Start, Suzuka, 2015

Vote for your 2015 Japanese Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend

2015 Japanese Grand Prix

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

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

Japanese Grand Prix driver-by-driver

Mercedes

Start, Suzuka, 2015
“I imagine Nico was running out of road” – Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton – It was nip-and-tuck between Hamilton and Rosberg on their first runs in Q3, and if Hamilton’s effort had been tidier he might have taken pole position. Soon after the start of the race that became irrelevant, however: Hamilton got down the inside of Rosberg at the first corner and exploited that advantage to its fullest. “I had my corner and so we were very, very close but I was basically understeering, I was running out of grip,” Hamilton explained. “I imagine Nico was running out of road, but that’s what happens when you’re on the outside.” From then on his victory looked assured, despite a mid-race lock-up which left him with a flat-spotted tyre. Once it was replaced a rapid out-lap after underline how much pace he had in hand.

Nico Rosberg – Rosberg’s momentary loss of power at the start – possibly caused by how he managed the Mercedes on the formation lap – cost him dearly. “It was close,” he explained, “I had to avoid a collision” – the pair tangled in similar circumstances at Spa last year. After that Rosberg drove well to reclaim second place: he came from a long way back to pass Bottas at the chicane and erased a two-second deficit to Rosberg with a scorching out-lap from his second pit stop. But the win was long gone.

Red Bull

Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2015
Kvyat described his race as “boring” and “annoying”
Daniel Ricciardo – A top five start was possible, Ricciardo believes, but he qualified seventh. He started superbly but with Massa and Raikkonen converging in front of him contact was made, leaving him with a puncture and floor damage. After pitting for new rubber on the first lap he did well to complete the race distance with just one further pit stop, but without a Safety Car points were never going to happen.

Daniil Kvyat – Although he was quickest in the rain on Friday Kvyat knew it was irrelevant. When the track dried out he struggled with a “messy” (his word) final practice and an even messier qualifying session – a straightforward mistake at turn ten had destructive consequences and left him starting from the pits. He struggled with brake temperatures and tyre life in his newly-built car in the race, and was frustrated by his overtake button not working.

Williams

Felipe Massa – Having been fourth in Q2 he lined up fifth on the grid, and the contact with Ricciardo spoiled his race. He lost more time than the Red Bull driver getting back to the pits and only had the two Manors behind him at the flag.

Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Suzuka, 2015
Bottas slipped behind the Ferraris
Valtteri Bottas – Third on the grid at Suzuka for the second year in a row, he was passed by Vettel at the start but got in front of Rosberg. An early first pit stop kept him ahead of the Mercedes until Rosberg surprised him at the chicane. Another positions was lost to Raikkonen in the pits, leaving Williams to regret not having brought him in sooner.

Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel – Moved up from fourth to second at the start and probably had the pace to hold onto the position. Ferrari instructed him to keep Rosberg two seconds behind which he did, but the Mercedes driver was still able to jump ahead by pitting early.

Kimi Raikkonen – Singapore apart, Raikkonen has been closer to Vettel in qualifying in recent races and it continued in Japan, where he was just a tenth of a second off. He had a straightforward race, needing only to jump ahead of the Williams of Bottas, which he did.

McLaren

Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Suzuka, 2015
Alonso: Fast and furious
Fernando Alonso – What Alonso said during the race received much more attention than how he performed, which is a shame because he drove superbly. He was deservedly proud of a qualifying lap which came within half a second of getting the McLaren into Q3 despite a 16kph straight-line speed disadvantage. A great start got him up to ninth – and then the faster cars blasted past him on the straight. His “GP2” comments were not without justification.

Jenson Button – Pointed out he’d been given the wrong engine settings for what turned out to be his only flying run in Q1 before yellow flags disrupted the end of the session, costing him a chance to reach Q2. Like Alonso the places he made up at the start were swiftly lost due to the Honda’s lack of top end – two cars passed him at once when the DRS zone was activated on lap three. Being jumped by Ericsson at his second stop kept him from finishing closer to Alonso.

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Force India

Nico Hulkenberg – Said he’d produced his best in qualifying despite not joining his team mate in Q3. He gained five places at the start – three from the drivers tangling ahead of him – and used an early first pit stop to jump both the Lotus drivers. After that he was on his own en route to sixth place.

Sergio Perez – Having qualified ninth he was unfortunate to be knocked off at the first corner while trying to avoid the Ricciardo/Massa mess. With no Safety Car appearing points were impossible, but he made it back up to 12th.

Toro Rosso

Max Verstappen, Jenson Button, Felipe Nasr, Suzuka, 2015
Verstappen had to climb into the points again
Max Verstappen – A three-place grid penalty for stopping on the racing line when he car broke down in qualifying seemed harsh given his car could easily be seen by other drivers and there was nowhere he could have stopped which wouldn’t have brought out the yellow flags. That left him 17th on the grid, but within four laps he was 13th and an early first pit stop helped him gain more ground. He got ahead of his team mate in his final sting for ninth place.

