Vote for your 2016 Australian Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend

2016 Australian Grand Prix

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

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

Australian Grand Prix driver-by-driver


Hamilton headed Rosberg until race day
Lewis Hamilton – This weekend was a bit like Hungary last year for Hamilton in that he appeared to have everything under control until the lights went out on Sunday. He topped the times throughout practice and qualifying, but had wheelspin at the start and lost further places after Rosberg but him up at turn one. Having fallen to sixth, he pounced on a chance to pass Massa but found Verstappen hard to pass. The delay meant he dropped more than a pit stop behind Vettel at one stage, but the stoppage allowed him to regain lost ground. He had to follow the Toro Rossos for a while, but once they pitted he shot past Ricciardo with DRS and Vettel’s extra pit stop moved him up to second.

Nico Rosberg – Win number four in a row for Rosberg was not achieved in the same manner as the three at the end of last season. He didn’t quite have the pace of Hamilton in the run-up to the race and needed a second run in Q3 to beat Vettel. He got ahead of Hamilton at the start – he said he did not intend to force his team mate wide – but was passed by both the Ferraris. An early first pit stop got him ahead of Raikkonen and brought him onto Vettel’s tail, but it was switching to medium tyres during the stoppage which won him the race.


Vettel led convincingly early on
Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari were comfortably the second-quickest team and Vettel easily out-qualified Raikkonen. A shock opening win looked to be on the cards as Vettel out-dragged the Mercedes pair and was followed by his team mate. The red flag was exactly what he didn’t need, but Ferrari’s unwillingness to take a chance on the medium tyres exacerbated the disadvantage. Vettel never looked like being able to pull far enough ahead of Rosberg to win after the restart, and lost second to Hamilton too.

Kimi Raikkonen – Shadowed Vettel, running the super-softs as long as he and the team dared in the first stint. But after the restart a fault caused an airbox fire and forced him out.


Felipe Massa – Out-qualified Bottas but was pipped to fifth by a few hundredths of a second by Verstappen. Massa’s car looked a handful in the early laps and Hamilton passed him with little difficulty. It was no surprise to see him come in early for a set of softs but Williams exchanged them for the medium compound during the stoppage. That set him on course for fifth place – Ricciardo had little trouble passing him on super-softs towards the end but as the rest were bottled up behind Grosjean it mattered little that Massa’s pace dropped off as severely as it did.

Valtteri Bottas – Said he struggled for grip in qualifying and failed to make the eight-car cut for Q3. A gearbox penalty meant 11th on the grid became 16th, but by the time the chequered flag had fallen he had recovered all that and more to finish eighth. As is often the case he seemed to get crowded out at the start and lost a position. After that he produced a strong pass on Palmer and made the most out of a solid Williams strategy and a quick pit stop on his way to the points.

Red Bull

Ricciardo passed Massa for fourth
Daniel Ricciardo – Made it into Q3 but was unable to beat any of the other cars. Hulkenberg passed him at the start but Ricciardo produced a surprise attack at turn three on lap four to regain the place. He rose as high as second place after the stoppage while running on soft tyres, but his final pit stop dropped him out of the podium places. He took Massa for fourth place.

Daniil Kvyat – Having scored points on his 2014 debut at Melbourne Kvyat has failed to even start on his next two visits to the track. This time an electrical problem halted him as he arrived at the grid.

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg – A fast start got him ahead of Perez and Ricciardo into eight, though he was soon passed again by the latter. He was the leading driver on the track to start on softs but didn’t stretch out the stint, preferring to pit for mediums on lap 16. This proved the right choice, but the timing of the stoppage meant he dropped behind Grosjean and he was unable to overtake the Haas driver.

Sergio Perez – Started one place ahead of his team mate but fell behind Alonso immediately and had to follow the McLaren for the first stint. “Being stuck in the dirty air destroyed my tyres,” he said. It was a case of deja vu at the restart when Button got in front of him, and towards the end he had to manage high brake wear and dropped out of the points.

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Kevin Magnussen – Having been pipped by Palmer in qualifying, first-lap contact sent Magnussen to the pits for a fresh set of tyres but the red flag allowed him to get back on the lead lap, albeit in last place. By the end of the race he was just 2.2 seconds behind his team mate.

Jolyon Palmer – Showed little sign of being race-rusty despite having spent last season as a test driver. Showed maturity in a wheel-to-wheel scrap with Bottas, although the Williams driver got the better of him, as did the Toro Rosso pair. There was likely little he could have done to ensure the Renault finished ahead of those cars, and he wasn’t far off a debut point at the flag.

