F1 Winter Break
European Grand Prix – Who was your driver of the day?
Posted By: James Allen  |  25 Jun 2012   |  9:35 am GMT  |  188 comments

Fernando Alonso delighted his home crowd with a thrilling victory in the European Grand Prix in Valencia but there were impressive drives all the way down the field. Who was your driver of the day?

Fernando Alonso

Had a positive day on Friday finishing 7th fastest overall but made a mistake in Q2 by doing a medium tyre run and a soft tyre run rather than two soft tyre runs. Failed to make Q3 as a result and started 11th. Made up three places at the start and then passed Lewis Hamilton later in the race as the McLaren driver had a problem in the pits. Made a bold move around the outside of Romain Grosjean for second and then inherited the lead when Sebastian Vettel retired. Looked after his tyres in the final stint to secure his 29th career victory and reclaim the lead of the drivers’ standings.

Kimi Raikkonen

Looked solid in practice and put in a strong performance to qualify fifth, one place behind Lotus team-mate Grosjean. Made a good start, but was forced to lift before Turn Two in a tightly-packed field and dropped down as a result. Showed good race pace to rise up to third and then closed up to the back of Hamilton. Eventually made a move stick to rise up into second and then coasted home to secure his third podium of the season.

Michael Schumacher

Played down his chances of securing a good result in Valencia after a disappointing performance in Canada but showed encouraging pace in practice. An error in Q2 meant he didn’t make the top 10 shoot-out and started 12th between the two Ferraris. Made a clean start on the medium tyre but decided late on that a one-stop wasn’t possible and switched to a two. The decision proved inspired as fresher tyres late in the race helped him climb through the field, rising up to third courtesy of some good moves and retirements from others. Held off a chasing Mark Webber to secure his first podium since returning to the sport.

Mark Webber

Suffered a brake problem in final practice which meant he lost valuable running time. Though the team fixed the car to get him out in qualifying, the Australian was on the back foot and without DRS, which meant he was knocked out in Q1 and started 19th. Made slow progress in the early part of the race after starting on the medium tyre, but like Schumacher decided late on to switch from a one-stop to a two-stop which helped him scythe through the field. Finished fourth and rose up to second in the drivers’ standings.

Nico Hulkenberg

Outperformed Force India team-mate Paul di Resta to qualify a strong eighth after showing good pace in practice. Made a clean start, to make up a couple of places and then looked after his tyres. Used an early two-stop strategy, with a longer final stint to rise up through the pack and run as high as third. However, a Kers failure and worn tyres meant he lost two places to Schumacher and Webber before holding on to fifth place – the best result of his career.

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Is there any doubt?

Stuart Harrison

How anyone can pick anyone other than Alonso is beyond me 😉


because one of the main reasons he won was that vettel broke down - he was too dominant to be caught [not a vettel fan by the way - just telling it how i saw it]


What about Vettel? Only the car let him down otherwise he just dominated


I am disappointed that neither Grosjean or Vettel are in the Pole. I thought Vettels work was flawless in qualifying and in the race. nHe gets my vote.


Old racing adage to finish first, first you have to finish! Vettel didn't finish. Also, after the tire management disaster of Montreal, Alonso gets top points just for learning from his mistakes. Brilliant race. In Valencia just like in Donetsk there is only ONE name: ALONSO!


Absolutely nailed it! What a silly poll to leave him out!


So now you want to award 'driver of the day' to someone who retired with 20 odd laps to go?.


Could a football player not be man of the match if they were substituted off before the end of the game?


So, in your view, what was wrong with his driving, and/or who drove better?

William Wilgus

But he also had the best car. Alonso, Schumi, and Webber are the standouts. Hard to choose, so I went with the winner, even though the safety car was a factor that helped him.

Seán Craddock

"he also had the best car"...so why is Webber in your list then?

kowalsky is back

may be he is not getting the same treatment from the team?!!!!


Because Webber fought for it, he was on one stopper like Schumacher and had to swap strategies.

Alonso, Schumacher and Webber fought from the back to end up in front whereas Vettel was racing with only himself.




...are you talking about the best car that failed him 3 times in practise with 3 different problems ( hydraulics, brakes and DRS) and no timed laps in P3?. So could only start 19th. Pretty good drive i reckon and a little different from the other RB 'best car'


Because he started 19th and finished 4th. While some of that accomplishment could reasonably be attributed to the car, it indicates that Webber drove a very good race, taking advantage of all that was offered to him and making few, if any, mistakes.


No, the Red Bull dominated. Credit to Vettel, but any of the current WDC's would have led the race with that beast.


Yes, Sebastian's performance in qualifying and the race was un-touchable.


Yes amazing what you can do when your team mate is disadvantaged by faulty machinery.


I think Vettel and Grosjean also deserved a vote or two here. Both great drives and retired due to no fault of their own... Anyway, driver of the day is clearly Alonso here in my view, perfect drive from 11th, solid overtakes, excellent first lap... Great stuff!


Agreed with these - went with Alonso and would have done irrespective of who else was on the list this time, but still felt Vettel and Grosjean should have been nominated.


I'd like to vote for Romain Grosjean but he isn't on the list.


I think Grosjean and Vettel should be on the list as they had both really good performances and it was hardly anything to do with them that their cars broke down.

James, What about writing a paragraph on under each of the favourites like present but also have a list where people can vote for any driver.


so are we going to now have an award for 'driver of half the race'?...i agree that Grosean in particular was outstanding however i think to be fair, we need to draw the line at finishing the race. Otherwise we could have a poll for everything.


Then people would just vote for Lewis en mass regardless to show their 'support'.


