F1 Winter Break
Monaco Grand Prix – Who was your driver of the day?
Posted By: James Allen  |  28 May 2012   |  12:13 am GMT  |  167 comments

Mark Webber became the sixth winner in as many races when he triumphed in the Monaco Grand Prix on the streets of Monte Carlo. But there were strong performances from several drivers in a challenging race. So who was your driver of the day?

Mark Webber

Looked solid in practice but came alive in qualifying and only a small mistake on his final flying lap meant he missed out on pole with the second fastest time. However, Michael Schumacher’s penalty meant he started on pole for the second time in two years. Made a good getaway and kept Nico Rosberg behind him to lead into the first corner. From then on, he controlled the race and kept his cool when the rain started to fall during to secure his second Monaco GP win and eighth victory of his career.

Nico Rosberg

The Mercedes struggled with tyres on the streets of Monaco last year, but those problems appeared to be in the past as Schumacher secured pole and Nico Rosberg took third. That became second when Schumacher got demoted. Got a clean getaway but couldn’t find a way past Webber in to Turn One. From then on, the German kept the pressure on the Australian all race long. Tried the undercut, but Red Bull covered it off and though he got close as the rain fell, he had to settle for second.

Fernando Alonso

Finished fastest in first practice to underline the car’s improved pace and qualified a strong sixth, which turned into fifth after Schumacher’s penalty. Emerged unscathed from the carnage at the start to run fourth early on ahead of his Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa. Jumped Lewis Hamilton at the stops to rise up to third and then pushed Rosberg hard in the closing stages. Secured his second successive podium of the season and third overall to take the outright lead in the drivers’ championship.

Sebastian Vettel

Outpaced by team-mate Mark Webber early in the weekend and looked out of sorts in qualifying. Made it into Q3, but decided not to run and instead save a set of tyres. Started ninth, after Pastor Maldonado’s penalty and made a good start, avoiding the first corner carnage to run sixth early on. Running on the more durable soft tyre, unlike his main rivals, the German was able to run deep into the race, and even lead at one point. That helped him jump Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa to run fourth. Closed on Alonso but could not find a way past.

Felipe Massa

Looked more comfortable and confident with the car in practice and made it into Q3 for the first time this season, qualifying seventh. Made a good start, avoiding the carnage and even put pressure on his Ferrari team-mate Alonso. Showed strong pace throughout the race and was right with the leaders at the end, but couldn’t find a way past Lewis Hamilton and had to settle for sixth place, his best result of the season.

Paul di Resta

Struggled for performance and looked disappointed after qualifying 14th, three places behind his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg. Made a great start, avoiding the carnage at the start to run just outside of the top 10. Used an aggressive strategy, managed the tyres well and put the hammer down when running in clean air. That allowed him to leapfrog his team-mate and several others to rise into the top 10 and finish seventh, his fourth points finish of the season.

Heikki Kovalainen

Qualified 18th as the fastest of the new teams and made a good start, avoiding the first corner chaos to get ahead of Jenson Button and run 13th. Drove brilliantly to defend his position from the faster McLaren driver and was lucky to avoid damage when Button crashed into him in the Swimming Pool complex. Clashed with Sergio Perez, too, which damage his wing, but got back out of the pits to finish 13th and help Caterham move up to 10th in the constructors’ championship.

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Why not Lewis Hamilton as a choice for Driver of the Day?


I'm an LH fan. But, 3rd to 5th doesn't exactly make u the driver of the day.


Because he just whinged all afternoon.


Whinged all afternoon? I mean Mclaren has been horrible. It seems like something always goes wrong with this team. Hamilton was correct with his criticism. How much can a driver take before he blows his cool?


I knew someone would ask at some stage but not 1st post! lol!


Because he lost two places in the race from his grid slot and didn't do anything exceptional. We have to draw the line somewhere!


The fact that Hamilton lost 2 places from his grid position is nothing to do with his driving. Have a look at McLaren team work.(as reported in the press) Is it a co-incidence that things have not been the same since Ron Dennis relinquished contrail?


The wonderful ambiguity of the world's most expensive/hi-tech sport it is quite possible Hamilton did give the best performance today given the conditions he had to drive in, but no one can possible tell. Without collating all the data from all the teams it will remain a mystery. All loosing two places means is your qualify pace is better than your race pace, something which James has already identified the McLaren suffers from.

Personally I would give it to Alonso for saving his tires and having that extra pace at the end of the first stint to jump Hamilton.


As said, none of the front-runners had a brilliant race. It's possible to come to the conclusion that the Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes were faster than the McLaren (given the Red Bull was on pole, Schumacher was faster still, and Massa demonstrated the pace of the Ferrari - and Button getting knocked out in Q2), in which case Hamilton maximised the points available.

I would say Kov was DotD, simply because he had something to do, i.e. defend against a far faster car.


Surely in a race like this where nobody did anything exceptional then you can only compare a driver against the performance of their team mate.

Hamilton lost places in the race against Red Bull and Ferrari. These teams clearly showed excellent race pace as both team members performed extremely well. Contrast this with Mclaren where Jenson Button (a top driver) couldn't even pass a Caterham!

Hamiltons pit stop was also the slowest among the top teams, If Mclarens pitstop time was as competitive as Ferrari's then Vettel would not have passed Lewis.

I think Lewis drove as well (of not better) than any other driver when you account for the Mclaren car/team. I think you need to remember this 'driver of the day' not 'driver and team of the day'


Although Heikki had a brilliant race, Button was so much faster than him. It just showed how difficult it is to pass at Monaco.

Button clearly didn't want to risk a pass anywhere like Perez was doing into the first chicane.


Lol by the same logic KR should be included for Driver of the Day because, even though he went backwards in the race, at least he didn't stuff the start and crash out before the first corner like his team mate???

Anyone who didn't vote for HK must have rocks in their head. Button even had better tyres than him. And forcing Perez down the escape road at Turn 1 was hilarious.

Stuart Harrison

To be fair, no-one else did anything exceptional either! Vettel made up places by jumping the first corner (avoiding an incident) and running a counter-strategy, everyone else just turned into tyre management engineers for 78 laps. Was a very dull race - even the last few laps, which promised so much, delivered so little.

Kova gets my vote for dealing with Button & the adversities mentioned, although Massa would have been my second choice just for digging himself out of the hole and looking genuinely faster than Alonso at various points in the race.