Toro Rosso

Verstappen was furious about being dropped behind Sainz
Max Verstappen – It looked like being a very good race for Verstappen until the Safety Car came out. He qualified a strong fifth with only the Mercedes and Ferraris ahead of him, gained a place at the start and held Hamilton off with little trouble in the opening stint. But like Ferrari, Toro Rosso opted against switching to the mediums and paid the price. It was a triple-whammy for Verstappen as he was also called in for his last stop after Sainz, despite running in front of him, and the team then fumbled Verstappen’s stop. He made his displeasure clear in a series of radio messages and a late spin, though harmless, indicated he had let frustration get the better of him.

Carlos Sainz Jnr – A tenth off Verstappen in Q3, Sainz held his position at the start but made a very early first pit stop, undercutting Massa to pass the Williams. He would have had a good chance of beating the Williams had the race run its course without the interruption, instead his late pit stop dropped him towards the lower reaches of the points. he passed Palmer to take ninth.


Marcus Ericsson – Ran little in practice but did a better job than Nasr in qualifying, almost taking his Sauber into Q2. A tyre problem forced him to retire from the race.

Felipe Nasr – Half a second off Ericsson in qualifying, Nasr spent much of the race near the back and was passed by Button shortly before the end. “I think we have a lot of work ahead of us,” he said after the race.


Alonso was fortunate to escape injury
Fernando Alonso – A race which ended with a spectacular crash had begun more promisingly: Alonso moved up to tenth at the start and was hunting for points. After pitting he was several seconds quicker than Gutierrez and it was that speed difference combined with a split-second misjudgement which launched his McLaren into the barriers. Fortunately he was unhurt.

Jenson Button – Button found himself snookered when McLaren took the curious decision to put him on super-softs from the restart. They lasted 12 laps before he pitted for a set of mediums on which he made little progress against other cars on the same rubber, with the exception of Nasr who he passed for 14th.


Pascal Wehrlein – A superb start for Wehrlein saw him leap from 21st on the grid to 14th, but what was arguably even more remarkable was that he held the position until he pitted. Unfortunately this was several laps before the Safety Car came out and as he’d switched to soft tyres he was left at a disadvantage. He reached the chequered flag but finished last.

Rio Haryanto – Surprised many by pipping Wehrlein in qualifying but a penalty for tangling with Grosjean in the pits during practice meant he started last. He ran in front of the delayed Magnussen and Gutierrez’s struggling Haas to begin with but dropped out with a technical problem during the red flag period.


Grosjean and Haas made history
Romain Grosjean – There’s no doubt Grosjean rode his luck to bring his Haas home sixth in the team’s first ever race, but it involved resisting pressure from a pair of Mercedes-engined rivals within DRS range for a sizeable chunk of the race. Grosjean made his sole required change of tyres during the stoppage and looked after his medium tyres well – he even began to pull away from Hulkenberg towards the end.

Esteban Gutierrez – Ran out of time to get a second run done during Q1 which meant he missed the cut. He fell behind the Manors at the start and was stretching his first stint on softs when Alonso appeared in his mirrors. He and his rival were cleared of blame for the huge crash which followed.

Qualifying and race results summary

DriverStartedGap to team mate (Q)Laps leading team matePittedFinishedGap to team mate (R)
Lewis Hamilton1st-0.36s4/5712nd+8.06s
Nico Rosberg2nd+0.36s53/5721st-8.06s
Sebastian Vettel3rd-0.358s18/2123rd
Kimi Raikkonen4th+0.358s3/211
Felipe Massa6th-0.317s53/5725th-16.174s
Valtteri Bottas16th+0.317s4/5718th+16.174s
Daniel Ricciardo8th-1.061s0/034th
Daniil Kvyat18th+1.061s0/00
Nico Hulkenberg10th+0.112s57/5717th-17.5s
Sergio Perez9th-0.112s0/57113th+17.5s
Kevin Magnussen14th+0.141s0/57112th+2.207s
Jolyon Palmer13th-0.141s57/57211th-2.207s
Max Verstappen5th-0.148s32/57310th+1.153s
Carlos Sainz Jnr7th+0.148s25/5739th-1.153s
Marcus Ericsson15th-0.523s26/382
Felipe Nasr17th+0.523s12/38215th
Fernando Alonso11th-0.179s13/161
Jenson Button12th+0.179s3/16314th
Pascal Wehrlein21st+0.015s16/17316th
Rio Haryanto22nd-0.015s1/171
Romain Grosjean19th+1.677s16/1616th
Esteban Gutierrez20th-1.677s0/160

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 2016 Australian Grand Prix weekend?

