Painting of Fernando Alonso, Hungaroring, 2017

Alonso is eighth different Driver of the Weekend winner so far

2017 Hungarian GP Driver of the Weekend result

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Fernando Alonso became the eighth different Driver of the Weekend winner so far in 2017 after finishing sixth in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The McLaren driver produced one of the few passes of the race to get by Carlos Sainz Jnr and set the fastest lap on the penultimate tour. More than half of F1 Fanatic readers named him their top driver of the event.

Alonso joins Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen, Pascal Wehrlein, Carlos Sainz Jnr and Lance Stroll as the Driver of the Weekend winners from the first half of the season.

Fernando Alonso’s Hungarian Grand Prix weekend

Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2017
Alonso gave the MCL32 its first fastest lap
On a track where power mattered less than sheer downforce, McLaren enjoyed one of their most competitive showings of the year so far. Having expected this would be a better track for the Honda-powered car, Alonso had taken an engine change penalty in the previous round at Silverstone to avoid taking one here.

That paid off as he qualified eighth on the grid, which became seventh after Nico Hulkenberg took a gearbox change penalty. Alonso outpaced team mate Stoffel Vandoorne by three-tenths of a second.

In a hectic start, Alonso lost out to Carlos Sainz Jnr. When the Safety Car came in Alonso judged the restart perfectly, lining the Toro Rosso up for a pass, but was edged wide at turn one.

Curiously, Alonso followed Sainz into the pits for their only stops, but was visibly quicker when they rejoined the track. He quickly put Sainz on the defensive at turn one, then got around the outside of the STR12 at the following corner.

The leaders were long gone by now. But with Sebastian Vettel struggling due to his damaged steering, Alonso was able to lap quicker than them on more than one occasion over the final laps, and set the quickest lap of all on the penultimate tour, something which surprised even the two-times world champion.

He finished where the car deserved, but he had to work for it (and actually made a pass on track!).

Alonso got fastest lap on tyres that were as old as everyone elses, and he’d overtaken Sainz with, in a McLaren Honda. Proving he’s still probably the best driver on the grid.
Hugh (@Hugh11)

The track gave the chance to get a decent result in an under-powered car with a functional chassis and he delivered. Clean laps throughout the weekend, limited errors, one solid overtake and fastest lap on race day.

Hungarian Grand Prix winners and losers

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2017
Vettel’s defensive drive in a hobbled car won praise
Interestingly both Ferrari drivers picked up a substantial chunk of votes, but the one who started and finished ahead got slightly more:

Vettel got my vote by a hair’s breath from Alonso.

There was clear visual evidence about Vettel’s leftward skewed steering wheel and on a clockwise circuit he would have to compensate by oversteering on most turns. He would have to slow down at least a little more than planned to carry out the team’s ‘avoid the kerbs’ instruction under those circumstances. He managed it and so did a great job under difficult circumstances.

Alonso did great, but with so much at stake, Vettel shone with a couple of top qualifying laps, and nursed a car problem (that could easily cost him) the whole race to the win. Each race lap had to be top notch and it must have been nerve-wracking throughout.


And this weekend’s super-sub also earned recognition:

Voted for Di Resta, what he did this weekend was pretty impressive.

Fernando Alonso’s Driver of the Weekend wins from 2011 to date

Driver of the weekend: The Twitter verdict

The last-lap change of position between the Mercedes drivers was one of the big talking points after the race.

While a few felt Hamilton was merely doing what should be expected of him by letting Bottas past for third place, most praised him for his “sportsmanship” – even some who admitted to not liking him.

2017 Hungarian Grand Prix

    Browse all 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix articles

    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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    8 comments on “Alonso is eighth different Driver of the Weekend winner so far”

    1. The important thing to take away from this race, regarding the ever-difficult task of judging how fast the McLaren actually is, is the fact that they got this 6th place on pure pace, with only one retirement in front of them. Even with their significantly weaker engine, they were 4th fastest team on pure pace. I guess they really don’t lie when they say that the chassis is great. Take into account how much more difficult development is, when you always have to second-guess what’s down to the car and what’s down to the engine, and when you always have to compromise your aerodynamics to make up for the weak engine. If they had more power, they could easily throw more wing on it, making it even faster through the corners.

      1. I think it also shows how good a driver Alonso is. For all of his past indiscretions and poor choices he is still the best out there.

      2. I guess they really don’t lie when they say that the chassis is great.

        Still not convinced about that. They were 4th fastest, with a huge gap to the three teams ahead of them, on a circuit where power has a relatively small impact on lap times. Alonso’s fastest quali lap, as well as his general race pace, were in excess of a second slower than Ferrari’s.
        There’s no denying that the Honda engine lacks power, but it simply cannot serve to explain why McLaren are still trailing over a second behind on tracks like Monaco or the Hungaroring. The evolution of McLaren’s gaps to the top teams from circuit to circuit does not point to a convergence of lap times if engine power weren’t a factor. In fact, it points to an inherent deficit in the chassis, a deficit that might even be somewhat masked by their lead driver, who seems hungrier than ever.
        I’d even go as far as to say that even if the MCL32 had been fitted with a Mercedes or Ferrari PU, and properly designed around it, it would still only rank 4th or maybe 3rd at best.

        1. @nase
          That’s the point, if your chassis is 3rd or 4th best, it’s a pretty damn good chassis! Maybe not the best, but it means there’s only 2 or 3 better ones out there.

          1. I’d agree if we were taking about Force India or Toro Rosso. In that case, 3rd or 4th would be really impressive. But McLaren’s infrastructure and financial means are in a different league, they cannot be content with anyone outperforming them in their core competences, much less 2 or 3 other teams.
            Also, the McLaren narrative isn’t really compatible with a second-tier chassis. They like to imply, or outright state, that they’d be fighting for race wins if they had a competitive engine. And that’s where I disagree.

            1. If they still had a Mercedes engine I think they’d be able to compete, I imagine they’d slot in between the top two and Red Bull. Their chassis looks relatively better now than it did during their last few years with a Merc in the back, it always looked very stiff and difficult to set up.

        2. @nase That’s where you make a mistake. The Hungaroring is less about power, but still about the combination power+car+driver. Each part is just weight differently. Silverstone is less of a driver circuit, you’ll normally see all team mates lined up next to each other there. Hungaroring is a circuit where the driver can make a difference. But let’s just leave that there.

          Aero is in Silverstone just as important as in Hungary. While power is more important in Silverstone, but still a factor (on every circuit). So the gap closes as power becomes less of a factor, but it’s unreasonable to assume engines are suddenly equal.. more hp is still worth viable time. We’re talking about an 60HP performance gap here.. On aero, you can win time to your opponents on certain tracks, but most time is made up by the engine, on any circuit.

    2. There is a way to see others drivers of the week of others season?

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