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Hungarian Grand Prix – Who was your driver of the day?
Hungarian Grand Prix – Who was your driver of the day?
Posted By: James Allen  |  29 Jul 2012   |  9:28 pm GMT  |  170 comments

Lewis Hamilton secured his second victory of the season with a defensive drive in an exciting Hungarian Grand Prix. Who was your Driver of the Day?

Lewis Hamilton

Topped the timesheets in both Friday practice sessions and carried that form into qualifying. Nailed two laps which were good enough for pole in Q3 to secure his 22nd career pole position and the 150th for McLaren. Made a good start and then contained Romain Grosjean for much of the race thanks to good tyre management. Soaked up huge pressure in the closing stages from Kimi Raikkonen, whose strategy lifted him up the field, to take his 19th career victory and second of the season. The result sees the McLaren driver cut championship leader Fernando Alonso’s lead by 15 points to 47.

Kimi Raikkonen

Qualified fifth, three tenths slower than team-mate Grosjean who started second. Made a good start and employed an attacking strategy by using soft tyres for the first two stints of the race. Became a candidate for victory as he was able to make his scrubbed soft tyres last much longer than anyone else before putting in fastest laps which were consistently around 1.5 seconds faster than the leaders. Used fresher tyres to reel in Hamilton at the end of the race, but couldn’t find a way past and finished second.

Romain Grosjean

Delivered his best ever performance in qualifying to start second on the grid alongside Lewis Hamilton and show Lotus had vastly improved its qualifying pace. Spent the race putting pressure on Hamilton but couldn’t find a way past. Used an attacking strategy by using the softer tyres in the middle stint. Lost time behind a longer running Fernando Alonso and eventually lost a place to team-mate Raikkonen before holding on to finish third.

Sebastian Vettel

Scraped his way through Q1 in 17th position, but showed that was just a blip by easing through to Q3. Looked on course for pole position before a mistake in the final sector lost him time and he ultimately started third. Lost a place to Jenson Button at the start. Showed good pace but was forced to stop three times – like Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber – which hampered his chances of victory. Battled with Button all race and passed him when the Brit was held up by Senna but couldn’t pass Grosjean and finished fourth.

Bruno Senna

Showed strong pace in Friday practice, spending much of the time in the top five, to outperformed Williams team-mate Pastor Maldonado. Continued to show that pace in qualifying, making Q3 for the first time this season and qualifying ninth. Made a good start and looked at home on the Hungaroring circuit as he used good strategy to climb up the field. Finished seventh overall, his second best result of the season, and six places ahead of his team-mate.

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What could Hamilton have done better?


Could have any other driver have done better than him this GP?


So easy to vote

Lewis Hamilton


On a unrelated topic the BBC are not showing live Belgium coverage, funny look at this information in March

I swear it says Live!


Voted LH but Maldonado should have a honourable mention for providing demolition derby entertainment in an otherwise fairly dull race when compared to the previous races of the season!!!! 🙂

Kimi and Romain did a brilliant job but a flawless race should be rewarded. LH and McLaren did everything right (as far as LH goes anyway)


Kimi was my driver of the day without a second thought. if he manages to qualify a bit better for the rest of the season, assuming Lotus keep as competitive, he will be a title contender.

While there is suppose to be no development during the break, I wonder if it is so in reality? Is it actually controlled or is it based on honesty?

We could hardly have ask for a better first half of the season, and yet I have the feeling the second half will be even more of a thriller for us fans of F1.

With Mc.Laren, Red Bull & Lotus so close to each other and Ferrari not too far off, it surely looks that way. Throw in a couple of races with a competitive Williams and/or Sauber, and there will be not much more to want for.

I truly hope that no one team will out perform the others, just so that we can eventually look back at the 2012 season as one of the best ever. Marc


Hi James,

Don’t understand why we have Vettel (who underachieved both in qualifying and the race, aspects brought out in your brief weekend descriptor as well) and not Alonso (who finished ahead of two quicker cars) as a choice for the driver of the day.


Richard Hoyland

Hamilton just edges it for me because of his flawless performance over the course of the weekend. Raikkonen was superb in the race but average in qualifying


Wow alot of Kimi fans here, more than 2,000 votes!


Has to be Lewis, he soaked up all the pressure and won – a great weekend.

But Kimi deserves almost equal standing for a great race making use of all the opportunities that came his way.

Alonso made the best of a poor hand.

Don’t understand Red Bull: maybe they don’t either.


After reading almost every comment here, it looks like people have forgotten how Hamilton drove before. He was full on pushing the car at all times. Killing the tires in a couple of laps. Now it has turned around and he was perfect in his strategy to manage the tires. Yes, his pace was slower, but didn’t drop off even towards the end of the race. Lewis can seriously challenge for the title this year. So he got my vote in this.

I’ve tipped the correct winner in F1 since 2008 (before season starts) and I’ve tipped Hamilton this year. Will be interresting if I’m right, or wrong for the first time.


Kimi had a terrific chance to win Hungary.

He made a mistake in changing the set-up that got him his blistering lap on sat morning. Then his kers went pop in the race.

Upshot is, he only got 2nd.

had he won it would have been a historic win: and would have taken him up to 2nd in the standings. No wonder he was grumpy with Placido


I couldnt understand what Vettel did to be in the list. He started 3rd finished 4th, his extra pit stop didnt hurt his race as they just tried their chance with new tyres against Grosjean.

Driver of the race is Hamilton.

Kimi did race (as usual) very well but his qualification effort was way off from his team mate.

Grosjean qualified well but was not good enough during the race.

Hamilton qualified very well race good enough to keep his first position.

And lastly disappointment of the race is Button


Raikkonen, no doubt the driver of the day.

Great victory by Hamilton but one couldnt help but notice that on any other circuit (bar Monaco) Raikkonen had the race race won all ends up.

His strategy was good, but his driving style to make the tyres work and the ability to pull out a few blistering laps when in free air was the real reason for his second place.

Super drive by both.

But Kimi just pips it for me.

I make that his 3rd driver of the day this season.

Bahrain, Hockenheim and now Budapest.



Perhaps this should be called “Driver of the Grand Prix” or something to that effect; here we have a case where Lewis was definitely the best driver over the weekend, but Kimi drove a better race on Sunday.

Just a thought.



Lewis Hamilton – driver of all weekend

Kimi Raikkonen – driver of the race

Fernando Alonso – driver of damage limitation


Kimi Raikkonen. He overtook his teammate when it really counts.

Frankly, is someone scraping the bottom of the barrel? I see Vettel’s paragraph and wonder if my English is so bad that I see nothing redeeming about him to deserve even a mention.

I did a face palm when I heard his radio screaming at his team to do something about being stuck behind Button, twice. How about doing his job? Everyone’s at fault but himself since he last won.

RBR and Vettel aren’t making any new fans for so many questionable bending of rules and holier than thou attitude.


Hamilton, on the basis that he won and it was widely accepted in the pitlane that the Lotus was the fastest car yesterday.


Very close call between Hamilton and Raikkonen, I voted for Kimi as he gained several positions from the grid, his charge on the second stint was fantastic, although I was hoping to see him attacking Lewis on the third stint, however that did not happen.

Brilliant and well managed race from Lewis too, I thought he was going to be forced to do an additional stop. Driver of the weekend was Lewis, no doubt about it.

As for Vettel I don’t see why he’s on the list, he didn’t do anything extraordinary, even lost a place from the starting grid. Alonso did a much better race that him IMHO.


Lewis Hamilton for driver of the race.

