Start, Albert Park, 2015

Vote for 2015 Australian GP Driver of the Weekend

2015 Australian Grand Prix

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Which F1 driver was the best performer during the Australian Grand Prix weekend?

Review how each driver got on below and vote for who impressed you the most during the last race weekend.

Australian Grand Prix driver-by-driver


Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2015Lewis Hamilton – All weekend long Hamilton seemed to have a couple of tenths of a second in hand over Rosberg in the first sector. His first run in Q3 was good enough to take pole position by almost half a second, but he lowered his time on his second run anyway. A clean start and smooth restart meant he was untroubled by Rosberg at the start of the race, and despite misleading messages from his duel read-out he kept Rosberg back in the second stint.

Nico Rosberg – Having led the way on Friday Rosberg seemed to be put off his stride by a gearbox problem in final practice, then suffered a few hiccups in qualifying and ended up well off Hamilton’s time. It wasn’t representative of the gap between them, but if the Mercedes wasn’t so much faster than anything else it would have been more of a problem. The gap between them in the race was never that large, but whenever Rosberg tested Hamilton a response came immediately, confining him to second.

Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo – The trademark grin was seriously tested by Red Bull’s persistent problems with a Renault engine that lacks both reliability and drive-ability. The former meant he only managed 19 laps before qualifying, and the latter was a persistent aggravation, particularly when it spoiled an otherwise good start to the race. Under the circumstances he did well to qualify sixth, but the fact he finished behind a Sauber shows Renault have a lot of work to do.

Start, Albert Park, 2015Daniil Kvyat – Wasn’t able to accompany his team mate into Q3, and then failed to start the race at all following a gearbox problem on his first lap. A disappointing start to his first grand prix for Red Bull.


Felipe Massa – Close to his team mate’s pace in practice but didn’t look like out-qualifying the other car until Bottas suffered his back problem. Massa pipped both Ferrari drivers to third, albeit a daunting second and a half off the Mercedes. He didn’t have the pace to keep Vettel behind in the race, but brought the sole remaining Williams home in a useful fourth.

Valtteri Bottas – If anyone was going to get within a second of the Mercedes drivers in qualifying Bottas was probably the most likely to do so. Unfortunately he began suffering back pain in qualifying which later turned out to be “a very small tear in the annular part of a disc in his lower back”. That ruled him out of the race, though he hopes to be back for Malaysia.


Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Albert Park, 2015Sebastian Vettel – Vettel’s first race for Ferrari went about as well as he could have hoped. After chiding himself for not taking third place on the grid when it was in the offing, he took it off Massa in the race by pitting three laps later than the Williams and dropping his lap time by around eight-tenths of a second despite the age of his tyres.

Kimi Raikkonen – Narrowly out-qualified by Vettel, Raikkonen was squeezed by his team mate in the first corner, then hit from behind by Sainz. That knocked the car into anti-stall mode and dropped him back to eighth. He later passed Sainz but a slow first pit stop dropped him further back, and more problems at the second stop forced him out. A luckless start to 2015, but there was much comfort to be drawn from his and the team’s promising performance.


Kevin Magnussen – One way or another Alonso’s McLaren was destined not to start this race. In Magnussen’s hands it qualified last, then broke down on its way to the grid.

Jenson Button – Got within a five-hundredths of a second of Ericsson’s Sauber in qualifying. Using conservative engine settings he got the McLaren to the end of the race, and even managed a brief scrap with Perez. He found quite a bit more pace on his final lap too.

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Force India

Nico Hulkenberg – Won the qualifying battle at Force India by one-thousandth of a second, but with the VJM08 still early in its development Q3 seemed out of reach. Rose unobtrusively to seventh with an error-free race. “At this stage in the season it is important to capitalise on any opportunity,” he said, adding he expects the team to be more competitive in Malaysia.

Sergio Perez – Interestingly, when the FIA discovered Perez had overtaken Ericsson under the Safety Car they chose to tell him to hand the position back instead of dishing out a penalty as they did to Heikki Kovalainen in similar circumstances three years ago. He had to let Button past while doing that, and later spun while trying to pass the McLaren. He got past in the end, however, and collected the final point.

Toro Rosso

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Toro Rosso, Albert Park, 2015Max Verstappen – Lost most of the second practice session due to a battery problem, but going into qualifying it was nip-and-tuck between him and Sainz for who would be quickest. A mistake at turn four on his last lap in Q2 kept Verstappen from reaching the top ten. In the race he ran as high as fifth during a long first stint on medium tyres, but the possibility of scoring points died along with his engine following his pit stop.

Carlos Sainz Jnr – Qualified an excellent seventh but after making a good start he clipped Raikkonen, damaging his front wing. A disastrous pit stop then cost him half a minute and dropped him out of contention for the upper points places, and with four laps to go Ericsson demoted him to ninth. Nonetheless, he scored points on his debut.


Romain Grosjean – Was quick in the new Lotus when it ran, but lost most of the first practice session and retired at the end of lap one in the race with a power unit problem.

Pastor Maldonado – Had he given Nasr’s Sauber a little more room in turn two, a top five finish would have been possible. “It’s disappointing because it was a great chance for us to have a great race,” he said.


