F1 Winter Break
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Who was your Driver of the Day?
Posted By: James Allen  |  03 Nov 2013   |  10:19 pm GMT  |  220 comments

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel won his seventh race in a row with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina.

Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg took his second successive podium with third and Lotus’ Romain Grosjean continued his good form to take a strong fourth.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso fought back from a poor qualifying to rescue fifth while Force India’s Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil both used a one-stop strategy to finish sixth and 10th respectively.

But who was your Driver of the Day?

Sebastian Vettel

Sealed his seventh successive victory with a stunning drive in Abu Dhabi. Passed team-mate Webber at the start and from then on, never really looked back. Built up a lead big enough to allow him to pit without losing the lead. Maintained that gap in the second stint and another smooth stop brought him out comfortably ahead of Webber. Crossed the line to take his 11th win of the season and 37th of his career. Remains on course to equal Michael Schumacher’s record of 13 wins in a season.

Nico Rosberg

An accomplished drive saw him take his second consecutive podium. Made a good getaway from third to pass pole-sitter Webber and run second for much of the early stint. Struggled to keep up with Vettel but had enough pace to ensure Webber couldn’t re-pass. In attempting to pass Di Resta, used all his KERS up, and that left him vulnerable to an attack from Webber, who sneaked past to take the place. Comfortably held onto third to ensure a good haul of points for his Mercedes team who retain an advantage over Ferrari in the battle for the constructors’.

Romain Grosjean

Continued his good run of form with a strong drive to fourth. Made a good getaway from sixth, passing Lewis Hamilton and Nico Hulkenberg to run fourth. Lost time after getting trapped behind Sutil, but showed good pace in the final part of the race to finish just four seconds behind second-placed Webber. Missed out on his fourth successive podium, but brought home another good points haul for Lotus.

Fernando Alonso

Recovered from a poor qualifying to finish a strong fifth. Made a decent getaway but struggled to find a way past Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa in the early stages. Ran quite deep into the race in the first stint, which helped him gain track position. Put on the soft tyre at his second stop and then bravely kept his foot planted to the floor as he came out side-by-side with Jean-Eric Vergne to take seventh. Passed Hamilton and Di Resta in the closing stages to finish fifth. Passed fit after going to hospital following a big impact when he hit a kerb during the race.

Paul di Resta

Used a one-stop strategy to finish sixth for his ninth points finish of the season. Started 11th on the soft tyres and managed to get to lap 20 before stopping. Put on the medium tyres and carefully looked after the tyres to ensure he didn’t have to stop again. Couldn’t hold off Alonso, who was on the softs, in the closing stages, but did a stunning job to defend from Hamilton and take sixth.

Adrian Sutil

Lasted 27 laps on the soft tyre to score a point after starting 17th. Made a good start on the medium tyres, keeping his nose clean and rising through the field as those who started on the softs pitted. Managed his tyres well to get to lap 28 where he put on the softs. Ran ninth in the closing stages before losing a place to Sergio Perez late on as he struggled with traction on soft tyres which ended up doing 27 laps.

Click here to vote for your Driver of the Day in Abu Dhabi

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has to be vettel


I agree. I'm not a big Vettel fan, but he was honestly in a different league. To beat Webber by that much after Webber got pole is absurd.

A driving masterclass


He certainly came up with the comment of the day.

Martin Brundle: what's your secret?

SV: I've got Traction Control. At least that's what they said 3/4 races ago.

Ha ha! An F1 comedian. I had a good laugh.


He was telling the truth.....


The doughnuts should automatically qualify him as driver of the day! 🙂

Aside from that his pace was phenomenal. I think Webber was expecting this, which is probably the reason why he was so cagey about the talk of winning during the press conference post qualifying.


I noticed that too Damien. I think Mark is aware he's racing someone who is a bit special, just like people were aware of that when trying to beat Schumacher. I think what the anti-Vettel brigade are missing is that Mark Webber is a very good driver, probably the strongest number 2 in the pack (In like for like cars I think he'd beat Ros & Gro over a season), Vettel is making him look pretty silly really. I expect Webber and Vettels relationship to improve a heck of a lot in the coming weeks though (and I think the green shoots were on display yesterday). I'd not be surprised to see Vettel pull over for Webber to ensure Mark gets a win before moving on.

