Start, Yas Marina, 2018

Vote for your 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend

2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Which Formula 1 driver made the most of the Abu Dhabi 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 five days.

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

Driver performance summary

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 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend?

  • Lewis Hamilton (41%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (0%)
  • Sebastian Vettel (1%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (1%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (2%)
  • Max Verstappen (14%)
  • Sergio Perez (1%)
  • Esteban Ocon (0%)
  • Lance Stroll (0%)
  • Sergey Sirotkin (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Carlos Sainz Jnr (7%)
  • Pierre Gasly (0%)
  • Brendon Hartley (0%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Kevin Magnussen (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (11%)
  • Stoffel Vandoorne (1%)
  • Marcus Ericsson (0%)
  • Charles Leclerc (17%)
  • No opinion (1%)

Total Voters: 206

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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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46 comments on “Vote for your 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend”

  1. Charles Leclerc put that car up where it didn’t belong, even for the briefest of moments, and that was the most impressive thing anyone did this weekend. His strategy cost him a serious chance of fighting with F1’s premier class. Has to be him.

    1. Not the strategy. The ignorant rule of making the top 10 start in used tyres, that is what costed him a place a bit higher up, and Sainz took advantage of starting from P11 by finishing best of the rest.

      Nothing we haven’t seen so far this season, especially in Mexico

      1. But: Verstappen had the same tyres and finished ahead of his team mate? It was everything to do with the choice to pit under the VSC

        1. Hamilton pitted under the VSC and won the race.

          Plus top 3 teams aren’t affected as much as the others by the rule as they have cars that preserve the tyre much better and don’t need to push as much in Q2

    2. Leclerc for me too.
      Impressed me all weekend not just in the race.

      1. Leclerc has been extremely impressive – I wonder how he’ll do at Ferrari.

  2. Has to be Hamilton – an astonishing qualifying lap and a smooth run to victory.

  3. There is only Carlos Sainz. He beat the rest of the rest by close to 20 seconds. Amazing performance on a really long stint on supers made sure he emerged ahead of Leclerc after pitting, and then left him in the dust.

    Honorable mentions to Verstappen and Perez.

  4. Leclerc was great indeed, apart from strategy (given the Q2/Q3 tyre rules). Sainz was great, keeping his strategy working very well after his faster teammate had crashed himself out. Verstappen did great again (apart from attitude I think, but oh well), and the start issues were car not driver, his overtaking was a joy to see. Hamilton was effectively unbeatable.

    We saw great racing from Vandoorne (finally?!), but, he started and ended in his teammate’s shadow. Alonso was good as almost always, and the ‘I do not care’ tripple chicane cutting was nice from a showmanship perspective, but racing wise, with this car, he just couldn’t do all that much (though Saturday’s 0.6s ahead of his teammate was impressive). Vettel was a bit anonymous this weekend, almost, but not quite there the whole time. Bottas faded as the weekend moved on. Raikkonen was consistently there just behind Vettel, when his car allowed. Ricciardo was faster on Saturday, but he and his team couldn’t make it work in the race.

    Then, Perez, a bit lonely, but good points once again, impressive, but he was once again out-qualified by his teammate (who suffered from Q3 tyres and a broken car). Ericsson was outdone by Leclerc, and by his car giving up; neat way to stop in the F2 pits though. Grosjean did a good, solid though not spectacular job, and Magnussen, though again clearly a bit slower, kept his solid season going with another point (by default of others’ cars, but even so).

    For the rest, well Gasly tried to smokescreen/mark his territory with Max, but until then was doing a solid job (I think Red Bull will have a bit of a teammates management task). Hartley did decent, but no cookie (or drive, I suspect).
    Sirotkin was last even before he pitted – overheating car apparently, I’m quite willing to believe it – not an enjoyable season for him. Stroll once again had a good start, which in combination with a late stop put him into a points-scoring position, until he had to pit; moving to better things, let’s hope he shows some good racing next year, please.

