Vote for Brazilian GP driver of the weekend

2011 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Who was the most impressive driver throughout the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend?

See below for my pick of the best drivers in the Brazilian 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 Brazilian Grand Prix weekend:

Mark Webber – There’ve been plenty of occasions this year where he wouldn’t have been close enough to Vettel to inherit a win, but he was on better form in Brazil.

Sebastian Vettel – Still finished a solid second despite having to nurse his car home.

Fernando Alonso – Hounded Button early in the race and passed the McLaren, but had to surrender the position later on.

Adrian Sutil – Ended his season in style with an excellent sixth place, passing Rosberg on the way.

Kamui Kobayashi – Didn’t qualify well but took a vital ninth place under pressure to keep Sauber ahead of Toro Rosso in the constructors’ championship.

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

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Rate the Race: Brazilian Grand Prix

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

2011 Brazilian Grand Prix

    Browse all 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix articles

    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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    91 comments on “Vote for Brazilian GP driver of the weekend”

    1. I’m a massive Webber fan. I’ve had so little to cheer about all year and 2011 has been, overall, perhaps the least enjoyable season I’ve ever watched. Webber’s win yesterday was so great for fans of the driver, but it still didn’t feel right. He didn’t earn it like he should and I dare say he felt the same way to an extent.

      I voted for Vettel. He was the man that took pole position despite putting himself under enormous pressure to beat the record, and he did it convincingly. He made a great start and pulled out an early lead. I was convinced he was going to win the race. When the team said he had a problem – and whether it was genuine or not – it was natural for many (including myself; a Webber fan often blinded by my support) to be sceptical of its existence.

      The only thing I wished for is that Sebastian ignored the team. It would have been fantastic to see a battle for the lead and really, Seb had nothing to lose if his car did fail like Lewis’ did. I was disappointed that he did what he was told, but I’m not blaming him. I just don’t understand why Red Bull didn’t let him race when it would make no difference to them if he finished or not, really.

      Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if it was real or not, because Seb had to slow down and as a result, Mark won. I’d love to vote for Webber – my favourite driver – but I can’t do it if I’m judging the drivers based on who was best.

      1. I as well picked Vettel. He was as fast as and sometimes even faster than Webber in the race, with a damaged gearbox which slowed him down a lot at times. His record 15th pole position guaranteed him a privileged position to be voted DOTW, and his race pace just confirmed it in my opinion.

      2. Great post @damonsmedley. I didn’t think of it before, but you are right, Webber and Seb should have battled it out. As you say there was nothing to lose and plenty gain.

        Still think this race sums it up, Vettel has gearbox issues (no second gear) and still manages to beat the field bar one guy who he let past. Seems not much can stop Vettel, it has certainly been a stellar year.

      3. But Webber did gain, didn’t that race put him ahead of Alonso in the WDC?

        1. Exactly. Maybe Vettel had nothing to lose, and even Red Bull, with the WCC already secured, had nothing to lose, but Webber wouldn’t be third in the WDC without Vettel’s second place. And considering that Red Bull wanted to make Webber second in the WCD, even the team earned something.

      4. I have to ask, what do you think the backlash would have been, had Vettel ignored RedBull’s orders, and his gearbox failed. Would that be how he wanted to end the season, and would the vast majority of the press called into question his mentality? It also meant that Webber went up to fourth, so (as also a huge Webber fan) mabye I am just biased. I think the fight would have been good, but a repeat of turkey… Or worse, had Webber lined up the move as the box went (valencia 10) and an accedent occured. My favourite part of the race though was the vettelesque ‘ [sic] we don’t need another fastest lap’. Followed by three in a row.

    2. Sutil for me for being on it all weekend, not making a single mistake and beating a faster Mercedes. He was good in racing with Rosberg too.

      1. How can you vote for Sutil, he as obviously gifted 6th by his buddy Hamilton deliberately wrecking his own gear box. Sutil should have been 7th!!
        Kidding. I voted for Sutil too.

