Vettel takes back-to-back Driver of the Weekend wins

2017 Australian Grand Prix

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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.
Urvaksh (@Thedoctor03)

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

Giovinazzi won praise for his debut drive
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).
Pdaavv (@Miuzi05)

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.
Gabriel (@Rethla)

Sebastian Vettel’s Driver of the Weekend wins from 2011 to date

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2017 Australian Grand Prix

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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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16 comments on “Vettel takes back-to-back Driver of the Weekend wins”

  1. Let me check if I understood this correctly, if Palmer does a complete mess of a weekend and Hulk finished one place off the points, the Renault is bad and Hulk is amazing.

    If Stroll does a complete mess of a weekend and Massa is the best of the rest. Stroll is making Massa look “mega”?

    I think that is pretty much it

    1. I feel that Massa most likely produced the best result possible for his team, he finished 35 seconds behind Verstappen and with such a gap I’m not sure a top driver would have been able to mix it up with the top three in a Williams. Massa is indeed not above having poor races but if this was one of them he did a great job of disguising it.

      On the other hand, I do wonder whether Hulkenberg could have done better in the race, he outqualified both Ocon and Alonso but yet found himself behind both of them during the race, furthermore with Grosjean and Ricciardo dropping out of the race he really should have brought some points home, considering that he qualified 11th. You can’t really compare him to Palmer as he was plagued with issues all weekend.

    2. I was very surprised by the Williams. It was all doom and gloom before, where it was suggested that they would have trouble getting points. It’s just race 1, but they look in the mix for best of the rest.

      1. Well, *one* of their drivers does. Hopefully Stroll will improve quickly or Massa will be carrying the team a lot.

    3. He’s British hence the truth that he is the worst driver in F1 is not mentioned.

    4. @johnmilk you’re completely missing the comparison. Raikkonen didn’t mess up at all, had a clean race with no technical issues and was still a mile off Vettel.

      That’s not even nearly the same as the situations at Renault or Williams.

      1. @ho3n3r so we can’t compare the drivers of Renault and Williams in this race, is that what you are trying to say? Yet the argument is that Stroll made Massa look amazing. I didn’t even mentioned Kimi.

        The question is, could Massa have done any better in the race? I don’t think so, that’s why for me he was the DOTW.

        You know that your comment just proves my point right?

        1. The opposite, actually. If you don’t understand the difference then I can’t help you. If your teammate is shocking, of course you’ll look good. But if your teammate is doing a perfectly respectable job and you still trounce him, it means that you’re doing an amazing job.

          1. @ho3n3 how is that related with the situation? I’m talking about the doubts of Massa’s performance during the week

            But how good was Felipe Massa’s race? His new team mate’s troubled start made it difficult to judge


            And the fact the Hulk was singled out

            Also among those singled out for praise were Daniil Kvyat, Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg.

            When someone does at it seems to be the absolute best with the available machinery (Massa), why are we questioning his race? He had a solid weekend.

            For most he wasn’t the DOTW, but to cast doubt over his performance because of his team-mate in this situation doesn’t make any sense at all.

            You are the one bringing Vettel/Kimi here to prove something that is not related to my comment.

  2. Let’s just ignore Kimis setup issues which were baked into the car due to parc frame rules.

    Not saying he was driver of the weekend just pointing out how the selected quotes come from fans who have no clue. Full on ostrich mode.

    1. @ The Duke. I got the impression during the race that Kimi was aware that overtaking the Mercs was almost impossible at that track so he just concentrated on protecting his position. If I am right then that was a very mature way of going about things. Also he wasn’t slow as his laptimes after the tyre stop were as fast as the best. So to sum up the race, Kimi started 4th and finished 4th. Excellent drive. Bothas started 3rd and finished 3rd. Excellent drive. Vettel started 2nd and finished 1st. Brilliant drive. Hamilton started 1st and finished 2nd. Lousy drive. In my twisted mind, my summary makes more sense than a lot of the comments that I have read about Kimi’s race performance. My only critisism is that Kimi didn’t get the car dialed in for qualifying which determined the outcome of his race. We shall see what happens in China.

    2. Obviously your comment refers to my comment on this page. I would think “not having a clue” would be a pretty harsh assessment of a guy who’s been into watching F1 for the past 20 years. Just because you don’t agree with me doesn’t mean I automatically don’t know anything about F1. Respecting someone’s opinion is something that new-age F1 fans need to learn.

  3. No matter what we always support Kimi!

  4. Perusing comments sections on this site through the years, I’d very much question that graphic showing HAM as high as second in the popularity stakes. Unless he has the least dedicated supporters, his numbers are inflated.

Comments are closed.