Start, Sochi Autodrom, 2015

Vote for your 2015 Russian Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend

2015 Russian Grand Prix

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

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

Russian Grand Prix driver-by-driver

Mercedes

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2015
Rosberg took his second pole position in a row
Lewis Hamilton – In a repeat of Japan, with minimal set-up time Hamilton wasn’t able to keep Rosberg from pole position, and he went off on his second run in Q3 as he tried to. The opening moments of the race promised an exciting scrap between the pair, but it all came to naught when Rosberg dropped out. Not threatened from behind, Hamilton only had to worry about his tyres cooling off behind the Safety Car and a minor problem with his rear wing in the closing stages.

Nico Rosberg – Was hard done by to drop out of the race with a broken throttle having beaten Hamilton to pole position and held the lead at the start – something he has struggled to do for most of the year. Qualifying had been his best effort of the year so far, beating Hamilton by over three-tenths of a second.

Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo – Said he had sacrificed qualifying performance to have an optimal race set-up and it looked like it would pay off after the team gambled on pitting under the second Safety Car. That helped him up to fourth, but after soaking up 15 laps of pressure from Bottas the Williams finally got through. How long he could have kept Raikkonen behind we’ll never know because a suspension fault put him out shortly afterwards.

Daniil Kvyat – Believed he could have improved and potentially joined his team mate in Q3 with the benefit of a second lap in Q2, but wasn’t able to fit one in. He made big gains at the start, jumping up to seventh, but was clearly slower than his team mate. Kvyat didn’t pit under the Safety Car and therefore had a more conventional race. Massa passed him easily but he inherited fifth place after Raikkonen was penalised.

Williams

Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Sochi Autodrom, 2015
Bottas fought the Ferraris – until contact was made
Felipe Massa – Last year a technical problem in qualifying left Massa languishing near the rear of the field in Sochi – this time he largely had himself to blame following an error in Q2. He recovered well in the race, however, using the alternative strategy of starting on the soft tyres and staying out during the Safety Car period. He passed Kvyat and was close enough to Raikkonen to demote the wounded Ferrari on the final lap.

Valtteri Bottas – Bottas seems to have an affinity for the Sochi track: he qualified strongly again, and although Raikkonen got ahead on lap one the Safety Car restart afforded Bottas a chance to regain the place which he grabbed. Having to pit earlier than the Ferraris for fresh tyres undid him – it dropped him into traffic, allowing Vettel to jump ahead, and at the end of the race his more-worn tyres allowed Raikkonen to close and make that fateful overtaking attempt.

Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel – Was clearly quicker than Raikkonen early in the race, and after getting past he jumped Bottas through the pit stops with little difficulty. He did his best to chase Hamilton, setting the fastest lap as he did, but his pursuit always looked to be in vain.

Kimi Raikkonen – Found it more difficult than others to heat his tyres up on the gripless track, but despite Mercedes impairing Ferrari’s tyre warm-up with a very slow formation lap he got away beautifully and moved up two places to third. He couldn’t stay there however – first Bottas got by and then Vettel, Raikkonen wisely opting to let the latter past after cutting turn two. Ricciardo’s demise moved him up to fourth, but a rash move on Bottas on the last lap fully warranted the penalty he received.

McLaren

Fernando Alonso – Ran new engine components on Friday which led to an inevitable grid penalty for the race. Made his trademark speedy getaway – climbing briefly to 13th – before being passed with predictable ease by the likes of Sainz and Grosjean. After the Lotus driver crashed Alonso put on a set of super-soft tyres for an impressive, 40-lap haul to the chequered flag. He took one too many liberties at turn 16 on the way, however, and despite a warning picked up a five-second penalty for violating track limits, which dropped him out of the points.

Jenson Button – Unlike Alonso, Button made it through into Q2 and qualified an excellent 13th which is his best result this year besides Monaco. Despite being a “sitting duck” in the race – Nasr and Maldonado blasted past in his final stint – Button mimicked Perez’s stint and hung on for ninth place.

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Force India

Sergio Perez, Force India, Sochi Autodrom, 2015
Perez took Force India’s first podium since Bahrain last year
Nico Hulkenberg – Won the very close battle of the Force Indias in qualifying: Hulkenberg took sixth place by just 32 thousandths of a second. But cold tyres caught him out at the start – he spun at turn two and was hit by Ericsson.

Sergio Perez – Running sixth after the start, Perez was well-placed to take advantage of the Safety Car period caused by Grosjean’s accident, and as in the past he proved a master at coaxing every last drop of life from his tyres. Even so his podium hopes seemed to be over when Bottas and Raikkonen passed him with DRS on the penultimate lap – only for the pair to collide on the next tour, restoring him to a well deserved third place.

Toro Rosso

Max Verstappen – The 18-year-old was left to solider on alone in qualifying after Sainz’s crash, but he made it to Q3 and claimed a decent ninth place on the grid. He was caught up in the Hulkenberg/Ericsson tangle at the start, however, and floor damage hindered his efforts to recover. Having taken the chequered flag in 11th he was promoted to the final point by Alonso’s penalty.

