The One and Only
Monte Carlo 2016
Monaco Grand Prix
Chinese Grand Prix – Who was your Driver of the Day?
News
XPB_572531_1200px
Posted By: James Allen  |  14 Apr 2013   |  11:11 pm GMT  |  411 comments

The 2013 Chinese Grand Prix delivered an entertaining race which saw a third different winner in three races this season and plenty of impressive performances all the way down the field.

Ferrari’s double world champion Fernando Alonso took an impressive victory, building on a fantastic start to take his 31st career win. Kimi Raikkonen felt he could have challenged for the win in the Lotus had it not been for a glitch at the start and damage to his nose following a collision with McLaren’s Sergio Perez.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton couldn’t match his scintillating qualifying pace in the race but did his best with the car he had and was rewarded with a second successive podium. Reigning world champion Vettel produced a thrilling recovery drive from ninth to take fourth, narrowly missing out on a podium.

McLaren’s Jenson Button took fifth after starting eighth thanks to a good strategy while Daniel Ricciardo scored the best finish of his career with seventh in the Toro Rosso – but who was your Driver of the Day?

Fernando Alonso

A brilliant start was the cornerstone of a dominant drive to a victory. Moved up to second at the start and then passed Hamilton for the lead as the Mercedes driver struggled with his tyres. From there he controlled the race, only losing the lead when he fell out of sync with those who started on the mediums and therefore ran deeper into the race. Found himself behind Vettel after his final stop, but knew the Red Bull had to pit for soft tyres. Even so, the Spaniard passed the German for the lead. Took his 31st career victory and second in China, equalling Nigel Mansell for fourth in the all-time winners list. Closed to within nine points of championship leader Vettel.

Kimi Raikkonen

Recovered from a bad start to finish second and move to within three points of championship leader Vettel. A glitch at the start meant the Finn didn’t get away cleanly, dropping from second to fourth. Moved up to third at the first stops as Felipe Massa dropped back, but then hit the back of Perez who robustly defended his position. Broke the nose of his Lotus as a result, but decided not to pit. Jumped Hamilton at the final stops to move into second where he remained. After the race, he said he could have challenged Alonso for the lead had the team got everything “100%” right.

Lewis Hamilton

Started from pole and though he lacked the race pace to keep the lead, drove well to take third. Made a clean getaway from pole to keep both Ferraris at bay, but quickly found himself in trouble on the soft tyres. Both Ferraris past him before he pitted a lap later. Moved back into second after Massa dropped back. Dropped down the field during the next round of stops, he eventually found himself back in second but lost the position to Raikkonen at the final round of stops. Suffered on his final set of tyres in the last couple of laps but a couple of mistakes by the chasing Vettel saw Hamilton hold onto third.

Sebastian Vettel

Tried a different strategy, starting on the medium tyre, in a bid to bring himself back into the race but agonisingly missed out on a podium. Started from ninth and maintained position in the early stages, but rose up the standings as those on soft tyres ahead of him pitted. Found himself second, behind Nico Hulkenberg but lost time as he struggled to find a way past. Leapfrogged Hulkenberg in the pits and gave chase after Alonso, slowly cutting into his lead. Took the lead when Alonso pitted, but was past by the Spaniard shortly after. Pitted on lap 51, rejoining fourth, 12 seconds behind Hamilton and though he closed the gap to under a second, a couple of small mistakes on the final lap ended his hopes of stealing third.

Jenson Button

Started the race on the medium tyre which allowed him to go deep into the race and even took the lead before eventually finishing fifth. Maintained position at the start and then rose up the field to lead as those on soft tyres pitted. Managed his race well by pushing and then conserving tyres when required. Dropped down the field when he pitted late for softs, but past Massa for fifth which is where he went on to finish.

Daniel Ricciardo

Qualified well and finished seventh – his best result in Formula 1. Made a good start, but dropped out of the points after the first round of stops. Showed good pace from then on in, putting a good pass on his team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne at the hairpin. Climbed back into the points and was even catching Massa in the closing stages but ran out of time. Finished seventh for Toro Rosso’s best finish since the 2011 Korean Grand Prix.

So who was your Driver of the Day? Leave a comment at the bottom of this story. 

Featured News
Editor's Picks
Share This:
Posted by:
Category:

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.

411 comments

by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest
1

Alonso, I couldn't see anyone catching him. Ricciardo did well and is my second choice. I think had Vettel had pitted a lap earlier for softs, he would have been third. As for LH, can never be a driver of the day if you don't have any problems and finish lower than where you started.

2

A dominating victory from Alonso earns him Driver of the Day whereas Vettel dominant victories are "expected" and "unimpressive"...

3

Yep, Alonso. Kimi was close, especially having to live with that nose.

Naughty boy goes to Perez, for aggressive weaving and what he did to Kimi.

4

Perez should leave space for a car, he already had the inside and push Kimi out of the circuit... much like the accident when Grosjean pushed Hamilton off the circuit, Grosjean got a heavy punishment, and Perez got nothing this time around, I believe Perez is a driver that needs to calm down a bit, and maybe find a front desk office job, because he is not going cut it as a driver... a bit sarcastic, but Perez hasn't show he is a good driver since he was announce as a Mclaren driver.

5

Kimi Räikkönen, without a doubt... no words more needed, if it wasn't for that damaged nose he would have been first, also Ferrari and some other teams had new engines installed already, Lotus didn't, definitely Kimi!

6

Agreed. If they had pitted Vettel 1 or 2 laps earlier for the soft tyres he would surely have passed both Hamilton and Raikonnen.

7

No... He would not have.. The last 4 laps he did on the softs were

1:36.81

1:37.26

1:38.21

1:40.05

and before making the stop his last lap on the med tires was 1:40.22.. So they pitted him at the right time..

8

Agreed.

Alonso had a Vettel-style win, hard to fault him. Everyone else in the wars made one or two little errors that affected them in one way or another.

Much respect for Ricciardo tho too, who looked like a genius compared to his bonehead teammate.

9

His tyres would probably have gone off though so hard to be certain it would have worked.

10

Not so fast. He absolutely trashed them during his chase, but they were gone by the finish line.

Perhaps he would never have gotten by Hamilton. You'll never know.

11

I agree; Vettel would've passed. Then fallen back the next lap as the tyres dropped off 😉

12

Don't see why driver of the day can't be Hamilton. Its his ability being the fastest driver in F1 that qualifies the car higher than it should be IMHO.

The Mercedes is still lacking in tyre saving race mode so I think he did a fair job in hanging on to third in ther end.

Don't think Vettel would have caught LH if hed have changed to the softs earlier. You could already see them graining heavily which is why he over shot his breaking on the last corners. That was his only chance to pass Hamilton.

Alonso just shades Raikonnen has my driver of the day. Mainly because I thought Kimi was at fault for Perez collision and Fernando was absolutely faultless.

13

But remember the Softs were only faster for a maximum of 6 laps if I remember right Vettel had them on for 5 laps so would if he had put them on earlier he would have run out of grip within the next lap especially as he was pushing them to the limit in order to catch Hamilton.

14

I doubt Vettel would have finished any higher if he had stopped earlier. The way he was thrashing those softs, they would have fallen off a cliff big time in another laps time. He may have passed Hamilton, then get re-passed himself. Always hard to no for sure unless you actually see it happen though.

15
Pete_from_Nepal

Anyone know how fast the last pitstop was? It could have been potentiall VET on podium if it was only a few hundredths faster.

16

And maybe he would have run out of tyres 1 lap from home and lost those places again. There's a lot of ifs in F1.

17

No he wouldn't.

On his last lap he was still 2 seconds faster than Hamilton.

On the next lap even if his time was 1.5 seconds slower than his previous lap he still would have easily leaped Hamilton.

It was a clear strategy error

18

Alonso - Fantastic dominating victory...

Honorable mentions to Raikkonen and Ricciardo

19

Agreed.

My driver of the day out of 10,

Alonso 9.5

Raikkonen 8.5

Ricciardo 8.5

Vettel 8

Hamilton 7.5

Button 7.5

Bianchi 7.5

Hulkenberg 7.5

Just throwing Hulk in there, awful last stint for some reason but barring a rubbish pit-stop by his team, he may well have kept Vettel honest for much of that race. Great pace in the first stint especially. Ferrari have got a great long term replacement for Alonso in the Hulkman. And with Bianchi too, Ferrari are spoilt for quality young drivers.

