F1 Winter Break
Indian Grand Prix – who was your driver of the day?
Posted By: James Allen  |  30 Oct 2011   |  10:14 pm GMT  |  123 comments

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel became the first man to win a Formula 1 race in India when he scored his 11th victory of the season at the Buddh International Circuit but elsewhere in the field, there were a number of standout performances. So who was your driver of the day?

Sebastian Vettel

Arrived in India with the drivers’ title and constructors’ title for Red Bull already in the bag but refused to take his foot of the gas. Took his 13th pole of the season to keep him on course to break Nigel Mansell’s record of 14 in a single season. Made a clean getaway at the start and then comfortably controlled the race at the front to secure a lights-to-flag victory. It was his 11th win of the season and 21st of his career.

Jenson Button

Arrived in India looking to defend his second place in the drivers’ standings and showed good pace in practice. Qualified fourth after the stewards decided not to penalise him for a potential infringement. Made a good start, first passing Alonso for third place at Turn One and then Webber at the end of the long straight for second. Stayed within a few seconds of Vettel for most of the race but struggled to get close and ultimately finished second. It was his 10th podium of the season and extended the gap to Alonso in the championship. He’s also 38 points ahead of Hamilton now.

Fernando Alonso

Showed good pace in practice with Ferrari team-mate Massa topping the times in second free practice. Qualified fourth but was promoted to third following Hamilton’s three-place grid drop. Had a problem with the front wing when on the grid, but the team managed to fix it in time. Made a good start but got stuck on the outside in Turn 1 and lost a place to Button. Jumped Webber during the stops to run third – a position he would hold onto for the rest of the race.

Michael Schumacher

Demonstrated that the Mercedes was suited to the high-speed turns of the Buddh International Circuit with an encouraging performance in practice. But problems in qualifying, where he reported vibrations in the tyres, saw him miss out on Q3 and start 11th after various penalties had been applied. Saved his KERS until the long back straight which allowed him to make up three places. Managed his tyres well in middle stint, which helped him stay out longer and jump team-mate Rosberg during the 2nd stops. Finished fifth to close the gap to five points in the drivers’ standings. One of his best performances since the comeback.

Jaime Alguersuari

Produced one of his best qualifying performances of the season to qualify 10th alongside Toro Rosso team-mate Buemi. Like in Korea, showed good race pace and tyre management to outperform the Renaults and Saubers and ultimately finish eighth for his second consecutive points finish. As a result, Toro Rosso are now level on points with seventh place Sauber in the constructors’ championship. Force India are their next target.

Sergio Perez

On the back foot after getting a three-place grid penalty in Friday practice and therefore started 20th. Avoided the carnage at the first corner and than pitted after the first lap to get rid of the hard tyre. Showed good pace on the soft tyres, managing them well to finish 10th – his third points finish in four races.

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Schumi for me. Vettel made it look easy, which I know it never is, but 'easy' is a relative term. He monstered Mark today and has done all season, so my vote *should* go to him, but instead Schumacher gets my nod because he comfortably outperformed Rosberg, which some observers said he never would. Here's hoping the end of this season sets him up well for next year.


Schumi for me too.He is getting better and better,at this rate he will still be driving at 50!


Agree with Schumi being driver of the day. On the problems Massa and Hamilton are having, I think the explanation which best fits is that Massa has very little confidence in the team or his standing therein (his statements to the contrary have not been particularly convincing) and Hamilton is struggling to reconcile his talent and reputation with the dismal year he is having. Both seem to me to have their root in driver psychology issues rather than a grudge from either side - their 2008 battle was very good-natured and neither particularly strike me as the type for feuds. What is probably true is that these issues are being borne out in their comings-together on track, and in that respect it's as destructive as a feud. Time for a clear-the-air methinks.


Schumi was helped somewhat by the team's pit stop calls though, great drive none the less. I went for Vettel because he was utterly flawless and demolished MW.

Another terrifying performance from Hamilton for his fans (like me). The mistakes I can live with as part of his attraction for me is his relentless, hard driving uncompromising approach. Like Senna said 'the minute you see a gap and do not go for it you are no longer a racing driver'.

However, when he is just slow I start to worry - that is twice this year he has simply had no pace. I do hope all the people that have spent the last four years chipping away at Hamilton's psyche with sarcastic, caustic, jealous, petty and horrible comments are proud of themselves. We now have a very tentative Hamilton on our hands, a shell-shocked Hamilton who looks and sounds like a mere shadow of his previous self. He has started to make a habit of loosing places off the line and on the opening lap due to this tentativeness.