Felipe Nasr, Sauber, Albert Park, 2015Marcus Ericsson – Took the first points of his career on a difficult weekend for Sauber as neither driver was able to run in first practice due to their ongoing legal problems. However he was unhappy with his car’s braking and consequently rarely looked like the more experienced Sauber driver. It was Ericsson who failed to get through Q1, and at the end of the race he was over a minute behind Nasr.

Felipe Nasr – Given that he hadn’t driven around the Albert Park circuit before, that Sauber don’t have a simulator for him to use and the team didn’t run in first practice, Nasr did a first-rate job to get his car into Q3 and bring it home in fifth place. He navigated the turn one trouble spot well and withstood race-long pressure from Ricciardo.


Neither Will Stevens nor Roberto Merhi were able to run as Manor failed to complete their cars on time.

Qualifying and race results summary

DriverStartedGap to team mateLaps leading team matePittedFinishedGap to team mate
Lewis Hamilton1st-0.594s56/5811st-1.36s
Nico Rosberg2nd+0.594s2/5812nd+1.36s
Daniel Ricciardo6th-0.391s0/016th
Daniil Kvyat12th+0.391s0/0
Felipe Massa3rd-0.369s0/014th
Valtteri Bottas6th+0.369s0/00
Sebastian Vettel4th-0.033s40/4013rd
Kimi Raikkonen5th+0.033s0/402
Kevin Magnussen17th+0.615s0/0
Jenson Button16th-0.615s0/0111th
Nico Hulkenberg13th-0.001s57/5727th-33.743s
Sergio Perez14th+0.001s0/57110th+33.743s
Max Verstappen11th+0.267s9/321
Carlos Sainz Jnr7th-0.267s23/3219th
Romain Grosjean8th-0.92s0/00
Pastor Maldonado9th+0.92s0/00
Marcus Ericsson15th+0.946s0/5738thNot on same lap
Felipe Nasr10th-0.946s57/5715thNot on same lap

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.

Vote for the best driver of the Australian Grand Prix weekend

  • Felipe Nasr (61%)
  • Marcus Ericsson (1%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Carlos Sainz Jnr (2%)
  • Max Verstappen (2%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (1%)
  • Jenson Button (4%)
  • Kevin Magnussen (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (2%)
  • Sebastian Vettel (10%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (0%)
  • Felipe Massa (1%)
  • Daniil Kvyat (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (16%)

Total Voters: 946

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Author information

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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140 comments on “Vote for 2015 Australian GP Driver of the Weekend”

  1. No doubt for me, Felipe Nasr.
    Might be too early to say this but, finally a bright future for Brazil. I’ve been following him for some time so I’m delighted with his performance.

    1. Exact same. Felipe Nasr.
      Following him since 2012, he’s a consistent and intelligent driver.

    2. Yep. I may be a HAM fan boy, but Nasr was BRILLIANT! Great Quali, great start, great defense and offense during the race, made it through a rather ham-fisted attempt by Kimi to immediately come back on track (after he was admittedly knocked off by Carlos) and maintained tyres and his position well beyond what anyone could have expected.

      I’m also a Kimi fan, but he has GOT to stop immediately jerking back on track when he’s off and not slowing down. It’s not worth getting killed for or hurting someone else. Slow down and rejoin when it’s safe guys.

    3. Same here. Would be driver of the weekend anyways, but even more with the reasons:
      – Sauber’s 2014 season
      – soap opera starring GvdG
      – missing Prac1

      1. Completely agree. He had to deal with all that and hold off Ricciardo. Also, he did all this in his 1st F1 race. It’s still too early to say but he might be one to watch in the next few years.

    4. Completely agree. Nasr may be a pay driver, but unlike many others he has actual speed and skill. Only been following him since last year, though I knew about him for some time, but he’s definitely something special. The new Sauber is a significant improvement and that helped too.

      1. Nasr may be a pay driver

        He doesn’t pay for himself though, it’s the Banco do Brasil that does – they believe he is worth sponsoring, over all the other Brazilian drivers who have come through F1 in the recent past – including the current driver Felipe Massa. I wouldn’t call Nasr a “pay driver”.

        1. How is that any different to Pastor Maldonado and PDVSA?

          1. Pastor showed he was worth sponsoring when he drove great a couple years a go and even won a race. things have gone backwards for him though…..

          2. Or Alonso/Santander?

          3. Pastor showed he was worth sponsoring when he drove great a couple years a go and even won a race.

            Maldonado drove great in that one race, but not so much that year, with the points he wasted.

          4. @asanator Or Chilton? His father clearly thinks he’s worth to be sponsored too :p

  2. petebaldwin (@)
    16th March 2015, 16:32

    Nasr for me. Hamilton was flawless but considering the pace advantage, there wasn’t much for him to do! I don’t like down-marking drivers for happening to find themselves in a massively quick car but it just all felt too easy for him.

    1. So how is this any different for Nasr? Looks like he also simply had the pace in the car for where he finished (plus all the cars that stopped or didn’t even start ahead of him).

      He qualified in P11 and after 1 car didn’t start, 3 cars stopped during the race and 2 had engine troubles slowing them down, he climbed 6 places by default.

