Vote for the 2015 Malaysian GP Driver of the Weekend

2015 Malaysian Grand Prix

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

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

Malaysian Grand Prix driver-by-driver


Start, Sepang International Circuit, 2015Lewis Hamilton – Missed a significant chunk of Friday running due to a power unit inlet system problem. Nonetheless a rapid lap at the start of Q3 secured his second pole position of the year – neither he nor Rosberg beat the time as the track dried. He led at the start but pitting under the Safety Car dropped him back into the back and by the time he merged Vettel was ten second up the road, and after over 40 laps of chasing the gap was pretty much the same.

Nico Rosberg – Was bumped back to third on the grid by Vettel despite having the advantage of being the last Mercedes driver to run on a drying track. Mercedes tend to carefully manage which driver has that benefit, so it was a surprise to see Rosberg dropping back behind Hamilton after they had taken to the track. He finished where he started after using a similar strategy to Hamilton, and gained on his team mate during the second half of the race.

Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo – Fourth on the grid in a wet qualifying gave further cause to believe Red Bull’s shortcomings are in the chassis department rather than the engine. But in the race it was a problem with his brakes which held him back – a string of cars demoted Ricciardo’s RB11 leaving him last of the points-scorers.

Daniil Kvyat – Fared slightly better with Red Bull’s brake problems and finished ahead of Ricciardo despite being tipped into a spin by Perez at one stage. He felt this was the most they could take from a race in which both Red Bulls finished behind their Toro Rosso siblings.


Felipe Massa – Said the team is still lagging behind in wet conditions after qualifying. He lined up ahead of Bottas and make a good start to take fifth and would have finished there had he not lost out to his team mate at the end.

Valtteri Bottas – In contrast Bottas had a disastrous first lap, plummeting to 14th place. He was also one of several drivers who had to queue behind his team mate during the dash to the pits on lap four, but once back on track he quickly made up places and by lap 11 he was on Massa’s tail. Had an entertaining scrap with Verstappen, who he passed on the outside of turn five, and he later used the same move to claim fifth from Massa.


Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Sepang International Circuit, 2015Sebastian Vettel – Exclaimed “not again” when he missed out on pole position to Hamilton by less than a tenth of a second, as he also had done last year. But he was clearly pleased with the Ferrari’s performance, and better was to come in the race. He rebuffed Rosberg at the start, inherited the lead during the Safety Car period when the Mercedes drivers pitted, but picked off both of them after his first pit stop. That put him in position to clinch his first victory for Ferrari at his second attempt.

Kimi Raikkonen – Missed the cut for Q3 after getting stuck behind Ericsson – “he was there trying to do his job”, Raikkonen conceded – and his weekend got worse when the race started. Nasr tagged the back of his Ferrari, puncturing a tyre, and after it was replaced Raikkonen had fallen to 18th place. The Safety Car played into his hands, however, and a three-stop strategy allowed him to spend more time on medium tyres so he could make up places. His recovery to a comfortable fourth underlined Ferrari’s pace.


Fernando Alonso – In his first race back after injury Alonso seemed to have a pace advantage over Button during practice, though he was pipped by his team mate in qualifying. Although an ERS failure ended his race well before the chequered flag, there was some consolation to be drawn from the fact he ran as high as eighth before then.

Jenson Button – Few of Alonso’s recent team mates have kept him in sight as successfully as Button did during the brief amount of time both were on track during the Malaysian Grand Prix. Like Alonso, Button also failed to finish, in his case due to a turbo failure.

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Force India

Nico Hulkenberg – Both Force India drivers were caught out by the rain in Q2 but Hulkenberg made amends on lap one. “Mega first lap!” he exclaimed on the radio after making up six places to gain seventh. That became second when the Safety Car came out, but after racing resumed Vettel left him behind at over two seconds per lap. As he came under increasing pressure from behind he tangled with Kvyat while under attack from both Red Bulls and was given a debatable ten-second penalty which scuppered his chance of points.

Sergio Perez – For the second weekend in a row Perez had a disappointing race. He lost a lot of ground after the Safety Car period as his medium tyres began to fade, then an unnecessary collision with Grosjean meant he also received a ten-second penalty.

Toro Rosso

Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, Sepang International Circuit, 2015Max Verstappen – Despite having little experience of how an F1 car handles in the wet, Verstappen took a fine sixth on the grid. He looked cautious at the start, however, and by lap two had fallen to tenth, one place ahead of his team mate. Toro Rosso split their strategies when the Safety Car came out: Verstappen pitted and so by the end of the race he was battling Sainz for position. He prevailed, and seventh place made him F1’s youngest ever points-scorer.

Carlos Sainz Jnr – Admitted he was at fault for not reaching Q3 but went on the attack at the start, making up four places. Ran fourth after the Safety Car period but was never going to keep the likes of the Mercedes drivers behind him. But he made his two-stop strategy work – he was the only two-stopper to score points besides Vettel.


Romain Grosjean – Q3 was the first time he’d driven the new Lotus in the rain which explains why the team chose to begin the session on full wet weather tyres. However they did not get their timings right and Grosjean missed out on setting a quick lap on intermediate tyres at the end. He was also penalised ten places by the stewards for skipping the pit exit queue in Q2. Another driver who didn’t pit during the Safety Car period, Grosjean climbed to third but was passed with ease by the Mercedes. He was later knocked into a spin by Perez which cost him the chance of a points finish.

Pastor Maldonado – Was near the end of the queue in Q2 and missed the cut for the top ten. In the race he suffered and puncture at the start and was penalised for driving too quickly during the Safety Car period, then retired with a brake problem while running behind Grosjean.


Marcus Ericsson – Made it into Q3 at Raikkonen’s expense but threw away a chance of another points finish by spinning into the gravel on lap three.

