Vote for your Australian GP driver of the weekend

2014 Australian Grand Prix

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Who stood out from the pack during the Australian Grand Prix weekend?

Review the performances of all the drivers below and vote your Driver of the Weekend for the Australian Grand Prix.

Australian Grand Prix driver-by-driver

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel – A tenth consecutive grand prix victory never looked likely. Software problems caused a lack of engine power in qualifying, leaving him well over two seconds off the pace and unable to make the cut for Q3. His car still wasn’t running properly when the race started and he soon retired.

Daniel Ricciardo – Whether or not the fuel flow rate infringement which ultimately wrecked his weekend was significantly contributing to his car’s performance, Ricciardo coped with the pressures of performing for a top team for the first time on his ground admirably. His qualifying lap on a soaked track on intermediate tyres, which had shades of his predecessor at Malaysia in 2010, was a superb effort which demonstrated he deserves his place in a championship-winning outfit.


Nico Rosberg – Was a close match for Hamilton on pace all weekend but slipped up in qualifying, going off at turn nine as he began his final run in Q3. That left him without enough time to do another flying lap which might have netted him pole position. However he dodged his way through the front row at the start and spent most of the race measuring out small quantities of the W05’s vast potential. He’ll be grateful the front wheel hub damaged incurred at his final pit stop didn’t end his race, however.

Lewis Hamilton – Bore the brunt of Mercedes’ reliability problems which struck during first practice and – more significantly – the race. He’d take pole position in the rain-hit qualifying session but after losing a cylinder at the start he was never going to be able to do anything with it.


Fernando Alonso – An initial gamble on intermediate tyres in Q3 didn’t seem to be paying off, so he switched back to wets and took fifth. He was also cleared of allegedly impeding Gutierrez during Q1. Spent the first half the race stuck behind Hulkenberg, and though he got ahead at the second pit stop he couldn’t keep the recovering Button behind. That meant he finished where he started, before being promoted by Ricciardo’s exclusion.

Kimi Raikkonen – Had more problems with his car than Alonso in practice. In qualifying he crashed at turn three, but said he had already missed the cut for Q3 anyway. Like Alonso he had electrical problems on his car during the race, though Pat Fry said Raikkonen’s were more severe. Nonetheless he brought the car home in the points.


Romain Grosjean – The Lotus E22 is in dire need of further testing and on the rare occasions it ventured from the pits Grosjean had major problems with the car. He had to start from the pit lane and a procedural error by the team earned him an immediate drive-through penalty. The Safety Car helped him regain the field and he passed Maldonado, but both were doomed to retire.

Pastor Maldonado – Car problems kept Maldonado from even setting a time during qualifying. He was given a dispensation to start based on his FP3 lap time – a deliverance, as he hadn’t set a time in either of the other sessions, illustrating the scale of the task Lotus are facing.


Jenson Button – Missed the cut for Q3 as he had to back off following Raikkonen’s crash. Reacted quickly to the Safety Car deployment and his quick dash into the pits gained him three places. He then undercut Alonso and Hulkenberg at his second stop to pick up two more, and homed in on Ricciardo and Magnussen during the final stint.

Kevin Magnussen – It said a lot that Button singled out Magnussen’s qualifying lap in the rain as an even more impressive aspect of his race weekend than his classy drive to a podium finish on race day. He flirted with disaster at the start, almost spinning in front of the pack, but having kept it under control he sped off to a strong and thoroughly well-deserved result.

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg – Reached Q3, unlike his team mate, and ran inside the top ten for more than half the race. Front-left tyre graining was a problem and he ended up falling behind Alonso and Button ahead of the final stint.

Sergio Perez – Went off at turn three as the track conditions began to worsen in Q2, moments before Raikkonen crashed his Ferrari. Having pitted to replace a punctured tyre on lap one, due to contact with Gutierrez, he picked off the stragglers and was able to inherit the final point.


Adrian Sutil – The only driver to use a one-stop strategy during the race. It didn’t pay off, leaving him out of the points.

Esteban Gutierrez – Made a late start to Q1 due to ongoing problems with his car and blamed the resulting traffic problems on his failure to make the cut. Said his car had a “significant” lack of straight-line speed but at least managed to bring it home, outside of the points.

Toro Rosso

Jean-Eric Vergne – Given his many off-track moments during practice while he grappled with his car’s brake-by-wire system, it was a surprise to see him reach Q3. Vergne’s wet weather pace served him well once again. He was passed by Raikkonen and Bottas twice during the race but getting ahead of them once was an achievement, and an eventual eighth place a fair reward.

Daniil Kvyat – Accompanied his team mate in Q3 despite his inexperience, the treacherous conditions and the challenging nature of the new cars. Gambling on intermediates for his last run didn’t pay off – he hit the wall – but nonetheless started a highly creditable eighth. He kept his nose clean in the race as well and became F1’s youngest ever points scorer.


Felipe Massa – A disappointing start for his new team. Although the Williams was quick in the dry a lack of rear downforce made it a handful in wet conditions. He reached Q3 nonetheless, only to be wiped out at the first corner by Kobayashi.