Very tough, between Webber and Alonso, but I'll have to go with Mark just. It's about the immaculate drive, which was coupled with the importance of the win in terms of his own confidence against Vettel and also the race for the championship, at this stage. Alonso was once again up there, squeezing every bit of the Ferrari and knowing that this 3rd place with Vettel and Lewis behind was almost as good as a win. Vettel would have been the man of the day if the strategy had worked a bit better, since he only lost the big one for a few seconds, but meant more places than just the 1st one, since the grid was so packed.


Wow, it's early doors but Kovalainen has more votes than Alonso! In a race of attrition fighing it out with the nearest cars is alright, I guess, but Alonso was magnificent, hands down for me.

I thought Webber looked pretty nervy towards the end, but in those conditions I don't blame him. Either way, dullest race of the season yet. I know it's Monaco, but is it really a fit place to hold a motor race nowadays?


Definately Heikki, he is one fast bird.


Hamilton isn't listed, but I will point out that, even though the result wasn't ideal, he was probably the driver with the best comparative performance to his team-mate...


I'd normally accept that that's one of the criteria which could be used when considering the shortlist for DotD, but Monaco is a slightly different beast. JB had to deal with a stricken Grosjean and an airborne Kamui after an admittedly poor qualifying performance, but at Monaco it's not so easy to start to fight your way back through the field.

Hamilton started 3rd and finished two places further back. Almost until the end Button was also two places behind his starting position, so if you're comparing relative performance in the race that seems pretty comparable to me.


If comparison with teammates was the way to measure driver of the day, how hasnt Alonso won it always for the last 2 years?


i cant wait to read the responses to you bit of logic....


This years race was really dictated by qualifying performances as the race did not really differentiate. Webber stood out in qualifying, but you would have to argue, if Scumacher did not have the penalty, he would have won on the streets of Monaco so a surprise he is not mentioned here. His race performance was beyond his control.

Well done to Webber for maximizing what was possible and making Australia proud.


I don't understand how people can say Schumacher could of won if he didn't have the penalty. Say he remain in pole and lead the race, by lap 60/61 he started having problems. I'm sure whomever was behind would of passed him. Then he ended up retiring with fuel pressure problems on lap 63.

You have a car that makes it to the last lap of the race to win.


Yeah but don't forget he had a pretty big impact at the start of the race that could have attributed to his reliability issues. But that is beside the point, my point was that qualifying ( for this race) and starts probably factored more in determining driver of the day than anything else. Yes they were difficult circumstances and it was a challenging race, but race performance was limited by the same or similar strategies deployed and inability to overtake.


Schumacher, really? We have a saying in America woulda, coulda, shoulda.


Woulda, coulda,shoulda?

We in jolly old Blighty have a long way to go to catch up. We have only just begun to say 'Would of, Could of, Should of.

We used to say 'would have, could have, should have, but I'm impressed with the US method..... it sunds much more .....street.


In Australia we say "if my auntie had balls she would be my uncle"........


Hey I am no Shumacher fan... I just thought he was worth a mention in this poll is all.... Agreed he didn't deliver at the end of the day and Webber won so Webber undoubtedly deserves the Driver of the day tag in my mind. Yay!


I was also pretty surprised that when the Sky guys said someone was absolutely flying, often Schumacher had a comparable lap time, but he got never mentionened. When he had some clean air, he's been quite often the fastest guy out there. Alas after being locked behind Kimi, his chances have been ruined. Did you see that he leapfrogged three cars by staying out longer on the supersofts, putting in some very good 1:19 laps, when everyone else in front was struggling with tires doing 1:20 to 1:21 laps?


I agree - he did really well on old tyres and would quite possibly won the race without the grid penalty. Lets face it Webber one the race on Saturday with in qualifying and then backed it up with an excellent (if rare for him) start. Job done.


Weber certainly drove well and deserved to win. In fact the top 4 drivers all put in great drives. But driver of the day for me is Alonso.

Dropped back from Lewis and conserved his tyres in the 1st stint, and then came back at him at the pitstop window. Put in a great in lap to comfortably take third.


Hi James

I know this is slightly off topic but is it possible that they could re-introduce 'in race' refueling to allow the drivers to push more on the tyres? They could go a lot faster if they didn't have to carry so much fuel, and it might help to spice up the racing? Surely the tyre deg is enhanced by the extra weight?


The FIA do not want them faster! want them safer!

red light, stop signs, priority indicators, next year 30kmh for Monaco inpits, yellow lines with areas for passing, speed limiter at Ste Devote!


Why would it enhance the racing? Everyone used to wait for the pitstops, they still wait for the pitstops, and they will continue to do so regardless.


the main thought was that the drivers would just be able to push harder on the tyres with less weight. There are also a lot of other variables now in the racing such as drs and kers which were not available back then. They never banned fuelling because it made the racing boring, it was to save money.


Oh, please not!

Refuelling has had the worst effects in Grand Prix history. Did you forget that most changes in position had been accomplished by pitstop and refuelling timing? And that good, flawless pit work by every man in the team was worth a lot less than today? Back then the man on the fuel rig was the most important guy and no one could see the real difference when he was a tenth slower, because fuelling took way more time. Today it's everyone of 8 guys at the tires who needs to give his very best and it's very clear who made a good pit stop or a bad one, just by looking at the time it took.

Refuelling also had the nasty effect that cars had to handle a smaller weight difference. So there were no cars that were particular good when heavy and others when light, which always causes some people to fall back and others to catch up. Nowadays, a car that qualified well may be handicapped in the start, getting pressure from behind, eventually being overtaken, and it may just put up some pressure again in the end of the race, when it's light again. Usually that causes some overtaking opportunity and we've seen a good deal of overtakes on the track in this and last season, even when DRS was not involved.

Remember Monaco last year?

I don't want refuelling back. It was an experiment gone wrong.


you also had 'rock' bridgestone tyres, no kers and no drs, I don't enjoy cars going around 5-6 seconds per lap slower than they should. This is meant to be the pinnacle of motorsport, these guys are going around in second gear!


I second that!


Agreed. Refuelling was reintroduced in order to spice up the racing, but it had the opposite effect.


Fernando, as he has no place at the top of the points table, but is delivering above and beyond what his car is capable of, considering where his teammate currently stands.