    3. I’m giving my vote to Adrian Sutil. Considering he knew it could have been his last race for Force India, he showed his team – and other potential employers – what he has to offer them by delivering his equal-best result of the season. A great drive under pressure. Nico Rosberg provided the highlight of the race when he took his position back from Sutil, but Sutil finished the job a lap later and then pulled away from the Mercedes driver.

      I’m still not sure Sutil will be at Force India next year, but it’s unthinkable that he won’t be driving for somebody.

    4. I’ll vote for Mark. Yes, he inherited the win, but he was on it all weekend, and his last 3 laps were the fastest of the race.

      You have to be there to receive the gifts others give you, and Mark was there.

    5. Sutil for me, excellent drive with great re-overtake on Rosberg promoting him to 9th this season. Hope he can stay with FI next season.

      It was great to see Webber win and I would have voted for him if he had not been “handed” the win by Vettle’s gearbox problem. I doubt he could have beat Seb otherwise.

    6. Sutil. Definitely.

    7. Sutil no question. Vettel probably second. Then Alonso.

    8. Vettel’s pole lap was superb. We were lucky on eurosport to see it from A to Z, and it was flawless. Where you just felt the other cars were suffering and fighting not to lose speed (a strange feeling you find only on old circuits), Vettel just seemed to cruise effortlessly. It’s the first time I vote for him this year (I am the first not to know why) but after that lap, it just felt like : “Ah, well, I guess that’s why he is a double world champion”.

      Alonso and Sutil were great too.

    9. I would be disappointed if Sutil wont get DOTW

    10. Sutil without a doubt….I cannot vote for RB drivers, let us have fair play,clean sport,an even playing field.
      Adrian Sutil drove a great race.(very sorry MSC,you will always be our favourite here come h*ll or high water)

      1. “here” meaning back home as a family vote.

    11. I don’t really think any of the drivers from the top teams are deserving of the vote. In my opinion, Webber only won because of Vettel’s gearbox problem, Button, Alonso and Hamilton never challenged the Red Bulls, and I don’t think I need to explain Massa. I think Vettel performed best out of all of them, but we never saw his true race pace, so it’s hard to vote for him. Vettel did have a great qualifying lap, but it’s in the race where it matters.

      For me it was between Adrian Sutil and Kamui Kobayashi. Kobayashi did a great job after what looked to be a bad weekend for Sauber. However Sutil gets my vote as on a normal day, he shouldn’t have beaten Mercedes. However in Brazil he was superb, his drive was worth a grand prix victory in its own right. If that was his last race for Force India, he has left in the mightiest of ways.

    12. sometimes there is no “driver of the race” This was one of those times.

      1. why not sutil then mate?

      2. That’s good, because this is driver of the weekend.

    13. Tough one. Can’t really vote for Vettel after his problems. Webber got the win gifted to him, even though he was closer to Vettel than usually. Alonso and Button didn’t do anything spectacular. Hamilton had troubles. Rosberg was nowhere, Schumacher had pace but lost a lap due to that puncture. Don’t remember much of the Saubers or Toro Rossos. Barrichello got a horrible start. Kovalainen did his usual stuff, but it wasn’t that special anymore.

      After some thinking, I can’t vote for anyone but Sutil.

      1. Yeah @kaIIe, I just came to the same conclusion.

        A lot of guys did pretty solidly here, and I somhow find myself not really liking Sutil (failing to deliver more after Kimi punted him out of a great result in Monaco years back?), but there really was no other driver doing an outstanding weekend here.

      2. Jacob Larsson (@)
        29th November 2011, 6:39

        Agree. The only one that really stood out this weekend was Sutil.

    14. For me sutil. He drove brilliantly and won the battle against rosberg which surely proved to be a f1 worthy. I want hulkenberg in and di resta out in force india.

    15. Voted Vettel; Fastest in FP3, qualifying and the first couple of laps in the race when his car was still in good shape. Would’ve won for sure in normal conditions.

      kudos to Sutil for his great drive in the Force India.

