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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel Heads Red Bull One-Two in Brazil As Webber Bows Out in Style
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Posted By: Matt Meadows  |  24 Nov 2013   |  7:58 pm GMT  |  270 comments

The 2013 Formula One season ended in dramatic fashion today as pit lane confusion, changeable conditions and drive-through penalties spiced up the 71 lap Brazilian Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel took another dominant win ahead of Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso.

The 39th win of Vettel’s career – just two short now of Brazilian legend Ayrton Senna – was a special one, extending his run of consecutive wins to nine and matching his idol Michael Schumacher’s record of thirteen wins in a single season.

Vettel looked set to have his work cut out after losing the lead to Nico Rosberg off the start-line, but by the time they reached the same point one lap later Vettel powered around the outside of the Mercedes and regained the race lead and from there it was never challenged.

Webber completed his 215 race Formula One career with a very strong drive to second. A poor start required passes on Hamilton, Rosberg and Alonso before matching Vettel’s pace for the remainder of the race. The Australian will also be very satisfied to take the fastest lap in his final race, a little nudge in the side to Vettel as they end their tense working relationship.

Webber removed his helmet on the slowing down lap, an unprecedented move in modern F1, but he said afterwards that he wanted to give the fans a “personal touch.” Vettel did his trademark donuts after the chequered flag, while Massa also did donuts following his final Grand Prix with Ferrari.

Following the second stops Webber could smell a tenth F1 victory as an unexpectedly delayed pit-stop from Vettel saw the German lose seven seconds to his pursuers.

Vettel was called in to the pits late in the lap due to a collision between Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas that was expected to require a Safety Car. That meant confusion in the Red Bull pit as they had Vettel and Webber arrive in the pits on the same lap and a subsequent rush for the correct tyres. Vettel was missing a right front tyre initially and in the delay, Webber arrived and had to queue behind his ream mate

But Vettel was able to extend his lead to take victory by ten seconds.

In the opening stint of the race Vettel established a twelve second lead, helped by a slow pair of Mercedes halting the progress of cars around them. Rosberg’s great start was matched by Lewis Hamilton, the Briton taking third place on the first lap from a fifth place start.

It was a topsy-turvy race for Mercedes and Ferrari that saw both Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton handed drive-through penalties, throwing the battle for second place in the Constructors’ Championship up in the air. But it was the team from Brackley that ended the day in second place in the Championship, beating Ferrari by six points. Romain Grosjean’s early engine failure and Hekki Kovalainen finishing out of the points again meant that Lotus’ challenge faded in the final furlong.

But Marussia reached a milestone with tenth place in the Constructors’ Championship and their first F1 prize money cheque – prize money is only paid down to 10th place. It’s an expensive outcome for Caterham, who finish 11th.

Massa was deemed to have crossed the white line on the entrance to the pit-lane, whilst Hamilton collided with Valtteri Bottas as the Williams driver tried to un-lap himself. The incident resulted in a puncture for Hamilton and the loss of the rear-left tyre on Bottas’ car.

That was the major action in a race that was always on the brink of coming to life with the threat of rain.

Great Britain’s now most experienced Formula One driver of all-time had his best drive of the season to take fourth place. Jenson Button opted to start his 247th Grand Prix on the hard tyre when much of the field chose the mediums and was able to make some good passes in his opening stint to find himself in the top six from his fourteenth place start. Team mate Sergio Perez came through from 19th to finish 6th as McLaren became the first team in Formula 1 history to have both cars classified in every Grand Prix in a season.

The trouble involving Massa and Hamilton, coupled with Rosberg’s poor race allowed Button to take fourth place and sign off a disappointing year with McLaren. His out-going team mate, Sergio Perez, had an equally strong race – taking sixth place from nineteenth on the grid.

BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX, Interlagos, Race, 71 Laps
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 71 laps 1hr 32m 36.300s
2. Mark Webber Red Bull +00m 10.4s
3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +00m 18.9s
4. Jenson Button McLaren +00m 37.3s
5. Nico Rosberg Mercedes +00m 39.0s
6. Sergio Perez McLaren +00m 44.0s
7. Felipe Massa Ferrari +00m 49.1s
8. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber +01m 04.2s
9. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +01m 12.9s
10. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso +1 lap
11. Paul di Resta Force India +1 lap
12. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber +1 lap
13. Adrian Sutil Force India +1 lap
14. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus +1 lap
15. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso +1 lap
16. Pastor Maldonado Williams +1 lap
17. Jules Bianchi Marussia +2 laps
18. Giedo van der Garde Caterham +2 laps
19. Max Chilton Marussia +2 laps

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270 Comments
  1. Richard says:

    Good bye Mark, will be missed alot.

    1. Sebee says:

      Parting gift? 50000 Euro fine for taking helmet off? It was cool. :-)

      Now everyone is “sucking up” to fans.

      Also fined, Massa – 100,000 Euro fine for putting Formula 1 in disrepute with half baked donuts.

  2. Grant H says:

    Farewell V8 and god speed ! ! !

  3. Thompson says:

    Again, even in the last race Webber ‘s race is nobled.

    Did anyone else notice his body language after the race towards Vettel and Horner.

    I look forward to the book- this last season has been a bad joke for the no.2 driver.

    1. stoic says:

      He should be glad to be out of F1. With next year’s cars having a more powerful KERS and with his KERS usually having problems… well… :)

    2. Jimbob says:

      Please explain… ?

      If anything the fumbled pit stop brought Webber closer to Vettel, cutting the gap in half. And if Vettel’s stop had been fine it wouldn’t have affected Webber in any way whatsoever… So what did RB do wrong??

      Oh and farewell Mark, I’m sure he will do well next year!

      Good race by JB as well.

      1. Sebee says:

        Wonder how that would have played out if Webber stayed out and came lap later.

      2. Bryce says:

        As the poor stop played out, with a set of tyres sitting on the ground, I was thinking that they must have grabbed the inters. Simultaniously picturing Webber flying up the sweeping hill and into the lead, with a good battle upon his stop looming.

        It seemed to go on forever with thoughts of karma from Sepang rearing its head (though your a VET fan, I think you are objective enough, unlike some that post here, to acknowledge that it was a PRE-RACE AGREEMENT and not just another team order), then sadly Webber’s bull edged onto my screen and any thoughts of a battle were gone.

        Oh well, we will never know, but it sure had the potential to provide an absolutely thrilling finish to the year.

      3. JCA says:

        I wonder how the fans would have reacted if they had left him out, and the safety car was deployed, as RBR anticipated. There would have been proper whinging.

    3. Michael Grievson says:

      I noticed that. Very telling standing with his back to them

      1. bk says:

        Then he turned around and chatted..? My impression (and i paid attention to it) was that all the Interactions between web, vet and horner were warm and respectful.

        And to those that suggest he was somehow nobbled, seriously, all you are doing is highlighting your own ignorance, I’m afraid.

      2. Just a bloke says:

        +1, At the start of the season i might have thought differently, but now I have much more respect for the team.

      3. Sebee says:

        If you’re going to win 4 WDCs and 4 WCCs in a row with a 2 driver team, someone will be left unhappy.

    4. goober says:

      He’s been doing that all season with the private chats pre-podium. Basically turns his back on Vettel every time.

      1. Sebee says:

        Is that like a version of…

        “Hey man, there is an amzing looking woman over there…no no, don’t look now.”

        Except it’s…

        “Hey Alonso, there is a 4 x WDC behind me…no no, don’t look now.”

        :-)

    5. L.B says:

      I did, Vettel and Horner tried to engage him but he was subtlely ignoring them…intent on chatting and celebrating with Alonso.
      I think he wanted Vettel to gift him a win without having to explicitly ask for it.

      1. Drew says:

        Really?

      2. bredan says:

        you could see webber was avoiding them…do you blame him.. last every race and horner didn’t let webber win..after all the years of service. then vettel saying talk to webber 1st on the podium(he talking the micky or what)
        even Alonso would of let massa pass or a win..he is not retiring.
        I rate vettel as a driver, not as a man..4 world titles, cant even let his team mate retire in style..
        lets hope next year the redbull is slow and webber and the rest of us can have a laugh.

      3. Kirk says:

        Maybe is not totally as you describe and Webber personality is not precisely emotional, I mean, Webber and Horner owned a GP3 team, if they continue with that next year, I would say that at least the relationship between Webber and Horner is fine and yesterday he was just to serious as is almost every time.

  4. Richard says:

    Quite frankly I am pleased this season is over. The two decisions bythe Marshall’s spoilt a gp. LH and FM have been dealt Avery bad hand. What on earth was Bottas hoping to achieve is hopeless. I fear for F1 the sport I have followed foe so long. Seeing Bernie with Vettel also raises eyebrows. Strong people are needed to get F1 back on track and I can,t see them even on the horizon.

    1. Methusalem says:

      Bernie + Mateschitz had a conspirative plan (Tyres and Diffusers) to produce S. Vettel to stop the likes of L. Hamilton from dominating F1. This should be clear by now

      1. Did they meet on a flying saucer to conspire?

      2. CYeo says:

        The tin foil hats got blown off, spoiling the coordinated attire requirements.

      3. Sebee says:

        I always felt as a huge Schumi fan, as everyone was back then of Schumi in that red Ferrari that when Schumi left it made everyone blue.

        Take red, add blue and end up with Red Bull purple and Vettel as the answer to our blues. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

      4. Doobs says:

        Whatever makes the $$$$ for Bernie

      5. Sebee says:

        What are you saying? That it’s just us? There are no aliens? They don’t travel through galaxies to catch a GP live?

      6. Sebee, you won’t believe this, but at planet Alonsoland, its inhabitants are convinced that the whole Galactic Empire conspires again its champion Fred Alonslow to prevent him from winning the Federation Championship…

    2. Joe says:

      Bottas had every right to overtake LH. Just because LH didn’t expect it, it doesn’t excuse him from being aware of where Bottas’ car was on the track and not driving into it. This isn’t the first time this has happened with Hamilton and likely won’t be the last, but there is 0% of blame to be placed on Bottas. Hamilton was the one who turned into him, making contact, not the other way around.

      The Massa decision seemed very harsh and unnecessary, but it did seem like he had been warned previously but continued to cross the pitlane entry and was thus reprimanded.

      1. Sebee says:

        There was nothing wrong with the steward decision really.

        But DC dancing aroung not blaming the golden boy was a touch entertaining.

        Lewis came across. He initiated the contact for position. Normally it wouldn’t be that bad. But this time it was. Drive through was fair. End of.

      2. Tim says:

        But DC dancing around not blaming the golden boy was a touch entertaining…

        I didn’t watch the BBC coverage. It sounds unusual, DC normally sticks up for Seb.

      3. Sebee says:

        Tim,

        I was talking about the way DC talked about the Lewis panalty. I thought he was going above and beyond in this case to question the stewards. As in going at length about how there was room left for Bottas, how the rulling is what it is, all while replay after replay shows Lewis clearly driving toward Bottas and Bottas clearly not moving an inch toward Lewis.

