Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2014

Three-in-a-row for Hamilton in Driver of the Weekend

2014 Russian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2014Lewis Hamilton won the Driver of the Weekend poll for the third time in a row, but once again he took little more than a third of the vote.

The Russian Grand Prix was a less than spectacular contest in which few drivers had much chance to show what they were capable of.

Hamilton was largely untroubled after team mate Nico Rosberg took himself out of contention at turn two with a lock-up that resulted in a first lap pit stop. That left Hamilton to lead every lap – he was only denied a grand slam by Valtteri Bottas, who took fastest lap and came in third place in the poll.

Hamilton and Bottas were separated by Jenson Button whose efforts in the McLaren were rewarded more highly than they had been at Suzuka. After an eye-catching performance in practice on Friday Button finished a strong fourth to help McLaren leapfrog Force India and begin to close on Ferrari.

Rosberg’s recovery drive to second, meanwhile, saw him collect fourth place in the poll.

1. Lewis Hamilton

Started: 1st
Finished: 1st

With the exception of first practice Hamilton was on top in every single session over the weekend and it rarely looked like he’d be troubled in any of them, with the exception of qualifying where Bottas briefly looked like he might cause a major upset.

Despite starting on pole and getting at least an equal start to Rosberg however, Hamilton was on the back foot heading into turn two, as Rosberg picked up the tow and dived down the inside.

Yet that very moment likely won Hamilton the race. Rosberg braked too hard and too suddenly and locked up for around 60 metres, flat-spotting his tyres severely enough to require a pit stop on the first lap, and handing Hamilton an untroubled lead.

From then on Hamilton simply had to manage the gap back to Bottas and cruise to the finish, which is exactly what he did to claim his fourth win in a row and extend his championship lead to 17 points.

First practice one aside where they were close, he dominated Rosberg all weekend. Through no fault of his own had a quiet race but had the pace in hand when he needed it towards the end. Not a faultless weekend with spins in first practice, but he nailed it when it really mattered.
James (@Iamjamm)

Great but he wasn’t under pressure at all. He was coasting the car most of the race; great but uninteresting, and it’s hard to tell since Rosberg was driving like a novice when it mattered the most.
@Maksutov

Should go to Hamilton:
FP1 – P2
FP2 – P1
FP3 – P1
Q1 – P1
Q2 – P1
Q3 – P1
Race – P1
@Usukpam

2. Jenson Button

Started: 4th
Finished: 4th

Following Friday’s practice sessions it looked like McLaren could well be the main challenger to Mercedes over the course of the weekend, and Button was upbeat about his prospects.

That faded on Saturday morning however as McLaren’s pace disappeared as quickly as it had arrived, but thankfully returned for qualifying, and Button qualified fourth, his best dry qualifying result of the season.

A start similar to those around him saw no change in his position until Rosberg pitted at the end of the first lap, and from then on Button looked like he was on for a podium, only to be denied by Rosberg’s impressive 52-lap run on one set of tyres.

I can’t justify giving this to Hamilton as he had the best car and after turn one Rosberg was no longer a threat. Bottas threw it away on that final qualifying lap so can’t have the vote for the weekend. Therefore Button, a quiet race but a deserved fourth place in a car that doesn’t deserve to be there at the moment.
@Broke84

He had a very clean weekend and did the maximum out of what was realistically available.
James (@Jamesjames123abc)

3. Valtteri Bottas

Started: 3rd
Finished: 3rd

Bottas looked quick all weekend and very nearly caused the surprise of the season during qualifying. Having matched Hamilton in the first and second sectors Bottas looked likely to cause an upset, but mistakes in the final two corners ruined any chances.

Like Button behind, a start similar to those around him saw him fail to gain – nor lose – any places, although he moved up to second when Rosberg pitted.

Bottas looked like he might have the pace to challenge Hamilton in the opening stint but steadily dropped back and fell even further behind in the second stint, also losing out on second to Rosberg.

Went for Bottas but to be honest nobody impressed me this weekend.
Patrick (@Paeschli)

2014 Driver of the Weekend results

RaceFirstSecondThird
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%)
RussiaLewis Hamilton (34.5%)Jenson Button (20.6%)Valtteri Bottas (15.7%)

2014 Russian Grand Prix

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Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

45 comments on “Three-in-a-row for Hamilton in Driver of the Weekend”

  1. Nobody really stood out across the whole weekend but I think Lewis deserved DOTW because of his constant advantage over Rosberg and he drove well for the situation and was thinking ahead by taking less life out of the engine. Hopefully that’ll pay off!

