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Who was your Driver of the day in Melbourne?
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Posted By: James Allen  |  17 Mar 2014   |  12:10 pm GMT  |  231 comments

The first round of the new F1 championship was full of surprises and notable for new names breaking through into the front ranks.

There were many standout drives, but who was your Driver of the Day?


Nico Rosberg
The 28 year old German took his fourth Grand Prix win with a dominant drive, set up by a perfect start from 3rd on the grid. With team mate Hamilton sidelined early, Rosberg had no challengers and was able to control the pace of the race.


Daniel Ricciardo
Although the 24 year old was disqualified for a fuel flow infringement on his Red Bull Renault that was beyond his control, he can take a lot of confidence from this performance. He was always competitive in qualifying dry or wet and managed to get the Red Bull to the finish without drama; until the stewards found fault with the team for ignoring their advice and exceeding the flow rate limit.


Kevin Magnussen
Said he had to pinch himself to believe that he was in the FIA drivers press conference on Thursday in Melbourne but by Sunday he had become a star in his own right. Stunning in qualifying to grab 4th on the grid, the 21 year old Dane jumped Hamilton at the start and held third comfortably. He challenged Ricciardo at the end for second, but then inherited it anyway when the Aussie was disqualified. Quite a debut!


Jenson Button A tough GP weekend, the first since his father John died. Disappointed in qualifying, but his climb through the field with some inspired decision making on strategy took him ultimately to 4th, which became 3rd and his 50th F1 podium with Ricciardo’s disqualification. Not Button’s best Australian GP and he will be on notice now about Magnussen, but the old grey matter and speed of thought was on show when he pitted 6 seconds after the Safety Car was announced – that move gained him 3 places!


Valtteri Bottas
The Finn in the Williams was hard to take your eyes away from. He rose from 15th on the grid to 6th, before making an unforced error and tagging the wall. It punctured his tyre and left debris on the track. He dropped to 15th again but the safety car he had caused allowed him to restart in the pack and he fought back up to 6th again at the finish.


Daniel Kvyat
The Toro Rosso was competitive in Melbourne and the 19 year old Russian became F1’s youngest ever points scorer with 10th place. On his debut he put together a complete weekend with a strong top 10 qualifying performance and a points finish. A great start to his F1 career.

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231 Comments
  1. Random 79 says:

    I really wanted to say Ricciardo, but I’m going to go Magnussen.

    Impressive stuff, bodes well for the future.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Hang on a minute Random!
      Remember the 1996 AUS GP, when Villeneuve Jnr made an impressive debut at Melbourne? OK, he did go onto win WDC in 97, but after leaving Frank and Patrick, he opted to go to BAR where, despite a huge salary per year, in five years he achieved the magnificent total of two podiums in five seasons! What a waste of money! Thankfully, by 2003 David Richards was in charge at Brackley and correctly concluded Jacques was an expensive liability who needed binning – he was taken to the cleaners by Jenson.
      He was also rubbish at Sauber too.
      First impressions – very, very misleading! I’m not saying Kevin isn’t made of the right stuff, but we need to see him race for at least three odd seasons to make an informed judgement on him.
      Dan still gets my vote. I was tempted to post a re-write of a certain Elton John song, but after his DSQ I’m glad I didn’t..
      PS Do you think Bull and Dan will have their disqualification upheld or not?

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Perhaps a more relevant Elton song for this Red Bull/Dan DSQ would be “Sorry seems to be the hardest word.”

      2. Random 79 says:

        True enough, but since we only have the one race to go on right now that’s what we have to go on.

        I have a feeling the FIA will want to stamp down on the teams this year to get rid of the the grey areas and make it’s authority known, so in that regard I think the penalty might stay, but I also think the way they were regulating that particular rule was open to question, so who knows? Maybe RBR (with the support of Renault) can get it overturned.

        Honestly I don’t really care what happens to RBR. By the end of the year they could well afford to lose the 18 points and can certainly afford to pay any fine the FIA might mete out.

        But Ricciardo is another story. He did a good job and as I keep saying he (or any other driver) shouldn’t be punished for their team’s actions.

        Besides, it’s not like he was five seconds a lap faster than everyone else.

        I just wish they could separate the two and find a way to punish one effectively without punishing the other – it really shouldn’t be that difficult.

      3. Joe S says:

        If the driver has benefited from the team’s actions then the driver should also be punished. And Ricciardo definitely got an advantage thanks to the arrogance of Red Bull.

      4. Mohan says:

        We should stop seeing drivers as someone alien to their teams. Drivers are part of the team. They take part in technical discussions and also make adjustments like engine maps through their steering wheel. They have an understanding of what is happening in the car. It is naive to believe that Ricciardo knew nothing about fuel flow issues when there has been rumblings throughout the weekend. I feel sorry for Ricciardo, but if an infringement happens, drivers are part of that too.

        Now I only feel sorry for Australians who had the adrenalin rush of a home boy succeeding well, and then it all falls flat. The F1 administration should manage these issues more transparently, and if possible during the race itself. Why couldn’t the F1 admin black flag Ricciardo during the race citing technical violations (as they were being monitored and Red Bull didn’t heed advice to lower the flow)?

      5. Random 79 says:

        @Mohan

        I posted this before, but I’ll post it again…

        http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2014/3/15579.html

        Note point 2.

        I agree that if something had to be done it should have been done during the race, but apparently it took four hours to gather all the evidence and make a decision.

        Hopefully Dan comes back strong in Malaysia :)

      6. j says:

        Do you pre-prepare these rants or what?

        Not sure what Villeneuve has to do with it but if Mag wins the WDC this year or next I think he’d be happy with that result.

      7. Tealeaf says:

        I agree about Magnusson and for the whole podium tbh. Very misleading, I’d say the driver of the day was Hulkenberg and followed by Alonso, they both outdrove their cars.

      8. Gaz Boy says:

        Tealeaf – yes, that’s my point, you cannot judge a driver on just one race! I remember 3 years ago Mr Di Resta and Mr Perez both made impressive debuts at Melbourne…………let’s give Kevin time to fully judge him.
        I agree about Alonso – as usual performing above a Ferrari’s true potential. For the fifth consecutive season he’s driving a Prancing Horse that is off the pace compared to it’s British rivals.
        Hulk was good too, fair point!

      9. kenneth chapman says:

        @ tealeaf. errr… a common comment which doesn’t stack up. no one can ‘outdrive the car’. whatever a driver gets out of a car is what a car is capable of. nothing more and nothing less.

      10. TimW says:

        Gaz Boy, you can judge a driver on one race if you are being asked to name your driver of the day! The question being asked isn’t who do you think is the best driver in the field, or who is the best driver over the past 5 years? The question we are being asked is, who in your opinion drove the best on Sunday? Kevin drove a great race and deserves the large number of nominations he will recieve, this doesn’t mean he is the best driver ever, just the driver who did the best job in the Australian gp (in my and many others opinion).
        I think the fact that he drove an error free race and out scored his much more experienced team mate (who once famously took Villeneuve to the cleaners)is very impressive.

      11. Craig D says:

        Hang on, you say all that about Magnussen but I wonder if you thought we needed needed 3 seasons to judge Hamilton when he made a likewise impressive debut in here?!