        Perhaps the bigger picture is not that he was pandering to the audience but that he wants more of a NASCAR attitude of “boys have at it” in F1.

      4. Tim says:

        I realised you meant LH, but when you said Goldenboy I thought I would tease you . On a different note do they broadcast the BBC coverage in the US?

      5. Ross says:

        What was Bottas doing overtaking on the right anyway, and he wasn’t even close to overtaking im into that corner… Silly racing incident really. Lewis saw him. Difference is, Alonso, Vettel, Webber if that happened with Hamilton would have known their cars space and no collission would have occured. They have raced much closer before.

        Bottas is just not experienced enough.

    3. MISTER says:

      Bottas was racing, you know, the reason he is on the track. You can clearly see Lewis and Bottas both moving towards their right. Lewis was at fault, and unfortunately took Bottas out of the race. The penalty was justified.

      1. aezy_doc says:

        Just not true. Aren’t the regulations that you are allowed to make one move to defend before moving back to the racing line as long as you leave one car width space? Did Hamilton not do that? Bottas had space, he chose not to use it.
        Another decision that baffled me was why the stewards chose to investigate Maldonado after the race. How are any retrospective penalties going to affect him when he might not even be in f1 next season!?
        Also Massa penalty seemed harsh unless he had already received a warning.

      2. MISTER says:

        Look at the reply. When side by side, both cars are still moving slightly to the right, but Lewis went a bit too far and colided with Bottas. That’s my view on it.

        I know what you try to say, that there was more than 1 width space for Bottas, but that doesn’t mean Bottas needs to position his car with the right wheels on the white line. If Lewis covered the inside, and lets just say Botts put his car in the middle of the track, it doesn’t mean Lewis can go back on the racing line. He needs to go back towards the racing line if there is space, but if another car is there (like in this case) he needs to make sure he’s not gonna hit the other guy.

        So even if Bottas had space, why would he move to the right and give Lewis more track? Every driver knows that when you go on the inside of a corner, you compromise your speed in that corner.

      3. I know says:

        Hamilton first moved to the left to defend, and then drifted to the right and into Bottas. I think this drive-through was justified. Still, Hamilton did quite well to recover, considering his tyre damage on top of the penalty.

        As for Maldonado, there are of course time penalties that could be applied after the race which still affect the outcome of the race itself. Never a nice thing to do, of course.

        Finally, Massa’s penalty seemed harsh, but cutting the line to the pit lane entry gives drivers a clear lap time advantage, and the drivers were all warned about it. In my opinion, crossing it even once (unless to avoid a collision or under blue flags etc.) should cary a penalty, and the only thing Massa can ask for is consistency in application of the rule to other drivers.

      4. KRB says:

        Bottas never even touched the white line. It’s a crazy decision. You are allowed to move back towards the racing line, to the point where there’s a car’s width left. He wasn’t moving in the braking zone. Lewis never veered over; it was a slow and constant move over. A driver of Bottas’ calibre should be able to see that and react in plenty of time. I think Bottas is a very good driver, though maybe he’s been over-cautious at times. But this one was just very unlike him. It’s simply an inexplicable decision by the stewards.

        To quote Ron Dennis, “where is the consistency?” Truly, this seems like a make-up call for the Massa drive-through.

      5. James Allen says:

        Also there was more than a car’s width to the side of Hamilton’s car, as the rule requires.

        Bottas was there, with a metre or two between the side of his car and the white line marking the edge of the track

      6. OscarF1 says:

        In both cases, I’d say the decisions are right.

        Massa cut the line several times and didn’t change after he was warned

        Hamilton made a turn to the left to defend his position and turned back to the racing line, true. But that line was already occupied.

        There was *some* distance between Bottas and the white line, but it wasn’t more than inches, perhaps a foot or two:

        http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/71317000/jpg/_71317175_ham2.jpg

      7. Simmo says:

        It doesn’t matter if Bottas chose to use it. If he is there then Hamilton can’t make him move. He was holding his line, and Hamilton went into the side of him.

      8. Richard C says:

        Lewis also shouldn’t just drive into another car, James. Bottas doesn’t have to move over, it’s a no contact sport! Bot tags was alongside, Lewis moved over too far. Racing incident but Lewis’ fault.

      9. aezy_doc says:

        Hamilton’s line was a consistent smooth move back to the racing line to take the corner which he is entitled to do as per the regs. Bottas had the option to move over – there was space to do it, but he chose not to, hence the collision. This penalty sets a precedent where even if you are on the inside you now need to concede the corner or else you will get a penalty if the other guy doesn’t move over.
        Compare what happened with Bottas with lap 1. Hamilton and Alonso in exactly the same place, Alonso lining up a pass on Hamilton. Alonso understands that Hamilton will come over to take the racing line (as is his right) so moves to the edge of the track. Both cars make it through the corner without incident. Hamilton perhaps allows a little more space for Alonso, but the crucial difference is that Alonso is as far over as he can go, Bottas wasn’t. It’s just simply not a penalty.

      10. ManOnWheels says:

        Well, I see it this way: Bottas for sure had every right to try to unlap himself, but he made a pretty hopeless move on the outside, where he never could have passend properly. How could Hamilton see that coming? On the other hand Hamilton left a car’s width when he got back from the inside, so he did everything he was obliged to according to the regulations.
        I judge this as a racing incident, which is why I think the punishment was not justified, even more so, regarding the fact that Hamilton already lost positions due to the accident.

      11. MISTER says:

        Actually Webber overtook Rosberg on the outside of that corner. Nico and Mark took 1st turn side by side and then Mark had the inside in turn 2, so if Bottas was on fresh tyres and wanted to overtake Lewis, good for him, others overtook Vettel, so why wouldn’t Bottas try it?

        Check my comment above regarding the width left by Lewis. How much room was left by Lewis is irelevant here. Bottas had his car positioned, but Lewis moved too much into him and colided. Just because there was room, that doesn’t mean Bottas needs to get his right wheels on the white lines.

      12. Richard says:

        Yes it was an unfortunate racing incident, and while it appeared that Hamilton moved into Bottas, he was merely following his normal racing line for the corner. Bottas was not crowded, and had the room to avoid Hamilton, and still stay on the track. I think the stewards were harsh in both the drive throughs they inflicted. the other point is that. It was not that much of a touch and I think in the Bridgestone era both drivers may have got away with it which again demonstrates the fragility of these awful tyres.

      13. Harshad says:

        Watch that incident again, Bottas was taking the outside line and it was Hamilton who ran into Bottas…Lewis’s onboard cam will show the same pictures!!

        oh and BTW, Unlapping or Overtaking, every driver must know that there is a car beside his car. It was error in judgement from Lewis. Penatly was justified.

      14. L.B says:

        It looked like LH simply didn’t know that Bottas was there regardless of whether or not he complied with all the rules. Thus the penalty for causing an accident.

    4. Richard D says:

      I think you mean Stewards decisions, not Marshals! But I agree they were harsh.

      1. KRB says:

        JA, what happened to Mark Blundell being a race steward at this race? He was in the Race Preview, but on the day it was Felipe Giaffrone as the driver steward. He has no F1 experience, just Indy Lights, IndyCar and Brazilian Racing Trucks.

    5. j says:

      I agree with you fully until you start to slag Bottas. They are both drivers racing for position. LH didn’t deserve a penalty for a racing incident but Bottas clearly wasn’t at fault either.

      Slag the FIA who SPEC such extremely weak tires that run out of rubber down to the casing and then fall apart at the smallest contact.

      1. Sebee says:

        How so? Lewis drifted toward Bottas not other way around. Clearly it was his fault tires were cut. His lack of luck is the reason there was a panalty amplified the drive through ruling.

      2. aezy_doc says:

        Bottas could have moved over. He didn’t. Lewis could have not drifted as far, but he did. Lewis didn’t crowd Bottas off track, he didn’t swerve into him, he didn’t break any regulations. It should not have been a penalty. Not Bottas’s fault but not Lewis’s either. Racing incident and that was that.
        What galls me is that the stewards imposed a penalty here in an incident that is not clear cut (as demonstrated by the differing opinions here) but decided to wait until after the race with Maldonado who deliberately tried to cut up JEV and caused a collision. There were 5 laps left – how long would it take to decide on that? A minute? Still enough time (over 3 laps) for Maldonado to serve a drive through.

    6. Quade says:

      Yes, at last! The ugliest year in F1 is over.
      It was a year that saw all sorts gimmicks and revealed a tonne of rubbish:

      1. Gimmicky tyres.
      2. Gimmicky champion.
      3. Gimmicky new fangled fans, bad mannered football hooligan style fans that boo drivers.
      4. A tyre supplier that takes interviews and comments on drivers.
      5. Driving to delta’s.
      6. Exploding tyres.
      7. Delaminating tyres.
      8. A Merc show trial at the FIA court (read kangaroo).
      9. An open love affair between Bernie and Horner.
      10. A team actually paying for a circuit that will be raced next season (absolutely no conflict of interest).
      11. Tyres seeming perfectly tailored to a particular driver.
      12. Bernie canvassing for Horner to replace him as F1 owner.
      13. The ugly phenomenon of the “pay driver.”
      14. The saga of the “too tall” driver.

      I could go on and on. You know the drill!
      It couldn’t come in bigger loads, F1 is now a joke.

      For the first time, I have almost been physically revulsed by F1. Goodbye and good riddance to 2013, a truly foul year.

      1. Tim says:

        I don’t necessarily agree with every point, but I wouldn’t argue with the general thrust of your post . In particular, 9 and 10 – Bernie and Red Bull, in general, are far to cosy for my liking.

      2. bredan says:

        I didn’t like it at the start of the season… I thought it was a great season in the end.. roll on next year. new 1.6 v6 turbo,with ers system, making 160 hp for 33 seconds a lap….all teams starting from scratch..
        expect a lot of different winners.

      3. Odjebi says:

        Fantastic post…….I agree 100%.

    7. JF says:

      I fear, but hope not, that Hamilton is the Villeneuve of the current gen. Quick out of the box, then years of excuses from he and his fans.

      1. Tealeaf says:

        Its true and overall he just seems to be getting more and more uncompetitive as these years roll on, if he doesn’t gets it all together next yesr then the Villeneuve career comparison will be mirrored much like Seb is emulating Schumacher.

    8. **Paul** says:

      Clear penalty for Lewis this one. You’d have thought he’d learnt from his incident with Kobyashi at Spa, where again he turned towards a car on his outside.

      First up, did Lewis know Bottas was there?
      Yes. How do we know this? Well Lewis went defensive, down the middle of the track off the racing line.

      Was Bottas entitled to try and unlap himself?
      Yes. We saw Vettel letting other cars past as his tyres pressumibly were done for.

      What about the car’s width rule?
      Yes Lewis left slightly more than a cars width, but that doesn’t mean that he is entitled to put his car anywhere else on the track. If a driver is nearer you (and has room on the outside) you can’t simply drive into them. Think Vettel and Webber in Turkey – Mark had every right to be where he was, and Seb drove into him. It’s the same sort of situation here. The driver on the outside is very much entitled to keep the defending driver off the racing line, to comprimise their corner entry and exit, which then helps you overtake.

