Vote for your Belgian GP Driver of the Weekend

2012 Belgian Grand Prix

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Which F1 driver had the best race weekend in Belgium?

Compare all the drivers’ performances below and vote for who you think was the best driver of the Belgian Grand Prix weekend.

Driver notes

Sebastian Vettel – Missed out on Q3 for the second time this year, by just 0.012s. Held up by the first-corner crash he fell to 12th but passed several cars including his team mate and Felipe Massa. Avoided pitting at the same time as Michael Schumacher and ran long, successfully completing the race with a single stop to take second place.
Mark Webber – Out-qualified Vettel but a gearbox change penalty dropped him back behind. Having got ahead at the start he struggled to slipstream past Senna with his inferior straight-line speed and ended up being passed by Vettel and Massa. Quick-thinking in the pits allowed him to avoid a penalty for an unsafe release.

Jenson Button – Opting to stick with McLaren’s new wing was clearly the right way to go and earned Button his first pole position in three years. He controlled the race from there.
Lewis Hamilton – Struggled with the old wing in qualifying and made a couple of mistakes in Q3 which left him seventh on the grid. Didn’t make a great start but was blameless when he was hit from the left by Grosjean, triggering the first-corner crash.

Fernando Alonso – Did his usual damage limiting job in qualifying but had no chance to do so in the race when he was taken out. His first no-score in 24 races.
Felipe Massa – Gave Ferrari some cheer by salvaging fifth, passing Webber on the way, after qualifying poorly. His lap times at the beginning of his second stint looked particularly encouraging for the team.

Michael Schumacher – In the points at his 300th Grand Prix appearance despite being slowed by a problem with sixth gear. Put a great move on Raikkonen early in the race and hung on doggedly with his DRS later on. Was judged not to have done anything wrong when he pitted while dicing with Vettel.
Nico Rosberg – His weekend was ruined when his car failed five laps into the only dry practice session. A gearbox change and a mis-timed final run in Q1 left him 23rd on the grid. Like his team mate he abandoned his attempt to make a one-stop strategy work. Caught Di Resta at the end but ran out of time to pass him for the final point.

Kimi Raikkonen – Lotus’s promised pace never materialised: Raikkonen started and finished third. The scrapping of the team’s Double DRS ‘device’ after the wet practice didn’t help matters, but the E20’s usual strong race pace was not in evidence. “My car wasn’t great all weekend and we couldn’t find a competitive setup,” he said. “On new tyres it was okay, but we had to use a lot of downforce to prevent sliding. ”
Romain Grosjean – Said his collision with Hamilton was an honest mistake arising from his mistaken belief he was completely ahead of the McLaren. That he admitted the error and accepted his punishment is to his credit, but it wasn’t his first such collision this year and his one-race ban will surely impress upon him the need to be more careful in future. There are other drivers who need to learn the same lesson.

Paul di Resta – Elevated to fourth by the first-lap crash but knew from the start he faced a tough race without KERS. This made him an easy target for several drivers and he ended up slipping to tenth.
Nico Hulkenberg – Started on hard tyres and impressively passed Raikkonen after the restart to run second. He couldn’t keep the Lotus behind on raw pace, nor Vettel’s one-stopping Red Bull, but he raced well with Schumacher and hung on for a career-best fourth.

Kamui Kobayashi – An excellent qualifying performance turned out to be for naught. Managed to finish the race despite a significant amount of damage to his car.
Sergio Perez – Third place was on the cards in qualifying had he repeated his Q2 time in Q3 – as it was he started fourth. Was also eliminated in the Grosjean crash.

Daniel Ricciardo – Ricciardo moved up to sixth after the crash then passed Di Resta for fifth. But his pace slackened when he switched to hard tyres for his last two stints and he was passed by Vergne. Nonetheless, he equalled his best result so far with ninth.
Jean-Eric Vergne – His engine went into anti-stall at the start which proved to be a blessing in disguise as it kept him out of the first corner melee. He emerged in seventh behind Ricciardo. Lost time behind Rosberg on two occasions but nipped past his team mate to take eighth.

Pastor Maldonado – Qualified third but a penalty for impeding Hulkenberg dropped him to sixth. His jump start evoked memories of Olivier Grouillard’s 20 years ago. It put him in the firing line of the first-corner crash, and although he was able to keep going he then crashed into Glock at the restart ending his race. He picked up three penalties in one weekend and carries two of them on to Monza.
Bruno Senna – Spun in qualifying, damaging his front wing and ending up 17th on the grid. Was coming under pressure from the Toro Rossos for eighth when a slow puncture forced a pit stop which dropped him out of the points.

Heikki Kovalainen – Had a scruffy race including a spin and a half-spin at Pouhon. A slow getaway from his first pit stop led to him clipping Narain Karthikeyan’s HRT. The team were fined ??10,000.
Vitaly Petrov – Finished 14th despite a slow first pit stop.

Pedro de la Rosa – Comfortably ahead of his team mate as usual, he fell behind the delayed Kovalainen three laps from the end and finished last.
Narain Karthikeyan – Moved up to 14th at the start before slipping behind the Caterhams and Kobayashi. Might have had a chance of beating de la Rosa but he crashed out at Stavelot when his front-left wheel came off after the nut had been cross-threaded during his pit stop.

Timo Glock – Pronounced himself “very happy” after taking 15th following a spirited dice with his team mate. Glock was especially pleased with Marussia’s upgrade: “It was great to be really ‘racing’ again after some very positive steps forward for the team. Not only have we brought some strong updates to the car, the team have worked really hard to get on top of the problem I experienced in the last few races and here it looked positive.” Team principal John Booth felt Glock would have had an even better race had he not been hit by Maldonado at the restart.
Charles Pic – The only driver apart from the top two finishers to complete the race with a single stop, Pic said he struggled with tyre degradation.

