Start, Sochi Autodrom, 2019

Vote for your 2019 Russian Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend

2019 Russian Grand Prix

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2019 Russian Grand Prix interactive data: lap charts, times and tyresWhich Formula One driver made the most of the Russian 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 three days.

Review how each driver got on below and vote for who impressed you the most at Sochi Autodrom.

Driver performance summary

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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 2019 Russian Grand Prix weekend?

  • No opinion (0%)
  • Robert Kubica (0%)
  • George Russell (0%)
  • Pierre Gasly (0%)
  • Daniil Kvyat (0%)
  • Antonio Giovinazzi (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (0%)
  • Lance Stroll (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (3%)
  • Lando Norris (1%)
  • Carlos Sainz Jnr (26%)
  • Kevin Magnussen (2%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (1%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Alexander Albon (14%)
  • Max Verstappen (0%)
  • Charles Leclerc (9%)
  • Sebastian Vettel (21%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (2%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (20%)

Total Voters: 260

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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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47 comments on “Vote for your 2019 Russian Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend”

  1. I voted for Sainz. I rate him as both the DOTW and the DOTD this time.

    1. If Sainz doesn’t come out on top of this pole I will eat my hat. He was absolutely superb all weekend.

    2. Me too, love to see Sainz killin’ it in a McLaren!

  2. It’s got to be either:

    The guy that beat his team-mate into T1 and pulled away (setting fastest lap after fastest laP), then got shafted by the team leaving him out only to suffer an MGU-K failure.


    The guy that snatched the win when Ferrari were too busy working out which of their drivers they should let take the win.

    Either choice is fine tbh but once we had the VSC, SC and Vettel went out, there wasn’t really a race left.

    1. The race is not just for the win; there are good battles throughout the field.

  3. Can someone explain to me how a driver who (1.) used slipstream at the start as (2.) was expected and (3.) even agreed with Team, and who (4.) then gave this team the Finger, when they asked him to stick to the plan, and who (5.) subsequently retired with engine problem, is voted Driver of the Day on F1 official website?

    I have already ranted here about the ridiculousness of either poll or voters (or both), but I can’t stay silent when I see how low the standards fell.

    I don’t say that driver was bad, not at all, but he did NOTHING so special to be voted DotD.
    The poll on this site usually follows the lead of the one mentioned above…

    1. He had the best start, was the fastest on track and was f#€&@ by his team. Lots of reasons.
      The whining of lec did probably help too
      Bur driver of the weekend is a different mather.

    2. Can somebody explain to me why some people consider themselves experts on defining Best Driver when they base that primarily on team agreements/strategy and engine failures.

      I always thought that Best Driver should be based on the pure driving performance cancelling out the car’s strength/weaknesses. If anything backmarkers should get bonus points as they probably have to have much more skills than those front runners who claim that their car was ‘like running on rails’.

    3. isaac (@invincibleisaac)
      29th September 2019, 21:49

      @dallein – Usually the Driver Of The Day is decided by the fans based on who was the most entertaining (which shouldn’t really be the case but it happens anyway). If Vettel had just moved over for Leclerc then the race would’ve been much less exciting, so Vettel’s decisions and radio comments made the race more interesting for many (I presume) and so he was voted DotD.

    4. I don’t know if voters here are biased by those on the official F1 pole result or not. I know I don’t pay any attention to it, I base my opinion on the video, which usually I see some hours after the GP. In fact I often consider the official pole to be biased and unreliable. I suspect the elapsed time after the race and the posting of this pole lets people think a bit and to read some of the articles generated from the race, so giving our voters a better appreciation of what’s happened and why, and to be less lead by the commentary team. Okay, so I’m biased, but I think our pole is better.
      Currenty (84 votes including mine) Carlos Sainz (30%) is ahead of Lewis Hamilton (25%), while Vettel (20%) is third. Maybe the reason Vettel got such a good rating is because the commentary team mentioned several times how he impressed them.
      One can argue the race winner is the one who got the most things right, and 25% of the voters chose Hamilton, so presumably they followed that argument. That is my “If I don’t know who to choose” method. In this case Sainz is leading the pole. I don’t know why others voted that way, but he was my DOTW. I chose him because I felt he was the best of “the rest”.

      1. Well, it’s now another day later, with 246 votes cast, and while I am good with Sainz still being ahead at 26%, I cannot agree with Vettel apparently having 1% more than Hamilton (at 21% vs. 20%).

