Vote for your 2017 Japanese Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend

2017 Japanese Grand Prix

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Which Formula One driver made the most of the Japanese 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 Suzuka.

Driver performance summary

Driver Started Finished Race change Lap 1 change Highest position Lowest position Gap to team mate*
Lewis Hamilton 1 1 0 0 1 3 -10.58
Valtteri Bottas 6 4 +2 0 1 6 10.58
Daniel Ricciardo 3 3 0 -2 1 5 8.468
Max Verstappen 4 2 +2 +2 2 4 -8.468
Sebastian Vettel 2 -1 3 15
Kimi Raikkonen 10 5 +5 -5 4 15
Sergio Perez 7 7 0 0 6 12 3.636
Esteban Ocon 5 6 -1 +1 3 11 -3.636
Felipe Massa 8 10 -2 0 7 14
Lance Stroll 15 +4 11 18
Fernando Alonso 20 11 +9 +3 10 17 -16.467
Stoffel Vandoorne 9 14 -5 -9 14 18 16.467
Carlos Sainz Jnr 19
Pierre Gasly 14 13 +1 +2 8 14
Romain Grosjean 13 9 +4 0 7 13 0.93
Kevin Magnussen 12 8 +4 +2 8 14 -0.93
Nico Hulkenberg 11 +2 5 12
Jolyon Palmer 18 12 +6 +4 8 15
Marcus Ericsson 16 0 14 16
Pascal Wehrlein 17 15 +2 -2 15 19

    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

    Lewis Hamilton was voted Driver of the Weekend for the Japanese Grand Prix with 37.5% of the vote.

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    When this poll is closed the result will be displayed instead of the voting form.

    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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    36 comments on “Vote for your 2017 Japanese Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend”

    1. Gone for Ocon, best of the rest in qualifying, and made a great start up to 3rd in the race but unfortunately couldn’t keep it, but still ended up as best of the rest in the race too. Can’t do any better than that, very impressive.

      1. Agree with that @hugh11, Ocon had a very good weekend once again. Hamilton and Verstappen where both solid, and one of them will likely win this poll, but Ocon deserves an accolade.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          9th October 2017, 13:54

          @bosyber @hugh11 The only problem with Ocon was that Perez was able to close in on him too soon and I think the team decided to let them finish in their respective positions so they could both be in the points. If that was the case then Perez seemed to have more pace in the race. Still impressive from Ocon but usually the limelight fades when your teammate is right behind you. Same for Magnussen. On the other hand, perhaps the safety cars caused that.

          1. @freelittlebirds Ocon himself said that after RIC and RAI got past him, there wasn’t so much to gain, especially after Hulk got stuck behind the Massa group then was out with his DRS issue I guess, so anyway, he more or less put it in maintain speed, don’t stress the engine mode and felt he could have countered Perez.

            Magnussen was stuck, with a lot of people, behind the always hard to pass Massa (personally, I think Massa is great at keeping people behind, better than at making sure he goes forward himself, so ultimately somewhat self-defeating …), but then did the move himself, and after that they were well behind the Force India’s so again, time to keep it on track and go for those good points, especially after a couple of tough races from the team.

            1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
              10th October 2017, 17:44

              @bosyber that’s a great point about Massa – I still remember him from 2011 with Hamilton.

      2. Also voted Ocon aggressive start and excellent drive.

        Force India is a great team to complete your first full season with. Solid reliability, sensible strategy, nearly always getting the maximum points available.

    2. I chose Verstappen. All of sudden he is on par with Hamilton for two races in a row, and Ricciardo doesnt seem to have that pace. Very impressive stuff from Max.

      Also a big thumbs up to that other youngster, Esteban Ocon. Good steady performance.

      1. Voted : Max


        Yeah completely agree, it is crazy how their laptimes matched towards the end, they were playing with that 2.5 second gap and mind games too.

    3. ILuvSoundtracks (@)
      8th October 2017, 15:16

      Max Verstappen.