Carlos Sainz Jnr – His huge crash at turn 13 on Saturday appears to have been caused by driver error – perhaps a combination of it being his first flying run on a new set of tyres and the instability caused by the DRS closing in the braking zone. Happily he was uninjured and remained conscious which meant he was able to race. Despite admitting he felt dizzy early in the race Sainz picked off the slower cars and made it to the top ten, and the Safety Car allowed him to make a well-timed switch to soft tyres. His brakes failed to go the distance, however, and he retired after a second touch with the turn 13 barrier – fortunately a much lighter one.

Lotus

Romain Grosjean – As usual there was only one Lotus in Q3 and it was Grosjean’s. Race day turned sour quickly, however: he picked up front wing damage in the melee at turn two, then on lap 12 he got onto the marbles at turn three and crashed heavily into the barrier, fortunately without sustaining injury.

Pastor Maldonado – Was one of only three drivers to run the alternative strategy to the end, but despite leaving his tyre change until lap 31 he felt his car performed poorly on super-softs at the end of the race. He hung on for seventh place.

Sauber

Felipe Nasr, Sauber, Sochi Autodrom, 2015
Nasr grabbed Sauber’s second-best result of the year
Marcus Ericsson – A luckless weekend: A tyre sensor problem scuppered him in qualifying and Hulkenberg’s spinning Force India left him with nowhere to go at turn two at the start.

Felipe Nasr – His and Sauber’s best result since Australia was assured even before Raikkonen’s penalty promoted him to sixth. Nasr qualified particularly well, taking 12th on the grid after reaching Q2, and in the race he ran the longest opening stint of anyone on super-soft tyres despite not having used them during practice.

Manor

Will Stevens – Dropped behind Merhi at the start and flat-spotted his tyres at the restart. That meant he had to pit a second time and ensured he finished last.

Roberto Merhi – Back for his penultimate race of the year, Merhi’s run to 13th was incident-free.

Qualifying and race results summary

DriverStartedGap to team mate (Q)Laps leading team matePittedFinishedGap to team mate (R)
Lewis Hamilton2nd+0.32s1/711st
Nico Rosberg1st-0.32s6/70
Daniel Ricciardo10th-0.209s14/47115thNot on same lap
Daniil Kvyat11th+0.209s33/4715thNot on same lap
Felipe Massa15th+1.701s4/5214thNot on same lap
Valtteri Bottas3rd-1.701s48/52112thNot on same lap
Sebastian Vettel4th-0.383s35/5312nd-66.405s
Kimi Raikkonen5th+0.383s18/5318th+66.405s
Fernando Alonso19th+0.405s1/53111th+11.743s
Jenson Button13th-0.405s52/5319th-11.743s
Nico Hulkenberg6th-0.032s0/00
Sergio Perez7th+0.032s0/013rd
Max Verstappen9th4/45210th
Carlos Sainz Jnr20th41/451
Romain Grosjean8th-1.057s1/111
Pastor Maldonado14th+1.057s10/1117th
Marcus Ericsson16th+0.618s0/00
Felipe Nasr12th-0.618s0/016th
Will Stevens17th-0.111s1/51214thNot on same lap
Roberto Merhi18th+0.111s50/51113thNot on same lap

Review the race data

I say

Rosberg was one of several drivers with hard luck stories in Sochi. Ricciardo was unlucky too and Sainz was on course for a great result before his brake failure – though he might have done more to ease that problem.

But I can’t think of a good reason to give this one to anyone other than Perez. Yes, he was out-qualified by Hulkenberg, but the margin involved was mere hundredths of a second. The race circumstances were made for Perez’s particular skills with his tyres and he delivered. He seems to be revelling in the upgraded VJM08: this was the latest and best of several recent strong drives by him.



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 Russian Grand Prix weekend?

  • Lewis Hamilton (4%)
  • Nico Rosberg (3%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (1%)
  • Daniil Kvyat (0%)
  • Felipe Massa (3%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (10%)
  • Sebastian Vettel (10%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (3%)
  • Fernando Alonso (0%)
  • Jenson Button (2%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (52%)
  • Max Verstappen (1%)
  • Carlos Sainz Jnr (6%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Marcus Ericsson (0%)
  • Felipe Nasr (4%)
  • Will Stevens (0%)
  • Roberto Merhi (0%)

Total Voters: 629

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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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119 comments on “Vote for your 2015 Russian Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend”

  1. Voted for Vettel. Only 5 sec behind ham in the finish, more competitive lap times than rai.

    1. @mmrks The gap really was about 15s when Vettel got into clean air, managed to bring this back to 11s but Hamilton likely wasn’t pushing. Last lap must have been really slow for Hamilton because I can’t remember the gap actually going down under 5s without Mercedes responding.

