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Japanese Grand Prix – Who was your Driver of the Day?
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Posted By: James Allen  |  13 Oct 2013   |  5:12 pm GMT  |  255 comments

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel edged closer to his fourth successive world title with his fifth successive victory of the season in the Japanese Grand Prix.

The German’s team-mate Mark Webber produced a late fightback to claim second with Lotus driver Romain Grosjean, who led for most of the race, a strong third.

Nico Hulkenberg produced another brilliant drive in the Sauber to finish sixth, one place ahead of team-mate Esteban Gutierrez who scored his first points in F1. But who was your Driver of the Day?

Sebastian Vettel

Fought back from a bad start to take his ninth win of the season and fifth in a row. Made a disappointing getaway from second, dropping a place to Grosjean and clipping the rear wheel of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes at the first corner. Maintained a gap to team-mate Webber to conserve tyres and then ran a long middle stint to allow him to make a two-stop strategy work. Overtook Grosjean, who was on older tyres, in the final stint before coasting to victory at Suzuka for the fourth time in five years. Extended his lead over Fernando Alonso in the championship to 90 points meaning a top-five finish in India next time out will be enough to seal a fourth straight world title.

Mark Webber

Recovered from a bad start and made the best of a three-stop strategy to score his fifth podium of the season. Made a bad getaway from pole and ran in second for most of the race. The team split strategies with Webber going onto a three-stop while his team-mate Vettel went for a two. Made his final stop and rejoined in third. Caught Grosjean quickly but struggled to pass him. Eventually made a move stick but it was took late to catch Vettel and he had to settle for second.

Romain Grosjean

Made a superb start to lead the race before racing strongly to take a podium. Started fourth but got a good launch and drove down the inside of Hamilton, Vettel and Webber to take the lead. Spent much of his time at the front but made his second stop earlier than Vettel. On older tyres, he struggled to keep Vettel behind and dropped to second. Defended bravely in the final stint from Webber but eventually lost the position. Nevertheless, it was a strong drive for the Frenchman and his second successive podium as he bids to prove his worth to Lotus.

Nico Hulkenberg

Outperformed stronger teams once again as he scored his fourth successive points finish. Made a good start and following a quick early pit stop found himself ahead of both Ferraris in fourth place. Held off Alonso for much of the race, but in doing so wore out his tyres. Eventually yielded to Alonso and looked on course for fifth before Raikkonen got past with two laps to go. Sixth remains a good result for the German as he rose to 10th in the drivers’ standings and enhances his reputation as he seeks a seat for next year.

Esteban Gutierrez

Pulled off some bold overtaking moves as he scored his first points of the year. Looked quick all weekend ahead of the race but only qualified 14th. Made a great start to rise up a couple of places before the first stops. Had a great battle with Felipe Massa and pulled off a brilliant move on Jean-Eric Vergne down the pit straight and into Turn One to rise up into the points. Became the first of the five rookies on the grid this year to score a point.

Who was your Driver of the Day at Suzuka?

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255 Comments
  1. Manchesterf1 says:

    I told you james. Lotus’ tire advantage is a joke. Look at how RBR duo making their stint long and highly competitive.

  2. Romain deserves driver of the day as he managed to hold of Webber and Vettel at times. As for the start, well it was hard to put into words!

  3. Lars says:

    Romain Grosjean

  4. Jose Arellano says:

    Gutierrez!

  5. f1fan says:

    Vettel is my DOTD.
    Mark would have won the race if he had clean start. Gro would be 2nd and Vettel 3rd at that point and Web could have opened a gap to Gro till first stint. Later, Vettel overtook Gro very quickly, while Web lost massive time despite being on mediums.

  6. Leo86IL says:

    Vettel: the German was amazing at managing his tyres, when he was asked to push unlike Webber he didn’t lose time in order to overtake Grosjean, that was the key for his victory.

    Grosjean: magnificent start and wonderful defensive skills against a superior car with a clear tyre advantage (medium vs hard), for me he was the DOTD (followed very closely by SV), judging by his latest performances i would put him as TOP5 driver.

  7. RC says:

    SV = Only a select few have won 5 in a row, that too on faraway races.

    Brilliant will and spirit, not to coast away to championship, but fight for wins every way possible.

  8. Robby says:

    Grosjean: Alonso-style start, hard to pass, clever racing

    Webber: strong on new tyres, strange strategy (Grosjean pitted only one lap after Mark’s 1st stop)

    Vettel: thank you Red Bull. That aside, not 100% convinced Webber could win with a 2-stop. Anyway, a move to let a driver win a race has to be honoured.

  9. Rush says:

    Vettel
    Grosjean
    Webber
    Hulk
    Gut

  10. David Taylor says:

    Grosjean.

    Am feeling that RBR deliberately favoured. Vettel

  11. tom says:

    Romain, absolutely! He presented great performance today, and in last races!

  12. Dave says:

    Vettel. As much as I am very tired of him winning he really deserved the win after making his tyres last so long and driving a very good race. All the rest were as brilliant but Vettel pips the top in my part

  13. Fernando Cruz says:

    Grosjean is my driver of the day. The fact that Bruno Senna managed to beat him at Suzuka last year in race pace – after overtaking him on the outside at 130 R – just reminds me about what the brazilian could do in a second season with a good F1 car. In the WEC he has already 4 poles and 2 wins in his class, while Kobayashi has 0 poles and 0 wins…

  14. DonSimon says:

    Gro for sure. That start was lightening and he raced well all day. Seb was on his usual amazing form though so he’s always in with a shout. Gutted for Lewis personally!

  15. Stephen Taylor says:

    Romain Grosjean

  16. TRS says:

    I am tempted by both Grosjean and Gutierrez but it’s impossible to see past Vettel’s middle stint.

  17. Grosjean: the Grand Prix of his life so far. There was nothing he could have done to stay ahead. Well done!
    Seb: He delivered exactly what was expected from him, racing his car to its very limit and was able to nurse his tires better than his team mate. It all seemed very easy, but it wasn’t. Brilliant!

  18. Seifenkistler says:

    Driver over the day: This 18 year old with a new driving license who took a curve too quick which was covered by frozen autumn leaves already.
    Volunteer firefighters (which includes me) were called after just 6 laps. He had to be cut free but was not harmed in a life threating way. When i came back after 5 hours (cleanup, oil removed) i could just see the interviews from the repeat. Family was already at the soccer match of a daughter and i had a lonely and cold lunch. Managed to see the second half of the match at least.

  19. Sniper says:

    It never was Lotus advantage but more like Kimi’s ability.That is the reason he is going to Ferrari. The other is the new rules frame

  20. Dan B says:

    Romain Grosjean

  21. Valentino from montreal says:

    Roman Bigjohn because he’s been outracing Raikkonen lately …

  22. Dan says:

    Webber.

    He did well and would have won in my opinion, if not for the team favourable Vettel and putting Mark on a slower strategy.

    Grosjean did well and I’m glad Lotus’ are retaining him.

  23. Antti says:

    Good drives throughout the field, many others could have been included in the list as equally worthy.

    I think this needs to go to Vettel, he really needed to fight for this win, and he did so. Webber’s drive was great as well, but had he lead after the first corner (which you should when you start from the pole), we wouldn’t be talking about possible strategy blunders. Grosjean showed how important qualification is: Kimi still is the superior racer of the two, but you won’t always claw your way back to the podium if you start from 9th, you simply lose too much time navigating through the traffic.

  24. Andy says:

    Vettel, closely followed by Grosjean.

    That was far from his best win, but showed how well he and his team work together.

  25. Miha Bevc says:

    Vettel. He played this chess game very well. Except for the start, he drove brilliant. I think he could have also won on a 3 stop strategy if he needed to…

  26. K says:

    Grosjean clearly.

    I do find it odd that Kimi is not happy with the way the car handles right after he chose to go to Ferrari. And suddenly Grosjean is faster (in general).

    I think the Lotus team are now favoring Grosjean, just as they were favoring Kimi before the switch announcement. The fact that Lotus members were mocking Kimi’s great drives in Singapore and Korea as ‘just lucky’ and ‘annoying’ points at this too.

  27. Juzh says:

    vettel takes this one easily.

  28. Sammy says:

    Nothing exceptional by Vettel to be honest; just job done as expected. Outstanding drive by Grosjean.

