Sainz takes first Driver of the Weekend win

2017 Monaco Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend result

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Carlos Sainz Jnr was voted Driver of the Weekend by F1 Fanatic readers for the first time following his sixth place finish in Monaco.

He narrowly beat race winner Sebastian Vettel to become the fifth different poll winner in as many races.

Carlos Sainz Jnr’s Grand Prix weekend

The Toro Rosso drivers were quick from the off in Monaco and in practice it seemed Daniil Kvyat might have an edge on his team mate. Sainz ended that debate in qualifying, however, taking advantage of Lewis Hamilton’s Q2 exit to put his car on the third row.

In Monaco qualifying is often half the battle, and so it proved. Sainz was quick enough in the race that Hamilton wasn’t able to jump back ahead of him. He easily kept the Mercedes driver behind in the second stint.

The final gap between him and his team mate flatters Sainz, as Kvyat was hit by Sergio Perez, but this was nonetheless a fine result and certainly thew best the car could achieve at this tough circuit.

Fantastic drive from Sainz. No one single mistake in the weekend. Sixth in a Toro Rosso is like a victory. He keeps improving and surprising.

Sainz drove yet another great race. So far he’s right up there as one of the best, most consistent drivers this year. Very impressive stuff, and if either driver in RBR goes elsewhere next year I reckon he’d be a great choice for promotion.

I’m absolutely not a big Carlos fan, but he has to be driver of the weekend this time. Not that he did something very special, but he was flawless all weekend.

Monaco Grand Prix winners and losers

Vettel’s old-tyre pace won him the race
Sebastian Vettel came close to taking another Driver of the Weekend win:

The moment Kimi Raikkonen pulled into the pits, he set lap times of 1’15 to pull that gap open for one stop. That was the crucial turning point of the race that led to his victory. In fact, no one ever came close lapping near Vettel’s pace.
Ru Chern (@Ruchern)

I voted for Vettel simply because he deserved to win. Kept his team mate in sights so as to be able to leapfrog him whether if was by an undercut or ‘over cut’. Was significantly faster on the option tyres and pulled out a big lead. Remained unperturbed when the Safety Car shrank that lead time to nothing and pulled away again at the restart.

While some felt Raikkonen had been unlucky or even unjustly treated by his team to lose the lead to his team mate, others gave that idea short shrift:

Raikkonen did not have a good race. He could not do the one thing that mattered as the leader: get by the lapped cars quickly.

He was staying too far from Button (around 1.5 seconds) so no blue flags were shown. Vettel was able to run much closer to Raikkonen (0.7 seconds). It took a long time for Raikkonen to lap Button and Wehrlein, during which Bottas came closer by around four seconds. If he had kept the four seconds as a buffer, later on, the threat of an undercut by Bottas would have been much less so that Ferrari would not have been forced into pitting him when they did.

Driver of the weekend: The Twitter verdict

Ferrari’s tactics regarding Raikkonen were met with more suspicion on Twitter:

2017 Monaco Grand Prix

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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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20 comments on “Sainz takes first Driver of the Weekend win”

  1. robert steiner
    2nd June 2017, 16:58

    Well deserve!! Getting better and better, hope for good team next year.

  2. Well deserved win. Strong and consistent drive. Not buckling under the Ham pressure.

  3. Scuderia-Racing-Or-Ping-Pong (@)
    2nd June 2017, 17:27

    Who even forgot that Sainz had an impressive result?

  4. Yeah, Sainz is an easily over looked driver, which isn’t really his fault. He drove a superb race and does deserve the DOTW. At Russia, he also drove an impressive race, (at least until he drove into Stroll) starting at the back of the grid and climbing a good number of places in the first race (if nothing more, mirroring the performance of his former team mate and RBR driver Max Verstappen in his Chinese opening lap).

    I do feel for him, he has tremendous talent and no room in the top team currently available for him.

    1. @maddme
      Sainz midfield drive is brought up as impressive 9 out of 10 races. Hes the least overloocked guy in the field.

  5. Very interesting driver!! I think this new cars suit his driving. Really one of the future candidates for a big team, I hope he can make the step!!

  6. These Twitter reactions are ridiculous… did they all watch Sky Sports UK?

  7. Some people on this forum think Perez is a better driver than Sainz

    1. Haha…. easy how many podiums does Sainz have?

      In my opinion he is an ok driver. Not exactly setting the world on fire. Also no room for him at RBR but they rather keep him at Toro.

      1. Is that how you judge talent?

        1. On results ?
          Yes. Obviously consideration is given to machinery, but, at the end of the day, drivers are judged on their results.

          1. Guybrush Threepwood
            3rd June 2017, 21:15

            In that case Maldonado is better than both of them and most others.

    2. He did however have a great weekend and deserves this.

  8. I’m quite surprised how people just don’t think at all. If Ferrari’s pitstop strategy was coincidental why Vettel knew that he should conserve his tires and make that hot laps at that time? Someone had told him to keep cool and wait for Kimi pit stop.

    Another point is that no one told Kimi that he was at risky of losing his position to Vettel. No one told him “Kimi do 2-3 hot laps because you’re going to stop first and you can get back in traffic and on slower tires.” I feel very sorry for him, it’s the same Ferrari did in the past and they’ll keep doing it. To say that it was not intentional is saying that Ferrari is very amateur or that Kimi engineer is as dumb as a door.

    1. Kimi shouldn’t have given Vettel the opportunity to save his tyres

  9. If Ferrari’s pitstop strategy was coincidental why Vettel knew that he should conserve his tires and make that hot laps at that time?

    This has to be one of the more far out arguments in this discussion.

    I mean, what else was he supposed to do? Locking his tyres in a bid to flatspot them so they wouldn’t be saved while he was driving behind a slower Raikkonen he couldn’t pass on Monaco anyway?

    His tyre conservation was a natural consequence of not having to be anywhere near the limit while following Kimi around.

    Hey maybe Kimi got Vettel’s engineer he had last year in Spain. You know, “duh of course you don’t give up track position in Spain”.

  10. Sergey Martyn
    3rd June 2017, 15:17

    6th place start, 6th place finish. How many people achieved the same especvially in Monaco where you can’t overtake. I think hundreds.
    What a great result!

    1. From the top 6 finishers in Monaco only Sainz achieved it ;-)

      But yes, I don’t see it either why Sainz’ performance is hailed as being so good this weekend.

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