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Singapore Grand Prix – Who was your Driver of the Day?
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Posted By: James Allen  |  22 Sep 2013   |  11:52 pm GMT  |  326 comments

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel didn’t put a foot wrong as he produced a brilliant drive under the lights in Marina Bay to win the Singapore Grand Prix for the third successive year.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso capitalised on a stunning start and a bold strategy to take second while Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen fought off back pain to complete the podium.

Jenson Button looked on course for McLaren’s first podium of the season before his tyres faded and he finished seventh, one place ahead of his team-mate Sergio Perez who recovered to eighth after a poor qualifying. But who was your Driver of the Day?

Sebastian Vettel

Led all but one corner to take his seventh victory of the season. Squeezed a fast-starting Nico Rosberg at the start, but lost first position from pole at the first corner. Retook the lead when Rosberg ran wide on the exit and from there never looked back. Responded well at the safety car restart and then built up a huge lead – sometimes lapping more than two seconds quicker than the rest of the field – to cover off anyone who may have tried to stop one less time than him. Cruised over the line to take his 33rd career victory and extend his championship lead to 60 points with just six races remaining.

Fernando Alonso

Made an electric start and benefitted from a bold strategy to take second. Moved to the outside on the rundown to the first corner to make up four places and run third early on. Struggled to keep up with Rosberg in second, but held a healthy lead over the chasing pack. Pitted during the safety car period, fitting the medium tyres, and ran through to the end of the race, which allowed him to climb up to second. Managed his tyres and pace well to take his third consecutive second-placed finish and keep his hopes of the title alive.

Kimi Raikkonen

Overcame back pain to take his seventh podium of the season. Qualified 13th after struggling throughout the practice sessions with an on-going back problem which flared up. Struggled with traffic early on but pitted early for his first stop to give him some clear air. Pumped in the lap times and produced some good overtakes to rise up throughout the field. Like Alonso, pitted under the safety car and then did 36 laps on the medium tyre to finish third.

Jenson Button

Looked on course for a podium before fading in the final stages. Ran in the low points-scoring positions for much of the race. Pitted under the safety car and re-joined ninth. Like Alonso and Raikkonen, decided to try and get to the end of the race on that set of tyres. Rose to third as others pitted but was eventually caught and overtaken by Raikkonen and then lost three further places. Finished seventh – his 10th points-scoring result in 13 races.

Sergio Perez

Recovered from a bad qualifying to score points for the sixth time this season. Started 14th, but made up a few places at the start. Had a good battle with Nico Hulkenberg and made his way up into the points. Did the same strategy as McLaren team-mate Button. Looked to have the pace and better tyres than Button in the closing stages, but couldn’t make a pass stick and settled for eighth – six places higher than his grid slot.


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1

Not sure I agree with the poll. Pretty odd results, not at all representative of the drivers’ performance. The results of a similar poll on f1fanatic(only registered users could vote).

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/09/23/2013-singapore-grand-prix-driver-of-the-weekend/

Vettel – 54%

Raikkonen – 26%

Alonso -12%

Much more accurate, in my opinion.

2

None of the above. The races are now so boring / precessional they might as well be racing at Monaco. Until a FULL return to in season testing is instituted I don’t see a point in watching…. TG soccer is in full swing in the EU and America.

3

Last year Vettel went from pit lane to 3rd in Abu Dhabi. Many folks dismissed (including Hamilton) by saying well, he had 2 safety cars.

How did Kimi go from 13th to 3rd. Safety car. Yes, he made it 35 laps on the mediums, then again, the Lotus and Ferraris are much better on their tires than other teams.

Vettel had a Grand Chelem. That’s rare. His stint after the safety car, when he was on mediums that already had 7 laps on them when the SC came out, was phenomenal. He did have clear, but so did Mark after his last stop and he was exactly burning up the field in that RB with all that clear air.

Vettel was flawless this weekend and was DoTD. Hat tips to Alonso and Raikkonnen, with Kimi in second with that sweet overtake of Button on the outside at T14. It should be noted that Alonso had lots of clear air himself which allowed him to nurse his car home. But 2nd was more a strategy call and circumstances (Rosberg being a bit unlucky)rather than being the best driver ON the day.

Hey, Lauda took off his cap to Vettel today (and I think Brundle or Crofty remarked they had never seen him w/o his hat.) If Vettel was good enough for Nikki, he’s good enough for me.

4

Wow!!! wow. Too many bitter tears are raining down. What did Vettel do to make so many people are crying. Leagand…

5

driver of the day…hmm…I’m Kimi fan so him getting 3rd from 13th puts him way up there, but that demon start by Alonso and being able to get the “dawdling donkey” to 2nd puts him in with a shout too…

However, you just have to give it to Vettel. So we get bored when he keeps winning, and yes the RedBull is streets ahead of anyone else, but that stint after the safety car reminded me of a certain herr Schumacher at Magny Cours a few years back, when he too blitzed the field with a 4 stop (if i recall correctly) startegy to win the race…

the kid has talent, and whether we like it or not, in F1 the best drivers have always ended up driving the best cars…right now, it’s RBR and Vettel. And thats not just being said now that he’s winning all the time…just look at his 1st win, in the wet, in an STR, at Monza, in ’08 when the Ferraris and Mclarens were the cars to beat…so let’s give credit, Vettel is good. We may argue he has not been fully tested yet, but he’s young, he’s cresting a wave with RB and you don’t win championships without having some talent…in an ideal world, we’d all want to see the top boys in equal machinery having a right old slugfest…this is F1…the best man in the best car has the best chance, BUT he has to make it count…going 2.5 to 3 second A LAP faster is Vettel making his advantage count….

