Perfect Hamilton wins Driver of the Weekend

2015 Italian GP Driver of the Weekend result

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There’s only one word to describe Lewis Hamilton’s result at Monza: Perfection.

The Mercedes driver topped every session before the Italian Grand Prix, led every lap during the race and set fastest lap on his way to victory. He also won our Driver of the Weekend poll – but over half of you were more improved with the performance of other drivers.

Lewis Hamilton’s Italian Grand Prix

Mercedes used all seven of their remaining engine development tokens ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, and when they turned their engine up in the opening practice session, the 1.5-second gap Hamilton had over his rivals was ominous.

Hamilton’s hand was further strengthened when team mate Nico Rosberg had to swap his upgraded engine for the previous, less powerful one due to reliability problems.

However in qualifying the Ferrari drivers emerged as a significant threat for pole position, and it was the two red cars which lined up behind Hamilton as the Mercedes driver took his seventh pole position in a row. That gave Hamilton a useful buffer between him and his closest championship rival on the grid, and when Kimi Raikkonen fluffed his start Rosberg was among those who lost ground having to dodge around the Ferrari driver.

Hamilton took command and romped clear, pulling over 20 seconds away from the pursuing Sebastian Vettel. All seemed to be running smoothly until, with just a handful of laps to go, race engineer Peter Bonnington urged him to push – and not ask questions why.

He obliged and came home a worthy and emphatic winner, comfortably ahead of second placed Vettel, but as the celebrations began his victory was cast in doubt as the reason for Mercedes’ radio message became clear: he was under investigation for having under-pressured tyres at the start of the race. His triumph was upheld following a stewards’ investigation, and with that he has taken a strong 53-point lead in the championship ahead of Rosberg, whose old power unit expired before the chequered flag.

Hamilton won the Driver of the Weekend poll for the fourth time this year – Vettel is next on three – taking 47.6% of the vote.

Very hard not to choose Hamilton, on results he couldn’t have done any better. But given Rosbergs loss of the updated engine he didn’t have any challenge really. He admitted himself the pole lap wasn’t as good as his lap in Spa. Can’t help but feel the car did this one for him.

For me Hamilton was Driver of the Weekend all the way simply because he was the best in every session.

When was the last time a driver finished first in every session held during a Grand Prix weekend and set the fastest race lap? I can’t recall such a feature in recent history.
Jelle van der Meer

Italian Grand Prix winners and losers

Raikkonen blamed a problem with his clutch for his poor start, but Ferrari hasn’t clarified whether that was the case or if their driver made a mistake with his starting procedure.

Nonetheless Raikkonen recovered to finish fifth, three places behind his team mate, yet took more Driver of the Weekend votes than Vettel – 13.3% versus 8.9%.

Raikkonen did well in qualifying to topple Vettel, which has been a rare occurrence this season. The start did look pretty odd, and it wasn’t just a slow start – it looked from what I could see to be an issue with the car. Despite this, Raikkonen not only managed to carve his way through the field, but looked after his tyres better than any of the other front runners as well. Given what happened at the start, I felt that finishing behind the two Williams was the best he could have managed.

Daniel Ricciardo’s recovery from the back row of the grid to finish eighth earned him plaudits (he was Keith’s Driver of the Weekend pick) and Marcus Ericsson received several positive comments after one of his best performances so far, yet they only received 7% and 5% of the vote respectively.

Ricciardo: At the back of the grid through no fault his own and recovered excellently to salvage a few points.

He’s brought it home in the points a few times lately, and even here starting behind his higher-rated team-mate due to a bit of a harsh penalty still managed to get himself into the points. Have to admit I’ve always considered him a bit of a non-entity pay driver but am quite impressed he’s doing well in that Sauber.

So I gave it to him. Someone I didn’t expect to do well at all, actually did quite well all things considered.

2015 Driver of the Weekend winners

2015 Australian Grand PrixFelipe Nasr60.6%
2015 Malaysian Grand PrixSebastian Vettel66.4%
2015 Chinese Grand PrixLewis Hamilton44.5%
2015 Bahrain Grand PrixKimi Raikkonen57.1%
2015 Spanish Grand PrixNico Rosberg60.0%
2015 Monaco Grand PrixLewis Hamilton37.3%
2015 Canadian Grand PrixSebastian Vettel41.6%
2015 Austrian Grand PrixNico Hulkenberg34.9%
2015 British Grand PrixLewis Hamilton44.4%
2015 Hungarian Grand PrixSebastian Vettel51.9%
2015 Belgian Grand PrixRomain Grosjean52.0%
2015 Italian Grand PrixLewis Hamilton47.6%

2015 Italian Grand Prix

Browse all 2015 Italian Grand Prix articles

13 comments on “Perfect Hamilton wins Driver of the Weekend”

  1. So, it looks like Lewis gets Driver of the Weekend every third race. Will we see the trend continue as the season progresses?

    1. On top of that he never got to 50%. Interesting.

      1. Always hard to rate the performance as we’re all sure it’s the best car. He pretty much needs to have a mind blowing gap or overcome an issue that wasn’t his fault to get people behind him otherwise we tend to look for drivers that have achieved more than the car deserved.

        1. If “Its the Car” Why isn’t the other Mercedes driver Winning?
          That sorry excuse is old and overused.

          1. There are 18 other drivers in the field.

          2. It is overused. It’s also not what I said.

            I was answering why Hamilton only gets less than 50% of the vote when he does win, and it’s because it’s harder to measure his relative performance as it’s only against one other person really, and this weekend no one was in equal machinery to him.

            His performance was exemplary but he didn’t overcome any short comings he just achieved what the car should have been able to achieve and so other drivers that did split his vote.

        2. I think you nailed it there. It would take some type of strange circumstance for more than 50% of the people to give it to Lewis because most of us expect him to win with that car and his skill set.

      2. Not really, just begrudging. He’d probably have to do 3 doughnuts off the start, still make the first corner ahead, then lap everyone in the race, twice, for some people to vote for him without explaining away everything as ‘having the best car.’

    2. and after him is Vettel DOTW in the two last occasions up to 3. seems is Vettel turn now. Singapore is coming, tight track, rain , haze, how knows!

  2. He deserves it again.

  3. Easily the easiest vote of the year. In Monza Hamilton took command of the championship while delivering a sublime performance.

  4. Hamilton and Ricciardo, fair enough, but Raikkonen’s 13.3% is a bit high, in my humble opinion. I do think his performance in the race has been a bit overrated. It was a mighty recovery, I agree with that, but it came after a completely botched start which might or might not have been a driver error, aided by being in the 2nd best car on the grid pitted against (even if marginally) slower cars.

    His qualifying performance was a stand-out, yes, but his recovery wasn’t mightier than Ricciardo’s and his race pace wasn’t really on par with Vettel’s, Massa’s or Bottas’.

    1. His qualifying doesn’t impress me as much since he was getting a tow on all his runs while his teammate was not.

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