Pascal Wehrlein’s second career points finish also earned him his second Driver of the Weekend win.
F1 Fanatic readers voted him the top driver of last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix by a narrow margin over race winner Lewis Hamilton.
Wehrlein previously won Driver of the Weekend for his breakthrough points finish for Manor in last year’s Austrian Grand Prix.
Pascal Wehrlein’s Grand Prix weekend
Wehrlein got his car into Q2 and lined up 15th on the grid. His start wasn’t especially spectacular – he only made up three places, most of which came because of collisions ahead of him. The strategy was what made his race.
Running a long first stint on soft tyres allowed Wehrlein to make up several places and avoid the usual Catalunya disadvantage of being stuck in traffic. It allowed him to reach the end with just a single further stop.
However he slipped up during that sole pit stop, cutting across the pit lane entry and earning a five-second penalty. That ultimately cost him seventh place to Carlos Sainz Jnr. Nonetheless this was a highly impressive drive.
Some very impressive driving, and also some not-so-impressive driving throughout the field, but only one driver punched massively above his weight. Pascal Wehrlein did an Alonso by putting his Sauber somewhere it didn’t belong, not cracking under the enormous pressure applied by Sainz while almost keeping up with the pace of Hulkenberg in front of him.
His penalty for taking an illegal line into the pits is but a minor flaw that pales when compared to that monstrous first stint of his. 33 laps on soft tyres, while maintaining a pace that was still faster than his team mate’s on 18 laps fresher tyres of the same compound, allowed him to skip a round of pit stops and score some vital points for his ailing team. Simply impressive.
Excellently composed drive. He seems to have matured a lot since USA last year. Managing to fight off Sainz, as well as pull away from the gaggle of cars along with Sainz meaning he only lost one position with the penalty, especially considering those cars behind him (the Haas and Toro Rosso) are all much quicker cars.
Got into Q2 on Saturday (although just .005s ahead of Ericsson in Q1, but still), and then made the one-stop work to perfection to get into seventh. And to those saying the VSC helped him – all the cars behind him also pitted under VSC, so they came out exactly where they went in (except Hulkenberg who did leapfrog Wehrlein in the pits).
More than just the solid drive he put in for his comeback. Russia was little less than rubbish from him but this weekend. What a drive. Yes the front row had us knowing with tention at the nearest thing we could get our chops round. But Wehrlein just showed his brilliance. Who knows what he could have done for Manor had they been here and had their car been as competitive as it looked. Potential to be a one with his name in the record books.
Spanish Grand Prix winners and losers
Lewis Hamilton earned praise for his second win of the year which he scored despite losing his advantage from pole position at the start.
A well-timed pit stop during a Virtual Safety Car period aided Hamilton’s effort to wrest the lead back from Sebastian Vettel.
Gave it to Hamilton. Fastest in all but one session. Fastest lap. Keep calm during the race, was relaxed and smiley during interviews.
My take is that the Mercedes was very, very marginally the fastest car, but Hamilton needed to give it all to bag the win.
Hamilton and Vettel were superb today. Hamilton sounded absolutely wasted on the radio, and he was resting his head already with 20 laps to go. It looked like a serious physical challenge between the two, a flat out battle. Fantastic.
If I were to nitpick, Vettel wasn’t “perfect” during the weekend, he made a mistake in qualifying. So my vote goes to Hamilton.
I voted for Vettel because I firmly believe that he should and would have won this race but for his team’s strategic error. He did everything right himself – managed to claim a front row grid position after engine problems earlier in the weekend and get the jump on Hamilton at the start and maintaining the gap ahead. The combination of Mercedes’ strategy, team tactics (with Bottas) and the VSC timing won the race for them.
Pascal Wehrlein’s Driver of the Weekend wins from 2011 to date
Driver of the weekend: The Twitter verdict
There was plenty more praise for Wehrlein and Hamilton on Twitter, but Lance Stroll and Jolyon Palmer’s efforts were less well reviewed.
— Paula Riseborough (@PJR081415) May 14, 2017
— Master Roshi 亀 (@Captainbeard22) May 14, 2017
one thing about F1 and latest Bottas results just goes to show that F1 is lately all about the car and not the pilot !!!
