Hamilton beats Vergne to Driver of the Weekend

2014 Singapore Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton was voted Driver of the Weekend for the second weekend in a row following his back-to-back victories in Italy and Singapore.

However he was separated by fewer than 80 votes from Jean-Eric Vergne, whose charge to sixth place in the final laps impressed many of you. Vergne took one of the highest percentages of the vote for a runner-up all season.

Sebastian Vettel made his third appearance of the season in the top three of the Driver of the Weekend vote after his best finish of the year in second place.

1. Lewis Hamilton

Started: 1st
Finished: 1st

Hamilton began the weekend locked in a tooth-and-nail fight for supremacy with his team mate. In the closest pole position battle since 2010 Hamilton beat Nico Rosberg to the top spot by just seven thousandths of a second.

The battle looked set to continue into the race but those hope disappeared when Rosberg failed to pull away due to Mercedes’ latest technical glitch.

However on a weekend when Mercedes’ rivals were potentially closer to their race pace than at any previous point this year, the appearance of the Safety Car was a trap waiting to trip them up.

It left Hamilton needing to tread a tricky line between opening up a gap to Vettel behind him without hurting his tyres too much. He eventually erred on the side of caution, and his final pit stop dropped him behind Vettel. With the benefit of fresher tyres, however, Hamilton retook the lead with ease in a DRS zone. He emerged victorious at the end of a punishing race which went the full two hours.

This was one of the least emphatic Driver of the Weekend wins we’ve seen this year, and quite a few people pointed out that the absence of any opposition from Rosberg makes it harder to rate Hamilton’s efforts thanks to the pewrformance advantage they enjoy.

Pulled off a hat-trick (almost a grand slam) and proved himself to be (as usual) a stellar driver after the Safety Car, I don’t see Rosberg being capable of doing that, really.

Hamilton had what you call a ‘perfect weekend’, I can’t see how would anyone vote for someone else really.

Pole, fastest lap and win. What more needs to be said? Well, OK – I know he was cruising and had no pressure, but when he was under pressure after the Safety Car he delivered some very impressive lap times and didn’t make a mistake. So basically I’m going for the guy who was consistent and fast all weekend.

I don’t think Hamilton deserves this one. I think some people are applauding his qualifying because it was notable for being so extremely close with Rosberg. But just because everyone made a big deal out of it, it doesn’t mean he did a great job. He barely beat Nico in qualifying so I can’t find his pole to be that impressive.

He was merely cruising for the first half of the race because Rosberg retired. That safety car did produce a scare, albeit it was temporary. In reality, because their car is so much faster than the rest, there was pretty much no chance he would have lost that win even if he slotted back in 5th or 6th after his pit stop. Everyone’s tyres were going off and he had fresh tyres.

2. Jean-Eric Vergne

Started: 12th
Finished: 6th

It was close between the Toro Rosso drivers in qualifying as well – Vergne was just six-hundredths off Daniil Kvyat. That was the difference between reaching Q3 and being twelfth on the grid.

From the moment the race started, however, Vergne was the quicker of the pair. Having latched onto his team mate’s tail – and pointed out he was being held up – the team had them switch positions.

Vergne fell foul of the stewards on two occasions for leaving the track and gaining an advantage. Both times he was given a five-second time penalty, and though he served one during a pit stop the other was added to his finishing time at the end of the race.

After the Safety Car period Toro Rosso made the decision to pit him for fresh super-soft tyres so he could go on the attack at the end of the race. Vergne made the most of them and pulled a series of impressive overtakes on Hulkenberg, Bottas and Raikkonen to move into sixth.

He then pulled out the five-second gap he needed over them so he could take his penalty without losing a sixth-place finish which equalled the best of his career.

What he did with the Toro Rosso was amazing. The overtakes were precise and well timed and the drive was stellar. He made a few mistakes but it goes to show that if you’re willing to take risks, you can reap the rewards.

