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Korean Grand Prix: Who was your Driver of the Day?
Korean Grand Prix: Who was your Driver of the Day?
Posted By: James Allen  |  24 Oct 2010   |  3:00 pm GMT  |  210 comments

Today’s Korean Grand Prix featured some very strong performances by drivers who got a result and by those who didn’t make it to the finish

So who was your Driver of the Day?

Fernando Alonso
Close to Red Bulls in qualifying, did everything right and when the Red Bulls failed in the race he picked up the pieces. Had to recover from a slow pit stop to repass Hamilton and did so easily. Now firmly in charge of the title race.

Lewis Hamilton
Didn’t have the pace in qualifying or in the wet to challenge for the win, but second place puts him back in the title hunt. Made a mistake at the restart to lose second place to Alonso, struggled with front tyre issues on a very stiffly sprung McLaren

Felipe Massa
A second podium in four races for Massa, which should give him some confidence going to his home race in Brazil in two weeks. Struggled to match his team mate in qualifying but kept out of trouble in the race to finish 3rd

Michael Schumacher
Arguably his best performance of the season, alongside Spain, certainly his best since then. Strong all weekend, he took advantage of a smart set up change on the second grid and the Mercedes straight line speed to pass cars and claim fourth place.

Sebastian Vettel
Didn’t finish as his engine blew up, but he had been perfect up to that point. Squeezed that fraction more out of the car in qualifying and easily controlled Alonso on the wet tyres.

Tonio Liuzzi
After a woeful qualifying in 18th place, had a stunning race, keeping out of the way of the many collisions and spins, was up to 11th within two laps of the race start proper and moved ahead of team mate Sutil in the pit stops. Followed Kubica for the rest of the race to claim sixth place and 8 vital points for Force India.

All photos Darren Heath

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Alonso definitely at the top of his game, now.

Unlike last race, no complaints about Button not making it onto that list. Certainly a race to forget for him…


There is a very simple reason no one voted for Vettel, he is generally unliked in the UK where most of the posters on this site come from.

Also lights to flag winners generally dont get great reviews on these types of poles. The winners are typically people like Kubica who regurarly exceed the ability of their cars. I remember last year the likes of Hamilton & Raikkonen did well in the poles driving their awful cars into places they shouldnt have been.

British people like a plucky guy who overcomes the odds to.

I didnt vote because I didnt know who to vote for, ironically after all that I would possibly go for Vettel.

Alonso kept his car pointing straight and had some cracking pace at the end, I think he would have possibly beaten Seb anyway. But was he any better than Massa at the end of the day? Massa kept the car on the straight and narrow and if he started 3rd would probably won (team orders aside 😉

Hamilton & Webber made mistakes.

Liuzzi & Schumacher did good jobs, both were lucky to make up as many places as they did, but in those kind of conditions you make your own luck to a certain extent


I don’t think people truly appreciate how bad that Mclaren is and how well Lewis is driving it. I can’t wait till he gets a car worth of his ability.


I don’t see how Vettel didn’t win this. He drove faster than Alonso.


It has to be Alonso (again!), he alone drove a well-judged race following the maxim, if you want to finish first, first you have to finish!

But I’d like to give M Schumacher an encouragement award, he showed some of his old ‘brio’ (and that is saying something – I still can’t forgive or forget Adelaide’94).


Driver of the day needs to go to Alonso.

James, did Ferrari play cat and mouse with Red Bull during the race ?

Did Ferrari used a very rich fuel mix during the second part of the race to push Vettel.

All cars had a huge amount of fuel to burn due to the safety car start therefore it looked like Alonso pushed Vettel all the way and it might have caused the Renault engine to blow.

As far as I can remember, RB has always struggle when the car has been running not a full speed for a longish period, having always a little problem with cooling.

Moreover I noticed that Vettel was not pushing more than necessary during the first part of the race after establishing a gap of a couple of seconds, any more inside information James ?


Only luck allowed Alonso to win today. He never looked like passing either of the Redbulls.

