate in a team sport!

  16. Steve Zodiac says:

    I feel sorry for Felipe, when he was ahead of Alonso he was told “Fernando is faster than you(move over)”. Today Felipe was faster than Alonso and was told ” slow down your too close to Fernando”. If Felipe wants to show other teams that he’s got what it takes he should have ignored Rob Smelly and overtaken Fernando. i think it was a big mistake by him

    1. Sebee says:

      People who think Alonso can walk on water better bring a life vest. He’s good at demanding advantage, but he’s not some magician who would be at sharp end of standings without a good car and beat down teammate. Just look at 08/09 Renault for proof.

      Personally, I’m losing no sleep over Alonso’s fruitless 3 Ferrari years without WDC. I wonder if his time at Ferrari will be WDC-less?

      1. brendan says:

        dont forget massa tyres were finished come the end of the race, but yeah he did well.

        as for alonso performances. i think the gaps in the points each season tell you enough. and its nothing to do with team orders.

        One good race doesnt make up for 45 out of about 50 average ones compared to his team mate.

        As for 08/09 his performances were pretty good, given the car he had. Japan 08 is a lesson in how to get the maximum out of your car and your team. and adapting to a new strategy.

        to say alonso isnt performing is laughable

      2. Sebee says:

        I’m not saying he is rubbish. Just that he is not some mystical force as some believe. He is just a guy driving a car. He is made to look good by those around him. Including submissive Massa.

      3. Veena says:

        Yes Like Singapore 08. I think you intentionally forgot that.

      4. brendan says:

        No not forgetting singapore his performance that day was great.

        His team managers, as any sensible person knows was behind that. They desperately needed a result to keep renault in the sport. ALONSO did not need a win, his talents were not up for debate and he was already in line for the ferrari seat. He wouldnt risk all of that for one win. to quote michael ‘a win is a drop in the ocean, its about titles’ for a title he would of probably taken that risk. for one win in a season he had no chance for a title in? not a chance, he is a smart man.

        you will now say why did he agree to strategy, well for the same reason Honda and Red bull ran that same strategy(were they in on it??? lol) to get clean air while cos they were out of position from bad qualy. Clean air meant going faster than before stop despite getting your pit stop out of the way. It was a pretty obvious strategy frankly. But some cant work that out.

      5. Elie says:

        Exactly Sebee, no doubt he’s been the best this year on an underdone car, but As I said previously many times he’s not among the Prosts , Sennas , Schumi, and not people can start seeing it. As for WDC I hope anyone except Ferrari take it !- this will be sweet justice for the lies they put Raikkonen through when Alonso came on board.& unlike Alonso he won it in his 1st year !

      6. Sebee says:

        I don’t think the Ferrari car is that bad really. No car manufacturer has dominiated the season like last. Everyone has had a shot at being the best car. I forgot already the details of those July races, but it seems even Ferrari had a shot at having the best car for a while.

        Red Bull however, chose the best time to have the best car.

      7. Elie says:

        Yep now RBR can’t be copied in time.

    2. aezy_doc says:

      Not a mistake, I think everyone could see that Felipe was faster – team bosses are not daft. As a team boss what would you prefer? A driver that is fast and follows team orders or a similarly fast driver who ignores the pit wall.

      1. kfzmeister says:

        You guys crack me up. This was a decision based upon driver’s points and the Championship!

      2. lecho says:

        It’s a matter of choice. In terms of WDC fight it was of course pretty logic to let Alonso stay in front, although the way Ferrari handled it was yet again pathetic. But if you also wish to improve your WCC position then holding up clearly faster driver is a mistake, as Massa could have easily catch Webber.

  17. jv says:

    I usually look forward to these DotD polls but this one is different. I don’t believe any one relying on team orders to keep their position should even be included. That definitely applies to Alonso but possibly Vettel as well. Massa and Webber we will never really know what they could have done if given a chance. And Ferrari really should have unleashed Massa on the Redbulls. So that leaves the other drivers. I ended up giving it to Hulkenbuerg but it is so hard to tell when the races are fixed. like they will be either till the end of the season or until the top championship spots are locked up.

    1. Scott says:

      In what way was Webber prevented from competing? He qualified on pole, started badly – as usual – and Vettel passed him. Where’s the conspiracy there?

  18. Robert Gunning says:

    Massa all the way. He would have scored a podium, and could have challenged Webber for 2nd but for team orders. Let’s hope that the upgrades due in India give Ferrari a performance step to keep this championship alive

  19. Andrew M says:

    Not a great deal to choose from, but I gave it to Massa, he would have been on the podium again today team orders not withstanding. Hulkenburg gets a mention for his opportunistic pass of Hamilton and Grosjean.

    I assume Hamilton is in the poll just to see how many people will vote for him regardless of what actually happens in the race…

    1. A.Green says:

      Hamilton is in the poll because he brought home a car with a broken rear roll bar, quite an achievement. Your comment though say’s alot about you…

      1. Andrew M says:

        That I don’t consider someone who has a broken car sliding down the field particularly noteworthy?

