Start, Suzuka, 2018

Vote for your 2018 Japanese Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend

2018 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

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.

Who was the best driver of the 2018 Japanese Grand Prix weekend?

  • No opinion (2%)
  • Charles Leclerc (1%)
  • Marcus Ericsson (1%)
  • Stoffel Vandoorne (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (1%)
  • Kevin Magnussen (1%)
  • Romain Grosjean (2%)
  • Brendon Hartley (0%)
  • Pierre Gasly (0%)
  • Carlos Sainz Jnr (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Sergey Sirotkin (0%)
  • Lance Stroll (0%)
  • Esteban Ocon (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (7%)
  • Max Verstappen (9%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (31%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (0%)
  • Sebastian Vettel (1%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (43%)

Total Voters: 267

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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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58 comments on “Vote for your 2018 Japanese Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend”

  1. For me, it is between:
    Lewis Hamilton
    Max Verstappen
    Daniel Ricciardo
    Sergio Perez
    Romain Grosjean.

    In the end, I went for Perez for all those overtakes he did, without being in a Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull

    1. Even when the rest of his weekend was great, Verstappen should not be in this list due to his driving into Raikkonen. Even Vettel knows that when you make a mistake you only return to the track when its safe to do so (even when that meant last for him).

      1. Kimi Raikkonen admits he could have given Max Verstappen more space to avoid Suzuka clash “In an ideal world I could have left a bit more [space],” said Raikkonen. “I tried to go outside and leave him as much room as possible. I know that sometime when you come back over the kerbs it’s impossible to turn the car after you bounce over it and I don’t know if that was the case.I don’t think he purposely tried to hit anybody. If we both would be on the circuit next to each other he wouldn’t squeeze me because we all know what would happen.”


        1. Damm l hope Reno can get a fast reliable car happening for Danric over for 2020 his badluck has been a shocker this have 4 top drivers on diff teams would be great for us

      2. The problem is that it is a chicane. He had no choice how to rejoin the track, his car was on the slippery stuff in a straight line towards the exit of the second turn, fighting for grip and control. Once he was back on the grey stuff he steered left full lock, as can be seen on the onboard.

        The penalty was correct, as he did brake late and steered in in a way that inevitably brought him back on track the way it happened. The unsafe re-entry is a result of braking late and still steering into the corner.
        Max could have chosen to go straight, then cede te position. But he did not. However, he did not mean to force Kimi off.

        However, if you look at what happpened in and after Corner 3 in Austria (Kimi ran wide off track trying to take the lead, then rejoined and moved all the way to the other side of the track to squeeze Max off track) I’d say that if Max got punished for this, then Kimi is overdue for a penalty too. That one was deliberate.

        1. “He had no choice how to rejoin the track” – did he have a choice of how he left the track – was there, perhaps, an overshoot road that he could have used? Could he not slow down while off track? It was Max’s responsibility to ensure that he rejoined safely; not Kimi’s responsibility to give way.

    2. +1 it was hard but i went for Lewis too but those drivers you mentioned !

  2. Hamilton had a stellar weekend and just sent Ferrari into a tail spin right from FP1. Would have bagged a grand slam too but a shame Vettel managed to sneak in fastest lap at the end.

  3. By every objective measure, Lewis is DotW since Germany. With the exception of Belgium. Although I think Belgium was a masterclass of car preservation which enabled harder running in following races.

    Genuine question, if you were up against Lewis right now, what is there left, in terms of weaknesses, to exploit?

    1. Well give a better driver than Bottas he same car and we’ll see. Or not of course

    2. Even Russia?

      1. Definitely not including Russia! Sorry, jumped the gun in counting things there…

  4. It’s an easy one for me. Max brought the fight to Bottas with a car that was 3rd quickest, damaged and suffered from engine troubles. And got a podium while doing so.

    1. For me, it’s easily Bottas, defended from Max on cold, less optimum tyres and got a podium while doing so. That alone deserves driver of the weekend by a mile. Loool

      1. I don’t think Alonso agrees, @lums.
        (wait for the radio highlights to hear his reasoning)

        1. Hahaha, I dont think Kimi agrees with Patrick @anunaki as well on Max deserving DoTW, but hey, we all see things differently. I picked LH for obvious reasons.

          1. I thought you voted for Bottas (based on your comment above), @lums.

            PS – I don’t think voting for Hamilton is that ‘obvious’, see my reasoning below.

          2. Lewis drove perfectly and clean in by far the best car. Max has to fight with all that he has to bring the fight to the front. I prefer that everyday

    2. It’s an easy one for me. Max

      Given your previous posting I’m pretty sure Verstappen could have pulled into his grid slot after the formation lap, switched is engine off, got out off his car, walked to the grandstand, kicked a small child in the face and then went home and you’d still be here saying “It’s an easy one for me. Max” :)

      1. I vote more often than not for other drivers instead of Max

        Yes I’m a Max fan but I also like F1 in general

        I must be because we never had a serious driver before and I watch from 1996

    3. LOL what engine troubles? Max just likes to moan! Dan had the Spec C as well and was able to slice through the field beautifully! :-)

      1. Thanks to safety car!

      2. Daniel had the same problems….

  5. DOTW: Hamilton, DOTD: Ricciardo.

    1. Big facts

  6. Lewis. Dominated everything since FP1.

  7. Perez. Best of the rest. Hamilton was unchallenged. It was the car rather than him as Bottas finished second relatively easily.