He certainly looked like the man all weekend by, all but, totally dominating practice the whole weekend. Then came qualifying and he put in two bonsai laps, and just blitzed the opposition!

On the other hand, there’s no way McLaren had the race pace of Lotus. Yet, Hamilton’s tire management was supreme. He, deftly, controlled the race from the front, with cool-headed precision. Even at the start, into the first corner, Lewis braked way late (locking up a bit!) taking away any attempt at a move up the inside by Grosjean, or an outside move by Vettel.

Well, as far as, this business about the vagaries of the Hungarian circuit–hey, it’s the same for everybody. Later for woulda, coulda, shoulda….

All the same, Räkkönen was brilliant, and Grojean is the best (yeah he’s Swiss) French driver to come along since Prost/Cevert. Great race for following everyone’s strategy!


Lotus is the best car out there, yet none of the drivers was able to win a race. So, this should tell us that neither Kimi nor Grosjean is performing accordingly. If Fernando and Lewis were in Lotus they probably would have won all the past 11 races. So, I don’t understand why there is so much hype about Kimi.


Nice logic. If People were performing according to their materia,l Alonso would have one win at most and with regards to Lewis, he got beaten fair and square several times this season which he wasn’t that happy about.

Fantasy Formula is great, but this is why we have a real thing, not to loose the ground.


Senna for me. He showed what he’s capable of, strong all weekend, qualifying well, keeping a McLaren and then a Red Bull at bay and taking home solid points (closing the gap to Maldonado). A few more results like that and Williams will surely have a real head scratcher when they try to figure out which seat Bottas will be taking.


I just hope it doesn’t all come down to Maldonado’s financial backing, it’d be a shame for that dunderhead to keep his seat after yet another deliberate contact.


Hamilton without a doubt.

Sure Kimi drove a good race but Lewis drove and excellent race.


Still think we should put Maldonado up against the wall!! Never thought I’d hear myself say “poor old Michael” but he does seem to be having a torrid time at the moment. I am dissappointed as being a little older myself I really wanted Schumacher to show all the young “shavers” how it is done. Still he seems to be having a gasso good luck to him


Opps! it should read “gas so” sorry


My vote goes for Kimi. Weren’t it an almost impossible to overtake track, he (or Romain) might have won easily).

Lewis made a good race too, defending position at all stages and keeping cool under pressure.

I don’t quite understand how Vettel is being eligible here (he only won a position during pit stops and lost one from the starting grid) and not Alonso (who overtook Raikkonen on the track and battled to increase his WDC lead in a rather inferior car).


Kimi for the race with a stunning second stint. So close yet again. Hope it all comes together at Spa.

Lewis for the whole weekend who was amazing during qualifying.

Btw did Williams quietly slip Bottas into Senna’s car without informing anyone. Quick and made no mistakes, very un-Brunoesque. Best race of his career.


Lewis Hamilton. Dominated the whole weekend in brilliant fashion.

Qualifying was a demonstration, and outclassed the whole field.

Absolute flawless and intelligent drive in the race.

Raikkönen was good, but did nothing special in the rocketship he had. Qualifying was poor from him


Kimi was driver of the day, getting himself into contention during the middle stint was a brilliant performance.

However, this was an important win for Hamilton, all too often when he’s on pole with the “favourite” tag around his neck he fails to deliver. If McLaren maintain their pace advantage over Ferrari, Hamilton is going to have to extract the maximum from the car at every race to have a shot at this year’s title. Still think Alonso is the favourite though.


Kimi. His second stint was just amazing, shades of Spa 2005 and similar past races.


Difficult to fault Hamilton but Kimi gets my vote just for gaining four places in a race which was a borefest. With all the attempts to improve overtaking, DRS, tyres etc, why they still race there is beyond me. The only ‘race’ was ’89 when Mansell won from 12th on the grid.

The ‘Booby’ prize should go to whoever was responsible for Button’s strategy calls.

It must rank as one of the most incredible decisions I have ever seen.


Without wanting to take anything away from Kimi (he did drive well) i’m not so sure that the over-take restrictions stopped him from winning. Everytime he got within a second of Hamilton, Ham stepped it up a bit and kept him at arm’s length. Superb defensive skills. I am torn between driver of the day though. I Thought that Kimi’s drive was pretty stunning in terms of leaping above his teammate and getting a good second place. Hamilton drove very consistantly and defended his position with good skill, never letting anyone close eneough to threaten him.


I think you need to understand a bit more about aerodynamics in F1. Having three(two if you cranky) aero dependant long corners before straight line, even Quad-DRS wont help you.


Only one man and thats Kimi. With Spa coming up, he’ll win there. Its destiny.

Kris Grzegorczyk

So much to say about Kimo’s race – basically defied all the commonly held knowledge and logic about what the soft tyres were capable of.

Alonso continues to plug away – just staying out of trouble and taking the opportunities that come his way. Seems simple but incredible how he continues to be the only one capable of having steady weekends from Saturday to Sunday, week after week.

Great job by Hamilton. Did a similar job to Alonso in hockey him. Remarkably consistent. Sure he could have gone faster at times but a really well measured and controlled performance.

James, can a lack of KERS be used to explain Kimi’s ability to keep the softs alive longer than anybody else? Does no KERS mean less-rapid degradation?


Kimi…seeing the post above …i would not be suprised that probably most he is the most followed F1 driver ..what is it that most of the F1 fans find endearing about him …


Driver of the Day ? Kimi.

Driver of the Weekend, Lewis.

Hungaroring is a great track to demonstrate where each car is at with regards downforce. Therefore I conclude that McLaren and Lotus have the best cars (which look pretty equally matched – although it was interesting to hear that Renault still has less KERS than Mercedes powered teams). Red Bull have the third fastest car on the grid, and Ferrari the forth.

On that basis perhaps the ‘stand out’ drivers really came from Alonso and Vettel?

If Lotus still has a quick-ish car in Spa then Kimi is the man to deliver, his record at that track is senstaional.


Based on the whole weekend it’s Lewis. Kimi was electric in the final stint though. Next 5 weeks are going to be slow!


It’s great to see Kimi flying again. Always think he get’s a bit of unfair criticism because of his laid back attitude. Strong comeback after being away for 2 years. The car is good which obviously helps, but the fact that he’s sitting 5th? in the driver standings says that he’s been consistent all year. I think (may be wrong here) he’s scored points at every race bar China when he was running 2nd and his tyres fell of ‘the cliff’. Can’t see him going to Ferrari but I can understand their interest, consistent points finishes are what they’re after. Kimi to Mclaren would be an interesting twist, though I understand he has a 2 yr contract with Lotus and what a great team they make. No fuss: “Hey Eric, build me a fast car and I’ll drive it and keep the icecream flowing”. Nice one Kimi, great to see you back and driving well not just running around for the sake of it, ahem Michael! (Yes Michael fans I understand some of this is down to the Merc car but I’ve never heard of a driver turning off his engine before) friendly banter guys no offense intended, ;).

Bring Back Murray

Slightly different thinking to most but I’m acutally going to go for Grosjean here.

I think by getting 3rd place today that he justified his good results earlier in the season.

During the first few races it seemed to be much more of a lottery – when people like Grosjean and Maldonado were getting decent results it all appeared far too random.

Now at half way point, with the top teams starting to get the grips with the tyres it’s good to see Grosjean still getting strong results. To beat the Red Bulls and Ferrai’s under normal dry conditions was no mean feat.

Yes, Kimi was extremely fast, but we all know of Kimi’s speed already. For me Grosjean went up a step up in my estimation om Sunday.