      2. pargo says:

        I’m with you Andrew. RIC had a broken car, was placed an eternity behind HAM on the grid and finished ahead of him, but no mention.

        Seriously, Lewis had a lousy race.

  20. Richard D says:

    It has to be “slow down; you’re faster that Fernando” Massa! We’ll always be left wondering where he’d have finished up if he was allowed to overtake his slower team mate.

    Can’t understand why Hamilton is even on the list of candidates, let alone in 3rd place. I suspect it’s just an illustration of people voting for their favourites rather than the deserving DOTD!

    1. Colombia Concalvez says:

      It not about Lewis just in the list, it’s about what Lewis did with a broken car. No other driver on the grid could do what Lewis did today with that broken car and don’t forget Lewis was the only one with a three stop strategy. absolute stunning!

      1. Robert Gunning says:

        Alonso could probably achieve a similar feat with a broken car. For example, look at what he did in Malaysia 2010 when the clutch broke on the car during the formation lap, and fought his way from 19th to 8th place; until the engine failed.

      2. devilsadvocate says:

        “absolute stunning!”

        Really? I fail to see what was so stunning about the fact that he Lost out at the start and then drifted steadily down the order due to a broken car like you would pretty much expect someone in a broken car to do? You guys need to go get a fishing license if you are going to be trying that hard to drag up stuff to justify those 283 votes he currently has.

      3. von zipp says:

        Wasn’t Dan Ricciardo’s car damaged, hence his off and loss of position and time? Yet he finished in front of Hamilton. He didn’t even make the shortlist even though he drove from the back of the field.

  21. Elie says:

    Completely impressed with Felipe Massas performance and such a travesty that he had to back down for Fernando as I believe he was a real chance at Mark. Yes Fernando Felipe HAS worked out the tyres now and you are not so bloody invincible as so many silly people seem to think.

    Lewis Hamilton today handed everybody a master class in tenacity and skill. To merely drive the MP4-27 with a broken sway bar is outstanding in itself!- to do so whilst fending off Kimi was unbelievable. Despite the extra pit stop and then the astro turf spoiling his car even further he got the final point in tenth!. & as Martin Whitmarsh suggested if that’s not one of the best fought drives ever I don’t know what is . Well Mr Whitmarsh / Mr Dennis how does it feel to loose Lewis Hamilton to Mercedes ??

    Daniel Ricciardo- phenominal effort to come from 21 to 9 and again mech failure spoiled his chance of making it further – possibly to 7 th. solid drive again by Hulkenburg- continuing to impress!

  22. MookF1 says:

    Lewis Hamilton driver of the day??!! His attitude off track must have so tarnished my opinion of him that I cannot see a good drive from him anymore because for me, his drive today was mediocre!

    1. Colombia Concalvez says:

      Mediocore ?, Lewis drove 37 laps with a broken car and a three pit stop!, one else on the grid can achieve such driving skill, it’s was pure class

    2. Niko says:

      Yeah, I am a HAM fan, but I voted for Massa, because he uped his game when it mattered. You can propably drive a broken car better…

    3. Nigel says:

      Attitude ?

      Hamilton is leaving McLaren. The team’s mechanical failures in the last three races have cost him any shot at the championship this season. There’s obviously not a little friction between him and McLaren.

      And yet today he brought home a seriously compromised car, which must have been close to undriveable, battling all the way for a single point.

      Not a lot wrong with his attitude, I think.

  23. dc says:

    It’s strange that once realizing Massa is faster of the two, Ferrari didn’t allow him to chase and put under pressure at least one of the Red Bull drivers in hope that Weber would finish his tires off. They could reverse the positions at later stage.

  24. Geenimetsuri says:

    Massa.

    Sub-par Ferrari, faster than his teammate.

    I wonder what he could’ve done had he been allowed to race?

    1. brendan says:

      same goes for webber. ‘ you dont have to worry about mark’

      at least massa is out of the title race, webber wasnt.

      and alonso was on a different phase of the tyres, but yh it would of been worth letting him have a bash at webber. but massa’s tyres were finished come the end after he pushed at the start of the stint.

      the arm chair viewers are forgetting how these tyres need managing

      1. Warren Groenewald says:

        “the arm chair viewers are forgetting how these tyres need managing”

        Precisely. Of the top 4 drivers, Alonso was the one who managed his tires better. Massa’s were finished because his ego got in the way and didn’t follow Smedleys advice to drop back to about 3 seconds behind, the distance considered safe enough to protect your tires.

        Ferrari would have looked pretty stupid letting Massa through to attack Webber and his tires fall off the cliff 3 laps from the end and he loses 2 to 3 positions.

        If anything, I would’ve let Massa through and told him to “Maldonado” Webber ;-)

  25. KRB says:

    In terms of how their driving impacted the championship, there can be only one winner: Vettel. He now leads the standings b/c he’s driven the car to its natural finishing position. It sounds easy, and no doubt it’s easier than having to fight each lap to guide an HRT ’round, but it’s no breeze, and there are no guarantees.

