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Bahrain Grand Prix – Who was your Driver of the Day?
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Posted By: James Allen  |  22 Apr 2013   |  1:08 am GMT  |  363 comments

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel became the first driver to win two races this season with an impressive victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix – but behind him, there were countless battles all the way down the field.

Kimi Raikkonen bounced back from a disappointing qualifying, which saw him start eighth, to finish second ahead of Lotus team mate Romain Grosjean who secured his first podium of the season.

Paul di Resta produced one of the best drives of his career, running in third place in the Force India and on course for his first F1 podium before losing out to Grosjean with five laps to go and finishing fourth.

While Nico Rosberg went from pole position to ninth at the finish, his Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton went in the opposite direction, rising from ninth to fifth.

And Sergio Perez delivered his strongest performance since joining McLaren with an aggressive drive to finish sixth – but who was your Driver of the Day?

Sebastian Vettel

Bold moves on Fernando Alonso and Rosberg early in the race allowed Vettel to drive away at the front and secure his 28th career victory. Lost out to Alonso at the first corner, dropping from second to third, but re-passed the Spaniard around the outside at Turn Five. Another brave move on race leader Rosberg at the same corner a few laps later saw him take the lead and race off into the distance. Did three-stops and controlled the race to extend his championship lead to 10 points after four races.

Kimi Raikkonen

Made a two-stop strategy work and rose up the field to finish second and maintain his championship challenge. Started eighth after a poor qualifying and struggled to make up any ground in the opening laps but found some pace after the first stop. Looked after his tyres well, which meant he could two-stop while most of his rivals did three-stops. Battled his way into second to secure his 21st consecutive point-scoring finish, three behind record-holder Michael Schumacher.

Romain Grosjean

Struggled to match team mate Raikkonen in the opening three races but kick-started his season with an impressive drive to third. Was given a new chassis for this race but qualified 11th and made a slow getaway at the start. Picked up the pace after his first stop, which he had to make earlier than planned after debris became lodged in the front of the radiator. Did one more stop than his team mate but showed great pace throughout the race and put a pass on Di Resta late on to take his first podium of the season.

Paul di Resta

Showed good pace all weekend and transformed that into points with his best finish of the season in fourth. Started fifth and made a good start, passing Felipe Massa for fourth. Led the race at one stage and ran in the top three for most of the grand prix before being overtaken by Grosjean in the closing stages. Finished just two seconds behind the Lotus in fourth to equal the best finish of his career.

Sergio Perez

Told to toughen up by team boss Martin Whitmarsh and did just that, driving aggressively and banging wheels with McLaren team mate Jenson Button to finish sixth. Started 12th and battled his way into eighth by lap five, one place behind Button with whom he had a race-long battle. Tapped the rear of his team mate’s car and banged wheels at high speed a couple of laps later before eventually making a move stick. Overtook Webber on the final lap to take sixth – his best finish since joining McLaren this season.

Lewis Hamilton

Overshadowed by team mate Rosberg in qualifying but saw the roles reversed in the race as he climbed up the field to finish fifth. Made a poor start, dropping two places to 11th and struggled for pace in the opening stint. Admitted his surprise after the race that he suddenly found some speed in the second stint and from there he passed former team mate Button on his way up through the field. Enjoyed a long battle with Webber in the closing stages, trading places several times before making the crucial move on the final lap to seal fifth.

So who was your Driver of the Day? Leave a comment at the bottom of this story. 

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363 comments

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1

Must give this one to Vettel, he simply dominated the race and clearly had even more speed left in reserve, had he needed to push harder.

2

Fantastic race!! My DOD goes to Vettel. He was peerless. Strong races by and honourable mentions to Raikkonen, Grosjean, di Resta and Hamilton. Checo would have gotten one too but he just banged wheels with his teammate too much but much much better!!

3

Straightforward call for DotD: it's Vettel, no two ways around it. Did what he had to do early, to be able to run the race that he wanted to do.

Honourable mention to Lewis. I thought 7th was the best he could do, starting from 9th. Obviously the various issues for Alonso and Sutil made that possible. Still, even then, considering his teammate went from 1st to 9th, it was very good damage limitation by Lewis in what will hopefully be the worst race conditions for Mercedes.

4

Vettel doesn't even have to overtake anybody today like Alonso did in China..it was the guys at the back of him was making the race interesting, imagine what would the outcome be if Alonso did not have a problem with his drs, i pet you 100% vettel won't even have that extra more speed in reserve...think outside the box buddy.

5

"to my opinion if that’s what you call overwelming overtake from vettel on Alo, then you are a real easy fan to please"

Who said anything about "overwhelming"? You said Vettel didn't overtake anyone, when he blatantly did. And the DRS failure is a red herring, as I've said before Vettel was away and gone out of DRS range before Alonso ran into his problems.

6

vae-Sebastian did pass Fernando on the first lap !-before he even lost DRS. Sebastian also disposed of Rosberg by lap 3. Noone was about to catch him on Sunday. Open your eyes & use a little common sense.

Further- this post is about Bahrain-Not China !

7

Who said he didn't i know very well, the drs is not in use after lap 2, Rosberg's tyre's is pretty much gone by then...easy taking for vettel and Alo aswell, with a driver that can drive around with a drs still stayed open for 6 lap's and still managed to keep diresta & rosberg behind and still stay on track, you only need to look at MS last year same problem but different outcome. But is not only that, I picked Alo, because i did not believe with 4 pit stop's with no drs and p18 will not get any point's, and he did...i loved it. Maybe you need to open your eye's and liven up a pit, if Alo would have won this race with no overtake, i would have not picked him. Most of the people believed the entertainment came from the driver's behind, i myself feel the same. For the China pit vettel from 8 to 4 drs available, say's it all doesn't it, didn't see him flying off...need more convincing for me.

8

i'd rather not have you 'pet' me

9

Vae:

I don't think you quite get the concept of driver of the day. It's not judging the action on what "might've happened" it's judging it on what actually did happen.

For me driver of the day would be Grosjean. Made up 8 places in the race on a three stop strategy and didn't get anywhere near his error prone 2012 performances. Big kudos also to Di Resta for his drive too. Very enjoyable race all round though.

10

That's a good pick too, mate.. i agree with your opinion, but are you saying that starting from 8 is much high than fighting from the back at no fault of his own,Groj 3 stop's to Alo 4, Groj drs to Alo none and lastly Alo did not make any mistake aswell.

11

I believe you didn't watch the race and only read about it in the Spanish press. That is the only way you could have missed Vettel's move on Alonso at turn 5, because they hardly mention it.

12
Scuderia McLaren

Huh? Vettel made Alonso look like an amateur at the start. Cruised around him. lol

13

I mean +1 for Vettel, Alonso ovetook Vettel at start because he was on the good side of the road following Rosberg, but the two passes by Vettel shows his determination and skills.

15

F1 fans would realy make bad crime witnesses. They just saw it, with replays and forget what they saw.

Anne, Vettel had a slow start. Alonso passed as a result. Vettel then lined him up for a lovely pass that Alonso had no answer to. Remember, 3 laps no DRS, and DRS didn't fail until later laps. So to put it simply, Alonso had no answer for Vettel at that starting stage when he managed to get by Vettel thanks to a quick start.

16

Really? Alonso overtook Vettel first. Later Vettel regained his position. I think they are even.

It´s a shame Alonso had the DRS problem because both of them could have made the race of the century fighting for the win. Lucky for us we still have 15 races to look fordward

17

Alonso was exactly the same last week so don't know what you're going on about. Alonso just made a few passes early in the race then controlled the race and managed the tyres. Vettel was exactly the same this week.

Alonso would have been higher without his DRS problem but don't forget Vettel was already pulling away comfortably before this happened (lap 6 i believe is when it jammed open).

I didn't say Alonso last week for DotD so I won't say Vettel this week as they were almost identical (and note I am a Vettel supporter). Whilst in both cases they drove superblyI feel like in China others are more noteworthy:

1. Perez. Possibly too aggresive but a much welcomed improvement from him. People were definitely questioning him up until today and I feel today was the first McClaren worthy performance from him. Hopefully this marks the start of his season.

2. Grosjean. Similar to Perez finally showed the performance we were expecting. He was always fast last year but too incident prone. This race finally good pace, lots of overtaking and above all very clean.

Notables: Vettel, Raikonnen, Alonso, Hamilton, Diresta. All drove very well but Perez and Grosjean take it for me on basis of improvement.

Not so notables:

Rosberg - in my opinion he set his car up too nuch for qualifying and this cost him in the race. Needs better tyre management.

Webber - no pace especially when his team mate was so dominant. Outright clumsy with Rosberg - really feel this is Webber's last season.

18

Another one that doesn't know how to count, go back and watch both race's, and count how many time's Alo have to overtake the other's for the lead again compare to vettel's 2, and by the way of one them was vettel twice overtook by Alo... vettel don't want to be stuck behind sauber again that's why he need's clear air.

19

Were you not watching the first lap when Vettel overtook (ironically) Alonso?

20

Mate you need to go back and watch the race again, the only time Alo used his drs when he was under a second to vettel from then onwards the drs stayed open...to my opinion if that's what you call overwelming overtake from vettel on Alo, then you are a real easy fan to please...while you are watching the race again do the math's the whole race no drs 4 pit stop's to vettel's 3 and to finish where he is, with nearly equal car's in performance i was hoping will finally see some good fight's with vettel and Alo on the weekend but it did not happen, i have a feeling there's more to come.

