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British Grand Prix: Who was your driver of the day at Silverstone?
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British Grand Prix: Who was your driver of the day at Silverstone?
Posted By: James Allen  |  11 Jul 2011   |  8:10 pm GMT  |  168 comments

A very exciting race at Silverstone with some strong performances throughout the field and plenty of movement forwards and backwards among the placings.

So who did you think was the outstanding driver at Silverstone?


Fernando Alonso
Qualified third, just a tenth of a second shy of the Red Bulls who locked out the front row. Made a solid start and kept pace with Vettel and Webber up front. Lost a place to Hamilton but repassed the McLaren driver using the DRS on the Wellington Straight. Undercut Webber in the pit stops and then took the lead when Vettel had his problem in the pits. Fast in the dry, he drove away at the front and never looked back to finish 16 seconds ahead of the field. It was his first win of the season and 27th of his career.

Sebastian Vettel
Felt he could have gone quicker in qualifying had the rain not come in Q3 but made up for it with a lightening start in the race. Leapfrogged team-mate Webber into Turn one and then controlled the race up until the second round of stops. A delay fitting the left-rear wheel cost him dearly and he dropped behind Alonso and Hamilton. Passed Hamilton during the third round of stops but couldn’t catch Alonso. Nonetheless, he maintained his record of finishing in the top two at every race and extended his lead to 80 points in the drivers’ standings.


Lewis Hamilton
A nightmare qualifying session saw Hamilton qualify 10th for his home race. Made a strong start in the changeable conditions and was up to sixth after lap three. Rose as high as second, but was forced to back off in the final stint to save fuel. That allowed Webber to pass and Massa to close in. Went side by side with Massa into the final corner on the final lap and the duo touched, but Hamilton dug deep and held on to finish fourth.

Nico Rosberg
Started ninth, but dropped down the field after a poor start. Battled back up the field with a sleek strategy and managed to drive 22 laps on the soft tyre in the final stint. Held off Perez in the latter stages of the race to finish sixth – his fifth points finish in nine races this season.

Sergio Perez
Qualified 12th, four places behind Sauber team-mate Kobayashi but drove a strong race to hustle Mercedes’ Rosberg for sixth before ultimately finishing seventh. It was his first points finish since his heavy accident in Monte Carlo and his second score of the season.


Jaime Alguersuari
Toro Rosso went for an aggressive strategy and it worked. Alguersuari started 18th and judged the tricky conditions well in the early stages of the race. Got into the points from the lower third of the grid for the third race in a row by finishing 10th.


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1

To back up my point on Hamilton’s overtaking, he did not overtake anyone in the DRS zones but on the rest of the circuit. He was only OVERTAKEN in the DRS zones. That really says something about Lewis Hamilton.

2

I think this one is a clear battle between Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. The pace Alonso was setting at times in the race was outstanding and was at times 2 seconds quicker than Lewis Hamilton, although credit to Lewis he was saving fuel but was in the early stages of that phase.

Then Lewis drove a great race from 10th to 4th which could have easily been a podium had his McLaren team not dramatically under fueled his car, which I’m told was not a mistake and was in fact on purpose. His overtaking was once again brilliant, highlighting the move he pulled on Alonso into Copse in particular which really set the crowd going.

In conclusion then I think this one goes to Lewis. Once again a great drive overshadowed by another big mistake made by not him but the team. The same I must say goes for Jenson. I had a good view of Turn 1 and he was clearly going to jump Webber. Get it right McLaren.

Lewis, not enough Fuel. Jenson, not enough Wheels.

3

For me the best driver was Hamilton. Started 10th, ended 4th. Up to 6th on lap 1, 5th by lap 2 (James, typo there). And that was not just the effect from the missing one kilo of fuel. Hamilton in the mixed conditions was in a word awesome! It was plainly evident that here was a driver doing things the others either wouldn’t or couldn’t!

His pass on Alonso along the pit straight was amazing (only surpassed by Button’s pass on Massa) … those were the only “top-line” passes of the day not aided by DRS or a significant difference in tyre wear.

Had he enough fuel who knows what he could’ve done … I think first was out of the question, but 2nd or 3rd were possible.

Holding Vettel behind him for those 9-10 laps was again awesome. Shades of Senna (Lotus) v. Prost (McLaren) in Imola 1985. The RB7 was clearly faster, but LH did just enough to keep him behind until he shredded his tyres.

All in the 3rd fastest car.

Mac just have to get their car close, say to within two or three tenths off of the RB7 and F150, and LH will take care of the rest.

4

I’m one of the few who voted for Perez, and my justification is as follows:

1. Alonso drove a perfect race, but probable only got the win due to a duff pitstop for Vettel. His car would automatically have put him in the top 3.