  29. Steven says:

    Vettel. His understanding of what was required to win this race was complete. The patience he displayed in not attacking for position and having to manage his tyres instead was completely against his nature/ need to drive quickly and shows his maturity as a driver. When he was asked to be quick he was quick, when he was asked to apply pressure he did.

  30. Truth or Lies says:

    Romain Grojean likely future world champion, and driver of the day.

  31. Miha Bevc says:

    Sorry guys, off topic…

    What are these rumors about Massa to Lotus and Hulkenberg to Force India? Eddie Jordan again? Is any of it true?

    What team takes Massa over Hulkenberg? Seriously.
    And don’t start with Hulk’s weight or Massa’s sponsorship money. Hulk will get twice as many points as Massa, which are surely worth something.

    I just really want to see Hulkenberg in a good car next year. Grojean and Hulkenberg would be really talented line-up. I know next year is about experience, but still.

  32. JB says:

    Today’s performance from Grosjean blew me away! I believe I have to eat all my negative comments of him from the past. :P

    No one would believe it, if I told you last year that he can perform better than Kimi and not make any contact on the race track. What a turnaround. Keep it up Kid.

    The RedBull boys just doing their usual stuff. That team is in a class of their own.

    Hulkenburg is definitely worth mentioning. He is proving again that he deserves a good spot in F1.

    Kind of surprised by the poor performance of Kimi. He seems to have this out-of-steam phase when he knows he has secured a better seat. Remember 2006?

    Anyway, DOTD – Grosjean.

  33. anon says:

    Worst driver of the day:

    Alonso – for getting stuck behind Massa and requiring Rob Smedley to do his dirty work. Alonso is virtually out of the championship yet requires team orders to take 6th place??? Also, for getting out qualified by Massa and Hulkenberg. Then during the race got stuck behind Massa, stuck behind Ricciardo, then stuck behind Hulkenberg for 20 odd laps (Hulkenberg who was driving in car with little development and a customer Ferrari engine).

    Raikkonen – Got stuck behind a Sauber for a while, got destroyed by his teammate. The same teammate who was a laughing stock not long ago.

  34. Marcelo Leal says:

    Hulk.
    It’s interesting to see how fans, jornalists, RBR Team Principal try to “prove” that SV is a great driver and argument about the fact. For me, just this is the proof of the contrary.
    Attitudes like the one from RBR Team Principal today, killing the race of their other driver, is disrespectful for the fans of the sport. At least Ferrari does not fake it, they do and everyone knows that Alonso is their only driver. But RBR… I remember their first WDC, when Vettel won and they said that was well deserved because RBR had no team orders, and their victory was better for the sport. Well, time is showing that was not true.

  35. Aadil says:

    Hulk once again

    Simply because his extracting 110% from his Sauber racing Ferrari’s,Lotus’s & Mercs.

    Not even Vettel would be able to extract anymore performance from that car.

  36. AuraF1 says:

    Webber – he finally seemed to be interested in the end of his F1 career not dreaming of his future Porsche career. Unfortunately the change to a 3 stop strategy seems like deliberate sabotage to impact grosjean and sacrifice Webber to Vettel. Marks times did not dictate a change of strategy. Another sad day in team favouritism. And I wish all the commentators would stop telling us the dislike of Vettel is the finger salute or Seb failing to use Twitter – it’s not. It’s remarks like his in the car that sound like a petulant child ordering the team to keep Mark at bay. Vettel may be the nicest guy in the world as Martin Brundle keeps telling us but his remarks in the car often betray a less than grounded and competitive spirit and more an angry child.

  37. Another good race for Hulkenberg, but Grosjean had a fantastic weekend. His drive was pretty much flawless from what we could see; his car was just not fast enough to keep up with the Bulls. Romain gets my vote.

  38. Bruno says:

    Driver of the day was Massa,that ignored Ferrari orders to let Alonso pass…

  39. Laul says:

    My personal top 3:
    Newey
    Gutti
    Taki

  40. Ezio Auditore says:

    I’m actually going to go with the Sauber drivers again. GUT, was the DOTD in my opinion yesterday. Simply for driving a mature race under pressure while others around him foundered. Loved his tangle with Massa and kept ROS at bay for 7th.

    Hulk was awesome second-week in a row!

  41. 22scott says:

    Once the team called Webber in early it was over. May not watch the rest of the season.

  42. Alexander Supertramp says:

    Good list, but Gutierrez stands out for me. Bold racing and a strong result by a rookie.. The current Sauber should give him the opportunity to confirm today’s performance.

  43. andrewinwork says:

    It would depend on your pronunciation of Prix. Opting for the French way then Vettel and Romain are up there as is Webber until someone swapped his strategy. The English pronunciation would be Perez for his collision with Nico, Eddy Jordan on the podium saying the crowd would all the singing the “Marshoness”??? WTF and the Merc lolipop guy

  44. BW says:

    This one’s tough. For me, only two are contenders, so let’s start with the others.
    HUL – could be if he kept his P4, not if he came just in P6 (without Lewis, he is where he started).
    WEB – you’ve lost it, mate. Late at start, although VET didn’t hurry and also cleaned Lewis who seemed to sneak in. Losing start caused eating tyres early on, then you were in awful strategic situation and changing strategy to three-stopper was the last chance. But you failed to jump Grosjean as fast as VET.
    GRO – magnificent start!! Perhaps RBR were untouchable, but still he was overtaken by both of them, on track.

    And now the final two.
    GUT – plenty of luck, with three opponents being fined with drive-through penalty (not to mention withdrawal of HAM). But still he made it from P14 to P7, defended this position from ROS and got his first career points.
    VET – awful start, oh boy, and you know what everyone thinks about any controversial decisions at RBR pitwall. But he had great pace when needed and his clean attack on Grosjean was probably the winning move.

    Mind says: go for winner (and don’t look for reasons not to praise Vettel). Heart says: go for young Esteban, it’s his day.
    I follow my heart and say: Esteban Gutierrez is DOTD, he might not have another chance.

  45. Rob Newman says:

    I am going to give this one to Vettel. He proved that a race is not won on lap one. It was a controlled and disciplined drive. He was right in warning the team about Perez. We saw what happened to Rosberg with Perez.

    No doubt, Grosjean and Gutierrez did a fantastic job.

    I think the ‘Multi 3′ message to Webber around lap 22 was to indicate a three stop strategy. He was not bad but he could have overtaken Grosjean much earlier and challenged for the lead. (Easier said than done, of course).

    I don’t understand Ferrari’s team orders. There was no need to move Massa out of the way. But in the end Massa made himself look silly. If Alonso hadn’t overtaken him, then the team could have delayed Massa at the pit stops. Massa was compromised by Hamiton’s exit otherwise he could have moved further up the field.

    I think there is a feeling of Deja vu in the paddock this weekend. Probably people are resigned to the fact that the championship is already over. Even the Red Bull team looked as if they have run out of energy.

  46. KARTRACE says:

    For sure RG, driver of the day. Sorry for Webber team shortchanged him yet again.

  47. aveli says:

    hamilton is my driver of the day! although he didn’t make it to the first corner from 3rd on the grid. he demonstrated that one is less likely to be disappointed without expectations.
    i hope he is able to tell the questioners that he was simply lucky in times of success rather than fighting talk as fighting talk leads to nothing. praise luck and you will get more luck.

  48. Seized Up says:

    RG drove fantastic. He’s also showing that KR leaves points on the table due to lack of qualifying talent. Lotus are in the hunt for second in the constructors.

  49. The Spanish Inquisitor says:

    Grosjean

    Today Alonso made a good job.

    Another Alonso’s race whithout conversation with his engineer? I want to read the race script.

  50. Dave Deacon says:

    Funny how RG suddenly outdoes KR – that KR is leaving. Also MW being always outdone, in questionable ways, by SV. Et al… Team orders seem very one sided. McLaren and JB admit that concentrating on both is not as productive as concentrating on one… How much more evidence is needed? SV is favoured throughout. Maybe one day MW will write a book. Anyway, F1 is a circus show based on profit. It is not some egalitarian race of equal cars. It is a prfoti making machine which seems scripted. They want a new MS and SV is it… It addddddddds to the profits. Best driver and best car rarley meet.