How is he delivering above his car?. I really think the Ferrari car is as fast as any car out there, looking at timing per lap, I just think that Fernando is a bad qualifier... for ezample, the Mercedes is a slow car, yet Michael got pole position, another one, the Red Bull is not really faster than Ferrari, and yet Mark Webber is in front of Fernandos Ferrari and got a win.I believe the Ferrari cars are as fast as any other car out there, and Fernando is not a good qualifier. just my opinion, of course.


I agree , I am not entirely convinced the Ferrari's are as slow as we are being led to believe, I mean this is Ferrari we are talking about .

So I think it is debatable to say Fernando is outperforming the car , sure he is driving way way better than Massa , I am one of the people that believe his car has improved a lot since the beginning of the season and even then it was not as bad as people believed it to be . It's possible he has at most times had a reasonably good enough car to win races but not necesaarily a good car for qualifying and also at times the team were unable to get the most out of winning car but now they are getting to a stage where they are able to extract more from their car .


It's not just a question of looking at the car as it is today. You have to look at the car since March in Australia to now. In that period he's amassed enough points to lead the championship


That does not make much sense. Massa is a good qualifier and look at his qualifying form so far this season. Monaco is the first race he has made it toQ3.


Webbo owned this race.


I agree, Dufus - just about every car in the top 10 had their pace dictated by MW.

It was a very professional drive, conservative on his tyres and damn the consequences for the everyone else.

It was almost brutal.


Not really sure I had a driver of the day. Seemed like everyone's race could be described as either 'he was slower but defended his position well' or 'he was faster but couldn't get by"

But hey, we aren't talking about tires so it must have been a good race....right....


I don't think Mark deserves the Driver of the day vote. Because he was in the front and was gifted the pole from Schumacher. I know his past unfortunate events means he probably deserves this gift but that does not make him DOTD for me.

Alonso and especially Vettel fought hard at the heart of a fierce battle and achieved better than other drivers. To me, these 2 deserved the DOTD vote.


Couldn't agree more. I voted Vettel as my dotd.


I cant pick a "Driver of the Day" - they were all driving at about 75% of their capabilities, eeking out the tyres on the off-chance of rain or the safety car. They were lapping at between 4 and 7 seconds slower than in quali! Call that a race? I don't.


In terms of the racing - I stick to my previous statement, that I prefer a display of dominant excellence where 1 guy and car so comprehensively beats the other, leaving our jaws gaping. But in terms of the championship, in a reverse-logic sort of way, I find this season really interesting. You have anybody and their dog capable of winning races, and oftentimes when the car is the quickest package they will win just about easily (a la Maldonado, a la *almost* Perez). But look at the top of the table. It's still the usual suspects. But I'm not here to talk about that. (Yes I acknowledge I'm probably in a minority)

What has, oddly enough, in my view, distinguished the "average F1 driver" from the "good/great F1 drivers" this year has truly been what they make of the days when their car is off kilter. The fightbacks they stage, like Alonso's dogged fight in Monaco, and Vettel making his long first stint work marvelously, at times up to 1.5s quicker than his teammate on the same, albeit fresher, tyres. Like fighting through the pack the way Lewis did in Barcelona, and the way Vettel recovered from his drivethrough in Barcelona.


If it isn't a meritocracy any more, just a lottery, then why is Alonso leading the championship? Shouldn't it be Perez or Maldonado?

Alonso's raised his game to such a massive extent this year. I said to him after the race, for him to be leading the points with that car as bad as it was in the opening races is extraordinary.

He's been consistent. Prost won four world titles by being consistent.

The cream rises to the top


I agree, but with today's F1 and the current point system nobody wanted to take the risk of passing and losing a position or parking the car in the barriers. Now more than ever score is a must, much like what happend in 1983... and especially on circuits where the penalty of getting it wrong makes it too costly.

In a way reminds me a bit of Nascar, tyres are limiting factor and whomever takes the most out of them wins...


I'm starting to agree. I have never been a fan of Alonso (though respected him a lot) but I'm starting to agree with his own assessment - in each individual area of driving he is rarely the best but he's 9.5 on everything where every other driver has a weakness. He's just a machine when it comes to getting weekends put together this year.

The only thing that holds me back from declaring him the ultimate driver is that I recall in his first year at Ferrari he had quite a few hiccups (such as writing his car off in that years Monaco practice). Though his recovery drive displayed the sort of cool that allowed him to almost squeak the championship away from red bull who had a massively more dominant car.

It's bizarre as you mention that in some wats ferraris design troubles have left them more suitable for these tyres than the teams ahead on aero development! How lucky can one driver be? And if luck is half of a championship win, alonso seems to have it this year.


That is exactly what Alonso says year after year. " I just have to finish in the points every race and I can be champion"


Is the Ferrari still bad and also the redbull is not 2011 spec so all this praise for Alonso is comparing him to Massa, that Ferrari is not a bad race car at all on race pace its faster than the mclaren bar Australia. So don't get it when journalist and pundits keep labeling it a dog.


Please the Ferrari has been nowhere near as fast as the McLaren in most of the races. McLaren screw up operationally and Alonso is driving superbly. Alonso has made the difference with that car. Only in Monaco has the car itself seemed competitive.


Wow. Look what winning does to your driver of the day score! I'm a Webber fan but he didn't do much more than Rosberg really. He got in front, stayed in front. Rosberg got into second, finished second. Never too far off Mark at any time. At the time of writing, Mark has 283 votes, Nico has 4. I'm thrilled that Mark won the race but thought Vettel was my DOTD. He made up a few spots from a good end to his first stint, aided by a decent pitstop, aided by the others struggling to get heat into the primes, aided by McLaren not telling Lewis to get on with it to prevent Seb sneaking in front of him. I wonder what's going on there? 2 or 3 tenths and Lewis would have stayed in front of Seb. Bizarre.

Milos Nikolic

I was hovering over Nico, and it was great watching him being able to keep up to and pressure Webber. I'd think that on any other track, he would've passed him long before the finish.

However, in the end I ultimately picked Heikki. He was looking great up until Button gave him a whack, and I was really hoping we could see some unscheduled pits at the front (like Vergne) that finally gave Caterham that elusive point.


Driver of the Weekend: MICHAEL SCHUMACHER


Glad to see Heiki as an option. He did a good job hanging on to the backed of the midfield on the option. Too bad he lost pace pace once he went on the primes, but was still able to hold Button off.