    4. DOTW is Hamilton, DOTD is Verstappen. So I voted for Hamilton.

      Hamilton pushed for a great pole, on a circuit that is clearly not a favourite of him seeing his track record here. In the race, he did make some minor mistakes such as locking up and not taking enough risk with clearing the back markers. However, this victory was well deserved and he held well with the almost continuous pressure from Verstappen. The gap was never more than 5 seconds I believe. The fact that Bottas made way for him after the pit stops doesn’t change the great race, especially knowing Hamilton had to nurture his tyres in the last 5-10 laps.

      Verstappen was a bit better in the race, he didn’t make any mistake as far as broadcasting showed and the team made the perfect pit stop, faster than Hamilton and Ricciardo. He also handled his tyres perfectly and was allround faster than his teammate, as was Hamilton obviously. Ultimately he was not able to profit from Bottas holding Hamilton up after their pit stop or the traffic near the end, but that wouldn’t deserve a victory in the end either. Verstappen is on a roll and the upcoming two races are favourites of his, so if the car is capable enough, we might see another victory from him this year. Especially striking is his form against Ricciardo, who doesn’t seem to have lost any speed which can be easily seen if you compare him to Bottas, therefore it’s all the more impressive how Verstappen is performing. Currently he matches Hamilton in every aspect except qualifying. However, Hamilton has been able to keep this up the whole season except for maybe one or two races in the first half of the year.

      1. Good analysis. I would say Max has matched him in qualifying as well though, when comparing team mates. Hopefully Renault gets that engine overdrive mode working next year, so RB and McLaren can join the qualifying battles.

      2. So IF Ham wins the wdc it will be like Max is also a 4 time wdc? What’s the point in actually being valued for what you achieve at a certain level at a certain amount of time, popcorn generation logic isn’t worth the butter you put in it

        1. It looks like you are criticising your own post.

    5. MAG did very well today. A fantastic overtake on Massa. He ditnt saw him comming….

      1. Yeah a month ago he asked Hulk to do something with it,

        with this move he proved he had it !


    6. Voted for KMag. Absolute maximum in qualy and race. And the superb Massa overtake was the icing on the cake. He’s an aggressive driver just the way I like’em. Now, Ocon was a worthy contender(same as KMag maximum possible result in both qualy and race) but he’s the opposite of KMag. Too calculating, too Prost-esque. For many that would be a compliment but not me. If I want to see professors I go to a lecture not to watch an F1 race.

      Hamilton was superb but his main competition wasn’t there. RBR are not really a match for Merc yet. MV was excellent in the race but lot to DR in qualy and therefore cannot be the DoTW.

      1. You have a good point on Magnussen; again outdid his teammate too, that move on Massa was probably the best of the race.

    7. I am thinking Ocon and Verstappen, but both got beaten in quali. Hamilton? Probably, although to what extend he profited from Bottas remains up in the air. Winner by default, I guess.

      1. Missed that Ocon beat Perez, nevermind. Voting Ocon.

      2. Meh. Bottas owed him a position from Hungary. ;)

      3. Quali for RBR was not a direct fight, both cars where set-up differently.

        Ric chose for a low downforce set-up, this benifit him in a low fuel car and therefore got the better chance in quali.
        Ver chose a high downforce set-up, more pace in corners and better handling when the car is heavier.

        The difference between them 0.026 sec, the split screen showed the clear difference in where they performed better.

    8. Despite not making the points I’d have considered Alonso for this. He’s generally a good bet these days for most positions made up. But landing himself a penalty for the blue flags isn’t something I’d expect from his level of driving.

      I think the vote for Verstappen as the driver of the day is fair. He grabbed those positions beautifully and put the Mercedes under threat with pace that Ricciardo didn’t seem to have an answer for. He did get out qualified though which while it may have been down to the setup difference between him and Ricciardo, stops it being a perfect weekend.

      Hamilton had a fairly fuss-free race which didn’t look much on the outside, but ultimately his gap over Bottas set him apart so he takes my vote.