Went for Schumacher, but Alonso was superb too. Although somewhat overlooked, I think his race was made by how he cut through the train of cars behind Schumacher after the first round of pits (I think).

The focus in the media seems to have been on his good start, and his pit strategy (combined with a couple of retirements) but for me the most exciting part of his race was picking off people one by one and moving through to the front of that train. Superb driving and I loved watching the train going, in some cases, 3 cars abreast into the corners.

As for Schumacher, a well deserved podium follow a great drive. Once again, seeing him and Webber picking people off at the end of the race was great.

Very disappointed for Hamilton, and Button had another weekend to forget. Good to see Maldonado got a penalty, but that doesn't offer much consolation for Hamilton I suppose!


Bring it silverstone. I actually can't wait. Early favourites ??


Alonso again.Two from two!


Michael Schumacher.

Always nice to see the old champ back in podium.


My vote would go to Sebastian Vettel. Until his car died, he was the class of the field, was running miles ahead of everyone and in clear control of the race.


This goes for all the vettelians: Sebastian Vettel rely on an excellent car. Alonso or Hamilton can pull that little extra from a car judged simply reasonably good. Hamilton usually "cooks" his tyres. Alonso is the best out there in these days. Remember RB brought an important update in the rear bodywork, reconfiguration of the radiator air flow exit, among others, which translates into a better rear downforce. If not for these I don't know where Vettel or Weber would be. On paper they are clear favorites for the upcoming Silverstone GP, but Alonso should have a say. Shall see...


I can agree Vettel did a great job while he was on the track but we have seen drivers cruise the fastest car from pole hundreds of times. You will have to agree that what Alonso did yesterday was absolutely a different thing, pulling a lot of overtakes on drivers he was racing and in a track that is famous for its lake of overtaking in the past. It was something really special, IMO the best race I've seen in ages, you just can not compare.


"My vote would go to Sebastian Vettel" ????

Yes he is able to drive the fastest car faster than everyone else. But he does not show great driving ability. Has he ever come from the back of the pack like Alonso, Button or for that matter Webber? The obvious choice here is Fernando and thats from me a Lewis fan.


'He does not show great driving ability?'


No, he hasnt.

Vettel is great in the fastest car but he has not yet shown the racer like ability of a senna, schumcaher, alonso, hamilton.

Vettel is a very good F1 pilot; he is NOT a fighter because he has never had to be and this very fact is always on display.


Until his car died, he was doing what any driver in a dominant car would be doing.

I'm still to be convinced he's at Alonso's or Hamilton's level.

I'm curious as to whether this was Valencia specific, as they have dominated this race in recent years, or whether Vettel was flattered by the lack of pace from the Mclaren.

Once Grosjean got past, he left Hamilton behind easily.


The question is,who was the best driver

on a day, not a car.


Easy, Alonso.


Not surprised that Alonso is winning this vote lol.


All of the aforementioned drivers were fantastic! To see three Ferrari world champs on the podium was incredible!

Alonso's tears after crossing the line shows how much it meant to him and the Spanish fans.

A truly great win.

Alonso for me ...


Exactly, he was crying because he knows the other two guys (Kimi and Michael) belong to an exclusive club: Ferrari Champions... lol


The guy doing the post-race press conference did the same mistake and many (including journalists) have adopted this line, but for the record, Alonso is not a Ferrari Champion (yet).

He won his titles with Renault, though I have little doubt that he will be a Ferrari Champion soon if he continues the season in his current form.


Alonso is a world champion (2x) and drives for Ferrari, but I'm not sure you could call him a "Ferrari world champ".



James, despite the fact that there are many great drivers racing this year and I respect a lot of them for their passion, skills, dedication and ability to break known limits...this year there is one driver that clearly stands out - Fernando Alonso.

He is the driver of the day and the driver of the year so far.

Somehow he is never giving up, he is pushing this Ferrari by the power of his will and is motivating the whole team to try and win the championship - it is not just phenomenal driving, it is more.

His drive yesterday was simply outstanding, so passionate, so strong!

He used every single opportunity and the move at the restart, how he prepared and executed this move was unbelievable:-)

It is Alonso, clearly!


He did drive amazingly well, but whether he did a better job than SV is debatable.


You mean drive without the need to overtake anybody?


So no mar what he does (unable to progress through the field, or just leading from start to finish) he is far superior than anybody else? Well done, mate!


So just because he had some bad races, when he is winning, it's always the car?

Well done mate.


it is an easy question, when he is not tarting from P1 and has a car that is not perfect, he finishes behind Weber, as we have seen this year.


@alexd oh that's right.. Every time Vettel dominates a race, it's the car not the driver. May I know how did you figure that out?


Yeap, I know, but here we pick the driver of the day, no the car of the day.


Yes it is called dominating



laps 17-19 were simply epic in my humble opinion.


Yep, good post.

This is a bit of a golden era for drivers right now, probably the best since the mid-80s.

In Alonso though, like him or not, we are all very fortunate to be able to witness an all-time great at the very peak of his powers. Clearly the move to Ferrari has taken him onto a whole new level.

Incredible drive.

Great stuff also from Grosjean, Vettel and Schumacher - fantastic seeing the old guy back up where he belongs.


At least the old guy is actually racing rather than having places given to him by subservient's.


I think he did a fair bit of racing in his time. Unless he was handed those 91 Grand Prix wins by his 'subservient's (sic)

Bring Back Murray

Very well summarised. In fact, why did James even bother with this survey!


Nice post. I have never been a big Fernando fan - but his driving, leadership and humility this season has forced me to reconsider and I am now a huge fan!

At this rate he may even cause me to support Ferrari!!!