I would hand the driver of the day to Vettel considering he managed to stay P1 for most of the race until his car let him down!


Hi Damian,

in my opinion the result is not due to luck.

Red Bull have had issues with cooling when they are not running at full speed, their car is always being marginal in the cooling department.

Moreover rain often doesn’t cool air down and rainy weather produce a heavier air, reducing its cooling capacity.

I believe that Ferrari was running a very rich mix after the SC after the second start and they tried to push Vettel all race.

As Alonso said, as soon as Webber crashed, Ferrari changed strategy and they went for Vettel instead of trying to take a second place home.

It is very interesting to see that when the cars restarted after SC, both time vettel was capable to gain nearly 1 full second just in sector 3 and then another 0.5 seconds in the following lap.

After that he was “cruising” and maintaining a 1.5-2 seconds advantage despite being able to open a much bigger gap if he wanted.

Am I reading too much into it ?

Any other ideas anyone ?


Liuzzi bexause he came through all th carnage from the back and drive a beutiful race. It is said many times the Force India has less downforce than the leading cars. He did great job to not make mistakes when many big names with more grip did.


Of course it was Alonso – extracted the best from the chaos, thus turning himself to a firm title contender. Back luck in the box, overtook Hamilton, because of his mistake, and didn’t make any errors till the end. Pushed Vettel enough to stress his engine, preserved the tires at the right time, and subsequently won the race.


It has to be Vettle I think, not to take anything away from Alonso tho but that win was a gift from Redbull engine department.

By the way did anyone actually realize that we had one of the weakest championship defense this season.

I think after this race, you can put Button into JV and Damon bracket, decent drivers who lucked into a far superior car.


I thought Vettel was faultless the whole weekend and really was stiff to miss out on any points at all.

James, is it possible to get a rundown of how many engines have been used by the top drivers and the penalty should they go over their alloted amount?



If he would be a better driver Rosberg wouldn’t have overtaken him and it would have been Hamilton who crashed into Webber.


All chances robbed by Renault. 25 points lost and needing a new engine so 10 places back next race? Don’t think that he was pushing the car too much, It was still wet and lower than normal speed.


I would vote for Rosberg, Even it was a very short race for him. I wonder how Rosberg would have performed if Webber wasn’t shocked this much at the crash to forget to brake to prevent rolling back to the pist. Mercedes was clever enough to change setup at red under no park fermet and i wonder how far he would have gone.


Drive of the day should go to liuzzi. Firstly for a force india car that has been uncompetitive for the majority of the season to nearly crack the top 5 is impressive. Secondly not being one of the top drivers to stay on the track, deal with the conditions and hold on for such a solid result while others such his teammate Sutil and Petrov couldnt stay on the track is a credit to the Italian.

Mark Webber for the WDC!!


James,off topic but has the joker engine change rule been scrapped or do the teams get a free engine change at the last race?


Alonso has beeen much better than the car he has been driving.

During the weekend his performance was awesome. Ferrari has been progressing but…in fact Alonso has been making all the difference.

A very fast driver, very inteligent, with an uncommon self-control, with great leadership.

Congratulations to him.


Hi James,

Question for you as this is sort of making the rounds. Do you think its possible that Ferrari would opt to have a new engine for Alonso in Brazil and take a 10 spot penalty, given that he now leads the championship?

Noting that Brazil is an engine heavy track and he would be reusing the Monza engine, and that overtaking is very possible in Brazil and he could likely gain a number of places back in the course of the race?


No, they will take the chance that everything will be fine, I believe. 10 places is too big a drop to volunteer for


Will Vettel cop a 10-place grid drop in Brazil for breaching the max engine limitation?


I think we saw the best of the best come through today. Schumacher seemed to come into his own. Alonso drove like a bat out of hell after Vettel fell by the wayside. Kobayashi even had a good showing. Plenty of great drives today. From all the action on the track, it makes me wonder if regulations giving the teams an overpowered car with extremely low grip is the answer to the processional racing. Something to think about.