      1. SHHHHHHHH with your facts.
        Don’t ruin this for us.

      2. Yes, but he was pretty much 5th from the first corner so that negates all the drop outs behind him. He did also manage to keep Ricciardo behind him all race, which would’ve been no mean feat. Add to that the lack of running in FP1 & 2 and his quali effort, his race result means he is my contender for DOTW.

        1. All those cars that Nasr “overtook” were out or down before the race or around the first corner yes. So how does that change anything?

          1. He overtook Sainz without DRS after Safety Car period….

          2. That was Ericsson who overtook Sainz

      3. Did you see Riccardo trying to catch him?
        Nasr is a bit like Piquet, as a driver and obsessive as Senna, as a person.
        Just keep an eye on him.

      4. @patrickl
        Red Bull were pretty evenly matched with Sauber in Australia. RBR were quicker in the early phases of a stint, Sauber quicker when the tyres wore down. Nasr beat Ricciardo (who many people proclaimed as the second coming in 2014) in a straight fight with very equal cars.

        1. So you simply decide that the cars are the same and therefore Nasr must be better?

  3. I’ll go with Nasr. I think he exceeded expectations all weekend. Very strong drive indeed.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      16th March 2015, 16:34

      I always knew Nasr was a good driver – his record shows that – but I didn’t expect Sauber to show anywhere near the pace they did!

    2. I imagined him to be good, but I don’t think he put a foot wrong and his result is a reflection of that.

  4. The driver who did it better than expected, Felipe Nasr!
    Excellent drive by a rookie.

  5. Looks like I wasn’t the only one to vote a little contradictory. Voted Rosberg, although he was outclassed by Lewis once more he gave me a good impression. I don’t think he’ll fight for the title but do hope he can challenge at some races and Melbourne was one of them. Lewis was just quicker but not by the margins we saw last year in Malaysia or China. I think on the tracks that suit him he might be able to provide us with a fight for the win.

    1. I don’t quite understand your logic @xtwl . Surely if Rosberg was the best driver this weekend he wouldn’t have been outclassed in both qualifying and the race by his team mate?

    2. petebaldwin (@)
      16th March 2015, 16:41

      How can the best driver of the weekend be outclassed by someone? It’s always hard to judge whether Hamilton or Nasr (for example) did a better job because they have different machienary.

      Because of the gap in pace, there is only one driver you can fairly compare Rosberg to and he was “outclassed” by him!

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        16th March 2015, 16:42

        *machinery – not sure what I was trying to spell….!

    3. @xtwl I personally thought Hamilton was on a different league, it’s just that he didn’t need to show it. He had a reserve of both pace and fuel that he was able to dig into whenever Rosberg tried to get close to him. Given Rosberg’s less than perfect qualifying, the German was definitely not the best driver overall.
      But again, it’s a matter of opinion.

    4. @craig-o, @petebaldwin I don’t rate Rosberg as high as many do so for me he did an impressive job to keep up with a driver I rate much higher.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        16th March 2015, 17:00

        Ah ok I can see what you’re going with. Fair enough – he did put a bit of pressure on Hamilton and you could argue that Hamilton was going at 50% of what he was capable of whereas Rosberg was more at 80% but on that basis, surely Nasr was more impressive considering he has no F1 experience as opposed to Rosberg who has been a Merc driver for years.

        Where do you stop with it – DOTW to Maldonado every time he doesn’t crash?

        1. @petebaldwin I’d go hand him an award myself. ;)

          Nah I rarely do this but I didn’t felt anyone in particular deserved the vote except for Nasr and I was pretty sure he’d get enough votes already.

      2. I’m struggling to see what you mean by ‘keep up with’ here. He was in a car well over a second quicker than the next best thing, he was over half a second behind in qualifying and whenever he attempted to make a challenge in the race, Hamilton was able to respond without looking like he was trying.

        That’s hardly ‘keeping up with’ somebody in my books.

    5. I don’t understand how you can vote for someone who you agree has been outclassed by his teammate? Just seems a little weird.

      Went Nasr myself

    6. I don’t really understand why you voted for Rosberg. Yes, it’s your opinion, but Rosberg didn’t take pole position, didn’t get the fastest lap, and didn’t win the race, because that was all done by his teammate, so Rosberg didn’t really achieve much this weekend.

      1. @ultimateuzair Among all these things people voted for Button, Bottas, Kimi, Magnussen and Ericcson. To each his own reasoning I guess.

    7. “Lewis was just quicker but not by the margins we saw last year in Malaysia or China.”

      Maybe because of Mercedes insistence on making driver data open. Rosberg learned big time from Hamilton after he got smashed in Malaysia. And has spent all winter practicing Hamiltons methods of driving and fuel saving.

  6. I think Felipe Nasr was the best this weekend.

    1. Who voted for Rosberg?

      1. @ultimateuzair LOL I feel the same way. The guy above your comment though said he voted for him… I still don’t know why.

  7. Given that he hadn’t driven around the Albert Park circuit before, that Sauber don’t have a simulator for him to use and the team didn’t run in first practice…

    That pretty well seals it for me. Nasr. Fantastic job.