Qualifying and race results summary

StartedGap to team mateLaps leading team matePittedFinishedGap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel10th+0.246s31/4412nd-17.62s
Mark Webber12th-0.246s13/4426th+17.62s
Jenson Button1st-0.821s0/011st
Lewis Hamilton7th+0.821s0/00
Fernando Alonso5th-0.549s0/00
Felipe Massa14th+0.549s0/025th
Michael Schumacher13th-0.439s44/4427th-11.737s
Nico Rosberg23rd+0.439s0/44211th+11.737s
Kimi Raikkonen3rd-0.333s0/023rd
Romain Grosjean8th+0.333s0/00
Paul di Resta9th-0.126s0/44210th+35.94s
Nico Hulkenberg11th+0.126s44/4424th-35.94s
Kamui Kobayashi2nd-0.348s0/0313th
Sergio Perez4th+0.348s0/00
Daniel Ricciardo16th+0.189s26/4429th+4.117s
Jean-Eric Vergne15th-0.189s18/4428th-4.117s
Pastor Maldonado6th-1.308s0/41
Bruno Senna17th+1.308s4/4212th
Heikki Kovalainen18th-0.228s7/43217th+56.574s
Vitaly Petrov19th+0.228s36/43214th-56.574s
Pedro de la Rosa21st-1.959s3/29318th
Narain Karthikeyan24th+1.959s26/292
Timo Glock20th-1.157s17/43215th-15.574s
Charles Pic22nd+1.157s26/43116th+15.574s

Review the race data

Vote for your driver of the weekend

Which driver do you think did the best job this weekend?

Cast your vote below and explain your choice in the comments.

Who was the best driver of the Belgian Grand Prix weekend?

  • Charles Pic (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Pedro de la Rosa (0%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (0%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (0%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (0%)
  • Bruno Senna (1%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (1%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (9%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Romain Grosjean (4%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (5%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Michael Schumacher (3%)
  • Felipe Massa (2%)
  • Fernando Alonso (1%)
  • Jenson Button (53%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (0%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Sebastian Vettel (20%)

Total Voters: 571

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Rate the Race: Belgian Grand Prix

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2012 Belgian Grand Prix

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Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Force India F1 Team, Marussia

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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148 comments on “Vote for your Belgian GP Driver of the Weekend”

  1. Ιt has to be Button. Excellent weekend.

    1. It has to be Button and his team they were the only ones apart from the Saubers that didnt had a chance to race, that nailed the set-up. Anyways i think Vettel made a great job during the race, the car had very short gearing nonetheless he was able to overtake drivers unlike Webber, his race could have been better at least i wanted so.

    2. Just proves my point…

      When Vettel had the best car, got pole, runs off into the distance and wins by a gap of 15 seconds it’s easy! and the guy who was always the best overtaker or gave the biggest challenge to the guy up front was given driver of the weekend by default since he had the tougher challenge…

      Jenson did what Sebastian achieved how many times last season? and he got 1 “DOW” on this site and that was India I believe. Jenson does this twice this season leading into the first corner and running away and he has a 100% win rate on these polls, this is laughable!

      How did Kimi get DOW after Bahrain but not Sebastian at Spa? Why does Jenson deserve DOW with a dominant car when it’s obvious Vettel’s RB8 is about as poor as the Ferrari now and he still out raced most to 2nd place with how many overtakes on a 1 stopper? I don’t even think even Alonso or Lewis could of done that around there!

      Sometimes I get bored of these polls being done as it just seems the fans don’t want to get over their obvious bias’ and always want to sneer and belittle at Vettel’s VERY, VERY! evident talent of a double world champion.

      Two is company, Three is a crowd……the Lewis and Alonso fans don’t like it one bit!

      1. Totally agree with your comments.

      2. @f1tbonesteak. Could not agree with you more. I am a Lewis Hamilton fan through and through, and whilst it was disappointing to see him and some other great drivers out in the first corner, it provided the platform which allowed Vettel to demonstrate some pure class driving. Although it pains to to say this, as I have never been a big Vettel fan, he delivered what everyone has been asking of him for 2.5 seasons now, and that is to demonstrate that you can fight through the field to EARN the position/points, and not just coast away at the front with the best car. It shows how much he has developed as a driver…

        1. first time he salvaged a podium from a double digit grid position.
          Granted he’s only missed Q3 3 times in 67 races for Red Bull and he’s only started 10th or worse in 3 or 4 of those, he’s not had many chances

          but perhaps a 2nd to 2nd means that Vettel got the most out of it. Here, we know he underperformed in Qualy

      3. Well said, and although I’m not a big Vettel fan, I did vote for him this weekend.

      4. Couldn’t agree more.

        Last year…

        Button goes from 13th to 3rd. Vettel wins from pole. Driver of the Day: Button
        Vettel goes from 12th to 2nd. Button wins from pole. Driver of the Day: Button

        Seems winning from pole in the best car is much more impressive when it’s not Sebastian.

        1. Button had the car of weekend. It was done during one hour practise. Button and his crew were only one who had decent setup for Spa.

          Thats reason to vote for Button.

      5. I agree, there’s definitely a double standard here.

      6. Vettel should win this pole as he had by far the harder challenge and dominated it in an average car considering Massa beat Webber in a Ferrari and he has mostly been poor this season Jenson clearly had the equal of an RB6 and he did nothing but remain in clean air the whole day. The race was over in about 10 laps and this is a guy who is not known for his qualifying skills and he still got it on pole by 2 tenths with blips of understeer through the lap. That McLaren is a monster and you would likely see 4-5 tenths to 2nd if you put a guy like Vettel or Webber who are known for qualifying speeds!

        Fanboys and media go crazy when Alonso or Lewis make 3 or 4 places in a race, Vettel gets nothing when he makes up 10 and still gets on the podium with better cars in front!!!

        People wanted to see how Vettel fared with a lesser car, well there you go as that’s the weakest the RB8 has been this season when compared against the rest of the field in qualifying trim and race pace.

        Vettel made the difference at Spa and made Newey look a better designer than he actually is… AGAIN!

      7. Completely agree, I don’t even consider the results of these votings to have much of a meaning, since the Bias against Vettel was obvious for a while. Sorry Keith, but this one is just as plain as daylight.

      8. Same here. Not a great fan but S. Vettel was THE DOW. Got my vote.

  2. jenson was superb all weekend… he drover exceptionally well… but i went for Hulkenberg beacuse i just couldnt believe that he had the pace to defend his 4th position… mightily impressed…… :)

    1. If we had had a clean start Hulkenberg would have finished 9th instead of 4th, he was good but 5 cars faster than the FI were eliminated turn 1.