Bring Back Murray

By getting 3rd place on Sunday rather!


Alonso deserves to be included on this list. Fifth may not be a stellar result after the highs of his last 3 races, but it’s drives like this – salvaging a good points haul when you don’t have the car to go better – that wins titles. Alonso got the maximum out of his car – the 4 drivers in front of him were in much faster machinery.


Lewis Hamilton by a mile !

He had it all to loose, but was perfect, controlled, controlling, masterful. It is not an opportunity for a spectacular win, he has pulled plenty of those off, but rather one to appreciate the subtleties of an expert performance and a near perfect display.

Kimi did a good job, especially his controlled pace and firmness with his teammate, that put the young pup in his place allright. Grosjean is at times fast, but the car is, but he is not consistent and has plenty of GP2 moments, far from the real deal as Kimi showed.


My vote goes as usual to Lewis.

Please don’t think this is so only because I am his fan, no, his drive really deserves DOTD title.

Let me be clear – this track is not Monaco, it IS possible to overtake here. But what Lewis did is that he never allowed his pursuers to get within 0.5 sec of him. He could have gone faster, but probably this would have killed his tires.

So he just looked after his tires, did no mistakes and controlled his pace. As a proof to this the gap between him and Kimi (and previously Roman) hovered in 0.5-1.2s range for most of the laps. And most importantly – almost always Lewis managed to exit the last corner and pull away from DRS-enabled pursuer. If I am not mistaken in the last 20 laps (or so) only twice Kimi was able to catch Lewis a bit on the start-finish straight.

So, yes, his McLaren was not faster overall, but crucially it was in the most important part of the track (in this case) – Sector 3. And let’s not forget that on second stint and medium Pirellis Lewis managed to be ahead of soft-clad Roman (though he helped Lewis a bit a bunch of mistakes).


Lots of people voting for Kimi … I wanted to but it’s driver of the day NOT strategy of the day. Much of his gains were made without passing on-track. Fernando did a great job limiting the damage to his WDC lead. Impressive.

But hats off to Lewis, a very well managed drive.

The Iceman is due for a win, surely it can’t be far off.



Do you think it is possible for F1 fans to begin a campaign to get rid of the Hungaro”Bore”ring. Honeslty I dred this race knowing what sort of races it produces. New tyres, Kers, DRS and still not able to pass on the track. Would Bernie listen to a couple of million fans saying ditch the ring and keep SPA. Would love to know what you others think.


Have to give it to senna,been smashed all year,under huge pressure from bottas and delivered.


Yeah I agree. Pretty good effort from Senna – he was quick all weekend.


Remember how I commented last week how Webber’s 2009 championship was derailed by a series of botched pitstops and nonsensical strategies. Well thank you Red Bull for doing it again to Mark.

Mark started with a good strategy choice of starting on the hard tyre. But what was the point of starting on the hard tyre when he pitted only a couple of laps later than the rest who were on the softer less durable tyre? It made no sense, Mark was going faster than Fernando, even though Fernando had pitted (the Ferrari’s tend to take their time to warming up harder compounds). But this stupid decision of pitting and coming out behind the slow Alonso at the first stop, was then compounded by Webber pitting early again for his second stop even though he was on the harder tyre again. Was this because Vettel was about to get slowed down by Webber? Knowing Red Bull probably. This second stupid decision then forced Webber from what would’ve been a comfortable 2-stop to a 3-stop.

It should’ve been clear from the degradation levels that the harder tyre would make it to the end without falling off the cliff, so it would’ve then made sense for Mark to try and stick out there on his softs, because the worst case scenario would’ve been dropping behind Massa.

Anyway, I could explain it more and more but don’t have the time. One thing we can conclude: Webber has no hope for a world championship with Red Bulls [mod] this year. He may be leading Vettel in the championship, but even on the GPs where Mark is quicker, they still try and work out how to maximise Vettel’s position – then after that – they then try and get Mark as many points as possible BUT not at Vettel’s expense.


It sure looks like it. My impression watching the race was that Mark’s third stop was designed to keep him behind Vettel, not in front of Alonso. He was catching Vettel quickly and staying ahead of Alonso, I was bewildered when I saw he had pitted.

Someone previously forecast that Mark’s fortunes would change now that he had signed the contract, and what have we seen since? The dodgey engine maps which favoured Vettel’s style, compromising him in Germany, followed by some dead set numpty pit calls and a “diff problem” this week.

Honestly, if it was any other team, with any other history of behaviour you would chalk it up as bad luck, but with RBR it just seems to fit the pattern doesn’t it?


For me Kimi just pips it. But why is Vettel even in this and not Alonso? Vettel finished a place lower than his starting position while having a fast car. Alonso finished a place up from his start position and held off a Mclaren, a race winning car…lol. Glad for Senna also…what on earth is going on at Mercedes.



Could Kimi have jumped Lewis at the last stops if he got past Alonso earlier in the race? Would be great to see some analysis in the Strategy Wrap up in the coming day.

Also, any more light to be shed on Webber’s diff problem. I didnt hear much about it during the telecast.



Read the Strategy Report tomorrow


Kimi/ Lewis My two favorite drivers of the last 10 years. Easily Kimi as driver of the day. Nothing phases him, KERS glitches , Alonso getting ahead, he just went flat out when FA pitted and nailed it- He did an Alonso on Alonso ! Same again on Romain and then just put 10 seconds on him in one stint ! So anyone questioning the move could see he was not going to be challenged by Romain.His purple laps on worn Softs and mediums were brilliant! Lewis drove an excellent race weekend but lets face it-the speed the MP-4 27 now has -he was never going to be beaten on that circuit after that Quali run.

There was some passing also by KK on Caterham- I think that guy can pass his own shadow twice in the one movement ! Jenson on Fernando There were few more but they weren’t shown ! Which was disappointing ! But it was much better than Monaco because with strategy you could see things happening at this race and a driver could make substantial gains.

I wish Kimi would be pleased on days like that where he drives outstanding and cannot win.The post race questions he seems to forget that ( and mention the team) -those podium questions don’t help!- as you say James he’s a ..”sh*t or break driver” and why we love his driving- Agree it would be better if JA or DC would do post race ,but still After the guys catch a break !!

Bring on Spa where I’m sure both Kimi and Lewis will be up there but next time they will have Vettel & Alonso to contend with.


Voted Kimi cos he wanted to win so badly and drove the hell out of his Lotus. The overtaking move on Grosjean was the best despite Grosjean being shoved off the track by the old fox, wondered what Kimi said in his head.

Hamilton drove well too and during the last stint the pressure was on him but he kept it under control. Congrats to Lewis for his second win.

Alonso got what he wanted, keeping Webber behind him and Happy Birthday to Nando.

Overall the race was kinda processional. would have been better if there was rain at the halfway point but the track temp was 46 degrees, I predicted 45 degrees LOL.



Question , did Daniel fall on his sword because Seb being on the bubble looked like missing out on the next session???

Did DR take one for “The Team” ??



Mmm. I don’t think so, I think that they just got the strategy wrong and ran too early. That said, you could see trouble coming for DR, so it was odd.


What is this all about? Who is DR!





His second stint was awesome!

Did really well considering no KERS at the start & no full KERS during some part of the race.


Kimi for sure! But can we please drop this circuit from the calendar, or at least install sprinklers on the track to make it interesting? This is a go kart track not F1..

Adrian Newey Jnr

Imagine if Williams had decent drivers.

James – there seems to be a bit of tension between Sam Michaels and Lewis before the start. Any inside information?


Kimi!! Made a semi interesting race, interesting.