21

Vettel was past Rosberg and gone before Alonso had a chance to overtake him, and was well out of DRS range by the time Alonso followed suit.

22

ALO had passed him first though... They both passed Rosberg. If Fernando had a functioning DRS he would have re-passed VET, no question about that.

23

VET's early overtakes (bloody good ones at that) earned him the chance to cruise round.

I'm going with HAM today. He was in the same car as ROS and went forward in the race whereas ROS slipped further and further back. Great racecraft from HAM and a different kind of driver from him show's his maturity and ability in areas where some people say he is lacking.

Having said that the entire grid should be given driver of the day this week! The skill on show up and down the line-up was breathtaking – the racing was fierce but clean. VET’s consumate race management, driving well within himself; ROS stagging about like a punch-drunk but defiant warrior; PER hounding an implaccable BUT like an agry wasp for half the race; HAM’s patience and craft; RAI’s calm, controlled passive-aggression; DIR’s team lifting performance; ALO’s hampered charge back through the field! The list goes on.......

24

Good point's there mate, let's say rosberg was a easy prey for Alo and Vettel with tire degradation..i agree it was a good move from vettel on Alo but nothing more. To me Vettel should have not lost out to Alo at the start, this is my opinion why, do you watch quali at all, if you do than you'l get this one... Alo started that race with used tyre's from Q2 to vettel's new set, so what if he made that single move on Alo, but if that's the only reason why you pick vettel for your DOTD, i respect your decision. But that single overtake doesn't do it for me, i was hoping for a straight fight from this two...but it never happened, with all this factor's inmind used tyre's, no drs, P18 to 8, 4 pit stop's that made Alo, my drver of the day...that's why i've been saying to think outside the box.

25

dzolve, that comment is really frustrating, I have not voted HAM driver of the day in quite a while. I voted HAM because I believe it, it's really not as far fetched as you are making out and we don't all need to agree do we?

Personally I did not rate ROS driving at all, he butchered his tissue paper tyres and slipped from first to almost out of the points in the same car as HAM . How he can be an honourable mention "is beyond me".

26

No surprise there then Wayne. Like you, I'm a Lewis fan but, really, how anyone can look past Vettel as DotD is beyond me. The skill and strength of will he displayed to get to the front where he could run in clear air and dominate the race was astonishing.

Until this race I had always thought he was just lucky to be in the best car but the way he seized control of proceedings leads me to believe we are really now seeing a true racing legend being born!

Honorable mentions also to Perez and Rosberg for some terrific driving.

27

lol battling like warriors....

28

Agreed. It was a damn good race that was very enjoyable to watch. Something seemed to be happening at every point of the race; though that could be because I only saw the BBC's edited highlights.

On this occasion -- though I was tempted to say Hamilton for DotD -- I'll go with Vettel, as he only developed his commanding lead by making some excellent overtakes in the first few laps.

29

Well said, the entire field put on a super show.

I don't know what they put in the water but all the drivers were batting like warriors.

Fantastic stuff....

30

Grosjean was my driver of the day. Was conservative when he needed to be, and attacked at the end. Great drive. And showing he's perhaps learned from last years errors.

31

I agree as well 🙂 It will be interesting to see how he will progress this year!

32

And another Grosjean vote from me! I followed his drive up through the field with a certain amount of trepidation thinking of the number of incidents he caused last year! But, to my surprise, he went through cleanly. Vettel did another excellent drive but I don't think it was quite DOD. Overall a puzzling race to follow with Button showing strongly for much if it before fadng away and Hamilton trailing in the early stages before making late charge; looking forward to the strategy analysis.

33

Grosjean for me too.

I didn't vote for Alonso last week, as I thought his win was pretty easy in all honesty, easier than Vettels this week as the Ferrari won by some huge margin.

Grosjean did a great job give his strategy was compromised early on. He's had loads of crap from fans and the media, to the point where I think it really hit him hard. Delighted to see him drive such a decent race, and hopefully he'll get the same machinery as Kimi more often.

Noteable mentions to Vettel, briliant overtakes minus DRS on full fuel etc. Di Resta did well also, beating all kinds of cars that I believe are probably faster machinery.

Some interesting things from the weekend:

- Webber at one point (after the first stops?) was only 10s behind Vettel, yet finished up 37s behind him.

- Hamilton finished 6 seconds up the road from Rosberg having made one less pitstop. I believe this was because Rosberg 'raced' whilst Lewis was more calculated in picking his battles. Thats the experience of racing at the front of the pack for you. It was similar to what Vettel did last week in China, not fighting people like Alonso passing him etc.

- Button vs Perez. Perez was too aggressive IMO. He was very very close to taking Jenson out of the race twice over. If that was the two Red Bulls people would say the drivers were 'out of control'. You know what, Perez was, he had red mist. By all means race the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull that hard, but NOT your team mate. We were within inches of a Turkey 2010 repeat.

- Alonso DRS failure, real shame for FA this one, but why-o-why didn't they activate it in the pit box initially to double check it? It would have saved Alonso ~20s of time and could have finished 3rd or 4th!

- Final point, most interesting thing about the weekend was how the tyres held on so well in the race. Having looked like they'd be shot after a few laps on Friday they really did hold up well (punctures and a couple of delaminations aside).

34

Do we know for certain that Ferrari didn't ask Alonso "to not use DRS"?

35

The DRS problem on FA's car was only evident when it opened at speed. The flap went 'over centre'. If you watch the footage when he opened it after the first 'repair' you see it open normally, then move further up, locking in the wide open position. A static test would not ahve shown anything wrong.

36

No Simmo, the first time it happened you could see it stuck open long before they called him in. He did a full lap with it open, and then came in at the end of the next one. Then he had it closed in the pits, did another lap in which it stayed open and came it again at the end of that.

37

Yak | Alonso was not driving around for 2 laps. His DRS opened too much and did not shut with about 3 or 4 corners of the lap to go, and as soon as it happened Ferrari called him in.

Then, it was a carbon copy.

38

What I want to know is, why was he allowed to drive around with it for two laps before Ferrari called him in. I could easily see it even on our rubbish SD broadcast, long before they showed the rearward onboard view.

I mean, arguably it was holding him back as much (or likely more) through the corners as it was helping him down the straights, so it wasn't exactly a performance benefit. But if DRS in practice and quali has been limited to just the DRS zones for safety reasons, surely letting Alonso fly around the whole track with his DRS open for two laps isn't exactly safe and he should have been flagged for it.

39

Agreed on this, and hindsight's 20/20 of course, but I think Ferrari would've been best served by telling Fernando not to activate it during the stint, until the lap before his next scheduled pit stop. The double 20-sec stop put paid to any chance at decent points.

40

I agree with you, another vote for Grosjean from here.

41

Likewise - Romain Grosjean. Drove with maturity not seen last year. Qualified 11th, but finished 3rd with an intelligent drive to boot.

First time voting here - that's how impressed I was.

(shame, cos I was rooting for PDR!)

42

One big moment that Grosjean 2012 wouldn't have done, that he did on Sunday, was veer sharply away from Perez coming out of Turn 1, avoiding any contact.

43

Vettel

44

Last weekend in China and this one in Bahrain is obvious indicator how much is Vettel dependent with car performance. Yes, with fastest car on the grid he is usually untouchable, but unlike Alo, Rai and Ham with "just" a fast one he can't do much. Whoever needs a wakeup call just watch those two races again.

46

you have no evidence to back your opinion here. its not like the red bull is 1 second lap quicker than everything else. he clearly raced well in china making up 5 places and bahrain was great for him too. you are just naive with this comment as vettel doesnt always have the fastest car at every weekend. he is undoubtably fast in qualifying which is something FA and KR arent as good at. often it appears they are driving above there car either because there cars are very fast in the race. equal to red bull or they underperform in quali. vettel starts often near the front not necessarily with the fastest race car but is able to control the pace. FA and KR wont say if they dont win that they had the fastest car because that makes there performance appear worse. this happened all of last year with FA moaning red bull were much faster when the race pace of both cars were fairly similar.

47

@oly ... watch the last 4 years. firstly he kept in touch in china with a slower car and strategy, second he dominated bahrain. i dont need you to tell me watch the races again. if you dont place him alongwith the 3 you mentioned you are foolish. runner up in 2009 to a dominant brawn car in the first half of the seaaon followed up by 3 WC. i do not believe for 1 second he had the fastest car in every single race. hes won races before which he shouldnt have based on your theory such as spain 2011 and monaco. also sayig hes not as good in a fast car was blown out the window in the last 2 races of last year. you just dont seem to adknowledge this because you think hes had the fastest car for every race these last 3 years.

48

+1 Liam Connolly

Vettel gets criticised for "he has the fastest car", "cant overtake", "its all Newey" etc.

There has not been a car with a 1 sec advantage in race pace since Brawn GP in 2009. Red Bulls strategy is all about qualifying upfront, and aiming to drive in clear air, they are the slowest car in a straight line. Therefore when they qualify on the 2nd or 3rd row, they have a massive disadvantage to overtake as sometimes even with DRS they are slower than the car in front. This is why Webber struggles as he is clearly not as fast as Vettel, and which is why the overtakes that Vettel makes seem even more special.

49

My evidence are those two races. I have nothing against Vettel, he is ok, but now is obvious - there are just NO WAY that he could stay in WDC race for the whole season without a fastest car (like Alo did last year, with Kimi just behind). That is the difference between him on the one side and ALO RAI HAM on the other. Just watch those two races again.

