Vote for your 2013 Chinese GP Driver of the Weekend

2013 Chinese Grand Prix

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Which F1 driver was the best performer during the Chinese Grand Prix weekend?

Review how each driver got on below and vote for who impressed you the most during the last race weekend.

Chinese Grand Prix driver-by-driver

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel – Opting not to set a time in Q3 and start the race on medium tyres was a striking deviation from Red Bull’s usual tactics. It almost paid off at a track where the RB9 lacked its usual edge. Vettel picked his fights carefully during the race but when it came to the crunch a slip-up at turn 11 on the final lap cost him a clear chance to take a podium finish.

Mark Webber – If Webber was owed a karmic debt after Sepang it certainly didn’t come in Shanghai. He ran out of fuel in qualifying and an improperly fitted wheel ended his race. While problems beyond his control wrecked this event for him an error of his own making – an optimistic move on Vergne at turn six – saw him collect a grid penalty for the next round.


Fernando Alonso – Laughed off questions about Massa out-qualifying him for four races in a row then put a stop to it on Saturday, claiming third on the grid. After his usual good start he put a straightforward DRS pass on Hamilton to take the lead. His driving in the second stint won him the race, quickly working his way through traffic to minimise the strain on his tyres.

Felipe Massa – Disappointed to miss out on the top three in qualifying, but the first round of pit stops really spoiled his race. Left to do another lap on worn softs, he dropped back into the midfield where he struggled with tyre degradation and finished sixth.


Jenson Button – As in Malaysia he took the best that the MP4-28 had to offer. But this time there was no pit lane slip-up to deprive him of the reward for his efforts. Ekeing the tyres out for two pit stops asked a lot of his self-control: “I had to cruise when I’d normally fight the others. It’s not the most exciting way to go racing, but we got ten points today because we did it.”

Sergio Perez – Another driver who found himself mired in the pack and struggling to make his tyres last. He persevered with his two-stop strategy to the end but finished out of the points. He was clouted by Raikkonen on the way: the Lotus driver claimed Perez had pushed him off the track but the McLaren hadn’t deviated from the racing line and no penalty was forthcoming.


Kimi Raikkonen – Qualified on the front row for the first time since Monaco four years ago. But a problem with his start settings saw him get away poorly. This was the first blow to his victory chances: the second came when he hit Perez’s McLaren. Despite front wing and nose damage estimated to have cost him a quarter of a second per lap he soldiered on and jump Hamilton at the final round of pit stops to take second.

Romain Grosjean – Grosjean had the same problem as Massa when it came to timing his first pit stop, but his lap times suffered even more and he emerged even further back in the midfield. From there he salvaged ninth, passing Hulkenberg in the closing stages.


Nico Rosberg – An error at the final corner on his flying lap in Q3 probably cost him a place on the front row. He followed his team mate into the pits on lap five but didn’t lose too much time. However a fault was detected with his rear anti-roll bar after his second pit stop and that ended his race.

Lewis Hamilton – A clean sweep in qualifying including a brilliant Q3 lap produced his first pole position for his new employers. But his lead only lasted four laps, after which he was unable to hold off the Ferraris. He struggled with understeer in the middle of the race but it cleared up later on, suggesting rubber debris had become stuck in his wing and then been dislodged. But it was too late to claim second place back from Raikkonen.


Nico Hulkenberg – Reached Q3 for the first time this year but decided against doing a lap. He started on medium tyres and passed Button and Vettel on lap four. That handed him the lead of the race three laps later, but by the end of the race he’d fallen to tenth. Having used the soft tyres for his third stint it was his return to medium tyres in the final stint that really hurt him and he was passed by Ricciardo and Grosjean.

Esteban Gutierrez – Eliminated in Q1. Five laps into the race he missed his braking point at the hairpin and slammed Sutil out of the race, earning himself a five-place penalty for the next round.

Force India

Paul di Resta – Missed the top ten shootout by 0.026s. Paid a high price for getting too close to his team mate on the first lap, running wide and losing several places. Although he recovered to finish seventh his team believed he could have finished ahead of Button. His stints on the medium tyres were impressively consistent.

Adrian Sutil – Having been out-qualified by Di Resta, his race had barely begun before he was taken out by Gutierrez.


Pastor Maldonado – “We didn’t have a chance to fight for any higher positions,” was Maldonado’s glum assessment after coming home with just the Marussias and Caterhams behind him.

Valtteri Bottas – Used his soft tyres at the end which helped him pass his team mate but couldn’t offer any opposition to the faster cars.