    2. @mmrks Vettel was 5.9 behind Hamilton at the end of the race and that was only because Hamilton was being overly cautious in the final laps with the rear wing issue, not because Vettel had amazing pace and was genuinely chasing Hamilton down. The gap was double that for nearly all final stint and even more in the first stint.

      For me it has to be Perez, Yes he somewhat lucked into the podium by RAI last lap lunge but he had put himself in that position so fair play to him. It’s ironic that Force India seems to be the dumping ground for drivers once destine for Ferrari, both Hulkenburg and previously Perez were linked to seats in the red cars.

    3. with no safety cars it would have likely been half a minute or so

    4. This is the 2nd time he attacked and get ahead of his teammate on track. Let’s give the man credit…. Vettel.

    5. Voted for Rosberg, almost voted for Perez but never thought of voting for Vettel.

  2. Vettel.. Only 5 sec behind ham in the finish, more competitive lap times than rai.

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      12th October 2015, 13:53

      Ham wasted a good 5 seconds drifting over the line in fairness

      1. Not 5 seconds. Couple of at the most.

        1. Would be interesting to see what Ric could do in that Ferrari. Vettel has been awesome, but Kimi is no competition anymore to judge him by.

    2. Even with out the reduced gap at the end of the race, Vettel qualified ahead of his teammate in the best position that the Ferrari could do, and finished 2 places above where he started. He basically maximized his weekend as much as possible.

      1. digitalrurouni
        12th October 2015, 20:37

        Vettel is highly rated in my eyes because maximizing whatever is given to him is his forte. Only time it seemed he dropped the ball was last year when he was in RB with Danny Ric. Wonder why that blip in his performance. Maybe he was just distracted big time with his negotiations/move to Ferrari.

        1. @digitalrurouni

          I think a variety of things just conspired against Vettel, not the least of which is 5 years of battling for the WDC and 4 years winning, which takes a mental toll (ask Rosberg :). David Coulthard tells the story of how mentally burnt Mika Hakkinen was after winning his second WDC (to the effect, “next year David, you go for it”). Jackie Stewart as said the same thing. Last year Massa talked about the impact of being the number 2 driver at Ferrari, and he says it’s hard to be 100%, you end up being 98 or 99%, and that equates to 2-3 tenths a lap.

          So with Vettel, his motivations totally shot – almost know running in Winter testing, issues in early races, etc. and knowing that on the best of days, they are racing for 4 or 5th. How motivating is it to get up to maybe get a sniff of a P3? For Ricciardo, who’d never had a single podium, that would be hugely motivating. Vettel also had some bad luck – he very easily could’ve won Canada, and like Rosberg, he got caught out by the SC.

          Pretty much everyone had also mentioned that Vettel needed to change his driving style from the previous 4/5 years, of which he was the master. He resisted at least through Monaco, hoping RB would give him a more compliant rear end. The biggest difference ultimately, considering how close they were on one lap pace over the season (something like .077 between them) was that Ricciardo could make the tires last longer, especially the rears – he would consistently get longer stints than Vettel.

          We could should also go into the fact that Ricciardo is the real deal (like Hamilton was in 2007). Ricciardo is genuinely fast and a great racer.

          Then there are the off season issues – Schumacher’s accident, becoming a father, and also having really no confidence that Renault was going to improve their engine.

          That last point turns out to be really key. So many folks were saying “Vettel should stay at RBR and show that it his losing to Ricciardo was a one off.” Imagine if he did, he would be in a worse car, less motivating, and facing the potential of sitting out a year.

          So all these things combined I think made him lose a tenth or two. A lot of great drivers have had bad seasons – Alonso in 2007, Hamilton in 2011 are two the recently have come to mind. This year, Vettel is probably driving the best of all drivers. His worse race was Bahrain, and that really came down to an unlucky wing break, and he still finished 5th. From all reports, he has made a tangible difference at Ferrari as well – and that can’t be underestimated either (could a Ricciardo bring that leadership to a team like Ferrari? I don’t think so.)

          1. Very good analysis.

    3. Look what happened behind Vettel and you will see Seb isn’t the driver of weekend.

  3. Bottas, Rosberg and Sainz did really well and would have had great results but for things outwith their control.

    I’ll go Bottas.

    1. I don’t get voting for the guy who lost his position to another driver in the end when you can give the vote to the guy who did get his position. Not that I’m saying DOTW is Vettel, just comparing the two….

    2. I nearly went for Bottas but went for Rosberg.

      Beat Hamilton in qualifying, and controlled the field in the lead well until his car broke down.

      I find it shocking that Hamilton has (at the time I posted this) more votes than Rosberg to be honest.

      1. I didn’t vote for Ham or Ros, but what’s so strange about it? Ros didn’t finish the race (doesn’t matter if it’s his or mechanical fault), so there is no way to judge his performance through the entire weekend. We don’t know what would have happened in the race, and that’s why he is outvoted with drivers who did finish getting more attention.