  51. Dougel says:

    Grosjean was DTOD for me.

    Red Bull sacrificed Webber’s race by using him as a chess piece to give Vettel the win, much like they sacrificed Webber’s championship in 2010 at Abu Dhabi for Vettel.

    Anyway, I don’t dislike Vettel but it was funny when he effectively thanked the crowd for not booing him!

  52. Cliff says:

    Gutted for Webber, but Vettel gets my vote. Today we saw a measured drive that delivered the perfect result.

  53. Richard says:

    Can’t decide if Grosjean of Hulk.

  54. John in San Diego says:

    Vettel for me with special mentions to Grosjean, Hulkenberg, and Gutierrez.

  55. gadfly says:

    DOTD for me was Vettel: an exemplary, disciplined and patient drive. Grosjean drove very well too, profiting from an excellent start and showing how he has become much more level-headed than before. And congratulations to Gutierrez for his first points finish in F1. Had higher hopes for Webber who failed to capitalise on pole position and could have made more of his fresh set of options in his final stint.

  56. MelB says:

    Gutierrez for once!

  57. fox says:

    Surprised for so many people continue watching that boring season…

  58. luqa says:

    Again, the Hulk. Honourable mention to Vettel and Rocky for managing the race and playing the long game.

    Unfortunately Mark lost his chance not getting past the “Roman Fat-John” in a timely manner. Great race by Romain though!

  59. IP says:

    James I can’t wait to read the rundown of the strategies for this race. I’d also love to know what the Renault bloke was mumbling about in the “pre-podium” room right after the race…

    DOTD for me was driver of the medical car, who got Grosjean back to the podium

  60. Juzh says:

    Can only laugh at people voting for grosjean purely because they don’t want vettel to win it. What exactly did grosjean do that made him dotd? had a good start and then held position before being overtaken by both red bulls, and that was it. Nothing mind blowing. Such a dotd material indeed hahaha.

  61. Sue says:

    Toss up between Grosjean and Vettel. Fantastic start from Grosjean, great pace and defending, got the position robbed from him in Korea. Vettel put in a Schumacheresque performance, racing as the team instructed and prompt overtake to take the win. Absolutely no stopping him this year.

  62. AlexD says:

    I thought the real voting got back…..again is gone

  63. Random 79 says:

    Grosjean.

    Rocket start and brilliantly driven race, but just didn’t have the overall speed to stop the Bulls.

  64. AlexD says:

    Vettel made so many mistakes today….he had a very poor start…if not for having the best strategy, being king on tyres and for the superior performance ofhis car, he would not have won. Many times this year he did no make a single mistake……but today he did not start from P1 and became a mere human as many otherdrivers. Still better than Webber, but really not the driver of the day with so many mistakes.

  65. Paige says:

    I’m going to go with the two Sauber drivers. They are doing a great job with this car right now. Hulkenberg continues to show he deserves to be with one of the top teams- and that they will be stupid for not taking him.

    Gutierrez is securing his place in F1 with each passing week. And not only that, but he is really starting to show what got him to F1, and it is not Carlos Slim’s money. He was already doing great things when he was in the BMW system before they shut the F1 team down. Sauber hooked up with him from that point. He is a seriously talented and quick driver, and he is getting better and better every weekend. It’s taken him some time to learn this year, but it can be argued that he has learned more quickly than most do. If Sauber doesn’t keep him next year, he will have no trouble getting another drive. He is clearly a talent, and having Carlos Slim money definitely helps. This kid is better than Perez ever has been.

  66. Racyboy says:

    Can’t pick DOTD because of the question mark over Webber’s strategy change.

    I personally think Webber not making T1 in P1 at the start as he would have expected, effectively blew his own strategy.
    He used up his tyres quicker than he would have in clean air.

  67. Rayz says:

    Time for my Worst DOTD column. My second week doing this, I’m hoping it catches on.

    So, the contenders for WDOTD;

    1. Max Chilton

    Despite finally putting a decent quali lap together, and despite Pic having to do a drive through straight from the off, Max still finished last. No better chance to prove his worth and he did…. he’s worthless.

    2. Nico Rosberg

    An off at turn 1 early on left him defending against the Ferrari’s having been well clear of them. Then, bottled his pit stop by missing the red light and nearly caused a pit lane incident. Followed up his drive through by failing to overtake Gutierrez at the end. A poor showing all told from Rosberg.

    3. Felipe Massa

    What is left to say about Massa. Great quali lap, good start and yet still behind Alonso before half race distance. Inexplicable lack of race pace versus his team mate rounded off nicely by speeding in the pit lane. If only he showed that level of commitment on track. Amazingly, finished 45 seconds behind his team-mate by the end. Deary me!!

    4. Adrian Sutil

    No major incidents of note during the race for Sutil. However, his general lack of pace compared to a struggling Di Resta is more than enough to warrant a place on this weeks WDOTD roster. A lightning getaway off the line saw him leap past all the slowies but from then on showed nothing. Sums up his dismally appaling season. His career must be coming to an end.

    5. Sergio Perez

    How on earth he finished behind Sutil is mind shattering. Running in the points early on, only to rapidly fall away due to a tremendous lack of incompetence. Managed to make the Williams pair look semi-competitive. Surely his McLaren seat is all but gone at this stage.

    So they are the contenders. Choose your WDOTD.

  68. Hamish says:

    Out of the top 3 Vettel was untidiest, particularly early in the race. Grosjean also put wheels into the dirt, but did well at the start, taking advantage of a rare sight: 2 bogged down RBR’s. Webber was clean all race, and finished the exact distance behind Vettel that you would expect a 3-stopper to finish. The teams knew on Saturday that a 3-stopper was 5-10 seconds slower than a 2-stopper. So Webber for mine, with honorable mentions to the Sauber drivers.

    Ballsiest moves of the day – Daniel Ricciardo (both of them).

  69. Bayan says:

    Grosjean

  70. Nuno says:

    James,

    One has to say Vettel is a super driver BUT is he 7 victories more than Ham or Alo? No… Definitely not. The car is big part of his success and until he prove us wrong by beating Ham, Alo and/or Kimi in the same car there is no way that I will believe he is one of the greatest like MSC, Senna, Niki, Prost, Gilles, Fangio, etc

  71. Bolaji says:

    After watching today’s race I felt empty so I dug out the 2005 japanese grand prix to see some really hot stuff. With all due respect there’s something missing from F1 today.

  72. Jodum5 says:

    Great race all around. Grosjean and WEbber had a great race and battle. Happy to see Sauber get both cars into healthy points. Don’t know whether I’d like Force India or Sauber finish higher in the WCC.

    Highlight of the race may have been Vettel’s “whiney” (to quote NBC Sports commentators) radio transmissions about traffic.

  73. Thomas, Houston Texas says:

    Vettel.

    James, can you explain the sudden performance gain by Sauber? They were lagging at the back of the midfield early in the season & looked close to going out of business, now they have remarkable traction & have arguably a better car than McLaren or Ferrari.

    Great to see the Hulk going so well, but it is not often you see a poor performing car with a poorly funded team suddenly finding massive performance gains so late in a season.

  74. Simon Donald says:

    Grosjean. Excellent drive by the Frenchman. Honourable mention for Vettel and the two Sauber boys.

  75. TGS says:

    Grosjean or Vettel, if only because he passed the Frenchman quickly and Mark took a few more laps.

    The ‘hang back 2 seconds to save your tyres’ method is really starting to annoy though. Back luck to Ricciardo for a weak drive through penalty.

  76. pushthebutton says:

    Vettel, without a shadow of a doubt. Today proved why he deserves to be champion yet again, he was calm and calculated in how he controlled his own pace to unleash his ability at the end of the race. I never used to like the guy, but on calm reflection I’d actually go as far as to say he’s as good as (if not better than) Senna. Webber is a top driver, one of the best, but he can’t even come close to Vettel’s speed in an identical car. (I do however, reserve the right to change my opinion should Ricciardo trounce Vettel next season)

  77. howardm says:

    Daniel Ricciardo, for having the presence not to get on the radio and say WTF are you guys doing, my tires are crap but I will just stay out here and loose places and watch my top 10 fade into the Japanese sunset. Oh well better get used to it poor Mark has had this for years.

  78. Balsac says:

    Vettel gets a boo for having a cry when he was told mark was coming. Not my kind of champion.