      Penalty justified?
      Yes. Ok, so basically the penalty was for the collision (even if they had just touched and both continued he might have taken a slap on the wrist – given the stewards looked at other contact), but Lewis was especially at fault here for the ‘moving in a braking zone’ element as he tried to get back to the racing line and taking Bottas out. This is something the FIA are hot on, and Lewis of all drivers (having complained about this exact thing with MSC @ Monza) should know that moving in a braking zone when battling another driver is potentially going to cause contact.

      RE: The media, we all know that British media have to be nice to British drivers. If they don’t they don’t get interviews. You don’t bite the hand that feeds, especially when that hand feeds ‘special features’ and so on. It’s a shame, but it’s very true.

    9. bearforce1 says:

      I am not really up to speed with the regs and customs like others here.

      I didn’t think it had anything t do with the leave a car width etc.

      I thought the penalty was given because both cars were side by side and Lewis drove/moved/touched Bottas. I just thought it was wrong for a river to drive his car into another.

      I do feel a little sorry for Lewis because as everyone says he wasn’t expecting it and it was unexpected/unusual. Someone has to be responsible I suppose when one car causes another to crash out. Poop happens.

      1. James Allen says:

        There was a clarification on what is permitted and you have to leave a car’s width to the white line at the side of the track

        In my view (and Gary Anderson’s on BBC Radio 5 Live) Hamilton did that.

      2. A-P says:

        But isn’t this two different things?

        There is a rule about when coming back across the circuit you must leave the minimum gap to the edge (space for whoever might or might not be there or about to be there).

        Is there not also a rule about not simply driving into someone who is already there, however far across the track they are or not?

        Hamilton drove into Bottas on a straight. What’s that got to do with where a white line was?

      3. iceman says:

        I think you’re exactly right bearforce1.

        Lewis left a car’s width, so he wasn’t guilty of illegal blocking (sporting regs 16.1 (f) or (g)). But he wasn’t penalised for blocking, he was penalised for causing a collision (16.1 (d)).

      4. Jari says:

        I agree. If one says that you only have to leave car width of space and that’s all, will have room to some crazy driving. I mean then didn’t Bottas also have equal right to move towards Lewis until there’s only car width of space on the Lewis’ left.

        When coming out of corner side by side it is clear that who is outside would go further out until the white line because both choose the corner speed in order to stay on track and left room for both. But when coming to the corner side by side one should not need to expect other to start suddenly move towards you, when you’re practically side by side.

        Or is there a rule that car inside coming to corner has right to push the outside car to white lines but not the other way around?

  5. JimmiC says:

    Not a bad race to end the season on, although I would’ve liked a better drizzling of rain just to quicken a few pulses out there. Driver of the day for me Button, chump of the day ‘Smashing’ Pastor Maldonado. Two points though.

    -EJ kept going on about the nice gesture of Vettel moving over for Webber, or contriving some situation where Webber can overtake. I’m sure Mark wouldn’t want to be patronised like that and actually had a good strong race today and bowed out in style – pretty good for a number 2

    -I thought the right person was punished in the Bottas/Hamilton clash. Coulthard said that Bottas had room to move over, but looking at the replay, if there was room it was inches rather than metres, and Hamilton seemed to be doing most of the steering.

    1. Grant H says:

      I disagree the ham incident was just a racing incident and nothing more, lewis was in front – bottas hit his rear tyre, as lewis was in front he had racing line, bottas had nothing significant to gain in unlapping himself, lewis lost most of a lap limping back to the pits, why punish him twice with a drive through – bad decision

      Also FM was a bad decision, bet you would find most of the grid were cutting that corner, and for what advantage a drive through was too harsh

      1. BW says:

        You watched wrong race if you believe Lewis was in front.
        Mind if I remind you that even being “in front” you need to leave space unless you are so much ahead that opponent’s front wing is behind your rear wheel? And Lewis as clearly moving towards Bottas.

      2. KRB says:

        Watch again. He was always in front (by only the nosecone at one point, yes, but always ahead), and he left more than enough space (over a car’s width). This decision was an anomaly; if that decision set a precedent, we will not like the racing that results from it.

        Grosjean’s penalty in Hungary (the one where he crowded Button OFF the track, and they touched) was clear-cut, yet they didn’t issue a drive-through during the race! (20s time penalty afterwards) Bottas was never on the white line, nevermind on the grass!

        If the penalty was given b/c Lewis didn’t glance in his right mirror, then that’s one thing. But Bottas had room to move to the right. He was never going to make it stick around the outside.

        His choice was to keep his line, and lose his race, or move over, and stay in it. If you had given me that situation before it happened, I would’ve said that Bottas would opt for the latter everytime. So it is quite odd to me.

        This is to say nothing of the fact that he wasn’t racing Lewis for position (though at the time he didn’t know that, though where was the team radio to him on that?). Perhaps he could’ve been quicker that Lewis if he had got by, though I doubt it. And if he wasn’t, he would then have to cede the position under blue flags.

      3. Torchwood Five says:

        Lewis did leave space. Bottas had two feet to the right of him, and was trying his pass too close, or at least, unnecessarily close to the leading car.

        On the merits of Lewis getting the penalty for the collision, only because Max Chilton was penalised earlier in the season for Maldonado turning up unsighted like that next to him, and coming off worst, does the penalty seem consistent.

      4. BW says:

        You’re missing the key point: it was Hamilton moving to the right, not Bottas to the left. Bottas was going straight for quite a while.
        That’s why it was Hamilton to cause the incident.

        And speaking of place Bottas had – please check Belgium 2012, you’d be astonished to see that Hamilton had space on his right when Grosjean moved a little towards him, being half a car in front…

      5. KRB says:

        BW, watch the start at Spa ’12 again please. Key points there:

        1. Grosjean veered sharply towards Lewis
        2. Lewis did move right when he saw Grosjean coming
        3. Lewis did not have the same amount of room as Bottas had yesterday

        If everyone is allowed to “keep their line” at all times, then say goodbye to being able to pass in a corner and drive the other driver into a closing wedge.

        BW, your thoughts on the start of Japan ’11 then please. That was off the track, yet NO penalty.

      6. BW says:

        I watched Spa’12 very carefully and:
        1. Yes he did. But he got the car straight and was driving alongside Lewis.
        2. But Lewis made no move when they were side by side, with Romain half a car ahead. And the problem was that Romain’s direction was slightly on collision course, although he was making no turn to the right at that time.
        3. Lewis had enough place to move to the right and avoid the Grosjean’s tyre.

        Lewis was exactly at Bottas’ position, the only difference that he was behind and his front wheel hit Grosjean’s rear, while with Bottas they had rear-to-rear.

        Not going into Suzuka analysis at the moment.

      7. KRB says:

        BW, perhaps another viewing is in order.

        http://tinyurl.com/lewis-bottas

        At the point of contact, there are two tire-widths of space to the right of Bottas, to the white line. That’s close to 28 inches, over 2 feet. Lewis’ move over was not sharp, but a gentle drift over. A driver of Bottas’ ability no doubt would have seen that, and been able to react in plenty of time.

        http://tinyurl.com/grosjean-at-spa

        For Spa ’12, watch the initial overhead shot, and see how Grosjean veers over sharply. He covers half the track width (from l-r, looking overhead) in the space of two seconds! Not only that, he veers over to the point of wheel lock … that is, he’s not just alongside, he’s put himself into wheel lock, with a greater delta. That will always equal a collision in open-wheel racing!

        At the point of contact (see 0:03 and 0:35) Lewis’ right front tire is less than half-a-foot from the white line, with two metres of grass and then wall beyond that.

        1:16-1:19 of the clip is instructive. You can see how Grosjean veers over sharply, to the point of wheel lock. Then less than a second later, the contact happens. All F1 drivers have superhuman reflexes; they don’t have extrahuman reflexes!!

        Also pertinent to the two examples is what qualifies as “normal racing” in the two examples. For Spa ’12, the contact between RG & LH happened just after the spot where drivers would normally jink left, so as to open up the corner at La Source. So Grosjean’s squeeze of Hamilton at that point on the track was – in racing terms – “unnatural”, whereas for the LH-VB incident, LH drifting back to the racing line before the corner is entirely natural, and could reasonably have been foreseen by Bottas.

        I think it’s reasonable to expect F1 drivers to do all that is reasonably possible to avoid any collision. In any pass, both parties have a certain burden of responsibility. In F1 traditionally the passer (the driver behind) bears a greater share of that responsibility, to ensure that a pass is reasonable, and can be made safely. They have more responsibility b/c it’s easier for them, with their forward-view, to judge space and time factors necessary to execute a pass. Say 60-40% between passer and passee.

        We can’t have people making banzai lunges on cars ahead, but neither can we abide by leading cars that weave, shudder, or sharply close the door in an attempt to subvert reasonable pass attempts.

        We don’t want a situation wherein this penalty provides an incentive for potential passers to keep their nose in, and “hold their line”, knowing that if contact results, the car ahead will likely be punished.

        Looking back at Grosjean’s forcing Button off the track in Hungary. Button does move over as he sees Grosjean coming, as he should do as he attempts to avoid contact. He moves over even more than should be expected, to the point where he’s on the grass! Yet still Grosjean kept coming over!

        In my opinion, Bottas should’ve moved over … he had the space, and he had the time, in which to do so. Lewis was reckless in not checking his mirrors, although even w/o that, he did leave more than a car’s width as he drifted back towards the racing line.

        For me, it was a racing incident, much like the Vergne-Maldonado incident in the same race was adjudged to be a racing incident. It matters little now. I just don’t want to see this stewards decision become any sort of precedent.

      8. KRB says:

        Monza 2008, Webber moved over, there was half a tire’s width when they touched wheels. I suppose that would be a penalty for Lewis nowadays; then nothing happened, both cars stayed in it, Webber went down the escape road, then gave the position back to Lewis.

        As for Istanbul 2010, the difference is the beginning distance between them, and the fact that Seb was the passer in that situation. They were side-by-side, only inches apart. Vettel passes up the left side of Webber, and is right on/by the white line. But as soon as his front right tire eases past Webber’s front wing, he starts drifting right! He wasn’t even close to being clear of him, when they’re inches apart! It’s clear Vettel is trying to get Webber to move over in tandem, for the upcoming corner. As the passer, though, he has to make sure he’s past before moving over, much as Lewis as the passer had to make sure he had cleared Kobayashi before moving over, at Spa ’11.

    2. Quade says:

      @JimmiC

      Inches is more than enough room. Neither driver should have been punished.

    3. Sebee says:

      Was this the driest season of the millennium? goferet, how many wet races this year? I can’t remember one.

      I’m so looking forward to wet night race!

  6. Phil Glass says:

    I must have misheard: Massa blames Smedley for crossing the white line?

  7. Mansell Mania says:

    I was thinking all the way through this race, please let it rain at some point.. at least enough for everyone to come into inters and spice things up a bit!