Vergne pulled off some great overtaking moves and despite having penalties, managed to put a Toro Rosso in its best position for a long time.
Uzair Syed (@Ultimateuzair)

3. Sebastian Vettel

Started: 4th
Finished: 2nd

Vettel’s preparations for the race were disrupted by yet more technical trouble. He still managed fourth on the grid behind his team mate, yet was still disappointed after he said he believed his car was quick enough for pole position.

At the start he got the jump on the slow-starting Ricciardo and was gifted second by Fernando Alonso after the Ferrari driver ran wide at turn one. He retained this until the second stint when Red Bull opted to switch him to the soft tyre and he used the Safety Car period to run a 35-lap stint to the end of the race and secure his best finish of the season.

He qualified close to his team mate even though he missed second practice. He made a good start, but he lost out to Alonso during the first pit stops.

He was lucky that Ferrari decided to pit Alonso during the Safety Car, but it meant that he had to nurse his tyres until the end, again despite not doing a long-run in second practice.

2014 Driver of the Weekend results

AustralianKevin Magnussen (48.4%)Valtteri Bottas (24.5%)Daniel Ricciardo (14.1%)
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%)
CanadaDaniel Ricciardo (44.9%)Nico Rosberg (22.4%)Sergio Perez (9.5%)
AustriaValtteri Bottas (41.7%)Lewis Hamilton (15.1%)Sergio Perez (14.3%)
BritainValtteri Bottas (52.5%)Fernando Alonso (18.5%)Jenson Button (11.8%)
GermanyValtteri Bottas (37.1%)Lewis Hamilton (33.8%)Daniel Ricciardo (10.4%)
HungaryFernando Alonso (40.2%)Lewis Hamilton (29.3%)Daniel Ricciardo (25.1%)
BelgiumDaniel Ricciardo (44.4%)Kimi Raikkonen (17.0%)Valtteri Bottas (12.2%)
ItalyLewis Hamilton (38.9%)Daniel Ricciardo (18.1%)Sergio Perez (12.0%)
SingaporeLewis Hamilton (38.4%)Jean-Eric Vergne (26.6%)Sebastian Vettel (11.9%)

2014 Singapore Grand Prix

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Image © Pirelli/Hone

58 comments on “Hamilton beats Vergne to Driver of the Weekend”

  1. No love for Massa :(

    1. Don’t forget this is an anti-Massa site….

      1. I’m being serious: you should try visiting Brazilian F1 sites, the comments Massa gets here will seem gushing by comparison. Hamilton is far far more popular among fans at least.

      2. @viscountviktor I do not write this site with the intention of advocating or diminishing any particular driver. And even if I did, this article reflects the result of a poll and not my point of view.

        So your assertion is illogical as well as baseless and wrong.

        1. @viscountviktor He just pointed out how wrong you were…
          You were illogical, baseless AND wrong.

      3. @viscountviktor David BR beat me to it, in world press I read very critical and seemingly accurate critics to Massa. If anything British people are found of Brazilian drivers whose names don’t include Nelson nor Piquet and jr in it, also the rest of the world don’t like these names apart the chinese FE team

      4. I wouldn’t say anti-Massa, just happens to have a lot of Hamilton fans on here. When the whole Spa incident happened I almost didn’t want to read the comments cause of all the arguments.

    2. I voted for him. Maybe his efforts went somewhat unnoticed. Hamilton would’ve been my second pick mind.

    3. @craig-o, Massa did a great job for the team but I cannot and will not reward driving that favors tyre conservation over racing, F1 is supposed to be about racing not about being kind to tyres.

      1. @hohum F1 is about achieving the best result possible, and Massa was one of only a select few drivers to beat his team mate on merit in qualifying and in the race. Fifth in a Williams that was clearly off the pace of the Mercedes, Red Bulls and Ferraris is not a bad result one bit, regardless of whether he had to drive slowly to achieve it or not. If anything, the fact that he managed to make that strategy work makes his performance look even better.

        But then again, I was probably watching a different race.

        1. No @craig-o, I agree with you, I wanted to vote for Massa but I worry that approving of a driver driving like a grandmother will give Bernie ammunition to say the fans like tyre conservation.