As for the collisions with Massa, I have thought for some time that half of these incidents were a result of having a broken Massa on the grid whose only driving motivation is to battle with Hamilton at all costs. By fixating on Hamilton, 'destroying his race' as Smedly suggested he is focusing his energies in the wrong place. Did anyone else note just how many mistakes Massa made on Sunday, nearly spinning, smashing the pushrods on the curbs and then that 'to hell with it' turn in that caused the collision..?

As for the collision, sometimes I just want the Stewards to stay out of it. There is no need to issue a penalty every time two cars come together but they just cannot resist being involved can they? No I do not think Massa should have had a penalty but neither should Lewis. However, I am glad that precedent has been set that it is not always the fault of the guy who is behind and trying to overtake!


Hamilton needs the season to end now. Then he needs to go away for the winter and start afresh next season. I fully expect he will and we will see a revived Lewis on the grid in Melbourne.


I do want to add that despite the fun we all have disagreeing with the stewards and ranting at their decisions (sometimes even justifiably so). The reputations of these driver stewards is flawless, what choice to do havwe but to trust that they see that which we do not and make the right decision?

However, sometimes the right decision is no decision at all - that's the thing they often get wrong for me.


For race day: Schumacher

Not for the whole weekend, but this was the old fox at his best.


Poll position, led every lap and fastest lap to boot. It might be starting to get a bit tedious but really how can it not be Vettel? Honourable mentions for Schumacher, and Alonso too. On pace that Ferrari just should never be anywhere near a Red Bull and yet he consistently finishes ahead of the #2 Red Bull.


Yes it was Vettel for me this time. But sometimes I and others do not select him because we desperately want to see him fight for the win in a car that is not (in race conditions, on all tyres and fuel loads) absolutely dominent in every fast corner on the track. As for Webber, well I respect him immensely as a person and a sportsman, if more were like him the whole politics side of F1 would be a great deal more paletable to those of us with morals. However, he is a journeyman driver and always has been. A solid, fast number two driver. That is why he is monstered by Vettel who sits in a class with Hamilton (Old Hamilton at least) and Alonso who almost always ends up outperforming the car. God I'd love to see Hamilton and Vettel in the same car gunning for pole position!


I'd think that by watching the season, you would know now that Red Bull's strength no longer lie in their absolute monstering of high speed corners with maximum downforce Mclaren has taken up that crown, and it shows on traditional RB6 temples of speed (Barcelona, Suzuka)


Right, but India was a new track that we knew nothing about prior to the Grand Prix. Catalunya is a known aerodynamics track. Hamilton's pace confirmed Mclaren's strength at that track.


Thatn absolutely was not the case in India.


Its a difficult one to call as it was such an unremarkable race. Row an Atkinson is my driver of the day for his mid-race gurning.


Deserves a +1 🙂

There was no driver of the day - noone really excelled on a circuit that produced so little actual racing.

Massa wins the wooden spoon award for breaking his suspension in a repeat of his qualifying incident. You'd think he'd learn!


Yes it was dull wasn't it? On paper the track looked really good as well, so I can't do my usual and scream and rant at Tilke. Was it just that this great wide track was dirty and so could not be used to its full potential?


I don't think it was down to the track really. Just that the front of the field got themselves sorted out roughly into race pace order on lap 1, so we only got a few place changes after that. We may see this more often as the teams understand the tyres better, so get the set-up right more consistently and make fewer mistakes with strategy.


+1. Hamilton's pace was particularly disappointing in light of this situation. With the penalty he was the most out of position, but sadly couldn't convert that into a charge to the podium.


I think it was just a case of the cars were pretty well in order of speed throughtout the race.

For a first race it was pretty good. Besides our reflections on a race are always impacted by who we suport. however for me the new tracks will never rival Spar. You cannot "manufacture" atmosphere.

I am more concerned by Lewis interview after the race. To me he seems to be slipping into depression. I feel he needs support right now. otherwise we will not see the exciting lewis of old next year.


Was never a fan of Schumi in the old days, but I am full of admiration for him now. What a legend.


What a Legend! 42 years of age, still looks the fittest on the grid, has the quickest reflexes as demonstrated by his explosive starts making up the most places in the F1 field.

Just needs to sort out his tyre issues in qualifying and Rosberg will be a shattered man.

Mercedes needs to go super aggressive, as i would love to see Schuey in a car that has the pace to compete with Red Bull and Vettel.

What a headline it could be, Legend vs Legend in the making!!!


