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European Grand Prix – Who was your driver of the day?
European Grand Prix – Who was your driver of the day?
Posted By: James Allen  |  27 Jun 2010   |  8:00 pm GMT  |  89 comments

There were some strong performances in the European Grand Prix at Valencia, with drivers throughout the grid putting in some great runs.

So who was your driver of the day?

Sebastian Vettel
Was fastest in qualifying, made an assured start and fought off Hamilton in the first corners. Pulled out a gap quickly in the first stint and controlled the race from there.

Lewis Hamilton
Another race where he blended brilliance with controversy. Attacked Webber off the line and took second place, then had a go at Vettel, damaging his wing slightly in contact at Turn 2. Followed Vettel’s race strategy, pitting under the safety car, but by then he had already overtaken the safety car, which brought about his drive through penalty. Lucky that the penalty took so long coming he didn’t lose a place when he served it.

Jenson Button
Made up a place at the start, passing Mark Webber, his result was decided by being the first driver to pit when the safety car was deployed on lap 9. This got him ahead of Kubica and the two Ferraris, but behind Kobayashi in third place. Couldn’t pass the Japanese, but picked up the place at the end when he finally came in for tyres.

Rubens Barrichello
Gave Williams its best result of the season so far with fourth place. Started 9th, he was up to 7th at the start, passing Hulkenberg and Webber. Made the same quick call as Button, pitting immediately when the safety car was deployed. On days when your car offers you a chance to compete you must take it and Rubens showed he is still sharp.

Kamui Kobayashi
Many people have been asking what had become of the warrior Kobayashi, who lit up Interlagos and Abu Dhabi last season in the Toyota. Here he had another poor qualifying session, but starting on the hard tyre from 18th on the grid, he took advantage of the tyres’ durability to leap to third when the safety car came out, by not stopping. From there it was about what he would be able to do in the closing laps after a switch to softs. He passed Alonso and Buemi brilliantly.

Adrian Sutil
Started 13th, was 12th on the opening lap but passed cars and fought his way up to sixth at the flag.

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Kobayashi for sure, a racer, no doubt. So brilliant in this race I’m sure every team will have to revise their “security car” strategies.


Is it just me or is anyone else wondering why Schumacher didn’t stay out on his hard tyres like KOB when the safety car came out? He could have run the exact same strategy as KOB from that point & finished probably 6th, rather than 17th or wherever he ended up. I thought it was an APPALING decision by the Mercedes team to bring him in when they did.

Does anyone know if I am missing some reason why they did not do this?


Is it me is DC being ridiculous in saying that the slower cars should just let the faster cars through… that is just nonesense. If the faster cars are that much faster, then they shouldn’t have a problem overtaking the slower (as in the backmarkers) cars. Unless, wait for it, the driver does make a difference. DC is ridiculous even in retirement! That was all Webber’s fault. I don’t see any reason for Kovi to have just let him go.


Kamui Kobayashi was my driver of the day. Made an unusual strategy work, made no mistakes under pressure, set great lap times on very old tyres and, new tyres or otherwise, made two superb passes at a circuit at which drivers and commentators seemed preoccupied with the notion that overtaking is so difficult. He’s put a below par car in Q3 at three races this year. Stirling Moss said, pre season, that he “wouldn’t be suprprised if Kobayashi is World Champion one day”. He’s fantastic, a real racer. Well done Peter Sauber for taking him on.


Koboyashi was brilliant and Hamilton was quick again. Championship wise though, can’t help but notice that both Alonso and Button though not grabbing headlines seem to be points gathering machines. Should make for a cracker of a 2nd half of the season.


Have to agree that Kobayashi proved that he’s got the skill to race competitively. As someone else has already mentioned, out him a Mclaren and he’d be one of the top. Having said that I really do believe that the Sauber is up there with Force India in terms of performance.


No doubt for me – it’s Kobayashi. Very good move on Alonso, briliant!

Question to James – have you changed, a bit, your mind on Schumaher if you compare cases like: in China, with Schumaher when he was passed by Petrov like Kobayashi passed Alonso in Valensia?

Btw: no one says about Alonso who couldn’t protect his track position in a very few laps and where, in Valencia, with a very little chance on overtaking …


He’s certainly struggling at the moment


James, I think Nick is actually asking if you have changed your mind about Schumacher in light of the fact that it actually appears easy to overtake when the other driver is on harder or older tyres, like what happened in China when Petrov (new tyres) overtook Schumacher (old tyres). I believe Nick is asking if maybe you now believe you may have been a bit too critical of Schumacher?