50

Has to be Vettel. Made no mistakes, was impressive in the wheel-to-wheel stuff in the opening two laps, and then disappeared into the distance.

Once Alonso was out of the equation no one looked like challenging him, and I think it's doubtful that Fernando would have had sufficient pace anyway - although it's just possible that he could have pushed Vettel hard enough to use his tires more aggressively, which might have changed things.

However, that's all speculation - in the race as it unfolded Vettel was peerless, and at this stage very much looks like the guy to beat for the championship.

51

I'm no Vettel fan but I think he really deserves to be DOTD.

52

It's happened...it finally happened. Vettel DotD...wish we had the % indicators to verify this factually. I have a sneaky feeling he was also everyone's DotD in Malaysia.

What's next? Actual picture of Vettel's face alone full sized like Lewis, perhaps with finger in the air on the cover of James' 2013 season review book? 🙂

Oh the humanity!

53

Actually...I know I'm getting a bit ahead of myself, but if Vettel wins the 4th, perhaps a Warhol take on Vettel on the 2103 book cover?

Oops...someone already did it.

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m4xs4irwPF1rtemh4o1_500.jpg

56
Scuderia McLaren

+1 mate

57

Hamilton.

I'm not his biggest fan but he gained a few positions and provided great, clean entertainment with Webber in the closing stages of the race.

Checo was entertaining but a little too aggressive for my liking. He will need to pick his battles a little better going forward.

Good race.

58

I was never a Hamilton fan - for whaever reason. Having said that, I'm glad he moved to Merc this season - I have started liking him!! It was a mature drive!!

DOTD however should be Seb - I can't believe the number of Seb haters on this forum!!

59

HAMILTON

60

Vettel is the clear winner and the big surprise. He was not fast all weekend but was able to drive into the distance after some legendary overtakes at the start of the race. The gap he built reminded me of Michael Schumacher glorious days. Beautiful!

Perez deserves an honorable mention. He showed that he can be aggressive and more importantly he was way faster than snail pace Button. Button eventually wasted his tires defending against his teammate... hahahaha....

Keep it up Perez and take charge of the team!

61

Perez had two DRS zones to play with, and STILL couldn't get past Button until JB pitted. Those zones gave him a huge advantage in all of those laps, and allowed him to close up on Button every time Button made up time to pull away. Yep, Perez made him chew up his tyres, but without the double DRS he wouldn't have even been close enough to do that. And THAT is why teams are looking at team orders, because that battle cost McLaren at least a handful of points in the Constructor's.

62

Maybe you fall sleep when PER overtake Jenson on racing (at his 3rd attempt)and in that ocassion BUT give PER the same space that he gave usually for ALO, VET or RAI with the same resistance: None. After that, BUT pit for 4th time.

63

Hamilton and Perez, made the boring race very interesting.

64

It shows how some guys here are so biased. Take for instance people like 'Val Montreal'. They were all over the place bashing Hamilton after quali. Now, they are not man enough to give credit where it is due.

I support Lewis but I truly like all other drivers because I love F1.

Best race enjoyed it from start to finish. Bring on Barcelona. Three week is to much.

James, hopefully you will keep us busy. Thank you and God bless you!

65

Perez. First time of the season someone does some real racing

66

I'm not sure I agree entirely but it was very impressive that he did most of the race without a front end wing plate. I was dissapointed the commentators didn't pick up on this until he hit button and they assumed the damage was done then. He did very well to outpace Button with that damage to his car

68

Perez was a bit desperate on race day. He had the Slim guys there, and was desperate to keep guys behind him by waving all over the place, banged wheels with others and also hit Button.

I must say, he was very lucky his or others people's car didn't break down after these contacts. Big diference from him to these guys like Vettel, Lewis, Alonso, Webber which know how to race clean.

Anyway, he's not my driver of the day.

69

Kimi without a doubt was the "Man".

70

"[Kimi] was suffering from an allergic reaction before he started the race [so] it’s a very impressive performance indeed." /Alan Permane

71

Perez was told to up his game and then Button doesn't like it if it mean's that he get's overtaken. For me Perez drove a brilliant race and showed his critics why he has been hired instead of hulkenberg.

Will be interesting to see where Button's relationship goes with Perez after this race, a few more races like this and we could see Perez's status elevated.

First few races Perez has been slated, today he showed me glimpses that he can be the man for McLaren once they produce a car capable of winning Grand Prix's! Well done Sergio!!!!

72

He followed JB around for lap after lap using double DRS zones, and couldn't get past. Every time JB put in pace, Perez made it up in the DRS zones. Perez's actions cost McLaren a handful of Constructor's points by killing JB's tyres.

73

Nine times out of ten if people are criticising your driving it's because you're getting the better of them in some way, so Perez is clearly on the right track!

74

Has to be Alonso, to go from last after Two pit stops by lap nine to finish eighth, with no DRS, shows why he's currently the best driver in f1.

75

+1 Surprised he wasn't on the list, but it was an almighty drive! I, as a Ferrari fan, am probably being rather biased here, so I will add 3 more to my list!!

Kimi, who came back from a poor qualifying, as he did last year, and Grosjean for clean, sensible racing and a strong comeback like Kimi! 😀 Also, di Resta - supreme driving, with hardly a wheel wrong the entire race.

Naughty boy of the day (am I allowed to say this or is it frowned upon?) would have to be Rosberg. His defending was a little too aggressive I felt, too many moves around the track, especially at the start of the race.

76

Really? Why did the currently best driver in f1 press that DRS button again right after he had to come in the pits because it got stuck? What were the chances for it to get stuck again? Extremely high.

If he were really that brilliant he would've driven without it until he would have to pit again for new tires and give it a try on the in lap. That is even more so true in a Ferrari with lots of extra power compared to most of the other cars, making the DRS not nearly as important as it is for Renault powered teams for example.

Both times he lost lots of points this year, Alonso held the key to make better decisions and didn't do it.

There was a podium possible even after the first DRS pit stop, but the currently best driver in F1 lost it due to wrong decisions.

77

Ferrari may have more power but I heard that the Renault is the easiest to drive and the most fuel efficient. I remember Ducati (Carl Fogerty) dominating in Superbike because they had the more gentle engine and could get on the throttle 10 or 20 metres before anyone else

78

While that may be, it wouldn't matter for DRS operation, as you can use it only at one or two specific places around the track. And in the past it was clear that Ferrari seemed much less affected from it then other cars. How many times did Massa drive away from a car behind him having the DRS activated?

79

Did anyone else notice that Alonso's DRS opened before the activation point on lap 3 on the pit straight, as he went to pass Rosberg?

What was that about?!

80

JA, can you follow up with this? It was clear from the FOM graphics (the ones showing DRS use, etc.) that Alonso activated it far ahead of the activation point. Obviously he gained a big and unfair advantage b/c of that. The last thing we need it to be questioning the integrity of the DRS track-wide system.

81

Exactly what I saw and it was definitely activated before the activation point. James can you look into this please?

82
Scuderia McLaren

+1

83

Have to agree. Surprised James didn't list him as a possible candidate!

85

Alonso! I don't have a problem with DRS but the way he hauled himself into the points without it was eye popping. And he was within a seconds of Hamilton in 5th by the end. Incredible. I enjoyed pretty much all the drives except for the one trundling around at the front. Winning may be everything but it's not very interesting to watch.

86

Just think, if Ferrari hadn' have brought him in for a second cruise around the pits and just told him not to use DRS the first time, he would have been 5th!

87

You sure they didn't tell him?

88

You must have disliked China then?, when Alonso trundled around at the front?

89

Thank You!! Completly Agree. People often forget the past, How come they didnt make the same comments towards Alonso last week??

Dont hate the player, hate the game!!

90

Yep. Anyone trundling around at the front is incredibly tedious.

91

I agree, hopefully it won't happen too much this year.

92

+1

93

Vettel by a miles......

Rocky kept telling him to hit target 1.38...1 should wonder how fast he could be if he didnt drive into delta.

Honorable mention to Kimi. The only 1 that made 2 stops work. He was really smooth and allow him to take care of the tyre extremely well. Enhancing the E21 's feature on treating the tyre. Also i heard that he was having allergic reaction prior to the race and skipped drivers parade.....just showed how much determination he got really.

94

Perez for me. Faced criticism all week for being too soft and comments his seat should've been taken up by Hulkenberg.

Hope he keeps this up.

95

Good race - lots of great drives. Respect to Di Resta. Vettel had by far the best car again. My vote goes to Hamilton - beat team mate again, great racing with Webber, and third in championship after well judged move in team and in fourth fastest car at best

96

Vettel had by far the best car again?

Just like in Australia... and China... No Wait...

97

Vettel had the best car? Erm I think you'll fkind Ferrari and the Lotus was still the better race cars, Seb by a mile he made them look stupid all race, just look at the state of Webber.

98

.....pffff... So Ferrari did not have the best car in Malaysia. Just look at the state of Massa.

99

Umm, how can you say that the Red Bull wasn't the best race car? Vettel was cruising, and able to pull a gap easily. I thought the Ferrari looked the best after Friday, but RBR must've been running some seriously high fuel. Even without Alonso's DRS issue, I don't think he would've been able to challenge Vettel for the win. Kimi's already said that there was no way he would've beat Vettel in the race.

As for Webber, well we know he's not as good as Vettel, and he raced behind cars for most of the race. The RB9 is made for running out front in clean air (well, every car does better in clean air obviously, but the RB9 especially needs it to show its pace).

