Perez voted Driver of the Weekend for Malaysia

2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez was emphatically voted Driver of the Weekend after his remarkable drive to second in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The Sauber driver gathered over half of the votes cast by F1 Fanatic readers.

The unexpected winner of the race, Fernando Alonso, came second in the poll.

The third driver who caught the eye of the F1 Fanatic readers was Bruno Senna, who finished sixth for Williams.

Driver of the Malaysian Grand Prix Weekend poll – top three

1. Sergio Perez – 61.4%
2. Fernando Alonso – 28.1%
3. Bruno Senna – 3.7%

The results of the poll may not reflect it, but the comments revealed that many of the readers had a tough time choosing between Alonso and Perez.

Heart says Perez. Head says Alonso.

Tough call: either Alonso or Perez.

Both drivers performed exceptionally well in the race: with a bit of luck they ended up first and second, but somehow they found some pace when the rain stopped.

It’s incredible that Alonso always seems to win a race every season, even if the car isn’t capable of winning (Silverstone 2011, Fuji 2008).

Perez seemed to be the quicker of the two in a slower car, but that could be down to Sauber’s tyre-saving car.

Sergio Perez

Qualifying: 9th
Race: 2nd

Delivered a stunning performance. He managed to get to Q3 on Saturday, though the car didn’t look good in practice sessions.

On the race day, Sauber gambled with strategy changing Perez’s tyres to full wets on the opening lap of the race, which soon elevated him to third and put him in the contention for the win.

He showed strong pace on a wet track and was flying when the surface started to get dry, catching leading Alonso over a second per lap. Sauber’s conservative strategy and a late mistake that sent him briefly off the track prevented Perez from fighting for the victory.

Nonetheless, he made a strong impression on F1 Fanatic readers.

Has to be Sergio Perez. Out-qualified his team-mate pretty comprehensively, then put in an amazing race, once again putting his team mate to shame (even if he did have a bit of luck along the way). The fact he nearly won the race ? in a Sauber ? says enough for me.

One would have to be mad not to vote for Perez. He had a fantastic race and got a well-deserved second place.

“A breakthrough performance” – That is still an understatement. Yesterdays race was Perez’s masterpiece.

As amazing as Alonso’s drive was I can’t give it to anyone but Perez, only two races into his second season and he comes up with an incredible drive, outperforming the car, his team mate and five former champions in cars that have been at least as quick as his all season so far.

Not wanting to take anything away from Alonso of course, he was also incredible, but it has to be Perez for me, Driver of the Weekend for sure.
Sam B

Inevitably there was much discussion after the race about Sauber’s radio message to Perez, seemingly telling him to settle for second place. The majority of the readers (65%) decided Sauber weren’t telling Perez to back off and let Alonso take the win for Ferrari.

Fernando Alonso

Qualifying: 8th
Race: 1st

The Ferrari was off the pace again, but Alonso managed to drag the car to Q3. His pit crew made all the right calls during the race, which accompanied by mistakes from main contenders and the Spaniard’s flawless driving gave him the lead.

He was the fastest driver in the wet conditions and though he lost his pace when the track was dry, he still didn’t put a foot wrong to win for the first time this year and unexpectedly lead the drivers standings after two races.

Yeah, look, Sergio was amazing, and I expected him to win this, but let’s be honest, this should be Fernando’s. There is no doubt that the Sauber was a quicker package than the Ferrari.

Aside from not making a mistake, he had to be driving the wheels off that thing through the middle part of the race to be putting in those laps.

Alonso was immense, drove flawlessly and passed people on the track when it mattered. It wouldn’t surprise me to find out that the Ferrari is slower than the Sauber under normal conditions, and that’s what makes it such an impressive drive for me.

His pass on Webber at the restart was marvellous, and he managed to pass Perez on the track after the Sauber exited the pits. When the track was wet he was peerless, and even as the track dried and Perez started catching him he didn’t put a foot wrong.
Dan Thorn

Sergio Perez did an outstanding, unbelievable job and exceeded everyone’s expectations. He was sensational and most other weeks I would have no problem voting for him, but I can’t, because this weekend saw one of the finest drives in the career of the best driver in F1 today.

Alonso dragged every last thousandth of a second from a sub-par Ferrari that was even slower than the Sauber once the track began to dry. As fantastic as Perez was he made an error at the critical moment of the race and lost a potential victory whilst Alonso was flawless all weekend.

