Start, Sepang International Circuit, 2017

Vote for your 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend

2017 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Which Formula One driver made the most of the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend?

It’s time to give your verdict on which driver did the best with the equipment at their disposal over the last five days.

Review how each driver got on below and vote for who impressed you the most at Sepang International Circuit.

Driver performance summary

DriverStartedFinishedRace changeLap 1 changeHighest positionLowest positionGap to team mate*
Lewis Hamilton12-1013-43.251
Valtteri Bottas550+23643.251
Daniel Ricciardo43+101422.519
Max Verstappen31+2+112-22.519
Sebastian Vettel204+16+7413
Kimi Raikkonen2
Sergio Perez96+3+346Not on same lap
Esteban Ocon610-4-1719Not on same lap
Felipe Massa119+2+28156.207
Lance Stroll138+5+5714-6.207
Fernando Alonso1011-1-171535.112
Stoffel Vandoorne770+2510-35.112
Carlos Sainz Jnr14-1715
Pierre Gasly1514+1-11218
Romain Grosjean1613+3-313190.823
Kevin Magnussen1712+5+7918-0.823
Nico Hulkenberg816-8-411190.119
Jolyon Palmer1215-3-21017-0.119
Marcus Ericsson1918+1+11519Not on same lap
Pascal Wehrlein1817+1+11117Not on same lap

Vote for your driver of the weekend

Which driver do you think did the best job throughout the race weekend?

Who got the most out of their car in qualifying and the race? Who put their team mate in the shade?

Cast your vote below and explain why you chose the driver you picked in the comments.

This poll is now closed

Max Verstappen was voted Driver of the Weekend for the Malaysian Grand Prix with 37.7% of the vote.

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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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70 comments on “Vote for your 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend”

  1. Vandoorne. Scored absolutely superb 7th place for McLaren and comfortably beat his whiny team mate. After not-so-impressive first half of the season Vandoorne has really come alive later in the season.

    1. +1, massive weekend, much awaited! Kudos to him!

    2. @huhhii
      Same for me, I was a bit worried about him but he’s really coming into his own now. Had Alonso’s number all weekend.

      Hamilton and Verstappen also put one over their teammates, I feel like Hamilton really outperformed his car.

    3. @huhhii You are right though I didn’t vote for Vandoorne because we never know what a McLaren Honda is running, bad pu or even worse pu.

      1. XDDD You have a point, but even if the PU was “just” bad, P7 is really nice. Kudos for making me laugh, anyway.

  2. Verstappen gave us a glimpse of the near future where he will dominate the field when he has a championship winning car beneath his but

    1. Agree that VER showed his true skills, albeit it was only 1 defence (BOT), 1 overtake (HAM), and 52 laps of cruising at speed.

      But what I like about the future is that VAN is finally showing his talent and skills; STR is starting to show MAS the way; GAS had a very solid race; and OCO had some good spells.
      And with SAI showing in SIN what he can, we seem to have some good years ahead.

      VET was on my good weekend list as well, but lost all the brownie points when crashing with STR, and then having another unnecessary fit on the radio.

      1. That comment was LIT

    2. Had both Ferrari’s started at the front they would have had the pace over both Mercedes and RedBull so I’d say Verstappen was lucky. On the other hand, he deserved a bit of luck this season.

      However, all that Max-dominate talk is a bit here nor there. Vettel dominated in a dominant RedBull, Hamilton in a dominant Merc and Schumacher in a dominant Ferrari. Depending on the strength of their teammate and reliabilty of course, every driver can dominate opposition in an inferior car.

      1. Absolutely right. I wonder why Mercedes have been wasting a zillion bucks on the salaries of Ham, Ros and Bottas. They should just hire Haryanto and Palmer for free and let them dominate opposition.

      2. Little correction: every great driver can dominate opposition in an inferior car! Do you agree ferrari 2.001 was good enough to be called a dominant car vs mclaren and williams? Barrichello, while schumacher had no opposition, was beaten by coulthard who was with mclaren, despite a dominant ferrari! This isn’t the only case that proves this ofc, just first that comes to mind.

  3. Vandoorne, stellar weekend from him. Not often you see someone make Alonso look ordinary but that’s exactly what he did.

