Vote for your Abu Dhabi GP driver of the weekend

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Start, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Who was the most impressive driver throughout the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend?

See below for my pick of the best drivers in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Review each driver’s race weekend in detail below and vote for who you thought was the most impressive driver.

For your consideration

Here are some of the drivers who impressed me during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend:

Lewis Hamilton – His best weekend in a long while, consistently quick and a deserved victory.

Fernando Alonso – Wrung every last thousandth of a second out of his Ferrari and came very close to snatching the lead off Hamilton.

Jenson Button – Qualified within a whisker of his team mate then coped well with a failing KERS to hold off his pursuers.

Nico Rosberg – Rosberg backed up his reliably excellent qualifying pace with a strong race drive, reeling in Felipe Massa is the closing laps.

Rubens Barrichello – Frustrated at every turn in practice and qualifying, he got the most out of his car on race day, even if it was only enough for 12th place.

Compare all the drivers

Review what happened to each driver over the race weekend and compare their performances with their team mates using the links below:

Red Bull team review
McLaren team review
Ferrari team review
Mercedes team review
Renault team review
Williams team review
Force India team review
Sauber team review
Toro Rosso team review
Lotus team review
HRT team review
Virgin team review

Vote for your driver of the weekend

Which driver impressed you the most throughout the Grand Prix weekend? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Who was the best driver of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend?

  • Jerome d'Ambrosio (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Vitantonio Liuzzi (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Jarno Trulli (0%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (1%)
  • Jaime Alguersuari (0%)
  • Sebastien Buemi (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (1%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Adrian Sutil (1%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Rubens Barrichello (4%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (0%)
  • Bruno Senna (0%)
  • Nico Rosberg (3%)
  • Michael Schumacher (0%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (35%)
  • Jenson Button (5%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (45%)
  • Mark Webber (1%)
  • Sebastian Vettel (3%)

Total Voters: 501

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Rate the Race: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Don’t forget to cast your vote in the ‘rate the race’ poll as well:

Image © Red Bull/Getty images

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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130 comments on “Vote for your Abu Dhabi GP driver of the weekend”

  1. It talks about weekend, and Lewis has been absolutely on it all weekend, from FP1, he hardly had to push to keep Alonso ahead, and possibly could have beat Vettel if he made it past turn 2.

    1. Thats my reasoning exactly, if it was ‘Driver of the Race’ then Alonso would win for dragging the car around way beyond what anyone thought was its speed. But Lewis for the entire weekend was fast and consistant.

      1. Fair points, but free practice doesn’t count for a lot, does it? I only take qualification and the race into account when deciding my driver of the weekend. Lewis Hamilton was on top form, but I’ve settled for Fernando Alonso. I find it hard to like him but impossible not to respect his talent.

        1. Great last comment, agreed.

          1. sid_prasher (@)
            15th November 2011, 21:25

            I think that sentiment is shared by a lot of people :)

        2. I am an unabashed Lewis fan, but I am also a super admirer of Alonso. He is without an argument the best driver in F1. He is quick, smart and most of all RUTHLESS. That combination leads to killer instinct in any endeavor. I like that in Alonso and I think Lewis would be wise to learn that from him.
          As for this past weekend I would have to give it to Lewis because of his practice, qualifying and race form. But my eyes were on Alonso during the race.

  2. I’m a Hamilton fan but to be able to pull that kind of pace from the Ferrari during the race, gives Fernando my driver of the weekend vote. Points are won on raceday and I place more of the weight of my vote on race performance.

    1. I did exactly the same. Love or hate Fernando you’ve got to respect what an amazing driver he is, even in a car that’s clearly the third best it looks like he’s could end up getting 2nd in the championship for the second year in a row. Amazing effort, he deserves more than just 2 WDC’s.

  3. Fernando Alonso, because of his magnificent first lap. And because, yet again, he pushed that car to the podium.

    1. Hear! hear! I absolutely agree, I voted Alonso for the same reason…

      1. The same HERE! Alonso Grande!

  4. I had a hard time choosing between Alonso and Hamilton. Hamilton drove a superb race and it was brilliant seeing him up on the top step again. The only thing I can fault him at is not getting pole position and that’s what I think changed my mind from giving him the driver of the weekend. I don’t think he’d have won had Vettel’s tyre not disintegrated. Alonso somehow managed to keep within reach of the win until the pitstop with an inferior car. So Alonso for me!

  5. One word: Fernando.

    I would vote for Lewis. He really needed this win and controlled Fernando very well, but Alonso’s start was brave and his pass in Jenson was the piece of cake in a very extreme and hard race:

    “…It was an individual race against time. I was doing qualifying laps every lap trying to close the gap but it was one tenth up or down for the whole stint and we dominated…”

    Another point: Fernando was very generous with Lewis this weekend. His compliment towards Hamilton in this difficult time was a proof that he is the leader in F1 right now:

    “…In fact, at the next winter testing he [Hamilton] will be the only one I’ll be watching closely. The other guys can win if they’ve got the best car; he’s the one who’s able to clinch a championship with a car that’s not the best…”

    I bet Hamilton can say the same about Fernando!