You point to Webber as evidence that the RB9 wasn't the best car, but where was Massa?!? Going by the best driver/car combo's, it's clear the RB9 was the best race car in Bahrain. For me, it was RBR, Lotus, Ferrari, FIndia, Mercedes, McLaren, in order of best race cars. I think most reasonable observers would agree with that.

100

+1. Although, to be fair to Massa, Ferrari managed to ruin his strategy again, and 2 random punctures did put him back massively.

101

Vettel, though Perez was a madman out there, really enjoyed watching him push Button. Button crying was my least favorite thing. Actually, Button's whole persona this year is off putting.

102

It's a bit childish to say it was crying. It was a reasonable enough request given how scrappy his teammate was driving.

I did enjoy watching it though.

103

Pérez was aggressive and clever. If race would have last two more laps he would have chased Hamilton.

104

alonso!!!! amazing drive given his car problems. no DRS, still passed so many who did. the guy never gives up- relentless.

106

People who say amazing drive despite car problems. Only problem was DRS - otherwise he had the best/second best car out there.

DRS isn't even necessary to pass in Bahrain, any of the top cars would make it back to the top 10 without DRS in Bahrain especially when Ferrari vs Williams/Sauber/Toro Rosso etc.

107

For example vettel at China behind sauber you mean, oh wait even with drs available, short memories. Oh well make that 9 top driver's less vettel.

108

Sergio. He had Slim and Slim Jr there in the race. He needed to produce of Telmex is to substitute the current title sponsor. I love Jenson. But Checo and Mclaren needed this!

109

Lewis. Punched way above the weight of the Mercedes.

110

For sure punched above its weight. 9th to 5th, in that race, for that car, was a very, very good result. Benefitted from the misfortune of Alonso and Sutil, but still a very good drive.

111

Vettel!! Especially where he outsmarted Alonso in first lap!! Simply brilliant!! I think first race after quite a while where Alonso didnt gain any position at start.

112

He started third, got around Vettel into second before getting repassed soon after.

113

Di Resta. The team chose a strategy that left him vulnerable at the end of the race (again), but still finished fourth. Pic's drive was pretty damn good too, beating a Sauber and only being ten seconds behind Ricciardo at the end. Special mention to Alonso too, for finishing 30 seconds down. He'd have won but for the DRS problem.

114

My obvious answer would be Vettel but I really feel Di Resta was my driver of the day today.

Hamilton's race was great, as well. Reminded me of the 2008 Italian GP were he qualified 15 and found pace at the 3rd stint to finish 5th, I think. Interestingly, it was also Vettel's first f1 win and he drove away on that race too.

I also enjoyed the way you called that 2008 race too, James. You said it was one of the most spectacular things you've ever seen. Which was quite true and look at Vettel now.

Top site, btw, James. One of the things I look forward to during morning coffee. Thanks.

115

1-vettel

2-di resta

3- kimi

4- grosjean

5-Perez

6-Hamilton

116

For me:

Alonso

Kimi

Hamilton

Grosjean

Di resta

Vettel

A god race of these drivers

117

At a time where drivers ask the team whether they should overtake or conserve tires, Vettel made two clean non-DRS passes on Alonso and Rosberg. Those zwo passes alone deserve him the title driver of the day, IMHO.

118

+1 and, well said.

119

Vettel dominated and for that he gets driver of the day hands down. He also gets its for the weekend again just like Malaysia he managed his tires and tire availability better than anyone else Friday and Saturday so by the end of the race when Kimi and Grosjean started to close a little bit he set the fastest lap and let them know not to try to attack.

Kimi I wish he had put it together in qualifying but I take him at his word that he didn't have the car to win.

I give Paul di Resta third what a good drive and had he gone for a 3 stop I wonder if he could have came in second, seems like he lost almost as much time as he saved.

Last Romain Grosjean for psyching himself into driving the car and not hitting anyone.

120

I'm going with Grosjean. He had a slow start to the season because his car wasn't up to date. He had no incidents that got him into trouble. Now that he has a car that's the same, or similar, to Kimi's he excelled. A great boost to his confidence. I hope and expect to see continued improvement and some exciting racing from him this year. Don't let me down Romain!

121

wasn't up to date???

Read more team report dude. Malaysia is 1 off. And kimi didn't had new fw and other new bits in China gp, only received it in Bahrain.

With a broken fw in China, kimi totally dominated Romain.

Is easy to find excuse when Romain has such narrow window for setup. He himself admitted there's nothing wrong with the car. Just couldn't set it up as he likes it.

122

Australia he was compromised a bit too I think. Don't remember if Grosjean received ALL of the new parts, but Kimi supposedly had them from early on or the start, whereas Grosjean only had them from Saturday. Which was rubbish weather, and not particularly good for getting a feel for the car, not to mention once you cross the pit exit into P3 you're under parc ferme conditions.

That said, I do agree that he's just had a bit of an averagey first few weekends. But at least he's kept it clean, scored points even if most of them have been small, and in Bahrain brought out the pace we saw a bit of last year. Now Lotus just need to sort out their qualifying pace on both sides of the garage.

123

Vettle ... Show again he's the one to beat if you want to win the WDC in 2013

124

Lewis Hamilton.

James, one question: at lap 37 Rosberg used the drs to overtake JB, and at the end of the main straigth, both drivers were with the drs open. That is allowed? I mean, the driver that was passed, can open the drs? My understanding is that just the driver that is behind at the drs detection, can use the drs. Even if Rosberg did the overtake before the detection, in my view just JB could use it then. Never both.

Thanks!

125

Anyone who is within a second of a car in front can use DRS. Sometimes several cars in a line can use it

126

Sure, but was just a two car battle in that time. Nobody in front of Rosberg (within the 1 second limit ;-).

I remember to see overtakes at the DRS zone, where the car that was passed, did try to pick the tow of the car in front (LH always do that to try to overtake back!), but without open the DRS. I think my english is not helping me here... 😉

My point is, you can use the drs, IF you are behind AT the DRS detection zone. So, once you were overtaken, you cannot use it on that same time (because you were not behind at the DRS detection zone).

Could you understand my point now? That makes sense, or am I wrong about my interpretation of the rules?

thanks

127

To expand a bit on what JA and Alberto said, as long as you're within one second of ANY car at the detection point, you can open the DRS. If the race leader 30 seconds out in front of 2nd place happens to come across at the detection point a backmarker who's two laps down, and who promptly moves out of the way anyway... he'll still get the DRS down the straight.

I don't recall the particular moment. If as Alberto said there was a Caterham just ahead on the track that came in for a stop, as long as Rosberg was within a second at the DRS detection point (just before turn 14), that would give him the DRS, even though he wasn't actually chasing someone down the straight for position.

128

It would've been that the car was within 1 second of a car ahead at the detection point, which was at the end of the last straight before the final corner. The following car would still get DRS even if the leading car pulled into the pits afterwards.

So JB was likely behind a backmarker to gain DRS off of them, while Rosberg gained DRS off of Button. Do you know which lap this was? (just go by what the lead lap was showing at the time, rather than determining which lap BUT and ROS were themselves on).

129

I had the same question, but Rosberg got DRS because of a Caterham that pitted, but in the detection zone Rosberg was just behind the Caterham.

🙂

130

Sergio Pérez and Lewis Hamilton, for the spark of a true "racer"

132

di Resta.

133
Craig in Manila

How does starting fifth and finishing fourth qualify a driver for a DOTD mention ? I dont understand that at all.

Grosjean for me.

134

Surely DOTD is not just about where you start vs where you finish?

It's about HOW you drive the race.

135

Vettel. This driver really does the business sometimes.

136

Yeah he does.... but that other guy (ADRIAN NEWEY) is not too bad either 😉

138

Vettel Followed by Hamilton.

139

Pretty hard to go past Vettel.

Plus, he seemed have changed some of his actions after the recent (well publicised)events, obeying every team order to alter his speed (including taking it easy on the last lap, I believe).

140

Didn't he still set the fastest lap very late in the race? He might not have done it on the last lap, but I still doubt it's what the guys on the pit wall would have wanted him doing.

141

Vettel. Way faster than expected and some pretty good overtaking early on.

142

Pérez without any doubt. Fantastic wheel to wheel race and coming all the way from 12th. It was a psychological triumph over Button too.

This will only get better and can't wait to see what will happen when the car finally becomes competitive.

Vamos Checo!!!

143

I'm not his fan at all but this week it has to be Vettel. If you compare his pace and rubber management to Webber's it's pretty clear that it's his win, not car's.

144

Well not quite - there are other factors to tyre wear being different between team mates - such as ballast (Webber has 10-12kg less to play with than Vettel), if a driver is behind other cars, driving style etc etc...

145

Being behind others is often down to poor qualifying/ inability to clear the cars ahead, ballast is a common pro-Webber excuse (other drivers are lighter and heavier than their own teammates). Driving style is the main factor you raised that is relevant. "Aliaksey" is otherwise right.

146

I couldnt split Vettel and Raikkonen. Super quick and aggressive start from the front by Seb, it looks like Red Bull are slowly working out the tyres. I thought he might struggle after fighting Rosberg and Alonso but did really well in the cleat air afterwards to save them.