6

Yet more evidence that on-line polls are meaningless…

I don’t like Vettel one bit, but this is ridiculous.

7

Finally winning combination RBPirelli just car and tyres as we know after canada all changed and RB push to Pirelli to change tyre compound result is what we have and compromised completely 2013.

Pirelli needs to be punished and next year to be new tyre supplier for 2014!

MotoGp is better to watch more thrill than F1.

8
prasanna madhavan

Mine was the ICEMAN. dont care about this year. waiting for next year. when the rules changes 100%

9

Has to be the Iceman Raikkonen. He must hold the record for podium finishes starting outside the top 10.

10

Alonso was DOTD, without a doubt! Another exceptional drive.

11

I has to be SV. Still don’t like the guy though.

Kimi was also exceptional.

Votes are back! 🙂

12

In think all top three deserves praises.

Vettel showed how to squeeze out every drop of performance from the car.

Alonso’s patience and amazingly cunning overtakes at the start. It is so amazing to watch, its Jedi like! LOL

Finally, Kimi’s amazing drive to the podium from 10th while enduring a broken back.

Because of the Booing drama at Vettel. I’m gonna give DOTD to Vettel because he had to ensure hardship no other drivers had to.

Those people who Booed are genuine losers.

13

Maybe the booing is an entourage of Ferrari/FA-paid mercenaries traveling on buses to bring a whole new sport to Vettel (mind games), because, so far, the on-track game hasn’t been working that well. Interestingly, the boos of yesteryear have resulted in SV getting 3.2 sec per lap. I’m guessing boos in Suzuka might bring 6.4 secs per lap. Someone rightly said, the best revenge is living well.

Alonso is a chap worth thinking about, though. Is it worthy of a champion to stoop to the level of hoping and wishing that his opponents’ car break down to gain advantage? Is it wise to not just think that aloud, but make it news? FA (the King) proclaimed that MW’s engine-malfunction on the last lap at Singapore as “hope” for his championship. Then, the story changed a tad. Apparently, the tire change mid season is the reason the King is out of contention this year.

I’m guessing in Suzuka, it’ll probably be the maid how didn’t iron FA’s gloves that well. Maybe in Korea it might be the chef who put just a bit too much salt. In India, it’ll be the spicy gravy, of course. In Brazil, poor Massa will be the reason why the “great Alonso” will probably not get a WDC in 2013. Maybe, it’s the global recession, or not the right sunglasses.

15

Can we divide this into Driver and Racer of the Day?

Vettel clearly dominated to the extent it’s hard not to marvel at his ability. That cant just be down to the car. Peerless.

Otherwise, as always very impressed with Alonso and Raikkonen.

16

I am not saying Vettel is not a great driver, far from it, he is an excellent driver. But, if it was all down to him (and not the car) why has he not done it before?

17

Oh come on vettel is no better than alonso because he did not see his troubly days because of rbr is too strong ? get over it people he deserved rbr seat. one can not deny that newey impact is maximum but you got to give this lad credit of him getting closer to his fourth consecutive title. he took the pressure when it meant the most (brazil,abu dhabi) and alonso coudnt pass petrov ? i mean come on one can argue ferrari got to cover mark but seriously THE MOST COMPLETE DRIVER OF THE GRID COULDN’T PASS PETROV! when it matters the most he coudnt do that. another example ? Abu dhabbi 2012 when he couldn’t pass raikkonen. If alonso could have been in rbr he could not have achieved what vettel has. simple. oh and i forget alonso had massa there every second of every single grand prix to help his ass out to clinch a single title be he couldn’t. and alot of time has passed. i mean years !

18

Thats so true

19

Certainly not Vettel, won the GP and all that, and doesn’t even bother pickin up a teammate.

20

Very glad to see the poll back!!

Kimi gets it for me. His race was phenomenal.

Annoyed at Perez. Forced another car off the track – this time by contact – and the FIA made the victim give the place back. Again.

Naughty boys of the day are the race stewards. Some astoundingly stupid decisions made.

21

Vettel, obviously.

I have never ever seen a driver consistently pull 2 s/lap on the entire field in dry conditions, and I’ve been watching F1 for 23 years.

Incredible performance, and one that will go in my “all time best” list.

22

SV was the DotD.

Just wondering if the booing [it is bad btw] continues, then at what point would it start to impact the brand of RedBull? They are the masters of brand awareness so I’d expect them to monitor the situation but it must be a tad sensitive+raw for them.

But so far SV has been exceptional at handling the booing just like his driving. I think he’s too good and too consistent to react to the boo boys.

