Button wins Belgian GP Driver of the Weekend vote

2012 Belgian Grand Prix

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Jenson Button, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2012Jenson Button was voted Driver of the Weekend following his second victory of 2012 in the Belgian Grand Prix.

Over a fifth of readers voted for Sebastian Vettel, who took second, and Nico Hulkenberg placed third.

Driver of the Belgian Grand Prix Weekend poll ?ǣ top three

1. Jenson Button – 52.7%
2. Sebastian Vettel – 20.5%
3. Nico Hulkenberg – 8.9%

Here’s what F1 Fanatic readers had to say about the top drivers of the Belgian Grand Prix weekend.

Jenson Button

Started 1st
Finished 1st

With much of Friday running lost due to rain, McLaren’s had just a single hour of practice to decide whether to use their new low-downforce rear wing.

Jenson Button plumped for it while team mate Lewis Hamilton chose a higher-downforce rear wing. The difference between the two proved crucial and Button clinched his first pole position since 2009.

On race day he duly produced his second win of the year with an emphatic lights-to-flag drive.

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 short of a grand slam. If he can continue to deliver such performances he can be a championship contender.

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.

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.

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2012Started 10th
Finished 2nd

For the second time this year, Vettel failed to make it as far as Q3. But he was in rare form in the race.

The Red Bull’s poor straight-line speed hampered his ability to make passes in the DRS zone. But his superb commitment through Blanchimont allowed him to make up places at the chicane, and opened up the way for an excellent recovery drive to second.

Voted for Vettel. Not my favorite driver, but he displayed a level of controlled aggression when overtaking that was pretty brilliant.

It was a hard one. Button drove a faultless Grand Prix. And Vettel drove brilliantly in the race. He was arguably the fastest man in the race.

Having seen the race from Eau Rouge (lucky me, yes!) Button?s race was great but looked like a walk in the park (thanks to his own qualifying).

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!

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 Vettel?s best races.

Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Spa-Francorchamps, 2012Started 11th
Finished 4th

Hulkenberg emerged from the midfield scrap to claim a best-ever finish of fourth, passing Michael Schumacher on the outside at La Source along the way.

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.

Hulkenberg and Vettel 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.
Antonio Nartea (@tony031r)

I went for Hulkenberg because I just couldn’t believe that he had the pace to defend his fourth position. Mightily impressed.

The rest

Here are some of the reasons readers gave for voting for other drivers:

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 Daniel 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 Vergne.

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, Kobayashi is still underrated.

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

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%)
CanadaLewis Hamilton (58.7%)Sergio Perez (19.1%)Romain Grosjean (15.3%)
EuropeFernando Alonso (51.7%)Sebastian Vettel (18.4%)Michael Schumacher (8.9%)
Great BritainMark Webber (50.1%)Fernando Alonso (18.7%)Romain Grosjean (17.3%)
GermanyFernando Alonso (62.4%)Jenson Button (12.5%)Kamui Kobayashi (8.7%)
HungaryLewis Hamilton (55.2%)Kimi Raikkonen (30.1%)Bruno Senna (5.5%)
BelgiumJenson Button (52.7%)Sebastian Vettel (20.5%)Nico Hulkenberg (8.9%)

Button made his fourth appearance in the Driver of the Weekend top three, Vettel his third – all of which have been second places.

Hulkenberg featured in the top three for the first time this year.

2012 Belgian Grand Prix

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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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    19 comments on “Button wins Belgian GP Driver of the Weekend vote”

    1. Winning from pole seems to be a lot more popular than last year.

      1. It is popular only because a different driver seems to be doing it every week.

        Last year, it was unpopular because it was the same guy and the same guy was Vettel who is not exactly everybody’s darling.

      2. it’s taken a year but people finally seem to be appreciating a good performance, ie win from pole.

      3. @tommyb89 Indeed. Sad really, but people have a fickle memory (when compared to 2010) in this sport.

    2. Is there any way you could add up the % of the vote given to each driver at each grand prix and divide by the number of races to give an average % of the vote for each driver? This could give us an idea of who, in the fans view, was the most impressive this year. I’d guess; based purely on number of top 3 votes, Alonso would run away with it, but it’d still be interesting to see.

      1. I don’t think that such average would tell which driver fans rate the highest. Usually the top three drivers take somewhat 90% of the DotW votes, and the best driver has gotten more than 50% of the votes on 10/12 weekends. This is because we only get to vote the best driver of the weekend.

        Taking an average of DotW votes would be similar to Ecclestone’s idea of medals. For instance, Räikkönen has performed rather well this season, but he has been only twice in DotW top3. Yet I think most of the fans would rate him on top5 of the season (or higher). Then again Button’s season has been a disappointment, but he has had some great weekends and thus his DotW average would be somewhat high.

        I don’t have anything against statistics, but I think such average would be pretty useless. If we’d get to vote top10 of every weekend and drivers would get points according to our votes, then the poll would tell us something about the whole season.

        1. A Top 10 with F1 style points awarded would be fun.

          1. If we’d give 25;18;15 points for the top 3 in each race, the standings would be:

            Alonso 134
            Hamilton 86
            Button 83
            Perez 58
            Vettel 54
            Webber 50
            Raikkonen 43
            Senna 30
            Grosjean 30
            Rosberg 25
            Maldonado 25
            Kovalainen 18
            DiResta 15
            Schumacher 15
            Kobayashi 15
            Hulkenberg 15

      2. Philonso..what your nick mean?? Phi + lonso…
        Fernando Torres + Xabi Alonso = Fernando Alonso

    3. What really is the difference between Lewis’s win at Monza, and Jenson’s win at Spa? It cannot be because Perez put in a stellar drive at Monza, because, if it was for that reason, then Vettel should have won this poll.
      The same arguments for Jenson winning could exactly be used for Lewis at Monza. Ditto Perez and Vettel.

      1. Are you trying to apply logic to fan behaviour?

        1. Perez hype. It spiraled totally out of control.

          1. He deserves it. I don’t think there’s been a more obvious rising star in a decent/upper midfield team since Alonso in 2003.

            1. Vettel at Toro Rosso?
              His drives in 2007 were pretty good; 4th at China,a nd was running 3rd in japan before crashing.

            2. @xjr15jaaag He said decent/Upper midfield team. Vettel shone in a weaker team :)

            3. Fair enough :)

            4. Sorry guys, totally forgot about Vettel!

    4. Still happy with my choice of Vettel though it was nice to have so many other drivers to consider. Vergne is an interesting choice. I noticed that he did out qualify Ricciardo for a change, I’ve been keeping an eye on that 17th position to see if it can be changed up a bit.

    5. Looking at the table above, it’s exactly the type of survey teams will want to do well in. Drivers that catch peoples eye are very valuable.
      That said, the Torro Rosso boys are notable by their absence. All other midfield teams have both drivers mentioned here. Heiki even got a mention in the Caterham!

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