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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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363comments

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1

I’m just really bummed at Ferrari for &$#%ing up Alonsos race! It wipild have been a great fight between him and Alonso. Apart from that Vettel drove like a champion, he desreves DOTD.

Also really enjoyed the McLaren boys fighting it out, awesome stuff!

2

Hamilton he drove beyond the car was capable of it….. the gauge of it was Mercedes was no match for Redbull, Mclaren and Ferrari and yet he finished in a rather quite fashion finished ahead of one Redbull (passing Mark Webber), both the Mclaren and both the Ferraris.

So it has to be Hamilton…. for both Lotus drivers drove to the car’s potential, Vettel’s car was on a different planet belting out fastest lap int he penultimate lap…. while Hamilton’s car was a truck among em’ all.

3

Has to be LH. His measured drive from start to finish was awesome. I can,t wait to see JB and SP going at it again. That was definitely one of the funniest radio messages ever…….please somebody stop him, I can,t go any faster, please , is anyone listening???

4

Jimmi Robinson

5

Di Resta for me.

Can’t we go back to having a poll?

6
prasanna madhavan

KIMI

We dont call kimi ICEMAN for fun. he shows on field

7
Alexander Supertramp

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/04/22/2013-bahrain-grand-prix-lap-times-fastest-laps/

Vettel was untouchable. I don’t know whether it’s Seb running in clean air, but the difference between Vettel and Webber is ridiculous. Even Alonso wouldn’t have been a match for Vettel. He started cruising after the second stop and nobody could match him (not even closely) in the first 2 stints.

Guess this makes him my DotD..

8

Hard to say. Can’t fault Vettel with his strong early moves to take the lead, and even without Alonso’s DRS failure he looked to be gradually opening a gap up (although certainly not as quickly as he would have done in say 2011, but of course that was a different situation). From there, just put in a seemingly flawless drive.

But, I also liked Perez for aggressively pushing Button, who he was quicker than for most of the race, to the point where Button had to resort to whining on the radio.

And then Kimi and Grosjean both put in great races to make up for a pretty average day of qualifying. Hamilton drove well, especially in the battle with Webber near the end. Even di Resta, who I normally want to punch in the face every time he speaks, not only put in a good race, but even spoke positively about it post-race instead of complaining about not getting on the podium.

Was there a particular reason Hulkenberg finished in 12th whereas his team mate finished a lap down in 18th? I don’t recall seeing much of either of them all race, but I can’t imagine it was just Hulkenberg out-classing his rookie team mate. Gutierrez finished below a Caterham… what the… ?!

9

Has to be Paul Di Resta for me, just a pity that Grosjean was on fresher tires at the end.

On another subject, is there any chance of getting the best driver poll back? It made it easier to see the overall feeling without needing a degree in statistics

10

Perez. He fully demonstrated that he listens to his boss.

11
Lachlan Mackinnon

Some good racing at Bahrain. Drive of the day would have to go to Hamilton and Perez. Hamilton must have set up his car for the race and used his head…..his teammate lost 9 places where he made up ground. Perez just some good wheel to wheel racing. Was close to tears but F1 is all about fine/small margins. In my view his only real mistake was hitting the accelerator marginally early which caused the minor contact. I think everyone would agree this close quarter racing is what we like to see??

12

[………there were countless battles all the way down the field.]

Honestly I couldn’t pick the DOTD simply because there were too many in this race. One of the best races I’ve seen in F1 in terms of battling for positions at close quarters.

The DRIVERS of the day – Vettel – Raikkonen – Alonso – Perez – Hamilton – Di Resta – Grosjean.

Am hoping Spain’s race will be similar and maybe it will be even better. Gosh another 3 weeks, that’s a long long wait.

14

How can anyone be considering Grosjean for the accolade of “Driver of the Day” when he was beaten by Raikkonen in the same car?Kimi has scored for so many consecutive races – showing both speed AND consistency – that I’m voting for him!

So many drivers are driving beautifully recently – the world champions are particularly on fire at the moment.No coincidence that they keep pushing their way to the top of the field in races (even if they qualify poorly) and therefore find themselves doing well in the championship standings…

Alonso & Hamilton drove so well around their problems.And to be fair to Vettel,it isn’t his fault that he is in the best car – his overtaking was assertive and he is fast.Plenty of drivers in the past with dominant cars (ahem Damon Hill & Jacques Villeneuve) used to make silly mistakes,but Seb makes it look easy because he has class.

Wouldn’t Button’s skill sets be better suited to endurance racing now instead of F1?Surely he is an ideal candidate for a good LeMans24 seat!Perez embarrassed him this wknd.

15

Button finished in 10th place in two consecutive races. He seems to enjoy N° 10, his celebration after Q3 demonstrates that.

16

Lol – a bit harsh maybe – I respect Button but he needs to dominate his teammate this year otherwise people are gonna question him.Much in the same way Dani Pedrosa was embarrassed by Marc Márquez a few hours later…

I also wanna see the poll back in simpler form!

Kimi or Alonso for title I hope?

17

+1000

18

ALO/HAM

I realize only the first six first drivers are selected. If I have to select from those I would choose HAM.

HAM did today show that the driver can actually make THE difference. While ROS starting from pole, was busy acting as Rambo while defending, destroying his tyres in the process, HAM drove an intelligent race and finished way ahead of his team mate despite starting much lower.

If the selection may include drivers that had all the merits but no luck, of the 22 drivers I would choose ALO – a no brainer for me today.

He drove 3-4 laps basically with no rear wing and managed, to keep not only the car on the track, but also positions more or less.

He managed to recover to 8th after being dead last at lap 8, and did that with NO DRS, severely compromised pit stop strategy and only one retiring driver of the 22.

He finished only 37 seconds behind VET despite, one extra pit stop, the lap time penalty and difficulties overtaking due to no DRS, and tyre problems due to racing behind traffic most of the race.

19

Interesting observation – I notice ALO finished within 2.3 seconds of HAM, PER and WEB!! This is without doubt more impressive to me than the win in CHN. Absolutely amazing stuff.

20

Perez. Bonus points for such a big improvement in this race!

21

Looks like Perez might be the new Montoya! He has certainly won the popularity of the fans in this forum!

22

I have hard time deciding between Hamilton and Perez. Both showed outstanding battles with other drivers and this is what I adore.

23

Perez was most entertaining but it has to be vetel because he won.

24

Grosjean and Perez – both showed their best!

25

Quite a tough one…vettel drove very well, made the moves early and then just made it work. However would it have been so simple if Lotus had qualified a bit better, and the ferraris didnt have their problems? I think along with kimi, grosjean should get a mention, but alonso to finish 37 secs behind the leader, pitstops out of sync, and no drs was a great drive. So i think its

grosjean, alonso vettel with very little to seperate them.

26
Val from montreal

The German …. Simple answer ….

Red Bull DOES indeed give him wings …

27

Correct you on that Adrian Newey

28
Alexander Supertramp

Always ‘ze Germans’.

29

Of course, hot Perez! Icy time coming at McLaren to him and Button, though!

30

Can’t split PER, HAM, RAI, ALO, GRO or BUT for race-craft and entertainment.

31

My Driver of the day is Hamilton, Perez in a close second, while Alonso in 3rd.

Hamilton vs Webber, and Perez vs Button gave any real F1 fan what we paid for or spend our time to watch. While Alonso showing that the old school overtaking is still possible amazes me. Many many respect to all the drivers, and much respect to McLaren for stealing the show!!

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