I’ve no doubt Perez will win the poll, he won over a legion of new fans with a drive as impressive as it was unexpected, but I voted Alonso because I believe he produced the better performance.

Alonso for me. As good as Perez was Alonso was flawless and considering he had issues with the telemetry, it makes his drive even more incredible.

Bruno Senna

Qualifying: 13th
Race: 6th

Senna missed first practice as Valtteri Bottas was given a run in his car. He was out-qualified by team mate Pastor Maldonado and got into trouble at the start, losing his front wing on the first lap.

After the restart he was last, but had a strong second half of the race delivering a flawless performance in the wet conditions, which included passes on Felipe Massa, Paul di Resta and Michael Schumacher.

He finished sixth securing first points of the season for Williams.

Great drive from Alonso and Perez for sure. But I think Senna has to take the best performance in terms of number of places made up.

Bruno Senna did an incredible races in my opinion, clawing back from 23th to 6th is really good.

He proved he is great in the wet, just as his win in GP2 at Silverstone in 2008. He made several great overtakes as well, especially the one on Schumacher. If he can iron out his mistakes early in the race, I bet we will see more good results from him.

2012 Driver of the Weekend results so far

AustraliaJenson Button (43.6%)Fernando Alonso (21.1%)Sergio Perez (8.2%)
MalaysiaSergio Perez (61.4%)Fernando Alonso (28.1%)Bruno Senna (3.7%)

Perez and Alonso were also two of the top three drivers in the Driver of the Australian Grand Prix weekend.

Perez was previously voted Driver of the Weekend for the 2011 Australian Grand Prix.

2012 F1 season

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Image © Sauber F1 Team

28 comments on “Perez voted Driver of the Weekend for Malaysia”

  1. No surprises there then.

    1. I think the voting share is a bit undeserving. The gap is huge among those three.

      1. Your quite right and Narain Karthikeyan is not in the top three.

  2. Couldn’t agree more. They were my top 3.

  3. Well deserved Perez

  4. Alonso for me.

  5. Not entirely sure why Perez got this over Teflonso. Did everyone else miss the first time Perez went off track in the wet? You know, the one where he ended up dumping a massive clump of mud onto the track just in front of Webber? That must have lost him some time, plus he was passed by alonso.

    Now I’m no Ferrari or Alonso fan but I think he deserves the driver of the weekend more than Chico, but I guess most people will vote for the underdog/new kid

    1. Completely agree. Perez drove brilliantly but as Brundle said – “I can’t help but feel that this is the race that Sauber should have won.”

      A shame as it was there for the taking. Still – a massively good effort to even finish 2nd based on car performance.

      Well done to Alonso, Perez and Senna – all drove very nicely.

    2. The trouble is that it’s hard to hold going off there against him- it was clearly the worst corner, as proved by several high profile drivers following him (although admittedly not quite as badly).

    3. That’s the argument between my heart and my head. In my head I know Perez made a couple of ultimately costly mistakes but my heart tells me that he made the bigger impact on me.

      Making mistakes is one thing but bouncing back from them and still getting a great result is why I chose Perez.

    4. I think it was a very close call between the two. I voted for Alonso as he made no mistakes during the race, as compared to Sergio who had 2 or 3 off track moments during the race. The first two weent unpunished, but the 3rd off track moment cost Sergio the win.

      For me it was Fernando, with Checo a close 2nd. But I’m not surprised with everyone voting for the underdog team and driver combination.

    5. NobodyYouKnow
      4th April 2012, 15:16

      Nice own goal here. Comparing a driver who is just starting his second season in a midfield car, who for the first time runs in a podium position and comparing him to a multiple race winner and 2 time world champion and saying ‘Hey, look who made no mistakes’

      1. A very funny comment there. If thats so,every half-decent rookie performance will end up bagging the “performance of the weekend”. Rookie or no rookie,mistakes are mistakes…its a very sad day when someone who makes silly errors whenever the situation demands him to rise above the rest is voted the driver of the weekend.

      2. @NobodyYouKnow

        Don’t get me wrong, I was screaming at the TV when Perez went off, I really wanted him to win it, I just can’t see the justification in voting him driver of the weekend for the mistakes (including the bad call for slicks). I see 3 chances for him to have won that race easily, but they were fluffed each time.