    The more that comes out, it sounds as though it was a minor miracle that Hamilton kept driving his car today, instead of retiring. But still at the end of the day it only counted for a single point. A moral victory, but that’s it.

    Massa also went a long way today to casting off all the “he’s past it” assertions. As much as Hockenheim ’10 was a psychological blow, today was a psychological boost.

    Hulkenberg also had a very good race.

  26. jeffrey says:

    Massa was faster than Alonso today, was agressive but measured and kept his tires alive for the distance. Might have been able to catch Webber, but we will never know. Should have secured his seat by now, and hope he can carry this form into 2013 and be a championship contender again. Good luck, glad to have you back, Felipe!

  27. Andy says:

    Jean-Eric Verne for me. The Torro Rosso has been a poor car all year so to gain 8 places when most others only made up 1 or 2 places, is a good achievement.
    Vettel looked unbeatable again, Hulkenberg was also worthy of driver of the day, and Massa would have probably finished third had it not been for team orders.
    I can’t really understand why Webber is on the list when he went backwards, LH had the rear suspension and astroturf to deal with so I can understand his inclusion.

  28. Don Farrell says:

    I never thought I’d hear myself say it… but Massa has to be driver of the day after he was asked not to get to get any closer to Alonso. Oh and congrats to Ferrari for overtaking McLaren in the Constructors Championship. :D

  29. furniture says:

    Lewis and his balls of steel. No other driver would have stayed out with that deathtrap of a car ready to spring at any moment. BIG balls.

    1. Colombia Concalvez says:

      Pure skill we could see today, on one else could do this! only Lewis!!

      1. Mad Kiwi says:

        I don’t get it, A broken roll bar…big deal!

        It may not be as fast as it could have been but if it was only a broken roll bar it’s not the end of the world..

        Perhaps I am missing something?

      2. unF1nnished business says:

        Agreed. Not a biggie.

  30. paul jaworski says:

    Slow down Felipe, you faster than Fernando. That was great stuff

  31. Kev says:

    Felipe Baby! Was the closest challenger to RBs. Alonso for some reason didnt have the pace or maybe sacrificed race pace to qualify ahead of the midfield.

    Massa was sometimes the fastest man on track consistently. Hope Ferrari’s updates work in India and make Alonso fight till the end of the season to attain a 3rd WDC.

  32. Jose says:

    Ricciardo perhaps? 21st to 9th, which would have been 8th without the brake issues.

  33. kp says:

    James, I think you are right. Today, the driver of the day was, without question, Lewis Hamilton!

    The fact that he managed to keep going, despite all obstacles, just goes to prove that he really does have outstanding skills. Driving skills? Perhaps not, but skills nonetheless.

    Here we have a guy who was given the fastest car in F1 in his rookie year and yet somehow managed to blow the title. In his second year he tried to blow it again, but a nasty turn of fate handed him the WDC in the very last race. Unable to work from within the team, he has always just turned up to drive. Not to help build a car, to develop a car or to cement a team. No, his contribution to McLaren over the years has just been to drive, to complain, to destabilise and to spread disharmony! And, guess what? He’s been fantastic at it!

    Today we saw yet another class act from Lewis. Overly aggressive driving at the outset, somewhat akin to the style of Nigel Mansell, led to early suspension (or similar) problems. Tyres degraded quickly, the car was a nightmare to drive.

    But he kept going, and kept going in that usual Hamilton fashion. Indeed, he even found time to hoover up a great chunk of asphalt, something every other driver had managed to avoid on each and every one of the 55 laps! And then, at the end of the race in the interview pen he, once again, to the waiting world pronounced that he was entirely happy with ‘his’ race!

    Brilliant Lewis, a brilliant performance. An X Factor wannabe in the making!

    1. Rubinho's Keyfob says:

      “hoover up a great chunk of asphalt, something every other driver had managed to avoid on each and every one of the 55 laps!”

      Are you suggesting the astroturf (not asphalt) just unpeeled itself and then waited for HAM to approach before it launched itself at him?

      I’m no expert, but my suspicion is that the astroturf was possibly already loose and flapping about precisely BECAUSE several of the other drivers had managed to make repeated contact in the previous 50+ laps.

      As for the rest of your post – I guess if HAM had retired instead and blamed that on the issues with the broken suspension and tyre deg that you would have congratulated him for making the right decision?

      Or would you perhaps have suggested he was just “complaining” again? :D

    2. Trev says:

      :-) Perhaps a little harsh… the victim act has to go though … I find the “someones shot my dog” act tiresome.