  79. Torchwood Five says:

    Esteban Guttierez is my DOTD. Well done on getting your first championship points.

    Excellent run by Grosjean. I was actually wondering if his team were going to have to order him to smile on the podium again this week, so I was really pleased that he appeared happy after the race.

    One time, whole chessmatch or not, Mark Webber should stay out if he is happy on the tyres, regardless of what the pit say, cos, just going out on a limb, I don’t feel your team has your best interests in mind.

  80. C Lin says:

    Esteban! – DOTD

    Btw I heard Hulk to Lotus is a done deal!

  81. LQ says:

    My DOTD would go to Vettel, Mark made a poor start as usual and struggled to pass Grojean, this was a perfect opportunity for him and he could not deliver.

  82. All the drivers there did well but it ought to be Vettel. He just makes it happen.

    Five wins in a row, quite an achievement.

  83. Panayiotis says:

    Has to be Grosjean. What a difference a year makes…

  84. DanT says:

    Vettel, for once, impressed me with his ability to win without leading the whole race but my DOTD will have to be Andrew Jordan. (And I’m a Plato fan)

  85. Steven Mason says:

    Vettel recovered nicely from early mistakes but only really got first because of Webber’s strategy change. Had they left webber out we would have had another multi 21. If Webber had of pitted 1 lap earlier (last stop) I believe he would have caught Vettel but would RBR have let him pass??? I don’t think so. But Roman drove really well and kept pace all race. But DOTD would be Ricciardo for allowing the top 3 to build a pit stops worth of gap…. Affectivly ruining the race hahahaha.

  86. Jeremy J says:

    Don’t understand the talk of ‘boring F1′. So someone is dominating because they are one of the best drivers in the best car. It was ever thus.

    Still, DOTD has to be Grosjean, although Gutierrez displayed previously hidden raciness.

  87. Sean Thompson says:

    Could have been Grosjean, Gutierrez or Hulkenberg.

    But I have to give it to Raikonnen.

    His passes on the outside of 130R and at the chicane on Gutierrez and Hulkenberg were simply outstanding.

    Moves like his are exactly what I like to see.

    Great race and good clean fights up and down the grid.

    Villain of the day Mercedes car controller who sent Rosberg out blocking Perez.

  88. Robert N says:

    Vettel for me, he drove a bit like Prost today, didn’t he?

  89. Nick_F1 says:

    Grosjean – excellent drive, outperformed Kimi in a style, again and again.

  90. Wombat says:

    Grosjean – gave it everything.
    Otherwise the usual V comes before W.
    I have difficulty understanding how R-B keep a straight face.

  91. Bryce says:

    GRO for DOTD, but VET, WEB and the rest of their team for creating the result.

    IMO actions, body language, comments and demeanor suggested that a deal had been done before the race (obeyed in this instance), and that the favour will be repaid now that the championships have been just about secured.

  92. Rishi says:

    All worthy candidates. Really pleased that Gutierrez got off the mark and he defended well from Rosberg in the closing stages. Tempted to give it to Vettel because he really had to fight for this one; super tyre management and got the move done on Grosjean quickly so really took his chances. But I think Romain himself just gets it; really took the fight to the Red Bulls and the only person to do so this weekend. A mature and assertive drive and I hope he can continue this run as the season heads to a close.

  93. Ben says:

    I thought Grosjean was very impressive today, he managed to keep 2 superior cars behind him for most of the race, but unfortunately did not have the pace towards the end of the race. It was really good to see Vettel have to fight for his win and not just win it at the first corner then disappear off into the distance, he controlled his race very well, knowing when to hold back and where to push. I thought it was very clever of Red Bull to split their strategy which I believe caused Grosjean to pit earlier than he should have but I’m not sure that he would have been able to keep Vettel behind him for the rest of the race. The Hulk was impressive again.
    I really feel for Hamilton. It was a shame that he had to retire, I was looking forward to watching him fly through the field fighting for every position, it is always really exciting watching him at the back of the field fly past people as if they are hardly there!

  94. yst_01 says:

    Vettel. There is no doubt. His Q3 run was great, despite having lost the last 15 minutes in FP3 and almost managed to get pole without KERS. He drove a smart race, made the race winning pass he had to do and showed once again, that he is one of the best F1-drivers out there.

    It was very funny to hear Brundle and Crofty speaking of “so many mistake” by Vettel over the weekend. I really had a good laugh. When Alonso or Hamilton miss the apex or anything like it, “they are fighting”, and it “is great driving”. LOL. There was a little bit of silence, when Webber couldn’t pass Grosjean for seven or eight laps…

    Had RBR switched the strategies, Vettel with a 3-stopper would be very close to Webber at the end of the race and probably passed him. Then everybody would say: Since years it is clear, Webber needs more tires and they sacrificed Webber for Vettel’s victory.

    1. Vettel, 2. Grosjean (hope, he can win a race this year at least), 3. Gutierrez

  95. Denis 68 says:

    Driver of the day?

    Saint Sebastian

  96. Elie says:

    I think it was a really determined drive by a rookie in Estaban Guiterrez- 14th and fighting Into the points that gets it and his class leading team mate Hulkenberg also !- mostly for annoying the living hell out of me because he kept Nando and Kimi at bay for so long. I think if Fernando got by sooner- Kimi may have got by FA also- very frustrating..So all I can do is tip my hat to Hulk. .

    I wanted to give it to Seb because he took full advantage of what Red Bull constructed in the form of strategy, but I just can’t bring myself to do it because we will never know just how much “in on it” he is with “screwing his team mate”. I know Mark Webber is not the fastest racer in F1 but the games these people are playing and the lies Horner and co are spreading to F1 fans will have me soon booing every time I walk in a shop and see a shiny can in a fridge – fair dinkum !! And only weeks ago I was / Am all against the booing on the podium– but seriously this “Bull- Sh#%” RBR are handing the general public is just detracting from the very obvious driving talent of Vettel.
    This is not sporting and you can say what you like about the quality of marks tyres at the second stint but he was more shocked than any of us were and .. Eh hmm he’s driving.. I’m more shocked about hearing “maintain a 2 sec gap” so early in the first stint- sure they will sell it tyres etc.. But this little birdies ain’t buying it and there no strategy on earth you or Mark Gillan can produce to support this James. P1 was lost in this race before the lights went out- that’s only strategy that was The Truth.–and that smug look on the Germans face and his smart arse comments in the cock pit- I will never be a fan that’s putting it mildly. It’s just another MS driving into someone to win a race and a championship– but in a different way. Annoying little grubs that’s what they are..

  97. James AWOL says:

    No vote?

    I suspect I know why (foregone conclusion!?!)

  98. Rachael says:

    Vettel won the race, but it was not his best drive, and definitely not the best drive of the day. It was a tactical win for Red Bull (everyone uses the phrase “race strategy”, when they really mean “race tactics”).

    Grosjean drove well, but Lotus was sold a dummy, by Red Bull splitting their race tactics and falsely putting Mark on the slower three-stop race.

    The irony is that Red Bull made a strategic blunder. While this ploy once worked for them in stealing the championship from Alonso in 2010, they have failed to appreciate how lucky they were to get away with it.

    This was a race that Vettel didn’t really need to win. Now, opposition teams will be forever alert to Red Bull sacrificing number 2 driver’s race. Everyone knows they always favour Vettel, so opposition teams will simply cover off Vettel and let Red Bull screw their number 2 driver themselves.

  99. Neil Jenney says:

    I think Vettel’s radio comments rule him out for driver of the day. I find it hard to reconcile the stature that comes with an impending fourth championship with the whining and whimpering voice that came over the radio.

    Webber was denied a result he deserved by the team. Once the driver’s championship is over they will gift him a win. We all know this is how RB operate and it’s their prerogative to do so. There is little to debate whether we like it or not. Much as I’d like to say he was DotD, being “21′ed” takes him out of the running.

    Driver of the day? I’m enjoying seeing Grosjean succeed, but he’s not reached the race winning level yet. Hulkenberg made the most of what he had at his disposal, but I really enjoyed Gutierrez getting his first points. Can’t imagine how hard it is coming in to F1 with such limited testing. It takes this long into the season to see what rookies are made of. He’s my guy for Japan.