          1. @HoHum I really doubt Bernie cares what you or anyone else thinks, unless they are putting $20 million in his pocket. If Massa had driven the tires off the car, he’d never have placed as high as he did and we wouldn’t even be thinking about him. Tire conservation has ALWAYS been a part of the sport, and so has smart driving, so if you’re a fan of F1 you should already know that. Flat-out driving is actually pretty boring, if you ask me. What’s more exciting is strategy, choices, how drivers deal with challenges. Massa was a perfect example.

        2. @jeangirard, Ive been an F1 fan for over 50 years and I can assure you tyre conservation as part of every race is a very recent occurence, and sure Bernie treats me and any individual fan with total contempt but 2million fans opinion is something Bernie cares about because those fans do put $20M in his pocket.

  2. Massa quietly the most impressive driver this weekend, he proved he still a match for Bottas. Williams was not really quick in Singapore, top 5 finish is an achievement (even though Nico mechanical faults) and in Qualy he also really good actually

  3. Thank you number2 and craig-o, Massa was very good and also deserves credit for managing the rampaging magnasson. A match for Bottas, I am not sure they were in the same situation to be compared and luck just wasn’t on his side with accidents and pit stops

  4. Vergne fell foul of the stewards on two occasions for leaving the track and gaining an advantage. Both times he was given a five-second time penalty, and though he served one during a pit stop the other was added to his finishing time at the end of the race.

    The stewards had better be careful that it isn’t worthwhile for drivers to intentionally take a 5 second penalty for the benefit of track position. I can’t remember if this happened with Vergne, but if you can open up more than 5 seconds after passing somone illegally then it’s worth taking the penalty. If anything the stewards should err on the side of caution and make sure they are worse off after taking the penalty than if they had driven ‘legally’.

    Not taking anything away from Vergne though, i even voted for him. I think he’s had a good season and doesn’t deserve to be dropped from F1 at the end of the season. Sadly, ‘deserve’ isn’t really a word that applies to Formula One.

    1. We didn’t see the reason for his first penalty, the second was for overtaking Maldonado who pushed JEV out a bit, but as he was way faster it would’ve taken him another 2-3 corners for the overtake to be done with, and afterwards he still had to overtake 4 more cars, and then pull away 5 seconds, so he definitely didn’t gain 5 seconds by getting that pass then and there.

    2. Was thinking the same. 5 seconds penalty isn’t a whole lot if it means you get passed an opponent.

  5. Metaphorical DOTW Standings (1st = 3pts, 2nd = 2pts, 3rd = 1pts)

    1.Hamilton – 22
    2.Ricciardo – 14
    3.Bottas – 12
    4.Alonso – 8
    5.Perez – 5
    =.Vettel – 5
    =.Rosberg – 4
    8.Bianchi – 3
    =.Magnussen – 3
    10.Raikkonen – 2
    =.Hulkenberg – 2
    =.Vergne – 2

    1. its a good observation, but again its not representative. how in earth did Magnussen and Vettel get more points than Hulkenberg, and how comes Alonso only 4th

      1. @f1indofans Because that’s how people felt and rated.

        I must say I personally really rate Hulkenberg along with many others but this season has not been his strongest. I’d rather ask why Raikkonen is even on the chart. Possibly the worst performing driver on the grid this season.

        1. @psynrg think the numbers of fans each drivers also gave effect for DOTW

    2. Rosberg 4 ,that’s telling.

  6. I don’t think Lewis should got driver of the weekend, as he controlled the race and just had to overtake Vettel for the lead which didn’t take long. But JEV had a great race, performed some great overtakes and still kept 6th even with his 5 seconds penalty.

  7. Whaaaaat? Seb gets outqualified by his teammate, takes him on the start and then beats Rocciardo-just despite him having car issues?
    Still gets third?
    Even Lewis didnt really have a fight, did he?
    More like the driver who surprised us all instead of DOTW.

    1. I think Ricciardo was better that weekend. I actually voted for him as DOTW. He had a lot more problems than Vettel and still came home directly behind him.