; )


I agree. I used to think Fernando was a bit of a whinger that could only play nicely when they were all his toys and he was winning. I rated him as a driver but not as a sportsman. However, this past two seasons he is proving he is an excellent sportsman, ambassador (for both Ferrari and the F1 business as a whole), team leader and racer. Dare I say it - I am an Alonso fan too now (not a Ferrari fan yet though - perhaps LDM can learn a thing or two from Fernando and my mind might change again).

Bring Back Murray

"At this rate he may even cause me to support Ferrari!!!"

Steady on! 🙂


WEll said

if you all remember in Canada Alonso 1 stop was in the lead only togo backwards and finish 5th

when the cars on fresher tyres came up he blocked as best he could but did let them though knowing 5th is better than naought

most bloggers after Canada were happy Alnso lost the lead

but that is Alonso, always thinking

unlike Lewis who through away at least 4th place whilst losing grip

He needs to take a leaf from Alonso

When you cant finish first at least finish in the points

and that way if issues arise your there to take advantage

look at Scumacker kept his head down and came third

Kimi was good too but why take so long to get past hammy

it cost him a possible win or at least to battle with Alonso

My vote for Alonso



Was there a chance (given how the race finished) that Kovalainen would have been P10 had he not been hit by the Torro Rosso?


Good question. Senna was 10th and although he was well behind Kova after both had incidents, I think the safety car brought him back into it and he was than right behind Kova- from there the Williams was always going to be faster, even on one stop tyres.


He was 40-1 to score a point before the race... They have to get one this year. Maybe Singapore, or a wet race? Spa?


Can only be Alonso!

As for Lewis and Pastor, 2 fast drivers but with nothing between their ears, I was reminded of dumb and dumber.

And when dumb and dumber meet you know there's gonna be an explosion of stupid.

Now we just need to determine: who is dumber?


The blame is 70:30 to Maldonado.

Forget the Hamilton should have let him past theory. Let's just look at the facts.

Hamilton ran him off the road, fair enough, it's his line. But when Maldonado tried to get back on track (which he probably shouldn't have because of the line Lewis had) he lost steering when he hit th kerb. Thus...crash!


what did Lewis do wrong?


There's a thing that Jackie Stewart calls "mind management". Part of it involves thinking through a race. In this case he knows that he is racing Maldonado, a guy who Hamilton took out in Monza last year and has who has twice intentionally collided with other cars in non racing situations. Put the two together and it should have been clear that Pastor was likely to try to get by - the red mist was quite likely to come over. For a 10 per cent chance of keeping third given the state of his tyres, Hamilton engaged in a situation that had a high likelihood of a collision. If he was racing Rosberg, it would have been different, particularly pre-Bahrain. But as a driver you need to understand when it is pointless. Paul Di Resta gets it totally in his tyre saving runs.

Still it makes Hamilton and event to watch, and in a way I have no need for him to improve in this area as it is likely to make the spectacle worse 🙂


Yup and compare and contrast with Alonso in Montreal. He accepted his fate and at least got points for finishing 5th. Points for fifth is way better than zero points and this is why Alonso leads the championship right now and not Hamilton.


What you say may be the logical thing, but, that is not what I for one look for in a sportsman. If Lewis acted on that thinking he would allowed Pastor to overtake him around the outside, giving up a podium place in the process. A RACER would never do that. As a neutral (i.e. without a fellow countryman to support) it's the racing I primarily tune in to watch, and it's the racers I cheer for, not the clinical pilots.

As for the crash itself, Pastor drove his car back onto the track while Lewis was still there. 100% Pastor's fault in my opinion, regardless of why he was off the track in the first place. I think Pastor's penalty was quite light considering how dangerous the move was.


Martin Whitmarsh today essentially said the same thing regarding Lewis lack of mind management when it comes to Maldonado.


There was no way he could hold Pastor off for another couple of laps, and also given his history with Pastor he should have expected a potential collision. He should have just accepted the inevitable and settle for 4th place.


Right. And we have many more opportunities in the coming races to watch these two bozos. Great stuff!


Perhaps Lewis could have given Pastor some more room, but if you look at the line Pastor took, he was on a collision course one way or the other. It doesn't really matter if you get rammed on the inside, middle or outside of a corner, does it?


Hamilton only knew that Pastor had left the track and the line was his. He didn't know where MAL was until he was 'T'boned. The fact that the stewards gave MAL a penalty shows MAL was in the wrong.


Maybe Hamilton was dumber, but Maldonado was reckless.


Does a driver have to finish to get on this list? Grosjean was better than Raikonnen all day. It wasn't his fault that his car broke. It seems unfair that he can't be on this list whilst his teammate (who would have finished behind him) is on it. Same with Vettel.

Still voting for Alonso though...


judging from your statement alonso should hand the 2005 title to kimi~~~ as kimi was beaten by lots of badluck that year and Alonso nail it by picking up the slot lost from kimi to reliability!!


I'm not saying that Alonso didn't win, I'm saying that Driver of the Day should not be restricted to drivers who finish the race.


Romain's overtake on Lewis was brilliant!


kimi has fair share of bad luck too, he was ahead of Romain during the start but maldonado close the door forced him to brake or else it will results in collision~~~


I think you didn't saw carefully the start Raikkonen got past Grosjean but then he was blocked by Maldonado, with a little bit of better luck he would be in third after the first lap, I think you are a little bit biased, also Grosjean had the new front wing Raikkonen didn't. What I agree is that Grosjean is putting some solid performances


Is RG getting the new bits because Kimi and the team aren't getting on particularly well?


Could be but it is interesting to see the coments of Ted Kravitz notebook talking about team "equalities" in Lotus and Caterham


Generally this is more indicative of the team splitting strategy because they aren't fully comfortable with their testing of the new bits.