  3. Was tempted to go for Hulkenberg, but really for me Button deserves it both for the performance as a whole, and the impact it has had on his push to contest the championship. We can speculate all day about whether any of the other front runners would have challenged him but for the first lap crash, but on the face of it he dominated qualifying and then controlled the pace lights to flag.

    Vettel’s race performance is pretty noteworthy too.

  4. One of the easiest of the season so far. Button was on it all weekend and delivered three laps that were all quick enough to take pole position during Q2 and Q3. The race for Button was made easier by Hamilton, Alonso, and Grosjean crashing out but I couldn’t see them challenging Button for the win. His pace compared to Raikkonen who was on a 2 stop strategy was the thing that stood out for me.

  5. I just knew that there would be at least one comedy Grosjean vote…

    1. up to 16% now…A bit silly really, don’t you all think?

      1. I meant 6% – still daft though!!

    2. At least the Grosjean votes are a little funny (especially if he took out one or more of the drivers you don’t support), but voting for Hamilton or Alonso I just don’t get it?

      1. but voting for Hamilton or Alonso I just don’t get it?

        @jerseyf1 This is the type of person we have to deal with whenever either of those names are mentioned :P

        1. I vote for Alonso. For having scaled un injured yesterday and for having all the luck in the world. The best driver in formula 1 in the last few season could have been killed in a few seconds by an stupid driver. Button was good but 5 fast cars were taken out by the crashed so it made butyon’s race pretty easy. I was expecting a lot more from kimmi but he chocked.

          1. So surviving a crash makes him driver of the weekend? I fail to see how that affects his driving at all…

          2. So you didn’t vote for Button because his race was too easy? Yet you voted for Alonso, who on the pit wall had the easiest race out of any driver bar Hamilton, Grosjean and Perez.

  6. Pole and win – has to be JB. Although Hulkenberg and Vettel were great on race day.

  7. I came here expecting to see Maldonado and Grosjean top the charts with Schumacher in close pursuit for his “300th race” weekend :-)

    On a more serious note, I feel Button being on top is fair. He had the cool to stay calm and not change anything this time, and then went about making it pole and the win perfectly. I also think Webber did a very good job on Saturday, although Sunday his tyre management and strategy were not perfect, dropping him down.

    For me the highlights were Hulkenberg driving very maturely to stay up front and keep a lot of big names behind him. And I think Vergne really did a superb job of it again, I saw some gutsy overtakes from him, and solid defence (with Ricciardo not far behind). And Vettel did all he could to gain maximum points with the right strategy and making the tyres last, including all the overtaking to make it work in the process, his race was as good as last years, only his qualifying pace wasn’t.

    1. Forgot to mention Pic also doing another very solid race.

      1. @bascb Um, Glock was hit from behind by Maldonado and still managed to get in front of Pic. And in quali, Pic was behind De La Rosa. I’d say, other than being a meaningless 1st in FP2, he had a horrible weekend.

        1. Completely agreed. Pic managed absolutely nothing all weekend. Fighting for position with Timo looked nice on the screen but that’s about it. Otherwise he got trashed by his team mate in an elegant manner.

        2. Ah, em, yeah. Ok, so then Pic was left out with reason in my first comment, eh :-) Probably not being completely well myself yesterday played up there.

  8. Went for Seb

    1. Yes, some nice,bold overtaking by Mr Vettell, but I’d still go for JB with his total control of the weekend.

  9. Schumacher was brilliant entertainment as well. His battles for the whole of the race were absolutely some of the best in a long while. it’s a shame that the car ultimately was never going to give him the finish he deserved but I’d say he had one of his best races this season so far. Probably not quite how he would have wanted to mark his 300th race, but a great performance all the same.

    Button really is an enigma though isn’t he. His race was the equal of anything Vettel managed last year. It must be one of the most frustrating things in the world knowing that somewhere within him is the ability to drive like he did this weekend, yet he has no idea of how or why it only seems to click occasionally. If he were to discover the secret of how to unlock that level of performance consistently, he’d be winning championships.

    1. @mazdachris Incorrect. He would be dominating championships. :P

      1. When he gets the set up “just right to his liking”, which doesnt happen too often, especially this year with the tyres……..he is unbeatable and by far the fastest driver out there……but only when the set up is right. he operates very much in the same way Alain Prost did

    2. I think Schumacher race was very bad, 7th place, considering that Alonso, Hamilton, Grosjean and Perez were out. Plus, how can you possible enjoy a deffending style with non-sense?? He almost hit Vettel, and blocked Raikkonen, Hulkenberg and others, knewing he is not battelling with them for the same position. No wonder he had a lot of abandons in the last couple of years and this one too, for clinching with others. I hope he will quit F1…this year.

      1. blocked Raikkonen, Hulkenberg and others, knewing he is not battelling with them for the same position

        Did we watch the same race mate? Because that fight between Schumacher, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg and Webber was for race position. Sure, Michael’s tyres were done by that point but what was he supposed to do? Let everyone past? Based on your argument, Webber should have pulled to the side of the race track and give up his win in Monaco because he was slower than the next 5 or 6 drivers behind him. That’s just absurd.

        He almost hit Vettel

        Vettel got on the inside there now knowing what Michael’s intentions were, probably because his race engineer didn’t tell him Mercedes were getting ready to pit Schumacher. Michael just minded his own business there, going for the pit lane entrance. No intention of blocking / excessive waving, nothing. Vettel just happened to be on the inside line there and, as he said in the press conference, he didn’t take offence in that mishap. It was a close call but, that’s racing.

        No wonder he had a lot of abandons in the last couple of years and this one too, for clinching with others

        Complete nonsense here as well. His only retirement that he can be blamed for is his tangle with Senna earlier this year.

        I get that you don’t fancy Schumacher and you’re free to criticise as far as I’m concerned, but at least get your facts straight mate…

        1. Schumacher finished 7th, and he blocked the 3rd(1.5s or more faster than him at that moment), 4th and the 5th. This is a fact. So, trully, this a non-sense defending. You are defending on who? From 3’rd who has a 3’rd fast car and you have the 7’th fast car. You, are just ruining their race by making an advantage for the others who are trully racing them. He was just the annoyning guy. Webber at Monaco, was 1’st and blocked the others from 2’nd and higher. This defending has sense. And I don’t know why, I’m seing only at Schumacher this behavior. And, maybe this year he had no accidents because of this behavior, but in last couple of years he had. I remember the dangerous blocking of Schumacher at Barrichello last year, or 2 years ago.