No, schumacher flukes this performance for me. There was clear team orders at play, like in his entire first career. Just the schumi lovers cant see this...

Amusing really...


Team order conspiracies, haha i love them!

I suppose you suggest that team orders are at play when Vettel has absolutely out performed Webber by a staggering margin all year? I suppose Red Bull love it when their drivers finish 1st and 3rd/4th every race???

Schumi looked after his tyres better than Rosberg did, he did more laps in his first stint, which allowed him to stay longer on the softs, and hence pull out enough of a gap to come out ahead of Rosberg. His race pace over the last few races (probably since Spa) has been better than Rosberg. Please check your facts before jumping on conspiracy theories...


Well Johnny English is a comedy movie so what would you expect?

Agree, Schumi has been the faster Mercedes driver over a racing weekend in the second half of the season. As the car gets faster so will Schumi, Rosberg wont be that much faster. He is a one lap wonder. This was a magic race from Schumi and he would be in every headline if it was for the race win. Almost every lap of those he put in during the end of his second stint was just a few hundreds of a second from the fastet lap of the race. To save the tires to do that he did what he´s done many times before, he was dropping back every lap with a tenth here and there. Impressive with these tires.


Schumacher's second stint is quite incredible. I reckon that he's faster fuel-corrected at the end than the beginning. His engineer sounded very surprised at his pace to me - they hadn't seen this coming. It's odd, as on pure pace Rosberg was faster.

However, I'm for Sutil for driver of the day. The Force India was slower than the Sauber and the Renault. Di Resta was representative of the car's pace. Awesome job.


Really amusing is your comment here.

fluke? team order?

Did u hear the team radio in the race?! Guess you were busy sipping your drink and living in the past. Time to look beyond your antagonism against Schumacher and enjoy the old man driving a F1 Car.


Hi James, I don't think we need to put Vettel in the bracket anymore. It's been a while since he has been the driver of the day for so long.And I believe he will continue that.

It's simply undeniable, even for a Schumi fan like myself.

So from now on, the title should be "Who was the driver of the day outside of Vettel". And of course it has to be Michael.


Yeah you're right about that.we will defend this!


I have to give this one to Schumi. Dropped out of Q3, then to finish race in 5th is not too bad.


Never thought I would say this but what about Narain karthikeyan? Surely he deserves a mention.


Narain did okay considering he hasn't done a race in a while but the only reason he beat Daniel was due to Daniel having a rear rim issue which he lost about 16 secs in the 4 laps leading up to the unschedule stop, plus another 49s with the extra pit for wheel change. Daniel had Narain as well as the last remaining Virgin covered until he had his issue.

Narain did qualify well though and I do think he is faster than Chandhok.


yep narain +1


Agreed, and I will say Kovalainen too


I must say, I fully agree.

Qualified marginally off the pace of Ricciardo and beat him in the race despite sustaining damage!

Bravo, I do say!


Spot on mate, he did pretty well although his teammate had to make an unscheduled pit stop but nonetheless the guy did well under pressure and after being on the bench from some time now.



Seriously though, it's got to be Vettel. He was peerless today. He made some noise about losing time at the pitstops but really after about lap 10 he was controlling his pace and no one was going to get anywhere near him.

There are some great drivers in the current field, Lewis, Alobso, Schumi, but Vettel is smoking them. True it's a great car but still...


Kovalainen was pretty impressive today.


Schumacher. Fantastic start (again!!!)and brilliant race craft. Second half of the season he's been mega. If he had a better car, he'd be finishing on the podium regularly, no two ways about it.


Schumacher. Intelligent drive, experience shinning through, and good pace.


There were times last season it was sad watching Schumacher and I wished he had stayed in retirement but from Canada onwards this year he has been outstanding.

If given the right car he could possibly win a race next year which would surely be one of the most popular wins in F1 history.

To be doing what he is doing at that age is incredible.


Not sure who to suggest, but can I make a plea for avoiding casual use of the word 'carnage' while memories of Las Vegas are still so raw?


Have to agree with most here, Schumacher definitely takes it. As has been said above, it was the old fox at his best. I can't help but admire how it's all coming together for him. The guy is 42, and he's re-finding some awesome form, and it only looks like it will get better.....hope they give him a good car for next year.


On this occassion, perhaps more than any other, there really was only one driver of the day, herr Vettel. Mr Button was easily best of the rest.


Karthikeyan is a decent bet actually. All in the list had very good races; I came close to voting Vettel because his race (and qualifying to think of that) was as close to perfection as it is ostensibly possible to attain.

