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Korean Grand Prix – Who was your Driver of the Day?
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Posted By: James Allen  |  14 Oct 2012   |  4:53 pm GMT  |  228 comments

Sebastian Vettel took his third successive win with a dominant victory in the Korean Grand Prix, but there were strong drives throughout the field. Who was your driver of the day?

Sebastian Vettel

Dominated second and third practice and continued that supreme form in the first two parts of qualifying. Made an error on his final qualifying lap in Q3 to miss out on pole position to his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber but made up for it by passing the Australian on the run down to Turn One at the start. Controlled the race from the front before easing off in the closing stages when his team told him his front right tyre could go at any time. Clinched his third successive win, fourth of the season and 25th of his career moving him level with Jim Clark and Niki Lauda in seventh on the all-time list. Took the championship lead from Fernando Alonso, moving six points clear.

Mark Webber

Struggled to match team-mate Vettel’s times in practice but hooked up a great lap in qualifying to secure his second pole position of the season but first on track after he inherited the Monaco Grand Prix pole as a result of Michael Schumacher’s penalty. Blamed his clutch for a poor getaway which dropped him to second behind Vettel, but matched his more decorated team-mate for much of the race and responded with ease when Alonso gave chase in the closing stages to secure second – the first time he has finished in that position in 2012.

Fernando Alonso

Focused on qualifying pace in practice which contributed to a solid fourth place on the grid, just three tenths off pole. Made a clean getaway to pass Lewis Hamilton into Turn One and gave chase after the Red Bulls. Lacked the pace to catch Mark Webber in the first two stints but began closing in the closing laps before settling for third – his ninth podium of the season. Relinquished his championship lead, but remains Vettel’s nearest challenger.

Felipe Massa

Oozed confidence on arrival in Korea following his first podium in 35 races last time out in Japan. Matched – and at times beat – his team mate Fernando Alonso in terms of pace during practice before qualifying a solid sixth. Kept his nose clean at the start, passing Kimi Raikkonen for fifth on the first lap. Caught and passed a struggling Lewis Hamilton for fourth and then closed down Alonso with ease before being told to hold station and not pass for the sake of the championship. Comfortably kept pace with the leaders for the remainder of the race to finish fourth.

Nico Hulkenberg

Outpaced Force India team mate Paul di Resta in qualifying, making it into Q3 and finishing eighth fastest while Di Resta started 14th. Made a clean getaway, passing Romain Grosjean at the start. Spent much of the race fighting the Lotus driver, but impressively held off the Frenchman before gaining a place as Hamilton was forced into a three-stop. Finished sixth for his ninth points finish of the season and also leapfrogged Di Resta in the drivers’ standings to 12th.

Jean-Eric Vergne

Started the race from 16th having struggled for pace in practice and qualifying. Made a clean getaway and avoided the carnage at Turn Three at the start to make up some places. Used the good straight-line speed of the Toro Rosso to cut through the field rising up to ninth in the closing stages. Passed his team mate Daniel Ricciardo, who was struggling with a mechanical issue, for eighth to equal his best Formula 1 result.

Lewis Hamilton

Led the way in first practice, but fell away as the Red Bulls began to dominate. Hooked up a nice lap to qualify third and though he made a good start, the 2008 world champion was squeezed out by the Red Bulls in the rundown to the first corner. Lost a place to Alonso as a result and then struggled with a mechanical issue – which later turned out to be a rear-suspension failure. Switched to a three-stop strategy which dropped him down the field but was challenging the Toro Rossos for eighth and ninth when a piece of artificial grass attached itself to his McLaren. Fell back but held off Sergio Perez to score the final point.


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228comments

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1

+1 for Daniel Ricciardo. No real reason for Alonso to be here this week.

2

I must hand out when credit and respect is due… Vetel was Supreme definitely Driver of the last two races.

He had more than his share of bad luck this year. so, its great to see him on a high. Two wins more and he’ll be The Hatrick World Champion.