    1. he said it because its true, for shear talent lewis and fernando are the best. Fernando knows this from when they were team mates. It wasnt fernando being nice he always speaks the truth and thats why i like him.

    2. He did. He said that it isn’t easy to keep one of the best drivers of the world behind you. Obviously those two are showing each other (last weekend) great respect. Which actually should, cause I believe Alonso and Hamilton are the best drivers at the moment.

  6. Andy G (@toothpickbandit)
    14th November 2011, 17:27

    I was going to go for Alonso who drove the wheels off his Ferrari (in a good way, unlike Vettel) but then it’s a vote for best driver over the full 3 days, so Hamilton gets it for me.

    1. soundscape (@)
      15th November 2011, 2:09

      Exactly my thoughts. Much respect for Alonso’s efforts on race day (certainly the pick of the paddock), but the weekend belonged to Hamilton.

    2. The full 3 days? Seriously? Do you understand how much sandbagging happens on FP 1, 2 & 3? Not one team goes all out during FP, and you take that into consideration? And how many points are on the line during free pactice? Clearly, qualifying and the race are what its all about. Hamilton raced well, but has the faster car. Alonso is the most talented driver in F1, and everybody knows it. Too bad Nicole no longer celebrates with Hamilton after the win…

  7. I voted for Hamilton, but I must admit to not voting for Vettel when he simply maintained the gap.

    1. Don’t feel too bad. Vettel drives a Newey; Hamilton drives a Lowe. Neweys have a Maintain the Gap feature as standard equipment. Lowes only have MTG in limited edition models and usually only at the end of a season.

      1. yes, but this the end of the season :)

  8. Well, I voted for Alonso. But (tongue-in-cheek), consider Vettel!

    – Qualified first, even though the McLaren looked quicker
    – Did so with a last-gasp qualifying lap with the pressure on
    – Did so even though the Red Bull looked to have trouble with the corners (at least in the race)
    – Massively outperformed his team-mate yet again.

    In all seriousness, the award can’t go to someone who barely started the race. But in terms of performance under pressure, wringing the maximum from his car, and beating his team-mate, I think Vettel actually had (another) weekend to be proud of.

    1. +1 I agree. Specially because of his qualifying performance.

    2. and specially because of what he did after his race ended. He kept searching through laptops, and asking the mechanics what happened, looking at the suspension, and staying in the pit wall.

      That’s why he’s a world champion.

    3. Vettel had some impressive pace, but he did also crash in practice. I think if anything marks him out as the new Schumacher, it was him returning to the pit wall after his race ended.

    4. I honestly believe Vettel would have won that race if he hadn’t had that puncture. I also honestly believe he would have made that race a lot more fun to watch if he’d been able to stay in it after that puncture, fighting his way up the field from last place. There are parallel universes where these things happened — unfortunately, we live in this one, and I voted for Alonso. ;-) (Although it was close between him and Hamilton.)

      I agree, though: other than the crash on Friday, a weekend to be proud of. Because that kind of thing is going to happen to every driver from time to time, I don’t care who it is — it’s how you respond that that kind of thing that really matters!

      1. Totally agree. It would have been great to see Vettel fight back from the last place, and he said in an interview after the race that he just wanted to go out and race, in any car!

    5. Another point which I don’t think was picked up by many people is Vettel’s amazing pace for the few metres he actually managed in the race. If you look at the gap he had over the field as he entered the corner before the puncture took him out and compare it to how close the rest of the field were to each other it was massive. I’m not even sure how it was possible to be that far ahead in such a short space of time. (Of course this manic pace of the line may turn out to be a contributory factor in the tyre failure!)

      1. vettels amazing pace was his undoing …. you can’t corner at maximum speed with a car full of fuel and low tyre pressures …so he went right over the kerb and was out of the race …I call that driver error
        hamilton took it easier and made the corner …much more intelligent

        1. But then, he should have retired with punture since the first race at Australia. That theory was already discarted by Pirelli.

        2. Man, and you’d think Vettel might have learned something like that over the course of all these races… Huh. If only someone had mentioned it to him a long time ago, he might have made something of himself by now!

          In all seriousness, he went over the same bit of kerb everyone else did, so I’m not sure I follow your logic.

      2. It was ridiculous how he rocketed away from the first corner, it was like the Millenium Falcon leaving the star destroyer in its star-streaked wake. But you really have to be joking to say this is a record deserving driver of the weekend. That is like saying I should be declared the runner of the race for the New York Marathon because I was first at after two blocks and then collapsed.

        1. I did say it was tongue-in-cheek :)

          My message was really, this guy’s consistency is godly; he performed well yet again, and it took a technical faliure to stop him.

          For me the DotW was a straight choice between Alonso and Hamilton, Alonso being my choice because I think the McLaren was much quicker than the Ferrari that weekend.

