Raikkonen voted Bahrain GP Driver of the Weekend

2012 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen was voted Driver of the Weekend for the Bahrain Grand Prix following his run from eleventh to second.

Raikkonen spent the second half of the race chasing Sebastian Vettel for the win. Vettel came second in the vote.

Paul di Resta gained the third-highest number of votes after using a two-stop strategy to finish sixth, fending off Fernando Alonso at the end.

Driver of the Bahrain Grand Prix Weekend poll – top three

Kimi Raikkonen – 56.3%
Sebastian Vettel – 19.3%
Paul di Resta – 10.6%

Kimi Raikkonen

Start: 11th
Finish: 2nd

Raikkonen had the best drive since his comeback and claimed over half the votes in the poll.

Here’s what F1 Fanatic readers who voted for him had to say:

I voted Raikkonen but it was very tight between himself and Vettel. Vettel proved that as a driver he is in the right frame of mind for this season. Give the guy a car he can work with and he is a serious force to reckon with. A typical Vettel display which was even more impressive than usual with him pulling out such a significant gap at the start from Hamilton despite not enjoying the same performance advantage as last year.

I voted for Raikkonen because I think he drove a brilliant race. He attacked as much as he could when it mattered but also realised when it was over, a stark contrast to his disaster in China. He seemed to deal with his competitors quickly and utilised the Lotus’s straight-line speed strength to the absolute maximum.

For me it has to be Raikkonen. I loved the way he spooked Webber into just getting off the race line a couple corners before that pass. Top notch driving. He was fun to watch

It has to be Raikkonen.

In four races, he’s done what Schumacher has (unfortunately) failed to do in two years and four races.

There was much discussion over whether Raikkonen’s climb through the field deserved to be rated higher than Vettel’s lead from the front:

I suppose that Vettel’s performance doesn’t stand out – more par-the-course leading from the front – whereas Raikkonen is managing to do what Schumacher struggles to do… He’s stepped into a team and already is producing a package that can challenge the leading pack, despite qualifying. Raikkonen for me. Then Grosjean. Then Vettel.

Sebastian Vettel

Start: 1st
Finish: 1st

Vettel received around a fifth of the votes and many were disappointed he didn’t gain more:

Everyone will vote for Raikkonen but it should be Vettel. For some reason when Vettel wins from start to finish it’s not seen as a great drive but when others did it in the last few races (Button and Rosberg) they won Driver of the Weekend easily.

While Raikkonen had a great race he should have won that race. He had the chance to win it and he didn’t take it.

Vettel started from pole, set the fastest lap by quite some way and he also finished 40 seconds ahead of his team mate. He was also the only person who managed to successfully defend from the Lotus DRS slam-dunk which they did on so many cars throughout the race.

This was far from one of his 2011 victories, the Lotus was the best car out there and Vettel managed to beat them both

Really wanted to vote for Raikkonen and I had all kinds of 2011-style resentment for Vettel seeing him walk away with this one, but…

Vettel was the best this weekend. He nailed the set-up where others struggled, qualified at the front, took fastest lap, defended fairly, nursed his tires, and brought home the win. Not the most hard-fought or sentimental victory, but honestly, what more can you ask for from a driver?

That said, I really hope this season doesn’t suddenly nosedive into 2011 levels of Red Bull dominance, after holding so much promise for a wide-open title fight thus far.

The Lotus was the fastest in race trim – but some brilliant defensive driving by Vettel ensured the victory was his. Driver of the weekend by a mile.

Vettel was the best driver for me. Super pole lap, and that familiar blinding start and opening laps from last year, even if this year’s Red Bull isn’t way ahead like the 2011 one. He even had to do a bit of defending, and it was enough to stop Raikkonen’s charge.

Raikkonen got knocked out of qualifying, but hugely impressed with his race. I don’t remember him charging around like that in a Ferrari, or even McLaren. And I admire what he said afterwards – invited to whinge about team orders and Grosjean, instead he pointed out that he lost more time behind Massa, and by admitting his own mistakes you get the impression he’s learned from them. Be very afraid, because he’ll have better races than that.

