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Who was your Driver of the day in Melbourne?
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Posted By: James Allen  |  17 Mar 2014   |  12:10 pm GMT  |  231 comments

The first round of the new F1 championship was full of surprises and notable for new names breaking through into the front ranks.

There were many standout drives, but who was your Driver of the Day?


Nico Rosberg
The 28 year old German took his fourth Grand Prix win with a dominant drive, set up by a perfect start from 3rd on the grid. With team mate Hamilton sidelined early, Rosberg had no challengers and was able to control the pace of the race.


Daniel Ricciardo
Although the 24 year old was disqualified for a fuel flow infringement on his Red Bull Renault that was beyond his control, he can take a lot of confidence from this performance. He was always competitive in qualifying dry or wet and managed to get the Red Bull to the finish without drama; until the stewards found fault with the team for ignoring their advice and exceeding the flow rate limit.


Kevin Magnussen
Said he had to pinch himself to believe that he was in the FIA drivers press conference on Thursday in Melbourne but by Sunday he had become a star in his own right. Stunning in qualifying to grab 4th on the grid, the 21 year old Dane jumped Hamilton at the start and held third comfortably. He challenged Ricciardo at the end for second, but then inherited it anyway when the Aussie was disqualified. Quite a debut!


Jenson Button A tough GP weekend, the first since his father John died. Disappointed in qualifying, but his climb through the field with some inspired decision making on strategy took him ultimately to 4th, which became 3rd and his 50th F1 podium with Ricciardo’s disqualification. Not Button’s best Australian GP and he will be on notice now about Magnussen, but the old grey matter and speed of thought was on show when he pitted 6 seconds after the Safety Car was announced – that move gained him 3 places!


Valtteri Bottas
The Finn in the Williams was hard to take your eyes away from. He rose from 15th on the grid to 6th, before making an unforced error and tagging the wall. It punctured his tyre and left debris on the track. He dropped to 15th again but the safety car he had caused allowed him to restart in the pack and he fought back up to 6th again at the finish.


Daniel Kvyat
The Toro Rosso was competitive in Melbourne and the 19 year old Russian became F1’s youngest ever points scorer with 10th place. On his debut he put together a complete weekend with a strong top 10 qualifying performance and a points finish. A great start to his F1 career.


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1

comment of the day must be Vettel’s: “come on guys this is ridiculous!”

Bottas was great, amazing overtaking – proper racing even with the mistake

2

Spoilt for choice. But it has to be Bottas a real racer

3

i just saw the results for the voting until now and the 70% have choosen a driver that just walk around a park and only 30% has choosen a real racer….i dont mind if bottas made a mistake….that`s happen on great racers and for me bottas was the only driver that gives us something and maybe raikkonen in the end of the race….really, tell me what magnusen did?

he start third and he finish third after a nice sunday walk in the park like all the other drives.

4

K-Mag for me, the guys a freak from the get go his driving style just looked like a cross between Alonso and Hamilton. What a weapon, im so excited for Malaysia mainly to see if K-mag wipes the floor with button, i suspect button may be a bit nervous.

Bottas also looked so confident with a great car i cant wait to see more of these guys as watching them will be more entertaining than the mercs coasting to wins every fortnight.

That red bull driver academy aint too bad after all. They seem to produce fast drivers, thank you Dr Helmut Marko.

5

Magnussen for me, even if he is not as good later on this poll was asking for the most impressive driver of the race and that for me was Kmag

6

In my opinion, Hulkenberg deserves the Driver of the Day title because, comparing with teammates, he was the one that had a more outstanding performance. Force India is the worst team with mercedes engine and Hulk still had a notable qualifying and race.

For me

1- Hulk

2- Alonso

3- Riccardo

7

Thought about it for a couple of days and I honestly can’t pick one. All the above impressed me.

8

Close call, Kevin Magnussen or Bottas?

Kevin Magnussen, gets if from me due to the fact he is a rookie, who managed flawlessly (1) getting a really good grid spot in difficult qualy conditions, (2) converting that into a really good race finish AND (3) having achieved both (1) and (2) using the high-torque-car of 2014. Impressive stuff and not very far from ALO-class-achievement!

9

hi james, why do you commentators call ricciardo ricardo while he should be called richiado? his name is italian like gucci is pronounced guchi.

10

Take your name for example: Is it avel-ee or avel-eye?

Some might say one, some might say the other, but it’s your name so it’s what you say that matters, even if others think you’re wrong.

11

oh thank you!

12
Matthew Cheshire

Too true. DR is one of the best drivers on the planet. We would call him Susan if he wanted us to.

13
kenneth chapman

i like that response…..cool thought

14

I know,

He has asked us to, that’s why. It’s wrong if you know Italian, as you are aware, but he’s Australian and he wants it to be pronounced Riccardo

15

oh I see, now I understand. thanks james.

16

a great start to the season james, i voted for magnussen although i don’t accept that he jumped hamilton, hamilton had a problem and all the cars up front jumped him. bottas was also forced to hit the wall although he was the star of the day because he got more attention from the production team than any other driver because of the action he supplied them. ricciardo also got the locals into a frenzy while putting vettel into a twist. rosberg the race winner drove like vettel and hardly got any attention.

17

Voted BOTTAS even with the mistake, as it felt he was really pushing. He almost got Alonso if not for the rear with a loud thud and boxed. From 15th to 6th then 15th to 6th again, not forgetting his 5 place grid penalty. According to Claire Williams Bottas made at least 20 overtaking moves, what a start to the season.