Felipe Nasr – Never looked happy with his car’s set-up all weekend, though missing the first practice session while Raffaele Marciello drove didn’t help. Damaged his front wing in contact with Raikkonen at the end of lap one and so made the first of four pit stops on lap two. He did set the fourth-fastest lap of the race, however.


Will Stevens – Only participated in practice as a fuel system problem kept him from qualifying or starting the race.

Roberto Merhi – Did 23 laps in practice – three fewer than Stevens – and his best lap in third practice was 6.98% slower than than fastest time. He wasn’t able to get within the 107% mark in qualifying but the stewards allowed him to start on the strength of his practice performance. Surprisingly the car ran reliably to the end, and Merhi finished a thrice-lapped 15th, albeit after holding up Button due to his hesitation behind the Safety Car.

Qualifying and race results summary

DriverStartedGap to team mate (Q)Laps leading team matePittedFinishedGap to team mate (R)
Lewis Hamilton1st-0.465s51/5632nd-3.741s
Nico Rosberg3rd+0.465s5/5633rd+3.741s
Daniel Ricciardo4th-0.41s41/55310th+7.928s
Daniil Kvyat5th+0.41s14/5539th-7.928s
Felipe Massa7th-0.706s50/5636th+3.177s
Valtteri Bottas8th+0.706s6/5635th-3.177s
Sebastian Vettel2nd-2.541s56/5621st-53.822s
Kimi Raikkonen11th+2.541s0/5634th+53.822s
Fernando Alonso18th+0.11s20/211
Jenson Button17th-0.11s0/03
Nico Hulkenberg13th-0.446s37/55314th+0.455s
Sergio Perez14th+0.446s18/55213th-0.455s
Max Verstappen6th-2.271s29/5537thNot on same lap
Carlos Sainz Jnr15th+2.271s26/5528thNot on same lap
Romain Grosjean10th-0.989s46/47311th
Pastor Maldonado12th+0.989s1/473
Marcus Ericsson9th-0.968s3/30
Felipe Nasr16th+0.968s0/3412th
Will Stevens20th0/0
Roberto Merhi19th0/0315th

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.

Who was the best driver of the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend?

  • Roberto Merhi (1%)
  • Will Stevens (0%)
  • Felipe Nasr (0%)
  • Marcus Ericsson (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Carlos Sainz Jnr (1%)
  • Max Verstappen (9%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Jenson Button (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (1%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (18%)
  • Sebastian Vettel (66%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (1%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Daniil Kvyat (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (2%)

Total Voters: 880

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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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147 comments on “Vote for the 2015 Malaysian GP Driver of the Weekend”

  1. Vettel. Honourable mention to Verstappen, who is my number 2 for this race.

    1. Raikkonen 2nd for me. tough call between the Ferrari duo.

    2. Both Vettel and Kimi did wonderful jobs, had the latter not suffered that puncture we might have seen a Ferrari 1-2. But that’s due to the team, they pulled a wonderful strategy and capitalised on Merc’s mistakes. For me it’s more a Ferrari victory than a Vettel victory, though he deserves praise, after all, he finished the job.

      1. What a great job by Verstappen. Great overtaking moves out there despite me feeling quite nervous that inexperience may have gotten the better of him. But on Sunday as soon as the lights went out, that proved not to be the case. Beat Sainz with a quicker stratergy.

    3. Verstappen? I went for Sainz… Finished 7 positions higher with two stops only (which in my view was bad decision on TR part). Verstappen drove a solid race but he finished 1 position down.

    4. I picked the other way round. Not again must have meant Seb felt he could’ve done better, he did do his job serenely through the weekend. On a side note, why is Sauber ruining Ferrari’s races, first Nasr in australia now Ericsson in Malaysia and also Nasr was quite harsh during blue flags.

  2. Vettel or Verstappen. Verstappen or Vettel?

    1. Vettel and the Ferrari team for me, they did not put a foot wrong. Vettel did an amazing job in qualifying, and in the race, he made all the right moves at the right time to not loose any time at all. He was aggressive but accurate to maintain his 2nd place against the fast starting Mercedes at the start, his team called him in at the right time to come out in clean air and he made the right moves, not to loose position to the Williams.

      Simply impressive performance to watch and deserving of DOTW! And that’s before we consider all the added value of this performance, the first on-merit win for new turbo era non-Mercedes, the resurrected performance of Ferrari, the first win for the Vettel-Ferrari partnership, the emotions that went with that, for the team and the fans, and the relief this win brings to the fans, who feared a total Mercedes walkover in 2015.

      1. The way the ferrari team performed bring me back to the schumy era, same fantastic pits stops, same great strategies, working like a expensive timepiece, firing on all cylinders! I really hope they keep it up, cause their last 6 years have been playing the blame game and getting nowhere!

        I am so happy for Ferrari, they are truely in racing to win, business comes second for them. Hence the emotion when they win!

    2. I did also think about giving it to Alonso, but his “fame” ended more or less on saturday, so he fell by the wayside.

      Yeah, gave it to Vettel in the end, but Verstappen certainly would be right up there as well @tommyb89

      1. I voted for Verstappen – Vettel has a healthy lead, but Max deserves to be in the game. I guess one could argue HAM got everything out of the car and strategy he could, but it is pretty good not to see him on the top step for once, so there.

        1. @bosyber I thought for a second there you were referring to Chilton…:)

          1. I guess I just got used to having Verstappen being ‘jos”, and his son Max – maybe something to do with being Dutch @davidnotcoulthard :)

    3. Precisely my dilemma. Went for the bloke in red though.

  3. voted for raikkonen. to finish where he did, coming back from last place was a good drive and he’s generally been very quick, unfortunately it was the teams mistake for his q2 misfortune.

    honorable mentions to vettel of course, and also verstappen.