    3. aezy_doc says:

      We all have drivers we love to [mod], but we also need to appreciate their skill. I am no fan of Vettel, but he is superb when leading from the front and pretty decent otherwise. Hamilton is a flawed character, agreed, but he is still a wonderful racing driver and unless you have some insight to the McLaren set up unknown to the rest of us how do you know what he brings to developing the car?
      Could you also pinpoint the exact moment his “aggressive” driving broke the anti roll bar? I was disappointed that he picked up the astro turf and thought he could have done more to avoid it, but obviously he was not the only one in the race to run over it as it got damaged in the first place somehow. Hamilton was just unfortunate that he was the one to pick it up on the side of his car.

  34. Chris says:

    You can’t deny the race Massa had today. If it weren’t for Ferrari team orders he definitely could’ve challenged Alonso for 3rd. It’s great to see him back on form and I think that’s down to him having already signed a 1 year extension with the team.

    Hats off to Hulkenberg as well. I think McLaren have made a mistake signing Perez, especially after his last 2 performances. Hulkenberg is the kind of cool and collected driver that really could’ve shined under the wings of Button and the team.

    1. Glennb says:

      Had he been let go earlier, Felipe may well of challenged Webber! It would have been interesting to see that :)

  35. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Hulkenberg.

    Not only the DOTD, but the “move of the day” when he passed Grosjean and Hamilton, two big names, for getting 6th.

  36. A.Green says:

    Massa, although an honory mention for Hamilton for finishing driving for 37 laps with a broken rear ARB.

  37. Tyler says:

    How does JEV get nominated but not Ricciardo? DR went from 21st on the grid to finish ninth, and prior to the mechanical issue striking, was 10 seconds ahead of his teammate and lapping faster. It was only a car problem which resulted in DR finishing behind JEV. Surely part of your expertise is to look past the raw results and analyse the underlying performances?

    1. Greg (Aus) says:

      Agreed. I believe he also out qualified JEV before copping a gear box penalty.

    2. McHarg123 says:

      Ricciardo surely has his seat all locked up for next year.Its early but He’s really starting to show the higher teams that he’s got what it takes. Eyes on him if Webber decides to retire at the end of next season.

  38. KJ says:

    My driver of the day is Lewis Hamilton. I cannot say that I understand very much about the technicalities of a F1 car, but after reading Mr Whitmarsh’s comments, I began to understand the effort and supreme skill that it must have needed for Lewis to finish the race, let alone trying to defend and improve his position.

    1. Ryan Eckford says:

      Even though it may seem unlikely at this stage, Hamilton’s 10th place and that single point could prove crucial in winning the world championship. Stranger things have happened.

  39. aezy_doc says:

    dotd in this order: the hulk for his double overtake, massa because of the backstory, vettel for being imperious. jev for making up so many places hamilton for driving a three wheeler for 2/3 of the race.

  40. Stuart Harrison says:

    Can I vote for Felix Baumgartner?

    1. Peter C says:

      No, anyone can fall.

      1. Rubinho's Keyfob says:

        Peter, you don’t get what Felix did today ;).

        To put your comment in F1 terms: “Anyone can sit in a chair and turn a wheel”.

        It’s a bit dismissive of the vast amount of investment of time, skill and money to say something like that :) Not to mention the sheer bottle that he had to take that step off the platform.

      2. James Allen says:

        Cost €50 million apparently!

      3. Peter C says:

        Yes, I DO appreciate what he did.

        Lighten up! (Can’t do smiley faces,sorry)

  41. Bob B. says:

    Korea was a seriously boring, processional race and while I am sure a few of the drivers drove their hearts out I personally didn’t see anything that warranted a drive of the day. The Red Bull car is clearly in a class of its own at this stage of the season and most of the drivers on the grid could have won the race if they were in Vettel’s seat.

    Let’s hope it gets more interesting soon or this season is going to end like last season began, Vettel, Vettel, Vettel.

  42. rossco says:

    Definitely Hamilton, what a supreme driver. A rear anti roll bar failure. You could actually see the car rolling about on the pit straight. Amazing stuff and to fight off kimi and a host of other drivers to come home with a point. Insane. McLaren will miss him. Compare him to button, who fails to qualify well most of the time but is clearly the favourite in the team. Any slight balance issue and button is out of it. Reminds me of Webber vs vettel. One with pure speed, one without. To finish 9 seconds down on your teammate in the same car, give me a break.

  43. Ryan says:

    I don’t think Daniel Ricciardo has ever made it onto your Driver of the Day list James. Pretty unfair I think as he’s had some excellent drives this year.

    Considering his starting position, mechanical issues, and the fact that he graciously let his team mate past to lose 8th, I think he deserves to be on the list more than both Vergne and Hamilton.

  44. Oly says:

    Massa ? No way hose.
    Felipe, season started 7 monhts ago – back in March and where were you since then? Sleeping, cruising around whole season.. until last week 90% of Ferrari’s points were Fernandos, he’s been working hard as a bee whole season and today Felipe got the idea how to help the team – to take the valuable points from Fernando. Outstanding.
    If you ask me he is history. Go back to bed Felipe.