        My vote was definitely for Magnussen being a rookie. But I was super surprised by Ricciardo: I hadn’t thought that much of him at Toro Rosso.

      12. Gaz Boy says:

        I agree his race was superb – I’m not bashing him – but you can’t judge a driver on just his first grand prix!

      13. Anant Deboor says:

        I thought this was Driver of the Day – not season…or decade

      14. Aaron Noronha says:

        lol very said. i was thinking the same thing

      15. Aaron Noronha says:

        * well said

      16. MrF1 says:

        Indeed

      17. zootrees says:

        That was my first thought. It is the driver of the day.
        What they are saying is basically Mag can’t be the driver of the day regardless of talent and skill that day, because he isn’t known and we don’t know his future.
        Sillly

    2. Alec Tronnick says:

      I think they both deserve it… Both of them were in uncharted waters and handled the pressure well.

      Good to see an Aussie who can get a Red Bull off the start line.

      1. Random 79 says:

        Yes that will come in handy :)

      2. MrF1 says:

        Actually Ricciardos start wasnt great. It was as good as Hamiltons and he was on a claimed 5 cyclinders

      3. Random 79 says:

        It was still better than many of Webber’s, some of which looked like they were on two cylinders…

    3. LBV says:

      apologies, I know this is off topic, but what a horrible broadcasting by the NBC…

      They managed to put commercials everytime something interesting was going on… additionally, they missed all the strategic situations during the race… had no idea of what was the pace of the leader vs rest of the cars… They didn’t understand the importance of Button’s move when the safety car came in (even when replayed)

      US fans deserve something better!

      1. Random 79 says:

        Fortunately in Aus we get the commentary from Sky with Brundle and Croft on FTA and they do a very good job.

        Not sure what other options you’d have in the US, but one could be Sky.

        It’s up to you if you’re willing to pay for your F1 fix, but it might be worth checking out :)

  2. fox says:

    The driver of the safety car.

    1. Formula Zero says:

      hah ha ha, he should be WDC every year!!

    2. Tara says:

      Are they still letting the lapped cars unlap themselves this year?

    3. The one who smacked his rear bumper into the wall on Saturday?

    4. Mohd Fazly says:

      Nice one

    5. Goob says:

      Yes, a great drive… good to see someone pushing a car on a race track…

    6. Gaz Boy says:

      Is the safety car limited to 100 KG per race, and also has fuel flow restrictions? Does it have an ERS/KERS/MGU-H and this new hybrid technology? Also, have the driver/s been told to loose weight and stay off the sausage pies?

    7. Steve Zodiac says:

      Kobismashi!

  3. Kramgp says:

    Bottas did make an unforced error but still my driver of the day. He was fighting for every place rather than nursing the car to the flag. He knows how important it is for him to score early in the season before the big teams really get their act together.

    1. Fernando "150%" Alonso says:

      I was impressed by Bottas to, but that error wasn’t unforced in my opinion. He was chasing Alo and probably that’s why he was pushing so hard. It seems you can put pressure driving in front of a driver ;) So i voted Kvyat! Magnussen did an awesome job, but hey, that McLaren is a far better car compared to Toro Rosso.

    2. Dave Emberton says:

      I wanted to say Bottas, but you can’t ignore the fact he threw away a probable podium with a silly mistake.

      So I picked Magnussen, who looked all weekend like he’d been doing this for 10 years.

      1. Kramgp says:

        I think his only mistake was getting too close to the car infront and loosing grip. I think if mag was pushing as hard as bottas he would and should have passed ric. Having said that it was his first gp and he did make a fantastic start

      2. Dave Emberton says:

        A mistake is a mistake. And Bottas was effectively out of position because of the wet qualifying; Williams probably would have been higher up in the dry. So it’s not so much a question of pushing as hard: Bottas had a faster car than those around him, and Magnussen didn’t.

        Both fantastic performances though.

    3. Phil Shotton says:

      This. I was going to go for Magnussen for his podium place, but I think that Bottas was the stand out driver of the day in terms of raw fight and pace. Let’s just hope that he hasn’t wasted a few important points later on in the season by hitting the wall and getting a puncture in the first race.

    4. Frank Oosterhuis says:

      Indeed, was a joy to watch him overtake so many others!

    5. Gergely says:

      Valtteri was rushing through the field, twice. His mistake was an error of driver who wants more. Mag also made a very similar error, he just escaped a bit luckily. His drive was great too, anyway.

    6. Andrew says:

      Ridiculous, he probably could have had a podium but threw it away with a schoolboy error. Besides that, we didn’t get to see how he performed against his team mate so there was no reference point for the cars ability.

      1. Kevin says:

        “Ridiculous”?!?!?

        LOL

        Good to see Massa/Bottas and Williams can be competitive as long as long as they can make it past the first corner.

      2. Andrew says:

        I don’t understand how somebody that made such a fundamental error is worthy of driver of the day when so many other drivers performed just as well with no errors at all.

        So yes, it is ridiculous.

      3. Voodoopunk says:

        So, anyone who hits a wall while pushing has committed a schoolboy error?

        That’s quite a few world champions.

      4. Kevin says:

        I agree Voodoopunk…

        I guess some don’t think that drivers can make unforced errors pushing F1 cars to the limit until they’re champions maybe.

        Glad to see that drivers aren’t just sitting on the back foot conserving fuel and diminishing the spirit of racing. Maybe since I’m not an F1 driver I still have a respect for the limits they push themselves to.

        Maybe Andrew’s driver of the day is Hamilton or Vettel since they did not have any “fundamental” errors.

      5. Spectreman says:

        Agree with you, Andrew. Having the 2nd or 3d best car on the grid, arriving in 6th is not impressive at all.

      6. Ed H says:

        In my opinion, the wall hit happened due to a combination of Bottas pushing too hard to make up ground from the gearbox penalty, and the dirty air from Alonso’s car. Like Martin Brundle said, we’ve seen other drivers (Vettel in qualifying) have much harsher impacts with that wall and get away with it. Bottas did make a small mistake but (Despite the subsequent safety car preventing any further time loss) he was unlucky to have been punished so harshly for it. However, after the race he was very disappointed in himself, and pledged to learn from this and not trip up again in the future. Good enough for me!

      7. Kramgp says:

        He was unlucky we saw seb do the same thing earlier in quali and he was being praised for pushing hard

      8. Andrew says:

        I wouldn’t praise anybody for crashing into a wall and judging by the look on Claire Williams face, I doubt she will be praising him for it either.

        I’m not surprised she looked so depressed, the car is probably the second quickest and 3rd and 4th should have been possible but for the overzealousness of Bottas and Kobayashi.

    7. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      BOTTAS for me too. I would like Magnum doing the same.

    8. j says:

      Bottas’ post race interview (and his driving) won me over as a fan.

      Real class apology to the team for clipping the wall (that some other drivers hit as well). And didn’t take any credit for the pass on Raikkonen, just praised the fair driving by both of them.

      Tapping that wall was a mistake but how many times over the years have you seen a back wheel slap face on to a wall like that and nothing happens. To break the rim was bad luck.

