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Indian Grand Prix – Who was your Driver of the Day?
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Posted By: James Allen  |  27 Oct 2013   |  7:44 pm GMT  |  197 comments

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel clinched his fourth world championship with his sixth consecutive victory of the season in Indian Grand Prix.

Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg took only his third podium of the season with a confident drive to second with Lotus’ Romain Grosjean producing a sensational drive through the field to take third having started 17th.

Felipe Massa led the race at one point before finishing fourth for Ferrari while Sergio Perez secured his best result of the season with fifth in the McLaren.

And Force India’s Adrian Sutil did a long first stint to bring him into the points and he went on to finish ninth – but who was your Driver of the Day?

Sebastian Vettel

Cut through the field with ease after an early pit stop to take his 10th win of the season and seal a fourth world title. Made a great getaway before stopping on lap two to swap his soft tyres for the mediums. Re-joined in 17th before quickly picking off the cars in front of him. He soon found himself in second behind Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber. Took the lead when Webber pitted for a second time and from there comfortably led from the front – as he has done so often this season. Crossed the line to take his eighth win in 10 races and the 36th of his career. He now joins Juan Manuel Fangio, Michael Schumacher and Alain Prost as the only drivers to have won four championships.

Nico Rosberg

Scored his third podium of the season with an accomplished drive. Made a decent getaway from second, but was passed by Massa down the straight and dropped to third. Used the undercut to pass Massa at the stops and pumped in some fast lap times in clear air. Passed Sutil and then Kimi Raikkonen – who was struggling on worn tyres – to rise up to second – his best result since the British Grand Prix in June. Closed to just four points behind fifth-placed Webber in the championship.

Romain Grosjean

Bounced back from a terrible qualifying to take his third successive podium. Made a good start from 17th, rising through the field while looking after his soft tyres to ensure he could do a long first stint. Pitted on lap 13 for the mediums and then managed to complete a 41-lap stint on that set of tyres without his tyres going off. Struggled with traffic, but eventually got some clear air and quickly caught team-mate Raikkonen. Made a pass on the Finn for third and then held off Massa in the closing stages.

Felipe Massa

Produced one of his best drives of the season to finish fourth. Made a brilliant start from fifth, passing both Mercedes cars and Webber to run second. Took the lead when Vettel pitted on lap two. Lost a place to Rosberg when he pitted but continued to show good race pace. Defended well from Hamilton, who was much faster in the Mercedes, and then got past Raikkonen for fourth. Ran out of laps to pass Grosjean for the podium, but it was a strong result nonetheless as he hunts a drive for next season.

Sergio Perez

Pulled of a great pass on Hamilton and Raikkonen in the same move on the way to fifth. Started ninth, one place ahead of team-mate Jenson Button and made a good start on the medium tyres. Kept his nose clean, as Button got caught up in an incident with Alonso. Found himself second when those on soft tyres pitted. Focused on his own race and conserved the tyres while delivering a good pace. Caught and passed Hamilton and Raikkonen down the straight to rise up to fifth for his best result of the season.

Adrian Sutil

Pulled off a one-stop strategy to finish ninth for his seventh points finish of the season. Made a good getaway from 13th and then looked after his tyres so well that he managed to do 41 laps in the first stint. That allowed him to put the soft tyres on knowing he wouldn’t have to stop again. Managed just under 20 laps on that rubber, conserving them impressively, to finish ninth, one place behind Force India team-mate Paul Di Resta.

Click here to vote for your Driver of the Day in India

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1
Tornillo Amarillo

ROSBERG for me is the DOTD.

Who cares really.

2

Romain really needed this. What a drive that was. Very well done by Nico R and Sergio. But, I’ll go with Massa, not because I think he was the driver of the day, but because the poor chap really needed this. Come on Massa! I really hope he gets a drive next year in a good team.

Incidentally, all the underdogs outperformed their more illustrious teammates in that race – Romain, Nico, Massa and Sergio. Well done to them all!