  100. Julius says:

    What is the most exciting moment in the football, hockey? In my opinions – goals!
    What is the most exciting moment in the race? Overtaking!
    I think in that moment the driver applies all his skills, experience and professionalism.
    Some of them convert this into the art and some of them in deep shame.
    As we know not all cars could use benefits of DRS zones for overtaking due to lack of speed. And they must find the way how do it differently.
    How it was great to see Kimi maneuver on Hulk and not so interesting how Alonso managed to pass Hulk in DRS.

    James,
    I think it will be even more interesting if you could expand the “Who was your Driver of the Day?” with question “What are top Three Overtakings”.
    I believe it should contribute to the title of driver of the day. Or it could be even a different post. This is up to you. You are Boss here.

    Guys, and if this will be implemented, please add links (if you have a chance) and we all could enjoy these moments.
    Due to pure coverage from Japan I did not see how Kimi execute the pass in R130. As I understood he did it, or I mislead?

    So, do you like this idea?

  101. Nick says:

    Pastor Maldonado, loved that move at the end, class!

  102. zx6dude says:

    I wish I wasn’t so convinced that Mark Webber was short changed by his own team, I would vote Vettel, but this way – because I believe he was helped by the team’s split strategy – I can’t vote for him even though he had a good race. my vote goes to the Hulk – I hope he gets a decent drive next year

  103. Chris J says:

    Tie between Romain Grosjean and Mark Webber! Mark would have won if his own team hadn’t stabbed him in the back. Note to all other teams when it comes to Red Bull you’re only competing with Vettel! Disgraceful team!

  104. ben says:

    lets just say they did not give Webber the chance to try and win. Maybe he would not have won with a 2 stop race but they did not give him the chance to try.

  105. nusratolla says:

    Gotta hand out credit when due, therefore, the driver of the day was Sebastian Vettel.

    Yeah’ Yeah’ Yeah…. fastest car…. Webber compromised…. but the fact of the matter is that Vettel had the most superior racecraft to match the car he was driving.

    Webber ought to be the joint driver of the day, but his use of supersofts in his final stint was ordinary…. the condition and the compound of his tires were good enough to win and yet he wasted this opportunity.

  106. Dan says:

    Lol what?

    Webber only finished behind Vettel, because the team put him on a slower strategy, meaning he would have to pass two fast cars to win at the end.

    He was more than capable of doing a two stop strategy, like Vettel.

    It’s things Ike this, that make people dislike Vettel.

  107. furstyferret says:

    Its getting boring, but its vettal for me, no 1st to finish this time

  108. Ken N says:

    I don’t agree with your DOD, I believe that should go to RG, but you are absolutely correct with the rest of your post, Webber was on new tires and still was unable to pass the Lotus of RG who was on older tires which was the reason for switching him on to a 3 stopper after his poor start, Had he passed RG who was on older tyres as was expected he could then have closed and challenged Vettel for P1 because Vettel was also on older tires.

  109. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    VETTEL

    I cannot believe I vote him…

  110. Magnus says:

    Of course Reb Bull as a team using Webber to force Lotus to make a bad strategy choice giving Vettel the win DOTD Red Bull.
    Romain DOTD? Great start nothing more or less.

  111. ranga says:

    I still believe they have the tyre advantage but not speed

  112. Alexander Supertramp says:

    I agree, RB is right there with them on tyre management.

  113. Hezla says:

    Lotus’ tire advantage is when it is in the hands of Kimi not Romain.

  114. Greg says:

    Surely Vettel is driver of the day. Raikkonen and Alonso beat Schumi in MUCH inferior cars in 2003 and 2004, something the others did not do during the race. Impressive drives throughout, but ultimately Vettel won….

  115. Johnathan says:

    Kimi’s pass on Hulkenberg was sensational. Probably the most impressive thing all afternoon really….

  116. Simmo says:

    Agreed.

  117. Laul says:

    > In the WEC he has already 4 poles and 2 wins in his class, while Kobayashi has

    … more points. ha

  118. I am glad to find out that I am not the only one on this planet that misses Bruno. I feel that the present qualifying format did harm him badly, with the previous one he could still be on the grid.
    However I acknowledge that I just cannot be objective with him, I worship too much the memory of his uncle.

  119. Richard says:

    Vettel made his strategy work by hanging back in the first stint out of the dirty air letting the others mix it shortening the life of their tyres in the process. this then allowed him to go for the two stop strategy effecttively giving him the win.

  120. James Allen says:

    Fat John, not Big John!

  121. yassin says:

    out qualy more like

  122. Elie says:

    No one outraces Raikkonen- you can out qualify him but nothing more

  123. Ezio Auditore says:

    You are kidding yourself if you are thinking that Webber would have made it to the end, ahead of Vettel and Grojean on a two-stopper. He would have finished third even then. But a distant third. Three stopper was the way to go for him. I fully expected him to win, he had like 11 laps after his third pit-stop and was pretty much 7 seconds behind Vettel with 8 laps to go. He made a meal of passing Grojean on fresher tyres, which proved to be his undoing and unfortunately deprived us of great final battle with Vettel :/

  124. Ryan says:

    100% agree

  125. Messrine says:

    Couldn’t agree more!

  126. Ronnie says:

    I suspect that Webber’s car was set up to lead from the front from pole, thus not as good passing. The only way to put Webber in front of RG was to do a 3-stopper. Otherwise, Mark would get stuck behind Gro on similar tires independent of where Seb was.

  127. bearforce says:

    I thought the opposite. I thought that Vettel was on the slower strategy. In any event Vettel was behind in third and managed to pull off the win. That is pretty cool in itself. Most of the time people complain that the leader stays the same and wins the race. Today we saw drivers come from behind to take positions and also a win.

    Just keep feeling the love for the Hulk.

    Vettel DoD for me.

    Still super happy for RoGro.

    Alonso to Maclaen.

  128. Javier Marcelo says:

    “ITs things like this that make people dislike Vetel”.

    I 100% agree with it, Dan!!!

  129. Ben says:

    I think the radio message to Vettel was very telling – You are not racing Mark, you are racing Grosjoen (or words to that effect)

  130. Aquataz says:

    Unforgettable response. Thanks for dedicating your time selflessly . safe driving on streets. risks for pros on track.

  131. gpfan says:

    Well, I was up in the middle of the night to watch the race live (both on the telly, and laptop). Watched it again at 8am, then another repeat at 5pm.

    Never did see this kid you were talking about.
    Sure it isn’t Bianchi you’re thinking of?

    For me? DOTD was Aguri Suzuki.
    (Unless one is talking about today’s race).

  132. Elie says:

    Good onya champ !

  133. Chris M says:

    Well, after the tyres reverted to last years specifications.

  134. Rob Newman says:

    Have you been watching a foot ball match or something?

  135. KARTRACE says:

    And then he got carried out so much that he forgot about the pit lane speed limit ?

  136. Javier Marcelo says:

    and took a solid and isolated point from it!!!!

    extra-ordinary Massa as per usual.

  137. Rob Newman says:

    He held them off a times … and then failed.

  138. Colombia Concalvez says:

    They did the same trick in 2010 Abu Dhabi. Webber had bigger change winning the WDC but RBR screw Webber to benefit Vettel and the rest is history.

  139. Grant H says:

    Gutted for webber, the strategy RB gave him cost a win, like u said they basically played grosjean to get vettel p1 …. Track position is king and a 3 stop was predicted to +5 seconds,

  140. Glenn says:

    Webber forced to take one for the team again !!

  141. MISTER says:

    Webber pitted on lap 12 and changed his Mediums with Hards. Then RBR pitted him again on lap 26.

    So he did 12 laps + qualifying on Mediums with the car filled with fuel and then he managed only 14 on a new set of Hards with less fuel?

    In contrast, Vettel pitted on lap 15 and then on lap 38. RBR left Vettel for 23 laps compared with Webber for 14 laps in their second stints.

    Come on! Only a Vettel fanboy could turn a blind eye to this bad strategy from RBR. Webber’s strategy was to make sure Vettel wins.

  142. mark says:

    Not as clear cut as you think red bull did not need to bring webber in for his second stop anywhere near as soon as they did as his lap times had not suffered much drop off since his stop and that has been proven with the lap times chart on teds notebook. so it is a real possibility he could have done a two stop race. red bull have and always will favour vettel

  143. JF says:

    True. Webber on a two stop would not have been on podium. Vet would have won on a three stop.

