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Chinese GP: Who was your driver of the day?
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Posted By: James Allen  |  20 Apr 2014   |  9:00 pm GMT  |  245 comments

The Chinese Grand Prix was not as thrilling as the Bahrain Grand Prix which preceded it, but there were nevertheless some strong performances up and down the field.

So who was your Driver of the Day?


Lewis Hamilton
The Briton took his third consecutive win (a first in his career) and led every lap of the race after securing a strong pole position on Saturday. He had to bounce back from handling issues on Friday, but got the car just how he wanted it and got the most from it.


Nico Rosberg
Outperformed by Hamilton in qualifying, Rosberg had quite a few problems to overcome on Sunday to come through to finish second. His telemetry wasn’t working all race, so he had to manually feed back fuel information to the team. His start was poor, then he collided heavily with Bottas in Turn 1. He dropped to sixth place. But through strategy and pushing hard he came through to second.


Fernando Alonso
One of the Spaniard’s really strong performances, in a Ferrari which was improved but still some way short of the pace. A great start (despite heavy contact with Massa) launched him up to third place, an undercut at the first stop took him past Vettel and he managed to stay ahead of the Red Bulls to the finish for his first podium of the year.


Daniel Ricciardo
Another strong qualifying, made it 3-1 versus team mate Vettel this season. A poor start cost him second place, but he had better tyre management than Vettel and managed to come through him, again the team asking the four time champion to let him through. Tried to catch Alonso but ran out of laps at the end.


Other contenders

Nico Hulkenberg (6th) had another strong weekend, despite the Force India struggling on the front limited circuit. The McLaren didn’t work well either and they didn’t get any kind of result. Valterri Bottas had a big bang with Rosberg on the opening lap, but managed to keep going for 7th place, while Kimi Raikkonen went from 11th on the grid to 8th at the end, but he was over 50 seconds behind his team mate.


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1
kenneth chapman

@ thompson… personally i don’t see this at all, but then again my eyes aren’t what they used to be! i very much doubt that raikonnen will get one over alonso.

as i have said in other threads i just don’t think that kimi is all that special. he is good but so are a lot of others and his WDC was hardly a ringing endorsement of his total superiority.

theoretically he should be able to master the new car better than most. his adventure in rally cars would have prepared him well for outright variance, handling and control. i would say that, like vettel, the complexity of the new cars and their handling is proving to be problematic amongst some of the older drivers, turning on its head the belief that the more experienced older drivers will be able to cope better.

alonso is good and he will be putting as much fresh air between him and raikonnen as possible so that when 2015 comes around he will be well placed to make the hard decisions on his future.

2

I hear you Kenneth Chapman but I still believe Kimi will come through.

His WDC is a prime example of his ability to achieve the unexpected out of nowhere. No one expected him to walk away with that title, but he did.

He also won a race in the Lotus no one else has. He is an understated person but he’ll get results when it’s least expected.

Alonso has the rope but I predict Kimi will reel him in in an unassuming way.

He does need to grow up a bit (the iceman thing was cool 10 years ago it’s now silly) and knuckle down with his team ans make use of the simulator to get the best from the car . But you remember this exchange.

3
kenneth chapman

@ thompson….your belief in kimi is admirable but i very much doubt if it will come to any satisfactory conclusion.

his WDC was ‘opportune’ at the best. this happens from time to time.

as for his lotus win well that also was ‘opportune’. let me simply say that maldonado won a race for williams as well.now we all know that there is very little in common with these drivers as per their on track performances over time but it does show that sometimes strange/unexpected results can occur. the fact is that raikonnen never followed it up with recurring wins.

i have never been an ‘iceman’ follower/supporter. yes, he has been portrayed as the epitome of the monosyllabic archetype skandi but this is just plain silly and childish.

one of my closest friends is a personal friend of kimi and even he states that it is all a PR charade that has been milked for a very long time!

anyway, that is my opinion [which means zippedy doo dah.] i hope your man gets up sooner rather than later.

4

I think many of you are being unfair to Kimi. Ferrari F1 cars are notoriously hard to master.

Note he finished in the points under the radar something he does way to often- I predict he”ll climb steadily up the pecking order over the next few races you watch.

Alonso won’t see him coming.

5

The facts at moment are really very obvious.

1. Hamilton, Ricciardo and Alonso are driving very well and have a good handle on their cars with setup and also managing with less downforce.

2. Rosberg is doing a good job but is just not quite as good as Hamilton.

3. Vettel and Kimmi are not performing with less downforce and are not as competitive due to this.

What can happen in the future is that NR will grab that last bit of pace and stay with LH, SV will finally come to grips with his new car and get it together and KR will do the same.