Toro Rosso

Jean-Eric Vergne – Comprehensively beaten by Ricciardo in qualifying – the gap between them was almost a full second in Q2. His race was ruined when Webber knocked him into the spin at turn six.

Daniel Ricciardo – Qualified an excellent seventh and eventually came home in the same position having out-raced Grosjean but lost out to Vettel.


Charles Pic – Ma Qing Hua drove his car in first practice and Pic lost furthe time in second practice with a suspected hydraulics problem. In the race he got rid of his soft tyres early which jumped him to the head of the Marussia/Caterham battle. He lost out to Bianchi on their final stops but stuck with his rival until the end, which perhaps explained his reluctance to let Hamilton and Vettel past.. He reckoned that was “almost as good as we could have hoped for with our current performance levels”.

Giedo van der Garde – Said he was struggling to understand the tyres and made a mistake in Q1 but was little slower than his team mate. However in the race his tyre trouble told and he was over a minute behind Pic at the flag.


Jules Bianchi – Came out on top of the ‘back four’ cars, using the undercut to jump Pic at the final round of pit stops.

Max Chilton – Closer to his team mate than Van der Garde was but was warned about obeying blue flags several times in the race.

Qualifying and race results summary

DriverStartedGap to team mateLaps leading team matePittedFinishedGap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel9th-1.336s15/1534th
Mark Webber16th+1.336s0/152
Fernando Alonso3rd-0.145s54/5631st-40.827s
Felipe Massa5th+0.145s2/5636th+40.827s
Jenson Button8th-0.53s56/5625th-28.575s
Sergio Perez12th+0.53s0/56211th+28.575s
Kimi Raikkonen2nd-0.603s53/5632nd-43.255s
Romain Grosjean6th+0.603s3/5639th+43.255s
Nico Rosberg4th+0.377s0/213
Lewis Hamilton1st-0.377s21/2133rd
Nico Hulkenberg10th-1.005s4/4310th
Esteban Gutierrez18th+1.005s0/40
Paul di Resta11th-0.118s1/538th
Adrian Sutil13th+0.118s4/50
Pastor Maldonado14th-0.488s19/56314th+1.592s
Valtteri Bottas17th+0.488s37/56313th-1.592s
Jean-Eric Vergne15th+0.941s11/56312th+29.913s
Daniel Ricciardo7th-0.941s45/5637th-29.913s
Charles Pic21st-0.046s48/55316th-67.119s
Giedo van der Garde22nd+0.046s7/55318th+67.119s
Jules Bianchi19th-0.757s49/55315th-37.928s
Max Chilton20th+0.757s6/55317th+37.928s

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 2013 Chinese Grand Prix weekend?

  • Max Chilton (0%)
  • Jules Bianchi (0%)
  • Giedo van der Garde (0%)
  • Charles Pic (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (18%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Adrian Sutil (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Esteban Gutierrez (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (1%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (5%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (16%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Jenson Button (6%)
  • Felipe Massa (1%)
  • Fernando Alonso (47%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Sebastian Vettel (5%)

Total Voters: 725

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2013 Chinese Grand Prix

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Images © Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Red Bull/Getty

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120 comments on “Vote for your 2013 Chinese GP Driver of the Weekend”

  1. Kimi Raikkonen 100% votes,like a boss :)

  2. Is Ciaron Pilbeam responsible for Kimi ‘s start ??

    1. Hahaha just thought about that, maybe HE was responsible for Webber’s bad starts last year..

    2. Well, that’s an interesting question. I voted for Raikkonen not because of the race itself but the work put in to the race. Raikkonen and Lotus tried until the last minute to improve their set-up and even though they didn’t had that much time after their last change they made it good enough to in the end snatch Lotus best qualifying effort since Australia 2012 and more importantly avoid another sunday like Malaysia.

      1. Grosjean qualified 2nd at Hungary last year

      2. I voted for Raikkonen not because of the race itself but the work put in to the race.

        I think every driver works as hard as they can during a weekend…

        1. Though Raikkonen have been known to have off weekends. Like when he didn’t study the track layout in Austin well enough and got lost…

          1. Raikkonen knows the layouts so well he knew that the maintenance road should have been a faster way back to track after going wide, but he couldn’t know that this time the gate would be closed.

          2. Maybe if he’d gone to the track on the Thursday like all the other drivers did and walked around it he’d’ve noticed there was no way through.