  8. Has to be Nasr. Even with the depleted grid, 5th place on your debut – driving for a team that scored exactly zilch last season – can’t be ignored. Fantastic drive. Also nearly made it into Q3 and beat Ericcson in Q1 by nearly a whole second.

    1. Ericsson had troubles with his new brakes in qualifying, his fastest lap in the race was on pair with his qualifying run and he set a even better time in FP3. There is no way Ericsson is 1sec slowar than Nasr.

      1. While I agree Ericsson is not a full second slower than Nasr, I still believe Nasr is faster. Then again, Ericsson at the end of the race on new tyres drove very well and easily handled Carlos Sainz. Showed some maturity there, the Swede.

  9. I’ve been super critical of him in the past, especially when he got a F1 seat and Jolyon Palmer did not, but I had to pick Felipe Nasr here. Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton were also worthy of the award this time around.

    Nasr thrashed his team mate in qualifying, and was mixing with not just Red Bulls and Toro Rossos, but a Ferrari too. Yes, the Sauber may well be a quick car, but when you take into consideration that he missed the entirety of FP1 through no fault of his own, you must give the guy some massive credit.

  10. I agree: Nasr.

    Now, I felt that the review of Williams’ duo was completely biased: Massa “didn’t look” like beating Valtteri, but somehow he did it. And Valtteri somehow was “likely” to close the gap to the Mercedes, but he didn’t. I really like Valtteri, but Massa did a flawless quali lap to take the third spot, and lost the podium because of another bad strategy by Smedley (Vettel’s three laps before pitting were also key). The review, IMHO, is a bit misleading.
    Rock on.

    1. According to Williams and Massa, it was one of his worst quali laps ever.

  11. I gave this one to Max Verstappen.

    For a number of reasons, for one, he proved the prejudiced people wrong, by showing he is not just ready to be in F1, but to compete with the best of them.

    He also showed himself as very mature and handled the whole weekend, the interviews etc. as a veteran.

    A very impressive debut for anyone, never mind a driver with the limited racing experience in bigger categories.

    And I’ll just add one thing about the grudge I have against the people who on one hand said Max is too young to drive in F1. How can they say that on the one hand, but then propose giving Susie the Williams drive. That is not just double standards, it’s worse.

    1. I thought it was a good debut, but beaten by Sainz Jr in quali, and we won’t know who would have won between them due to Sainz’s dodgy pitstop/Verstappen’s retirement.

      Was actually more impressed by Carlos, just due to the hype around Verstappen. Still very impressive for a 17 year old nonetheless

      1. Last couple of years have been generally good for the rookies. And so was this race.

        I feel that the whole field in general is quite strong. If only the same could be said for the teams and their finances.

        1. shows how easy f1 cars are to drive… rookies can come in and finish ahead of seasoned veterans. experience still counts, but it seems most race car drivers around the world could jump into an f1 car and drive it really really fast.

    2. I went the opposite direction and voted for Carlos. He was outstanding on both Saturday and Sunday and if not the problems with power after the restart and dodgy pit stop he would be probably around 7 place. Great drive.

    3. Agreed! Plus looking at race pace, he was not much slower on the harder compound than Sainz was on soft.

      Bit OT, I think it would be better if we could give multiple points to multiple drivers.

  12. Felipe Nasr was the driver of the weekend for me. Absolutely faultless drive, had some nice agressive overtakes and got the absolute maximum out of the car. We’ll have a lot of joy from him this year.

    Also honorable mentions to the other rookies. Verstappen’s only fault this weekend was a little slip up in Q2 which cost him a place in Q3. He drove a fantastic race and was just as fast on his medium tyres than the cars around him on softs. Could have taken 6th, and certainly 7th without his engine problem.

    Sainz did a great job in qualy. Drove a bit of a calm race but considering the power deficit of his Renault engine couldn’t have done more, he also had bad luck with his long pit stop.

    Furthermore I feel Hulkenberg and Vettel got the most out of their car this weekend.

  13. I preferred the old format

    1. Same here.

      I went for Hulkenberg, but I seem to be the only one.

  14. I actually voted for Vettle. While I think Nasr did an excellent job, and made this a very tough decision, I think Vettle takes the cake, because of the expectations on him. Unlike Nasr, who only really needed to have an OK weekend, coming to Ferrari, especially after a season like 2014, puts a lot of pressure on a driver, and Seb really lived up to it, and did great. And just to be clear, I’m not a Vettle fan (but I don’t hate him either).

    1. It was between Vettel and Nasr for me too and while I thought Seb performed very well, I didn’t get the excitement that I did from watching Nasr. Nasr got my vote.

    2. Agree. Close call between Nasr and Vettel.

      “I’m not a Vettle fan” – We can tell as you managed to misspell his name thrice.

  15. Felipe Nasr.

  16. I voted for Button.To get that “car” to the flag was like climbing a mountain. :)

    1. Alexander (@)
      16th March 2015, 18:30

      Any one could have cruised the car to the finish, It was the teams effort to get it to the flag :)

    2. @dex022 For me Nasr was choice No1 and Button was Choice No 2.