        1. What I find strange is that Hamilton basically didn’t do enough, from what we know, to get such that win, when you compare it with Rosberg’s performance.

    3. I voted for Bottas as well. He’d have got third but for someone else’s error, which was the result of persistently pushing 3rd placed Perez and defending his then 4th place.

  4. Felipe Nasr for me. p12 in qualy in the Sauber, 0.6 sec faster than team-mate and then a perfect race

    Close second is Sainz with his beautiful recovery from the crash

    Perez is close again after him. Perfect race, even if he was a bit lucky

    honorable mentions to Rosberg, Vettel, Bottas and Button

  5. Bottas. Qualified ahead of the Ferrari’s (and well ahead of Massa) and would have had third were it not for Raikkonen’s banzai antics on the last lap. I was close to going for Perez but he was out qualified by Hulkenberg. I know it was only a fraction but if Hamilton shading Rosberg by .007 of a second in Singapore last season counts as out qualifying, then so did that.

    1. I would say Checo or Nasr. Checo did an awesome job nurturing his car to grab a podium, and Nasr showed that he has what it takes to race up front. But again, the idea is to choose the best of the weekend, not the race, so I would go with Checo.
      Massa made the most at the race, from 15th to 4th with a very clever tire plan, but made two bad mistakes in quali. And honestly can’t see how anyone can select Bottas: he qualified 3rd and at the end of an uneventful race was fighting for… 3rd, so no gains at all in a race where he and his team showed bad pit strategy.

      1. Making the most of the weekend means taking the most away from the weekend though doesn’t it? If you finish last in FP1, FP2, FP3 and get eliminated in Q1 but win the race, that’s better than finishing first in all sessions but 2nd in the race surely?

        1. I clearly agree with you. It seems to me that the race is much more important than the qualifying or the FP sessions. To me, the race is where the magic is, and drivers enter this business to win races, not to shine just at quali of FP. But this poll is to point out the driver who makes the most of the whole weekend, the guy who build up a weekend, and not only the race. I feel that Massa’s recovery last sunday was fantastic: it was a mix of very good strategy, solid pace, solid driving and also solid good luck. Nothing wrong with having good luck during a race. But according the rules on this particular poll, Felipe’s dismal Q2 takes him off contention.

        2. @petebaldwin

          “but 2nd in the race surely?”

          except for the guy who actually finished second. In this regard, Vettel was probably driver of the race – maximized his qualifying (with the Mercs and Williams faster), then finishing 2 places ahead of his grid position. I don’t think his start was that bad, as he was not he dirty/slippery side of the track and kept pace with the 3 cars ahead – it was more Kimi got a phenomenal start jumping Vet and Bottas.

          He also had to pass both Kimi and Bottas. One key was how quickly he got past Perez vs Bottas/Raikkonen and the time they spent behind Ricciardo.

          Honorable mention to Sainz who and a great race until his brakes fried.

    2. Bottas spent a ridiculous amount of times passing RIC and Perez while Vettel passed Perez over 1 lap. Williams were faster than Ferrari in quali, so I don’t know why he shoud get the creadit for qualifying.

      Vettel DoTW for me. Overtook Kimi and Perez for track position, forced Bottas to pit early and great pace overll.

      1. Bottas spent a ridiculous amount of times passing RIC

        Two reason for this:
        1.Williams were slow in the most corners.
        2. No deg of tyres this race, but tyres could still be overheated if you were behind someone for a long time

      2. Bottas spent a ridiculous amount of times passing RIC

        Two reason for this:
        1.Williams were slow in the most corners.
        2. No deg of tyres this race, but tyres could still be overheated if you were behind someone for a long time

        1. Then why did Bottas pit so early with no deg? He was complaining about tyres and that they were gone. He was in clean air unlike Vettel behind him. He was overcut as a result.

        2. I don’t think so. Williams are fast at fast corners, faster than Ferrari too probably. That’s one of the reasons Ferrari had so much problem with overtaking them and generally with high speed corners compared to Williams.

        3. Tyres could be overheated if you were behind someone for a long time? Then why was Bottas was behind a much slower RIC and Perez for a long time in a much superior car? Vettel passed Perez very fast when Perez’s tyres were far fresher. There’s no excuse for Bottas (and Kimi)

    3. Not Bottas. Maybe if he managed to finish ahead of Vettel.

    4. Bottas spent too much time behind Ricciardo with a way superior car. I don’t think the Finnish deserves the prize. Meanwhile, Perez did a superb job saving his tyres and got a podium finish.

    5. @geemac I think part of the responsibility of the failed quali was of poor strategy from the team. Williams kept their drivers sat in the garage until the last minutes of Q2, meaning that there was no margin for error. We always see the teams doing a run at the beginning of the Q session and another one at the end. As massa explained, he was stuck in traffic from people leaving the pits so it wasn’t entirely his fault.

      1. @lubhz True, but didn’t Massa admit to making a mistake in his first run that dropped him into that traffic?

