Third Driver of the Weekend win for Alonso in India

2012 Indian Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso’s drive from fifth to second in the Indian Grand Prix earned him this third win in our Driver of the Weekend polls this year.

Race winner Sebastian Vettel featured in the top three in the poll for the fourth race in a row, with Williams’ Bruno Senna third.

Driver of the Indian Grand Prix Weekend poll – top three

1. Fernando Alonso – 58.6%
2. Sebastian Vettel – 26.6%
3. Bruno Senna – 4.1%

Fernando Alonso

Started: 5th
Finished: 2nd

Having qualified fifth Alonso passed Lewis Hamilton for fourth after the start and followed that with a move on Jenson Button for third. He then pursued Mark Webber and took advantage of the Red Bull driver’s KERS problems to finish the race in second place.

Alonso. I mean, this guy can stick to the target and make the best out of any situation! It’s uncanny! Getting that Ferrari to at least look on par with the Red Bulls at times is an award-worthy performance.
Antonio Nartea

They way he calculates an overtake is just mind-blowing. He could have out braked one of the McLarens after he got between them but decided to play it smart, slow in and fast out. Also if he didnt push he might have not been able to catch Webber when he got the KERS problem. Good inspiration and driving style to anyone involved in motorsport.

Alonso for me. His display of dominance over both McLaren guys was very impressing to watch and somewhat of a rarity for us F1 fans. He kept good pace with the Red Bulls (as did Massa) which is probably the best you can ask of anyone not in an RB8 at the moment.

Sebastian Vettel

Started: 1st
Finished: 1st

Vettel led every practice session and took his fifth pole position of the season in qualifying. After fending off Mark Webber when the lights went off he never looked back to secure his fifth victory of the season and extended his lead in the drivers’ standings.

You have Vettel doing business as usual, absolutely untouchable throughout the weekend, and leading every lap in what was a near-flawless race for him. I’ve argued before that, even with the fastest car on the grid, it takes enormous concentration and effort to pull off a faultless performance like this weekend’s, and I stand by that assessment.

Vettel. After all he took the maximum out of the car, again, and almost achieved a Grand Chelem – which I always regard as the best indicator of a driver’s talent. His car had little problems towards the end but he struck me with his fastest lap on the final tour. He was so determined to achieve it and I was actually sad to see him beaten by Alonso and Button, although I am, like many, bored by the lack of variety in results since Vettel has re-started winning.

Vettel was first in every single session this weekend. All five of them. No other driver has achieved that feat at a Grand Prix weekend in the 21st century.

If that doesn’t optimise Driver of the Weekend I don’t know what does.

Bruno Senna

Started: 13th
Finished: 10th

Senna showed a decent turn of speed in practice but wasn’t able to convert that into a top ten start. However his race pace was good enough for him to pass team mate Pastor Maldonado in the early stages and claim a point for the tenth spot after another overtaking move on Nico Rosberg.

I felt Bruno Senna did well in the race, transformed his practice form into very good race pace. At the race he was generally quicker than Maldonado, and even Grosjean and Rosberg, showing very good pace. And he did a couple of very good overtaking, especially the one on Rosberg. For me his overtaking was the best bits of the whole boring race.

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%)
ItalySergio Perez (50.6%)Lewis Hamilton (30.0%)Fernando Alonso (10.9%)
SingaporeLewis Hamilton (26.2%)Paul di Resta (25.6%)Sebastian Vettel (18.6%)
JapanKamui Kobayashi (39.2%)Sebastian Vettel (33.1%) Felipe Massa (16.8%)
KoreaSebastian Vettel (33.5%)Felipe Massa (20.3%)Nico Hulkenberg (16.6%)
IndiaFernando Alonso (58.6%)Sebastian Vettel (28.6%)Bruno Senna (4.1%)

Fernando Alonso remains the driver to have appeared in the top three most frequently (it is his ninth time) and with three wins to his name, he has now matched Lewis Hamilton’s three wins in the poll.