Lap 18 yesterday and Vettel was 22s up the road. He basically managed the race from that point onwards. If he'd felt like he could have probably got close to lapping the entire field yesterday.

When it's the same person doing these things time and time again you've just got to hold your hands up and say they're doing a brilliant job.

When I see races like Lewis had, and it's the not the first in recent seasons, I'm left wondering why people constantly rate this guy as someone special in the sport? It's looking like Alonso in the third, or possibly forth, best car on the grid will finish best of the rest. For me the pecking order in F1 is currently Vettel, Alonso then a fairly sizeable gap to the likes of Lewis & Kimi, with Grosjean, Webber and Rosberg all just behind.


Yes, I'd agree with that. Vettel followed by Alonso. Maybe Hulkenberg should go third on that list. Fingers crossed he gets the Lotus drive. Hamilton was mazing in his rookie year, but his performance seems to be a bit to up and down to be on level with the other guys there. It's good Rosberg is giving him a run for his money.

Alonso's case is interesting mind you. I don't think he is as fast as he used to be (the same applies to Kimi too I think).

Massa did go faster quite a few times in qualifying. Not sure that would have happened four or five years ago.

His race pace is pretty special mind you, but he needs the car underneath to be a WDC challenger.

Grosjean is making progress at such an impressive rate that I reserve my judgement until we know how he fares against Hulkenberg (hopefully).


Agreed, it has to be Vettel. Even the haters would have to agree on this one. Faultless drive, pulled out almost 30 seconds from the next car. Almost gives 'driving his own race' a new meaning.


have you considered the fact he pulls out of the gap because he is only really racing 1 guy on the grid because his car is in a different formula to everyone else?

how is that impressive?


spec series, sorry


you don't seem to be aware that different cars manage their tyres very differently? are you even aware F1 is not a spec serious?


That's your interpretation. Yes, he needs a strong car but the way he manages the soft tyres seems to be the key to his success.

Everyone races on the same tyres these days unlike the Schumacher era.


The Red Bull is built to the same exacting formula and specifications as every other F1 car.


Yes, it was Vettel. Those here who dislike him with come up with any reason they can to say someone else was, but they know deep down Vettel was the DOD, and the driver of 2013 season, and the driver of the past four years.


Did race well in his individual time trial stage he did, in clean air the whole race in a Newey rocketship, so again hard to compare to the guys racing each other that had a good one.

Seb better try some alternative raing in the break. Some karting to sharpen his racecraft overtakes and some ice-racing as he'll have forgotten what it's like to have to use opposite lock to control oversteer and also understeer driving Newey's beast! 😉


You think he should do some karting to sharpen his racecraft? What's wrong with his racecraft? He seems to me to be doing pretty well, winning seven races in a row. In what areas do you think he could improve? Perhaps if he'd won eight out of the last seven? Maybe you won't be happy unless his teammate fails to make the 107% qualifying cut off at every GP in 2014. Poor Alonso... apparently he's not feeling 'motivated'.


The guy's on another level altogether. In India, he proved he can race from the back. This time, he was head and shoulder and elbows and knees above everybody else, his team mate included.


Its easy to "race form the back" with a car that is naturally 1.5 seconds faster than the midfielders that also had just stopped and had fresh new tyres...


The guy is on another level altogether - from Webber. Mastered the tyres and has improved as a driver, way better than in 2010 when they were closer.

The car is also on another level altogether as well, which makes it far easier to pass, if you even have to.

The benefits of running in clear air with these Pirellis should also not be underestimated, along with the benefits of having a car that has a god like anti-slide aero package. Then again, it's up to the other engineers to get a move on, none of them can even break away into a clear 2nd place team, let alone challenge Newey.

F1 just now is like the opposite of Mario Kart, where the leader gets a boost throughout the race. The following cars are not allowed to go as fast as they are penalised downforce in dirty air, penalised tyrewear, and penalised having to overtake other cars. Plus Webber still hasn't learned to press the A button on the number 2, during the 3..2..1..Go countdown to get the boost start like everyone else 😉


Selective memory much - a few races ago he made passing look easy while Webber in the same car took until the final laps to finally pass the same car.


