Bianchi wins Driver of the Weekend with first points

2014 Monaco Grand Prix

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Jules Bianchi, Marussia, Monte-Carlo, 2014Jules Bianchi climbed thirteen places to finish eighth on the road in the Monaco Grand Prix.

And although a post-race time penalty dropped him to ninth he still scored Marussia’s first points – and was duly voted F1 Fanatic readers’ Driver of the Weekend. Bianchi claimed the highest percentage of any driver so far this year, taking 60.2% of the vote.

Race winner Nico Rosberg was second in the voting with 11.5%, and Daniel Ricciardo placed in the top three for the fourth time this year.

1. Jules Bianchi

Started: 21st
Finished: 9th

Jules Bianchi’s weekend was looking impressive from opening practice, where he managed to slot himself into 13th after the opening half an hour of running. He continued to push and ended qualifying half a second clear of team mate Max Chilton and just six tenths slower than the Sauber pair.

A gearbox change penalty demoted him to the back row, but a strong start undid some of the damage. However that was partly due to the fact he and several other drivers had started too far forward (Pastor Maldonado having failed to take the start), and was handed a five-second time penalty.

Bianchi served his penalty under the Safety Car and afterwards he kept his nose clean as he fought his way back through the field, which included elbowing Kamui Kobayashi aside at Rascasse.

As rivals ahead dropped out Bianchi found himself in tenth, but was then handed another five-second penalty for taking the first one under the Safety Car. With no more stops to make the penalty was added to his race time at the end.

Romain Grosjean was closing fast and it looked as though Bianchi was going to miss out. But in the closing stages Kimi Raikkonen and Kevin Magnussen tangled, promoting Bianchi to eighth. He kept calm and brought the car home eighth on the road – ninth after his penalty – to secure his and Marussia’s first ever points.

Has to be Bianchi. He was mixing with the Saubers and the Lotuses in free practice, battered Chilton in qualifying, and produced the race of his life to finish in ninth. The overtake on Kobayashi will be controversial but it was still a top move.

Bianchi; scoring points in a Marussia, in a dry Monaco race with three penalties and 14 finishers.
Nick (@Npf1)

Jules Bianchi is the only driver deserving ten out of ten last weekend.

Even though he made a fault starting in the wrong grid position – and admitted he could have make Q2 – Bianchi was faultless when the action really started.
JayfreeseKnight (@jeff1s)

2. Nico Rosberg

Started: 1st
Finished: 1st

Despite having failed to finish outside of the top two in any race this season, and having won twice, Monaco marks the first time Nico Rosberg has appeared in top three of the Driver of the Weekend vote all year.

He did it under somewhat of a grey cloud however, following his controversial moment at Mirabeau during qualifying that ultimately helped him to pole. It divided opinions in the paddock – and here on F1 Fanatic – as to whether it was intentional or not.

Rosberg had been working on his starts in the build-up to Monaco – having lost out to team mate Lewis Hamilton in Bahrain last time he’d beaten him to pole – and it paid off, with a clean getaway meaning he held the lead into turn one. From there Rosberg held track position and in identical cars he matched whatever Hamilton threw at him.

After some consideration I gave it to Rosberg. While Bianchi helped Marussia to their first ever points, a lot of variables fell into place. Not taking away anything from Bianchi or Marussia’s progress, Rosberg gets it for withstanding immense pressure from Hamilton throughout the weekend.
Sankalp Sharma (@Sankalp88)

I picked Rosberg because I believe him and the stewards that he did nothing wrong, and even though he did make a mistake I think the pressure is so much bigger for him than, for example, Bianchi. And the fact that Rosberg drove a flawless race, again, with big pressure and Hamilton always right behind him, sealed it for me.

I was quite concerned for Rosberg’s start, but he nailed it at exactly the time and race he needed to.

3. Daniel Ricciardo

Started: 3rd
Finished: 3rd

Daniel Ricciardo looked ‘best of the rest’ all weekend and even showed hints of challenging the Mercedes duo in qualifying, but ultimately fell short with a lap that left him far from impressed, despite putting him third.

With overtaking being difficult in Monaco another podium looked a near certainty but Ricciardo nearly threw it all away with a torrid start, falling behind team mate Sebastian Vettel and the fast starting Raikkonen. As they suffered problems however Ricciardo ploughed on, and even challenged Hamilton’s Mercedes for second late in the race following the latter’s eye problems.

My vote goes to Ricciardo. Absolutely rock-steady consistency in both qualifying and race-pace once again. First time this year we’ve seen any team place any real pressure on a Mercedes as well. Kudos.
Philip Osmulski (@Philprojectd)

2014 Driver of the Weekend results

AustralianKevin Magnussen (48.38%)Valtteri Bottas (24.49%)Daniel Ricciardo (14.05%)
MalaysianLewis Hamilton (54.3%)Nico Hulkenberg (24.0%)Sebastian Vettel (6.5%)
BahrainLewis Hamilton (49.2%)Sergio Perez (25.7%)Daniel Ricciardo (16.6%)
ChinaFernando Alonso (47.7%)Lewis Hamilton (30.7%)Daniel Ricciardo (7.8%)
SpainSebastian Vettel (51.9%)Lewis Hamilton (20.5%)Romain Grosjean (11.0%)
MonacoJules Bianchi (60.2%)Nico Rosberg (11.5%)Daniel Ricciardo (8.8%)

2014 Monaco Grand Prix

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    Image © Marussia

    23 comments on “Bianchi wins Driver of the Weekend with first points”

    1. Daniel Ricciardo looked ‘best of the rest’ all weekend and even showed hints of challenging the Mercedes duo in qualifying, but ultimately fell short with a lap that left him far from impressed, despite putting him third.