    1. Kimi drove an amazing race. To drive an entire lap with only 3 wheels – which destroyed Hamilton’s race at Spa – and then to battle back through the entire field to finish fourth? An incredible drive.

      Vettel was great, but his job was considerably simpler – overtake the Mercedes and pit one time fewer. Verstappen was a great drive too.

    2. @rigi

      unfortunately it was the teams mistake for his q2 misfortune

      I can’t agree. Raikkonen was behind Ericsson when starting his lap, so there was no reason to go 4 tenths slower than Ericsson, who managed to go on to Q3.
      He didn’t have the advantaged position at the head of the pack but he was still in a position to set a time decent enough for Q3 and he failed at that.

      He was one of the better drivers on Sunday but for his inability to qualify, I can’t nominate him for driver of the weekend.

      1. @mattds

        Raikkonen was behind Ericsson when starting his lap, so there was no reason to go 4 tenths slower than Ericsson

        Eh… yes, there are. Lots of reasons. From driveability to the fact it was very wet. I don’t think you have thought this through.

        1. It was wet for Ericsson too, and surely you aren’t suggesting that the Ferrari suffered from worse driveability as compared to the Sauber in front?

          Raikkonen was on track in between Ericsson and Hamilton. He didn’t go on to Q3, Ericsson and Hamilton did. Raikkonen went for an overtaking attempt in T15, it failed, he had to back out and it cost him the qualification. That was his error.

          It was the same for just about everyone (except for Vettel, who was leading the pack). Everybody needs to find space in order to put in a lap. You can’t pin this on Ferrari. There is only one position in front.
          And Raikkonen had actually found that space behind Ericsson – just following the Swede around would have seen him go through. But that botched overtaking attempt meant he didn’t.

          1. @mattds You seem to have misunderstood. Let me explain.

            It was wet for Ericsson too, and surely you aren’t suggesting that the Ferrari suffered from worse driveability as compared to the Sauber in front?

            The point you made was that he was *too far away* (0,4s) from Ericsson. The track being wet makes it extremely difficult (and dangerous) to pull a qualifying lap closer than that to a slower car.

            And Raikkonen had actually found that space behind Ericsson – just following the Swede around would have seen him go through. But that botched overtaking attempt meant he didn’t.

            I find extremely unlikely that just “following Ericsson” would have got him through, because of the reason I already mentioned above. You can surely pin the his failure to pass Ericsson, but it being wet, on a single attempt, it’s not particularly reproachable. Sorry, your argument is laughably weak.

          2. you aren’t suggesting that the Ferrari suffered from worse driveability as compared to the Sauber in front

            Oh, I forgot to address this. It’s called “dirty air”, you can look it up. Maybe not worse that Ericsson, but it definitely made it that much harder to stay closer than 0,4s to Ericsson. That added to the fact it was already difficult due to the rain.

          3. The point I made was not that he was too far away from Ericsson. The point was that he set a lap 0.4s slower than Ericsson (which I thought was pretty clear when saying he went 0.4s slower than Ericsson).

            Sure, you can say my argument is “laughably weak” if it makes you feel better to resort to that kind of language. But in reality he was on track in between two drivers, one of which in a vastly inferior car, and both of those drivers managed to go on to Q3 while Kimi failed to do so because he made failed attempt at overtaking in the very last corner and compromised his approach to the finish line as such. Yes, just following Ericsson instead of going for that overtaking attempt would have seen him go through.

            Nothing “laughably weak” here. It’s the same for all out there, they all have to negotiate traffic, they all have to find space, Kimi had found a bit of space, he had the chance to put in a lap at least as fast as Ericsson, he was up on Ericsson through S1 and S2, but he failed because he tried for an attempt he couldn’t make work.

          4. @mattds

            The point I made was not that he was too far away from Ericsson. The point was that he set a lap 0.4s slower than Ericsson (which I thought was pretty clear when saying he went 0.4s slower than Ericsson).

            Being behind Ericsson, how do you want him to make a smaller time gap (less than those 0.4s) without coming closer to Ericsson? In this case, they are the same thing, closing the time gap means closing the space gap. As I said, you haven’t thought this through (!).

            Yes, just following Ericsson instead of going for that overtaking attempt would have seen him go through.

            Noperl, because of the posted above.

          5. Another attempt then. At the start of his lap he had a decent gap, way more than the 0.4s required. Towards the end of the lap, he had closed that gap to the extent that he tried to overtake Ericsson. Had he not performed that overtake attempt, he would have been safe with a faster time than Ericsson.

            This is not rocket logic. He was far enough. He could get closer to Ericsson, as evidenced by being up on Ericsson all the way through to sector 2 (source: live timing). To be very clear: that means he was closer to Ericsson at the start of sector 3 as compared to the start of the lap. It also means he was definitely going to go through to Q3.
            And then he blew it with the overtaking manoeuvre, which dropped him back considerably.

          6. @mattds

            Another attempt then. At the start of his lap he had a decent gap, way more than the 0.4s required. Towards the end of the lap, he had closed that gap to the extent that he tried to overtake Ericsson.

            Of course, he was faster before hitting traffic, that pretty much what “hitting traffic” means.

            Had he not performed that overtake attempt, he would have been safe with a faster time than Ericsson.

            Yes, he closed the gap, and the he was held on, losing time. I saw nothing at that point that indicated he was making a fast enough lap.

            This is not rocket logic. He was far enough. He could get closer to Ericsson, as evidenced by being up on Ericsson all the way through to sector 2 (source: live timing). To be very clear: that means he was closer to Ericsson at the start of sector 3 as compared to the start of the lap. It also means he was definitely going to go through to Q3.