      On a lighter note, Hope you had read this article from Sniff Petrol ( @sniffpetrol )
      McLaren finishes Australian Grand Prix:

    3. petebaldwin (@)
      17th March 2015, 15:05

      I went for Nasr (for obvious reasons) but I can see the reasoning behind going for Button. He was the only driver who provided any sort of excitement on track throughout the whole race.

  17. I think it has to be between one of four drivers really; Hamilton, Vettel, Hulkenberg and Nasr.

    4th is Hulkenberg. He strongly out paced Perez in the race, and just about (by one thousandth) pipped him in qualifying. He beat drivers in faster cars (albeit not the greatest drivers) and whilst he got lucky with retirements and no shows, he pretty much extracted as much as possible from the car I felt.

    3rd is Vettel. Overall he did a very good job. Pretty great in qualifying and played his role perfectly in the strategy to completely leap frog Massa, and then pull away some after the pitstop.

    2nd is Hamilton. Flawless weekend, smashed Rosberg basically everywhere he needed to, and was just surpemeley quick. The only reason he doesn’t get number one is because he had slightly less to do than the man who wins it for me this time.

    1st is therefore Nasr, and my word was I impressed. I know he has had a lot of doubters coming in to F1, and arguably rightly so, given that guys who are seen as better, or are better, missed out on F1 opportunities, but I’ve always felt like he’s one to support. I have no idea why, but I always found myself cheering for him during his GP2 days. However he showed exactly what he can do. He was quick, out qualifying his team mate substantially (although it is Ericsson). He was also smart, once again quick in the race and much like in GP2, very consistent. All of this meant he was able to hold off 2 charging cars behind him, one of them a Ferrari. Fantastic job. I just hope he gets to keep going and proving what he can do.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      17th March 2015, 15:12

      @philereid – That’d be my top 4 in the same order. I think Nasr will be around for a long time – F1 just isn’t F1 without a decent Brazilian driver and with Massa coming to the end of his career, Nasr has timed it just right. If he carries on like this all season, considering the sponsorship he has behind him, I can’t see him short of offers for next year.

  18. Got to be Nasr. Hamilton was also faultless but on occasions such as this, my vote always goes to the guy who exceeded expectations.

  19. Nasr for me without a doubt, made a great start and kept his head down, lucky not to have been wiped out in the 1st lap tangle. Kudos to Sainz and Verstappen and also Ericsson

  20. Almost a grand chelem for hamilton, has to be him.

  21. Nasr. Never in doubt.

    Hamilton was admittedly behind on Friday, Rosberg the same on Saturday/Sunday. Vettel might make a good case, but in terms of exceeding expectations, Nasr really takes it this round. Vettel should be a worthy second place though..

  22. This was probably the most ‘complete’ Hamilton performance I have ever seen. Unfortunately for him, it came on a weekend where a rookie in his first race surpassed all expectations. Nasr for this win.

  23. Nasr was the one thing I really enjoyed about that race. He’s had so many detractors, despite the fact he’s won Formula BMW and British F3 titles, along with a hugely competitive GP2 career. He’s driving for a team with no simulator, and missed first practice (not to mention all of the stress of the court). But ultimately he drove beautifully. Much like his best GP2 drives he was ultra smooth, calm and consistent. He is a driver who shows the virtues of doing the junior ladder properly; he’s actually ready.

  24. Nasr did a first-rate job to get his car into Q3

    @keithcollantine He qualified 11th.

  25. Lol, who voted Kimi

  26. Any other race, I’d have gone for Hamilton. But when a driver is making his grand prix debut, a good result carries more merit in my opinion.

    All three rookies did a very good job all weekend, but looking at final result, I’m voting for Felipe Nasr. I believe he showed in testing that he has talent worthy of having a shot in Formula 1 and he proved that on Sunday with an impressive drive.

    I’m feeling pretty optimistic about the future of the talent pool in F1 these days.

  27. Felipe Nasr. New Senna?

    1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
      16th March 2015, 20:43

      Yeah Bruno Senna…

  28. Hamilton did the best job and won the race. The driver of the weekend shoud be the most valuable man racing in Melbourne and that was LH.
    Nasr is a good promise :)

  29. I also woke up very early to watch the practice, quali and the race. I am an Alonso fan and I have been watching and following f1 closely since 2010, so my judgement for this race should be fair.

    I didn’t find first GP of the year live up the hype I had in pre-season testing. Since 2014 season started and the dominance of the Mercedes one 1-2 after another I kinda lost passion and interest to F1. Never have had that problem, feels worrying that something is horribly wrong in formula 1 atm.
    Last year there was only one race that was really exciting for me, that was the Hungarian GP, because everyone were on equal terms in terms of who can win it. Ricciardo, Alonso, Hamilton and Rosberg had the chance to take the victroy. None of the other GP’s made me feel excited bar the Vettel vs Alonso in the British GP. Every other race (not to be rude)sucked imho. I can see that Hamilton fans are satisfied with the dominance of Mercedes team but please try to see the bigger picture. No-one bar Hamilton and Mercedes fans would even bother to turn on TV in 5 years time if FIA doesn’t change the rules to even up the field, like they have done since formula 1 started. (the Bernie’s “Fan car”,6 wheeler,1980’s turbo era, Williams era in 1992, Mclaren-honda era, Ferrari era, Red-bull era and etc, and etc.
    It can not be possible that Ferrari, Honda and Renault, all being big manufactures in automotive industry since I was born(1997) and alot time before it, cant build an engine that is as powerful as the mercedes engine in 2 years time, I just dont believe it. Something fishy must be up, Mercedes I think have found a “gray area” in the regulations and have used it for their benefit. Autosport just made an article about such thing(No team name was mentioned).