An outstanding result considering his car's performance


Mark because it was a well controlled race by him, got the 2+ second gap in the first stint to cover a possible Rosberg undercut if the gamble on no rain was taken.

Then managing the gap to Vettle, as he said, yet still keeping Rosberg at bay AND managing the primes to finish the race on.

All on a track where its all on the driver's mental state and concentration.

A brilliant thinkers race.


I think Perez deserves the right to be voted in this survey...he made a great race; several position gains and never give up, indeed he set the fastest lap.

Let "checo" have the chance....


I go with Alonso, from P5 to P3, gaining two positions, first with a great start, and second being smart. Webber deserves it too but he had the benefict of starting from P1.


Hi James,

Do you think the broadcast by teams of upcoming rain was to throw off the other teams?


No, they all have the same weather info


Found it had to split the top 4 so gave it to Webber for winning and driving as fast as he needed to win.

Have read a lot of comments complaining about the tires again. I don't believe they influenced the race at all. Fair enough the guys behind MW couldn't push at the end but neither could he so it all evened out.


Mark Webber gets my vote. For a start, he made a fantastic getaway (quite an achievement I have to say!!) and for being the first Aussie to win twice in Monaco.

Disappointments all round for much hyped Lotus pace...let's see what they can do in Canada.


How do i vote for Schumacher??

He had a great qualifying and drove a sensational race..

After the leaders pitted for new tyres, he was faster on old tyres - which had claimed P1 in qualyifing....

-- but this great drive appears to have been missed by most.....

Also - perez is missing - after setting the fastest lap by some considerable margin..


Perez was on new tyres and on clear air while coming from the back.

Fastest laps don't mean much nowadays.


I'm so happy for Mark and that I was wrong, saying before the race that he will lose places at the start. Well done Mark.

My vote goes to Heikki. He did very well to stay away of that first corner mess and then keeping JB behind.

Just as others, I am dissapointed that we didn't see more attempts to overtake. everybody seemed happy to follow the car in front.


It seemed Rosberg had already pointed his car at the start to slot right behind Webber. Never tried to get in front.. Perhaps he was worried not lose any places.


For me nobody was the driver of the day this time. Nobody was trying to push hard and everybody was safisfied with the position. There was not a single attept to push the guy in front as absolutely everybody was nursing tyres. Despite webber being slower in the dying stages of the race, the blond nurse behind was happy to come home with 2nd, the brunette nurse behind the blond one happens to drive with calculator and other nurses had their reasons to nurse their tyres all races long.

Pirelli can last full race, it is nit the problem, but as soon as people push them for few laps, the die, hence we have nurses and nit drivers this year.


A lot of the problem was the rain threat. If it had come, genius, but it didn't and the anticipation prevented the leaders from pushing. It wasn't fun but you have to remember someone like Webber would looked stupid if he pushed hard then pitted earlier only for it then to rain as they expected 5 laps later. He'd have been ruined. He had track position and just held it. That's Monaco I'm afraid. We won't get this behaviour in tracks where you overtake though.

These weather systems they have do annoy me. Useless!


Have to agree with that.

My driver of the day would be Grosjean as the only one who caused any excitement.

There's never any overtaking at Monaco: track position trumps speed. So Webber (for example) couldn't 2 stop because if any of the 5 behind him 1 stopped he'd never pass them. If Webber didn't stop there was no point the others stopping because they'd just catch up with Webber and be stuck behind him.


The weather forecast ruined the show I think.

They were all nursing their tyres waiting the the rain that never came.

A stop strategy was probably on the cards for everyone had the weather been forecast as dry from the word go.

It felt like watching a nil all draw, which the title decided on penalty shoot outs.


Agree track position was more important but by lap 22 the 2nd was 18odd seconds from 10th and this would have forced a few peoples hand especially as pace dropped after that with the view to making tyres go 15+ laps longer.I guess it was also the fact the temp dropped about 5 deg then as well and new tyres would have taken that bit longer to warm up. Very very close call on strategy.


A two stop strategy was what I meant.


Hi Elie,

The reason why no one pitted at this stage of the race was because track position is more important than outright pace in Monaco.

All the leading contenders were facing Vettel on a one stopper, so strategists had little choice. Let's also bear in mind that Rosberg's undercut didn't work.

Staying longer with a faster car was the only way to get past.

Unfortunately for Button, he wasn't able to make this strategy work either for some reason.


+1. I kept saying they should pit -they still had at least 11 laps before rain was expected in first stint anyway. I was besides myself thinking what the hell are they all doing, new tyres would have given them 1- 1.2sec a lap. Of the rain came 15 laps later they would not have lost anything changing to inters.


You people always find the way to criticize Pirelli. And you won`t stop it seems. I'm wondering when you will grow tired of writting the same thing every post, I'm for sure tired of reading it. The worst thing is you can't see anything good in the pirellis, and think nobody else does. Long lasting tyres are boring, pirellis are fun. But I strongly believe you are not happy because your fav driver is not doing good enough.


I never criticized Pirelli and I am in the minority thinking that they are doing a good job. I only said that with these Pirellis people will not push because tyres will die after 3-4 laps.

I do not remember which year it was, probably 2006, when Schumacher parked the car during qualifying and had to start last. I think he finished 5th and proved to everybody that YOU CAN OVERTAKE in Monako.

With tyres from this year, drives turned into nurses, hence nobody even tried overtaking...not even a single attempt from top finishers - ZERO


Schumacher made two or three attempts at Räikkönen after the tunnel, but Kimi was having none of it, though it was pretty close. And he was clever enough to maintain a big enough gap before the Loews hairpin and on the start/finish "straight", he must have used most of his KERS in these spots.


Agree. Dull race. Made it to Vettels pit stop and then found better things to do.


Oh I loved this post so much. Cheers!


Love it. It's so true.


Welcome to F1 2012. Thus you can have 6 winners in 6 races.


Well said

If this aint proof tgat the tyres are too sensitive i dont know

GP3 was a better race


I don't really have a prob with the current F1 era with Pirelli tyres, however throughout the entire race I was thinking to my self, this is exactly what people are talking about with driver's just pottering around the track nursing their tyres. And yes it did start to annoy me immensly.

Really hope this was just specific to Manaco and I figure this is the absolute extreme of this whole tyre nursing saga, but hop the rest of the season is not like this...


Mark did what he needed to do to win the race and not take any risks. With the rain at the end, there was no upside in trying to pull away from the pack, as passing is damn near impossible, so caution made sense.

