Start, Suzuka, 2024

Vote for your 2024 Japanese Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend

Formula 1

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Which Formula 1 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 three days.

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

Driver performance summary

DriverQ stageQ pos.Q gap to team mateGP grid pos.GP pos.
Max VerstappenQ31-0.066s11
Sergio PerezQ32+0.066s22
Lewis HamiltonQ37-0.242s79
George RussellQ39+0.242s97
Charles LeclercQ38+0.104s84
Carlos Sainz JnrQ34-0.104s43
Lando NorrisQ33-0.271s35
Oscar PiastriQ36+0.271s68
Lance StrollQ116+0.770s1612
Fernando AlonsoQ35-0.770s56
Esteban OconQ215-0.308s1515
Pierre GaslyQ117+0.308s1716
Alexander AlbonQ214-0.176s1420
Logan SargeantQ119+0.176s1917
Daniel RicciardoQ211+0.055s1119
Yuki TsunodaQ310-0.055s1010
Valtteri BottasQ213-0.541s1314
Zhou GuanyuQ120+0.541s2018
Kevin MagnussenQ118+0.310s1813
Nico HulkenbergQ212-0.310s1211

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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 2024 Japanese Grand Prix weekend?

  • No opinion (1%)
  • Kevin Magnussen (1%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Zhou Guanyu (0%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (0%)
  • Yuki Tsunoda (24%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Logan Sargeant (0%)
  • Alexander Albon (0%)
  • Pierre Gasly (0%)
  • Esteban Ocon (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (16%)
  • Lance Stroll (0%)
  • Oscar Piastri (0%)
  • Lando Norris (1%)
  • Carlos Sainz Jnr (28%)
  • Charles Leclerc (6%)
  • George Russell (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (1%)
  • Sergio Perez (4%)
  • Max Verstappen (18%)

Total Voters: 103

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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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34 comments on “Vote for your 2024 Japanese Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend”

  1. Well, Max is untouchable and Checo in halfway decent form and in a RBR is untouchable for the rest.
    Again I watched a great race from Carlos for the podium, and once again great defence from Fernado who had a seemingly faster Lando behind for a good chunk of the race.
    Fernando seemed to have Lando’s measure and near the end he was even pulling a bit away from DRS range. Then Georgie Baby came after them, clearly faster, and suddenly Lando was in DRS again. My perception is that Fernando was giving him DRS on purpose, knowing that little Georgie was a lot more dangerous. And so it went until the last lap when Lando nearly lost it and Baby went through although too late to catch Fernado.
    Luckily Mr John Paul Herbert was not stewarding again, they would have deemed giving Lando DRS as illegal and punished Fernando with b3h34d1ng or worse

    1. George once again making mistakes in the closing stages of the race. He didn’t need to make that dive at the chicane when he already had the DRS on Oscar. He should have completed the move on that lap, giving himself a lap to have go at Alonso.

      1. One must wonder if Mercedes still trust George to lead a WDC charge. Likely, they’re more concerned if they’ll ever have the luxury for that to be an issue again.

        @earthling – meant to mention that Palmer and what’s his name (F1 TV feed) spent about 10 straight minutes talking about FA’s strategy of towing Piastri to fend off George.

        1. If I were Mercedes I would have already offered Sainz that lead driver place. Russell still has so much to learn, not least keeping his head under pressure.

          1. If he hasn’t learned it already, he never will. It’s almost like how people sometimes view Stroll as a perpetual rookie (cause he drives like an untalented one). Did Lewis need six seasons to learn how to be a champion? Did any great ever need more than 2-3 at the maximum to become a complete driver? The answer is no.