  144. Ezio Auditore says:

    @Mister

    I don’t think you are seeing this from the tyre-degradation point of view at all. Webber pitted on lap 12 simply because his tyres were done. Ok even if we assume that he could have carried on for another 6-7 or seven laps, I still can’t understand how Webber was supposed to last his tyres from lap, say, 32 to 53 be it hard or mediums. That’s what Horner said.

    Check here: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/10/13/2013-japanese-grand-prix-lap-times-and-fastest-laps-2/

    Just notice how close Vettel was to Webber’s lap times despite Webber being on newer tyres between lap 26 to 38.

    What you people simply ignore is Vettel’s ability to save tyres yet be so much quicker when he needs to be. Morever even if I concede that Webber’s strategy was biased towards Vettel I still feel the three-stopper was the quicker way around. Webber simply had no reason to get stuck behind Grojean when Vettel made it look so much easier on harder tyres.

    PS: I’m a Ferrari fan! I hate it that the Bulls win. But I appreciate brilliance when I see it.

  145. Mick says:

    I’m generally an Alonso + Hamilton fan but I feel Webber was very hard done by. I think MISTER summed it up well.

    I think Webber could have won but it soon became obvious that Vettel was to be given the chance. I wouldn’t say he was entirely gifted with the win might but nevertheless I was quite disgusted by RB towards the end of the race.

    It’s accumulation of incidents like these that makes me find it difficult to admire + respect Vettel.

  146. Stig says:

    Webber would have had no chance to overtake Gro without the newer tires due to the 3-stop.
    Where should a miraculous tire advantage for Webber come from in a 2-stop? Gro would always have stopped one lap after Web.

    There were 3 possibilities:
    -Vet and Web an 2-stop: Gro 1, Web 2, Vet 3. Maybe Vet 2 and Web 3 because of a longer second stint and tire advantage for Vet.
    -Vet on 3-stop: Vet 1, Gro 2, Web 3
    -Web on 3-stop.

    Guess what was best for RedBull.

  147. AK says:

    Um, you do know the comment was not for Webber but for Perez who was being overtaken at the time?

  148. anon says:

    Webber would have finished third if not for the strategy. The three stopper was optimal for him.

    Had Vettel been given the three stop strategy and Webber the two stop you people would be complaining that the team left Webber a sitting duck for the final stint of the race.

    Vettel sliced pass Grosjean straight away. Webber had fresh mediums and got stuck behind. If he passed Grosjean as quickly as Vettel did he would have likely caught Vettel.

    For that reason alone he doesn’t deserve the win. Clearly the better driver won.

  149. gadfly says:

    Vettel’s in-car comment was directed at backmarker Perez who was directly ahead of him; nothing to do with Webber.

  150. Ross says:

    Webber was harder on his tyres which forced the stop to 3 stops.. I’ll be glad when Webber is gone so all the team favouritism BS stops once and for all.

  151. Antti says:

    I don’t think Kimi’s performance can really be described as poor. From 9th to 5th with some great overtakes. He needs to qualify better, but his effort on Sunday was first class yet again.

  152. Ronnie says:

    He beat SV at RoC last year to my great dismay.

  153. Spectreman says:

    “Gros” can mean either. Given Romain’s phenotype, I’d say Big John is much more appropriate.

  154. bearforce says:

    Lol. I like it, fat john. It is like little john for big people named john.

  155. toleman fan says:

    James,

    ‘Gros’ can mean either.

    But Alan Permane said a while back that the team called him ‘Fat John’ – and would start calling him ‘Big John’ when he showed he’d earned it.

    I’d suggest that in the last two races, he’s shown he’s earned it.

  156. Richard says:

    Only a few have won 5 straight, even fewer don’t need 5 seasons in a Red Bull to do that if they were giving a go at Red Bull

  157. bearforce says:

    Vettel is amazing.

    I saw this statistic/fact somewhere as well and couldn’t believe how difficult or rare a stat this is to collect. Seb will be happy to pick up this one being the big statistic collector that he is.

    I hope Vettel can get six in a row next race and be in the realm of only three people in history.

  158. Richard says:

    Well, we have seen some impressive tyre managing skills from Romain too.

  159. Hansb says:

    I’m sorry to talk into your anger against Alonso.
    It was in the interest of Ferrari to hand out a team order as is was clear with Massa the only way was backwards once again. He almost took Alonso with him, handing Ferrari 2nd position in the championship to Mercedes.

    If Massa would have given space, Alonso could have benefitted from the error Rosberg made (off track in turn one), and after his first pitstop might have positioned in front of Ricciardo because of that.
    (Maybe James can look into that?)
    If so he wouldnt be 45 secs behind at the finish line.

  160. NomNomNom says:

    worst comment of the day goes to anon. Thanks for wasting our time with your daft assessment. At the end Massa finished just behind Alonso right? Did all the other drivers who finished ahead of Massa talk to Smedley too?

  161. Javier Marcelo says:

    forgetting Alonsos p4 from eight and second place in the WDC list with the 3rd or 4th car (wich means 6-7 drivers in front every race), your comment is completely rigth.

  162. CJD says:

    yep .. he has a special passus in his contract ;-)

    everytime he has the chance to beat a record, he’ll get it from the team.

    5 gps in succession is one of this records.

    vettel wants to wipe out schumi ;-)

    grettings

  163. JF says:

    Red bull would have to be stupid not to.

  164. CJD says:

    and by the way, every record has also a RBR coming with it – so didi also likes it

    greetings

  165. Hansb says:

    On topic: Grosjean DOTD.
    Great start and faultless drive, extracting everything possible from his machinery.
    Seems matured compared to last year.

  166. anon says:

    If Alonso was so much quicker than Massa then he should have been able to get past him quicker.

    Ferrari is a laughing stock.

  167. Bruno says:

    Yeap, that was dumb!

  168. Juzh says:

    hahahahah you funny guy =D

  169. MISTER says:

    Well said. For some idiotic reason, Christian Horner seems to think the fans are stupid and will believe what he says. But the fans are smart and can look at the figures.

    As I said above, RBR put Webber on a 14 lap stint on Hards, but put Vettel on a 23 lap stint on Hards. Let’s say Vettel is better at managing tyres, but 9 laps difference? Come on! Webber’s strategy was made to allow Vettel to win and s%*t like this make fans to boo Vettel on podiums.

  170. Ronnie says:

    Tell me why 2-stop would have been better for Mark given the problem in overtaking.

  171. Mick says:

    I agree.
    Ferrari doesn’t say one thing then do another.
    At least they are honest about their approach: this is how we work, take it or leave it.
    I think RB talks too much. There is nothing wrong with favoring one driver. Just don’t deny it or try to convince people both drivers are treated equally etc etc.

  172. Ricardo says:

    RBR team principal got a 1-2 from the race while “killing the race of his other driver” but I’m pretty sure you would have done a much better job from your sofa with no telemetry whatsoever to help you find out what was going on.

    Leave your CV wth James please because teams will be queuing to hire you for next season.

    Truth is, if Webber had trouble passing Grosjean in a faster tyre against a driver with a much more used tyre than when Vettel had a go, imagine what the result would be if they had given him a different tactic. This way he was sure to pass Grosjean and would have a chance with Vettel in a car 2 sec. quicker. He almost blew it entirely

  173. ManOnWheels says:

    “It’s interesting to see how fans, jornalists, RBR Team Principal try to “prove” that SV is a great driver and argument about the fact. For me, just this is the proof of the contrary.”

    It’s not just them, it’s people in Formula-1, who actually have a clue, like driver coach Rob Wilson, Niki Lauda and others, who say that he’s an extraordinary driver. His performance makes Webber look quite ordinary, to say the least, and we will see how Ricciardo will stand up to this challenge.

    Your statement reminds me to the story of a driver who listens to the radio and on hearing the traffic report shouts in disbelief: “ONE driver driving down the wrong lane? It’s thousands!”

  174. bearforce says:

    Sorry fact is Webber is slow. Webber was never one of the best and now he is old and slower than ever. Webbers starts are just woeful always. Worst of all Webber has bad luck.