Not much chop to watch, but it was a winning drive. Would more people call it the drive of the day if he had taken more risks and pulled a gap on nico. Probably, but it would not have changed the result and would expose him to a higher chance of binning it. So not sexy, but effective.

Much the same for the rest of the pack. Did what they could and kept it away from the walls.

Andrew Flemington

I was wondering what Webber had to do to get into your "Driver of the Day" list James.? Now he won the race and forced you to include him, it looks like the fans are voting for him. You have been neglecting him recently. It's interesting that now the RBR is off the front running pace that he is able to get the better of Vettel. Why did Vettel make everyone (including his team mate) look second rate last year.?


Because it was a car he could drive. He seems to be having a little bit of a hard time coming to grips with this years car and new regs.


Webber gets it for me but it's difficult to have a Driver of the Day at Monaco. Start on pole and you only need to keep it out of the barriers to win because no one is going to overtake you.


I'd like to have voted for Webber for leading mostly from start to finish without putting a foot wrong. I'd also have liked to vote for Kovalainen for his relatively strong showing in the Caterham, but my vote has gone to Massa for putting his car there in the mix with the lead group after all the recent talk about him has been who was going to replace him and how soon!


H.k in the caterham for me stunning drive


Noone was that great today. Webber got the win, Massa just a few seconds behind. Heikki did well with Button but it would have been nice to see a bit more action.


To be honest, no one did anything exceptional in Monaco. Webber won from pole; no big deal. Probably Vettel and di Rest did better jobs. Kovalainen defended his position on a track no one could overtake. I don't think anyone really deserves to be the driver of the day.

mohamed south africa

everyone compares jenson button to alain prost but i think fernando alonso is the new professor. he is more concerned with the long game than worried about winning races


Mark Webber was definitely the driver of the day.

He controlled the whole race from the front and nobody was going to take Victory away from him.


I think that you missed Perez as an option James. He started on the last row, got a drive through, had a spin, but still managed to work his way up to finish 11th, with a fastest lap 1.2 seconds quicker than anyone else.

He was the only driver out there who looked truly racey!


In a race where most of the front runners were nursing their tyres and only stopped once, his fast laps times aren't a reflection on relative race pace.


Perez did a lot of wierd stuff in Monaco, also pushing Vergne off the track at the chicane. It wasn't his finest hour.


What he did to Raikkonen excludes him surely?


Hamilton. He only lost two places.


Driver of the Day for me was Vettel, going from 8th to 4th, beating Hamilton and Massa who both showed good speed most of the weekend. That was pretty impressive. I'm less impressed with Heikki than some, remember Bernoldi and Coulthard in 2001? It's easy to hold people up at Monaco, especially when McLaren call the Strategy incorrectly.

Driver of the weekend though has to be Webber. It's no co-incidence that Webber, Alonso and Vettel all got themselves into the top 4 if you look at previous Monaco results. Those three drivers have very decent records there, it does make me wonder where the myth of Lewis excelling there comes from as he's only one 1 in 5 (or is that 6 now?)with a car that is virtually always competitive.

Peter M of Oz

No wa. The only way Vettel got there was being the Vettel usual opt out when it got too hard on Saturday. There needs to be a change in rules that if a driver opts out of Q3 by not posting a competitive time then he is thrown back into the Q2 list and the grid position decided on the respoecive times. What do other sthink.


Why is it everyone is so full of praise when the Lotus guys did this in Bahrain and put in a great race performance? What about Paul Di Resta with his allergy to Q3? When he's got plenty of new rubber and excels on a Sunday people sing his praises. The moment Vettel does it people complain and want the rules changing.

My choice of DOD was based on Vettels laps when he stayed out on older tyres and stuck some very good times in to overtake Hamilton and Massa. Sure he didn't win, but 8th to 4th beating a very competitive pairing of Hamilton and Massa isn't to be sniffed at.

I do agree all cars should be made to put a 107% lap of pole in Q3, but at present they don't. Not running in Q3 at Monaco was a hugely brave gamble by Red Bull (far less so at tracks you can overtake on), but yet again the Webber/Hamilton fan club come out in force.


OOps - that's 'won 1 in 5' not 'one 1 in 5'.


Most boaring race of the season. It made the cars which are not the best looking very good.

Hekki's fight fore keeping cool and watching others like Button and Perez losing judgement was the most exiting in the whole race. If there only had been more rain!!


Tyres were too good in this race. I can't see that Webber or Alonso did anything extraordinary in the race. The most impressive they did was during qualifying.


I put my vote on Heiki for his great defending. Fighting his old team like that.. He must have had a smile on his face the whole time =)

I wanted to have Schumacher as driver of the day though. He drove brilliant yesterday. Pushing like hell to try to overtake Kimi. Locking up the tires several times. Still didn't hit either Kimi or the wall and yet managed to drive over 30 laps on the super soft tires with competetive laptimes.


Agree 100% but totally overlooked by most but the teams and drivers will have noticed.

Posssibly just as well that he had a fuel problem, otherwise the 5 place grid penalty would very likely stopped him from winning the race. As it was he'd have finshed close to Massa.


Honestly, Boring race. Driver of Day is Heikki, He was at least trying to get the best result he could inspite of his can pace.


Webber did the job perfectly. He looked after the super-soft tyre knowing rain might come around lap 34. He was forced to pit after Mercedes tried to undercut him with a tyre change.

If anything, this was a Vettel-like performance. He only pushed when he needed to and didn't put a foot wrong all race long.


I was pleased to see Webber win, proving that he can still beat Seb on his day.

Still, my vote went for Alonso. Begrudgingly. Keeping enough in reserve to put in the flying laps required to jump Lewis demonstrated supreme guile and ability.


I agree with some of what AlexD has said :

Pirelli have done a fantastic job - producing exactly what the sport asked for - but from a spectator point of view, the racing is being spoiled somewhat by the need to nurse tyres.

F1 needs pitstops so in the absence of refueling it has to be for tyres.

Personally I would prefer to see a return to each stint being a sprint. At least then everyone would be trying to drive flat out and make up places which we know they still could with DRS and KERS.

I can't see any of the teams voting for refueling with it's associated safety risk so it has to be at least one tyre stop.

We are therefore stuck with the present system and the only solution is to ask Pirelli to extend the life of the tyres so that either compound could last, say, 80% of a race without a significant drop off in performance.