Sebastian Vettel is close behind with seven top-three finishes, while Bruno Senna is not a stranger on the podium either – it is the third time he found himself amongst the most outstanding drivers of the weekend.

2012 Indian Grand Prix

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Image © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

54 comments on “Third Driver of the Weekend win for Alonso in India”

  1. Looks like Alonso is well on his way to the F1Fanatic DOTW-poll championship (however that would be defined). A consolation prize for Fernando?

    1. It ain’t over till the fat lady has sung… :P

    2. If you “define” DOTW-poll championship as the aggregation of the numbers Keith gives above, you end up with:

      Fernando Alonso … 272.1
      Lewis Hamilton … 207.6
      Sebastian Vettel … 189.3
      Sergio Perez … 139.3
      Jenson Button … 115.2
      Kimi Raikkonen … 86.4
      Mark Webber … 82.7
      Nico Rosberg … 69.1
      Kamui Kobayashi … 47.9
      Felipe Massa … 37.1
      Paul di Resta … 36.2
      Romain Grosjean … 32.6
      Nico Hulkenberg … 25.5
      Heikki Kovalainen … 20.2
      Bruno Senna … 13.3
      Michael Schumacher … 8.9

      For what it’s worth.

      1. You forgot Pastor…

  2. Vettel was untouchable. Alonso couldn’t catch him, even with his Ferrari’s vastly quicker top speed which allowed him to dispose of the McLaren’s fairly quickly and the help of Webber’s KERS failure to pass that Red Bull he still couldn’t make any major impression in Vettel’s lead. India was another demonstration on how to control a race form the front by Vettel.

    1. This time i give up

      1. @tifoso1989 – Alonso was good, Vettel was better. That’s my opinion anyway!

    2. In a superior car Vettel is better, so no shame there. But in equel cars, Alonso is the far superior and more complete driver as we’ve seen him a number of times outperform him Ferrari.

      If Alonso had Vettel’s car this season, he would have taken the title by now… ;)

      1. @commendatore – I’m not so sure; given the reliability issues the RB8 had earlier in the season (robbing Vettel of many points) I wouldn’t count on it. Vettel would be champion as long as he scored 3 points next race if it weren’t for his alternator failure.

        1. Ah, but if you’re considering team and car failures, you’d have to factor Hamilton back in ;)

          1. Yes, exactly, you cannot assume these things due to the amount of variables. All we can say for certain is what has actually happened.

            I’d agree with you though @matt90, if it weren’t for his team throwing away so many points then Hamilton would definitely still be in title contention.

      2. You don’t now Alonso would have taken the title by now @commendatore
        You can only guess; you don’t actually know who is the best.

        1. @xjr15jaaag
          Red Bull has the better car designer and number two driver, Ferrari has the better number one driver. Combined Newey, Webber and Alonso in one team, we wouldn’t have been talking about this year’s title…

          1. You don’t actually know if vettel or Alonso are the best

          2. Should’nt, could’nt, would’nt. No proof, no point.

          3. We don’t have the actual telemetry nor data to prove whether Alonso is better than Vettel or what not. So there isn’t much point in arguing so much about who’s better. We aren’t in a position to make comments/labels on the drivers in the first place.

      3. Alonso is far superior to Vettel in an equal car. What in the world is this based on? Can you provide the factual data to back this up?

        I disagree.

        1. The race in which they came closest in terms of car performance was the 2008 Japanese Grand Prix, where Alonso beat Vettel inb oth qualifying and in the race. Factoring that Bourdais beat Piquet in quali, we can say that the cars were pretty same.
          I’m sure nobody expected that I would go so far back. Cheerio!!!!

          1. @chicanef1 Hardly a perfect comparison, given that Piquet finished 4th in the race, and was catching the likes of Raikkonen and Kubica before making an error. In the same season, VET/ALO fought closely in Germany (with Trulli as well). Vettel came 8th, Alonso 11th. Again, an imperfect comparison, that can prove the opposite of what you said. We just don’t truly know.