    16. Sutil wins this one easily. Very impressive of late. If he doesn’t have a drive next year it will be a tragedy.

    17. I’m voting for Webber. He obviously profitted from Vettel’s technical trouble but that doesn’t lower the worth of his performance. This was certainly Mark’s best weekend of the year, he qualified right behind Seb, managed to maintain his position after the 1st lap despite starting from the dirty side of the grid, took his chance and had a significant margin over his closest non-RBR rival (Button) at the finish line.

      1. What about Germany?

        1. @George You’re right, I had partly forgotten about Germany as there was too much focus on Hamilton’s performance then I think. Webber’s start wasn’t as good as at Interlagos as he lost the 1st place to Hamilton but he had a very strong race anyway and beat Vettel, too.

          1. what about china?

            1. A strong race, but after a terrible qualifying session. The qualifying session cost him the opportunity to take on Vettel and Hamilton, so not good enough.

    18. Vettel, because he is a great actor… lol kidding

      Because his lap in Q3 was amazing, he used a Mastell moustache and he took a photo with Neymar!!!

      1. Sorry if this is ignorant but who’s Neymar?

        1. A Brazilian footballer who is supposedly the next big thing.

          1. I just looked him up. Looks like a stuck up little so-and-so. Like I used to think Vettel was actually, but Vettel’s really become more likeable this season I feel.

            1. Definitely. Vettel has come accross so much better than last year. He didn’t exactly cover himself in glory following the Turkey 2010 incident but it’s been all uphill since then.

    19. Can we all stop this slang ie COTD and DOTW it is really getting on my wick!

      1. It’s not really slang, they’re just initialisms and saves time with typing.

      2. Comment of the day

    20. Sutil, easily for me, a performance that encapsulates the second half of his season. I really hope he has a seat for next year.

    21. I voted for Jenson.

      In qualifying, he outpaced Lewis, a qualifying specialist.

      In the race, the Ferraris were faster than the McLarens – so much so that Lewis was running behind Massa. Yet Jenson won his intense, race-long duel with Alonso, and was the fastest non-Red-Bull.

      Of course he did get overtaken, by Alonso. His explanation tells you exactly why he has taken 2nd in the championship this year. There was debris on the apex, so holding his line could have put him out of the race. But he had faith that if he let Alonso by, he could still beat him over the race distance.

      Button was right. He placed the smart game, but also raced his socks off. So: my driver of the week.

      1. Lewis was running behind Massa with a gear box problem at the time…

      2. On a facebook poll I saw Button getting the big majority of votes and I couldn’t make out exactly why he was so far ahead of the others. Thanks @alex for giving me an insight into how he got there. Still don’t agree though.

        As others said, Vettel was very good all weekend again, though with a technical issue, but the only thing he could have done better is be smarter with the gears when told about his problem.

        Webber finally put himself in a position to be there to capitalise when Vettel got that problem and made the most of it, getting his first win of the season. Not a bad job.

        Alonso was maybe faster than Button on the softer tyre when he made that great overtake on Button, and Button may have helped him there, but he was, as usual, slow on the harder one, when Button took the position back. He once again got the best out of that car.

        Sutil and Rosberg drove very well without flaws after their good qualifying – Sutil in particular, and it’s right he should win this driver of the weekend.

        Kobayashi did well too. Even Petrov salvaging a point to make sure his team stayed ahead of FI.

        Hamilton drove great considering he was apparently hampered by a gearbox giving up since before the first pitstop, but of course, he didn’t show enough to feature in this poll for me since he indeed also was outqualified by his teammate.

        Massa drove a pretty good race after a disappointing qualifying, though he’d be a place lower if Hamilton had finished.

        Button indeed yielded to Alonso, quite possible the smart move and part of playing the long game. As you say, “why he is 2nd in the WDC” – but not first, I could unkindly add.
        That would be unfair since his car was slower than the Red Bull all through the season.

        But this race shows where he (and/or the car) lost the WDC this year: He was too slow initially, ending up behind Alonso, left himself with too much to do when he was finally cleared to go after Vettel and had to settle for 3rd. At other occasions this year he got it very right, but not this race, this weekend.