    All in all I am billion % sure that Mercedes will win all the races if not reliability will come play or smth extraordinary(lightning strike or an earthquake), others just can not close the gap to Mercedes, maybe in 5 years time they can, but who cares, no-one is going to watch 1 dull race after another till that time.

    I will still watch all of the races, but who knows for how long, If this trend continues…

    Btw, I voted for Button, because he did offer some competicion to Perez with that -6 seconds off the pace mclaren.

    1. You know what those 2 races that you liked had in common aside from Mercedes ‘struggling’. Alonso doing well…

  30. i pick vettel. fan of massa but that overcut from vettel is simply something. to put that used soft on the same pace with mercedes and faster than his previous lap is a good sign for him. had massa overtake vettel in the last few laps i would vote for him but ferrari is so fast this year.

    honorable mention to nasr, as he is the highest-ranked rookie this week. also for button for not giving an easy pass to perez. i’m sure that McH will have a good pace later this year.

  31. Nasr and a mention for Jenson trying to fight off Perez.

  32. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
    16th March 2015, 20:41

    For me, Jenson holding off Pérez was the best driving of the weekend. He showed pure class in an utterly inferior car.

  33. Nasr for me too, because his incompetent team managers gave him even less time to learn the track; a dog could have won in that Mercedes; and I think Lewis will have stronger races than this where he trounces Nico.
    Enjoyed JB’s clean racing and great positioning – any battle between the two McLarens this year will be worth watching.

  34. Can’t go any way else but with Hamilton. All drivers just ended up where their car allowed them to go, but Hamilton set such a blindingly fast qualification lap (even surprising his own team) that Rosberg couldn’t handle it.

    During the race he was similarly in control over his team mate where the others had no competition like that.

    From the finishers, besides Rosberg only Vettel really messed up in Q3 putting has car further down than where it belonged, but with some help from Williams he made that back up during the race.

  35. Is “duel read-out” a typo, or not?! (Hamilton, last sentence)

  36. No-brainer…
    Nasr- best debut in a Sauber
    Hamilton- Perfect everything

  37. Went with Button and this is more of a nod to the entire team effort of McLaren.

    Hamilton is low hanging fruit. With a car that good, it would be more surprisng if he’s not perfect.

    Nasr had a good drive, but alot of that had to due with other teams having bad luck. I’ld like to see how he does in a fuller field. (Atleast one where 18 cars running after the first lap.

  38. I think Kimi had a lot of good laptimes.

    1. @saubers1 He was running soft tyres on his second stint, and he had a two-stop strategy. This was the reason why he had quick laps.

      1. Mr win or lose
        17th March 2015, 20:40

        But still his fuel-corrected laptimes were as fast as the fastest fuel-corrected laptimes of the Mercedes’ (driven at the beginning of the race, on relatively fresh soft tyres and an aggressive engine setting to burn the fuel saved behind the safety car). So yes, Räikkönen’s pace was very good.

  39. Three drivers stood out. Hamilton, Button and Nasr.

    Hamilton couldn’t have done anymore to be honest, won whilst putting the least stress on his car. He had Rosbergs card will and truly marked the way he just held him at bay. But he’ll get plenty of other drivers of the week, and it was a pretty standard drive for him, didn’t need to pull anything special out of the bag.

    Nasr was very impressive given the lack of running. Couldn’t of finished any higher.

    But I went with Button. This may be his highest maybe only finishing position all year. He embarrassed Perez the amount of time he kept him behind and he soldered on as a real team player. Class act all round.

    1. @philipgb all Button had to do was not break down, not that that was easy, and like you say, he did keep Perez behind, but it does surprise me how much better he is doing than the likes of Verstappen.

  40. Went with Vettel.

    Honorable mentions to:

    Sainz/Max V.

    What really tipped it was the driver’s presser after the race, Vettel really took the stuffing out of Rosberg who said he’s hoping the other competitors can catch up to the Mercs for the good of the show and Vettel said “Seriously? Seriously you want to go slower?” lol. Then he got the better of Rosberg after Rosberg questioned if Vettel really thought it was a shame Kimi didn’t finish (which said more about Rosberg than Vettel). Vettel said something to the effect “I don’t know about you guys (ROS/HAM) but Kimi and I get along. And it’s better for the team to have both cars finishing, so yeah, it’s a shame.”

    What Vettel should have said to Rosberg was “if you want to improve the show, at least make it appear you can put Lewis into some difficulty… without him needing to have his car breakdown.”

    1. @uan I’m just reading the transcript of the press conference and it is hilarious! Need to find the video.