    • Esteban Gutierrez (0%)
    • Romain Grosjean (61%)
    • Rio Haryanto (1%)
    • Pascal Wehrlein (0%)
    • Jenson Button (0%)
    • Fernando Alonso (1%)
    • Felipe Nasr (0%)
    • Marcus Ericsson (0%)
    • Carlos Sainz Jnr (0%)
    • Max Verstappen (2%)
    • Jolyon Palmer (3%)
    • Kevin Magnussen (1%)
    • Sergio Perez (0%)
    • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
    • Daniil Kvyat (0%)
    • Daniel Ricciardo (9%)
    • Valtteri Bottas (0%)
    • Felipe Massa (1%)
    • Kimi Raikkonen (0%)
    • Sebastian Vettel (13%)
    • Nico Rosberg (5%)
    • Lewis Hamilton (2%)

    Total Voters: 631

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    Author information

    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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    108 comments on “Vote for your 2016 Australian Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend”

    1. Romain Grosjean.

    2. Sebastian Vettel

    3. Vettel, rocket start, didn’t set a foot wrong when it mattered. Would have wrapped up the first race had Ferrari put on the mediums on his car.

      1. He spun?..

        1. @pure-and-sure-44 You mean he went wide on the penultimate lap trying to get closer to Hamilton. You can’t blame him for trying to snatch second. It was very unlikely he was ever going to pass the Mercedes. Proof of that would be that very same Mercedes being stuck behind Verstappen for his entire first stint…

          1. That’s a foot wrong my friend…

            1. Particularly when it mattered…


        2. As @xtwl mentions, the fact that in the end his tyres were not up to it and he spun while trying to overtake in the last kms of the race is not something we should hold against Vettel too much this race @pure-and-sure-44.

          Rather we should say thank you Seb for having a go at it.

      2. oh he did put a foot wrong, when with fresher and faster tyres he had the clear chance to pass Hamilton for the second place and instead blocked its wheels and ended up on the grass, clumsy error for a four time WDC.

        1. @liongalahad And from the many many passes we can easily deduct how super simple it was to pass a car on raceday.

          1. @xtwl Yes, with a much different tyre condition passing was more than feasible. Sure, Hamilton could not pass Verstappen due to same tyre condition and due to the great speed of the Toro Rosso on the third sector and on the straights, but we saw many overtakes when the guy ahead had a much older tyres than the guy behind, and Hamilton had almost 40 laps on his.

            I say this was a clear mistake from Vettel, as he also admitted in the team radio, on the podium and press conference.

            1. @liongalahad I also said it was a mistake, but in my opinion none that mattered. The mediums on Hamilton were in plenty good shape to keep off Vettel on the softs that by that time had also done a decent amount of laps. To be fair it was more shocking to me Hamilton could not get by Verstappen than Vettel not passing Hamilton due to the difference in cars.

        2. I think it’s fair to say by that point his tyres had lost their advantage by a significant degree.

      3. He didn’t even spin as such, just ran wide.

    4. Voted for Grosjean, outstanding performance with a rookie team. This result speaks volumes on how good the Ferrari engine is, but obviously this also comes form the talent of the French man, if he manages to smooth his sometimes impulsive side, he can definitely be a top driver.

      1. He is driving way to fast to be a ferrari #2. Slow down Romain.

    5. Romain Grosjean, obviously.

      1. How the hell does Rosberg even have 7%? He was off the pace all weekend, and got lucky in the race!

        1. No, Rosberg played his cards exceptionally well. He qualified near the front, he let everyone think Hamilton was the person to watch, he got ahead of Hamilton at the start, he kept Vettel in sight, and when Vettel had to pit to get fresh tyres he took over the lead.

          1. completely agree

          2. True. He did what he wanted to do. Nothing more, nothing less.

        2. He wasn’t the quickest even in his own team, but, he managed his race well. Didn’t make any mistakes, at least a solid race.

          Although, I’d rate Lewis’ race higher, apart from that start, he did very well all weekend and in the race recovered to 2nd.

          1. “Didn’t make any mistakes”

            He crashed in practice, had a bad start (losing a place to Vettel) and locked up into the first corner (losing a place to Raikkonen). I can’t see how you can say he didn’t make any mistakes :/

            In fact if it hadn’t been for Hamilton making a worse start Rosberg would have been 4th after the first corner, more likely even 5th, and his race would have unfolded just as Hamilton’s did (i.e. slowly being dropped by the leaders, forced to a one stop, and then using the superior Merc to salvage second). Hardly DOTW material.