Carlos Sainz Jnr – Driving at Suzuka for the first time, and unable to run in the dry on Friday, it was perhaps to be expected that he didn’t make it into Q3. He was trying to get in between the Lotuses when he hit a pit entry bollard, damaging his front wing, and ultimately slipped to tenth behind Verstappen.

Lotus

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Suzuka, 2015
Grosjean went 13-1 up against Maldonado in qualifying
Romain Grosjean – Not for the first time this year Grosjean surprised himself by getting into Q3. His race was a straightforward affair to begin with, though he lost a place to Hulkenberg early on. But at the end he was having a hard time with his tyres. “It seems the new Pirelli limits hurt us more than our rivals,” he said.

Pastor Maldonado – Didn’t make it into Q3 but seemed happier with his tyres at the end of the race than Grosjean. Followed his team mate home for useful points.

Sauber

Marcus Ericsson – Despite being the only Sauber driver with prior experience of Suzuka – and quite a bit of it – it was Ericsson who spun off the track during qualifying. He had another spin during the race. Attempting to run a long stint on hard tyres at the end of the race didn’t pay off and he fell to 14th after being passed by Perez and Kvyat.

Felipe Nasr – Qualified within a tenth of his team mate but pulled into the pits shortly before the end with an unspecified problem having fallen to 17th place.

Manor

Will Stevens – A five-second penalty for pit lane speeding would probably have dropped Stevens behind his team mate at the chequered flag even if he hadn’t spun at 130R late in the race, losing the position.

Alexander Rossi – Felt his pace improved during the race and finished ahead of his team mate again.

Qualifying and race results summary

DriverStartedGap to team mate (Q)Laps leading team matePittedFinishedGap to team mate (R)
Lewis Hamilton2nd+0.076s53/5321st-18.964s
Nico Rosberg1st-0.076s0/5322nd+18.964s
Daniel Ricciardo7th-0.048s0/52215th+11.519s
Daniil Kvyat20th+0.048s52/52313th-11.519s
Felipe Massa5th+0.313s0/51317thNot on same lap
Valtteri Bottas3rd-0.313s51/5125thNot on same lap
Sebastian Vettel4th-0.102s52/5323rd-12.918s
Kimi Raikkonen6th+0.102s1/5324th+12.918s
Fernando Alonso12th-0.197s51/52211th-26.809s
Jenson Button14th+0.197s1/52216th+26.809s
Nico Hulkenberg13th+0.216s52/5226thNot on same lap
Sergio Perez9th-0.216s0/52312thNot on same lap
Max Verstappen17th-0.351s12/5229thNot on same lap
Carlos Sainz Jnr10th+0.351s40/52210thNot on same lap
Romain Grosjean8th-0.219s47/5327th-1.277s
Pastor Maldonado11th+0.219s6/5328th+1.277s
Marcus Ericsson15th-0.087s44/49214thNot on same lap
Felipe Nasr16th+0.087s5/49220thNot on same lap
Will Stevens18th-8.331s38/50319thNot on same lap
Alexander Rossi19th+8.331s12/50218thNot 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.

Who was the best driver of the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix weekend?

  • Lewis Hamilton (24%)
  • Nico Rosberg (1%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (1%)
  • Daniil Kvyat (0%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (1%)
  • Sebastian Vettel (8%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (1%)
  • Fernando Alonso (13%)
  • Jenson Button (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (15%)
  • Sergio Perez (1%)
  • Max Verstappen (29%)
  • Carlos Sainz Jnr (0%)
  • Romain Grosjean (3%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Marcus Ericsson (1%)
  • Felipe Nasr (0%)
  • Will Stevens (0%)
  • Alexander Rossi (1%)

Total Voters: 506

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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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95 comments on “Vote for your 2015 Japanese Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend”

  1. Fernando for me – the only driver to outqualify his team mate and put in a decent performance during the race, or at least as decent as the car would allow.

    1. Me too. Im a massive fan but its the first time this year I felt I could truly justify it. 11th in that Mchonda on a power circuit is truly impressive

      1. Thanks to Ericsson. He hold up quite a few people who otherwise would have finish ahead of Alonso. Possibly including Button.

      2. Don’t forget, he did this with a car which has a GP2 engine bolted to it.

    2. Such a lousy race who cares.

      Fernando’s outqualified his team mate quite a lot of times this season thanks to the fact that there’s a problem with Button’s deployment every other race weekend.