Mike from Colombia

Hi James,

Are you going to be putting together some kind of half-term report with your verdict and team and driver performance?

Best wishes,




Roderick Grant

Lewis drove a great race, however I can not give him the accolade of being the best as the Hungaroring tends to favour front row starters. I would have said Mark for climbing up to fifth, though he fell to eights.

It has to be Kimi for me. Great driver and probably the only one who was remotely exciting to watch during a bland race.


Kimi… even Anthony Hamilton said so


Difficult choice but I went with Raikkonen as he had to fight his way up afer losing out to Alonso from a KERS failure at the start.

Hamilton was very impressive, controlling the race and winning.

Excellent job from Senna as well all weekend, unlike his team mate.


As a Räikkönen fan, I want to vote for him and the awesome inevitability of his consistently fast string of laps at the end of his second stint.

But it’s kinda hard to when the biggest mistake Hamilton made over the whole weekend was to outbrake himself slightly into turn 1 immediately following the start.


Kimi Raikkonen for me. His race pace was seriously good, although Lewis Hamilton drove a textbook defensive race to hold off both Lotus guys and all the guys on the list did well (what happened to Romain Grosjean in the final stint btw? Having been with Lewis all race until then, he lost about nine seconds).

Although his race pace has generally been good, in 2012 Raikkonen has nearly always left himself with too much to do after qualifying and often after losing a place or two early on in the race as well. In a way, given the speed of the Lotus and his undoubted ability, he’s underachieved at some races this season because when he’s on today’s kind of form there’s still not many drivers out there that can lap as fast as him. Looking at the championship table, with Lotus bringing upgrades to Spa, you’ve got to have him down as one of the title contenders surely?


It’s difficult to know whether Kimi is underperforming in qualifying or if he is deliberately setting his car up for the race, where he is nearly always quicker than Grojean.

In 2008 it was a similar story really in which Massa tended to beat him in qualifying but Kimi was faster in the race.

I tend to think that Hamilton could do a better job in qualifying with the Renault but of course there is no way of knowing that. However, I do think Kimi is very strong in the race, no mistakes at all, clean overtaking, ice cool.

All in all, (as Vettel would say) I think that Kimi is as good as Alonso and Hamilton with the others slightly behind. I think the jury is still out on Vettel.


Most of Kimi’s mistakes come during qualifying and he used to be one of the best. It seems that this season during those qualifying laps Kimi expects car to be better than it is.

wings on wheels

How could Vettel be the driver of the day?! He started third and finished fourth, didn’t he???I must have seen a different race…


Spot on again!

wings on wheels

I miss Alonso here. Not for his season – what an achievement it is to lead the standings by 40 points in only the fourth fastest car (=six drivers on quicker cars!) – but also for his race today, if only for his relentlessness. He does it again, race after race. Today he made up one place in lap one though starting on the dirty side of the grid and then again, he managed to finish ahead of two cars quicker than his and extended his championship lead by doing so. Alonso is the man.


Not strictly true, the Ferrari was the fasted car last weekend in Germany. The fastest car changes from race to race.

Yesterday it was the McClaren, last week Ferrari, the week befor Red Bull…in China it was the Mercedes…


Kimi but the race not much watch. Only passing during pitstops. When are they going to do something about the track? With kers drs two seconds a lap faster and you still can’t pass the slower driver! Bernie ditch the ring it’s been an ordinary race for years.


There needs to be a ‘driver of the day’ and ‘driver of the weekend’ poll.

Driver of the day is a hard pick between hamilton and kimi. Senna got a little lucky in that button and webber were released behind him, and they weren’t able to overtake due to the track.

‘Driver of the weekend’ would have to be hamilton though, smashing pole and then holding onto victory when his team was chopping and changing his strategy.


Not everyone plays their cards on the weekend- some guys testing new parts, diff fuel loads, some teams testing third driver- no point really


I thought Lewis controlled it well and Senna showed what he can do, but Kimi was the driver of the day for that middle stint. Very impressive comeback this year, and handy race pace.


I was going to sleep because i was tired. Then i saw kimi charging with quali lvl lap times (purple). Lap after lap, iceman was relentless. It was not only the determination that impresses me, but more importantly, is how he manage to do that while keeping tires intact, not running off road and simply made it count! Note that Lotus is not as fast as Mclaren, evident with a weaker kers and one that needs regular breaks to cool down.

Dotd = Kimi


there was only one..Kimi. Where are there other options at all? 🙂


DOTD Raikkonnen, stunning pace at the right time on old tyres

DOTW Hamilton.


Hamilton. He clocked in fastest sectors and lap times all weekend. Race day, he managed his tires well and maintained the gap ahead of the two very fierce and antagonizing Lotus cars. Overall, he did what he had to do to win.


Kimi for sure. Was down to sixth after the start, had a KERS issue but still managed to beat his teammate with an awesome second stint and came close to the win. Bring on Spa where he is the man!


Driver of the “day”, I can’t really pick between Lewis and Kimi. Lewis converted his pole to a win, while Kimi drove a stellar race and would’ve won were this any other circuit (other than Monaco as well I guess).

Driver of the whole weekend was w/o doubt Hamilton, so that was my tie-breaker.


I’m tired of hearing the “on any other circuit Kimi would have won”. On any other circuit Grosjean would’ve passed Lewis and been on up the road, maybe Kimi could’ve gotten him but these “Kimi would’ve won on….” people are only looking at points that support it and ignoring everything else.


Come on now, for pure comedy it has to go to Schumacher surely?


All of the top three drove extremely well today and so did Senna in 7th who pulled out a strong race after rumors about his future started to bubble up. But I have one problem with this poll: why isn’t Alonso in it? In my opinion he drove much better than Vettel today who shouldn’t be on this because throughout the race Alonso had to hold much quicker cars behind him such as Webber, Button and Raikkonen behind him throughout the race, but I know that overtaking isn’t that difficult there. All the Vettel did was lose places and then nearly get overtaken by Alonso when he was coming out of the pits. Nonetheless it wasn’t the best race today. but it was interesting to see all of the different stategies even if there wasn’t the largest amount of overtaking.


*I meant overtaking was difficult here

Tornillo Amarillo

Hamilton learnt from Vettel last year and from Alonso this year, he should only stay away from Maldonado… The gap with Alonso is still huge, Alonso can win the WDC just being around P2 to P5.


The gap is not that huge (unfortunately, as I root for Fernando)

P2 to P5 is 18 to 10 points, so an average of 14 pts per race. that would put him at 290pts at the end of the season

that means Webber will need 167 points to beat him in the remaing 9 races, an average of 18.5 points per race, that you can achieve by being P1 to P4 and that is not very hard to do if you have a good car such as the Mclaran or the Lotus or the Red bull

So it’s still VERY much “not in the bag” for Fernando, unless FERRARI manages to get him in the P1 to P4 average group

those that are out of contention are those lower than kimi, and that’s a counter performance for JB


Come on James that was NOT an exciting Hungarian GP! Even your brilliant commentary couldn’t lift this race out of dulldom! However, the Iceman got my vote. A win is surely on the cards this season for him. On another note how can Mclaren get Lewis’ strategy so right and Jenson’s so wrong!! Roll on September and Spa 🙂


I think JBs strategy rested on his middle stint. When he came out in Senna’s dirty air he needed to get past, and quickly. He didn’t do this and spent too much time behind the Brazilian, destroying his tyres in the process.

Hamilton on the other hand, ran in clean air for much of the race so could manage his tyres better and had more options than JB when it came to mid-race distance.