            Again, flawed logic. Being closer at certain parts of the circuit doesn’t mean you can be equally close in all of them. Remember, dirty air, which is turbulent air, changes depending on the configuration of curves and straights. Add to the fact it was very wet. The gap is not something you can just control to have it exactly how you want to.
            I have the feeling you are just arguing for the sake of arguing, making so many logical mistakes is getting scary :/

          7. Of course, he was faster before hitting traffic, that pretty much what “hitting traffic” means.

            Said traffic was fast enough to progress to Q3.

            Yes, he closed the gap, and the he was held on, losing time. I saw nothing at that point that indicated he was making a fast enough lap.

            So you weren’t following live timing then? It was pretty easy. First you have a time for S1. Then you have a time for S2. All the way through he was up on Ericsson in front.

            I have the feeling you are just arguing for the sake of arguing, making so many logical mistakes is getting scary :/

            I have the feeling you just don’t seem to be able to try and make your point without getting personal.

            There are no logical mistakes. Kimi was safely into Q3 territory, as evidenced by live timing, up until (and past) S2. He “hit traffic”, but that traffic was Ericsson and Ericsson progressed to Q3. Since he was closer to Ericsson right before T15 than he was at the beginning of the lap, and since Ericsson progressed to Q3, that “hitting traffic” meant he was safe for Q3.

            You’re with me up until here? This is all logical. Only facts used.

            And then… came the overtaking attempt, which failed, which compromised his speed through T15, which compromised his entry onto the start-finish straight, which meant he lost a considerable amount of time.

            Still factual up until this point. No opinions, no deductions.

            So tell me, what’s the point you are making then? That that botched overtaking attempt into T15 was of no consequence? That he couldn’t have taken the normal line into T15, following Ericsson, in order to make it to Q3?

            Just rewatch qualifying. I have it on DVR here. I just rewatched it, and I looked at the live timing again. I have all my facts straight, no matter how you like to get personal and tell me I’m coming with “laughable arguments” or making “logical mistakes”.

          8. @mattds I think you’re generally right, if he had stayed behind Ericsson he would have gotten to Q3, but he had no way of knowing this, did he? Especially when you think the car in front was not such a fast one. So he tried to pass and failed and that was that.
            A valid point though is that Ferrari shouldn’t have put him in a situation that seemed desperate from a driver’s point of view and that required additional input from the driver. He should have just concentrated on his fast lap and not worry if the car in front is fast enough to get through.

          9. @floring you make fair points, but I have some remarks.
            About the pass: firstly, is it a fact that he could not have known to be up? Surely his racing engineer, having the live timings in front of him, would have known that Ericsson and Raikkonen were setting sector times that were good to proceed to Q3. Not all communication between pit wall and driver is made public, so we don’t know for sure, but I don’t see why his racing engineer couldn’t have communicated that.
            Secondly, a driver can assess probability of success of a manoeuvre and the likely event in case it fails. From what I remember now, it seemed like a desperate attempt that didn’t have much chance on succeeding since he was a bit too far back to begin with – but I’d have to rewatch this again because I don’t have the images here.
            About Ferrari: here I must repeat that it simply isn’t possible to get all of the drivers in favorable positions out there. The leader of the pack, maybe the second and the third, are in pretty good positions, but for the rest it is the same. If Ferrari is blamed for not getting him there, then we should blame almost all teams for not having their drivers in first, second or third position… And that seems stretching it a bit. It is what it is, they have to find a gap for themselves and make it happen. That is racing.
            Lastly, I heard Coulthard said that it is up to the driver to decide when to release him out of the pit. According to him, the driver weighs up the benefit of being in front against the disadvantage of having colder tires due to not having the tire blankets on for a longer time. If that is true, then even the moment of releasing is at least a joint decision by both team and driver.

          10. @mattds
            I don’t know if his engineer had a way of telling him he’s ok, even if he had access to all of the data from all the drivers and the ability to process that information in real time (which he probably had), simply because it was a work in progress. I mean he could have been ok at some point and suddenly at the final stint he could have fallen behind some new benchmark set by someone else. You can’t just tell your driver ‘you’re alright, don’t sweat it’.
            And for all we know, this can go both ways, maybe his engineer told him he absolutely had to go past Ericsson. Or maybe he told him he was marginally ok and Kimi thought the final straight would be all he needed to go by safely. We just don’t know the details, I’m just talking about the general principle, and that is that Ferrari made it difficult for him.
            You say it isn’t possible for all the drivers to position their cars first, and that’s obviously right, but seeing Vettel at the front, you kind of wonder why wasn’t that possible for Raikkonen as well. Unless it’s like you said, and Kimi asked to be sent out later, but then why would he complain about it if he was the one who asked for it? And I just can’t see Kimi bother with such details.
            Let’s just agree it was a mix up and move on from there.

          11. I think that attempt to pass Ericsson is just one of those things that if they succeed, everybody praises you and if they don’t, everybody thinks you’re incredibly stupid. And Kimi has a habit of doing those kinds of things.

          12. @floring Again you produce some good arguments. I see your view, I can respect it. I’m also perfectly fine with calling it a mix up.
            It’s just that I can’t agree with those who place all the blame (or the majority of it) at Ferrari. I think that if blame is to be placed, it should at least be shared between team and driver. Because at the end of it, he still had a good shot of qualifying, no matter what position on track he got.

        2. @mattds Let it go. He is misunderstanding you on purpose now…

  4. Between Vettel, Raikkonen & Verstappen, all did great but I went with Vettel.

  5. Kimi Raikkonen. Team strategy during Q2 left him starting 11th. Was hit by 3 different cars, suffered a puncture & had to drive an entire lap on it before he could pit. He came back through the field to finish 4th. Yes the safety car helped but he still had to work his way through the field.