    Since Hamilton already got the championship (and the win here, by current looks of it), I think I’ll give it to Verstappen, who didn’t make any mistakes, showed great pace and racing, and got a podium.

    1. Max for me too. Fell to tenth immediately due to his technical issue, passed some cars immediately, fell back again due to the same glitch, then repassed again and came third. Showed once again that starting from further back isn’t the end of the world when one instinctively would think qualifying high is ever so important in these cars that are so hard to pass. I know Max didn’t qualify as well this time and this is for driver of the weekend, but I’m also influenced by the fact that I find him simply impressive and is showing that he has a massive future ahead of him and will be thrilling to watch for years yet. Just missed out on third in the WDC, but to be two points back of Kimi, and two ahead of VB, is really quite something. I’ll go out on a limb too and say that he likely won’t start another season being as ragged as he did this season.

    2. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaahhhahaha. This whole scrappy story, just to end it with yet another ill-reasoned argument, “Since Hamilton already got the championship (and the win here, by current looks of it)”, to come to the already pre known, as soon as I saw who’s commenting, conclusion: “Verstappen”, hahahahahahahahhahahahahha LOL.

      Can you believe it? A guy who trailed his teammate every lap from Q2 onwards, couldn’t get his tyres in the right tyre temp, lacking track position, time delta, race pace and strategy possibilities up until the RB strategy came into play, get’s the vote. And apparently of 8 others too thus far, out of a total of 57.
      De lu sio nal.

      RIC: unbeaten against all of his teammates in all of his 15 quali’s and races at this track up until now.
      VER: never beat his teammate in 7 quali’s and races at this track up until now.

      But RB saved theirs and VERs marketable faces. Again. Danny boy, as long as at least 2 of the combined MERs and FERs didn’t mess up, you’d never have gotten to the podium.

      1. Just so you know, when I see krxx I read no further.

      2. KRXX
        I think by now Ricciardo got beaten on all tracks by his team mate, don’t you think so…?
        (please motivate by numbers, not by ‘immature, petulant, kid, arrogant, selfish, crashtappen etcetera’ cause that doesn’t count on track)

        1. LOL. You dare to call me out on “motivate by numbers” while I just did (like I always base my comments on stone cold data), and you have never done anything in providing us numbers that back up your orange drivel.

          “I think by now Ricciardo got beaten on all tracks by his team mate, don’t you think so…?” – Well then, please provide us with some data. What track(s)?? Don’t think=assume, proviiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide. Hhahahahhahahahhahahha, orange tool.

      3. VER: never beat his teammate in 7 quali’s and races at this track up until now.

        De lu sio nal me, I forgot to include the past 3 years in assessing DOTW :P

        1. @coldfly
          So you say VER has been DOTW on this site in the past 3 years? Seriously? Wow.. but wait, it’s a given that it’s more likely that the one’s who actually vote, are FBoys, AND, you just in fact empowered the perception that these fan votes are not performance based. At all. BC my “VER: never beat his teammate in 7 quali’s and races at this track up until now.” is a 100% true.
          And still DOTW in 15-17, hahahahhaah. At least, according to you, an orange. Which I have caught out lying/deceiving every single time.

          Hahahahahahhahahahhaahaha.
          Ziggo.

      4. After RIC’s pit stop, VER was 12-8 laps faster than RIC…ON MUCH OLDER TYRES! All the BS aside that RB screwed over RIC with strategy, should he atlas not have been faster than VER on MUCH OLDER TYRES?

        1. RIC was asked how he was doing after everybody else had already pitted. He himself told the pitt wall he thought he could stay out and manage his tires. Only a few laps later his chances on the podium were gone.

          Max was the one of the top 6 cars who was on the worse tire to start the race with, but he managed his hypers like he always does, perfectly, even though he had to make up both time and positions after the bad start.