      1. Mike says:

        The Finnish drivers are great ambassadors for their country.Hope he turns out as cool as Kimi.

  4. David B says:

    Every one of these guys deserves to be on this list but has to be Magnussen by a long margin. Hard to believe that was his debut F1 race. Congrats to him. Good job Ricciardo too!

    1. Formula Zero says:

      There is no wrong answer to this question in my view David. Chilton is the driver of the day in many people’s view too by a long margin. So, everyone’s right.

    2. Andrew says:

      Magnussen outperformed Button (average driver)by one position. Alonso outperformed Raikkonen (regarded as one of the best) by four positions.

      This is driver of the day, not rookie of the day.

      1. F1.Sky says:

        Jenson is average driver?? He is the man who survive formula 1 for many years. Please be balance

      2. david nelson says:

        Magnussen showed very good potential in a debut race. Exceptional job!

        Bottas definitely the most spectacular TV race. Exceptional job!

        Of course Button was just average. First pit-stop was lucky/beautiful timing. Second pit-stop was a double overtake by pure pace from excellent outlaps (average???).

        Ricciardo, same as Magnussen, did a great debut job. Shame about potential exclusion. Of course, if it had been Seb V we’d be flipping summersaults.

      3. Sri says:

        3 positions to be precise.

      4. RichardD says:

        Finishing order alone does not define who outperformed who. Button qualified 11th, probably as a result of the Raikkonen yellow flag, and finished 4th only 3 secs behind Magnusson. Not right to describe Button as an average driver; average drivers don’t win world championships.

      5. Alex Butters says:

        Whoops my post 36 was supposed to be a reply to this sorry…!

      6. Random 79 says:

        And Magnussen outperformed Button, Alonso and Räikkönen (regarded as one of the best), while Rosberg outperformed them all.

        Wait for it…”but Magnussen and Rosberg had a better car…”

        Well yes they did, but this is driver of the day, not car of the day.

        Speaking of Rosberg he basically had a perfect race: Perfect start and didn’t put a foot wrong, and yet very few voted for him.

      7. Sri says:

        So how are we to know if the driver outperformed the car to vote as best of all?

      8. Random 79 says:

        @Sri

        No way to really say for sure.

        Everyone’s going to have a different opinion, it’s just that some are more different than others ;)

      9. Alex says:

        But this isn’t also the Relative Advantage of the Day, the driver performance in one race cannot be measured only by his teammate performance/result or we could say that Chilton was the driver of the day because he was 6 laps ahead of Bianchi.

      10. Kramgp says:

        Is that the same raikkonen who ran off the road under braking and was passed by bottas. Alonso is bound to beat a team mate who’s in the gravel or cutting grass

      11. Andrew says:

        True. The question is whether Raikkonen is suddenly a very bad driver or whether the car is rather difficult to drive and he cannot adapt as well as his team mate.

        I suggest it’s the latter.

      12. NJ says:

        Actually the way Kimi was driving… he underperformed himself by at least 2 or 3 positions. :p

      13. Robert says:

        Do you actually watch the race weekend? Button qualified low because Kimi hit the wall on his last Q2 lap, just in front of him. Ruins his lap with yellows, and he starts 10th. But he had been in P1 and P2 just before that…

        Magnussun takes a fast car and puts it where it belonged, just behind the Mercedes and RBs. But given the quali laps ALL DAY LONG, if JB hadn’t been behind Kimi’s crash he would have qualified ahead of Mag. Every single session set of laps in quali had JB ahead of Mag, sometimes by a large margin. JB was in the top three in quali for most of Q1 and Q2.

        In the race, Button uses racecraft (and a pendulum swing of luck) to move up 6 places. Using the undercut to gain 4th from 6th meant his tyres were 5 laps older than Mag’s and Ricciardo’s, so no way was he going to take them at the close of the race. Mag holds station the entire race in one of the three fastest cars on the track. OK, impressive for where Mag is in experience, but hardly “outperforming Button” in any way. JB actually drove a much better race, and had a much better qualifying day, bar Kimi’s accident.

        Driver of the day was definitely Bottas however. Really wished Massa hadn’t been taken out so that we could have seen a real yardstick for how well Bottas drove…

        SECOND place of DoD to me was….Kobayashi!!! For going on TV and just admitting the accident was his fault and apologising immediately. So tired of people ducking responsibility…even if it was his brakes (and I guess telemeterery would prove it) he still said it was his fault and that he locked.

  5. hippyneil says:

    Possibly the toughest choice for DotD for a long while. I’m so torn between Magnussun and Kvyat, both with stunning debuts. Bottas was amazing but his whack into the wall scores him a minus point that just takes him out of contention.
    I think I’ll go with Kevin as he out-qualified Jenson, drove a great, mature race and might have even challenged Ricciardo if it wasn’t for fuel saving.

  6. Lars J says:

    Has be to Kevin. Great qualifying, impressive and very mature race with just a minor fling at the start. Others might have done more figthing for position during the race, but thats because they didn’t qualify as well as Kevin during difficult conditions.
    Best ever rookie first race result – and best ever Dane in F1. Much more to come.

    No wonder there now is Kevin/F1 mania here in Denmark.

  7. Andrew H says:

    As an Aussie I want to pick Ricciardo but I have to give it to Bottas, he was one of the few drivers actually racing out there.

    His recovery trully impressive.

    Good job by Magnussen, he was very lucky at the race start. His first GP could have been an embarrassing disaster.

    Dealt with the pressure well & he kept Ricciardo honest the entire race.

    Interestingly, the qualifying was immensely exciting but the race was pretty boring.

  8. Mike J says:

    Hard split between Bottas, Kvyat and Magnussen.
    After watching Kvyat during practice I thought he would struggle however since this is DOTD he impressed greatly during the race.
    Magnussen proved his credentials from last year as supported a great decision by McLaren.
    But I voted for Bottas, even though he did make a mistake he really impressed me with racy approach and the number of clean overtakes.

  9. Formula Zero says:

    Wow, I am surprised with the pole result so far! Expected Kvyat, Bottas & Ricciardo to be higher up than Magnussen. We will see who the better driver is half way through the season. Regardless of the final outcome, I was most impressed with Ricciardo’s performance. He certainly outperformed the car in my view. What makes Ricciardo’s result more impressive is that he was very consistent the whole weekend, coping with the high expectation of his home crowd, immense pressure from Magnussen towards the end of the race, all the major changes to the car with so little testing & most importantly having a mega achieving team mate. Nevertheless, half way through the season we will see everyone’s real worth.

  10. michelle says:

    Magnussen was so focused and it paid off, Button would be my second choose. McLaren have sure had a good winter.

  11. Martin (England) says:

    Has to be Bottas, how many overtakes did he make ? and most were proper overtaking manouveres not easy DRS passes and to do it all over agin after tagging the wall was great,

  12. Tara says:

    Yep K-Mag did a great job and kvyat was impressive but my DoD is Bottas.
    It was great to see him fight his way thru the field again. He created a few “oh no” moments and a few “go get him” ones as well.

    Love dan and JB heartbroken for them both :(

  13. TheLollipopMan says:

    Would have loved to have seen Antonio Felix da Costa in one of those Toro Rossos. A win and a second place at the world’s toughest track, Macau – no other driver’s achieved that. Imagine what he could have done in Melbourne yesterday!