  3. Clear-cut Alonso for me, Ricciardo 2nd.

    1. Yeah, it felt a bit like the easy choice, but he really did everything right this weekend.

  4. Ricciardo isn’t my favorite driver in the field, but he did a great job both in qualifying and in the race with the Toro Rosso after two unlucky retirements, for which he gets my vote. The top five and Di Resta in eighth also made a very good effort, so if it wasn’t for Ricciardo, I wouldn’t know who to choose.

    1. Totally agreed. Second faster than his team mate in qualy, then finishing the best result for TR since 2011 or so… Good job!

    2. Forgot about Ricciardo, not the guy I’m used to think off … I already vote or it would be his.
      Nothing to chose from on the front, Button doing a nice job with the McLaren but quite some way off pace. Hulkenberg deserve a mention, to bad for him he dropped off that much at the end he had a superb first part of the race.
      Bianchi once again first of the last teams, but less impressive than at the 2 previous races …
      After I guess this one will be on Fanatics preference and “vote to the winner” more than anything else

    3. I voted Ricciardo, purely for the fact he decimated Vergne in qualifying and had great race pace, most noticeably against Grosjean. Alonso was obviously a close 2nd choice but the Ferrari’s have looked pretty good all weekend whereas the same cant be said about the Toro Rosso, so I think Ricciardo way outperformed the car this weekend.

    4. Agreed, with everybody else driving a time trial (most of the race) Ricciardo seemed to be pushing the STR to its full potential, he could have had a couple more points with better tyres, but then so could they all.

  5. Has to be Alonso! He topped a practice session, nearly missed out on pole, beat his team mate all around and had an absolutely commanding race! Watching both Ferrari mug Hamilton was priceless!
    Gutted for Webber and Hamilton!

    1. @karter22 I don’t see how DRS can be ignored anymore. When both second AND THIRD place are getting by first place on one straght. It’s a joke. Yet it isn’t remotely funny!

      1. It’s true that the DRS gave the the edge to overtake Hamilton, but if Lewis wasn’t fast enough to stay clear from that 1 second margin and then (again) not fast enough to comeback. Basically, the DRS makes the rich richer and the poor poorer :)).

  6. Wish I could split my vote and give half to Alonso and half to Ricciardo.

    1. @davef1 – me too! Alonso for the fact he was very “Vettel-esque “(except from qualifying) and Ricciardo for the surprise result. I’ve gone for the latter though, purely because I feel Alonso will get the bulk of the votes anyway.

      1. Ben (@scuderia29)
        16th April 2013, 2:25

        same here!

      2. Ben (@scuderia29)
        16th April 2013, 2:27

        @Max Jacobson “vettel-esque”? what characteristic did he show that was like vettel and unlike any other driver?

        1. @scuderia29
          Vetted has a displayed fantastic ability (or frustrating for a non vetted fan)in the past 3-4 years to build a 5-10 plus second lead and maintain it for the rest of the race.
          And that was what Alonso managed to do this weekend so in that regard you can consider it a vettel-esque drive.

          1. Sounds more “schumacher-esque” to me, but in fact i wouldnt liken it to anyone….im sure there has been hundreds of grand prix wins by many different drivers where theyve won by 10+ seconds, likening it to Vettel just seems silly to me. Alonso was winning like this before formula 1 even knew what a Sebastian Vettel was

  7. Regarding Kimi Raikkonen, where it says: “Qualified on the front row for the first time since Monaco two years ago.”, shouldn’t it be four instead of two years? Because Kimi got that second place grid start in 2009, not 2011, when he was still rallying.

    1. @toiago Changed it, thanks.

      1. There’s another small mistake, it says Di Resta finished 7th whereas he finished 8th.

      2. @keithcollantine In the table – Vettel started 9th not 10th.

  8. Hard to say.

    Alonso did well. But he had a quick car underneath him.
    Kimi did well with a damaged car but he himself was responsible the damage in the first place.
    Jenson drove like an obedient student always following the lap time delta which his engineer demanded.
    Vettel did the mistake of letting the Hulk get ahead of him early on in the race.
    Lewis just went backward through the race.

    I think I will go for Daniel Ricciardo. He followed up a good qualifying with a nice consistent race. And more importantly, he got the timing right. The first race after Vettel Webber had their fallout, he does this. He has now got a health lead over JEV for the race to the other Red Bull seat.

    1. Vettel’s mistake was hardly a mistake. Hulkenberg passed Vettel AND Ricciardo in one move. There was absolutely nothing Vettel could have done to hold that position at that time.
      Just look at Alonso passing Hulkenberg with DRS. Hulkenberg got in Alonso’s slipstream and almost retook the position at the end of the straight. The Sauber without DRS was just as fast as the Ferrari with DRS open and fresher tyres. Vettel was a sitting duck for that speed.