    Well better than the last race but the out and out excitement of the previous few seasons seems quite distant now.

    Would have been nice for Seb to let Mark through for the win – despite their differences. But I guess Seb wanted to get those 9 consecutive wins under his belt!

    Good to see Jenson get a decent result too. Surely McLaren can only go up from here.

    And hope that Raikonen can spur Alonso and Ferrari on just that little bit more next season to take it a little bit more to the young German.

    What were they saying on the BBC? 110 sleeps?

    Bring on 2014….

    1. Ronnie says:

      From Vettel’s point of view, Webber did nothing (if not the opposite) to deserve gift of any kind. From objective point of view, a long-term driver getting 10th win is of little significance comparing to a brand new record of consecutive wins in a season, and a tie (though not the same %) of most wins in a season.

      What would be an interesting scenario would be if Massa had been 4th, would Alonso gift Massa a final podium as a Ferrari driver in front of his home crowd as a THANK YOU to the piles of points that Massa gifted ALO in the years past.

      1. I know says:

        With nothing to win or lose for himself, I think Alonso would have done it – but not to thank Massa, instead, it would given him an opportunity to show that he’s more of a gentleman than Vettel. And of course, he’s been gifted plenty of points by Massa in the past.

        Webber would probably not have liked to have been gifted a place by Vettel. As it stands, he can remember his final race as a podium finish, something he achieved on merit, and which will be worth more to him than a hollow victory thanks to his younger team mate.

      2. James Clayton says:

        Alonso Pretty much confirmed that was the Plan in the podium interview. In an interview with Sky Sports Massa also pretty much said that he would have been let past. Then for good measure, a Ferrari mechanic said to Ted Kravitz that the plan was for a Massa podium.

        So I think the answer is yes :)

      3. Rockman says:

        In the podium interviews, Alonso gave a hint that he would’ve “helped” Massa to a podium had he stayed 4th and not get the drive through penalty.

      4. Timmay says:

        Irrelevant – even if it was for a win – Alonso isn’t about to set a world record for consecutive wins. Vettel is, and I am glad he didn’t do something so foney as gift Webber a win he didn’t deserve.

        Vettel 13 wins
        Webber 0 wins

        Nuff said.

      5. Doobs says:

        I think he would have. Alo is already second in the championship.

    2. **Paul** says:

      I’m not sure Mark would have liked that to be honest. Winning by having a team mate who he’s had a tough relationship with pulling over for him? That might seem a bit condescending to him.

  8. Brunom says:

    James – I enjoyed this race, but I have one question about Massa’s drive through penalty – which I felt was unfair.

    Of course I do not know ALL the facts, but after Massa’a penalty had been given and then hearing Red Bull on the radio to Vettal warning him to be careful of the white line that caused Massa to be penalised, followed by – ‘remember we [ or you ? ] won’t get another warning ‘

    This sort of implies that Vettal had also crossed that line but just got a warning.

    ‘If’ he had done that and was penalised the same as Massa, Webber would probably have won and Vettal would not have achieved the record breaking that he did today.

    What do you think ?

    1. James says:

      It was Webber warned, not Vettel.

      1. Brunom says:

        James, thanks for the clarification – but the point about receiving a warning first, still remains !

    2. Grant H says:

      Good point, i bet half the grid were cutting that corner, so why was massa picked on

      1. Wade Parmino says:

        The only thing I can think of is that he is Brazilian racing in Brazil and there were two Brazilian stewards. They were afraid of being accused of favoring him so they hung him out to dry. It’s ridiculous that he got the penalty.

        I thought it’s only the pit exit line that cannot be crossed due to the difference in speed between cars on track and cars exiting the pits. The pit entrance line is of no consequence to other cars. Perhaps it’s because of the nature of this particular track’s pit wall being terrifyingly dangerous at the entrance.

    3. MISTER says:

      Maybe Massa got warnings too, but he still crossed the white line after that?

      1. Harshad says:

        yes, correct! Brundle said after the race, that earlier Massa was warned, but when he repeated the same thing he was penalised.

    4. roeclue says:

      I was very disapointed with Massa’s penalty too. Though I thought the message from Red Bull was given to Webber but maybe I missed the Vettel one!
      Vettel sure looked like he crossed the line on his very last lap too!

    5. AK says:

      Massa was given the penalty for driving over the white lines while entering the pit lane for his stop. I saw several drivers, incl. Button going over all 2 white lines while racing, so it was obviously no big deal.

    6. KIB says:

      And why didn’t Vettel get a penalty??

      He clearly crossed the pit entry line with all four wheels on the last lap!!

      1. James Allen says:

        Apparently the protocol was a warning the first time then a penalty

        The last lap was his first time, it appears

      2. JCA says:

        In the immortal words of Yogi Berra: “Déjà vu all over again.” I wonder what Seb will do to ‘deserve’ a retrospective drive through penalty at the 2014 Brazilian GP.

      3. **Paul** says:

        Not the pit entry line, the hashed area just before the pit entry is what they were fussed about.

        Massa did it three times and got a pen on his third pass. As far as I can tell Webber and Vettel both did it once, and thus recieved warnings.

    7. Richard D says:

      Looks to me that the circuit layout should be reviewed. It has to be dangerous if the natural racing line cuts through the pit entry where there will inevitably be cars slowing down.

      1. I know says:

        Yes, it looks a bit dangerous, although I think the breaking point for pit lane entry comes a little after the double white line. The pit lane exit is also quite difficult in Brazil – you can tell it’s not a “modern” track.

      2. DaveW says:

        Like the very safe pit exit at Abu Dhabi?

  9. Richard says:

    So happy this season is over. We’ve effectively had winterbreak since the Belgium GP and we’ll have to do those three months all over again. I was actually pleased that Vettel let Mark speak first to the “Pretty-handsome-Brazilian-lady-that-seemed-to-know-nothing-about-F1″-interviewer.

    Great race by Fernando, Jenson, and, for a change, Sergio (can’t believe I said that…) something which, once again, we can’t say about the Pastor “PDVSA” Maldonation, he has got every reason to leave the sport.

    Shame the rain didn’t fall. Can’t have everything I guess, sadly I had pretty much nothing this year.

    1. bearforce1 says:

      I agree I wish they would get James back to doing the post race podium interviews or broadcast them if they still do them.

      This new podium format is just awkward and leaves an uncomfortable experience.

      Hang in there Richard next year will be better for you. I am positive there will be a closer field or a different team dominating and lots of DNFs to level things out.

      New engines and stuff next year its just going to be brilliant. I always enjoy F1 and it will still be terrifically interesting for me next year regardless of who wins.

    2. Kirk says:

      The sad thing about Maldonado is that in the interview he said that it was just a race incident, something normal, and assure that he will be in F1 next year.

  10. Nic Maennling says:

    The Neweymobile has triumphed yet again. Will we ever find out just how they became so dominant ?

    All the best to Webber, a good bloke, the real deal and a sportsman.

    1. James says:

      A great designer, great workforce, plenty of funding, one of the all time great drivers and a very handy teammate.

      1. Anop says:

        James, if Sebastian is an all time great for you then please tell us what is your opinion about Fernando?

        I have watched F1 for only 10 years but I think out of the current drivers only Fernando is an all time great.

      2. Well, then I guess you need to watch F1 for another 10 years in order to get enough experience to judge these things.

        Vettel is now indeed an all time great, just look at his record:

        -Youngest driver ever to take part in a session in F1.
        -Youngest driver ever to record fastest time in a session in F1.
        -Youngest driver ever to score a pole position in F1.
        -Youngest driver ever to win a race in F1.
        -Youngest driver to be a WDC.
        -Youngest driver to be a double WDC.
        -Youngest driver to be a triple WDC.
        -Youngest driver to be a quadruple WDC.

        In the process of achieving this he has matched the following all time records in F1:

        -Number of pole positions in a season (tied with Mansell)
        -Number of wins in a season (tied with Schumacher).

        On top of that he has set a new record for consecutive wins in a season and tied Ascaris record for total consecutive wins.

        Finally he has taken every chance offered to him.
        The first chance he had at pole-position was converted into pole position.
        The first chance he had at a race-win was converted into a race-win.
        The first chance he realistically had at a WDC (2010) was converted into a WDC.
        He has always been able to end up as the winner given a chance.

        I`m not sure I`ve ever seen a driver that is as good at converting opportunity into results as Vettel is.

        Fernando Alonso is undoubtedly a great driver, but unless he does something really spectacular for the next 3-5 years he will not be mentioned in the same sentence as Vettel in the future.

      3. Anop says:

        Thanks! for your comment but after reading it I am convinced that I have watched enough F1 to understand what defines a great driver and it is certainly not all the records or numbers you mentioned in your post.

        How you rate a driver to be an all time great has nothing to do with youngest records. Fernando had all the records before Sebastian. So by your logic Fernando was an all time great in 2006 but he is not anymore. It’s a flawed logic.

        For me, an all time great driver will win in a car which is not the best. Senna did it. Prost did it. Schumacher did it and so has Fernando since 2008. Sebastian still has to do it. I’m not saying its fault but except the Monza 2008 win he has not got a chance.

        Let next season Sebastian win in not the fastest car then we will know how much a difference he brings to the table rather than Newey.

        No doubt Sebastian is a great driver in the fastest car but before I compare Fernando and Sebastian, I want to see Sebastian in a poor car and Fernando in the best car.

      4. Timmay says:

        Vettel has never won in a bad car – oh except that time he won from Pole to Flag in a Scuderia Toro Rossi. Give it up.

        Vettel 13 wins
        Webber 0 wins

      5. Anop
        It’s about time people doubting Vettel get a reality check. There’s a reason he was wanted by both BMW and Toro Rosso at such a young age. They saw in him back then what more and more people see in him now.

        As for the records he’s piling up it’s not exactly insignifficant records we’re talking about. He’s equalled or beaten records held by different great drivers in F1-history. None of the other great drivers in F1 history has the same combined numbers for poles, wins or consecutive wins in a season.

        And all of this courtesy of a 26 year old with 6 full seasons in F1. That is mindblowing. To add insult to injury he’s closing in on Sennas total tally of wins too. Then there will be only Schumacher and Prost ahead of him on that list. They were 37 and 38 by the time they had accumulated their tallies.

      6. Tealeaf says:

        In 3-5 years time Vettel will have broken most of Schumacher’s records, we’ll be hearing by the end of the decade things like “oh stats show Vettel has won more championships, poles and race wins than Schumacher and Senna combined” or “that 15 win in a single season is another record thats fallen”, in fact I think he’s odds on for 2014 again before a wheel has turned, though I believe Ricciardo will shock Seb’s system quite a few times next year, but over a season Seb will likely win again unless the car is a complete dog.

    2. Andy says:

      I don’t know for certain, but RBR didn’t want a the resource restriction agreement for good reason – they spend more than anyone else to win which = boredom on an epic scale.

      1. ManOnWheels says:

        I can’t take that “boredom” nonsense anymore. If the leading two drivers is all that interests you, quit watching Formula 1 for god’s sake and stop pestering forums with your bad mood.
        I enjoy watching every fight for position, be it between the top drivers or the backmarkers.