    6. Vettel is under no pressure at all at the moment though. he didn’t need pole.

      1. But he gets it anyway. He pushes to beat his rivals at every opportunity, no matter if the championship is on or not.

  9. If it was race only – Alonso. But it’s best driver of the whole weekend. Lewis it is.

  10. Has to be Lewis Hamilton for me, dominated practice, and didn’t put a foot wrong in the race, a return to form for Lewis.

  11. Alonso.

    Made it stick at the start, did what he had to do and could keep up with a car that was as quick if not quicker than a Red Bull this weekend. Alonso, as he does so often, showed why is the complete package. Whatever car he’s given, he does the job. Efficient, ruthless and clever. Nothing too dramatic. He doesn’t need a girlfriend to help him out at the track.

    Talking of someone who does, I don’t think Hamilton’s race was all that great considering that he just had to maintain an inherited lead in a superior car. If Vettel wins from the front no-one considers it to be a big deal. This isn’t the ‘Hamilton of old’ – the Hamilton of old laps people at Silverstone, races from whatever position (13th, 14th?) to third in Brazil in not exactly a top car and gets on the podium in his first nine races in F1.

    As much as I was happy to see Hamilton do well again, Alonso was in a different league I’m afraid.

    1. A quick research showed me he actually started 18th. I got him confused with Button. Case in point.

    2. lapping the whole field will rarely be done anymore, even if he was able to, it’s better to stay at a controlled pace and preserve the engine.

    3. As much as I would like to say Alonso, its got to be Lewis. With all the issues he’s been having, his drive was calm and controlled, reminiscent of Alonso’s win at Marina Bay last year where he managed the gap to Vettel all race long.

      If Ferrari had decent pace on the Hards, the result may have been different, as we saw on the soft, Alonso was clawing back significant amounts of time as Hamilton’s tyres went away.

    4. Victor, spot on. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Alonso is the most talented driver in F1. Simply amazing what he did with an inferior car. Can’t imagine how hard he pushed (the entire race) to get in front of a guy he can’t stand. Sure came close, but his car just isn’t fast.

  12. My vote is for Lewis. It was almost the perfect weekend for him and his fans. Strong and concentrate, quick and with a very good job in the pit lane.
    Alonso made a impressive race but Hamilton did it again. Let’s see what the man can do in Brazil, hopefully with Vettel on a complete race.

  13. I’m really not sure who to vote for. I think Hamilton had it under control the whole race and was simply running at a safe pace relative to Alonso. But Alonso even being there in that Ferrari was impressive. I want to give it to Hamilton, but I think Alonso deserves the recognition more.

    1. Ooo, and my vote brought it level at 19 votes each.

  14. For me it’s Alonso. He did the best he could in qualifying, coming close to the front two teams and outpacing Massa by quite a bit. In the race I thought he was outstanding, with a great opening lap to pick off Webber and Button then pull away. He kept Hamilton honest right to the flag.

  15. How can people vote for Vettel when he only did 1 and a half corners

    1. It’s driver of the weekend.

      1. Yes, but it´s not like he was supreme at any point of the weekend other than the final lap of Q3…..i give the lad credit when he is due but let´s not over-do this whole “Vettel-is-being-treated-unfairly” ****….

        1. Some people will be impresed with the Q lap. At the end “Driver of the Weekend” is selected by everyones own opinion… Those who voted for Vettel were impresed by him, the rest will vote for another driver… is the beauty of the system…

          1. albeit a biased system,:) but you know
            “C´est la vie”…..

          2. It´s just that most people vote for their favourite driver altogether, regardless of their performance, shown at the race weekend…´s a shame because there are a bunch of drivers who perform great from time to time, but due to them not being popular enough on this side, are not getting the credit they deserve…

        2. I didn’t vote for him, but it’s far more understandable than Hamilton getting the fourth highest number of votes at Monaco.

  16. As a Hamilton fan who used to despise alonso (not anymore) – DOTW was between Lewis & Fernando, but considering that Lewis showed great form consistantly throughout the weekend despite all the negativity the media cant seem to let go of…for me DOTW is Lewis…closely followed by Fernando.

    Even though fernando pushed his car…Lewis had an answer for him thorughout.

    1. all the negativity the media cant seem to let go of

      When a driver has bad form, negative questions will follow. That’s inevitable, it’s the way of the world.

      Hamilton has made a rod for his own back on occasions by leaving races after bad results without talking to the press, making it inevitable that he’ll have to face questions about his latest blunder when he turns up at the next Grand Prix – Singapore being a case in point.

      1. I’m pretty sure Webber and Massa have had bad form though, and they don’t seem to get similar attention.

        Yes he makes a rod for his own back that’s for sure, but sometimes there’s no shortage of journalists ready to push it in (and I don’t mean you of course Keith!).