    2. I think it’s very deserving on this occasion. You have to bear in mind that the margin in qualifying was very small, and that he was on older tyres at the end of the race.

      Had it not been for missing free practice and the safety car interlude, I don’t think Ricciardo would have beaten him in either qualifying or been very close in the race, considering his issues.

    3. You seem to forget that Vettel was missing a significant chunk of his rear downforce, and missed a decent chunk of FP2. Was a toss up between him and Alonso for second in my eyes.

  8. I think @bradley13 was thinking about something else when he wrote this….

    However on a weekend when Mercedes’ rivals were potentially closer to their race pace than at any previous pint this year, the appearance of the Safety Car was a trap waiting to trip them up.

  9. @Stormbreak “He barely beat Nico in qualifying so I can’t find his pole to be that impressive” I didn’t saw it like that. After the mistake he made in the first corner and locked up his fronts I thought that it was over, which shows even more how competitive and cold headed was after that. The sheer speed he has is amazing. Yes I maybe sound biased, but he has this ability to rise on top when needed and to extract everything from the car. The other one to do something similar is Alonso of course…

    1. @nidzovski biased or not you’re right here. I am not a Hamilton fan by any means but it doesn’t mean by how much you snap the pole. Pole is a pole, by how much doesn’t really matter.

    2. Hamilton was decent in Singapore, but on other side he had no challeneger for the win. Thats maybe some people says its not enough

      1. @f1indofans Yeah I agree with you mate. My vote would go to Vergne cause he gained a lot of positions and looked like he didn’t care a lot :). However, to say that Hamilton’s pole was not impressive….

  10. Really? Really? What I mean to say is, really, Hamilton over Vergne?

    1. Why don’t people understand how hard it is for Hamilton to win with a car that is only 2 seconds a lap quicker than anyone else?
      Do you know how hard it is to make big mistakes on qualy runs and still get pole?
      Do you know how hard it is to whine all race even when your waterbottle isn’t boiling and your backside isn’t blistering?
      Do you know how hard it is when you have to overtake a single car in a race even when they’ve got worn out tyres and yours are brand new?
      Do you know how hard it is to understand anyone not voting for Hamilton for DOTW for Singapore?

      1. Vergne took two penalties and was beaten by his teammate I qualifying, again. On top of that, his driving was mediocre for all but the final few laps. There’s simply nothing impressive about a driver who cuts corners so frequently that he gets penalised for it twice in the same race.

        That aside, it’s driver of the weekend, not driver of the last couple of laps.

  11. Rosberg confortably wins as Hamilton retires, no one bats an eye; Hamilton wins as Rosberg retires, everyone loses their minds!

    Seriously, I cant see how he deserves to be the DotW, he won the race (bar reliability) at the moment Rosberg couldnt do the FL.

    1. I see your point, but think you’re missing key details. In Australia Rosberg was out qualified, so couldn’t be driver of the weekend after an easy win.

      In Germany he had no real competition for pole, and again in the race. No safety car etc.

      Hamilton on the other hand got pole and put in some great laps after a safety car. He also had to overtake vettel ( though I’d say this was an easy pass )

    2. @austus I agree mate. As I’ve said before, if the roles were reversed (Rosberg dominating, Hamilton retiring), Rosberg would be nowhere to be seen in the Top 3, because of ‘no opposition’.

    3. I also agree with @austus it seemed that Nico have very few sympathy. I mean he did not made any mistakes in Germany and then Nico had to save fuel in Australia (team orders) and then his podium.in Canad was well deserved, still he lost about the half of Dan vote, and then his win in Austria get very few appreciation, I mean Lewis made mistakes that put him 9th and then cost Nico a possible pole, and then yet Lewis gets 2nd in the vote

      1. @f1indofans

        Its nothing to do with sympathy, its to do with the quality of the driver over he whole weekend.

        Saving a little fuel doesn’t make him a great driver, if it did then Hamilton deserves every vote because he is consistently using less fuel in the races. In Australia Rosberg was out qualified by both Hamilton and Ricciardo, how can someone in the fastest car be voted driver of the weekend if they were out qualified to third ?