Excellent drive from Alonso. DOD for me, but only just.

20

P.S, you should put a poll on the right hand side for DOD James. Did you have one before or was that the ITVF1 site?

I like reading the comments but takes too long to get an indicator of who people thing is DOD.

Poll would give us a quick idea.

21

+1 I think you should bring back the poll James 🙂

23
Pete_from_Nepal

James used to have that last year, but many readers kept saying "What about ________? He should be in the poll too!" James (fairly IMHO) hated that...I think we irked James a bit too much with our comments lol

24

More than that I disliked the endless negative complaints about "national bias" in voting etc

It took massive energy to moderate and spoiled it for everyone

25

There used to be a poll on previous seasons and many times the results of the poll were quite different from what you could read on the comments.

I guess many people entered the poll without leaving any comments.

26

+1!

He had one last season.

27

He used to have one last year but removed it because it brought in too much negativity (he feels), I agree with you, the polls were better but maybe a different format where you distribute points out of total pocket of 10 to every driver... Sometimes it is just too close to call...

28

Ricciardo, followed by Alonso. What I would call a genuine 7th place, not earned by qualifying outside the top 10 and getting the advantage of new tyres.

Also, I wouldn't call Vettel's drive a "recovery drive", he was down in 9th place through his own decision.

29

Ricciardo was the bee's knee's. He would most likely have been 4th, not 7th if Vettel and Jenson had not subverted Q3.

30

I think that's a bit generous, I think both Vettel and Button could have been further up the grid than Ricciardo if they'd tried to set a lap. The fact that Ricciardo held off all the cars starting behind him on new tyres (Hulk, the Force Indias) is very impressive.

31

On second thought, you could be right, but lets not forget the real difficulties Vettel had with Hulkenberg (and Jenson too). So Ricciardo could possibly have held Vettel back, although that is highly debatable with Vettels immense pace on his final stint.

32

What Vettel did was terrible and shameful insult to F1, especially for a WDC. There should be some honour in racing, if he didn't want to set a time in Q3, he should not have attended Saturdays qualifying at all.

There's some mitigation though, in the fact that it was due to the shoddy tyre situation.

33

I think that's pretty harsh, I don't blame him for taking the decision he (or several others) did or have done, I blame "the system" man.

34

Good spot on the 'genuine' achievement of 7th by Ricciardo. I wasn't sure between him and Alonso but I think that argument has swung it for me in the Australian's favour (also I think he had to make his first stop early because of an issue early on, though we never saw this).

Honourable mention to Jenson as well for making the two-stop strategy work for McLaren.

35

Drivers getting to change their tyres for free as a reward for failing to make it into Q3 is one of my pet bugbears. Ricciardo must have driven a superb race, it's just a shame we didn't see more of it.

And yes, Jenson did very well as well to make a two stop strategy work, I think he outperformed the McLaren in the race.

36

exactly right on Vettel. Positioning this as a recovery is misleading. He did not set Q3 time on purpose and wanted to have an advantage. So his recovery drive was the same as anybody else on the greed. He started p9, had more fresh tires and was in a better position.

37

"the greed" lol, how apt considering recent happenings.

38

I simply cannot lie:-)

39

Yeah, I laughed heartily at the appropriateness of that typo.

40

"He did not set Q3 time on purpose and wanted to have an advantage. "

He did not set a Q3 time on purpose and knew his car wasn't capable of qualifying on the front couple of rows.

41

Should it always be given? Alosno almost never has P1, his car is not allowing for this.

42

His own mistakes on the last lap also cost him P3.

43
Alistair McDonald

Kimi is the man for me. Slightly compromised at the start, which the team implied was their fault in pit radio, he drove the pants off a wounded car and brought it home in a cool fashion.

I do think he was wrong to complain so vociferously about the incident with Perez (though Perez's weaving beforehand is a different matter), but we're talking about the *driving*, not the publicity afterwards.

Ric did well, but was not exceptional. Same for Jenson, Seb and Lewis. Fernando would be my second choice, despite never being too far ahead of the others, he dominated the race.

44

Tough choice between Alonso and Raikkonen, but have to go with Fernando.

Ferrari is definitely much improved, can't remember a more dominant victory from Alonso ever since he joined the red team.

45

Silverstone 2010 was more dominant i think, especially as it was a (controversial) 1-2. This was the race when blown diffusers were banned due to mapping i think and Ferrari just drove away easily.

46

Nope, Silverstone 2010 was won by Mark Webber, Silverstone 2011 was won by the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso, their only win that season after the banning of the blown diffusers. Dominant? Not at all, Alonso only won after Vettel had a bad pit stop. Ferrari's last 1-2 was Germany 2010. This post is full of inaccuracies.

47

I'm pretty sure this would be the most dominant Ferrari win since 2008. There might have been a bigger gap in some of the 2010 wins, but not the overall performance margin.

48

Agree. All the victories with Ferrari had been edge of the seat ones. This one was dominant

49
Aurelio Lampredi

I think Jules Bianchi has been the driver of this season's three races. It really reminds me of Alonso in 2001's Minardi.

50

Hard to choose among those guys. All of them give us great and brilliant performances, but Fernando...

He showed all his tools and racecraft today. I sense that it is like a privillege for all us to see in details and in a modern era - with TV and huge amount of data - a driver like this man performing at his best.

Hope Ferrari can keep its development pace trough the season.

A special mention to this kid Ricciado: his performance today came in a good moment, when there´s a strong rumour that Webber already signed a 5 year deal to Porsche.

Looks like he is in a good position to grab this seat.

51

I'd love to see Kimi in his (WEB) place. This is the only way to check if VET is as good as most think.

52

They will take care Vettel to shine. If you know what I mean. Kimi must stay with Lotus. He's a leader there.

53

I would have to say Vettel drove brilliantly for me. The Red Bull was clearly not the fastest car in China but he got the strategy right right from the start.

54

In fairness, RBR got the strategy right. SV drives the car 🙂

55

but what did Vettel really do? He was as fast as anybody else today. Yes, it was not 2011 type of performance, but his car was as fast as Merc and Lotus for sure.

56

So Vettel's strategy was to skip qualifying so he can finish 4th in the race?

57

Kimi with his smashed up front nose taking 2nd was pretty amazing. Alonso drive great too, but once he got to 2nd at the start he was good to go. I am amazed how great of starts the Ferrari's make every race

59

Kimi

Total entertainment from start to finish.

61

Hard to choose.

JB drove well in a poor car (unusually).

Alonso was faultless.

Hulkenberg should get a mention as well.

But Ricciardo gets my vote for dragging a less competitive car into the top ten and keeping it there.

62

+1

63

While I'm not a maniacal fan of his, I am usually satisfied when Alonso gets up because I think he is probably the best out there. However, my DOTD goes to Ricciardo. The STR has had an average start to the season and Daniel hasn't looked the best in the first couple of rounds, but what a way to come back! Every car ahead of him was a championship contending marque, and there were still a few of those behind him. While qualifying was a shambles, he outqualified the other Red Bull stablemates despite a couple of iffy strategy calls from the team. Would be happy to see much more of that pace and composure from him!

64

Alonso drove a dominant race with his normal calculated style, but Kimi has to overcome a couple of adverse circumstances to finish where he has started. The glitch at the start was not his fault so he is my driver of the day with a small margin over The race winner Alonso.

65

I saw nothing but wheelspin at Kimi's start.

What then was the glitch???

66

The wrong clutch setting.

67

Hard to choose:

Imperious perfection of Alonso versus an outstanding recovery drive from KR.

Everything went smooth as clockwork for FA, but KR faced down adversity from the word go.

Kimi it is.

68

His "adversity" was caused by himself (a crash).

DOTD: Alonso.

69

Wrong - The start was a clutch setting by the team which caused him wheel spin. Sergio driving him off the track.

His ability to stay in track after a collision like that and take second back is why he is DOD.

70

Perez crowded him. The rule is you have to leave one car width. I do not understand why Perez did not get a penalty

71

His poor start wasn't caused by himself - and why blame Kimi for the crash. I can understand why one might call it a racing incident, but being pushed off the track like that is hardly his fault.

72

This isn't as tough as it seems.