Valtteri Bottas – A gearbox change penalty left him back in the pack. He wielded his much more competitive Williams to good effect in the opening laps but perhaps his exuberance got the better of him. Having picked off the Toro Rossos and Raikkonen he was lining up Alonso when he whacked the barrier at turn ten. He was fortunate to keep going and, thanks to the Safety Car, lose only a fraction of the time he might have. But it took until the end of the race for him to get back where he’d been.


Jules Bianchi – Electronic and gearbox problems hampered his qualifying. The gremlins remained on race day – he lost six laps at the start when his car died on the grid. Once he got going his race pace was considerably better than Chilton’s but the damage was already done.

Max Chilton – Said he only made one mistake on his clean lap in qualifying, and was two-hundredths of a second off reaching Q2. Like his team mate he had to start from the pits due to car problems, but was gaining on Ericsson’s Caterham even without the help of the Safety Car.


Kamui Kobayashi – Despite failing to complete a single timed lap on Friday due to various problems. Kobayashi got his Caterham into Q2 on his Formula One return. His raced ended early, but he was exonerated by the stewards after the first-lap crash with Massa, which was blamed on a brake-by-wire glitch on Kobayashi’s car.

Marcus Ericsson – Also did little running in practice – hardly an ideal situation for a driver making his F1 debut. His race was curtailed due to a loss of oil pressure.

Qualifying and race results summary

DriverStartedGap to team mateLaps leading team matePittedFinishedGap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel12th+2.373s0/30
Daniel Ricciardo2nd-2.373s3/32
Lewis Hamilton1st-0.364s0/10
Nico Rosberg3rd+0.364s1/121st
Fernando Alonso5th-1.689s56/5724th-22.391s
Kimi Raikkonen11th+1.689s1/5727th+22.391s
Romain Grosjean20th6/291
Pastor Maldonado21st23/291
Jenson Button10th+1.19s0/5723rd+3.25s
Kevin Magnussen4th-1.19s57/5722nd-3.25s
Nico Hulkenberg7th-3.635s57/5726th-35.198s
Sergio Perez16th+3.635s0/57310th+35.198s
Adrian Sutil13th-1.444s56/56111th-6.104s
Esteban Gutierrez22nd+1.444s0/56212th+6.104s
Jean-Eric Vergne6th-1.504s54/5728th-3.144s
Daniil Kvyat8th+1.504s3/5729th+3.144s
Felipe Massa9th-0.068s0/00
Valtteri Bottas15th+0.068s0/025th
Jules Bianchi18th+0.501s0/492
Max Chilton17th-0.501s49/49213th
Kamui Kobayashi14th-0.883s0/00
Marcus Ericsson19th+0.883s0/01

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 2014 Australian Grand Prix weekend?

  • Marcus Ericsson (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (1%)
  • Max Chilton (0%)
  • Jules Bianchi (0%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (24%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Daniil Kvyat (2%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Adrian Sutil (0%)
  • Esteban Gutierrez (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (1%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Kevin Magnussen (48%)
  • Jenson Button (2%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (1%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (1%)
  • Nico Rosberg (5%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (14%)
  • Sebastian Vettel (0%)

Total Voters: 833

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Images © Daimler/Hoch Zwei, McLaren/LAT, Red Bull/Getty, Williams/LAT

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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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114 comments on “Vote for your Australian GP driver of the weekend”

  1. Dan. Great job Saturday and Sunday!!!

    1. In a car that has much less power than all the others up to 9th position (before his DQ), I have to agree.
      I thought he started on the front row simply because it was wet in qualifying where power is less important, but on Sunday he proved that he’s much better than the car.

      1. Not to mention he put it on the front row with inters when everyone else was on wets, high chance he could have come off the track but didn’t. Didn’t put a single foot wrong all weekend. Bottas made a mistake but still has more votes than Ricciardo, and has possibly the second fastest car on the grid, followed by the McLaren? Not a fan of Red Bull, but I get the feeling if Ricciardo was driving for McLaren he would get more votes. If Magnussen actually tried a passing move on Ricciardo he would have been a clear vote, in the end didn’t even have a go. Close call between the two though.

      2. @AdrianS: While I agree that Dan drove very well, on what do you base your assertion that his car had “much less power”? It’s all very well saying that “he’s much better than the car” but the best driver in the world can’t add horsepower, and without a roughly equal amount of power I can’t believe that he would have been able to maintain P2 for the whole race distance.

      3. His car was making more power than the other Renaults as he was using more fuel. remember when he got excluded from the race because his car was illegal? He had a good drive but it’s been marred by his teams poor choices.

    2. Voted Dan as well. All weekend he looked solid in that car, and with the added pressure of filling Mark’s role as the sole Aussie at the Aus GP in a Red Bull I thought he handled the pressure admirably.
      Magnussen was an extremely close second, though the Mercedes has a significant advantage over the Renault engine.

    3. Happy to see the new boy sticking it to Vet in his first weekend on the senior team… Happy to see DR on the podium, pity about the team being so silly as to destroy it by not listening to the stewards. Some kind of announcement about car 3 being under investigation for breach of fuel flow during the actual race would have been more appropriate, but I agree with the decision. I love the new formula, also love the fact you can hear something other than the horrible whiny mosquito pitch of the engines that we have had for years, like squealing tyres, misfiring, team radio, crowd reaction, etc.