    9. Voted for MAG – that boy really do have big balls…!!!!
      The overtake of MAS was do great – THE overtake of the race!!! He showed some class today…
      But suppose it will end up as usual on F1.fanatic driver points: A Strugler.. as he didn’t win a podium… (as if in that slow car…)

      Anyway that was the peak of the race for me!!!

      1. It s a good move. But he couldn t shake off his team mate, again.

        1. He was 5.5 sek in front when MAS stopped him – then his tyres was done because of missing downforce – think GRO should be lucky that MAG took that dive on MAS – it opened the door for both of them – it was a damn good dive from MAG…he is ice cold that boy… and the reason to watch the race…fantastic!

        2. @tango What is your point with that? Grosjaen claimed to be faster but the lap chart show that it was not the case. They were equally fast and yet Magnussen cleared Grosjean from DRS after the overtake on Massa and controlled his teammate behind him with a .93 sec gap at the chequered flag.

    10. Voted for Kimi, what u say? I like both HAAS drivers, Ocon and Perez and Kimi, always hopeful for P. Massa as well. Seb V. has got to feel very disappointed and depressed beyond belief and the last thing he needs is a bunch of moron interviewers asking how does he feel now that the championship is practically impossible and so on ad nausea. Ferrari has somehow managed to really mess things up just when they were just getting most interesting. I suppose I feel sorry for Ferrari as well as it seems they are
      truly totally clueless as to what the problem is and obviously the problem is with both cars. Thanks, Racer Norriski

    11. Stroll and Palmer the biggest movers in the race at +4 each, does this mean they are the best racers?

      or the worst qualifiers?

    12. HAM for me, yes he has the best best or second best machine on the grid, but he has been very smart recently, didn’t overdrive the thing and risk an engine blow up or something, also he pushed his next competitor to kill his tyres by giving him a glimpse of hope with his radio message “I’m losing the rears”.

    13. I went for Max, that move at the start was clean and decisive and he kept the pressure on. He even checked if he was ok to push for the win, does that sound like a hotheaded youngster or a future WDC? I’m going for the latter.

    14. Hamilton was majestic, but I have to give it to Ocon. Another stellar weekend and he showed he isn’t afraid to get his elbows out by sticking that cheeky move on Ricciardo on lap 1.

    15. Not easy this weekend. So what i did is not look at performance but simply asked myself what made me get up in the morning and see the show. I found out that I wanted to see battles between Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. Most of this a battle between Max and Lewis. Lewis is certainly the best at the moment but Max put up the glove and is getting closer and closer. As being Dutch I voted for Max but both deserved this honour.

      1. Same here :)

    16. Hi Keith, it’s possible the problem is on my end but for the past couple of weeks I’ve been getting the following error repeated 20 times (I assume 1 for each driver) on your Driver Of The Weekend Page:
      “Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, integer given in /home/f1fantatic/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wp-polls/wp-polls.php on line 640”

      I get the error using the following browsers:
      Firefox 42
      Internet Exploer 11.1
      Vivaldi 1.11
      Comodo Dragon 45.8
      Comodo Ice Dragon 42.0
      Pale Moon 25.1
      I’m running Win 7 64 bit

      1. @keithcollantine – I had this too, in Chrome on Android yesterday. Assumed it was a server outage.

    17. The drivers which I thought stood out this weekend were Hamilton and Ocon

      Ocon was best of the rest in qualifying and the race behind the top teams, he had a great start getting up to third at one point but as it was unlikely he would be able to maintain that position throughout the race a sixth place finish was a still good result.

      Hamilton dominated qualifying to add to his record number of poles with his first at Suzuka, it wasn’t as comfortable for him on Sunday in the race, the increased temperatures meant he didn’t have the same advantage he had the previous day, but he didn’t make any mistakes and took the victory.

      Hamilton has been in great form since the summer break and he has been on my short list for driver of the weekend for most of those Grand Prix, although he only got my vote for the Belgium weekend out of those, but I think he was the best again overall last time out in Japan and so I voted for Hamilton.

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