Start, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2021

Vote for your 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend

2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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Which Formula 1 driver made the most of the Saudi Arabian 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 Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Driver performance summary

DriverStartedGap to team mate (Q)Laps leading team matePittedFinishedGap to team mate (R)
Lewis Hamilton1st-0.111s50/5011st-27.531s
Valtteri Bottas2nd+0.111s0/5023rd+27.531s
Max Verstappen3rd-0.47s14/1422nd
Sergio Perez5th+0.47s0/142
Lando Norris7th-0.324s10/50110th+21.237s
Daniel Ricciardo11th+0.324s40/5015th-21.237s
Lance Stroll18th+0.17s22/44211th
Sebastian Vettel17th-0.17s22/442
Esteban Ocon9th-0.346s49/4914thNot on same lap
Fernando Alonso13th+0.346s0/49313thNot on same lap
Charles Leclerc4th-25.193s25/5017th-2.131s
Carlos Sainz Jnr15th+25.193s25/5018th+2.131s
Pierre Gasly6th-0.317s49/4916thNot on same lap
Yuki Tsunoda8th+0.317s0/49314thNot on same lap
Kimi Raikkonen12th+0.269s0/49215thNot on same lap
Antonio Giovinazzi10th-0.269s49/4919thNot on same lap
Mick Schumacher19th-1.009s8/80
Nikita Mazepin20th+1.009s0/81
George Russell14th-0.251s13/141
Nicholas Latifi16th+0.251s1/14312th

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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 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend?

  • Lewis Hamilton (52%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (3%)
  • Max Verstappen (15%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Lando Norris (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (2%)
  • Lance Stroll (0%)
  • Sebastian Vettel (0%)
  • Esteban Ocon (23%)
  • Fernando Alonso (0%)
  • Charles Leclerc (0%)
  • Carlos Sainz Jnr (0%)
  • Pierre Gasly (0%)
  • Yuki Tsunoda (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (0%)
  • Antonio Giovinazzi (3%)
  • Mick Schumacher (0%)
  • Nikita Mazepin (0%)
  • George Russell (0%)
  • Nicholas Latifi (0%)
  • No opinion (0%)

Total Voters: 261

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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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61 comments on “Vote for your 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend”

  1. “No opinion” 😀
    Unlikely after that race…at least I think there was a race in there somewhere, amongst all the intrigue. Plenty of material for Drive To Survive, I’m sure, maybe not so good for purists.

    1. It’s usually tough cause there’s several good candidates. This race feels like picking the best from a bad bunch… but then I remembered Ocon very nearly took a podium, convincingly outqualified Fernando and I don’t recall him slipping up amongst the chaos around him.

      1. Absolutely, I can’t ever say hamilton stood out cause he has a car that goes significantly faster on the straight, like in brazil, and he was actually losing out on the first sector, whereas ocon was impressive and this would’ve probably been a more deserved podium than hungary.

        Verstappen tried what he could to defend, surely went beyond the rules but if you abide the rules there’s just not much racing vs that merc, just let him past.

  2. Driver of the weekend? Max. Profits

  3. Lewis, without a doubt. Didn’t put a foot wrong in quali and won the race despite all the shady moves, to put it lightly, that Verstappen made to not make that happen.

    1. I think Hamilton was better than Max this weekend, because he didn’t make as many mistakes as Max. However, he almost ruined his championship with that moment of confusion, not passing Max when he could have, and instead crashing into him – because of Max’s terrible move and positioning in the middle of the track.

      I voted for Esteban. Looking forward to Abu Dhabi, and hopefully Hamilton’s 8th title.

    2. I too am saying the same without a gun pointing at my head. Sky, the British audience, Uk journalists, mercedes, do they share the trophy, cause you’ve bent the fia, everything is worse than on the ferrari days.

  4. Hamilton, the skill shown in not being taken out by Verstappen was supreme. I suppose he’s getting plenty of practice.