3

Grosjean for making it through the first corner without any “collateral damage”

4

It has to be Vettel, he did everything necessary to win easily. But I’d also give a big medal to Massa – he’s back and great to see.

Red Bull seem to have found straight-line speed to go with their great handling. This has been missing (relative to other teams) for some time. It has affected Webber especially as he has been trapped behind others unable to pass even using DRS. Vettel has been able to get that split second in qualifying that has put him on the front of the grid and ahead of the rest and into clean air from the start where the Red-Bull car can sparkle.

Also a consolation prize for Webber – glad to see him back at the pointy end of the field and able to match the pace of Vettel like in earlier years. Had he known of Vettel’s tyre issues could he have challenged for the lead?

I wonder if Red-Bull have focused their efforts on optimising their car for Vettel (lighter-smaller – even though the car+driver has to start at the same weight) over the past 4-5 races to maximise opportunities for gaining points on Alonso? Their car had been falling back relatively – shown most clearly in the poor results by Webber – perhaps running a compromise car? Now they have found things that work, both cars are back in the hunt.

Can’t understand the Webber poor starts – you would have thought that could be sorted out in a simulator……..?

Ferrari have been relying too much and too long on Alonso ‘magic’ to get the Ferrari to the front – but they need to find something in the car itself otherwise it is all over for this year.

McLaren (and Lotus (Renault) seem to have lost their way.

5

Karthakeyan for keeping that god awful car on the track 🙂

6

Haha, that was funny as. I agree, too little is made of the 3 lesser teams and drivers.

The finances they must be working with make the achievments more outstanding than I think they get credit for (qualifying, completing race distance etc)for gods sake give the teams at the back some “free” test days.

The whole spectacle will increase with those teams being regular midfield runners!!!

Everyone is lauding Hamilton for driving a car with a broken roll bar when Pedro, Narain etc drive cars that handle like that day in, day out. Why no plaudits for them?

7

Don’t get why Alonso is on the list. His team mate was clearly faster.

8

Massa for the third time running now (joint with Kobayashi in Japan)! He had a pace, and had potential to go for 2nd in that race!

9

My Driver of the Day at yesterday’s Korean GP was Massa (again)…. we all know he would have passed Alonso (if not for team orders) 🙂

10

Lewis.

Anyone who can stay flat when the car is moving around even on the straight (!) deserves big respect.

He never gave up and showed his real racing spirit. One of his more impressive races for different reasons.

11

Massa – the only driver able to match Vettel today, and in an inferior car.

12

from this webpage we now know 15% of its fans are hamiltons’s groupies. No matter what they vote for him hahaha its so funny!

Plz vote with the head, not with emotional heart.

Hulkenber for me. Amazing race.

13

After winning/dominating in Monza Hamilton received just 13% of the vote.

So much for your theory.

14

Still a good theory tho :D, I said 15% are groupie fans. This race was the pure example of that. Although what Perez did in Monza problably shadowed Hamilton’s dominant weekend, I do think dominants drives through all the weekend doesnt always deserves driver of the day. Its called driver of the day, not driver of the weekend haha. Perez did an amazing race in Monza but groupie fan voted for Hamilton anyways.

Still a theory..

15

James.

Do you think Vettel really is going to Ferrari in 2014. Surely such a pairing would incur some friction as they are both prolific race winners. Still it would be an astonishing pairing.

BBC says it’s done!

16

It is a rumour that will not go away

However Montezemolo has reiterated today on Italian radio that it makes no sense to have two big names fighting within a team

17
Val from montreal

Oh NOW he says that ! But Montezemelo wanted Kimi at any cost in 2007 !!! And wanted Hakkinen in 2001 !!! Hypocrite –

19

That’s consistent with getting VET on board and saying goodbye to ALO, especially if he has not won any WDC (meaning probably VET has 3 o r 4 by then)

SAD, but possible.

20

They have Alonso on contract through 2016, and they only inked it last year.