      After Vettel had his turbo problems and what happend to Kimi again? A lot of drivers gained a lot of places in Monaco due to others breaking down. Part of the beauty of the race though.

      1. Nothing happened to Kimi in Qualifying. Just wasn’t on Alonso’s level. And I’m not biased!

      2. He was only behind them because they got better starts though, otherwise he’d been quicker than them all weekend.

    2. What is the highest percentage a driver has ever gotting in DOTW?

      1. @xtwl I’m not sure but I think it’s 77% (Lewis Hamilton in the 2011 German GP)

    3. I’m really shocked Nico’s efforts haven’t been appreciated much this year, he’s the bloody championship leader! His two wins and the drives in Spain and Bahrain were epic.

      1. @jmc200 I’d say because coming second in that Mercedes equals losing. Not on the board but on the mental side of the game.

      2. The trouble is that in both of those races he lost to his team mate. So if people are voting for who they thought was best, there isn’t really any reason to select Rosberg over Hamilton. If you didn’t vote for Hamilton you’d more likely be voting for somebody in a different car.

        If the vote meant picking your personal top 3, then Rosberg may have ended up being selected plenty of times.

        1. Good point, I mentioned Bahrain and Spain because in both of those he finished less than a second behind Lewis, so in my mind did basically the same job, whereas in Malaysia and China he underperformed relative to the car. I’m was most surprised about Australia, I mean it can’t be often that the guy who won the race isn’t even in the top 3…

          1. pastaman (@)
            4th June 2014, 16:01

            He didn’t have to do anything in Australia. The Mercs were miles ahead of everyone and Lewis dropped out of the race early. All he had to do after that was go for a Sunday drive and bring the car home

      3. the thing is, Merc are largely expected to do well. While there is no doubt that there are more Lewis fans here than Nico fans, Lewis is considered favorite. So everyone else who appears to have put in more effort and delivered a drive that is more entertaining, would get to this list.

      4. ep·ic adjective \ˈe-pik\
        : telling a story about a hero or about exciting events or adventures

        : very great or large and usually difficult or impressive

        Austrailia — A Sunday drive with his only capable challenger retired to the garage
        Bahrain — Botched start from pole costs him the win
        Barcelona — Got within DRS range on the last couple laps and failed to capitalize
        Monaco — Kept his nose clean and safety car assisted with removing pit stop pressure from his teammate.

        I support Rosberg’s effort as an underdog challenger but I see no epic.

        1. Yeah maybe epic was a but of an overstatement, but I think underdog is a but harsh. It’s almost impossible to around Barcelona, as Lewis saw in 2011, and I think winning around Monaco is about more just keeping your nose clean, he also made a great start, had to manage his fuel, while withstanding constant pressure from Lewis. Mind you I think my initial surprise that Rosberg hadn’t been in the top three all year was answered when I remembered that I haven’t actually voted for him myself…

      5. @jmc200 Comparing F1 drivers is never easy because they’re usually all in different cars. That isn’t so in the case of team mates.

        Mercedes have got both their cars home on five occasions, this was the first time Rosberg brought his home ahead of Hamilton and the first time he featured in the Driver of the Weekend top three. So I must say it makes perfect sense to me.

    4. Good on Bianchi and good on Marussia for getting points.

    5. Starts are pretty important, and Ricciardo seems to have taken on Webber’s mantle of being perennially slow off the line. Starting from third o the grid at Monaco and slipping down to fifth is rather poor. I hope he improves that, because at the moment he seems to be the driver closest to breaking the Mercedes hegemony.

      1. @wsrgo His average is the same as Vettel, Hamilton Grosjean and Kvyat and he’s doing better than Sutil, Vergne and both the McLaren drivers:

        Position change on lap one

        1. @keithcollantine I guess that Vettel statistic is largely because of Melbourne, where he had a KERS problem. Hamilton is also possibly down there because he has taken four pole positions this year, naturally the opportunity to gain positions is less.

          Vergne at Malaysia suffered some kind of reliability problem too, if I remember correctly, which made him lose a truckload of places.

    6. I hope that Marussia repeat finishing in the points again soon. I enjoyed their celebration after the race; at least, in my opinion, they were the only team (other than Mercedes) who couldn’t be happier with a race result this year.

    7. Thoroughly well deserved, Bianchi’s drive in Monaco was absolutely top drawer.

    8. highly flawed championship standings:

      ham 86
      ric 60
      vet 40
      mag 25
      alo 25
      bia 25
      bot 18
      per 18
      ros 18
      hul 18
      gro 15

      1. You are doing it wrong. Top 10 are awarded with points!

    9. Danny Ric is proving to be a regular feature in the driver of the weekend – usually in third place. I must say I have been massively impressed by his efforts, it has been a stellar start to his hopefully prosperous Red Bull career.

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