        1. I’m pretty sure Webber and Massa have had bad form though, and they don’t seem to get similar attention.

          Because expectations of those two aren’t as high. It’s not just a Hamilton thing. Remember the criticism Schumacher got in 2010? Or Vettel when he had a bad patch last year? I’m sure Alonso would get the same treatment if he were to have bad form.

      2. Are you really saying he gets his stick with interest if he delays talking to the press? There must be some formula to set that out. I also don’t think he has ever left the premises without giving and interview. And certainly not in Singapore—for some reason I clearly remember his interviews in Singapore.

  17. This is my 1st ever comment in this blog. I would like to congratulate Keith for such a magnificent job. I’m from Argentina and have been following F1 since 1962 when I was 12 yrs old. I was a Jim Clark fan on those days.

    Both Lewis and Fernando deserve to be the drivers of the weekend but I voted for Fernando as he outperformed his car, had a great start and drove consistently through the whole race (the same goes for Lewis on this last remark).

    Sorry for my bad English!

    1. @mariano On the contrary, your English is fantastic!

      1. Thank you very much!

    2. Parallels, two old timers, one from the Argentine Pampas and the other from the Texas equivalent, starting watching F1 at the same time! Amazing world.
      Completely agree with your comments on the race, Fernando is in a different league.
      Your English, by the way, is better than mine.

  18. Couldn’t choose between Hamilton and Alonso, so I went for Rosberg. Destroyed Schumi in qualifying as usual, then recovered well from a bad start even though Schumi seemed determined to push him off the track. I was hoping we’d get a camera on him on the last lap, but no luck :(.

  19. It might look odd, but I voted Sebastian Vettel.

    It was clear from the first FP session that it was going to be a race for McLaren, and that it will be difficult for red Bull to win it. But his pole lap was just superb, I would never have believed that Vettel would do it. It’s a shame he retired on the first lap, because I think we could have witnessed a great duel between him and Hamilton.

    1. I think he’ll get a few votes. All he did wrong was crash in FP2 but pulled a qualy lap out of the bag again but sadly didn’t last long in the race. Would have been a very interesting race. Hamilton for me had pace to spare and would have used that had Vettel been in front, would have been very close i feel.

      1. I was very sad that he had to retire, I was also looking forward for the race. But my prediciton actually was that Mclaren was gonna win due the pase that they have…

  20. I feel people concentrate far too much on the drivers who finish on the podium. Therefore, I give driver of the weekend to either Kobayashi or Sutil. Both beat their teammates convincingly, and Kobayashi’s race pace was great. Don’t forget, he was 24th after about 5 laps.

    1. Without taking away anything from Sutil’s or Kobayashi’s performances, DiResta had a rubbish strategy, and Perez had to pit for a new nose on lap 2, also putting him on the back foot on strategy.

  21. Came this close || to pushing the button for Button, but still had to give kudos to Alonso. Button for qualifying .009 seconds to his ‘much’ faster teammate and keeping a sick car running well. Alonso though still is slathering lipgloss on that pig of his and making her fly and had to pass Button to get to where he wound up. Hamilton came in third in my estimation, drove a great race, kept the sticky parts of the car on the sticky parts of the track and didn’t make a mistake, but really wasn’t challenged either. (Kudos to Vettel also for showing more professionalism and maturity than 90% of the current grid.)

    1. Button had a great drive, but getting passed by Alonso while his kers was working could have cost him. In the end it didn’t matter, mainly due to his great driving skill but also down to webbers lack of pace.

      Fernando was awesome, he was closer to winning than many comments seem to think. Would have been great seeing Hamilton and Alonso battling it out that’s for sure.

  22. I voted Alonso, he beat his teammate in qualy by 0.6 and was faster on all bar 2 laps (excluding pit stops), finishing some 40 secs clear of him by the end.
    But of course Hamilton looked on it all weekend, however what swayed it for me was Alonso got the best result in qualy he could, Hamilton didn’t. Once Vettel retired he did a good job of controlling his pace and tyres and it was a faultless win (very similar to most of Vettels wins) but Alonso just shades it for me.

  23. Though I’d give it to Hamilton, but then he did make that crucial mistake in Q3. Then Alonso, but while he did get the maximum out of that car, it was not spectacular enough. Considered Rosberg, but he could not do enough to reel in Massa in the end. Vettel had a superb qualifying, again. But he we lost him at the 2nd corner.

    In the end, I went with your tip Keith, and voted for Rubens. He had a horrid weekend with Williams with engine changes, oil puddles and we never heard him complain. And his race could have hardly been better with the car he has here. I hope we see him star a bit in Interlagos as well, so we and all Brazillians can remember his F1 career fondly.

    1. I hope we see him star a bit in Interlagos as well, so we and all Brazillians can remember his F1 career fondly.

      And witness Rubens’s first ever good Brazilian GP! (or did I miss a few?)

      1. (second part shouldn’t have been a quote). And just for clarification, no sarcasm intended, just wishing him some luck in front of his home crowd for once, because now that I think of it, he did lead the Brazilian GP once, only to retire with victory in sight.