I would imagine Ferrari would be paying a very pretty penny if they cut him as early as 2014 unless he is letting down his side of the bargain

21

Did he deny it though?

They won’t be fighting if they’re sedated.

22

Massa. For showing great discipline.

However, just because he has been faster than Alonso on this occasion does not mean his terrible form in previous races can be ignored. Alonso is much much more consistent in getting good results with a less than great car.

Ferrari would be taking a gamble to keep Massa for another season, but then again, they might not have any other realistic choice.

23

Mine was a sympathy vote for Hamilton because he initially had a car that wasn’t very quick for a front runner, and then brought it home with a broken anti-roll bar. McLaren have let him down big time this year with poor reliability and operational mistakes. No wonder he’s had enough, I just hope Mercedes can deliver the goods. That said the biggest improver has been Massa and I’m glad Ferrari are keeping him on for another year. Will the Vettel to Ferrari move transpire? – Not as long as Newey designs Red Bull for sure!

24

James,

How can Vergne be on the DotD list when Riciarrdo:

– Out qualified Vergne again

– Got hit with a gearbox penalty

– Was up to 10 seconds ahead of Vergne before his brake issues

From 21st to 9th in the TR is more impressive than what Vergne did. Riciarrdo should be ahead of Vergne in the standings if it weren’t for mechanical gremlins.

I would have voted either Massa or Riciarrdo if there was an option.

25

Vettel has led every single lap since Hamilton’s gearbox in singapore. 3rd WDC in a row. We are witnessing something very special here.

26

I almost gave it to Massa again, but for me it’s Lewis. He drove with a broken car, had to pit three times, and then had to deal with his all new Made-In-Korea AstroTurf wing. And he still got a point, whereas others would have finished much lower or just given up.

27

YES Massa was faster 1st time this year but i believe in this kind of circumstances not only Ferrari – known for its drivers’ -1 -2, but other teams would do the same, I’m not Ferrari fan but it’s hard to blame them for this, also emotionally I’d prefer see Massa overtaking FA and challenging MW for P2.

Seb #1.

28

Vettel is at the peak of his skills now, he has never driven better and he’s going for this third WDC.

Nonetheless, this time I go for Massa as it’s clearly visible that only Ferrari’w policy stops him now from getting bank to 2008 form. To bad that there isn’t any other quality drive for him now.

29

Massa! It’s puzzling how he was able to extract more from the car than Alonso. Very strange indeed….

30

James, add me to the list of people who can’t work out why Ricciardo isn’t on the list but JEV and Hamilton are ? Out qualified JEV, then got a 5 place gearbox penalty. Started from 21st, 4 places behind JEV and had made it through to 8th, more than 10 seconds in front of JEV. 10 laps from home had mechanical issues so had to let JEV through. Still finished in 9th.

At least part of Hamilton’s problems (the artificial grass) was self inflicted and caused by him running off the track and over the loose astro-turf, which he could, and should, have avoided.

31

If Lewis is to be praised, then HRT guys should be every racing week.

My choice is JEV over Hulk.

32

Do they race with a broken anti roll bar every race?

33

I bet Lewis (or any other driver from Top5 WCC) would outqualify and outrace them with broken anti roll bar in every race.

34

Ricciardo for sure

35

The usual suspects all finished somewhere near the predictions. No surprises there. Nothing outstanding at the front.

I thought the Toro Rosso drivers both drove well from poor grid positions. Felipe was easily on the podium but had to play the team game. Understandable but disappointing for him. Lewis struggled badly with broken suspension, bad tyre wear, but managed a point.

My vote goes to Lewis for scoring a point and not retiring the car earlier.

My first vote for Lewis this year.

36

Helmut has Webber’s crutch.

37

Don’t you mean Marko instals Webber’s clutches

Webber has more chance of winning a chook raffle with that [mod] running the show.

Year ago he should have taken Flavio’s Renault offer that gave “The Mono Brow” his first title.

MW has never picked the right seat

38

EXACTLY!!!! Funny how Webbers start was poor again…..

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