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Malaysian Grand Prix – Who was your Driver of the Day?
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Posted By: James Allen  |  25 Mar 2013   |  1:00 am GMT  |  424 comments

The Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang is notorious for delivering entertaining races and this year’s event was no different.

Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel disobeyed his own team to battle past Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber and snatch his first victory of the season at Sepang and 27th of his career.

Webber drove brilliantly to rise from fifth on the grid to take the lead before turning his engine down and getting overtaken by his team-mate in the closing stages.

Mercedes showed they had made impressive progress since last season with Lewis Hamilton securing his first podium for his new team and Nico Rosberg riding shotgun one place behind in fourth.

Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne survived a pit lane collision with Caterham’s Charles Pic to score his first point of the season.

Jenson Button demonstrated that McLaren had made a step forward and was on course to finish around fifth before an error from his pit crew – but who was your Driver of the Day?

Sebastian Vettel

Showed his ruthless side by passing team-mate Webber despite being told to hold position. Made a clean start from pole and survived getting tapped by Fernando Alonso at Turn Two. Was one of the first to make the call to change to slick tyres, but it proved to be a lap or two early and he lost the lead to Webber. Couldn’t leapfrog the Australian during the stops, but began catching him in the final stint. Came close to colliding with Webber as they battled for the lead despite being told to hold position. Eventually muscled his way through with 10 laps to go before easing to his first victory of the season and 27th of his career. He also took the lead in the drivers’ championship.

Mark Webber

Pitted at the right time for slick tyres to take the lead after a brilliant start but lost the lead after team-mate Vettel ignored team orders. Found himself in the lead after sensibly waiting longer than most to change from inters to slick tyres. Showed good pace and controlled the race at the front until the final phase of the race. Turned his engine down after the team told both drivers to hold station, but came under attack from Vettel in the closing stages. Fought to defend his position, but lost out to the German and looked dejected with second.

Lewis Hamilton

Forced to save fuel in the closing stages, but showed good pace all race to secure his first podium with Mercedes. Benefitted from Alonso’s retirement to run third early on and managed to keep pace with the Red Bulls. Stayed in touch with Vettel and Webber all race, but suffered higher than expected fuel consumption and was forced into fuel saving mode in the closing stages. Was caught by team-mate Rosberg as a result, but retained third after the team told Rosberg to hold station. Secured his best finish of the season to rise to fourth in the drivers’ championship.

Nico Rosberg

Showed good pace all race and managed his tyres and fuel consumption to finish fourth. Lost a place to Button at the start from fifth, but climbed up a place when Alonso retired. Stayed in touch with team-mate Hamilton who in turn kept pace with the leaders. Conserved his tyres so that he had speed in the final stint of the grand prix but was instructed not to pass Hamilton, even though he felt he was faster, and finished fourth for his first points of the season.

Jean-Eric Vergne

Scored his first point of the year having started down in 17th. Made a good start and kept his nose clean at the first sequence of corners. Showed good pace throughout the race and ran as high as eighth. Survived a pit lane collision with Charles Pic after his team released him into the path of the Caterham. Once the team changed his front wing, he returned to the track and managed to salvage a top 10 finish to score the Toro Rosso’s first point of the season.

Jenson Button

Led the race for two laps and showed McLaren had made a step forward, but saw a points-finish disappear with an error by his pit crew. Starting seventh, he positioned his car well into the first sequence of corners to run fourth, dropping a place to fifth after the first stops. Ran in that position for much of the race, though took the lead briefly during a flurry of stops, but lost time when he was released without the right front wheel being securely fastened. Rejoined 14th but retired a few laps later.

So who was your Driver of the Day? Leave a comment at the bottom of this story. 

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424 comments

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1

Surely only one choice: Webber !

Meanwhile McLaren have missed a trick.

They should have lifted Lewis's car up and take off his wheels 😉

"Good afternoon Sir, which tyres would you like ?

"BTW they are 2m$ a set."

"Oh, sorry Sir, you are not allowed to have OUR tyres, you know they are allocated....,

but never mind, we put you on a trolley and push you down the pit lane....

Regards,

"Martin"

one time F3 driver

2

Only one choice - Vettel, but from a bad perspective......

3

I'd award it to Mercedes Team as a whole.

Rosberg for respecting the orders, Brawn for delivering respectful orders to begin with, and Hamilton for having the good grace to credit the position to Rosberg on the podium.

It was heartening to see such a display of collective respect, particularly in the face of the obvious lack of respect at RB.

Webber, Vettell, and Horner have made their respective beds in previous seasons and the radio traffic shows none respect each other.

4

Have to agree, Webber.

5

that would of been fuuny.

6

Rosberg... He had the pace to take Hamilton, but obeyed by teams decision and showed how and what a team mate/player should be

7

Agreed with Rosberg as DotD, from a Hamilton fan. He drove a great race.

I must say though, that all the cars actually looked slow on the track, as they were all driving under the limits of their cars. I realize they were still going very fast, but the track made them look slow. As a spectacle, for me it's not what F1 should be.

8

Hamilton was quicker, just not enough fuel.

9

You can't race a car if there is no fuel in it and as was later pointed out, Lewis used up the fuel doing other things that compromised his ability to endure the distance.

10

So faster in a lighter car, then?

11

Vettel, for doing everything wrong and still winning.

12

Vettel, for doing everything wrong *hence* winning

13

Jules Bianchi. I'm not sure if ANY of the top scorers did anything to deserve it, although maybe Mark Webber holding himself back from decking SV might deserve some award all of its own...

14

+1

15

Rosberg gets my vote. Clearly faster than Hamilton at the end but respected his team and team mate to play fair. Unlike the winner.

16

Completely agree. And I reject the notion of those who feel that Rosberg has allowed himself to be made out to be a #2. He and Hamilton are more mature than that. I'm sure that Ross Brawn will remember this. I'm still not convinced that Rosberg couldn't have caught the RBs if he'd been released immediately upon catching Hamilton. An alternator or KERS failure isn't uncommon at RB.

17

Lewis was on fuel saving mode, he couldt have gone faster. IMO the team screwed up and didnt want to mess up his race anymore.

18

Who knows if the team underfuelled him, or whether Lewis burned too much fuel earlier in the race as he tried to harry the Red Bulls.

At the end of the race, Rosberg was clearly faster, having saved fuel and tires. Lewis has to get on top of the tires. With everything equal (fuel level, tire deg) he is faster than Rosberg, both in qualifying and race trim. At the moment, the tires are acting as a drag on the really quick drivers.

19
Stuart Harrison

+1 Drove an exceptionally clean race and clearly faster than Hamilton over the course of the GP.

20

+1 Totally agree, Rosberg def gets my vote on this one purely for towing the party line. That said, I liked his comments on the radio post race when he said 'rememebr this one' or something to that effect...reminds me of Wbber saying 'Not bad for a Number 2 driver'

21

It has to be Webber doesn't it? He finally got a decent start. Made some nice overtakes in the first few corners to move from 5th to 3rd, then avoided Alonso crashing on lap 2 to move to 2nd.

Made the right call on the timing of the inters-to-slicks change to move to 1st.

Controlled the pass from the front, showing he was able to pull a gap as he needed to before pitstops (4+ seconds before his final stop).

Positioned his car perfectly during the whole sequence of interactions with Vettel after the final pitstop and was only overtaken because he was doing what his team told him to!

22

Didn't win tho, did he?

(These guys get paid to participate?)

23

Yes, they do get paid to participate actually.

In particular to gain as many championship points as possible for the constructors championship; from which a lot of money comes.

And clearly the management of RB decided (even before the race, and it seems before previous races too) that for their team the order would be maintained after the final pit stops.

I don't know you KGBVD but to imply that all that counts is 'winning' I think it to fundamentally misunderstand the team element of this sport. Vettel may be a good driver but he needs his team. It's a long season and I think it will be telling to see how RB, as a team, decides to manage this situation.

24

Well said.

25

Jules Bianchi?

26

I was looking for Bianchi in the list. He set impressive times in the Marussia all weekend, kept out of trouble in conditions that weren't the easiest and finished as high as could be expected. Not bad at all for his second Grand Prix.

If I'm honest, I was never sure he had it in him. He got my attention when he dominated the 2009 season in Euro F3, but he was the top driver in comfortably the best team and I was never quite convinced by his performances in GP2 and FR3.5.

I'm not surprised that Bianchi has outpaced Max Chilton, who has never looked like F1 material to me, but I didn't think he was quite ready to race at the highest level so this start he's made is very encouraging.

27

Bottom end group: Bianchi

Bianchi outperform the Marussia again! This is not a coincidence anymore. This boy is a talent. Surely, Lotus, Mclaren or Toro Rosso should be snatching him up very soon.