        In Canada Rosberg had a great qualifying, but he was jumped in the race by Hamilton before Hamilton’s car broke. Rosberg also made two big mistakes, one while under pressure from Hamilton, the other after the pit stop where he nearly crashed into the wall. Again, great qualifying but quite a poor race. Riccardo was the better driver that weekend.

        In Germany he was pretty faultless, but didn’t have any real competition in both qualifying and the race.

        Its worth noting that Hamilton didn’t win DOTW despite dominating in China…

        1. @f190 then Lewis made worse performance in Canada because he unable to preserve his brakes, and then in Australia, his margin was bigger from 2nd place compare to Lewis margin in Singapore, in Germany you say Nico dominate it with no challenge, same as Singapore, in China he was racing without telemetry and then he had clutch problems which is why he got bad start, and he get DOTW in Bahrain, yet he outqualified by his teammate, Perez and Ricciardo was qualified better than their respective teammates, Lewis is better than Nico, but not that much

          1. This is all opinion you can’t force people to vote for a driver just because he did sort of the same thing. But to answer your questions. Canada both were unable to manage the brakes effectively the problem just hit Lewis a little sooner so the team was able to give Nico some settings to stop his brakes from overheating. In Australia there was no safety car so everyone was on the same tyre strategy, it was the 1st race and red bull were not at 100% of engine or even 80% to be honest, and remember at this stage there is no point ruining an engine by trying to go 25 sec above 2nd place just because Nico did it in Australia ( a win is a win ) In China Nico didn’t have any clutch problem he just had a bad start as he had in Bahrain, and other races after that. He just decided to blame the telemetry afterwards to look better (I only say this because he was asked by the team and he said he had a perfect start in the practice start) I don’t know whether he got a DOTW in Bahrain but if he didn’t why should he have ? He couldn’t make any overtake stick, all while being on the better tyre, and as we found out later he was also using a higher engine map at various stages during the race.

            Anyway regardless of all that people vote for a driver because they liked that driver, or thought that driver performed well during that race, this is not scientific, its emotional.

    4. Except of course that not everyone “lost their minds”, Lewis may have won the vote but he only managed to get the second lowest share of the votes of any winner of DOTW this season.
      61.6% of people voted for someone else, only Bottas has managed to win DOTW with a smaller share of the votes this season.

    5. I agree with you @austus @hsvdt15 @f1indofans.

      Seems very unfair.

  12. Can’t help but feel this is way too biased towards Hamilton.

    Rosberg hardly appears on here, and had that been Rosberg in Hamilton’s situation, I’m pretty sure Rosberg would not have got it.

    1. Maybe if you could give reasons for why you feel Rosberg deserved a driver of the weekend win it would help your argument.

      Australia – He was out qualified and had an easy race which was well controlled, but others performed well and outshone him. Basically Rosberg did nothing special and was out qualified in the fastest car.

      Malaysia – he was beat in both the race and qualifying, being out qualified again by a RedBull.

      Bahrain – Got pole, but was out raced. He couldn’t make any of his moves stick , which to me showed up his weakness as an overtaker.

      China – Was beat again in the race and qualifying. Rosberg only qualified P4.

      Spain – Rosberg was beat both in the race and qualifying.

      Monaco – Mistake in qualifying led to an easy pole. It was a well controlled win, but I can understand why people didn’t vote as a mistake effectively won him the race, which seems a little wrong. That and he was outshone by Bianchi scoring his first point.

      Canada -Rosberg got pole, but hamilton got ahead in the race. He also made a few mistakes in the race ( cutting the corner to keep the lead) and nearly hitting the wall after his pitstop. I therefore don’t feel he was driver of the weekend here.

      Austria – A poor qualifying for both Mercedes drivers, although Rosberg did do a much better job. The race however Hamilton was much stronger as he had that brilliant first lap. Rosberg also ran wide at T1 and was lucky to get away with it.

