Sergio Perez, Force India, Baku City Circuit, 2016

Podium earns Perez Driver of the Weekend win

2016 European Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend result

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Sergio Perez was emphatically chosen as the Driver of the Weekend for the European Grand Prix, taking over two-thirds of the vote.

Perez has been voted Driver of the Weekend three times in the last 13 grands prix. He also the polls for the 2015 Russian and 2015 Abu Dhabi races.

Race winner Nico Rosberg was the only other driver to take a significant share of the vote.

Sergio Perez’s European Grand Prix weekend

It was clear throughout practice Force India were on course for one of their strongest weekends of the year. Perez featured inside the top six in each of the three sessions and was third on Friday afternoon.

But he made his most significant error of the weekend during the final practice session, running wide at turn 15 and hitting the wall. He paid a price for his mistake: Force India had to fit a new gearbox to his car which meant a five-place grid penalty.

Perez didn’t let this setback affect his performance and produced the second-quickest time in qualifying – beaten only by Rosberg’s Mercedes – to ensure he’d start the race from seventh.

He made up two places in the opening laps and gained a further place from Daniel Ricciardo as the Red Bull had to pit twice.

From then it should have been a case of driving until the end and keeping within five seconds of Kimi Raikkonen in order to benefit from the Ferrari driver’s penalty. But Perez had other ideas, passing Raikkonen on the final lap and crossing the line to take third in a Force India that hasn’t often showed the pace to match Ferrari or Red Bull so far this season.

Did a great job in qualifying and the race as well. Two podiums in three races. Making best use of the pace in the car. Did crash in FP3 but don’t think he missed out on anything because of that.

That car isn’t terrible but it’s not really podium quality, either. Should have started second if it wasn’t for the crash and then fought his way back up to third – far and above what the car is capable of.
Adam (@Rocketpanda)

Second before before his penalty and finished third on merit, never looked slower than cars behind him which includes Hamilton, Ricciardo, Bottas, and Raikkonen. Looks he still has some speed left, too bad there’s no Hamilton in his back to push him further.

Winners and losers in Baku

Rosberg was a distant runner-up in the voting despite achieving a ‘grand slam’ of pole position, fastest lap, leading every lap and winning the race.

Rosberg was faultless again. Unlike his team mate, he didn’t put a foot wrong all weekend, he took advantage of everything happening around him and drove perfectly to the win. It was easy, sure, but he made it work.

Meanwhile neither Perez or Rosberg’s team mates fared well, Nico Hulkenberg failing to even pick up one vote a year on from his Le Mans 24 Hours victory.

I remembered Perez making that final pass even if he didn’t need to. Great qualifying, great race and he’s starting to make Hulkenberg look average.

2016 European Grand Prix

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13 comments on “Podium earns Perez Driver of the Weekend win”

  1. Good on Serg drove a good race and a good bloke

  2. ColdFly F1 (@)
    24th June 2016, 13:00

    It’s easier for Mercedes drivers to win a race, but more difficult to win DOTW.

    1. And I’m pretty sure that both merc drivers would like it to be the other way around.

  3. Serg in a Ferrari in 2017 now Ric and Max are comfirmed in RB

    1. Perez deserved this win, but I do kind of feel sorry for Rosberg. Faultless weekend. But Meh.
      Fast car, no competition from Hamilton and all that. But still Pfft whatever. It’s just what we expect from a Merc driver. But Hamilton didn’t do it. Still Meh.

    2. Ferrari will be lucky to get a talent like Perez to complement the Legend Vettel. They would make a great team for 2017. It is clear to see Kimi’s heart is not in it anymore and Ferrari is not in the business of coming in Second.

  4. I don’t really understand why Hamilton’s win in Canada got him far more votes than Rosberg’s win in Baku did, despite Rosberg not messing up the start and getting a grand slam.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      24th June 2016, 16:14

      I think if Hamilton started 2nd and put pressure on Nico or there was a safety car, Nico would have been in with a shout but the race was so easy for him after turn 1.

    2. Neil (@neilosjames)
      24th June 2016, 16:59

      I think Rosberg drove really well in Baku… he was my second choice for DoTW.

      But regarding why he got fewer votes, I’d assume it’s because Hamilton had a proper fight in qualifying (Rosberg didn’t stick it in the wall without setting a decent lap), resisted Rosberg’s pressure into Turn 1 and made his tyres last while having something approaching a ‘race’ with Vettel.

      Whereas Rosberg, grand slam aside, didn’t really need to do anything in Baku other than drive round and keep it out of the wall. And I don’t think anyone else stood out like Perez did in Baku, so Hamilton had an easier DoTW.

    3. @kingshark Because we only have 1 vote and Perez is simply doing more amazing job than Rosberg. Hamilton doesn’t have someone like that in Canada to take the vote off from him.

  5. Ferrari 2017 Vettel and Perez

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