  14. Phil says:

    Bottas battled hard but did make a significant and costly error.

    Magnussen was exceptional in his first race.

  15. kenneth chapman says:

    has to be ricciardo closely followed by magnussen. both these guys drove exceptionally well.

  16. CC says:

    Ricciardo – it’s unfortunate his drive has been tarnished by alleged impropriety from his team. Still, that takes nothing away from his performance – even if Daniel takes nothing away from his Red Bull debut after the Court of Appeal case.
    Also, good recovery drives from Button and Bottas. I’ve said this before, but let’s wait for a fully dry weekend to analyse the respective cars, drivers and teams.

    1. CC says:

      I’ll just add that the qualifying was a lottery thanks to the weather, and also the track was green having had all its rubber washed away overnight. A green tyre will affect tyre wear as it has a more abrasive surface, so that probably accounts for the graining problems a lot of drivers/teams suffered from.

      1. CC says:

        Sorry, error, I meant a green track, not tyre.

  17. Chromatic says:

    KVYAT.

    KevMag done pretty good too.

  18. pargo says:

    Tough one. Will go with Ricciardo but Magnussen and Bottas were outstanding. I really hope these guys are in the mix all season.

  19. Lexus says:

    Has Nico Rosberg ever won a race where he battled through the field or have they all been from pole position or where someone ahead had retired?

    1. Andrew M says:

      Technically he jumped Ricciardo at the start too, but assuming you don’t count that then no.

    2. furstyferret says:

      Two of his wins have happened when lewis has had problums, hes not a great charger, but with this car this year hes going to rack up the wins from the front.

    3. SteveS says:

      Hamilton hasn’t won any races where he battled through the field either. And if you go with that “where someone ahead had retired” business, I’m not sure Alonso has met your criteria.

      1. Lexus says:

        Research how Hamilton won Monaco 2008 after having a puncture following his collision with a barrier. He won that race with a greater margin than Rosberg won this race and the Mclaren was not as superior as the current Mercedes. At one point Hamilton had a 40 sec lead. I can post a link if you need it and I am sure there are other examples.

    4. Andrew says:

      Drivers battling through the field to win suggests either their car is poor in qualifying and strong in the race or that the driver is just poor at qualifying.

      In recent times the Mercedes has been poor in the race trim relative to quali (often due to tyre wear) and he has shown good single-lap pace relative to his highly regarded team mates, so the fact that Rosberg has only won from the front is no surprise.

  20. Elie says:

    Kevin Magnussen was my d o d . For anybody to get a podium thats a great effort – for a rookie in his first race its a tremendous signal of what this kid had. Since his test last year hes shown he has what it takes!

    My next vote was Bottas – what a drive !- His scrape with the wall did not dampen his enthusiasm and his drive through the field was fantastic.

    1. Jane Kay says:

      agree!
      Magnussen for a tremendous rookie debut, any rookie can dream of.
      Bottas for determination and great overtaking. He did a mistake true, but overall fantastic drive. Good to see another Fin racing for wins.

      Ricciardo – kept his cool all the time. Really really sad he’s been disqualified.

      Sad for VET and HAM for DNF

    2. Andrew says:

      I don’t think “rookie” status is particularly meaningful this year. These cars are very new to all the drivers.

      1. Elie says:

        So you dont think knowledge of setting up a car, working with an F1 team, a track, track operations & procedures, how a car handles, tyres, buttons on the wheel..mean little or nothing … Do you really believe that ?– Goodbye

      2. Andrew says:

        They do all of those things in junior formulas. Goodbye.

  21. Thejesh SuGow says:

    thanks for finally adding voting meter.

  22. dren says:

    Rosberg for a great start and victory. But if you take him out of the mix as his car is clearly light years ahead of the next best Red Bull…

    Daniel Kvyat would be my choice. He is quick in qualifying and in the race. He had about a tenth or so on his teammate on the softs and a larger gap on the medium. Surprising to see them chopping it up with the Ferraris.

    Then I’d have to say Button. He was quicker than Magnussen by a few tenths on the mediums but hard to tell on the softs since he was in traffic. His qualifying performance made Magnussen look better in the race.

    I expect a good Mclaren vs. Williams battle this year. Red Bull has a sizeable gap to the rest of the field with Mercedes having even more of a gap than that to Red Bull. Wow!

  23. Anne says:

    Ricciardo and the McLaren men. Honorable mention Alonso and Kimi because they are grabbing points driving a Fiat 500 or something worst.

  24. Warren Buys says:

    No disrespect to the other guys efforts, all worthy nominations, but it has to be Magnussen, in a class of his own on debut.

  25. Tough call between Ricciardo, Magnussen, JB and Kvyat.

    Of all, I suspect Ricciardo probably had the most pressure being compared to Vettel and also facing the home crowd expectations and extra promotional commitments.

    I’m discounting Rosberg who probably had a lot left under his right foot and Bottas who made a pretty big mistake.

  26. Joe B says:

    Tough call between Magnusson and Bottas, but the Dane takes it for one heck of a debut. As someone else said in another thread, the future of F1 looks to be in good hands,

  27. Tim W says:

    Daniil Kvyat – star in a reasonably priced car.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Lol :)

  28. Duncan says:

    I voted Magnusson, but any of he, Ricciardo or Bottas were equally deserving. An impressive new guard who show where the future lies. At least one of them will win a WDC.

  29. Ben says:

    I voted for Bottas because of his two superb drives through the field but in hindsight I think I should have voted for Magnusson as if it wasn’t for the mistake Bottas should probably have been on the podium (or at least fighting for it) and what Magnusson achieved on his debut was a fantastic achievement. Button was also quite impressive showing again why he’s one of the best tacticians in the ‘sport’. I’d be very hesitant to give it to Ricciardo as I wonder if the reason Magnusson did not pass him was because of his peak mass flow rate magic but we will have to wait to see the results of the appeal before we can really comment on it as there are still too many unknowns…

    Rosberg drove a very Vettel esq race leading from the first corner with no one challenging him for the rest of the race. While you cannot fault him I am not surprised he has not done well in the poll. It is

    1. Ben says:

      …a shame we were robbed of the battle between Rosberg and Hamilton as this appears will be the deciding battle for WDC. I still have no idea on who will come out on top. I do hope it is decided on the track and not by who has the least DNF’s! If I was a betting man, I’d put my money on Hamilton but I’d not be surprised if it was Rosberg!

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        I hope all the people who were up in arms at the Red Bull domination will be similarly apoplectic when Mercedes do the same.

  30. The Spanish Inquisitor says:

    1) Rosberg
    2) Bottas & Magnussen

  31. IanP says:

    Kevin Magnussen – an impressive start. Chose him over Daniel Ricciardo as this was Magnussen’s first ever F1 GP.

  32. Nuno says:

    Flawless Nico!

  33. Hill says:

    To me Daniel Kvyat the rookie coming against some of the “Big Guns” showed oodles of maturity. Sorry for Daniel Ricciardo though and big ups on both Bottas and Magnussen for demonstration real grit…

  34. Il Leone says:

    Has to be Magnussen. Massively impressive debut. With Honda power under him next year could well be worth sticking a fiver on him for the WDC in 2015.