Thats exactly how I saw it. JB was stuck behind Senna and that was that. Was that an error by the team who should have seen Senna and noted they possibility of being stuck behind him.

To my mind Mclaren seem to be a team who are excellent engnieers but terrible stratagists.

Losing a place in Monaco and runnign out of feul on qualifying, good at the macro poor at the micro.


Yeah, for such a dull circuit, Hungary has a habit of turning up some cracking races, but this wasn’t one of them.


I think McLaren got Jensons wrong and then pulled the masterstroke of saying ‘well that was stupid, let’s keep Lewis on the original plan’…


It was a very exciting race. It just goes to prove that you don’t need hundreds of passes to make a race interesting. What we had was classic old-skewl – drivers following each other with the *chance* to overtake but no guarantees.

All race you were wondering if somebody, be it Grosjean or Kimi, was going to catch and pass the leader.

Granted it probably wasn’t too exciting if you’re not a fan of one of those three, but your driver can’t be in the spotlight every race!


Hamilton was driver of the weekend. Kimi of the day!


My thoughts exactly.


I concur! He was lapping nearly two seconds a lap quicker than the leaders at one point, that is immense speed!


my thought. no need to post anymore


I agree with this, Lewis was definitely in a class of his own for qualifying and then fought well on race day. But, did like what Kimi did with a kers problem and some self belief in the race.


Kimi since Lewis clearly had the fastest car on the grid and he almost got beat with it and he would if Kimi’s KERS was working.


Kimi’s KERS didn’t work for couple of laps at the begining of the race. Had nothing to do with last 15-20 laps when Kimi was helpless against Lewis even tho’ he had a faster car with fresher tyres.

Stop finding excuses for Kimi while in a very fast car with good tyres. The team did everything for Kimi. They put him in 2nd place. Kimi didn’t had to overtake anyone.

He couldn’t even overtake Alonso in that slow car.


Lotus’ strategy certainly was good for Kimi, but it was totally up to Kimi to make it work. If he hadn’t been able to pull those blistering laps just before his second pit stop, he had finished 5th.


Look, I have nothing against Kimi, but in Hungary all he did was to drive a fast car. That’s his job. The reason why I take the credit (you give to him) away from him is because he didn’t show anything spectacular.

Lotus was arguably the fastest car (in my opinion) on Sunday and he couldn’t do anything against Alonso at the begining or against Lewis at the end. In both cases he had the fastest car.

It was definitely faster than the Ferrari and faster than the McLaren looking at how fast he caught up with Lewis after the second stop.

When the Lotus didn’t perform like in Hungary I didn’t see anything spectacular from him.

By putting those “blistering” laps (like you said) he only did what the car was capable of doing and what a F1 driver should do. Drive it as fast as possible.


When you read the strategy report you will change your mind


Lotus was faster than McLaren. Look at the laptimes. Almost is not enough


Kimi’s KERS was working during the chase though it was only earlier he had to reset the batteries, you could see he had KERS from the inboard graphics.


Yes you’re right. I was only answering the “Seb is King” guy saying “Kimi is God, he wouldm of beat Lewis if he had KERS” I was telling him Kimi did have KERS for most of the race, and that the only time he didn’t, it was Kimi’s own fault for messing up the charging settings.


It’s okay my reply was to the same poster it’s just the James Allen website nests responses, I wrote my response before yours was published.

I think Kimi did a good job but he clearly isn’t fully up to speed with the gadgets in F1. I don’t think Lewis was going to be a pushover on any track but there was no chance here.


I was under the impression that Kimi messed up the KERS charging, judging by his engineers. When Kimi said it wasn’t working, his engineer said” Hit OK twice you don’t have anything in the battery”. It gave me the impression that Kimi had just hit the wrong buttons and didn’t have his KERS charging properly.


Lewis clearly had the fastest car? That Lotus looked pretty fast to me all race…


James, do you think Pirelli’s tyre decision for this weekend saved hamilton’s bacon, as it were?


Young grosjean recovered well from his dismal Hockenheim, but he was firmly put in his place today. Actually he is put in his place just about every race day. Of course, quali may be a different matter…

I sense that Kimi is settling in and becoming more and more comfortable with the Lotus and the car is surely coming to him


My observation as well concerning Kimi. Rally and NASCAR are not F-1. Raikkonen, like anyone needs time to become accustomed to the cars.


Bruno Senna for me!

Not the fastest car in the race but certainly made good use of it and kept in touch with the top teams.

A few good racing moments from him too.


Here, here. Don’t look now but it appears as though Williams are definately coming around. How much longer before top drivers are once again recruited at Grove?


Someone needs to threaten Sennas seat every race – he looked like he was fully awake all weekend! It was great to see the ‘nice’ driver actually defend hard and push his car this weekend.

If he drove like that more regularly I think he’d not only keep his seat but gain a lot more respect from those fans calling him a ‘fake’ living off his name.


Senna might do better on the 2nd half of the championship as he’s much more used to the tracks he’d raced with Renault last year. Hope he can secure his seat for 2013 against the strong-looking (skill and financials) Bottas


Bruno had a great day! I hope for more!


I agree with you he copped a lot of stick lately and this is the best reply.


Close call. Hamilton was better form than of late and the Mclaren looks up to the job. Fastest on Friday, and in all 3 qualifying sessions it was his race to lose, and he didn’t. He did enough to stay in front throughout (except for short moments in the pit stops) but not so much he destroyed the tyres, a good drive but he’d done all his work by the first corner.

Raikkonen on the other hand didn’t have a great qualifying and did better than the others on the day – in fact he was closer to Hamilton at the end than at the first corner. Just for being prepared to go wheel-to-wheel with Grosjean (and a nod to the team for telling them both to race) is the difference which gets him my vote.


The Lotus’ were clearly the fastest cars in race conditions but Hamilton’s didn’t crack under intense pressure throughout the race to win in a slower car. Hamilton was rightly rewarded for his total domination in qualifying and flawless race craft.


Not going to deny that Lewis had a good race, he did, and did everything correct.

However, I would be lying if I said I thought he was driver of the day. In my mind, that has to go to Kimi. It has to be said that Lewis only kept first due to the nature of the track. Both Kimi and Romean got in a second of Lewis, but then, you just can’t overtake, the possibilities just don’t come. I can only feel that on another track, this would have been a Lotus 1,2, on a track, such as, Spa, looming upon us after the break.

To Kimi also after coming from where he did, has to get my vote, but nothing taken away from Lewis, still a great drive.

P.S. Happy Birthday Fernando, congratulations for extended your lead in the Title!


In real terms, losing 15 points to (over the course of the season) serious championship contender Hamilton is not extending his lead in the championship. Vettel also scored ahead of him, another proper contender.

As much as I like him, just don’t see Webber as being in contention, especially with a teammate like Vettel. So extending a lead over him is a less relevant consideration.


Apparently Lewis nursed his tyres through the first 2 sectors (along with his KERS), then nailed the final sector and used his KERS on the straight to keep the Lotuses behind, which if true shows an Alonso level of control and intelligence.


Yes, this is what put LH above KR for me. Kimi never really got close enough to attempt a pass, because Lewis repeatedly pulled out enough of a lead in sector 3 to neuter the only possible passing opportunity.

Excellent driving from both of them although it was more ‘tense’ than ‘exciting’ to watch – it was the same old Hungaroring after all. Even DRS faux-passes don’t work there.


Question: Who has the most powerful KERS unit on the grid?


bravo,I was thinking the same.


Surely the iceman

Kimi drove a class today

now bring on SPA

yeah baby


The Iceman Cometh.