          1. Schumacher finished 7th, and he blocked the 3rd

            What a bunch of nonsense! What in god’s name do you mean by that? Was he 7th at that particular moment with Raikkonen, Hulkenberg and Webber 3rd, 4th and 5th? No. Was he a lap down? No. Was he blue flagged? No.

            It was a fair fight for position between 4 drivers that at that particular moment occupied 4 race positions from 3rd to 6th! End of story.

            So what if he was indeed 1.5 sec. slower than the guys behind (although I truly doubt this is true, if it was Raikkonen would have passed him on the Kemmel straight without even blinking and that DID NOT happen)? Where in the rulebook does it state that a driver should automatically move out of the way is he’s slower than the car behind, while racing for position? That would render the whole concept of an overtake completely pointless.

            Where does it state that if your car is theoretically the X fastest on the grid you should only limit your performance to that level? Alonso had the n-th fastest car on the grid at the beginning of the season. Does that mean he should have moved out of the way?

            Or if a driver hits the tyre wear cliff, does that mean he should park it / move away from the racing line / hit the limiter until he reaches the pits for fresh tyres just so he doesn’t bother anyone else on track?! Since when is that racing?

            You’re talking complete, utter, undeniable nonsense!

          2. From 3′rd who has a 3′rd fast car and you have the 7′th fast car

            3rd place at the end of the race does not necessarily mean that particular driver has the 3rd fastest car. Nor does 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and so on up to 24th. And there’s no way you just established an algorhythm that percisely calculates which car is generally where in terms of race pace.

      2. Also…Schumacher’s race and race pace were actually very good. Both compared to Rosberg and other drivers: Webber, Senna and Massa to name just a few. He drove half a race on pace with Raikkonen and Hulkenberg for god’s sake…

        If it wasn’t for the messed up strategy and his gearbox issue he could have easily finished 3rd or 4th, in my humble opinion.

        1. 4th would have been the best should he had pit earlier, 2 times like Raikkonnen. Huge mistake from Mercedes to continue the one stop strategy ; it did not worked for him nor Rosberg. We can failrly say that he is in front of Rosberg since many GPs, and that is not a very good news for Rosberg, the minimum is to have the edge of the old (brave) man.

      3. @sorin

        He almost hit Vettel, and blocked Raikkonen, Hulkenberg and others, knewing he is not battling with them for the same position.

        Schumacher was battling with those drivers for position at the time, and all his moves were within the rules.

        Suggesting he should have just waved them by because at one stage he was unlikely to end the race in front of them contradicts the entire point of going motor racing.

    3. Deep inside we all know he isn’t fast enough, and usually not smart enough but he is a defying one his natural skill make him an uncommon F1 driver, achieving some of the most exciting GPs just because he dares to risk.A likable guy, honest not humble but he is an F1 driver, one of my favourites since 2000.

  10. Weekend Jenson (and my vote).

    Race, Seb a really great 1 stopping drive!

    1. I agree, Button without doubt is the driver of the weekend, but Vettel’s recovery drive was excellent. This race rather reminds me of Valencia (without the retirement obviously).

  11. Button. Absolutely imperious in both the race and qualifying, and never looked like being beaten. Having several challengers wiped out in the shunt certainly helped his cause, but even without that it’s difficult to imagine anyone else winning.

    Honorary mentions to Vettel and Hulkenburg, who both extracted the maximum performance they could on race day. Hulkenburg in particular made the best of the carnage in front of him to secure a great result for Force India.

  12. Voted Hulkenburg, putting a car where it did not belong. Mightly impressed with his fight with biggies Lotus, Ferrari, Red Bull and Merc.
    Honorable mention to Button and Vettel.

    1. Hulkenburg didn’t put that car “where it did not belong”, he was pretty much where it should have been – he’s finished 9th or better in 4 races this season and, with Alonso, Hamilton, Grosjean, Perez and Kobayashi (pretty much) out of the race, he was where he should have been (although Webber and Massa should have been ahead of him, but that was more their failure than Hulk’s success). Di Resta was down in 10th because he had no KERS and that accounts for a large chunk of lap time (maybe as much as 0.5s?).

      1. I would have taken your point had it been Monaco or Singapore, where if you stuck behind a slow car, you are just stuck.
        With so long straights to aid DRS and slip stream, Hulk should have been a sitting duck with much faster Ferrari and RB. He also finished nearly 2 secs behind Kimi and that speaks the feat.

        1. The only reason Webber didn’t get in front of Hulk was because, unlike for Vettel, Red Bull didn’t find enough clean air for him to take advantage of their short gear ratios.

          And as for Massa, well, it’s hard to argue that the Ferrari is faster than a midfield car in his hands.

          All in all, a good drive from Hulkenberg, but nothing like what BUtton has shown on Saturday and Sunday.

        2. I disagree – Webber’s top speed was poor – he too suffered from a lack of revs at the top end – wasn’t it Senna he tried to pass on the straight, with DRS, and completely failed…? Hulk was 6km/h faster than him in sectors 1 and 3, and 2 and 5 km/h faster than Massa in sectors 1 and 3 respectively. Webber really underperformed in that race and even though after the restart he was in 9th to Vettel’s 12th, he was rapidly caught and passed by him. As for Massa, well he’s dreadful, but did okay to finish 5th. As for finishing 2secs behind Raikkonen, well Raikkonen had to run with KERS at 90% throughout most of the race and reduced power settings.

          I don’t see anything special about Hulkenburg’s race.

          1. @bazil True that Hulkenburg taking 4th was not special. Yet it does credit to him for showing maturity at not throwing it away when he was behind the slower Mercedes of Schumi in an attempt to make some crazy overtaking move. He drove a solid race, very much like Vettel. He is showing more maturity in his second racing season than the guy who replaced him.

  13. Jenson drove a flawless race, but in my opinion Vettel was even better. As Jenson, he made just one stop, started from 10th, had to avoid being involved in the crash and deal with many drivers to finish 2nd. Impressive!