          2. @david-a My friend, if you watched that race at Hockenheim you will remember that Vettel barged his way pat Vettel at the pitlane exit, while Alonso was behind Trulli. It was a move that was investigated by the stewards, but Vettel escaped with a reprimand.

          3. @chicanef1 – I wouldn’t say Vettel “barged” anyone. They left the pits side-by-side (indicating an unsafe release by either Renault or STR), and Alonso went over the white line, slotting in behind.

        2. @Moosehead @xjr15jaaag @vettel1
          Through careful and painstaking calculations of this season’s available data, I’ve come to the conclusion that: Alonso is the most complete i.e. best driver on the grid this season, and that he would have easily won the title by now if he had Vettel’s car.
          I’m sorry if my views are conflicting with your pro-Vettel ones. You are all welcome to and disprove my theory, of course.

          1. @commentadore – My calculations suggest Vettel has been the better driver, I think his 10 point advantage reflects this!

            Seriously though, this topic is a subjective opinion. There is no definitive way of proving who was the best driver in given machinery. All we can say for sure is what the championship standings tell us. After that it is just guesswork and opinion!

          2. @commendatore
            You can’t make a definitive decision as to who is the best driver on the grid; it is merely an opinion, as you dont actually know for sure which car is the best; it could be the Red Bull, or vettel could be 5s a lap faster in comparable machinary.
            You just don’t know, and there is no actual way of proving which one is best, apart from if they enter the Bercy race; that is the only proper comparison you have.

    3. Yes vettel did have reliability issues, but formula 1 is a team sport, so it fault of their own. When their car is far fastest then it’s great, but when they have issues then it’s a sham for him. You have to accept the fact, that when you have the fastest car there have to be small reliability issues. Remember how many points alonso has lost due to the crashes he had no control of, spa where he battled for podium, monza where he suferd a issue with new chasis (spa), and suzuka where he would finish second. When you count all dnf for alonso and vettel and give them their point they have lost, alonso would be in much batter situation.

      1. @alm988 – that wasn’t actually the intention of my argument; the main point was that we would never know if Alonso would have won the championship by this stage given an RB8 to drive as @xjr15jaaag has said. There are simply to many variables to give any kind of accurate prediction.

        All we can judge is how well each driver has performed with their given machinery and I’d say both have performed very well, that’s is why they are the only drivers capable mathematically of winning the championship.

      2. 1. Red Bull may be faster than Ferrari, but over the course of this season no-one has been “far fastest”. Red Bull are frontrunners, but Ferrari have been competitive for most of the season, Mclaren have been fast (in fact, without all the unrelaibility/errors, they have often been the fastest), Lotus have been up there as well.
        2. I don’t see how Alonso would be in a better championship situation compared to Vettel without their issues. He lost points at Spa (Suzuka was his fault), and he may have lost points at Monza due to his quali issue. Vettel lost more points across Valencia, Monza and Sepang. Hamilton, in fact, might have been up there with them both.

  3. This is the third time Senna has come 3rd, compared to Maldonado’s single 1st- a spookily accurate portrayal of their seasons.

    1. Also, the 3 lowest percentage of votes for the 3rd-placed driver have all been for Senna

  4. Alonso deserved this one. He is simply a driving beast. Alonso overtook Webber because when Mark’s KERS failed he was ready to pounce on him. Even with a car with good top speed, his car had less downforce and grip than clearly Red Bull and perhaps even Mclaren, which makes his drive and passes all the more impressive.

    Regarding @vettel1 ‘s argument that Vettel won from pole and was untouchable, much easier to do when you have a car that was clearly the best on the grid. Vettel even made 2 mistakes in qualifying but was still gifted pole because RBR was such a class of the field, and Webber screwed up his Q3 lap too. He also had to dirtily push Webber into the wall at the start of the race.

    Alonso was simply better in both qualifying and the race IMO.

    1. @kingshark I don’t think Webber put in a second run in Q3 at all. I think RB reigned him in when they saw hwhat happened to Vettel. They did not want to do another choreographed start like the one in Yeongam.
      Nice comment from you, as always.