Sounds biased tiward Kimi again but seriously any driver that can make a 2 stop strategy work in the desert heat and come back from 8th ti a solid 1nd is a notch above the rest. That is not only evidenced by his teammate struggling to do so, but also a quick and consistent Paul Di Resta who also struggled ultimately. I appreciated both Hamiltons & Alonso complimenting Kimi since the last race & we all know Fernando doesn't praise others so easily.

I just really hope Lotus find some more pace by Barcelona - I know their testing that passive DRS system again so hopefully they can find a few tenths. Red Bull and Ferrari look too fast to catch now.

147
Scuderia McLaren

+1 exactly same as my vote

148

Probably you haven't heard a lot of Fernando, but he usually praises other drivers. Have you got any personal issues with him?

149

Oh yes I've heard Fernando alot. Most of the time Fernando has political, pschological or personal motivation for his comments - especially since joining Ferrari- and being beaten by Redbull - all the praise to Hamilton for eg (although very true) is purely to put Seb off his game because it usually follows a Seb win ( which is in poor taste).This time sounds genuine because there is no real other motivation for it.

Nobody professes to understand drivers "personally" bar family and friends. However you do begin to understand their public displays after watching them since their first races in f1 and you get a reasonable picture of their personality traits- I only feel sorry for people who somehow do feel personally about it- I trust its not you. 🙂

150

Le Mister :- whatever works for you use it. But if you can't work it out for yourself after 12 years of watching and listening to a driver in F1 then maybe you should ask someone nicely to help you. Im sure there are many nice people here who can.

151

Teach yourself psychology in 20 easy lessons? Or is it psychology for dummies?

152

It's what he show's on track matter's, he care less of what you think of him...maybe that's why he's good at what he's doing and your good at being a pschologist

153

I don't feel personal about it, however I react to fans who use Internet to insult drivers (any drivers) with claims based on their own perceptions. It's fine to have opinions, but if you claim something about a driver, please back up your argument with evidence.

154
Scuderia McLaren

+1 great post

155

Correct. Kimi. Always Kimi.

156

Sorry "ti" is to. "1 nd" is 2nd !

157

It's Grosjean for me. He showed maturity during several wheel to wheel fights. He now know when to lift and concede to prevent crashing into another car. Very different from last year when he just do a "kamikaze" move everytime... 🙂

158

I'm gonna give it to Perez. There were a lot of battles today, but the ones that had me entranced were Sergio's taking it to Jenson, and Martin Whitmarsh letting them get on with it.

159

I'd give it to Vettel. Boxed in at the start, comes back with a brilliant move on Alonso, then passes Rosberg before the DRS zone on Lap 3. Pulled a gap even before Alonso's DRS failure.

It's one thing to have a strategy, quite another to pull it off, especially needing to pass Alonso so quickly. Then when he was running in clean air he was in another league to everyone else.

Honorable mentions:

Sergio Perez, not pretty, but showed great passion and tenacity, and pushing Alonso off the track was a real statement.

Romain Grojean, a podium when, like Perez, he needed to show his worth.

Paul DiResta, uneventful in many ways, but almost pulled of Force India's first podium. Solid race.

Hamilton/Alonso - for getting solid points despite car issues.

160

Checo was THE DRIVER OF THE DAY!!!.Jenson request over the radio today reminded me of Prost when he and Senna were at Mclaren. Hope Checo's kind of racing prowess don't be a one-off.

161

Nice to see Lewis Hamilton proving that he is worth all the extra millions.

DOD to Perez for making the race an exciting one to watch.

Thumbs up to McLaren for not asking its drivers to hold back.

162

DOTD was without doubt Red Bull Racing and SV for sending Gill Jones up to the podium to receive the winning constructors trophy. That sure sent a message! Kudos to SV for emphasizing the point during the interview.

SV drove a very controlled race- just doing enough to win. Honourable mention to Kimi and LH..

163

Surely Alonso has to be at least among the top six drivers. Had to make a double stop (and hence an premature tyre stop) at the start of the race, then had no DRS to fight his way back up the field the rest of the way.

164

Vettel, did what was needed in the first few laps to get clear air and then managed the tyres to perfection to win.

165

Esspecially when he does not want to be stuck behind another car with the like's of sauber at the race at China...how many overtake did he do, oh let me guess 2, go back watch China how many times Alo have to overtake the same driver's again to take a win, and don't forget vettel was one them driver's.

166

Vettel, superb overtaking moves without using DRS. Cool headed when sandwiched between Alonso and Roseberg. Flawless race.

167

Raikkonen, then Grosjean.

168

Agree; Kimi, Grosjean, Vettel, Hamilton. The thing pushing Vettel down is that the benefit of running in clean air seems to be >0.3s per lap over a stint. And Hamilton came a live during the second part of the race.

Must say I found Rosbergs fighting spirit at the start of the race awesome.

Also great to see Grosjean getting his mojo back. He sounded really happy over the radio 🙂

This was a super hard race result to predict. If you look at the Castrol Race Predictor people were generally getting very low points this round.

169

Rosberg definitely fought, but that likely cost him in the end. If that's the case, that sucks.

170

Kimi again. Hes the man!

171

Alonso no doupt, would have overtaken vettel and win easy as like China.To go 6 laps with drs open and not to be seen until the 8 laps that he had to come in, not even the tv commentators notice it until that 8 lap...the only time he would used the drs when he was under a second to vettel and that was when the drs was activated 2 laps. And also count in the 4 stops, and no drs for the rest of the race and be able to finish where he is...it's that fighting mentality not to give up till the end, thats why he's my driver of the day

172

Would have , could have , should have - what nonsense Sebastian smashed Fernando and Nico in the first 3 laps and before Fernando lost his DRS so you can keep dreaming- once he got into clear air it was "shut the gates "

173

Yes, correct.

174

Remind's me of China, with drs available to vettel need clear air,oh wait still wasn't able to pass the sauber...sound's familiar.

175

Yeah right

176

Agree...Fernando followed by Kimi and then Lewis.

177

Di Resta... He seems to have picked up the pace, didnt get beat by his teammate whi finished 15th. Drove exelent.

Hamilton must be mentioned too, from 9th, to 11th back up to 5th. His season, so far, reminds me of Alonso last year, picking up points here and there, yet in 3rd place in the WDC. Who knows what may come by the end of the season?

178

Raikonnen or maybe Alonso. Both overcame adversities to get good results. Vettel simply had it too easy so I can't credit him with "driver of the day". Sure he made some good moves on Alonso and Rosberg early in the race to get the lead but the fact is he faced no real challenge due to a little bad luck that afflicted Kimi (qualifying) and Alonso (rear wing). Could have been a real fight for first between three great drivers but it was a "walk in the park" for Vettel because his real rivals weren't there to challenge. Nothing dominant about dominating a race where the main challengers couldn't compete properly.

Congrats to Vettel and he deserved the win but he's not my driver of the day.

179

Kimi and Alonso ( from last to 8th without DRS and 4 stops).

180

Di Resta. Too bad he missed out on the podium. Perez did also put on a good show.

181

Perez was my driver of the day. He fought relentlessly against Jenson, and won.

182

He also clipped his team mate twice and nearly ended both their races, gutsy drive but lacked control

183

I'll go with Grosjean for this race, as he has battled back against a lot of pressure and doubt about his true ability, and showed real class and competitiveness.

Hamilton is my second choice. Once again, Lewis drove the wheels off of a car lacking, real, race winning pace and made that racer a competitive entity. Take a look at where Rosberg finished. That's where, in reality, the W04 stands on race against the front runners.

184

Agree.

1. Grosjean

2. Perez/Hamilton/Vettel

185

Grosjean. Very impressive, no mistakes. Absolutely well deserved.

186

Not true he clashed with someone-I think it was Webber and has a half spin. SO yes he did & he was lucky to survive it.

187

Sergio Perez was my DOD. Made Jenson panic over the radio "Calm him down!" LOL!!! Move out of the way Jense! Sergio is faster than you! Great move on Fernando as well!

188

Some excellent racing from most of the drivers in the field on Sunday, but I have to say the two that made it the most exciting were Perez and Rosberg. Some amazing, hard-fought battles, with Nico especially coming back time-and-time again to fight with the cars more gentle on their tires. He really showed great spirit on Sunday and deserves some recognition.

189

I know you dont have him in list, and it is unfair that you dont...but Alonso is my driver of the day. One stop more than rest, came very early for tyres because of problem, was without drs, actually managed to keep rosberg and rest at bay with only half rear wing functioning (i was just like...WOW!) and still managed to finish right in the fight, only 2-3 seconds behind 5th place Hamilton.

How can you put Hamilton as a winner, when you dont even mention Alonso, is beyond me.

191

Alonso had a car that should've been on pole; and a potential race winning one. Both him and his team blew it. Thats why he isn't in. Merc was having a horrendous race pace, yet Lewis finished 4 places above his qualifying spot while still having the 4th best car. You only need to look at Rosberg's performance to see how bad it could've been for Merc.

192

4th best? More like 5th best.

RBR, Lotus, Ferrari, FIndia ... then Mercedes. And who knows what pressure the McLarens (starting P10 and P12, remember) could've laid on Lewis and Nico at the end if they hadn't compromised their own races battling each other earlier?

If we take every driver's position change, from grid to flag, and then substract their teammate's score from that (as a means to counteract the shared car factor), no one will have done as well as Lewis:

LH+4 - NR-8 = +12

DIR is +8 on that score, but only b/c Sutil had an accident on the first lap.

Other notables: PER+6, ALO+6, GRO+2, VET+1.

193

AGREE!! But Hamilton was in a tire eating machine. Super exciting to watch.

