Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015

Driver of the Weekend wins for Hamilton & Raikkonen

2015 Chinese and Bahrain GP Driver of the Weekend

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Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen topped the Driver of the Weekend polls for the Chinese and Bahrain Grand Prix.

Hamilton’s controlled win in China earned him 44.5% of the vote, although Max Verstappen’s feisty drive, which went unrewarded after an engine failure, saw him voted a close second.

Meanwhile Raikkonen’s late race charge in Bahrain undoubtedly went some way towards the 55.2% of the vote that saw him top the poll.

Chinese Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend: Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Shanghai International Circuit, 2015With the exception of Q1, Hamilton topped every session of the weekend, culminating in a win that was considerably more dominant than it appeared.

The reigning world champion controlled his pace and managed his tyres to perfection, even able to pull out two laps over a second quicker than his previous best just prior to his second stop, something that infuriated his team mate.

From then on Hamilton cruised to the end to pick up a second win and hat rick of the season.

For me it was very tough between Hamilton and Verstappen, but went for Hamilton simply because the way he dictated the race. He is right now at his career best form, looks very calm and has few tricks in his bag which he uses at will.

My driver of the weekend was Hamilton, he dominated all weekend and controlled the race superbly making sure he did just enough to win when there were questions going in to the race about Mercedes tyre wear compared to Ferrari.

Bahrain Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend: Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015Raikkonen was once again out-qualified by Vettel in Bahrain, but used a smart strategy to attack in the latter half of the race and almost nick a surprise win.

Having dropped off of the top three in the opening stint Ferrari decided to try something different in the second stint and stick Raikkonen on a set of hards, saving the softs for the end.

Despite insistence from Raikkonen that he wanted to stay on the hard tyres, Ferrari swapped him over as planned, and Raikkonen duly delivered the lap time. He was gifted third and then second thanks to a mistake from Vettel and issue for Rosberg respectively, but would likely have overtaken them both anyway.

He then closed dramatically on race leader Hamilton – even more so when the Mercedes driver’s brake-by-wire failed on the final lap – and would likely have taken a surprise win had the race lasted one more lap.

Great in race and proved to many that he still is a top notch driver despite last season. Very comfortable in extending his stints and take its benefit in the end.

Made the difference in his car from it being third and fourth and delivered second. In this aspect he finished in a position he shouldn’t have. You can’t really say the same with Hamilton who was flawless none the less.

Notable performances in China and Bahrain

Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, Shanghai International Circuit, 2015In both China and Bahrain, two drivers shared the majority of the vote. Verstappen had just 14% less of the vote then Hamilton, with most of his voters marking his barrage of overtakes out as the reason.

Verstappen. He was barely the only overtaking driver this weekend. The man is fast.

I voted for Verstappen as he was showing phenomenal skill AND he was exciting to watch.

In Bahrain, Hamilton was voted as the closest driver to Raikkonen courtesy of his third win from four races, albeit with 34% less of the vote.

If the poll was “Driver of the Race” would be Raikkonen, but since it’s “Driver of the Weekend” has to be Hamilton.
Raikkonen lost the qualifying duel from his team mate. Hamilton instead dominated Rosberg on every level and won a perfect grand prix driving like hell for the whole race.

Hamilton made the best start and controlled the race pace and despite his five-second lead being wiped out as Rosberg and Raikkonen closed on him at the second stint, Hamilton still pulled out another margin and comfortably controlled the race. It was an amazing display of tyre management without going too slow.

While @keithedin voted for the driver who produced arguably the most spectacular moment of the Bahrain race:

Ricciardo – for showing how to finish a race with a Renault power unit like a boss.

2015 Chinese Grand Prix

Browse all 2015 Chinese Grand Prix articles

38 comments on “Driver of the Weekend wins for Hamilton & Raikkonen”

  1. Cant argue with any of these.

  2. Could you feature the previous top 3’s in a table at the end of these articles as in previous years? I miss them this year, as well as the current season’s Rate the Race results at those articles, where it’s only compared to the Grands Prix from previous years.

    1. +1! Totally agree! I miss it too!

      1. Tom (@11mcgratht)
        28th April 2015, 15:16

        Also, is there anyway we can see the average ‘Rate the Race’ result for each season? I feel that might go some way to answering the ‘which has been the best recent season: 2010 or 2012?’ debate.

        1. What debate? 2012, of course…

    2. +1

      It’s not a hard thing to do the maths.

  3. I kept thinking when Rosberg was block-passing the Ferraris in Bahrain that Lewis in their position would have done the cutback like he did last year, not sat there being blocked.

    Not that I wasn’t thrilled to see Kimi back in business. But added to qualy it just kept him off dotw for me.

