Le Grand Retour
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French Grand Prix
Korean Grand Prix – who was your driver of the day?
Posted By: James Allen  |  16 Oct 2011   |  6:21 pm GMT  |  78 comments

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel racked up his 10th victory of the season with a dominant performance but there was plenty of action all the way down the field. So who was your Driver of the Day?

Sebastian Vettel

Didn’t trouble the top of the timesheets in a wet Friday practice and then saw Red Bull’s run of pole positions come to an end when he could only manage second. Made a clean start before passing pole-sitter Hamilton at the end of the back straight. From then on, the German controlled the race from the front, as he has so often done this year, and didn’t panic when the safety car bunched up the field. Secured his 10th win of the season and 20th of his career to continue where he left off last weekend. The victory also ensured Red Bull won the constructors’ championship for the second consecutive year.

Lewis Hamilton

Looked mighty in both wet and dry conditions as he first dominated Friday practice and then broke Red Bull’s hold on pole position with a brilliant lap. Made a good start but couldn’t hold off Vettel and dropped to second. From then on struggled with understeer throughout the race but battled valiantly to hold off the much faster Webber to secure his first podium since he won the German Grand Prix last July and fifth of the season.

Mark Webber

Once again out-performed by team-mate Vettel and started fourth. Made an When on the softs, the Australian managed to pull out a gap of five seconds over Button in fourth who was on the super softs. Reeled in Hamilton and enjoyed a titanic battle but ultimately finished third to contribute to the team’s constructors’ championship win.

Fernando Alonso

Started sixth, after getting out-qualified by team-mate Massa for the third time in five races, and made a decent getaway benefitting from a slow-starting Button. Was jumped by Schumacher at the stops but regained the place when the German was taken out by Petrov. Finally got passed Massa at the second round of stops and set an incredible pace in the final stint to chase down Button. Ran out of laps to pass him and finished fifth. Now 10 points behind second-placed Button in the championship table.

Jaime Alguerusari

Unlucky to just miss out on Q3 but started P11 to give him a free choice of tyre compound to start the race. Made a solid start and made the most of a recent set of upgrades to run as high as third at one point. Some great pit-work by the team and a creative strategy helped him run eighth in the closing stages. Some impressive straight-line speed and fresher tyres helped him pass Rosberg on the final lap to finish seventh and equal his best ever finish.

Sebastien Buemi

Beaten by team-mate Alguersuari in qualifying and started 13th, two places behind the Spaniard. Was hit at the start which saw him drop four places, but fought back with a great strategy and some super passing moves – including passing both Williams, Saubers and Force Indias – to finish ninth and help reduce the gap to Sauber to three points in the constructors’ championship.

Heikki Kovalainen

Started in 19th and passed several cars on the first lap. Showed good pace on both soft and super soft tyres to match the times of those racing in the midfield. Finished 14th, closing on Senna and ahead of both Saubers, to achieve arguably his and Lotus’ best result of the season in terms of performance.

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Hi James,

Lately there has been no poll at the end of the driver of the day articles but instead a link to twitter.

Can I respectively suggest that this is not a good thing. I am not a member of twitter nor do I particularly want to be. I would however like to see the results of the poll and get a picture of the views of other fans.

It is common nowadays for companies and organisations, blogs and forums to assume every internet user is a member of twitter and facebook. This is not the case and there will always be people who do not wish to sign up for certain services. I understand that twitter has its uses and indeed you may tweet additional information to fans through this medium but I think it short-sighted and inconsiderate to restrict aspects of your blog only to twitter users.

Personally I do not enjoy the format with too many tweets from a range of a people appearing on the page of the person you are “following”. I do not have the time or inclination for twitter. While I accept not being up to date with every little piece of information made available by you through twitter I do think it is a bad idea to restrict this particular part of a well received regular article to twitter users.

Kind Regards



NOt sure I understand – there’s always a poll at the end of Driver of the Day


Apologies if its an anomoly with my browser/computer but for the last several races I’ve seen no poll simply a link to tweet…..


I think it must be lewis,i am not his fan,but it is fair to say he did a brilliant drive against mark webber,if he didn’t do mistakes like what he did in spa and canada,he would have been in 2nd place by now,part from the race which was boring,lewis vs mark battle was the most interesting thing in the race,and i was laughing at alonso when he gave up,only reminds me that he is overrated,no historic races fro him and he haven’t overtaken kimi raikkonen(my hero)

i respect him,but i think he doesn’t deserve 2005 title

i hope buemi will make it to red bull in 2013 or 2014

sorry for my bad english,i am from Saudi Arabia

Peace 🙂


At the very top says: “Who was your driver of the day”. It seems by reading some posts, as if we are judging overtaking. This year is an easier matter than previous years, thanks to DRS. Really great drives by HAM (not touching anyone!!), ALO, ALG and probably DIR. Petrov is an absolute animal or something is wrong with the braking system on those fake Renaults (i.e. Senna @ Spa).