      1. Happy to see the new boy sticking it to Vet in his first weekend on the senior team…

        Oh man, really? Is he the one who screwed up Vettel’s engine? And he seemed like such a nice guy, too…

        1. Indeed – Vettel was completely helpless to retaliate, so it’s a void comparison.

        2. It’s driver of the ‘weekend’ not just race. So yes, Daniel did outperform or if you like, stick it to Vettel in his first weekend in the team.
          I’d have to say Daniel, just didn’t put a foot wrong all weekend although Bottas is a close second and had he not clipped the wall, I think he could have been it. Magnusson also deserves an honourable mention for such a great debut performance and had he actually tried a pass on Daniel then he might have got my vote.

          1. Vettel had engine problems during qualifying AND the race — so we’re back to Ricciardo “sticking it” to Vettel by messing with his engine. Don’t let that grin fool you!

  2. Bottas, he made me cheer during the race with his great moves!

    1. I went with Bottas as well, the only entertaining factor of the race for me.

      1. @dirksen Bottas in the race no contest for me. I was encouraged then hugely disappointed by Ricciardo’s drive and subsequent disqualification (to be appealed) and I think Magnussen did a super job to not only finish in the points but come 3rd (and maybe now second) in his first F1 race. But the guy who – to my mind – was really driving the car out there on Sunday afternoon and deserves driver of the race was Valtteri Bottas.

        Taking the weekend as a whole it’s a toss-up between Bottas and Ricciardo’s fabulous almost-pole and then almost-second in the race (TBA). But Bottas’ competitive spirit still wins it for me.

        I was cheering for him too, especially his moves on Räikkonnen who is one of my favoured drivers. I think this season I’m going to cheer on Bottas and Williams.

      2. GB (@bgp001ruled)
        18th March 2014, 5:09


    2. Agreed thoroughly. RIC started and finished high with a supposed illegal car and same for MAG who started and finished high. BOT had to start far back AND overcome a damaged car to come back to 5th. If he was further up either with his start or no damaged wheel/tired, I would have suspected him to challenge for a podium position.

    3. Bottas was certainly brilliant in Australia… just not every lap, nor on Saturday. His mistake and a poor qually (based on Sunday performance that car is clearly capable of top 5 grid slots) limited him to third for me.

      Ricciardo came in 2nd in my opinion. Solid race and qually – much like Kevin Magnussen too, but then this was KM’s first ever race and so to deliver a performance like that, outshowing his champion/most experinced teamate in the process, I don’t know why he has only 50% of the F1Fanatic vote. It’s gotta be KM!

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        17th March 2014, 19:41

        @nick-uk – I agree that it should be Magnussen, but you can’t say the Williams was worthy of a higher spot in qualifying on the basis of its race performance. The root of Williams pace appears to be in fuel economy, allowing the drivers to extract a larger percentage of the car’s performance than its rivals during the race, but that does not necessarily make it a fast qualifying car.

        1. @william-brierty Or a fast wet weather car for that matter. It was all over the place, even on the inters.

    4. No, can’t vote for Bottas what with a fairly significant mistake. Has to be Dan.

  3. Had to give it to Magnussen, amazing stuff from a rookie. Had Bottas not made a mistake during the race, I might have given my vote to him.

    1. Magnussen. Although Rosberg, Ricciardo, Button, Alonso, Bottas, Hulkenberg, Vergne, and Kvyat had a good race.
      And, we don’t know what Hamilton, Massa and Vettel would have done.

      1. What about Bianchi, Chilton, SUT, GUT, PER, KOB, ERI, RAI, GRO, and MAL though? @jeff1s

      2. I feel Massa would have been a force to be reckoned with. I hope Williams stays strong.

  4. Magnussen for me, a superb, assured first drive and yes, it is reminiscent of the performances of a certain Lewis Hamilton some years ago.

    Rosberg probably drove a great race, but it is impossible to judge, such is the delta to other cars.
    Obviously, honorable mentions to Ricciardo (nerves and quali), Bottas (for the sheer enjoyment factor), Button (who again compensates speed with great race craft), both Toro Rossos (bringing home the points when it matters), Hulkenberg (holding off faster cars for so long) and… yes… Chilton, because this trend of finishing every damn race he starts is becoming an amusing and commendable (not yet amazing) feat.

    1. Rather than typing out that second paragraph again I’ll just say I was impressed by the same drivers, I voted for Ricciardo though.

  5. Magnussen, with an honourable mention for Bottas and Ricciardo.

    1. Well put. I would add Rosberg to that, as he “pulled a Vettel”, and controlled the race from start to fininsh.

  6. I voted fot Kevin Magnussen. He kept his nerves and beat his very experienced team mate in tricky wet qualifying in a difficult track. On Sunday, he drove calm and controlled race without mistakes and fully deserved a spot on podium. It is more impressive considering his age and that it was his first race ever in Formula 1.