  2. am i the only one that thinks hamilton didn’t deserve any of those last three DOTWs?
    he’s in the best car, didn’t have to fight because rosberg made mistakes or had a broken car.

    just saying.

    1. lol Ham should have won Sukuka so their is 1.

    2. In my opinion it should not be taken away from Lewis if Nico makes mistakes (or vice versa). There have been some weekends where Lewis shouldnt have been that high on ratings but I think he really deserved to be DOTW in Singapore and Russia (at least).

    3. He’s in a bit of a no win situation, if he tops the timing sheets in practice, gets pole and the win then basically he’s doing what we expect him to do given the fact he’s got the best car. Unless Nico puts up a decent fight then Lewis doesn’t have much of a challenge and can effectively spend the race cruising, a bit like Vettel in lots of races over the past few years.
      While I can’t take anything away from Lewis’s performance I still couldn’t vote for him last weekend as he didn’t do anything more than what I’d expected of him, although I can understand why others may have voted for him.

      Saying that, I struggled to think of anyone to vote for after Sochi as no-one really stood out as having a particularly great performance all weekend.

      1. @fanatico, @rigi and @beneboy Let’s just say Vettel did those things 9 times in a row last year but didn’t get 9 DOTW did he…

        1. Let’s just say that the battle for the 2014 championship is a bit more intense than the “battle” for the 2013 championship which ended as soon as Pirelli stopped bringing the trick tyres.

          1. @kodongo I think that Rosberg is also generally considered to be a better driver than Webber was in his final season so beating Rosberg is seen as a bigger achievement (and rightly so if you ask me).

            Another factor is that no other driver has really stood out during the last races; for instance, if Button had been on the podium, he might have won this poll. Vettel was also usually voted the DotW in 2013 if there were no other eye-catching performances.

          2. @kodongo and @girts I agree Rosberg has been a bigger challenger to Hamilton than Webber ever was after 2010. But Rosberg in my eyes is in no way better than Webber. The only reason he is still so close is because the Mercedes is so dominant it is never a problem finishing P2 when Hamilton was to fast for him. He won a pity four races;
            1) Melbourne / Ham retired on lap 2
            2) Monaco / Basically pole was everything
            3) Hockenheim / Lewis had to start where again?
            4) Austria / Hard to overtake and Lewis started P6

            Then let’s look at the races Ricciardo won;
            1) Canada / ROS might have won it but I think Lewis would’ve found a way.
            2) Hungary / ROS could’ve won easily if not for that SC, HAM started P22?
            3) Spa / Yes, maybe. We’ll never know this one.

            So I have no problem keeping this ‘Rosberg is really pushing Hamilton’-vibe alive but it’s getting ridiculous. Rosberg isn’t as fast, hasn’t got the racecraft and ‘he’s smarter’, well you know where he can put that…

            And I’m not a Hamilton fanboy, not at all. But the drama has been created more by the media than actual races on track. Sure Bahrein was fun but even there on better tyres, no fuel problems he couldn’t get past on what is possibly the easiest DRS zone of the season. Rosberg is in this titlefight because of luck. It has even come this far he had to admit in Japan Hamilton was faster.

            Take Webber in his prime and Rosberg in his prime (arguably now), I’d put my money on the Aussie any day of the week. In the end they are men from different times in F1.

            In the end both Vettel and Hamilton deserve praise for dominating their respective teammates. But I hardly think Hamilton has it that much harder with Rosberg that there is no comfortable margin for him. Rosberg will do more to step out of that zone as he probably realizes this might be his only chance where Webber was morally tired of F1/Vettel/Red Bull after 2011. Then rejuventated in 2012 (Mid-season he had more points than Vettel) but then the design went on the Vettel path and that was the end of it.

            So maybe Rosberg did a good job this season, sure, but in the end I never see him beating Hamilton.

          3. That was one of the most accurate descriptions I’ve seen of what has ACTUALLY happened this year by PorscheF1 (@xtwl).
            Some people keep arguing that Rosberg has been doing a great job, but it’s really just circumstances. If this was a spec series and everyone was driving the Silver Arrow, I believe Rosberg would be somewhere around 5th or 6th while HAM, ALO and possibly RIC and BOT would be fighting for the top.
            Nico would be fighting with Massa for 5th or 6th.

        2. @xtwl
          I agree mate, and that’s one of the reasons I didn’t give Lewis my vote. I do like Lewis a lot and could easily vote for him most weekends, which is why I ask myself “Would I have voted for Seb if he performed like this last season” before I vote.

    4. @rigi – Out of interest, who would you have gone for?