    1. Lol except it was lewis who rammed into max

      1. Lol except Max was given a penalty for slowing in front of Hamilton

        1. By an organisation that levels FIFA in terms of integrity. This season is the most fixed one since F1 started, although Senna would disagree I guess

          1. You saw Brazil?

      2. @f1fan-2000 That tends to happen when you’re brake tested last second. As FIA confirmed (even if they don’t ever use the term).

    2. I Agree its all Hamilton could do not the be rammed by Verstappen’s late lunged.

      An example of which is that 3rd restart. If hamilton after moving over to occon had moved back to the inside
      he might have found verstappen burried on his inside. That move by Max, mimic’d Occon’s cheaky move on the restart before, only he was carrying much more speed.

      Generally speaking verstappen’s idea of a driving advantage is the break much later than the corner allows.

  5. Ocon for me, stayed out of the drama, hardly put a foot wrong and had excellent pace. Just a bit sad Bottas pipped him for the podium in the end, he deserved it.

    1. Top, my choice too. I fond Max failed Quali and Lewis had it too easy with the fastest car Max couldn’t shake Lewis even on a faster tyre.

    2. @skipgamer @macleod
      Agreed. Excellent result, even without the fact that he was:
      – squeezed into the wall before T1 at the 1st start
      – had to dodge the HAM / VER chaos at the 2nd start
      – got hit and forced wide at the 3rd start
      Absolutely gutted that a 2nd rate driver in the quickest car snatched a podium from him with only yards to go.
      Dramatic, but still an embarrassing situation again for Bottas, who shouldn’t be struggling to be best of the rest.

  6. Yeah probably not Verstappen :)) Ocon in a three year old car went well indeed.

    1. Ocon drove well. He had some luck but capitalised on it. It is a shame he couldn’t keep Bottas behind.

    2. How did Max win the “official” driver of the day vote? Objectively he had a terrible race and a rather sloppy weekend generally. I can’t say I’ve ever voted in it but it seems astounding to me. I can appreciate him getting it for his Monaco race or the Netherlands where he was faultless, but here…?

      1. We can only speculate, but he does have a pretty fanatical (good and bad) following in the Netherlands, and I think people who view F1 as reality with cars are more likely to buy into the “FIA keep penalising us” line from Red Bull. Going beyond that, since Silverstone there’s been a bot on Twitter spamming many F1 threads with some bizarre “jokes” about “fraudmilton”. I imagine it’s not hard to turn a hand to the voting page on the official F1 site. Or maybe he genuinely has more fans than Hamilton, who can quite polarise himself in a variety of ways. Who knows.

        1. This wasn’t the Netherlands only i heard a lot from the states as they like this kind of things….

          1. Agree, that’s what I meant by people who see it as “reality (TV) with cars”

        2. It’s bizarre though, because the Netherlands itself has a tiny population. I think as much as anything the fans are voting against the FIA’s inconsistency

      2. @tommy-c because he was treated like JPM going up against schumacher.

      3. Apparently its all based on SKY twitter votes, and ofcourse not everyone does twitter.

        1. No, the official driver of the day is a vote on the official formula1.com website during the race.

  7. I would not give this vote to either of the top two because the racing was not clean. While Ocon and Ricciardo drove well, there was a bit of luck there too. But it was Antonio in Sauber who was a consistent performer throughout the weekend and gets the vote for the driver of the weekend.

    1. That’s a good candidate indeed @pinakghosh, I did give it to Ocon because he was so clearly ahead of Alonso the whole weekend, and didn’t make a mistake from what I could see; yes with some luck, but even so, great weekend from him.

    2. Yeah, I gave it to Antonio as well @pinakghosh, getting that Alfa/Sauber into Q3 was a great effort and he did a really fine job to finish in the points too.

      Too many times we have seen him do well in Qualifying this year and then not be able to make much out of it in the race. Here he did exactly that. I agree that both Ricciardo and Ocon did a great job in the race too to coin in on the opportunity handed to them by the red flag stopage, Ocon also had a very good qualifying, but I agree that Giovannazi made is own race.

      Bit of a shame about Norris dropping completely out of contention with the red flag, it would have been nice to see what he might have done up at the front, since he would have been right with Max and Lewis, but I guess that is all part of the game.