        Vettel just didn’t do the Saturday as good as his teammate, and apart from the good start, yes he was as crafty as he has been in his WDC years, but he was only ahead by making the deal and not sticking to it (which he should now know, Ferrari, unlike Red Bull, do not let you try more than once), and faster only bc. on this track dirty air does a lot (hence Leclerc being falling back from him, and unable to pass Bottas) – had his MGU-K not failed, Leclerc likely would have won and be a hero, and he’d be 2nd but having lost a lot of support in the eyes of the team.

        Hamilton did the best he could on Saturday, better than his teammate, kept close enough to Leclerc that Vettel could play the delay game semi-credibly so they needed to undercut w. Leclerc, which wasn’t the ideal Ferrari strategy, and then when luck favoured him, never looked back. Especially coming from him, one might well say ‘nothing special’, but no negatives there.

        Anyway, Sainz is looking good this year, maybe not so much on the Saturdays where he’s being beaten quite regularly, but certainly in the races, where the right combination of raciness, aggression, caution, tyre preservation and a dosis of luck/grabbing chances has lifted him up on the points table (esp. compared to Norris), and he did it here too.

    5. F1oSaurus (@)
      1st October 2019, 19:48

      @dallein It was even worse when the same driver was voted DOTD after he clumsily ran into Bottas at the start in France, then instead of fighting for P2 or even P1 (since he had the better race pace) he ended up almost a lap down in P5 as effectively “last” (of the remaining top tier F1 cars).

      So by his own blunder, he dropped from fighting for the win to “last” and he was rewarded for a great “comeback drive” (to last position!).

      These polls are just complete nonsense.

      Take this poll here too. Sainz finished exactly where he would be expected to finish, but when he does it, it’s a great drive.

  4. Voted for Albon. Pitlane start to P5 is a good effort with good overtaking and a good bounceback from a bad qualifying. He’s been super impressive given his inexperience and the pressure he’s under. Quietly performing well with two 5th’s and two 6th’s.

    1. Albon? Seriously guys, it’s driver of the weekend, not of the race!
      He had a good race for sure, but was way off the pace on friday and saturday and even crashed unnecessarily in Q1.

      Sainz/Hamilton/Perez/Verstappen/Vettel/Leclerc all have more right for the title.

      1. He only benefited by the VSC, before that he was unable to overtake midfielders so I should say he just got lucky in a redbull…

      2. @jesperfey13 I know but I voted on him too @rocketpanda. Car change mid-season, up against someone that has the RB and this gen of cars mastered, binned it in Q on a similar mistake to max in fp, shows he is pushing, gets the pitlane start on the worst track for it, fights the angry STR drivers valiantly. the sc made the rise to 5th possible but he had taken most of the midfield by then.

  5. Nyck de Vries, no doubt, for clinching the F2 title in style with 3 races to go.

    What, F1? Well, nobody really excelled, no? Vettel was fastest, but got lucky with the tow at the start, then got unlucky with the insulation of the electric components in his car. Leclerc was not as fast as Vettel. Hamilton won, but only because of the VSC. Bottas did well for a number 2, no more. The rest couldn’t touch the top 4.

    1. What a negative view to have. There were many great drives today. Hamilton won because he was able to stay within 3 seconds of a faster car on quicker tyres. Had he only matched Bottas pace there’s no way he would have won, so to say he only won because of the VSC is doing him a huge discredit and is completely wrong. His qualifying lap was epic to split the Ferraris and beat his teammate by 0.6 especially when Bottas it usually strong at this track. Sainz did an amazing job today too. A good recovery from Albon (although yesterday rules him out of DOTW for me personally)

      1. Don’t know what Ham did that was so special. Ham went from very unlucky to very lucky to very unlucky to very lucky. Karma swings hard on him, 07 then 08, walk on the desert and weird penalties to escaping that 2013 mclaren and landing on the 2014 regs, and lots of freebies like today.

      2. I agree. Lewis consistency put him in the right spot to grab the opportunity.

  6. Went for Sainz, fantastic result. Great quali, mighty start, untouchable in the F1.5 field. It was a flawless weekend and good points brought home!