23

Raikkonen, normally the winner usually gets my dotd vote but although the Finn finished two places behind Vettel i feel he showed real spirit when everything is taken into account, no salary, driving whilst injured and in spite of that getting a podium from 13th.

Withoit the two proviso’s above it would have been a decent result, with them included it was hard won, and richly deserved.

24

Vettel, undoubtedly. We don’t get to see Grand Slam every day.

25

Alonso or Kimi.

Definitely not Vettel. Can people not just tell that there is something seriously odd about that Red Bull?

Seb is a good driver and Newey a good designer but there is no way the car should be THAT dominant. Especially since Webber’s car is never anywhere near as fast, even accounting for the fact that it gets stuck in traffic a lot.

I have a very strong suspicion that Red Bull of Seb’s is using something ‘extra’ to give it an advantage over everyone else, and I am very suspicious about the legality of that extra something. I’m thinking some kind of traction control, maybe set up in an unconventional way. Because there is no explanation as to why he is THAT dominant. Tyres, Newey, set-up – all are factors. But just look at the rate he pulled away from everyone else. Just look at the fact his fastest lap was nearly a second quicker than everyone.

I think that Red Bull are not playing fair.

Even if you discount the possibility that they might be cheating, the Vettel dominance has to be challenegd successfully by another team otherwise the sport will be slowly wrecked like it nearly was under Schumi, and viewing figures will drop away.

26

I tough the same about Marquez Moto2 bike last year, as he was bloody fast, sometimes he passed the entire grid to get the victory but this time he shouted my mouth, the same I tough about Rafael Nadal come back it was too much good, but he loose in Wimbledon and then recovering, what says that simply the guy is good. This is the same thinking of people who thinks that the aliens made the Egyptian pyramids, we can’t accept sometimes when some people do a great job, it has to be suspicious, it happened also in the las olympics with a swimmer. There is a principle in every law systems which says that you are innocent unless proven, RB as a team had done a great job, Vettel is part of that team, couldn’t be the reason of this also that a great team as Ferrari hasn’t fixed it’s wind tunnel issues?, or that McLaren changed completely his car for this year even when it was a good car last year?, or that Mercedes are just fixing their tire issues?, or that Lotus doesn’t have money? or that Webber lost his mojo since 2010?

27

There is no evidence to proud are they cheating but Redbull have 2 teams 4 cars on the grid, as I believe they collected x2 data every time they race. that is an unfair advantages.

28

A better, top notch work should never be classified as cheat. They’ve got the best car/driver pairing this season, we have to live with that.

If you have any clues, call FIA to report your ” very strong suspicion that Red Bull of Seb’s is using something ‘extra’ to give it an advantage over everyone else, and I am very suspicious about the legality of that extra something.”

29

If any driver did it I would be suspicious.

Look. Vettel’s fastest lap was nearly a second quicker than anyone else. And what of the other Red Bull? Webber’s car has shown nowhere near the pace of Vettel’s.

If another driver/team did it I would be suspicious as well. Vettel is a good driver and very fast but he is not THAT fast and likewise that RB is not that quick compared to the field this year.

That performance on Sunday was more like the 2011 machine [which was a genuinely dominant car]. But if the car was genuinely dominant then Webber would have been at least third and probably second. I know Webber isn’t as good a driver and they probably give his car all the second beast parts but I’m sorry, the performance differential between the two machines should not be as huge as it is.

The gap Vettel was opening up from the start and the safety car restart looked deeply suspicious. He was able to keep pushing fastest laps even on the harder tyre. It can’t just be his set-up, running up front or the RB liking the post-Silverstone harder tyres [he looked suspiciously good in Canada before the tyre switch remember]. There is something else giving that Red Bull an edge. Either they have found a loophole, or they’re using dubious methods, and TBH I suspect the latter. It could well be some form of traction control.

Vettel’s car moves around the track in a way that isn’t entirely ‘right’.

Also look at Monza where he stormed into the lead despite flatspotting a tyre and won easily.

It’s getting increasingly clear every race now that something suspicious is helping that Red Bull.

30

> Frankly I’m amazed more people aren’t voicing their concerns about this

Perhaps they don’t do that because only a few believe in conspiracies

31

Bear in mind as well that in 2012 they found Red Bull using illegal or at the very least dubious engine mapping halfway through the season. I would not be at all surprised if RB have found another way round the scrutineers this season.

32

Frankly I’m amazed more people aren’t voicing their concerns about this. It’s just so obvious IMO.

33

> I think that Red Bull are not playing fair.

Yap, how it is possible that the combination of car and driver could be good? He has to be cheating.

Funny thing is that I bet if the one doing that yesterday were Alonso you would be saying that Ferrari was cheating

35

It’s been odd from 2010…

36

By scoring a Grand Chelem … it HAS to be Vettel

37

DOTD: Vettel

Car of the Day: RB9

Honorable mention: Kimi and Fernando.

I’d like to see the top 6 race each other in equal RB9 cars. Maybe they can do a 15 lap sprint race on Sat. afternoon. Yup, I like to dream.

38

Sadly, Vettel by a not so small margin…

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