Räikkönen did a wonderful job getting on the podium while driving a damaged car – and possibly made the drive of the day – but it's not Alonso's fault that he only drove a slightly uneventful perfect race.

So, driver of the day: Fernando Alonso.

73
Alexander Supertramp

Agree, Alonso got EVERYTHING right.

74

Kimi.

Considering what happened to Fernando in Malaysia, and how hard he hit Perez from behind it took big cojones to sweep that lotus into 195mph bends lap after lap. It must have understeered like crazy, the sign of a great driver, one that can drive around serious problems like that.

Chuffed Fernando won too, and an honourable mention for Riccardo, he was excellent too.

75

PS read somewhere that new Lotus engineer Pilbeam used to programme Webber's famously bad starts... but this could just be gossip and totally unfair to a fine engineer.

76

Lol.

Pilbeam: so Kimi, we set clutch at 1.4..

Kimi: leave me alone, I know what I'm doing!

77

All are worthy contenders, but I gave it to Button. Driving a car that's clearly not up to the job of competing over a race distance P5 was good result.

PS:- I'd hoped that Massa was going to shine today, but I guess Fernando demonstrated why he is regarded by the 'Outstanding Driver' by Team Principles.

78

+1

79

Oh that's tough Fernando was flying, but Raikonen really put that rally experience to use with all the outside turn passing.

80

That was one of the most confusing races I have seen in 25 yrs of watching. I had no idea what was going on half way through it, and I didn't really enjoy it because of that. The tyres may be making it more exciting for the general audience, but the more "hard core" fans are losing out I reckon.

ps James, you have used the word "past" many times in the above report when I believe it should be "passed" 🙂

81

I would call myself a hardcore fan and I loved every second of it and had no trouble following what was happening. And Riccardo for DotD. He pace was impressive right throughout and was consistently the third fastest car right throughout the second half of the race.

83

It isn't fixed in the Hamilton or Vettel paras....

84

oops, forgot..Fernando was driver of the day...

85

Ricciardo, awesome drive!

Showed how much better he is over Vergne...

86
Pete_from_Nepal

I think Vergne had some problems pre-qualifying with his runs (something with his car i think) and that compromised qualifying, which then compromised race. Can't say there is too much difference between the two over last season too. One might be better, but not significantly imho.

87

I agree Ricciardo for me too.

Alonso, drove a good race, but obviously had the fastest race car. When the likes of Vettel have won in similar circumstances driver of the day award is never forthcoming. Massa paid the price for staying out a lap longer than FA, shame because on pace Ferrai should have taken a 1-2 here. Ferrari look to have the sweet spot with their car, 2nd fastest in qually (overall) but equal fastest in race pace?

Kimi, drove a better race than Fernando in all honesty. Bad start not his fault, recovered well. 3rd place DOTD.

Lewis, 1st to clinging on to third. Sorry that's not DOTD material. Merc is arguably the best 1 lap car in the field. Not the best on race pace though, pretty much matching the Lotus this time round.

Vettel, obviously not the fastet car in race or qualifying for RBR, hence the strategy. Made it work. Amazed he got anywhere near third place. 2nd place DOTD.

JB, great effort. Mature race, only raced people he needed to. 5th is well above where that car should be finishing. Second race on the bounce that JB has made it work in race conditions. Another 3 races and JB will be in a position to get wins IMO.

Ricciardo. Brilliant mature drive. Couldn't fault his performance. My DOTD.

Hulkenburg. This guy just keeps on shining, shame something didn't work out on his final set of tyres. He should have gone on the same strategy as Seb in all honesty. Softs in the middle stint would always lose you track position.

88

Kimi came 2nd not 3rd

89

Sorry go it 3rd in DOD

90

Yeah, Massa paid the price for staying out a lap longer. That's cause Alonso was a position ahead of him. And if Ferrari had the sweet spot with their car, why did Massa end up almost a whole minute behind Alonso? He really couldn't do any better?

You know Alonso's the man 😉

91

Fernando Alonso.

92

Fernando for me too. Controlled and faultless drive.

94

Bianchi drove brilliant too, again, today!

95

daniel ricciardo by a fair margin. a stunning drive, all things considered.

96

Ricciardo. Scoring points for a team that has found them hard to come by. Steady performance all day. Didn't seem to be gifted his finishing position.

97

No-one.

Just a load of tyre conserving, get to the end, push to pass drives. Taking nothing away from the drivers and teams as this is what they are given to work with.

Maybe Vettel as he did provide a little excitement at the end due to his strategy. Nothing else really stands out for me.

98

Seems like you missed Vettel's move on Massa, about half way through, where he feinted left before diving inside up the right hander, carrying enough momentum to catch di Resta in the DRS zone. I'm not much of an admirer of the young German, but that was a class move and deserved of driver of the day for me.

99

Ricciardo. Great drive and flogged his team mate. His pace was consistent and he caught a passed the lotus of Grosjean, then proceeded to catch the fastest chassis in f1 in the form of Massas Ferrari. Top job

100

Alonso, drove a textbook controlling lead, plus he won, surely the winner is the driver of the day? (Also, slightly disappointed to see the use of 'past' instead of 'passed' throughout this entire article)

101
Alexander Supertramp

I'm not an Alonso fan, but when someone drives to victory the way he did (even if he had the best package), then he's my DotD. F-L-A-W-L-E-S-S

102

It's not easy to choose between Alonso and Kimi, but I tend to go for Alonso as he didn't make a single mistake, as usually.

PS: "Who was the worse driver of the day" question would be much more interesting. So many drivers that don't belong to F1, and so many stunning options out there. Sad

103

Neither did Kimi his launch was due to wrong clutch setting provided to him. & The accident was Perez doing. Remarkable he even finished let alone 2nd

104

Neither did Kimi his launch was due to wrong clutch setting provided to him

105

Seriously, I can't pick a driver of the day, because except for SV "giving it a go" on the last few laps, everyone was in a procession dictated by the Race Engineers and managing those useless tires- and I use the term tires lightly.

I thus nominate Pirelli for the " Driver of the Day" because they controlled the drivers from racing.

For the pinnacle of Motor sport, the races this year have been a poor showcase of the potential action.

It is also disgusting to huge amounts of "marbles" off line so soon due to the extremely high tires wear rates. Time for a change.

106

Ricciardo,

First time since Seb was in the car that it seemed like a TR could compete in the top 10 without relying on the misfortune of others or a risky tire strategy.

He ran the same tire strat as the front runners and even had to stop earlier than planned due to needing a new front nose ( longer stop as well ) and still managed to be chasing down Massa at the end.

Great drive.

107

I think you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is they are all trying tire strategies. Maybe if they tried tyre management strategies they would do a lot better.

108

Fernando Alonso

109

1) Hamilton

even tho i'm not usually a fan, i was impressed with his drive - especially the last few laps.

2) Raikkonen

for finishing 2nd even tho he was loosing .25 per lap(according to lotus)

3) Button

for working to improve the car. i can't imagine Perez has crucial feedback to report that JB wouldn't have picked up

Honorable mention to

Riccardo

hope he continues to beat JEV in the points.

over all a good race, a bit forgettable in the middle -but some are.

I agree that tyres are a bit much this year. last year it was interesting but this year its getting ridiculous.

110

"even tho i’m not usually a fan,...."

I wonder why people feel compelled to remind it every time? There should be a reason.

111

Maybe u don't remember the overwhelming worship he got the year before and the year he won his championship? I do and it turned me against him. Now he's moved (and has a great attitude) I respect him more.

112

Nico Hulkenberg! For holding off Sebastian Vettel and leading the race. Like Martin said on Sunday he should be the one sitting in Perez Mc Laren!

113
Mike from Colombia

1) Alonso - untouchable

2) Hamilton - that Mercedes should not really be in the mix yet. No-one can deny that he is making the difference to them this year.

3) Button - good solid drive

I didn't like the race though. Enough of DRS and Pirelli should go back to 2011 tyres.

114

I think you seem to have a magical perception of F1 drivers. Notice how World Champions are always on top. If Hamilton performed as he did, that is what Mercedes is capable of. Put Alonso, Kimi or Vettel and they will drag it there too. That's why they are Champions, their job.

115

Hamilton making the difference this year?

Correct me if I'm wrong but did Rosberg not dominate the Chinese grand prix last year but this year his car keeps breaking down like Schumi's last year.