        1. @geemac Massa never admits mistakes :-), he only blamed traffic, but we assume he made one, otherwise other drivers would be penalized for blocking someone on a flying lap. But for me the team also made the mistake putting all the eggs in one basket, running only once at the end of the session.

  6. ColdFly F1 (@)
    12th October 2015, 13:41

    Almost went for Sainz Jr. Not because of his accident, but due to his superb drive until his brakes over-cooked.

    But it has to Perez for me this week (even when out-qualified by the Hulk). Perez had a great Sunday, managing his tyres for I believe 41 laps, and keeping the Fins behind him for many of those laps when his tyres were almost gone.

    PS – Either way Sainz or Perez, I hope we’ll have the ninth different DOTW this year. Good field indeed.

    1. though, according to Pirelli, the primes should only be allowed to go half distance of a race, less than explode, clearly not 80% of the race. (and when his right front was going off, he should’ve been forced to come in, no risking going from hero to zero ;)

      Same is true of Ricciardo. (Oddly enough, Rosberg did the whole race last year, except 1 lap, on a set of mediums…)

  7. In my opinion, there were no standout performances this weekend but because Perez finished on the podium in a Force India, my vote goes to him. However, Rosberg and Ricciardo were unlucky in the race.

  8. I’ll go with Nasr. Qualified way ahead of his teammate, had a good start, kept Massa behind till the stop and recorded the 7th fastes lap of the race.

    That’s the maximum he could achieve with the Sauber. Perfect job.

  9. I couldn’t go with Bottas for simply challenging Ferrari in a similar car- he and his compatriot were left behind by Vettel. Massa through his own mistake wasn’t in that race to begin with.

    So it’s Perez- Had a lot of tyre saving to do, and pulled it off superbly. Needed some luck to take back the podium but he had no business holding onto 3rd in a Force India on such worn tyres until the penultimate lap.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      12th October 2015, 14:01

      Needed some luck to take back the podium

      Or he ‘created’ that luck by letting Kimi pass him at the same time as Bottas.

    2. Meh. Perez had a very good race. But he got outqualified and his teammate would probably be ahead in the race too if he didn’t have a brain fade. And he had lots of luck. But managed his tyres very well.
      Bottas wasn’t particularly inspiring, but their scraps with Raikkonen could be considered the most inspiring he’s been lately. I dunno if he didn’t see Raikkonen at all, but if he did then avoidance would be the wise thing to do. Not saying it was his fault though.
      It was Raikkonen’s fault. But it’s been a better race from him than him going around the track pretty lackluster. He went a bit overboard imo with his teammate considering he has no chance of championship unlike his teammate and Vettel had clearly more pace than him, but it was a good show and good drama.
      We didn’t get to watch Rosberg. Pity. Hamilton had a standard race more or less. Towards the end he was losing time to Vettel though he clearly was managing things, but with a longer race we might have gotten the opportunity to see how much he needed to really manage if Vettel caught up.
      Next up Vettel. Well his start wasn’t particularly slow or bad, he probably didn’t get the slipstream unlike everyone else around him. He clearly had more pace than his teammate. He managed to get ahead of him on track unlike some other pairings belonging to the same team up and down the track. He managed the overcut well, crucially overtook Perez rapidly and went after Hamilton and impressively kept pushing until the end.
      Good race. Sooo…. I’d say Vettel. Perez close second. Sainz also did well. And Nasr did a superb job.

  10. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
    12th October 2015, 13:55

    Easily Perez for me. He was within 2 laps of gaining 3rd purely on merit, a remarkable feat for a Force India.

    Joint second goes to Bottas and Vettel, both drove superbly all weekend.

  11. Was between perez and nasr for me. Went with perez in the end and probably still would have even if he would have finished 5th

  12. Not sure why Perez is dominating this so much. His high finishing position was almost entirely down to the pit strategy under the safety car and he’d have fallen further back had it not been for everyone else squabbling behind (and then ahead of) him. I mean he did ok, but managing tyres for x amount of laps and then inheriting positions back because of others crashing isn’t that impressive for me.

    1. @weeniebeenie – Who did you vote for?

      I think Perez did a solid job of managing the car to ensure he still had something left at the end. He did inherit places at the end of the race but personally, I would have voted for him if he’d finished 5th anyway.

      It wasn’t a classic drive by any means but I’m struggling to think who deserved it more this weekend…

      1. @petebaldwin my vote went to Vettel. I’m certainly not doubting Perez had a decent drive and good quali but he really didn’t do much on track. Vettel didn’t do too much either but he did pass his team mate and managed to undercut Bottas then drove away from everyone else, so he just edged it for me.

        1. @weeniebeenie – yeah fair enough… Problem for me is that it almost felt like Vettel and Hamilton had very similar races in a way. Both got into position early and then cruised through the race. It didn’t really feel like either driver got the maximum out of their cars – because they didn’t need to. Vettel could have gone quicker but if he did, Hamilton would have turned the engine up so it would have simply put more stress on both cars. Perez did have to get everything out of the Force India to make the podium and even then, it technically wasn’t quite enough.