When this results in the driver with the new bits performing the conspiracy theorists say they are favoured by management because they got the new bits, when the opposite happens the conspiracy theorists say the other driver is favoured by management because they didn't get the newfangled experimental bits ;).


Raikonnen is my favourite driver! So I'm not posting this through bias. I genuinely think that Grosjean was better on the day.


Had Räikkönen not been blocked by Maldonado at the start he would have beaten Grosjean fair and square. But running in the wake of other cars most of the race his pace was outstanding.

He lost out to Alonso during the pitstop which was 2 seconds slower than that of Alonso. So I think it is more about being unlucky in different ways. Grosjean having more terminal bad luck.


Alonso,keeps it real G.O.D.!!Raikenen Tough as nails and still quick. Shumacher, Webber stood not a chance of getting past the widest Benz in the world. Webber, What a drive through the chaos. Vettel, Unlucky, but who is gonna stop the kid. The rest looked pretty ordinary in the end didn't they.WOW What a race!!


Romain Grosjean. Did everything right apart from the restart but was robbed.


Robbed, by who?


v. robbed, rob·bing, robs


1. Law To take property from (a person) illegally by using or threatening to use violence or force; commit robbery upon.

2. To take valuable or desired articles unlawfully from: rob a bank.


a. To deprive unjustly of something belonging to, desired by, or legally due (someone): robbed her of her professional standing.

b. To deprive of something injuriously: a parasite that robs a tree of its sap.

4. To take as booty; steal.


Urban dictionary:

robbed 21 up, 16 down

When someone or something steals victory or otherwise robs you of your full potential in something.

Examples include:

1) You and another person are the only candidates for a single job opening. You're the more qualified candidate but the other person gets it because they know someone at the company.

2) Playing a racing game and you're about to make record lap time or course time only to get a lousy item which slows you down enough as to prevent setting said record.

3) Having grades just good enough to get into an excellent college. Then when writing an exam, you've done well only for the person grading it to give you a lousy mark (as in far below what you deserved for it) on an essay question. Said low mark lowers your GPA just enough as to disqualify you for the college you wanted.

4) Playing the lottery and missing the jackpot by a single digit.


1) That guy only got the job because his mother is the manager. I was robbed.

2) Dammit, I was about to score record time in this course and then I end up getting an item that slows me down! I was robbed!

3) I would have been able to get into an Ivy League college if it wasn't for the guy that graded my exam giving me such a lousy grade on the essay question in the final exam. I was robbed.

4) The numbers for jackpot were 2, 7, 16, 35 and 48. I had 2, 7, 16, 35 and 47! I was robbed!

Wow, quoting a dictionary didn't make me seem as smart as I intended!


Had Raikkonen not been blocked by Maldonado at the start and forced off the track by Maldonado later in the race, I believe he would have won. He did an excellent race, but to become the driver of the day you need some luck.

Same with Webber, starting 19th on the grid he drove an excellent race taking full advantage of others missfortune.

Maldonado is no doubt back to his bad old habits. And I thought he had matured, but no.


To win a race, one has to at least qualify ahead of Maldonado !!


Have to go with Alonso for drive of the day, the Fonz is an absolute wizard and will have the title in the bag if the Ferrari stays reliable and brings along effective updates throughout the season.

Webber going from P19 to secure (another) fourth place was a great outcome. I loved watching the Schumi-Webber train scythe their way through the field over the closing laps with clean, measured passing. Maldonado should take note of these veterans, although Hamilton did not do much to avoid the incident - that he was going to be passed was inevidable... perhaps he too needs to take note of the other veteran drivers?


Yeah, looking at it again, I wasn't sure it was as clear cut as I initially thought; maybe Hamilton could have left him more room. He moved them well over to the left before the right hander, and Maldonado was always going to stay on the outside; he had nowhere to go through the kink, but, I don't know. Great tv to see Hamilton's reaction from the helicopter shot, belting that expensive steering wheel. Great season...


I'll eat my mouse if there are votes for anyone else but Alonso. He sleeps with lady luck and drives like an automaton, perfection in every corner.

I am no fan of any F1 driver but hats off to him, you really have to hand it to him when it comes to the luck he has had.

Grayzee (Australia)

hmmm...so...what does your mouse taste like? 😛


Alonso was awesome, but I think Vettel should be on the shortlist too, he was killing them.


In order for me:

1.) Alonso - Great drive, kept his head lots of very very impressive overtakes. Stunning driver.

2.) Vettel - Brilliant drive whilst his car held up. Taking nearly 2s out of Lewis on lap one!? If that was reversed we'd be hearing about it for weeks. Awesome drive and was on for an easy win in a season where it's so close!

3.) Grosjean - was on for a career best 2nd up until the same failure as Seb. Comfortably out performed his team mate. Nice overtake of LH and looked on for a win when Seb dropped out.


2) Different tyre strategy.


Its been a long time since I pumped my fist in the air while watching a Grand Prix.

Alonso was DOTD, easily. It wasn't just Ferrari strategy, his pass around the outside of Webber at second corner was very brave.

Yet again, I think Ferrari management will have noticed how Fernando and Mark can race side by side without taking each other off.

Also, while I'm at it, (I know this is an unworthy comment)I was so pleased when Vettel's car gave up its ghost. He was cranking it up so much, its no surprise to me something broke.


What do you think about Petrov? His race I think was not bad at all!


I'd say Kovalainen was much better, but got into an unfortunate situation with Vergne.


Well, Vitaly had a same problem with Ricciardo< spend 5 sec. more than Kovalinen in pitlane. Were he was better?


Roman Grosjean


#1-Vergne, that made FA the race winner..