  7. Lenny (@leonardodicappucino)
    29th September 2019, 21:46

    I’m confused as to the many votes for Hamilton and Vettel, and don’t understand why there are so few for Leclerc. Leclerc was dominant in quali, taking pole by almost half a second, and then allowed Vettel the slipstream at the start in a pre-concieved plan after which Vettel defied team orders, and then he was unlucky with Vettel’s retirement gifting the Mercs the win. Vettel, as said was outqualified by his teammate by almost half a second, and ignored team orders after being helped into the lead. However, he was very quick when out in front, so I do understand there being some support for him, but 23% (the current percentage) overrates his drive quite a lot. Hamilton didn’t have a bad weekend, but it wasn’t particularly good either. He would have finished third had it not been for Vettel’s retirement and the subsequent safety car. For me though, the only proper winner is Sainz. He qualified 6th, came home in 6th, and generally didn’t put a foot wrong all weekend.

    1. Ok ok ok ok ok, so i’m just gonna ask, because with all this talk about Ferrari agreements on the start and so on…
      How exactly was Leclerc going to NOT give Vettel a tow? (Short of breaking down immediately which, lets face it, is kind of the Ferrari way)

      1. How exactly was Leclerc going to NOT give Vettel a tow?

        Move to the inside to give Hamilton the tow instead. Had he done that that it is very unlikely Vettel would have got passed at T1

        1. You do realize Vettel can follow the car in front don’t you?

          1. F1oSaurus (@)
            1st October 2019, 19:50

            @mrboerns No he can not since Hamilton would have been there already

    2. @leonardodicappucino Agreed but I don’t rate sainz jr, can only think what a good driver could do on that car on a race track that has always been good for mclaren.

      1. Not bad weekend for a pay driver. Isn’t it? So… Did Norris do a crappy job against a driver you aren’t able to rate? You just make my day as always.

  8. Sainz, excellent overall performance even without the advantage of fresher tires as he pitted before de VSC as Albon did. Once again Sky commentators continue to almost ignore him during the race.

  9. Sainz or Perez for me. Both seemed to get the maximum out of their weekends despite the safety car period actually working against them. Went for Sainz overall as we saw a bit more of him, probably had a better qualifying and was briefly challenging the Mercs for P3/4, before inevitably falling back.

    Lots of shenanigans happening at the front, but don’t think any of them were perfect this weekend.

  10. Bottas. He kept the world’s best driver behind him from the restart to the end.

    1. Also, BOT started 5 finished 2 which is +3 positions with no one helping him.

    2. Since when is Leclerc best driver of the world? Did we forget of Hamilton?

  11. Went with sainz, all those highly voted (also hamilton, vettel, albon) had good races, but let’s not forget vettel was terrible in qualifying, hamilton did the best he could both in qualifying and in the race, just like sainz, even challenging top cars, and albon, although he satisfied me with his recovery, ultimately did what is expected from the car, he’s doing better than gasly no question and at this point I believe kvyat wouldn’t be able to do better either.

  12. I thought Sainz or Hamilton. Can’t really think of anything significant that either of them could have done better.

    1. I think the same. Both did it great making no mistakes at all.

  13. Vettel for being a decent driver again. Last two races after Ferrari fixed the car, he’s been him old self again. Maybe something clicked in his head aswell.

    Nobody else really provided me any entertainment really. Though they did try, Lewis with his fastest lap, Seinz with being awesome and Leclerc by being a drama cry baby – not something that would win many votes.

  14. isaac (@invincibleisaac)
    30th September 2019, 9:43

    Voted for Sainz. A simple choice really – great qualifying in 6th and made a mega start to challenge P3. Kept Bottas behind for a few laps and although the Red Bulls inevitably overtook him, P6 was the best realistic result for him – “Best of the rest”. Out-paced his highly-rated team-mate and don’t see how he could’ve done much better.

    1. I as leaning towards Sainz as well, @invincibleisaac. But then I read your reasoning, and for the same reasons (best he could do, and outracing a rookie team-mate) it should have been Verstappen.
      The only difference is that from Verstappen (in a Red Bull) we expect this and from Sainz it’s still a pleasant surprise.