In the end however I decided to go for Sergio Perez, whose performance really caught my eye during the race after a difficult weekend for a Sauber team under threat of going down to 8th in the constructors, having once looked good for 6th.


Karthikeyan is a contender for me as well. Way beyond my expectations. Unlucky not to beat the Virgin.


Jensen gets no mention? Pushing seb all the way in a car that was clearly inferior with a genuine overtake on M.W. on first lap


Well it definately wasn't the stewards, that's for sure! Penalizing Massa and not Hamilton, crazy! The passing attempt by Hami on Massa was a high risk move that Hami should have thought twice about especially considering their history. In racing here, (NZ and Auzi), the driver passing up the inside has to have reached the "A" pillar or equivilent before he can consider the corner his, and of course the other driver is then expected to leave room. In the Massa/Hami case Hami was not far enough forward. Sure, we could say Massa could have left room, but he doesn't do that, if he was known for moving out of everyone's way, then everyone would just rush up the inside all the time knowing Massa would chicken out! That's not the sort of reputation a racing driver wants. I consider both divers in this case contributed to the accident/contact. If I was apportioning blame between them, it would be something like 60:40% with most blame on Hami's shoulders, and if a penalty had to be applied, it should be applied to Hami. Or perhaps to both drivers, but certainly not to Massa only!!



It's a slightly one sided view. I'm sure Massa saw Hamilton beside him when they first entered the braking area as he was along side but turned in anyway a Hamilton clumsily tried to back out. I think they both have a little to learn, Hamilton needs to properly block pass and Massa needs to leave room otherwise he'll end up in that position every time. It's becoming very notable that Massa has too many accidents when he is being passed compared to other drivers that leave room and take the chance to get back past at the next turn. Alonso is a great role model for Massa and the same can be said of Button for Hamilton.

Unfortunately it comes down to being a racing incident where 2 drivers are under pressure within their team. Massa to keep his drive and Hamilton to match Button. I would say it's 50/50 but if I had to call it, then it would have to be Massa as Hamilton did try to drop back but Massa just turned in and that would only lead to one thing and it did.

And back to the story, I'm no Schumacher fan but that was a great drive


schumacher for sure. once again demonstrated his race pace is better then rosbergs. what a strong 2nd half to the season hes having. please mercedes......give him a car for 2012 that can compete at the top.... what a season we would have!!


Got to give it to Shumi. 42 years of age and is beating a very talented future world champ in Rosberg. I just hope they can give them a good car that will allow him to show he can STILL win races and be a champ again.


All of these guys are worthy of drive of the day: Vettel, as I've said, before, is having a season that makes me think of Jim Clark. He's completely in command of an excellent car, dominating from the front, even if others are close on pace.

Meanwhile, Schumi is doing his best Jack Brabham! MB is trending upward; as last year, they've gotten on top of the car as the season's gone on, and Michael has more or less shaken off the remaining rust. A good car next year will see him on the podim - regularly.

And a definite shout out for STR (yeah, I rooted for Minardi - Arrows, too). They're also trending in the right direction, with now-regular top-10 finishes. A&B have shown enough consistency that they should both be resigned, allowing the team to carry momentum into next season. Red Bull alignment notwithstanding, STR is having great results via its customer relationship with Ferrari. I'm sure that The Horse Whisperer is monitoring STR's drivers closely.


Must be Schumi for me.

Great start and good race pace.

I wish he gets on the podium as soon as possible. He deserves to taste the champagne.


Can't fault Vettel...Flawless again. JB still keeps delivering the points whilst providing some overtaking, but Schumi gets my vote. 42 and still driving with the same determination.


Vettel. Would of been Schumacher if he'd genuinely passed Rosberg.


Button I think got the most out of his car today, although Schumacher also did well. I'm afraid now the teams are getting to understand the strategies with these tyres the races are becoming processional again. The whole thing is just too constrained. Reduce aero dependancy, return to durable tyres, and possibly we would have exciting F1 worth watching again. The great drives of the past just simply could not happen today as things are.


Had to be Vettel, controlled it perfectly. Not much of a race though, can't wait for the other teams to catch up...


Michael Schumacher and Heikki Kovalainen are my drivers of the day. Rare? I don't think so.




Every lap lead

Fastest lap

Amazing what this kid is doing.


