Webber wins close Monaco Driver of the Weekend vote

2012 Monaco Grand Prix

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Monaco Grand Prix winner Mark Webber was voted the Driver of the Weekend – though he received slightly less than one-third of the votes.

Heikki Kovalainen, who finished 13th, had the second-highest votes tally, followed by Fernando Alonso.

It was the closest vote so far this season.

Driver of the Monaco Grand Prix Weekend poll – top three

1. Mark Webber – 32.6%
2. Heikki Kovalainen – 20.2%
3. Fernando Alonso – 14.2%

Mark Webber

Started: 1st
Finished: 1st

Webber outqualified his team mate for the fourth time this year. He was second on Saturday, which became pole position after Michael Schumacher’s penalty.

Despite having made some poor starts in the past, Webber got off the line well to retain the lead from Nico Rosberg and withstood the pressure from the Mercedes driver in the dying stages of the race. He grabbed his second Monaco win in three years and Red Bull’s third in a row.

A tough race to pick a driver better than the rest. I voted for Webber on the basis of the fact that he kept his cool and drove a sound race even when for a while it seemed that Rosberg would soon overtake him.

He was helped a lot by Monaco itself where passing is rare. On any other track it would have been tough to say the least.

Yet, he did his job which was to start well and then to not make any mistakes. Also for a driver who spent last year in the shadow of his team mate and pressurized by a lot of people for his lack of performance against his team mate, he has done a great bounce back job.

Webber. First of all, he didn’t get this on a silver platter. The recent past has shown that having a quick car is not enough and one car up front does not prove that condition. Ask Button and Vettel.

Second, his Q3 lap was heroic. That car never showed that edge to that point. He wrung it out of the car. (Schumacher was quicker on Saturday, but he didn’t have to be the fourth car wide going into Sainte Devote. He knows better than that. That was a GP2 fail. In any case you can’t make a case for Driver of the Weekend based on ifs and buts.)

Third, he was flawless in the race. Then there was the rain. It’s one thing when its pouring and you sort of know what the track will bear, but when its spitting or raining in some corners and dry in others, you have to be kind of a genius. If you pile into a corner 5kph too quick, you are in the barriers instantly. If you go too slow you have the man behind right on you looking for the wiggle that will allow the pass.

The guys behind have the complete luxury of watching your apex and exits, looking at your wheel spin, and just shadowing your pace. He was perfect. He never had a ‘moment’.

Heikki Kovalainen

Started: 17th
Finished: 13th

Kovalainen was left out in Q1 on Saturday, losing 16th place to Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne by less than five-hundredths of a second. He gained a few places off the line and found himself in front of Jenson Button.

Kovalainen managed to keep the McLaren driver behind him for the majority of the race – even through the pit stops. He picked up front wing damage while defending his position, had it changed, and struggled with low tyre temperature when the rain fell. Nonetheless he brought the car to the chequered flag 13th – Caterham’s best position this season, which promoted them to tenth in the constructors’ standings.

I’ve gone for Heikki, the only driver who apparently actually had to race for his finish. Brought the Caterham home for a good result. All the other drivers were just involved in the traditional follow-the-leader procession.
Abuelo Paul

Kovalainen. Good qualifying, but what convinced me was his race.

It was incredible to see him racing, he was fighting from start to finish. I was really impressed, I wonder when he is going to get his second chance in a top team.

Heikki Kovalainen has been driving everything (or maybe more) out from his Lotus/Catheram for the last like two years, and under the circumstances Monaco provides, it was finally visible for everyone.

Maybe a top team as McLaren was a bit too early for him in his second season, but now he could really capitalise on the experience he gained.

Voted for him, although it’s clear, that many other guys have had a hell of a race. So although it could have looked like “nothing happened” yesterday during the race, of course it did, but maybe not in the most spectacular way.

Fernando Alonso

Started: 5th
Finished: 3rd

Alonso survived a clash with Grosjean when the lights went off and decided to look after his tyres at the beginning of the race, instead of chasing Lewis Hamilton in front of him. He jumped the McLaren at the first pit stop, and this third place was still enough to guarantee him the individual lead in the drivers’ championship.

Alonso – qualified on place where car belongs, gained position on start due to perfect start (again), pushed purple-hard when it mattered and overtook Hamilton during pit stop. Could not do more so settled for decent third and leading championship now.

Alonso. If he wins the championship this year it will be one of the best performances from a driver in a season ever.

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%)
SpainPastor Maldonado (56.8%)Lewis Hamilton (27.5%)Fernando Alonso (6.4%)
MonacoMark Webber (32.6%)Heikki Kovalainen (20.2%)Fernando Alonso (14.2%)

We’ve had six different race winners and six different Drivers of the Weekend this season – though they’re not the same six.

