Sergio Perez became the ninth different Driver of the Weekend poll winner this year after taking Force India’s first podium finish of the season.
It was Perez’s first Driver of the Weekend win since the 2012 Italian Grand Prix.
But some of the other promising performers last weekend were doomed not to finish the race for reasons beyond their control.
Sergio Perez’s Russian Grand Prix weekend
At a circuit which places a premium on power, Mercedes engines helped the Force India pair to sixth and seventh on the grid. It was Nico Hulkenberg who came out on top, shading Perez by just 32 thousandths of a seconds.
Hulkenberg’s lap one retirement meant we never got to see if they’d have been as close in the race, but Perez kept out of trouble to run sixth in the early stint.
This meant he was well-placed to take a gamble when the safety car appeared after Romain Grosjean crashed his car at turn three. Tyre conservation has traditionally been a strength of Perez’s, which Force India no doubt had in mind when they hauled him for an early pit stop.
When the leaders pitted later on Perez briefly found himself running second, but was soon demoted by Vettel. However with Daniel Ricciardo behind keeping Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen at bay, Perez was able to focus on nursing his rubber.
It was only in the final laps that Bottas behind started to pressurise him. Urged on by his team, Perez tenaciously kept Bottas at bay until the penultimate lap. But when the Williams driver was given access to the Mercedes most powerful ‘mode one’ setting, Perez found himself easily passed in one of the DRS zones. Making matters worse, Raikkonen followed Bottas by as well.
Perez started the final lap in fifth place thinking his podium chances had gone but Raikkonen’s optimistic lunge at Bottas promoted him back into third place – his and Force India’s best result since Bahrain last year.
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.
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.
Easily Perez for me. He was within 2 laps of gaining 3rd purely on merit, a remarkable feat for a Force India.
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.
Russian Grand Prix winners and losers
Nico Rosberg was arguably the most hard-done-by driver in Russia: he comfortably beat Lewis Hamilton to pole position – something he has usually struggled to do this year – and had won the all-important lap one duel with his team mate when his W06 let him down.
Yet he received just 1.5% of your votes:
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.
Among those with a larger share of the vote were Bottas – who arguably deserved much more from the race than he got – and Sebastian Vettel – who once more extracted the maximum from his Ferrari.
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.
Even with out the reduced gap at the end of the race, Vettel qualified ahead of his team mate in the best position that the Ferrari could do, and finished two places above where he started. He basically maximised his weekend as much as possible.
In my opinion, there were no stand out 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.
2015 Driver of the Weekend winners
2015 Russian Grand Prix
- Sponsor Watch: Mexico, USA and Russia
- Unrepentant Raikkonen says he would repeat Bottas move
- Perez earns first Driver of the Weekend win for three years
- Russia’s second grand prix gets higher rating
- 2015 Russian Grand Prix team radio transcript
32 comments on “Perez earns first Driver of the Weekend win for three years”
20th October 2015, 11:52
I voted for Rosberg without a moments hesitation. I’m shocked that only 1.5% agreed.
Minimal track time, but pulled it out of the bag to beat Hamilton to pole and held the lead at the start. Something he hasn’t been able to do for a lot of 2014-15. Only really let down by his car.
Hamilton still won Monaco DOTW despite losing the win (whoever the blame lies with. Personally I think it is around 70:30 to the team), so why has Rosberg lost this one so convincingly?
20th October 2015, 12:27
@keeleyobsessed I have forgotten who I voted for (wasn’t Rosberg) but I also expected him to gain more votes. I also wonder how many votes Perez would have gotten had he finished fifth (which would have meant he did exactly the same as what he did now to earn so much votes) though without the exposure of a podium finish.
20th October 2015, 12:42
@keeleyobsessed I voted for Rosberg as well. IT was the first time I voted for him. I’m beginning to think Mercedes are definitely avoiding confrontation between both drivers. These retirements are strange. Hamilton’s retirements are also strange but they’ve all been high wear and tear parts.
20th October 2015, 16:02
@keeleyobsessed Well I never have Rosberg in mind for the DOTW, not because he’s bad but his exit is so early in the race for me to give proper judgement. The difference between this race and Monaco is Hamilton is in the whole race so we can see what he’s done for the entire race length, but that’s not the case with Rosberg. For all we know, he could make some major mistake later like Raikkonen or maybe make some error under Hamilton pressure which could deny him DOTW all the same. Mind you, I’m not saying Rosberg will ruined his race if his car not breaking down, just why I don’t consider him for DOTW this race.
John H (@john-h)
20th October 2015, 20:08
I also voted for Rosberg. I guess we were the only three!
20th October 2015, 22:23
Anyone else find the lack of sponsor logos on Perez’s overalls weird? All the mechanics had more on theirs.
Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine)
20th October 2015, 22:26
Russian advertising regulations mean no alcohol logos, and that’s most of Force India’s sponsorship portfolio. Pretty sure the team had booze-free kit too.
21st October 2015, 0:18
Ah suspected as much. But I figured Russia would be the last place to ban advertising alcohol.