    1. Yes, that is if alonso isn’t starting to show signs of age-related decline, though if we have to follow schumacher’s career (which alonso’s performance is very similar too, car aside in average) he should still be fast enough for at least another year, for what little he did in singapore he was still great, we’ll have to see in the rest of the year; certainly vandoorne is doing well, improved a lot compared to his own results earlier on.

      1. Very similar to*

  4. Not at all surprising after his junior career and point scoring debut last year, but it’s great to see Vandoorne really come into form in F1. And against such a tough teammate it makes his performance even more impressive. Perhaps being in a weak McLaren-Honda and thus having less pressure allowed him to develop smoother throughout the season, but he did the job and grew unquestionably, so well done. Could be another interesting duel with a better engine next year against Alonso if he stays on.

  5. Max

    Superb qualy, again ahead of know qualy beast RIC. Great defending against BOT and he took off after overtaking Lewis and controlled the race.

  6. Vandoorne easily beating Alonso makes this an simple choice. Kvyat should probably stay at 0 votes, Gasly was impressive though.

  7. Palmer. Only one who managed to spin twice in 3 corners what a driver

    1. And almost took the race leader with him. Yep, great achievement!

  8. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
    1st October 2017, 12:26

    Great to see so many votes for Stoffel. Here’s my reasoning –

    The Ferrari was easily the best car this weekend (Hamilton reckoned 0.8s per lap race trim), so it’s hardly surprising that Vettel worked back to 4th.

    Red Bull were clearly the second best car, and with Vettel starting from the back Verstappen could afford to coast to victory once past Hamilton.

    Mercedes were clearly next best after Red Bull and so Hamilton duly slotted in behind Verstappen. Of course he beat Ricciardo (and thrashed Bottas), but Ricciardo suffered a big delay in getting past Bottas.

    Verstappen, Hamilton and Vettel all performed to a very high standard, but entirely in line with expectations. But Vandoorne beat Alonso in qualifying and then (outside the top 3 teams), beat everyone barring Perez –
    who was in a faster car. Vandoorne is coming good on the promise he showed in the junior categories, he is going to be a handful for Alonso next season.

    1. so it’s hardly surprising that Vettel worked back to 4th.

      Yep, a walk in the park.

    2. +1 Post of the day … good reasoning, unbiased and factual

  9. Close call between Verstappen and Vettel, with honourable mention to Hamilton.

    Vettel deserves praise for a stellar recovery from the pits. I also genuinely think he’d have taken pole without the problems and very likely the win. But I don’t think he got the most from the weekend. 3rd was on the table and he’s landed himself a likely penalty for the next race owing to another careless collision.

    Verstappen put the car ahead of his teammate in qualifying, stole the lead early on, and was gapping a Mercedes his teammate never closed in on enough to threaten. He executed the best weekend he could with a notable performance margin over Ricciardo.

    1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      1st October 2017, 15:07

      The view from behind shows Seb was blameless. Stroll wanders over the track.

      1. @rdotquestionmark

        I’m not expecting a penalty for the collision but for the gearbox damage.

        I wouldn’t say blameless. Stroll was picking up marbles which is standard practice. Vettel took an unnecessarily close line to him. Even if you apportioned blame between them, Vettel will be the one who suffers more for such a silly incident.

        1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
          1st October 2017, 16:20

          I dunno. The view from the car behind shows Stroll had all the room in the world. I don’t think Vettel did anything wrong at all. Nothing wrong with passing cars on in lap we see that all the time. Stroll didn’t check mirrors before veering.

  10. Verstappen, Vettel or Vandoorne. In keeping with my idea of going for the underdog, I’ve chosen Vandoorne. Very impressive weekend, completely outclassed Alonso.

  11. I gave it Lewis for a mature approach to the whole weekend. No panic when the Merc was way off the pace in practice and eventually managed to put it onto pole. A valuable yardstick is the gap to the team mate, which was huge when the pressure of quali and race was on.

    Second choice to Max for similar reasons. Mention for Vandoorne also, great drive.

    The Ferrari was a flying machine this weekend so Vettel did what was expected, and shouldn’t have made the rookie mistake after the chequered flag, has he damaged his Ferrari’s gearbox?