      This part of your comment is quite inexplicable though:
      “the only driver to outqualify his team mate and put in a decent performance during the race”

      1. Some drivers outqualified their team mates but had an average or poor race, others were outqualified but had a good race, while, in my opinion, Fernando was the only driver who managed to outqualify his team mate and have a good race
        I’m not sure what’s so inexplicable about that.

        1. Vettel’s race was not good?

          1. No better than expected, if he’d kept Nico behind him I may have voted for him, but finishing 3rd in the 2nd best car isn’t much of an achievement unless your team mate is a serious challange – and Kimi isn’t.

          2. Alonso was passed by a ton of other cars, but that’s none of my business.

    3. Not the ONLY driver. SV out qualified his teammate and did likewise

      Fact

      1. SV out qualified his teammate

        Correct, that’s a fact.

        and did likewise

        And that’s an opinion, always a little bit dangerous when people think their opinion is fact.

  2. Has to be Verstappen for me. He fought hard and made things happen on track. This guy is going to get far, mark my words.

    Making a move on another car on the outside of 130R. He’s either absolutely fearless or mad.

    1. Nobody impressed me much at all, so I too went for Verstappen. The only driver to consistently complete overtaking manoeuvres.

    2. Got to agree with Max Verstappen – he is very much a ‘thinking’ as well as a ‘fast’ driver.
      Impressed me most this season and a champion in the making.
      Right temperament and I like this below link on youtube – you can catch most of his answers although it is in Dutch.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lj_u9BOBWY
      Lewis impressed me too to think that he could hardly see anything for 15 laps because of the car shaking and did not stop until the tyres got changed. That’s devotion.

  3. Between Alonso, Hulkenberg, Verstappen and Hamilton for me. I’m confused, so I’ll just think it through and vote tomorrow. Thank you for reading this redundant comment. Bye.

    1. Forget it, voted Alonso for comprehensively beating Jenson at a track where he has always been strong.

    2. Almost the same for me: It’s between Hamilton, Hülkenberg, and Alonso.
      To be honest, I don’t get the fuss about Verstappen. The most memorable bit was his aborted attempt at 130R. Other than that, I count 3 easy overtakes against struggling opponents. Not bad, but not outstanding, either.
      I still haven’t made a decision.

      1. It wasn’t really easy since he was lacking top speed. DRS could only keep him at the rear so he needed his opponents to make mistakes, whilst remaining clean himself.

        He actually made Alonso do an error and immediately was able to overtake him. I call that a big win in my book. Making a world champion fold (and make no mistakes yourself) is very very good driving

        1. @martinspire
          I saw no mistake by Alonso, only Verstappen pulling alongside him on the main straight, where the McLarens looked the most vulnerable. Top speed was measured behind 130R, after a long climb out of Spoon – i.e. where you need all the power you can use in order not to lose unspeakable amounts of speed. McLaren couldn’t afford not to go all-in in this section, or they would’ve been even easier to overtake. Unfortunately for them, their energy recovery doesn’t seem to work well enough, leaving them with too little juice to defend well on the main straight. Which is what we saw here: No mistakes, just a much better acceleration, aided by DRS and a slipstream.

          I went with Hülkenberg. Flawless drive that couldn’t have ended higher up the order. He took valuable points away from Lotus, Force India’s main rivals, which may help them secure P5 in the Constructors’ at the end of the season.

          1. Alonso was on the faster tyres and Verstappen on the slower ones, which made it difficult for Verstappen to overtake him. Instead of being too close at chicane, Verstappen seemed to realize to create the right amount of distance between him and Alonso before the chicane in order to get more exiting corner speed onto the straight.

            The ICE of the Honda engine seems to be not that bad, which means the corner exiting speed is ok, but it’s more the running out of ERS power on the straights. Nonetheless, because of the tyres difference between them, it took some cleverness and good driving for Verstappen to be able to overtake Alonso.

          2. @ To the Max !

            Alonso was on the faster tyres

            He was on mediums that were 16 laps old by the time Verstappen passed him, and were due to be changed just 3 laps later. They weren’t dropping off yet, but they certainly didn’t give him an advantage, either.
            Verstappen’s tyres were just as old as Alonso’s, but they were the hard compound, the same compound that Ricciardo used for 29 laps without running into trouble.
            Additionally, Verstappen’s first lap after the overtake was 1.4 seconds faster. In short: The tyre argument can’t be upheld.

            According to the lap chart, Verstappen was following the Alonso train for 7 laps befor managing to overtake Kvyat. It took him an additional 5 laps to get past Alonso. Keeping the tyre situation in mind, this sounds like a case of waiting for a ripe fruit to fall into your hands.
            A lot of other drivers were following their competitors for umpteen laps, trying different approaches, trying to carry more speed through the chicane and whatnot. Still, hardly anyone was able to make a pass, much less hundreds of metres before the first corner. Because no-one else was battling a McLaren with tyres that were getting old.