            Dotw for me would be either Grosjean or Palmer. Both were very impressive.

            1. Well NR damaged his front wing in the wet, so not really some massive mistake, moreso understandable than if it was dry. He didn’t have a bad start at all…better than LH anyway and Ferrari had better starts…doesn’t make NR’s bad, from the dirty side of the grid. His lockup in the first corner was just racing, and he obviously didn’t damage his tires so it wasn’t too severe. Just jockeying for position, which he gained over his main rival LH. Playing woulda coulda shoulda regarding LH’s start is easily substituted for a dozen other imagined scenarios that also didn’t occur. If the Ferrari’s didn’t get such a good start Nico would have run away from the field.

            2. Never said they were massive mistakes, but they were mistakes nonetheless! I’m not sure what your point is. Unless you are saying the he didn’t make any mistakes?

              “He didn’t have a bad start at all”

              He did. Not as bad as Hamiltons definitely and Vettel had a great start, no question, but the other drivers in the top 6-8 were all gaining on Rosberg too. His start was below average.

              “Playing woulda coulda shoulda regarding LH’s start is easily substituted for a dozen other imagined scenarios that also didn’t occur”

              Not really, because Hamilton’s start (or lack there of) didn’t have an impact on Rosbergs driving. Rosberg drove his start as if Hamilton didnt exist, and if Hamilton had the same start as Vettel (or Raikkonen, Verstappen or Massa even) Rosberg would have driven the same. He would have still raced Vettel to the first corner, still locked up and still lost places to Vettel and Raikkonen.

              Beyond that you could speculate if you wanted to, for instance: if Rosberg found himself behind Hamilton coming into turn one and with Vettel passing him would he have pushed even harder into turn one? Locked up more? Went off? Crashed into Vettel? who knows, it is meaningless. But I am not saying anything like that

              In your situation though (if Vettel didn’t get the start he did) that would have had an impact on Rosberg’s drive, as he wouldn’t have been racing him for position into turn one. Therefore it isn’t a comparable example.

        3. Yeah really, why would he have 7% he only won 25 points… Useless.

      2. Does anyone even remember Grosjean’s race honestly? More like a favored result really.

    6. Grosjean, he”drove his heart out”, Hass too.

      1. Apex Assassin
        21st March 2016, 20:35

        Spelled Haas but pronounced Hass.

        And I don’t know about Rogro driving his heart out. He wasn’t under pressure because of some luck, a wise strategy, and some very mature driving.

    7. ColdFly F1 (@)
      21st March 2016, 17:54

      Ricciardo – we did not see him a lot but he was the only one to overtake some (on paper) faster cars and got a FLAP along the way.

      As much as I like Grosjean, and am delighted about Haas’ 6th place, I don’t think his luck and defending was special enough to earn him a DOTW.

      1. yeah, I also voted for Daniel for the same reasons @coldfly.

        I do think other highlights of the race were Grosjean, Rosberg and Vettel (and we got some entertainment from an upset teenager and a bit of Hamilton not being able to pass on the radio), but it was Ricciardo who went from 8th to 4th who wins it this time for me.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          21st March 2016, 21:17

          And interestingly the upset teenager had a good race as well, @bascb.
          If we applaud Grosjean for keeping the Hulk behind him, then we should give the kid some kudos for keeping the reigning WDC/WCC behind him (and conceding that he couldn’t get past).

          1. Another reason to applaud Verstappen was that move on Palmer. As people have pointed out Palmer was caught out of position. But Verstappen went deeper on the outside than I (and I bet Palmer) even thought possible and somehow managed to power out and make the move stick.

            It’s such a shame he went on tilt.

            1. The move on Palmer only worked because Max could take advantage of Palmer being off line due to Sainz having passed him.

              But yes, Verstappen did have a good race, what cost him most were the pitstop misunderstanding and the red flag I guess.

        2. Quite surprised Wherein doesn’t have any vote, he did very well in his first race and given his car. He was amongst the top drives I noticed.

      2. I voted Grosean, but it was kind of a toss up between him and Danny for me. But I’m American, so…. :)

      3. Agreed. Ricciardo for me as well for the same reason. RoGro drove very well but preventing others from overtaking was not as exciting as Dan’s chase and overtakes of others.

      4. exactly, Dan is the man :)

      5. @coldfly Ricciardo ran almost only with supersofts, and four pitstops. It is a strategy where he has to overtake more often. He did it very well though, but it’s not the same as a one stopper.