  8. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    6th December 2021, 4:45

    Lewis’s pace on the hard tyres was absolutely insane. The Red Bull was arguably the faster car this weekend gaining a stupendous 0.8 seconds in sector 1 alone but Lewis was on a mission.

    1. The Redbull was only faster on the softs in Quali mode in race Mercedes was really fast and certain on the hards.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        6th December 2021, 14:19

        @macleod, the Red Bull was pulling away to the tune of 0.8 seconds and Hamilton was way faster than Bottas on the same tyre. It was hammertime. He was flying that car to try and catch Max – you could tell Lewis was not going to allow Max to steal the race with the collusion of the FIA.

        Beautiful to watch – they were throwing VSC after VSC to keep him behind, just like they took away the fastest lap at the last race by extending it.

        1. You know you cannot drive faster then the car is capable of. Hammertime is just getting max of the car (100%) that is what Max is doing also. Even Mercedes is saying they have the edge

    2. @freelittlebirds I agree, Mercedes had a quicker car on hard tyres (probably even on mediums) but Hamilton was and is on a mission. He looks completely fired up and focused for Abu Dhabi. If he and Mercedes are quicker on the weekend, it will just be a question of whether Verstappen will manage to take him out or not. I really don’t like making that accusation but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a driver so clearly show what he is capable of doing to win a championship as Verstappen in the Jeddah race. The number of Max fan’s (in the Anglophone world and beyond) who are now questioning his driving standards and sportsmanship is testimony to how close he is to destroying his reputation, moving from hard racer to dirty driver. He has one race to avoid that happening and try to win through his skill. However, I think FIA’s attempt to start penalizing him has come two races far too late (and can even be traced back to Monza 2019).

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        6th December 2021, 14:27

        @david-br my wife used to support Max but now she absolutely hates him, so do my children:-)

        I’ve always said that he’s too dangerous and he’s taken it to an inconceivable level this season. We’re lucky Lewis is still alive – it’s only because he has massive experience but even so, he came close to the end in Monza.

        Max winning the WDC will never make him a champion in anyone’s eyes. Nico’s championship was controversial but it’s nothing compared to this one. Lewis has mopped the floor with Max this season on track.

      2. However, I think FIA’s attempt to start penalizing him has come two races far too late (and can even be traced back to Monza 2019).

        @david-br I’d date that to Austria 2019 where Verstappen just bumped Leclerc out of his way to take the win.

        1. @x303 You’re right, sorry, I meant Austria 2019. It can’t be a coincidence that it was the same year Charlie Whiting passed away (March) and Masi took over, quickly introducing the ‘hard racing/let them race’ philosophy.

  9. Verstappen, easily. He did most overtakes, crashes, penalties, most value for entertainment.

    And the quali lap up to the crash was epic.

    1. I think this somes up why Max got the Driver of the day… The star of the SHOW the yong underdog against the evil champion…..

      1. @ MacLeod: evil champion? I’d say Hamilton’s is the opposite! His program to help young drivers, investments in a low- carbon future, his support to the LGBT- community makes him good imo.

        1. Evil in the sense mercedes is winning since 2014 and as you can see they basically won the constructors already, and on performance they should have an edge on the driver’s title too.

    2. Once again that ‘quali’ lap was on a clear track with no slower cars ahead of him, he could afford to throw the car
      about without fear of running into slow cars. Hamilton’s lap had him passing no less than 5 cars as he blitz those
      blind corners. The 5th car actually moving from the left side of the track to the right has he swept around that corner

      Max’s clear track was good for a few 10ths, yet the pundit comparing the quali runs don’t seem to have factored
      that in their ‘heroric’ laps.

  10. Hamilton showing why he’s the GOAT again. Amazing how he kept his car going with Verstappen showing to be so intent on taking him out.

    That pole was brilliant too. Much slower car than Verstappen, but Verstappen cracks under the pressure of Q3 again and Hamilton takes the pole anyway.

  11. DOTW & DOTD: HAM, with an honorable mention to OCO

    1. Apart from the moment ocon let Lewis pass without a fight ( toto managed driver!)
      He was the one who stayed calm and deserved the podium. So as backup, driver of the day.