      Hamilton had a solid race but did nothing special. He needs to race away from Bottas (who I do not rate that highly) too earn a DOTW.
      Vettel had a great race. Yes the start was to be expected, but he was able to stay well ahead of Leclerc (others were able to close within 1sec to the car in front). But how can het get an DOTW if losing out on Saturday, even to a slower car.
      Leclerc though (as mentioned by @leonardodicappucino) does deserve a nomination for DOTW: stellar quali, and very solid race making the undercut work. Only the VSC advantage caused him to lose the win. The only reason I did not vote for him is because he should’ve been a bit more determined when trying to overtake Bottas.

      Albon. Solid race and glad for the guy that he brought in the points for Red Bull and great overtake on Sainz. But how can anybody consider him a DOTW candidate after what happened on Saturday.

      In the end I did not vote as there was no stand-out DOTW IMO.

      1. isaac (@invincibleisaac)
        30th September 2019, 12:55

        @coldfly – some good points made there! In regards to why I chose Sainz over Verstappen, yes Max got the best result he could, however I feel that Sainz had a closer race to get the maximum result. Perez and Magnussen both showed strong pace and weren’t too far behind Sainz, however Red Bull were in their usual no-man’s-land – being 30 secs ahead of the midfielders but too far off the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers.

  15. Typically Lewis has to perform a miracle, starting from way back and just doing the impossible to get Voted #1. Leclerc or Verstappen can land a podium or win from pole and they get it yet Hamilton would never get it under those conditions. Looking at the entire season I think it’s wrong to say that Mercedes have totally dominated. Not even close . Ferrari was the fastest package at Azerbaijan, they could have won Canada , also Austria as well as Spa, Monza, Russia for sure. RedBull also have been on par on a few occasions. Hamilton comprehensively outperforming Bottas who is no slouch shouldn’t be overlooked. Staying glued to the Ferrari at Spa and Monza as well as running Verstappen down in Hungary are examples of how good he is as a driver. I think that he has won so much that it’s expected so just winning a race will never get him the credit he deserves despite the fact that his car isn’t as dominant as it would appear from looking at the WCC points. They could have lost in Canada, Monaco, Azerbaijan, and Russia as well as Hungary. Just like last year it’s the way they salvage and stay consistent at every circuit under all conditions that keep them in the lead

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      1st October 2019, 19:55

      @motogpfan Exactly! Hamilton’s consistency in (almost) always maximizing the result is what brings him and Mercedes the titles. It’s staggering how he took the title in 2018 from a much faster Ferrari overall. Also the way they dominate Ferrari this season while indeed Ferrari was faster in a lot of races (I’d add Bahrain to your list).

  16. Vettel – the obvious answer, hands down.

  17. I have three favorite drivers for this weekend:
    Alex Albon.
    Carlos Sainz.
    Checo Pérez.
    Each driver one with his own battles, I analyze each one separately and the three drivers put 10+.
    I would like to see his camera on aboard Alex, I hope the F1 production puts it on his channel.
    The beginning of Pérez was spectacular and he also had good fights along the way.
    Carlos has been very constant, started spectacularly well and knew keep the McLaren very competitive throughout the race.
    Congrats to these three great drivers!

  18. So, like quite a few here (about 222 people at this count) I have not voted for Leclerc as DotW, because while he once again nailed quali, and showed up Vettel yet again there, with the way the Ferrari plan was, and how this race panned out, he just wasn’t able to show all that much. I do think that w/o the MGU-K induced VCS at the wrong moment for Ferrari, he’d have won, and that would have been deserved, but not really DotW either.

    Verstappen is a bit the same – yes good quali, but with the lack of pace in the car, he just ended up in a vacuum – he did all that could be expected, but there’s just nothing he (could) do to stand out (from the usual level we expect of him! Bit the same here for HAM too, I think).

    I suppose I could give it to Perez, who was solid, but I don’t mind Sainz leading the poll (currently, at least).

  19. F1oSaurus (@)
    1st October 2019, 20:02

    How about Hamilton for that astonishing Q3 lap? Miles ahead of Bottas and even Vettel (in a much faster car). Leclerc got pole, but he actually made a massive mistake in turn 16. So imagine how poorly Vettel performed.

    With great lap in Q3 Hamilton created all the panic at he start for Ferrari. Then he kept the pressure on the Ferrari’s while Bottas was napping miles behind him. Hamilton would actually have been able to beat a (clearly faster) Ferrari and perhaps even both even without a safety car.

    In the end he finally got some luck instead f the bad luck he usually has (like getting switched to slick tyres in Germany just when the clouds open again).

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