    1. @lockup You should take a look at those separate passes. The moment when Rosberg starts to have an ‘advantage’ into the corner is much, much, much later on the passes in last race compared to on Hamilton last year. Hence no time to perform the cut back as you need to brake earlier to do so.

      1. Well @xtwl isn’t that because Seb/Kimi stayed on it longer? Nico was totally committed to running past the apex to the far side; the other car has to start braking earlier to do the cutback, which creates the impression you’ve described.

        1. @lockup On Lewis last year Nico had the advantage before the start of the curve in the white line at the pit exit. On both Seb and Kimi, whatever commitment level Rosberg had, it was much later. Vettel in fact defended enough but Rosberg was brave or stupid enough to still throw his car in between. Neither Kimi nor Seb could have done the cutback because Rosberg only showed he was going to move very late into braking.

          1. I dunno @xtwl I’ve just watched again and I don’t see it the way you do. Seb and Kimi were on course to make the apex and both moved to the inside to crowd Nico when last year Lewis pushed him inside then moved to the outside to prepare for the cutback. They can brake a bit a harder online that’s what gives the defending car a bit of time to let the attacking car sail past.

    2. Exactly what I was thinking, interestingly Nico said before the race that he studied the tactics Lewis used last year. But had Kimi or Seb done the cutback Nico would have left himself wide open again.

      But maybe I’m doing Nico a disservice here, and he knew that Kimi and Seb don’t use the cutback.

    3. He ran so deep that the other driver was blocked from starting the cut-back. That relies on the inside driver running deep through the corner and on the exit (rather than running deep and straight on like Rosberg), as in that situation they start to turn in while they run deep. Turning in gives the other car the room to start turning in themselves.

      Saying that, perhaps if they had swung out really wide they would have had the room. I’d need to watch it back.

      1. The deeper and straighter the inside car runs @matt90, the slower they are with making the tight turn at the end and the better the cutback works. The outside car just has to see it coming and decide early enough, as you say to swing wide to give themselves room and have speed at the apex. That’s what Kimi and Seb could have done IMO.

        1. @lockup Here in lies the problem,Rosberg started his move so late there was no chance to even think about a cutback.

          1. Well I guess neither of us can prove it @xtwl, but Seb & Kimi were going to make the apex so they were already going slower. Tho I agree there was hardly any time, but instinct is faster than cognitive, that’s the difference, I’m suggesting. And they knew he was there.

          2. @lockup They knew he was behind. I think neither expected him to lunge into the corner like that barely even making the braking.

          3. Well I think they should have expected it @xtwl, otherwise it’s complacent. They should know when a block pass is a possibility. I think Lewis did, last year. If you’re the last of the late brakers on the clean outside line you know someone shooting past on the dirty inside is going to go deep. So you let him go and undercut. Lewis did Nico at least three times like that, into T1 and into T4. I looked again and I reckon Kimi and Seb had that opportunity, if as you say they were lightning fast to decide. But their instinctive response was to press to the inside to make him brake harder, and of course he couldn’t and wouldn’t.

          4. @lockup I think nobody expected Rosberg to brake so ridiculously late, nor the drivers, nor the commentators or the fans. The moves showed how desperate Rosberg was to get past, for me. The moment he finally takes the turn he is only a couple of centimetres from being off track…

          5. Well I’m not here to carry a torch for Nico Rosberg @xtwl as you may know :)) I thought it was all a bit Perez-esque tbh. But cutback is THE defence against it. The only defence. And in principle the later and more wild it is, the more inviting for the cutback. So it ought to be in the armoury of a top driver, IMO. The one manoeuvre not to make is to close the line, sit alongside and get blocked.

            But Kimi has never been aggressive in traffic, his trademark has been to avoid contact and let his natural speed in the car take care of things later on. Which it duly did of course, as far as Rosberg was concerned. Just for my dotw it was a half-point off, kinda thing.

  4. Kimi was sublime in the race in Bahrain, but even as an Alonso fan, I must say that Hamilton undoutably deserved DOTW. Raikkonen’s qualifying was poor, and had he maybe qualified in 2nd or 3rd, he might have challenged Lewis harder, maybe even winning the race. Lewis on the other hand, I mean, what did he do that just made you think “He could have done better”. Now I know this comment is going to get some hate maybe, but I feel as though DOTW is 40% biased, 60% geniune. It’s turning into a bit of a popularity contest. This is because if fans of a driver feel they can get any form of justification for their driver, they’ll jump at it. I’ll even admit, I’ve been one of those people regarding Alonso, but I try my best to avoid it.

    1. I agree that the poll isn’t perfect, but I wouldn’t attribute as much as 40% of it to bias. I think it’s more that people vote tactically, particularly when there is a dominant driver.