            No disrespect meant, but these are the reasons why I’m not overwhelmed by his overtake. There simply wasn’t anything special about it.

    3. I guess everyone forgot what Hulkenberg did at the start….

      1. Feel free to enlighten us. As of now, I have no idea how to read your comment. I can imagine anything from “He tried to summon Satan” to “He literally flew past everybody”. Before your comment, I was more inclined to the latter reading, but the application of the Relevance Theory leads me to believe that it may be the former.

        Also, what’s up with your profile? It links to “deleted”. I’ve seen that a couple of times now, and I’ve no idea what that means.

  4. Hamilton was good, but had it easy after the first corner, and missed out on pole.

    Max was quick straight away in dry practice. Then had technical issues during quali that kept him from getting into the top 10, AND dropped him 3 more places. Then he drove a great race to take 9th. after overtaking his teammate and edging out an 15+ seconds gap over the closing stint, all in a renault powered car.

    Not super spectacular, but in a race that was so boring and so full of mediocre or uninspired preformances I gotta give it to him

    1. Hamilton also had a red flag during Q3, and while he made it look easy– he made it look easy.

      … at least, what we saw of his race made it look easy. :)

  5. Difficult choice this time, because there are at least 3 drivers I feel did more than expected. Although each had tiny issues too.

    Hamilton really nailed it this weekend. Unlucky that he wasn’t able to finish is final run in Q3, but the way he perfectly set up the car with so little running time made sure he was faster in race trim than Rosberg by a country mile.

    Verstappen had his car failure in Q2 and the resulting confusion cost him extra as well. He made up for all that with a vengeance. Coming from P17 finishing in P9 well in front of his team mate, again showing some nice overtakes getting there.

    Hulkenberg didn’t seem to have much speed in qualifying, but more than made up for that with a good race setup. Going from P13 to P6 giving him his usual solid (albeit rather invisible) race result.

    Have to go with Hamilton though. Not just for the perfect (race) setup and resulting fast laptimes compared to his team mate, but also for keeping his head cool at the start and dealing his teammate another big blow.

  6. ColdFly F1 - @coldfly (@)
    28th September 2015, 16:18

    One of the most difficult ones:
    This was a race of many goods but few excellents.
    As a move I liked Verstappen’s go at Alonso around 130R. But that in itself is not enough for DOTW and he had to abort it.
    Ham/Ros good in Rce/Quali respectively, but we did not even see any of their racing.
    Hulkenberg with a great race to end up 6th; but again we hardly saw him.

    I haven’t made up my mind yet. Maybe read some other comments first.

    1. @coldfly That was Kvyat, not Alonso. Had it been a McLaren Honda, Verstappen would’ve been past 200 meters before 130R

  7. Hamilton drove a perfect race but a mistake in qualifying means he doesn’t get my vote.

    I voted for Verstappen in the end, he drove a great race and provided a few excellent overtakes without making mistakes. He’s already driving well beyond his years and I think he’ll be pushed into a top team early so that team can tie him up to a long term contract.

    It will be interesting to see what happens to him if Red Bull leave F1 as it’s looking like Manor will be to Mercedes & Hass will be to Ferrari what Toro Rosso is to Red Bull: A training ground for young promising drivers. Driving for one of those teams would be a step backwards so would he be pushed into a leading team?

  8. Not really someone who stood out this weekend. I voted for Grosjean: he had a good qualifying, probably the best he could hope for. The race was solid, admittedly he got passed by Hülkenberg during the stops, but still a good P7. Especially considering Lotus’ off-track worries like being locked out of their facilities, I think it’s quite impressive to have both cars in the top 8. But it’s quite worrying that their main rival for 5th in the constructors is able to undercut not one, but two of their drivers…

  9. Difficult to choose between Hulk, Hamilton and Verstappen. In the end my vote : Max. For the sheer entertainment with his overtaking actions. This guy deserves a better car and top team. I would love to see him racing against Vettel and Hamilton… Perhaps too soon; but I have no doubt he can do it!

    1. His car is good. One of the best in the pack, in balance and downforce. All he needs is a better engine and solid electronics.
      It could be that he needs Petronas or Shell fuel/gasoline as well.

  10. Bottas for me. Qualifying third was a supreme effort and will go a long was to silence the critics who feel he isn’t quite worthy of being referred to as a future world champion. While his race result may be seen as disappointing given his lofty qualifying position, finishing best of the rest behind the faster Mercedes and Ferraris was about all he and Williams could have hoped. Throw in the fact that the team again (come on Williams!?) seem to have missed a trick with strategy and it was a good result for Valtteri.