Good on you Hulkenberg and Webber too for speaking out, just a little bit, about having to race in Bahrain.

Paul di Resta

Start: 10th
Finish: 6th

Paul di Resta’s performance was all the more impressive as Force India missed second practice after their team members were involved in a petrol bomb attack outside the circuit.

More than one in ten voters picked him as Driver of the Weekend:

Di Resta really stands out for me, because he made it to Q3, was the only driver that made 2 stops work, managed his pace and fights remarkable and still left some KERS to defend from Alonso. Brilliant stuff.

Considering everything and would say that Raikonnen did a ??bad?? job in qualifying (he should have qualified way further considering his pace) but took advantage of that with some luck in the mixture; Vettel was very good but somehow expected after getting the pole; Only Di Resta stands out for me by not doing any wrong and getting a better than expected result!

Di Resta gets my vote.

I voted for Di Resta for the overall performance, given the car, the situation and the competition. Managing a race strategy which no one else could, one after which Schumacher complained about wearing of tyres, Jenson Button would be proud of such management!

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%)
ChinaNico Rosberg (69.1%)Lewis Hamilton (10.0%)Jenson Button (6.4%)
BahrainKimi Raikkonen (56.3%)Sebastian Vettel (19.3%)Paul di Resta (10.6%)

2012 Bahrain Grand Prix

    Browse all 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix articles

    Image © Lotus F1 Team/LAT

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    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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    32 comments on “Raikkonen voted Bahrain GP Driver of the Weekend”

    1. I have to admit that i experience some kind of sadistic joy after the Raikonens performance in Bahrain and the Schumachers tyre whining immediately afterwards. 2,2 years vs. 4 races.


      1. I share the same emotion. Kimi showing schumi how to make a comeback with style.

        No excuses, no BS… just get in the car and storm through the field.

      2. In my case it’s not just “some” sadistic joy… Loads of it.

        1. I am experiencing the same feelings

          1. I remember Prisoner Monkey’s remarks on how Raikkonen would fail in 2012, he would lack the motivation, quit the season midway. All that because there were too many changes to the rules since 2009, and since Schumacher’s comeback has been a failure, who is supposedly far more talented than Raikkonen (his words).

            Where are you now, PM? Schumacher can complain all he wants about the tyres and the car, like he has for the past 2 years. Give Raikkonen 3 races to adapt, and in his fourth he’ll storm from 11th to 2nd and challenge Vettel.

    2. Vettel spent the second half of the race chasing Sebastian Vettel for the win.

      I know he’s good, but maybe not quite at the point where he can come 1st AND 2nd.

      Seriously though, Raikonnen and Vettel both has fantastic races. However over the course of the weekend I personally think Vettel did a better job, but it’s nice to see Kimi win driver of the weekend!

      1. soundscape (@)
        4th May 2012, 8:14

        Beat me to the correction. =)

    3. I said this yesterday but I’ll say it again.
      Pole, fastest lap, had the lead for essentially the whole race and won it.
      If anyone but Vettel did this they would have won this poll by miles.
      It baffles my mind how a driver can dominate the whole weekend but not win “driver of the weekend”
      I guess people vote with their heart and not their brain.


      1. You can say that again..

      2. Technically, Vettel had the best weekend for the reasons you mentioned, plus the way Kimi was out-qualified by Grosjean, and the Lotuses having the race pace to speed by everyone except Vettel. But I find it perfectly reasonable for people to vote for a driver who achieved such a good result only 4 races into his return. It’s like how Perez won DOTW in Sepang when technically, he made an error while catching Alonso. It wasn’t expected from a driver in his 21st race.

        1. Kimi was not out qualified, he just didn’t do a run second in Q2 if he would have done a second run he would have made it, but Permane has stated after the race that was exactly the plan they had and he was happy Kimi was 11th.
          But it still requires some great driving to make that strategy work, Vettel also started 11th in China and he ended up 5th.

