Alonso wins Driver of the Weekend after China podium

2014 Chinese Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso was voted Driver of the Weekend for the Chinese Grand Prix after securing his and Ferrari’s first podium of 2014.

Alonso received 47.7% percent of the vote to top the poll ahead of second placed Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes driver missed out on a third consecutive Driver of the Weekend win but received the highest percentage of votes for a driver in second place so far this season.

Daniel Ricciardo was voted in third place for the third time this season with 7.8% of the vote after passing team mate Sebastian Vettel on his way to fourth place.

1. Fernando Alonso

Started: 5th
Finished: 3rd

Alonso took his now somewhat usual fifth place on the grid during the wet qualifying session, best of the rest behind the Mercedes’ and the Red Bull’s seemingly the maximum the Ferrari was capable of.

He got a clean start away from the grid but was caught somewhat unaware by the flying Williams of ex-team mate Felipe Massa, and both were lucky to come away with no race-ending damage. He then pulled an impressive move on the slow starting Daniel Ricciardo into turn four to move into third.

From then on Alonso drove as Alonso does best, calmly and maturely and with relentless consistency. A well-timed pit stop moved him ahead of Vettel and he then set about building a gap Ricciardo could not close at the end.

If you put a spin on it, Alonso drove fantastically considering the advantage the Red Bulls had through the corners to catch him. An ace start moved him ahead of one rival, and a good strategy called moved him ahead of Vettel.

It’s difficult to overlook Fernando Alonso this weekend. While his team mate struggled to control the F14T, Fernando was a regular top 3 and in the race he didn’t budge when Massa hit him. A well deserved Driver of the Weekend.
Neel Jani (@neelv27)

I had to vote Alonso. I’m a Lewis fan, but he really wasn’t opposed. Probably not fair to say that because he put himself in that position with a brillian qualifying in the wet and a clean start that left everyone far behind. But Alonso clearly has a lesser car and is outpacing Kimi terribly in every respect. To put that Ferrari on a podium was impressive.

2. Lewis Hamilton

Started: 1st
Finished: 1st

Despite being openly unhappy with his car’s handling and performance on Friday, Hamilton took full advantage of wet conditions that greeted the field in qualifying to storm to his third pole from four attempts.

A solid getaway from the lights while team mate Nico Rosberg – Hamilton’s only real challenger – slipped back, left him with little difficult work to do, and Hamilton ended up winning three races in a row for the first time.

He was amazing in qualifying and his race was stellar. What more can he do? As neither a Hamilton supporter or detractor it is impossible to ignore that his level of concentration and focus on racing is reaching historic levels so far this season.

Has to be Lewis Hamilton again. Masterful control of the race, showing his team mate up on a track at which he is supposed to excel. Especially considering his tribulations in free practice, the commanding nature of his weekend – the result never looking in doubt from the start of qualifying – was admirable.
Max Jacobson (@Vettel1)

3. Daniel Ricciardo

Started: 2nd
Finished: 4th

Ricciardo put yet another one over on his tea mmate in the wet qualifying session to claim second on the grid, this time without the aid of mechanical issues for Vettel.

A poor getaway left him with some work to do but Ricciardo fought back well, getting past Vettel for the second race in a row with team orders and closing on Alonso and his first podium towards the end.

Got the absolute most out of the RB10 in qualifying, and held his cool after a slow start. Once in front of Vettel, the way he pulled away and started to catch Fernando towards the end, and especially his ultra-calm demeanour on the radio, stood out for me.
Dean McKinnon (@Hsvdt15)

2014 Driver of the Weekend results

Race First Second Third
Australian Kevin Magnussen (48.38%) Valtteri Bottas (24.49%) Daniel Ricciardo (14.05%)
Malaysian Lewis Hamilton (54.3%) Nico Hulkenberg (24.0%) Sebastian Vettel (6.5%)
Bahrain Lewis Hamilton (49.2%) Sergio Perez (25.7%) Daniel Ricciardo (16.6%)
China Fernando Alonso (47.7%) Lewis Hamilton (30.7%) Daniel Ricciardo (7.8%)

2014 Chinese Grand Prix

Browse all 2014 Chinese Grand Prix articles

Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

52 comments on “Alonso wins Driver of the Weekend after China podium”

  1. Trully deserved, honnestly should been by a greater margin…

  2. Some of those comments praising Alonso are just awesome! Nice to see people give credit where credit is due!
    Indeed, Puting that F14-T on 3rd while destroying his team mate was pretty amazing!! I love it!