        Plus the fact that his car clearly had unbelievable pace compared to the ferrari, I can’t help thinking that Kobayashi would have nailed it but sadly he was nursing a gearbox issue for the race (and probably in qually too).

  6. Wow didn’t think I would get a mention in any of these, Thankyou Keith.

    Regarding those who still feel that Alonso should have won driver of the weekend (for me at least) is not just a technical question, but more of an emotional one, If anything Perez’ mistakes made it all the more impressive that he could still come in ahead of Hamilton and the rest, and he was the one who had me on the edge of my seat willing him on at every turn. Everyone (myself included) loves an underdog story and that is probably why he won.

    1. Sorry, just noticed it was not Keith who posted this, Thankyou to Ewa also.

    2. So maybe we should change the poll’s name into something like “The underdog driver of the weekend”
      On seperate note, I’m glad Perez got this one ’cause Alonso has had plenty in the past and it’s a solid boost for the new driver’s fanclub.

      1. I am not saying that is the only factor, but in this race that is what clinched it for him, if someone like Webber, Button, Hamilton or Vettel had done exactly what Perez had done then Alonso would have won the poll, Perez won it because no-one expected him to figure in the race and he did.

  7. I approve.

    1. And I strongly disapprove, but that’s life I suppose. I can only imagine the results from a similar poll on F1 Fanatico.

  8. No prizes for guessing this one!

    Thoroughly deserved. He has set the bar high for himself now. I hope Sauber keep him in a position to keep delivering great results.

  9. We’ll be expecting this from Perez now. Hopefully Sauber will be able to put him in these positions again this season.

    I think the vote doesn’t reflect how well most of us thought Alonso and Senna drove, but Sergio’s result was just enough to make most of us vote for him.

    1. Personally I am not ‘expecting’ this from SP now. I think he benefitted from the circumstances of a wet weather race but I’m not taking anything away from SP for it…just saying, I wouldn’t be betting on SP to take second on a dry day, nor the Sauber be up to it, as strong as they now have become relative to the grid and to past seasons. What I do expect though is more excitement injected into F1 by SP.

  10. The second place obtained by Perez is also due to the Sauber´s first gamble (changing his tires in the first lap), while Alonso had a very conservative strategy. Practically all progress made by Alonso was obtained by his own merits.

  11. I voted for FA because he won the race in a car that seems for now to not belong there and made fewer mistakes than SP, but I fully understand and appreciate why SP got the nod…he did something even more unexpected. He also gave everyone a reason to think he is an up and comer, so it is refreshing to see a future hopeful stamp his authority on a race, somebody that isn’t one of the usual suspects in a top car that we expect to see on the podium most weekends.

    That said, and not to take anything away from SP’s fine day, it was a wet weather race which often allows for a topsy turvy outcome, and I believe as with every driver who has not won a race (including the likes of Rosberg who impresses me) he still has everything to prove in F1 in terms of how he (they) can handle the pressure when it is at it’s greatest. What will his mental game show of him if/when he is in a top 3 car fighting for wins/WDC’s as he naturally yearns for? eg. SP went off the track chasing FA down in the closing stages. For now SP is in a low pressure situation…if he has an off like that well after all he is young, a relative newby, on a sub-top-3 team, so what do we expect…let’s see how he does if/when he is in a stronger position amongst the grid regularly.

    For the same reason I want to see how Rosberg does if he truly has a fight on his hands with MS this year as it looks, and they truly end up solving their Sunday issues and start knocking on the podium door. I like NR and I like seeing how well he handled MS as a teammate over the last 2 seasons, but now that the car seems better (jury being still out on that for Sundays) and MS seems to be looking to beat NR on Saturdays (or they may split those days on average come the end of the season), I am intrigued to see how NR handles it mentally. Last race-Saturday he blew his hot lap and it relegated him to starting 7th amongst a tightly packed top 10. Last year, he rarely blew a hot lap on Saturday in a car that wasn’t as good, presumably.

  12. Some really great passes from Senna this race, very glad to see him in the top 3 of the weekend. In terms of what the camera showed, he not only caught out those three mentioned, but also Ricciardo, Kobayashi, Hulkenberg, and at one point (before he started logging fastest lap after fastest lap), he was definitely pressuring Raikkonen as well. Plus, I think most of the passes taken by any of the drivers around the outside of turn 5 were pretty fantastic.

  13. Heart says Perez. Head says Alonso.

    He he.. I like this comment.

    1. that comment says it all

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