Top end group: Vettel

From lap 42 to 46 were a thrill to watch and we could see both drivers giving their all. Extremely aggressive and yet giving just enough room to avoid a catastrophe. These boys just demonstrated what a real Top Pro level should be.

28

I agree; I think Bianchi is a real talent.

29

Bianchi looks solid, but his teammate may just be that bad also. It is hard to tell at the moment. The Marussia is a better car than the Caterham this year.

30

In some way, I would have enjoyed to see how Bianchi would have faired at Force India

31

Yeah, I agree Jay!

Bianchi seems to be taking the Marussia to places it's never been before....

32
Andrew (Another)

It's clearly a better car than before. Chilton doesn't look up to it at the moment.

It's interesting that I've seen very few pay driver comments about him though, unlike with runaway GP2 champion Maldonado who only matched the most experienced F1 driver in history in his first season.

33

Err.. why? He had a quiet race compared to others. I'm getting annoyed by this Bianchi lovefest lol.

34

John on the money! british media also seem to think DiResta is faster than Sutil :S

35

Quiet race = he stayed out of trouble. He appears to be extracting the most out of the Marussia, lapping around ONE SECOND faster than Chilton every single lap and seemingly making no errors.

Conversely, I find it hilarious that the British media refuse to mention how bloody slow Chilton is. He's clearly not F1 quality.

36
Alanis Morrisette

That is *so* not on message. Get with the program - everyone has now decided Bianchi is the second coming. It doesn't matter that not a single second of airtime is devoted to him - we all know his race was a combination of Prost like cunning and Senna like speed with just a hint of Schumacher ruthlessness.

37

qualified in front of his teammate and the two Caterham for two races now..and finished in front of them in both race too. He's driving a Marussia, lets not forget.

I think that qualifies for him to get a few mentiones, don't you think?

38

Compare his results to Max Chilton

39

Everyone says Bianchi. I didn't saw him in the race. May be it is because I am focusing on the front pack. I will try to watch him in the Chinese GP.

Bring on the Chiness GP!

40

Mark was by a long shot only to be shafted by Vettel. I think this must go down as one of the worst screwing your team mate in F1 ever.

Marks word on the podium ring true RB is in overdrive protecting there boy wonder.

They have an agreement within RB that after the last pitstop they stop racing and get the cars back. An agreement that has benifited Vettel several times in the past years when he run into trouble and Mark was told to hold back.

Special mention for Rosberg who really became victim of bad team management. I'm not sure Mercedes has made an argreement with Hamilton. But Rosberg should not have been to hold back at this point in the championship, he was not to blame for the miscalculation on Hamiltons fuel and deserved the podium.

41

D. Pironi owns that dubious honor

42

"I think this must go down as one of the worst screwing your team mate in F1 ever."

I disagree and should remind you of Ferrari team orders in the Schumacher / Barrichello days....last lap, last corner - "yes, top step, right this way Mr. Schumacher..."

Vettel understands clearly that it's a RACE not a parade. I was glad to see the action at the front compared to the follow the leader circulation of the Mercedes team.

43

Mark set the precedent about not respecting team orders at the British Grand Prix in 2011 when he ingored all requests to bring his car home in 3rd place behind Vettel in second.

Mark, in interviews, was very annoyed at getting asked to stay behind Vettel and said he'd ignored the messages and gone for it, on the basis that if Alonso had failed to finish a win was on the cards.

The press defended Webbers stance and said Red Bull were stifling racing.

Vettel did was Webber tried to do, and yet he's the bad guy?

You're having an absolute laugh I'm afraid, and Webber needs to see about maturing somewhat and realise that he's not as good as he thinks.

It's incredible that media seem to have little issue with Mercedes giving team orders, yet the moment Red Bull do (where Webber is concerned at least!) they're destroying the sport.

Where is the consistency I ask, and why do proffesional F1 pundits not recall 18 months ago... they stood and spoke to Webber and then Horner about it afterall!

Driver of the Day, Jenson Button. Might have nicked a podium if it wasn't for that tyre issue, and that would have really forced Mercs hand with regards Nico and Lewis, would they have ruined Nico's race further to protect Lewis? Who knows !

44

Ur forgetting in 2010 team orders were illegal they aren't now.

45

@ A.Green, I agree with you about both Mark and Rosberg. That said I don't think it was a miscalculation on the fuel load. They both used nearly the same amount of fuel, Hamilton in chasing down the Red Bulls and Rosberg chasing down Hamilton.

I think (correct me if I'm wrong) probably Brawn's comments about wanting both cars back in one piece wasn't so much about the fear of Rosberg and Hamilton colliding, but that when fighting for position, one or both drivers would use up fuel and not have enough fuel left for the post race measure. Thus leaving one driver with slightly less points...and more importantly for the team , Mercedes with a fine (perhaps soem sort of penalty for the next race) and loss of points crucial for the Constructors Title

46
alastair emmerson

How do you know they used the same amount of fuel? Its obvious Hamilton used more fuel when told to coast instead of braking towards the corners. They never told rosberg to save fuel.

47

@ alastair emmerson, yes they didnt tell Nico to save fuel, but that doesnt mean he wasnt also getting low...for him to be catching at the rate he was, his car must have been light...leaving aside the whole tyre thing...as I said they wanted both cars to finish without penalties or one of them stoppingout on track so they can recoup as many points in the WDC and the CC as possible...now the more important question is why didn't merc let Nico pass LH...I mean if LH is low on fuel and there was no threat from behind then why not let Nico through?

48

How could Mercedes get the fuel requirement so wrong ? All the other teams seem to have been OK. Sounds like plain old bad management.

49

At least they didn't get wrong when changing tyres unlike Jenson and Mclaren and don't get me started on Perez . Sergio are you James May in disguise.

50

Sebastian Vettel - Gave no impression he wasn't going to fight for the win, and didn't let this Pirelli foolishness muddle the action.

51

Mark Webber for a committed and consistent drive. Jenson deserves some credit too.

52

Webber. Climbed from 5th and made no mistakes other than trusting his teammate.

54

Brazil 2012 quickly forgotten

56

Webber - looks like he's killed those gremlins at the start

58

+1. Spot on.

Mark Webber gets my vote too.

James, how do we know who's the DOTD if there is no poll? Is anyone counting the coments for each driver or what?

If you don't have the poll to see who people are voting, this is just another article with no clear indication of who's the DOTD..sadly.

59

Agreed ... please bring back the poll JA!

64

Hey Hutch!

Wow! Talk about dejà vu.... Gilles Villeneuve vs. Didier Pironi Imola GP 82' all over again! It's gonna be a drag out, knock down, sparks flyin', season long battle at Red Bull Racing! Hamilton gets Good Sportsmanship Award of the race for his podium comments about his Teammate.

65
Scuderia McLaren

Good sportsmanship?!. He looked like a guilty child. Now that was the true horrid story of Malaysia. Rosberg better, but Hamilton pretending he didn't want team orders. Yeah right. If so, he could have pulled over. What a chump.

66

What up Scuderia?

Yeah, that's what we all want to see.... Grand Prix Drivers just pulling over and waving away third place! It seems to me, according to what Mercedes F1 pit boss Ross Brawn had to say, Lewis was also following Team orders. But. I guess Hamilton's situation doesn't count when you're busy hating on him.... I'm surprised at you Scuderia! I thought you were an objective F1 fan....

67

Hopefully not with the same end result as '82

68

No, Hutch!

I'm not really worried about that.... F1 is a helluva lot safer these days!

72

+1

73

+1

74

Couldn't have said it better myself. You sir have my vote.

76
ForWhatIt'sWorth

+1

78

Webber - not because of what happened to him, but because prior to him turning down engines he had made a brilliant start and worked his way up to 1st. This plus his defence of Vettel after the final pit was the most exciting driving of the race and despite the fact he lost out eventually (in a slower car) nobody displayed better racing ability yesterday.

79

Who believes Mark left his engine turned down? They can turn it back up just as easily you know. It's a little dial on the steering wheel.

Seb lacks a certain degree of respect for Mark, but I can't fault what he did.

His next step is to come clean now and make it clear to all that he is NEVER going to lose any GP he could win - and so it's therefore up to the other guy to be faster than him on the track.

80

@RM THINK A BIT FIRST! it is as if to say ok we agreed on this, then stab in the back when the other turns around, The little dial to turn the engine was easy no one said it was VERY HARD!!!, telemetry from the pit would have seen the driver's intention, it is so obvious that MW had turned engine down & stopped the nonsense of pursuing the fingerboy up to that point (3rd laps of duel), the fingerboy is very and willing to take risk for 7 points what can Christian Horner do??? he was weak.