    1. Avoiding that carnage was pretty much down to luck…

      1. Doesn’t mean he didn’t have to deal with a lot of drivers from down in 12th to get a podium.

  14. Not sure why sometimes this poll is considered as a joke:
    Romain Grosjean (10%)

    1. Can anyone explain his/her decision for Grosjean?

      1. I voted for Button, but I guess that the argument for Grosjean is that at least he made something happen! There was precious little else of interest in the race.

        1. Can anyone explain his/her decision for Grosjean?

          Did you see how many cars he overtook at the start?

      2. For the fun of it (pun intended) xD

      3. I think it might have to do with a fact that Grosjean made the start more interesting. Even though no-one should cheer or root for an accident, they do belong to F1 and add to the excitement (as long as no-one is injured!!). He also made the championship more exciting by allowing back runners to catch up to Alonso…or I could just be overthinking this and it’s blatent fanboys hating on Hammie and Alonso, who knows.

  15. Voted for Button for obvious reasons.

    Vettel did well, but I think that has more to do with the lack of Alonso or Hamilton being in his way.

    Massa did well to get ahead of at least one of Alonso’s rivals, but really it just was not enough.

  16. Vettel. He was way down the order yet made a 1 stop work even though he was at front running pace throughout the race and had to pass cars on track, something that a 1 stopper usually rules out. Schumacher tried the same but couldn’t make it work and Webber was nowhere, even after out qualifying him and on a strategy that should have seen him posting quicker lap times than Vettel, which helped to outline how much of a good job Vettel did.

    The Mclaren won that race, not Button – you don’t go from being convincingly beaten by your team-mate to being much quicker than him without something changing somewhere – the rear wing… If both Hamilton and Button had the rear wing and the performance gap remained the same, it would have helped Button’s case, but alas no.

    Raikkonen did a great job even though he clearly lacked everything in sectors 1 and 2, he made a truly calculated move on Schumacher (which in retrospect was futile as Schumacher pitted twice anyway, but he didn’t know that at the time), but results wise ended where he started even though Kobayashi ahead of him was taken out. A 1 stop wouldn’t have helped him either so you could argue this was the theoretical maximum for Raikkonen.

    1. @bazil

      If both Hamilton and Button had the rear wing and the performance gap remained the same, it would have helped Button’s case, but alas no.

      But they didn’t, and that wasn’t down to chance. Button chose what was probably the correct wing and reaped the benefits. If he won the race by making the right decision after final practice then he deserves credit for that, because Hamilton had the same opportunity but went the other way.

  17. Jenson had the best car this weekend and is an obvious choice, but to me, Vettel passing 10 cars in the race with a car that was off the McLaren’s pace is more indicative of the best. Kimi’s pass of Schumacher on lap 33 after the DRS detection zone and on the outside of Eau Rouge so he could pull away in the DRS zone was best tactical and racing pass of the race.

  18. Easy one. Jenson for best driver. My rank is as follows:

    1. Button
    2. Hulkenberg
    3. Vettel

    On my book, race day weights 70% of the weekend.

  19. I Love the Pope
    3rd September 2012, 14:16

    Great drive by Seb on Sunday. It showed me that he is not merely a front-runner.

    But for the whole weekend, it has to be JB.

  20. I was going to just give a shout-out to Kobayashi for even just finishing with that amount of damage. But had to vote for him (given the result is already pretty much clear and pretty much correct) after seeing this:

    Stunning how he avoided getting the car totalled.

    1. @ral
      Wow, that is great. Really good thinking to just keep the car straight, and the wheels as well. That did not only minimize the risk of something, or someone making his head into a pancake, but as that link showed it also kept the front suspension intact even though two cars had bounced on top of it.

    2. Cool, thanks for this.

    3. wow he deserves an award for clear thought on that one!

  21. I voted for Button as well, but Hulkenberg should be second, not Vettel. For his standards, Nico’s weekend was much more superior to Sebastian’s.
    Jenson did everything right, he set his first pole since Monaco 2009 and won on a one-stop strategy; awesome stuff.

  22. Button was driver of the weekend. Stellar in qualifying and he did exactly what he had to do in the race. Good to see him really on form for once.
    That is why I voted for Vettel.
    Because while Vettel wasn’t very good in qualifying, and made a poor start, his recovery was excellent. Fantastic passes on pretty much everyone including his team mate, drifting out of the Bus-stop after a slightly hairy moment with his old mate. He also made those tyres last a long distance even though he had to be very hard on them under breaking to make up positions despite his poor straight line speed. And he was fast on them as well.
    He was the driver of saturday for me, so while Button was the driver of the weekend i simply vote for Vettel as an hournurable mention. Button is going to walk this poll anyway, in the same way he did with this weekend actually.

  23. DOTW: Button or Hulkenberg
    Driver of Sunday: Vettel
    Driver of saturday: Button

  24. I don’t see any other option than Jenson this weekend. Drove three pole laps on saturday and lead the race from start to finish with almost all the time a gap of 10 seconds + behind him. My vote goes without any doubt to him.

  25. Has to be Button. Made qualifying look easy and then looked after his tyres through the race and was never challenged a peerless performance.

  26. Difficult choice between Hulkenberg and Button. I normally would be tempted not to give it to somebody like Button, but such was his margin over everybody in both qualifying and the race, particularly in a close season which hasn’t seen a single dominant victory quite like it until now, that I think it has to go to him. Unlike Hulkenberg, it is difficult to imagine that the race would have gone any differently even if the first corner shunt hadn’t happened. Hulkenberg, despite a hugely impressive performance where he did mix it with some faster cars at times, could have easily been in the lower reaches of the points had that crash not happened. Although that shouldn’t detract from his performance, it is worth noting to be used as a sticking point between the two drivers.

    1. Also, Vettel might be my third choice, but he would be far below the other two. His race performance and overtaking was fantastic, but it was necessary because he didn’t do well enough in qualifying, and like Hulkenberg he was helped by not having many truly competitive cars between himself and 2nd place (only really Raikkonen, whose car wasn’t particularly well suited anyway, and Webber, who he outclassed) after Grosjean’s antics. Even if he had started in a better position though, it is hard to imagine he could have done much to trouble Button.