  35. Stuart Harrison says:

    So many to choose from; for me, Magnussen pips Bottas due to the latter clipping the wall – otherwise I think he’d have been challenging for a podium spot and a clear DOTD.

    Williams clearly have pace this season, shame they lost Massa in turn one :(

  36. Steven says:

    Bottas…even with hitting the wall. His chase up the pack was the most entertaining aspect of the whole race.

  37. Pierre says:

    How can that be anyone else than Magnussen? Everybody now knows why Perez was dropped (and they were right to do so) and how “special” this guy is gonna be.

    1. MrF1 says:

      Thats harsh. Its clear McLaren did have a competitive package last year. Jenson didnt make the podium all year either.
      Perez has an ability to drive. Hes perhaps just not world champion material

  38. JAWA hs-f1 says:

    I voted for Magnussen. The reasons being – it was his first race and he had never raced on Albert Park before.He coped with WET qualifying impressively and was not afraid to go wheel to wheel with Hamilton on the opening lap.

    Button was impressive as well, but he did benefit from Safety car.
    Bottas was also excellent but he did make a costly error and was then lucky that the debris from his car brought out SC and bunched up the field.

    I did not consider Ricciardo as a result of this fuel flow saga. Don’t get me wrong his performance was impressive.

    Also, reading a lot of comments on this website and other forums, I get an impression it has become a bit fashionable to critisize FIA and stewards.. (Some of the criticism might be understandable but a lot of it seems emotional outburst)

    In Redbull’s case, what amazes me is, they were warned during the race to comply and still chose to ignore it.. That’s on top of the fact, Charlie Whiting made absolutely clear that there will be zero tolerance regarding fuel flow rate.

  39. Brad says:

    Voted for Dan, but think Kevin is just as deserving.

    So glad we have some exciting prospects to help get past the orrible new engine noise. (Yes, not just not loud enough, ruddy orrible note too)

  40. TGS says:

    Bottas definitely. Ricciardo and Magnussen did well but they just held position the whole race.

  41. Just a bloke says:

    I know Bottas kissed the wall, but he kept his cool and recovered well, would have been easy for his head to implode in the circumstanes.

    Don’t judge on the error, jusge on the reaction and follwo up to the error ;)

  42. Andrew says:

    It’s surely Alonso isn’t it? He made Raikkonen look very average this weekend, that is enough for DoTD in my book. I didn’t see any other driver out perform such a highly regarded team mate in such a manor – and this is the only reference point we have to true performance isn’t it?

    I think I’ll avoid this feature this season as average rookie drivers and those with the fastest cars are always favoured.

    1. Spectreman says:

      Agree again. Alonso should be in the list instead of Bottas.

      1. Fernando "150%" Alonso says:

        Well, Bottas drove excellent, if you are not considering the little mistake wich probably cost him a podium finish and that’s why he is so appealing for voters. Is emocional somehow, and i say this with a smile on my face. The lad impressed me to! And regarding Alonso, he had a good race, but i think people are expecting from him each time something really special to consider voting him for DoD. Is like he made us (including me, and i’m his biggest fan) to expect the unexpected all the time. I was expecting, to be honnest, a podium finish from him. During the race, i realised is it not possible, and that only luck, or the fact he determined Bottas for example, to push the car over the edge and into the wall, saved him the 5th place finish. But the bitter taste, of not seeing him on the podium, persisted. I hope i made myself understood :)

    2. Random 79 says:

      You shouldn’t avoid it.

      It’s true that most most voted for Magnussen or Bottas (including myself), but if others like yourself get frustrated and quit that is all we’ll see.

      Alonso is a worthy candidate and it is nice to see someone vote for him :)

    3. CC says:

      Alonso certainly looks more at ease under braking.

    4. Elie says:

      What did he do exactly he started 5 and yep thats right he finished 5?. Obviously Ferrari had electrical issues and could not use full power. Raikkonen was disadvantaged by the double stack and had 2 cars leap frog him in the pits- yet he still went from 11 to 8. ( 8-2 = ??- not so far behind given where he started.Kimi is struggling with the balance of the car and once he soughts them out he will be far more competitive. If this is a very difficult weekend he will be much better ince his problems are soughted

  43. Andrew Carter says:

    Magnussen, for sure.

  44. Harshad says:

    Magnussen by long shot!
    i.e First F1 GP, driving very complex cars around without making any rookie mistake is an achievement in itself.
    Stellar drive that from Magnussen.

  45. Clarks4WheelDrive says:

    Ricciardo for me, nice pass into turn 1, cool under pressure and nice time to do your first full race distance. The car looks the only one to take it to the Merc engines, a mile better than the Ferrari, who would have throught that after testing!

    Not Rosberg, not his fault but you’ll never see an easier ‘throttle pedal’ win in F1.

    Enjoyed Bottas’s overtakes and great job by Mags as well after very nearly the most embarrasing start to a race since Hakkinen turned across the field taking a bunch of people out…

    Shame we couldn’t see Ros v Ham and Bot v Mas, particularly to see if the teams would actually let them race each other.

  46. Arnie S says:

    I said it before (and got shxt for it) but I still say that the only one who was driving, overtaking and was a little bit aggressive (and not moving the car from start to finish) was Bottas.

    I agree that he made a mistake, but wht he did at least looked like racing. The other might have been driving faster, but Bottas did what he could to imrpove his position.

    No, I’m not a Bottas-fan, no I’m not Finnish, no I’m not against Nico or Ricciardo or Kevin. But where they racing? To mee it looked as if they were a couple fo friends who had a nice and quick Sunday drive. (Just like Alonso, Kimi and most of the pack)

  47. Rich B says:

    I read the headline ‘driver of the day’ and saw the picture of esteban, kamui and bianchi. thought james had lost the plot for a second.

    kev gets it for me

  48. Olivier says:

    Bottas drive was epic but it is a rookie who is my Driver of the Day. K-Mag was impressive on both Saturday (wet) and Sunday (dry).

  49. Andy says:

    Magnussen for me, followed very closely by Bottas.

  50. Dmitry says:

    To me it was Bottas. The number of overtakig he made surely deserves being the Driver of the Day.

  51. Lazy Andy says:

    Button for me… he turned around a bit of bad luck in quali to rise to fourth on his own merit.

    Magnussen, whilst impressive, predominantly held station and Bottas, whilst also impressive made an error when he hit the wall.

  52. Yago says:

    I don’t think Bottas deserves to be on the drivers of the day list. Neither Button. This list differs hugely on how I see driver performance.

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      What?… why shouldn’t they be on it?

      1. Yago says:

        Bottas did a stupid mistake. He should have been second with that car, or at least on the podium. Button, during the safety car period, benefited from the green light on the pit lane just by luck, while the front runners had to wait one lap until they could enter the pits. Without that he wouldn’t have been anywhere near the front. He was overall outclassed by Magnussen. Even he did the undercut to Alonso and Hulkemberg only because his tyres were in very bad shape and was loosing ground, so he had to pit. It was not that clear it was going to be a win win move at the time.

