11 different Driver of the Weekend winners in 2012

2012 F1 season review

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F1 Fanatic’s Driver of the Weekend polls produced 11 different winners during the 2012.

Nico Hulkenberg won a very close poll in the final race of the season while Lewis Hamilton claimed his fourth win after the United States Grand Prix.

2012 Driver of the Weekend results

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%)
Abu DhabiKimi Raikkonen (37.1%)Sebastian Vettel (27.3%)Lewis Hamilton (20.6%)
United StatesLewis Hamilton (62.9%)Felipe Massa (20.1%)Sebastian Vettel (5.9%)
BrazilianNico Hulkenberg (21.1%)Sebastian Vettel (17.5%)Jenson Button (16.9%)
  • Sebastian Vettel appeared in the top three in the final seven rounds of the season
  • Vettel made the most top-three appearances of all with ten, followed by Alonso on nine and Hamilton with eight
  • Eleven different drivers won the poll outright. Lewis Hamilton had the most with four. The other winners were Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Sergio Perez, Kimi Raikkonen, Mark Webber, Nico Rosberg, Pastor Maldonado, Kamui Kobayashi, Nico Hulkenberg

Driver of the Weekend: United States Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton emphatically won the Driver of the Weekend poll for the first race at the Circuit of the Americas with almost 63% of the vote.

Felipe Massa was ranked second ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

Driver of the Weekend: Brazilian Grand Prix

The final round of the season saw the closest Driver of the Weekend poll yet. In total 851 votes were cast and the top four were separated by just 41.

Nico Hulkenberg came out on top having taken 21.1% of your votes.

Sebastian Vettel’s recovery drive earned him second place in the voting followed by Jenson Button and Felipe Massa (16%). Lewis Hamilton was a little further behind on 13%.

2012 F1 season review

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Image © McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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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27 comments on “11 different Driver of the Weekend winners in 2012”

  1. You should write Brazilian GP instead of Abu Dhabi.

    Otherwise, it’s interesting that Vettel had the most top 3’s but only 1 win

  2. firstLapNutcaseGrosjean (@)
    28th December 2012, 15:44

    So, Lewis is the man.

    1. @sorin If you discount Vettel and Alonso, then yes, that leaves Hamilton.

      1. KIMI is the MAN!

      2. firstLapNutcaseGrosjean (@)
        29th December 2012, 0:51

        @dragoll Hey, man, don’t tell me this, tell to F1Fanatics who voted Hamilton COTD.

        1. firstLapNutcaseGrosjean (@)
          29th December 2012, 0:53

          * DOTW

  3. Who has won the most DOTWs since it started Keith?

    1. Educated guess: Hamilton.

      1. Counting back to Britain 2010 (didn’t find earlier ones) Its Hamilton with 9 as well as Alonso, Webber and Button 6, Vettel 4, Perez 3, Raikkonen and Kobayashi 2 and one each for Heidfeld, Schumacher, Sutil, Rosberg, Maldonado, Massa, Hülkenberg and Petrov.

  4. Very interesting if you put all this into a table and award 25 for a win, 18 for second and 15 for third…

    At the end of the season the standings would be something like this:
    1) Alonso 189
    2) Vettel 181
    3) Hamilton 169
    4) Button 83
    5) Perez 83 (Behind because Button won a DOTW before Perez)
    6) Raikkonen 68
    7) Hulkenberg 55
    8) Massa 51
    9) Webber 50
    10) Senna 45
    11) Kobayashi 40
    12) Di Resta 33
    13) Grosjean 30
    14) Rosberg 25
    15) Maldonado 25
    16) Kovalainen 18
    17) Schumacher 15.

    Interesting though is the gap between Alonso and Vettel after Germany (midpoint of the season), Alonso was on 149 points, and Vettel on just 36! If you do it so that 3 points go to the winner, 2 to second and 1 to third, Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel would each be on 19 points.

    1. Interesting. To me, it confirms the current points system, well at least the top three part.

    2. Nice analysis! It can clearly be seen that Alonso’s 2nd half was not as special as his first and when Vettel comes on form, he is really unstoppable.

    3. Second places count after equal wins so it’s again equal, and then we count thirds, and Button wins because of his 3rd place at the last race.

  5. You can argue that any individual DOTW poll might throw up some idiosyncrasies, but over the course of a 20 race season, some pretty clear patterns emerge.

    And one clear pattern is that a Hamilton win is, in the eyes of DOTW voters, worth twice as much as a Vettel win. Which, probably not coincidentally, matches the proportion of F1 Fanatics who are followers of each driver.

    Four race wins to Hamilton, four DOTW first places (the correlation is not perfect – he won the Italian Grand Prix yet came second in the DOTW poll, compensated by the Singapore GP where he won the DOTW poll despite failing to finish).

    Vettel won five races across the season, yet only finished first in the DOTW once, at the Korean GP.

    Even more revealing is the average percentage vote received by each driver at the weekends that they won. Hamilton’s average vote following his four winning weekends was 51.7%. Vettel meanwhile could only muster 26.6% of the vote across the five GPs he won – pretty much half what Hamilton received (hence my earlier comment).