81

Think about it.

Webber had a 4 second lead, which Vettel only closed because Webber had his engine turned down.

Vettel couldn't beat Webber today, only by basically cheating.

If they both had engines turned up, Webber wins the race comfortably.

82

Vettel was on medium tyres, that's why he closed the gap (0.6 sec / lap)

83
Spinodontosaurus

Vettel closed down that 4 second lead because he pitted earlier for his final stop, probably to cover of Hamilton having stopped the previous lap. When Webber came out of the pits the two of them were side by side into Turn 1 straight away.

84

'Seb lacks a certain degree of respect for Mark, but I can’t fault what he did.'

Please tell me you are joking. He disregarded an agreement the team put in place with his prior agreement. Then he turned around and thumbed his nose at the team. Let webber think he would not attack, waited till webber slowed, then attacked.

And he now comes out and says he ' f....d up' and apologised. Yes, he can be faulted.

Amazed at the comments here blindly supporting Vettel. Webber is no angel but in this instance Vettel was completely at fault. Cannot be trusted from here on.

85

Your kidding right?

Webber may have turned down his engine after the last pitstop, but as soon as he saw Vettel catching him, he would have cranked it to full power. Vettel had full power, and DRS anc couldnt pass Webber on the straight???

Webber defended very aggressively and almost put Vettel in the pit wall?

Vettel and Webber both drove brilliantly and had one of the best scraps in recent history, ending when Vettel made a sublime move around the outside of turn 4.

Vettel driver of the Day 100%

87

A disclaimer first: I am no Vettel or Webber or Redbull fan! I think Webber is crying foul a bit too much! Has he forgotten Silverstone and Brazil last year? Obviously Vettel has dug himself in here a bit as there will be sequel(s). However if Aussie Grit could have fought he would have! Even if he had not turned his engine down, Vettel would have still caught him!

As for Hamilton, he wants to keep both, extra points and the moral high ground... hmmm (and the trophy and a "friendship")!

88

@Ahmed your comment is all well with 43 point already bagged, or SV own the team himself. remember these days drivers only race 80% of their ability without abusing the car/tyres which will risk tyres fall off the cliff with no warning. As said MW had duel for 3 laps, there still 10 laps to go if MW decided on a death wish to win or nothing, at the end it is at what cost to the team? 43 point or zero point, trusting that prior to race gentlemen's agreement of this scenario should it happened, the last thing a team need is the two drivers running into each other, he chose to let go and see the bigger picture and let the team boss to make the call, unfortunately the boss was weak, saying "Seb, this is getting silly." this is not an order, try what Brawn said to Rosberg in the Merc. and that is what one calls Authority, MW let go probably deep down he knows favouritism had play its part again, that pass was probably the cheapest pass he SV himself would already agreed. at that point MW probably think enough is enough. MW has taken a very responsible decision to not pursue him further to a destructive end or end up with both drivers classified as DNF. it is 43 or naught. but this should not had happened at all.

PS: that risky move MW made on SV, SV shoot pass using the narrower path to the right of MW, I think at that point SV probably thought SV had finally decoded multi21 and not making that passing move through the narrow path of the racing line MW about to move into, but MW check the mirror again and nope this kid is insistence on taking risk for that extra 7 points as this happened early on in the duel. appreciated if anyone could verify this.

89

correction: I think at that point MW (and not SV) probably thought SV had finally decoded multi21 and not making that passing move through the narrow path of the racing line MW about to move into,

90

+100

91

Wrong

As noted on the commentary MW did no defend fully. He had the racing line and opportunity to push SV wide (on track) and keep position. There is no reason he would not do this when racing. The only reason he did not do this is because he was not racing SV and was not expecting to be attacked due to the clear order in place (an order won by MW).

Even if MW turned his engine setting up, SV had momentum. The delay in switching setting would have kept MW behind. Now if MW had then raced SV I suspect the boy wonder (gifted 3 championships by AN and team orders) would have repeated Turkey.

MW looked after the team. He is clever and did this for a reason . He has 43 points in the bank to bargain with.

92

I've watched it and its obvious he could have forced seb wide and didn't. I am a neutral observer and can see things from both sides. But let's be honest if mark had pushed seb wide then seb is likely to crash them both out and hide behind Marko (as before).

Seb is a faster driver more consistently, there no doubting that at all. However he is a spoilt child. He showed his true colours this weekend.

He is not the fastest driver on the grid and is fortunate to have three world titles. They are down to the car an team orders, the benefit of which he has had!

93

To F1 Badger. Mark looking after the team? He's one of the most selfish drivers on the grid, look at his constant statements against red bull, hardly a team player.

Constantly presents the anti team orders message, openly states that he will not go out of his way to help Seb with any championship. He can claim favouritism towards Vettel all he likes, the point is Vettel is clearly number 1, and the reason is that he's a better driver! Same way as Alonso is clear 1. At Ferrari etc.

Lastly your point on Webber letting Vettel through? Please watch a replay, Vettel had more speed, if Webber did not see this coming via pit boards, or looking in his mirrors, then he should be fired. Vettel made clear his intentions, he wasn't getting to close to wave hello to Mark. He pushed and they scrapped over 2-3 laps, if Mark had the intention of letting him through it would've been an easy pass on the straight.

94

Submlime move??? Webber could have run him off the road at turn 4 and instead let him through!! this is not disputed.. check your facts

95

I don't think Webber will be so generous next time.

Vettel has made a big mistake this weekend.

96

You're kidding, right?! Obviously logic, like grammar, isn't your strong point.

You seem to forget that by turning down his engine, Webber gave up a four second lead, which he had been increasing before the final stops. Things being equal, which the dishonourable Vettel ensured they weren't, Webber could've managed that lead to the end rather than being ambushed and suddenly having to defend against someone he was told wouldn't be going anywhere near him, let alone passing him.

Vettel = 0% Man of the day.

97

You do know Vettel turned down his engine as well right?

The graphs pretty well point this out

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/03/24/2013-malaysian-grand-prix-lap-times-fastest-laps/

Webber being on the hard tire would never be able to hold off Vettel over 15 laps. In fact on that lap Webber ran his fastest lap of the race.

98

The only reason Vettel was close enough to attempt the pass using DRS was because Webber turned his engine down. People saying Vettel outraced Webber just don't seem to understand what happened at all.

99

Ah you really a Seb fan Ahmed! The 'sublime' move was only possible because Mark let it happen ... Watch the Sky report and you'll see that Mark could easily have pushed Seb out, but chose not to, because he didn't want a collision.

100

I have watched the replay and Webber was covering the inside of turn 4, and this compromised his exit speed. Why was it sublime?

The previous lap Vettel tried to go down the inside of turn 4, the next lap Webber moved to cover off the inside, Vettel switched to the outside of turn 4 and drove around the outside, not a typical passing manoeuvre.

And I suppose during these 2 laps when Vettel made it quite clear he was attacking, Webber left his engine turned down and was not defending and just let Vettel through? Lmao

101
Spinodontosaurus

I haven't seen the Sky analysis, but I certainly disagree with their conclusion.

The previous lap around Vettel had cutback on Webber on the exit of Turn 4 and nearly got around the outside of Turn 5 as a result.

Thus - in my opinion - Webber anticipated this the next lap around and simply parked his car on the apex to stop it from happening. Vettel read this and powered around the outside instead.

102

Agreed. And just after VET comes on the radio complaining about how 'slow' WEB was and he should move out the way (WEB was driving to a targeted lap time at the time given to him from the pitwall), WEB then punches in the fastest laps of the race and pulls a 4sec gap on VET( and a closing HAM behind) to secure his race lead after the final round of pitstops.

WEB drove a perfectly executed and controlled race...

103

+1 for Webber for these reasons

104

great comment

105

Webber - I think SV caught MW by surprise when SV turn on & attack MW (the team understood & agreed on, this included SV prior to race if the scenario arises multi21), after a few laps of close wheel 2 wheel battle, MW could have max on engine again & went all out on SV, but was sensible enough not to cont.,(with thought Turkey 2010, what if tyres will not last before 58 laps if the duel went on (they duel for 3 laps), what if they both lost points to Merc due to tyre damage or worst both got taken out of race & no point. this goes to show SV is still a kid in his thought process, apology is all well with 43 point still intact, but had MW went with the death wish, the team may end up with 0 point and both drivers get the blame, what should Webber have done, I think he saved the team 43 points included SV's 25 win. I'm with a view that we all DO NOT want to see team order but what the outcome if that was not the option. surely MW had done the right thing the team should put the emphasis on. SV still the little petulance kid with his finger up people's face every time.