        As an example, Hulkemberg did much better than this two drivers, and is not on the list. One should pay more attention at team mates comparison when analyzing driver performance.

      2. Andrew says:

        Well said.

  53. Goob says:

    In all seriousness… there were no great drives, as has been the case for the past few years… the cars are still dictating the order.

    And I should admit – I never even saw the race…just caught the 8 min highlight on a smart TV… looks like the usual routine.

    Until they get rid of DRS – a 8 min is highlight is all I can tolerate.

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      “In all seriousness… there were no great drives, as has been the case for the past few years… the cars are still dictating the order.”

      Last few years?

      When hasn’t the car dictated the order, unless it’s raining.

      1. Goob says:

        Up to the end of the Schumacher era – a good driver could win in a slightly bad car against a bad driver in a great car. Skill was used to overtake and the car was mostly on the limit.

        Everything now is sterile – pressing a DRS button is not a skill…

      2. Random 79 says:

        “Up to the end of the Schumacher era a good driver could win in a slightly bad car against a bad driver in a great car”

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but in the Schumacher era wasn’t Schumacher basically winning everything?

        Might have something to do with why it’s called the Schumacher era…

      3. Voodoopunk says:

        “Up to the end of the Schumacher era – a good driver could win in a slightly bad car against a bad driver in a great car. Skill was used to overtake and the car was mostly on the limit.”

        Nope.

    2. Spinodontosaurus says:

      Who are you judge whether or not there were any great drives when all you saw of the race was an 8 minute highlight reel?

      And please don’t pretend that positions being significantly dictated by car performance is a new phenomenon – because it is anything but.

      Although for what it’s worth I also don’t think there was any standout drives in this particular race.

    3. j says:

      I can never understand people like this. They don’t like F1, don’t get the technology or the rules, don’t watch the races, but come on here to complain about the sport, the tech, the rules and the races. Stop torturing yourself and find something else to do.

      If I didn’t like fishing (I don’t) I wouldn’t spend all day watching highlights of fishing and commenting on fishing websites.

      (And “Goob” I’m commenting on you not replying to you so don’t bother coming up with a rebuttal.)

      1. Goob says:

        What if you like fishing, but can’t stand the competition organizers inability to run a fair competition?

        What if poor competitors were given DRS to allow rubbish fisherman to use frozen packaged fish instead of real ones?

        I can fully understand why people are annoyed with F1, and why Vettel is still booed to this date…

      2. Voodoopunk says:

        “I can fully understand why people are annoyed with F1, and why Vettel is still booed to this date”

        Something I can’t understand at all, but I guess I was brought up better than you.

      3. Random 79 says:

        Nice try j but he only read the eight word highlight ;)

  54. Polomint says:

    Have to go with JB, Magnussen did very well onhis first race, as did Ricciardo and Nico, but they did well after Kimis yellow lag and in Quali too, JB (and some of the others who coudl have, should have, woudl have) got dropped kicked on their last flier due to Kimi’s Yellow flag. Considering that we’re talking about Race day, JB had the biggest job to do and he delivered making most look like rookies, he showed his abilities in speed and stratergy. I think Magnussen did very well and you cannot detract from him, but he just held his station in my opinion, and too rigth as well, but if I was him i’d be thinking, wow my team mate came from 10th and made up 7 second gap in the final 10 laps. Yeah JB for driver of the day.

    1. Yago says:

      “my team mate came from 10th and made up 7 second gap in the final 10 laps”

      Yes and I can tell you how. Through luck during the safety car period, as the front runners had to wait a lap to enter the pits, and then by Magnussed being held by Ricciardo during those final 10 laps…

      “JB (and some of the others who coudl have, should have, woudl have) got dropped kicked on their last flier due to Kimi’s Yellow flag”
      He should have been with a good enough time by then. He wasn’t because he did not a good enough job.

      In short, Button should not be in the best drivers of the day list.

      1. aveli says:

        all those events you correctly described are part of racing.

  55. Texas T says:

    All these drivers did an excellent job, but the vote has to go to Magnussen. First ever drive in F1, driving for McLaren, and having Ron Dennis lurking in the garage is a lot of additional pressure to deal with. Great qualifying, great race, podium. Star in the making.

  56. Ian says:

    Ricciardo. The pressure on him must have been tremendous. Vettel’s teammate, the team relying on him after Vettel failed, an unproven car, by halfway through he was in unknown territory. And his home grand prix, never been on the podium anywhere. And at the end, Magnusssen chasing him down.

    Lots of other great drives, but mostly in circumstances where expectations were being massively exceeded so losing out wouldn’t have been a disaster.

  57. Al says:

    Magnussen, no other contenders…

    Bottas did a great job, spoiled by hte unforced error.

    Riccardo did ok, but nothing spectacular, unless you are Australian.

    Nico did his job well, as did others.

  58. Krischar says:

    Rosberg

    Alonso

  59. moandiresta says:

    Gotta be Magnussen!

    Ron Is Back

  60. surya kumar says:

    I will go with Kevin as you can see 2007 repeating itself. Hopefully he is capable of withstanding all the pressure and come out on the top.

    1. Tealeaf says:

      In 2007 Hamilton had the best car this year Magnusson hasn’t. I’m confident Jenson will overcome Magnusson on points this year.

      1. James Allen says:

        Well he should given the difference in experience!

      2. Random 79 says:

        Confident is a much better word than certain :)

  61. Dave Deacon says:

    I think JB made the best of an unlucky start. But circumstances sometimes flatter to deceive. Let’s wait until the end to see who is best this year..

  62. JB says:

    DOTD = Daniel Ricciardo!
    We all know Mercedes is the benchmark car this season. So voting for the Mercedes driver does not make sense (only makes sense if we are voting for car of the day ;D).

    Daniel was way faster than Vettel all weekend. Most impressive is how he consistently gotten the fastest times during the wet quali when he does not have the fastest car. To top it, he split the Mercedes.
    At the start of the race, he overtook Hamilton despite starting from the slippery side of the track. He held position throughout to finish second.

    Kevin Magnussen does deserve a special mention for such an impressive debut. But then, the Mclarens are fast judging by how close Button is.

  63. Richard says:

    I was thoroughly entertain by watching Bottas climb from the rear. – Twice, yes his own mistake, but a very good drive nontheless.

  64. Kingszito says:

    I voted Bottas as my driver of the day. Yes he made a mistake, yet he recovered. Some drivers would have settled for less after such a mistake, but he pushed on, make up some positions and made the race entertaining for most of us. Kev and Ric did a good job as well.

  65. Shane says:

    Magnussen – Debut podium for a rookie driver in a pressure cooker of a team after a monster qualifying session in mixed conditions, doesn’t get much better than that.

  66. Bayan says:

    Tough call. Bottas was awesome. Wish Massa wasn’t taken out of the race. I would like to have seen both the Williams’ do well. Also Kyvat and Magnussen were both awesome. F1′s future is looking good at least from the driver talent side if we can get more drivers like these. I hope they keep on improving. Also wish Grosjean would have gotten a better car.

  67. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Funny, in this poll the winner ROSBERG is not considered a good candidate for Driver of the Day, so it’s the car…

    IMO MERCEDES Car of the day (from pole and win).