With their hyper-DRS and apparently a massive upgrade package coming, Spa will be a decimation.


Except that the Lotus is always super quick when its hot (Bahrain, Canada, Valencia, Hungary). Kimi will be competitive at Spar if its hot and we all know it wont be. His luck may change at Monza though.

The Lotus does not have the pace of the McLaren in warm to cool conditions. I’m almost certain they would not have finished 2 and 3 yesterday had it been cooler. They did not even have the pace of Red Bull or Ferrari in Germany.

Vettel is another hot weather specialist this year, all the races where he has been very competitive were hot, the same ones where Lotus were also very strong. Hot temperatures help them a lot but McLaren are getting better on tyres too.

By the way James, there’s no way Kimi had a good start, seing as he got stuck behind Alonso!


Agreed that Kimi runs well at Spa, but so does Lewis. The records show only one Spa win for LH, but we all know he waxed Kimi in the wet in ’08 (one of the best 5 min.

What a ridiculous penalty that was, for the rules as they were at that time … he gave the pos back (LH was fully behind), he lifted, Kimi was first and faster over the start-finish line, plus the real kicker being that Charlie had advised McLaren twice that LH had correctly given the position back!

I agree with the rule clarification that came afterwards (i.e. that after giving the position back, you can’t attack until after the next corner), but at the time, the rules were not that clear. The stewards didn’t say he didn’t give the position back (how could they?), but that he hadn’t given it back “enough”, which is such an objective measurement, isn’t it?

If it was any other driver/team, the result would’ve stood, with the rules clarification to follow for the next race. Another entry in the annals of FIA Inconsistency.


I wouldn’t be so quick to discount Kimi at Spa.

Certain drivers jive with certain tracks, and he gets this one (Webber at Silverstone or Hamilton at Montreal are other good examples).

Cool or not, Kimi in a slippery Lotus (just what DOES that DRSPlus do???) will be something to look forward to over the next month.


Kimi had a fast car and the only person to overtake was his teammate. Actually that was not even a full overtake.

James, you should put Lotus team instead of Kimi’s name. They did everything for him.

He was much faster than Lewis and with tyres 5 laps fresher he was not able to overtake him.

I know in Hungary is hard to overtake, but I could not see even I attempt from Kimi. Nothing.

That Lotus is clearly fast but I do feel that in the hands of Alonso or Vettel or Lewis it would be alot faster.

I voted Lewis.


Agree with you MISTER … what could LH or FA do in that Lotus??? I think Kimi is a very good driver, but not at the level of LH or FA, or even SV.

Case in point: FA is coming up to the same number of starts for Ferrari as KR had, and his stats compare quite favourably. But look at the red cars that each had … the Ferrari was co-best car in 2007 (it was probably the best car that year, but masked by the better driver lineup at McLaren), the best car in 2008, and then 2009 was a bad one for Kimi. Alonso meanwhile had a 3rd-fastest-for-first-half-2nd-fastest-for-second-half car in 2010, 3rd fastest car last year in an SV/RB7 romp year, and then this year with a 5th-fastest-at-start-then-progressively-better-but-never-the-best car this year. And yet Alonso will likely pass KR’s stats with Ferrari over the same amount of starts (whether he can match KR’s 1 DWC with Ferrari, we shall soon see).


Considering Lotus strategic calls during this season that cost them more than a win in points equivalent. Perfect strategy we saw in Hungary was long over due.


It was not the pitwall that was putting those blistering laps in the car just before Kimi’s second pitstop. It was all due to Kimi.


Oh ok you did not see the purple laps he pulled coming in/ out of the pits and on worn tyres !or the 12 +seconds he made up on Hamilton pulling 10 seconds ahead of Gorsjean who was supposedly faster than him. Or the fact that Red Bull is leading the championship. & both Lewis and Sebastian out qualified the Lotus yet somehow you can say the Lotus is faster. Did you ever stop to think that Lotus has one of the best drivers ever -Probably not!. I wont bother to read your comments let alone comment again because you never make any sense or justify it.


He drove a great race, I wonder if he’ll be off to RBR if Vettel moves to Ferrari? Raikkonen and RBR would seem to be a great PR match for one another.

On another note, other than Hamilton winning, the moment of the race I enjoyed most was listening to Vettel acting like a pop diva over the radio ‘I can go faster, try something!’ and Rocky’s reply ‘there are cars behind, we can’t just try ANYTHING’. Where, oh where, is the ‘clam, grounded, polite’ Vettel from the saeason’s where his car carried him almost unchallenged to the title?

Speaking of those years, I wonder how much circumvention of the rules RBR got away with? Or where allowed to get away with bacuase the FIA wanted to break the Ferrari/McLaren monopoly? I seemt o recall other teams querying whether RBR had a way to adjust the ride height between qualy and the race 1 year + ago… Did they always have those little holes in the bodywork?

There really is too much circumstantial evidence for people to keep writing it all off, you know, no smoke without a fire and all that. And I’ll say again there is a difference between innovation and borderline cheating. The engine map was not an innovation (I do hope that is not what passes for innovation in F1 noadays), and any changing of the ride height between qualy and the racfe certainly is not innovation (not that RBR have been found guilty of doing that).



And the double diffuser Brawn? The J-damper Renault? The F-duct McLaren? None of them broke the rules, but explicitly countervened them (and after which they were all banned, just like most of RBs run-arounds), which seems to some here to be be RB’s major transgression.

F1 teams aren’t rewarded for being fair and even-handed.


Sorry Wayne, didn’t realize I had to stand on ceremony. 🙂

I’m still going to have to disagree.

DRS/KERS/Pirelli attracts casual fans, agreed.

Technological innovation — not ‘cheating’ as you insist on calling it, since, yes, everyone does it, has always done it, and will always do it (that’s called precedent)– keep the true fans entertained. Don’t tell me that you don’t look at Lotus’ double DRS and get intrigued about what it’s doing. If they raced it, it was post-race found to operate in a grey area and they were told to remove it, would that REALLY spoil it all for you?

Regarding your view of casual fans, even the most casual of fans understands a DQ, or a penalty. Let’s not be so smug. In the Olympics, it doesn’t matter if you know HOW someone was doping, or with what, it’s enough to say “they were doping, DQ’d”. As for implications, the only harm it does it to the athlete’s/country’s reputation.

Just like in F1. IF RB has been deemed to be cheated, which it never has, and has benefited from an illegal car, which it never has, then it will be DQ’d, which, again, it never has.

But if RedBull ever did get DQ’d, it would look badly only on them, I don’t see how the organization on the whole will suffer (this isn’t Italian football or the Tour de France).


KGBVD, appreciate your opinion on what sport I should be watching. Thanks.

Nope, Mac did not do it ‘my way’ (your lol’s and ‘sighs’ and sound bites are becoming tedious rather than making you sound superior btw) – they did it Charlie’s way, Charlie being the race director, as did Lotus.

Noone claimed that Mac were an ‘upstanding, moral team’ but thanks. Again.

This BS about ‘it’s not cheating because it’s F1’ is just that. Similarly, the ridiculous argument that it’s ok because x person or team did it before is plainly obtuse.