    No one else seems to have been flawless this weekend. Hamilton was out qualified by Rosberg, Rosberg lacked ultimate pace in the race and almost got caught by Vettel. Vettel was outqualified by a slower car, Raikkonen was outqualified by Vettel. I would have said Hulkenberg but he was out qualified by Perez, the Lotii got jumped by Hulkenberg. Verstappen? Maybe, but a lot of his race highlights came when he had a tyre advantage over the cars he was racing. So I feel comfortable with my choice of Bottas. :)

    1. Verstappen while on the reds overtook Alonso on the whites. Sainz was the one that overtook Alonse with faster tires. Then Verstappen overtook Sainz with the whites while Sainz on the reds. Looks like tyre advantage, however, Max during that last stint knew to take good care of his whites while Carlos couldn’t preserve his reds.

      1. Correction, Sainz overtook Alonso on equal tires.

  11. So a driver who parks it on the racing line in qualifying and gets a penalty for endangering other competitors is the best of the weekend?? Jesus.

    1. Yeah, I can’t vote for him either. He could have easily avoided the penalty and start higher up and most likley finish higher up.

    2. Vettel was DotW’ed in Canada despite an even more unnecessary infringement (intentionally overtaking under red flags, complaining about a “slow” competitor who was going 300 kph …). Verstappen’s mistake looks small in comparison.

      1. Whataboutery doesn’t change that it should be an immediate loss of DotW to do silly stuff like that.

  12. I’m going for Rossi (due to a lack of better options) for his avoiding action when Stevens spun. I am thoroughly unimpressed by him in GP2 but he is doing a solid job for compared to his more experienced 13kg lighter teammate.

    1. I’ve never seen a comparison of one of one driver’s weight to their teammate’s except when they are Manor drivers. Then it always seems to come up. What is with that? I have no idea if Rosberg weighs more than Hamilton, Bottas more than Massa, or Kimi more than Vettel. But in the case of Manor it is always brought up, it seems.

      1. Ralph, people used to quote Hulkenberg’s weight disadvantage all the time, too. Some drivers have a height problem as well, which compromises their ability to fit in the car easily and get their centre of gravity low down (Webber springs to mind as a recent example). At the moment, Button and Hulkenberg are two of the tallest and heaviest drivers. Kvyat is tall but very light. Massa is tiny. Vettel is one of the lightest drivers while not being so small.
        http://www.auto123.com/en/racing-news/f1-height-and-weight-of-the-current-formula-1-drivers?artid=176733

    2. Two wins (one against Vandoorne), six podiums and a pole is an unimpressive season to you?

      Tough crowd. But yeah, his dodge of Stevens was definitely one of the best moves of the race, along with Rosberg’s overtake of Bottas.

      1. He is in his third season and for the first time challenging for something. I think his position in the standings somewhat flatters his talent.

  13. Can someone please explain what exactly did Verstappen do in this race to deserve DotW? Am I missing something?

    Surely it isn’t because he finished 9th after starting from 17th place right? I mean it’s pretty much expected for him to finish ahead of the much slower Saubers and the McHondas! MAS, RIC & PER all had issues of their own in the first corner and maybe the only decent moment for him was his overtaking move on his teammate.

    So what exactly did he do other than a failed attempt on ALO on the outside of 130R and the fact that he parked his car on the racing line in qualifying to get a 3-place grid penalty, worsening his prospects for the race!

    I would vote for HUL. He finished 7 places ahead of his grid spot, passing the arguably faster Lotus cars in the process.

    1. I have to admit that I’m not sure who to vote for because there wasn’t really anything standing out.

      I think that people do get carried away with Max though. He’s definitely a talent, but I think part of it is due to media attention and hype making people think he poops rainbows at every race…

    2. Yes you’re missing something.

      1. Verstappen gets +5 on the hype meter at all FIA Formula One events. Kvyat gets +3, Ricciardo gets +3, Vettel gets +2, Rosberg gets +1, and Hamilton gets -5. Carlos Sainz, in spite of having an almost identical finishing place average (9.9 to 9.4) to Verstappen, gets a +1 (but only when drifting). Alonso gets a GP2 engine, and Kimi, when awake, gets an ice cream.

        1. You forgot Bernie and the money

        2. @grat This should be the default intro post to every DotW!

    3. Well.. Verstappen first drove the 7th time in 3rd practise. Then did well in first qualifying but suffered from an engine problem. After a penalty (which many think was a bit harsh) he starts from the 17th place. His team mate starts from 10th.. In the first few laps he overtakes 4 cars. Then he gets stuck behind other cars which are faster on the straights. He changes strategy and pits early. Despite being down on engine power, he makes a number of great overtakes (e.g., on Alonso and Button – 2 world champions who are difficult to overtake if your car is even slower on the straight than the Hondas). Once he is free, he is driving extremely fast. At that point only the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers drive faster laptimes. Eventually Verstappen’s fastest time is 0.449 sec faster than Sainz’ and only 0.331 sec slower than Vettel’s! He catches up with his teammate and overtakes him. In the remaining laps, he drives 15 seconds away… Despite being on tires that degrade faster..