    2. Well put, I also voted for Barrichello.

  24. sid_prasher (@)
    14th November 2011, 19:37

    Going with Fernando here..Rubens and Hamilton also did extremely well!

  25. Vettel was faultless this race, wasn’t he:D
    It was close between Alonso and Hamilton.
    Alonso was the overachiever in his Ferrari. Although Hamilton’s rivals ( Button and Vettel) had problems, I think he had a perfect race so I voted for him.

  26. I’m trying to thing reasons NOT to vote for Lewis, but I think there really aren’t that many. So Hamilton gets my vote.

  27. I actually voted for Barrichello. It was a toss up between him, Alonso and Hamilton. I eventually voted for him because he had one session of driving this weekend before the race, and still outdrove the car to 12th. A perfect race – a shame he didn’t get the points he deserved.

    I have to say that Maldonado, Massa and Webber all deserve demotion based on performance. None of them deserve to be in the car they currently occupy.

    1. Very good point about Rubens not having any practice time. As you say, probably deserved a point or two.

    2. What was so poor about Webber’s weekend? Granted, he didn’t qualify nor start the race brilliantly, yet even with the poor pitstop, he still pulled amazingly quick laps when it mattered to pass Massa.

  28. Button in top 5? I totally agree with the 4 other mentioned drivers, but I prefer Sutil to Button as he had the same pace as Schumacher…

    My top 5:


    1. He had good sessions all weekend, always in the top 3, and he came in 3rd in the race with kers problem.

  29. If Vettel had finished the race then I’m sure I’d be seriously considering voting for him given his form atm but ifs and buts mean nothing so it has to be Fernando. Did the maximum in qualifying and spectacularly overdelivered in the race. It was great to see Hamilton back on top and he was in control the entire time but Alonso’s car really didn’t even seem up to a podium most of the weekend never mind second.

  30. Someone on Twitter thought Alonso comfortably was DOTW.

    Personally i strongly disagree,I understand why people would vote Fernando;He’s been outperforming his team-mate & possibly the car as well all season,Drove a typical strong & perserving race to the podium.

    Others besides Lewis is an interesting choice,We were mainly thinking of Ham & Alonso as Drivers of the Weekend but the rest have done the maximum in terms of their situation but apologises for anyone who thinks im biased because of my Username,Just to let you know im certainly not,DOTW has got to be Hamilton.

    Fast in FP1,FP2 & FP3 & nearly grabbed Pole Position from the grasps of his in form team-mate & made the most of the opportunities given to him.In addition not only the pace was there,but the Psychologically strength to hold off Alonso was there.

    A question that will hopefully be answered soon,Have we seen the Lewis Hamilton that his Father promised in 2012,Reveal himself this weekend?

    1. well, you probably are biased because of your username :) but in this case I think you’re correct. It’s driver of the weekend, not the race. For the weekend it really has to be among Hamilton, Button and Vettel, and well, Vettel didn’t make it to the finish line so it was between Hamilton and Button. A strong case could be made for Button (closest he’s been to Hamilton all year in qualifying when both have been on it) and a great drive in a hampered car. But consistency from Friday morning to the checkered flag tips it to Hamilton. Not sure if it’s the 2012 reboot of Hamilton. It’s one thing to race strong from the front, but part of his issue this year has been getting frustrated when the car wasn’t there. It’s really seeing consistency race after race that we need to see from Lewis, along the lines of Button, Vettel, and Alonso. We’ll need to wait 3-4 races into 2012 to see. (and the same could be said of Button’s form from this year carrying forward. Alonso and Vettel have shown consistency over the last several years)

  31. Qualifyied within a whisker of his team mate then coped well with a failing KERS to hold off his pursuers.

    Typo Keith,Fix!!!

  32. surprised at all the votes for alonso , I agree he drove well , but the ferrari is a seriously quick car in the race , problems are in qualifying ; on the option tyre it is not only quick but very easy in usage

    in reality hamilton just managed the gap and got good tyre life compared to some previous races , not quite as good as the ferrari but good enough ; when onto the prime the McLaren is better than the ferrari so it was all over

    the ferrari wobbly wing is a noticeable improvement , bodes well for them next season ….massa was clearly disadvantaged by not having it especially on the prime tyre where the difference between his car and alonso’s was startling

    1. are you watching Formula1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      “the ferrari is a seriously quick car in the race”
      yes very quick especially on the hard tire or compared to HRT & VIRGIN

      1. Yes, in the race ferrari is quick (sometimes :D) for example: Istambul, Monaco, Spain, Silverstone, Monza, Spa, Japan, Abu Dhabi

        And I think Ferrari is not that bad, while everyone saying that Fernando is outdriving his car, but in my opinion Fernando is driving well while Felipe has a togh season. So it is not Alonso who is outperforming his car, it is Massa who is underperforming.