Kevin was great too so was Ric. Nice for a change with the younger drivers and rookies doing well especially Kvyat.

Alonso must be sick and tired of Ferrari’s poor pace, again he brought the car to where it should not be. Last year at the slacking horse? Kimi was really struggling.

Vettel and Lewis, have to feel sorry for them.

Overall the race was not too bad though, but cars did feel slow compared to the V8s especially the turns.

18

The new boys were great, but I’m sure not having Hamilton or Vettel to race made a few drivers day a little easier.

19

Magnussen, but Bottas for wow factor.Are their any drivers that haven’t come of the track or made mistakes. I’m looking forward to see how he compares with Massa in the next race.Be nice to see Williams do well again.

20
Matthew Cheshire

Ricciardo, Magnussen, Kyvat. It confirms that learning new tricks is a young man’s game.

It will be hilarious if Ricciardo turns out to be Vettel’s Vettel. The rookie using the new toys better than the “old” war horse.

Bring on multi13!

22

Why are people even mentioning Button- he got beaten by a rookie in his first race !

Why are people mentioning Alonso – he did nothing due to electrical problem !

Can we please look at current performance as opposed to passed glory or fan boy dreams. Other words- snap out of it

23

button started from the back and caught up with magnussem. i think that’s significant.

24

most unlucky driver of the day. Massa. Good car, fresh start ,all systems go and ready to put the car through its paces and then you get punted out on the first corner. Lucky there seems to have been a problem with the caterham as i would have seriously questioned why we had Kobayashi back

Hope it works out next race.

25

Magnussen: drive of the saturday. Sunday drove it home with minimum fuss other than swerve off line. Passed HAM’s low-on-power car by default and couldn’t pass RIC so racecraft remains untested but race pace is up there with JBs. If not drive of the day, definitely attitude of the day. 9/10

Button: 14th going into first corner after a block by Kvyat so ending 3rd was impressive, although the passes were either others dropping off or moves done in the pitlane. Still, 9/10

Kvyat: solid drive, fully deserving of seat. Verne had the edge this weekend though (and don’t particularly rate Verne). 8/10

Rosberg: Can’t be assessed fairly in terms of speed due to HAMs retirement, possibly inherited win based on saturday. Just had to keep it between the white lines due to car being streets ahead. Similar to some of JBs 2009 Brawn wins. 8/10

Bottas: Entertaining drive but nowhere near driver of the day due to unforced error/puncture. A shoulda-coulda 2nd place became 6th. Like ROS can’t compare against teammate. 7/10

Ricciardo. seemed to find the limits, put Vettel in the corner. May have been a 10 without the fuel flow irregularity which may have had a small effect on performance but unlikely to be significant so just about merits driver of the day. 9.5/10

Special mention for Alonso’s 9/10 drive. Kept Bottas at bay, may have led to his puncture if pushing that bit too much to stay close. Finished just 8.5 secs off 2nd. Beat Hulkenberg’s for-now better car, and made Raikkonen look ordinary.

26

Looking at the whole weekend it’s hard not to go with Ricciardo considering the Red Bull is about the 4th fastest car out there – it was 15+ km/h slower on the straights!

27
Thread the Needle

100% Magnussen, this kid can drive

28

1. Magnussen, more or less the perfect F1 debut, good quali, great race. The only black mark being spinnig up off the line, he was lucky not to end up embedded in Rosberg or Alonso’s car.

.

2. Button, smart drive, 10th to 3rd without any drama. Should have qualified higher but slowed down too much for Raikkonen’s accident.

.

3. Bottas, would be number 1 had he not hit the wall. Ace overtaking and showed that Williams’ testing times were certainly not ‘gloy laps,’ but an unforced error nearly made it all for nothing. Very lucky his broken wheel left enough debris on the track for a safety car, without it he would have been nowhere.

29

Magnussen was hugely impressive and his stints were very consistent too.

Alonso did a great damage limitation job too.

30

I agree about Alonso over Magnusson but to say Button is average is stupid.

31

Rosberg had an easy time of it. It would have been a Mercedes one two if Hamilton didn’t break down. Bottas gave a massive effort and battled back to salvage his race. My driver of the day is Magnussen. He showed his class from start to finish. The trundling Button was saved by a safety car at the right time and place. He put in his typical journeyman performance.

32

For the same reason I went for “other” – Alonso and Hulkenburg had quiet races but thrashed their teammates…

Have to admit all of the above drivers were extremely impressive though – I am a fan of many of the drivers in F1 at the moment, it is such a shame that too many talented drivers will never get their chance to shine in a good car during the prime of their career!

33

How do you know team mates didnt have big issues with the car. This ended the pole sitters race and 4 time WC..good effort no doubt by Hulk & Fernando. But starting 5th getting favourable SC call for the pit stop over Kimi who lost 2 places as a result of the double stack.

I think people forget apart from Bottas , Kimi was the only other guy that passed cars on track but in a dog, difficult Ferrari that had many issues. But for his pit stop hold up he would be right behind Fernando in 6th after starting 11th.

34

Yes fair enough…

I guess the pleasing thing is how many drivers did a good job – was very tough to choose a driver of the day!

35

Cannot be DR since he was using more fuel than allowed to get his position. Cannot be Bottas because he threw it into the wall. Cannot be Rosberg since it was mostly car. Really all the drivers were o.k. given the artificial rules. There was no real race to judge racing skill. Maybe who was the master of the economy run might be the real question.

36

“There was no real race to judge racing skill”.

Yes there was. There is always the teammate comparison, which people tend to forget, and which is one of the strongest signatures of the performance of a driver.

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