  12. There were 3 outstanding drive(r)s today, all starting with a V: Verstappen, Vettel and Vandoorne.

    This is also the order in which I rated them. Verstappen took the opportunity when it was there and dominated from that point onwards. Toto Wolff even admitted the 12 seconds could’ve been 30 seconds if Verstappen had pushed in his last stint. That’s domination on the level of Mercedes 2015/2016 or Schumacher in his Ferrari days. Besides that, this shows his commitment to always get the maximum out of the car and himself. It sometimes gets the better of him in terms of end result (Hungary) but I do believe he’ll learn to deal with this over the years. I keep referring to Hamilton’s early years, who even lost a championship that way. Anyway, faultless drive of Verstappen today and well deserved victory.

    Vettel was the fastest although we need to remember his tyre strategy was opposite of Ham/Ver. He started on the softs and ended of super-softs. During the first stint Verstappen was quickest most of the time. So combined with the lower fuel levels, he was able to put in the fastest lap ever. Nonetheless, Ferrari was quicker than both RB and Merc and Vettel did everything right to secure 4th. I do need to mention that this is at least the third time this year alone he’s involved in a strange accident that could’ve been avoided. Luckily this time it was after the finish. But if that would cost him a gearbox penalty in Suzuka, he’s the only one to blame. He needs to learn from Hamilton, being wiser and not taking unnecessary risks (like when Verstappen overtook him).

    Vandoorne was largely out of sight from the cameras, but his 5th place right after the start and his consistent drive all the way to the finish to secure 7th is just as controlling and great as Verstappen’s drive to win. Having to only let Perez through is not a shame in any way, Honda vs. Mercedes power is still an unfair comparison and he kept three other Mercedes powered cars behind him, trailed by his McLaren teammate. Speaking of which, it seems to me Vandoorne is getting better and better into the F1 racing rhythm. Where he used to trail Alonso in race pace, lately it seems a more even match with this race being a well deserved ‘victory’ for McLaren.

  13. Seb did a great job today, great team effort from Ferrari. Van Doorne was also good to today. However Max made no errors at all and finished first so my vote goes to Max.

    1. I too voted for Max. Being first is the reward for making the least number of mistakes. Red Bull Racing gave him a good car and great team work. He knew Hamilton would be playing a strategic game, wanting to finish ahead of Vettel, and took advantage of that. Good driving isn’t dramatic driving. He drove well, stayed out of trouble, and won.

  14. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    1st October 2017, 13:50

    I’m probably in the minority with this but I feel Lewis Hamilton was the driver of the weekend. After arguably the worst Friday that Mercedes has experienced this season, he still managed to take pole (yes, granted with Vettel consigned to the garage) despite the Mercedes’ not being particular quick over the single lap (hence Bottas in 5th).

    And then to manage a second place, just 9 seconds off the race win in a car that was essentially melting it’s rear tyres for sheer enjoyment, whilst holding off Ricciardo in the first stint and keeping the gap steady at ~4 seconds. Compare that to Bottas who was nearly a full minute off the race lead.

    He may have been lucky with the misfortune to Vettel, but he drove superbly and salvaged arguably more than Mercedes could have hoped for given their lack of pace.

    1. I thought it was some sort of general agreement that Friday FPs shouldn’t be taken seriously because nobody knows for sure what teams are doing. So, why take what happened Friday so serious? Overall, this weekend ended quite well for them: HAM increased his lead over VET, Mercedes increased their lead over Ferrari. Mega job.

      1. It’s not a precise indicator, but being over a second off the pace isn’t just running a different program. The Mercedes was the third best car by a considerable margin.

      2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        2nd October 2017, 0:53

        Just because other teams don’t necessarily know precisely what other teams are doing, the routines for the Friday sessions are so rehearsed that most teams have a rough idea of what their competitors are up to. Friday sessions are absolutely an essential part of a team’s performance for the race.

        Discrediting the set backs Mercedes had just because it was practice is not right.

    2. Probably still a minority, but I agree. It’s the weekend, so you have to include qualifying where Hamilton put in the best lap. Smart during the race and way ahead of his team mate. Verstappen second best driver. Had Vettel passed Ricciardo, it would have been special. But really the Ferrari pace took him all the way to 4th fairly easily.