No, personally I don’t believe you have been overly critical, more just pointed out the facts. Lets face it Schumacher DID have a terible race in China by his own admission Nick.


Have I?


Is he though James? In Canada he was flying before having to pit with his puncture, and in Valencia he and the team erred badly by pitting when the SC came out (he was ahead of Kobayashi at that point, so in theory everything that Sauber achieved, so too could Schumi) but he was badly screwed by the daft pit lane light rule. And the Mercedes has been a relative dog of late… so is he truly struggling?


It was interesting watching him on the BBC on-board feed. He’s working hard in that car, often making multiple steering corrections on the way in and out of corners. Reminiscent of Felipe Massa’s early days.


wow two thousand + votes for kobi! what a legend


“Jenson Button

Made up a place at the start, passing Mark Webber, his result was decided by being the first driver to pit when the safety car was deployed on lap 9″

This isn’t true. According to Kubica he was the first driver who entered the pits just one second after the SC was deployed followed shortly by Button and Barrichelo:

“After that, we got lucky when the Safety Car came out: I was already braking for the last corner when the message came on the steering wheel, so I decided to head straight to the pits. Unfortunately, though, we didn’t manage to take maximum advantage of the opportunity: I was the first car into the pits but the third car to leave. If everything had gone smoothly, we could have finished on the podium this afternoon, but unfortunately we didn’t manage to do so.” “

For Kubica disappointment his team wasn’t prepared because 10 seconds earlier they called for Petrov to box on this lap (quote from Alan Permane):

“We reacted very quickly to the Safety Car to stop Robert, but unfortunately we had already planned to stop Vitaly on that lap and the mechanics were waiting in the pit lane with his tires. So there was a dash into the garage to swap the tires over, which cost us some time and meant we lost a couple of places to Button and Barrichello.”

url: http://www.renaultf1.com/2010-European-Grand-Prix-Sunday.html?lang=en


Thanks for posting that, I didn’t realise that was what had happened to Kubica.


… I also thought Rubens had a good drive also. Stayed out of trouble and significantly out-performed Hulkenberg – before his team-mate’s car troubles.


Driver of the day goes to Kobayashi.

Pilot of the day goes to Mark Webber – maybe he should have a go at the Red Bull Air Race after he retires from F1?


Cowboyashi, hands down no competition!


The drivers were all handicapped by the excessive aero of modern F1 cars… another fine failing of Charlie Whiting and his OWG group…

Therefore Kobi has to be driver of the day, as he is the only one that managed an overtake…

The rest were just part of the procession… only thing missing were trumpets and floats…


For me it has to be Kamui Kobayashi for his spirited drive and two lovely over-takes on fresh tyres.

Definitely Adrian Sutil would be my runner up in what looked to be a relatively off the pace Force India.

I have to say however I am absolutely shocked to see Lewis Hamiliton manage to gain almost 10% of the vote for driver of the day! I don’t want to criticise him too much for what in the heat of the moment was a simple error on his part but it completely compromised his race potential and should be considered a mark down on the days performance. Are Hamiliton fans so biased that they have to vote him driver of the day regardless of the facts?

Dont get me wrong, I have nothing against Lewis, in fact I thoroughly enjoy watching him race but I am a little bemused by his poll results.

Personally I am a fan of driving and appreciate any driver who puts in an admirable performance rather than choosing one a sticking by them. I think what makes F1 a great sport is that a fan can support any driver who are puts in a good performance. As an example I personally do not believe Felipe Massa is quite in the top tier of drivers (GB 08, Malaysia 09, China 10) but he is welcome to prove me wrong with some good drives, in fact I absolutely encourage it! I wonder if people who blindly support one particular driver regardless of what is actually occurring would not get more from their F1 watching if they supported the whole field rather than just Lewis or Fernando or whoever. (again nothing against either of these drivers, in fact quite the fan of both, though Nando could bite his tongue once in a while)


How could it not be Kobayashi?

In a vastly inferiro car, he kept Button, Buemi and Alonso at bay as well as overtaking the latter two.

I am not one for modifying the rules to create artificial overtaking (i.e. movable rear wing) and this shows that it is possible to overtake with a different tyre strategy and a comitted driver.