      That’s why he couldn’t get passed Hulkenberg later on, even with DRS.
      In fact there were a few laps where, even with Vettel using DRS, Hulkenberg streaked away slightly on the straight.

  9. Alonso for me. He had a very good qualifying, and a fantastic race! He did some easy overtakes in the second stint, without being held up (maybe with the exception of Button) and controlled his tyres to pit a bit later for the final time. 9.5/10 for Alonso. He only could have taken second but it finally didn’t cost him.

    Also, I must make a mention to Ricciardo, who dominated his teammate for a well deserved seventh place.

    1. Thoroughly deserve my vote this weekend. Great start and he was unbeatable during the race.

  10. Daniel Ricciardo
    Qualified 7th in an STR
    Nine tenths of a second quicker than his teammate in Q2
    Great race start, held on to his position and stayed in contention all race
    Finished 7th, his career-best, and the best for STR since Korea 2011.
    Was only 2 seconds behind Felipe Massa in a Ferrari, and could well have beaten him and possibly even Button if he hadn’t needed to pit early and relatively long for a new nose on lap 5.

    1. +1 agreed, great drive and in a Toro Rosso!

  11. – Hamilton did a great job getting pole by three tenths.
    – Alonso drove a fantastic race for a commanding victory.
    – Button did a very good job in both quali and the race, to trounce his team mate and finish in front of two cars, which were good enough to win the race and finish second.
    – Raikkonen really was good as well, almost as good as Alonso, and was definitely hindered by Perez (Whom was quite terrible).

    However, despite all of that, I had to give my vote to Ricciardo. Not only was he able to get into the top 10, but he stayed there during the race and achieved his best result to date. If he can keep up performances like this, then I can certainly see him making the move up soon enough.

    1. I too voted Ricciardo. What a weekend for him!

  12. Alonso had a great car and just cruised. There wasn’t anything particularly inspired about it. He also benefited by getting a pit-stop preference over Massa. A great weekend for him, and solid racing, but I don’t think that leads to being DOTW.

    I chose Vettel, who started in 9th and passed a number of people (Massa, Lewis once, Button) like a boss. In the end his team’s strategy for him may not have been optimal, but he made the most out of it he could have; and that final stint was really impressive.

    1. Driver of the WEEKEND to someone who didn’t even bother in q3… no thanks.

      1. @f190: That isn’t true. VET really tried but had a technical brake issue, which was why he overshot in a corner and gave up his lap as it was ruined. If he had been successful and gotten a P6 or so, he would certainly have been on the podium.

    2. I voted for Alonso, and I really don’t often do that. The way he was able to use DRS to his advantage by overtaking after the detection line and before the activation point so that he could extend his advantage (I saw him do this twice I think) was a measure of how he was able to maximise everything. His qualifying and race start were good too and whilst he clearly had the best car on race day he still had to work for this victory.

      1. Yes, I noticed the same thing. Clever use of DRS zone, took care of the tires, and still drove very fast. Even when the team wanted him to slow down a bit he put down some fast times.

  13. Ricciardo. Great weekend overall, he had a very good pace compared to JEV. And I didn’t expect a Toro Rosso to out-race Force India and Sauber. Good job by Daniel, I hope that Toro Rosso will give him a decent midfield car for the next races, he needs it if he wants to be in a Red Bull next year.

    1. Agreed: he had a stellar performance, along with Alonso. I wonder then if that performance has been spurred for the need to beat Vergne, cause Felix Da Costa is coming for one of those seats I think!

  14. Let’s see, a Vettel-esque victory by someone not Vettel. I predict Alonso’s gonna win this one.

    1. @mnmracer

      Even as an Alonso fan I have to agree with you here. If the red car was blue and the driver was German I think people would be voting for someone else…

    2. For the record, I did vote Alonso, but it was very close with Vettel.

    3. Voted for Alonso. ‘Vettel-esque victory’ is spot on.

      Funny, doing a ‘Vettel’ becomes a compliment when other drivers do it. When Vettel does it, congrats to Newey.

      Honorable mentions go to Ricciardo, Vettel, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Button.