  33. Alonso. Once again he has dragged that Ferrari into places it has no right to be in. I maintain he’s the most complete driver in F1, and these consistently brilliant performances are testament to that. If Ferrari can give him a winning car then he will challenge for the title next year.

    Serious kudos to Hamilton for getting back on track. It was a measured and fast performance, but could he have beaten Vettel? I’m not so sure. Good on both of them!

  34. Coming from a string of bad weekends until Indian GP;-

    a) gave us a error free qualifying
    b) grabbed the opportunity and lead the race from P1
    c) made no errors in any corner while maintaining the lead ; fending off back markers & Fernando
    d) wore a very humble & thin smug on his face

    Easy CHOICE and thoroughly deserved. Guess the firework at home helped him a lot eh?

    It is good to see Ruben’s name being considered. Such a shame to see a experienced driver having a crazy season.

  35. I picked Lewis Hamilton.
    Consistently fast, often faster than Vettel, and I’m sure he’d have battled with him in the race had the German not retired. Alonso was great in the race considering he had the third-fastest car and outpaced Button, Webber and Massa, but Lewis had another weekend which reminds us all why he is considered as a great champion.

  36. I went with Alonso.
    Hamilton may have been fastest in almost all sessions but he had the quickest car to do so.
    Alonso did exactly the same as Hamilton did throughout practice which is put the car where it belonged.
    Alonso spun in P2 but Hamilton lost pole in the quickest car where Alonso, again, put it where it belonged.
    Then, in the race, Alonso was able to keep up with the faster McLaren throughout most of the 3 stints.

    Honorable mention to Vettel for scoring another pole when the opposition was faster just like he did in Japan. Just a shame he had a puncture. I’m sure we would have had a great battle for the lead like we had at the end of the Spanish GP with Vettel out in front.

  37. Alonso – my driver of the weekend. Brilliant moves on both Webber and Button and kept on the tail of Lewis for 2/3 of the race, so much so he nearly jumped him at the pits all in the 3rd fastest car – magnificent effort.

    Special mention to Hamilton – good to see him back and realize the importance of having people around him he can depend upon and trust. Think Button may have find it a lot harder to finish ahead of him on 2012.

    Also Rosberg – after looking like Schumacher had finally got the measure of him, Nico dominates him in a way he has rarely done so far this season.

  38. @Keith Collantine
    Keith any official news about Kimi Raikkonen and Williams plans? His manager was seen at the Abu Dhabi GP in the Williams garage…

  39. I voted Rosberg.
    Very close to Massa’s time in qualifying and again very close to Massa in the race. Fantastic battle with Schumacher on the opening lap.
    He impressed me. In the last races Schumacher seemed to have a bit more pace, but this time Nico dominated.

    For a moment, I considered Vettel. As usual, great qualifying session and great first corner. Seriously, before the second corner he had probably something like 2 seconds on Hamilton.

  40. My vote goes to Kovalainen. He would have fought for points today if he’d just have KERS. Trulli took another brutal beating from him. IMO Kovalainen pushes his Lotus even more beyond its limits than Alonso does with his Ferrari.

  41. I’m sorry, but where is Webber in your shortlist?! He was absoutely on it, one of the few drivers consistently overtaking and managed to clain fourth despite being let down by his team with a slow pit stop and a bad strategy and that’s not even mentioning all those qualy style laps he had to do in the penultimate stint!

    Seriously, how can Rosberg make the list but Webber cannot is beyond me.

    1. Because he qualified 4th and his teammate 1st?

      1. Points are earned on Sunday, not Saturday.

        1. Read the headline, that should sort out the confusion. “Vote for your Abu Dhabi GP driver of the weekend“.

          1. He still warrants the shortlist. It’s not as if a bad qualifying can outweigh all the good work done in the race and he didn’t even have that bad a qualy session. We all know he struggles relative to Vettel, and the Red Bull didn’t appear to have that amazing advantage it usually does over the McLaren

  42. Was hoping for Alonso to come just ahead of Lewis in the last pitstop an then see a furious battle afterwards. Well, it came close to be but didn’t. Hamilton did well but had it too easy inheriting the lead and keeping ahead with the fastest car. My vote goes to Alonso, specially for a superb first lap.

    1. Ah, and another lost opportunity. After Vettel limped to the pits, I was hoping to see him climbing up position after position, maybe up to the podium, up to the points for sure. Again it didn’t happen. After the first lap and with the exception of the buildup to the last pitstop, the race was pretty boring, one of the worst this year.

  43. Things were going reasonably well while I was on the Softs, but with the Mediums I was really struggling to keep the car on track because of the lack of grip

    The above comment from Felipe (admittedly a bit of a complainer and with a different front wing) puts into perspective how Fernando drove this race so my vote goes for him

  44. I’ve gone for Nico Rosberg. Pushed his Mercedes to the limit in qualifying and the race to turn the tables on Michael Schumacher, who has recently been doing better in the races.