Webber of course, if his team had let him run an extra lap and not pitted with Hamilton he would have won the race. Instead it was Vettel that got the break courtesy of his team mate holding back Hamilton who had been hauling-in Vettel in the earlier part of the race. The demeanor of Webber at the post race interview told it all, he was back in the mix and he (and they) knew it.


Wanted to vote for Vettel but went for Jaime instead.

Even though Webber could not pass Hamilton, he did a fantastic job in keeping Button behind especially when he was on the soft tyre and Jenson was on the faster super soft.

Don’t think Alonso’s name should be on the list.

Steven Pritchard

I think Lewis was fortunate that overtakes were at a premium, the combination of KERS and the DRS zone seemed to make overtaking incredibly difficult.

The three guys behind him would have probably nailed him at any other track, but credit where it is due, there’s no such thing as a perfect race and Lewis did well to manage his tyres to 2nd place (not often I say that)


I voted for Lewis, Webber would be a close second.

Lewis has had a tough time of things in recent races but he’s been on fine form over the whole weekend. Yes, he slipped up in losing a place, but his defensive driving under huge pressure from Webber, whilst driving a car suffering from significant understeer was what earned him DotD for me, especially after the scrutiny he’s been under recently.

Vettel once again put in another superb drive, but it was fairly uneventful. That’s not a criticism of him; that’s just the way it often pans out if you’re in command of the race, particularly if you are one half of the season’s dominant car and driver combination. A fine effort, but he didn’t really have to work for it in the same way as Lewis did.

Webber also had a good day. The way he reeled in Hamilton was great stuff, and the battle for second fantastic.

Jenson really wasn’t on it as much as Lewis this weekend. He may have been in contention for a podium if he hadn’t had such an appalling start. He did well to claw back most of the places he lost, enough to keep with Lewis and Mark and stay in front of Fernando to get 4th, but otherwise a fairly ordinary drive.

By the way, take note Hamiltonites; I’m a JB fan, but my vote went to Lewis who did the better job today. No grumbling, no making excuses, no conspiracy theories. Just an objective view of a day’s racing. Today, Lewis was the better driver. I shan’t be throwing my toys out of the pram because he’s in the poll and Jenson isn’t.


For me its Vettel. He overtook Hamilton when he had to (first corner), and then controlled the whole race, even when the SC took away the lead he had build up just after the first pitstop round.

I find it also very interesting that he has won 10 GP’s this year, but never won the vote on this poll (I think best was 2nd in Spain this year, but most of the time he finished 3rd or beyond).

For Hamilton, I agree he drove well yesterday, but he did not win, and it was only thanks to his KERS/DRS that he could keep the position from Webber when he overtook Hamilton. He did certainly better then the previous races, but that does not make him driver of the day from my point of view.


RIP Dan , terrible loss

driver of the day ?

master class from hamilton , can’t imagine how he finished ahead of webbers much faster RBR


How on earth has Vettel only got half the votes of Hamilton? Hamilton probably had the faster package this weekend, was favourite with the bookmakers, out qualified Vettel but finished behind him.

In my view, stand out performances from Vettel (yet again), Alguersuari and Kovalainen.


Red Bull was clearly faster for race pace, even Webber looked faster than Hamilton. Vettel was in cruise mode.


No, it is clearly the inferior car, the RBR is fast everywhere, in all conditions.

Lewis’ racing against Webber was classic, the RBR was 0.5 faster, Webber got by, but Lewis summoned some amazing moves from nowhere any other driver is capable of going to do things all others find impossible.

Great driving by both LH and MW, amazing to watch as a fan, but do not try to muddy the water, Webber had a large advantage, but Lewis’ skill negated it, realise what you were watching.


Jaime Alguersuari without any doubt. Lewis Hamilton was forgivened for RB’s marketing. RB decided to stop Webber as much as they could (so in pits) to avoid any chance of conflict between the Aussie and the German. Can you imagine Mark faster than Vettel or even putting pressure on him? Not possible at all. The distance between Sebastian and Mark is extraordinary (RB saying) and should be at the same after the Champ. Hamilton was RB’s third driver yesterday.


Hello James, just wanted to update you that under teams standing section STR-Ferrari points are not updated to 37. They are still displayed as 29.


Heikki, definitely, Team Lotus starts to shine. Good.


Vettel for sure, continues driving like he has triple digit points deficit as opposed to a second championship under his belt. My heart practically stopped for the first two laps this morning. Great stuff!

