Sebastian Vettel was voted Driver of the Weekend for the second race in a row after his victory in the Australian Grand Prix.
The Ferrari driver topped the poll of F1 Fanatic readers for the third time in the last four races. Here’s why.
Sebastian Vettel’s Australian Grand Prix weekend
After a low-key Friday Vettel topped the final practice times and split the Mercedes drivers in qualifying. That proved crucial, as it put him in position to apply pressure to Lewis Hamilton.
Unable to shake Vettel, Hamilton made an early pit stop which dropped him behind Max Verstappen. A few quick laps allowed Vettel to seize his opportunity to come out ahead of the Mercedes driver and start his season with a win.
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As Hamilton said, Vettel ‘kept a lid on it’ initially (which seemed to extend a bit to FP1 in terms of performance), but came alive FP2 onwards and showed what the car was capable of by out-qualifying Bottas.
He also showed the gulf in performance between himself and Raikkonen without there being any obvious explanation otherwise. Many times people wonder if drivers do really make the difference in F1. Here is some food for thought: imagine two Raikkonens in the two Ferraris. Ferrari would have finished a distant three-four or even three-five and instead of all of us talking about how amazing this season is shaping up to be and how ‘F1 is back’, we would all be talking about another dull drab season where Mercedes would take away all the spoils.
I voted Vettel not just because he won but the way he handled the car through the street circuit. It seemed so well balanced, even when he was in Hamilton’s Merc’s dirty air earlier on. He seemed so much faster and more at home than his team mate.
His first-stint was masterful, and he kept Verstappen behind him when it mattered in the first three corners of second stint.
Australian Grand Prix winners and losers
While Vettel took more than half of your votes, many offered praise for Sauber’s short-notice substitute Antonio Giovinazzi. Having missed Friday practice entirely, Giovinazzi brought his car home in the race.
The incredible performance of Giovinazzi only coming in on Saturday morning, on a track he doesn’t know, and looking like a seasoned veteran throughout is the standout performance. Giovinazzi proved beyond doubt that he belongs on the grid
A rookie named Antonio Giovinazzi produced a astonishing performance this weekend.
He was just one tenth slower that ‘experienced’ teammate Marcus Ericsson in qualifying, then finished the race just two places from a point-scoring position at the wheel of a year-old-engine Sauber car. Hats off!
Jayfreese Knight (@Jeff1s)
Also among those singled out for praise were Daniil Kvyat, Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg.
Coming back from such a horrible year, he managed to make his tyres last without losing any pace compared to his teammate and would’ve finished way ahead of Sainz and maybe catch up to Perez if it wasn’t for his late pit stop.
I’m unashamedly a fan of him since his rookie year and I would love to see him and Sainz (also a personal favourite of mine) prop Toro Rosso up to great heights this year.
Fikri Harish (@Fihar)
Perez was half a second faster than Ocon in qualifying and was the one driver who actually overtook people getting the Toro Rosso’s on track and a maximising P7.
Kavin Kannan (@Lolzerbob)
Hulkenberg for me, utterly destroyed his team mate (who spent the whole weekend complaining about the car) while finishing the race just outside the points, and being part of the most exciting racing move throughout the grand prix (the three-abreast pass on Alonso by him and Perez).
But how good was Felipe Massa’s race? His new team mate’s troubled start made it difficult to judge.
Strange that Massa suddenly extracts the most the Williams is capable of when he failed to do so the past seasons. Stroll will make Massa look mega this season.
Sebastian Vettel’s Driver of the Weekend wins from 2011 to date
- 2011 Italian Grand Prix
- 2011 Singapore Grand Prix
- 2011 Indian Grand Prix
- 2012 South Korean Grand Prix
- 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix
- 2013 Canadian Grand Prix
- 2013 German Grand Prix
- 2013 Singapore Grand Prix
- 2013 Indian Grand Prix
- 2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
- 2014 Spanish Grand Prix
- 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix
- 2015 Canadian Grand Prix
- 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix
- 2015 Singapore Grand Prix
- 2016 Mexican Grand Prix
- 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
- 2017 Australian Grand Prix
Who F1 Fanatic readers are supporting in 2017
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2017 Australian Grand Prix
- Australian Grand Prix cost government £56 million last year
- Red Bull ran Verstappen’s car without a drinks bottle in Australia
- Renault fix Palmer’s Melbourne problems
- Melbourne win “doesn’t mean much” – Vettel
- Mercedes explain why 2017’s first race had so little passing