      In my opinion he is one of the few drivers that bring spectacle that Formula1 so desperately needs. He is clearly outperforming his team mate in races – both in terms of speed and the ability to overtake. Besides the Hondas he suffered most from engine failures. Despite that he almost scored three times more points than his team mate. On top of that.. it is his first year in F1 and his second year in car racing. In my opinion, this weekend there was no other driver impressing more. Hamilton lost to Rosberg in qualifying. Vettel was no match for Mercedes this time. Alonso wasn’t bad but made a mistake allowing Verstappen to overtake him and called the Honda engine a GP2 engine.

      1. You really have to watch out with ‘three times as much points’. He got a lucky strike in Hungary, if you reduce that to a normal points finish let’s say P8 or so it gives a better image.

        1. And this way you can downplay every drivers results.

          ‘If the Mercs were driving normally in Singapore, Seb would never have won the race, and Ric would be finishing around 10th place.’

        2. Still double the points with 8th in Hungary…

        3. Add the lost points in China, and maybe Australia.

  14. Alonso for me. Being able to hold off as many cars as he did for as long as he did hit the nail on the head for me.

  15. Well it’s not the guy who threw up all the dust in the picture!

    Solid result for Hulk, yeah – but he got that low starting spot by missing the top ten, 3 of the cars ahead accounted for themselves at the first corner, and didn’t he pass the Lotuses in the pits, heartlessly exploiting their starving, undernourished pit crew?

    Hamilton had all the rest of ’em on toast so I’m going for him.

  16. I voted Verstappen. Not because he keeps delivering as steady as a rock besides providing tons of heart, soul of racing and entertainment. But because it’s the very last chance ever to vote a 17y old wunderkind.

  17. I also voted for Max Vesrtappen. I’m Dutch, that helps. I wouldn’t be surprised he had the most airtime during the race, which also helps. And he made much out of that airtime. It seems like he was constantly pushing the driver just in front of him. And unlike some other “pushers”, it seems that he found a way past all of them at some point. Fresh tyres or older tyres. And he managed to run 23 laps on mediums at the end, overtaking and subsequently outpacing Sainz almost a scond per lap. On Mediums.

    The fastest lap times also show Max on 7th, quite a bit ahead of anyone else with a Renault engine. Probably down to good strategy with tyres, running mediums with a much lighter fuel load around the same time that most drivers ran Hard compound. Still… check the previous races. You’ll see that being 7th is probably a disappointment for him.

    Hulkenberg & Grosjean also drove pretty well, but we haven’t seen . Vettel gave it everything at the last pit stop, ruining his tyres in front of the 80km zone. I like that fanaticism.

    Hamilton did a great job. His fastest lap time is a second faster than anyone else. He was really flying. He gets my no.2 spot. Vettel 3rd.

    1. Can’t even spell his name right! Verstappen

  18. Hamilton of course. Also great weekend by Hulkenberg, Vettel, Bottas, Ericcson, Grosjean, Maldonado.

  19. Rosberg for me, because of the climb up to second from being hung out to dry at turn one. He drove a very good race, and had some tasty moves, especially the Senna on Prost flashback at the chikane – but he actually pulled it off! what a beauty that was!

    1. tasty moves

      Plural? Except for his massive divebomb on Bottas where else did he overtook someone?

  20. This time there’s not really that one driver you say “he was perfect!”. Hamilton lost pole, Rosberg lost the race; Vettel qualified behind Bottas, and the latter is probably my second pick. Red Bulls? Nowhere. Verstappen? Maybe, but… Alonso: he gets past Q1, he brings his car almost to the top ten in the races whereas Button brings me back memories of April. McLaren is still awful unfortunately, but Alonso makes it look much better than it is, more than ever this weekend.

  21. Alonso I think deserves a lot of praise for turning his bathtub a decent road block for half the race.

    But I will plumb for Maldonado for his determination to avoid crashing into anything during the race.

  22. Having read all the arguments I’m going for Alonso. I think he absolutely maxxed his weekend, and I liked how he was politically incorrect towards the stuffed shirts as well.

    Max was great fun, Lewis was dominating, Seb awesome. We have all the ingredients for some great racing, just need a bit more development. Or somebody put any two of these guys in the same team please.

    1. Hamilton – one good overtake and then in a different class to the rest

  23. Who owned the weekend? I think you’ve got to do better than your teammate in both qualifying and the race – that rules out Hamilton or Hulkenberg. Honourable mentions to Vettel (I don’t see how he could have done anything better) and Verstappen (always entertaining, and the penalty seemed a bit harsh), but frankly, the way that Alonso absolutely nailed his defensive line for lap after lap, keeping cars behind that were so much faster… wow.