      1. And Hamilton essentially said that Bottas should have raced, at least he would have tried! Ridiculous.

  41. ColdFly F1 (@)
    16th March 2015, 22:57

    Has to be Nasr, Sainz or Verstappen.

    Nasr clearly with an impeccable race.
    Verstappen with a great weekend as the youngest F1 driver ever (we think it is is so normal already that he was even overseen in the initial stats by @keithcollantine). And he had an incredible consistent pace on mediums, which makes one wonder ‘what could have been’ after moving to the softs (other starters on mediums shaved 2 seconds off their pace after moving to the softs).

  42. Was tempted to go for Verstappen, but Nasr just got it with that quick, solid drive.

  43. Nasr, all the way. Calm and smart driving and good pace ahead of Ricciardo.

  44. It was between Lewis and Nasr, and possibly JB.

    Went for Lewis, not a fanboy, but he was just perfect. Made a hat-trick again, couldnt see past that.

  45. Nasr, very impressive, now if they could just give the car a decent paint job, that Motorola ‘neon’ blue color Indy car Danica drove would look spectacular.

  46. Vettel, Masr and Hamilton. Good work also by Massa, Sainz, Hulkenberg.

    1. Sorry: Nasr

  47. Slightly off subject but does anyone know if the F1 app subscription and the website subscription linked? I bought the app subscription and was wondering if they are linked? If so, please advise how to log into the website showing you have purchased the app subscription? Thanks folks.

    1. Don’t get me going on that!
      No notification for ‘old’ registered members and being as I’m paying for Time Warner F1 coverage ‘Live’ should be FREE, like NBC Sports and other sites where one is directed to one’s providers account login page, one click and you’re set to go.
      No Bernie, I have no intention of joining your Polo Club.

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      17th March 2015, 2:07

      @chaz, no it is not linked as far as I can see.

      I went with the www subscription, but am asked to pay for app as well.
      They look quite different, and therefore could be considered complementary, but I want both of them to be ‘the best they can be’ and I only want to pay once.

      1. @ColdFly F1 – Thanks for this. I suspected it wasn’t and appreciate the confirmation.

  48. Voted for F Nasr. I remember the Young Vettel and Hamilton when he made that great start.

    J Button was my second choice. Drove through so much of challenges.

  49. Nasr is the guy!
    Did you see Riccardo trying to catch him?
    Nasr is a bit like Piquet, as a driver and obsessive as Senna, as a person.
    Just keep an eye on him.

  50. Its easily Nasr. Props to Sebastian who made his Ferrari career start with Podium and Lewis started to chase his 3rd WDC right from first step.

  51. I voted for the Driver of the Bus who brought the Grid Girls …. the rest of the drivers just went for a stroll in the park …. seriously, if there was a real race then at least 1 driver would have got upset at something but not one of them got upset …… Nuff said !

  52. Frankly, it’s been a difficult choice between Lewis, Felipe Nasr and Sainz as all three were impressive but my vote goes to Nasr.

    Although he benefited from having 3 retirements in front of him even before the race start and was lucky to come out safe from the first lap tangle, he drove like an experienced driver, kept his composure, didn’t made any errors like his team mate and kept his cool.

    He surely comes across as a mature and thinking driver and if he continues like this, he has a good future in front of him.

  53. If this goes to anyone other than Nasr I’ll be surprised – I voted for him because unlike the Mercedes pair and others, his performance was very good (but let’s not forget Sainz, as he was affected by a long pitstop).

    But with everything that happened pre-Qualifying, Nasr (and Ericsson) were both on the back foot so to see the Brazilian come through and actually stay in 5th made me happy!

  54. William Walsh
    17th March 2015, 8:04

    Nasr was the pick of the race for pure entertainment value, it’s always good to see a rookie mix it up, will be interesting to see how he does against a full field. Hamilton was obviously good, but much like Vettel in 2011, it looks like he could win it at a canter. Vettel had a good race, as did Massa it could have been a good tussle between those two if Williams hadn’t messed up with the stop. If Mercedes do continue to dominate and Red Bull continue to have issues, the Williams / Ferrarri fight could be the most entertaining sub plot this season.

  55. Nasr, pretty clearly.
    Next: Hamilton for being so smooth and Vettel for being hungry again.
    Also: Button for doing a sound job of finishing a race in an alpha-test car, showing some speed at the end, then being so positive in interviews afterwards. Kudos for a tough gig well executed.

  56. I realise voting for Nasr is more mainstream than I would’ve thought.
    His performance was brilliant for a debut. His qualifying wasn’t perfect, but considering that Sauber has no simulator and that he couldn’t run in FP1, his performance on an unknown, peculiar circuit was already quite good. He solidly outperformed Ericsson, who had already raced in Melbourne.
    His performance on Sunday was stellar. He was a bit lucky that his car survived the clash with Räikkönen, but after that his pace was really strong, on average 1 second per lap faster than Ericsson, and he didn’t set one foot wrong. Great job!

    Lewis Hamilton was also very strong, he was supreme in qualifying and managed the race very well. It’s hard to tell how much he felt the pressure by Rosberg, but his race certainly looked easier than Nasr’s, which imo justifies voting for the Brazilian instead of Lewis.