In my honest opinion Maldonado was driving a great race until he and Hamilton came together. Great move on Webber at the final corner, side by side with Lewis on the start finish straight. Personally I feel Lewis should have given the place up and he would have suffered less. But the accident was Pastor's fault, he could have backed off for 4th place. So I would give it to Hulkenburg, considering the car and Teammate he drove solidly, if unspectacularly.


Well, actually, possibly not all Pastor's fault. I believe the rules now require that drivers give cars sufficient track space (at least a car's width) when a car is attempting an overtake. That came about after Schumacher's overly strong defensive swerve on Barrichello a few years ago. Most drivers seem to be able to do that (Senna didn't and was penalised for the clash with Kobayashi) but Hamilton regularly fails (particularly when Massa is involved). He gave Maldonado no room on the outside of the turn, forcing him off the track and then failed to give him room to re-enter the track so really only has himself to blame when the two cars eventually touched. Only this time Lewis came off worst. Yes, Pastor maybe should have (for the sake of salvaging team points) backed off and re-entered the track behind Lewis but Lewis failed to give him the space he was required by the rules to give.


It has to be either Vettel or Grosjean. But unfortunately their cars let them down.

Definitely not Alonso. Just because he won the race, doesn't mean he gets to be the driver of the day. Vettel won so many races but he never became the driver of the day in this forum. Alonso won because leading drivers had mechanical problems. I didn't see anything exceptional in him other than the media hype.

Would have given it to Schumi but his DRS was opened during yellow flags and was investigated. Vettel and Massa were punished for similar incidents. (Don't anyone try to explain me the difference between the two incidents). I am just an ordinary fan and all I saw was opened DRS.

Can't give Webber because he was trying very hard to get Schumi penalised so that he can get 3rd place. That is a dirty game. Not a genuine sportsman.

I will give it to Kimi. The team let him down a bit otherwise he could have won it.


Your reasoning seems a bit... irrational and biased.

Alonso won partly because of the reasons you explained, but also because he made a superb start, amazing moves over competitors, a good strategy and better pit stops.

He passed and got rid of 7 other drivers apart from those with mechanical problems.

Trying to compare it to Vettel's wins last year when he started ahead of everyone else and drove a far superior car is plain nonsense.


Sometimes the truth is concealed behind curtains, "attractive" courtains..


Dirty Game ?

Michael Schumacher used his DRS when he shoudnt have and everybody knows it.

Of course we cant take Michael off the podium now can we .......


Yeah, when I heard they were trying to take his 3rd, I thought they won't. Looks good for f1 to have Schumacher back in contention. Politics were always going to win out!


I think your forgetting alonso passed RG. And I think your forgetting only alonso could pass the train that was stuck behind Michael, no one else. Which was crucial to the win and ms podium.

Actually did you watch the race or just read an online report 😉


HAS to be Hülkenberg

di Resta may very well be ahead of him in the drivers standings at the end of the season


by the end of NEXT season, Hülkenberg will be driving rings around him

when you look at how good Schumi still is and how much he clearly still enjoys F1, it's clear he will extend his contract by at least one year

should he retire then, Hülkenberg will be the number one candidate to succeed him

you heard it here first


One swallow does not make a summer...

Hulkenburg has not impressed me at all, even in his rookie season with Barrichello as team-mate, he did nothing till the elements in Brazil gifted him pole.

Maldonado was actually better as a rookie against Rubens that the Hulk.



How high do you think Dan Ricciardo and Kobyiashi would've finished without incident.


Kobayashi had an eventful afternoon... passed Maldonado on lap one; he was running 4th, behind three guys who DNFed. But, he didn't bring it home! The Senna incident was probably Bruno's fault, but marginal. With Massa, I guess he deserved a penalty. Definitely a lost opportunity.


When I was a kid I had a Niki Lauda's toy Ferrari (312T with no.12) and since that time I enjoy formula 1 races. I stopped watching after Senna death, but rejoined a few years later.

Man, there were really some great drivers from that time onwards, and today there is few for I have great respect (KR, LH, SV, MSC). But one of the drivers that we're watching today is, imho, the Best Driver of All Times - Fernando Alonso.

He is highly intelligent, highly adaptive, determin, with a KERS (as I said some time ago) in his head - always ready to push when needed. True racer, skillful and smart.

Strange but this man has no weakness.. Put him in whaever car you want, apply whaever rule you want, choose any weather conditions you want - he will always come up on top. Always.

If there is one step up (in driver performance) I can't see which one is it.

You may or may not agree with me but please be aware of the moment - Fernando Alonso is unique and we are privileged to watch him perform. So sit back and enjoy while it last.

Have a nice day to all of you.


As a racer, I'd agree completely.

For some years he has not been the best in the rain, but Malaysia proved otherwise this year. Korea in 2010 also.

Where his main weakness is, is qualifying. I don't think he is the fastest over a single lap. You never get the sense that he's dragged out a time from nothing, like Vettel and Hamilton regularly do.

Best of all time? I'd argue not.

My name kind of gives it away, but Senna was recognised as the best qualifier, the best in the rain, unbelievable speed and concentration in a race.

These aren't my words, these were offered by Berger as his team-mate and by many others over the years.

But I do agree, we are truly fortunate to be seeing Alonso at his peak, but in a car that needs brilliance to win with. If he was driving a dominant car, we'd not be seeing this level of ability so often.

One of Senna's most famous wins was Donington 1993, in a car that was behind the Williams and Benetton in pace, but with mixed conditions, genius comes to the fore.