194

I was most impressed by Grosjean, who did a strategy unlike anyone else, driving mostly on the softer tyres and quickly overtaking people after the stops, while others battled all the time but could not run away from the pack. He was nowhere at the start of the race, but finished on the podium.

196

Best Driver?.... Has to be given the the guys who chose to race wheel to wheel at every opportunity knowing full well that it was harming those pitiful Pirellis. Perez, Hamilton, Webber, Rosberg, Jenson all gave us what we wanna see in F1. They all really enjoyed it. Kimi and Roman did exactly what the team knew they had to do to get on the podium. Everyone knows they are dealing with the Tyres situation better, so far. AS for Vettal, he demonstrated immediately how important it was to get in the lead quickly before he too would eat up the rubber dicing with the pack!

I'm so glad we got to see how good racing can be when drivers chose to "race" one another rather than manage a stategy for an entire race. Lets hope F1 realises that they need to keep more rubber on the tyres for longer so we can see more racing than managing..

.....or am I just not seeing F1 in the right way??

We got to see great attacking and defending at the expense of these drivers having a chance at a podium. Motorsport should reward the driver for attacking and defending well, rather they get penalised for this on these tyres.

197

Ditto. The tire situation becomes tiresome ... and boring. "Don't push, we need those tires to last at least three more laps..."

198

The tyres have allowed for this close racing. Bahrain was dull dull dull a few years ago and yesterdays race was great wheel to wheel stuff.

199

Congratulations to McLaren for providing 80% of this race's thrill factor all on their own! I've criticised them for just this sort of thing in the past and I am very happy to say I'm wrong on this occasion! I'm all for team orders at a cvertain point in the season but for now..... McLaren's sporting ethos carried this GP all on its own!

I really respected HAM's performance in this race, I thought it was a 'different' kind of performance from HAM, with a great deal of race-craft on show to maximise points scored.

Finally, the entire grid should be given driver of the day this week! The skill on show up and down the line-up was breathtaking - the racing was fierce but clean. VET's consumate race management, driving well within himself; ROS stagging about like a punch-drunk but defiant warrior; PER hounding an implaccable BUT like an agry wasp for half the race; HAM's patience and craft; RAI's calm, controlled passive-aggression; DIR's team lifting performance; ALO's hampered charge back through the field! The list goes on.

Distinctly unimpressed with the tyre failures over the weekend but it looks as though Pirellia are going to make soem changes so good on them. Although I fear that when they do RBR will vanish into the sunset (but at least RBR have designed a car that has earn't that position and it will not be through the whim on arbitary tyres.

200

I'm not so sure this is all Pirelli's fault. Couldn't the damage to Massa's front right wing have caused an imbalance putting undue pressure to the left rear tire? Anyway I wish Pirelli had kept softs and mediums actually, it would have been more fun. It seemed to me the two teams that complained the most which I believe to me Red Bull and Mercedes benefitted the most, the latter true qualifying at least.

I believe all we will end up with, if Pirelli make the tyres harder, is Red Bull and Mercedes romping away at the front. Meanwhile teams that took tyres into consideration will suffer. I'm not sure if that is necessarily fair given how the start goes. We start, a couple of big teams complain and tyres specs are changed? Blah.

201

100% agree with you, good point's.

202
Scuderia McLaren

Vettel & Raikkonen tied. Excellent performances from both.

-Vettel for the great first few laps and putting some manners on Alonso and Rosberg. He MADE his strategy work and then controlled from that point on with his prodigious pace.

-Raikkonen for making a different strategy work and making up positions from 8th to 2nd. Once again he steered clear of trouble (learn from this guy Alonso) and pulled home another podium for Enstone.

This championship is shaping up nicely for me. Funnily enough, this year, Alonso HAS the car to do the job and he can not rely on the underdog tag. In qualifying, he cant handle the prssure and stuffed a pole lap and in race he is crumbling. yet he has probably the fastest car now and cant use it.

This shows how mega Vettel has been to cope with the "you have the best car, so go do it" attitude of the world in 2010-12.

What did Alfonso say say last year? "Give me a car 1 sec off, we will fight for title, give me a car equal I win, give me a car ahead, the title is won with rounds to spare..." blah blah blah. Those words must be tasty now eh?

203

Alonso a poor qualify? This is simple false. He did an amazing lap. The Ferrari is not as good as RBR, specially on saturday.

204

His lap on new tyres were poorer than his lap on used tyres in Q3 cause of a mistake - due to this, he was required to start the race with a tyre that was 6 lap old.

205
Scuderia McLaren

If by "amazing" lap you mean he fumbled and lost Pole in the best car, then yes, he is "amazing". Another race win down the drain.

206

It's funny you didn't mention Alonso last week or his drs problem on Sunday. Nevermind I think you are showing how knowledgable and mature you are.

208

I've always wondered about Alonso's ability to handle the pressure. He doesn't seem to cope well with it. It was easy for him in an underdog car, because the expectations weren't high. His poor effort in Q3 when he could have easily took the pole might have cost his the win this weekend. If he was the first, who knows when he would have had to use DRS... Maybe it wouldn't have broken at all.

Alonso does have the car this year, and yet he's barely better than last year after 4 races.

209
Scuderia McLaren

Spot on mate. Alonso is throwing pts away left and right. The beautiful Scuderia Ferrari is now truly seeing that it is not them that is the problem. They have given him the car, and now its mistake after mistake, missed opportunity after missed opportunity.

210

The problem with Ferrari is Alonso.... wow man, now that a good one!

Kids: crack is bad. don't smoke it 😉

211

Got to him! Ha - in what way? Sounds to me like you are rather more worried about Fernando having a competitive Ferrari!

The season is very long and you would be rather foolish to write him off at this juncture.....

212

LOL The champiomship is long.... Dude did you see "Alfonso" driving with open drs for the whole of the lap? That Red Bull won't run away with it. Alonso will be champion this year!

213
Scuderia McLaren

Wouldn't bet on it mate. He is not in his preferred psychological mindset as underdog. Now he HAS to deliver. Clearly it's got to him.

214

Nothing he can do about a broken DRS wing. Though he should not have tried it again right away (unless the team were 100% certain it would work). If he got DRS every lap, what would've been the benefit in lap time? 0.5 sec's at most? Not enough of a benefit in my mind to risk needing another 20-sec stop. They should've said run without it for the rest of this stint, and test it on your in-lap.

Alonso's already in the position of hoping that the luck will even out over the year.

215
Alexander Supertramp

Well, quali is not realy Nando's favorite part of the week-end, but he has been top on race day ever since I can imagine. He's just down on luck this year, but luck is quite important. Alonso is not 30pts behind Vettel because he's choking, he's behind because whenever he has an unlucky day, Seb is scoring 25pts. I'm not an Alonso fan, but you have to aknowledge this.

216

Tough one. Certainly Perez was the Entertainer of the Day, and had a respectable result.

For most of the race I thought Vettel to be DOTD, for his fight in first laps (and then control of the race, boring but impressive).

However, I finally believe DOTD title belongs to Grosjean, for coming from P11 to podium, beating both three-stoppers and two-stopping di Resta (Scot gained on strategy mostly, with no real combat againt Lotus), but I understand all those who put Vettel in first.

217

I have to say I'm surprised not to see Alonso in there as well. Forced to pit early, having one extra stop and no DRS and still finishing 8th...

Most of all challenging and passing people without DRS for me is extraordinary.

218
Alexander Supertramp

Saw a shot of a DRS attack by Perez on Alonso in the shorter DRS zone. Perez was not going any faster than de Ferrari. The lack of DRS was definitely a handicap, but I think the impact on the Ferrari is being exaggerated.

219

The impact of DRS on any car cannot be exaggerated. The sudden boost in the car's top speed will slingshot you past the car in front.

This is why in my opinion Alonso's drive was very good. Because he managed not only to catch up and overtake without DRS but also managed to stay in front. With DRS he would have gone past the Webber-Buttton-Perez train in no time.

220

DRS is of no help if you in front - Yes, it does help overtaking similar paced cars with similar tyres for sure.

221

A driver over looked due to the early set back, but from lap 2 to the end of the race, was 6seconds quicker than Vettel is Sutil. Wirth further investigation I think!

222

Was sutil faster than vettel?

223

How come we don't get a poll this season James?

Vettel edges it for me, he made it work to get in front, but some of the battles behind were sublime!

224

Polls bring worst out in people of current society.

I find this system is more healthy and mending 🙂

225

Me too.

It would be great to have a nice poll with a driver coming out on top in a sample of 10,000 as we had, but then the negative garbage about British bias and this country's media etc etc etc - without a shred of evidence of such bias - just makes the whole exercise boring

We could always mod out all those comments, but with 2,000+ comments in the 48 hours after each GP to deal with, we haven't the time to do that.

226

Some great driving from lots of drivers, a good Grand Prix and qualifying wasn't a farce. Seb Vettel looked mighty - dispatched his rivals with two great moves - Driver of the Day.

Really enjoyed the racing between MW+LH and JB+SP. Felt gutted for Rosberg especially when he came out the pits for the third time on the mediums with 20+ laps to go. Anyone else understand Mercedes decision about tyre choice later on?

227

Lewis of course....

228

Vettel,

Parez,

Hamilton.

Vettel was untouchable really. Especially if we compare his performance with that of Webber.

Perez finally showed what he can really do: go and fight instead of proceeding calmly a la Button.