  45. I give Hamilton the DOTW. He did everything right. He didn’t get pole but, good grief, he took his 8th front row position, ahead of his teammate and another RedBull. It just goes to show that people basically expect him to take pole if he has a car within a few tenths in performance of the faster car.

    My hand hovered over the Alonso bubble, but really, he ended up beating a stricken second McLaren, Webber, and his slow poke teammate. He kept Hamilton honest, sometimes, but ended up more than 8 seconds behind.

    However, and here is my DOTY preview, because what are we waiting for, I expect to name Alonso driver of the year precisely because he finds himself in these somewhat unexpected podium positions almost every time.

  46. Close between Hamilton & Alonso as both deserve it equally but I have gone for the winner of the race.

  47. this week was a pretty tough choice.

    Rubens had a great driver from 24th to 12, but that would put him running for Driver of the Day.

    Nico started 7th and would’ve finished 7th if Vettel hadn’t punctured, so it’s hard to look at that as being anything more than what was expected and no different than MSC.

    Fernando had a brilliant first lap and kept Hamilton honest in the same way Button kept Vettel honest in India, but ultimately, he also was a case of a Driver of the Race candidate.

    The only really standout drivers for the entire weekend were the Macca boys and Vettel.

    Button was strong in practice and while he was pipped by Hamilton in Qualy, his speed was on par with Hamilton’s (9 thousands of a second is a blink of an eye, or less). Then he topped it off with a brilliant drive to defend against Webber, with a couple of champion level re-overtakes of Webber. Managing the Kers issue with Massa and Webber hard on him was massive.

    Hamilton had a “Vettel-esque” weekend, strong in practice, on it in Qualifying and flawless in controlling the race from the front. I wouldn’t rate the FP sessions as much of anything, McLaren has done well in practice but not delivered in Qualifying or the race. Also with Vettel out, Hamilton then suffers from the same critique as Vettel gets quite often, which is “stayed out front in the fastest car, what’s special about that?” What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and Hamilton inherited the lead through an odd misfortune rather than through anything special he did.

    Vettel had an outstanding weekend himself. Struggled in FP, but found the magic and pulled out P1 when it counted and in a car that was clearly not the fastest. In the race, his biggest challenge was going to be Hamilton and getting through turn 1 in the lead. Last year it was extremely tight and Hamilton said he wouldn’t back down this year. Vettel again delivered with a strong start and had 2-3 car lengths on Lewis out of turn 2. Just as Lewis pulled over 2 seconds on Fernando in lap 1, Vettel was on course to do the same with Lewis. But his tire blew.

    So how to rate it. For sheer consistency, and because the gods of racing are fickle but you have to give it to them, in the same way Vettel deserved a brilliant victory in Monaco, and Jenson deserved his victory in Canada, Lewis putting himself in the right place at the right time to take advantage of the vagrancies in fortune that happen in racing and driving flawlessly from lap one onwards, he’s my DOTW.

  48. Since Hamilton and Alonso have it covered, i voted Button for he should be the third driver of the weekend.

    Three things to highlight his performance:

    -Faulty KERS for 20 laps, then manual system reset, then another fail after two laps.
    -Much has been said about upset braking ballance with faulty KERS harvesters, which make it doubly difficult to keep pace (but what do we know about this stuff really?)
    -Despite that, brilliant and clean fights with Webber.

    That being said, many praises for Hamilton and Alonso for champion’s drives.

    1. Not to mention that Button has a history of complaining about the balance of the various cars that he drives. He did amazing to keep his race under control. I have at least tripled my opinion of Button this year.

  49. For me it is Hamilton. He showed great pace throughout the weekend and for people to be predicting him on pole and to be surprised by Vettel getting it is saying something. He drove a mature race and didn’t seem worried at all when Alonso was breathing down his neck. Superb drive which will hopefully give him that buzz back and turn his results around.

    Alonso also has to be mentioned as he drove a great race and was putting in superb lap times and showing great pace that we hadn’t seen all weekend.

    Jenson Button did well to hold off the attacks of both Massa and Webber to get his third third position at Abu Dhabi.

  50. Who voted for Pastor? Come on, speak up.. i would love to know why!

    1. I would love to know the person who went with MSC as well! :)

      1. Perhaps being seventh with a car which loses pieces its enough to receive the vote. :)

        Its much worse to vote Pastor, what an awful race he did.

  51. I voted for Kovalainen. Nearly 1 second quicker than Trulli in Q, and he was running a solid 13th before the first round of pit stops. Admittedly there had been a few cars at the back of the grid which were out of position, but he stayed in front of them and was even pulling away. Also his pace at the end of the race was more than enough to catch Senna for 16th if he hadn’t had to jump out of the leaders way to accord with the blue flags, unlike most other backmarkers it has to be said.

    A stellar drive from someone deserving of a better car IMO.

  52. Went for Button. McLaren gets the biggest performance advantage from KERS, it collapsed, played havoc with his set up for the entire race, an yet he still got himself onto the podium.