106

I too really loved Webber's defence against Seb in the first attempt by Seb to overtake Webber. He placed his car in all the right spots and didn't get scared.

107

+1 for Webber

Hasn't Alonso & Button both said hardest driver to pass on track is Mark.

I've got to say, the last few years Webber and Alsono have gone at it heaps compared to any other drivers.

108

Spa comes to mind. 🙂

109

James - do you think Rosberg was down on fuel as well? Why would they hold him back? Brundle suspected something in Hamilton's contract might guarantee him such positions but he didn't seem pleased with the result on the podium.

111

James, wasn't fuel issues a problem with Lewis while at Mclaren too?

What according to you he does driving wise that makes him consume a wee bit more fuel than others?

112

I believe vettel is the driver of the day. Controversy side Webber also came pretty close to him.

113

Webber

114

Vettel all the way.

Finally, we clearly have another "Bad Boy" in F1. Doesn't hurt that he's the guy with most wins and WDCs.

115
Tornillo Amarillo

Ecclestone last year indirectly asked Vettel for having more character... And the shows go on.

116

Finally we know who's at fault for all of this!

🙂

117

Webber for me.

In last 2-3 years, and especially since team orders are allowed, teams talk about team interests etc.

Where is Vettel going to move next? Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes? They are all teams who put the team interest higher than the individual in the car, therefore I expect Vettel to have problems in the future with this attitude of ignoring team orders and pre-race agreements.

I don't think there are many team in F1 right now which will tolerate such behaviour from an employee. For certain this doesn't look good for Vettel right now and he will have to show alot of team play in the future to change this.

118

Vettel is a 3 time WDC going for 4. This is a huge event and it is in team's interest that he get it.

No one will say it, but the team should have called for the switch for above reason. They know how it would look this early in the season, and they didn't have the guts to do it.

Vettel did the right thing in the effort for 4th. Ferrari are race fast, and Vettel needed to book the 25. When Webber is going for his 4th, we can talk. Otherwise, this year RBR have to do everything pissibe to try and deliver the 4th. This is not just a regular year MISTER. Vettel is going for 4th in a row. Mark needs to move out of the way.

119
Val from montreal

Sebee , like u say , " bring your A game " or stay in your hotel room playing your PlayStation " ...

What Vettel did was a show of massive balls !

Ciao !

+ 791

120

Last seven words in my above post to be deleted!

121

What you are suggesting may be good for Vettel/Red Bull in the short term but very bad for F1 in the long term. If he is good enough to be champ, then it is up to him to beat his team mate fair and square. He doesn't need gifted positions this early in the season. Do you think he has a right to a 4th WDC? No matter, I strongly supect that any call to Mark to "move out of the way" will fall on deaf ears, so Vettel will have only himself to blame if it ends up costing him dearly... themselvesrather shot themselves in the foot...

123

You might be right, but then why would Vettel agree to such team orders?

Just before the podium ceremony, Webber looked at Vettel and said "Multi 21 Seb, multi 21!". Vettel didn't said or asked anything, giving me the impression he knew what Mark was talking. This was pretty much a backstabbing action from Vettel.

Why would he agree with something he is not going to honour?

To be honest, if I was Webber and knew the team would not take actions to give me an equal oportunity this early in the season, I will disobey every single rule they have to go flat out every race, every lap from now until the end of the season.

If Webber's contract doesn't say he is a #2 driver, than the team cannot do anything (legal action/fines etc) if Webber doesn't follow team orders or strategies he thinks are not to his advantage.

We will move on from this, but will never be forgotten and Vettel will have this on his CV forever.

124

Webber

126
Mike from Colombia

Hamilton.

For raising Mercedes to a new level that I believe would not have existed this year. And for genuinely giving the Red Bulls a run for their money in the first half of the race.

127
Spinodontosaurus

Raising them to a new level?

You mean events from last year such as Schumacher running 3rd in Australia, qualifying 3rd in Malaysia, Rosberg and Schumi locking out the front row in China and their blistering pace around Monaco are all on a 'lower' level than what Hamilton did today?

128

Hey Spino!

You're spinnin' and gertin' dizzy! I do believe that running third and finishing third are two different matters. China and Monaco, 2013 season, hasn't happened, yet.... You're simply ahead of yourself, my good man!

129

Except that it wasn't that genuine, because he used too much fuel to do it and than had to be helped by his team mate to conserve the third place that he admitted he didn't deserve!

130

I hear you jeffwest!

Except you're going south (not west) on me.... In wheel to wheel combat, it seems to me that Hamilton had the measure of Rosberg mid-race, as they traded places constantly.

Saying that, where was Nico's upper-hand and faster pace when he couldn't stay ahead of Lewis and establish himself as a top three finisher and threat to Vettel/Webber.

Furthermore, having to pit four times wasn't really in Mercedes F1 (or any Team, for that matter) original race strategy. So, following that development, I understand why Mercedes simply wanted both cars to finish a strong 3-4.... Furthermore, I think Ross Brawn's pitlane wisdom dictated that he wanted no part of the debacle being carried out by the Red Bulls, up front.

No doubt, that duo would have certainly taken each other out in to the weeds if Webber had defended his first place position as aggressively as his Teammate (Vettel) attacked to relieve Mark of it....

131

Sorry but there seems to be a big dose of amnesia here.

Surely everyone remembers that throughout the whole race inc from the start, Hamilton & Rosberg were told by the team to push to the maximum. As a result Lewis' pace was blistering especially during the in & out laps which helped him pass Vettel during the pitstop. Obviously when Lewis is told to not save tyres and push to the maximum, off course he will astonish all with his extra pace.

If Nico was quicker than Lewis throughout the race then please someone tell me why Nico didnt keep 3rd from Lewis despite being quicker?

Also if you are quicker than your team mate but still cannot pass him, to then ask your team to help is not really deserving of that next position.

Also dont forget that Nico DID overtake Lewis a number of times using DRS but Lewis (the lion he is) didnt give up and re-took those positions back everytime Nico tried.

Had Nico kept it then fair enough. Lewis despite being slower, still managed to keep the gap faught back when he was being overtaken.

SO..its for those reasons I find Lewis Hamilton as 'Driver of the day'.

132

I think it's a tough job slogging for Hamilton after that race. Don't get me wrong, I love Hamilton, he is the most exciting racer out there. But let's save the DotD's for when Lewis puts in one of his vintage performances, shall we?

133

Amnesia! No, I remember that race well, particularly the bit afterwards where a clearly embarrassed Lewis said that Nico deserved the podium place. I don't believe that he was lying, unlike a certain 3xWDC.

In fact it's you who is a bit confused about the race because Nico didn't ask for help to get his team mate to get out of his way, that was Vettel! Nico asked for permission to pass, that's an entirely different matter and demonstrates class and respect sorely missing elsewhere.

Agreed Lewis drove a great race, but also I suspect that the reason why Hamilton is your driver of the day is, because you're a Lewis fan before you are an F1 fan?

134

Spot on Mike!

Lewis is pulling that whole Team up amongst the front runners. Personally, I think Hamilton is just bedding in real good, waiting for the engineer/design Team to develop that car more to his liking--then, look out!

Rosberg is more at home right now, having been with Mercedes GP for three seasons--still Lewis has his friend really motivated, to beat him in a straight fight. By Spain/Monaco it will be Mercedes GP time!

135

JB is my DotD. To take the 'jalopy' and do that much with it whilst looking after the tyres so well bodes well for future races. McLaren said this car is more open to development than last year's. If that's so, then things look very good for some wins and perhaps more...

136

JB it is.

Great driving of a much improved car...I'm already laughing at all those people who were screaming for the MP4-27 to come back!

If McLaren can keep up this kind of improvement they could even win the WCC & with JB the WDC.

137

I am a jenson fan but he is trailing by 38 points from the leader. Due you really think we could catch up with the leader and keep the championship alive? Lets Believe you say?

138

As a JB fan I would almost agree...he had all the makings of the surprise DOTD. The pit stop and retirement killed his DOTD rating for me, only because it's hard to give it to someone who didn't finish. BUT he was massively impressive - especially as everyone says "JB can't drive a poor car" and he thoroughly spanked it to fifth...and as he said, maybe higher. He is clearly a better driver than Perez, despite the whinges of the JB-[mod]. Roll on China, and a rapidly improving MP4-28!

139

May be the car wasn't as bad in race trim as it was in qualifying...

Or, the car isn't as bad as both the drivers are cribbing about

140

Or maybe you've forgotten Mclaren have already stated that something is actually wrong with the car design, which has been stated recently by James on this site.

141

There is a very solid benchmark - the comparison of last year's quali in Melbourne to this year's quali in Melbs.