        2. but he did pass his team mate

          @weeniebeenie True, although he wouldn’t of needed to if he hadn’t lost that position at the start.

        3. Man… Your arguments for Seb are weaker than of those who voted for Perez, so come in here to criticize people for vote in Checo is something really pointless and silly…

          1. Man you sound miserably anti-Vettel. It’s really pointless and silly.

          2. Anti Vettel… Lol

            You’re crazy…

        4. And Vettel 2nd place wasn’t due Rosberg retirement? Vettel had a poor start, also. In normal conditions, with just one Mercedes car, Vettel finishing in second isn’t anything special.

      2. The thing is he couldn’t “ensure he still had something left at the end” which is why he got overtaken.

    2. His finishing position was entirely down to drivers in front retiring or crashing into each other. Qualified 7th, Rosberg retired, Hulkenberg crashed out and Raikkonen took out Bottas.

      The kindest thing you can give credit for was that by pitting early and going long, something I’m sure all cars could have managed given the lack of deg is that he kept himself close enough to pick up the positions Kimi and Bottas lost.

  13. Perez for me. Him and Force India did what other midfield teams (Williams for example) so frequently don’t do – gave themselves a chance to outperform rather than taking the safety first option. Solid drive, clearly lots of management going on, and a bit of luck when he needed it. I’d still have been tempted to vote for him had he finished fifth.

  14. Alonso should get it this weekend. “You have a good sense of humor”. Epic !

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      12th October 2015, 14:19

      If only we had the StUpCo awards! @oji

  15. Hamilton 3%, Rosberg 1%. Bruh.

  16. Perez. Simple reason being that seeing a Force India on the podium at Bernie’s mate’s track would have wound him right up! Well done Checo.

  17. This is a hard one. So many impressive looking finishing positions were basically inherited by so many drivers dropping out or by penalty.

    Only Vettel, Massa and Maldonado actually earned positions rather than inheriting them. Massa had the car to come second that day but qualified poorly, Maldonado… just no.

    I’m going to have to go with Vettel, he got past Bottas without being gifted the position and had a sizeable margin on Raikkonen in qualifying.

    1. He got past Bottas, but I think you mean Raikkonen. Agreed. Dunno what Massa did whole race btw. He overtook some a lot slower cars I guess. I’d say he was just as lucky as Perez with DNFs ahead.

      1. He qualified ahead of Raikkonen so I’m not counting that pass as it was from a position he lost. Bottas qualified ahead and Vettel got past him in the pit stops using pace.

    2. No one’s mentioned it, but didn’t Kimi move more than once on the straight while he was defending against Vettel??

      1. i did, on the onboard it seemed like kimi went out then in but vettel just went further in so he had the apex, vettel DOTW overtaking teammate in the same car which is really hard in this generation of cars plus getting past bottas and perez, bottas couldn’t even pass perez until the final lap with a better engine than vettel

  18. Perez, for able keep the faster williams with fresher tyres at bay even with tyre management mode while Bottas with his engine turned up had to dive on the inside until the penultimate lap. Also the gamble to let Raikkonen through at the same point since there was a chance of him attacking Bottas for the final podium since doing so had a chance of collision payed dividend. You have to make your own luck.

  19. I don’t understand why people vote for Sainz to be quite honest. The car seemed to have good pace (shown by both of them in qualifying) so it’s no wonder he could follow the rest of the cars. It’s now the second time in as many races that he compromised his race by messing up his pit-entry. Not only that, that ruined his whole strategy because the 5 second penalty he got forced him to turn his 1-stop into a 2-stop strategy.

    1. Yep @vvans, plus the team were telling him not to cook his brakes and he did. Likeable guy, and some sympathy vote perhaps.

    2. I heard Ted Kravitz said that on the radio Toro Rosso was having a hard time deciding whether to pit him or not. So they were like ‘come in’ ‘stay out’ ‘come in’ while he is very close to the pit entry. That’s not his fault.

      1. Well, in my opinion the late call by the team is no excuse. The safety car situation had just been introduced, it is his job to make sure he is ready to go into the pits if the team tells him to. As far as I know crossing the white (pit-entry) line is only prohibited when entering the pits, you can still cross it if you stay out. So he should have just taken the pit-entry line and if there is no call he should have gone back out (nobody is allowed to overtake him anyway). And lets assume that the team really tells him too late and there is no way he can make it without crossing, he should have opted for staying out since crossing the line is pretty much a 100% guarantee that you will get a time penalty, hence ruining his 1-stop strategy.

  20. Went with Perez. Although it wasn’t an impressive drive in terms of overtakes, he still did a job for his team and brought home the car in 3rd place thanks to his tyre saving skills.

    Would have been unlucky to have lost 3rd at the final lap but it seems that 3rd place was destined for him this year at Sochi.