— Sergio Nuñez Del P (@SergioNunezDelP) May 14, 2017
— Louis [TeEm] (@SmokinAces4824) May 14, 2017
Great to see the FIs 4th and 5th, and Weh p8 but let's not hail it as amazing. They're all pretty much in their normal position. #f1
— Saham (@SAHAMATION) May 14, 2017
— Alastair Stewart (@alstewitn) May 14, 2017
Bottas and Kvyat are naturals, but have to learn to play the long game and avoid unnecessary collisions. #F1
— Roy Butler (@insatiant) May 14, 2017
— Ryan Barron (@RJBarron1988) May 14, 2017
— Ryan Barron (@RJBarron1988) May 14, 2017
Elsewhere, impressive drive from Wehrlein while Stroll and Palmer don't really look like they should be there on that showing. #SpanishGP
— Kenny HM (@kennycarwash) May 14, 2017
— Jason Rodgers (@JRodgersSport) May 14, 2017
Let's talk about Seb's overtaken on Bottas! Those skills man! 4 times world champion baby! #SpanishGP
— Lenny B. 🌹 (@lovelennylove) May 14, 2017
— Brad Hunt (@Brad_Hunt42) May 14, 2017
— Shreyas B R (@brshreyastweet) May 14, 2017
— König Drachen (@Suhikuwohite) May 14, 2017
— Andi Cockbill (@AndiCockbill) May 14, 2017
— Lee (@MrsLAKnowles) May 14, 2017
Make sure that you share the Champagne with Bottas tonight Lewis, he's your new best mate. #F1
— Darnel (@Darnelsipplepix) May 14, 2017
— Steven Robson (@StevenRobson) May 14, 2017
— Chris White (@chriswvtr) May 14, 2017
— andrew nichols (@andyru73) May 14, 2017
The big rivalry in 5-10 years time will be Verstappen-Ocon. Already two of the best and neither has reached his 21st birthday! #f1
— Ed Baldwin (@baldwin141) May 14, 2017
— andrew nichols (@andyru73) May 14, 2017
— Viktoriya (@RealViktoriya) May 14, 2017
Also, Perez is new most underrated driver in #F1. Beat the Hulk, set to be best of the midfield 2nd straight year. Ferrari, sign him please.
— Ben McPhillips (@ben_mcphillips) May 14, 2017
— Andy Donnelly (@andydonn810) May 14, 2017
— Marc Clewes (@clewsyworld) May 14, 2017
— Vanessa K Yussif (@modelvanick) May 14, 2017
— Mīchael (@mikesmuse) May 14, 2017
Hamilton is easily the best driver in #F1. I almost said 'the world' then, but rally drivers exist
— BongoBaggins™ 🎧 (@attackbiscuit) May 14, 2017
Hamilton so out of breath, don't think I've ever heard that before. Sure it's nothing to do with sacking his PT #f1
— Elena (@el_yeahh) May 14, 2017
Very surprised to see RIC on the podium. I only realized he was 3rd on the penultimate lap. Was like "Where did RIC come from?" #SpanishGP
— Harry (@Little_Hazza) May 14, 2017
— ChezzyStardust (@Treehugger71) May 14, 2017
— Mattia Bragadini (@mattia_mat) May 14, 2017
Watching the F1 and Bottas was defending off Vettel like a champ. He truly deserves that car and will be a future world champion.
— Ring (@ringstabekk) May 14, 2017
— James Agar (@JamesAgar) May 14, 2017
— Turbotab (@jomaKern) May 14, 2017
Fernando Alonso could have a descent performance in #F1 even with the engine of a van.
— Soulis Theodosiou (@thsoulis) May 14, 2017
— Gary (@upthegary) May 14, 2017
Vettel's overtake of Hamilton was a masterclass in being strategic.Hamilton's win was a masterclass in being a fierce competitor. #SpanishGP
— Lee Nxumalo (@leewritesalot) May 14, 2017
Hamilton lucky to win the F1 grand prix today. Vettel undone by Vandorne bringing out the Virtual Safety car, otherwise he'd have won again
— There's my Özil! (@ArsenalANewDawn) May 14, 2017
— Khasan Benedetto (@mc_khasan_KEV) May 14, 2017
— Shubham Pitale (@PitaleShubham) May 14, 2017
— Fortune Achonna (@Fortuneachonna) May 14, 2017
— Tumbi Mtika (@Tumbi2002Mtika) May 14, 2017
2017 Spanish Grand Prix
- What do drivers ask in their pre-race briefing? New video reveals all
- Bottas admits braking “too early” in Spain crash
- Second Driver of the Weekend win for Wehrlein
- Tense Spanish Grand Prix gets solid rating
- 2017 Spanish GP team radio transcript