  7. Nico made a good drive, but nothing exceptional, his car is just easily the best. Bottas made good runs through the field, but he hit the wall, maybe next time. Ricciardo would have got it, but now I can’t be sure with his disqualification and all if he really deserves it. Magnussen, perfect rookie weekend, got to be him. So in order:
    1. Magnussen
    3. Bottas
    4. Rosberg

  8. Nico Hulkenberg. The new Alonso.

    1. @joshua-mesh: A bit early to say but I do agree with you. He really reminds me of the young Alonso and I see the same intensity in Hulkenberg. Over the years his race craft has got significantly better and with a raft of new talented rookies coming in, Nico clearly has enough meat in him to be considered as one of the sport’s finest rising stars.

    2. Wow, nice out of the box comment. I agree.

      Perhaps, it’s just meant to be that this was the fourth time in the last seven races that they did battle. All four were mesmerizing from the Hulk’s defensive masterclass in Korea, from Alonso’s masterful pass in Suzuka, to Alonso’s wily defending in the last lap of the US GP, to the nose-to-tail race they wielded this past weekend.

      Race-long battles all four were.

  9. nico rosberg was good all weekend, only he’s in a dominant car and i don’t feel like he was dotw, neither was daniel ricciardo, who was only faster than his team mate when vettels car wasn’t working properly. Valtteri Bottas would’ve probably got my vote if he didn’t make that silly mistake that lead to his puncture. Still honorable mention to them, and also Daniil Kvyat who seems a talented chap. there can be no doubt however over the real driver of the weekend thoguh;

    Kevin Magnussen.

    Life as a rookie is very, very hard these days, since testing has been restricted. And to out-race and -qualify a driver, who is a world champion and has many many years of experience, on his FIRST race weekend, is simply astonishing. Magnussen put together a brilliant drive and has shown more maturity than a few more experienced f1 drivers. McLaren were absolutely right to get rid of perez and sign this very promising young man. In my view, we have ourselves a new future champion.

    1. I did not like his start. Almost caused a collision had Alonso not been careful. I think Hulkenberg drove better especially knowing his car was not as good as Magnussen’s. Very happy for the young guys doing great this year.

      1. I think you missed the fact that he caught it and didn’t loose a place. Incredible, instinctive, lightning fast and accurate response. Without loosing ground. That’s how you drive through inevitable slips – in your first ever F1 start in mad different cars against the worlds best.


    2. @rigi You said it all for me.

    3. Oh and also, Button lost out on a spot in Q3 due to RAI his yellow flag. Magnussen had clean air almost all race whilst Button was stuck behind a whole train for over 15 laps.

      1) Out qualifying Button on raw pace, no.
      2) Out racing Button on raw pace, not really…

      Nice drive nontheless. But put in perspective Bottas, Ricciardo and Hülkenberg drove a better race. @rigi @suka

      1. @ardenflo Which perspective would that be? The one where we all wear your Williams blinkers?

        Magnussen had clear air because first others couldn’t catch him and second, the Red Bull was illegal and Mercedes are just ahead of everything.

        Button is a former WDC with 14 years of F1 experience and you think it’s no big deal that a first timer beat him (in whatever way)?

        You have a very strange outlook…

  10. Nice review!
    My top 3 : MAG – ROS – RIC

  11. Ricciardo was superb throughout the weekend, and kept his nerve to hold off Magnussen near the end. So I’ve voted for him. But there was a number of drivers who I felt drove brilliantly. With the wet qualifying and the first race of the season with these new cars, we saw some brilliant driving overall. More so than usual I felt.

    Whether or not the fuel flow rate infringement which ultimately wrecked his weekend was significantly contributing to his car’s performance

    Just out of curiosity, how much would this have added to Ricciardo’s pace, or is it just impossible to tell?

    1. It’s unknown whether the engine actually received more fuel than is permitted. The official FIA flow sensor indicated more, but it was known to read too high. Red Bull claim that they used the fuel injectors to measure fuel flow instead, which are more reliable, and that they never went over the limit. Regardless, I don’t think that it would’ve made a significant difference. At most, RIC could have lost second place to MAG in the closing stages. It still would’ve been a good drive by RIC, and a good performance by the Red Bull and its Renault power unit, which were practically written off by many before the season started.

  12. I knew Bottas’ going to get many votes. But why? He hit the wall that cost him a possible podium. Rosberg did better than Bottas.

    1. @f1mre Because Bottas was really going for it and putting on a great display of race-craft. Yes he made a mistake. Vettel also hit that wall during qualifying because like Bottas he too was pushing (unlike Bottas it was because he was down on power and was over-driving). These cars are difficult to control. Bottas was on the edge and it got away from him slightly. Had there been any run-off at all it would have been a nothing incident. He gets full marks for being a racer and putting in 100%. He already suffered from having to pit and then fight his way back up the order. Rosberg might have done a better job of piloting the car to the finish line without incident but no-one did a better job of actually racing which is what Sunday is about, remember.

      1. Rosberg would’ve done the same if he had started from 10th position. Bottas was the most entertaining driver of the weekend, not the best.