116

RE Hamilton: LOL

117

+1, my top 3 too.

118

Ricciardo!

did well under what i am sure is a lot of internal pressure to out perform vergne

119

Lotus reported a loss of 0.25s after the massive FW damaged that wiped off the cascade and put a hole on the nose cone.

To think that kimi actually spent 40 laps in that state is just superb.

There are many long fast sweeping corners, massive understeer that results from the fw damage destroy his front tyre faster. Its brilliant how he cope with that.

120

If the loss was so high, why they didn't change the front wing during Kimi's pit???

Does not make any sense....

121

quarter second per lap for 40 laps is 10 seconds. I think they usually say 20 seconds to change a wing - assuming it all goes well. That's a lot of extra overtaking to get back in to the same spot - again assuming that those extra cars can be overtaken without difficulty or being held up. Add to that Kimi feeling "in the groove" and not wishing to disrupt his rythm and it all makes sense.

Having said that I would have thought it worth slapping on a bit of gaffa tape during a standard pit stop to stop that bit on the nose flapping about.

122

And he would have come out in traffic.

123

Would love to hear where you got that 0.2 sec fact from? Seems a bit high - got a link?

124

Alan Permane, Lotus briefing.

126

I did hear .15, which is not all that unrealistic.

However, to suggest that it was a massive damage is a little exaggerated. Obviously the damage was very limited, otherwise he would never have finished where he did.

I did hear some suggestions that even with that .15-.25 he would not have had enough pace to beat Alonso that day.

127

Incident happened on lap 16. Remaining 40laps @ .25 = 10 sec+ what he lost in the incident approx 5 sec. He would certainly have had the possibility to challenge Fernando and in a better shaped car / tyres than he had.

I'm sure if you ask Alan Permane he would say. .25 is a conservative estimate. But what people fail to understand is how many drivers can adjust to the handling of the car so well and still be that fast...

128

Alan Permane estimates 0.25s per lap from the damage

129

from Alan Permane himself. Kimi's engineer mark slade mentioned the same thing in BBC 5 live checkquered flag interview.

130

Daniel Ricciardo, excellent drive today considering he had to change his front wing in his first stop.

131

Ricciardo.

132

Fernando Alosno, Kimi 'what the hell is he doing Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo were the stars of the show on Sunday.

I'll give it to Ricciardo for finally making a Q3 spot stick on Sunday. He made the best of Webber and Rosberg retiring. A star of the future? Time will tell.

133

Excellent drive by Alonso, but my driver of the day has to be Ricciardo. To be chasing down a Ferrari at the end is a real testament to his effort.

If only his wing wasn't damaged by contact with Rosberg, he might have even passed Massa. Great drive.

134

Daniel Ricciardo, out drove the car that his up talking team m8 struggled with.

on another note, could webbers woes get any worse?

135

Definitely Hamilton, did such a good job to hold off the fast closing Vettel and manage the tyres to maintain third. I think he managed to stay ahead of Raikkonen in the final pitstop, he would have held on to second... Amazing race.

136

Sebastian Vettel was my driver of the day. He was the only driver to succeed at adopting a different tire strategy.

Meanwhile where was his teammate Webber? Yet again Mark Webber tried too hard while Vettel delivered the goods with an average car.

Oh sure, we'll be subjected to quotes from Hamilton and Alonso how their cars are slow in comparison to Vettel's, but that's just more mind games.

137

So Vettel is the driver of the day because he did not take part in Q3, had more fresh tires and came 4th? So what did he do exactly?

138

Button also adopted a different tire strategy. Why not give it to him? THere is no question that his car was slow in comparison to Vettels so he did quite well all things considered.

139

Is there some law that Jenson must be included in the DoD poll?

The team chose the tyre choice as they do not have a car that can compete. He won't racing (not his fault), he was doing time trials to his own targets. Did Jenson even pass anyone on track (head to head, not DRS, diff. tyre strategies).?

No offence, Jenson has deserved to win DoD on occasions but this season he's been average (yet nominated three times). Top bloke does not equal a great drive.

140

Hate to say.. but Alonso. He didn't make any mistakes and deserves the victory.

141

I would say Ricciardo drove the race of his career to get his best ever result. Alonso and Kimi and Hamilton did what they had to do, Button too. But this time, Vettel provided the fireworks, so I would say he's the driver of the day.

142

1. Alonso

2. Raikkonen

3. Vettel

144

Ricciardo. The best performance of any driver relative to the pace of his car, and that qualy was just stellar.

145

Ricciardo surely.

146

Great races from all of them but my DOD nomination goes to Ricciardo this time.

147

Give it to Daniel Ricciardo. Strong performance after having a dodgy car for the first two rounds

148

Alonso for sure.

149

It's gotta be Ricciardo! Smashed JEV IN quali, then held on for 7th, even after pitting for a new nose. chased down Massa in the closing stages, and within 1.8 seconds of at the end. Let's hope the season gets better for the affable aussie

150

Definitely Kimi! Powering on without complaint to 2nd after a self customised nose job is just another reason why he is the most professional and consistently strong driver in the field.

151

Dan Ricciardo for mine.

Drove a solid race after having a go in q3. Sure he started 7th, but that was due mainly to Button and Vettel not having a 'go'. Also had to make up for a front wing change which I think went unnoticed on coverage. Torro Rosso has not been the best car to drive this year and Dan has suffered from exhaust issues in the first two races.

Alonso then Kimi. Ferrari starts are almost now legendary, you just expect them to happen !

152

For sure, Fernando Alonso. That's a detail i've seen no one talking. Alonso has already a DNF, but he's just nine points behind the leader. Of course we have to wait and last season shown us that. But the Spaniard is really the strongest.

153

Ricciardo's performance today was the highlight for me. Who knows about next year if he can pull out more performances like these...

154

Ricciardo, the pressure to perform after Webber signed with porche. Ricciardo showed the goods.

155

Has to be Daniel Ricciardo from 7th on the grid to 7th at the end. He's endured a lot of criticism compared to Vergne but rose to the occasion today. The Toro Rosso starting to show well in the midfield. A nod also to Di Resta in the steadily improving Force India.

156

Drivers of the day... the preferred team number ones! Pretty extraordinary that for Ferrari, Lotus, most probably McLaren and arguably (I'd say definitely) Redbull and Mercedes the teams preferred number one driver went well. And the driver who's battling not to be considered a number 2 went badly (think Massa, Grosjean, Perez, Webber and Rosberg).

I'm not saying conspiracy, just coincidence. But you have to feel a little sorry to Rosberg and Webber especially; given the events of Malaysia. And does anyone else think that Brawn and Horner must just be a little relieved it wasn't the other way around?

Having said that, hard to go past Alonso and Kimi for driver's of the day. Miles ahead of their team-mates and clearly both managed their races very well.

I'm already sick of hearing drivers talk about not defending positions so they can 'manage the tyres' though.

157

I think it may have something to do with the fact as to why they are perceived as being number 1 drivers? They're number 1 because they are all the best drivers in the team and its no surprise that they all finished ahead of their teamates.

158

It's also a tire issue.

Stay out one lap longer, lose 2-3 seconds.

159

I am biased but Ricciardo for me, held his head and prove to the F1 paddock that he can mix it with the big boys after Bahrain 2012 start, Bahrain 2012 very well exorcised.

Good racing throughout to pass other drivers, but from what I saw was told he wasn't racing Massa, after his final stop, so may have had more of a chance to chase Massa down otherwise.

160

Weber. For taking back control of his own destiny and finally walking out of a number two position at Red bull to go and drive for Porsche.

161
Pete_from_Nepal

@Erik nice one!!

Its hard not to feel sad for Webber, although I think he plays his innocence too much...

regardless, nice bloke. just hope he leaves with a championship. would make RBR and Marko just EAT it 🙂 nothing against VET. born racer and honest. Better than most other racers i know.

162

Not sure. I don't think webber will quit F1 yet. I feel he still has unfinished business and wants to keep going. Lotus or Ferrari for me, but he WILL leave RB.

He never decides until summer break so I would be surprised if he has decided already.

163

Is that true?? If so, I wouldn't want to be Seb hoping he's going to let him by at a critical stage of the WDC.. Can you imagine last year in Brazil, webber would have driven into him...

164

Dream on.

165

Nothing confirmed yet.