    Incredibly, the highest percentage of the votes which went to Vettel at any one weekend this year was just 33.5% at the Korean GP – in a 20 race season, where the German won a quarter of all the races, the best he could do was a third of the votes for DOTW.

    The variance might be explicable if Hamilton was driving a much slower car but, as Keith’s recent article demonstrated, the McLaren was (over one lap at least) the fastest car this season. Nor do I buy the argument that Vettel tends to win in a boring fashion – dominance might be dull but it can’t detract from the quality of the performance. Besides, look for example at the Belgian GP where Button (an even more popular McLaren driver) dominated the race in what was clearly the quickest car, and won 52.7% of the vote. Few if any were saying “but Jenson had the quickest car”.

    Looking at the numbers across a whole season, I find it hard to identify any rational explanation for Hamilton’s vote relative to Vettel’s, other than the respective popularity (here at least) of each driver.

    None of this is meant as a criticism of those who voted in DOTW (or the poll itself Keith). All of us are influenced by our biases, and cheering for your favourite driver is of course integral to enjoying the sport.

    However, anyone who thinks that the DOTW poll is not substantially influenced by the popularity of those up for the vote is, frankly, kidding themselves.

    1. @tdog That all falls apart when you look beyond your selection of data and notice, for example, that the most popular driver on the site was beaten in the poll for a race he won – Brazil – by Vettel and another driver.

      Here’s another, unrelated example of a driver’s popularity not automatically leading to people picking them as the best.

      1. @keithcollantine I’m not trying to be argumentative, but I think you misunderstand my comment.

        I’m not suggesting that people “automatically” vote for their favourite driver, or are incapable of voting for someone else. I used the word “influenced” deliberately – not for a second do I suggest that other factors aren’t involved.

        I think to suggest the opposite to my comment, that people’s like or dislike of a particular driver has no substantial effect on their voting (if that’s what you’re saying) is counter-intuitive and not borne out by the results in your article above.

        Anyone who spends any time here and reads the comments knows that Vettel is unpopular with a substantial portion of followers (which is fine by the way, it’s a free world and I wouldn’t personally include him in my favourite drivers, although I greatly respect his abilities).

        I think that this relative unpopularity is at least a significant, if not the only, factor explaining why there is such a disparity in voting for DOTW.

        If you or anyone else thinks there is another explanation as to why Hamilton receives an average 51.7% of the vote for his four winning weekends, but Vettel receives 26.6% of the average vote across his five wins, and cannot break the 34% mark all year, then I am all ears. It’s simply too stark a figure, for me at least, to dismiss as coincidence. There has to be an explanation for it.

        I don’t mean this as an anti-Hamilton rant – I ranked him ahead of Vettel in my end of year rankings (2nd) and praised his on track abilities when explaining why.

        Nor was my comment intended as a criticism of the DOTW poll or the voters.

        As I said, if someone has a different explanation for the numbers I’m only too willing to listen. I just don’t think that pointing to Alonso being voted the best driver over the course of the year disproves what I said above.

        1. I think your arguments are extremely well made and contain more than a grain of truth. As an avid reader of f1fanatic who doesn’t contribute much it is interesting how the influences (biases?) of many of the regular contributors become unintentionally clear over a season. I admit that I like to see my favourite win DOTW even when deep down I realise that others who feel differently are right. Incidentally I have never voted and I know the rules are not favourite but Driver of TW.

        2. Could it be that we are an opinionated bunch and like to recognise certain types of drive/driver, and that in Korea there was not the stand out three drivers as there were in other races. Given that Korea was universally disappointing (this site), I suspect the picks would have been made based on maybe one or two moments in race which means the results would have been skewed for this race over others just for a single passing manouvere. In fact the one factor which ties together those wins whose drivers have low percentages on their DOTW, is that the scores for 1st, 2nd and 3rd are all low suggesting it is other drivers outside of the top three who affected the results. saying a HAM win is worth more than a VET win should actually be more about who took the points off VET and why, rather than HAM automatically garners more votes for a win. Also, remember that this is a driver vote, and as such should recognise more than just the points tally, which of course it does, very well, and is the reason why MAL, PER and good ol’ KOB all have wins here. Bearing in mind that most of us on here (I think) including Keith have rated the top three ‘drivers’ of the year very closely as ALO, HAM and VET in that order, and it’s not a surprise to see that we have rated HAM more than VET. That’s because we rate his driving, but we are fair as we recognised VET driving across the course of the full half of the second year in a consistent manner. The one stand out statistic that I find interesting is just how much of the vote HAM got for COTA. I personally found it a great race because of the fact that it ended with the three top guys on the podium for the first and so far, only time, amongst other reasons, but I wonder if HAM vote was built up on the psychology of wanting to take that win on the back of his Mercedes move to leave a final win for McLaren. Even if it is the case though all it is proven is that we are human, and we choose our drivers based on human factors, which is good, because the machines would all vote for Vettel if they had the chance… :-P

  6. How was Glock not in the top three at Singapore?

  7. Reviewing the results, I think what becomes clear is that Vettel has really attained legendary status. He literally has turned the extraordinary into the ordinary to the point people hardly take notice. It’s not even how many DOTW he did and mostly didn’t win, but also the number of votes.