    Proof of this is the fact that webber has had arguably the best car for the last five years and has performed badly against his team mate. Webbers performance before RedBull was no wins and pretty average results.

    Webber is an F1 driver which means he has lots of skillz but against other F1 drivers he isn’t up there with the best of them and never has been.

  175. AlexD says:

    I would really love to know statistics from tv and race visits

  176. Ross says:

    Can’t be too much of an F1 fan if you think yesterdays race was boring. It was a great race, different strategies and Vettel only had it in the bag once Webber couldn’t get past Grosjean.

    An interesting thing is why dont more of the teams develop the car for traction. I was surprised Webber couldn’t overtake Grosjean on fading tyres. The traction he had out of corners was great, although that could have been the lower downforce rear wing as Vettel didnt seem to have any issues getting past him.

  177. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

    You need to start watching Fernando and Kimi racing this season, excellent stuff. Lewis very nearly made it very interesting at the start. (as an aside – they need to ban aero winglets and blades on the outside of the wing endplates – too Ben Hur chariot like – to stop these tap tyre cuts)

    Ok, it could have been less boring up front. Red Bull did have a great chance to let Seb and Web race each other today though and they really blew it by changing Mark’s strategy mid-race, using the wrong race tyres for Marks final stint, and by using Mark to force Romain in.

    No doubt Horner thinks it was a perfect strategy though.

    Would have loved to see the Bulls, as the only two cars in the Premier league, actually racing, especially as it was a tricky track to pass a similarly matched car. Give Seb at least some work to do.

    I know Web had the old chassis, about 7kg heavier than Vets but the last thing even Seb needs is other cars being used to give him a clear track with less overtaking. He also doesn’t need to bleat over the radio again about ‘make sure he gets out of the way’. Doing that’ll get him some boos on the podium one day…

    Qualifiers of the day (yesterday): Grosjean, Paul di Resta, Massa, Chilton.

    Race Drivers of the day: Grosjean, Seb, Alonso, Guitierrez.

  178. Laul says:

    Silly season was the best part indeed.

  179. Alexis says:

    Maybe you should pay attention to the other 21 cars on the grid!

  180. DonSimon says:

    Surprised you’d comment on it.

  181. Carlos Palomo says:

    How do you know it is boring, Simon?

  182. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

    I’d say out qually and out race, especially when there isn’t a safetycar for Kimi.

  183. Fernando Cruz says:

    One more point (72 to 71), just because Bruno was very unlucky at Le Mans. He deserved the win but his team mate crashed while in the lead, at the 19th hour. He lost there 50 points, otherwise he would be leading the GTE Pro class and probably would be world champion at the end of the year.

  184. JF says:

    Keep in mind Vettel has only had a car advantage for two years. Last year mclaren was faster, 2010, ferrari was the car to have.

  185. JF says:

    Sadly webber is not as fast, he can’t beat Vettel anymore. Maybe a couple of years ago but not now. That’s not to slight Webber, I don’t think any could beat Vettel in equal machines over a season.

  186. Ronnie says:

    How do you imagine him passing RG on similar tires, which is require for winning? His car + driver was not as good at passing Gro as VET.

  187. Stig says:

    Webber would never have one, because he could not overtake Grosjean without the tire advantage.

  188. TGS says:

    It’s amazing that Sauber are performing so well, what a turn around.

  189. JF says:

    Exceptional by Vettel. Grosjean as well. the rest are the rest.

  190. Ricardo says:

    That is really the best statement of the out of the ordinary quality of Vettel I’ve read. If he does something that would have meant being DOTD for any of the remaining 21 drivers in the grid, people call it a “job done as expected”.

  191. once again, a clear indication as to how redbull screwed webber over. DOTD was perhaps gutierrez closely follwed by grosjean who has proved that he can now mix it with the top drivers.

  192. you lost it in your second sentence rob newman. vettel was gifted at webbers expense.

  193. pushthebutton says:

    so in a sport in which to finish first, first you must finish, your driver of the day is someone who retired before the 10th lap? he turned right when there was no room to turn right, once again hamilton’s arrogant ‘move out of the way’ attitude has cost his team a decent points finish

  194. pushthebutton says:

    No self respecting Englishman would pronounce it ‘pricks’, we pronounce it similar to the French way, but better, because we’re English and that’s just what we do

  195. Laul says:

    Not sure if Newey is working on a soccer ball aerodynamics but i’ll check

  196. Ronnie says:

    How do you suggest Webber get in front of Gro with 2-stops? Like Vettel did? Or like Webber could hardly do with his set up using better tires?

  197. Ken N says:

    Yes, track position is king,….and didn’t Mark have pole at the start?

  198. Ricardo says:

    No it didn’t. It was Vettel’s phenomenal second stint (and how he made it simple to get rid of Grosjean) that made his strategy prevail. Let’s face it, if it had been Webber on the two stop strategy he would still be behind Grosjean and everybody would be saying how Red Bull benefited Vettel by giving him the 3-stop advantageous strategy. This way Horner produced a 1-2 result and that is what he is paid to do. I wonder how many of those who criticize him would have done it differently.

  199. Grant H says:

    RB commited webber to a 3 stop lap 11 I believe, at this time he was catching grosjean the gap was about 1.4, it he’d of done a 2 stop they could have undercut grosjean for the lead, that would have been a better strategy than the 3 stop which effectively handed it to vet – its simple really i dont understand how you dont get it 2 stops is quicker than 3

    Dont believe all that mumbo jumbo from horner who said mark could not manage a 2 stop, Marks lap times just before he pit on lap 11 was as quick as lap 8

  200. Rod says:

    Vettel paced himself behind the leaders while Webber attacked Grosjean and used up his tyres in the effort. Vettel’s strategy paid off because Webber’s didn’t work.
    One of the best races I can remember for Vettel.

  201. pushthebutton says:

    in my opinion i can’t see massa going anywhere but sauber, to replace the outward going hulkenberg as he moves to lotus, and i can see kovalainen becoming a main driver for caterham again, and force india probably wont change… but like i say, that’s just my opinion

  202. DK says:

    During the job interview with Lotus ….

    Lotus: ” Do you mind if we pay your salary and bonus at the end of the season?”

    Hulk: “What. Not again! Absolutely no way!”
    Massa: “Well, I am ok with that…”

  203. Ronnie says:

    RBR and VET were leading the championships before the tyre change.

  204. Ricardo says:

    They were not doing so bad before. 2nd in Monaco behind a slower Merc; 1st in Canada, 2nd at Silverstone (Webber, Seb had a mechanical failure while leading) and 1st in Germany.

    But you want to believe the tyre change did it. It fits best your perception of reality.

    Oh yes, and “only” 3rd in Hungary AFTER the tyres were changed.

  205. Ronnie says:

    He really has improved. Vettel 2013 in the 2009 car would have won the championship that year – he would not have made the stupid move in Australia that also impacted Malaysia. The problem is how much better can he be? He mentioned that Mark was faster in certain corners that he’d like to learn. Does DR have anything that SV can learn from?

  206. Valentino from montreal says:

    Hmmm , I don’t think Schumacher sees him as a “future” world champion , and he’s seen then all !

  207. Ronnie says:

    Perhaps you will feel better by watching the rest of the race. 3-stopper was the better strategy for Webber.

  208. DonSimon says:

    Was still a very good race.

  209. Brad Withyman says:

    “You people”! The people who can see what really is going on other than cars going around a track……like you people. Wake up!

  210. Mick says:

    If you read the earlier post there were some comments about why Webber couldn’t overtake Grojean as easily ie rear wing diffs etc.

  211. Gazza says:

    Look Vettel,s clearly head and shoulders above Mark…….but its things like this that turn people against him.

    I actually blame Horner, just in case you think I am anti-Vettel. Its pretty obvious as team principle he favours Vettel massively but keeps insisting he doesn’t.

    The thing that stinks with Mark was that he thought he was on two stop strategy and the team failed to tell him they were changing him to a three stop until way to late.

    Race engineering at its finest.

  212. bearforce says:

    @ Richard. I know, amazing right. How cool is Vettel. Why don’t other drivers and teams apply this type of winning strategy.

    Vettel is the winningest driver of the current drivers and of this generation of drivers.

    Vettel is certainly, Ichiban – number one.