    2. Vettel didn’t enjoy the performance advantage you are suggesting during the race. Red Bull and Ferrari’s long-run pace was very similar as is evident from the fact Alonso was able to keep pace with the Red Bull of Webber. Sure, their qualifying performance was much more mediocre (as is explained here) but the car was clearly set-up for an advantage in the race and not qualifying.

      If the RB8 had such a clear performance advantage, why wasn’t Webber right up there with Vettel during the race (his KERS failed later on in the race when Alonso was chasing him). And how were Alonso’s overtakes impressive? As you can see his car was vastly quicker than the Red Bull in a straight line as is evident by the fact he was past before the corner. I would hardly call a DRS assisted pass on a car with little straight-line speed and no KERS to defend impressive.

      Vettel did what his car was capable of brilliantly by winning the race having led every lap. The only thing stopping him from having yet another perfect weekend was the fastest lap.

  5. Hypothetically… if you consistently underqualify a car, then move up places in the races, would everyone hail you as a driving god? And as “outperforming” the car?

    1. (I almost voted for Alonso although I think I actually went for Hulkenberg to be contrarian)

      1. Funny you’d mention that actually, since Vettel made 2 mistakes in qualifying but still took pole because Red Bull is such a dominant car, and Webber fluffed up his final run in Q3.

        1. @kimgshark – he also topped every practice session and was fastest in the final 2 qualifying sessions. He was the quickest driver over the lap undisputably. I think actually the fact he managed to take pole after making a mistake (with a huge amount of pressure on his shoulders) is an achievement in itself.

          1. Practice sessions are absolutely irrelevant. I can’t believe people actually take that into account when voting for driver of the weekend.

            Qualifying, sure, but how was his performance any better than Alonso or Hamilton?

          2. @kingshark

            How was his performance any better than Alonso or Hamilton?

            There are good arguments for Vettel or Alonso to be considered the best in India. Vettel won the race and dominated the weekend. Alonso beat Webber and the Mclarens. Nobody should even need to justify why Vettel was “any better” than Hamilton though. Vettel wasn’t beaten by anyone, while LH was beaten by Alonso in the apparently inferior car.

          3. If Vettel was quickest in Korea, was Button quickest in Spa???

    2. How can you claim that FA “underqualifies” the car???? Do you have any data to suggest that any other driver could have done better than Alonso that day???

      1. @chicanef1 – yes, he was. The DOTW results reflect this. Vettel couldn’t catch him because he was out front controlling the race from pole, just as Vettel did in Korea & India.

        1. Yeah and all of a sudden the DOTW results are the most authentic and absolute. If they were, there wouldn’t be any comments on those respective articles!!!!

          1. @chicanef1 – all I am saying is that by a significant majority he was voted DOTW, and I agree with the masses on that consensus. I don’t however agree with this one: even though Alonso has won by a larger majority, I don’t believe that he was the driver of the weekend.

            Alonso didn’t have the speed Vettel had even though the practice times suggested that Ferrari had a similar race pace to Red Bull. Sure, Alonso got past both McLaren’s and Mark Webber, but the McLaren’s were much slower in a straight line and were unable to switch on the soft tyre in the opening stint. Also, Webber’s KERS failed which undoubtably aided Alonso in getting past the Red Bull.

            I don’t understand how similar races can yield such different results: if anything Vettel’s drive was more spectacular in Belgium than Alonso’s in India, yet he wasn’t voted DOTW. Also of course the opposite is true: Button did largely the same thing in Belgium as Vettel did in India (and if anything he was aided further with the first-lap contact) with just as dominant machinery yet Button was voted DOTW and Vettel wasn’t. Don’t you find that slightly baffling?