        1. Oh, Bottas had a gearbox change, he started from P15.

        2. @f1mre are you saying your idea of a good drive is Rosberg cruising to victory? I don’t recall Rosberg getting into tussles with the likes of Räikkönen over the past few seasons. Bottas was the best driver because he was gladiatorial. Other guys were commendable – Ricciardo, Magnussen, Kvyat – but I don’t recall many others really taking the fight to their opponents. Hulkenberg holding off Alonso was pretty good but not much racing spectacle. What I want to see in F1 is drivers fighting for position and Bottas did that more than anyone else.

          1. @mortyvicar

            What I want to see in F1 is drivers fighting for position

            That does not necessarily makes it the best performance though.

            “Entertaining” performance does not automatically equal “best” performance.

    2. I voted for Bottas because his mistake probably came from consistently pushing to the edge of adhesion. I have to forgive him after witnessing similar mistakes from previous world champions :) He may not have driven the perfect race but it was the most entertaining especially with that eye candy livery! Quali was Ricciardo for me after watching the comparison between his car control and Vettel’s.

  13. K-Mag all the way. Second row qualifying followed by a podium in his very first race, you can’t argue with that for DOTW material! Awesome, mature and consistent performance all weekend long

  14. It was going to be Bottas. But I felt he could have done better in qualifying and could have avoided the wall in the race.

    It was then going to be Ricciardo. But I felt his infringement possibly did give him quite an advantage.

    So I have gone for the exceptionally good performance by Kevin Magnussen. Outqualified JB (although he did get impeded by the yellows) but had a great race too, keeping up with Ricciardo and holding off pressure from his teammate.

    Other shouts to Rosberg, Hamilton, Chilton, Kvyat & Kobayashi.

    1. Oh, Hulk too. Great as he usually is.

  15. Incredibly impressive drives by KM, DR,VB, and DK. The sport has needed fresh young talent to emerge, and move the conversation away from pay to play (or at least give us more to talk about).

    Actually now that I’ve had a bit of time to process the race, the cars, everything. I think this year will be great. Maybe slowing the cars down a bit will translate to the drivers taking more chances more often, I hope that turns out to be true. I shall reserve judgement till the mid-season break. Shortening the races by 10-15 laps is an interesting idea. I keep thinking if they could make the pit stops more unpredictable, more time consuming, without compromising safety, of course; would something as simple as requiring the rims to be fastened by multiple lug nuts help to spice things up.

    1. @alebelly74 agreed, particularly the drivers. I don’t think the speed is an issue: the cars are a bit slower in the slow corners and 10-20Km/h faster at the end of the straights. I think drivability will lead to better racing: energy delivery, tyres going off and unfortunately for a while brake-by-wire giving inconsistent results will lead to some thrilling racing.

      1. @mortyvicar Yes, drivability is a better way to describe it. All that torque too, when they get it hooked up, it just seemed when a driver wanted to pass someone, they could get up on that person in a hurry and get around them, in previous years every pass seemed incredibly risky, in Melbourne passing seemed much more doable. Add Massa and Vettel to that mix, and things get even more interesting. I do think the Mercs will be fighting each other most of the year.

        1. I also think this new Formula will be brilliant. The race was setting up to be special but misfortune ruined it a bit. It was like a great Chef having all the ingredients for fantastic dish but dropping some on the floor. The Hamilton to balance out the Rosberg, the Vettel to add a charge through the field, and the Massa to show the Williams’ potential.

          1. floor spice makes everything nice…

  16. I enjoyed watching Bottas the most, but he was out of position (despite a great start), and not exactly faultless. Rosberg only had himself to beat, so I’m going for Magnussen – that’s a mighty first attempt at a Grand Prix.

  17. Alexander (@)
    17th March 2014, 18:38

    For me it was really close between Rosberg, Ricciardo, Magnusen and Bottas.. In the end I went for Bottas because he made the race a lot more exciting (according to Claire Williams he made over 20 overtakes).

  18. Bottas or Magnussen. It’s really difficult this time.

  19. Ricciardo for me, he drove faultless race without error whilst his team-mate sat in the pits with an engine problem.

    I was going to vote for Kevin, but at his home grand prix, Dan kinda deserves it

  20. Must be Chilton, look at that consistency!

    hehe, only joking people.

    Seriously, for me its Kevin Magnussen. Great qualifying, beat teammate by a country mile there and kept ahead for his first podium in his debut in a car that is good, reliable but not all that fast.

    Sure, Ricciardo did an amazing job too, proving that he has what it takes to be in the Red Bull, but he is not rookie anymore. Rosberg did a really good job in the race, but messed up his qualifying in the wet. Not unforgivable, but not perfect either. Hamilton did nail that pole, but didn’t get to do much with it so not much to rate him on. Great driving from Bottas, shame about the wrong tyre choice. And that mistake off course, although it did make the race more interesting, what could have been without that …
    Kvyat also a great debut, hardly making any mistakes when it counted, getting into Q3 in the wet too. And Hulkenberg did what we have come to expect of him too, given the equipment he had.