        1. It was a toss up for me between Dan and Romain but in the end I went for Romain. Probably because no one expected much from him & the team this weekend, but they sure did deliver.

    8. I assume Grosjean is going to win by a mile, so I decided to vote for my 2nd choice DoTW. There were a few to choose from, but Palmer gets my vote after outqualifying his higher rated teammate and some very good and sensible defensive driving as faster cars came up behind him on fresher tyres.

      I think Perhaps Massa’s race was a little underrated too, that Williams didn’t look very handy at this track and he destroyed Bottas.

      1. I’d say that the fact that Bottas started way back due to his grid penalty skews that comparison a bit @george. I do agree that Palmer did a solid job as a rookie, he showed that he has learned how to do a race in those years in GP2.

    9. It’s Grosjean for me, even if we barely saw him much in the race, he did a solid job of climbing through the order to finish an unexpected sixth. Other great drives too by Ricciardo for putting a little show on for the home crowd and Palmer for some solid racecraft against two supposedly quicker Torosso’s (thats my way for calling them Toro Rosso’s instead :) ).

    10. It’s pretty hard because no one really have that “perfect” weekend, but in the end I choose Grosjean. Holding the position on the first race with a car that expected to be slower that the rest of field except Manor and he never looked under pressure at all.

      1. I voted for the same reason. He got a little lucky, but had to defend his position against cars over a second a lap quicker than him, while making his tyres last a long stint. He handled the pressure like a champ and never really came under the serious pressure.

        Ricciardo gets my second vote for a super drive on Sunday, and Vettel gave a solid performance too.

    11. Grosjean leads by a margin, Ricciardo second, Vettel and Palmer also get some votes… sometimes the dotw-vote looks exactly as I think it should look like.

    12. Vettel for me. Also Grosjean, Ricciardo and Palmer did a very good race. And of course, Rosberg!

      1. Roseberg driver of the weekend? Really? The man who got outpaced by his team mate in fp1, fp2, fp3, q1, q2 and q3. A driver who got beaten off the line by two drivers behind him. He was handed the win by a Ferrari blunder.

        1. Roseberg driver of the weekend? Really? The man who got outpaced by his team mate in fp1, fp2, fp3, q1, q2 and q3.

          But he beat him when it mattered. :-)

          1. Yeah Nico got outpaced by LH in all those sessions, which were rain filled, saw him lose practice time after damaging his wing in the wet, and then involved a strange quali session that has now been abandoned. Then he got a better start than LH when it mattered the most. He could have been rattled by all the ‘underperforming’ he did vs. LH but when it counted he didn’t put a foot wrong. I’d say that shows great composure especially after both Ferrari’s got such good starts. DotW? No. But Nico showed he is going to be right there this season. And he is leading the WDC race. Couldn’t have ended up better for Nico.

    13. It was a race between people who lost out at the restart and those who made up places, and the medium tyres kept some fast drivers very quiet, such as Massa, Hulkenberg and Bottas. Grosjean beat most of them and made Force India and Williams look like the rookies. He’s a class act and gets my vote this time. I enjoyed watching Vettel on the attack and Palmer on the defensive – but neither achieved what they perhaps deserved in the race.

    14. Grosjean will win by faaar, but my vote has to go to Palmer… I was very critical to him but he showed great race craft whole weekend. Very promising!

    15. Vettel nailed the start, kept the Mercedes at bay and was really unlucky to lose the lead through a combo of a red flag and a bit of strategic blunder.

      Palmer out qualified Magnussen, delivered some fairly impressive race craft but ultimately brought the car home where it deserved to be.

      Grosjean though delivered a result way beyond what the car should have. Sure there was some luck involved getting the track position, but his driving kept onto it. Very Alonso-esque.

    16. Romain Grosjean. He took an unproven car in its maiden race for a brand new team and did what many said was impossible, he scored points! Not just finished the race, but finished in the top 10, in fact 6th place. If anyone would have been asked to take a bet on this outcome before the race, who would have been crazy enough to do so?

      Honorable mention – Jolyon Palmer. Showed really good race skills, especially for a rookie in the Renault.

    17. Vettel. Nice to see Haryanto topping the ‘official’ list though.

      1. Yup, just because he was DNF

    18. Apex Assassin
      21st March 2016, 20:39

      Vettel or Grosjean or even Palmer…

      It definitely isn’t Verstappen.

