Vettel pole lap was astonishing given it wasn't the fastest car but I have to give it to JB. Controlled the race once he got ahead, brilliant restart behind the safety car and pumped in fast laps at the end just when he needed them. Must have been very close on fuel though...
I know this is a poll rather than a debate, but really. Schumacher, in the 7th fastest car, qualified 8th finished 6th while his teammate started 23rd and finished 10th.
That constitutes 'Driver of the Weekend'?
Has to be Button for being on or close to the top throughout practice, losing out on pole by only 9/1000th of a second to a Red Bull and cementing it all with a superbly controlled, winning race performance.
Really struggling with this one this weekend. Any of the following 4 deserve a shout at this;
Absoutely fantastic drive and weekend from Jenson. Topped the timesheets in both Free Practice sessions on Friday, was on his way to pole position but a quite sensational lap from Vettel put him in second. To todays race win, Jenson could have let his head drop after the start of the race but he didn't he was determined to win this race and showed Hamilton that despite having a terrible start not to let it get to him. Fantastic race from Button and loved the way he went and showed his winners trophy to the Japanese fans who'd stayed in the Grandstands for a good 2-3 hours after the race finished.
Despite not been the fastest over the race, Vettel was alway in the fight for the race win today. His pole position lap was quite amazing and really showed that he wasn't willing to settle for second best. Also been crowd the youngest ever double world champion at the age of just 24 is amazing. Plus like Button fantastic celebrations with the Japanese fans, despite Vettels awful taste in Music.
How the hell his car was in with a shout of a race win today is beyond me. He should have realistically finished behind Webber today but he just keeps out performing this car race weekend in race weekend out.
Fantastic job from young Perez to make a two stopper work. But whats even more amazing is that he really looked like he should have been tucked up in bed all weekend with a mug of bovril and a pair of slippers on. Amazing drive from the young Mexican, surely he's got a contract with Ferrari for 2013?
Great race. Would vote for Button, Alonso, Schumie and Perez if I could.
Gonna give it to Button though just for the fact that this is his first dry win for Mclaren. A dry win with all the main contenders finishing and him simply out pacing them. Whether that means Mclaren have up'd their game, Button has up'd his game or its just a one off fluke on conditions I don't know but its def worth sitting up and taking notice of.
Finally got some closure on the missed showdown for Monoco today I feel!
Whilst Jenson won in superb fashion and did Japan proud, I can't vote him DotW. He should have grabbed pole after the other driver in the fastest car this weekend screwed his last run and didn't exactly look like he was going to pass Seb other than in the pits. He did have a very good weekend/race other than that though. Keep up this momentum and he might just achieve his goal in the second half of the season of beating Seb.
Alonso again driving the wheels off that Ferrari and finishing 2nd in the third fastest car with all his competitors finishing. Had to compromise his qualifying for a race setup so he didn't munch through his tyres too much today. Excellent race for him and pick-pocketed Seb brilliantly.
Vettel did what he had to do and that was finish the race in the points. Apart from his pole lap the young German had a pretty average weekend compared to his usual sky high standards.
Schumie beating a Ferrari in a straight fight? Definitely worth a mention (although it was a very dispirited Massa) but really should have got a banker in qualy so he could have used his fantastic start to really have mixed it with the front runners.
But my vote goes to the Mexican Sauber driver Sergio Perez. His tyre management is quite sensational and to finish eighth, from where he started and to beat his much heralded team mate at his home GP gets my vote. Without a fever that is a very good weekend's work; with a fever, and energy levels very low, that is sensational.
A really difficult decision as (most) others have said. Vettel's qualifying lap was superb and he raced with real tenacity even though it wasn't required. Alonso got more out of that Ferrari than could reasonably be expected, more than making up for his mediocre qualifying. Perez impressed me a lot too.
But I've voted for Button for his impressive speed throughout the weekend and for beating Vettel in a straight fight in what seemed one of the closest match-ups, pace-wise, of the season.