I would have beend really disappointed if he had finished the season without a Grand Cheleme. With this car he should have many of them at this time, nothing impressive to me. This guys still has to demostrate something more. Some race like the one Lewis did in Silverstone 2008. He has the car to do epic races oblitering the rest of the field... and just keeps his advantage on 5-6-7 seconds on the second driver. And I've started to think he can't do much more.


come on... how can you make such silly claims that noting about vettel impresses you.... he has grabbed poles on weekends when his car was not the fastest, he has made some great passes this year, he has put his teammate in the shade by a country mile....


I'm sorry, but you don't know what you are talking about. It's a lot easier to score a grand chelem when all cars have the opportunity to run low fuel and good tires. The formula is different now and it's harder to get a grand slam. Why else would Vitaly Petrov have a fastest lap this year?


You do know that the harder you work the tyres the quicker they ware out? The RB7 produces a lot more downforce than all the other cars which is why its so fast but you cant push to the max every lap without needing 4 or 5 stops a race. And I'd point out the Spain and Monaco were bloody good drives from Vettel, races that arguably he shouldnt have won, but did.


Silverstone 08??? Didn't Vettel demonstrate it same year in Monza !


No. He drove really well, but it was thanks to all the big guys having one or another problem at Q and the rain set up Toro Rosso chose for him that made the difference.


How could it be anyone other that Vettel!? He was perfect.

He may make it look easy but just ask Webber how easy it is to win in a Red Bull this year.


Mark problems start on Pirelli and end on the blown difusser, passing through all the mechanic issues he has had this year. I expect him to be at the level he was last year when the blown difuser disappears next year. and when you compare team mates, Fernando is the class of the field.


I'm getting sick of this 'Vettel can beat Mansell's record if he does ___________ to get x number'.

I'm not a fan of either Vettel nor Mansell, however facts are often ignored in this current record statistic nonsense.

In 1992, according to wikipedia there were 16 races, in 2011 there are 19 (Bahrain was the 20th).

Mansell was on pole 14 out of 16 times giving 87.5% of the poles to him.

For Vettel to do this he would need (0.875x19) 16.625, or beating 17.

I think it's stupid to say Vettel is most likely going to beat this record because Mansell had 16 GP's to to his best in. Vettel is getting 19.

Not to say vettel is having a bad season, but IMO Mansell had a much better season giving the number of races he was in.

All stataistics should be done by percentage not number. That's like saying Senna's 610ish career points is pathetic because Vettel has already managed 755ish. No it's not, VEttel has had 2 dominant seasons with wins giving 25 points.

Racing laps led also, should be percentage


And they only had 10 races a year in the 50's and 60's, but I dont see anyone else complaining that we're not taking that into acount for the number of wins, poles, fastest laps etc of Clark, Fangio, Stewart, Moss and the rest.

And Mansells 92 Williams was as much as 2 seconds per lap faster than everything else and his team mate was a well past it Petrese. There are lies, damn lies and then there are statistics.


I know. Infact if you look at laps led, you would notice that Vettel has led more than 700 whihc is a record aswell as on percentage beats the previous holder, Mansell.


I think it is Ascari who holds the greatest percentage from the early 50's when he led more than 70% which is more than what Vettel is on now.

But hat doesn't make great TV.. no one wants to know a cat jumped ot of a tree, they want to see a car crash and a burning building on the news.

Similarly, say Vettel is the youngest greatest and smashing all records is far more interesting that, he hasa top 3 number of laps led percentage wise, being beaten by a guy from the 50's who everyone forgets won anything, and he is only doing it younger because F1 is becoming younger over all etc...


Totally agree, needs pointing out to the BBC team as they keep banging on about it.


Well said and agree with measuring the statics correctly and fairly


Tooooo easy. Vettel.

Grand Slam weekend. Untouchable.

Honourable mention: JB. Gained places at the start and never looked threatened for 2nd place.

Biggest disappointment of the day.... Webber. The car is obviously a jet but he gets his butt kicked, week in and week out.


I find it a no-brainer this time. Not that the others mentioned didn't perform well, of course.

But SebVet got the whole hat-trick. Fastest lap, led every lap, Pole Position.

I like the track in India but this was a boring race simply because SebVet in the RB is too much of a good combination.


What a boring race

The F1 drivers should be renamed tire managers rather than racers. Attacking agressive racers like Hamilton and Webber get punished because their tyres go off after 5 laps for doing what they should be do race and attack and the tyre managers like Vettle and Button get the accolades for doing smooth lap after smooth lap.

I hope Pirelli make longer lasting adjustments to the compounds for next year otherwise I fear we are going to have another Vettle Buttom smooth lapping bore feast.