  27. Has to be JB, dominant in the qualifying (not his forte) and then lead off and controlled the race from the restart. Would go as far to say that if was possible one of his best weekends we an unpredictable card (based on the split strategies made by the team) and he still dominated.

  28. Button, flawless weekend.

  29. I often voted against Vettel last year for driving away from pole at the start with a much faster car; so for consistency I must vote against Button this time.

    Vettel gets the vote for fighting through the field from 11th to 2nd.

    Special notice of Romain Grosjean for helping make the championship closer. Senna & MSC made their car’s wide enough to make things interesting too.

    1. If only everyone was as honest as you he’d be DOTW for sure (and I’d respect the results of these votes). Gotta love the double standard on this site. If Vettel had driven like Button today everyone would’ve shrugged it off (as it’s all about his car being the best right?) and voted someone else, especially if they managed to go from 10th to 2nd while showing some great overtaking. This is evident by pretty much ANY race where Vettel got podium and won. The Bias is just laughable.

      1. It is quite funny:
        When vettel walks it, it’s the car and when he has to fight, or fails to win, etc, he’s a useless driver
        It’s quite strange really.

  30. This was originally a response to one message of the above, but since some others can’t see it either, I made this a normal post:

    Yeah, I agree he did an awesome job in the race, but shouldn’t Vettel have done a better job on saturday in the first place? Since this is a driver of the weekend voting I just don’t see how he could be on top. If he would have won the race or at least closed down the gap a little bit to Jenson than it would be a different story.
    Saying the McLaren won that race and not Button is just ********. Button drove supreme without any mistakes and super smooth. He has his difficulties when he isn’t feeling good with the balance of the car, but when he gets his balance spot on as he did this race he’s just in a class of his own, a bit of a Prost like property. And if Hamilton would be so much quicker with that new rear wing like some of you said, why didn’t he go like about 7 tenths quicker in FP3 than to beat Jenson? he had that wing in that session. Lewis said by himself that he didn’t feel comfortable even with that new wing. Sure, there will be more races where Lewis will be the faster one, but beware, it’ll be the other way around also frequently.
    I’m really becoming very bored, tired and ****** off by the stories that Jenson is a lucky dumbass who can’t win without any luck. I heard that crap for about 7 years now. If some people still can’t see he’s a world class driver after this race, they should let their eyes being checked.

  31. Ok, of the weekend it may be Button. But clearly the best driver of the race is Vettel by a long shot.

  32. Button is the logical choice. However, it’s easy then you have the best car by a mile and when you are the only one who manages to nail the right setup. I know by some standards my judgement might not be a fair one but Button’s win, to me, looked more like a team effort than a driver one. Pretty much the same reason Vettel was not getting votes as driver of the weekend last year…

    Hulkenberg and Vettel however managed to perform above the capabilities of their cars despite their rather poor qualifying efforts, one of them being, by comparison of the technical package, a bit more impressive than the other. So Hulkenberg for me.

    Can’t help but wonder what this poll would have looked like if the Saubers were to make it past La Source in one piece.

  33. This is very easily Grosjean’s.

  34. Keith on Romain learning a lesson:

    There are other drivers who need to learn the same lesson.

    Who on earth could he be referring to ;-)

    I voted for Button; his dominance was such that even the championship does not seem out of reach anymore (although I’m sure Alonso would have had the pace for second, seeing Massa’s race).

    I wonder where Vettel’s speed was in qualifying. He seemed capable of matching Button’s pace in the race (even if we don’t know how hard both were pushing in that final stint), but from 11th it would have been difficult to finish on the podium without the first-corner accident.

  35. Nick Jarvis (@)
    3rd September 2012, 16:04

    Ricciardo. future WDC :)

  36. JB all the way.
    No one particulalrly ‘shone’ in the practice sessions. Jenson seemed to surprise everyone is qualifying and then ran off and hid in the race. The TV coverage of him in the race seemed a bit thin because of everything that was going on behind him. Not his fault that he was so far ahead that it started to look boring.

  37. Hard to decide. Button was on it both days, I didn’t think he’d get a pole this year. The first corner crash obviously helped him, but he had the race completely under control, very much in Vettel’s 2011 fashion. Great result for him and even if it’s a long shot, he’s now back in the title battle.

    Then there was Hulkenberg, who really took advantage of the first corner crash and drove very nicely to keep stronger cars behind and got a well deserved 4th.

    But I voted for Vettel. Could’ve done better in qualifying to get into Q3, and he was unlucky at the start to actually lose a couple of places. But he drove an impressive race with some great overtakes, and managed a one-stopper. On Sunday, he really grabbed every opportunity with both hands, took advantage of retirements and finished ahead of everyone that was beatable. In that respect he really reminded me of what Alonso’s been doing this year and I feel this was one of Seb’s best races.

    1. But it’s driver of the weekend, not just the race. There wasn’t much to see in practice, but Button was electrifying in qualifying and Vettel messed up. In the race, Button could not have done any better. Vettel could have done better; he could have not lost those couple of places and could have caught Button.

      1. You’re right. But shame this logic is never used when Vettel wins and someone else messes up in qualifying.

        1. agree David. When Vettel won in Bahrain with a perfect weekend, Kimi got the votes, as he provided excitement by charging through AFTER MAKING A MESS OF QUALY. When Vettel does the same, Button gets it for a perfect weekend.
          Wierd standards here….

          1. Valencia is a good example

          2. @timothykatz @david-a @91jb12 @sonia54 That’s a fair point, but Vettel made up for everything on Sunday. There was no chance he could’ve beaten Button in my view.

            Also, I voted for Alonso in Valencia.

      2. I agree , it’s driver of the WEEKEND not for the race. JB was on it ALL weekend

  38. Grosjean’s performance was above and beyond them all. He absolutely destroyed Hamilton and Alonso, two of the best drivers on the grid :)

    1. That made me chuckle.

  39. I voted for Romain Grosjean. He opened up the title battle again. Good job.

  40. Haha. Clearly Grosjean still has family support getting 5% of the vote.

  41. Button was impressive and made the win seem easy. Clear DOW & not-so-sad times for the team.
    However, Vettel made the race worth the trek to Spa.

