Vettel pips Hulkenberg to Mexico Driver of the Weekend

2016 Mexican Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend result

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Sebastian Vettel became the 11th different Driver of the Weekend winner this year after one of the closest votes we’ve ever had.

Vettel, who was promoted then demoted from the podium in a series of post-race decisions, topped the poll with just 22.6% of the vote. Nico Hulkenberg was a close second with just seven votes fewer than the Ferrari driver.

Your votes were also shared between race winner Lewis Hamilton, Marcus Ericsson and Daniel Ricciardo who each received more than 10%.

Sebastian Vettel’s Mexican Grand Prix weekend

Vettel: fourth on the road, third on the podium, fifth officially
A strong turn of pace in practice raised eyebrows and questions as to whether Ferrari could legitimately challenge Mercedes in qualifying, but those hopes were quickly dashed in Q3. Vettel could find no pace on his super-soft tyres and could only managed seventh behind his team mate and Hulkenberg.

Vettel set about a long first stint in the hope of having fresher tyres to attack at the end. This worked, but it put him on a collision course with third-placed Max Verstappen.

A half-move down the start-finish straight was enough to distract the Red Bull driver, but Verstappen scampered across the turn one run-off and rejoined still in front of the Ferrari. This prompted a flurry of invective from Vettel aimed at both his rival and, later, race director Charlie Whiting.

Meanwhile the other Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo was closing on the pair of them. When he mounted his attack on Vettel the Ferrari driver squeezed him hard in the turn four braking zone. This error of judgement meant that although Verstappen hastily-applied penalty allowed Vettel to join the podium celebrations, he was later relegated to fifth place.

His hot-headed move prompted a score of just two out of five in the driver ratings. But the F1 Fanatic readership looked more kindly on Vettel’s efforts, some having been unconvinced about the reasons for his penalty which was applied in line with a recent clarification of the rules on driving standards.

I think Vettel had a good weekend. Had decent pace all weekend but the Ferrari was just not fast enough in qualifying.

In the race he drove a controlled first stint and then he showed his overtaking and defending abilities against Verstappen and Ricciardo, only to get a ridiculous penalty
Sameer (@fish123)

Vettel provided the most entertaining moves and drama. He deserved penalty but he made the race a lot more fun.
Jureo (@jureo)

Vettel´s race was outstanding and I disagree with the penalty given to him, but his Saturday was awful.
Banana88x (@banana88x)

As after the United States race, however, there were a large number of comments from people saying why they hadn’t voted for the eventual winner.

I was going to vote for Vettel until he threw away a good third place by being penalised for moving under braking. I was also unimpressed when he threw a tantrum over the radio and abused Charlie Whiting.
Hamish Curtis (@ayrtonsenna26)

Mexican Grand Prix winners and losers

Hulkenberg was praised but narrowly missed out
Ericsson was one of the most highly-praised drivers and Hulkenberg received a number of positive comments too. While Hamilton won from pole, many were unimpressed by the manner in which he straight-lined the first corner at the start.

That was an amazing race by Ericsson. He got caught out in a first lap collision with Gutierrez and Wehrlein and got damage. Nobody was really to blame.

He fell to pretty much the back of the pack, pitted on lap one and then went all the way to the end and finished in 11th! No cars above him retiring helped either. That was just pure pace. Very impressive.
Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)

Back in Austria, Wehrlein benefited from the retirements of Vettel, Perez and Alonso to score tenth place and he was voted Driver of the Weekend. If the same drivers would have retired in Mexico, Ericsson would have been eighth and I can imagine he would’ve win this poll convincingly. Shame his great drive didn’t get the reward it deserved.

Ericsson produced one of his best drives
Hulkenberg did the perfect job in qualifying, the start of the race, and throughout the race. He finished as well as he could, with only the Mercedes, Red Bulls and Ferraris in front of him.
ME4ME (@me4me)

I just can’t vote for Hamilton with that opening lap corner cut. He had a rock solid opening weekend, but he held position with a very ‘creative’ line through those corners. I criticised Rosberg in Canada 2014 for the same and I won’t be a hypocrite despite being a supporter of Hamiltons.