        I ended up voting for Webber finally again getting it right here, as Sutil is already well under way to winning this driver of the weekend poll.

        1. Eh, that was @smallvizier I guess – the name/accountname difference sometimes makes me trip. And sorry for that long post!

    22. This one goes to Vettel.
      That Q3 lap was amazing, he made a great start and kept pulling away from Webber until his gearbox issue.
      Also for his very intelligent move, telling his engineer to inform Webber that he would let him through as soon as possible.
      It might robbed us of what could have been an exciting battle, but that battle was only going to go one way, and it would be stupid to put up a fight.
      Vettel focused on what was important, getting the car home, and he still showed reasonable pace.

      Honourable mentions for Webber as well.
      I would like to give Webber half a vote or something like that, for having his best performance this year at the final race, with a good start and he did what he had to do. But ultimately he was gifted the win by Vettel’s gearbox issue, and he was unable to put up a real fight in qualifying as well.

    23. With the championship pretty much decided, Adrian Sutil had the most pressure placed on him this weekend and delivered when it mattered. Driver of the weekend, no doubt.

    24. Adriana by far, he is still a rubbish driver, hate him shame he gets a drive if he does, does not deserve it, give it to somebody worthy like D’ambrosio, Sutil look foward to an early retirement.

      1. I’m trying very hard to understand this comment, but alas I can’t figure it out.

        1. Rubbish driver?? mate is he the driver of the weekend ,i guess sixth place finish feels like podium to him. He is under pressure from the team,but even with this performance doesn’t necessarily guarantee him a drive in force india next season

    25. Alonso gets my vote for being the only really exciting driver to watch.

    26. Vettel for me. Seeing as though it was driver of the weekend and not the race. Truly amazing qualifying lap and great performance in the race. Shame he couldn’t get the win to round of the season for him as he is just on another level.

    27. I voted for Alonso because he excelled in a car which he could barely set up during a rag-tagged Friday. He beat Felipe and Lewis and lost out to Button because his car behaved quite badly on the harder compound.

      But above all for the probably pass of the year (or at least a serious contender). Although Button did brought up the debris issue which is by no means negligible. (But then again, Alonso’s cold tyres could just as well made up as an excuse for that magnificient move of Webber on Alonso in the Eau Rouge.)

      And only then I considered Vettel – and now I think probably he should have got my vote, if there really was a gearbox problem. Then this 2nd place finish is a heroic – really like Senna’s win here in 1991, or Schumacher’s 2nd place in Spain, in 1994.

      It’s kind of funny all these comparisons: yound, German and lethal like Schumacher, pole strike rate like Senna, and now this…

      I think Vettel was the Driver of the Weekend.

      1. I almost went with Alonso and his overtake on JB was the pass of the year for me.

    28. Vettel. Mark may have won but Vettel outclassed him this weekend again.

    29. Kobayashi. Most places gained and his result secured saubers championship position. Very solid drive, but mostly outside the cameras unfortunately.
      Sutil gets a pat om the back as well.

    30. I will give it to Sutil. He has been under real pressure the last half of the season and has really stepped up. He has been better than Di Resta this season, and in my view Di Resta has been more impressive than Hulkenberg was for Williams so I would keep the two of them for 2012.

    31. Sutil deserves it but I gave it to Button…only driver who could challenge RBR’S if only had a better soft tyre setup.

      1. Indeed. Plus Jenson out-qualified Hamilton – he had a great weekend… but having said that he shouldn’t have got done by Alonso like that though, even if there was debris on the track.

      2. Button, seriously? He had the sort of solid race that has deservedly given him 2nd this year, but hardly anything special. Even without a better soft tyre set up I doubt the mclarens would have challenged the bulls, see the fact he struggled to catc h Vettel with an ailing gearbox and equivalent tyres in the final stint. He delivered the car to where it should have finished, no more no less.

    32. I’m going to buck the trend and vote Kobayashi. The way his season has gone since Germany, I would have expected him to make almost no progress, but he beat the Torro Rossos in a straight fight in a car which has really slipped back, and secured a vital 7th for Sauber.