    Last time I checked F1 was TEAM sport and I have no issues with team orders. IF Mark had to pass SV on orders, I have no problem with that. Loook at MCL in 2007, how stupid was that ? At least Ferrari are not pretending and not making a fool of us viewers, like others do.

    1. marcelo valois says:

      You surely have no idea what you are talking about. Sleeping and cruisin’ around are in no reasonable way adequate expressions to what for sure was a terrible year for Massa. Anyone could see how worried and grievous he felt after every and each race till Hungary; seeing his partner Alonso extracting 101% from the same car he was driving. Massa has limitations, that’s for sure. He is not a Senna or a Prost, maybe a Berger or an Alesi. He and Rob Smedley worked very hard during several months trying to figure out what the hey was going on. Pressure from the fans and the media increased exponentially, and that only made matters worse.

      All in all, they are human beings, although very special ones, but still human. It is very easy to criticize them between the chair and the keyboard.

      And, if you say that Maranello don’t make fools of us viewers, which part of “Fernando is faster than you” in Germany 2010 you did NOT understand?

      1. Oly says:

        You are right, I was too harsh to Felipe. In fact I like him, I’m just being frustrated with his performance (the lack of it) for so long. Fernando is fantastic, but he still need a better teammate who will take the points from the competitors in every race, not once or twice in a season.

        About “Fernando is faster than you” – but he was and that was the right call. Imo it is stupid for TEAMMATES to fight and risk a crash and/or lose a title in the end. Like FA/LH in 2007 (lost a title) and like MW/SV in 2010 (crashed). If you feel better when you hear “go to mix 4″ as a code for stay away or slow down, then ok.

    2. Warren Groenewald says:

      I’m not Massa’s biggest fan, but I honestly doubt he was just unmotivated this year. I think it’s a similar situation to Raikkonen in 08, where the car either was difficult to drive (early season) or it just didn’t suit him.

      Massa seems to be much like Button. when the car is dialled in to how they like it, they’re imperious, when it isn’t, they’re quite ordinary.

      Even though Ferrari’s updates don’t appear to have brought the desired speed to the car, they could likely have made the car easier to drive and why Massa has appeared to regain “form”.

  45. Greig says:

    Ricciardo is my driver of the day. 21st on the grid to finish 9th. Well down Dan.

  46. Marcelo Leal says:

    If Massa had this car from the beginning of the season, Alonso would not have the lead he got. Alonso do not like to divide points in his team, and Ferrari is the perfect fit for him. That was the same in time of MS and Barrichello.

    In McLaren Lewis wins, Janson wins. In RedBull the same…

    Now ferrari needs Massa taking points from others. What some call conspiracy, I see management, and no BS.

    Hamilton realized it this year, and that’s why he is going to a team where 100% will be for him. In a competitive F1 today, you can not share points with your team mate. Jason won the first GP this year, but let’s be realistic and agree that Hamilton could have that 7 points on his bag.

    Jason finished better than Hamilton last year, but you as a manager needs to known and realize which one is the best between JB and LH, and stop to play games. They are not even from the same planet…

    Ferrari knows that Felipe is a good driver (as Jason Button is too), but Alonso is from the same planet as LW, and so Ferrari supports 100% Alonso from day 1, and with this attitude could challenge better cars.

    If you have the best car, and divide the wins with your team mate, in 20 GP’s you will win half and will have 250 points at the end of the year. In a team that is 100% for you, if you can get third every race and get 300 points! I know it’s just a very simple example, but you get the idea… and we could see that with RedBull in 2010 I think.

    1. Ilin says:

      i get that feeling too.

      massa has been hobbled for most of the year, and now they need him to help get points, he’s being unleashed.

      also, alonso probably wants massa as a team-mate he can control next year, so he’s fine with felipe showing he has the ability to retain his seat.

      this, combined with the stuff that goes on red bull, really takes away from these drivers as individuals. i’d be genuinely amazed by vettel and what he has achieved, if he didn’t have the team politics always in his favour.

    2. [MISTER] says:

      JENSON dude..JENSON.
      I’m not the kind of person to point out the spelling of someone since English is not my first language, but since you know so much about him, at least get his name right.

      1. Marcelo Leal says:

        Terrible mistake!
        Sorry, I follow to much F1 to write Jenson Button’s name wrong.
        Please James, or a moderator on this forum, correct my message where I did such mistake. Seems disrespectful…
        Thanks Mister.

        Leal

    3. Ahmed says:

      The fastest driver always dictates who is number 1 and deserves preferential treatment over strategy during races etc. The car and updates will be designed to the number 1 drivers style and driving charachteristics (preference for understeer, oversteer, front grip, rear grip etc). Number 2 will always be playing catch up.
      I think Felipe has finally adjusted his driving style and is showing his true pace.

  47. RodgerT says:

    Vettel: important race to get the championship lead, but nothing we haven’t seen before. So he doesn’t get my vote.

    Webber: did well to get pole, but didn’t do anything with it. No vote for him.

    Alonso: good end result, but had to have team mate slow down to keep his place. No vote for him.