          1. megan
            So it means he was outqualified then. His team-mate qualified ahead of him, so therefore Kimi was outqualified by him

            1. Technically yes but it was never the plan that Kimi should get to Q3 or ahead of Grosjean. It was a strategy.

            2. Starting from 11th is becoming more and more of an advantage. See Vettel in China and Kimi in Bahrain. Both were extremely strong challengers, Seb only losing out because of the tyres and both being held up by a much slower car in the opening parts of their respective races (Seb – Di Resta ; Kimi – Massa).

            3. Seb was on 2 stop strategy in china…thats why he made up the place~~!! Cant believe you are comparing two diff situation~~ kimi hunt down every car in front of him except Seb, definately the star of the race~~!!

            4. @adas, and if Vettel went for the more conventional and aggressive 3 stopper, he would have made up the places on track anyway.

    4. RedBullSilver
      3rd May 2012, 14:32

      It’s because for everybody else bar Vettel that is a special race, Vettel is quietly considered (though they wouldn’t admit it) the benchmark now for all the other 23 drivers on the grid. The likes of Alonso, Jenson, Rosberg, Button, Webber, Kimi, Schumacher and Lewis could copy the same senario and they would get driver of the weekend easily.

      For Vettel to win driver of the weekend he has to top every practice session, out qualify 2nd by half a second, lead every lap, get fastest lap and win by over 20 seconds to the nearest car.

      I wouldn’t believe a rant is needed, it just shows how special Vettel is by making other drivers who have “great races” that are identical to Vettel’s in the past look ordinary as he does it quite easily at almost every gp he leads from.

      Sometimes he just makes it look too easy which puts people off voting for him.

      1. You`re absolutely right, when Vettel wins it`t to be expected. He is the benchmark in F1 these days and nothing less than a win will do. It`s nothing special about a race-win from Vettel, it`s just another win on top of all the others, just another days work.

        And we all like to support the underdog..

        That`s why Vettel rarely is voted “driver of the race”. He`s expected to win, the “overachievers” in individual races get most of the votes.

        But this race win was special as Red Bull has been struggling this year. For Vettel to turn his fortunes around the way he did from China to Bahrain was indeed special, and a sign of a true champion. That`s the difference between Vettel and Webber by the way, in a decent car Webber does well, Vettel wins.

        Vettel is of course also helped by the fact that several of his main competitors have a weakness when it comes to tyre-management. The only ones capable of competing with him in this respect among the top drivers in the top teams are Button, Alonso and Raikkonen.

        Button is unfortunately not out and out quick enough to beat Vettel most of the time.
        Alonso is driving that Ferrari, and that car is a dog. It`s almost painful to watch at times.
        Then there`s Raikkonen. He`s got the skillset to excell even more now than in his last F1-career as he`s always been one of the smoothest drivers around. He`s set the fastest lap of the race towards the end of a race on what should be worn rubber countless times. He`ll only get stronger as the season progresses.

        Raikkonen did great, but Vettel is still driver of the race for me. He was faultless and did exactly what he had to do to win. As he`s done so many times before.

        I don`t particularly like Vettel as I find him annoying. But I have to admit that it takes an exceptional driver to achieve what he`s achieved at his age.

        It`s obvious that the “Vettel-bashers” feel the same as I do. You don`t spend a lot of time discrediting someone you don`t fear, that`s a waste of time. In a funny way all the questions that`s being rased about Vettel`s ability or lack of ability documents there`s a lot of fans out there fearing his ability..
        The same can be said for Hamilton, if he`d been average nobody would waste time putting him down as there would be no point. But Hamilton`s got a problem related to tyre management these days and better find a solution to that otherwise he might end up in the history-books as an “also-ran-for-legendary-status”.

        Looking forward to the rest of the season and watch out for Raikkonen. It looks like a real tight season, and Raikkonen is a real cool customer. Others might get the jitters and make mistakes, but the iceman is going to be unaffected by the pressure.