      1. Funny, doing a ‘Vettel’ becomes a compliment when other drivers do it. When Vettel does it, congrats to Newey.

        That’s because the victory is normally accompanied by qualifying on pole by some ludicrous margin over the other teams. I had to vote Alonso because the car had good race pace, not superlative or Massa wouldn’t have floundered in traffic like he did. Alonso made the passes that were necessary when necessary to capitalize on it shaking Hamilton off and getting that comfortable lead position.

        As for the other who were up there in my opinion:
        Hamilton as per usual had an impressive qualifying.

        I had casually slagged off Ricciardo to some mates just prior to the race, was forced to eat crow afterwards, so he also impressed.

        Button got a chance to make his tyre saving ways play to his advantage. As a Mclaren fan I am sad to see them reduced to a two stop strategy in a three stop race to scrap for lower points positions, kudos for actually making it work however.

        Vettel’s final stint was almost impressive, but it seemed more he was pushing when everyone else was (forced to be) cruising, I am probably still angry he chose not to qualify for the free pass on tyre strategy. I was scared he might actually make the podium and vindicate a decision to not do anything in qualifying.

        1. That’s because the victory is normally accompanied by qualifying on pole by some ludicrous margin over the other teams.

          Ah, but qualifying on pole is supposed to be something that all drivers are aiming for on Saturdays? If anything, accompanying a strong race pace with a pole position would make the weekend as a whole, more impressive.

          Here, though, Alonso is DOTW, for a dominant display in the race.

          1. I guess what it really comes down to is whether persons perceive the car to be ‘dominant’ over the remainder of the field, supreme pole and win a la Vettel 2011 makes many feel that if you shove any driver in the car it will perform. This will probably haunt Vettel for his remainder of days at Red Bull as Newey really does churn out some fast ones. Not having a HAM, ALO, RAI top rated driver right beside him keeping him honest doesn’t help either.

            Back on track I went with Alonso because his car was ‘good’ but not ‘dominant’ in my opinion.

          2. How was this drive Vettel-esque, when Alonso started 3rd in a car which was not good enough for pole position, and actually overtook his way to victory?

          3. It was closer in resemblance to Vettel’s Korea 2011 drive more than anything else. Damn, I wish I could edit.

          4. @hyakuyagami – Okay, though these perceptions of what makes a car “dominant” are hardly ever fair. Vettel wins 4 races late last year, and I remember the claims that his car was “dominant”, yet the previous 3 races (and 4 poles, including one in a race Vettel won), were won by Mclaren, who supposedly weren’t “dominant”.

            Plus Raikkonen has never had a Hamilton/Alonso teammate, and HAM/ALO only sat in the same car for one year.

            @kingshark – The term Vettel-esque, as said above, is a compliment. Alonso dominated the field on raceday (the most important session of the weekend), which is why he is DOTW.

          5. Ahhh yes, but HAM/ALO did sit in a car together so they are proven against a world champion class teammate, something Vettel hasn’t got to his credit yet. The feeling being that if Vettel had such a team mate to run against he wouldn’t have the 3 titles on the trot.

            Also, I personally believe Hamilton should have won last year, but for the size and quantity of Mclaren’s mistakes. They really were the fastest cars for a good portion of the races.

            When we bring it back to why the Red Bull was considered dominant it is because whenever Red Bull are fastest on a weekend it’s put down to them “regaining their form”.

            Hardly fair, but in a stable regulations era, if Car 1 was dominant the expectation is Car 2 will be as will be Car 3 e.t.c no need to go re-invent the wheel right? (Jab at McLaren totally intended).

          6. many feel that if you shove any driver in the car it will perform.

            Any driver not named “Mark Webber”, apparently.

        2. That’s because the victory is normally accompanied by qualifying on pole by some ludicrous margin over the other teams.

          No, it really isn’t accompanied by any such thing.

          Average margin of victory for Vettel when he takes pole = 0.247 seconds.

          Average margin of victory for Hamilton when he takes pole = 0.253 seconds.

    4. Problem is his team mate finished +41 sec…when Vettel wins like this, Webber is second or at least third in most of races.

      1. Only borderline true. 10/27 times Webber was 2nd, 4/27 times Webber was 3rd. Vettel certainly wasn’t voted DotW for the 13 times his team-mate was a few miles back.

          1. forgot to tag sry @mnmracer

        1. @mnmracer
          So more than 50% of vettel’s wins Webber was in the podium with him… the Percentage of Massa compared to Alonso wins it’s 10 with 3… so less than 50%

          1. @nomore – Ah, but Webber has been the more competent number two over the previous 3 years. Massa, as much as I like him, tends to simply disappear (like this race, Malaysia, or the majority of 2011/12), more often than Webber does.