    1. Andrew says:

      I don’t think you will have many people arguing with you over that one!

      1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        Yeah, but I’m also saying that if ROSBERG had made the pole, that is different:

        Conclusion 1: If it was HAMILTON, he would be my DotD…

        Conclusion 2: HAMILTON put more driving in the car.

        So we can now more people arguing for sure.LOL!

    2. Alexander Supertramp says:

      Off course the car is great! But we have 2 top contenders who will fight it out in the next races. Rosberg/Hamilton can be DotD when one of them beats the other one in a straight/close battle. Fingers crossed for Malaysia.

  68. Sri says:

    Kvyat: debut and 19-yr-old, suspected by everyone of just being an ordinary driver, showed his mettle amongst the big boys who had much more experience and LASTLY had a Toro Rosso to fight with them!
    Magnussen also is close, had a good car and used it well.
    Bottas would have got the DoD if he had kept it nicely on the track. But he does get third.
    Ricciardo’s performance is never known as he had some illegal advantage – so not sure how much time he gained by that (if at all).

  69. Yago says:

    James, get rid of Button and Bottas and plug Hulkemberg and Alonso in please! To rectify is wise… ;)

    1. Random 79 says:

      While you’re rectifying things Yago it’s Hulkenberg, not Hulkemberg (and it’s not just on the one comment either).

    2. Alex says:

      It’s ok to think that Hulkemberg and Alonso made a good job because they did, but in the pool more than 1.000 voted for Bottas and just 41 for others, so in that field you could have your opinion. I don’t know if the votes are guided by the article, but we have to think that people think that Bottas was probably the only one pushing and going to the limits in a new car with new rules and with a lot of doubts about reliability. Another way to see it is that this is not the best performance of the day, but the driver that call the attention the most in a positive way. Anyway like you I think that Bottas made a silly mistake but I think he deserves to be on the list.

      1. Yago says:

        If you call the poll “the most striking performances of the day” or something like that, I agree maybe Bottas should be in the list, but not Button. However if it is “the best driver of the day”, then Bottas shouldn’t be, and Hulkemberg and Alonso should definitely be. I notice it is called “your driver of the day”, so maybe it doesn’t have to do entirely with performance, and I didn’t understand well the spirit of the poll. But if that is the case, people is going to vote their favorite drivers (well i think they would vote their favorite drivers anyway).

  70. Dave Aston says:

    Magnussen, with Kvyat and Bottas close behind. Bottas looks like a real animal.

  71. Dave Aston says:

    PS, I reckon the Hulk should be on the list. He’s like the invisible man.

  72. john says:

    Personally I want to say Button, he stormed through the field. But Magnussen really impressed for a debut.

    1. Yago says:

      …Button stormed through what??

      1. Elie says:

        Stormed through a team cup

    2. Elie says:

      Bwa hahaha .. Stormed through the field and was beaten by a rookie on debut!!!. Yeah brilliant

      1. john says:

        Magnussen was incredible, which is why I voted for him. But he basically passed no one, Hamilton DNFing and Daniel being DQd. He ran just the race he needed to run, and it was impressive.

        Button’s best lap was ruined by Räikkönen’s wreck in Q2, forcing him outside the Top 10. He went from 11th to 3rd, only one behind a rookie on debut who had a great day as well.

        I’m excited for both their prospects this year.

  73. Harvey says:

    No one. There’s little driver skill involved with these cars, unless you take into account the steering wheel input during pit stops. You could put a dummy in a Mercedes-engined car and finish in the points. No offense to Magnussen and Bottas, but seriously? McLaren get two cars with podium finishes thanks to Red Bull when they had none last year, Williams all of a sudden after two decades becomes relevant. James, whatever happened to the research on the Mercedes engine that supposedly has a 70-plus bhp advantage over the others?

    1. Random 79 says:

      ” There’s little driver skill involved with these cars, unless you take into account the steering wheel input during pit stops. You could put a dummy in a Mercedes-engined car and finish in the points”

      Were you watching the same race where the drivers where constantly on the bare edge of control?

      These 2014 animals are an entirely different breed to the dialed in stuck to the track animals of yesteryear.

    2. Dr T says:

      A number of JA’s readers went to the simulator at one of the teams last year (? Red Bull or Merc?) – and discovered how difficult it is to drive these pieces of machinery. I think there is a huge amount of driver skill to run so close to the wall so often, break at the last possible second, put the right amount of throttle input in so as not to spin the car exiting a corner.

    3. aveli says:

      in that case you should run rings around them.

  74. Richard says:

    Very difficult to chose from Magnussen and Bottas. Bottas drove a great race back into P6, but that touch with the wall could’ve easily cost him the race. So I’ll go with Magnussen.

  75. Sonny says:

    Cannot be DR since he was using more fuel than allowed to get his position. Cannot be Bottas because he threw it into the wall. Cannot be Rosberg since it was mostly car. Really all the drivers were o.k. given the artificial rules. There was no real race to judge racing skill. Maybe who was the master of the economy run might be the real question.

    1. Yago says:

      “There was no real race to judge racing skill”.

      Yes there was. There is always the teammate comparison, which people tend to forget, and which is one of the strongest signatures of the performance of a driver.

  76. Alex Butters says:

    For the same reason I went for “other” – Alonso and Hulkenburg had quiet races but thrashed their teammates…

    Have to admit all of the above drivers were extremely impressive though – I am a fan of many of the drivers in F1 at the moment, it is such a shame that too many talented drivers will never get their chance to shine in a good car during the prime of their career!

    1. Elie says:

      How do you know team mates didnt have big issues with the car. This ended the pole sitters race and 4 time WC..good effort no doubt by Hulk & Fernando. But starting 5th getting favourable SC call for the pit stop over Kimi who lost 2 places as a result of the double stack.

      I think people forget apart from Bottas , Kimi was the only other guy that passed cars on track but in a dog, difficult Ferrari that had many issues. But for his pit stop hold up he would be right behind Fernando in 6th after starting 11th.

      1. Alex Butters says:

        Yes fair enough…

        I guess the pleasing thing is how many drivers did a good job – was very tough to choose a driver of the day!

  77. danny almonte says:

    Rosberg had an easy time of it. It would have been a Mercedes one two if Hamilton didn’t break down. Bottas gave a massive effort and battled back to salvage his race. My driver of the day is Magnussen. He showed his class from start to finish. The trundling Button was saved by a safety car at the right time and place. He put in his typical journeyman performance.

  78. Tealeaf says:

    I agree about Alonso over Magnusson but to say Button is average is stupid.

  79. Anil Parmar says:

    Magnussen was hugely impressive and his stints were very consistent too.

    Alonso did a great damage limitation job too.

  80. J Hancock says:

    1. Magnussen, more or less the perfect F1 debut, good quali, great race. The only black mark being spinnig up off the line, he was lucky not to end up embedded in Rosberg or Alonso’s car.
    .
    2. Button, smart drive, 10th to 3rd without any drama. Should have qualified higher but slowed down too much for Raikkonen’s accident.
    .
    3. Bottas, would be number 1 had he not hit the wall. Ace overtaking and showed that Williams’ testing times were certainly not ‘gloy laps,’ but an unforced error nearly made it all for nothing. Very lucky his broken wheel left enough debris on the track for a safety car, without it he would have been nowhere.