  53. Lewis Hamilton is driver of the race. Isn’t that a shock!?!

  54. I’m a HUGE Hamilton fan and I can’t stand Alonso, but Alonso out performed the hell out of that Ferrari. I voted Alonso.

  55. I voted for Lewis, and I don’t get this “McLaren” had the quickest car business. If they did, why wasn’t Button on pole. Is Buttons pace a reflection of the car’s true pace, or is its Lewis’s pace? If he made a mistake in Q3, it is probably because he is on the limit of what the car is capable off. There was less heat on the track than in Q2, and this affects all the cars differently, and also taking into account different driving styles.

    if anyone really thinks that the McLaren is suddenly faster than the Red Bull, then have been drinking too much Red Bull. If Vettel had been in the race, Lewis would have challenged him, but would not have had the pace to win it outright. Maybe an unlikely Red Bull fumble in the pits would have given it to him, but that’s about it.

    As most people in the pits already know, and as Hamilton alluded to, Red Bull DO turn something up in the car in Q3, and have consistently done it all year round, and last year as well – probably a engine mapping to feed the diffuser more exhaust air, so i don’t understand the memory lapse in everyone. They have also turned it on for short whiles in certain races. Again, is Vettel’s pace a true indicator of the Red Bull car is capable of?, Or is it Webber’s pace? Or is it that Webber lacks some engine mappings that Vettel has? (This is not as preposterous as it sounds)

    With regards to Ferrari, again, their pace on the Softs were comparable to McLaren’s – once they are warmed up. The Ferrari has trouble “switching” on and getting heat into its tires – exactly the way it was designed; which is why it is kinder to its tyres than other cars. This also explains their poor qualifying pace, but electric race pace this year (at least before the tyres go off)

    1. (This is not as preposterous as it sounds)

      Yes it is, not for simply mentioning it like you have, but because some like to twist it into the predictable, slandering nonsense that Webber is only being beaten because of unfair treatment or inferior equipment.

      Mclaren have had a car in various qualifying sessions and races that has been capable of matching or beating the Red Bull, or at least getting closer to it than their drivers have. LH went 0.2s slower, and threw away pole like he did in Hungary, and like he (and his team) did in Japan. Button’s qualifying, like Webber’s just isn’t good compared to his teammate.

      1. It may not be the “only” reason, but it may well be part of the reason. What i am saying is that we cannot discount it as incidences which suggests that this practice may exist at Red Bull.

        Also, i am not aware of any tracks this season that the McLaren have been capable of beating the Red Bull – on race pace. Getting pole, as Lewis did in Korea didn’t translate into beating the RBR, and if Vettel hadn’t retired in Abu Dhabi, he wouldn’t have beaten him either.
        “Matching” something, and “beating” it, are not the same. And how do you know he “threw” away pole? Because his Q2 time was faster? Or because he made a mistake in Q3? Either way, there is no evidence anywhere he threw it away, as you can explain those scenarios. Even Hamilton said he had done his best.

        1. “Also, i am not aware of any tracks this season that the McLaren have been capable of beating the Red Bull – on race pace. ”

          Hungary comes to mind, which was a brilliant pole by Vettel, but the McLarens definitely had the best race pace.

          Germany? Vettel and Mark felll away. And consistently throughout the season, Mark’s race pace has been below Hamilton, Button and Alonso.

          Spa was another track ideally suited for McLaren. Monza as well – McLaren had the pace but blew it on the start and restart which put them in a massive hole.

          Abu Dhabi, McLaren had better race pace than Webber in the RB7.

          Ferrari had the race pace over RB in the dry.

          So actually, there have been a few tracks where RB wasn’t dominant, but still pulled out poles and wins.

  56. Alonso for me. One of his best results for me. Clearly he had the pace to tackle Hamilton but just couldn’t get the tyres working on his last stint. He was the one to watch during the race for me.

  57. My vote goes to Fernando, he combined a very strong start,overtaking Jenson and Max, with the usual superb pace in the long stints. With a clearly slower car than Mclaren he put Lewis under a great pressure. Although it was very tactical, the batlle between them was very interesting.

  58. Such a shame for Vettel, as he would probably have been my driver of the weekend if he hadn’t retired.

    I ended up going with Alonso, but it was very tight between him and Hamilton. Vettel was by far the most impressive on Saturday, however, and I dare say he’d have won the race on Sunday… What a shame.

    1. And I was very late to comment on this as I didn’t even see the article go up!

  59. Glad to see the best 2 drivers in the grid showing respect for each other. My vote for Alonso for the great 1st lap and again outperforming his car.

    Funny to see people voting for Vettel in this race whereas other WEs when he does the complete package (Ps, Pole & win) he doesn’t get the driver of the WE trophy!!!

  60. This was a hard one for me, the same drivers that Keith mentioned are the ones that stood out for me also.

    Immediately after the race I probably would have voted for Hamilton, but I have since changed my mind and decided to vote for Alonso.

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