  21. Daniel Ricciardo : the only great achievement which was absolutely unexpected. Everyone expected that Kvyat, Bottas and Magnussen would do a great race, but no one would have expected a Red Bull to perform great. Moreover, no one expected Ricciardo to shine while Vettel would be in trouble…

  22. For me it’s Kevin Magnussen. Starting the 2014 season with a lot of hype around and definitely the most sort after rookie by the media this year. Drove a great lap in qualifying when many faltered in those tricky conditions. His race craft was equally good. Defending Hulkenberg at the start an then managing the tires and fuel efficiently and keeping a calm head all the way through. He has a long and promising career in front of him. My Driver of the weekend.

    1. And catching that slide of the line too! Man that was scary!

      1. Yeah. A rookie mistake but he nearly took out Alonso!

  23. Really tough. Bottas lost it when he hit the wall, despite being otherwise great. Rosberg was dominant, but without any competition and in that car he had to be-plus his team mate out-qualified him, and probably only got passed at the start because he was already down a cylinder (can anybody confirm when that happened?). Hamilton himself had a great qualifying, but that can’t be enough. Ricciardo impressed me a lot. It’s a shame Vettel was so hindered that we couldn’t get a proper comparison. Magnussen was solid. Nothing spectacular in terms of action, but for a first race it was impressively smooth and an amazing result. Same with Kvyit, but he had the mistake in qualifying. Hulkenberg was good, just a shame he faded.

    Gotta be Magnussen.

  24. Has to be Magnussen as he was faultless all weekend – I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up beating Button this year.

  25. To me, there were only three drivers worth mentioning: Bot, Mag, and Ric. I could have given it to each of them for various reasons but I found myself pulling for Bottas the most despite his faults….which almost made it better. I love to see someone put it all on the line and nobody else did that. So I gave it to Bottas.

    1. My apologies: Kvyat deserved a mention as well. A rookie with a lesser car, scoring points in his first Grand Prix and breaking Vettel’s youngest points scoring record….definitely deserved consideration.

  26. Honestly, I wish we could vote 5 times, I think many of the drivers really deserve it:
    Daniel Ricciardo
    Nico Rosberg
    Kevin Magnussen
    Daniil Kvyat
    Valtteri Bottas

    Ultimately, it went to Magnussen. 3rd / 2nd on his first ever race is not something many could do, even with a car like that.

    But I just cannot wait for the next race!!!

  27. Ricciardo for me. Fantastic qualifying and proved that he has race pace as well. The reason he didn’t at Toro Rosso was due to him outdriving the car and compromising qualifying.

    Magnusson a close second, Bottas third. Bottas drove well but his error cost him a podium.

    Alonso, Kyvat, Vergne and Rosberg also drove well

  28. Rosberg had the car of the weekend, and in some ways Magnussen did too. Bottas did really well, but he didn’t make the most out of Quali for a driver we know to be spades in the rain and also had that mistake in the race. I think Ricardo did the most as a driver, far and away out-qualifying his team mate, an amazing recovery at the start, and holding off some hard charging very race-y McLarens at the end.

  29. Daniel Ricciardo. I disagree with people voting Bottas. He hit the wall and ruined a possible podium position. Magnussen was great too, especially for a rookie, but he doesn’t get bonus points for that in my book. Ricciardo was just a bit better, in my opinion.

  30. Went with Magnussen, especially because of the qualifying in difficult conditions. Was pretty much alone all race, but good pace and no mistakes in his first race surely is a good thing, too.
    It´s not Bottas because: poor qualifying on Saturday, mistake on Sunday. Still only just came on 2nd for me, showed good overtakes.
    It´s not Ricciardo because: I don´t know how his pace was compared to the genuine Red-Bull-car´s-pace (as I don´t know how fast that car is), I don´t know wether that fuel-thing helped, and he was alone all race long.
    It´s not Rosberg because: He didn´t pull a stunning drive, and one can only wonder wether he would have if he had needed to do so. He just cruised around.
    It´s not Button because: Bad Qualifying, and most of his gained positions came from safety-car-luck and strategy. Still good though.
    It´s not Kvyat because: Behind Vergne (whom i rate considerably lower than Button, the other teammate of a rookie), was overtaken, did not overtake.
    And, well, Hülkenberg… this was just average for him, I think. Now that´s it with the honourable mentions ^^

    1. @crammond – “It´s not Ricciardo because: I don´t know how his pace was compared to the genuine Red-Bull-car´s-pace (as I don´t know how fast that car is), I don´t know wether that fuel-thing helped, and he was alone all race long.”

      That is the sad part for Ricciardo. We will never really know whether this drive was due to his skills or whether he had an advantage due to his team violating fuel regs. Red Bull let him down by not complying with the FIA and letting the chips fall where they may. RB sacrificed him, evidently, to protest the FIA approved fuel flow meters.

  31. A lot of contenders.
    In no particular order:
    – Ricciardo – Really showed his worth, exceeding my expectations massively.
    – Magnussen – What can I say. A rookie doing what Hamilton did, in a relatively inferior car and significantly less test miles under his belt.
    – Bottas – The way he drove in circles around Kimi was stunning to see. An unfortunate mistake spoiled his race quite badly though.
    – Rosberg – nailing the start and controlled the race from there.
    – Kvyat – Didn’t beat his team mate, but considering his young age he showed excellent maturity and potential.