    (…and I am really NOT a fan of the Teflon-coated Spaniard!)

  24. +1 for the driver of the GP2 engine

  25. Max I think. In a race devoid of almost anything resembling racing he stood out from the rest.

  26. L E W I S H A M I L T O N..I think he put the championship race to sleep. Stunning move at the start.

  27. Verstappen, there was a very impressive overtake from him.

  28. Hard to choose. Some good drives. Max is out for parking on the racing line. Fernando did well, but the swearing is just ridiculous, always pointing the finger to others. Hamilton was in a class of his own on the race, had the best car and dully delivered. Hulkenberg was outqualified by his teammate again but drove an excelent race to finish 6th.
    I think all in all, Hamilton.

  29. Nearly voted for Alonso just from his defensive driving. But a driver is part of the team, and throwing them under the bus like that publicly is poor form.

    So Hamilton gets my vote. Should really have nailed pole on his first attempt but was unlucky to not get a second go. Put it right in the race though and clearly had the edge over Rosberg.

  30. Maximum Verstappen ^.^

  31. I voted for vettel.
    I think vettel’s under cut was very good

  32. FIRST: found it very difficult to find where to sign in on newly designed web page…..
    Hamilton displayed his true character once again by unnecessarily shoving Nico R off the race course. So I voted for Nico R as he had a real challenge in getting back to second position. Always like R Grosjean and hope that he will get a competitive car next year with Haas. thanks, Norris

  33. No one” should be an option while voting. The race was not very intriguing. All I could think was that Max’s take on ALO and Hulk’s start. It says to vote for the best driver among them all so had to vote for Max. Makes sense to brain but not to heart. Long live F1

    1. @square-route – yes, absolutely right – we need a “No one stood out” category.

    2. Long live F1

      Coincidence?? I wrote this comment earlier today. Appears so spooky after FI and Sauber called on EU to investigate F1.

      o_O

  34. Objectively it’s Hamilton, but it’s not unequivocal on this occasion. After being kind on the tires for the Q2 run he should then have aced his Q3 run, but a minor blip in the scheme of things. Flawless drive of a champion, in the best car. It’s what he’s supposed to do and he gone done it.

    Alonso & Vettel round out the considerations, with Max sneaking a point for trying to push the boundaries of F1 etiquette as usual.

    There is indeed a ton of hype around Max, but watching him now, there really does look like something special, albeit in its infancy (quite literally some would say!)

  35. There’s only one driver for me this weekend . Jules Bianchi

  36. Fernando Alonso for trying his best to hold back Kyvat and Max in a far from superior McLaren.

  37. It’s a tough decision but there is one driver who completely overturned my expectations, raced well, exceeded my hopes and fears, generally showed better than most of the rest of the season. He’s just been re-signed and clearly isn’t taking a relaxed view of racing.
    I’m talking about Maldonado, of course!
    Obviously not as good as Grosjean but don’t spoil my party. This could be only the second time I’ve ever seriously considered Maldonado for DoTW.

  38. For me it was Max Verstappen for his great recovery drive from 17th to 9th following yet another qualifying impact by car failure.
    Due to lack of Renault engine power overtake was certainly not easy, several times the car ahead pulled away despite Max having DRS.
    They changed his strategy giving him clean air and immediately Max delivered quick lap after quick lap and in his final stint he made his medium tyre last longer/better than those around him on the hard tyre and he finished 15 seconds ahead of his teammate who started 7 places ahead and had more clean air for most of the race.

    Honorable mention are Hulkenberg and Grossjean.

  39. For me there was only one choice. Max. Max is heading for the top of F1 at speed of sound.
    He is nearly there already. Top teams who have not signed him at any cost for 2016 2017 will be heavy losers.

    I suspect Ferrari have nabbed him.

  40. For me it was between five drivers. Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Grosjean, Verstappen and Alonso.

    5th – Verstappen. Very good race, fighting back from where he was on the grid up to 9th is no easy feat. He ended up beating Sainz (who is no slouch), after starting far behind him, thanks to Sainz having his issue with the bollard. He also be a couple of cars – that I’d say were faster – on merit, and also a few others that were faster through circumstance in the race. He also finished ahead of all cars that I would saw were slower than him. 5th place though because of the fact he caused himself to have to climb a slightly steeper mountain with the pulling onto the racing line in qualifying.

    4th – Grosjean. Once again Grosjean shows he can do what he needs to do. A very good qualifying to put him 8th, and then he was able to stay ahead of most behind, gained a couple of positions from the Massa, Ricciardo incident, and held off from pressure (albeit slight) from his team mate behind (actually a good race for Maldonado as well which is good news). 4th only because Hulkenberg jumped him in the stops.