Jenson Button - McLaren

2012: 1:25.074s

2013: 1:30.357s

*#$ (#*$ (%#!!!! Cribbing? This is a track that JB is a repeat winner on and can probably drive in his sleep. This year's car started the year deficient in any way you care to discuss it...they are not whinging. Which makes the improvement to this week phenomenal...

142

Joel, nice try my friend. This car is a dog and although I would say that this particular track flattered the car, Jenson drove a sublime calculated race and was easily on for a 5th place. On the pitstop when it all went wrong, that was his last stop so those ahead had 1 more stop to make, who knows where he could have ended up considering the debacle ahead of him. Good drive by not DOTD...... Mark Webber for me.

143

Very impressed with BUT. Hope he goes onto to get good results this season even if the car's not up to it.

146

Webber

147

Haha very good! Agree to disagree!

148

Vettel 🙂

149

WEBBER!

150
Scuderia McLaren

Driver of the day: Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel showed a racing prowess and brain that will leave him chastised now, but revered later like many of the greats. He did to Webber what Webber a few times did to him (Silverstone 2011, Brazil 2012), but had the courage and skill to make it stick. For me, this is what GP racing is all about. Senna would be looking down and smiling.

My only issue is that Sebastian should not have apologised for it. Mark certainly didnt. He was commended for ignoring orders and racing, even in the face of RBR going for the WDC with Vettel in Brazil 2011.

151

+1

it was thrilling to watch.

And WEB has never been much of a help.

Much credit to Roseberg.

153

+1,

If you drive to save tyres and fuel for later on, why should you be penalised for your team mate driving style and settle for 2nd. Can't see what Vettel did wrong. Rosberg was told off to justify the Lewis buy.

154

In Silverstone and Brazil 2012 WEB wasn't go to let Red Bull favour VET by getting him to move over or go easy on VET, they also met each other on track around middway through the race (i.e. not at the end), and neither of them were told by the team to hold position and conserve the car and bring it home.

In this instance, VET put a move on WEB when he had turned down the revs and was cruising to the end cos the pitwall had told him to do so and VET was doing the same and that "there was no pressure from behind". VET overtook WEB when he had one arm behind his back. Pretty much the same trick he pulled in Turkey 2010 (both driver's asked to reduce revs and save fuel, and VET leaves the revs up and challenges for the lead)...

155

Mark can say he turned the engine down when Seb attacked, but that's rubbish. You only have to see how damn close it was down the start/finish straight to see that Webber had full power when Vettel was attacking.

If Mark had his engine turned down, Vettel would have driven past him with ease on the straight given he had DRS also. He didn't though, it was a struggle and he was right up against the pit wall etc.

Mark may however have had his engine turned down on his outlap from the pits, which is where Vettel gained a load of time on him. That I can easily believe.

156

+1

Seb better hope that he never needs any support from MW in the future ...

157
Scuderia McLaren

One can't miss what they never had.

158

Exactly. What help could Webber provide from midfield having dropped down thanks to another bad start anyway?

159

I agree with the principle of your comment about ruthlessness. I think when people canonise Senna they overlook how ruthless he was (thanks mainly to the movie in my opinion, Senna is seen as a Saint who could do no wrong, and Prost is the most evil driver of all time). But Senna was just a ruthless as anyone(ok maybe not Schu), and you have to be to be one of the greats.

160

I agree completely. It's hypocritical of Mark to be angry at Vettel when he himself has said many times that he ignores team's orders to freeze the positions and fights for the position regardless.

162

But in those instances the drivers had not both been told to turn their engines down to conserve the tyres. I know it's a small difference but in those prior instances it looked as if vettel was struggling to fend mark off - in this instance mark was obeying a team order and got jumped. He clearly could defend and was smart enough to realise vettel was happy to take them both off so gave up the place.

It does sound like a minor difference but its not actually trivial.

163

I'm not sure about that interpretation. Surely if Webber's engine was turned down Vettel would have easily cruised past him on one of the long straights, which he didn't seem able to do. In that sense I don't think he was jumped/mugged or whatever. His defensive driving was really good the way he was positioning the car, and it was a great couple of laps to watch. He knew there was a fight on and fought. It didn't look to me that he gave up the place in the interests of the team. Ultimately Vettel was able to make it stick; he is the better driver of the two after all.

Isn't it a sad reflection on modern F1 that a racing driver overtaking another to win a race has attacted all of this attention, and calls from certain people that he should be banned?

164

James and even the team have pointed out webber had turned his engine down and was coasting to a finish but he obviously turned up the engine mode when vettel made his move. I don't think anyone is suggesting vettel completely mugged webber - I just think webber was told vettel was holding station and he didn't need to push for a gap and then vettel went for it.

Mark and Christian Horner have mentioned they had a worry that the tyre wear was so hard it could possibly even delaminate on a longer stint. So red bull were clearly concerned they'd end up with zero points and two drivers pushed into the gravel.

Vettel did push hard and he is a far better overtaker than he's given credit for. But mark clearly backs off on the final corner - even the sky commentary team said that mark would have shut the door if he trusted a driver not to take him out (witness marks last season dalliances with alonso at high speed several times). I just think vettel was getting het up over his plan to undercut failing and mark was enraged that his teammate was flouting the team instructions and risking both their places.

You can admire ruthlessness I suppose but there are winners who don't have to outright endanger each other. Marks initial defence into the pitwall was dangerous and he should be punished for that too I feel - I'm not a webber fanboy, I just think the public buys into the 'great heroes have to be great villains too'.

Prost and Senna's deliberate crashes lost them serious respect. Senna is eulogised after death but he should be applauded for his superhuman car control and self belief - not the egotistical, divine-claiming, win-at-any-cost side which was never to be admired.

Basically Vettel risked ruining both races because he wants to win. I admire racers pushing to the limit and challenging hard - but if vettel had taken mark out (which looked increasingly likely) he'd just be the crash kid again. His gamble was ultimately a bit foolish. It was payback for marks disrespect in brazil. It was ego - not a cold calculation. If it had been alonso he would have just used his contractual position to move massa over. He wouldn't have risked both his race and his teammates just to prove he was the biggest.

165

It also seems that Webber has escaped criticism for almost pushing Vettel into the pit wall, Schumacher style. I'm not criticising him for defending his position hard either, mind you, but there are clear double standards at play. Again, not the move of somebody just giving up the place for the good of the team.

167
Scuderia McLaren

Interesting point AuraF1. Hmmmm....

Personally, after watching the footage a few times, I dont believe that Mark was "jumped" or didnt fight. IN that respect, I also dont buy that he "turned down" the engine etc. He held on as long as possible, he saw/felt Vettel coming hard, but Vettel made it stick.

168

" I also dont buy that he “turned down” the engine etc."

So you think he (and the team) are flat out lying about that ?

He stated in terms that he turned the engine down as instructed. If that were untrue, the team would know, and in their criticism of Vettel, there is no suggestion of that.

Webber was mugged by his teammate.

169

Mark did fight - I wasn't suggesting he didn't - he clearly defended hard when he saw vettel was going for it. But Christian Horner confirmed mark had turned the engine mode down as ordered and vettel had been told over the radio to turn the engine mode down too and hold station until the end of the race. Mark clearly moves off the racing line on the final corner - as the sky footage suggested he let vettel through - I believe because vettel came close to taking mark off a few times and mark felt they would end up like turkey again.

Adrian Newey even said to vettel in the podium drivers room that 'it wasn't obvious you were faster seb, that's not what happened'. The team never normally back mark publicly so the fact that even they said vettel disobeyed a direct order that had been planned for such an eventuality suggests they weren't just trying to 'favour' a driver - they were massively concerned about tyre wear and wanted to coast home to a 1-2 and not risk having a clash.

170

Webber. Best start in ages. Drove well. Made all the right decisions re tyres etc. Would have won except for Seb's defiance of team orders - his pass on Mark wouldn't have happened if Mark hadn't turned his engine down and was expecting Seb to challenge.

171
Warren Stonestreet

With Seb ignoring team orders and being ruthless as he was towards Mark Webber in the last race and the "win at all cost" attitude are we witnessing the rise of a new Schumacher. Gone has Mr Nice guy and now meet Mr Greed

172

Webber.

Great start, controlled the race, but was robbed thanks to a dog move by Vettel.

173

Webber - Great start, controlled the race well until the final stop even when he was out one lap more and attempted to be undercut by Vettel.

Vettel won because Webber's car was set to cruise, wasn't really a fair fight team orders or not. Made for great viewing none the less.

Vettel might like to think there are 18 more races in the season. May of made life that little bit harder for himself when they (try to) ask Webber to help him out for his title tilt come end of the season. Plus its not just Webber who is robbed but also his mechanics who work their backside off to get that car in that position. F1 is a team sport in as many ways its battle of individuals on the track. I respect Vettel and his achievements, but his competitive nature makes him a hard guy to warm to.