This has to be better for Pirelli's image : after all, they can't be pleased to hear comments like (their) "tyre performance is falling off a cliff" neither can they be happy to be producing tyres that sometimes the tyre-buying public see have a service life of under 100km ( 60 miles ) !

One thing is certain, having the fastest drivers on the planet slowing down to preserve their tyres is not Motor RACING.


It's not tires falling from the cliff, that bothers me. It's not managing tires either. The problem is that it's not managing tires nowadays, it's nursing tires. The Pirellis could just be a little more forgiving, have a slightly wider temperature window. If you could push them very hard for three laps and need to cool them down for two, and they would allow three cycles like that before falling off the cliff completely, all would be fine I guess. But it seems that once you have clobbered your tires too hard, you're a sitting duck, so no one is going to risk that.

And that's a shame.

Senna said he's having great problems and he describes it almost the same way as Schumacher and others do: You can't push the tire too hard on the beginning of a qualifying lap, because it would fall apart at the end, so you need to go slightly slower than possible in the beginning, so you have enough left in the third sector. I think Pirelli went a step too far there.


If the drivers had to "rest" the tyres every time they pushed for three laps the racing would be very hard to follow, wouldn't it ?

Surely, if asked, Pirelli could easily go back to producing tyres where at least the harder compound would last 80% of a race because KERS and DRS would still give us plenty of overtaking.

How about it Paul ?


If you watch MotoGP you'll see riders take it very steadily on the first few laps to conserve tyres. You'll also see people in World Touring Cars conserving tyres, just as they do in races like Le Mans. Nascar? Yup they conserve tyres too. If anything it's about time F1 did have more of this in the sport, as it's so prevalent in other forms of motorsport and is an additional skill the drivers need to master.

Pirelli needn't worry about it's image for road car tyres, it's not like they've had a Michelin Indy incident. F1 drivers will always moan about tyres, because it's one of the challenges they face, and I think the more challenges they face the better.


On the whole "are these tyres good for Pirelli's image" thing.

If someone has enough knowledge to go and ask for a road tyre by brand rather than just ask for whatever's cheapest or on offer, then they will have enough sense to know that Pirelli's F1 tyres have no resemblance to the tyres you and I can buy in a garage.

Are there really people who would by a bridgestone road tyre instead of a pirelli because they assume the pirelli will only do 4 laps of the supermarket car park before they have to pit at their local BP garage?

I think Pirelli's profile will only be improved by assocation with F1.


I accept what you say, Dan, but I'm equally sure that the media advisers at Pirelli would really prefer their tyres to last the race and not have performance that "falls off a cliff"

My main point was the improvement in the racing and as a side issue, a move to longer lasting tyres would at least not be against the interest of Pirelli


Having worked in advertising I can assure you that Pirelli are just happy that the name Pirelli gets mentioned so much every weekend the context rarely matters. The association is that they are good enough to be the sole manufacturer chosen for the pinnacle of motorsport.

If their tyres failed spectacularly or they (god forbid) killed a driver - they would have a disaster on their hands. But tyres that get hundreds of more mentions per weekend than bridgestones ever did - it's all about Market recognition.

It's not entirely true that there's no such thing as bad publicity but when it comes to having your name out there, that's the primary aim.

And look at this way - Adrian Newey is a genius. Pirelli have made tyres that even he can't fully grasp yet. So Pirelli have compound analysts that outsmarted Adrian Newey in the first six races of a season. If that doesn't scream competence and excellence in a company I'm not sure what does!


I'd say Schumacher.

Monaco is all about qualifying and he was the best on Saturday.

Sunday was all to predictably a procession and who can blame the drivers when losing position is all to easy during a pit stop if you've not looked after your tyres.

It would have been interesting if the rain had arrived 30 minutes earlier though 😉


They should make Monaco a half points GP - nobody will really mind as it still has cachet but it doesn't work as a true race and so should not be able to influence the standings so much...


If Monaco was presented as a proposed new track to F1 today, they'd be laughed out of town.

Drivers agree its unsafe (but okay to take the risk once a year) and a borefest as a spectacle.

The problem is, the circus love it. They all know that mostly they could save money after qualifying on Saturday save us the procession that is Sunday awarding points in the qualiufying order.

Also Monaco pays nothing to host the race so everyone else has to chip in more to pay Bernies $1.5bn dividend. I know there's extreme poverty in the Cote D'azur - really!!!

But to be there is magical. How close you are to the cars in the swimming pool, and the technical genuis of the drivers staying out of the barriers by millimetres.

But as a race its a joke. It's a fine exhibition of F1 cars and a great party. So leave it at that - an exhibition race only with no world championship points awarded.


I guess Monaco would benefit from the alternate route idea to improve overtaking. In this race it could actually be very exciting, comparing sector times and seeing drivers really push.


Yes, but you totally miss the point of what Monaco GP is about and has always been about since the 1930s...


I understand what you're talking about and i really think its an important mix with old tracks and atmosphere and new tracks lacking history. I strongly suggest that boadcasters should be given an 15 min insight of the chanllenges in a race and raceweekend just before start.

To make Monaco intresting would maybe be to have special tyres that differ more.


Good idea. Super super super softs that only last 10-15 laps.

I do appreciate the history of Monaco, but in it's heyday the races were NEVER a complete procession like they've become in the past 10 years.

Simply because there was uncertainty of car reliability, driver competance the influence of crashes... and the cars were less similar with greater differentials on strenghts and weaknesses.

Which is why I say in the "new" F1 - Monaco doesn't work


Hey this is not the thirties - or even the nineties or the early naughties.

We live in a "new" F1 world where tracks and race promoters pay escalation fees of 7% compounded every year.

A World where fans are being priced out of attending because of the cash required by F1 commercial rights owners (cf. Barcelona attendance).

A World where free to air TV can't afford to schedule the live season in full anymore - why? (I guess I've done that one).

And the old arguement re: Sponsorship deals done only if the sponsors taken to Monaco won't wash anymore.

Silverstone, home of the 1st Formula 1 Grand Prix (in the FIA World Championship inauguaral year 1950), was chucked uncerimoniously off the calender by the commercial rights owner for in effect refusing to pay the incremental fees - and devleop safety and facilities

I'm not sure the "new" world of F1 (and I am not refering to tyres) is one I like after watchinig the evolution of the sport since the mid 70's. But it is what it is - and we have to question whether Monaco fits that world.