    1. Enjoy your time, soon he’ll lick te icecream :)

      1. GB (@bgp001ruled)
        29th April 2014, 13:17

        that was what I was looking for. hopefully it will still happen! but to be honest I dont think so anymore: Alonso will crush Kimi just like vettel crushed webber…

        1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          29th April 2014, 13:53

          Don’t speak too soon. Kimi clearly hasn’t settled with the car just yet, but when he does finally gel with it, then I think he’ll give Alonso a hard time.

        2. That’s what I’m hoping for, at least, I try to stay optimistic. Of course ALO deserved DotW because he’s doing a great job whit that dog of a car. But it is so hard to see Kimi’s struggling, like my heart is broken you know :) They have to fix it ASAP, I want to see them fighting wheel to wheel like the Mercedes guys did.

  3. Ricciardo is third for the third time in 3 races! I am actually surprised he still wasn’t picked as the driver of the week-end. This driver is really surprising me this season. Vettel was considered one of the best drivers of the grid along with Hamilton and Alonso, yet this season, his new teammate has beaten him 3 times in 4 races. He managed 2 front row starts, and without his disqualification and his problems in Sepang, he would easily be 3rd in the championship. Currently, I think he is the best driver/car combination (if you exclude the Mercedes drivers of course). Yet, his performances seem to be slightly overlooked on this website…

    1. I love how Ricciardo just goes about the weekends without too much of a fuss. I definitely didn’t expect him to be at Vettel’s level right off the bat. It’ll be interesting to see if RBR becomes a front-runner again, how the Vettel/Ricciardo relationship goes.

      1. Vettel will almost inevitably recoup his lost speed (I predict Spain will be a strong race for him) but I completely agree: I was never expecting Ricciardo to be so quick out of the blocks. Impressive stuff, and I think he would be deserved driver of the weekend for Bahrain.

        1. Yeah, I have to admit I was one of the first people to jump on RBR for taking RIC and thinking they’d made a huge mistake. I guess I have to eat some crow now, oh well. But to see another talent coming up and making it more competitive….it’s worth being wrong :)

          1. @daved I never doubted his talent, but I was expecting him to be not much better than Webber! Proved me wrong instantly, and for that I am quite pleased. :-)

          2. @vettel1 Yeah, I wish I could say the same LOL I just dismissed him as similar to JEV and a few others who would be midfield drivers for a few years and then disappear. Too bad I never really bothered to pay attention to what he was doing at STR. Now I’m going back and watching some old races and qualifying to see what hints I was missing.
            I knew he was doing a decent job in qualy, but he kept ending up out in races for different reasons so I just wrote him off and missed a chance to enjoy a young talent coming up. :(
            On the good side, now I’ll take more time to look at some of the back marker drivers and young mid-field drivers and see if I can spot that next up and coming talent. I’m also watching more of the Renault 3.5 and GP2 races, trying to get a feel for who is worth paying attention to as they come up through the ranks.
            It actually makes the whole thing more fun. It’s similar to how I love to watch all the talent come up through high school and then college and try to predict who will be a force in the NFL for American football. Just ads a level of involvement.

          3. @daved it was qualifying sessions like Bahrain 2012 where he qualified 6th and Vergne 19th that I started to get the impression that he had innate speed, just that the tyre rules/his starts conspired against him by giving Vergne the advantage of fresher rubber. But I fully expected him being in a front running car to benefit his skillset immensely, and he has exceeded those expectations! Though I honestly was not expecting to have said that he is doing better than I think Räikkönen would have.

  4. Congratulations @bradley13 n your first DOTW article. Well written.

    It’s interesting that Daniel Ricciardo has featured in the top three, 3/4 times. So very well done to him on his consistency to impress the F1Fanatics :)

    1. @neelv27 I’d just like to point out I’ve been doing them since Italy last year :P

      1. Ah! My Bad! Never noticed that. It was when Keith posted for some people to help him with these articles, I thought it was your first. :)

    2. small typo in the ricciardo seection but amazing work @bradley13!!!

  5. Incredible that Rosberg has yet to be voted as one of the top 3 drivers of any race weekend this season despite leading the championship.

    1. Was just about to say that! I think surely in Melbourne and China, and perhaps in Bahrain he should have been in there.

      1. @andae23

        Should have definitely been there in the top 3 for Melbourne instead of Bottas. I still don’t get it how the guy got voted for the 2nd place. He threw it into the wall without anyone pressuring him. The fact that he managed to climb up the order twice, just shows how much of the car’s potential was wasted with using all that speed to recover from a position they didn’t need to be in. He even got lucky with a safety car.