      #ShutUpAndDrive #Don’tPitWithoutPermissionDoh

    19. Grosjean without question but Vettel and Ricciardo very close behind

      Also great performances by Rosberg, Hamilton, Massa, Hulkenberg and Palmer

    20. Well that was easy…..Grosjean. When I come to this website for the driver of the weekend vote I am always impressed by your votes here people. It doesn’t matter who wins or sets the fastest lap. True and knowledgeable race fans!

    21. Wow

      A guy blitzes all three practices, keeps cool and blitzes a completely confused and crap set of qualifying stages (never to be seen again) gets pole and has a tough start (when we all know Mercs are crap on a second start) climbs from 6th having avoided a major first corner shunt , actually overtakes some people including Ricciardo and copes with a red flag that screws his one stop but still gets second?

      And his lucked in team mate who did little other than look crap all weekend gets 10 times more votes?

      Let alone all the others on faster tyres falling off the track?

      And rogro gets driver of the whole weekend?

      Good job I did not vote – no point!

      1. What else are you expecting from Grosjean other than the race? Was hit in FP3 and was on a lap that could send him to Q2 when being eliminated. Hamilton’s drive is impressive that’s true but there is definitely no point that you flame this poll.

      2. What’s pointless is this attitude! Yeah sometimes the majority don’t agree with your opinion. Deal with it. Since you aren’t God(I presume?) it’s entirely possible the majority is right and you’re wrong. And even if not, well it’s just another meaningless, simply for entertainment poll on the internet. Nothing happened, move on

      3. You make a lot of good points that honestly I didn’t give much thought to. Hamilton did deliver an excellent drive. I definitely agree he delivered a better driver performance over the weekend than Rosberg.

        But he still lost his lead. The commentators even commented on his odd positioning on the grid pointing his car at the racing line rather than a more aggressive defensive angle that may have lessened the damage done during the start.

        But in all honesty it’s never easy to choose the driver in the best car, not unless something really really stands out for them. Hamilton could have finished 1 position further up, there was no one ahead of Grosjean he had the slightest hope of getting ahead of and he hung on to the position he had with several faster cars behind him for a sizeable chunk of the race.

      4. He blew it start with too much wheelspin and effectively lost the race. Did you miss that bit?

      5. A guy blitzes all three practices, keeps cool and blitzes a completely confused and crap set of qualifying stages (never to be seen again) gets pole and has a tough start (when we all know Mercs are crap on a second start) climbs from 6th having avoided a major first corner shunt , actually overtakes some people including Ricciardo and copes with a red flag that screws his one stop but still gets second?

        Sounds pretty familiar to Rosberg at Japan 2015 to me. Take pole, get shunted off at Turn 1/2, recover to 2nd. Not sure if that was DOTW worthy though.

      6. Drg. You’re right. A driver with a car a second a lap faster than the rest of the field who botched his pole position massively, was unable to overtake slower cars, and ultimately finished behind his teammate should get DOTW… Pfft.

        Logic has clearly abandoned you.

    22. Ah, the real Driver of the Huzzah award. :)

      Where it won’t be a fan vote resulting in a landslide Rio Haryanto win…

      1. Haha, will that quickly be withdrawn in time for Bahrain, like the qualifying?
        Didn’t notice Haryanto had retired. Didn’t really notice he’d started.

        1. @bullfrog : the initial votes were: Rio Haryanto 22143 Romain Grosjean 13670 Sebastian Vettel 6775 Max Verstappen 3437 Fernando Alonso 2362, just bcause RH got DNF then it went to RG
          I dont knowwhether you dont see the race, or having a problem with a driver, it was Kvyat who didnt make a start

            1. @keithcollantine Hahaha, this is gold. :D

            2. @keithcollantie as an Indonesian i thoroughly ashamed by this. Cant believe that the fanblog is even supporting Rio to get the DOTW, i mean we all know that apart from out-qualifying his teammate, his race wasnt anything special.

              But this is not the first time Indonesian wins the internet pole, tho. I personally wants vote from Indonesia to be banned/not counted because most of the new fans havent mature enough to use internet.

              As for the DOTW itself i vote for Romain. Ricci came close in second and so did Joylon. I have a high hope that this 3-tyre choice is the right way to go.

            3. @keithcollantine i misstyped the name

    23. It’s Romain Grosjean for me. I’m a sucker for underdog stories.
      Rosberg, Ricciardo, Massa and Palmer all deserve a mention too.

    24. Vettel was there to take the advantage when the chance arose, Massa was average but consistent which is not granted here in Australia, the Toro Rossos were brilliant but in the end, even were it only for the result, Grosjean deserves this vote for the importance of his achievement. Haas were slow to react in qualifying but their decision to go long on both stints eventually showed it was the right one and Grosjean drove that car like it had always been a midfielder.