Special mention to Vernge and Button as well.

What happened to Ricciardo? Although he did retire it didn't appear he had the pace of his team mate during the race.

174

It was a fight weber almost put vettel into the wall

175

Webber placed his car on the inside and the finger drove his car between the wall and mark watch it again

176

It was a fight which should not have taken place at all.

177
Scuderia McLaren

Yet strangely it was Webber who was most vocal about Schumacher doing the same to Barrichello (who were not team mates) in Hungary.

178

lol good point. So many inconsistencies with the Webber Vettel thing, as you've already pointed out.

I can only conclude that many of the press are 'mates' with Webber and refuse to mention things like the 2011 British GP and his comments about Schumacher.

For me, if you're going to play like Mark does, you've got to be able to take the opposite side of the coin as well. It's absolutely obvious Mark cannot deal with that.

179

You'd better watch Hungary footage again and again until you see the difference.

180

Jules Bianchi

181

Mark Webber.

182

Webber for sure

No secret that he doesnt get the best of starts usually due to recurring "kers issues" but he showed that when things go well for him and his car doesnt let him down he's more than capable of whipping his team mate.

Unfortunately seb cant handle being beaten and needs to resort to asking the team to get mark out of the way.

183

KERS notwithstanding, Mark's always been lousy at starts!! 🙂

184

Mark Webber.

Honourable mention to Bianchi.

185

SV is less a champion then ever before....he is not and never will be a real champion !

sad on so many levels

186

Webber. Stunning start, great call for tyres and the measured response on the RB website

187
Craig in Manila

Webber.

188

Webber, for a well controlled race, ruined by an uncontrolled triple world champion.

189

Webber without doubt.

190

VETTEL

Showed once again that he shares the same racing DNA as all the true greats as he done what had to be done. I'm sure Red Bull won't be moaning if he wins the title by less than 7 points. This guy just gets better and better.

191

Better and better? at what? being an unworthy champion?

Fast? Yes. World champion? Yes. Worthy champion? No way.

At least he should come clean, not claim that it was a mistake. No mistake there. Just say it: "I wanted to win and I don't give a stuff about anyone else so I pulled one over on my team and team-mate"

192

All the greats?

You would never have had Fangio, Clarke, Hill, Stewart, Hunrt, behave in such a way.

It is sad that some posters see such behaviour as

proof of being a great champion.

194

+1

Clarke even led somebody around a track to show him a few tricks (can't remember who it was).

195

better and better? winning when his team mate is told twice that he won't be overtaken? the fact that he even apologized makes the people defending him look like fools.

196

The only thing bad Vettel did was apologising. If Webber hat a switch to turn down the engine, there will have been one to turn it up again. And then he could have done what he, Webber, is not very good at, i.e. race! I want to see racing, not some strange political comedy with prefabricated results...

197

Agree. He absolutely shouldn't apologise - he should just come clean now and say "this is how it is - you need to beat me on track because if there is any chance of me winning i'm going to go for it"... then everyone else knows what to expect. Besides, RB are hardly likely to 'fire' him - or even punish him unduly...

198

Vettel definitely. Never was a fan of him but today he showed me he is like Senna. Much respect.

Webber needs to stop whinging, he ignored teamorders many times too. The difference being, he failed to succeed.

And Mercedes already protecting Hamilton. Must have been some nice contract he signed, a la Alonso.

199

I agree. Have to join the small minority who see common sense on this issue. Webbo could have stopped him and taken the win. WHY DIDN'T HE?

200

are you kidding? i'm not a big HAM fan but that's just a ridiculous, completely unfounded accusation. it insults everybody, Ross, Nico as well as Hamilton. man!

201

Oh come on... Ham's lack of fuel meant Rosberg could've finished 30 seconds up the road without team orders holding him back! There is clearly a team-leader, or big podium bonus clause in Lewis' contract. Plus a management wish to put him in lights ASAP to get him settled in.

The difference in that team vs RB is that the drivers enjoy both chemistry and respect.

Rosberg will have his time in the sun - I for one am increasingly impressed by his standard. Reinforced by how well he is dealing with Lewis.

202

If Button is useless when he kept Hamilton honest for 3 seasons then Hamilton isnt as good as you think and perhaps needs number 1 status to stay ahead of Nico.

203

Even IF Lewis has a clause in contract to make him no.1 - which I very much doubt - wtf is wrong with that??

the F1 watching world seems to accept it at Ferrari with Alonso - It also seems to be accepted for redBull with Vettel, and it seems to be expected that mclaren give button (even though hes useless) clear number 1 status.

...If its ok for these guys above to have that status...why all the resentment to Lewis??

Too many double-standards with F1 and the media.

204

I second this. The two have always had a frosty relationship (faults on both sides), but Mark hasn't exactly been a team player down the stretch. Love the killer instinct from Vettel.

He's definitely not going to catch Mark in cruise control again though!

205

Webber. Strong and consistent drive despite team order/Vettel problems. Only wish he would have switched out of "cruise" settings and put the fight to Vettel. Should make for interesting dueling between the two from here on. Also have to say that Rosberg did a great job up until the team order play - as with Webber, or more like Vettel, wish he would have not asked for "permission" and simply make the pass on Hamilton - he certainly looked fast enough.

206

Mark Webber.

However Jules Bianchi deserves an honorable mention. So enthralled with what was happening up the front, we all missed what must have been a great drive to get a Marussia up to 13th

207

Yes and Max Chilton is being made to look out of his depth in this process . Bianchi for Lotus next year anyone?

208

Webber - mainly because his fight to stay in front with a lower engine setting was brave stuff and for his brains on moving over when it became clear vettel was likely to take them both off. If it had been a less mature driver I suspect that would have been a mighty collision.

Then we would have seen Rosberg have even more grounds to complain as Hamilton would have been gifted the win with both RBRs smashed up.

Secondary mention to Jenson - just because he quietly got on with it this week unlike his global-moan last week (justified but he's certainly more likeable as optimistic try hard Jenson than honest but whining Jenson).

209

I'm not sure "entertaining" is the right word, try "Farcical"

210

Webber driver of the day

Vettel dog of the year

211

Webber. He (and his team) made the best calls in terms of strategy, and he was able to take advantage of this. I'd love to be a fly on the wall in the Red Bull camp this next week. Well, maybe a just a neutral observer, preferably human. I don't like flies.

212

Jules Bianchi

It's a pity you don't have the multiple choice option buttons on your polls anymore, James.

But then, this enables one to vote for Bianchi...

213

Vettel DOTD

Seb won the battle on the day but has potentially split the team. Being a duplicitous snake won't work in a team long-term, these inter-team battles are best resolved off the track.

Webber did a great job in the first half of the race, would've liked to have seen a completely fair race with Vettel... By Not running Seb in to the run-off area he showed a lack of a killer instinct, subsequently Seb will continue to use him as his doormat.

Credit to Rosberg for following instructions 'remember this one', perhaps he'll gain something worth more than 3-points when the debt is repaid.

215

Vettel for taking opportunism to a new high.

Hamilton for showing us what the Merc is capable of.

Rosberg for immense patience - his time will come.

Webber for a commanding performance - ruined through no fault of his own other than trust in his team.

216

Webber, really great to see him launch off the start line like that, great stuff and he was quicker than the other guy for most of the race... enough said about that.

218

Vettel!

"And if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver because we are competing, we are competing to win"

220

Webber for sure

221

Webber. Deserved to be on the top spot.

Closely followed By Button and Bianchi. It's obviously very early in the season, but Bianchi looks special.

222

Nico Rosberg drove well, DOD.

Had done by the team.

Diappointed with Ross Brawn,

223

The Red Bull engineers.

(1)They managed the tyres and fuel load of their 2 cars whilst covering Hamilton and Rosberg. This does not appear to be racing anymore but more a car management contest where the engineers dictate the pace/lap times. (2) Also it is curious that a lot of pundits say Vettel was faster than Webber yet it is all speculation until the telemetry is analysed. (3) It was almost too hard to watch Rosberg sit behind Hamilton because Hamilton had apparently used too much fuel trying to catch the red bulls. (see point 1)

224

Mark Webber.

Had a great start and was more aggressive on the run to T1/2 than I have seen from him in some time. He looked racy.

He had the measure on Vettel and others with the different strategy up until he was asked to turn his engine down and hold position. The rest is history.

Comment of the day/year award.- Brundle on Webber/Vettel incident.

‘I think this is the end of a beautiful relationship that really never quite developed’…..priceless.