    In the end though, I think Magnussen deserves the vote.
    The only time this weekend that he looked like a rookie was when he caught massive wheelspin at the start, but he caught it and continued with a cool head and pushed Ricciardo hard.
    As well as having the nerve to pull a move on the outside of Hamilton, although the latter was down on power it was still a brave and well executed move.
    And do I need to mention his qualifying performance? I think not.

  32. Young Kevin Magnussen, for sure. Podium in his first GP ever. Calmly aggressive all weekend long. Bold move at the start, cool head and great driving throughout the whole race. Never looked like a rookie during his entire first race weekend.

    Very happy that things happened to work out that he landed at Mclaren this season rather than the original plan to start out at a lower rung team and work his way up. Team McLaren must be ecstatic. This young man will win races.

    Honorable mention to Ricciardo, great race weekend, heartbreaking DQ.

    Honorable mention to Bottas, great drive and comeback after putting only one foot wrong. Glad to see him showing what he can do with a proper car.

    Hard not to give a shoutout to Rosberg. Great job all weekend long and he never put a foot wrong in the race. Just because he is in the best car doesn’t mean he didn’t drive superbly.

    Final honorable mention to Kvyat. Very good in qualifying and the race after some tough going in the earlier practices.

  33. There were a few great drivers over the weekend, but my pick was for Magnussen. Not only did he qualify fourth (especially good considering his rookie status), it was also in wet conditions when other drivers couldn’t handle it. Apart from the dodgy start, his race craft and pace was very good as well.

    Obvious honourable mentions are to:
    Rosberg – Never looked like he was under any pressure of not winning the race, however, his qualifying was why I didn’t pick him.
    Button – Drove fantastically well in the race, his intelligent driving paying off as per usual, but unfortunately the incident in qualifying put him out of the running of DOTW.
    Ricciardo – I was always going to have a tough time calling it between Ricciardo and Magnussen, but the FIA made it a little easier to pick.

    1. Also to Bottas for a great drive, though somewhat lack lustre in quali, and the mistake in the race.
      I think one person that many will forget is Max Chilton. He wasn’t great last season, but to out-qualify his team mate by half a second, almost make it into Q2 and a 13th place, which could prove vital (Though at this point, I think somewhat unlikely).

  34. soundscape (@)
    17th March 2014, 20:13

    Magnussen was great in quali and on race day, but for the weekend it’s gotta go to Ricciardo.

  35. Kevin Magnussen
    An impressive start, consistent and mature.

  36. I voted for Ricciardo who shined all weekend, didnt’t put a foot wrong in neither qualifying nor race – he was the best of the rest.

  37. I voted for Magnussen but I think someone could easily put up an argument for Chilton for once. Half a second quicker and lead his teammate every lap.

    1. he lead his teammate every lap as Bianchi didn’t get off the grid and lost 6 laps. He did well in qualifying alright

    2. As a Chilton supporter I’ll take any accomplishment I can get.

    3. @theo-trp Bianchi had a battery problem in quali…it generally costs you a lot nowadays with the MGU-K…

  38. 1. Magnussen
    2. Bottas
    3. Kyvat

  39. Mag. The kid was perfect. Nice to see a new face doing well on F1.

  40. I had to pick Kevin. Watching him throughout the weekend made it easy to forget it was his first race. And his car was nowhere near as good as Lewis’ was on his debut, so I’d say that makes Magnussen even more impressive.

    It would close between him and Ricciardo, though. Ricciardo was so massively impressive, but I can’t help but wonder where he would’ve finished if his team had heeded FIA warnings. It probably wouldn’t have made much difference, he probably would have finished no worse than 3rd. But it’s that doubt that prevents me from saying he was the most impressive driver of the weekend.

  41. Bottas overtook plenty of cars that were slower than his, had an uninspiring qualifying and hit a wall. Button’s qualifying was unfortunate, and during the race he gained quite a few places. Daniel qualifying in a seemingly less powerful car and drove it to the finish, from second to second; no doubt his car was illegal, but the advantage couldnt be very large.

  42. Magnussen. Also good work by Rosberg, Ricciardo, Button, Bottas of course and Kyvat.

  43. It could only be Kevin: As good as Villeneuves record first ever F1 race from 1996, but not in the fastest car on the grid. Other drivers also shined very bright, but for years to come we will still talk about K-MAG’s first ever F1 raceweekend.

  44. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    18th March 2014, 0:11


    He didn’t put a wheel wrong all weekend in a car that is visibly slower in a straight line.

    Managed to bang it onto the front row in a very tricky qualifying session, on what was arguably a slower tyre for the conditions.

    And then in the race managed to fend off a hard charging Young Kevvy Magnussen for 2nd place in his home race.

    Incredible drive.

    Honorable mentions to Magnussen, Button, Kvyat and Bottas.

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      18th March 2014, 0:12

      How could I forget, a big honorable mention to Mr. Rosberg. Crushed the field.

  45. Magnussen – mature drive. no errors.
    Bottas – showing what he’s capable of.
    Kvyat – inexperienced but showed that he can drive the car and no retirement.
    Chilton – finished the race again

  46. It was very close between Magnussen and Daniel. I went for Ricciardo . I know that his car was illegal . But what a qualifying session ! He had a storming drive . Even , Magnussen did a top job . He would have got Daniel had the red bull been legal I guess. In the end I went for Daniel as I didn’t get a chance to see kevin’s wheel to wheel stuff yet. But great drives ..

    and yeah honourable mention to Mr.Bottas. Had he not touched the wall …….. ….. I wonder .