    25. RoGro all the way. What a great drive!!

    26. I’m sorry but the voting for Australia in particular, being it the 1st race, has taken in the last years a path, in wich if whatever rookie, be it driver or team, performs good enough to get to points (not without a certain dose of luck, let’s be honest), he gets an overwhelming success in these polls. I can rest sure that if next race sees GRO in 5th or 6th again but there’s a commonly strong performance from the mercs, everybody will start to think: well, probably that HAAS car’s very good. And then vote for the strongest performer.
      My point is: this is Driver of the Weekend, not Driver of the Sunday, and as far as I can tell Hamilton was class of the field all weekend apart from the start of the race. After the mistake he recovered to 2nd. I’m surprised he got 1% and I’m pretty sure that’s my vote.
      ps: I’m no HAM fan, I support Raikkonen, just saiyng.

      1. I take your point in a way. It does seem like many people try to remember it is about driver of the weekend, yet abandoned that in favour of RG for driver of the day.

        But I think what you have observed as well is that when a driver is perceived to be in the best car, voters look for someone who did as much or more with less car. Nico won, and look at how few votes he got. LH ‘should have’ gained the first corner and walked away with the race in that car, or so many likely think. But he didn’t. The attitude being in that car there should be no excuses. I think if LH had won it would have been a much closer vote between him and RG because it would have been hard to deny LH as dotw. The whole weekend. Neither driver had a perfect ‘whole’ weekend so RG got the nod for doing what he did in a team’s first ever race in F1.

      2. Indeed suprising… Perhaps his poor race performance was to blame. He was nowhere by his standards.

    27. Grosjean, good to see a new team get in the points!

    28. Lots of good drives on the weekend but Grosjean’s a no brainer, didn’t crack under pressure when he had more to lose than anyone and kept superior machinery at bay – bravo.

    29. Grosjean had a train of cars behind him at one stage late in the race, seemingly lining up to pass him, if I recall correctly, and I had “oh, well this is where he gets shuffled back through the pack and out of the points” cross my mind. Cut to a couple of laps later, and all of a sudden, Grosjean is a second or two ahead of the the chasing pack, holding his own in 6th. I couldn’t believe it. He’s done his Ferrari stock no harm at all with that performance. I hope the car isn’t woefully outpaced for the rest of the season.

    30. I rate Verstappen.

      1. Started well, ended poorly, cried on radio a lot?

    31. This was hard. Would say Hamilton for the weekend and Grosjean close behind. Really happy for Grosjean

    32. I don’t think anyone really deserves it. There were no real standouts. Everyone made mistakes, or the circumstances and luck were responsible for their finishing position.

    33. Sebastian, for nice clean start

    34. Grosjean was very lucky to end up where he did, but Haas genuinely had good pace this weekend. If you look at Gutierrez’ lap times in clean air at the start of the race, he was on par with Massa in sixth, so it’s no wonder Grosjean was able to hang on to sixth. Based on that I’m voting for Vettel.

    35. Wow such a hard choice!

      Vettel, easy choice for first 19 laps, especially start! But 2 laps to go, he pushed wide in Hamiltons aero wake. Lets call that a forced error. I think he overdrove the incorrect strategy. But without that red flag he would win…

      Romain – Haas, unbelievable result, from a pretty uneventful Race. Unlike Vettel, he did not put a foot wrong, in a brand new car, trashing cars far superior. Excellent, easy vote for the DoTW.

      But… I did not vote for him. The man who won the most this weekend, scored a major comeback from quali and well.. Won the race.. Nico Rosberg.

      It would have been easy to play second fiddle to Lewis like so many times before. But he didnt. He made a better start on dirtier part of the track, forced Lewis wide on first corner, and pressured Vettel in to chewing up tires. All while nursing an overheating front brake caliper and over the cliff left rear tire. Giving us an allmighty start of the championship.

      He needed this win baddly and he got it. If he can beat Hamilton more often, we will enjoy an allmighty 3 way title fight…

    36. ILuvSoundtracks (@)
      22nd March 2016, 7:22

      Vettel. Started unbelievably, but wouldn’t win.

    37. Is the Haas car so competitive, or did the chasing pack (Hulk, Bottas) have some disadvantages (eg older tyres, different fuel mode) towards the end of the race? Also, if they are really that competitive than why didn’t that competitive pace reflect in their qualifying results. Any experts? Thanks in advanced!