“From all the action on the track, it makes me wonder if regulations giving the teams an overpowered car with extremely low grip is the answer to the processional racing. Something to think about.”

That´s a good point mm

2B considered by authorities reading this blog



I have a suggestion can you start a segment for each race for the ‘worst move of the race’. Was going to suggest worst driver of the day, but feel it may sensationalise something which intended to be lighted hearted and fun and only concentrates on an single instant of drivers switching their brain off.

My first two recommendations would be Adrian sutil at the end of the lap whilst defending against heidfelt and also the virgin moving into trulli.


How about Howler of the Day? Nice idea but there isn’t always a candidate..


True not always a candidate but feel I would stimulate some debate. Think it over.

I am mclaren fan but feel Hamilton would be a contender for a few races this year!


How crucial was the 7 points Massa gifted Alonso at the German grand prix now?

It will be deciding the title for sure.

I wonder what the future of team orders holds for f1.

I am surprised at Red Bulls stance not to favour Webber as he is clearly advantaged in winning the championship.

It raises some question as to what are Red Bulls priorities? A world title, or a world title with their favoured driver?


Call me a cynic, but I think Red Bull’s stance is a sign that they don’t trust either of their drivers to finish both of the remaining races.


There is always that point of view.


No team can make a public stance saying they will issue team orders, the rules still don’t allow team orders and the verdict that Ferrari breached them still stands.

Ferrari getting away with a wrist slap doesn’t mean other teams will, if Ferrari had used such flagrant team orders in the final race of the season to win the championship they would of probably been given an appropriate punishment.



Considering red bulls position now. Vettel can win the WDC (slim chance). But have a better chance with Webber.To make sure of a WDC they should be putting all they efforts into webber.would i be right in this? would you think this should be the way to go?


Of course, but would McLaren do that? Ferrari would for sure. Red Bull will not do it, as they said very clearly this weekend. Alonso will seek to exploit that,


Didn’t Mclaren say they’d leave it down to the drivers? You’d expect Button will do what is best for the team now he’s out of the running.

Will be interesting to see if Vettel helps Webber if he’s out of contention by the final race. Horner can say what he wants but ultimately it seems he can be usurped by Matecwisz.


Any idea what was the deal with Vettel at the end of the race? Did he really find it hard to see or was it because he noticed a problem with his engine? Lewis had more to gain with the race continuing so it’s hard to say his comments about the light were objective too. What’s your take James?


To answer your question I’ve done a post on Race Control


Thanks James! Extremely informative and incisive post.


Those who are saying Lewis had a mediocre race because Rosberg passed him, need to learn more about the sport. Mercedes made a change in both cars before the restart and they were better than mclaren in wet condition. The car has to do with driver perfomance if you guys didn’t know that.

[offtopic]Just like Singapore, mclaren seem to struggle to set up the car for race pace with their new updates. Seem to close the gap for qualify but struggle to keep it on sunday. Both drivers had trouble to look after the car behind the safety car, same thing happened to them in suzuka.

Andrewshould be working

It seems that yet again Maclaren missed a trick. If you noticed, Mercedes used the red flag down time to carry out mods to their cars which made them extremely competitive when the racegot underway properly. If they thought of it why didnt the rest, seems the story of this championship is about Whitmarsh’s pit team being out thought


Hardly – they nicked P2 by bringing Hamilton in as soon as Safety Car was deployed. They’ve done okay this year.


Vettel for me. Who else drove a fault free race? Alonso made a tiny error in the pits, Hamilton basically lucked into 3 positions and made errors, Schumi did well and Massa should have done better.

Shame Rosberg was taken out by a careless Aussie who turned his wheel back across the track and didn’t brake, otherwise I think Nico would have beaten Hamilton and Massa with some ease today.

Now where’s that person who told me Alonso wouldn’t win the WDC gone…..


Definitely the quickest driver in f1 for the past two seasons and, brilliant in the rain: Sebastian Vettel.

Fernando Alonso remains the best driver in F1.

Great to see a good result from Schumi.

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