    1. speaking of safety car, what the heck was up with the idiot in front of kimi who could care less of being behind the car in front of him on the restart????!! that really hurt kimi cause he couldn’t pass him.

      1. Mr win or lose
        31st March 2015, 11:03

        Nasr? Yeah, that was really stupid. Vettel once got penalized for that.

    2. This. So much this.

    3. I still had to go with vettel, they had similar pace on sunday and he made no mistakes on saturday.

      Don’t get me wrong I’m actually a Kimi fanboy (and even a Vettel critique for most of his carrer) and I loved to see him showing what he didn’t show all of last season, but Vettel overtaking both Ham and Ros on track was so solid that i can’t not vote for him…

    4. Kimi is hopeless now, his maturity already define “killing instinct” as “overtake with safe distance” whilst the rookies still define it as “crashing if necessary” and the pay driver define it as “any tv coverage is good for sponsor”.

  6. the best Vettel, 2 Raikkonen,3 Verstappen i

  7. Vettel, no need to discuss.

  8. I think I’m going to go for Rosberg…

    1. HAHAHAHAHA!!!!! love it!

    2. :)) I liked how Rosberg handled himself when Seb mentioned that he hopes Mercedes can improve and get closer to Ferrari in China…….

      1. When was this? I must have missed it!

    3. Currently Rosberg is on 0%, i.e. no votes. Even both Manor drivers are higher, even though they only raced one car.

      1. Hahaha that is quite some statistic, I think Stevens must be a fan of the site!

        1. You’re wrong. It’s Chilton, as he can’t continue voting on him, he his doing it in favour of his replacement!

    4. I loved Keke Rosberg when I was a short race fan. I saw him in Formula Atlantic many times, and got to see him in CanAm in Paul Newman’s Budweiser Spyders. It was so cool watching Keke wheel that car through the esses chicane at the Glen.
      Nico Rosberg? Meh…

  9. I rarely go for the winner of the race but this time I did.

  10. Vettel…

  11. Kimi, Vetel and Max were the best, in my opinion! Vetel for his drive and capacity to do just what the team needed it… Kimi and Max for the good overtakes and battles all around the field. Nice race! It can be even better, but it was full of action, specially between 4-12 places.

  12. Went for Vettel. Never really liked him but if he keeps bring Ferrari victories than I have no problem with him at all.

    Credit to Verstappen too.

  13. I voted for Vettel. He was impressive in rain hit qualifying, almost defeating Mercs, which have more downforce. Of course, Ferrari’s gamble in the race paid off, but Vettel was pretty much in control during the race: attacking and managing the gap when necessary. The emotions after the race just adds to that special race for Ferrari and Vettel himself, who looks like a reborn and stronger force within F1.

  14. Almost voted for Kimi but in the end went with young Verstappen. Just hope Kimi has used up all his bad karma now, I want to see him racing alongside his team mate and the Mercedes next time out!

  15. Vettel for me with Kimi a very very close second

  16. at the moment only 5% vote is for verstappen, and 17% for raikonnen, but those voters seem to want to express their choice in words more, judging by their comments in this thread. i see the alternatives more as a protest vote, vettel was the man of the race love him or hate him.

  17. Ericsson…

    1. If you’re a Sebby fan then he’s up there!

      1. you caught on to my voting obviously ;-)

  18. Usually I have more than one choice for these, but for me there was one stand out above the rest. Sebastian Vettel.

    Vettel beat a Merc in qualifying. Yes it was raining, however, they were clearly running less downforce which should make it harder in the rain, yet still beat a Merc. Very good. Then in the race, he did everything he needed to, stayed in contention before the safety car, pulled away after, showed some impressive speed and consistency as well as great tyre management and on top of that he did make some crucial (albeit relatively easy) overtakes. Overall, a very, very good race from Vettel.

    1. He did not beat the Merc in qualifying.

  19. Verstappen.

  20. For me it was either one of the Ferrari men, but I ended up choosing Raikkonen.

    He was on it from FP1, always up there taking it up to Mercedes. Got screwed up in qualifying by his team when he surely would have gotten a top 4 spot on the grid, and ultimately a shot at the win on sunday. Then again, in the race, after falling to dead last, he made an amazing recovery drive to finish behind only the men he should have been fighting with from the start of the race.

    1. Didn’t he screw himself over by trying to dive bomb Ericsson into the final corner which compromised his run onto the main straight? Granted Ferrari shouldn’t have put him in that position but maybe without the dive bomb he would’ve scraped into Q3.

      1. @DaveF1 that was a desperate attempt because he was thinking Ericsson wasn’t good enough for Q3. He failed at that, and it turned out Ericsson got through, but Ferrari shouldn’t have put him in that situation where he thought he had to do something out of the ordinary to qualify.

  21. Voted for Vettel. Not even for his brilliant qualifying in rain or great race. But for the very honest emotions he displayed afterwards: giddiness, vulnerability and passion. It’s nice to see a kid’s dream come true. He reminded me again why I watch F1.

    Michael would have been proud.

    1. +1 on that!

  22. Verstappen : Brilliant Qualifying, Brilliant race, Brilliant overtakes and set a new record that highly will last forever.

    1. nothing lasts forever my friend.

      1. ahhh nah it probably will last forever. Have to be at least 18 from now on to be in F1. Max is 17 and will most likely be the youngest points scorer ever…forever!

        1. @johns23 That rule won’t last forever. ;)

    2. I forget to add likely after highly, sorry @johns23 @xtwl and MarkM.

  23. Clearly Vettel, but I think Alonso is worth mentioning. He appeared to have no trouble in beating his teammate during practice, and despite the fact that he made an error on his final Q1 lap, he still led Jenson during his time in the race. Since he has done two testing days, three practice sessions, a qualifying session and a race distance less than Jenson, I think that was mighty impressive.