      2. ACx says:

        Yeah, watching drivers fight for position alone is fun, but much, much more exciting if they are fighting for the something…. oh, I dunno… the WDC, perhaps? Presumably that is why they have a thing called a WDC and points and stuff….

        I mean, if all we are allowed to do is be excited by two drivers racing for 13th, then why have a WDC at all?

      3. bearforce1 says:

        Yep, I too am bored with the boring, “I’m bored” comments.

        This is the best of times. Vettel is killing it and breaking records that none of the current drivers will ever get close to matching.

        Woooooo hoooooooo hoooooo hooooooooo. Yeah baby…

      4. Andy says:

        I agree with ACx. I’m an F1 nut, but the reality is it’s boring at the minute and it’s ok to admit that so don’t be so tetchy. I also enjoy watching all the battles, studying the cars, but it really takes the fizz out of it for me if the WDC is not a contest, if you don’t see that then you should quit watching it because that’s the major point of it!

      5. Equin0x says:

        Yes yes boring boring, it’ll only be unboring if Hamilton won the title, so I suggest you switch off the boredom for good as Hamilton or Webber won’t ever win the championship from next year onwards, enjoy.

      6. Andy says:

        Errrrr no. It will not be boring if there is actually a contest, between any driver, you obviously have a lower boredom threshold than me if you found this season riveting? Quit being aggressive in a post as well, everyone is entitled to an opinion, so take your attitude elsewhere.

    3. **Paul** says:

      This year they did something to address their historic issue, straightline speed. From Spa onwards they were suddenly quick.

      My guess? a passive DRS that worked…

      1. bearforce1 says:

        I was thinking about this and maybe RedBull just had so much down force, maybe too much and they could sacrifice a bit of it to have a faster straight line speed without a loss of performance in circles.

        Or maybe RB just calculated that a little less downforce and greater straight line speed was a faster way round the track.

  11. Hermann says:

    Great race from the first three. Good luck Mark. I will miss you. I still remember your F3000 days. You were always a very good driver. Probably Sebastian learnt to exploit the car better. Anyway, thanks and good luck.

  12. Alexander Supertramp says:

    Enjoyable race, petty the rain never came..

    Harsh penalty on Massa, they should have warned him instead. The Hamilton Bottas incident was weird. Lewis probably didn’t look hard enough in his mirrors or he expected Bottas to use the remaining space he had on his right side. Bottas didn’t expect Lewis to move right. Coincidence or not, you very rarely see this kind of accidents when top drivers are going wheel to wheel.

    Strong showing by Mclaren. The car has been pretty competitive in past races. I actually believe that Checo was even slightly stronger than Jenson today.

    Anyone else noticed that Red Bull were even faster than the rest of the field in sector 3? What’s up with that :D?

    Lastly, Vettel’s final pit stop pretty much sums up the Red Bull dominance in 2013. Even when Red Bull make 15 seconds pit stop, they win the race 20 seconds ahead of the first non-Red Bull car.

  13. Mr squizzer says:

    Thank god that’s over roll on next year just hope the tyres are better suited to racing .A bit unfair on Hamilton .

  14. MISTER says:

    It wasn’t really a dramatic race, was it?
    I enjoyed it, as there were a few battles here and there. Loved the image of Mark without his helmet. That will be a classic.

    Glad for Marussia to have kept 10th place, given that they lost it last year in Brazil.

    Gutted for Massa, as he was given that penalty. Seems harsh, but Tom from BBC did show us a paper with a photo of the area which was given by the FIA before the race to all teams and drivers showing exactly which part of that white line not to cross with all 4 wheels, therefore no excuse for Felipe. He should’ve known.
    I would’ve loved to see Alonso give 3rd to Felipe if they were running 3rd and 4th at the end.

    A bit dissapointed by Bottas’s performance. He left the door open too often and lost a lot of places because of that.

    1. Simmo says:

      “A bit dissapointed by Bottas’s performance. He left the door open too often and lost a lot of places because of that.”

      Better to play it safe than sorry, unlike Maldonado, who left it open and then shut it. That said, Maldonado probably wasn’t sorry.

  15. luqa says:

    Congrats to Team Red Bull. Great drives by both! MW seems to have finally come to terms he was beaten by a more talented driver who by his own admission learnt a lot from MW. That alone is a feather in his cap, as is his mature attitude. It takes a big man to admit ones own limitations. Congrats on a great career in F1.
    As for SV- Imperious. What can one say about someone whose worst placing in the season was two forth place finishes (besides the DNF in GB). That’s 16 podiums out of a possible 19!
    Good job by FA (not my favourite by fa) to finish off with a podium.
    As for LH- what gives? Wake up buddy, you cannot cut someone off into the marbles just because you are lapping him! That stupid rookie mistake cost him third spot in the Drivers Championship and almost second for Mercedes in the Constructors!!

    1. Grant H says:

      He did not cut him up ham was in front, he hit hams rear tyres therefore he was behind, i dont know how the marshalls can put blame on ham, when your driving at 150mph you cant always be aware of whats behind it was a racing incident

      1. luqa says:

        Hmm.. it would seem both their REAR wheels touched- meaning there were side by side when LH pulled (moving his steering wheel to the right) right into VB.
        Now if it would have been VB front wheel and LH rear wheel, you’d have a point.
        Also the closing seed of the two was probably less than 10mph, once again no excuse..

      2. yellowbelly says:

        They were together on track, that’s why both rear tyres touched. Lewis moved over, caused the collision & therefore deserved his penalty.

    2. Ahmed says:

      Hamilton did exactly the same thing to Kobayashi in Spa a couple of years ago, which ended his own race. He obviously does not learn from his mistakes..

      1. aezy_doc says:

        Obviously wasn’t exactly the same thing. Similar but crucially different. Hamilton at fault in spa, but not here. He left bottas space as is required by the regulations.

      2. brunom says:

        He did initially leave space for Bottas, but crucially moved into that space, and that is what caused the collision.

        Therefore I believe that under the current FIA rules he deserved the penalty.

      3. aezy_doc says:

        Bottas had space to move into. He didn’t and so there was a collision. I can’t for the life of me see how that is Hamilton’s fault. I agree Hamilton moved over but it did not warrant a penalty as there was space on the outside of Bottas that he could have used. Hamilton is entitled to move back to the racing line as long as he leaves a car width’s space. He did that so what was the penalty for? Causing a collision? The collision was Bottas’s fault. He had space to move into but didn’t. He also had the option of leaving the track if he felt that he had no space on the track and then Lewis might have gotten a penalty for crowding a car off the circuit. As it was Bottas decided not to use the space available (either on the circuit or off the circuit) and felt that a collision was the best course of action.

      4. Ahmed says:

        Bottas was side by side with Hamilton, and had no more room. So yes Hamilton did run into him, and even admitted that he did not see him.
        The stewards saw it as a similar incident to Spa, which is why they unanimously agreed to penalise Hamilton. He didn’t admit fault in the Kobayashi incident either!

  16. Timmay says:

    Thank goodness there was no gift win for Webber. Would’ve been weak.

    Well done on a good career tho mate – as a NZer it was fun to cheer for an Aussie.

    1. There is not a lot of sentiment in F1 so there was never likely to be a gift win. Not while Vettel and Matteschitz are breathing.

      I agree – it has been fun having Mark in the sport and I look forward to following his exploits in the sports cars. Not bad for a number 2. He sure did make his mark.

      And don’t worry Timmay, you can still follow an Aussie next year. C’mon Daniel.

    2. Simon Lord says:

      Agreed, he is the one Aussie sportsman even Kiwis support. Thanks for all the fun and excitement, Mark.

      1. Bryce says:

        He also supports a Kiwi driver.

  17. Brian Hinder says:

    Forza Webber!

  18. vic says:

    The “silly” mistake of Massa have cost Ferrari the second place in the championship. Without the drive-through Massa would have easily finished 4º easily (and Rosberg 6º instead 5º).
    On the other hand I think the drive through of Halmiton was undeserved (and without that drive through ferrari has not chance to grab second place) so maybe is better that way.

    Another thing I would like to comment is the Perez question. At the end of the day (of the season) Perez have beaten Button at qualification by the minimun (10-9) and points wise (73-49) have got 67% (two thirds) of the points of his team mate which is maybe not too good but not too bad also for his first season in the team. Probably Ferrari have got this right last year and it was too early for him to be put in a top team, but all in all I dont think he performed as bad as to be sacked in just one year.

    And the most important question is will be Magnussem able to better this numbers? I mean Magnussen in his rookie year would be able to score more than 67% of the Button points and outqualified him at least 10-9? I seriously doubt it but we will see.

    And of course without taking account that surely Perez would have improved his numbers in their second season (less pressure, more experience, internal feedback, etc.) so I would predict maybe a more clear (13-7, 12-8) win on qualification and a close tie 90-110% on points, but now is time to Magnussen to prove that he can do better. Lets hope he does it because if not it would be another Whistmart´s mistake. How many already?

    1. Ronnie says:

      I guess another angel of comparison can be Perez first season in McLaren vs. that of Hamilton’s, Vettel’s, and Botton’s when they first joined a new team. The Perez did not appear that impressive. Cruel sport.

      1. Rockie says:

        You cannot compare as the car performance was light years apart Ham and Alo were fighting for the WDC But n Per fighting to get into top 10

      2. Ronnie says:

        Re Vettel

        I meant when he joined STR in 2007 as a 19/20-year-old rookie, having more points (5 = 6 total – 1 from BMW) in 1/2 season than 1+1/2 seasons from the other two STR drivers combined. That is, with the unfortunate crash in Japan that took both himself and Webber off the impending podium.

        Then it was my favorite piece of history – in 2008 (1st full season) Vettel points > 3 other Red Bull (senoir and junior) drivers combined, that included Webber.

        Then 2009, in Vettel’s 1st RBR season, he beat Webber by 14.5 points (old scoring system) with 1 more retirement. This is before the perrilli tires.

        Understood that all this proves is that Perez is not the next Vettel. Hope Kvyat have a good show next year.

    2. Ben says:

      I agree that it is quite harsh on Perez (I think he did enough to keep his seat) but I believe it is more to do with Magnusson being that much quicker than Perez. I think the targets you have set him are a bit high, if you remember when Hamilton joined there was lots of testing so he had a lot of practice. Whitmarsh is getting him in the seat next year so he has a year to settle in before McLaren’s big title challenge in 2015 with Honda power/money

  19. Anil says:

    Congrats to Seb and Mark. Quite fitting he put in a great drive but still finished behind Seb, sums up his career in many ways. He might be ‘a number 2 driver’ but he’s one of the best and whilst he might not be a Seb or Alonso, he’s one of my favourites.

    Gutted for Felipe. Ferrari confirmed after the race that if he was 4th Alonso would have let him by to take the podium..that would have been very special.