    Great Quali performance for both Saubers, got many of us going.

  42. Voted for Räikkönen. He performed superbly all weekend with a car that wasn’t very good (here). Vettel was close second for his race performance, Button did what he was supposed to do but it becomes a lot easier when your car is much faster than the others (you still have to drive it to win of course).

    1. Honorable mention to Grosjean of course. Hero of the day. Can’t forget Maldonado either for the best start of the season.

  43. 100% Nico Hulkenberg!

  44. I think Button was driver of the weekend, as some already have said he controlled from practice to finish line. However, I think Seb had one of the strongest races we have seen this season. He was behind Heikki after the first lap (finished 18th), and still finished up second. A great drive from the young German and I voted for him.

  45. lol grosjean is in fourth atm

  46. Button produced a World Champion drive on Sunday, coming close to a grand slam. The fact that his win was the first lights-to-flag this year really accentuates the brilliance of his drive. With these accolades, one would naturally assume I gave Button the award for “driver of the weekend”. Instead, I gave it to someone else.

    Jean-Eric Vergne has outqualified Dan Ricciardo for the last two races, and having done so at the drivers’ track of Spa against Ricciardo (the “qualifier of the two”), it’s an accomplishment in itself. His points-scoring finish (obviously helped by the nasty pile-up at the start) ahead of Ricciardo and his gutsy overtake on Nico Rosberg are all reasons why I gave the vote to Jev.

  47. For me it has to be Schumacher. He drove a brilliant first stint but again a mistake be Merc putting him on a one stop strategy trashed his chances. If they had gone with a two stopper he could have battled for P3 or even P2.

  48. Button’s dominance has got to seal the vote…

    But honourable mentions for Vettel’s drive to second, Hulkenburg’s impressive and mature drive, and Kobayashi who managed to thrash around a horrendously dying car, on top of his brilliant second in qualifying.

  49. who are the ding dongs that voted for hamilton and alonso? your driver of the weekend didn’t make it to the 1st turn, thanks for voting.

  50. Button was exquisite all weekend long. He put three amazing laps in qualifying, he led every lap with excellent pace and he was a couple tenths ashort of a Grand Slam. If he can continue to deliver such performances he can be a championship contender.

  51. Voted Button, such a shame he didn’t get the fastest lap so he could get a grand slam (I was thinking about that a couple of laps from the end).

    As I was expecting, somebody thought it was hilarious to vote for Romain Gross Jeans.

    1. Well he did make up about 5 places at the start. ;)

  52. It was a hard one.
    Jenson drove a faultless GP.
    And Sebastian drove brilliant in the race.
    He was arguably the fastest man in the race.
    Having seen the race from Eau Rouge (lucky me yes) Jenson’s race what great but looked like a walk in the park (thanks to his own qualy).
    Vettel’s race was full attack and he made some great overtakes and was fun to watch.
    And Vettel just edged it out for me as he gave the crowd some great overtakes!

  53. This was a tough one, Button had an amazing weekend, top notch in choice of setup and qualified superbly. But he had nothing to do in the race but stay out front and protect his tyres. Admittedly that’s not the easiest thing!

    Hulkenberg also had a good although not spectacular qualifying, but he had an amazing race. Battling with the top guys, keeping his car in the fight and being very clean out on the track.

    I went with Hulkenberg because when an opportunity arose for him to be noticed he grabbed it with both hands and put in a strong performance.

    Honorable mentions to Vettel who drove a blinding race and Raikkonen for that brilliant pass on Schumacher.

  54. This is a tough one. I have two drivers in mind, Button and Vettel.

    Button was on it from Q1 onwards, his qualifying was no fluke and he showed supreme confidence throughout. His race was flawless.

    Vettel had a scrappy qualifying but once the race was underway he was the most entertaining driver on the field. He turned he bus-stop into a nightmare for many other drivers and wasted little time despatching his various competitors wih some risky but committed moves.

    Vettel gets my vote. I found him a pleasure to watch and he showed me that he has skill when it comes to working his way up the field but still managing to look after his tyres.

  55. It was a tough call between Seb and Jenson but as Jenson won’t the race I gave Seb my vote. Hulkenberg drove a good race too but I think the overtaking from Seb just edged my vote. He showed the people who say he can’t overtake what he can do when needed. I like the fact that Mark and Seb are allowed to race I can’t imagine Massa and Alonso being allowed to do that in a similar position!

  56. DOTW- Could say Button but last year, Button got it for doing effectively what Vettel did this year, woeful qualy and start, superb comeback to 2nd.
    So I voted Vettel

    DOTR- Vettel, followed closely by Hulkenberg and Button
    DOTW- Button

  57. Hulkenberg was great and I really wanted to vote for him.

    But, as is usually the case when JB gets things going how he wants them, he was peerless.

  58. Romain Grosjean (4%)!!??
    Best driver? Oh, u are right thanks to him we could not see 2 of the best drivers of the champ more than 5 seconds.

    who’s voting that way? greenpeace supporters against fuel consumption?

  59. Button no question. Vettel was good but Webber was on Q2 tyres so it was hard to compare quite how good he really was. No points again for Williams. They’ve got completely the wrong driver line up going for the quick dollar and to be honest I hope they finish 8th in the constructors, it might just get Bottas a race seat.

    1. Did you not see the Spanish GP?

      Admittedly progress is slow… and painful… but I’d keep him on with or without the Bolivars.

  60. I voted for Button, on the basis of his performance in both qualifying and the race, but I sure am enjoying reading the comments of those who voted for the driver currently in second place. :-) Vettel’s performance was certainly the highlight of the race for me, but that doesn’t make Button’s domination of the weekend any less impressive. He’s too much of a seasoned veteran to let the problems he’s been having this season psych him out at all, and now look — he’s only 16 points behind his teammate.

  61. Button, without even the slightest doubt. All the rest of the top finishers, aside of Raikkonen who was doing well all the weekend, can attribute their Sunday results largely to the first corner rampage, especially the Red Bulls gained a lot.