    3rd – Hamilton. Basically a flawless race. Raced hard at the start to take the lead and well, that was his lot. Dominated everyone else, made no mistakes, basically flawless. 3rd only because he was beaten in qualifying. Yes he never got to prove himself with a final lap, but his didn’t hit his marks on his first lap whereas Rosberg did, and that cost him. In the end it didn’t really matter but there we go. He was also behind Rosberg in practice overall as well (again, doesn’t really matter too much, and it’s only a small factor, but it’s only a small factor as to why he’s behind 2nd place).

    2nd – Hulkenberg. Once again Hulkenberg shows what everyone says he’s capable of. His race was fantastic. Did everything he needed to to bring himself to where he was on merit, and to take advantage of the three cars dropping back that were ahead of him. The reason he is second is because of the fact his qualifying was actually very poor in the end. But his race was pretty much as good as it can be. Jumped up at the start, stayed with the Lotus’s, undercut them, scored a very nice haul of points. Very good.

    1st – Alonso. Was able to consistently hold off cars that were clearly much faster than himself, showing all of his race craft to stay ahead. It was mightily impressive. In the end only two cars that started behind him beat him, and he moved up a position on his grid spot (thanks to three retirements ahead). Still, being able to hold off that many fast cars for as long as he did with as much power deficit as he had, that’s a very good showing. It’s absolutely gutting, as I think most people agree, that he is stuck driving this McLaren.

    1. @philereid

      It’s absolutely gutting, as I think most people agree, that he is stuck driving this McLaren.

      I agree, it’s frustrating, but then Alonso wouldn’t have the pleasure of your DotW if he was driving a Merc…

      1. @psynrg It should be said I took a lot of time and thought as to why I have put the drivers where I have. My criteria for DotW may not be shared by everyone else. It should also be said that I did struggle with the placing of my top 3, and at one stage or another, all three of them I was originally planning to place in first.

        I do not appreciate the insinuation that I didn’t vote for Hamilton as DotW because he was in the best car, or some other variation as to why I am wrong to vote how I have voted. I have voted for Hamilton 5 times this year.

  41. Really impressed with Alonso. However, my vote goes to Max. This is a tough circuit to overtake and yet he did it multiple times with patience, determination and precision. Yes he is fearless and opportunistic. But just like we saw in Singapore, Max is gaining experience very fast. It seems reckless isn’t in his vocabulary!
    He once again outperformed Carlos – who appears to be feeling more and more pressure. He trashed his race right after hitting the bollard. It appears Sainz is wasting too much energy in focusing on hist teammate (expressing his ongoing frustrations in the media). I hope he will still be around next season but not besides Max, who should benefit more from having a senior world champion as teammate.

  42. Verstappen was the clear top driver of the race. Anyone who says otherwise has a stick in their behind about Max. I’m not even a fan but he clearly fought for the hardest and gave it 200%. Alonso did what he had to but he didn’t have the same level of fight in him the Max did.

  43. I voted for Fernando. While watching both qualifying and the race, I got the sense that if the McLaren had been any good, he would have had a storming weekend. I feel the frustration that spilled over in the radio message was because he knew he was on top form throughout the event and that his end result was limited by the severe issues with McHonda. I was very impressed by how he finished 11th in a race where everyone was a classified finisher, he probably got some help from Massa, Ricciardo and Perez having incidents at the first corner and Ericsson getting in the way of the three stoppers, but that was still as good as he could have hoped for in the circumstances. If anything had happened to the top ten drivers he would have taken a point and he should take heart from this. I would say I am more of an admirer of his talent than an outright fan but he would be a loss to F1 if he doesn’t stay next year (and I think that he’d be more of a loss than Button, even though Jenson is my second favourite after Lewis).

    The top three in the poll are correct in my opinion – Max had another fine drive and although he didn’t get pole, Lewis did dominate the race (I do wonder what would have happened had Kvyat not crashed in qualifying though, I suspect Hamilton would probably have beaten Rosberg in the crucial runs. We’ll never know…)

  44. I was busy last week and I forgot to vote in the Japanese GP post-race polls, but I decided I would still enter who my driver of the weekend would have been.

    Perhaps it was because the race wasn’t that exciting but initially when I thought about driver of the weekend after the race there didn’t seem to be that many obvious choices.

    However after giving it some thought I decided my driver of the weekend was Verstappen, his car let him down in qualifying but he put in a great recovery drive to finish in the points.

    Other drivers who I think deserve mentions are Alonso and Hulkenberg.

    The first driver to look at is usually the winner and Hamilton has attracted plenty of votes but in my opinion although Hamilton dominated the race as he was beaten by his teammate in qualifying I didn’t consider voting for him.

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