166

I would say the Mercedes Pit crew for that incredible 3 second double pit stop!! But if I had to give it to a driver I would probably give it Hamilton - did the best job he could with that car and seemed to be punching above his weight- Secured a fantastic Pole position thanks to his incredible one lap pace and then drove very smart and cool to hang on the points - Alonso came a close 2nd - drove very smart but it just seemed a bit too easy for him.

167

Your objectivity is remarkable. Had Lewis won this GP in as easy of fashion that Fernando did, you'd be waxing poetic about the quality of his drive and how Hamilton was the DOTD. It's a shame that you're so bitter about Lewis not being able to convert his pole position into a win. You should be used to it by now, since 2009 he has only converted 4 of 14 poles for victories.

168

Did you not read where I said Alonso came a close 2nd? He did a fantastic job and I'm struggling to choose between the two for Driver of the day. I based my choice on the fact that Lewis seemed to work harder for his points - alonso may have drove faultlessly but he was hardly challenged with Kimi in a damaged car behind him and Lewis is car that simply didn't have the pace. Don't know why you think I'm bitter, I was under no illusion that Lewis was going to keep the lead - happy that he did as well as he did.

169

Fernando- but all the World Champions, esp Kimi and Jenson, showed why they also have that title.

170

Really has to be Alonso. He drove the race to perfection. While the DRS passes on the main straight helped the finishing of the passes into the first turn were epic.

Loved how he would pass others just after the first DRS detection point and then have the DRS open after making the pass. That was clever and funny at the same time.

Special mention for Ricciardo, a great drive all weekend.

171
Matthew Cheshire

1. Ricciardo. Best drive of his career, pity he didn't get Massa to really shake up the pecking order.

2. Alonso did OK too. All class.

3. Kimi was great with a broken front wing, but it was partly self inflicted and he did choose to keep it!

172

No Sergio inflicted it and The team decided to keep the wing on

173

Alonso, hands down.

174

my vote is for Ricciardo. trounced his team mate in qauli and the race. the best result for the team since Korea 2011.

175
Heinzman (Fan of: ALO)

Out of many quality drives, Ricciardo gets the chocolates!

Just on the Ferrari, that car has is habitually a better racer than a qualifier. What are everyone's thoughts on this?

Is it inherent of the car itself, or do the drivers - in particular ALO - focus more on race setup than others?

It would seem crazy to set your car up for anything but race pace these days; qualy is getting perpetually more irrelevant.

176

Its the fact the drivers cant qualify better put a Vettel or Hamilton in the car and you would see the difference.

177

For me it was Alonso. It's also the first time since his time at Mclaren that I've seen him so totally dominate a race. It's always a combination of man and machinery but Alonso was unbeatable today and deserves the nod.

178

Didnt you watch Silverstone 2011?

179

Certainly did, and I'm an Alonso fan much more than a Ferrari fan. I didn't really think that was as dominant a showing, especially considering the brilliance he displayed during the Renault 2005 through McLaren 2007 period. This past weekend he repeated timed his passes to perfection and left nothing on the table in terms of racecraft. So much so that he had "pace in hand". There haven't been many times where that's been the case in the past 5-6 years.

180

Alonso was amazing all afternoon.

181

Ricciardo driver of the day he had to pit earlier than except to change his front wing could of maybe done as good as 5th place..

182

McLaren and Force India tied for constriuctors at 14 points!?

How is this possible from the team with the fastest car in 2012 and no rule changes? I don't get it.

Obviously FA is the DOTD. I miss the vote chart with % as it would have been nice to get the visual that Vettel got the majority vote at last GP. 🙂

183
ThePrinceRupert

Fernando for me...fe-no-me-na-le!

184

If only Massa actually had the same car as Alonso, we might really see if Alonso would be DOD. We'll never really know if Alonso was the Driver of the Day as he is the only one without a true team mate tht is allowed to battle him if he feels pressured. They clearly ruined Massa's qualifying chances and destroyed his race because Alonso had to avoid being out qualifyed for a fifth consecutive time.

185

Tough call, Alonso wove his magic at exactly the correct time, Vettel knew going in, this was not going to be a favourable weekend, let alone track, and really came out with a "win" along with displaying some pretty impressive driving. Kimi was in total control of the equipment he had to work with, I think he is the one driver that all the others truly fear.

Ricciardo and button both over-driving their cars to garnish impressive results.

Ham, was, well, how does the expression go? Lipstick on a pig?

Alonso Driver of the Weekend.

Vettel,, Button and Kimi honourable mentions

186

That was a high quality podium and the top 3 drove brilliantly. My vote goes to Alonso because it was such a dominating display.

Ricciardo did well to only finish a few seconds behind a Ferrari and to beat the likes of Grosjean, Di Resta, Hulkenberg and Perez. He needs to do more of that if he wants to drive for Red Bull.

James, the Aussie press are currently reporting that Webber has signed a 5 year deal to drive for the Porsche Le Mans team from next season. Have you heard anything to suggest this? I wonder if he is regretting not signing for Ferrari at the moment.

187
Val from montreal

Forget driver of the race , Vettel is driver of the new decade!

Nothing can stop him ... started 9th , could of finished 2nd but finished 4th , almost 3rd !

Recuperated 13 seconds in just a few laps in not the fastest car ... he's the best of his and this generation too ...

188

laughable

If he had tried he would have qualified 4th or 5th - and certainly ahead of Button. Given that all he achieved was to pass a much, much slower McLaren.

Red Bull are leading the constructors despite Webber's run. McLaren have 14 points despite Button outperforming his car. So coming home in 4th ahead of Button in 5th must mean Vettel underperformed in China - and, therefore, should not even be in the list of potential DotD.

If Vettel had been worthy of DotD he would have looked after his softer tyres and overtaken Lewis rather than sliding all over the place behind him.

189

Driver of the decade LOL... you live on a different planet

190

You do know that he recuperated those 13seconds on the brand new soft tyres vs old mediums in front of him? Sometimes i wonder if you're for real with all of this....

Fa DOTD, Vettel was good, full stop. Kimi, hulk and ricciardo honourables.

191

And yet to win races from outside the top 3 qualifying positions...

192
Val from montreal

I dont know if your aware Eroe , but Senna only managed 4 wins out of 41 when outside the top 4 ...

Have a good one !

193
Pete_from_Nepal

May be thats what he was trying on Sunday lol.

You are right, but i think thats generally quite a hard feat given how hard overtaking is currently (especially pre-DRS and tires).

Not sure Alonso or Kimi have managed too many of those in their careers either. Kimi's suzuka 2005 was a classic though. Wish F1 had those races now ....

194

Same goes for Hamilton and most of Sennas wins an driver who wins from lower has donee a bad job in qualifying or been a topsy turvy race.

E.e Valencia 2012

195

At the point in the race where he recuperated 13 seconds he was in fact in the fastest car - he was light on fuel, on brand new option tyres and with only 5 laps he was able to push against cars that had 20+ old worn prime tyres and were in tyre saving mode - what did you expect? Seem to recall Lewis doing the same thing last year in Canada, in fact it was more like 16 seconds so why isn't he the driver of the decade?

196

Decade spans 2011 - 2020. Very small sample size at this point but Vettel won both WDCs thus far in this decade. Hamilton fails to win 2012 WDC in the best car on the grid. 5th in 2011 & 4th in 2012. Vettel wins 16 GP last two years, Hamilton wins 7 GP. Not to mention Hamilton has moved to Mercedes and will not win the 2013 WDC. Vettel looks like a strong bet for driver of the decade.

197

Pity the "driver of the decade" couldn't even complete a Q3 lap! Could of finished 2nd? Yeah right! typical fanboy.

198

Fernando Alonso - pure class and supreme control, while being aggressive and not holding back in any of his overtakes

199

Fernando Alonso. Was quick throughout, was decisive in overtakings and managed to make the tires last (just look where Massa ended up for comparison).

200

Alonso & Ricciardo!

James there are rumours in the Australian Media of Webber signing with Porsche to race Sports Cars..

Can you add anything to that?

201

I can , let's see Horner try to tell him any instruction to Zseb's advantage, lol

I wonder if that's why we had no fuel in car and loose wheel nut

202

Mixed stories about that. Seems very convenient timing

203

Didn't he vow never to go back to Le Mans?? I hope the car hasn't been tested only on a flat circuit where the nose can't lift...