          How ignorant to believe that RB would even consider to favor Max over RIC. And KRXX, please would you mind telling us how on earth Danny Ric isn’t of the most marketable faces in the whole circus?

          LOL!

          1. Max’ tyre management isn’t any stronger than others’. All the lap times clearly suggest that. Yet you come up with this lie without backing it up with any data. He did 17 laps on ultra’s of which just 11 were on race pace. The Pirelli estimate drivers should’ve been able to do 8-16 on race pace, so 11+6(V)SC is average. Besides, the most significant factor isn’t the driver at all, it’s the car. And BTW, the RB is the strongest in it.
            You oranges created this lie back in Spain’16, in which RIC, the race leader, was controlling the pace at front and doing the exact same lap times VER did. RB themselves too said it wasn’t a tyre management issue, it was trying to cover off an attacking strategy of FER, thus they also deployed 2 different strategies.

            RIC was asked how he was doing after everybody else had already pitted. He himself told the pitt wall he thought he could stay out and manage his tires – RIC may have said he was doing fine, but you disregard the fact that the team sets out the strategy and tell their drivers when to come in. You also disregard the fact that they have the overview, real time info of what the other drivers were doing in terms of lap time, which RIC hasn’t. The team, commentators and audience alike, could all see that those tyres were done, relatively to the others’.

            How ignorant to believe that RB would even consider to favor Max over RIC. – Like all the other oranges, you are the one with the ignorant beliefs. You got 2 employees, one is bound to go away to a (hated) competitor, the other is bound to stay at least two more years and would make an excellent sign board for the brand as the youngest WC in F1.
            And RIC has also been quite marketable for RB yes. But that’s the point, has been.

            Muhahahahahahhhahhahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahhahah.
            Ziggo.

        2. “After RIC’s pit stop, VER was 12-8 laps faster than RIC…ON MUCH OLDER TYRES! All the BS aside that RB screwed over RIC with strategy, should he atlas not have been faster than VER on MUCH OLDER TYRES?” – Knowing that RIC pitted in L33 and that the race is contested over 55 laps, I already know that you can’t even count. You should’ve counted 12-9 or 13-9 (if you would also count L34, which wouldn’t have surprised me, bc that’s what you oranges do, deceive).
          I also knew immediately that you are a complete tool with regards to F1, racing, indeed how all kinds of things work. Ofcourse RIC was faster, all weekend long, so with his fresher tyres he was way faster. But he was prevented in translating that surplus in pace bc VER in front was slowing him down.

          COMPLETE ORANGE TOOL WITH HIS capital letters WHO CAN’T THINK ON HIS OWN, Muhahahahahahhahahahahahahahahhahahahha.

          You just got ziggoed

      5. I’ve got to say thats an impressive run of form by Ricciardo beating his teammate in the 15 quali’s he did there, especially since the race is only held there for 10 years now and Ricciardo wasn’t in F1 back then.
        And Not so good for Verstappen loosing 7 times in 4 quali’s.
        Anyway sunday is what counts and he’s beaten Ricciardo every time there. In 2016 Verstappen was dead last after the first corner and still beat Ricciardo.
        So, have fun supporting ReNo next year

  5. A lot of drivers were impressive but I have to hand it to Lewis for taking pole and winning. When Mercedes pitted Lewis early on it seemed like he would lose the race but he managed to stay ahead of everyone.

    1. Personally I never had the impression he would lose the race. He came out with four cars in front of him that still had to pit, so to me LH was the ultimate leader the whole race even when he wasn’t the literal one.

      1. Someone said the 408 points that Lewis completed the season with was the highest ever. I’m not sure if that is true or not, but his 11 Firsts is impressive. Michael Schumacher got 13/18 Firsts in 2004, including 7 consecutive wins. This year Lewis’ best consecutive sequence of wins was 4. Like Michael then, Lewis has set a very high standard for all the other drivers now, and like Ferrari then, Mercedes have set a very high standard for all the other teams now.
        Of course, this vote is Driver of the Weekend. Usually the winner is the one who made the least number of mistakes, or made the least serious mistakes, and is usually a contender for the Driver of the Weekend.
        I voted for Hamilton because, again, his win was the consequence of a near flawless performance on the part of him and Mercedes.