      People don’t like to see Hamilton (or Vettel, a couple of years ago) win the poll every weekend, so they will try to find someone else to vote for whenever possible. The result is that Hamilton’s own performance has little connection with how he does in the poll: sometimes, when there’s no other stand-out drivers, a lights-to-flag victory will be enough for him to win the poll, but at other times he’ll do exactly the same thing in the race but come only second or third here.

      Another problem is that everyone gets just one vote. If 60% of people think the Rosberg was the second best driver after Hamilton but the other 40% think Vettel was better than both of them, the result will be that Rosberg picks up no votes at all. Obviously those figures are unrealistic, but it’s just an example. The result is that the driver who comes second in the poll was not necessarily the second best driver of the weekend.

      Finally, since it’s not a secret ballot, people can adjust their votes once they’ve seen how other people have voted. If someone votes later than most other people and sees that the top two drivers are almost neck-and-neck, they might decide to vote for their preferred driver of those two rather than the driver they actually would have voted for. When it’s not close at all, then the reverse is true: I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen someone say, “I would vote for Hamilton, but since he’s going to win anyway, I’ll vote for [whoever]”.

      I’m not suggesting any radical changes to how the poll is run. The debate in the comments is often more interesting than the result itself, for example, so I wouldn’t necessarily want to see a secret ballot. It’s just a bit of fun, anyway. If Keith ever wanted to make a change, I’d be happy to give my input as a mathematics undergraduate and political geek, but until then, it’s better not to get too worked up about it. :)

      1. so @estesark, would you like us to have something like the Debian voting system then? I guess it is a bit heavy weight for a poll, so I think a simple vote with a comment on reasoning for the vote suffices for now ;)

        1. I see from your link that Debian uses the Condorcet method, which is a very good one, but definitely too complex for DotW. :)

    2. @mashiat There is only a small portion of people voting who can actually say they have voted for people throughout the field for various reasons. If your on this site quick enough you sometimes even see the most out of place votes, often for the champions.

      1. Nobody noticed when Guido VanDG was nominated for DOTW in Australia. It takes all kinds.

    3. pastaman (@)
      29th April 2015, 15:17

      Of course it’s biased, this is the Internet man

    4. The DOTW poll results are usually based on a driver who’s up further in front than expected. Often the reason they make up places during the races is even caused by the fact they messed up their qualification.

      I don’t think it’s bias really, but I agree it’s mostly useless anyway.

  5. @mashiat Kimi was third after the first lap, still Rosberg got past him before the end of the first stint. His qualifying wasn’t poor. He was only 3 tenths off Vettel who is considered a very fast qualifier. Considering the strengths of the Ferrari car, I would say he got maximum out of the race in Bahrain.

    If he got the win, that would have been a miracle considering how far Kimi was before the start of the third stint.

    1. @evered7 Well, Vettel being a fast qualifier isn’t really an excuse, but as I mentioned, it isn’t really as much a question of Raikkonen not having a perfect weekend as it is Hamilton having one.

      1. Having a car which is the ace of the field and then failing to have a perfect weekend would probably be a sign of a poor racer. Vettel did the perfect weekend week in week out during his dominant RB days yet mostly never won the DOTW poll.

        Kimi drove a blinder of a second stint to even be able to fight for the second spot. Qualifying poor would be suitable for his China performance, but he was only behind Rosberg and his team mate in Bahrain. Not something that can be deemed poor.

        1. He has always been the driver that could surprise you, especially at the end of the race. I was watching the 2005 British Grand Prix the other day and just to send a message he set the fastest lap on the very last lap which was a whole second quicker than anyone else. The guy is a legend because of ability to totally surprise you with his skill which I admit he doesn’t display consistently enough but that is what makes him so enjoyable to watch and no tantrums either.

        2. Did Kimi really drive a blinder of a second stint or where the Mercedes guys just taking it slow to conserve their tyres?

          I do think Raikkonen did set his car up more for the race. People seem to forget this, but the setup is always a compromise and some drivers opt to go more for a race setup whilst others put more emphasis on the quali setup.

          Looking how Raikkonen struggled in Q3 while Vettel was flying and vice versa during the race, I’d say it’s pretty clear who went for which focus with their setup.

  6. ColdFly F1 (@)
    28th April 2015, 16:08

    stats & figures: is that the first time a driver ended up DOTW top 3 without finishing the race?

    1. @coldfly No, I can remember at least one occasion when a driver won the DotW poll without finishing the race:

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        29th April 2015, 1:25

        @girts – thanks for digging that up, and letting us know.

  7. It was Raikkonen

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