      Sutil came really close too and it’ll be a travesty for him not to be on the grid next year. He’s found a new level this season, and I hope he gets a strong car wherever he goes, whether that’s at Williams or wherever. Failing that, he would be an asset to a leading sportscar team like Audi or Peugot, or in DTM.

    33. I voted for Vettel.
      His qualifying lap was amazing.
      It was incredible to see that he was 2 or 3 tenths faster than his previous time, and as he was climbing up the hill everyone knew that he was going to be on pole. And in moments like that one you can’t help thinking how good he is, especially in qualifying.

      His race has been very solid, obviously the gearbox problem probably costed him the victory, but being second is still a very good performance.

      I wanted to give my vote also to Sutil and D’Ambrosio. Adrian had an impressive weekend, it shows how much he improved in the second half of the season. Jerome did a very good job, too. He was faster than Timo in qualifying and he had a solid race. Obviously it is difficult to judge how well a driver is doing if he is fighting for the last places, but I think it’s right to give Jerome some credit, especially now that he hasn’t got a seat for next year.

    34. Thing is, I don’t see Di Resta ever doing what Sutil did this weekend.

      FI could do a lot worse than Sutil and The Hulk.

      1. Di Resta had a similar weekend at Singapore.

        1. Yeah good point. I seem to remember it having a lot to do with the hard tyre choice though, not taking anything away from Di Resta as do do it at that track is especially impressive.

          He’s kind of faded of late though, I hope he can get back on it next year.

        2. What was the strategy for Di Resta this weekend?

          If I recall correctly, Di Resta had the strategy advantage at Singapore.

          When they’re on the same strategy Sutil mostly comes out on top.

          1. @john-h , @f1fannl Yeah, although I think Di Resta did very well at Singapore, he did have a better tyre strategy.

            Sutil does usually come out on top, and it’s pretty harsh that he’s always seen as under pressure for his seat when he’s beaten his teammate.

    35. Sutil shades it for me. Under pressure to perform (what a nice problem FI have, if there was ever a case for 3 car teams….) and he delievered in both sessions.
      Vettel did a superb pole lap and probably would’ve won but for his problem, Webber was strong enough to pick up the pieces (good weekend for him), Alonso did a good job too and a mega pass.
      Kobayashi did great getting the Sauber up the order in the race.
      But I voted Sutil- he and Kovalainen may even be the most consistant drivers outside Button/Vettel/Alonso

    36. Frantic looking for the “none of the above” button, can’t find it. Webbo wins only because his team mate gifts it, whether a real problem or not, it’s still a gift. Button wins only because xxxxxxx Ferrari can’t get heat into their bloody tires, that’s all, nothing fancy to look at, move along. Vettel, fantastic job with, what? Hamilton blows up. Alonso does his normal pulling Ferrari along for a ride it’s not designed for, but he’s done this every race.
      Seriously, I vote for “no man”.

    37. Amazing the amount of posters who consider the guys in the top teams ‘unworthy’. Do you know why they’re there? Because in the years they’ve had at F1, they’ve been able to prove that they’re deserving of a drive in a fast car. Don’t disregard them simply because their machinery is superior. Do you honestly think Vettel’s stunning pole lap isn’t worthy of consideration, or his ability to adapt to a gearbox issue? Maybe Webber’s consistency through the race? Button’s newfound ability to make that McLaren look extremely quick, or Alonso’s stunning drives which push that Ferrari to places it shouldn’t be?
      Sutil was excellent for FI, no doubt, but any of the top 5 could do the same and possibly better. That’s why they’re in faster cars.
      DOTW goes to Vettel, again. I can only vote for Webber if he takes a win against his teammate in equal circumstances.

    38. Tough to choose as all have performed well in this race but for his start & pass over Button I have to vote Alonso.

    39. Maybe Vijay Mallya see’s this poll and decides to retain Sutil!

    40. I like to see sutil and hulkenberg driving for force india Paul……. naaaaa re

    41. Vettel could practically retire DOTW for this year and certainly would be deserving this weekend. Sutil, with the pressure he’s been under, stepped up his game in qualifying and the race and appears destined to win the honors this time. He certainly be worthy holder of DOTW.