    On a final note, I’m delighted this season had ended as it’s been pretty poor and double DRS has completely ruined the action on some circuits (overkill, anyone?). Here’s hoping 2014 brings with it some uncertainty and drama.

    Goodbye Mark, you’ll be missed.

    1. j says:

      Agreed. I think we all agree. With blue flags and DRS the FIA has removed any chance that a driver with great passing skills can compete with the “time trial” drivers who excel on an empty track. Ideally I’d like to see a mix of both types mixing it up.

  20. Joe B says:

    A more enjoyable race than Austin, at least until the last third where it settled down. Great drive by Webber, and a clean race from Button to take a well-deserved fourth. I hope the McLaren is more competitive next year.

    Congrats to Red Bull and Vettel; this year he actually drove like a champion. Germany was his highest point for me, he drove a cracking race under intense pressure and, for the first time, didn’t screw up at all. Regardless, here’s hoping the other teams can get in the same league as the Red Bulls next year. Sport without competition isn’t fun for anyone.

    Thanks for another season of superb coverage James! I’m sure you’re already working hard on content to keep us entertained over the winter break…

    1. Juzh says:

      Spain 2011? Short term memory you have there.

      1. Joe B says:

        Yeah, I rated him highly for that race as well. If it were this season I might’ve mentioned it beforehand.

      2. Anil Parmar says:

        Well lewis was never near him at Spain 2011. If you watch the highlights again, Lewis was always miles behind coming out of the last corner and Seb never got close to having to defend.

        He’s had better drived imo.

  21. AJ says:

    Not quite the fairytale win for Mark’s last race, But a solid drive and hopefully a satisfying one for Mark, With some great passes on top drivers reminding us that he’s bowing out while still a top contender.

  22. “That was the major action in a race that was always on the brink of coming to life with the threat of rain.”

    Thanks James — best quote of the season!

    Was ustimately able to find the event on the regular NBC network channel just by surfing — hopefully next year they can get their act together enough to share the broadcast informatin in a positive way.

  23. AJ says:

    So red bull called Seb in even though they had already scheduled Mark’s stop? How does that work? Does one side if the garage get to overrule the other?

    1. James says:

      They called both in expecting a safety car. Vettel’s call was very late though hence the confusion.

    2. Juzh says:

      Yes, it’s a conspiracy against webber.

    3. Matthew Cheshire says:

      Why didn’t Webber’s engineer tell him to stay out? 15 second lead, surely Vettel’s stop was a shambles before webber entered the pit lane. That should have been the win.

      1. Bryce says:

        Not quite enough time IMO. I was imagining WEB marching up the hill into the lead, then sadly he came onto the screen.

      2. Matthew Cheshire says:

        Saw a comment from Webber saying he saw Vettell in the box on a trackside screen as he was going in. So there was time but webber himself could have made the call – although he wasn’t to know Vettel had been there for so long. And he could have driven across the white line area to get out….

      3. Siobhan says:

        They were expecting a safety car so Webber would have lost out big time if he wasn’t called in and a SC came.. he would have led yes, but then had to go in anyway and come out near the back. I guess they expected to have Vettel finished before Mark came in.

  24. Spyros says:

    It’s so good seeing Mark have a nice result. A victory would have been great, but given some of his recent bad luck, I guess second and fastest lap will do quite nicely.

  25. AJ says:

    Great to see Button and Mclaren back near the pointy end. Hopefully a sign of things to come next year.
    If Drive of the day is outperforming expectation, Button is my pick.

    1. Doug says:

      +1

      Loved the double pass he did! :-)

      1. Serrated_Edge says:

        Proves when JB has the car he delivers, up to McLaren to pull their fingers out.

      2. Doug says:

        Couldn’t agree more!
        Fingers crossed they have a competitive car next season…this season has been painful!

  26. AJ says:

    Does anyone know why Seb slowed for those few laps ?

  27. Darren says:

    Quite an entertaining race I thought, pity the rain didn’t come to much that may have thrown some spanners in the works. Disappointed Mark couldn’t go out with a win but as usual Vettels pace on the first few laps was unreal and put him comfortably in front by the time Webber got up to 2nd.

    I think Lewis penalty was farcical they barely touched, it looks to me like the actual wheel on the Williams failed which should be quite worrying for them, a “racing incident” if there ever was one.

    Don’t get why everyone was getting misty eyed about the end of the V8 era, I’m glad to see the back of the boring drones that are identical can apart from from the badges. Hopefully the new formula will reestablish the engine as a key performance differentiator and not just aero.

    Roll on March!

    1. littleredkelpie says:

      Wow, if you think the V8s produced a ‘boring drone’, you’ve got a lot of bad news coming with 6 cylinder turbos.

    2. JohnBt says:

      […. V8s produced a ‘boring drone’……]

      Are you sure you’re on the right F1 series?

      Go check the new V6 turbos, the true meaning of drones mate.

  28. Simon says:

    Drive-through penalty for Hamilton lost him 3rd-place standing in 2013 WDC points tally to Mark Webber. That’s ridiculous! I don’t know what Bottas was doing on the track anyway.

    [mod]

    1. James Allen says:

      It was vaguely funny the first time, now it’s not – Mod

    2. Alexander Supertramp says:

      Lewis needed P4 to clinch P3 in the WDC. He wouldn’t have managed that even without the drive through..He lost a lot of time nursing the car to the pits. Shame, he was having a strong race.

    3. KRB says:

      Who cares about 3rd?!? 3rd, 4th, 5th, what’s the difference? Positive for Lewis is that he doesn’t have to attend the end-of-year FIA Awards ceremony now. It’s truly stupid that the FIA forces the top 3 to attend. Alonso must hate it.

      The only thing that really counts in the end is ending the season on top.

  29. Chema Martin says:

    Well done, Ferrari! Not a bad result for the fifth best car in the paddock…

    This Fernando Alonso is such a good comedian… That Ferrari can fight and almost win second spot in the constructors championship with the fifth best overall car, specially considering what Massa has been able to add to the team through the year, is… Well, funny.

    Obviously, the car is just a part of the equation, a very important one, but not the only one. The team, strategic resources and all that jazz do have an influence in the end result as well. With that in mind, though, no team can achieve what Ferrari has achieved with a truly fifth overall car. That kind of magic does not exist, not even in Fernando’s wildest dreams.

    1. Elie says:

      You really believe Ferrari was the 5th best car – Really???- what are you on mate ?

      1. Chema Martin says:

        Not sure if you are using irony, but I am, just responding to Fernando’s comments when he said that he was driving the eighth or ninth best car. Taking into account each car has two drivers, it roughly translates into the fifth best car overall this season, which is simply not true.

        Ferrari have a better car than it appears to be, it’s just that they have had very poor Saturdays on average. Fernando particularly has not been able to put his best laps together for quali, even making very obvious mistakes like yesterday or the one in spa.

        The amount of times Massa has bettered alonso this season in quali is news, but even drivers like Hulkenberg and Ricciardo have had their share of beating Fernando on Saturdays. I don’t see how that can be blamed on the car, specially when it comes to a driver who’s consistently claimed he doesn’t need the best car to win the championship.

        All in all, I think Ferrari had clearly the second best car overall and have missed on second place mostly because their drivers have not done a good enough job.

      2. Sami says:

        +1000
        As all our readers can check, not all Spanish F1 followers are Alonso fans! Chema and I belong to an oppressed minority.
        A minority that, on the other hand, is growing by the day…

      3. Yago says:

        Alonso said 7th or 8th fastest car. Not 8th or 9th. That means 4th fastest car, not 5th. It is the kind of statement that a lot of people is going to dislike, but it is the truth. It reminds me some statements of Mourinho, that so many people dislike, even people from his team, but that are absolutely true. The truth usually hurts.

        Ferrari, as a team, have been supreme on the track for the past two years. They manage to get everything out of the car during the weekend. This includes engineers, mechanics, tacticians and people working exclusively on the tyres, as Hamashima, as well as a key point: reliability. That is boosted by the speed, experience, dedication and infallibility of their best driver, Fernando Alonso.

        In 2012 they almost won the championship with the 4th overall fastest car (behind Red Bull, McLaren and Lotus on pure pace). This year, their lead driver managed to split the Red Bulls for the drivers championship with again the 4th overall fastest car (behind Red Bull, Lotus and Mercedes).

        They are unable to build a fast car for the moment, as they are lacking technology and methodology, but they are adressing it. If they manage to finally build a car as fast as the best, they will win, with Fernando Alonso at the wheel.

        If that is the case, I hope you enjoy it. And I hope you are enjoying it at the moment also, because it is the first time in history an Spanish driver is the reference in F1, and may be the last time. So as an Spanish, it would be a shame if you didn’t.

        Of course, being conscious of what Spain has in the person of Fernando Alonso does not mean that you have to whatch the sport in a biased fashion, and don’t recognize the greatness of other drivers as Vettel and Hamilton. One thing does not remove the other.

      4. Yago, for heaven’s sake did you read your comment before submitting it?

        “…and infallibility of their best driver, Fernando Alonso…”

        It is not a matter of translation, the word in Spanish conveys the same meaning. “infallibility” come on man!
        This is good, anyway, it helps our readers to grasp how it is not being an Alonso fan in Spain.
        “…infallibility…” My goodness!

      5. Yago says:

        @ Sami,

        I sense that you have a fixation on answering my posts, at the end countrymen always tend to come together…

        Fernando Alonso has shown he is as close as anybody can be at infallibility when it comes to grasp results from a subpar car. The same as Vettel has shown the world he is absolutely infallible when it comes to deliver results with a car above the others.

        It would be more constructive if your answers were more on the technical or driver side of F1, rather than reminding me and other readers how my love to Fernando Alonso absolutely clouds my judgement, and how your countrymen are unable to do unbiased analysis given their admiration to Fernando Alonso. Even worse, it all has a taste of self promotion, given you seem to believe you are a unique unbiased and non Alonso lover specimen inside your country.

    2. Alan says:

      Are you sure about fifth fastest car? I thought it was the eighth! /s

    3. Fireman says:

      Yes, this clearly proves Alonso isn’t very good developing the car.

    4. Elie says:

      Sorry I think I miss read your post against someone else.

      Your pretty right though, The Ferrari was somewhere between 2nd and 3rd fastest car. It started the season strong then fell behind after the others improved around summer break. I think it ended around between 3rd or 4 th.

      But you can always count in that Spaniard, Samurai, Goose to make it the worst car on the grid!

  30. Paweł says:

    What a boring season it was….
    From the start champion was known…

    Hope next season might be better in terms of excitement…

    1. CYeo says:

      Somebody spent the night with Grumpy Cat©.

      Yes, the end result is known, but that doesn’t mean the other drivers are not doing anything.

      They still fight for places, points and money.

  31. Methusalem says:

    “It’s an expensive outcome for Caterham, who finish 11th.”

    I’ve noticed for the first time there is a team called, Caterham, and, a driver, Giedo van der Garde

    Hard to believe F. Massa spent 8 years with Ferrari — and had no success. What is his legacy?

