Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016

Alonso wins first Driver of the Weekend for two years

2016 Belgian Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend result

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Fernando Alonso won F1 Fanatic’s Driver of the Weekend poll for the Belgian Grand Prix. It’s the first time he’s topped the vote since the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix.

Alonso picked up 43.3% of the vote thanks largely to a start in which he jumped Lewis Hamilton, and his ability to keep the Williams’ cars at bay late in the race.

Fernando Alonso’s Belgian Grand Prix weekend

Like Hamilton, Alonso was on the back foot before qualifying as the team were forced to change his power unit multiple times. He did make it out in qualifying – albeit only for a handful of metres – and Honda later admitted it had been an error as they forced to change it again before the race.

Thankfully for Alonso the problems ended there, and he used his new power unit to great effect at the start – coupled with the incidents of others – to be inside the points by the end of lap three, and ahead of Hamilton whom he’d started behind.

He lucked into a net fourth place with the red flag and was powerless to resist Hamilton, Sergio Perez and Sebastian Vettel, but performed remarkably to keep the two Williams’ at bay and picked up a rather surprising seventh as a reward.

Fantastic drive. The sitting duck comment by Williams had me worried but Alonso showed them where the driver can make a difference when the pace is close.
@f1p1 (@f1p1)

He drove his McLaren much faster than it was supposed to go, and kept cars behind who haven’t seen the back of a McLaren-Honda before.
ColdFly F1 (@coldfly)

I was most impressed by Alonso, great performance in the race made even more impressive by how disrupted his weekend was.
Neil (@neilosjames)

Belgian Grand Prix winners and losers

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016
Hulkenberg was also singled out for praise
The other driver forced to fight his way through the field – Hamilton – also picked up a high percentage of the votes after finishing on the podium Nico Hulkenberg also received much praise for his impressive run to fifth.

Hamilton may have got more headlines after going from 21st to a podium but when you analysed the events in the race, such as a few top cars dropping down the order after the first lap and then the way the positions changed after the safety car and red flag it wasn’t that surprising really.
PJA (@pja)

For me Alonso and Hamilton benefited a lot from the stupid red flag rule. If not for that they wouldn’t have finished as high as they did. Hulkenberg did a supreme job all weekend.
João Leite (@johnmilk)

At the opposite end race-winner Nico Rosberg received just six percent of the vote, while neither Ferrari driver scored highly after their tangle at turn one, despite some praise in the comments.

Voted for Rosberg. Got the pole in the first try. Avoided the first lap carnage and drove off into the distance.

Sure, his car was mighty quick (lapping faster in mediums vs others on softer tires). But he kept his concentration during the restart and drove off into the distance without giving others a sniff at 1st spot.

Controlled the race brilliantly to take his first win at Spa.
evered7 (@evered7)

Vettel had a good recovery drive but his contribution to the mess at the start can’t be overlooked.

In the end I went with Raikkonen. He beat Vettel in qualifying and was absolutely not at fault for what happened at the first corner. He went from last and a lap down to ninth despite his car being on fire and Verstappen’s excessive defending (yet again) and that didn’t seem too bad an effort for me.
Craig Woollard (@craig-o)

RaceDOTW winnerVotes
2016 Australian Grand PrixRomain Grosjean61.0%
2016 Bahrain Grand PrixRomain Grosjean39.4%
2016 Chinese Grand PrixDaniel Ricciardo44.7%
2016 Russian Grand PrixKevin Magnussen32.6%
2016 Spanish Grand PrixMax Verstappen68.5%
2016 Monaco Grand PrixDaniel Ricciardo49.6%
2016 Canadian Grand PrixLewis Hamilton28.5%
2016 European Grand PrixSergio Perez67.3%
2016 Austrian Grand PrixPascal Wehrlein43.2%
2016 British Grand PrixMax Verstappen55.2%
2016 Hungarian Grand PrixKimi Raikkonen38.3%
2016 German Grand PrixDaniel Ricciardo45.5%
2016 Belgian Grand PrixFernando Alonso43.3%

2016 Belgian Grand Prix

Browse all 2016 Belgian Grand Prix articles

17 comments on “Alonso wins first Driver of the Weekend for two years”

  1. Hmmm, supposedly still one of the biggest talents on the grid and only the first time in over 2 years he gets DOTW.

    Oh well, fingers crossed for 2017!