  57. I’m not doubting him or anything but Felipe Nasr was outstanding, but not my pick for driver of the weekend. My pick goes to Carlos Sainz Jr. He served his time in the Red Bull junior since and only got promoted due to Vettel’s departure. In my eyes, Carlos is highly underrated and Max is highly overrated (he is still something special but he doesn’t live up to the hype, not yet). Despite his damaged front wing and the unfortunate left rear rattle gun not playing fair, he still brought the car home inside the points and that’s all that matters. I can’t wait to see what this young guy has to offer for the rest of the 2015 season.

    And with that being said, I don’t agree with Max being seen as ‘team leader’.

    1. Since 2010*

  58. Vettel was actually slower than Raikkonen on pure one-lap pace judging by best sector times. And as Raikkonen kept up well with minor damage (but damge still) to his car suring the race, I suspect he was also a tad slower on pure pace in the race as well.

    …It’s a different matter entirely that Vettel made less errors (only his bad initial getaway comes to mind; in quali, he couldn’t have done much more, once again, according to the best sector times).

    But still, neither Ferrari driver deserves the recognition this time around, I think – despite both being impressive at various points of the weekend, as well as the SF15-T and both being stupendously fast according to the new race performance statistics of the new F1 live timing (desktop verison).

  59. Easy: Alonso for finding a way to avoid what would be the most embarrassing weekend of his career.

    1. Hahaha, that’s gold. :)

  60. While recognizing Ham the winner, Nasr definitely the best on circuit given the fact it was his first race, little practice and psychologically influenced by Sauber debacle in court. Nasr did better than all his Brazilian predecessor in his first race, beating the almighty Senna and all the Brazilian racers. In comparison to current drivers, only Ham did better with his third place in his first race! Well done Nasr !

  61. As Nasr is quite deserving, but also way ahead in the poll, I voted for HAM, after all the talk about Nico coming back strong, well, that may be, but HAM is there. We’ll see Nico pick himself up and fight another day, but Lewis was just faster this weekend. As said, Nasr would have gotten my vote if he wasn’t already winning by an almost absolute majority anyway, he did great at a good time for the team.

    Or, as Hulkenberg said it: he, like Hamilton and Nasr, did a very solid job capitalising on the opportunity that they got.

  62. Nasr for me with Seb a close 2nd.

  63. YEAP, NASR all the way!

  64. “The Best Driver” of the Australia GP weekend was Lewis Hamilton without question. Yes, he has one of the two fastest cars, but so does Ros who was never more than 3 seconds behind Ham. Even one mistake would have cost Ham the race, but in the words of Yoda, “one mistake he did not make.” No other driver was under the pressure of Ham the entire race, and he did not give in to it. Excellent job and why he makes the big bucks.

  65. My driver of the weekend was Felipe Nasr, I thought he put in a superb performance especially for a rookie.

    My second choice would be another rookie in Carlos Sainz Jnr. In the battle of the teammates at Toro Rosso he won the first round against the more highly rated Max Verstappen. It would have been interested to see where he would have finished and how close to the senior Red Bull team if he didn’t have the problems in his pit stop.

    Also it looks like both Vettel and Raikkonen are both back on form after poor 2014s, which can only be good.

    Hamilton dominated qualifying and the race and seemed like he always had something in hand over Rosberg during the race if it was needed, but just as with Vettel when he and Red Bull had the fastest car I doubt Hamilton will win many driver of the weekend votes this season, as if he achieves an easy victory it will be because of the car and anything less than that people will say he should have done better.

  66. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    17th March 2015, 21:16

    Is this the highest percentage given to a DOTW? 62% is impressive!!!

    1. Just thought about it too. Is it? Probably not, but might be the highest persentage for lowest position achieved? Highest persentage for a rookie for sure.

  67. I vote Kimi for catching up with Felipe from 12 secs to 4 secs until the final pitstop screwed him up. Kimi would’ve caught Felipe and gave Vettel a good fight for the podium. Also Kimi jumped Vettel for a great start only to slow down as the 2 merc were too close for comfort and Vettel cut him off which was expected. Gotta keep an eye on Kimi this year, got a feeling he’ll be on the podium sooner than expected.

    Vettel drove very well too, a deserved podium. And expected Nasr to be DOTD, it’s very obvious for his first F1 race, a well deserved 5th place too.

  68. Voted for Vettel, Nasr 2nd, Lewis 3rd.

  69. Whilst I was impressed by several drivers over the Australian Grand Prix weekend, there was really only one logical choice for DOTW…

    Felipe Nasr’s performance will have come as little surprise to those who have followed him through the ranks of junior formulae, where he garnered a reputation for being a very reliable pair of hands behind the wheel of a single-seater (whilst not perhaps having the blinding pace of some of his rivals).

    The whole weekend was a testament to both Nasr’s driving ability, and off-track mindset with the VDG/Sauber saga threatening to derail his maiden Grand Prix appearance.

    He put in a mega showing in qualifying, and come the race, he did well to hold off the advances of several faster cars. The fifth place at the end of it was a thoroughly well-deserved result!

  70. DOTW= Guido VanDG
    I don’t know what I would have done in his shoes, but he did the right thing.

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