        2. Glad to hear it but I deduced it by myself. Will try to watch that JP piece

          1. #44 – 2%

          2. @elchinero 1%, for racing spirit, “please oh pretty please, Georgie, overtake me, please”

          3. Me too. I’m shocked how often the commentators don’t like in the Dutch GP when the commentators thought Ocon was faster but Fernando was saving his tires while letting Ocon punish his. Fernando always does a few things:

            -let’s drivers get close and then keeps them in dirty air to ruin their tires

            -when a much faster car is coming up with a subpar driver like Sergio, he builds up a ton of battery, lets them past without a fight and then sticks to their wing for a long time to grab that DRS and pull a gap on cars he can realistically race for position. He’s done it in literally every race this season.

            -If there’s an active hard race in front of him, he’ll extend his stint in the hopes they collide and he can benefit from him an SC

            -Drives varying lines, like in Brazil against Checo, so the driver behind can’t try a surprise late braking move

            -And, as we saw this weekend, will try to tow a car to keep it ahead of a faster car behind it that is more of a danger to keep them behind

            -Most of all, he basically never gives up

    2. You mean Piastri. And, yes, Ferdi was intentionally doing that. He even sacrificed 4 tenths on the second to last lap to ensure Oscar got DRS again. He likely built up a lot of battery to ensure that he wasn’t risking Oscar actually making a move. And, yes, Herbert was at home fuming he couldn’t throw the race again.

      BTW, what the hell was Aston’s strategy with Stroll? Either way it was pathetic Stroll couldn’t get Yuki.

      1. Oscar Piastri of course!! Lost too much sleep tonight

  2. Yeah, my vote would go to Yuki, driving with all the pressure of his team’s only chance of points, with the pressure of home expectations, and knowing there were potentially faster cars behind him, eg the wasteful Stroll.

    1. Yes, I did not mention Yuki but his charge was a joy to watch.

      I do not know what to make of Max, he was pretty much perfect as always (only he almost pole to Checo in a not-so-perfect turn at Q3), I saw too little of him, so I leave him in limbo. I voted Nando (in part as “compensation” for the outrageously unfair and vindictive penalty by big-karma-get-you-soon-Herbert, but Carlos and Yuki were pretty much equally worth it.

  3. I don’t think anyone really shone this weekend.
    I’ll give it to Carlos, though I’m tempted to give it to Yuki.

    It would be interesting to see Yuki in Checo’s seat.
    Keep it up Yuki ;)

    1. notagrumpyfan
      7th April 2024, 12:36

      It would be interesting to see Yuki in Checo’s seat.

      Interesting indeed, but would it be different from what Albon did a few years ago?
      The only truly interesting options in that seat would be (in this order): Alonso, Hamilton, Sainz/Norris, Russell, Leclerc.

      1. I would love to see Alonso in that seat for sure.
        Even if only to watch the Max/Marko Meltdown as the season progressed :)

        1. Even if only to watch the Max/Marko Meltdown as the season progressed :)

          LOL. Quite agree on the meltdown, but I suspect it would likely be an orbital teddy by race 2

  4. Yuki, Fernando and Charles. I think all of them got every last drop out of what was possible from their cars. If you include qualifying, I’ll give it to Yuki, Fernando and Carlos. Other than Max, is there any driver who has been anywhere near as consistently Alonso in 2023 and 2024? It’s why I’m praying to see the old bast*rd along Max.

    Anyway, the thing I love about Yuki (and I think many others do), is that he just has an exciting flair to his driving. Something that Daniel once had which seems sadly gone.

    Speaking of you’re only as good as your last race, it’s amazing how quickly Albon’s stock has seemingly faded. Prior to the season, he was always one of the drivers listed without a chance for the RBR seat and maybe even a remote chance for the Merc seat. It’ll be interesting to see how he bounces back.

    1. consistently extracting everything*

    2. We didn’t see enough of Albon to make any kind of determination. He picked off a bag of places, then was undone by Riccardo’s silly move on a processional corner.

      On a cynical note, that collision was very likely the reason Yuki picked up that point, otherwise Albon would have been on for that 10th place. Just saying, wingmen are where you least expect them.

      1. IMO, that accident was 85% Albon’s fault. Three cars were never going to go into that turn side by side. Anyway, I don’t agree that Albon should be dismissed. Just noting how F1 has and will always change its mind from week-to-week.