        1. Schumacher’s 13 out of 18 is a staggering 72% win rate. This year, Hamilton’s is a mere 52%.

          1. A mere 52% when the red bull’s car was fastest at 3+ races and Ferrari’s for most of the first half of the season…? Much more an achievement than Micheal in 2004 the Ferrari dominance then was like 2014/2015 Merc.

  6. Didn’t vote for him but I’d like to give Vandoorne a shout out.

    1. @coldfly – Agreed, I finally saw the Vandoorne that others who’d seen him in the junior formulae were talking about. A darn shame that he wasn’t able to put forth those feisty performances throughout the season.

      1. me too, I would like to shout out at him “what the hell are you doing? weren’t you supposed to know how to drive?”

        He still finished behind his teammate in qualy and the race, there are reasons to shout but not reasons to cheer

    2. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      26th November 2018, 17:38

      I gave Stoff my tip of the hat. his feisty defending was the entertainment of the weekend at least. Except perhaps the WDC donuts, shame Kimi blew up and couldn’t join them

    3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      27th November 2018, 1:59

      Vandoorne’s move was awesome! Gutted for him to be leaving F1 when so many new drivers are coming in.

      I don’t know why he couldn’t do well at McLaren but they (McLaren) nearly managed to crush Lewis’ career and definitely did that to Alonso. Why would things work out for Stoffel?

  7. Leclerc. Good weekend also for Hamilton, Sainz, Vettel.

    1. So you name 2 podium finishers. One in a Mercedes and one in a Ferrari. Aren’t you forgetting someone? :-P

      1. He wanted to include Alonso and Max, but then lightning struck and his keyboard gave him paper cuts ;)

      2. The thing is, your precious Max got outperformed by his teammate, whereas the other two didn’t.

        1. So Ric was on step 2.5 of the podium? Sorry, didn’t see him there.

  8. Sainz, Leclerq; Max and Lewis… Have to pick one. In the race Sainz; overall weekend Lewis.

    1. I have the same problem i will need to think a bit more who of those i will select. (I wish we could vote for 1st second and third so it’s more honest)

      1. We all know you voted VER. Goes wo thinking.

        1. I voted for Leclerq so krxx you wrong ..ago with numbers..

  9. The DOTW as well as the DOTD: Hamilton with honorable mentions to Verstappen, Sainz, and Leclerc.

  10. There are 3 top teams and the two Mercedes finished front and back of that pack, people will argue forever if it’s Hamilton overperforming or Bottas underperforming. Maybe it was a little of both.

  11. I went with sainz cause like someone said, he was by far the fastest in the midfield and won his own race.

    Hamilton also did a good job, although I felt like when verstappen overtook him again he just gave up, I don’t like that attitude from hamilton, it often happens, when he’s behind for whatever reason he doesn’t fight back to the front.

    Verstappen had a good race but in qualifying he wasn’t so good and also had a bad start, ricciardo wasn’t bad either but verstappen was just superior to him in the race, also because of strategy.

    Vettel had a fairly good weekend, he did what you could expect from his car, surprised he has such a low amount of votes, I think mercedes > ferrari\red bull in this race and not by far.

    1. Hamilton also did a good job, although I felt like when verstappen overtook him again he just gave up, I don’t like that attitude from hamilton, it often happens, when he’s behind for whatever reason he doesn’t fight back to the front

      He was managing his tyres, it was exactly that tyre management skill that meant he finished first while his teammate wasn’t even on the podium.

      It takes a special lack of understanding of F1 to rule out voting for a driver for the very reason he won a race.

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