Max Verstappen became the third different driver this year to win Driver of the Weekend on three separate occasions, joining Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.
The two Nicos also fared well in the Brazilian Grand Prix poll after Rosberg won and Hulkenberg equalled his best result of the season.
Max Verstappen’s Brazilian Grand Prix weekend
Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of Verstappen’s weekend was that once again his team mate’s car let him down, robbing us of a valid comparison between the two. But judged on his own merit Verstappen clearly had another excellent weekend.
His was the only Toro Rosso in the top ten at the end of final practice and he delivered on that potential in qualifying, netting a place in Q3. He started ninth and eventually finished there after being promoted one place by Felipe Massa’s penalty.
Verstappen lost a place to Sergio Perez at the start but reclaimed it later in the race, hanging on around the outside of the Senna S and forcing his way through in the second part of the corner. That wasn’t the only Mercedes-powered car he got in front of: he demoted Pastor Maldonado at the end of the race as well.
He wasn’t able to keep Romain Grosjean behind him, however, and made his displeasure at his engine’s poor power delivery clear on the radio.
The real hero for me was Max Verstappen. This guy is hands down the best addition to the grid for years. He impressed me all through this season. Even after his crash in Monaco, he didn’t bother too much with the criticism, put his head down and delivered time and time again. Just as he did on Saturday and Sunday. He brought his power-lacking Toro Rosso into Q3 again whereas his team mate didn’t. His ballsy pass on Perez was the move of the year for me and so he deserves my vote for driver of the weekend.
Another overtaking masterclass from number 33. Impossible to follow and overtake with nowadays cars? Tell Verstappen more about this.
Kudos to Verstappen but Hamilton’s task was a lot more difficult. While Verstappen could use the better chassis of the Toro Rosso compared to Lotus and Force India to stay close in the last corner and then benefit from the slipstream and DRS to negate their speed advantage, Hamilton did not have that luxury.
Also don’t forget that Hamilton was able to pass Raikkonen with ease on his first attempt (on brand new tyres versus 20-plus laps for Raikkonen). But against Rosberg with the same car and tires it was always going to be a very tall order.
Ian Bond (@Ianbond001)
Brazilian Grand Prix winners and losers
Not for the first time this year Mercedes cruised from front row lock-out to one-two finish, leading many of you to wonder which drivers had been working harder than the pair at the front of the field. Not that Rosberg didn’t get any credit for beating Lewis Hamilton once again – something he’s made a habit of in the closing races of the season.
Hulkenberg was another driver who stood out by demonstrating, as in 2010 and 2012, that he has a real flair for the particular demands of the Interlagos track. It was a good weekend for Valtteri Bottas too, although his Williams lacked the performance to take on the Ferraris this time.
Hulkenberg really needed strong results in qualifying and in the race to try wrest back the balance of power from Perez. He did a wonderful job in the race to hold off Kvyat on genuine pace.
I feel Bottas is again underrated. He was miles ahead of Massa the whole weekend and again he get’s no recognition for it again since he was never shown on TV.
Rosberg performed nearly flawlessly all weekend, and after a couple of tough seasons for him seems to still be fully capable of progress and full of potential to turn the tides, even if statistically most will still be giving very little odds for him to beat Hamilton for the championship next year. He knows what he has to do and that actions speak louder than words.
But always remember, some of the best drivers in the world may not have been discovered yet:
Most definitely, no doubt, the taxi driver who took us to the track in his little bright yellow Beetle.
His overtakes made Verstappen look like a sissy, the way he took the kerbs was amazing and he didn’t even have DRS!
2015 Driver of the Weekend winners
2015 Brazilian Grand Prix
- Verstappen takes third Driver of the Weekend win
- The 2015 turn-off goes on in Brazil
- Ericsson contact was a racing incident – Maldonado
- Williams drops Massa appeal on cost grounds
- Was Brazil more proof F1’s overtaking gimmicks aren’t working any more?