So I’m going to sling a vote Ericsson’s way. He nearly got into the points without profiting from retirements. Not a championship drive exactly but no one else grabbed my attention.
Philip (@philipgb)

2016 Mexican Grand Prix

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17 comments on “Vettel pips Hulkenberg to Mexico Driver of the Weekend”

  1. Well, I guess Vettel was pivotal in making the last part interesting. But to me both Hulkenberg and Ericsson were more deserving, they didn’t let their nerves get the better of them.

  2. My DOTW usually goes the same way as the result but really not this time. I didn’t like the Vettel I saw that weekend.

    1. He was “D of the weekend” but not Driver

  3. Without the unsportsmanlike conduct and the anger induced decision making that led to his penalty, sure, maybe. But even then I think Hulk and Ericsson deserve it more.

  4. Deserves it, if anything for highlighting the inconsistencies between penalty decisions.

    1. This is what everyone is missing. Deserves it X2

  5. Driver of the Weekend people, not Driver of the Race. Some here have a tough time with this simple concept. How can a driver who lost to a team-mate in qualifying(badly, since he had 2 attempts to beat Kimi’s time after the latter developed an engine problem on his 2nd run, and still couldn’t manage it) prevail against not one but 2 drivers, who not only dominated their team-mates both in qualy and race but who actually punched above the weight of their own car? Hulkenberg P5 in qualy and P7 i race in a car deserving of 9th place. And now way Ericsson’s Sauber merited P11, if not for the driver’s brilliance

    Yes, Vettel has livened up the last couple of laps of the race with his antics, but as a Weekend performance, no way it was deserving. In fact, apart from the 2 aforementioned drivers, also Hamilton and Bottas at the very least deserved to be rated higher than Vettel

    1. +1, especially that first paragraph.

  6. Undeserved. Vettel was bad in qualifying. Hulkenberg and Ericsson did much better in the cars that they were equipped with.

  7. Apparently he was carried by protest-votes by people angry about the Stewards’ rulings. He did little if anything on the track to deserve this and much to be disqualified from the honor.

    1. @dmw I guess that’s your anti-whatever voice speaking. At one point it seemed very likely Vettel was about to snatch third from Vettel. In fact that would’ve placed the car at least two places ahead of where it belonged in fifth. His opening stint showed what a perfectionist on tyre control can do and his second stint showed how to reap what he sowed in the first stint. Had Vettel finished third he would’ve received triple of the votes he had now and nobody would even consider Hulkenberg. However I still believe Ericsson should get DOTW.

      1. At one point it seemed very likely Vettel was about to snatch third from Vettel

        If he had done that I would have voted him DOTW

        Seriously though, make up reasons for @dmw all you want but it doesn’t change the fact that Vettel under performed in qualifying and showed downright disgraceful and embarrassing behaviour in the race. In no way should he be DOTW, behavior like that should not be tolerated.

        1. Lets turn them all into robots – give them a list of what they can and cant say on the Radio – and we can add more penalty’s if they say anything else…..

          1. You really are missing a few billion brain cells if you think your statement is in any way applicable to what I said.

  8. Hulk gets within touching distance for DOW for failing miserably tp keep Kimi behind. Well that’s an interesting one folks. He is an underachiever this year esp after Austria. Don’t throw your votes away.

  9. Man of the year as far as I am concerned. I had hopes for Hamilton, but he turned out to be something of a huge Jina and he tucked his tail and accepted his masters bidding. Cmon Seb, keep trucking, tell the stewards where they can stick their politically correct bums.

  10. It’s a popularity contest, people. To make matters worse: Ever since Maldonado lost his seat, pundits and fans alike have settled on Ericsson as being butt-end Charlie – the bad joke of F1 drivers, pay-driver epitomised – that not many take him seriously. But to his very great credit, he’s not let that get to him nor did he knuckle under to his much more fancied team mate Nasr who came into F1 lauded as the next Brazilian superstar. Even if outclassed by Nasr for the first half of the 2015 season, since then, Ericsson has consistently outshone Nasr in both qualifying and races and by now it should be recognised that he does belong in F1. Where Nasr belongs remains to be proven though, he needs to go to a different team in order to re-ignite his F1 career. At Sauber and alongside Ericsson, he will only slide further one fears.

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