3

Hated Team Lotus before Raikkonen Joined ofcourse with Crashgate and all the rest…. Post Indian GP…. Team Lotus is probably the most hated team… period… either you are a Raikkonen Fan or not…. you ought to be disgusted in a manner vide which Raikkonen was told to move over….. Next year: Kimi to Ferrari… and the man who created this tire-friendly Lotus is already at Ferrari…. They already lost their two best talents…. The sponsors know this…. wooing them by trying to prove Romain is faster than Kimi would be stupid for sponsors know the reality.

Heart goes out to Eric & Mark Slade…. probably the only two decent people left in Team Lotus.

4

I have voted for Romain, who now that his crazy days are behind him we see only his raw speed, he reminds me of Kimi in his Sauber years.

This was the first time it was difficult to choose driver of the day, because I liked for different reasons Massa, Barbie and Perez. And of course one needs to consider Vettel that was once again really good, albeit at a car that was a class of its own. Overall a nice race

5

DOTD Romain Grosjean he’s really grown as an F1 driver this season and got the best out of his Lotus. I look forward to seeing him drive next year and hope Lotus give him a great car that can beat/compete with the Red Bulls. Mind you I’m also hoping that McLaren, Ferrari and the other teams come up with a car that can beat/compete with the Red Bulls 🙂

6

Seb. Did what he supposedly is not known for, he cut through the field easily (i guess it is normal given the amount of front row starts he has had). He was not only on another level today, he was a few levels higher than the rest.

7

Weird how I had to vote Grosjean quite often during the 2nd half of the season, and today I’m voting again for him. The way he improves is just insane, the guy always had the speed, never had the consistenty up untill this year. He really deserves a very good car next year.

8

Well done to RB and Seb, but what bore this race was, you see RB have developed something so fantastic that no other team no matter how good the driver, can come anywhere near close. So is that what the fans want to see? Maybe, but I know I am not alone in wanting to see much closer competition that makes all the drivers talents shine to win the day, after all if you have One of the Top drivers in The Top car you will always have a consistent result. Simple!

10

What a drive for Grosjean and Vettel. Hard to pick one this weekend.

11

It has to be IVettel. He was so confidence with his strategy on Saturday and did a brilliant race. It was absurd he was given a reprimand. Absolutely disgraceful.

I am gutted for Webber. He was so happy with his strategy and the surprise in his voice when he was asked to stop the car was very painfull.

I wonder if any TV station will do a Masterclass on Massa but I doubt it. Fantastic start and did a great race. I can’t understand why his teammate wanted that meaningless number on his helmet. Silly.

What is most interesting is, Vettel, Webber, Massa, Alonso etc. chose their own strategy. The cream rose to the top.

Wonder if Merc got their strategy wrong by not pitting Hamilton a lap earlier.

12
Alexander Supertramp

I don’t really see the greatness in Grosjean’s performance.. His race was dictated by his car’s ability to save tyres, the only thing he had to do was to not kill his tyres. He went from P16 to P3 without real overtaking and Kimi was a sitting duck when he overtook him. He used his car very well, but this is the sort of performance that led people to believe Perez was the new Messiah last year in the tyre friendly Sauber. Not saying Grosjean is not better than Perez, I’m just not impressed by the performance. Rosberg drove very well and had to do some actual tyre preservation with that Merc. Vettel drove a champion’s race and even Perez drove very well.

Vettel gets this one for me, Rosberg close 2nd

13

Grosjean probably, but Vettel was faultless and created an iconic moment in the sports history at the end.

14

DOTD is clearly Strategists, Computer algorithms back at the factory, tyres, lightweight drivers & Team Preference for one driver over another.

It hasn’t been down to raw driver skill to manhandle a car for years…..

15

Sad you see it that way.

If you were at the circuit and could see what we see you would change your opinion in a heartbeat. It’s breathtaking what these guys can do with these cars

But the TV coverage etc clearly doensn’t convey what these guys do..