Hamilton really has learned patience, not loosing any of his speed. Just give him a better car, Merc!

229
Alexander Supertramp

I actually expect a lot from Mercedes in Barcelona/Monaco.

230

Barca is not going to be good for them - similar to Bahrain.

231
Alexander Supertramp

We are talking Barcelona in May, not July. It's not going to be similar to Bahrain.

232

Hamilton 🙂

233

Why isn't Fernando Alonso on the list? At least on the level of some of other other guys on thje list!

234

For entertainment reasons it has to be Perez. There was lots of great racing from the top drivers, but Perez strayed just over the line in his battles with Button and some of his usual weaving. Lots of sharp intakes of breath throughout the race!

Lots of people were complaining after China that you can't race on these tyres....

235

Perez

236

Has to go to Vettel, did exactly what Alonso did last week.

Honourable mention to perez with a fantastic drive. But Vettel just dominated.

237

Jim Raikkonen

238
Bring Back Murray

Does he race in GP2?

239

Is he Kimi's little brother ?? 😉

240

Vettel, I'm not a fan but he made it look so easy. Grosjean and Di Resta are worth a mention.

241

Has to be Vettel.. he knew he had to get ahead to make the stops and tyres work. Lost a place to Alonso at the start but made up 2 places before DRS was enabled with fantastic moves. He also knew he had to get past the 2 stopper on his second stint and he did it with enough of a gap to make his next 2 stops without losing his position in 1st place. Class drive today and as said by Christian Horner, well deserved!

242

Wounder why rb are fighting hard to change tire's, don't want to be stuck behind other car's, can't overtake for the like's of sauber last weekend at China...sad

243
Scuderia McLaren

Yeah was amazing. He owned Alonso without DRS. Was great to see. What a racer. Go Vettel.

244

Go back and watch quali, then you'l get it...he should be able to take his place back, the grip on his new tyre's should get Alo used tyre's, slow memory or just don't get it.

245

New Tyres?? whose new tyres??

247

Fernando for some old school non DRS action.

248

Adrian Sutil - who was the fastest of them all over the final 55 laps... "What if"

249
Scuderia McLaren

Because he does not deserve it. Believe it or not, Alonso has not fooled everyone. James is right to not include him. Blew pole, blew the race. Pressure is not an ingredient Alonso like it seems. The underdog tag is when he's at his best. A tag he does not have seeing as he has the best car and is 30pts behind.

250

Everybody is at his best with the underdog tag. That's why Jenson performed so well along side Lewis. Now with Checo he's expected to win... Needless to say that any comparisons that will arise between Lewis and Checo's relative pace to Jenson won't mean a thing. As far as Alonso goes my money is on him to make the haters eat some humble pie

251
Scuderia McLaren

That is wrong in my opinion. If Checo absolutely dusts Button during their time at McLaren, it will reflect on Lewis. And rightly so.

I'd keep your money in your bank account if I were you. Alonso is throwing away a title Ferrari deserves. Best car, most stable team internally and best overall team. Vettel would have turned this year into 2011 if he had the Ferrari. Kimi also.

252

We'll see 🙂 Can't wait for the next race!

And as far as Checo's performance reflecting on Lewis' we have different opinions. Button has a lot more pressure now.

253

He (Alonso) blew the race? Did you watch the race? He made two unscheduled pitstops due to his DRS being stuck open. He was practically at the back of the grid within the first ten laps. Hardly his fault.

254

I don´t think he is an underdog. But he knows how to deal with adversity. Four stops and no DRS and he still finished in P8 from P19

255

You're absolutely right. Alonso was 'meh' this weekend.

256
Scuderia McLaren

Was response to comment 13 by Norseman.

257

You were probably under a bit of pressure yourself - thats why you posted incorrectly! lol

258

What Alonso does not deserve ? How Alonso can be blamed for a DRS failure and glitch ? How did he blew the race ? HE held position well after lap 1 and poised to attack vettel. DRS Failure for a handful of laps in the opening stint cost him the podium / Win atleast

Alonso has drove a superb race 4 stops, DRS failures for few laps costed him time. Overtook few cars without DRS and Finished just behind webber. (Driver of the day without a shadow of doubt)

Ferrari are responsible for the issues and decision management troubles. Ferrari could have told Alonso to box instead of a gamble in Malaysia. In Bharain ferrari could have easily told alonso not to use DRS after his first stop which they have failed to do resulted in another extra pit stop

What pressure you are talking about ? Yes Alonso made a mistake in his last Quali run (Alonso is a human and prone to errors, Not a Machine)

Alonso have no need to Fool anyone. How do you conclude Ferrari as the best Car ? RBR won twice by some margin. Gary anderson doubted whether Ferrari could have matched RBR pace in bahrain even without DRS troubles.

Please post the reality and not anti-alonso stories all the time

259

You certain that Ferrari didn't instruct him not to use DRS?

We will start seeing the change in Stefano's response going forward. He is already very clear about Ferrari being part of the leading pack of cars wrt pace.

260
Scuderia McLaren

Ferrari are responsible?? What??

Ferrari are too good for Alfonzo. This year, they will realise that.

Hopefully Bianchi follows Raikkonens first year in F1 development curve and can be called upon to really go for a WDC for my beloved Prancing Horse. He wont throw it away when he gets the best car.

261

1st RAI for consistency, clean driving, and making up for a low grid slot and slow start.

2nd GRO for maturity, speed, and overtaking.

3rd PER for toughening up and getting his elbows out, possibly raced BUT too hard but no one got hurt so fair bump play on, was good to see him perform in a decent car.

4th VET for showing why he is a x3 WDC, great (and fair) overtaking, and pure speed.

262

Don't know about driver of the day - most of them could have claimed that spot so instead I'll make up one instead.

The award for channeling Schumacher the most goes to - Rosberg with Perez a very close second. Very good to see from them two. Perez grown balls over the past 2 races but I don't think Rosberg ever fought so hard over his 7 year career. I hope this is the beggining of something beuatiful for these two... Grosjean too. Don't muzzle the drivers please I was loving every lap of the stuff.

263

Hamilton - I expected him to barely scrape through in the top 10 after his first two stints.

Alonso - awsome drive.

Honourable metions to pretty much all other top 10 drivers.

James any clue as to why Merc put Hsmilton on Mediums on the first pit stop?

264

I'm not going to choose a driver of the day - there's too many to choose from - but instead I'm going congratulate the drivers who fought hard, fought well, and gave us all a great race to watch and enjoy 🙂

265

Perez is my driver of the day. Whitmarsh told Checo to step it up and use his elbows, and he did. Now everyone is crying because he elbowed his teammate…. Make up your mind McLaren!

266

You should actually read what Mclaren(whitmarsh) said to Checo. Well done, that is much better, but please don't take out your team mate. That is pretty clear to me.

267

Vettel is easily the driver of the day. Smart racing, aggressive clean overtaking without DRS. If he didn't do those overtakes, his strategy might not have worked. Kudos.

268

Wake up buddy, all 3 of them were all on medium tyres at the start.

269

I would give it to Kimi with Vettel a close second. Heard that Kimi suffered an allergy reaction before the race and had to miss the drivers parade. Nearly decided not to race but went on to race and finished 2nd. Hats off to him for that.

270

Very tough, but probably Vettel, followed by di Resta, Grosjean, Hamilton, Perez, Kimi, Alonso. Lot's of honourable mentions.

271

Oh, and I know why you got rid of it James, but please, bring the poll back 🙂

272

It's definately Checo!

This is how I'd like to see him racing from now on!!

And it's great team didn't intervene while him and JB were ACTUALLY RACING EACH OTHER.

The only way is up, go team McLaren!!

273

Perhaps there should be a car of the day and driver of the day. Vettel had car of the day. But driver of the day goes to the driver who showed most skill and handled the pressure of competition and tyre performance. Gros, Per, Alo? Then perhaps team of the day that made the best strategy decisions throughout the weekend, Lotus?

274

Has to be Vettel. Great and important overtaking. He surprised me, to be honest. Didn't expect that at all.

Kimi and di Resta were good, as well.

275

Of course it's Vettel...there's really no argument this time

276

Gotta be Vettel.

To bad about Alonso's DRS. Would have been interesting to see if he could have matched Vettels pace.

277

Pic gets my vote. Upgrades working and h finished ahead of a Sauber.

278

This one is a little hard. Vettel made great moves in the early laps but then it was just tipical Vettel and RB. Great job but nothing new.

Di Resta and Grosjean surprised me the most.

Kimi once again doing a great job quitetly

Lewis, great fight with Webber. But Mercedes needs to find a way for a 2 pit stop strategy in every race and much better pace.

Alonso, went from P19 to P8 without DRS. Do we need DRS? Let the drivers do their job and the pit stop strategy doing the rest when having a competitive car

279

So maybe later on,you'l come out and complain because not enougth overtaking, this what is going to happen: with these tyres that already goes of quick, much more when following another car...not very long you'l want the tyre's change. Then were back to square one, can't make everyone happy...could be something simple by shortining the drs zone, just my opinion

280

By the way... Why is Perez in this list? What he is doing in brave but very dangerous. Keep in mind that in China he made silly moves and Neither Raikkonen nor Hamilton were happy about it. Yesterday with his antics he almost made a mess with Button and later with Alonso. Perez is playing with fire. He shouldn´t.

281

I didn't realise that here was there to make other drivers 'happy'...