  213. Hezla says:

    +1 Totally agree with the list

  214. Matt says:

    Out of pure curiousity:

    Where did you read/hear about those comments from Lotus?

  215. Javier Marcelo says:

    Honoured? Not againts other driver’s dignity!!!

  216. Javier Marcelo says:

    Its a funny story in only 9 lines!!! Fast joker anyway!!!

    Don’t be so serious Aquataz.

  217. James Allen says:

    Which is why RBR has won the constructors championship – which is where the money is in F1 – three years running, about to be four…oh wait..

  218. James Allen says:

    The tyre construction change has helped, plus some updates

    You think it’s all fixed because they needed money and sponsors?

    They were acknowledged at this stage last year. Car was poor at the start if this year, though

  219. Javier Marcelo says:

    Do you really believe it? Come on, Cristian -Horner- soldier!

  220. DB says:

    Everyone saying Vettel drove a ‘perfect’ race have forgotten that he crashed at the start and was lucky not to need a new front wing. His drive despite this was great but it was not faultless like others up for driver of the day.

  221. rigsby says:

    But only if he does something with those eyebrows. When he is onscreen they are hypnotic, you just can’t help but stare at them.

  222. Javier Marcelo says:

    but to many forgettings to be acceptable!!!!

  223. anon says:

    Up until Spa, Vettel only had the best car at Bahrain and Montreal. The Ferrari was the car to beat early on yet Vettel still built a championship points gap on Alonso.

  224. James Allen says:

    Detail is that Webber was on used yards for that stint and Vettel on new.

    We will analyse fully the data for the UBS Race Strategy Report this week

  225. Andre says:

    Oh please!!

    Are people also booing Alonso because Ferrari favoures him over Massa???

  226. Andre says:

    You miss my point.

    You say people boo Vettel because RB favoures Vettel over Webber.

    Then they should also boo Alonso right?! It’s the same situation, behind the back or not has nothing to do with it. Massa has always ‘worked’ for Alonso. Ferrari is as much or even more a one driver team then RBR. Already since the Schumacher era.

    On the other hand RBR has every right to do it. And I’m sure that if they didn’t had Vettel these years and Webber would have been their number one driver, they wouldnt have as many championships as they have now.

    Regarding points taken by Webber and Massa, Webber finished this year 5 times before Alonso and Massa only once before Vettel. Last year Webber finished 8 times before Alonso and Massa only twice before Vettel.

  227. Tealeaf says:

    Webber’s a fail and imploded at Abu Dhabi just face it he was no match for Seb that race or any of the championships, time to stop this nonsense.

  228. Random 79 says:

    “They need to ban aero winglets and blades on the outside of the wing endplates”

    Agreed, but hopefully with the narrower front wings next year it will become less of a problem.

  229. Rachael says:

    The Renault bloke was talking about what shirt he was going to wear on the podium. He switched from a Renault shirt to a Red Bull shirt.

  230. aezy_doc says:

    He should see the person who deals with Fernando Alonso’s monobrow.

  231. Laul says:

    Don’t you mind that AMR performance is much better? They have won almost every pole this season in both Pro and Am.

  232. Laul says:

    > just because Bruno was very unlucky at Le Mans

    Oh well, this is probably a typical example of huge luck https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYYozaQs8es

  233. Fernando Cruz says:

    AMR is better but not that much, mainly in the races. Anyway Bruno Senna has been doing a better job than Kobayashi, beating more times his experienced team mates than the japanese can do. In Spa and Austin Bruno was faster in qualifying than the best driver of the championship, the GT ace Fred Makowiecki. Kobayashi only at the 5th event in Austin managed to perform at a similar level. As for what happened in Brazil they were both unlucky: Kobayashi’s car had a fire, Senna was caught by a spinning GT Am Ferrari. But Senna was quicker and probably would have finish ahead of the japanese anyway, it was a question of time. This in a race Ferrari won, as the leading Aston of Mucke and Turner never managed to attack the winning Ferrari the way Bruno managed to attack Kobayashi before Safety Car periods…

  234. Fernando Cruz says:

    However the point here is not so much who is doing the better job. They are both very talented drivers who could have had very good F1 careers if circumstances had helped them more. Bruno was the better in GP2 (3 wins to Koba’s one in a race with reversed grid) and deserved to start with Honda or Brawn in 2009, at the peak of his form. Had that happened he could have won races in his rookie year and surely would be a much better driver now, much more developed. Instead he spent 3 years going backwards through no fault of his own and that is the real reason he couldn’t establish himself in F1. Koba is better than him only in the way he handles pressure but was never more talented and now we can see it in the WEC. He should also be in F1 if it wasn’t for the effects of financial crisis that hit hardly both of them…

  235. Laul says:

    First of all, let me remind that Kamui won the GP2 Asia championship racing against Hulkenberg (sort of), Perez, Petrov and Valsecchi.

    But for right now, let’s leave aside all that artificial tyre rules, DRS, talentless pay-drivers, and enjoy motorsport in its purest form.
    Best wishes to Kamui, Bruno and their teams at 6 Hours of Fuji.

  236. Random 79 says:

    No, you just have to get in quick.

  237. yassin says:

    OK, one safety car incident, Ill give you that but what about the whole of this season and the last he is nowhere close on points.

    If Roman was highly rated he would be driving for Redbull, Mclaren or Ferrari by now.
    It is a common known fact his French ties with Eric and Total are keeping in the game so again his Quali may be better but NOT race pace(Kimi qualy problems may be from back problems).

  238. James Allen says:

    Without wishing to start a linguistic debate, Gros when applied to a person means fat

    When applied to a dimension, of something not living it can mean big.

  239. Elie says:

    But he knew Kimi could be from his first test at Sauber at age.20.
    Tbh I don’t see it either. Being “over the moon” with 3rd after a great start & leading 2/3 the race is not the mark of a champion is it and he’s 27! Asking for a WC team mate and someone with almost 3 times the points to give a place back after just being passed is not the sign of an intelligent racer either.
    He needs to harden the f up! and Boullier should “drive him” harder not baby him like a 2 y/o!

  240. JB says:

    There is no doubt about Grosjean’s natural speed. I think he won ROC more than once. All those negatives i gave in the past was about him not learning to avoid others, and just plain dumb crashes.

    Now he seems to be better now. I guess he took more time than others to learn it.

    SV had his fair share of dumb crashes. Melbourne 09, Fuji 07, spa 10.

  241. JF says:

    Vettel was hit by Hamilton, after Ham was pushed over into Vettel by Webber. Vettel then had to nurse a damaged car. Still came through, Exceptional. Very few in the field could have done that.

  242. anon says:

    Massa got a drive through penalty.

  243. aveli says:

    yes, hamilton was my driver of the day pushthebutton. if you watched the start carefully, you may notice that webber flicked his car towards hamilton and he reacted by moving over towards vettel.
    hamilton’s reaction impresses me so much that i had to award him dotd. red bull took the victory from webber and gave it to vettel otherwise vettel would have been my dotd. christian horner and his friends are bent on breaking every record they can.

  244. Carlos Palomo says:

    Rayz, I can not stop laughing. “Lack of incompetence”!

  245. Kirk says:

    But his car at that moment was more than 1 sec faster, it was 1 second faster just in the first sector, yes you could talk about the wing or whatever, but which such a difference he should passed him, remember Kimi in Monaco, his car was more than a second faster that the others in the final laps and passed about three cars and we are talking about Monaco.

  246. Kirk says:

    Please explain how on earth Webber could have passed Grosjean in a two stopper strategy as Grosjean was faster than him in the same tyres, he would have ended third basically.

  247. Javier Marcelo says:

    Yes. with two Ferrari strategy mistakes mixed up somewere there in the mid.

  248. MISTER says:

    They are not because Ferrari are not doing it behind Massa’s back.

    Ferrari has kept Massa when other teams would’ve ditched him a long time ago.
    Even if Ferrari wanted a driver who will be a #2 to Alonso, that driver can only help Alonso if he is going to take points away from his competitors. How many times in the last 4 years, has Massa taken points from Vettel and how many times has Webber taken points from Alonso?

    This question alone should make you think of how much support has Massa got from Ferrari.

  249. MISTER says:

    ” It’s the same situation, behind the back or not has nothing to do with it. ”

    That’s in your view. My opinion is different.

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