  15. I think this was the day of the three V’s with Mentions of Hamilton and Riccardo.
    So I vote for Max great pratice 1 then wrong setup corrected for quali and then an great race to win. (without rain)

  16. Vettel did well that fight back from last and gaining 4th pace without any interference from weather or a Safety Car. He would certainly have gained a podium if he was not forced to tune his final engine back. But the point that made me vote for Vettel over mad Max was that the former got well ahead of Bottas in Merc just on pace and was faster than Hamilton overall.

    Kudos to Mad Max too, of course. Well done.

    1. @loup-garou But Vettel doesn’t overtake Bottas though, he undercut him with pit stop. Vettel actually got position handed over to him after first lap, with him only overtaking Alonso and Magnussen I think. The rest of them just pitting right when Vettel should be behind them in few corners. That’s the partial reason why he can catch up to Bottas so quickly because it almost like he had a clear track.

  17. Many strong candidates this week but ultimately my vote goes to Vandoorne. He beat his well proven team mate without the upgrade Alonso has, both in qualifying and race. In the race, he made a very good start, his race pace is much faster than Alonso and only lose the positions to Perez and Vettel. If people asking who gonna be Max rival in the future when Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso, and Ricciardo retired, Vandoorne is definitely one.

    Another strong candidates this week is obviously:
    – Verstappen who beat his teammate and win the race convincingly.

    – Gasly who never seemed like he’s racing in F1 for the first time. Keeping in touch of Sainz pace since qualifying, who is not a bad driver and deliver what exactly we can expect from STR car. Many established F1 driver like Fisichella, de la Rosa, Salo, and recently di Resta (although to be fair, di Resta doesn’t even get to do practice sessions) is much slower than his teammate when thrown into F1 car. Gasly really did an amazing job this weekend. Franz Tost can sleep better tonight, knowing next year he will have someone that can properly replace Sainz.

    – Hamilton that did everything he should do in what obviously much slower car than Ferrari and Red Bull this weekend: nail it in qualifying, clean getaway, keeping his head in bigger championship picture, and safely bring his car in 2nd position.

    PS: @keithcollantine You still have Kvyat and not Gasly in the vote

  18. My stars would be the top 4, Perez and obviously my DoTW : Vandoorne
    My strugglers would be Bottas and Magnussen (the guy is dangerous)

    Did OK (until crossing the line) : Williams drivers, Ocon, Sainz, Alonso, Gasly (considering)..
    Did Meh : Renault drivers, Grosjean (he did come back to bite his team mate, but that’s more a point on Magnussen)
    No idea how they did : the Saubers, Raikonen (did not see him at all, what was the deal ? :D)

    1. Bottas really seems to be struggling with the way the Mercedes is set-up at the moment. He does not seem to have tools to overcome this. Quite disappointing and off the pace of the other top 5 since the summer break.

  19. I really do not understand all the Vettel voters. He did a fine job in the race today, but with the difference in pace between the top 3 of the teams and the rest of the field achieving P4 was not really special. Especially given the horrible race of Bottas. What happened to him after the summer break?

    I went for Verstappen for keeping his chin up after all the bad luck and 2 very nice battles with the Mercs.

    1. I’d agree it’s what that car should achieve on this track. Last year Rosberg made the podium after being spun at the start. Given he was gifted a position by Hamilton’s retirement that puts Vettel’s performance on par.

    2. Totally agree. Cannot see why Vettel deserved anyone’s vote, compounded by the Stroll incident, he shouldn’t have put himself in that position. Plus he’s lucky not to have been reported for steering wheel.

  20. Great weekend for Verstappen with a deserved win. Vandoorne also did great.

    Think Hamilton got the best result of them all though. Punched well above what that car should have been able to deliver. After all the troubles they had since first practice on Friday, it seemed like a walk in the park for Ferrari. Red Bull also had the legs on them. Yet somehow Hamilton does manage to squeeze out an ultimate lap and grab pole again. Then the other teams and drivers falter around him. Letting Hamilton still take P2 after another weekend that looked like it was going to be P5 at best. End result is that he outscored his closest rival for the WDC by 31 points instead of losing 30 points.

  21. I really wonder where all the votes for Vettel come from. He did not get to show anything qualifying (nt his fault off course) wasnt miles ahead of kimi or the field in FP and managed to crash the car in the slowdown lap.

  22. Vettel, of course. Only a great driver can make what he did, last to four.
    Good also for Verstappen, Vandoorne and Gasly.