I can't believe that Schumi's popularity is on the rise. No doubt I've voted Schumacher as DOTD since I'm a big fan.


James, very sorry this is off topic but will F1 still be live on One HD in 2012?


can't speak for monaco as that is locally produced , but bernies boys will continue to produce a HD feed .......what the TV companies around the world do with it is their decision


Don't know. No-one's said it isn't but I've not asked


Yes, I read somewhere that it is staying. It is still bringing money in to Network 10, if it wasn't going to last they would have killed it off along with everything else when they changed One form sport to a sister to Ten.

MotoGP and F1 remain with quali and race coverage.

Who's commentary we don't know.

BBC is unlikely as they are doing half the races and I can't see having different commentators every race being good.

I think maybe going to Sky British commentary with Brundle (rumoured) to be likely, if not then some yanks on epsnpnpnpn or speeeed which would be horrible.


Schumacher for the win.

Hope the Mercedes is a bull fighter next year.


Narain all the way ... out of the car for a quite few races nd still gets a better position than Daniel who is probably tipped to be the next big thing from Down Under ... 🙂


Bravo Schumi! I vote for him, although SV deserves it more than obvious.

Steven Pritchard

Vettel for me. A perfect race, lead from the front again. But please Red Bull, supply a less than perfect car next year so we can see him race, lets prove hs is the real deal!


Kovaleinan for me. He consistently kept in with the mid field and beat some respectable players. He smashed Truli.

Why does Barricello bother any more?


yer schumacher as well. he has become more of an alian prost now. given a good car he will be a contender. rosbert, pppffftt, is fast but has no fire, no passion/.


Difficult to find anything special in such a boring race.

Vettel didn't put a foot wrong but that doesn't make him driver of the day.

Button gave us some exitement on the first lap but didn't deliver the race with Vettel that initially looked possible.

Alonso & Webber almost raced each other but apart from remaining in each others company for most of the race they never really did much.

Schumacer finished well from his poor qualifying position.

The start has to be Algesari delivering such a good result in the Torro Rosso (was that really the Minardi a few years back?).


Was Torro Ross really a Minardi a few years back?

Was Red Bull Racing really a Jaguar or Stewart Racing a few years back?


Schumacher. Plus a mention for Kovalainen, great drive to finish 14th.


James, I heard something that was very new to me and sounded interesting when it was mentioned in commentary about 'sound engineering' i.e. listening to replays of cars laps to determine everything from precise speed to gearing ratios etc. Could you maybe do an article on this or is it as simple as it sounds?

Keep up the excellent work.

Oh, and Vettel for my vote. Clearly he is in a class of his own this season, and just because he makes it look so easy, you cannot ignore how flawlessly he is driving.


This will be a first, but I cannot see any other driver than Vettel being the driver of the day. He was faultless. I just wish he wasn't such a over jubilant winner. If he were to stop that and be a bit more gracious in celebrating his victories, I would be a fan.


Button was sublime and Schumacher was excellent. Somehow a wide track and exciting Pirellis produced very little racing, was it just the dust ?

Vettel again did very well in a car that is over half a second faster than the opposition, again flattered by a teammate who cannot extract the maximum from the car on any consistent basis. Very hard to judge him, he keeps on scoring in open goals.


I am not a fan of Vettel and I don't hate him. But I have come to realized that he can't just win. If he wins comfortably, it's because of the car, if he doesn't, it's because he sux.


Hi James, I don’t think we need to put Vettel in the bracket anymore. It’s been a while since he has been the driver of the day for so long.And I believe he will continue that.

It’s simply undeniable, even for a Schumi fan like myself.

So from now on, the title should be “Who was the driver of the day outside of Vettel”. And of course it has to be Michael.


I'd nominate Karthikeyan to the list. Jumping back in the car on a new circuit he matched his teammate in quali and beat him in the race. Couldn't have done any better.

Probably the last time we'll see him in F1 as well.


I initially welcomed the Pirelli's relative fragility. But it's completely negated by the limtations imposed on the number of tyres per weekend. If these 'token' environmental/cost limits are here to stay (who do they think they are kidding?) then the tyres do need to be more durable - Likewise, if you are going to encourage short-stint tyres for strategic variation - then you need to take the limits of the number of sets the teams get.

Surely this is the most basic of common sense!?

F1 should never be in a position where ultimately faster drivers lose out to slower drivers.

I like a bit of strategy as much as the best man, F1 is not drag racing afterall - but in the same vein, neither is it test match cricket.