204

Agreed.

Webber sais he never makes decisions this time of year. I just want him to stick it out and see what happens. He's driving well and the car issues should go away. This is no 2011 for him....yet.

205

Easy, Alonso.

207

Alonso-no doubt about it.

208

Well you have to go with Alonso, he did a good job of executing his plan.

I would make Lewis Hamilton second because even though he had Pole position it was pretty clear that his Merc was not the best car. Really not even a top 5 car.

Daniel Riccardo for maximizing his car is my number 3.

Button and Vettel tied for 4 and 5 because they at least had the courage to try something different.

209

Daniel Ricciardo - Driver of the day - by far the best drive considering the car - a very important 6 world championship points - well done young man

210

Daniel Ricciardo gets my vote.

211
bronwyn collier

Daniel Ricciardo - Great qualifying and great drive. Well done.

212

Riccciardi

213
Mark in Australia

Dan Ric for sure to be Driver of the Day.

Anyone got anything further to the reports in the Australian press this morning that Mark Webber has inked a 5 year deal with Porsche for 2014 and beyond?

214

when is hulkenberg going to get a competitive drive? he deserves it.

215

I was wondering that myself.... Hulk is such a talent... If there is one driver who deserves a Mclaren or a Ferrari or a Redbull it is Hulk.

He is a planet better than both current Mclaren drivers and both the number twos in Redbulls and Ferrari.

Ideally, I would like to see him in a Ferrari. But, Alonso is too chicken to allow that to happen.

If he goes to Mclaren then for Mclaren it would be compensating to a large degree the loss of Lewis Hamilton.

Redbull..... it would be two German drivers in an Austrian Team.

He sure deserves nothing less than the best.

216

Alonso had a good race but once it was clear the Merc did not have the race pace the Ferrari had and Kimi had broken his nose he was never really challenged.

Kimi has to take some of the blame for the Perez incident, other than that he drove very well.

Hamilton had a good race, the Merc is not as good as the Lotus on tyre deg. and down a little on race pace. He did well to keep third.

Vettel and Button did race well but I can’t help but think they benefitted from a strategic decision that the FIA should have addressed a long time ago.

Daniel gets my vote.

We do not give the middle order drivers enough credit. They really do have a tough time with middle teams being very close on race pace so when one of those guys does well their achievement should be recognised. His 7th spot was helped by a few DNF’s but he did well to keep it together.

217

Usually McLaren drivers are pretty aware of their surroundings. With new arrivals many top drivers should take a note regarding the risks involved when overtaking that "new" McLaren.

218

Clearly Alonso. P3 to P1 convincingly taking the checkered flag. Controlled the race, pressured Hamilton hard the first few laps and upped his pace exactly when needed.

With some pace still in reserve, he perfectly controlled the race to the end.

219

Ricciardo gets my vote. Backed up his great qualifying form & finished ahead of a number of quickers cars such as Grosjean & Perez. Hopefully this form isn't a once off for him & STR

220

Alonso without doubt, consummate performance trounced his team mate again when his aggressive driving style was expected to destroy front tyres, brilliant use of drs, the complete package...

221
Tornillo Amarillo

Kimi of course. He fought, he recuperated, he endured damage, he is 3 points from top now, very consistent and entertainment.

IMO only in Lotus, Kimi as a driver is the main protagonist, not the Pirellis. He's gaining more and more respect from the fans, he is racing like in the genuine F1 that we want.

222
Tornillo Amarillo

In few words, IMO:

HERO: Kimi, Ricciardo

ANTIHERO: Massa, Vergne

223

I'd agree with the more and more respect angle.

In my opinion he was the wrong type of driver when Ferrari signed him. Ferrari need a leader not a guy who turns up to drive only. In the last 20 years Ferrari has had that with Schumacher and Alonso only.

I want Ferrari to win, but if it means Vettel gets beaten, then Kimi and Lewis are my new favourites.

224

I think drivers "leading" the team is a misnomer. There is a lot more to this function than the technical and operational sides. Marketing, financial, logistics,strategic -people tend to exaggerate things when in certain teams. Im certain Christian Horner will attest to that- despite the clear public weakness in his trackside authority.

Drivers drive cars, give professional feedback- they don't sign the pay cheques, and if that's the case maybe that's what wrong with certain teams and why they don't go so well when they don't have a good driver... Sorry I meant "leader"..:)

225

Alonso of course, drove a great race and passing people between DRS detection and activation using the DRS to get away from them while the passed driver had no use of it.

226

KIMI

+ Daniel Ricciardo drive for 7th place

227
Tornillo Amarillo

It's clear, people want you drive as a HERO, not as an old lady.

228

Kimi for driver of the day. Second in a wounded not the fastest car gets my vote.

229

Ricciardo. The young fella was on fire, putting that car that far up the grid, then holding his own. A few more laps and he may have caused Massa and Button headaches too. Well Done!!

Kimi did well even with damage, and Alonso was flawless.

231

Dan!

Also James, could we please have the web poll, like lat year?

233
Scuderia McLaren

Kimi Raikkonen 100%.

Started okay after a glitch, consolidated. Began to move forward, Perez almost took him out. Drove with imbalance (understeer) for the remainder of the race to a convincing 2nd.

Can only imagine if he got of the line as he normally does... Alonso's last win would still be Germany 2012 I think.

It is the measure of the driver that when series of events happens, he does not DNF, fall back into the pack, complain etc. It's just, get on with it, and 2nd is okay.

Have to mention the paralell between Webber and Vettel also.

Abu Dhabi 2012. Vett has fueling error in Quali. Starts race from Pitlane on track notoriously hard on overtaking. Finishes 3rd.

China 2013. Webb has fueling error in Quali. Starts race from Pitlane on track easy to overtake (as witnessed yesterday). What a mess!

234

Hey scud,

1) no one obviously heard Kimi on the sighting lap to the grid, he was only being told about clutch settings yet he told his engineer,

Leave me alone, I know what I'm doing. 🙂

2) webber in 2011, started 18th in China and finished 3rd. It's amazing how a team can screw with your psychological frame of mind.

I mean Kettleboy even had time to wipe out his nose on a track marker, have his usual assault on another competitor ( Riccardio, so being RBR sister team, he should have moved out of the way easily)

235
Scuderia McLaren

Hiya HWS,

Pt1: Lol

Pt2: Love the line "have his usual assault on another competitor". Made me giggle. FYI, Webber needlessly spun Vergne in what can only be described as a rookie error. 3 place grid penalty for Bahrain is testament to that.

236

Abu Dhabi 2012 Torro Rosso move out of way for Vettel.

China 2013 Torro Rosso fights for his position. Note the difference.

And Red Bull pit Webber early in AB 2012 so that Vettel doesn't have to try and pass Webber.

Vetted almost crashes into back of ricciardo in AB 2012 during SC so was very lucky.

There are always two sides to a story.

My opinion was the Webber penalty was harsh and should have been dealt with during the race. I mean it happened in the first quarter of the race. What were the stewards doing all that time.

237
Scuderia McLaren

Haha, sure. Don't let the facts get in the way of a good story eh.

Agree about the Stewards and the tardy delivery of punishment on a pretty simple issue. Now he has to carry that through to Bahrain. No one likes that.

238

Maybe his wheel fell off before the Stewards had a chance to????...

239

Im going to say Daniel Ricciardo - and not just because I am Australian. I believe he is starting to show his talent when it comes to driving. This weekend the team finally got on top of the mechanical gremlins that have dogged him in the first few races, and Dan was able to finally get on top of JEV in a very convincing way. Torro Rosso still have a way to go, but Dan was able to show his potential in an otherwise unspectacular car (at this stage, I hope it continues to get better).

After Dan, I would have to say Jenson for his drive in an unconvincing but improving McLaren, and Lewis for showing that Mercedes didn't just have a "one off" in Malaysia.

As for the other 3? Well, Alonso is always going to be fast - especially now that the Ferarri is competetive, Kimi is well...Kimi, and Sebastian to be honest really wasn't that convincing.

240

Alonso for me, such an impressive drive. Great start and then a great drive to overtake all cars ahead after the pit stop. Not a single mistake, a very measured drive. This is what you get when your car is allowing you to race without the need to exploit the limit....

James, Why did you remove the actual voting? Is it because vettel was never the driver of the day? Strange that we write but cannot see the actual winner here.