So I'm sorry if I object to Monaco having a free event, to allow sucking up to minor royalty and the great and good. It's at least time they coughed up like everyone else has to in the "new" - BE world of F1.



Is there a place on your website with the average of "Driver of the Day" ...making something like "Driver of the Championship so far"? If not I think that is a good idea to have access to that poll and compare with the standings.

By the way my vote goes to ALO up until the spots of rain and then to WEB because he was the one experincing the trticky track in first hand.



Went for Sebastian Vettel, though Mark Webber definitely did better than him if we take the weekend as a whole. Nonetheless, with Sebastian no longer as comfortable a qualifier as in previous years, I wonder if he's started to focus more on getting his car right (and saving the right tyres - he seems to prefer the more durable 'primes') for Sundays specifically. In a sense, by this hypothesis, he has gone from Ayrton Senna to Alain Prost this season!

He may not be the all-dominant force he was in 2011, but if he keeps up this process of racking up points on Sunday (Malaysia aside) he could still be a major contender in the championship this season.


I kinda think either Webber or Alonso are the easy options for DotD, but I'm still not sure. I'll lean more towards Fernando, really... Honourable Mentions to Nico & Felipe.

Style Points to Kamui for showing us the future of corner negotiation in an era of flying cars...

Style Demerits to Button for less than impressive spinning and retirement...

Dishonourable Mentions for Kimi, Seb & Toro Rosso - Kimi couldn't put it together this weekend, from the steering issue (that Brundle thought may have been work-aroundable to get some running) in FP1 (would this be considered signs of the old Kimi from his last F1 interation??), Seb for sitting out QP3 instead of at least trying to get mid top ten on the softs/primes - which may have resulted in a podium given his in-race strategy. STR for... well, you know... 😉

Collide of the Day (CotD) to Romain 'The Crusher' Grosjean.


May I propose Perez on behalf of the Force India team?

By deciding to block Kim at the pitlane entry he gifted Sauber's greatest rivals a bonanza of points, when HULK gained an unexpected p8

Drive thru maybe too lenient imo


KR lost 2 secs [apprx] while impeded by Perez

and his pitstop was 0.74 secs slower than Di Resta who finished p7.

KR made p9 2.466 secs later than Di Resta

so Perez and the Lotus pitcrew actually cost KR 4 champ points

He would still be behind Rosberg in the standings, though.


I saw the fastest laps section. Perez's lap was a full 1.5 seconds faster than Webber's. Should I think that Webber actually won in a slower car? or should I think that he did not push because he was nursing his tyres throughout?

Obviously the latter. The only driver who might have pushed all race is Heikki because he had a Mclaren behind him.

Heikki is the DOTD for me.


Fresh tyres when the car was light. Very simple. Will happen in any race on any tyres


No James. Perez's fastest lap was set on lap 49, and Webber's fastest lap was set on lap 45. That is 4 laps worth of fuel.

Perez's tyres on lap 49 were 15 laps old and Webbers tyres on lap 45 were 16 laps old. That is 1 lap worth of fresh tyres.

4 laps of fuel and 1 lap fresher tyre do not translate into a gap of 1.5 seconds. Not to mention Webber's tyres were in clean air whereas Perez's tyres weren't.

Webber (or any of the front runners) did not push at all - all race. Which is disappointing.


As I said, second stint they were well off, fuel corrected.



Perhaps, in this period of lull, you can write an informative piece on why there are six winners in six races. The keywords "tires" and "setup" and quality of the engineers within the team will dominate your reasoning.

Then you will realise that the question of "Who is your driver of the day?" will be moot. Instead, it would have been the less exciting "Who is your enginneer (or team) of the day?"

I have been karting for twenty years, the relationship between cars and tires is not black magic. It only becomes so when the tires are rubbish, and top engineers fail to corelate their car with the working temperature of tires. In another words, failing to understand their car. The era of as much downforce as you can get away with might be over.


Read the Alonso piece today


Perhaps, you could also inform your readers why Bridgestone left F1 and how, after years of cajoling to make tires like ice-cubes, Bridgestone vehmently refused. What I would like to know is, why now?


Is there any update on the start accident involving Romain Grosejean? Was he right to move either way and then he almost deposited Michael in the barrier? Also, i was little surprised that the Hamilton move in front of Alonso was not investigated as soon as the safety car came into the pits?


Im surprised to say this but probably today was one of Vettels best drives ever. Pretty mature, and drove well in traffic.

William Wilgus

For holding the most up? Definitely Webber. What a farce of a race!


Mark and not just because he is an Aussie. He led and controlled from the start and no one did it better. Pity he could not drive flat out on this year's crazy tires.


I voted for Webber as DOTD. Why?

Well he controlled the race and hence, the other drivers all day. After he pulled a gap to Rosberg he would just control it. When Rosberg would get 0.3-0.4s back, Webber would then react. He watched Vettel, when Vettel was ahead and the gap and the followers behind. On a track like Monaco where the mental strain is already enormous, that extra bit of assessment is a credit in itself. Sure others are doing it but when leading it adds more stress.

That’s why I love Monaco. Flat out inch off the wall, balls-out qualifying with NO margin for error to set up Sundays race. That’s what Webber did perfectly. That’s what sets Monaco apart, all the other tracks have some form of run off which doesn’t penalise drivers, Monaco doesn’t, you out by an inch and your history.


James, in my opinion Heikki was hard done to. Perez overtook him by cutting the chicane. Yes, Perez then pulled a big gap, yes Heikki pitted later but surely the overtake was illegal. Perez should have given the place back or been given a penalty.

Also JB's lunge was desperate, never going to succeed and smashed Heikki's front wing. Racing incident, probably, but it was a poor move and potentially compromised Heikki. Penalties have been given for less this season.

Got to admire Caterham's pluck, and Heikki seems a great guy who just gets on with it. Shame he didn't sneak into the points, which could have happened with a more attritional race (not to mention a fair amount of luck!).


Has to be Kovalainen to finish 13 and fend off Button and others ! Then would say very close between Vettel/ webber/ Alonso. Di Resta was next on the radar.

eric weinraub

How can there be a Driver of the day when, essentially, there wasn't a single pass that counted? Passing a stricken car doesn't count ie Schuey nor racing quali laps with no one in front of you durning the pit cycle. I am no fan of Monaco.