      1. @petebaldwin i went for button, but i would’ve placed bottas and even ericsson in front of hamilton.

        1. @rigi

          I just don’t understand that logic tho. If you think about it, Bottas had the second fastest car, so his third place is just the same as Hamilton’s first place. Both drivers have just qualified and finished the race in their expected positions, but Bottas made a mistake in qualifying whereas Hamilton didn’t. So why would a driver who made a mistake be voted higher than one which didn’t ?

          1. Bottas did well but I think he should have followed what Hamilton did in a previous race and ignore his pit wall. When they told him not to fight Rosberg as Rosberg’s tyres will fall off and he will get a chance to overtake ..that was a mistake. He should have started to push earlier and get more heat into his tyres earlier, in that way he would have done a better job keeping Rosberg behind. He needed to be more aggressive in his race strategy. If he had beaten Rosberg then I would have voted him top driver.

          2. @rigi – Fair enough. I was expecting Bottas… which brings me to my point:

            @f190 – spot on. I don’t get the constant praise for Bottas whilst saying Hamilton winning was unimpressive.

            The Williams is comfortably the 2nd fastest car on certain tracks and Sochi was one of them! He had no competition from his team mate and simply drove around on his own other than being passed by Rosberg at one point.

          3. @f190 Yup, also Bottas surrendered his 2nd place to Rosberg rather easily I thought. I was expecting him to be a real problem, with his straight-line speed and the prospect of Rosberg trying to follow on old tyres, but he didn’t even cover the inside.

          4. @f190 @petebaldwin the margin is much smaller with the second fastest car. williams, mclaren, ferrari and red bull were of equal pace while it doesn’t take much for mercedes to cruise to victory.
            but i do get your point and looking back at it i think maybe i shouldn’t have said bottas was better than hamilton.

    5. Not making mistakes and putting enough pressure on your team mate that he does is exactly what he should be doing. That’s the fight. As fun as it is, wheel to wheel racing like in Bahrain is very risky, and as a result very rare. His spin in FP1 told him where the limit was. He was then quicker than Rosberg in every other session, and kept his cool in T2 in the race. You might not like it, but that’s what it takes to beat your team mate in a dominant car.

    6. ColdFly F1 (@)
      21st October 2014, 15:42

      “am i the only one that thinks hamilton didn’t deserve any of those last three DOTWs?”

      Let’s answer that one statistically: A majority (61.1% – Ita, 61.6% – Sin, 65.5% – Rus) of poll respondents agree with you on any of those races in isolation.
      Thus that can be anywhere from 0-61% agreeing with you that he should have won none of them. If there were no correlation between the various polls then it 25% agree that he should have won none; which is still a fairly big number.

      I guess that the (likely) majority is saying that he must have done ‘something right’ to earn (some of) the accolade!

    7. @rigi I believe he deserves them, but only if the bias doesn’t go the other way. Surely if Lewis gets Singapore and Russia when he had no challenge, Nico should have gotten Austria and Germany then.

      1. Here’s the thing…

        Singapore: Lewis gets pole, Nico manages a close second. Lewis wins the race.

        Russia: Lewis gets pole, Nico gets second. Lewis wins the race.

        Austria: Massa (not Lewis or Nico) gets pole, Nico wins the race.

        Germany: Nico gets pole (Lewis is out of Q1 by no fault of his own), Nico wins the race.

        Maybe aside from Germany, I don’t see how Nico deserves DOTW. Look at Austria, he had the fastest car (like how people keep preaching about), did he get the pole? No. That’s not getting the job done. Did Lewis get the pole? No. That’s not getting the job done. Does Nico or Lewis deserve DOTW in Austria? No. They did get it? No.

        In Singapore and Austria, Lewis got the car on pole AND won the race. He got the job done, that’s why he got DOTW. Like I said above, Germany may be the only case where some felt Rosberg deserved DOTW, afterall it’s not under his control that Hamilton could not challenge him for pole right?

        1. In Singapore and Russia*

  3. Notice that Rosberg has not won a single DOTW. The prospect of him winning the championship as a result of Lewis having bad luck in Abu dhabi worries me.

    1. You can get really good odds on Rosberg winning the title. Effectively, you’d be betting on Lewis having a DNF at roughly 3/1.

      1. I stuck some pennies on him at 4-1 just before Monaco, after Hamilton had won four in a row. So regardless of what my head and heart wants, my wallet will be in Rosberg’s corner!

    2. It is a worry. But if it happens, it happens and Rosberg will be champion.

      However going by the general vibe, it will always be a tainted championship.