  47. It has to be Ricciardo, we don’t know if he would beat Vettel but he was seemingly blessed with luck after a reliable weekend and a quick one. Magnussen is a notable second he qualified well and run a similar pace to Button.

  48. As an Australian it pains me to vote against RIC but given the fuel flow thing I cannot say that he drove on equal terms to achieve his position while other teams took the crappy FIA sensors in thier stride. ROS did well to control the race from the outset, but cannot vote him driver of the weekend because he qualified 3rd in clearly the strongest car. I must give my vote to MAG as he easily out qualified his team mate and put in a respectable drive to finish on the podium.

  49. Hulkenberg really is the unsung hero of the weekend for me. Completely demolished his highly regarded team mate and finishing 6th ahead of a Ferrari at his bogey track is an excellent result.

    1% of the vote seems pretty harsh.

    1. I tend to agree with You, but again when we have seen a driver surpassing Hamiltons feat in his debut F1 raceweekend, I don’t understand why Kevin only gets 49% of the votes. Ricciardo’s performance in qualifying in the rain was great, and he had a good start and raced well, but firstly he is no rookie, secondly he can have had an unfair advantage from the fuelflow.

  50. Chilton was the best by a mile. He continued his perfect race finish record – albeit at the wrong end of the field. If he keeps performing like this he may be the first driver in history to finish every race – in last position.

  51. It just has to be Magnussen. Beat his team mate on his début, Kvyat came close to doing that and Ricciardo beat his world champion team mate, but with technical superiority and not as a rookie. Magnussen finished on the podium and made absolutely zero mistakes, whereas Bottas, who had an exceptional race, spoilt it with that minuscule mistake which sot him more points.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      18th March 2014, 16:58

      He’s mega unlucky though. Most weekends, running that wide wouldn’t even get anyone excited about white lines!

  52. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    18th March 2014, 11:44

    Couldn’t make up my mind between Dan and Kevin but I ultimately went for the latter as it was his debut.

  53. Kevin Magnussen for me.
    He exceeded all expectations.
    Special mention to Nico Rosberg & Daniel Ricciardo

  54. Has to be Bottas, inspired drive including the mistakes, which makes a good driver great. Picked himself up after the penalty, and again after kissing the concrete, which because he was the only person to actually race anyone, makes him man of the match.
    Magnussen had the most consistent weekend possible and was well rewarded for his skill and ability, and poor Daniel was handed the joker by a team that unfortunately put themselves before the driver….again.
    Roseberg proved Merc’s performance will be a bonus for either driver, and i felt sorry for both Kobayashi and Massa who ended in the kitty litter after a few meters.
    Alonso and Raikkonen are fighting with one hand behind their backs, Torro Rosso have a new star in Kvyat, and Sauber were disappointing. I still get the feeling Hulkenberg is on a tight leash because the car is not up to his talent yet.
    Lotus are on the back foot and unless someone like Brawn comes along to help i reckon it’s going to be a bum season for them.

    1. “only person to actually race anyone” I think Vergne, Kvyat, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Kimi and co might disagree. Although obviously Bottas’ moves were just fantastic!

  55. petebaldwin (@)
    18th March 2014, 16:37

    Magnussen for me. Bottas is obviously a consideration but he didn’t get qualifying right and hit the wall in the race. Ricciardo had a decent drive but we’ll probably never know if that was down to Red Bull taking the rules into their own hands whilst others were conservative to ensure they didn’t break any regs.

    As it was Magnussen’s first race in F1 as well, it was hugely impressive to see him drive such a faultless race.

    All 3 were hugely impressive though IMO.

  56. No brainer, Kevin Magnussen.

    His debut was arguably even better than Hamilton’s in 2007. He had to qualify in appalling conditions, then in the race he didn’t make a single mistake. He didn’t look like a rookie at a single stage of the weekend, even when he got close to challenging Ricciardo for second.

    He blew away his WDC team mate in his very first race. This kid is a future champ for sure.

  57. well I am pleased to see that kevin topped the poll with a rookie performance not seen since hamilton ,but it disappoints me the way certain posters distort facts to justify their choice eg
    ricci sticks it to vettel …was there ANY point during the weekend when vettel’s car ran properly ?
    kevin outqualified button ? no mention of the fact that button lost his qually run due to kimi’s crash
    bottas charged through the field ..but had a much faster car than anyone he overtook !

  58. I voted for Magnussen, superb all weekend and it never looked like it was his debut Grand Prix, have McLaren got another top rookie.

    Second would be Kvyat, not as impressive a debut as Magnussen but good all the same.

    Third would be Ricciardo, his multi World Champion teammate may have been handicapped by reliability troubles all weekend, but Ricciardo made an excellent start to his Red Bull.

    Bottas would have been up there, he probably put in the most entertaining drive but he hit the wall, otherwise he probably could have achieved a podium.

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