241

Kimi with a special mention for Ricciardo

242

Yep, my pick as well.

244

Kimi Raikkonen.

Drove a superb race with a car which was missing front downforce, resulting in understeer while eating up the tyres, but still managing to hold back the Mercedes of Hamilton.

245

Apart from when Kimi made that ridiculous move on Perez... on the outside? Fool.

246

You mean the move where he put his car ALONG SIDE perez and perez crowded him onto the grass?????

It is very obvious that Perez is way out of his depth, he gets very nervous in wheel to wheel racing, weaves about when defending and clearly has no spacial awareness. No wonder HAM and RAI where slagging off his dangerous weaving and nervous driving before the podium.

247

I agree he is out of his depth, but still has an amazing amount of talent. Kimi put his car where no driver would have expected anyone to pass. And came from very far back, realised that Perez was on the racing line, then backed off. Cost him the win in my opinion, but that's KIMI. Hot one week, off the next.

248

I am a Ferrari fan and Alonso did nothing wrong. BUT Ricciardo was the man!

249

"I am a Ferrari fan..."

hahaha!

250

Fernando Alonso

251

Alonso as he never put a foot wrong but mainly Ricciardo did grewta things in a car which was no where last 2 races

252

Alonso; Got the job done. No fuss, no drama. Unlike his Malaysia race.

253

Alonso vs Raikkonen battle for the driver of the day but give it to Ricciardo ultimately because he's not a regular there and deserves his 7th. Good on him.

254

You're not alonso or raikkonen fan? You're sure?

255

very interesting fact: 5 WDCs in first 5 places.

256

And all their teams 'number 1s' - whether official or not...

257

Hi James,

Im a Alonso and Ferrari fan, but I got to say looking at the race with a much inferior car to me Hamilton was the driver of the day. He has grow a lot as a character, his speed even more so. He is the fastest driver on the grid hands down, I just hope he keeps it up, maybe one day he'll wear all red.

258

Alonso was the driver of the day. Drove his race and no one could keep up.

260

Fernando was my driver of the day and I have to say Ricciardo was very impressive too. Putting in his best performance when Webber has a horrible weekend is pretty ominous to get a drive next season alongside Vettel.

261

The 2 Mexicans are tied for worst driver of the day.

262

+1000

263

Kimi Raikkonen, definitely. He drove race with broken front wing and nose and secured 2nd place.

264

Alonso, plain and simple. You could tell after the first lap that he wasn't letting this one get away.

Off topic btw, what's up with all the bad luck in Red Bull being channelled on MW? For so long now, all problems seem to affect him, and only him. Is it just MW's bad karma, or is there a RB employee in SV's side of the garage sticking pins on a MW doll?

265
Alexander Supertramp

😀

266

Alonso - when car and driver come together in perfect harmony.

Keen to know if he can deliver in Bahrein as well.

Can't wait.

267
Anthony Woolford

Hi James,

Daniel Ricciardo would have to be my driver of the day.

He has recently seemed to be getting more out of his car; even allowing for some vehicle improvements, he is starting to look like one of the best.

kind regards

Anthony Woolford

(country Victoria)

268

Daniel Ricciardo - well done

269
Doctor Necrosis

Raikkonen.

270

Button

271

It pains me to say this (as not a big fan of him) but Alonso was on fire yesterday. Very control, drove brilliantly and didn't make any mistakes. Credit where credit is due

272

Kim1 a simply brilliant drive in traffic broken aero and the laps after the last pitstop keeping Hamilton on new tyres just above 1 second away not letting him use DRS. Notice the diffrence to his fast teammate compared to other teams. In a race like this Kimi is the best of them all, Alonso and Schumacher included.

273

Alonso - Who else??

Super second to RAI and then VET

274

Alonso

Great start, soon pushing to first, controlled the tires perfectly and did quite some overtaking fast and with resolution. No mistakes - and no luck, just pure racecraft with reserves intact if they had been needed.

275

One and only ALONSO 🙂

276

man of the weekend = daniel ricciardo, 7th place in a toro rosso is a massive achievement

277
Alexander Supertramp

Definitely if you consider the amount of better cars that should finish ahead of him. Grosjean and Perez, shame on you!

278

Alonso for me. All the top 5 drove well, and it's good to see Ricciardo get a reasonable result, but Alonso was dominant all race long, and I can't recall a single mistake.

Once again very impressed with Kimi's reaction time and car control - he didn't manage to avoid Perez completely, but kept the car pointing the right way and scrubbed enough speed to minimise the impact.

279

Very difficult tol between ALO, KIM, and HAM. They did very well.

280

Very difficult to choose between ALO, KIM, and HAM. They all did very well.

281

Alonso for getting the job done quietly and with no drama, but admiration for Hamilton and Kimi - the former drove somewhat inferior and slower car , but was OK to accept that and fight as much as he could, while Kimi drove a broken car!

282

It would be kimi for me. After a miserable start and losing the tip of his nose, it is not the easiest thing to do, keep your head down and push.

283

Hamilton

284

Ricciardo it is. Can't believe VET is even featured here. Couldn't get past Hulk and made mistakes when mattered.

285

"PIRELLI TYRES!" followed by Alonso eventhough Ric did well...

286
Bring Back Murray

A real toss up between Alonso and Kimi this one.

Kimi did well because he managed to still get a solid second place after damaging his wing.

Alonso shades it however simply because from start to finish he was utterly in control of the race. The way he sliced through traffic after he came in after the first stop was immense.

How many overtakes did he make in the way to winning that race? DRS or not, that was impressive. Or should I say immense,

287

Hulkenberg. McLaren must be kicking themselves. He drove a very strong first stint, convincingly ahead of Vettel. A bodged pit stop was the trigger for his race to start to unravel.

Margins are so tight in F1 that small errors in strategy, performance or driving have a profound effect. Winning is chain of finely balanced events that link together to shape the result.

I predict Nico will have some big races this year.

289

James,

I think you should start 'Car of Day' Poll. Since, the car are behaving differently in each race to the Pirellis. So, it would be brilliant new poll to start.

In car terms I think Ferrari were a planet apart. Followed by Redbull (only Vettel's Qualifying Blotch cost them the challenge to win) and then by Lotus and then by Mercedes and then by Mclaren.

And the poll must also include the strategy and how it effected each car in the final outcome.

Consider....

290

Ricciardo is my pick! Ran a great race and didn't get into as much trouble as his teammate....

291

Kimi for recovering from a bad start (not his fault), fantastic car control when crashing into Perez, great speed with a half-broken front end, 20th race into the points etc...

Great to see the three most talented drivers of the last 10 years on the podium.

292

I vote Mak Webber, because his team deliberately ruined his race. I know that Horner and Jonathan Noble rejected these thoughts and said that this is nonsense. But I do not trust them, Noble defend Red Bull because he got money for it, and I think that every clever F1-fan knows that the team Red Bull after the race in Malaysia wants to get rid of unruly Webber. Vettel in Red Bull is a favorite, they are willing to do anything for Vettel, but they want to get rid of Mark.

So open your eyes!!

293

I have gone over this before, but that view is really short sighted.

RBR did not make Webber run into that car.

The thought that RBR would try to sabotage their own driver when constructors points are so vital is just crazy. Even Ferrari wouldn't do something like that. Take a penalty to bump a driver back after the WCC is out of reach but the WDC is not yes. Hurt their chances for WCC no.

294

Vettel.

1: Has team orders used against him in Malaysia, meaning team hates him. Decides not to listen like a man should. Team hates him even more in China and he still beats team mate.

2: Team prefers team mate, finally proven in Malaysia, so gives him bad strategy. Team did not even let Vettel qualify! So he had to catch up because of politics.

3: Despite all above - he still almost got podium.

This last 2 race make me realise how amazing he has done in last 3 years as clearly Webber the supposed to win as he is favoured by team.

Imagine if Vettel ever gets a team that supports him equally, let alone what Alonso gets at Ferrari which is superior support.

297

I want some of what this guy is smoking... Are you serious??? DOTD has to be Ricciardo by a fair margin... Supreme effort in that heap of a car

298

Has to be Alonso for a faultless drive on a day when driving skill was not the dominant factor. Time for a change back to real racing without DRS and useless tyres.

299

Alonso is a good choice but now, since the start of the season, Ferrari has the best car on the grid so far, so my choice is Kimi.