If he had been in the Williams, he'd have still dominated, but would it be remembered in the same way?


yes, Senna.. I don't need Berger's opinion, I had an honor to watch him. Also I don't need team principals ( http://www.nextgen-forum.com/t2442-f1-bosses-vote-alonso-the-best-of-2010 ) or fellow drivers view ( http://www.autoevolution.com/news/alonso-voted-the-best-active-f1-driver-by-fellow-racers-22754.html ) to have my opinion on Alonso. I have my eyes 🙂

Senna was my hero also. It wouldn't be fair to compare them, as i love them both. And they are different. Senna was too aggressive and lost too many points/wins because of his character. Alonso knows how to drive and always have time to think/calculate things, in a positive way (means not like MSC back in his time lol 🙂 ).

Overall, Senna will always stay in my heart, and his (10cm small) McLaren MP4/5-Honda v10 1989 along with his (also small) helmet on my desk 🙂

But right now I'm enjoying Alonso's performances and while the Best of all times could sound overrated it also may be the truth 🙂



Privileged indeed!


Spanish marschalls asked for a not needed savety car to allow Alonso winning...

At least Vettel said something like this. He saw no need for the SC on the extra round he did when all other were at pits...


This 'savety' says it all. Have a good day.


They explained to Vettel that it was 'better to be savety than sorry'.


grosjean for me he was great all the way through

until that failure .

james who would you pick to do well at silverstone ?


Lotus will enjoy the fast corners, low temperatures could be a problem for them.

It will be very close, as always!


Will low temperatures affect the Red Bulls also?


Alonso hands down, man over machine, the driver did the difference. In Vettel's case, he was driving very good but it's clear that the car has now something "special" again, it's not his driving the thing that let him get 20 secs without "moving a finger".

Not taking anything away from him, he is great.


Driver of the day; Alonso.

Prat of the day; Hamilton. What happened to his plan for consistency and to score some points at every race? He threw away a good haul of points yesterday. Having said that, if McLaren hadn't screwed up the pitstop yet again he wouldn't have been anywhere near Maldonado.


I watched Hamilton with bemusement this season.

It's great that he wants to focus on whats important, but it comes through experience and it works subconsciously.

What he seems to be doing is thinking before acting, but yesterday was the old Lewis.

Maybe he was frustrated by the pit stop problems again, maybe he was seeing Alonso gaining points on him, but his reaction and driving was pre 2012 mental program.


Hamilton back to his old self for sure, got Maldonado to put his cars paint on the side of Hamilton's car again!


+1, can't but agree with you.

Being on the "right" (though marginally) won't give LH his position back. The clever move would have been letting PM pass and not to waste too much time doing so in order to ensure pocketing some points.



Vettel and Grosjean should be listed. They were having great drives and no failure of their own. Both would be driver of the day ahead of any on this list.


Alonso for me. I did like the 1-2 punch from Schumacher and Webber tho. Very entertaining.

James I know you did a piece on it before can't remember if you had figures on it. What is the difference (euros) between 6th and 8th in the constructors championship? Would like to know if the pay drivers for Williams are really worth it? The 2 drivers there have thrown away so many points that they would easily be 6th, probably pushing merc for 5th if they had say Rubens and Heikki driving for them.


Alonso & Schumi. Great podium.

Williams drivers are a real hazard and must always be a worry for another driver coming up on them. Anyone notice that Senna gave Schumacher quite a tap on the right rear on the opening lap.


Alonso for me. One of his best drives. Think silverstone will be a bit different. Red Bull, with a very good upgrade in Spain, will be hard to beat.

James why is it that the Ferrari seems to take a long time(in comparison to other teams) to warm the primes up but they don't seem to last longer?


Grosjean. He outshone Raikkonen comprehensively, takes some doing that.


did he really? qualified 0.008 ahead and had the same race pace. and would have been overtaken by his teammate at the start had maldonado not chopped across raikkonen's bows. is that really outshining?


Seb seemed in a league of his own both in qualifying and the race. Alas his car let him own.

Of the ones who finished Alonso was easily the most impressive.


Vettel was in a class of is own. I don't really like him, but he would get my vote if was on the list. On the list it has to be Alonso.


Hamilton - Maldonado

Hamilton ran Maldonado out wide on the right hander. He could have given Maldonado more room to get back on the track for the left hander. Maldonado should probably have not tried to get back on track alongside Hamilton - that's what caused the incident - he squeezed back on but was on too tight a line to make the left hander without hitting Hamilton. Rightly, Maldonado was found to be the driver to blame, but perhaps Hamilton should not have defended so aggressively?

I.e. the wider point is that if you defend position to the maximum extent permitted by the rules the chances of a collision are that much greater. It's a question of risk and reward - Hmailton v Massa at Silverstone on the last corner, Hamilton hung on to his podium by v. tenacious defence (again could have ended in tears); here, similar approach did end in tears.

Alonso - fantastico!


I must say Alonso is my pick.

As for others who didn't make the list such as Groj. or Vett. why mention them if they didn't finish? There are a lot of drivers who could have made the list but things happen and they didn't. Look at Mal. he was having a great race or Ham or even Massa who was having a great race until he got caught out by pitting just before the safety car.

Really everyone's idea of who had a great race is different so all James has done is listed the top finishers and ask who you think from them had the best race.

Keep it up James I think it is great.

I look forward to reading this site every morning before I go to work and I like to see the different views from all the fans from all over the world.

This site is the best thing to happen since the gas powered engine.


Vettel was suddenly very fast this weekend with his car sounding exactly like last year when off the throttle ( and completely different to all other cars) I thought the rules had changed on all that trick throttle mapping. According to Gary Anderson the exhaust now also features ducting to direct the exhaust gasses onto the diffuser. So what is a blown diffuser and what is not a blown diffuser. I'm sure it's all legal, but just curious.