Sauber was clearly inspired when he signed Kamui to his team.

Thank you Kamui and Sauber for the entertaining end of the race.


Because if not for the safety car & the fact that KOB qualified so badly that he could choose his starting tyres, he would never have been there. No great drive, but a good drive & a very good roll of the dice strategy wise.

Honestly I’m wondering why Schumacher didn’t do the same, he was cruising around in front of KOB before he decided to pit & then get held in the pit lane??? If Schumacher had of not pitted then, he could have done the exact same thing KOB did for the rest of the race, it certainly would have landed him in about 6th rather than 17th.

Mercedes are HORRIBLE with their strategy this year, & now its really starting to cost them.


I thought Barrichello was driver of the day for me personally.


Barrichello got my vote.

Outstanding drive with a midfield car and a Cosworth powerplant.


I’m sorry but Kobayashi is hardly driver of the day. He benefitted from not pitting and holding up a TON of cars on a track that is KNOWN for NO overtaking. Then he pits near the end, gets fresh tires and of course, passes a few drivers. If he had come out of the pits behind Hamilton, trust me, he would have overtook him. If it was Vettel, well, Seb would have taken Kobi with him ;]

I loved him at the end of ’09 and he obviously has a bad, unreliable car this year… but he was clearly off the pace and didn’t deserve being 3rd leading a procession that we all affectionately call a “Trulli Train.” I’m sick of this. The Mercedes cars have done this several times this year. It denies us all proper racing as drivers can’t overtake and go their fastest and the front runners leave the rest of the field behind.

I’m not for the artificial rear wing rules coming next year and feel overtaking should be earned. But everyone needs to get together and do something about faster cars not being able to get by. That what is frustrates me the most about the current state of F1 racing (politics and stewarding aside). You see a driver flying in clean air 0.5sec-3 sec. faster than the guy in front, he catches him annndddd…. stays there. Obviously, aero needs to be done away with and possibly ground effects return. I doubt that will happen but I believe several drivers have commented that the brakes are too good and that with late braking points, it makes overtaking impossibly as seen on various tracks where its always a procession (Valencia anyone?). So maybe, use some lower tech brakes. I know that goes against the spirit of high-tech F1 but if it improved the show and lets drivers properly race and overtake… well, why not ?


Kobayashi, hands down. Valencia may not exactly encourage overtaking, but keeping the world champion behind you for 30+ laps without making a mistake and lapping pretty damn close to the other McLaren’s pace in the process isn’t easy. Especially given the fact that the Sauber isn’t a quick car. The soft tyres certainly made those overtakes possible, but he had to have the guts to attempt them and seventh place was fully deserved. Give him a better car and he could really surprise people.


Kobayashi is my man of the day.

I loved the moment before the podium ceremony where Button was saying that it was impossible to overtake on this track, about 5 mins after Kobayashi had done Alonso and Buemi on successive laps. I know it was mostly down to tyres, but you can overtake 🙂


Actually, thinking about this, weren’t the 2 cars Kobayashi pass using the same Ferrari engines as well?


I have no second thought to vote for Kobayashi. Given a better car, I think he can some driver’s nightmare !


Of the drivers listed, Vettel and Kobayashi are the only ones who didn’t break the rules and gain an advantage by doing so.


Vettel was fortunate that the safety car waited for him to pass before leaving the pits though!


I wonder why James didn’t put Rosberg on the list…


Because he raced a very average race perhaps?


Who made the most of his opportunities today? S’gotta be Hamilton surely? OK, he was lucky, but he also made a lot of his own luck. And to wind up Alonso so much has gotta be worth something

Maybe Vettel, got pole, held it, and covered his mistakes enough not to lose position. More Steady Eddie that DotD

Kobayashi, yes, nice to see him doing well, but being a roadblock on a no-overtake track + overtake with fresh options isn’t game changing.


Alonso was the fastest man on the track before the SC came out.

Terrible FIA decision making. Makes F1 a farce and defecates on the fans.

I’ve had enough. Fed up of the F1 being pants.


A similar situation occured in Singapore in 2008 with Nico Rosberg didn’t it?

I wonder why Fernando wasn’t so outraged on that day?

People that live in glass houses………


Definitely Kobayashi.

His defending against Button when the two back-markers tangled in front of him showed some great alertness in a high-pressure moment.

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