  24. Sainz jnr. Finished one place behind his team mate even though he started 7 places down. Let Max by because he was on better tyres. Made a two stop work. Great drive that nobody really took notice of.

    1. I did and also voted for Sainz… people tend to worship his younger teammate a lot. Maybe it’s because there are many teenagers on this site ;)

  25. Voted for Vettel. Because he did all round the best job, while I can understand Verstappen he didn’t have a good start and had a very bad pit entry at one of the pitstops.

  26. This is very tough. 3 drivers are worthy of this: Raikkonen, Vettel and Verstappen. All three drivers were great this weekend, but I had to vote for Raikkonen because he was clearly the unluckiest out of the three. Got caught in traffic in Q2. Started 11th as a result of this. Picked up a puncture at the start of lap 2. Dropped down to 19th, and then fought his way up to 4th. Great drive.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      30th March 2015, 16:37

      @ultimateuzair, just a question/remark on Raikkonen.

      Got caught in traffic in Q2.

      He put himself in that position. And both the guy he chased and guy behind him made it to Q3. Has to be more than just bad luck!

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        30th March 2015, 17:09

        @coldfly it’s like Hamilton’s “bad luck” at Monaco last year. If he’d done it on the first run, the bad luck would have had no effect.

        There’s actual bad luck where you can do nothing about it (Damon Hill – Hungary 1997) and then there’s bad where you have put yourself in that position….

  27. Has to be Vettel. He was flawless all weekend. To beat the two Mercedes drivers is something special.

  28. These are perhaps the most clear results ever (as it stands at the moment) on F1 Fanatic, surely?

  29. I was impressed with Verstappen, especially at the start and the first 2 corners. He was totally boxed in and did not make any mistake. He did not touch anyone, although losing a couple of places during the first lap. He showed maturity that I had not seen with the other rookies – Sainz (Melbourne) and Nasr (Malaysia) both hitting Raikonen trying to much to defend their position.
    Verstappen battles in both overtaking and defending were also showing of maturity and not once did he look out of control.
    He did had 1 small moment going into the pits where I think he just lost a bit of concentration at that moment, but for the rest an excellent weekend for the just only 17 year old kid.

    1. But of course I do understand that people vote for Vettel because he drive great the whole weekend and beat the Mercedes.
      Raikonen I do not think he had a super weekend as I do think it was his own fault losing out of Q3 during qualifying (not giving himself enough space for a clean run), of course he was unlucky again being hit from behind but he was helped by the safety car and even in clean air at the end of the race Vettel was still faster than him.

  30. ColdFly F1 (@)
    30th March 2015, 16:31

    must be one of 3.
    Vettel – very strong quali, and great race; deserved winner.
    Verstappen – just amazing how ‘mature’ his driving is, and not shying away from assertive attacking/defending.
    Arrivabene – ‘driving’ Ferrari to the current level of success by bringing the whole team together (as opposed to some other team leaders)

  31. Even now Hamilton gets 2% of the votes…just shows that we never get rid of the tunnelvisioned fans that close the outside world around them entirely and keeps pressing the same thing. Yes, this goes to some other drivers too, but Hamilton got more votes than those others now, so hence bringing him up.

    1. Well some might think that after sitting out most of P1 and half of P2, with probably not having the car exactly setup as he would like, going out and getting pole in the rain, and was still in contention for the win, is just as valid as voting for anyone else.

    2. Lewis was far superior to Nico in qualy and race and set the pole time with the track at worse conditions. The fact that he didnt win the race was down to a strategy mistake by the Mercedes. Add to that the passion for the driver and you will get the 2% votes. I didnt vote for Hamilton, but I understand who did it. The most important for me is that in F1 most of the fans have commom sense and most of the time the best driver of the weekend actually wins the pool.

  32. How is Verstappen only got 9% votes? He drove the wheels off that car, starting 6th finishing a little lower but was still a stunning driver for someone that I believe doesn’t even have his road drivers licence.

    1. I think you partly answered your question already.

  33. Agree with other Verstappen, Vettel or Kimi, but in the end have to go for Verstappen. I was definitely one of the doubters when Toro Roso signed him but certainly proved himself in Malaysia. Vettel and Kimi a did great job but we all know they can with the right car – which they now appear to have.

  34. petebaldwin (@)
    30th March 2015, 17:03

    Cannot realistically be anyone but Vettel. Drove an amazing race, kept out of trouble and when he needed to, he put his foot down and was too much even more the Mercedes!

  35. Vettel/Verstappen/Kimi/Lewis

  36. Must be Vettel!

    The little boy, who admired Schumi, living his dream!

  37. Verstappen nearly had it, but he did go off in the pit entry. And he just beat Sainz who started 9 places behind.

    Vettel wins it for me because of his stupendous first stint. One of the best stints I’ve seen in a long time.

  38. Vettel or Verstappen … Nope not Kimi he should hv made Q3. Tough call… Verstappen it is for his magnificent qualifying (even with break problems!) and his overtaking during the race. But …. tough call!

  39. Going with Kimi.

    Of course the Ferrari was much more suited to this track and conditions than in Melbourne allowing both Vettel and himself to challenge even the Mercedes. Still, amazing how he managed to come fourth with all that adversity during the weekend. Talk about being determined and motivated for a good result. If the car allows it, he is there.

  40. Vettel or Verstappen… I normally go for the one who outperformed expectations the most but both did. So went for the guy who did more exciting stuff, young Max.

  41. For me, the driver of the weekend is Kimi. Vettel had no pressure, the safety car handed Ferrari an advantage in strategy and they capitalized where in hindsight you can say Mercedes made a mistake, or miscalculated the pace of the Ferrari. Kimi had everything AND the kitchen sink thrown at him in this race and qualifying, and still managed fourth despite all the carnage and poor strategy. Good on him for not becoming desperate, keeping cool, and putting his head down to get on with it. The iceman showed his cool on Sunday, no question.