  62. Button for me. But good weekend for Vettel, Raikonen, Hulkenberg and Kobayashi (he finish the race after his car was heavy hit, and of course, his front row)

  63. I must confess I didn’t see the race, so I concede it is arguable my comments don’t count, but I threw my hat in the ring for Massa. Normally I vote for the person who wins because they and their team have put in the best effort and played their cards the best, but in this case “random chance” took out a whole swathe of other potential winners who were just behind Button, and affected the rest of the field in a way that didn’t impact on Button.
    I believe Massa put in a supreme performance. He’s had a lot to put up with since that accident with the spring. When Alonso’s car was taken out the Ferrari mantal fell on Massa and he produced his second best result for this year after starting from 14th on the grid.

  64. Button was unchallenged across the whole (shortened) weekend, so definitely first. It’s hard to say how they panned out below them, given so many top drivers had no race to speak of, but of those that did, I’d actually say Webber ahead of Vettel. Webber outqualified Vettel quite clearly, and in all fairness his inferior race was probably down to his team choosing set-ups and strategies to favour Vettel.

    1. @mda72 – Both Red Bulls had short gearing and couldn’t take the Williams of Senna in the DRS zone.

      Vettel found other places to pass Senna, Webber himself and other drivers, and made the 1 stopper work. Webber had no choice but to 2 stop, since he made no progress against Senna. Webber qualified better, but to say Vettel only had a better race because of favouritism is total rubbish. When will the anti-Vettel excuses end?

      1. @david-a @mda72

        Webber qualified better, but to say Vettel only had a better race because of favouritism is total rubbish.


  65. For me, the Top 5 (in terms of race result) are my DOTWs, plus Schumi but obviously I had to choose one & I found it difficult to pick someone other than Button: A sublime & dominant drive that pretty much began from FP3 with the correct decision on downforce-levels, almost Australia-esque. If Hamilton can stay out of trouble & not get into a decision regarding wing angles/downforce-levels then I reckon Monza could be a dominant weekend for McLaren, they’ve always gone well around there, consistently being one of the two quickest cars throughout the weekend in recent years (2005-)

    Vettel really demonstrated he was a racer & pulled off some good, intelligent overtakes in being plausible & acknowledging the weaknesses of that Red Bull during the race, strangely his race looked more like a damage limitation one rather than one based on making the most of Alonso’s DNF & grabbing as many points possible via a conventional strategy.

    Special mentions: The surprise for me during the weekend was Force India’s package, Hulkenberg in the race particularly, really got the maximum out of the car (race pace was up there with Red Bull & Lotus I reckon) & made a two-stop strategy work surprisingly well although a podium was always going to be a tough ask in the middle to latter stages when Vettel & Raikkonen were making their strategies work to get themselves on the podium.

    Other special mention is for Massa, in relative to the others & the start, he had a bit of a subdued but controlled drive to bring home a fairly decent amount of points & being further up was possible, with him catching Hulkenberg however failing to make

  66. Button or Hülkenberg, hands down! :)

  67. Button will win this deservedly. But I’ve chosen to vote for Kobayashi, the unsung hero of the weekend whose race was ruined through no fault of his own. Despite all that he has done during his short career, KK is still underrated which is why it’s important for me to vote for him

  68. Jenson had the perfect weekend. Vettel made for a great comeback, but I feel we where robbed of a real battle with Hammy, Alonso knocked out.

  69. Voted for Vettel. Not my favorite driver, but he displayed a level of controlled aggression when overtaking that was pretty brilliant. Great drive from Button, too, but the McLaren (in particular, *his* McLaren) looked unstoppable from qualifying onward. Pity about Alonso and Hamilton, but they’ll be back in Monza.

  70. Button is the obvious candidate, of course. Still, I didn’t always vote for Vettel last year when he had similar performance, bc. I felt he did the job, and did it great, but didn’t actually show a great deal of racing. Vettel himself did though, and drove a great race, as did Huelkenberg, who showed to me great weekend. Since Button already looks like winning this, I thought I’d give it to someone else.

  71. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    4th September 2012, 8:28

    For me it’s a toss up between Button and Vettel.
    Button because he drove flawlessly 100% of the time and took control of the race by the scruff of the neck.

    And Vettel because he had incredible pace and came from 10th to 2nd.

  72. JB without a doubt. Drove a flawless race after putting the car on pole in style.

  73. Great race for JB. did anyone hear about Kimi R being told over the radio to save 10% of kers each lap. If he did so the whole race,maybe he deserves some cred as well. Shame so many were busted at the first corner.

    1. Kimi’s race engineer: Kimi we have to push this couple of laps!

      It was epic :)

  74. We have to remember this was a very strange race weekend. There was almost no running in either P1 or P2 so P3 was crucial in order to set up the car for qualifying and race. Either you get it right or you get it wrong as we could see comparing Button and Hamilton. Button found the perfect setting from the get go, the low downforce setup was the way to go as downforce has been reduced so much this year that corner speed couldn`t make up for time lost on the straights. Others got it wrong choosing a high downforce setup and messed up qualifying.

    Button did very well and I totally understand why many would vote for him. I have to choose Vettel though for several reasons. Firstly it was an impressive race coming through the field as he did, especially considering his lack of top speed. His overtaking was inspired.
    Secondly we must remember that the pressure was on Vettel to put on a great performance. When Alonso was eliminated from the race Vettel got an opportunity to catch up in the Championship standings, and so he did..

    Many have been referring to Vettel as a driver that cracks under pressure, but my take on Vettel is very different. In my view he`s a very determined character that is able to raise his game when the chips are down. Just look at the second half of both 2009 and 2010, Vettel grew in stature as the championship got tighter and the pressure was on. I got a funny feeling we might see more of the same in the second half of 2012.

    Hulkenberg and Raikkonen also deserve credit for making the most of the equipment they had. It is good to see Hulkenberg coming on strong, he must have felt absolutely gutted when he was sidelined in 2011 despite his performance in 2010. He didn`t deserve that.

  75. Had to be Button for me, although it was also a good race from Vettel after a poor qualifying and a good showing from Hulkenberg as well.

  76. McLaren did great job and so did Jenson,that’s for sure.Also I preciate what does Kimi to make us stand up from our chairs !!! You all know what I’m talking about…!

  77. My pick was Hamilton. Such a gracious man in defeat, with such dignity and team spirit. The true essence of a team player and a man any team would love to have. NOT!!

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