    2. He hasnt done much, he just has the fastest car.

    3. @davef1 Because people is voting accordingly to his personal feelings. Objectively, Ham and Nico were the best pilots so far.
      @austus So?? Should he have a slower car? How much slower? Why not with only 3 wheels? I guess in your perspective the winner of the poll should be a Catherham our a Marussia pilot?

      1. Objectively, Ham and Nico were the best pilots so far.

        Subjectively. You’d have a hard time arguing against Hamilton being one of them, but not necessarily Rosberg.

        1. @matt90 Agree. Between the two, which are the pilots with the best racing conditions, yes, I think Nico is behind Ham.

      2. Because he has the fastest car, I expect him to qualify 1st or 2nd, and to finish in one of those positions.

        He hasnt beaten Hamilton in a race where both finished yet. In Bahrain he couldnt ask for a better opportunity: faster tyres, DRS, safety car wiped the gap.

        In Malasya Hamilton finished pretty well clear of Rosberg.

        In China, Rosberg qualified 4th, because he spun out on his fastest lap and lost several places at the start (before reaching turn one).

        Rosberg hasnt accomplished much, especially if you look at Hamilton, who is sitting at 3 wins, 3 poles and 1 grand chelem, while Rosberg has a single win and a single pole.

  6. I really like Alonso style of racing, but I don’t agree with this pole result. Don’t understand the criteria for such result. In a straight line of thought Ham should be the best pilot of the weekend, because he won the GP. And, in an alternative line of thought, Nico grab the 2nd place, coming from a 4th place. So, honestly, I can’t understand why he was the best this weekend. But, like I said, I like a lot his style of driving, so probably for that matter, it’s always fair to price such a talent.

    1. If you were to base the poll purely on results then why have a poll at all? We already know the race results… This is for who is the best driver of the weekend, taking the car and team out of the equation. I voted for Ricciardo but there is a strong case for each of the top three.

      1. Well said. ALL the top 4 are indeed worthy – it all depends on the perspective

      2. @keithedin I understand why you make these polls. But, this is a highly subjective poll, nothing more. And, if we have to take the car and the team out of the equation what’s left? Nothing. And, as we all know, the car and it’s performance is also a part of the pilot’s effort. So, history will keep that Ham was the best in the past weekend.

        1. @yes-master I think you’ve missed the point of @keithedin ‘s comment…

          For example, you could have a situation where a driver ends up last on the road because his team bodge a pit-stop…not his fault. But he then climbs back into the top ten. That would be worthy of a DOTW vote, but if you DON’T take the team out of the equation, then you discount a driver who’s had an epic race.

          Another example, you’ve got a driver in a car which is clearly not as fast as the guy who won, but he destroys his team-mate and pulls the car into 3rd through a smart drive. Again, worthy of a vote, but only because you have taken the car’s performance into account (i.e. how well did the driver do when you consider his car’s performance relative to those around him?)

          Finally, on Nico…he didn’t excel in qualifying, did he? Wasn’t really outstanding in the race either. He did what everyone expected of the car (much like Lewis, except Lewis stuck it on pole and so was able to disappear)

          1. @geordieporker I don’t agree. IMO is not possible to take the team out of the equation. Or the car. It’s the combination of all those elements which gives the final result. And a “smart drive” is a reflex of it. But, if one of those elements fail, it is almost certain that the result is not be the victory.

            So, in the end, I think Alonso was not the DOTW. But that’s my opinion. And you say that Nico didn’t excel in qualifying. I think you’re right. But did Alonso? Why? What I’m trying to say is this: from the subjective point of view, every choice is possible in this poll. And for me it should be some limits or criteria to decide. Nothing more.

        2. That isn’t the Keith who runs the blog.

          I understand why you make these polls.

          Are you sure? Because what you said next suggests you don’t understand.

          But, this is a highly subjective poll, nothing more.

          Nobody said it was any more than a poll, and that it’s subjective goes without saying- it’s a poll.

          the car and it’s performance is also a part of the pilot’s effort.

          Up to a point.

          1. @matt90 “that isn’t Keith…” I have to say that english is not my native language, hence the mistake. I was referring the site administrators (you – plural).