Webber and Kovalainen appeared in the top three of the poll for the first time in 2012. Alonso is still the driver who is chosen in the top three most frequently – out of six races, he has been there four times.

Have your say on the Driver of the Weekend results in the comments section below.

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    21 comments on “Webber wins close Monaco Driver of the Weekend vote”

    1. This was the trickiest of the season.

      Very happy to see Heikki up there. He deserved it.

      1. He deserved it for this race, definitely. I voted for him. I’m still not convinced he should be back at a top team – depending on your definition of a top team, there are only around eight seats available and I don’t think he’s one of the eight fastest drivers in the sport. He’s not that far behind however, and what he does have in abundance is consistency. In other words, he’d be perfect for a midfield team. Sauber, for example, could do a lot worse than pick up Heikki if they lose Sergio Pérez to Ferrari at the end of this season.

        1. @estesark, that is exactly why its great to have the top and the midfield get closer his year, to give us more than just those 8 seats where a driver can get on the podium and fight for wins!

          1. Yes, I agree :) Heikki would be a regular points scorer for any midfield team.

    2. Its very rare that this site nor the commentators give Webber the respect he deserves. I anticipate another season of him fighting with Vettel and the team.

      1. Lets hope he can make it and stay on top of them!

    3. Seeing as the race is an irrelevant procession, I think Schumacher should have done better in the pole as the only excitement at Monaco these days is qualifying. It’s the first real significant achievement for MS since beginning his comeback. It proves he still has the skill for the best 1 lap – many thought this gone.

      Interestingly, when Sky compared A. Senna’s lap with Lewis’ lap (nearly 20 years on) – the most significant contrast is the differential in acceleration of the cars. The increase over the past 20 years is massive. This is what kills the racing at Monaco – not tyres, strategy or anything else.

      I’m afraid the modern cars have made the old girl an event steeped in nostalgia and tradition, but quite irrelevant to 21st century F1 racing.

      1. Good observation about the acceleration.

        I don’t agree that Monaco is irrelevant though. You need different types of circuits on the calendar to test different things, and even if Monaco is only testing qualifying pace (given an ability to finish) it is still doing it around a circuit that is quite different to the other tracks in the circus.

        Of course, I’d like to see a full on AVUS style blast for variety as well. I like all the tracks to be as different as possible. :)

    4. Nice to see we have as many “winners” so far this year as the actual racing…

      1. so you’re a girl?

    5. So only Fernando and Vettel have failed to win DOTW inspite of winning the race itself.

      1. That Fernando didn’t win was expected, Sergio was really impressive!

        Vettel not winning is a little surprising. Even more surprising is the margin of his defeat. 19% to him vs 56% to Kimi. Kimi was definitely not that much better than Sebastian that day.

        1. Its Kimi.. thats enough reason to why Vettel only got 19% of the vote compared to 56% :)

          1. or alternatively, its Vettel, so some bitter people won’t give him the credit he deserved that weekend.

        2. Kimi came from way back on the grid. I think thats the main reason.

          1. And Kimi’s ability to overtake in non-DRS zones is just pure entertainment.

    6. I think this vote result completely different from all over the world.
      F1 fanatic is read mainly by UK guys? Anyway I cant this.

      1. 30% (if I recall correct), so it’s pretty balanced.

    7. Heikki has had some great performances for Caterham, and this was definately one of them. It’s a shame his front wing was damaged otherwise he could’ve finished even higher. I hope Caterham achieve their goal of scoring their first F1 points!

    8. I don’t necessarily buy the argument yet (another drive for a top team would determine it or not though) that Kovalainen is one of those handful of drivers a generation who just does a whole lot better for worse teams and fails to perform in good cars. That isn’t to discredit the trope in full – but the opinion out there that Sutil would be this type of driver if he were to ever land in a top team when he hasn’t and likely will never bugs me.

      All THAT being said, I’ve liked Kovalainen since day one as a tester for Renault – despite a rookie 2007 season with some headaches in a disappointing car, he rose up in a big way from Montreal onward that season to give Renault confidence for the future and to earn enough credit to even transfer to a better team. What’s he done for Loterham since 2010 and especially what he did last year has been nothing short of remarkable, and I don’t care how much some people believe that backmarker teams are of little use in determining talent.

      Good on the F1F voters for recognizing him.

    9. Deserved victory for Webber and a brilliant performance from Kovalainen. It’s not often you see the front runners being heavily pressured but Button was that weekend and he paid the price for it.

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