      2. @Kimiwillbeback

        Spot on the pair of you. Alonso was amazing in Malaysia, Rosberg brilliant in China, Vettel was superb in Bahrain and Button was excellent in Australia.
        They should have got DOTW for them races but we do love an underdog (and a Brit!)

        Kimi was driver of the RACE but Vettel was driver of the WEEKEND

    5. @keithcollantine : How about assigning points to the first, second and third place drivers of each DOTW poll and then at the end of the year we can sort of numerically know the fans pick for best performer of the year. So maybe Alonso getting voted in the top 3 consistently would really show how impressive his drives have been regardless of vote position.

      1. This was suggested a while ago and, as I said at the time, it’s a good idea but one that would take time to implement correctly. And as I’ve said before, time is not something I’ve got much of right now.

        1. Be glad to help in any way if you don’t have the time.

          1. Thanks for the offer – more details here:


    6. Last year it took until Monza for people to vote for Vettel. I am sure it will take very long for people to warm up to Vettel this year as well. Even though, he doesn’t have the fastest car this time.
      Neither did he have the fastest car last year in many of the races which he won (Spain, Monaco, Spa, Monza) but that is a can of worms for another thread.

    7. Good comeback from Kimi ,certainly a lot easier than trying to keep up with Loeb et all.

    8. Raikkonen still for me. Sure, he didn’t make the pass when he probably should of done but nevertheless I was impressed by him. I do think he drove the best race. He fought through the field well so I won’t let one missed opportunity stop me voting for him. I will say that many times I voted for Vettel last year for doing exactly what he did in Bahrain. I do appreciate.that level of performance very much.

    9. I gave both Vettel and Raikkonen a 10/10 on the F1Rejects forums, but I think Vettel did better. He had a worse car and Kimi’s tyres were fresh. He also didn’t crack under pressure like in Canada last year, which shows that he may have learned from his mistakes. I don’t count qualifying because that was apparently Lotus’ strategy and not Kimi doing a bad run.

      Admittedly, Kimi had some trouble of his own, namely in the form of Massa, who held him up and caused him to do some slight damage to his front wing. Because he still went on to obliterate Webber, Grosjean and everyone else, I think he deserves to be the 2nd best driver of the day.

      1. worst car?? Notice that when both kimi and vettel on last stint which was fresh medium, they’re on equal pace, meaning the redbull was faster

        1. Why does that mean Red Bull faster?
          If the 2 cars are travelling at the same rate, then they are therefore travelling at the same speed, which therefore leads one to assume that one car doesnt have a performance advantage

        2. @adas, I could say both Lotuses flew past Webber’s Red Bull and everyone else. So I could say the Lotus was faster on Sunday.

      2. and kimi was running with dmg front wing that hampered his tyre performance on 3rd and last stint~~~ the engineers said they notice a drop in aero performance, could use imagine if the wing didn’t broke hw fast he can go???

      3. “The moment of truth came on the 36th lap – during the third of four stints – as Kimi got close enough to put a move onto Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull for the lead. Vettel managed to block the move and Raikkonen knew in that moment he’d probably lost his chance of the win. “It had taken too long to get up with him,” he rued, “and after that my tyres dropped off a bit.” The main limitation with this year’s tyres is heat degradation, particularly acute around the Sakhir circuit, with its many low gear acceleration zones that heat up the rear tyres. It isn’t that the tyres wear out; they simply become saturated by the energy constantly being fed through them until they run out of heat dissipation capacity. The overheating tyre then rapidly runs out of grip – to the point that it will actually be quicker to spend an extra 20s on a pit stop for fresh rubber.

        Kimi’s tyres were just on the beginning of that downwards slide as he arrived on Vettel’s tail, having begun the stint almost nine seconds behind the Red Bull. Making up those nine seconds in eleven laps had accelerated the heat degradation of Kimi’s tyres – and once that challenge into turn one had failed, Seb, who had been able to drive a much more measured race from pole, taking less from the tyres, had him under control. ” (makr Hughes)

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