The way I see it is those who can be quick with less aero are on top and LH has the advantage of a very good car, if he keeps up the pressure he will take over the lead in the championship soon enough, DR will slowly but surely move ahead of Seb and Alonso will continue to outclass his team mate.

All others are just making up numbers at present

6
Tornillo Amarillo

HAMILTON was the DotD, absolutely great from start to finish, astonishing performance, astounding in perfection, surprising in his firs hat-trick achievement, stunning, staggering de puta madre, shocking rivals, startling star in Asia, breathtaking until the end…

I’ve already bought my tickets for Canada!

7

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8

Agree 100%

Alonso = consistently outstanding.

Very disapointed by Raikonnen and Vettel so far but we are only 4 races into the season.

I hope the cars develop so that Kimi and Seb find a setup that suits them.

9

‘Third consecutive win in his career’ That should read his F1 career as he has done it in both F3 (twice and then 5 consecutive wins) and GP2. Picky, I know. Still Driver of the weekend.

10

Fernando relentlessly drives the wheels off any race car in his hands and this flatters an inferior car to deceive. The pace of his teammates more closely reflects the potential of the Ferrari. It’s a midfield car that has no right to be on the podium.

11

I don’t see how Alonso drove such a great race. It was a solid drive, but Ricciardo was better.

The Ferrari was fastest in a dry practice session 1, second fastest in a dry practice session 2. It was the second best car out there Sunday. Forget about what Raikkonen was doing. Felipe Massa beat him in 2008 and 09 so it’s a given that Alonso will beat him this season.

It can’t be Hamilton because his win was purely the car and nothing else. He has what will ultimately be the most dominant car in F1 history.

It has to be Ricciardo for destroying his quadruple world champion teammate.

12

Lol……

Thing is if Hamilton did not exist Rosberg would be dominating f1 right now, by winning races by huge margins 10secs plus or so doing a Vettel.

Hamilton is beating him by 10secs plus at this point of the season. they share the same car with no team orders, shared telemetry and equal status.

That’s impressive if you think about it. Something we have not seen in f1 for near 20years.

Welcome to the Hamilton show.

Driver of the day Kimi – in his trial and tribulation with the Ferrari he managed to drag it to 8th.

Note how the big boys except Macca, are dragging their motors into the points – like last year it’s not the car.

13

Nice work from Alonso, but he had no gains on track, but only in pits. He didn’t defend the second place for a second (which was wise thinking of securing the third place) but not much of drive could me seen.

So, if there are no outstanding efforts, it comes to the winner. Hamilton for DOTD.

14

Tough to call. Lewis was driver of Saturday. Sunday, made a textbook start and drove within himself and looked after the machinery. Can’t fault him, but you couldn’t call it heroic.

Fernando for another great start ? He didn’t do much in the rest of the race. Got past a Red Bull in the pitstops and was passed by Rosberg. Got more out of the car than perhaps he should and more than his teammate.

Rosberg – a lousy start and no telemetry, made up the places he lost and more to finish where you’d his car to be but couldn’t do as much as team mate.

Ricciardo – for beating Vettel (who looks out of sorts at the moment) but both slipped back from where they started.

Nothing clear cut: I’d say after lap 1 Rosberg had the better Race than Alonso, but Alsonso’s third was more than achievement than putting the Mercs in the first 2.

Sadly we only get a race like Bahrain once a season.

15

Driver of the Day Kamui Kobayashi…. his pass on Vettel did it for me … (joke, but anyway, James what happened there?… was Kamui lapped and was not entitle to run faster than another car?… can you tell us what really happened?

Thanks.

16

I’m a Kimi fan, but for me it has be Fernando, beating the rest of the Merc engines and both improving Red Bulls.

17

Alonso, first of the Human League, and Ricciardo, once more ahead of the previous Star League leader.

18

as I said after the last race, why would anyone vote rosberg? completely outshone by lewis.