Difficult to say, really… Alonso put together some stunning overtaking, Vettel was bloody fast, Grosjean showed the maturity of a leading driver and he was also very fast, whilst Schumacher and Webber, yesterday’s twins, made their way up nicely.

double eyepatch

I want to make an honorable mention to Ricciardo. When he didn't pit during the safety he inherited 3rd, but Schumi and Webber were 7th and 9th at the time and they didn't pit either. He was forced to stay out because Vergne was in the STR box. Instead he had to try to stretch out a gap to limit the loss of track position, which I think led to him tangling with Petrov. The race sheet says he finished 11th, but I think he could've mixed it with the guys who ended up 3rd and 4th.


Btw James, would you be able to provide us a large format poster from yesterday's podium ?

That scene with past and present Ferrari drivers hugged together with their race engi is, imho, already legendary.

I would order it regardless of the price and somehow I know I wouldn't be the only one. 🙂


I think Fernando performed beautifully, but whether he did a better job than Vettel is debatable.


Got to be Alonso hasnt it? Suppurb race from him.


Alonso, probably drive of the season so far, in spite of Vettel's retirement.


Fernando, no doubt! Sure he inherited the lead when Vettel retried and Grosjean's challenge was also negated later on, but to start from P11 and fight his way through the pack to put himself in a position to win is sheer brilliance. Unbelievable!

Special mention for Michael: he drove a an excellent race as well. Hopefully this begins his reverse of fortune, and we can see him finish in the top 3 more often. The podium of Fernando-Kimi-Michael was a throwback to the 2000s! And it was in some way a Ferrari reunion as well, since all of them have driven and won GPs for the team. Who would've though, Valencia was capable of producing such a result?(!)


Like a few intelligent people here, anyone who thinks any driver other than Fernando was driver of the day have a few loose screws or very biased. I dislike Ferrari and never ruled Fernando as the best but this year he has proved he is in the Elite Class. & this race

- he started eleven ,made up three or four places in the first turn through sheer determination. That was pure Majic in itself he was on the limit and missed clipping at least two cars by mm"s.the replays were spectacular !

- stayed hard on it passed Hulkenburg ( who was super quick)

- then pitted & exited at max pace ahead of Kimi

and kept ahead on cold tyres !

- passed Hamilton brilliantly and was edging to Grosjean before the Lotus stopped. Both Kimi and Lewis are my favorite drivers.

What got me was the way he passed people, the decisions he took were faultless and absolutely no hesitation.

If The RB8 holds together it will be hard to catch from here on in . But with Fernando behind the wheel of that Ferrari its like another KERS button all the time !


It's not necessary to say that because somebody doesn't agree with you, they 'have a few loose screws or very biased'.

Just accept that people have different opinions & there is no need to insult them.


At any other race this year you could understand anyone picking any number of drivers... But your right everyone is entitled to their opinion....

I don't think any driver not finishing a race should be on the list - even though it's no fault of their own. Grosjean drove brilliantly but Sebastians work was done on Saturday.


Alonso!!! His drive was inspiring. This is the stuff that attracts new fans to F1. The sheer determination and will to never give up, all the emotion in the end. This is a divine amalgamation of talent, passion, and thoughtful driving I haven't seen around since Senna. (And by this I definitely do not mean Bruno!)


Hey, James! I've got a question for you....

What happened to the old driver's etiquette element that concludes: if a driver attempts to pass on the outside of an opponent into a corner because the inside line is covered by said opponent, the risk then totally rests on the shoulder of said driver making that outside pass?

I say "later" for all of that business about leaving the outside passing car room on the race track, if the inside car has the corner.

Strictly my opinion, here, but I was starting to like Maldonado as a driver. However, that "destruction derby" move he put on Hamilton, with just 1 lap to go, simply shows me Palster's still the same "squirrel" of a race driver who nearly got booted out of motor racing, altogether, for running over that poor track marshal at Monaco about 4 or 5 years ago (in GP2 I believe) during a yellow flag, track clearing incident--no less!

Lights on upstairs--but nobody's home....


Hmmm, disagree. If the rules state that a driver has to give another driver at least a car's width of track if he attempting an outside pass then Pastor had every right to go for it and Lewis should have given him room. Forget etiquette - that's the rules. Actually, include etiquette as that should be a driver's extension of the rules to add and supplement, so correct etiquette would be to give him a car's width and a bit more. Usually this is not a problem as it puts the overtaking driver on the dust and marbles and the leading driver would want to hug the racing line anyway. It was only an issue on that corner as it was immediately followed by an opposing corner, giving the driver on the left the advantage. Lewis know this so drove Pastor off the road. Don't get me wrong - I am a bit of a Lewis fan (although becoming less so over the past two seasons) and don't yet rate Pastor that highly but, as a former racer myself I would put more of the blame onto Lewis for that clash (although you might penalise both drivers as Pastors ultimate collision might be seen as "payback" for being driven off the road).


Sorry Bill! Can't agree with that logic at all....

Maldonado, in absolutely, no way had a chance of making that move stick. If you're an old racer (I, myself, raced karts including 100mph (+) endurance karts at SCCA road courses)then you know it was Hamilton's corner (due to his having the only real line through that turn)no ifs or buts about it, my man.

Possessing half-a-brain would have seen Palster get a much better exit out of any of the following turns that lap, and jet right by Lewis like Räikkönen did a lap, or so, earlier.

But no! Maldonado made a move that can only be classified "a joke" except it wasn't very funny. Particularly, given the fact that he races in what is considered the premier motor sports series, F1, while competing against what are said to be the "world's best drivers".