  42. Now we know why Kimi is called ICEMAN….He is having terrible luck…..but he manage to pull things off!!!
    Sepang was a brilliant demonstration how to manage tires from the Ferrari Drivers. At the end of the day I started to think….maybe ERI was a blessing in disguise….
    Second question….where would have RAI finish if starting at , lets say….P6?

    1. Second, perhaps? Or first?

  43. To the ones praising VES….don’t forget SAI started 15 when VES started 6. How come SAI lead Toro Rosso half the race? Dont get me wrong. VES is good. He will be even better at 23. But TODAY, SAI is way better. And SAI did a better race both in Sepang and Melbourne than VES.

    1. Sainz was in front half the race because they were on different strategies and was in the end slower than Verstappen.
      Even in Melbourne Verstappen was very close to Sainz on the harder and slower tire and would have overtook Sainz if his engine didnt blow up.

  44. @Keith: Re Kvyat: “finished ahead of Ricciardo despite being tipped into a spin by Perez at one stage.” Wasn’t it Hulkenberg? At least he got a harsh 10 sec penalty for it.

  45. Vettel, hands down. I don’t think anyone came close to his performance.

  46. I went for Kimi, simply because of the circumstances surrounding his first lap and the fact he had to complete a full lap on three wheels on his wagon.

    Seb, though, deserves a mention, obviously. As does Max. Very difficult question this. Most of the drivers had a great day in the office.

    More of the same in China, please!

  47. My driver of the weekend was Vettel. This was the Vettel we saw during his championship years 2010-2013 controlling the race from the front and looking after his tyres not the Vettel we saw last year. It seems like the move to Ferrari was the right choice, not only because of the car performance but also because it is a new start just like Hamilton’s move to Mercedes.

    Second would be Verstappen, he impressed in wet qualifying and was good in the race, it seems the hype might be justified.

    I thought Raikkonen also had a good weekend with a recovery drive from the back to fourth, but for the second race in a row he suffered from bad luck. It would have been interesting to see how close he would have been to Vettel if Raikkonen didn’t have his problem, if he hadn’t got stuck in traffic and had made Q3, he most likely wouldn’t have got that puncture early in the race and wouldn’t have had to fight through the field.

  48. Vettel, comfortably. Even though I don’t like him, he was brilliant.

    1. Agree.

      I was so close to voting for him.

  49. Vettel definitely. After the debacle last year, his confidence must have been in tatters but he drove very well in the race and did not put a foot wrong. I think the Ferrari suits his style of driving.
    Honourable mention to Raikkonen too.

  50. Vettel. Not only did a great lap in the wet in Q3, but also in the dry in Q1 on the hard tires. Then in the race he followed Hamilton closely before the Mercs pitted, and then put in some great stints on the medium tires. The praise he got from Niki Lauda and Hamilton himself says it all really. Also kudos to Verstappen.

  51. Torn between both Ferrari drivers and Verstappen, but I think Vettel shades it purely on the fact he took on the all-conquering Mercedes in a fair fight and came out on top!

    Not to take anything away from Kimi & Max. Verstappen just keeps on impressing every time he gets in the car, and Kimi’s recovery drive on Sunday was outstanding

  52. ILuvSoundtracks (@)
    30th March 2015, 19:12

    I would vote for Verstappen. Most people would say that he is too young for F1, but I would honestly say that he is OK to be in F1.

  53. Why did 16% of people vote Raikkonen for DOTW? He was good and all, but he messed up qualifying, and didn’t have the pace of his teammate even in free air. I detect some bias.

    1. The team sent him out at the wrong time in qualifying, and in the race the car will have had floor damage following the puncture so pace will have been affected.

  54. I went for Vettel. Verstappen was impressive, but Vettel just took it, invigorating this season. Ferrari had no need this weekend to come at the mercedes meeting.

  55. Max Verstappen was astonishing! I didn’t like him particularly at first because he rivals Sainz, one of my favourite drivers, but after such a solid showing I can’t pretend he is no exceptional talent! He was quick in qualifying, played it safe in the race despite some bold moves, and never put a foot wrong. Vettel was brilliant as well, but has won four world titles already.

  56. Vettel gets my vote. He split the two Mercedes in qualifying, passed them both on track and showed them a clean pair of heels.

    That kind of relentless consistency and ability to perform under pressure is what gave him four titles.

  57. Vettel, no doubt about it.
    Special mention do Verstappen and Raikkone. Hamilton did good with the pole and the second place despite missing FP1.
    I don’t rate Rosberg very highly but his performance has been really disapointing this year. Expected more from him.

  58. Kimi has my vote 100%. not many drivers have the focus and determination…and experience to slice through the field. great strategy by the Scuderia…FORZA!!!!

    “FERRARI ISNT FERRARI if they dont WIN”-Maurizio Arrivabene
    “FERRARI IS BACK!!” -Maurizio Arrivabene

  59. Brilliant controlling, attacking but also tyre-saving drive by the winner, and looking at the voting so far (hello Will Stevens’s mum) I’m with the majority.

    Plenty of good battling drives elsewhere. They’re getting next to no attention thanks to Verstappen, but Sainz and Kvyat did well I thought (although I suspect only Daniil really knows if he’d looked out for Hulkenberg when he turned in, or was just trying to beat his team-mate into turn 2).

  60. Vettel. Nearly gave Kimi the nod then Verstappen.

    Honourable mention to Button and Alonso for not bursting into tears infront of the media.