    Massa: great race, and would have gotten my vote if he hadn’t played the team game. Sadly, no vote for him.

    Vergne: good job, but not as good as his team mate. Can’t give it to him.

    Hamilton: good qualifying, and did well to finish with a broken car, but not all that impressive. No vote for him.

    Hulkenberg: made up places, made passes, out did team mate. He gets my vote.

  48. haven2 says:

    Welcome to Mercedes Lewis, your gunna love it. LOL. $50 dollars he leaves in pre season testing when it dawns on him just want Merc have built him.

  49. JB says:

    This DOTD is a hard one; Hamilton, Vergne, Vettel and Massa were all great standouts. In the end, I chose Vergne because he made up so many places and was ahead of his teammate. Goes to show he has the hunger for it so when the car is right, he makes the most out of it.

    Hamilton deserves a mention though, he is definitely the entertainer of the day! haha… Struggling is a crippled car, pickup a ‘scarf’ along the way. With all the difficulty controlling the BAD car, he manage not to hit anyone or gave up. Fantastic!

  50. Forbula says:

    Ricciardo. 21st to eighth. Managed a brake issue to bring the car home in the points

    1. JB says:

      Ya but he is not even in the list.

  51. Robin says:

    I voted for Vettel because of the implications for the championship, but there is a strong case for Hulkenburg. Not only did he have the move of the day against Hamilton and Grosjean but he beat his team mate by the largest place margin of team where both cars finish. Check out the finish order by car where for clarity I’ve removed the solo finsihers (Lewis, Michael, Perez etc).

    1 Red Bull
    2. Red Bull
    3. Ferrari
    4. Ferrari
    5. Lotus
    6. Force India
    7. Lotus
    8. Toro Rosso
    9. Toro Rosso
    10 —
    11 —
    12 Force India
    13 —-
    14 Williams
    15 Williams
    16 Caterham
    17 Caterham
    18 Marussia
    19 Marussia
    20 —-

    Hulkenburg in the Force India beat his team mate by more than any other finisher. By the way, this overall result is quite intriguing as I don’t think we’ve really seen this in the recent tire regime. I recall this used to be much more common especially in the late stages of the Bridgestone era when the rules and the cars got pretty stabilized. This looks like everyone is figuring out how to drive the cars and therefore getting each car to go as fast as it can, so as you’d expect if you didn’t read the internet, drivers within one team are actually pretty close to each other.

    Robin

    1. ferggsa says:

      I agree, most of this guys are pretty even and way better than the rest of us mortals, and we tend as fans to idolize some and loath others
      Of course there are differences, Alonso is on another level than Karthikeyan regardless of which car they drive, but it is the most important part of the equation

      I made a similar list but with the year standings and from my point of view shows who is doing well and who is not
      If you assign a driver status and a car “speed rank” you get a given place and then compare that to the actual standing, for example:
      Vettel is #1 driver in the fastest car so should be 1st (which he is)so his performance is even
      Webber is #2 in the fastes car, so he should be 2nd, but he is now in 5th, so he is down 3 slots or -3

      01 SV 01 –
      02 MW 05 -3
      03 LH 04 -1
      04 JB 06 -2
      05 FA 02 +3
      06 FM 09 -6
      07 KR 03 +4
      08 RG 08 –
      09 KK 11 -02
      10 SP 10 –
      11 MS 14 -3
      12 NR 07 +5
      13 PR 13 –
      14 NH 12 +2
      15 PM 15 –
      16 BS 16 –
      17 DR 18 -1
      18 JV 17 +1
      19 HK 20 -1
      20 VP 21 -1
      21 TG 19 +2
      22 CP 22 –
      23 PD 24 -1
      24 NK 23 +1

      I am considering Sauber to be a faster overall car than Mercedes even if they are still down in the standings (due to driver and team errors as well as slow pit stops)

      The table shows Alonso to be above par, but Kimi is shooting even better and the driver with the best performance relative to his car is Rosberg (oddly dismissed by most fans)
      Massa, Webber and Schumacher are the worst ones
      Perez, Hulkenberg,Vergne and Karthikeyan have jumped their #1 team mates
      Vettel, Grosjean, DiResta, Maldonado, Senna and Pic are right where they should be

      Of course luck, mechanical issues and accidents affect all standings, but this might be a good measure of why fans are rooting for Alonso and Kimi and booing Massa and Schumi, as for Vettel, well he is doing his job properly with no mistakes but no heroics

      I think based on recent performance, by year’s end Webber might jump Lewis, Massa might jump both Grosjean and Rosberg, and maybe Hulkenberg might catch Kamui
      i would love Alonso to win but it seems unlikely now

      Hope it all makes sense

  52. Frank says:

    Ricciardo?????????

    21st to 9th is phenomenal and no mention. Such a shame

  53. Jordan says:

    Have to agree with many other people here – why is Hamilton even on the list, and why is JEV there instead of Daniel Ricciardo? DR started 5 places further back and had 8th in the bag until a mechanical issue hampered him and he willingly gave the position to JEV.