As for the holes in the bodywork that allow the ride height to be changed – are we seriously going to claim that this is ‘innovative’? Or, if they are used to change setting between qualy and race, are we all grown up enough to admit that this is just cheating. Innovation has become a metaphor for cheating in F1 as technology has advanced to the point where it is difficult to measure impact on the whole. Because it is easy to cheat does not mean that it is ok to do so. Because teams have always cheated, does not mean it is ok to do so. Because McLaren cheated does not mean it is ok for RBR to do so. F1 fans (I have been one for 20 years) are arrogant, we assume a level of knowledge that is quite often completely unfounded and we sneer at casual viewers’ viewpoint, we ‘sigh’ and we ‘lol’ despite the fact that a casual viewpoint such as ‘why do RBR constantly get away with cheating’ (regardless of whether they actually do ‘cheat or not’) is incredibly important for the image of the ‘sport’. How many casual fans out there, who outnumber us 50 – 1, do you think are asking that question and calling into question the integrity of the sport? This really does matter and it matters more now than it did 5 years ago.


Because the sport has made a clear and decisive move away from motorsport and racing hardcore fans towards the casual viewer (makes perfect business sense but it does not sit well with the concept of ‘sport’). How: By introducing push to pass concepts such as DRS, KERS and ridiculous self-destructing tyres (the old ‘tyres have always been central to F1 cliché does not hold up as they have NEVER been as important as they are today) – each one of which is Engineered to influence the race. DRS (for the first time ever in F1) is a mechanism to deliberately hand a temporary artificial advantage to another driver at a given place and time – that is not racing and it most certainly is artifical.

If F1 wants more casual fans, and it really does, it really needs to ensure that there are satisfied – they will not delve into the technical regs, they need to be told clearly – is this right or wrong, not patronised with ‘you wouldn’t understand so don’t try).


I remember the FIA having to make a ruling on the double differs AFTER they were introduced. A few races in if i’m not mistaken. There was the fear that the first few races would be thrown out.

Same for the ride-height brake – that Lotus had a version approved without giving it’s true intent doesn’t help Wayne’s point. Lotus were purposefully being deceptive (which I think is OK, as that’s the point of competition, getting an advantage). Wayne think that’s a bad thing.

There is nothing wrong with doing something until being told to stop, e.g. F-ducts, fan cars, or holes in the floor. If a rule is broken, then the car should be DQ’d. But that hasn’t happened, has it?


I’m pretty sure Lotus ran the ride height assist braking thing by the FIA with their explanation of what it did and it didn’t get banned until after the other teams saw it in action and suggested to the FIA it would also provide aerodynamic benefit.

Similarly, part of the reason why RBR wasn’t entirely happy with Brawn/Toyota/Williams stealing a march on the double diffuser, was because they too had submitted a form of double diffuser to the FIA that had not been deemed legal while the other teams’ version clearly had.

I don’t think running things by the FIA automatically nullifies your advantage. The FIA has no responsibility to divulge everything the teams show them to the other teams, quite the contrary.


Lol, OK. Macca did it your way. And everyone else? Is McLaren the ONLY upstanding, moral team out there? Oh no wait… there was something involving a disgruntled Ferrari mechanic a few years ago…

Shall we look at the F-duct example? They ran it by Charlie, who announced right away that it was OK. Great. So Sauber, with Key, was able to waste no time copying it in time for the 2nd race. Advantage nulled. Now THAT was a good effort boys! Meanwhile, Brawn, in the same year, pulled a fast one (along with Toyota and Williams), and won.

Brawn gambled, as RB and everyone else does these days, and hoped that their idea wouldn’t be deemed too illegal to be outlawed. And it wasn’t. +1 Brawn.

He did the same this year with the double DRS (to much less effect). Lotus didn’t wait before testing their brake height assist, and neither did Ferrari when they copied it right away (developing the entire system, only to have it banned for the 1st race).

Sorry Wayne, but between this and your Pirelli/DRS rants, I get the feeling you’re watching the wrong sport.


If anything should prompt a sarcastic, sigh it should be this: “F1 teams aren’t rewarded for being fair and even-handed”. Tragic. But hey, it’s always been that way so that makes it fine, huh?

And I’ve pointed out the difference between Mac’s F-duct and RBR here before. Mac got explicit permission from the FIA FIRST, RBR hide what they do even from Charlie.


Oh, how I laughed. At the F1 journos! There was so much made of Lewis Hamilton’s comparably staid moans about issues with car pace and strategy, but now the F1 media is in hiding. How can they acknowledge that what they saw from Vettel last year was that which is easy to do: be gracious when you are sweeping all before you.

When the car under you is so dominant [for possibly illegal reasons] you can afford to reach down and be generous to the lesser people. A regal wave here, and a pleasant word there did so much for BBCF1 last year. So young and yet so mature. So level-headed. So magnanimous ….

All of a sudden the car is not stomping all over Fernando, Hammy et al and it’s about cucumbers, giving the finger, the FIA ‘trying to break his neck’, and stamping feet ….. And nary a word from the journos.


I don’t get the hand-waving all the time … is he part Italian, or what? I mean, it was stupid to wave his hand at Hamilton after he unlapped himself. And to suggest that he lost time b/c of it, even when two laps later FA and LH had dropped him by a couple of seconds? Weak.




You should have thrown in Fernando…he did amazing at stopping any bleeding from having a lousy car.


He wasn’t the one stopping the bleeding.

The Hungaroring is a 4.5km tourniquet.

Any other track (barring Monaco), and he would have been behind both Button and Webbo.


Exactly, the circuit was a major boon to both Alonso and Hamilton this time out.


KGBVD, it’s not as though everyone knew the outcome halfway thru the race, like was the case with a majority of Herr Vettel’s lights-to-flag romps last year. Only mechanical failure was going to change the outcome then.

If you say it was a nailed-on Hamilton victory after 35 laps, you’re pretending.

I like overtakes as much as the next guy … I think they should bring back big tires, exhausts up in the air, to get maximum slipstreaming. The changes that the TWG introduced were supposed to aid overtaking, even in non-DRS area’s. That’s been an epic fail, only saved by the Pirelli tires.


And that made it SOOO exciting.

Did you actually enjoy it? Or are you just a Taz fan?

I prefer my F1 NOT to resemble televised poker. If I leave to make a sandwich, I like to think that I will miss something exciting.


Not really – he drove a fairly anonymous race which would have yielded a disappointing 7th place finish were it not for truly lousy strategy calls from Webber and Button’s garages.


Absolutely agree. Webber’s pitstop timings were bizarre and reeked of Red Bull doing what would work best for Vettel and not Webber. Let’s take a look:

Webber began on the harder compound tyre. Whatever happened around him on the track, it should’ve been clear, to give him good strategy options he should run for at least 1/3 of the race on these tyres (23 laps). But no, despite having clear air, and lapping faster than Fernando Alonso who had stopped on Lap 17, Webber followed Kimi into the pits and stopped on Lap 20. Only doing 20 laps on a set of harder tyres was compromising and did not make sense, considering he would be coming out behind Fernando Alonso, so would not be able to use his fresh set of tyres.

Here, the strategy was obvious, Webber had to burn his first stint medium tyres as the gap behind Alonso to Senna was large, and therefore it was only necessary for Webber to pit when his tyres were about to drop off the cliff. He would then have some clear air behind Alonso and be able to use his fresh set of tyres. But NO, Red Bull inexplicably chose to pit Webber on Lap 20.

Okay, big mistake, but Webber is still in the race now, behind Alonso on the second stint. Fast forward to Lap 39, Webber has been held up by Alonso for the entire stint. It is clear from the other drivers that degradation is not very high, even on the soft tyre. Now, there are two clear options:

1) Go for the undercut to overtake Fernando. This could be difficult, as there is potential traffic that Webber will encounter in the shape of Rosberg and Massa, if he is to pit before Fernando, and putting the softs for 30 laps is a stretch.