225
David Bradbrook

Webber is driver of day although Button also drove well to tame his car. Think the world saw Vettel in a very different light today and he is going to have to work hard to rebuild his reputation. Vettel's antics today were not good for F1 either. Quite shabby really.

226

Haha, how is Vettel even on that list? Surely it takes more than a simple position to qualify for a driver of the day?

227

Webber. Easily best start he'a made in 2 years and brilliant first pit stop call to take the lead. Looked in control until he was dogged by Vettel and his brain fade.

228

Webber.

Total dog of a move by Vettel to knife your teammate in the back.

It will be SO, SO INTERESTING to watch whether Mark will ignore a similar instruction if he can find himself in a reversed situation.

229

The top 4 all drove well...but the fact that the RedBull drivers didn't take each other off is testament to their abilities.

Sucker Punch aside, The Bulls provided the most entertainment.

230

Mark Webber. He had the pace all day and who knows what would have happened if he kept his engine going like Vettel did, and it would have been nice to see Rosberg's speed if Mercedes had let him battle Hamilton, not sure why they care who came in 3rd, either way it would have been a 3, 4 finish for them.

231

Webber. Bad sportsmanship is unwelcome in any sport. Vettell has joined a select group. Rosberg was placed in a similar position but chose to be a team player. Hamilton was gracious in recognising the situation.

232

Webber--for all the reasons folks have already listed

233

Personally, I think Hulkenberg.

Clearly didn't have the car for where he finished. Mixing it with the Lotus' and Perez in the McLaren.

Honestly, he is the highest classified driver who out performed expectation.

Plus, his defensive driving against Raikkonen was superb. Had the iceman screaming on the radio.

234

Webber - but not just because of the brilliant drive but because he was big enough not to snot Vettel on the podium.

236

looks like webber so far

237
Curly Jefferson

Vettel. Not for his sportmanship, but for the fact that he provided the only action up front. No fun when the top four are holding station.

239

Button - to get that car to run that well has to be driver of the day. after that it would be Seb he did what any champion would do took his chance and suffered the pain after. That is why he will continue to win championships I am not sure the same will be said for Rosberg who frankly did a Coulthard and will never win a championship with that attitude

241

Webber - For sure.

Vettle continues his ways and is both immature and certainly not an honorable individual. He deserves no respect or support. Over here in the Colonies when you disobey an instruction of your employer you are fired and when you disobey an order from your Commander, it's called treason !

Hopefully, RBR will, at the very least, park him for China and reduce his salary by one race's worth. Needs to understand that the good of the one does not outweigh the good of the team.

242

Mark needs to understand he's not as fast as Seb; no matter how much he wants to be...

243

Mw's level of understanding is not at issue. What is are such things as having 'integrity' being 'trustworthy' and having 'class' - hope that helps clarify.

And, BTW, the view toward RBR response to the situation will encompass these values as well.

Thank you.

244

Webber, because he was faster than Vettel.

245

Then why didn't he win?

246

LOL, been watching F1 long? Driver of the Day does NOT automatically go to the winner of the race. If a 2nd driver of a team significantly outperforms where he normally does, and outperforms his team leader, then he has a good chance of being Driver of the Day, as far as I'm concerned.

This time that driver was Webber.

247

Nico Hulkenburg Finished in front of McLaren in Sauber. Drove the wheels of that Sauber

248

NOT Vettel. Which is why I'd say Webber.

But Nico Rosberg in all seriousness.

249

Webber

Karma's a bitch...Vettel will lose the title this year.....

250

+1. He thought he had little support from Webber prior, now he will face his wrath. I expect the two to have tangled suspensions at least twice this year in later races, and Mark to leave, possibly during the year.

251

I suspect that it won't just be karma at work John. That 7 points may prove to be very expensive for Sebs. Mark will now use, what will be, his last season at RB to prove a point, at Sebs' expense. I hope so anyway!

253

Interesting to see so many Webber sympathy votes.

Just so you'll know, Webber and Vettel had fought fair and square. Vettel came out on top. In the end, Vettel was faster and brought the car to the finish despite using a softer and older tires.

Webber decides to use 'team order' reasons to make a case when throughout history, he was always against team orders.

BTW, there are not evidence indicating that Webber used the lower engine map to compete with Vettel. After all, why would you even do that?

254

James Allen has a gig with Australian TV, no surprise there are so many Webber sympathisers.

Since I never comment but always read, id like to put my vote to Vettel as Driver Of The Day. I watch races for entertainment and he provided.

255

Excuse me? Vettel faster? ER no. Fair and square? ER no. Mark was told be the team more than once that Vettel wouldn't overtake so went into cruise mode. Vettel has admitted he didn't and ignored messages to hold station.

So you seem to think that you know better? I'm impressed. Not.

256
Spinodontosaurus

It wasn't as if Webber was not expecting the attack, he was super defensive the whole way, almost putting Vettel into the pit wall in fact.

If he hadn't turned his engine back up by the time he was passed then that was his mistake. Consider how robust he was with his defensive driving I would be very surprised if he didn't immediately crank the engine back up; and nothing from Red Bull statements actually contradicts this.

257

Wonderful race all the way through. Too many really good performances to pick just one.

258

Vettel. He was the story...and he won.

We are constantly told that winning is the only measure of success in F1. No matter how unpopular Vettel's deliberate and calculated ruthlessness might have been to many people (myself included), F1's DNA and history are replete with this type of behaviour.

As a student of F1 history, Vettel will have taken the long view of things. Race wins and championships will be the things that most people remember about him and his single mindedness will be as appreciated by some as much as it is derided by others.

259

Well, yes. Except that Sebs has done it at the wrong end of the season, as he won't now be able to rely on Mark's compliance to get a fourth WDC. Team orders will be extremely difficult to enforce at RB from now on. May be not so clever after all?

260

Good post

261

I can't wait until Webber's inevitable tell-all book is released, post Red Bull career.

262

I would like to read that!

263

Agree. There are bound to be a few skeletons exposed in that.

264

Webber. Should have taken an easy win if he was allowed to defend

265

ummmmmm' he did defend.... he did not actually roll out the red carpet for Vettel. He was beaten by a faster teammate on fresher rubber.

Wonder where all these team orders would have been had Alonso been in the race?

266

James, do you know the reason for Ricciardo's retirement? He was doing well and in a point scoring position, then faded and retired.

268

Again???

269
Mark in Australia

Two races in a row..? Something to read in to there perhaps?

Webber for drive of the day by the way

270

Was that due to the off on the out lap to the grid?

271

Webber!

Great start, 1st lap was amazing to watch, going over the wet rumble strip on the inside of Alonso was extremely brave & showed great skill.

Stayed out on the intermediates & got the lead & held it.

Successfully defended Vettel's attack for an entire lap with superior racecraft.

Vettel passed a slower car with DRS & still had to fight for it the second time around.

Webber proved he was the better man & the better racer.

272

Vettel

For breaking the rules and racing. Don't let F1 become Borefest 2013.

273

You don't understand the complexity of F1.

The drivers are so reliant on the team these days to give them the right strategy, when to pit, what tryes to put etc etc

Vettel being pitted before Webber to keep him ahead of Mercedes instead of Webber who as lead driver had the choice.

What Vettel has done has brought anarchy to Red Bull as the team and his team mate cannot trust him to follow orders from his team.

Whilst it was great to watch it will have ramifications for the whole team.

274

Vettel for driver of the day: The reason we follow F1 and what a moment; imagine if he had not gone fore it? Snore....

275

Webber, with Bianchi close second. Vettel might have got a mention but I didn't like his weak excuses after the race.

To their credit though though, both Webber and Vettel did race hard and very, very well. I have no idea how they didn't end up making contact, but I call that good driving.

276

Webber.

Can't wait for China. Hope Mercedes' and Red Bulls' drivers are close together on track. Should be some fireworks.

277

Hamilton.

For admitting it should have been Rosberg up on thr podium. Would have been awesome if he pulled aside on the tack at the end to let Rosberg through. But at least he was man enough to admitt defeat.

well done.

278

Webber for the way he started and the way he raced and the way he behand, a decent human being.

James, why we cannot give a vote anymore? Why did you decide to remove statistics?

279

Too much negativity

I cannot stand negativity

280
Matthew Cheshire

+1 to that too.

281

I would have thought the negativity would be on the comments, not the votes? I hope you change your mind about this

282

I've got to say I am missing seeing the votes and bar chart for driver of the day.

I was hoping it was a technical problem that had led to its removal! Hope you have a change of heart here.

283

I'm not keen on negativity either, but I'm not sure why you think having options to vote for promotes it. I would have thought its quite the opposite - it promotes objectivity. And brevity: I can look at the summary rather than plough through hundreds of comments.