  5. Voted for Alonso. The only driver out of 20 who had a 10/10 weekend IMO. Maximum possible in qualy, great start, great tire preservation on the softs longer than anyone, great racecraft and cunning as usual giving DRS to Piastri against Russell. He’s beating the Mercs with a slower car. They’ll still be ahead in the WCC because Stroll is worse than garbage.

    Verstappen maximized the result but had a poor 2nd Q3 lap(he admitted so himself as well). He’s lucky his team-mate is a garbage qualifier and no other team was close enough.

    Tsunoda had a great weekend apart from a poor start which should’ve cost him and he’s lucky it didn’t because of the aforementioned Stroll being what he is, and the fact that Hulkenberg had an even worse start than he did. Without it, the Hulk would’ve beaten him easily given that he finished barely behind him while having superior race pace on a compromised strategy.

    Leclerc had a great race but very poor qualifying. Yes he was only a tenth off Sainz but for him, with his qualifying prowess that’s much worse. Just 6 months ago he destroyed Sainz in Suzuka qualy. He must find answers to what he’s doing wrong in qualifying these past 2 rounds. Because his race pace was better than Sainz on average both in Melbourne and Suzuka however track position is much more important in modern F1 than slight advantage in race pace.

    1. The RBs had starting issues also highlighted by DR

  6. Pity about Hulk restart. It could have been some points for Haas again. I am happy for them, that they are not so hopeless in race trim as they were last year.

  7. Max is probably a safe bet on DOTW for the rest of this season.
    But if we are to look at the performance of other drivers, then I would opt for Sainz. Sainz is making Leclerc look second best on a regular basis.

  8. Based on the highlights only, I’d say Tsunoda had the best moves and was the most entertaining.

    Still, solid performances from most in the points, with special mention to Leclerc for his excellent work on an unusual strategy that helped him undo his lacklustre qualifying.

  9. Yuki is growing on me. He is very brave and is improving every race. He makes the most out of his equipment. Driver of the day for me.

  10. Yuki, Carlos and Max. Voted for Yuki, as he was under the most external pressure.

    I can’t see why Alonso gets so many votes. Yes, he was very smart in keeping Oscar at the edge of DRS and using that to his advantage, but that should be expected from someone with his experience versus a relative rookie that Oscar still is. But for the rest his race was not very special, can’t remember anything that stood out. Finished one place lower then he started, only kept one car from what people believe is a faster team (McLaren) behind him, but again, that was Piastri.

    Charles gained more places then Carlos, but somehow giving up to Carlos so easy (yes I know it was because of tire strategy) didn’t feel good to me. So Charles also on the list.

    And Max was flawless. It was that he himself admitted that the second lap in Q3 was off, yet he was still fast enough to get pole. Couldn’t do anything better.

    1. I didn’t vote cause I can’t login for some reason, but it should be easy to see why Alonso gets so many votes. He’s gotten more out of his car than anyone else in the field. I picked Yuki as one of my DOTD, but why shouldn’t he have come 10th. Besides Stroll, none of the cars behind him were faster. He deserves a co-DOTD because he didn’t make any mistakes and delivered. But without the fastest stop, Sauber’s 5 second pit stops and Stroll’s incompetence, there’s a good chance he doesn’t get that 10th place. But he did, so he deserves credit. Just like Fernando.

    2. Also, Leclerc’s car is so much faster. Not sure how you expected him to keep him behind. The Mercs and McLarens are also faster. And the fact that Oscar, George and Lewis didn’t extract their maximum potential in the entire point.


  12. Probably Stroll. I don’t know how did he even manage to lose that 11th place in the end…

    1. I think Stroll doesn’t get enough credit for his abilities. He’s the only driver on the grid capable of finishing behind Sargeant in a straight fight.

  13. To be honest, this rating is not about the DOTW. It is about the best of the rest.

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