    1. Glen says:

      He was super quick, in a tougher formula one era; before the rules and regulations were softended. He had a nasty accident and did well to recover his career, but got stuck into a number 2 position, in a team trying to replicate the Schumacher years.

    2. Yak says:

      I wouldn’t say he had no success. In 2006 he on occasion showed what he had up against Schumi, in 2007 went back and forth with Raikkonen ’til near the end of the season, and in 2008 came within a bee’s privates of taking a WDC.

      Then he copped a spring to the helmet and never really seemed to be the same again.

    3. KRB says:

      Second most GPs raced with Ferrari?

      That last lap clip from Brazil ’08 will be hauled out and replayed 25, 50, even 100 yrs from now. It was the entire spectrum, from “the thrill of victory”, to “the agony of defeat”, all in the space of 90 seconds! His family jumping up in the Ferrari garage, and then getting the bad news, is just stuff that would seem corny if it was in a movie, but truly gripping when you know it’s all too real, and happening right in front of your eyes.

  32. Rob Newman says:

    Fantastic race and a great end to a season of domination and new F1 records. Well done Seb!

    Sad to see the season is over though.

    1. Angelina says:

      + 1000

    2. Sasidharan says:

      Yes, they should have had 24 races this calender to get two more interesting races!!!

  33. Grant H says:

    Sad the season is ending :-( what am i going to do for 111 days 8 hours and 45 mins????

    Marshalls did a poor job with massa and lewis

    Glad webber got the podium on his last race will be missed

    1. Me says:

      Perhaps you can sit around complaining how poor old Hamilton got penalised in Brazil.

      1. Grant H says:

        Maybe i will , it was a shocking decision

  34. Richard says:

    Found out today that you have a YouTube channel James, why aren’t you using it to suppport articles on the blog if I may ask?

  35. AlexD says:

    This season started in a very promising way, there were some good races, especially in classical circuits. After the change of tyres to 2012 spec everything went downhill. It becase unbelievably boring and long season, but finally it is over. Last races were a pain to watch. Even the race in Brasil today was very dull…I was hoping that the rain might fix it, but it wasn’t meant to be.

    Decisions of race stewards yesterday with the qualifying and today with Massa were co pletely out of the context and were absolutely against the sport. People will have them for this…

    I cannot believe that ther is anybody out there…who is not a Red Bull fan and enjoys watchig a race where other drivers do not even stand a chance. Alonso could not do anything today…i think he had a very good race, but he was unarmed compared to red bulls.

    Right now….there is the hope that next year we will see the real fight for the title, will have tyres that do not limit the racing and will have other teams and drivers shining.

    1. Rockman says:

      I agree, although I think it’s mainly the Pirelli tyres this year that made racing even more horrible.

      Drivers are there to push the supposed fastest cars to the limit.

      It’s like watching a cheetah hunt with 3 legs.

    2. Fireman says:

      You’re right about the tire change. For example, the change didn’t suit Kimi at all which made races increasingly boring.

      Alonso’s situation was underlined by the fact that Webber had to pass him twice. There was no way to keep ahead.

      I hope Ferrari is a rock solid package next year and Kimi and Alonso can do some proper racing.

  36. Jay West says:

    Vettel’s pass on Rossberg at beginning of the race clearly demonstrates the RB hardware speed superiority in a straight line. And then a 10 second gap by 13 laps in! Hope Ricciardo can give Seb a run for the money.

    1. Alexander Supertramp says:

      My view exactly. Sector 3 is basically a straight line sprint to start finish. Credit to Red Bull for eradicating their big weakness. Hard to imagine that any team on the grid will be able to challenge them in the future.

    2. Marsh says:

      I’ve said it before; the Red Bull is in a different category. The manner of Vettel’s attack on Rosberg said it all. I only hope the other teams can find something in the new specifications to close the gap. The other teams should lay down their tools and protest if this domination continues next year.

      1. Random 79 says:

        “The other teams should lay down their tools and protest if this domination continues next year”

        I can understand the frustration, but what would that solve? What the other teams should really do is continue knuckle down and to try to bridge the gap.

        Like Ferrari in the 2000s, RBR’s domination won’t last forever and it’s only persistence and hard work (or a hell of a lot of luck) that going to stop it :)

    3. Random 79 says:

      “Vettel’s pass on Rossberg at beginning of the race clearly demonstrates the RB hardware speed superiority in a straight line”

      What a difference a year makes ;)

    4. Yak says:

      Rosberg just wasn’t quick in the first stint. Neither of the Mercs was particularly quick all race really.

      You could see right from the start that Rosberg wasn’t going to be fast enough to hold off Vettel for long, but once that was out of the way, Rosberg still had Alonso, Hamilton and Webber behind him. Vettel was able to get away while the others were stuck fighting amongst themselves.

      Vettel and the Red Bull were certainly quick, but I think the bigger thing in that early part of the race was that Rosberg was slow.

      1. Thompson says:

        You say that about Rosberg being to slow, I agree a few races now when in 2nd place he has held up the field allowing Vettel to get away.

        Saving my assessment for the driver review 2013 thread that I’m sure is being prepared as a type – Nico…..hmmmm

      2. Yak says:

        Not sure if it’s a case of Rosberg not performing, or the car not performing well in the races… or maybe a bit of both. But overall, I saw somewhere else that the stat for BOTH Mercedes drivers over the year was that their average finishing position relative to their starting position was in the negatives, i.e. they both had an overall tendency to go backwards. So I think that says something.

        That said, considering where Mercedes were last year, they’ve not done too badly at all.

    5. hulliby says:

      Vettel also said he didn’t use all his KERS at the start because he had such a poor one, and therefore had KERS on the straight at the end of Lap 1 to attack Rosberg. Even so, the improvement in RBR straight line speed has been amazing to watch.

  37. Chris J says:

    Good final race and fitting that the best number 2 driver finished 2nd! Great so see the McLarens finishing 4th and 6th and JB get’s my DotD! Unfair for Massa to get a drive through and Vettel to only get a warning for the same error! March 13th can’t come quick enough!!

    1. Kirk says:

      Massa received a warning previously, he did the same more than once during the race.

  38. Andras F. says:

    Rarely seen blow from the most succesful V8 engine of the last 8 years.
    Will be interesting to see how next year will shape up by reliability point of view…

    1. Random 79 says:

      I’d like to say they’ll be reliable, but in all honesty I expect to see a lot of stupid grid drop penalties :(

  39. mr coltrane says:

    The tissue paper Pirelli tyres were the real problem in the Ham/Bottas kiss. How many times have we seen the slightest of touch of wheels result in tyre failure this season?

    Stupid.

    1. stevenh says:

      That was no kiss, if you watch the replay the hit shattered the edge of the rim on Bottas (which you can see going straight up in the air) and the tire rolled off the rim. Ham’s tire obviously got a puncture from the sharp shards of the edge of the broken rim

    2. Robb says:

      What’s really strange is the way Bottas’ Wheel exploded. It was probably pieces from the wheel that punctured Lewis’ tire.

    3. Spinodontosaurus says:

      Punctures from light contact have been around for years – people need to stop pretending it only started to happen when Pirelli entered the sport.

    4. Yak says:

      That wasn’t “the slightest touch”. It might look like only a slight contact, but we’re talking about wheels rotating at huge speeds.

      I’m guessing because there’s less downforce involved, but in other categories that kind of wheel to wheel contact sends cars up into the air.

  40. Balsac says:

    Nice way to finish your f1 career mate see you at the 24hr

  41. Matt says:

    Vettel is pretty unbelievable. Rosberg took him at the start and then Vettel just flipped a switch and motored onward. 9 in a row is amazing. He is a truly gifted driver.

    I was glad to see Webber put in a solid drive and he had some great passes. I will miss him next season.

    Shame for Grosjean, his form has really picked up and he had a real sour apple losing out to a mechanical. He could have thrown some pretty good excitement into the mix.

    Perez did a super job wrestling back for 6th. I hope he gets a good drive next year as I feel he really deserves to be in F1.

    I hope that the changes for 2014 really mixes everything up. Lets hope for lots of different winners, close racing and a championship that goes to the last race of the season!

    1. clyde says:

      Its not gifted vettel but the car mate.Wbber also motored away from the rest

    2. Doobs says:

      If Pirelli don’t change tyres halfway through -and which happen to suit RB – then we will be OK…

  42. Geno says:

    Great race to end the season!

    And really impressive race from Mark.
    A lot of drivers have had a hard time just keeping the car on the track in special races. Coulthard and Barrichello crashed in their final race, Alonso, and maybe even Webber if I remember right, struggled in their 200th race.

    So it was difficult to expect such a good and controlled drive taking him to the podium.
    And that gesture of removing his helmet showing his face one last time riding an f1 car…
    That was a classic and a beauty. In the same blood of the Valencia looping, or the ‘Not too bad for a #2 driver” winning quote.

    That was the best “retiring drive” I can recall. And such a classy and entertaining man will be missed quite a lot.

    1. j says:

      I would love to see an article listing out all the best/worst “retiring drives” of all time.

  43. AK says:

    The 5. year for Hammy outside of the top 3 and still the same rookie mistakes over again (today looked like copycat crash of his with Kobayashi in Spa 2011, a can not go wrong low risk standard overtake basically). He really needs to wake up if we want to have a cracking 2014 because right now Vettel would beat him silly even in the same car with same luck and everything. More commitment, more focus on details, more consistency, more everything or 2008 will remain his only F1 WDC ! So back to the drawing board for Ham and Ros.

    Kovalainen again dissapointing 14. place (as expected) shows why he doesnt belong in a top team. For those who needed more proof anyway.

    Overall it was a good year for Vettel and ehm yeah … ?

    Not so good for ehm … the others particuarly the british driver quartett lost some reputation i would say with DiResta on his way to the States or back to DTM. Also 12 months ago Perez had probable different ideas as to where he would be with his F1 career right now.

    Roll on 2014 even if the winner will most likely be the same in the end !

    1. All revved-up says:

      I too had hopes for Kovalainen.

      But on hindsight, it was a mistake. Kov scored zero points Valsecchi the reserve driver could have done no worse in terms of points scored. And he might have done better.

  44. John says:

    Great to see Vettel win again! He races to win and he’s achieved something very special. Webber is good at complaining and now he can complain over at Porsche.

    1. Dufus says:

      Vettel will never be as popular as Mark Webber.
      Maybe you need to just accept that John.

      1. Rockie says:

        Popularity is built over time not to worry this is Vettel’s 6th season in F1 wait till he gets to Ferrari then you would find out how popular he would become!

      2. Kirk says:

        I think Vettel is already more popular (just my opinion), appears more everywhere and in some years even if its true that he won just because of the car he will be more popular because won 4 WDC granting him to be in books and statistics. Now if you say that he is not more popular between F1 pure fans… Well, maybe, but saying today that never, I don’t think so, in ten years your sentence could easily be really wrong. Nevertheless, is there any popularity ranking over there to check your statement?

  45. Random 79 says:

    First of all well done to Vettel. It was (sigh) another well driven win.