284

James do you think Webber kept his engine turned down when he knew Vettel is attacking ? Because it didn't seem like Vettel did it easily, and Webber was defending very hard to keep him behind, so why shouldn't him turn up the engine if he wants to defend that hard!

285

It would be interesting to see his in/out lap times and how that related to the direction by the RBR wall to "turn the engines down". I suspect Mark took it a bit easier when coming into pit however Sebastien hit the afterburners and that's why he was right up on Mark when he exited the pits. Red Bull's pit stops were lightning so there's no way Mark was delayed when pitting.

286

No, once he realised he reacted of course

287

if webber had known vettel's attack he wouldn't have allowed him to get close enough to attack.

288

That's probably one part of his disappointment, he could not keep Vettel behind.

I think what happened is that after his final stop he was starting to save tyres/engines, expecting/being told it is a multi21. This allowed Vettel to catch up in first place, who maybe assumed it is multi21 only after both cars have made their final stop. After he came out of the pits so close to WEB, he then decided that's not settled yet.

After the ceremony and before press conference, you could see VET and WEB talking, maybe then he realised, which then led to his apology. He assumed he caught Webber through his own pace, but it was Webber cruising that then made him vulnerable.

289

One part of me agrees with you, the other half says Seb knew exactly what he was doing and what he wanted.

One thing that caught my eye on replays is that Vettel changed his 'tune very very quickly' after both Newey and Webber spoke to him supporting your theory......maybe

290

James, can there be some kind of clearance? how could SV recover 4 sec gap to MW almost to nothing in one flying lap (his pit lap -42; vs MW's pit lap -43) and where does it starts this engine deboost mode, perhaps after final pitstops yes? (e.g. lap 44-45?)but at that stage SV was eagerly fighting for the position, he was within sec from MW, did really MW not anticipated that scenario?

291
Heinzman (Fan of: ALO)

To all those comparing Vettel to Senna because he was 'ruthless', you are sadly tarnishing what Senna stood for.

Senna stood for pure racing; he did not stand for one guy bullying a team mate who has had a hand tied behind his back via his car and engine being turned down.

292

I'm sorry, but what does "Senna stood for pure racing" actually mean? I think that's BS. Senna was capable of crashing into Prost at high speed, endangering both of them, in order to win a World Championship. He was also capable of vetoing the appointment of a competitive team-mate. Let's stop all of this dewy-eyed reverence of Senna, or at least stop comparing current drivers with this selective memory of what Senna actually was or stood for.

293

+1

Senna was really quick and a fantastic driver but he was not the saint people seem to make him out to be.

295

Senna also deliberately drove into other drivers when they attempted to pass him. He was a great driver, but he was not whiter than white.

296

+1...Senna is a legend in F1. Like most sporting legends -like Ali for example - they transcended their sport.

297

Yes, Senna also stood for knocking guys off the track when things didn't go his way, aka Prost...

298
Heinzman (Fan of: ALO)

And before anyone says he turned his car back up when Vettel started to fight him, and we can agree that he logically did so, but only after relinquishing a 5 second lead he earned via stopping earlier.

Once he had turned the car back up he was a sitting duck because Vettel was within DRS with fresher boots.

299

the boots were not fresher (1 lap older) however a bit quicker.

300

"Yes yes, that's what i'm talkin about" 😉

301

Vettel's getaway driver for getting him the heck outa there.

303

Vettel

And bring back the bridgestones !

304

Why Bridgestones? Pirelli are doing a good job. The job that they are being asked to do. I can't see anyone else doing much different tbh.

305

Bring back Michelin and keep Pirelli at the same time.

306

You are right. Pirellis are doing the job that they are being asked to do. Cant argue with that. But I do wish they could upped the specs so that i can be more durable. I am tired (pun) of seeing tyre management taking the centerstage during racing, qualifying as well as FP sessions.

307

Webber. He was clearly the faster of the two Red Bull drivers during the race and only lost the win because Vettel doesn't know how to spell the word - TEAM. Honourable mention to Jenson Button too. McLaren seem to finding something in his car at least. Reports today in the Australian media suggesting Webber may be considering leaving Red Bull having flown back to Australia immediately following the race and having turned off his communication with Red Bull to consider his position within the team.

308

Vettel.

He wanted it the most. After almost running Vettel into the wall don't tell me Mark just gave up the place. Also mark should not have viewed his all important opinion in public,for me that just shows he is just a whiner. He is older and more mature than that.

Anyway...I enjoyed the tussle.

309

Driver of the Day

Mark Webber

Loser of the Day

Seb Vettel

310

Webber of course!!

No picture of the happy trio on the podium? Perhaps one of the grandstands would be more suitable 😉

311

Surprised that Jules Bianchi isnt in the list, he finished 13!!!

312

Vettel. He'e a racer.

For the exact opposite reason a big disappointment for me was Rosberg. I wish he was a little more like Vettel and he chose to race.

313

Webber because he did as he was told and drove an brilliant race. But let's get rid of these dam tyres for some decent boots that let drivers really race, that's what we all want to see and it will get rid of all these team orders that just frustrate the hell out of drivers. Make the happy to go racing once more.

314

Vettel....OF COURSE!

315

Vettel. It's easier to ask for forgiveness than ask permission.

Also special mentions for Bianchi and Alonso for overtaking and keeping pace with a Red Bull with a damaged car!

317

It's pretty clear this time: Mark Webber for his splendid start (where have all his start problems gone..), excellent pace and strategy, as well as for tough defense against allegedly faster driver and giving up only to some silly maneouver.

Special mention to Hulkenberg and I'm surprised not to see his name on the list (not really understanding why Mercedes drivers are there).

Can't get really excited about Bianchi, he's just not in backmarkers' league.

318
BringBackAdelaide

In order...

1. MW

2. SV

3. NR

James, I'm keen to see your graph to see how Vettel gained that 4-5sec to catch Webber? Surely Webber hadn't turned his engine down until after his last stop.

319

My call is Webber, even he lost his place during the battle with Vettel.

Not to mention that the battle itself was excellent and Vettel took upper hand fair as Mark had turned his car's power on when he found himself under the attack.

But of cause if Mark didn't turn "save mode" on - Vettle wouldn't catch him before the finish, that's for sure.

320

vettel. people just love to hate on him. you dont win 3 WDCs if you were soft.

to mark: stop whining mate! thats karma for brazil 2012. you just werent chastised because vettel still won

321

Webber. Not because of what vettel but because of the strategy employed, brave moves and awesome first lap or so

322

Webber.

Not because of what vettel but because of the strategy employed, brave moves and awesome first lap or so

323

MY driver of the day is the first one to actually be happy with his position. I have never seen a more miserable looking podium (barring a fatal accident).

Not having seen Massa he probably would bemoan something, I suspect Gosjean would be smiling because he beak Kimi and, well, he's always smiling. So maybe my vote goes, oddly enough, to him.

324

Nico. He was faster than Hamilton in every session except the lottery of Q3 but was the gentleman, though you could see it hurt.

325

+1

326

Webber for showing that he is the true champion driver.

327

Lewis is the driver of the season for having chosen to change teams while practically all the popular and much expert opinion was telling all and sundry that it was a mistake.

Now that he has been proven utterly correct not to stay in a dead-end job for years on end perhaps there are a few more people in UK commerce and industry who start to look at their own employment more objectively.

Meanwhile, I can't hear too many regrets or apologies to Lewis being voiced.

328

Webber

Great race by Mercedes, with Rosberg on the edge.

329

Suppose it has to be Hamilton & Bianchi, once again

330

Webber, Rosberg and Hamilton

331

The only real winner from all this were RedBull. As they got what they wanted. One ponders whether it was RBs intention to turn down to engines in knowing Seb would not obey and bridge the gap on purpose for this outcome and then to stack it on Vettels shoulders....

332

Nobody deserves it today:

Vettel: The Winner. But lacks the spine to stand by his crime. Senna was unapologetic about the hijinks he got into. NO VOTE.

Webber: First of the Losers. If he were a real racing driver, he would have switched off from Multi-21 and attacked Vettel until they both ran out of tyres or gas. He should have binned Vettel completely into the pit wall. NO VOTE.

Hamilton: The Chosen One. More than any other driver in the entire history of the sport. Here is a man whose podium position does indeed "rely on others giving way to him". And people thought Irvine driving 10/10ths to follow Schumacher home was lousy? NO VOTE.

Vergne and Button: Driver of the day? For what?!? Except for a pair of pitlane fiascos the two of them seemed anonymous during the race. The drama of improvement in Button's position was more about how McLaren are turning the car around... not from being Driver of the Day. NO VOTE.