And one more thing - PLEASE PLEASE bring back some element of powertrain development to get us away from this godforesaken 100% reliability!!!

I long for the days when you saw the tell-tale wisps of blue smoke 3/4 of a lap before a massive blow-up. Oil all over the track, liberated pistons zinging into the air!

We need to return this sorely-missed 'chaos' factor.



I hate having engines all equal, however some are more equal than others.

The lack of diversity on the engine front does stick in ones craw. Then again the cost implications would be horrendous.

This subject has been covered before and is a can of worms.


I would rather see them devote their millions to engines instead of winglets though.


How true.

Just imagine a world with less wings, bit of ground effect and plenty of spondoolees to spend powertrain development.

Best have a ly down, too much for my system to cope with.


What a boring race. I was really excited for this season after the first few races, weather played its part, tyres mixed it up and there was plenty of racing overtakes for position among the top cars. Nowadays its back to the old ways under Bridgestone.

Anyone that thinks Vettel was the driver of the day, all I'm going to say is that just because he won, set the fastest lap time etc etc etc doesn't mean he is automatically the driver of the day. Anyone remember Barrichello? U know that guy that had the fastest car a couple years back and was winning races and fighting for the championship.. Where'd he go? Oh yeah he wound up in a slow car. Where is he now? Fighting for 15th position..

Thing is with F1 - its all down to the car - and with the raft of reguation changes recently and with this blown diffuser this year if your not in a red bull then u might as well not turn up.

I'm not saying Vettel isn't a good driver. He is a very good driver but I don't think he had the best race of everyone today - perhaps we should look towards Karthikeyan given the guy hasn't been in a F1 car for however long and beats the guy that has been there all season or Perez for moving from 20th to 10th or Alguersuari who has been quite consistent over the last few races, racing and beating closely matched competitors.


If we're going the by term driver, then Vettel is definitely that. For most of the season hes been a driver, not a racer. Even when hes caught up further back, he hasn't shown much brilliant racing like defending against a DRS zone car and overtaking. Few exceptions being Barcelona and Monza. I'm almost Jenson Button did more overtaking in Canada than Vettel has done the entire season.

Now if we're going by racers, Sergio Perez gets my vote with his great drive which sees him have potential to move on to greater team like Ferrari.


Voted for MSC but Perez is a bit special.


Apart from Vettel with his total consistency Schumie takes my vote in being "up there" at 42 years of age. I felt a little saddened for the F1 fans of India in that their inaugural race was little more of a procession with very little wheel to wheel racing. The yawn of McLaren's KERS vs RB's DRS straight line performance is never going to hold water. Even if MW did manage a pass on JB it is most likely going to be lost by being out dragged from the next corner. An injection of a wow factor apart from KERS and DRS is badly needed in F1. Vettel can produce that now when he needs to, most others are lagging.


Vettel, Button, Schumacher all had excellent races today and its hard to split them.

I think Pirelli went too conservative for this race as Super Soft and Soft or Medium would have given us a much better race.


Schumi better not start winning. Like Vettel he will no longer be liked by the fans. This is 4th or 5th time this season he's got this vote wrapped up.

But I guess Vettel is better off taking the hardware than the hearts of voting fans.


That's a no brainer - Vettel. All the others put in admirable performances, but they were just fighting for scraps under the table.


Alonso IMO. He was fast when he needed to.


Vettel for sure!

I heard Williams has re-signed Rubens.

Bye bye Kimi.


It makes me wonder if it was more a case of Raikkonen saying bye bye Williams. After an F1 career in a McLaren and Ferarri, he probably realizes the only thing left at Williams is the name.


You heard it from Frank?


Michael for certain... He never ceases to amaze us... There ought to be record for the oldest point-scoring-driver. I wonder who that would go to. But in this contemporary format of F1 and with this fast flowing direction changing track... A 42 year old doing this is a simply astonishing... He even looked visually fast.

Standing ovation to the greatest ever 🙂



A little history lesson may be required here. Look up a chap called Fangio, he was rather good in his day!!


Oh everybody knows him, he won 5 titles in a completely different era. Less competition, more danger can't compare.


Button for me, but just barely over Vettel. Button did what needed to be done early in the race and kept up with Vettel (assuming Vettel was pushing) throughout.

Button is gaining, and I for one am glad. We have 5 World Champion drivers all driving really well at the moment, this has been a fantastic season thus far.