  54. SNB says:

    Webber screwed up !!!

    He should not have re-signed with RB , bad move

    Great car , great Manager and designer but Marko will NEVER allow the Golden Child to be beaten.

    Webber since puting pen to paper has been royally hung out to dry with crap cars and really terrible pit strategy , and the occasional personal poor performance.

    He should have engineered a swap to McLaren and seen Hamilton sign with RB , at least he would have got an equal car with equal rights to win.

    Vettel is such a sook when it does not go his way , he will not be revered as a classy champion,

  55. Ben says:

    Just curious as to how Lewis Hamilton could even be considerd driver of the day, lucky to gain a point and looking for no better than a 5th place finish all race in a car that qualified top 4…Hulkenberg for sure

  56. Ciao says:

    Helmut has Webber’s crutch.

    1. mark says:

      EXACTLY!!!! Funny how Webbers start was poor again…..

    2. SNB says:

      Don’t you mean Marko instals Webber’s clutches

      Webber has more chance of winning a chook raffle with that [mod] running the show.

      Year ago he should have taken Flavio’s Renault offer that gave “The Mono Brow” his first title.

      MW has never picked the right seat

  57. Glennb says:

    The usual suspects all finished somewhere near the predictions. No surprises there. Nothing outstanding at the front.
    I thought the Toro Rosso drivers both drove well from poor grid positions. Felipe was easily on the podium but had to play the team game. Understandable but disappointing for him. Lewis struggled badly with broken suspension, bad tyre wear, but managed a point.
    My vote goes to Lewis for scoring a point and not retiring the car earlier.
    My first vote for Lewis this year.

  58. Bullish says:

    Ricciardo for sure

  59. BW says:

    If Lewis is to be praised, then HRT guys should be every racing week.
    My choice is JEV over Hulk.

    1. Sascha says:

      Do they race with a broken anti roll bar every race?

      1. BW says:

        I bet Lewis (or any other driver from Top5 WCC) would outqualify and outrace them with broken anti roll bar in every race.

  60. Rick says:

    James, add me to the list of people who can’t work out why Ricciardo isn’t on the list but JEV and Hamilton are ? Out qualified JEV, then got a 5 place gearbox penalty. Started from 21st, 4 places behind JEV and had made it through to 8th, more than 10 seconds in front of JEV. 10 laps from home had mechanical issues so had to let JEV through. Still finished in 9th.

    At least part of Hamilton’s problems (the artificial grass) was self inflicted and caused by him running off the track and over the loose astro-turf, which he could, and should, have avoided.

  61. Panayiotis says:

    Massa! It’s puzzling how he was able to extract more from the car than Alonso. Very strange indeed….

  62. lecho says:

    Vettel is at the peak of his skills now, he has never driven better and he’s going for this third WDC.

    Nonetheless, this time I go for Massa as it’s clearly visible that only Ferrari’w policy stops him now from getting bank to 2008 form. To bad that there isn’t any other quality drive for him now.

  63. AENG says:

    YES Massa was faster 1st time this year but i believe in this kind of circumstances not only Ferrari – known for its drivers’ -1 -2, but other teams would do the same, I’m not Ferrari fan but it’s hard to blame them for this, also emotionally I’d prefer see Massa overtaking FA and challenging MW for P2.
    Seb #1.

  64. Mark says:

    I almost gave it to Massa again, but for me it’s Lewis. He drove with a broken car, had to pit three times, and then had to deal with his all new Made-In-Korea AstroTurf wing. And he still got a point, whereas others would have finished much lower or just given up.

  65. McHarg123 says:

    Vettel has led every single lap since Hamilton’s gearbox in singapore. 3rd WDC in a row. We are witnessing something very special here.

  66. Jato says:

    James,

    How can Vergne be on the DotD list when Riciarrdo:

    - Out qualified Vergne again
    - Got hit with a gearbox penalty
    - Was up to 10 seconds ahead of Vergne before his brake issues

    From 21st to 9th in the TR is more impressive than what Vergne did. Riciarrdo should be ahead of Vergne in the standings if it weren’t for mechanical gremlins.

    I would have voted either Massa or Riciarrdo if there was an option.

  67. Richard says:

    Mine was a sympathy vote for Hamilton because he initially had a car that wasn’t very quick for a front runner, and then brought it home with a broken anti-roll bar. McLaren have let him down big time this year with poor reliability and operational mistakes. No wonder he’s had enough, I just hope Mercedes can deliver the goods. That said the biggest improver has been Massa and I’m glad Ferrari are keeping him on for another year. Will the Vettel to Ferrari move transpire? – Not as long as Newey designs Red Bull for sure!

  68. Wade Parmino says:

    Massa. For showing great discipline.

    However, just because he has been faster than Alonso on this occasion does not mean his terrible form in previous races can be ignored. Alonso is much much more consistent in getting good results with a less than great car.