  61. Kimi for me because he had good race.

  62. Tough choice between Vettel and Verstappen. In the end went with Max. Exceptional wet qualy performance, after trailing his teammate in the dry(his only markdown of the weekend)

    Kimi is at third place for me. Every bit as fast as Vettel and then in qualy this happened. A case of what might’ve been

  63. Vettel for me with Raikkonen and Verstappen very close behind. And who are these crazy people voting Hamilton? He was barely any faster than Rosberg.

  64. Kimi, Vettel and Bottas.
    Button 1 – Alonso 0

  65. Went with Sebastian Vettel.

    One of the very few people in the sport who thought that Mercedes could be beaten and went out to prove it.

    Props to Kimi as well. After a bad start and a lap three-wheeling it, manages to keep it together and came back for fourth. To think, he might have been able to challenge Nico for podium if things had worked out better.

    Props to Max as well for coming in 7th. Its essentially the same as Felipe Nasr coming in 5th at Australia. Both were only beaten by Mercedes, Ferraris and Williams.

    However, all this “youngest ever driver to” needs to stop. For the next year and half anything he does for the first time will be youngest ever. Yes we get it, he’s young, now lets move on to the latest Bernie Statement.

    1. With the “the youngest driver ever” you will have to get used to. Everything that he will do he will be the youngest driver ever to do so, just because he IS the youngest.

  66. Vettel closely followed by Verstappen for his great overtaking.

  67. I’m surprised by Raikkonen’s ratings. He did have a good race and he bounced back from having a puncture, but the lap charts show that even when both Ferraris were in clean air, every lap Kimi lost nearly a second over Vettel.

    1. Mr win or lose
      31st March 2015, 11:09

      Interesting. At the end of the race I wondered why Kimi was so much behind Rosberg, as Kimi was ahead of Rosberg during some laps in the middle of the race. So in fact his pace was better in traffic than in clean air…

      1. I supposed that was the effect of used tyre. He lost 2 sets over the weekend due punctures, so that would be a good explanation for that.

    2. In my opinion, Kimi’s Q2 out was not team’s error

  68. Well it has to be Vettel, doesn’t it? Great qually and great race!

  69. 3 drivers go under the limelights this weekend . SEB for sure cause just shows how able is to drive and to manage tyres at the same time with no the best car in the circus …after all is 4 times wc…
    then we have KIMI..and what a comeback for him from bottom to 4th place ….
    last and not least is VES , showing in two races he’s already so much better than dad , and not doing mistakes related to his young age
    hoping going to have a more balanced championship not decided halfway the season but with battle till the last race

  70. Seb of course. He made an outstanding outcome from hell! And so Ferrari.

  71. It was just between Vettel and Raikkonen, since their performance was clearly a level above the rest. Between them, I went with Kimi, since he was faster than Vettel in all practice sessions and one mistake in qualifying saw him stuck in P11. Vettel too had his share of mistakes in earlier sessions. During the race, Kimi paid the price for having so many inexperienced and underage drivers around who gave him a puncture. After all this, he still came back strongly and finished P4, which is a really commendable job. Even the Mercedes drivers in 2014 couldn’t have done a lot more than that given their P3-P4 in Hungary.

    It is easy for us to say in retrospect that all he needed to do was put in same time as Ericsson but we shouldn’t forget that no one knew whether Ericsson would have qualified. So it is justified that Kimi didn’t just follow Ericsson around and tried to overtake. Remember that it is the same engine that sits in both those cars and hence an overtaking would not have been easy. With Lewis right behind him, Kimi couldn’t leave gap to Ericsson since Lewis would have taken that position then.

  72. Definitely Marcus Ericsson.

  73. Went with VET.

  74. Hated it when vettel kept winning for red bull but very happy for him on Sunday and for the first time in the new ers era somebody has beaten the mercs on pace.
    Also good to see McLaren making progress

  75. I voted Kimi…..He was just in the wrong place to get his puncture…and his fightback to 4th showed how happy he is with a car that now suits him….Sebastian beware!!!

  76. You cannot take anything away from Vettel, he drove an unblemished race.

    Both Raikkonen and Bottas drove well to get from the back of the pack to points earning positions Kimi more so of course} but the BBC didn’t bother to show anything of their progress. Was it any different on Sky? Perhaps if this action on their part had been shown they would have got more votes

  77. I quickly nailed down the 19-man list to four – Vettel, Massa, Verstappen and Grosjean.

    First off, the list of the dismissed:

    Hamilton – once again, got lost in car setup. Mechanical failures didn’t help, but still.
    Rosberg – got beaten at the start despite having track position and had error-strewn FP laps.
    Ricciardo – beaten by teammate during the race.
    Kvyat – got lost in car setup on Friday and Saturday (brake balance issues). Susceptible in Hulkenberg incident.
    Bottas – poor start and only got ahead of teammate during the race due to the latters poor pit work.
    Raikkonen – poor decision-making in quali.
    Alonso – error-strewn FP and quali laps.
    Button – beaten by teammate on pace.
    Hulkenberg – at fault in Kvyat accident in my eyes. (Was not even up to the rear axle of Kvyat when the Russian began turning in.)
    Perez – at fault in Grosjean accident.
    Sainz – quali error.
    Maldonado – beaten by teammate on pace by a whisker.
    Merhi – FP spins and quali error.
    Ericsson – rookie error early race.
    Nasr – at fault in Raikkonen incident, got lost in car setup.

    Next down, Massa, who was beaten by his teammate in a more or less straight fight towards the end. Then Verstappen, who had troubles in the opening laps, possibly due to not making the tyres work. These are already pretty harsh reasons, I know, but I’m just a bit inclined to vote for Vettel who did not put… wait, he had an FP spin. Hah, now I can vote for Grosjean with clear conscience.

    1. …Only to realize, moments later, that he had a pitlane infraction. Oh boy, should’ve voted for Massa. Massa got beaten due only due to the time he lost in the pits during his last stop.

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