      Silverstone – DNF

      Germany – This is arguably where he could have won, but again there are reasons why he didn’t and none are Hamilton Bias. Bottas was brilliant that weekend, keeping Hamilton behind and his best finish. Hamilton was also good to come back and get a podium after a poor qualifying through no fault of his own. He made mistakes, so shouldn’t be DOTW, but he did impress overall. ( This race is most like China, where Hamilton dominated and didn’t win DOTW…)

      Hungry – No challenge in qualifying and a poor race where he couldn’t overtake. The safety car did cost him, but not being able to overtake and then being overtaken are what cost him more.

      Spa – Made a mistake which cost his team mate and the team big points and himself the race win.

      Monza – Out qualified and out raced by Hamilton.

      Singapore – DNF

      There is a reason for every race why Rosberg Hasn’t been DOTW. Maybe Rosberg doesn’t appear because he simply hasn’t been as impressive this season ? The stats talk for themselves Hamilton 7 wins to Rosbergs 4 despite having an extra DNF and basically two back of the grid starts.

      1. Yeah, but come on Hamilton still.in contention for DOTW in China (2nd place) but why did Rosberg did not get it in Germany (at least top 3)

        1. I’m going back a long way, but… Germany – Rosberg unopposed in qualifying, unopposed in race, also had top performances from at least three drivers (Ham, Ric, Bot). Whereas China – proper (wet) qualifying where Hamilton came out on top and fewer ‘wow’ moments from the rest of the field (this is where my memory might be off, correct me if a lot of drivers had great races).

    2. Agreed, for example in Austria. Rosberg overqualified Hamilton (who spun on his final run) and beat the 2 Williams to take the win, yet somehow Hamilton got more votes.

      Of course people have a right to vote for who they want but a lot of people can’t see past their favorite driver when they turn in a decent drive instead of voting for one who turned in an excellent drive.

      1. I have voted for Alonso as DOTW before, and I openly refer to him as a dirty cheat whenever I get the chance.

        Sure, there are some people who are biased, but not all.

        I didn’t vote for JEV because his storming drive came on the heels of being out-qualified yet again and two penalties, both for violating track limits when overtaking. It’s driver of the weekend, not driver of the last five laps.

    3. Wow, Who’s the Biased one here?

  13. It’s really how everyone is now saying how much faster the Mercedes car is, yet they were saying that Red Bull have a decent chance of winning the race. Am I the only person that noticed that in qualifying there was not a lot that separated the top ten cars? Remember everyone was saying that the trace is more suited to the Red Bulls?

  14. I think Hamilton had one of his easiest weekends in Singapore and with no opposition he won easily despite all safety cars. On the other hand there was no stand out the only man that outpaced clearly his teammate and had a flawless weekend is Massa but even so the only thing that stood was the long stint on the tyres. Vergne also had a good weekend but the spark in his weekend was the last stint of the race where he was not only quick but as soon as he knew about the penalty very aggressive. Above all it was a bad weekend for racing, whilst being a great one for F1 marketing.

    1. @peartree Sooo… Going 26 laps (6 laps more) on super softs at an insane pace after being unlucky with the SC is not impressive? I’m pretty sure it was nothing remotely close to an easy win.

      1. @losd Leading most of the race, and having 2 secs on the pocket per lap is very hard…

    2. Massa’s stint wasn’t really any longer than others and he was helped by his teammate holding back the herd with his poorly functioning car. Massa could simply cruise along while Bottas was doing all the fighting for him.

      Don’t get the gushing over the overtakes from the guys who switched to fresh tyres at the end either though. Of course Hamilton, Vergne and Perez could easily drive past anyone in front of them at the end of the race. That’s simply the tyre difference.

      Oddly enough people scream how DRS kills racing, yet when the tyre difference has a much bigger impact, the drivers on fresh tyres get carried on shoulders for being the best overtakers ever.

      And no Hamilton didn’t have 2 secs “in the pocket”. The tyre difference alone made up for most of that. He could extract it from the tyres because he used a set extra.

      I didn’t vote for anybody this weekend. No one really stood out for me.

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