    Notable mentions to Vettel who IMO drove an amazing race barring the places he lost at the start; Ricciardo, who helped Perez to 3rd and Nasr for claiming some valuable points for the Sauber.

    1. Vettel lost 1 place at the start. It was a weird perception thing. I had also though that he lost at least 2 for some reason….

  21. This weekend for me it’s got to be Raikkonen.

  22. Massa 15th to 4th

    Perez 7th to 3rd.

    I think Massa wins this one.

    1. @sato113 Massa botched his qualifying though. He had a car that could go 3rd and managed 15th. That basically compromised his whole race. He should have been fighting for third with Bottas, not getting 4th out of the sheer luck of Raikkonen and Bottas colliding. Great drive on Sunday, though.

  23. Nasr for me. Great weekend with a Sauber!
    Also Vettel, Perez, Button, Wvyat had good weekend.

  24. Just like Grosjean in Belgium, Perez produced an amazing performance in Russia. Even with the ifs and buts, you never find yourself third in a Formula 1 race by luck.

  25. Sainz if only for trying to will his brakeless car to the finish line. Stupid decision? Yes. But he really wanted it bad yesterday. That he managed to race 20+ laps on overheated brakes after that huge crash on Saturday? COJONES.

  26. Is there any reason not to go for Rosberg?

    Dominated Hamilton all weekend.

    1. @paeschli The fact that he was out too early. For all we know, Hamilton would have passed him anyways, like so often before.

  27. Rosberg was a contender however we will never know whether he would have won the race or not. Vettel didn’t have a particularly strong weekend (admitted he should have been P3 in quali, didn’t start well) but still delivered the results. Perez was outqualified but made use of the attrition rate in front very well. I would assume even on the conventional strategy that he would have finished there. Sainz was quite ballsy with his efforts but ultimately it was his own doing which left him out of the race and P20 on the grid. So that leaves me with Max Verstappen (P9 in quali, puncture to points), Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo (perhaps on course for an unlikely podium before the car failed). It was tough to choose between these three, but ultimately I went with Bottas. For a start, he didn’t make the error his team mate did in qualifying, and placed his car ahead of both Ferraris on the grid. In the race, he drove very well, was one of the few drivers to actually provide a bit of excitement and the third place which he absolutely deserved (and what a result it would have been to beat a Ferrari on merit) was cruelly taken away from him.

    Also worth noting is Felipe Nasr and Jenson Button – both had really strong weekends.

  28. Has to be Perez for me. Yes he was out-qualified by his teammate but the gap was virtually nothing. Was put on a difficult strategy and even though he got lucky with Kimi taking Bottas out it was a well controlled drive regardless. No desperate defending when he was getting passed by the two Finns, just calm, clean driving whist managing tires well past their best. In the end I felt he deserved the podium.

  29. It has to be Perez, not only he achieved a very well deserved podium, he did it with an inferior tool, at least compared to Mercedes, Ferrari, Williams and Red Bull, and he made it with a very risky strategy which payed off in the end. Chapéu for Perez!

  30. Rosberg. Was awesome all the time (the car worked), basically performing 100% all weekend. Can’t actually believe he has only 3% of the vote at the moment.

    1. @john-h I guess his dirty play last year made him very unpopular among F1 fans me included.

      1. @abdelilah Yeah, “dirty play”. Nonsense.

  31. maarten.f1 (@)
    12th October 2015, 21:54

    Perez did a good job taking third, but in effect he only managed to keep position from his start. It’s just that everyone else, except Hamilton and Vettel, didn’t finish, so he ended up taking the last podium. Though he did do a good job managing his tyres I suppose. But nothing super-duper awesome stuff or anything, in my opinion. To me Sainz did a better job, especially after that huge crash he had. Too bad for him his brakes failed.

  32. definitely Carlos Sainz Jnr, he crashed during practice, missed qualy, felt dizzy but run solid during the race only to be let down by his car, in my opinion he fully deserves to be the DOTW.

    As for Red Bull their repetitive retirement gives me the impression that their chassis is also to blame for their lack of performance, too bad they will lose the Renault engine and will pretty much leave the sport due to this big arrogance.

  33. Perez, hands down. Outstanding race for the Mexican and scored the first podium of Force India in the year.

  34. Why is everyone voting for Perez? He couldn’t make the car last and was overtaken twice on the final lap? A lucky third shouldn’t constitute driver of the weekend, nor should an unlucky crash deny Bottas. He was far superior to Perez all weekend.

    1. Perez’s car was far inferior to Bottas’.

  35. I was most impressed by Rosberg, Perez, Bottas, Nasr, Sainz and Button.

    Decided to go with Perez because I love seeing an underdog on the podium.