            As for the rest of your commentary nothing special to say, as you haven’t brought nothing relevant to the discussion, just for your ego. But, I clarify: my disagree has to do with the lack of criteria to decide the dotw. Ok? Nothing wrong with the poll itself. Just with that point.

          2. Not for my ego, because the point you’re making doesn’t make sense to me. You said you disagree with the result but don’t really explain why. You think Rosberg’s drive was more special than Alonso’s? How come? You seemed to talk about not factoring in the relative performances of the cars too much, unless I misunderstood. Sorry if I was a bit rude.

          3. @matt90, My disagreeing is about the criteria used to decide the dtow. For me, Alonso was not the best pilot for me at any perspective, objective or subjective. Objectively, he didn’t win or get the pole. Subjectively, how can we say he was the best and not say, per example, Kvyat? Let’s see.
            I can enjoy watching Alonso and you enjoy watching Ham, even if he loses. But if we have to choose between them in a given time we have to use some kind of criteria. Or else, it’s always about saying who I like and nothing more. To this poll I realized that Alonso got a 5th place in the qualifying and finished the race in 3rd place. Brilliant! Nico got a 4th place in the qlf and finished 2nd. Brilliant! Kvyat got a 13th in qlf and a got a 10th in the race. Brilliant! Ham got a pole and a first place. Superb! So, from these examples, who was better? Some say, like keith, that we should take the team and the car out of the equation to respond to this question. So, Kvyat was the best, because he won more places in the end (3) and beat his team mate? Well, using that method anyone could be the dtow. But, you see, the method (subjective criteria that Keith suggested) ends to be unfair to those who have faster cars (like ham or nico), as you may never recognize their true value. Probably only when nico beats ham? But, then ppl might say that nico had a better car that weekend so ham was better.
            And, I think we have to be fair with all the pilots. Using what Montoya said in a recent interview “F1 has always been very technical and as a driver you are dependent on the car. Do you think Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel have forgotten how to drive? No, it is just that those that are not in a Mercedes have bad cards.”, I ask: how can we say that a pilot is better than the other in a given time? We have to respond to the question with objective criteria. There’s no other way to be fair enough. At the end, all F1 pilots are good, but only those who have a solid team and a fast car can evolve and become very good, and those who have the solid team and a fast car, and win, can be recognizes as excellent pilots. We can’t depreciate a pilot because he has a faster car or he’s in a better team. We have to consider all these elements (pilot-car-team), not remove one or other of the equation.
            So, and to finish, Alonso didn’t excel himself as no other pilot did last gp. And he even didn’t win the race or the qlf session. He beat his team mate, won 2 places and grab a podium place. For that, he was better than Kvyat (who didn’t grab a podium). He could be better than Nico because he beat his team mate. But he was not better than Ham, at any point. Objectively, the poll podium should be: Ham – Alonso/Nico – Nico/Alonso.
            And that’s why I disagree with this poll result.

            Sorry for the text extension.

          4. Objectively, the poll podium should be: Ham – Alonso/Nico – Nico/Alonso.

            Not at all. And nothing you’ve said justifies that. Of course it is hard to tell who actually did the better job when they are driving different cars. But that means that just as nobody can say that Alonso was objectively, definitely better than Hamilton (nobody is, but they can and have given their opinion that they think Alonso was better), you can’t say the reverse.

            But he was not better than Ham, at any point.

            Why not? A lot of people seem to think that the Ferrari wasn’t capable of more, which suggests that Alonso couldn’t have driven any better, which is why they thought he was the best driver. Comparatively, Hamilton didn’t maximise his drive- he didn’t need to because he did everything right (in the best car), meaning that he could control the race relatively easily. That certainly deserves praise, and is the sign of a great drive. But it also means that his performance wasn’t the maximum it could have been or would have been in a different car. That leaves an unknown which explains why so many people vote for lower placed drivers, especially if the winner has a particularly dominant car which is a major reason for them being able to control the race in the first place.

            he was better than Kvyat (who didn’t grab a podium)

            He achieved better. That doesn’t mean he was.

          5. @matt90, I don’t know what we are discussing any more :) I see know that you agree with me on not removing the car/team out of the equation.
            Ok, my point is this. When we have to choose a best pilot in a race we have to have and use some criteria. And for me, that criteria has to be the most objective possible. In those terms, yes I can say who was the best pilot objectively:
            Ham – race winner/qlf winner/beat team mate
            Nico – podium 2nd/won 2 places/fastest lap
            Alonso – podium 3rd/won 2 places/beat team mate

            Ham was. And I’m sorry that majority thought that Ferrari was a lame car. They thought wrong. Watching the practices sessions everyone could realize that his car was very quick. As a result, he did a great job against his team mate and against Ricciardo (I don’t even include Vettel as he had drs issues), As other pilots did. He didn’t excel. As no one did. So, why him? Dunno. But if I were to choose subjectively, Alonso could be my choice. As any other pilot too. By the way, who did you thought would grab the 3rd in china? Can give 3 possibilities.