    1. @uncleben The proof that good results influence the DOTW poll more so than the actual performance of a driver.

      1. McLaren spent the best part of the last two years in an awkward performance bubble, not quick enough to challenge the midfield, too fast to be racing with the back markers. Combined with lot’s of races resulting in retirements and we’ve had very little opportunity to gauge Alonso or Button.

        Very similar to why Rosberg get’s very few votes despite good results. They often come with very few in the same performance category that we can gauge it from.

  2. Still amazed that more people voted for Hamilton than for Rosberg.
    I cannot see which part of Hamilton’s weekend was better than Rosberg’s. Certainly a FLAP doesn’t beat Pole plus leading every lap. Even on overtakes Rosberg was better (I mean being overtaken less than Hamilton).

    PS – I have nothing against Hamilton (think I DOTW-voted him twice this year), but I do have a problem with readers who are so starstruck that they cannot see the true underlying performance of other driver.
    PPS – not really amazed of course; I know that Hamilton has more fans than Rosberg.

    1. I think it’s pretty simple. If you go from the back of the field to a podium, even through good fortune, that will always seem more impressive than leading the field from the start in the most dominant car. I don’t think it has anything to do with being ‘starstruck’. If positions had been reversed, I’m sure more people would have voted for Rosberg.

      1. I disagree. Hamilton started in 5th place after the red flag which was effectively the start of the race. Yet he only overtook Alonso and Hulkenburg to finish 3rd. He finished 14 seconds behind Ricciardo. That is 14 second behind in a car that was 0.5 seconds faster per lap. Not impressive at all.
        Rosberg finished 14 seconds in front of Ricciardo. So in other words, he lost almost 30 seconds to Rosberg after the restart and at that time everyone was in the equal position.

        I understand Rosberg not winning DOTW. However I agree with the above comment that Rosberg should have gotten more votes than Hamilton. I think emotions won out over brains here.

        1. very well said, agree wit hyou 100% there is just more Ham fans in here, pure and simple.

        2. “Hamilton started in 5th place after the red flag which was effectively the start of the race.”

          If that is the case the Hamilton was effectively starting the race with a bad race setup, a sub optimal tyre strategy, and did very well to finish ahead of everyone except the other Merc and 1 Red Bull.

          1. “bad race setup”

            Why?

          2. Sacrificed overall lap time for better overtaking ability.

    2. Winning in a Mercedes unchallenged doesn’t deserve DOTW. Simple as that. Rosberg did what he had to in order to win but most other drivers in the field could have done the same given the same situation.

      I felt him and Hamilton had similar levels of performance although Hamilton had to keep out of trouble whilst Nico was never anywhere near trouble…

      1. @petebaldwin As someone who’d vote if Vettel takes another RB9 win as long as it’s a good one, I respectfully disagree.

    3. On the one hand Rosberg is the only driver you can’t categorically say needed other drivers misfortune to achieve the result he got. But on the other hand is there any driver on the grid that wouldn’t have taken pole and the win in that car with their team mate being consigned to the back of the grid?

      Hamiltons result on the other hand I’d say only a handful of other drivers would possibly have delivered, one of whom was the DOTW winner.

    4. When it came to selecting who to vote for the reason I saw that I might vote for Rosberg was he won the race, which automatically makes him a top contender for my vote because he and the team did everything right. The reason I saw that Hamilton should get my vote was because he finished 3rd having started on the last row of the grid. Mick (@mickharrold) wasn’t impressed because at the end of the Red Flag Hamilton moved from 5th to 3rd over the course of the remainder of the race. That overlooks Hamilton had moved from 21 to 5 in the space of those early laps. Yes, that was in part due to a good choice of tyres at the start of the race, but good tyre choice is as important as picking the right time to overtake a competitor. I think I voted for Alonso in the end because I thought his result was far more impressive than either Hamilton’s or Rosberg’s.

  3. Yes ! He deserves it ! This is the real vote, not the joke of the official F1 site.

    1. @willybob

      I think the official page of F1 should check out F1Fanatic for their driver of the day poll. I don’t want to sound arrogant, but we are just better at this (even though I haven’t voted for Alonso, but I can understand why people did).

      BTW thanks for mentioning my comment Keith.

  4. Stellar drive, similar to Hungary 2014. In troubled circumstances he often shine. Kudos to him!

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