  81. Thread the Needle says:

    100% Magnussen, this kid can drive

  82. Guybrush says:

    Looking at the whole weekend it’s hard not to go with Ricciardo considering the Red Bull is about the 4th fastest car out there – it was 15+ km/h slower on the straights!

  83. Gina Vines says:

    Magnussen: drive of the saturday. Sunday drove it home with minimum fuss other than swerve off line. Passed HAM’s low-on-power car by default and couldn’t pass RIC so racecraft remains untested but race pace is up there with JBs. If not drive of the day, definitely attitude of the day. 9/10

    Button: 14th going into first corner after a block by Kvyat so ending 3rd was impressive, although the passes were either others dropping off or moves done in the pitlane. Still, 9/10

    Kvyat: solid drive, fully deserving of seat. Verne had the edge this weekend though (and don’t particularly rate Verne). 8/10

    Rosberg: Can’t be assessed fairly in terms of speed due to HAMs retirement, possibly inherited win based on saturday. Just had to keep it between the white lines due to car being streets ahead. Similar to some of JBs 2009 Brawn wins. 8/10

    Bottas: Entertaining drive but nowhere near driver of the day due to unforced error/puncture. A shoulda-coulda 2nd place became 6th. Like ROS can’t compare against teammate. 7/10

    Ricciardo. seemed to find the limits, put Vettel in the corner. May have been a 10 without the fuel flow irregularity which may have had a small effect on performance but unlikely to be significant so just about merits driver of the day. 9.5/10

    Special mention for Alonso’s 9/10 drive. Kept Bottas at bay, may have led to his puncture if pushing that bit too much to stay close. Finished just 8.5 secs off 2nd. Beat Hulkenberg’s for-now better car, and made Raikkonen look ordinary.

  84. Bob driver says:

    most unlucky driver of the day. Massa. Good car, fresh start ,all systems go and ready to put the car through its paces and then you get punted out on the first corner. Lucky there seems to have been a problem with the caterham as i would have seriously questioned why we had Kobayashi back
    Hope it works out next race.

  85. Elie says:

    Why are people even mentioning Button- he got beaten by a rookie in his first race !

    Why are people mentioning Alonso – he did nothing due to electrical problem !

    Can we please look at current performance as opposed to passed glory or fan boy dreams. Other words- snap out of it

    1. aveli says:

      button started from the back and caught up with magnussem. i think that’s significant.

  86. Matthew Cheshire says:

    Ricciardo, Magnussen, Kyvat. It confirms that learning new tricks is a young man’s game.

    It will be hilarious if Ricciardo turns out to be Vettel’s Vettel. The rookie using the new toys better than the “old” war horse.

    Bring on multi13!

  87. Mike says:

    Magnussen, but Bottas for wow factor.Are their any drivers that haven’t come of the track or made mistakes. I’m looking forward to see how he compares with Massa in the next race.Be nice to see Williams do well again.

  88. Racyboy says:

    The new boys were great, but I’m sure not having Hamilton or Vettel to race made a few drivers day a little easier.

  89. JohnBt says:

    Voted BOTTAS even with the mistake, as it felt he was really pushing. He almost got Alonso if not for the rear with a loud thud and boxed. From 15th to 6th then 15th to 6th again, not forgetting his 5 place grid penalty. According to Claire Williams Bottas made at least 20 overtaking moves, what a start to the season.

    Kevin was great too so was Ric. Nice for a change with the younger drivers and rookies doing well especially Kvyat.

    Alonso must be sick and tired of Ferrari’s poor pace, again he brought the car to where it should not be. Last year at the slacking horse? Kimi was really struggling.

    Vettel and Lewis, have to feel sorry for them.

    Overall the race was not too bad though, but cars did feel slow compared to the V8s especially the turns.

  90. aveli says:

    a great start to the season james, i voted for magnussen although i don’t accept that he jumped hamilton, hamilton had a problem and all the cars up front jumped him. bottas was also forced to hit the wall although he was the star of the day because he got more attention from the production team than any other driver because of the action he supplied them. ricciardo also got the locals into a frenzy while putting vettel into a twist. rosberg the race winner drove like vettel and hardly got any attention.

  91. aveli says:

    hi james, why do you commentators call ricciardo ricardo while he should be called richiado? his name is italian like gucci is pronounced guchi.

    1. James Allen says:

      I know,

      He has asked us to, that’s why. It’s wrong if you know Italian, as you are aware, but he’s Australian and he wants it to be pronounced Riccardo

      1. aveli says:

        oh I see, now I understand. thanks james.

    2. Random 79 says:

      Take your name for example: Is it avel-ee or avel-eye?

      Some might say one, some might say the other, but it’s your name so it’s what you say that matters, even if others think you’re wrong.

      1. Matthew Cheshire says:

        Too true. DR is one of the best drivers on the planet. We would call him Susan if he wanted us to.

      2. kenneth chapman says:

        i like that response…..cool thought

      3. aveli says:

        oh thank you!

  92. quattro says:

    Close call, Kevin Magnussen or Bottas?

    Kevin Magnussen, gets if from me due to the fact he is a rookie, who managed flawlessly (1) getting a really good grid spot in difficult qualy conditions, (2) converting that into a really good race finish AND (3) having achieved both (1) and (2) using the high-torque-car of 2014. Impressive stuff and not very far from ALO-class-achievement!

  93. Neil Jenney says:

    Thought about it for a couple of days and I honestly can’t pick one. All the above impressed me.

  94. Txema says:

    In my opinion, Hulkenberg deserves the Driver of the Day title because, comparing with teammates, he was the one that had a more outstanding performance. Force India is the worst team with mercedes engine and Hulk still had a notable qualifying and race.

    For me
    1- Hulk
    2- Alonso
    3- Riccardo

  95. Rayhan says:

    Magnussen for me, even if he is not as good later on this poll was asking for the most impressive driver of the race and that for me was Kmag

  96. BrawnGP says:

    K-Mag for me, the guys a freak from the get go his driving style just looked like a cross between Alonso and Hamilton. What a weapon, im so excited for Malaysia mainly to see if K-mag wipes the floor with button, i suspect button may be a bit nervous.

    Bottas also looked so confident with a great car i cant wait to see more of these guys as watching them will be more entertaining than the mercs coasting to wins every fortnight.

    That red bull driver academy aint too bad after all. They seem to produce fast drivers, thank you Dr Helmut Marko.

  97. George Adam says:

    i just saw the results for the voting until now and the 70% have choosen a driver that just walk around a park and only 30% has choosen a real racer….i dont mind if bottas made a mistake….that`s happen on great racers and for me bottas was the only driver that gives us something and maybe raikkonen in the end of the race….really, tell me what magnusen did?
    he start third and he finish third after a nice sunday walk in the park like all the other drives.

  98. Wombat says:

    Spoilt for choice. But it has to be Bottas a real racer

  99. zx6dude says:

    comment of the day must be Vettel’s: “come on guys this is ridiculous!”

    Bottas was great, amazing overtaking – proper racing even with the mistake

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