Esteban Gutierrez

Ok, bear with us.

Fernando Alonso was imperious in Spain. He pushed his tyres to the very limit and put in some daring early overtakes to position himself for the victory. It was grandiouso stuff, but it’s becoming what we expect of him as a top driver in a top seat.

It’s the drivers who makes great gains we keep our eyes on when it comes to Top Dog. That’s why we’ve picked Esteban for the award, because after the first four races of the season we thought he would be well on his way out. He was destined to join the pile of discarded young drivers that, in recent seasons, has grown alarmingly.

In short, he had to perform. And he did.

In qualifying he had a solid afternoon that was ruined by another little rookie error in blocking another car. The grid penalty was harsh, and put him 19th. But a ballsy strategy of running long stints put him, unbelievably, in the lead while others dove in for fresh rubber.

The other two stints didn’t fare quite as well, but he set the fastest lap of the race. And, for a driver that many had written off, he finished the race less than half a second off of a points scoring position. After a very poor performance in Bahrain, could anyone have predicted that?

He’s now a piece of F1 trivia in a quiz for the right reasons. Congratulations Esteban. More of the same and you’ll be fine.

Credit: Octane Photography