Congrats to Hamilton for a long overdue podium and did so in a very clean but very agressive manner. Would be lying though if I said I wasnt sad about him repassing Webber with the DRS, just doesnt seem right to me. Webber made a gutsy on track move and was robbed simply because he made his move one turn too early. I imagine playing this over in his head he would have just gotten in Lewis’ diffuser and made the pass on the second straight, to give no chance for answer, but he didnt and it left me with a sour taste.

Also James, over here in the US the SPEED announcers made a pretty big deal about Hamilton’s current relationship with his team, highlighted by a radio comment where he seems to be telling his engineers to “dont talk to me while Im racing” they mentioned a number of comments that I personally didnt see to confirm but that suggest he may be a little bit on a bubble right now. Im eagerly awaiting your piece analyzing the Hamilton of 2011.


ALG for me.

Somewhat hard to understand how LH is leading the poll considering that (in my opinion) all he did was hold-up a heap of cars for a heap of laps whilst SV cruised away and then, when MW finally did pass, LH just out-KERS’d him down the straight again. Not my idea of a “drive of the day” but I am obviously in the minority !

Another excellent result from Ricciardo too.


I seriously wonder whether some of you people even bothered watching the race. Hamilton held up ONE driver, hardly a heap. Button admitted after the race that he couldn’t hold on to the back of Webber and Hamilton because of chronic understeer. This was also obvious from watching the race. How you can say he was holding up anybody other than Webber is beyond me.


Yep, fair point, my use of “heap” was incorrect. He did indeed only hold-up one driver.


I would give my vote to Lewis & Mark for the pure entertainment value alone. No paint missing, no tears, no regrets. Great stuff!


Jaime Alguersuari gets my vote. It surprises me Lewis is leading the poll. Really people? C’mon. I’m a Vettel fan and didn’t vote for him. Guess 90 percent of the votes for Lewis are from Lewis fans… be more open minded to other drivers, please. Jaime is the man of the race.


i know it’s off topic but, rip Dan Wheldon, a great british racer. Let’s hope this makes the indy series realise how dangerous oval circuits are and put a ban on them. Sad day for any racing fans.


This has nothing to do with this poll but BBC just confirmed Dan Wheldon has died whilst racing in the Las Vegas Indy 300

RIP Dan Wheldon


Heikki for me, great to see the Lotus hauling it’s way up the field!


Adrian Newey. RBR drivers should acknowledge that it is basically the car design that wins races. Any of the top drivers given the fastest car would win and some in better style than SV. SV is very lucky to be in such a great car. But F1 is a circus selling a show… media hype applies.


I agree on Adrian Newey that Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso or Button, any of the 4 would have won if they were in a Newey car. So my vote goes to either Algersuari or Kovaleinnen for outperforming their cars.


Agreed. The Bulls were unstoppable here and only the bad… Or strategically planned pit call for Webber prevented a RB one two. But if we believed everything in the media, then Vettel is the greatest driver who ever lived, hide your daughters cos he’ll also be the best son-in-law ever. I must be missing something..

Jaime did great, so my vote goes to a driver that performed well in a lousy car, rather than a driver that performed well in the best car.


So why isn’t Webber finishing 2nd in every race?


I do not beleive that MW has an equal car to SV… I think they develop SV’s car better and MW knows it and is demoralised by it. Now that SV has won, MW is getting a better shot but not by much. I repeat, F1 is a circus with a show to sell and a media to please. It is not some equality-based race looking for the truly best driver. JB and LH might have a lot more ability but SV is harvesting the trophies. Not what a sport would want…


Very poor excuse for not acknowledging Vettel’s 2011 season.


That’s really the defining question isn’t it – was SV’s drive more to do with the car or the driver? If you believe the former then you’ll appreciate LH’s drive more, the latter and you’ll vote for SV.

No one can say definitively, of course, but given McL’s understeer issues I’m more inclined to think the car was the difference – so LH’s drive, for me, was much more impressive.

Alternatively I’d vote LH and MW – coz it takes two to tango, after all.


Good list to chose from and I’m glad Hamilton appears to have stopped the bleeding. But while the others put on a good show, Vettel was the one who stamped his authority on the race from the middle of the first lap on.


Jaimie for me. STR/RB have quite a big decision to make for next year as neither Buemi or Jaimie have done anything that indicates one of them deserves to be dropped.

In an ideal world both get to stay on and Riccardio continues to impress in an improved HRT and they can chose who drives for Red Bull in 2013. I think all three have shown they would be a capable number two job at Red Bull.

Nice headache to have though.


Lewis for his successful defending of second position against a faster car driven by Mark Webber. Incidently just watched Senna on DVD and he was critised when interviewed by Jackie Stewart for having more collisions with other drivers than anyone else. – Sound familiar! It was then he made his famous quote about going for gaps. Prost shown in a bad light for instigating Senna’s disqualification from winning the championship.

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