Kimi Raikkonen was voted Driver of the Weekend for the first race of 2013 after winning from seventh on the grid in Australia.
Raikkonen took over half of the votes in a poll of F1 Fanatic readers.
Adrian Sutil came second in the poll after leading 11 laps of the race. Third was Jules Bianchi, who impressed a significant number of readers on his debut.
1. Kimi Raikkonen
Raikkonen was voted Driver of the Weekend twice last year. Here’s why F1 Fanatic readers picked him as the top driver in Melbourne:
I voted for Kimi Raikkonen as I think he managed to make a two-stop strategy work in the race and didn’t make any mistakes other than in qualifying, which I think he made up for with his overtakes at the start of the race.
It’s Raikkonen, he was unstoppable in yesterday’s race. He overtook people when he had to, he conserved the tyres when he had to and he pushed the car when he had. He got everything perfectly right. If he drives so good all season and if the car will remain competitive, then he can become world champion this season.
I went for Raikkonen.
He drove extremely well, and if he had qualified better, it would have been the perfect weekend.
Congratulations to Bianchi and Sutil, too. They were nearly perfect!
2. Adrian Sutil
Sutil made his F1 comeback in Australia following a one-year absence. He was voted Driver of the Weekend in the last race he started before his return.
But there was a strong split between readers who felt he impressed in Australia, and those who believed his prominence in the race was because he had the luck of the draw on strategy:
I went for Sutil. Most people are saying it was just down to strategy. I couldn’t disagree more!
When the front runners made their stops and switched their worn out Super Soft tyres for Mediums he was still on the Medium tyres he started on. Instead of being easy prey from DRS and fresher tyres on his pursuers cars he actually managed to break Vettel’s DRS range. That was what impressed me most about his performance.
Given he’s been away for a year and that he doesn’t have the mileage in the car that Di Resta does, I’d say that’s a stellar performance.
I wasn’t so sure he would be able to get a decent enough performance in this soon.
He looked really pumped to be back in F1 and knew that this was his last season to make a good impression.
Sutil was fast, stayed out of trouble and raced with the like of Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton like he had been doing it for a while. Unfortunately he couldn’t make the Super Softs work for him, or else it looked like his first ever career podium.
Raikkonen and Alonso were pretty good too but Sutil was definitely the star of race day.
I don’t understand why Sutil is getting so many votes. Out-qualified by di Resta and team orders helped him finish 3.5 seconds ahead of his team mate.
Sure, he did get some valuable screen time for Force India by leading the race, but that was only because he started with mediums and he was always going to drop back. Sutil and di Resta performed more or less as well, so it’s hard to see why one has 17% and other 1% of votes.
3. Jules Bianchi
He may not have figured in the battle for points but F1 newcomer Jules Bianchi impressed several of you with his speed in the Marussia:
Driving for Marussia on your debut, you’re hardly going to be able to do anything special but he did.
While almost all the other rookies made mistakes he didn’t, even in the wet sessions.
You’d expect him to be a bit rusty at the start but he got up to 12th at one point. He was only lapped once was way ahead of the other ‘B class’ cars and set a brilliant fastest lap.
Also he only had two days in his car before the weekend.
Bianchi performed admirably. Raikkonen was also excellent, but I went with Bianchi in the end, since it was his debut!
For me it was Raikkonen and Bianchi. But like many, I picked Bianchi.
What a talent he has!, made Chilton look like he was not even trying.
Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
2013 Malaysian Grand Prix polls
The Rate the Race and Driver of the Weekend polls for the Malaysian Grand Prix are still open – add your votes here:
2013 Australian Grand Prix
Image © Lotus/LAT, Force India, Marussia