  12. Went with Bottas, thought he did a cracking job in qualifying and bringing home a podium for his team. Must be hard to stay motivated when it’s all about your teammate. Was a little unlucky on the first restart.

    Hamilton is a fair winner too.

    1. I would agree on Bottas , great effort to stay out of trouble and then come good at the end with that deserved podium.
      Bottas is now confirmed as the greatest #2 in the history of F1 with 59 joint podiums along side Hamilton. Its a pity the media haven’t picked up on that record.

  13. Isn’t it funny how a fan vote is so different to the official one? A bit like how the fans understanding of the rules is different to the official one.

    1. Which, official one do you mean?

  14. For the official DOTD to go to a driver who blatantly tried to take out he’s opposition multiple times shows the dark road F1 has turned into, anything for the show even if it leads to someone getting seriously injured or killed.
    I can imagine, when the time comes for Lewis to retire, that it wont be because he’s had enough of racing but rather he doesn’t fancy ending up in a wheelchair….

    1. @f1-plossl

      Except that it isn’t true.

    2. Its a twitter vote, what else can you say.

  15. Max, easy one! With a slower car (see PER vs BOT) he nearly managed to win the race. In my view, key moment was his poor start after the first red flag. I really don’t know how much of that was the fact he stayed somewhat longer on his grid spot vs a typical typical start because everyone else backed down during the warm-up lap. But everything went south after that on both sides, and more so on FIA wall, unfortunately.

  16. Max. Maybe not really my opinion, he could have done it a lot better. But just to infuriate the opposition.

    I kinda dislike Max’s attitude, as I used to dislike Ayrton’s. But I’m looking forward to watch him win the WDC on countback with a point tie (maybe a double DNF?), after some appallingly unfair FIA decision, just to see the cranemaster’s fans foaming at the mouth.

  17. Ocon would be my driver of the weekend. Comfortable outqualified and outraced Alonso then made the most of his good fortune mixing it with Verstappen and Hamilton and finishing clearly best of the rest. Unlucky to lose out to Bottas in a much faster Mercedes after putting up a hard but fair fight. Its also noticeable he drove fast enough to stop Verstappen being able to pit and go for a fastest lap. although some of that will be down to Verstappen and Hamilton’s battling and shenanigans. Calls for him to be replaced by Piastri seem unfair on Ocon.

  18. Giovinazzi.

    Ocon and Ricciardo drove well, but were lucky, and one performed badly in qualifying.

    Giovinazzi was great in qualifying and was running in 7th at one point in the race, ahead of both Ferrari’s with similar pace. The race restarts helped them get passed him. Giovinazzi wasn’t aided in the same way Ocon and Ricciardo was. He only gained a place from Perez, and he still finished a position higher than he started in a car that certainly isn’t in the top 5. Pretty easy option.

    Hamilton wasn’t perfect this weekend. He swerved all over the place when Gasly was on a hot lap in practice, then on the same lap despite having a 10 second warning (should have been enough time to process, stayed on the racing line nearly having Mazepin crash into him. Effectively, had Mazepin not reacted, this could have wrecked his car, and he and the team will have been responsible. Even the yellow flags issue was a near miss.

    He was solid in the race, but not worthy of DOTW.

  19. Max not because of the driving but because he looked like JPM against Schumacher. The fia has no power to push back the by as and the political and fan pressure. Got lucky with the red flag besides that everything went against him. What a farce.

    1. @peartree He cut a chicane to gain a place. Max’s fault. He surrendered another ill-earned place, as accepted by his team, by driving down the middle of the road and then braking heavily last second and causing an incident. Max’s fault. And he eventually lost the race because he was on fading tyres and/or simply outdriven by a better and faster driver on the day. His and Red Bull’s fault.

  20. Went for Hamilton who kept a cool head despite all the drama. Not sure the Lewis of 2007 would have handled that well. But today, he is focused and prefer lose some battles to win in the end, rather than risking it all in one move.
    Honorable mention to Ocon and Giovinazzi.

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