Vettel did a fantastic job in qualifying. Unlike others, he set his best time on the first lap opposed to on the second lap like other drivers. According to Horner, Vettel was adamant he wanted it that way. Shows the quality and tyre management of a best driver. Lead the race from start to finish setting records. He set the fastest lap after turning down the engine and without KERS. Now how about that? Got to be him but since he is the best, I want to choose someone else.

Button should have qualified better but didn’t. Ok, he over took two cars but didn’t do anything impressive. There are other drivers who did more overtaking.

Alonso went for first corner glory and lost a place. Then overtook Weber on the pits. Nothing on the track. His name doesn’t deserve to be here.

Schumacher had problems during qualifying but saved the KERS at the start of the race, used it at the right places, preserved his tyres and finished higher. Definitely my driver of the day.


There's no right answer, but my feeling is that Vettel earned this DotD award. There's something interesting that Sebastian said during the post-race press conference...

" I enjoyed the time in the lead very much. I had a little bit of a fight with Jenson. It was always around four seconds and strangely he kept closing in around the pit-stops. I don’t know, I was pushing very hard into the box and out of the box but we seemed to lose a little bit there so we need to understand. "

This guy has just won a race, leading every lap from pole, yet he is still looking for more. He is still analyzing the car's and his own weaknesses, trying to eliminate any detail that could cost him victory. Many will say that this was a dominating win for Sebastian, but really, Vettel saw what I saw in the race while following the live timing... a vulnerability at the end of his stints where Jenson was clawing back the time right before and after the stops. This was not the walk in the park that it may have looked like. Sebastian had to work very hard against an incredible opponent who appeared to have even better tire management than his own on race day. I just can't see how Vettel wasn't what made the difference in keeping Button just tantalizingly out of reach the entire race, making no mistakes on a dusty, tricky circut. You may have seen a boring race, but I saw a great battle between two drivers at the top of their form.


Sebastian scored his first grand slam today, and for that he is the driver of the day. Other than Alonso and Schumacher, does any other driver on the grid have one?


No, only those three racers on the current grid heve achieved a so called Grand Chelem. Schumacher does have five, Alonso and Vettel one all. It's quite difficult to achieve a Grand Chelem, even multiple World Champions like Alain Prost, Graham Hill or Emerson Fittipaldi never achieved one.


Schumacher is mastering those Pirellis big time. Again, he pitted exactly at the time spot when the "old softs" equaled the "new hards" in performance, having kept his tyres alive for more than anybody among the frontrunners. Remarkable achievement for a 42yo.

Big credit to Perez and Alguersuari of course. Vettel is just enjoying his trouble-free time, this car looks a joy to drive, even from the outside, and he makes the most out of it.


He is in races at least


Yes, James, he is struggling at quali big time, don't you think? I wander why is that


Vettel is having a dream run, but Button was there all race but not close enough. To work the Red Bull strategy needs their driver (1) to be on pole (2) or/and get away in front of the pack (3) have a squabble for second place so that the leading R-B can get clean away and not be threatened by DRS/KERS from behind. Of course Vettel has been doing all that perfectly with his team mate is often doing the scrapping for second, as happened this time. The Red Bull flies as it is a real road car. However, if 2nd can keep in touch with Vettel from the start, that is where he is vulnerable as has been seen this season and he can get hauled-in by better KERS and speed. Webber illustrated the problem clearly in India - the car handled very well ('til the tyres went off) but didn't have the straight-line speed to match the McLarens and even the Ferraris. Perhaps R-B need to set up Webber's car as a speed car to give him a better chance with the pack?


No one got my vote because no one blew my mind. Apart from Button running Webber out of track, no one did anything inspiring.

Vettel is the ultimate driver in the ultimate car. He qualified perfectly and he started perfectly, just as he usually does. After 13 poles and 11 wins with no one to rival him, he deserves plenty of praise, but there was nothing remarkable about his day.

Jenson Button is the penultimate driver in the penultimate car. His problem is that he never qualifies as well as he races. That’s a better combination than the reverse (qualifying well but racing poorly, like Webber) and I’m happy that he’s conservatively cementing his place as #2 in the world championship, but I’m tired of lauding him for making up places he could’ve had if he reached down, put a little fire under that cool demeanor of his and qualified ahead of Alonso and Webber. That would have made his race with Vettel much more interesting.

As for Schmacher, his performance is surprising in the context of his comeback (which had a slow start) but not surprising in the context of his career. He is, simply put, doing about as well as one would expect of an aging former wold champion.

Finally, Alguersuari and Perez: I’m happy for them, but they didn’t rock my world either. There are a lot of eyes on Perez, but driver of the day for tenth? I don’t think so.

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