      Which is not really fair on Nico just as much as it would not really be fair on Lewis.

      1. Of course it would be fair to see it as a tainted championship. Why do you think Rosberg is so unpopular suddenly, when everyone used to love him? Even Sky are calling Monaco ‘controversial’, and the kindest possible interpretation of Spa, for which his own team forced him to apologise, is that it was a clumsy blunder which gave him an 18-point advantage. And even that’s only possible if you avoid looking at the position of his steering as Lewis’ rear wheel goes past.

        Now we can all see that most weekends Lewis out-drives him, so if Nico does win it the 2014 wdc won’t represent the best driving, will it? It will represent the worst stewarding, more like.

        Not to say that IF Nico outdrives Lewis in the next three races it won’t look different, of course. That’s just not what we’re expecting at this point.

        1. I’m not contesting any of that. Nico has made his moves and he has to live with them. I want Lewis to win this championship as much as anyone.

          But double points have nothing to do with Nico or any other driver. If Nico wins the championship purely because of double points then it hardly seems fair to chastise him for the fact. Even more so if it’s also comes down to reliability of their respective cars.

          1. Oh I agree double points are not Nico’s fault. It’s just the question of whether the points total is going to reflect the driving at the end of the day, and thus ‘does the wdc deserve it’.

            And the double points makes the wrong outcome a bit more possible. I understand lots of people like to respect the champion irrespective, fair enough, but for me personally I am 180 degrees disillusioned with Rosberg and barring surprises I would regard his championship as tainted. Unless as I said he should outdrive Lewis from here on in, which would make it a bit more palatable.

            But it’s a sport (somewhat) and the general vibe is what he’s earned, as you kinda say I think.

    3. Irrelevant. DOTW is largely a popularity pool.

      1. It’s not going to change the outcome of the championship, but I’d hardly say it’s irrelevant. It’s a useful measure people perceive a drivers performance over the year. On its own, meaningless, but you combine it with Lewis’s 9 wins to Nico’s 4, it paints a picture of who “deserves” the championship more.

      2. Then why haven’t Button or Raikkonen won every weekend?

      3. Your favourite driver not getting DOTW again?
        In all seriousness though, most things we say/or vote on this site are largely irrelevant. But who cares. It gets us through the week and into a new GP weekend.

      4. If it’s all about popularity, then why is there a diversity in the DOTW polls every race? Are you suggesting that F1F users change their loyalties every weekend?

        P.S. Here is the popularity poll: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/12/26/kimi-raikkonen-now-popular-driver-f1-fanatic/

  4. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
    21st October 2014, 14:01

    Seems a bit harsh to discount Bottas on the basis of Saturday, given that he qualified as high as possible and came within a whisker of pulling off something extraordinary – that’s the kind of driver I like, someone who makes you sit-up and go “wow!”.

    1. Thing is, he did overdrive the car in Q3 and lost what very probably could have been at least a P2 in qualifying. Also he showed he could keep up with Hamilton during the race, but then let it slide. Then when Rosberg ended up close behind him after the pitstops, he didn’t put up any fight at all either. Either staying closer behind Hamilton (keeping a gap to Rosberg) or actually putting up a fight could have yielded P2 in the race.

      I agree that Bottas is a driver that makes you sit up and go “wow”, but he could have gotten P2 in qualifying and P2 in the race. So this weekend wasn’t much “wow” but instead just “OK, so that’s what the Williams can do when you cruise along”

  5. It is heartening to see that the single largest vote anyone has got this season is Jules Bianchi for Monaco. That was truly one of the drives of the season. Only matched by Alonso in Hungary, I feel

    1. Then how come the statistics shows only 40% of all votes for Alonso in Hungary while Lewis has the second highest votes of 54% and Bianchi 60% on a weekend so far this season.

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      21st October 2014, 15:48

      @Sumedh, thanks for pointing that out. It is good to see that DOTW also rewards those who go ‘the extra mile’.

  6. Rosberg is a better driver than Webber coz of him vettel hasn’t exposed so far.rosberg doing a good job that he is giving Hamilton tough times on track.if he was at redbull during 10-14 he might be world champion like vettel.yes he can’t match Hamilton ‘s talent but still a decent driver.

    1. Which track did Nico give Lewis tough times, apart from Spa?

  7. Having a closer look at the result again… I just realised that, Nico Rosberg has never won any of them.

    1. Which makes sense really. When both Mercedes cars were fully functional, Rosberg only won in Austria and Monaco. Austria was really Williams’ race and Monaco Bianchi’s.

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