16

+1 James. When I took a mate down to Melb this year for his first GP. The look on his face was priceless the sights and sounds are just astonishing compared to TV! Even more so when I told him and 20 Red Bull fans who would win- that was Gold !! ( unpredictable cars conditions and Kimis exceptional feel for original 2013 Spec tyres)

17

Well except for Alonso. He is way better than Vettel and his time will come.

18

Can I give it to all of them? In their own ways they were all awesome. Sebastian Vettel was so incisive in the traffic after his first pitstop and bossed the race; Romain Grosjean made the strategy work for him brilliantly; Felipe Massa’s first lap double-pass on the Mercedes was great to watch (shades of Hungary ’08 and Hockenheim ’10) and he was solid throughout if perhaps lacking the outright pace for a podium; and Adrian Sutil’s one-stopper was also good and I’d have actually liked to have seen him beat Paul di Resta this weekend because he as up at the front for a long time.

However I’m going to treat DotD as a “relative” rather than “absolute” concept here and, on that basis, will give it to Sergio Perez. I think only Bahrain compares when it comes to assessing his strongest drive for McLaren and if anything this one topped that one; the double pass on Raikkonen and Hamilton was the icing on the cake. Though his season has not been as bad as some have made out, this was a timely reminder of what put him in the shop window for McLaren in the first place.

Final note on Nico Rosberg; strong drive from Nico on a weekend where he seemed to have the legs on Lewis Hamilton throughout. It seems as if ever since Singapore he’s fighting back in their intra-team rivalry. It also strikes me how he is somewhat unique in that he is almost immune to pigeon-holing. Think of some of the pigeon-holes that exist: the elite (Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton, Raikkonen); the veterans who fought for titles (Button – who won; Massa – who only did so for 20 seconds; and Webber – who didn’t); and the up-and-comers looking to smoothen off rough edges (Hulkenberg, Grosjean, Perez, maybe Maldonado and di Resta). Which of these would Nico fit into? Exactly! And I can’t think of another into which he would fit!

19

Fair appraisal. Perhaps Rosberg could be lumped into the ‘other race winners’ category…Rosberg, Maldonado.

20
Alexander Supertramp

Ross Brawn said it: the pendulum in their intra-team battle swings from one side to the other. Very balanced team with 2 strong drivers.

21

Tough one.

SUT benefitted on strategy, ROS and MAS just drove to their grid positions (strategies made it all a bit unclear).

PER had nice fights with Mercedes and gained 4 places…

GRO made it 14 places up…

Yesterday, I was almost sure it would be one of them. Today, I’m thinking: VET made it on two-stopper (contrary to the latter two). He’d passed both of these two. He’s had half a minute over the second driver…

Praising GRO’s effort, I say: 4xWDC deserved DOTD today, let him celebrate.

22

Two contenders, Grosjean who went 17th > 3rd and Vettel who technically went 22nd > 1st.

I think given the pressue and the fact he was going to thrash Webber on either strategy I’ll give it to Vettel. I think starting on the medium tyres was the right call, and most drivers starting on the softs would have gone backwards were it not for retirements, with one exception, Vettel. There’s no point comparing him vs other cars this weekend as the RBR had a massive performance edge, but we all know Webber isn’t slow, so to comprehensively beat the guy as it was paning out shows what a performance that was.

Great race by Romain though, calm and patient, I like him, I like his style, I like the fact he’s not so wrapped up in himself that he can’t see the wood for the trees. Expecting plenty of race wins from him in years to come.

What happend to Hamilton though? The ‘best overtaker’ in F1 basically couldn’t do what Rosberg could, and overtake cars in front. That’s why Nico finished 2nd and Lewis was 6th. It’s another season of disappointments for Hamilton really, he was given number 1 status in Malaysia, and Nico’s had 3 car failures in races that have dropped him points (gbox, suspension, engine). Taking that lot into account I’m inclined to say that my prediction of Nico running Lewis very close is looking like my prediction of LH vs JB, i.e. there isn’t much between them and they’ve different strengths.