    Ferrari would be taking a gamble to keep Massa for another season, but then again, they might not have any other realistic choice.

  69. McHarg123 says:

    James.
    Do you think Vettel really is going to Ferrari in 2014. Surely such a pairing would incur some friction as they are both prolific race winners. Still it would be an astonishing pairing.
    BBC says it’s done!

    1. James Allen says:

      It is a rumour that will not go away

      However Montezemolo has reiterated today on Italian radio that it makes no sense to have two big names fighting within a team

      1. James says:

        Did he deny it though?

        They won’t be fighting if they’re sedated.

      2. darth_patate says:

        That’s consistent with getting VET on board and saying goodbye to ALO, especially if he has not won any WDC (meaning probably VET has 3 o r 4 by then)

        SAD, but possible.

      3. Steve says:

        They have Alonso on contract through 2016, and they only inked it last year.

        I would imagine Ferrari would be paying a very pretty penny if they cut him as early as 2014 unless he is letting down his side of the bargain

      4. Val from montreal says:

        Oh NOW he says that ! But Montezemelo wanted Kimi at any cost in 2007 !!! And wanted Hakkinen in 2001 !!! Hypocrite -

  70. Alberto Viera says:

    from this webpage we now know 15% of its fans are hamiltons’s groupies. No matter what they vote for him hahaha its so funny!
    Plz vote with the head, not with emotional heart.

    Hulkenber for me. Amazing race.

    1. Andrew says:

      After winning/dominating in Monza Hamilton received just 13% of the vote.

      So much for your theory.

      1. Alberto says:

        Still a good theory tho :D, I said 15% are groupie fans. This race was the pure example of that. Although what Perez did in Monza problably shadowed Hamilton’s dominant weekend, I do think dominants drives through all the weekend doesnt always deserves driver of the day. Its called driver of the day, not driver of the weekend haha. Perez did an amazing race in Monza but groupie fan voted for Hamilton anyways.

        Still a theory..

  71. ed24f1 says:

    Massa – the only driver able to match Vettel today, and in an inferior car.

  72. Paul D says:

    Lewis.

    Anyone who can stay flat when the car is moving around even on the straight (!) deserves big respect.

    He never gave up and showed his real racing spirit. One of his more impressive races for different reasons.

  73. kehinde says:

    My Driver of the Day at yesterday’s Korean GP was Massa (again)…. we all know he would have passed Alonso (if not for team orders) :)

  74. Simmo says:

    Massa for the third time running now (joint with Kobayashi in Japan)! He had a pace, and had potential to go for 2nd in that race!

  75. madmax says:

    Don’t get why Alonso is on the list. His team mate was clearly faster.

  76. Tm from Finland says:

    Karthakeyan for keeping that god awful car on the track :)

    1. mark says:

      Haha, that was funny as. I agree, too little is made of the 3 lesser teams and drivers.

      The finances they must be working with make the achievments more outstanding than I think they get credit for (qualifying, completing race distance etc)for gods sake give the teams at the back some “free” test days.

      The whole spectacle will increase with those teams being regular midfield runners!!!

      Everyone is lauding Hamilton for driving a car with a broken roll bar when Pedro, Narain etc drive cars that handle like that day in, day out. Why no plaudits for them?

  77. Wombat says:

    It has to be Vettel, he did everything necessary to win easily. But I’d also give a big medal to Massa – he’s back and great to see.

    Red Bull seem to have found straight-line speed to go with their great handling. This has been missing (relative to other teams) for some time. It has affected Webber especially as he has been trapped behind others unable to pass even using DRS. Vettel has been able to get that split second in qualifying that has put him on the front of the grid and ahead of the rest and into clean air from the start where the Red-Bull car can sparkle.

    Also a consolation prize for Webber – glad to see him back at the pointy end of the field and able to match the pace of Vettel like in earlier years. Had he known of Vettel’s tyre issues could he have challenged for the lead?

    I wonder if Red-Bull have focused their efforts on optimising their car for Vettel (lighter-smaller – even though the car+driver has to start at the same weight) over the past 4-5 races to maximise opportunities for gaining points on Alonso? Their car had been falling back relatively – shown most clearly in the poor results by Webber – perhaps running a compromise car? Now they have found things that work, both cars are back in the hunt.

    Can’t understand the Webber poor starts – you would have thought that could be sorted out in a simulator……..?

    Ferrari have been relying too much and too long on Alonso ‘magic’ to get the Ferrari to the front – but they need to find something in the car itself otherwise it is all over for this year.

    McLaren (and Lotus (Renault) seem to have lost their way.

  78. zombie says:

    Grosjean for making it through the first corner without any “collateral damage”

  79. nusratholla says:

    I must hand out when credit and respect is due… Vetel was Supreme definitely Driver of the last two races.

    He had more than his share of bad luck this year. so, its great to see him on a high. Two wins more and he’ll be The Hatrick World Champion.

  80. Fahim says:

    +1 for Daniel Ricciardo. No real reason for Alonso to be here this week.

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