    Second, very well done to Mark – 2nd from 4th on the grid, not so good start, but good race and nice finish to your career :)

  46. Truth or Lies says:

    It’s over at last…

    I’ll miss watching the races but I won’t miss the Red Bull dominance, the silly Pirelli tyres (but what can we expect with no testing) and the inconsistent races stewards decisions. Massa’s penalty was an insult to fans everywhere, as we were deprived of a proper racing duel between Lewis and Felipe and for what, a very minor infringement of a rule written just a few hours earlier.

    And this in a sport where absolute legal limits are possibly often transgressed.

  47. CYeo says:

    Dear Santa, please send all 2014 teams a working handbrake.

    Seeing the marshalls struggling to move Pic’s car on a down slope and almost letting it coast backwards onto the track is another Benny Hill moment.

    This could be the stand-out race of the season, threatening weather, blotched pit stops, unknown tyre wear, exploding engine and tyres, the list goes on.

    Brundle and Crofty said it best – scrap practice, let everyone out with 0 information and see where they land.

    Not surprisingly, only Vettel went out to “test” the medium and hard tyres before forming up on the grid.

  48. Rishi says:

    Firstly, congratulations to Marussia for finishing 10th in the constructors’ championship. A wet race would have spiced things up, but I really didn’t want them to lose out at the last two years running. I hope both them and Caterham can move forward next year because it’ll be healthy for the F1 grid if that could happen.

    Mark Webber bowed out with a strong performance; a fine way to end. Not a fairytale win, but the next big thing. Deep down I think we knew Vettel wouldn’t move over but even on the last lap I wondered if he would.

    The Hamilton-Bottas incident was the main talking point for me. At first I flat out blamed Bottas – what was he thinking?! The replays confirmed that Hamilton definitely moved over on him though so my initial judgement was a bit harsh. Equally, though, I wonder if there should be guidance given to the drivers next season about how cars should go about unlapping themselves. By all means they should be given an opportunity to do so if they’re quicker but ideally they should try and get (most of) the move done well before the corner. On this occasion Bottas left it quite late and was trying to steam all the way round the outside of Lewis; it seemed a bit of a ridiculous risk to take against a car a lap ahead who isn’t sure whether he’s racing you or not.

    Final points: unlucky for Massa in his final race for Ferrari but Race Control had issued a directive on it so maybe firm but fair. Congrats to the McLaren boys. And what about Romain Grosjean’s engine failure?! That was an old-fashioned blowout that – smoke diffusing all over the place! A proper engine failure to end a V8 era where we haven’t seen too many thanks to their bullet-proof reliability – oh the irony!

  49. Charles says:

    Good bye Mark Webber and Cosworth. Thank you for the memories and contributions to F1

    1. Bryce says:

      Good call on Cosworth. They provided a reasonable and cost effective unit that allowed the minnows to get a start.

      1. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        …and Cosworth took over 170 F1 wins with multiple championships, many with the DFV.

  50. Steve C says:

    Just confirms that the old historic tracks provide much better entertainment/racing than the borefests we have had this year from the “modern” tracks. Shame that petty rules ruined a good fight for Massa & Hamilton. The FIA is so PC. Causing an collision??. It used to be called an accident untill the EU stepped in with this crap. Next year will be even worse with “points” on the super licence of any driver who dare’s to do anything slightly wrong….pathetic

  51. PJ says:

    Thanks for 12 years of excellent memories Mark !
    Best wishes for every success with Porsche.

  52. bearforce1 says:

    A big thank you to James for this site and the hours of entertainment I get from it. A super positive site.

    Also thanks to everyone who posts here. I really enjoy everyones posts and input, I get a greater understanding and appreciation of F1 because of you guys.

    1. James Allen says:

      Thanks for that

      We will be running all through the winter break, so keep checking in!

      1. Sid says:

        James, it’s about time you get an Android and iOS app made for your site….

      2. Davexxx says:

        BUT – please still remember us Little People who DON’T own such fancy gadgets…….

    2. Bryce says:

      Torn in my reply. I enjoy the informing editorials and the good natured banter (from the majority that are objective) between those that choose to comment on this site. Trouble is, I spend too much time here.

      Hopefully Santa will bring the gift of objectivity to the few that are in desperate need and we will be able to enjoy their new outlook enhanced posts next year.

  53. Yak says:

    He WAS going out in style… and then came the champagne. A career full of highs and lows indeed!

  54. Elie says:

    First race Ive missed in years ! Will watch re run later. No Raikkonen means no magic in F1.

    People dreaming that a wet race will all of a sudden eliminate Sebs dominance are just plain daft . A car with that much more downforce and a talented driver will still win- sure the rain will bring opportunities to some but it’s not like starting from zero for everybody. So all you can say is congrats to Red Bull and Seb and Mark in that order- it’s still the team-car-then driver that win a GPand clearly with both cars winning incl a retiring driver- it tells you how ridiculously dominate that team and that car are. If we see Red Bull come out and start strong next year -fans will turn away for sure. I don’t mind a team dominating as long as it’s done on equal terms and Equal budgets until that happens it’s all guesswork isn’t it.

    Bring on 2014 and a chance to mix things up if nothing else

    1. Fireman says:

      Hoping for some Kimi magic in 2014!

  55. deancassady says:

    If Lotus can’t get Hulkenberg, I hope they get Checko.
    If Force I gets Hulkenberg and Perez, they’ve scooped everybody for drivers, a steal!
    Too bad about DiResta; he deserves an F1 drive.
    I have to admit, I expected more from Heikki; but it just goes to show, I believe, that really getting used to the tires, in racing conditions, is no small task, and takes races, multiple (apparently more than two for Kovaleines).
    My predictions of a Grosjean victory… failure.
    Looking forward to the shaked up order, and the end of an (admittedly fine) streak, at nine; that’s enough.
    Have a better one…

  56. James Clayton says:

    Wasn’t it good to see a start with all the cars allowing to attack on fresh tyres, rather than tippie-toeing around on their work out tyres from quali?

  57. JohnH says:

    I wouldn’t call Webbers move to LMP1 ‘retirement’. These cars are faster in a straight line than an F1 car, they are not that much slower at cornering and the races are much longer which will surely test the physical and mental fitness of arguably the fittest F1 driver of his time.

    1. Tim says:

      arguably the fittest F1 driver of his time…

      I would imagine JB might take issue with that claim.

      1. Bryce says:

        arguably the fittest F1 driver of his time…

  58. Harshad says:

    Finally! its over!(2013 season)

    Bring on Kimi vs Alonso, can’t wait for that.

  59. JohnBt says:

    Enjoyed the final race of the season and it was a good race as usual in Interlagos, always throwing up surprises.

    Congrats to Mark for taking second and wish him all the best at Porsche for 2014. We will surely miss you!

  60. zaidi013 says:

    MARK WEBBER,
    thanks for years of grit..
    but, hav to admit..vettel is better than you
    hope you will not be forgotten..

  61. Michael says:

    I didn’t bother to watch the race. Be it Vettel’s skill, or Newey’s skill, or the swith to the Pirelli tyres, or whatever reason, the second half of this season was simply unwatchable. Even when Schumi won 13 in a season, or when McLaren won 15 out of 16 races, there were battles for the lead. But right now, the race is over even before it begins. Webber will be dealt a bad tactical hand, the rest will simply be way to slow and Vettel will win. Now where’s the fun in that?

    1. glen says:

      DRS needs to be dropped from the rules, or race wins will continue to be won in this fashion. Bring back limited overtaking and processional races! LOL (I’m not being sarcastic).

      1. KRB says:

        The DRS in Brazil sucked. If you made a great out-braking move into Turn 1, that was all undone as the guy you just passed gained DRS on the run down to Turn 4!!! RIDICULOUS!!

        Get rid of DRS!!

        Also, wasn’t the Technical Group supposed to make the regulations more overtake-friendly? But then if you decrease the effectiveness of the rear wing, and increase the importance of the front wing, what do you end up with? You end up with following cars that burn out their tires b/c their front-wing generated downforce is washed out by the car in front!

        Less aero, more mech grip!

    2. Rockie says:

      Its obvious you didn’t watch that season the the mclarens qualify on average 1.5sec from the next car.

      Where do this people get this notion of battle for the lead it never happens and only happens when the lead car runs into problems.

      1. Michael says:

        I watched that whole season. Unlike now with RBR, there was a huge fight between Senna and Prost driving that McLaren. And that’s what makes is great, a figth for the title. This year stopped being a fight halfway the season.

        As for battle for the lead, plenty of drivers have a great deal of their wins NOT from pole. :-)

  62. Glennb says:

    Enjoyed this race immensely. Congrats to RBR for a stellar season. Congrats to Seb for a record breaking season. Congrats to Mark for a nice finish to his F1 career. I also enjoyed the podium and post race interviews, it was classy and very respectful.
    Thanks to Channel 10 (australia) for the extended MW special they presented before the race. That was good stuff. Thanks to James for your respectful interviews you did with Mark and Dan throughout the season. Every Aussie enjoyed those. Nice interview with Mark to finish off with James. Thank you again.
    Happy holidays all
    Glenn

  63. Fireman says:

    Some of my prerace predictions came to fruition! Seb won. Grosjean didn’t crash, but instead he blew his engine up so maybe that counts. But Maldonado crashed to the wrong car so no right hook. Instead a entertaining dive in the podium. Maybe he accidentally right hooked himself?

  64. krakinho says:

    James this is probably OT but don’t you think that Renault deserves a article on your web site (even though you seems to have more than good relationship with Mercedes) with some credit to them?
    Being pioneer in may ways (first turbo engine in F1, first turbo engine win in F1, first V10 win and first V10 both championships, last V10 win and both championships, first V8 2.4 win and both championships, also the last win for 2.4 V8 as well as both championships.
    On top of that there’s a pole position absolute record for the engine manufacturer etc…

    I’m sure that at least little bit of RBR and Vettel’s extraordinary results and success are thanks to Renault.
    Can’t wait the next season.

    1. krakinho says:

      P.S. The title of the article can easily be “Gone With a Bang”.
      A win for the last time and explosion of the Grosjean’s engine at the end of an era. :-)

  65. All revved-up says:

    Was the Ferrari the 2nd best car of the day? Or McLaren?

    Guess the Mercedes was set up for a wet race.

    Not sure if the Lotus was slow, or Heikki.

    1. Kirk says:

      I’m not sure, but I don’t think it was McLaren, the Ferrari pace was better. For sure was not the 8th best car as Alonso is promoting.

    2. Yago says:

      I think the Ferrari was the second fastest car in race trim in Interlagos. Actually it was probably the third fastest behind Lotus, however it’s difficult to know that.

  66. distant viewer says:

    James, how much closer would Webber have been to Vettel at the finish if he didn’t have to wait for him in the pits? seemed like Vettel jumped into the pits as the team were unaware of him coming in they had Marks tyres out not Vettels! also the 5 second pit stop he had I don’t think we have seen Vettel ever have such a slow pit stop, btw im not anti Vettel he has shown hes a superb driver and has used the RB9′s advantage to the max!

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