Another season where Lewis’s star fades I’m afraid. When you’ve had 6 years in fundamentally very good cars (keep in mind McLaren had the fastest car for most of last year – and no I didn’t expect anyone to beat the 2011 RBR) and you’ve only got 1 WDC to show for it, it’s hard to see why people constantly rate him with Alonso and Vettel who’s performances justify their tags as the best two in the sport at present. Fernandos car just isn’t as good as the Mercedes or the McLaren last year, yet he’s always the last one challenging Vettel for the title. It speaks volumes about Alonso, and far less so about Lewis.

23

You seem to forget, lewis has had 2 punctures, one broke his gear box, one took him out of leading the brit gp, which his teamate took the win with the biggest stroke of luck, any driver has had this year after vettal went out as well, retired in japan gp, its not all been on rosbergs side of the garage, the points gap is about right between the 2, next season is were we will zee how it shakes down between the 2

24

I didn’t forget about those at all. None of Lewis’s punctures took him out of a race. One was in practice that gave him a 5 place grid drop as the Gbox broke, and the other he was able to recover and thanks to some handy safety cars and decent driving he was able to finish 5th. Clipping Vettels front wing was unlucky, but ultimately it wasn’t a reliability issue.

Rosbergs issues I mention were all terminal and all in races and all happened whilst he was in points scoring positions. I didn’t mention any of Nico’s issues in practice, nor Lewis’s either, likewise I didn’t mention Nico’s front wing problem in Korea that cost him etc.

25

How many people have often equalled or bettered Sebs qualis pace over the last 4 years ??. That’s right only Lewis Hamilton – Not Jenson, not Fernando and not Nico.. Lewis has taken it to Seb in two different teams and were it not for operational or mechanical failures he was much closer than anyone last year realised. Where is Button now and look what Perez is doing, Look what Massa is doing now he’s allowed to race for his career.

I do not understand this constant ridicule of Lewis Hamilton you can take or leave his personality.. But as a racer he’s undeniable.. Even Fernando often said it’s always Lewis at quali regardless of how good or bad his car is and we all know careers are made and lost at Mclaren because of 1. Unreliability 2. Operational or strategic cock ups 3.A combination of both?.. Just ask Kimi Raikkonen or Fernando Alonso,. You can go back to Senna/ Prost even. They can build a great car one year and a looser the next- hello that’s this year !

As for Nico- Really !! All your points noted and in the end -last time I checked Lewis was ahead on points- that’s remarkable in a new team and Nico has improved even from last year!.C’mon Sebastian and Red Bull are the benchmark but Lewis is not all that far behind not when you consider where Mercedes were last year and are now! And especially not when you consider how long Nico , Fernando & Seb have been with there respective team– Really take it in and smell the sunshine !

26

Two contenders, Grosjean who went 17th > 3rd and Vettel who technically went 22nd > 1st.”

Errmm. Vettel started on pole, nothing “technical” about it. Got off the rubbish tyres as soon as poss and used his massive car advantage to good effect.

I don’t remember one memorable overtake other than a breeze by on the straights to be honest.

The rest of your comments is in the same similar skewed pattern we are used too.

27

I did mention that Vettel had a car advantage, but the reason for citing the 22nd >1st was in comparison with Romain’s 17th > 3rd drive. Neither actually had to overtake that much, but Vettel did more than Grosjean etc.

My skewed comments are obviously what’s caused the real upset though. A lot of people do rate Lewis very highly, but personally I think that’s because the media were telling everyone how great he was all the time. The penny is now dropping with some though, he’s not much, if any better than the likes of Button or Rosberg. If he was really that good he’d be able to win championships in the 2nd best car on the grid, which he’s had numerous times in his career now. He’s not managed that, and he’s not really got that close either. Alonso in what appear to be weaker cars has got closer.

If you’d asked me three seasons ago I would have said F1 had a clear top 3 drivers, now I’d say that was only a clear top 2 drivers (unless Kimi cares to add himself to the list or Lewis starts comprehensively beating his teammate).