            And, a final note. Everyone tends to say that a pilot who has a faster car has his task simplified. To a point ofc he has. But then they forget the pilot helps the team building that fastest car and that the pressure over him becomes heavier than to a pilot with a worse car. Said that, stop selling the idea that Ham and Nico are racing with no pressure or expectation and just walking by. It’s the other way around. They can’t take chances like alonso, ricciardo or vettel can. Not at this phase. They have more to lose, as they have to grab the greater number of points they can, because they know rbr and/or ferrari will short distances. And, yes you’re right, Ham didn’t maximize his drive like when he did against Nico in the last 15 laps of the bahrain gp, that got everyone crazy, saying it was a 9.5/10 race, etc, etc! For me it wasn’t, but proofed to me that Ham and Nico can excel if needed.

          6. We seem to be going around in circles. I think it’s because objective means something different to what you think it means.

          7. No, it means what it means, which is “based on facts rather than feelings or opinions”. But, yes, we are in circles. Probably that will change in the next poll for dtow. ;)

            Stay well matt.

          8. That means that all those things you claim to be objective are not. You can objectively say that Hamilton got the best result, but that does not equate to being the best driver. There is not an objective measure for that. That’s why this poll exists.

      3. @keithedin hahaha I was just about to write exactly the same thing.

        1. @spoutnik hahaha No, you were not! Bazinga!

  7. Totally deserved and is great to see that the user here can appreciate good driving when is not a win.

  8. where is rosberg?

    1. Only leading the WDC chase still, and getting his car up to second after telemetry issues changed his clutch setting which bogged him down at the start. When you look at the work he did he actually did a better job than LH considering how close he was to him in the end. Playing woulda, coulda, shoulda, had NR not had the clutch issue LH would have had his hands and his mirrors full of him for much of the race, even starting from fourth.

      1. Based on what? On Hamilton taking it easy all race because he wasn’t under pressure? Hamilton did a better job in qualifying, which is an important part of the weekend. Rosberg was unlucky at the start, but it’s likely that in a game of shoulda woulda coulda that he would have still had to make his way past one or two others before setting off in pursuit of a Hamilton who would have put down the hammer early. I expect part of the reason Hamilton ran so long in the first stint (and therefore happily allowed the trailing cars eat into his large lead) was because he knew Rosberg was going to be kept busy for a lot longer. Otherwise that gap would have closed up. Hamilton finished 25 seconds ahead of Alonso. But his early pace suggested that he could have made that a further 25 without pushing a whole lot.

        Rosberg getting up to 2nd was good. A strong performance and important for his championship standing. But the trouble was that it wasn’t really in doubt given his car advantage, and people still feel that Hamilton did a better job over the weekend in the same car. And being outperformed by your team mate is the surest way of not getting nominated.

  9. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    29th April 2014, 14:04

    From where I was standing, that was the drive of the season so far. Alonso doing what Alonso does, enough said…

    1. @william-brierty I felt a lot of tension during all the race even if I must reckon it was a dull race, I was just watching him, his times on the app, the pit stops, all was perfect, after nearly a heart attack at the start :)

  10. I have to disagree with the poll result, I felt that over the course of the weekend there were drivers that were stronger than Alonso. I felt he done no better than Sebastian Vettel did in Malaysia. I voted Grosjean.

    But the people have spoken. Perhaps I am missing something here?

    1. Most people don’t rank the Red Bull and Ferrari all that closely, so doing no better than Vettel results-wise looks pretty good. And I thought Vettel himself did pretty well in Malaysia anyway.

    2. Grosjean had one of the most undervalued perfomances, and in retrospect perhaps voting for him over Hamilton strategically (even though I maintain what I said in the comment above) would have been a good option to take.

  11. Driver of the weekend standings has Hamilton leading with 68 points, followed by Ricciardo with 45 points. Third place is a tie between Magnussen and Alonso @ 25 points.

    *Bonus stat: the third place driver (in DOTW2014) so far is always a Red Bull (Vettel in Malaysia, Ricciardo in the other races).

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