Alonso DOTD though

19

I would have given it to alonso …but he caused a collision with massa and stopped him getting past [ look at the overhead video ] , didn’t make an overtake except in the pits , and his car was too fast down the straights for the red bulls to catch

so , on the basis of a perfect performance …hamilton , with ricky a close second

20

Well done daniel good drive

Sebastian “Daniel is faster and let him through” – Loved and enjoyed the team orders from RBR in chinese GP

Keep up the splendid work, More of the same please Daniel

21

Tough to choose between Lewis, Alonso and Daniel as well

However Alonso wins this one for me, with lewis a close second. Lewis drove a superb race and totally put rosberg to the sword. Yet Mercedes only had to race themselves. Lewis himself confessed he raced himself and no-one else. Despite the Mercedes dominance lewis was simply superb to watch

Well, Fernando is simply a treat to watch all day long. Alonso always wrings every bit and pieces of time out of the car. Once again in china Alonso have put in consummate drive and this was a classic alonso drive in my opinion. Cannot understand how long it will take Fernando to find another car/ team who can provide him a fast package if not the fastest package to bag another WDC. This man deserves more than 2 WDC’S easily.

Here is one who still hope to see Fernando Alonso win another WDC sooner rather than later.

22

“Here is one who still hope to see Fernando Alonso win another WDC sooner rather than later.”

As I said many times – it’s like Fernando has KERS in his head, doing what can’t be done (easily) over and over again.. in any team, in any conditions. Yes he isn’t the quickest one lap racer and he also makes mistakes but his ability to THINK and bypass all kind of issues with his consistency to deliver top results are truly fascinating. Being a professional helicopter pilot for 20 years I believe I have some idea what it takes to have such high level of man-and-machine symbiosis, focus and determination for such a long period of life.

So maybe next generations will need numbers to get a picture of someone before their time – in this case Fernando, but to me who have the privilege to watch him in real time – I don’t care how many title he has, for me he is the best out there, ever, period.

And I’m not even sure that I would like to see him in a dominating car – this would be utterly boring and would completely kill the satisfaction of watching him doing something special.

23

Oly

Pretty much agree with you

Yet i believe Fernando alonso is a fable for me and he really deserves to have more than 2 WDC which he has now. Even i will not be too flustered if Alonso does not win another WDC. Yet i wish to see Alonso add 1 or 2 more WDC to his name before he calls it a day

Yes, you are correct. It’s real honour to watch Alonso out on the track week-in / week-out. He is such a fantastic performer and a real treat to watch

Yes as you called it, He is the best for sure.

24
Alexander Supertramp

Hard one. I’ll go for Alonso, really made the most of every opportunity and kept me intrested in the race.

Lewis was amazing throughout the weekend, so he’s DotW.

26

Got to be LH. From qually to race finish he was in complete controll. I cannot believe how much of a difference a DNF makes!Everyone bleats on about the superiority of the Merc but forgive me but wasn’t,t Nico 4th on the grid? LH is really driving the car well and to it,s limits when needed. I just prey that Bernie,s ridiculous points don,t change the outcome of this years championship.

27

Nando played a blinder but went with Lewis because he made it look so easy.

28

Umm…hang on a minute…

Was wasn’t Maldonado in the running? A whole 56 lap race without a single somersault, trip to the beach, or passionate embrace with the armco! The guy’s an absolute champion! Just ask him! 🙂

Seriously, though, Alonso! Give the guy water, turns it to wine! That Ferrari may as well be a Reliant Robin, and still he hustles it home to a podium!

I feel for Nico. Poor Britney’s having a rough time of it of late! Hamilton does seem to have found some inner peace, and it’s showing on track! I think HAM will probably run away with it very very early on. Both Championships locked away by the time they hit Monza.

Lastly, as an Aussie, it’s great to see Dan doing so well. It’s clear that Vettel will get to grips with the car sooner or later, and I, for one, can’t wait. Should be a great battle all season. I’m predicting fireworks around Canada, if not before! I’m picking Dan the Man to continue to deliver all season!

29

Driver of the Day has to be Lewis.

But Driver of the Day with a lower power unit

goes to Alonso

30

I’m happy for Hamilton who looked on the verge of a Great Depression in previous years trailing around but I hope he does apologise for his comments about F1 the past few years too, for instance when he said, ‘it’s pretty boring having the same guy just leading from the front all the time…’

😉 just kidding Lewis – I know its hard to knock the show when it’s you doing the winning.

I voted for Lewis today as I grudgingly came to admit Vettel was doing something right by dominating with the best car – can hardly blame Lewis for getting into the best car and winning everything – after all Senna did too and we don’t tend to insult his ability.

31

Except for one thing …. both these guys are not fit to tie Sennas shoe laces 🙂

32

Maybe not – I’d just love to be able to see what Senna would make of a modern F1 race though – and vice versa – drop the last 5 champions in Senna’s heyday – be incredibly interesting but sadly we’ll never know.

33

I think Prost would be heavily favoured over Senna in this era. Prost had the edge over Senna in terms of racecraft, consistency, and intellect. Senna had one lap pace over Prost I’ll give him that.

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