2. Vettel did OK but the win that would have been his was lost due to the pitstop error.

3. Hamilton did well to get up to 4th but at the end was struggling to keep Massa behind him.

4. Rosberg – no idea why he even featured in the candidates for DOD!

5. Perez is in his first season in F1, driving a not so good car, yet managed to bring it home in a very creditable 7th place. A DNF for Button and a broken wing for Schumacer probably gifted him a couple of places but even 9th would have been a good achievement!

6. Another strong performance from Algesari in the Torro Rosso. Hard to imagine that not many years back this was the Minardi that used to bring up the rear.

And a general comment. I think most people vote for their favourite driver rather that the one who was Driver of the Day!

5

Schumacher was the driver of the day, won that title hands down.

Hmm, to be the driver of the day you have to do a specially good drive.

How on earth did you even get Rosberg in that list. Or Vettel for that matter, even if i like him it was not a special drive.

Makes it impossible to vote when the guys that made a really good drive is not even in the list.

6

Alonso’s pace was good and I agree with him when he says he had to a lot calmer in this race and wait for opportunities. He got passed by Hamilton and he didnt lose focus strong performance from him indeed. I would have liked to see him win the race without a mistake from RBR , he got lucky in some way.lewis drove well real shame hia team keeps letting him down.

Dont understand why Rosberg is on the list not Schumacher though I know that is the final result that counts but Schumacher’s performance desrves a mention. I would even put Heidfeld on the list as opposed to Rosberg

7

Although it was only one particular incident, I thought Button’s round-the-outside overtake on Massa was, along with Hamilton’s defensive move on Massa at the end, the supreme move of the race

8

has to be lewis.. attacked from the start and drove the hardest of all of them..

for those that are saying he turned into massa.. err maybe the fact that the back end of both their cars are stepping out… look closer before making incorrect comments.. even brundle mentions it in the commentry that they are both steering right in a left hand corener..

well done lewis… back on track

9

I cant quite believe the result. Even my cat was taken aback.

10

Alonso has been showing his class all season, as far as I am concerned – best driver on the grid at the moment, no doubt. He hasn’t had the fastest car at any point this season but he is just always there, always fighting. He thoroughly deserved that win.

11

Can’t look past Alonso for this one. It was a race that could easily have been lost to Vettel if not for a flawless performance and good pace throughout.

12
Dominic Beesley

Webber?!?!

13

Good to see Jamie doing well.

21 years old, mature, and a couple of seasons under his belt.

Alonso is formidable when he gets the chance.

14

Gotta be Alonso, He was prepared to play the waiting game and knew not to over-drive his car. He may have been lucky with the pit stops but he did pretty much make his own luck in this occasion

15

This time it was a hard decision.

I was balanced between Hamilton and Alonso for most of the race… till the last but one corner.

In the end, Alonso proved consistently faster than his opponents, built a gap (with the aid of Hamilton but mainly by setting one fast lap after another) and made a flawless race.

BTW, I don’t quite get the point in the comment about how Alonso used the DRS to re-pass Hamilton. Of course he did, same as Hamilton previously and Vettel later…

16

Ofcourse, I will give this one to Alonso but Vettel is slowly emerging as a mature driver who doesn’t let pressure get the better of him. At one time, he was third after a bottled stop and eventhough he tried hard to get past, he didn’t want that place at any cost by putting himself in jeopardy. Knowing Hamilton and seeing the way he handles such situations, a pat on the back must be given to Vettel for not getting carried away. Hamilton weaved thrice on the old pit straight and should have been sanctioned but instead of making a meal of it, Vettel went to the pits and got the Brit there. Now that’s clever!

Knowing that a win was possibly not attainable against Alonso in a roaring Ferrari which benefited hugely from the rule change, Vettel drove within himself and finished second despite Mark ignoring team orders (note that the team orders didn’t prevent the Aussie from launching onto the German). I don’t think you can expect an Aus 2009 or a Spa 2010 from Vettel anymore as he has grown up and grown up for good.

Finally, I wanna leave a note to those who think Mark is treated as a second driver. Mark got a better strategy despite trailing Vettel in the race and he benefited both times by undercutting Alonso. Secondly, Redbull didn’t prevent Mark from winning the German GP in 2009 when Button was cruising into the title with only Vettel having a long shot, an act which even garnered criticism from Eddie Jordan. If Mark is feeling insecure, part of his problem stems from his management team, headed by Flavio Briatore and the Aussie himself is a cry baby at times. He needs to come to terms that Vettel is the better driver and that he’s lucky to drive one of the best machinery ever made in F1.

17

James, off topic but could you do a piece on the current situation at McLaren.

Will any of Lewis/Jenson/Martin Whitmarsh still be there next year, what are the basic problems with the car this year and why are silly mistakes (like the wheel nut) creeping into what used to be one of the smartest pit crews around?

18

definitely Vettel needs recovery, but who doubts he will pull out himself from this ‘swamp’ and get on top of fame

19

I will consider this further when awake

20

Lewis Hamilton by a mile.