    1. Except that he wasn’t cause Bottas didn’t finished the race. Also its hard formme to find merit in being superior in a superior car

  36. I gave my vote to Perez. I also felt that the Top three today drove a great race.

    Last but not the least the post race indoor press conference was the best ever. Truly enjoyed it.

    https://youtu.be/I6seJge6H0w

  37. Perez, he ran the best race he could, stayed out of trouble, and brought a mid-tier car home with a podium finish.

  38. Perez, it is nice to see David beating Goliath, and more with that such of good job

  39. Vote for Perez. He showed why I always prefer him than Hulkenberg. Getting to podiums multiple times with long stint shows that it’s really skill, not luck. I’ll still consider him for DOTW even if he finishing fifth considering Ferrari and Williams has definitely better car than Force India. Close second is Bottas, but Williams are so slow in dirty air and the pit stop ruined the potential fight with Vettel.

  40. Perez did an excellent job
    make a tyre management it’s not a small thing

  41. A master at coaxing every last drop of life from his tyres

    Perez it is then, for ^that and for being lucky.
    Bottas drove well too.

  42. Perez will win by a good margin, and i don’t really have a problem with that. But just to play devil’s advocate – he did get (maginally) outqualified by his teammate and he didn’t have to fight other cars on track to gain his position. In the world of “ifs”, “buts”, and “maybes” where Hulkenberg didn’t spin, Rosberg didn’t retire, and Raikkonnen and Bottas didn’t crash, Perez may have finished no higher than he started having had a fairly anonymous race.

    I think two of the undeserved losers of the weekend deserve a mention – Rosberg and Bottas. Rosberg handily outqualified Hamilton, and for once got his first lap racecraft spot on. He defended P1 well on a track where it is difficult to do so on the first lap. Unfortunately we don’t know if he would have been able to maintain this high level for the race distance so it isn’t quite enough to justify a vote.

    In the end i voted for Bottas. He qualified a highest achievable 3rd and although he lost out to Raikkonnen at the start, he got him back immediately with a good safety car restart. I think the Ferraris were the faster race car due to lower tyre deg so it was probably inevitable he would lose out to at least one during the pitstops. But despite having to manage his tyres throughout the race he was able to make clean passes on his rivals, keep Raikkonnen behind him, and eventually work his way back up to 3rd place – realistically the best i think a Williams could manage here. Sadly his fellow Fin lacked the same composure Bottas showed which robbed him of a well earned podium place.

    1. @keithedin… “ifs”, “buts”, and “maybes” combine to form what F1 is; else always the guy on or near the pole position will keep winning and we will be calling it a dull race or a snoozefest and whatnot. Not taking anything away from BOT and ROS though, they were awesome.

  43. Sainz had an awesome race before retiring, considering where he’d been the day before, but I had the feeling he was a little reckless, just like Kimi. Had the Finn finished on the podium I might’ve voted for him… Rosberg was unfairly robbed of the win and that also robs him of my vote, because we didn’t get to see the most crucial part of his weekend. Perez benefitted from a strong car, but he, unlike Hulkenberg, took the maximum out of it every day. I’m glad he took the podium after he and the team fought so hard for it.

  44. I voted Bottas because he made the most on-track passes of any points contenders. Vettel did a great job of maximizing his first set of tires, getting by Raikkonen, and got a great stop when Bottas got hung up in the pack. I recognize the performance of not needing to pass on track, but still prefer seeing passing on track.

  45. I vote for Seb. He’s quicker and more consistent than his team mate on most of the occasions. It crossed my mind lately – comparing their performances in 2013 – I’d say that Lotus could have won the championship if Seb was driving for Lotus. E21 was a very good car indeed.

  46. Perez.

    Miniscule gap to Hulkenberg in qualy, and found the podium in a Force India. Nasr wasn’t a slouch either.

  47. Pérez. As he was struggling (if I’m right), he could manage to hold off from Bottas until Bottas pulled an overtake at Turn 12 on Lap 52. On the unbelievable final lap at this unbelievabke race, when the incident happened, Pérez got the podium, and I would never believe it would happen to Force India.

  48. Perez. 3rd place in a Force India. Once again doing a lot better than his “special” teammante.
    Haha the amount of love that Vettel get for wearing red and for not dominanting is almost funny. Rewind 2 years and the comments would be very much diferent.

  49. I voted for Checo, but now that I’ve thought about it, I vote for Bottas. The Nice Man!

  50. My driver of the weekend was Perez, he was just beaten in qualifying by his teammate and you could say the way the race panned out was made for him and without Raikkonen taking out Bottas on the last lap he wouldn’t have got the podium, but he still had to put the performance in to make the strategy work and be in the position to get third at the end and he did just that.

    Second would be Bottas, he maximised qualifying by getting third behind the Mercedes but he didn’t have the race pace to keep Vettel behind him in the race, but he was still on course to take third before Raikkonen ended his race on the last lap.

    Mentions also for Nasr and Button who both performed well over the weekend in less competitive cars and both managed to pick up some points.

  51. Sainz and Perez were both amazing this weekend.
    Ricciardo was also a tyre saving king but got robbed, AGAIN.

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