20th October 2015, 12:26
I find it absolutely ridiculous that Hamilton got more votes than Rosberg. Yes, he won the race, but he didn’t really won any battles. Wherever there was a difference to be made between drivers, Rosberg got the better of him. After Rosberg DNFed, it really was only about the car being faster than a Ferrari. These DOTW polls are supposed to be here because we are trying to look beyond the result itself, and see who performed the best among the drivers, and I don’t see where is the case for those Hamilton votes coming from.
Some people complain that nobody votes for a winner. Well, it really only depends on what people perceive the winning driver won during the weekend. When Vettel was winning, there was no challenge from Webber, so it really looked like he really didn’t have to fight any serious battles, while some drivers lower in the field had to give it all they had just to finish 3rd, 5th or wherever.
23rd October 2015, 9:29
Brace (@brace) So tell me what Battle Nico won in the race? Oh he didnt finish the race.
20th October 2015, 12:34
To me it will still remain a mystery as to how Rosberg got something like 20% of the votes of Hamilton. Despite Hamilton being British, I still am quite surprised by this. Hamilton got lucky with the win this weekend. He didn’t really deserve both the win and the votes in a straight fight.
20th October 2015, 13:21
You make your own luck.
20th October 2015, 14:45
@realstig So Hamilton somehow made Rosberg retire? Or Rosberg was at fault for his retirement?
20th October 2015, 17:16
Hamilton got 4% Rosberg got 3% @mashiat. The Brazilian got 52%, next there was a Finn and a German on 10%, followed by, lemme see… a Spaniard. OMG clearly this site has been totally overrun by foreigners.
20th October 2015, 17:42
@lockup it might not seem much of a difference to some, but I’m not sure Perez would like being referred to as “The Brazilian”, unless it’s a reference to his spare time footballing skills.
20th October 2015, 17:56
Lol, quite right @jerseyf1. Mexican of course. Guess I just can’t hack these nation things :)
20th October 2015, 19:18
I would have given it to the “Brazilian” although nobody else did. 16th on the grid to 4th place finish is a mega achievment in todays modern F1
21st October 2015, 2:24
@lockup When I last checked (which I will admit was some time ago), Hamilton had 5% and Rosberg something like 1.2%.
20th October 2015, 13:19
Compared to his teammate Perez has always been underrated. Unfortunately results do not lie.
20th October 2015, 15:12
Unless perez get a race win, I will still rated hulkenberg better than him (as a racing driver) considering his success before racing in formula one, Gp2,A1 GP,F3. But yeah without a doubt perez have better stat in formula 1
20th October 2015, 16:29
@ayatoybox I agree with @realstig that Perez is better. He also a winner in F3 and GP2 and already having podiums in F1 from midfield teams (including 2013 McLaren). Arguably Hulkenberg career outside F1 has put him in better car than Perez so its natural he wins more championship. For me, Hulkenberg is like Massa who can consistently put his car where its belong in the race, but Perez is the one who can “punch above his weight” so to speak.
20th October 2015, 16:50
@sonicslv maybe i understood wrong but perez didn’t score a podium with mclaren. perez got 3 podiums with the 2012 sauber and 2 with the 2014,2015 fi
21st October 2015, 5:50
@papalotis Yes, he didn’t score any podiums at McLaren, but what I meant is he never had a top car in F1 so far. Sorry for the confusion.
21st October 2015, 2:27
@sonicslv Well, one could look at it that way. Or one could see it as Perez rarely fulfilling his potential, and underperforming at most races compared to his potential, like Pastor.
21st October 2015, 5:59
@mashiat Fair enough. But If I am a team boss, I’d still pick Perez than Hulkenberg because even in that case he got more potential. It’s easier to train driver to consistently reach their potential instead of increasing stable driver performance. I think one of the biggest problem with him is he got his own unique style of preserving tires and his team must be clever enough to exploit it (Sauber 2012 where he regularly delivers). McLaren fails spectacularly in that regard. Pastor is unique case though, I don’t think its fair to compare any driver with him.
23rd October 2015, 9:38
The Hulk had the chance to win the 2012 Brazilian GP but Crashed into Lewis.. Perez does not give up such opportunities
20th October 2015, 16:31
Which is the driver who has got the most percentage of votes for DOTW since the poll begun?
ferrox glideh (@ferrox-glideh)
22nd October 2015, 4:40
Answer= They most popular one, of course.
20th October 2015, 17:21
Perez did an extraordinary job, even fifth place is great for a car like Force India
and always remember that luck is on the side of the winners
20th October 2015, 18:18
Fair play to him.
I think that Le Mans win did a little more for team moral than Hulks was banking on. Checo is on somewhat a resurgence since looking a bit rusty back then.
Not to take anything away from Sergio, I’m honestly a fan. I’m just happy to see him giving Nico a run for his money. Maybe all of that hype surrounding Nico after LM helped him focus and bring more to his game. It must have stung a bit, having all of those press guys hanging around FI, but they’re only really interested in talking to someone else.
I’d love to see him on the podium once more before the curtain drops.
ferrox glideh (@ferrox-glideh)
22nd October 2015, 4:46
I like Perez’s fiesty spirit, even if it does end in difficulty upon occasion. He reminds me of Kobayashi, except with more charisma.
Charles King (@charleski)
20th October 2015, 23:34
So much for Mercedes domination!
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