      1. He didnt pit before red flag, then did awesome stint on medium and none of the faster cars.were able to pass him.. Then he even pulled away. So the car is lets say good. And his drive was perfect. He could not get more out of it.

    38. I had to go with Vettel because his skills at the start and the front half of the race were superb and he took it to the Mercedes drivers.

      The others I considered were Ricciardo and Grosjean but in terms of making the biggest impact on the day,Mitch had to be Vettel.

    39. RoGro will no doubt win this poll, which is fair enough – huge congrats to him and team Haas for 6th place on their debut. But just to be a bit critical, between driver and team they messed up in qualifying as the car clearly had the pace to get to Q2 at least. And in the race I didn’t see him doing anything (literally, never saw him on C4 coverage) so assume he just managed his tyres, kept it clean and made it hard to pass (on a track where passing is already difficult).

      Solid drives from others including Vettel, Ricciardo. I voted for Vettel because it looked like he did everything he could to give himself a chance of winning, including that blinding start between the two Mercs. Yes he made a small mistake at the end chasing Hamilton but he was running out of laps so had to go for it to have any chance of reclaiming second after what turned out to be a bad strategy call from Ferrari.

    40. A lot of drivers were impressive but it was Daniel Ricciardo who impressed me the most. I think he got the absolute maximum from his car and himself in both qualifying and the race, and his overtaking manoeuvres were top draw. It could almost be 2014 again, I can easily see him getting back on the top step of the podium later in the season with drives like this.

      1. Saddly for him, RBR is nowhere, his standout pwrdormance will go unnoticed.

    41. Romain Grosjean
      Don’t get why people would vote Palmer?? He did fine and a shame he didn’t come 10th. But dotw? No…

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        22nd March 2016, 14:41

        @melmgreen – It was his first race and some of the close racing he was involved in is something you would usually associate with a driver much more experienced. It’s something we’ve seen Alonso and Webber do many times and we always said “imagine if he tried that with an inexperienced driver!?”

        Personally, he didn’t get my vote but I’d have certainly put him in my top 3.

        1. @petebaldwin top 3 is stil high. He did great against bottas and sains. But lost both of them. Saint’s hold Max back for quite a few laps. Shouldn’t he be in top three instead?
          And yes Palmer won over k mag in qualifying and race – however in qualifying, he only won because k mag got hold up and made a mistake. In the race he only won by 2,2 seconds to a driver who was last for almost the entire race. Also he was 0,5 seconds slower in the race to k mag despite fresher mediums. Last he started 13 and ended as no 11. Alonso crashed and mr ice cold had trouble with the car.
          Yeah Palmer did well, but top 3 no. Top 10 yes of course.

    42. Many people seem to forget we are voting for the DRIVER of the WEEKEND not the DRIVER of the RACE. Grosjean and his Haas team did admirably but there is only one person who consistently performed on top in every session and that’s Lewis Hamilton. In the critical moment at the start it was the car which failed him and his teammate. Nico’s childish blocking attempt and inability to control his car just made everything worse, but in the end we saw one of his usual stellar recovery drives from 7th to 2nd.

    43. My driver of the weekend was Grosjean, it was a great achievement for Haas to get points on their debut. As a new team up against the experience and reliability of all the other teams I didn’t think they would score points all season so to do so already is very impressive.

      Yes the circumstances of the race helped them but it wasn’t as if Grosjean was having to defend his position much from what I saw on the highlights, and it should be noted that Grosjean scored the points by finishing sixth not by just sneaking into the top ten due to others dropping out.

      My second choice would be Palmer, who I thought had a good debut for Renault.

      Apart from that I can’t say that anyone else really stood out and performed beyond what I expected of them, that is not to say some like Vettel and Ricciardo did not drive well though.

      Although Mercedes got another 1-2, with Hamilton quickest in practice and qualifying and Rosberg taking the victory, I wasn’t really impressed with either driver, they both had bad starts but the way the race panned out with the red flag and the various strategies meant that neither had to put in a great driver to recover to first and second.

    44. Grosjean, no contest.

    45. – Driver of the weekend : Grosjean because he absolutely trashed his team-mate and dragged that dog of a car into P6
      – Entertainer of the weekend : Verstappen for keeping me awake after the red flag
      – Engineer of the weekend: the guy who designed the safety cell of Alonso’s car
      [it]Bonus points for the guy who came up with the idea of always having the tyres attached to the car after a crash[/it]
      – Cutie of the weekend: Ruth Buscombe for running away from an interview on live TV
      [it]She is really beautiful without make-up[/it]

    46. Romain Grosjean

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