Schumi had a great race, I was happy to see.

Alonso did well, but he was lucky Hamilton drove so well in front of Vettel for one stint and only won due to Vettel having a problem in a tyre stop. He was also beautifully overtaken by Hamilton in what was technically the best move of the race. Lewis started 10th and yet there are still people who cannot see the obvious.

Hamilton again showed a complete mastery of tricky conditions, despite all the pressure that his rivals and their fans try to build up, he make them look like amateurs when it is slippery. 10th to 4th, it should have been a second place at least without the Team’s fuelling mistake, without their Q3 mistake he would have blitzed the lot of them.

It is not even close…

Perez did very well too.

21

Oh come on Alan, I agree that Hamilton had a good race, and definitely deserves credit for that, but to say that Alonso was ‘lucky’ for such and such reasons is a bit disingenuous. Alonso’s pace was absolutely scintillating, surely you can admit that? Even when Vettel was free from Hamilton after the stops, he couldn’t make an impression on Alonso, and was actually losing time.

Might I add, I’m not an Alonso/Ferrari fan (although I admire the man), but I was delighted to see him win….he thoroughly deserved it, and it’s great to have him back in the hunt proper.

To reiterate, great drive my Lewis also, that ending was fantastic driving and defending. A great GP.

22

He was lucky, but as you understand, the cars have differing speeds during the race, due to fuel loads, tyres, conditions/setup to name just a few factors. Of course he drove very well and genuinely had the faster car in late race trim and put it to good use.

What I would have liked to have seen was him [FA]pass Vettel on the track, he was unquestionably lucky RBR had the pitstop trouble, gifting him track position. We as F1 fans were unlucky not to see the fight that would have surely developed, very much like the “new tyres after the restart” scenario a few weeks ago.

You see, I like a fight more than I like any Driver, Team or Nation…

A great season of racing though, huge thanks to Pirelli for having the balls to take a massive commercial risk for our entertainment.

23

Alan, unfortunately we can’t have all the possible scenarios we want to compare two drivers… or the whole grid.

But we can compare them if they happen to be confronted with similar situations. This scenario was the task to overtake an allegedly “slower” driver in similar track conditions.

Alonso made it, Vettel didn’t.

24

for me it has to be Hamilton for a combination of great overtaking (watch and learn Seb) and controling his emotions when being messed around by his team. 10th to 4th not bad!

although I used to dislike Alonso for his petulance when he was at Mclaren (perhaps Lewis learnt it from him!!) I have to say I have grown to like him a lot and respect his huge skill and would have been tempted to give him driver of the day.

however I have to be consistent to my views that I do not think Vettel is as good as he is made out to be because it is a hell of a lot easier to look after your tyres and car and win when you are screaming out ahead of the field then when you are trying to keep someone off your backside whilst also trying to make up places. therefore i cannot give Alonso the Kudos for this either.

It would be interesting to know however how many fans of Fernando are happy to criticise Vettel’s talent because he only ever has to get out in front but have given Fernando Driver of the Day here…

25

I really hate when someone says sentences like this:

-…I used to dislike Alonso for his petulance when he was at Mclaren (perhaps Lewis learnt it from him!!)…-

Fernando is not the villain (and has never been)that some media tried to show he was in 2007. Every sentence he said was taken out of context to create a incredibly distorted image of the person he is, and I get really angry when I see that it worked perfectly. I must say it happened the same with Lewis Hamilton, but he is proving to be closer to the bad image that media created of him than Fernando.

26

he was petulant. for a double world champ to get so wound up and angry about a rookie. whether he was AS bad as made out is another argument entirely. my point was actually positive about Alonso in that my perception of him has completely changed from how I viewed him then to now – he is clearly the most all round talented driver out there and I feel that since he lets his racing do his talking he is also coming across as a much better individual.

27

Although he is not included – Michael Schumacher. He had such an eventful race, once again showed good tempo and made a dozen overtaking on track to finish in the points. I would love to see him in a car capable of winning.

28

Alonso by far. I watched most of the race with the live timing going and once he had clear air he just kept putting in purple laps (at times 1sec faster). While Hamilton did have a strong race people have to remember that during the first couple of stints he was carrying less Fuel than the other leading cars. Thus giving him a tenth or 2 advantage per lap. So him having to slow down at the end of the race probably balanced it out a bit (tho i reckon he might have made the bottom step of the podium).

29

We will see in Germany whether Ferrari has made genuine gains or whether it was Alonso’s genius that pulled this win out of the bag.

I expect a bit of both.

30

Easily Hamilton. Started tenth due to his hopeless team. Passed alonso,webber,and button when it was wet and was closing on vettel. Helped alonso to his big lead by holding up vettel after the first pit stops. Should have been on the podium if it wasn’t for his team underfueling him. How can a team with the resources of maclaren screw up like that?

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