It isn’t always easy to pick a candidate for driver of the day after every race, but this time, with one stand out performer in particular, it is a no-brainer.
Of course, it is hard to ignore Sebastian Vettel’s performance once again. Even if the regular victories look to be relatively simple, Vettel and the whole Red Bull team deserve all the credit they receive.
But this time, there was an even more worthy choice for driver of the day.
The Checkered Flag’s nomination goes, unsurprisingly, to Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg. The German driver equalled his best performance in Formula One to date with a fine fourth place finish.
The way he was able to keep two world champions in the form of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso behind him for lap after lap was deeply impressive. On the one occasion that Hamilton did manage to find a way past, he fought back immediately and retook the position.
It was easily one of the drives of the 2013 season to date, and perhaps even more impressive than his strong performance at the Italian Grand Prix just several races ago. After Monza, Hulkenberg came close to signing for Ferrari. We can only hope that with this performance today, Lotus will take the incentive and sign him as a replacement for the departing Raikkonen.
The Finn is also worth a mention in this piece. For the second time in two races, Raikkonen recovered from a lowly grid position to finish on the podium. In Singapore he went from thirteenth to third, while today he was able to stay away from the numerous incidents befalling rivals and finish second.
A late race pass of team mate Romain Grosjean after an error by the French driver was a particular highlight, as was the way he was able to stay ahead despite Grosjean’s fresher tyres.
The result is a perfect response to those suggesting his motivation has slipped following the announcement of his move back to Ferrari for 2014.
As ever, let us know if you agree with our selections by leaving a comment below.