This weekend, two Formula One drivers won our “Driver of the Weekend” award. Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber both put on master class performances in the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend, and deserve credit for their awesomeness. However, both earned this prize for different reasons.
Lewis Hamilton put an end to the annoying finger waving winning streak of Sebastian Vettel with his victory this weekend. By cleverly saving a set of soft tires in Q3, Lewis ensured had he had a spare set of tires during the race. However, there was some pre-race drama as his car was found to have leaking fuel lines, which created worries that he wouldn’t be able to start the race!
Lewis started from P3 and managed his tires very well, passing Jenson Button in the process on his saved tires. He started his last stint seven laps later than race leader Vettel, passed Nico Rosberg, shrugged off Felipe Massa and then crushed Vettel on Turn 7 with five laps to go in the race. It was an epic stint, caused by some clever forethought the day earlier.
On the podium, Lewis looked like he had won his first ever race, which brought joy to us watching at home. It’s nice to see a driver genuinely happy about a strong performance.
Mark Webber did the impossible this weekend by starting the race in P18 and ending up on the podium in P3. Webber’s car has had an untold number of issues over the season, (that ‘surprisingly’ teammate Vettel has not suffered), which left him without KERS (again) and locked out of Q1. In an embarassing moment, his team thought that the RB7 had enough pace to simply get out of Q1 running on the prime tire. They were wrong and Mark suffered by it.
The upside was that Mark had a handful of soft tires sets for him to use, since he didn’t use them during the other rounds of qualifying. Turning lemons into some serious lemonade, Webber showed why he was in a league of his own during the race. Starting outside of the top ten gave him the choice to decide which tires he wanted to start the race on. Getting his prime stint out of the way first, Webber had the ability to use his additional allotment of option tires later in the race, providing him with extra grip over his more tire-worn opponents. Mark made his way through the field, without the extra power boost of the KERS system, setting the fastest lap of the race and taking a podium.
You really can’t ask for more from the guy. Hamilton won the race, making two spots up along the way. Webber made up fifteen places, without KERS- Fact.
(Although, I’d like to note that if the race had been a few laps longer, he would have taken Vettel whose tires had died while attempting a two stopper, and had fallen to second place.)
Way to go, guys. Classic drives from both. Inspiring stuff.
Think another driver from a different racing series deserves “Driver of the Weekend?” Let us know in the comments!