28

Lets not shoot Lewis yet. He had 2 mech failures in the lead last year Sing/Abu Dahbi. ( certain vict given his quali pace)He had 4 massive pit stop failures and a fuel failure ( that sent him back in the grid ( that’s only the main failures). If you consider these he would have easily challenged Seb for the win. Further evidence was that most of the year he was tied on qualis with Seb- no one else, not even Fernando got close ( similar story for 4 years).

Mercedes is a new team for Lewis and you have to respect that. The fact that they have exceeded their own expectations is in part due to Hamilton pushing both the team and Rosberg to some extent ( just ask Rosberg)- it’s no coincidence he’s lifted his game too.

29

Vettel for me. Before the race all the talk was that Seb was going to have a tough job on his hands, and he made it look easier. It was one of the best drives I have seen in quite some time, his pace was astonishing really.

It reminded me slightly of Schumacher at Hungary in 1998 I think it was, where he made an unusual strategy work to perfection.

Hopefully the sceptics will hush down now. I’ll give you perhaps one lucky title, two at a push and three is being generous to say the least. But there is nothing lucky about a four time world champion, easily the best of the field.

Alonso seemed a bit absent this weekend.

30

Vettel for the occasion, Grosjean for the drive. Brilliant work to get from where he started all the way to third.

James,

What are your thoughts on Pirelli tyre-life guidelines v what people actually end up doing? At times, it looked like Kimi and Sutil were driving a private race in the wet. Is that good or safe for the sport. I honestly don’t know whether it is good or bad. What’s your view and that of the paddock?

31

It will be I tomorrows strategy report

32

Romain Grosjean has to be DOD IMO, good race craft. He was patient and maximized the Lotus’s kindness to the Pirellis.

None too happy about the team’s attitude towards Kimi though, they could have had a better strategy for him and acted a touch professional than to ask him to “f*****g out of the way”

Massive congrats to Seb and Red Bull, surely time to acknowledge him as one of the best of the modern era

33

Sad that the team had to tell a driver of that calibre to effing whatever. He should have known better than drive in that manner, and lost my respect with his childish act.

34

I think the team failed him big time and if you watched the last few laps before he was sliding everywhere anyway. Kimi is not a stupid man.. If he was told Romain is that much quicker – he wouldn’t have had a go. I think Lotus thought it would be just a formality and really over reacted with the radio when they realised it wouldn’t be that easy. if they were clear and firm he would have moved..because he wouldn’t have said “.. You don’t have to f/ing shout”. If he was clearly advised.It was one corner and / corners later on it was over anyway.. Several times when it was Kimi chasing Seb – Gros was not moved for quite a few laps.

I’ve lost all respect for Lotus because you don’t talk to any driver that way let alone one that has scored you almost 200 points each year and actually put you back on the F1 map. They have failed him strategically 3 times this year alone- and a top team like Ferrari are better at that. Boullier was quick to cover up today realising what a f-up it was on the teams part!

35

Alan Permane has just lost Lotus a massive fan base with that stupid radio message to Kimi.

Best of luck for 2014, LOTUS, no more black and gold for me

36

Driver of the day?

Saint Sebastian

37

Kimi

just for the radio after the race, can’t remember the exact words:

Seb you are 4 times champion, we got the construction title…..

BUT

Kimi took new tires the last lap and devasted your best lap

38

James,

Don’t you find unfair and “silly” instead to issue a formal reprimand to fine RBR for the SV’s donuts?

39

PS pretty poor of FIA to fine Redbull for the “donots”. That and the treatment of the Webber lift from Alonso.

They seem to be missing what is really bad for the sport eg rubber that last five laps?

40

Rules should be applied, what the point of having them when not applied?

41

applied? like staying within track limits?

42

SV of course, but RG was superb as well to maintain such a result!

by the way, i think there wasn’t a “finger gesture” for wunderkind after the finish? 🙂

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