      I decided to vote for another driver that I thought came through with a real strong performance this weekend when he really needed to: Bruno Senna. Out qualified his teammate and got that Renault into Q3 (no easy task). In the race he was running strong until the coming together with MSC and the penalty seemed a bit harsh. Without the drive thru and the gearbox problems he subsequently had, I think he was on pace for a points finish which would have been a great way to end the year for him.

    42. Went for VET. Great lap and had to nurse the car to the chequered flag. Also good job by WEB, the difference in Q3 said he was doing lot better, but still couldn’t beat VET.
      Contrary to last race when HAM was gifted the win and went on to get DOTW, this week the trend seems to have lost track. Poor WEB.

      1. Tried to say plus one but WordPress wouldnt let me. Anyway, plus one on that comment.

    43. Tempted to vote for Massa for his brave, unnerving defence. Not sure how much it contributed to the gearbox breakdown but probably it did. Totally exhilarating to watch the DNF, the season ends in a high note for me.

    44. Sutil for me with Vettel and Alonso 2nd and 3rd.

      Sutil’s 6th place was the most impressive race of this week and his qualifying was just as impressive as Vettel.

      I’d like to give an honourable mention to Schumacher too. His pace was superb.
      I know he was out of sync but he was capable of the same pace as Alonso and the McLarens. He had to let them through at first because he was a lap down but then was perfectly capable to follow them around the track.
      I’m sure that, if he not had that puncture, he could have challenged Massa for 5th.

    45. Adrian Sutil gets my vote. He was on top form this weekend and deserved that 6th place. Hope he gets that Williams seat if Force India are not retaining him. Honourable mention to Kamui Kobayashi, delivered when it mattered the most.

    46. Can’t vote for Webber or Vettel, Webber was gifted a win and Vettel’s car didn’t work..

      Alonso very nearly got it for that superb pass on Button, but since it didn’t hold till the end of the race, it’s sort of nullified..

      Sutil gets it for me, none of this ‘His last race’ nonsense, he WILL be in F1 next year, I’m sure of it..

      1. @keeleyobsessed You can still vote for Webber or Vettel. It’s more about making the most of the situation you’re presented with in my opinion.

    47. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      29th November 2011, 13:55

      Voted for Hamilton … LOL
      Anyway the last race didn’t impress me so much. Brazil hsa had much better GPs

      I think Button deserves the DOTW

    48. I voted for Button. I was going to vote for Sutil before I thought about it.

      Out qualified Hamilton, on pace.
      Did well with a car that had a compromised set-up for the soft tyres, (destroying them).
      Was very quick on the hard tyres.
      Forced Alonso to go defensive in turns one and two therefore allowing the run and for DRS to work for him.
      Closing down Vettel but ran out of laps.
      Sowed up 2nd in the drivers championship
      Was best of the non RBRs which were untouchable again this weekend.

      I voted for Di Resta when he was 6th and nearly voted for Sutil this but thought Button sneaked it.

      1st Button
      2nd Sutil
      3rd Alonso
      for me.

    49. Another vote for Button here. The car was rubbish on the softs – but when the harder tyres went on he drove the nuts off the car!
      Sutil was good and his overtake on Rosberg impressive – so he gets my 2nd place DOTW…..

    50. I voted for Sutil. All the rumours seemed to be saying that Force India will drop him for next year but he showed them what he can do.

    51. Suitil for me, under pressure for a drive but he delivered! No other driver stood out for me, too many already on their holidays…

    52. sid_prasher (@)
      1st December 2011, 17:39

      Have to go with Sutil on this one…

      1. sid_prasher (@)
        1st December 2011, 17:42

        wow didn’t realize sutil would be leading this one! Nice

    53. Sutil for me. Soild over-take on Rosberg and a strong finish. Especially given the uncertainty over his future in the team.

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