          2. “Practice times suggested that Ferrari had similar race pace to Red Bull”….. That’s open for interpretation, as practice times are rarely suggestive. But I’ll give you a benefit of doubt on that one.
            “[McLaren] were unable to switch on the soft tyre in the opening stint”….whose fault, and alternatively whose credit was that?
            And yes I found it baffling that Button was voted DOTW in Spa, because my personal choice had been a toss-up between Vettel and the Hulk. But what can you expect? Button is still the most popular driver in F1F and he had lowered his expectations by performing horribly in the first half of the season.
            @vettel1 I do not understand why you could not accept with ALO being voted DOTW. He outqualified his teammate(which is a point against Vettel at the Spa weekend), and took calculated risks. He was also possibly the only guy not to smoke his tyres in Noida. I hope I’ve made myself clear.

          3. @chicanef1

            I do not understand why you could not accept with ALO being voted DOTW. He outqualified his teammate

            That’s laughable the last part! He out-qualified Massa, that’s hardly an achievement given he is clearly a number 2 driver to Alonso (unlike with Vettel and Webber).

            Clearly you do not value a win from pole as being a good drive. Perhaps it is because you usually have to have the fastest car to win from pole?

            I don’t understand personally how you can’t understand why I may have a differing opinion (along with 28% of the voters) on who deserves the title of Indian GP DOTW. I have argued my point and I am I open to a return argument. I can accept the fact Alonso was voted DOTW because he was voted DOTW, that is a fact. I don’t necessarily agree with that conclusion however so I am arguing my point of view (which is that Vettel’s drive merited the title of Indian GP DOTW).

          4. Massa has been a very improved driver since the summer break and put Webber to shame at Spa. And as a team, RB are the biggest hypocrites. They slam Ferrari for using team orders and they themselves use it like in Britain last year and the choreographed start at Korea. And I do value a good win from pole, like Vettel’s win in Monza and Spa last year, Bahrain this year, and Alonso at Hockenheim this year. I voted for the respective driversin the above said events.

          5. @chicanef1

            choreographed start at Korea.

            Webber has been making poor starts all year and last year too. And all of a sudden just because it’s Vettel alongside him on the grid you jump to the conclusion that it was pre-arranged? What rubbish.

          6. @keithcollantine Well I’m quoting both Mark Gallagher(ex-Cosworth) and Gary Paffett, both of whom are commentators for STAR Sports.
            And if you see the start properly, you’ll see that they both got okay starts, Webber wasn’t slow off the line compared to Webber. And please stop adding adjectives to your answers. It reduces the crediblity of your answer. Your answer would have been more acceptable and effective without the ‘what rubbish’ part.
            I haven’t picked up an argument with you for a long time Keith, and I do not wish to argue anymore. I was reading some of the articles from 2005, and I was amazed at your quirky sense of humour and the way you handled the site with such maturity. I had changed my opinion about you. Let’s hope it stays that way.

  6. Bruno Senna is not a stranger on the podium either – it is the third time he found himself amongst the most outstanding drivers of the weekend.

    I think it’s very telling that when Senna did get voted into the top three, he did so with the three lowest percentage of votes in the seventeen races that have been voted on: 5.5% in Hungary, 4.1% in India, and a paltry 3.7% in Malaysia.

  7. I got a mention! …with a typo, oops!

    Yeah, just to reiterate, Alonso was outstanding in India so a thoroughly deserved win in the poll.

  8. Contrary to popular belief, I think that the Ferrari is actually one of the best cars in F1, from about the 3rd race; in the 1st race, it wasn’t great, but it wasnt an absaloute dog like everyone was saying.
    The car is clearly capable of winning as Alonso has proved, but he can’t outperform a car; he can only extract as much performance out of it as he can.
    So this argument about the Ferrari being absaloutely rubbish is complete rubbish.
    In reality, no-one knows for sure the relative performance of the cars.
    Maybe the Ferrari is a clear 2 seconds faster than the rest of field but Alonso and massa can’t extract that performance out of it.
    maybe the Red Bull is a full second slower than the Ferrari but Vettel can extract the maximum performance out of the Red Bull at every race.
    maybe the McLaren is the worst car on the grid but Button and Hamilton can extract relatively more performance out of it.

    This argument is pointless, people, as drivers can’t be 100% consistent with their performance, or perform at the same level as each other at every race.

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