          2. You’re missing the part of the 13 non-team-mate-podium wins that Vettel got no credit for. Not to mention, the team-mate argument certainly was not applied to Red Bull last year. Vettel won the championship, Webber finished sixth, and still people claim Red Bull was the fastest car last year.

            Double standard all over the place again.

          3. 3 non-team-mate-podium wins that Vettel got no credit for

            From me he got when he deserved (Italy 2008, Barcelona 2011, Monaco 2011…) but there are example like Japan last year it’s not the same as Shanghai this year… we agree on this.

            Vettel won the championship, Webber finished sixth, and still people claim Red Bull was the fastest car last year.

            Red Bull had the fastest car last year. Like Ferrari has the fastest car in these 3 races. it’s an open discussion, but in my opinion RB had the fastest car last year. There isn’t a mathematical way to prove which was the fastest so opinions comes in play

            Double standard all over the place again.

            You use this in every of your posts, but i think that firstly you have to decide which standards are you talking and then we can says if double standards exist.

            For which standards are you talking Sir ?

          4. The argument made here (perhaps not by you) is “Alonso didn’t have the fastest car in China, because look where Massa ended”. Yet when it comes to Red Bull in 2012, “look where Webber ended” is dismissed and the RB8 is by many proclaimed to be the fastest car.

            That is a double standard.

          5. For the record, if it doesn’t apply to you, then there’s no beef. But I reckoned that’d be obvious ;-)

    5. @mnmracer
      I thought Vettel-esque was pole-to-flag with a car over 1 second a lap faster ;) Not 3rd to flag, actually overtaking the pole-sitter and several other drivers in the process. But meh, what do I know.

      Anyway, it’s still Alonso for me, with Vettel close second. The only thing missing here for Seb was his final charge to succeed.

      1. @cyclops_pl – At least you added a wink. Some people actually believe that RB always possess such an advantage ;) I agree with Alonso as DOTW.

      2. It was Vettel-esque in that Alonso was at the front in the first corner, got the undercut on the first pit stop and then simply retained his lead. Not wasting time and tires on long fights; just very clean and clinical, purely on speed. Vettel-esque.

  15. I voted Ricciardo. His qualifying was outstanding, and his race performance was perhaps even more impressive. Although he didn’t get much air time, the lap times show he did some very fast and consistent stints.

    My second choice would be Alonso. He was dominant in the race, making his way past traffic when he needed to, but at the same time I feel he was not challenged enough by the others. Kimi had a poor start and a damaged car, the Mercedes wasn’t quick enough, and Vettel’s Q3 gamble did not pay off.

  16. Probably the easiest decision so far to give this to Alonso. No-one elase really stood out apart from Ricciardo, and he was quietly impressive where Alonso was simply imperious.

  17. Easy, Alonso, then Ricciardo, Vettel, Button, and Hamilton. Fantastic drives from all five!

    1. Button for over 2 min qualifying lap ?

      1. It was a team’s choice to get him on the right tyres for the only strategy they had to collect the most points they could, which he did.

    2. I would agree with this top 5 (I voted for Ricciardo though)

  18. 1st star (and my vote) – Fernando Alonso, this to me is the most dominant win he’s had in quite a long time – yeah, it wasn’t a nailbiting battle for the lead, but he was clearly the best driver with the best car on Sunday.
    2nd star – Daniel Ricciardo, turned a great qualifying effort into his career best finish in a lower-midfield car. A result like that could lead to better results down the road.
    3rd star – Kimi Raikkonen, held tough with a damaged car for most of the race to finish 2nd from 2nd on the grid.

  19. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    15th April 2013, 18:42

    So sad for me to vote for Alonso this time… But he was great. Next race, I hope, will be different. Go for the first Seb!!!

  20. jimscreechy (@)
    15th April 2013, 18:46

    I voted Daniel Ricciardo. All the world champions drove fantastically well for me, didn’t put a foot wrong, but thats what we expect and that is why they are world chapions. Of the rest of the field Ricciardo was for the one who did something exceptional given the equipment at his disposal

  21. Alonso earned this one fair and square. Got the best out of the car, the tyres, the traffic…the lot.

    Notable mentions, in order: Ricciardo, Button and Hulkenberg.

  22. Ricciardo for me.

  23. No single driver stood out. Alonso did win, but I didn’t see anything special in his performance: he just swooped past Hamilton with DRS and then controlled the race. Hamilton and Räikkönen did a solid job (Kimi more so after that damage). Vettel recovered nicely from quali, but not well enough. So I voted for Ricciardo.