Because driving well is about a lot more than overtaking.


Here here! I get quite upset by the sort of comments which denigrate drivers' performances because there is no overtaking. Yes, overtaking is exciting, but I surely can't be the only person who finds DRS overtaking, for example, utterly tedious?

Yes, I am a complete and utter purist (and snob...) but that means I can gladly watch a processional race and enjoy it, knowing that I am watching the best drivers in the world piloting some of the most remarkable machines on the planet.


I vote for Schumacher. As @someone said, he was putting in excellent laps (1.19s) even on his old qualifying tyres (which he drove to P1 on)...Got the strategy right by leapfrogging three drivers through staying out and putting in lap times that were much faster than most of the field at that point.

James - how many passes actually happened at the race (disregarding Schumi/Grosjean and other failing cars)?


Driver of the day: Heiki Kovalainen, but only because of the characteristics of the track which enabled him keep the Mclaren of Jensen Button behind him all 'race' long. Yeah, that's another thing: that was no race. It was an exercise in driver concentration and tyre nursing.

On to another matter (Mclaren). I have a theory. Because Mclaren are too busy fighting elementary things like getting pit stops right, they are distracted and loosing the development race. Also, I think the car is ACTUALLY only as good as Button's general performance - for your average EXCELLENT F1 driver - and NOT as 'fantastic' as people would like to believe. Hamilton IMHO is actually flattering the car by qualifying and driving it far above its true capability but because people generally have such high expectations of him (Lewis), his efforts often go unremarked.



A picture is worth a thousand words, and the photo of Kamui launched in mid-air looks like he came straight out of the Speed Racer movie. Such a great looking flight. And it was the most exciting thing to happen all race other than seeing Webber get a well deserved victory.


Slightly off topic, but will Maldonado be given a penalty for crashing into de la Rosa? It seems that if he doesn't it would be unfair on HRT, and show the stewards are very biased against HRT.


How about a shout for Chico Perez? He set 9 of the fastest top ten lap times and was at times 3 seconds faster than Webber(Lap 73). His fastest lap was 1.5 seconds faster than the podium guys. Is this a speed formula or an economy one?


Webber. Always been a bit of a Monaco specialist (remember him running 2nd in a Jag, screaming in rage as he was not getting the benefit of blue flags?).

Pole (almost), kept it clean, backed the pack up to allow Seb to jump some places... can't fault it.


My vote goes 100% to Webber - not only trouncing team mate Vettel in qualifying, and leading on an amazingly difficult track under very threatening weather conditions on crap Pirelli tyres - he didn't make a mistake and was driver of the day.

BUT also - team orders to help Vettel; he backed up the pack to allow Vettel the necessary 19 seconds lead to jump Hamilton and Massa - funny how once team orders were in hand, Marks pace improved just enough to remain comfortable at head of pack that he hasd total control over. Vettel did nothing all race, and needed Marks help to pass Massa and Hamilton.


My vote goes to the top 6! I know they are supposed to be the best but even so they managed the last 10 laps nose to tail on a slippery track and I don't think any of them even brushed the armco.


Hi James,

Read an interesting article by Mark Hughes on Kimi. According to him, Kimi's sterring issue is holding up progress in the team whereas Grojean is just going with what he's got.

In a nut shell, do you think Kimi is getting board at Lotus now?


Mark Webber - a masterful race (and weekend), mature, measured and did just what was necessary to win (and maybe to lift his team-mate up the list). Reminds me of Jack Brabham, he was at least as fast as the rest when necessary, but mostly kept strictly to the minimum required to win. Let's hope he goes forward now - depends on who gets the 'magic tyres' next race, maybe?

Alonso also warrants a pat on the back - he is always there pushing his car and ready for any opportunity that comes his way, and making some when he can.


without doubt Webber put in a very solid performance and had the upper hand on Vettel all weekend, Kovalainen out drove his car as he does 99% of the time, Schumi shut his critics up over the weekend and finally showed he hasn't lost it just yet (anyone who can't see this is surely just anti Schumi and blind to naked talent)Alonso pure class as usual, and Nico impressed yet again, but in my mind driver of the day and the weekend was Massa. His commitment was faultless and for someone under so much (public) pressure he drove a fantastic race.

If I may add, the Joker who asks why isn't Hamilton one of the options? If Massa had arrived in Monaco with every pundit telling us it was his pole and race to lose, for him to then qualify 4th and then drop two places in a what was for him a non-event race, I'm sure you'd be making a laughing stock of him not suggesting he might be considered for DOD!


Vettel BY FAR:

Sebastian Vettel's race started in Q1 when he paced himself to just barely qualify for Q2 but save his tires, and again, when he got knocked from 9th in Q2, he went back out with 3 minutes left to set a lap that just barely qualified him for Q3, then he parked it. Then he went on to execute the most well-controled tire strategy during the race, which was really a strategy that started at Q1.

I don't like that Pirelli intentionally designs tires to be faulty, and don't mistake Vettel's media silence on the matter as acquiescence. We all remember the video of him tearing into Mario Isola right after qualifying pole at Spa. But Vettel has decided he's going to play the game, and he played this ridiculous game perfectly. Because of a bet on rain, he was forced to abandon his one stop strategy. FYI, it down-poured just after the last lap so it wasn't a bad bet.

No other driver showed that level of control. No other driver could set a lap time in the bottom 2 to just barely move on to the next qualifying but save the most of the tires, then go on to hold that place for 40 ought laps on softs, knowing the challenge isn't in making a pass, but its in driving just fast enough to hold position until you pit, then take and hold the lead from there.

No other driver started their race so methodically and with such control of pace from Q1 to Sunday's last lap.


What a dull race, so hard to chose a driver of the day, but I know ther are two very unhappy drivers at Maclaren. I said in my last post Maclaren senior management simply are not performing, just how many excuses can you make for the consistent under performance of the team. I think Lewis has matured and at 27 years old he will want to be on a wining team. Watch this space, you can't just chuck money at top drivers to make them stay on a failing team.

Douglas Cloak

Everyone who follows F1 knows that Monaco is 90% decided on the Saturday in Qually. Sundays can be a fairly straight forward affair with the main emphasis on getting a good start, exercuting a faultless pitt stop & driving a mistake free race to get the job done. Webber ticked all of the above & held his nerve at the end to win. It was a great day for all the Mark Webber fans who like myself would of loved every minute of it...

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