282

".... he almost made a mess with Button and later with Alonso". But he did not! And he did not because, in spite of his "inexperience" and his "youth", he is a fantastic and talented racer.

What do you expect from a F-1 driver? Not to play with fire?

By the way, of course Sergio Perez is the driver of the day.

283
Spinodontosaurus

Button ran Perez off the road...
Alonso, Hamilton, Webber, Massa and several others have all raced as Perez did in the past, and Rosberg does it more often than anybody.

284

Hamilton has been penalized. And that´s the problem some drivers have been penalized and others haven´t. Rosberg did it in China last year. FIA clarified the rules. And Vettel has been penalized in Monza for doing it to Alonso. That´s why Perez should have neven got away with it

286

Perez shouldn't be even mentioned, instead of him I would put Alonso. His comeback from P18 to P8 was far more impressive than crashing into your teammate.

287

What race did you see, Tomby? Who crashed into his team-mate?

288

Hamilton - brilliant drive to come 5th

Perez - showed why Mclaren gave him the drive

289

I am not a fan but it has to be Vettel, seems he is getting his head around these tyres which is bad news for everyone else and his moves at the start were top draw and without DRS (which makes them better all day long in my eyes).

I also enjoyed watching Perez doing what he was told to do by MW while schooling Button at the same time and I was surprised how well Lewis went in the second 1/2 of the race.

James, Any news on why we had 3 delaminated tyres over the weekend, even if the Sky crew were trying not to call them that? Also, do you think it's fair that I driver gets a 5 place grid pen for such a tyre failure that occurs and wrecks a gearbox and rear suspension in the process?

290

Driver of the day: Vettel – Aggravatingly superior performance.

Honorable mention: Räikkönen – The invisible drive that ended up in P2.

291

1; Vettel, nobody was even close to his speed.

2; Di Resta, First of the Merc powerd cars and a good weekend.

3; Kimi, mr consistancy at it again, his stock must be at its highest its ever been in the paddock.

some good racing though, and only the one minnor crash.

292
Bring Back Murray

The Ice Man gets it.

Started well down the order due to a dodgy qualifying session but used his strategy well, drove consistently fast and finised a solid second place, behind Vettel who was simply flying.

293

My heart is with Kimi. His Q2 time would have ensured P4 on the starting grid if he could have rocked the same time in Q3. Whatever happened (driver error, clouds etc?), he did a great job working his way up the grid with good help from Lotus' new strategy team. The difference between strategy early in 2012 vs. late 2012 and 2013 is breathtaking.

That said. It's hard not to give Vettel this one. And yes, I was one of the many hoping he would f#¤k up his pitstops.

294

Grosjean and Hamilton were impressive.

295

Vettel.

He keeps getting better with every year. And he's only 25. A scary thought.

296

Give Jule's Bianchi a drive on a rb car, he most likely would have don the same.

297

I thought Karthikeyan can do it as well - no? 😀

299

What happened to the podium interviews after the race ... BBC didn't show, did Sky?

300

Odd that, since it was DC who did the interviews.

301

I know, that's why I mentioned it.

Any explanation from anyone? It almost seems like we BBC license fee payers are paying for someone to do something, but we don't actually accrue any benefit from such.

302

Vettel, great Champions drive, finally we can see his quality not the RBR does not Qualify a second ahead of the rest...

DiResta, quality drive shows why he is rated by the F1 paddock, if not all www keyboard heroes.

Hamilton, from nowhere, Merc found speed, he suddenly came alive, guess it was the tyres ... Yet another drive that highlights his sheer quality.

303

Has to be Vettel, but there was a lot of good drives yesterday, an excellent race.

304

vettel did did it for me unless red bull gave him a faster car than webber's. he was calm to start with and went passed alonso at the crucial moment to command the race while webber was overtaken by a mercedes.

di rester was also on it all race.

drs was next for me because it made overtaking too common. leaving drs out would improve the spectacle or simply allowing drivers to use it as well as kers whenever they want rather than holding back the car in from to be overtaken.

button and perez were also interesting to watch.

305

I think it has to be Lewis Hamilton because with a car initially as flat as a pancake he was able to make up ground once the fuel had burnt off in the second and last stint to a respectable fifth place. Interesting he was able to do that when Rosberg simple went backwards! I disagree entirely with Gary Anderson about the Pirelli tyres for reasons I've expounded many times, but basically they have very little latitude, and this years iteration are absolutely diabolical, but worst still are highly dangerous.

306

Fernando Alonso ....still doing more with less...

307
Stuart Harrison

Tricky to call - so much entertainment around the points-paying positions. For me: Di Resta, with honourable mentions for Perez and Hamilton.

James - there were two (at least) incidents that were to be investigated after the race: one involving Webber. Has there been any announcement on these?

308

Reprimand for Webber

309

Lewis goes 9th to 5th and gets on the list? . . . . . really?

I really don't get the logic of his fans. He qualifies P4 (4 places behind his team mate)and gets a 5 grid penalty. Last week every one was hailing the Mercedes as one of the best cars on the grid and yet one week later, some are saying the car is punching above it's weight? They hail a p9 to p5 as a performance to be reckoned with and yet belittle similar performances by competitors at every opportunity. Lewis must be a god of some form surely to have so many adoring fans over such trivialities.

As a Button fan my vote goes to Checo. Checo was a little over feisty but imo had a way better race than Button and Jenson needs a kick up the @rse to which I believe he will respond. Well done Sergio.

310
Alexander Supertramp

Well Rosberg went from p1 to p9, so we can safely assume that the Mercedes was a tyre eating machine yesterday, no? They had no pace! Lewis drove a smart race and got the best of the car after the second stop. P5 with a Mercedes in Bahrein is a great result. I will concur that it's not DotD material, but it's definitely worth a nomination.

311

You deride Hamilton for coming fifth in a car where his team mate came 9th after staring on Pole? Yet you rate Perez because he had a good tustle with Button?

I think both Hamilton & Perez did well but I fail to see the logic you espouse.

By the way no one said Mercedes was one oc the best on the grid on race pace...they are number 4 at best.

312

Plenty of Hamilton fans have been crediting Lewis for turning the Mercedes into a competitive car as if his design input was key. For sure he's brought his amazing skill and has regularly pushed the envelope of its potential. You might not have noticed, but they have been regularly at the sharp end, two poles now, not bad out of four races (for an apparently according to some not very good car) and plenty of topping the time sheets in testing. Hardly poor showing.

What I bring into question is how one week p9 to p5 is worthy of being considered driver of the day for one driver in a car that did infact qualify 4th (so that was its potential) when another week another driver in an underperforming team (by their own standards) does the same and is derided for his (percieved) inability.

I don't make any definitive statements about the Mercedes. But their is an inbalance in how relative performances are percieved.

I am just trying to redress the balance by highligting this inequality. I always thought F1 was bigger than anyone driver.

313

I don't deride Lewis at all, I deride the lack of logic of his fans.

I consider Lewis to be one of the best in F1 right now.

314

But it's your logic on this post I'm questioning.

315

Grosjean was pretty impressive

316

Vettel did not put a tire wrong. However, if Pirelli hold their ground it may be tires that slow down the mighty Red Bull. Mercedes and Red Bull are fighting hard for harder compounds and teams like Lotus and Ferrari do quite nicely on the softer rubber so this should get interesting.

317

Perez. Great battle with JB, was told to toughen up and did just that. A deserved way to get points rather than the ones JB scored last race.

318

Vettel, it has to be. A masterful drive after a very determined start, on his own with no problems with tyres and speed available when needed all day. He was on a different planet from all the rest who must be wondering how he did it.

Kimi has to be given the consolation prize for sticking to a strategy that got him 2nd. And Grosjean showed his obvious talent.

Alonso gets the 'Wizard Award' for the biggest surprise: a triumph of determination over bad luck. He is Mr Magic, always able to make something out of nothing.

The rest struggled, some more than others, but in a way they are the ones that provided the entertainment, for that a big 'thank you'.

319
Antonio Palmiotto

Sergio has been magnificent , to me.

320

Di Resta is my driver of the day. Great pace and drove valliantly. I do want to say something about Hamilton overtaking Schumacher points tally for 2012. I think it is utter useless info to really compare the two situation. Schumacher did retire 5 out the first 7 races and he retired from positions that were well into the points. Hamilton has had reliability on his side and he has benefited from a car that is much more improved from last year. I am taking nothing away from Lewis he is doing a great job this year but don't compare Michael's situation with Lewis'.

321
Alexander Supertramp

Agree, stupid comparison.

322

Too many to choose.... Kimi, Perez, and DiResta for example.

323

Di Resta is the star driver, the Red Bulls and Lotus's were suited to the traction rear limited Sakhir circuit, the Force India is not as strong but Paul kept in the mix for a podium right to the end to eventually take 4th, professional drive and post race very mature, get this guy in a front team!

324
Alexander Supertramp

I believe Sutil would have done an even better job. Realy keeping an eye on that intra-team battle, I expect Sutil to come out on top pretty easily.. Does he deserve a better ride too?

325

Firstly great drive by Vettel I've never been a fan of his but just from a driver skills point of view he's starting to win me over. Alonso was amazing how did he keeping pace in third with his DRS wide open through the corners?? One other thing though - In the last few years Rosberg has trounced Schumacher but now Hamiltons doing it to him, how many wins could Mercedes have had by now if Hamilton had been in the car from day one??!!

326
Alexander Supertramp

Doesn't matter! Just make that Merc' faster, they have 2 great drivers who will deliver!