    1. Antonio (@antoniocorleone)
      16th April 2013, 1:48

      Why didnt Hamilton “swoop” past Kimi or Fernando if it was that easy than???

  24. I voted for Kimi who managed to get maximum out of the car despite everything playing against him: bad start due to team’s error in setup, broken front wing and nose (Perez’ fault IMO) which led to understeer destroying his front tyres and cost him about ten seconds on the 40 remaining laps in total and Lotus’ horrible pit-stops. He could’ve challenged for the win.

    A superb lap in Q3 as well and he absolutely crushed Grosjean this weekend.

  25. Alonso drove a flawless race…..kimi and ricciardo well amazing as well..but i still voted for Raikkonen because i loved his fight with Hamilton till the end in a damaged car and surely would have fought for victory if the team didn’t ruin his setting for start…really loving the old Mclaren Raikkonen…

  26. I would have voted Ricciardo, but then I realized I don’t remember seeing him on screen at all…
    So I picked Vettel who finished 5 places better than he started, and it could easily have been 7 and a 2nd place finish, had he pitted one lap earlier.
    Btw there is an error in the list, Vettel started 9th, not 10th.

  27. ricciardo, good drive in a not so good car

  28. In the summary table it says that Vettel started 10th, while in fact he lined up 9th on the grid :)

  29. Hard Choice between Alonso & Ricciardo, but voted for Fernando, since his victory was very impressive and looked easy. Great race from Jenson too, 5th is about the best he could get with that car.

  30. For me, it was between Alonso ,Raikkonen, Vettel and Hamilton. Good performances from all of them but Alonso was just supreme in the way that he controlled the race once he got past Hamilton, reminding us once again why he is a double world champion…..

  31. The winner did brilliant job in the race, no doubt about it. But this time I have to give vote to a driver who was really surprising and that’s Daniel Ricciardo. We have rarely seen him in Q3 but this time he did it, while there was only Webber who had significant bad luck among the drivers who usually are there. Ricciardo backed up with his career-best in race, which is important to note since he had disaster in Bahrain last year after brilliant qualifying.

  32. Alonso had his nose ahead of Hamilton before he even activated his DRS…

  33. I voted Webber, because I am an Alonso fan.

    1. We will miss Webber.

    2. Indeed he has been very good. He has forgiven traitors.. And he has done two miracles: The fuel and the wheels disapeared. He is a saint.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        15th April 2013, 21:56

        +1 good one

  34. Voted for ricciardo for qualifying and finishing 7th which, barring accidents, was easily the most exiting thing to happen all weekend.

  35. Vettel for turning an average race into an exciting one in the last few laps.

    I voted Vettel but maybe I should’ve picked Ricciarde for a really nice performance with a Torro Rosso.
    Not sure

  36. As much as I like Alonso and Ham, I was impressed with Kimi Raikonens drive on Sunday in China.

  37. Ricciardo.

    7th in the current Torro Rosso is nothing short of impressive. Especially considering he outraced the faster Lotus of Grosjean.He also beat his team mate by a rather impressive 9 tenths in qualifying.

    Alonso clearly had the fastest car.
    Hamilton couldn’t manage his tyres well enough.
    Vettel should have run in Q3.
    Raikkonen/Lotus didn’t do enough with the Lotus’ kindness towards its tyres. He/They should have tried what Button did. This race where tyre degradation was so influential should have been theirs to lose.

  38. I don’t agree that Kimi was at fault for the collision. Yes, Perez was taking his racing line, the trouble is that there was another car on that line. Kimi was half way alongside before he got squeezed off the track, on a section where, although it is typically the racing line, using the full width of the track isn’t necessary.

  39. Alonso was just a machine. From the lights to the end he was just relentless. When Google finally fields a robot car with superhuman precision that punches out infinite 10/10ths laps Alonso may be the only one who can keep up.

    Honorable mention to Ricciardo. I think we should have cumulative voting for these polls.

  40. Antonio (@antoniocorleone)
    16th April 2013, 1:44

    Even that this is about driver of the weekend I consider the race to influence over 90% of my vote. I dont know about you but thats the way I feel it should be. What would be the point if a driver tops all the practises and all quallifying sessions to the way of claiming a pole and than drops to 2nd, 3rd, 4th or lower. I tend to think that if you start on pole and you dont win the race you accualy lost points rather than you won. Thats just the way I think of it and I know people have other oppinions. By the way, my vote went for Alonso and I think that he accualy deserves to win this poll.