    He gets a Grand Chelem in Japan and doesn’t win. A Grand Chelem! There was only 1 in 2012, only one in 2011 (by Vettel in India) and one in 2010 (Alonso in Singapore). Only 3 people on the grid in 2012 have ever done that. Yeah, but it’s Vettel, oh hum.

    In contrast, Button wins DOTW in Belgium with over 50% of the vote for being on pole and winning from pole. And Vettel gets 20% of the vote from going from p11 to p2. Oh hum. (Yes, it was lights to flag, but then Vettel had one of those in India and managed only 28% of the vote.)

    Vettel gets 19% of the vote for pole and winning in Bahrain, with what was probably slower than the Lotus and requiring massive concentration to handle the pressure by Kimi. And many felt that Kimi (including Kimi) should have won that race. But in a race he should have won, but didn’t, Kimi got 56% of that vote. (and I love Kimi, but still).

    Take the US GP, where Vettel put the RB on pole against what was the faster McLaren. Even Lewis Hamilton was gobsmacked that he didn’t get pole and said to Webber “you guy were fast” and Webber, WEBBER of all people, just shook his head and pointed at Vettel – it was him. Whitmarsh didn’t even know how Vettel did it. Then in the race Hamilton and Vettel were the class of the field by far, clearly the 2 best drivers of that weekend and of the race. Bad timing of a back marker swung the race in Hamilton’s favor. Hamiilton wins the DOTW – fair enough, but where Hamilton gets 63% of the vote, Vettel only gets 6% and 3rd in the poll.

    We can go on. I’d agree with @keithcollantine that folks aren’t prejudiced for their favorite drivers in the polls, but it’s clear that a different standard is applied to different drivers, especially Vettel (and to be fair, some of the best drivers over a weekend may have be lower down the grid and we just don’t see them–which is a form of a different standard as well).

    1. I think Vettel and Hamilton get two very extreme treatment from the fans (Hamilton – too much love, Vettel – too little). If we just look at these 2 and draw conclusions on general fans’ behavior then obviously, we will get flawed conclusions.
      Let’s look past these two drivers and the poll results truly reflects the driver performance in most cases.

    2. I think it’s clear that a significant number of people have convinced themselves that Vettel has been driving the equivalent of an FW14B for the last few years, and that all his race results should therefore be heavily discounted.

      Yes, the contrast between the reaction to Hamilton vs Vettel is striking – especially so when you consider that they possess nearly identical skill sets as drivers. Any description of one would apply almost exactly to the other. Both are qualifying experts, both win races from the front of the grid, both are sometimes prone to mistakes when overtaking, etc.

  8. No its because Vettel’s WINS tend to be more easily obtained than the other drivers. He only won when the car was dominant. Simple as that.

    1. Really? Go through the results of the season, who won what, and you can see the dominant car usually won. Button in Spa?

      How about Alonso in Malaysia? That Ferrari was absolutely the dominant car in the rain, as shown by poles in Silverstone and Germany.

      How about Bahrain, the RB wasn’t dominant at all, and the Lotus probably faster. Vettel wins.

      Even last year, Vettel won races where the RB wasn’t dominant – including Spain fighting off a charging Lewis or Monaco where he was putting up an epic defense of Alonso and Button in faster cars. Vettel just makes the car seem dominant (recall the Ferrari days of MSC, when Rubens finished 2nd in the WDC twice, because the car was so dominant-yet Webber has never been able to get 2nd in the WDC in a “dominant” car). As Keith showed, the Redbull wasn’t dominant this year, and was the second fastest car on the grid.

      So the results Vettel gets are as much him as the car.

      1. @uan – I agree in almost every respect (bar “Ferrari dominant in the wet” – it was very good no doubt but not dominant as such). I do always feel that a Vettel pole-flag win is usually discredited as being because of the car unlike a McLaren win for example.

    2. @M30 – It’s nice to know that comedy isn’t hard to find during the holidays.

  9. I just reviewed my votes. I had 12 different drivers of the weekend, including Massa, Senna, Kovalainen and Di Resta, who didn’t win any of the polls but who all were in top three at least once. Raikkonen, Webber and Kobayashi weren’t among my winners. My choice equalled the one of F1F readers 9 times out of 20.

    I voted 4 times for Alonso, 3 times for Button, twice for Vettel, Hamilton and Maldonado and once for Perez, Rosberg, Kovalainen, Senna, Di Resta, Hulkenberg and Massa.

    Full recap:

    AUS Button
    MAL Perez
    CHI Rosberg
    BAH Vettel
    SPA Maldonado
    MON Kovalainen
    CAN Hamilton
    EUR Alonso
    BRI Alonso
    GER Alonso
    HUN Senna
    BEL Button
    ITA Hamilton
    SIN Di Resta
    JAP Vettel
    KOR Hulkenberg
    IND Alonso
    ABU Maldonado
    UNI Massa
    BRA Button

    All of this just shows how interesting the 2012 races and our discussions after them were.

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