    1. @jorge-lardone

      You’d have to include Rosberg in that category then as last year when Vettel hit him and left him facing the wrong way at the back of the grid he recovered to third.

      1. And Rosberg was not a great driver?

        1. Correct. He was a very good driver. You could argue he was an excellent driver but I don’t know how anyone could argue he is one of the greats…

          Anyway Stof on this one for me.

    2. Where was he meant to have finished, working his way up to the last position of top 3 teams (6th) was always going to happen. Then his team mate didn’t start so 5th, and Bottas had very bad w/end so 4th.
      To deserve praise Vettel needed to finish higher than 4th, he didn’t do it, then had Stroll incident.
      Any votes totally undeserved.

  23. Max Verstappen earned it.

  24. Could have picked any of the three Vs, but went with Vandoorne.

    He did make one tiny mistake defending against Perez but aside from that he was very strong all weekend and seemed to manage his race extremely well under pressure. And his mugging of the two Williams was pretty nice too.

  25. Vandoorne for qualy, race and getting out of the box and beating both Williams – maybe the coolest moment of the whole race.

  26. Considering what he went through in those conditions and still dragged the car home in 6th I went for Perez. Looks like I’m on my own (ish).

    1. PS I thought Gasly deserved a mention didn’t he? First drive and all that? Seems nobody else thinks that, so once again I’m pretty much flying solo here. Still, it’s what makes the world go around, or so they tell me.

      1. I completely agree but you know Perez gets no love here.

  27. :D Three V’s of the day all deserve this accolade. But Vettel I think managed to get the most out of the circumstances. Starting dead last to competing for podium…. amazing.

    If he started for pole, most probably this title would go to the other two…

    1. I completely agree with this. I went for Vettel in the end. He showed a good attitude on Saturday when it all went wrong and then produced a fantastic drive to get up to 4th. Would have been 3rd if the tyres had lasted.

  28. In order for me – Stop, looks like he’s getting more comfortable with the car, Lewis did as much as he could if you also balance Bot’s speed and Seb did a great job as well, his car looked head and shoulders above the pack.

  29. Vettel because of the post race clash and the ride-on

  30. Hamilton. Pole with the third fastest car, and second place in the race.

  31. I’m going to vote for Vandorne. Made Alonso look ordinary this weekend.

    However Verstappen is Alonso’s heir and then some. Remember feeling the same when watching Messi and Federer – the kids a genius. Making Danny Ric look second rate. Personally think no one else on the grid could do that to him.

    1. As a fan of Riccardio I would leave Red Bull ASAP. Max is only going to get better and Danny’s stock could take some punishing.

  32. My contenders for driver of the weekend were Verstappen, Vettel and Vandoorne, now that I have written it out I see it is all the drivers with a surname beginning with V.

    Verstappen has had a terrible season with reliability and other problems, I believe it was mentioned that he had completed the fewest racing laps of anyone, and half that of the driver with the most.

    He had no car troubles this weekend, and Red Bull were probably the most competitive they have been all season which allowed him to take a fine victory.

    Car problems meant that Vettel couldn’t put a lap in in qualifying but the Ferrari seemed to be the quickest car this weekend and given the nature of the circuit, even though he was starting at the back of the grid, before the Grand Prix I thought that in a normal race Vettel could manage about a fifth place finish, and with Raikkonen not starting that was upgraded to a fourth.

    After a brilliant debut for Vandoorne last year when he filled in for Alonso, he hasn’t impressed that much so far this season, but his teammate, Alonso, is one of, if not the, toughest teammate he could possibly have in his first full season, especially with all the problems with the McLaren Honda this year.

    This weekend he outperformed Alonso in both qualifying and the race and finished seventh, it is unlikely that the McLaren would have finished any higher unless other dropped out.

    I think all three drivers I listed had great drives, but Verstappen’s and Vettel’s performances did not surprise me, they are both established as top F1 drivers, while Vandoorne is still more potential at the moment and that is why his performance stood out the most this weekend and why voted for him as my driver of the weekend.

    I also think that Gasly deserves a mention, considering it was his Grand Prix debut and first time in the Toro Rosso he did not look out of place, and given Kvyat’s recent performances in relation to Sainz I don’t think that Kvyat, would have done much better if he had not been replaced.

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