For Hamilton's part, he had every right to defend since he was leading, "duh"!. On the other hand, if he recognized that "the dope" Maldonado was in that Williams, perhaps, he should have known it would all end in tears by just defending like any real racer would....

Palster's penalty was, far too, lenient considering he has made contact with practically every car on the grid this season, in what just eight Grand Prix!


Alonso and Vettel both drove stunning races in very different ways.

Grosjean should get a mention for his bold move on Maldonado on Lap 1 and later on Hamilton. He's a pretty feisty racer!

Voted for Alonso.


By the way, Alonso gets driver of the race, hands down. The guy's a real ace in an F1 car.


ALO for me with WEB a close second. Amazing race.


In my opinion, it has to be Fernando Alonso.

His win was worked out throughout the whole race, combining yet another great start, effective moves over his opponents, a good strategy and a pinch of luck with mechanical and Pit Stop problems of direct competitors.

He showed the consistency we all expect in a driver competing for WDC.


Have to give it to Alonso. Some may say that he had some luck on his side, but no other driver can capitalize on an opportunity better than him.


Both Schumacher and Alonso would not have made the podium had a slew of cars gone off in front of them. Possibly, alonso would have been 3rd....But hey, that is motorracing.


In a race such as this I would have wanted only Schumi to be the man of the day, but the top 4 were brilliant and any of those deserve man of the day. Alonso was great during the race, Kimi was the man chaising him and Schumacher... he was inspired today; held off a faster red bull behind him whilst fighting for glory. I voted for him, but any of the top 4 would do.

In a excellent race such as this only bad drivers stand out, and only Button, with a race winning car he failed to do anything. Bad race from him, making him the worst driver for the day. I hope Sliverstone will turn it around for him but for now his perfermance is hardly what is expected of him.


Nando all the way for me.


Schumacher. Alonso might have started next to him and he might have gained some places more, but he also drives a better car.


Alonso did amazing. 11th to 8th off the line, worked his way up, got a bit lucky with the safety car happening at the correct time for him, but even so, it was much more than luck.

Schumacher and Webber did excellently soldiering through the pack together, and well done to Schumacher for his first comeback podium that he was denied of in Canada (11) and China (12).

Feel massively sorry for Vettel and Grosjean for their mechanical failures out of 1st and 2nd respectively.

I have some points I would like to say:

1. The Senna-Kobayashi incident was clearly Kobayashi's fault, or at most, a racing incident. Kobayashi went for a gap which was only going to disappear, crashed into Senna giving him a puncture. Senna then gets a penalty, despite having to nurse in a puncture and pit.

2. What was Vergne thinking?

3. What happened to Petrov?

4. The Hamilton-Maldonado incident was clearly a racing incident. There are two types of racing incident; where neither drivers are at fault, or where both drivers are at fault. This was the latter. Yes, Maldonado was off the circuit, and should have pulled well back, or taken to the run off area and rejoined behind Hamilton, but why was Hamilton leaving so little space. He new Maldonado was there, but still decided to close the door on Maldonado, leaving no space, and thus causing a collision.


Have to agree that Alonso was the driver of the day - with Vettel every bit as good, but shaded by Fernando - not sure why Vettel was not included in your list of candidates?


I'm not a fan of Romain Grosjean, however he has been mighty impressive so far this year ( I always said Kimi was over-rated, no talk and no action either!). Robert who ??


he just clinced 2nd genius~~ no action??


Oh yeah, hes been on the podium three times this year and hes only 3 points off 5th in the Championship, when no one rated him a chance at the podium before the season started. His move on Hamilton was sheer class and the passes he'd made on many this year had been as good as you get... But Steve, your entitled to your opinion!



For me is Alonso.

He is a true racer and honest...in his own words, he is not the best in rain, he is not the best in quali, he is not the faster BUT he is almost the best in any of these points mentioned, plus very very inteligent...I didnt see any mentioned to his overtake on Schumi but if you see it again in detail he prepare that move way way before...the guy is fantastic.


Schumi tried a one stop and had way older tyres. For me Schumi was driver of the day because of the restart at SC he did on old tyres...



I'm interested in your reasoning for omitting Seb Vettel from the list?

My vote would have been Alonso anyway, but if Seb was included, I think your poll result would have been very close between him and Alonso for driver of the day. From the list, I'm not surprised Alonso is the clear winner.




Alonso is something special this season! He is so focused and has pulled some rabbits out of his hat already this season.

This was the best so far.


Alonso for me, but I think both Vettel and Grosjean deserve consideration.

It'll be very interesting to see whether the updated Red Bull is as fast at Silverstone, where temps should be cooler. It looked glued to the track at Valencia, and seemed to be working well with the tyres.


Alonso for his impeccable overtaking moves to reach the top three, that was before then safety car and Vettel's retirement. Grojean and Vettel did very well too until the fall out.



Falonso for me.

Not quite sure though, how Schumacher rates as high as Webber who started 19th on the grid, 7 places behind Schumacher.


My vote go to Pastor Maldonado, he is the driver of the day. Without his graceful help, Michael Schumacher wasn't able to stand on the podium. Good Job.


Alonso superb, Vettel was in a class of his own! Should have been on the list


My heart said Schumacher, but Alonso is the only choice really.

I am no FA fan, but he is unquestionably at the peak of his powers now.


please add Vettel in the poll. He was pulling away at a second a lap during the race and had third of a lap lead when the safety car came out. He is the driver of the day


Maybe Vettel and Hamilton could be choices too? Especially Vettel. That's who I'd have chosen. He was the dominant driver of the day.


Why do people keep saying Vettel's success is really his cars when his car lost the race for him?



Vettel's success and failure is real in his car.

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