2) Race longer on the medium tyres, as long as Webber can go, realising that Fernando takes time to warm up his new medium tyres (Ferrari’s tend to take a while to heat the harder compounds), and try and beat Fernando on the overcut (by staying out a lap or two longer than Fernando while Fernando’s tyres warm up).

Trying the undercut is still too early, considering there’d be 30 laps for the soft tyre to cover. But wait, Vettel is now only a couple of seconds behind Webber. So what do Red Bull do? They pit Webber as early as Lap 39, which basically means trying to hold on at the end on old tyres, so going for a later stop and trying to overtake people on fresher soft tyres at the very end (a 3 stop). Again, another silly move, but one that seemed to also be taking into account Vettel.

Now, we fast forward to Lap 55. Webber is in front of Alonso by more than 10 seconds, Alonso is only catching up a few tenths a lap. Although, this is likely to be more. There are two options now: Pit again and see if Webber can overtake on fresh rubber or try and hang on. If Webber tries to hang on, the worst possible scenario is that Webber ends up 9th, as Rosberg is around 35 seconds behind Webber at this stage in a distant 10th. To pit now, would put Webber in 8th position – BUT overtaking has proven to be very difficult, and the medium compound has not fallen off the cliff. Bruno Senna has already completed a 26 lap stint on the mediums, and is not on his final 27 lap stint on the mediums. This final stint has less fuel; so therefore there is no evidence Bruno will have any problems. Therefore, why is Webber pitting now? Kimi also successfully completed a 25 lap stint on the softs with no problems. Clearly the best strategy for Webber is to try and stay out there – and he’s only in this compromised position because his first stop AND his second stop were way too early. But pitting Webber, will allow Seb Vettel an additional option to pit (Red Bull always analyse how things will go for Vettel, and will never compromise Vettel’s race to assist Webber, BUT will gladly compromise Webber’s race to assist Vettel – best example being Australia 2010 amongst many).

And Red Bull pit Webber again, and consign him to 8th place. A litany of stupid decisions by Red Bull, that anyone with half a brain could see if they had live timing while the race was going on.

So, now we have seen how badly Red Bull compromised Webber, the question has to be why? Are Red Bull just bad with numbers – I don’t think so. It seems more apparent that Red Bull want Webber to do well, but not at the expense of Vettel. Webber is in front of Vettel in the championship, however Red Bull really want Vettel leading the championship, and then this allows them to ask Webber to move over for Vettel, not attack Vettel etc. (Like Silverstone 2011).

The real question must now be, why are Red Bull so much in favour of Vettel, when both their drivers have a chance for the championship? Why is Webber regularly strategically compromised (not to deliberately stuff up Webber, but rather to ensure Vettel is not compromised, and that Vettel has the best chance for the championship).

I think this has been answered best by James, in his piece in 2010, it concerned James’ observations at Red Bull, following Webber’s victory in Germany 2009. I think, as I’ve said before, the situation is best surmised as:

Red Bull want Webber to do well, to score as many points as possible and finish as high in the championship as possible BUT NOT at the expense of Sebastian Vettel. With Webber currently ahead of Vettel, naturally there is some concern in the Red Bull camp.


My understanding is that Webber lost his differential during his second stint. So, okay, that lead to marginally higher tyre wear for the second part of the race. However, that is not a sufficient explanation – much like Brawn’s lousy explanation of why Rubens had to pit so many times in Spain 2009 – which cost Rubens the victory (That has been discussed many times here and on other forums).

The explanation still does not explain the bizarre and nonsensical strategy for Webber pitting for his first stop. He began on a brand new set of medium compound tyres. He was lapping in the low 1.28’s before he pitted, which was faster than Alonso who had already pitted. So if Webber pitted now (lap 20) – all he would do would succeed in ending up behind a slow Alonso, and hence gain no benefit from new tyres.

The obvious thing to do here was to leave Webber out and let him do a few more laps on the hards to keep his strategy options open. If one is going to begin a race on the durable compound, it makes sense to do a proper amount of laps on them. This would then in-turn lead to Webber’s 2nd stint tyres being a number of laps newer, and so on. In other words, Webber’s strategy was always going to be compromised once they did that silly early stop.

Now, in relation to Vettel. I think it is natural that every team would monitor both their drivers pitstops to see if they will spoil each others races, and try to avoid that if at all possible. We have noted before the amount of time Helmut Marko spends discussing Webber’s strategy with Christian Horner to examine how it will affect Vettel. This is natural, McLaren will also note if stopping Button will impede Hamilton or vice versa.

Anyhow, I have provided a detailed explanation. The strategy used by Webber had a lot more things to consider than simply an impeded differential, one of those considerations naturally is how it will affect Vettel, will Webber get in the way of Vettel, etc. – will Vettel get in the way of Webber, etc. With Ferrari, they have to worry less about this, because Massa will always move over for Alonso.

What I am saying, is not a conspiracy theory; rather a natural part of the equation that any team has to make with strategy calls – will my drivers impede each other? And if so, how can I minimise or avoid it?


Amazing story…truth is his differential had gone wrong and so it was chewing up the tyres

Nice conspiracy though.


He did punch above his weight as he always does. However, for me, it was between Hamilton and Raikkonen.

Hamilton: did a great job of preserving his tyres while keeping two faster cars behind him. A controlled, mature drive from lights to flag, aided by the nature of the circuit. Can’t look after his tyres my ass.

Raikkonen: fast car or not, he made great progress, aided by a fast race-trim car (progress is something I love to see but this is a bit unfair on the leader as where can he go to make progress?).

Went for Hamilton to recognise the ‘thinking’ nature of his drive – not usually a strength.


His drive was very Alonso like..


P.S: When Pierreli go conservative on tyres, we really get to see more of what the drivers can achieve rather than sit at home waiting for the tyres to disintegrate and decide the whole thing. Plus it probably helped Hamilton to the win, so I’m rather pleased both ways 🙂


In all seriousness, Wayne, was that an interesting GP for you?

The seeming general consensus amongst pundits was that Pirelli ruined this one, ironically, by going conservative. I would say that this probably ranks bottom 1 or 2 in crap races this year for me (and everyone I watched it with).

The race was a dangerous reminder of what was a dreadfully monotonous sport for about a decade.

If you loved the strategy of the old years, that’s great, it WAS interesting for those who cared enough to get into it. But with no re-fuelling (a MUCH larger sin IMO than the Pirellis, KERS or DRS) there is no strategy anymore. A crap race is now, I’m afraid, a crap race.


Really, KGBVD? …and there was me hoping that we would return to the drivers running around for 90% of the race at 70% of their capacity with the tyres limiting everything to the lowest common denominator. I was hoping we would be treated to more defenceless dirvers at the end of the race being swarmed by others, loosing half a dozen places on the last lap and calling it ‘exciting’ and even ‘overtaking’. Which one of us will get out fondest wish? Oooh, exciting isn’t it!


The race was a 2000’s affair.

Boring, uninteresting, with no passing or any on track action to speak of, and the only exciting bit being the final 2 minutes of quali.

EXACTLY what everyone wants to see, right? I for one got all nostalgic. I hope all remaining races are just like this one.


great to see Hülkenberg slowly but surly edging ahead of di Resta

funny, that only a few weeks ago di Resta seemed to be in the running for the Mercedes drive

it’s now likely that the Hulk will have a better second half of this season as well

and should Schumi stay on for another year or two, the Hülk will the CLEARLY be the leading contender to succeed him


Senna was my driver of the weekend. He was fast each practice session and reached q3. He qualified well for spa last year. We shall see.

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