    1. So the same if Bottas had taken pole and finished first?

  8. Hamilton, then Ricciardo. Verstappen’s back-to-dumb-basics move on Raikkonen gets him a demotion.

  9. Great weekend by Hamilton, but it was made easy due to the failing Ferrari’s.
    And I’m still a bit p’d off by the Mercedes team. Last week he was allowed to pass due to blistering tyres; and now Bottas had blistering tyres and he was not allowed to pass. Mercedes (and Ferrari) makes it too easy for Hamilton to be automatically awarded DOTW when he wins.

    Ricciardo did not really lose in quali (Q1 is like a walk in the park for them; VER just walked a bit faster), and he had a great race, with his typical late dive overtakes (much cleaner than Vettel) and catching Verstappen even when on slower tyres. Ricciardo’s got my vote.

    1. So you put in caveat because Ferrari screwed up their weekend? So was Lewis meant to have driven the Ferrari’s as well?

      1. Just out of interest: have you ever commented on anything that was not about Hamilton?

    2. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
      8th October 2018, 11:57

      Short of a Hungary 2017 esque final straight before he finish line swap, there was no way Lewis could let Bottas by without losing position to Max, he was simply too close.

      Absolutely no point in doing that.

  10. Has to be Vettel!

    Oh wait, this is not for Reject of the Race.

  11. I can’t think of any driver that stood out today, nearly everyone apart from the ‘different level’ Mercedes had issues.

    1. Headline said “of the weekend”, not the race.

  12. Although Ves tought Rai and Vet a lesson in F1 driving and finishing in front of both my vote goes to Ric. Great guy, great race, great mentality.

  13. Sergio Perez. Again the best of the rest, the winner of Japan Grand Prix Formula 1B Championship.
    Good weekend also by Hamilton (champion 2018), Bottas and Grosjean.

  14. I’m still waiting for a weekend where both Grosjean and KMag drive well at the same time. I bet Steiner is too

    1. I’m giving it to RoGro for his great run of form – Q3 in the last 10 races and qualifying this race best of the rest and looking very comfortable until the VSC. (Not sure what happened there, whether it was RoGro, car/FIA telemetry, Checo, or something else – hopefully we’ll find out!)

  15. Hamilton 1 every1 else is last. Hahahahha! Just a joke ppl. Perez was also very good.

  16. Hamilton. He’s in unbeatable form at the moment and I honestly couldn’t imagine which driver would have beat him this weekend.

  17. Leclerc for me he showed some real talent and I would not be surprised if Vettel losses his no1 status next year.
    Ricciardo second, good come back and showed how to pass without being hit or hitting others. Also was lapping faster than his team mate most of the race.
    Joker card goes to Verstappen. He has driven well over the last couple of races but in Japan he just went back to his usual crash or crash through attitude topped of with a slightly over blown sense of entitlement.


      Also was lapping faster than his team mate most of the race.

      Down Under Reality distortion playing up i see. maybe you should look at the statistics before you talk about these things.

      1. Yes it shows Ricciaedo caught Verstappen.

  18. Has to be Lewis.

  19. Just 50 comments? This has to be the dampest DOTW thread ever.

    I can sense an air of resignation that Lewis is inevitably winning the championship this year. Deep down, it is like people wanted anyone but Lewis to win it; and make no mistake, this is not about any Mercedes domination.

    It is about a Lewis domination.

    1. (@kbdavies) I can say honestly that I do not mind Hamilton winning…I would like to see him have to fight for it though. He is a very good driver in a very good car.
      There are several other very good drivers who in equal cars would be able to take the fight to Hamilton.
      But for various reasons that has not been forthcoming.

      1. But people complained the same way when Rosberg took the fight to Hamilton – taking the championship to the wire twice. This is the very definition of a driver in an EQUAL car. This season, Ferrari and Vettel definitely taken the fight to Mercedes and Hamilton.

        That Lewis has emerged victorious should not negate that.

        1. (@kbdavies)

          But people complained the same way when Rosberg took the fight to Hamilton

          I didn’t, like I said there are several drivers on the grid who could equal Hamilton. Ferrari seem to have trouble working out a coherent strategy at the moment, taking the fight to Merc is out of the question.

          1. I said there are several drivers on the grid who could equal Hamilton.

            I have never understood this statement whenever i see it. Alonso is the only driver we can claim ever “equaled” Hamilton, who was in his rookie year by the way!

            No other teammate has ever “equaled” him. Kovalinen didn’t. Jenson didn’t. Rosberg didn’t, and Bottas certainly didn’t. Unless we are now entering the realm of conjecture and mere hypotheses; then i can understand that.

  20. Meh, hard to say here, many people had anonymous or bad races, verstappen was very good and went for him in the end, I don’t consider him at fault for vettel’s crash, he left him enough space, ofc a mistake with raikkonen but overall a better race than him.

    Hamilton did just his duty, he’s the number 1 driver on the best car and just drove to the chequered flag, bottas obviously doesn’t deserve it this time cause he was destroyed by hamilton.

    Ricciardo and grosjean also did a good job, but ricciardo eventually didn’t have verstappen’s pace and even without the qualifying issue wouldn’t have kept up with him for all the race (there was a point he was close), grosjean ofc was good but like hamilton feels like he did his job as best of the rest with probably the best midfield car.

  21. It was yet another top performance from Hamilton who dominated all weekend, and with Vettel and Ferrari again underperforming and making mistakes a fifth world title for Hamilton is within reach and he could seal it next time out in the US.

    This weekend it was the turn of Ricciardo to put in a good come back drive after starting out of position down the grid. A car failure in Q2 meant he started the race down in 15th but managed to still make his way up to a fourth place finish.

    My vote could have gone it to either Hamilton or Ricciardo, but in the end I decided to vote for Ricciardo.

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