  41. Alonso, although I wish I could have voted for Ricciardo as well. Alonso beat his teammate in qualifying for the first time this season after being behind in practice times. Alonso beat the field in qualifying with only one chance to do it. He got everything right in the race and never put a foot wrong. He made better use of the DRS than most of the other drivers. He managed his equipment well and had a great race. One slight error could have cost him the race. This seems to define GP driver of the weekend.

    Ricciardo really impressed me this weekend. He’s not made much of an impression on me previously, but more racing like this could certainly change my mind. Very satisfying to see a driver do well with a car that is not the best.

  42. already voted but I just have to say this: What a great feeling Hamilton must´ve had when he passed Button twice!!!! I can only imagine the look on his face whenever he had him in sight! I would love to chat with him about that over a pint!

    1. Its ok I guess. He passed Jenson a bunch of times when he was at Mclaren as well… so nothing new for Jenson.

  43. Alonso hands down. Great start, intelligent overtaking, strong race pace, managed his tyres well and did everything perfectly on race day to take the most commanding win of the season. Great way to silence any critics after his mistake in Malaysia

  44. voted for alonso as that was a untroubled and magnificent drive where the nothing wrong.

  45. Tough choice between four drivers. Alonso did a great job: like Raikkonen in Melbourne, he gave a true masterclass in driving. The clever overtakes he made at the final turn before the long straight where he already made the pass stick before he opened his DRS, genius.

    Kimi Raikkonen did an excellent job as well, with a damaged nosed that according to Lotus’s technical director cost them a quarter second a lap. I’m not so sure about that, but still he outperformed his teammate by quite some margin and I’m surprised and impressed he finished ahead of Hamilton.

    Jenson Button took a gamble doing only two stops, and unlike his teammate he managed to make it work – which I think once again confirms his status as F1’s tyre yoda. But from the four listed here, I’m least tempted to vote for Button.

    Daniel Ricciardo did an excellent job, qualified well and drove very smooth and consistent stints. I don’t know if the STRaight just clicked with the circuit or if Ricciardo’s drive was simply that good, but I suspect the latter.

    In the end, Alonso got the vote with a marginal difference to Ricciardo.

  46. Allan McNish; in the final 35 minutes, he managed to close up a 35 second gap to his team-mate, and then went on to win by 5 seconds or so.
    He was incredible

    1. I like your thinking. :D

  47. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    16th April 2013, 8:15

    For me, Ricciardo.

  48. Hamilton first for me. He deserved the victory just how he he raised the level of competition Mercedes.
    If we can vote for more than only one driver, Alonso was my second choice despite he drive a Ferrari…

  49. I voted for Jenson Button. I’m not his fan, but he really impressed me during the race. Made only 2 stops, where most drivers made 3, and managed to maintain repectable pace. Even Alonso with fresher tyres didn’t pass him quickly when he caught Button. Mclaren is not worth 5th place, but Button made it possible.

  50. Ricciardo for me as he did really well to stay seventh and even qualify seventh, a whole second ahead of Vergne I believe.

  51. Quite a few of drivers were good this weekend: Räikkönen, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Bianchi (again), but, from my point of view, Alonso was the best all-round. Consistent pace trough practice and qualifying and then an excelent race.

  52. For this i have to name Alonso for the driver of the weekend. It’s not the pilot that i support, but has enough talent to be WC.This race Alonso face it with maturity and with a good pit stratagie. It worked…It wasn’t a breafth taking race until the last lap, for the lead lacked a bit of fight there. But it wasn’t Fernando’s fault, he was there, he did enough to came out in 1 and win the GP.
    The second driver, Ricciardo, with a Toro Rosso, coming in 7th is a great achievemet.
    Note for the 5 WC in the Top 5

  53. My vote would have to go to Ricciardo, he seemed to get much more out of the car than JEV – the first time really that anyone has been able to properly race the STR since Vettel, maybe if Webber does decide to move to the Porsche WEC team next season we’ll see him as Seb’s team mate.

  54. It has to be Alonso for me, he just seemed to be in control the whole race. I loved the team radio when Ferrari told him not to push and he said he wasn’t, then the fastest lap for Alonso caption came on screen straight away.

    Some other drivers who I thought did well included

    Raikkonen – it would have been nice to see if he could have challenged Alonso without the damage to his car.

    Ricciardo – impressive in both qualifying and the race, the way things are going there may be an opening at Red Bull next year so he will have to keep putting performances like this in to convince them to promote from within.

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