300

Lotus won in Australia with two stops

RBR took a commendable 1-2 in sepang. Ferrari were not in contention. Many people here seems short sighted Ferrari still have plenty of work to do. China may have played well for Ferrari. However Ferrari are still slower in qauli. On pure pace they are well behind mercedes, lotus and RBR. Ferrari need to improve their quali pace

301

Ferrari is well balanced for the all circuits that is why I consider it the best car on the grid.

Others like RB, Lotus, Merceder are strong only on some particular circuits.

302

1. Ricciardo, very good result for both him and the team.

2. Alonso, wish i had gone to the bookies at the start of the season, he is on fire this year.

3. Kimi, who needs a front wing any way!

303

Button. Hon mensh Ricciardo

304

Alonso. No-one else was on his level.

305

Daniel Ricciardo

306

1) Alonso - faultless drive

2) Ricciardo - super impressive effort

3) Kimi - shame he didn't get to battle Alonso

307

Alonso - Kimi - Lewis - in that order. Tough one though.

308

ALO for me. His start was sublime and he never let go after that.

309

ALO was the man, with RIC as runner-up.

310

Alonso. Honorable mention Raikkonen and Ricciardo

311
ForWhatIt'sWorth

When was the last time a Torro Rosso finished a race less than 2 seconds and closing behind a Ferrari on an even playing field?

Ricciardo drove the wheel off that thing - gotta be him.

312
ForWhatIt'sWorth

I meant drove the "wheels" off. Must of been thinking about Webber 🙁

313

Alonso - the clear winner

Kimi - honorable mention for finishing ahead of fast Hamilton despite a broken nose.

Ricciardo - He really put a step forward on that Toro Rosso!

Webber is moving to LeMans next year, so Ricciardo looks to be the Aussie successor after Mark.

314

Great race! My pick is Alonso. Could this be the start of something special? Every driver in the top ten deserves a mention. Kimi for driving car with half a front wing to second. Lewis for lifting Mercedes to another podium despite poor tyre deg. Vettel for trying something different from 9th and staying in the hunt for podium. Jensen for dragging the ailing Mclaren to a respectable points finish. Massa for putting pressure on Alonso but ultimately secumbing to strategy and poor tyre deg on mediums. Ricado for showing his raw potential. Hulkenburg for racing ahead of Vettel with genuine pace again showing he can run with the top guys.

315

Lewis.....that whole podium was super.

316

Has to be Alonso, faultless and imperious. Gr8 drives by Riccardio and Button

317

Fernando "el Grande"

318

Definitely Alonso. From the first stop onwards, he was in a class of his own. Honourable mentions to Raikkonen, Hamilton, Vettel, and to a lesser extent Button and Ricciardo.

319

Fernando was supreme, Kimi dumped the start again, he's only ever got it right once, Melbourne! nevertheless an excellent drive, Ricciardo showed he has the ability...just keep that [mod] Marko well away from him!!

320

team fault, not his. Lotus informed Kimi on last minute to change the clucth setting....and it screwed kimi up on the start.

They apologize to kimi afterwards.

321

1. Alonso, Hamilton and Bianchi

322

Dan's the Man! Go Daniel!

323

Has to be Ricciardo. The others did a good job too, but Daniel's drive was very impressive.

A good job advert as well, is there any chance of him being promoted to the top team to replace Webber?

324

Dan Ricciardo looked like a number one driver in a number two team.

Not saying he's ready for a top team yet, but I am saying the performance gap over JEV was pretty big.

I came close to picking Kimi, but the nose damage on the LOTUS was pretty much his fault, so I think he needs to be ruled out

325

Ricciardo. For getting into Q3 and going for it on the softs, knowing some others would go the safe route and quali on the meds. Could have been so much better without the nose change.

Let's just hope this was not a quirck of a track and they are not back to fighting with the poor Williams next weekend.

As an aside. We all want to see one of the 'new' teams grab a single point. How far away are they James, how hard can it be?? Is the start of the season their only shot, will they get out developed very soon after. Also why have Caterham fallen away, if anyone gets that point it looks more like Bianchi (spl) these days. Although from BBC and Sky, we really don't get to see much of the bottom teams on the coverage. Shame

326
Alexander Supertramp

All eyes on Bianchi..

327

Sky have done features on marussia but the race coverage is not their decision it's FOM directors choice. It would be fun to see bianchi fighting it out back there. I think it's safe to say we'll see more of him up front in the next couple of years - hopefully marussia won't slide back once they lose him to a top team.

328

I have only watched the SKY coverage once so far with a 24 hour pass. But it really would be nice to see them in action, or even some replays of the back of the grid starts. not just the front.

I was also a bit suprised by the lack of coverage in the UK about Max Chilton. Remember all the fuss they made about Ralph Firman ? (as opposed the the normal UK drivers). I did see one article in the Daily mail, but is was more about showing a picture of his girlfriend. The accuracy of the Daily mail of matters F1 is very poor.......

329

Agreed. I'm making that question one of the featured items on the next podcast.

We will have Pat Symonds from Marussia.

330

Alonso. Coming back from an unfortunate retirement and the supposed resurgence of his team mate Alonso was under pressure to perform unlike any of the other frontrunners - with the possible exception of Webber and Vettel.

And man alive - did he put in a shift on Sunday! I just hope that this isn't an anomolous result like last year's Chinese GP...

331

Funny how when Vettel wins a dominant, straight forward race he gets criticism and when Alonso does he gets called a masterclass. Alonso had it right on the day, best car setup and best suited to the track but nothing exceptional.

DotD is either:

1) Raikonnen, potentially could've challenged Alonso were it not for the damage and 2nd was still good considering!

2) Vettel - Almost made the strategy work and an impressive charge at the end made some excitement. Slightly let down by the small mistake getting past the Caterham. Would definitely have got past Hamilton were it not for that.

3) Ricciardo - Never been much of a fan of his and typically never been impressed by him. However this weekend he has completely outshone his team-mate and put in a great result for Toro Rosso.

332

I'd say by the number of overtakes required, DRS or otherwise that Alonso's win was anything but straight forward! And he started from 3rd not pole. An accurate comparison to Vettel would be from pole to win the race with no overtakes. As he so often did, that said Vettel is also a fantastic driver and being quicker means you don't see much action. And he has shown many times how good his race craft is so no need to prove that anymore.

333

Alonso did not win start to finish from Pole position. He had to make it work for himself and I think he overtook more car then did Vettel.

334

Perfect point AlexD I agree with you mate

What people forget here is Vettel won too many races from lights to flag.

Alonso have not started from pole in china. He made up positons on the track with some sensible passing moves cleared the traffic and took a very well deserved victory

335

1-Alonso, faultless, fast, dominant and untouchable.

2-Kimi, didn't make a great start and was not completely without blame regarding the incident with Perez, great drive with a car that handled different after damaging the front.

3-Hamilton, amazing qualifying lap, great couple of laps in the race, defending the podium with all he's got.

Honorable mentions:Bianchi and Ricciardo, great drives from talented youngsters.

Not so honorable mention:Sergio Perez, this wasn't robust racing, this was pure frustration.

336

Alonso for me, used his brain and tools available to him to make educated overtakes and passes when needed. Controlled the race.

337
Alberto Martínez

All of them did well, but the highlights were the drivings from Ricciardo, Alonso and Kimi.

Although I´m spanish and I was delighted with Alonso´s win and his controlled and intelligent race my vote has to be for Ricciardo. Long time since a Toro Rosso didn´t score so many points on merit and with such great pace - he was even quicker than Hamilton in the second stint with Mediums (laps 24 to 37).

338
ForWhatIt'sWorth

Good point about Ricciardo's lap times. He was consistently 10 ten quick all race.

339

James,

Thanks once again for all your efforts with your team in running this site. It is very informative.

Last year, it was widely accepted in these early races that Alonso rang the neck of the Ferrari and put it in places it had no right in being. By the same token, how do you rate Jenson Button's performance in Shanghai, and Malaysia (Until that stop)...

I am of the belief that it is likely to be too great a deficit to overcome now for McLaren unless they can come up with an RB7 style rocket... can they turn it around for race wins in your opinion?!

Thanks

340
BringBackAdelaide

Dan Ricciardo.

Get the feeling that McLaren might be regretting not signing the Hulk.