Oh that's right. The race where Mark was in 2nd needing to pass 1 driver to win, Seb needing to pass two. So what do Redbull do? Change Marks strategy so he has to pass two cars to win(one of which having the same performance characteristics) and Seb only one.


given that Webber was 30 seconds behind, he was also running in clean air, and yet ended up 30 seconds behind.. it says it all


And how much of a gap did he build to Rosberg and Grosjean?


No problem with your assertion that VET was quicker, however, it is not fair to say that WEB was in clean air, far from it.

He was nearly 30sec behind by the time he got past the others to be in second place following the early pit stops.


He didn't lose those 30 seconds in free air, though.


Actually his overtaking has been one of the best in the last 2 years especially after 2011 Monza curve grande move on Alonso he hasn't looked back since, sometimes he just seems to make it loon easy yet Webber Hamilton and Alonso struggle so bad, and of course he drives other cars, he normally win race of champions for team German alongside Schumacher and even his doughnuts are in perfect sync, his car control is 2nd to none stick anyone in that Redbull when Vettel has races like this and rest of his Asian tour they wouldn't beat Seb so driver of the day goes to the world champion he made them look all very ordinary, Webber barely beat Rosberg and Grosjean and we all know Webber can handily beat Rosberg in the same car, something Lewis is struggling with.


Alonso and Kimi have undoubtedly been kings of close racing and overtaking these last 2 years but yes, Seb has improved loads. He still gets involved in way too many incidents when he's racing others though; more than Alonso and Kimi combined over the last 2 years isn't something to be proud of given he's lead from the from most of the time.


From Wikipedia...." Rosberg scored a total of four points, three fewer than teammate Webber, over the course of what was a disappointing season for both himself and for the Williams team."

If Webber 'handily' beat Rosberg in his rookie year in 2006, then Hamilton is currently handily beating Rosberg as well.


Weirdly, Sutil. 27 laps on the softs is just amazing.


His pace wasn't so great though, not consistent enough, 27 laps I know but the car was way lighter on fuel when he hit the softs.

Another point is that Sutil should have given his place back for a blatant advantage running off track and rejoining infront of Perez. I'm with the commentators on that, dunno what the stewards were thinking but you had a three car queue, Sutil and the Williams blew the corner together, so Perez had them. Sutil should not have been allowed to blast over the blue stuff, missing the sweeping chicane to get ahead of Perez. For not handing the one place back he then should have been given a drive through, which also cost Williams the final point to double their Championship haul!


Sutil lol are you mad?? yesterday was the day he just lost his Force India seat!!


Perez was behind Sutil, so advantage gained by cutting the chicane.

Also, Williams and FI were side by side in the chicane and they both missed the corner....So no advantage gained there also...

At least that's how stewards viewed it.


"Perez was behind Sutil, so advantage gained by cutting the chicane."

Sorry I meant no adv gained by cutting the chicane as he was forced off the chicane.


If you watch a replay Maldo loses control slightly even after off the track Sutil did the right thing to go around him, no doubt that is why he was not penalized.

Also he would not have lost out to Perez if Maldo had made the corner so that is taken into account.


Kimi. LOL

No Vettel of course


Paul di Resta, easily driver of the day.

Stunning qualifying for PdR in a Force India that Sutil couldn't get past Q1.

Fantastic pace on the soft tyres, 20 laps while car was heavy with fuel, no cliff drop off, matching much faster cars. Watching the live timing screens he was very fast on the medium tyres also, good to beat a Merc, a Ferrari and the McLarens.

Deserves to be in F1 and should be considered, alongside Hulkenberg, as solid drivers for F1's future, they no doubt would be if it wasn't in such a dire financial state of affairs just now. Sign these lads up asap.


Maybe wouldn't give him DOTD but Paul is a worthy F1 pilot who should remain in the sport. Unfairly maligned by many I feel, with his team mate having hogged a lot of the good press for Force India without actually pulling in the results that Paul has achieved. All that seems to go back to Melbourne with Sutil getting proposed for DOTD then - an accolade I feel he has worn ever since without really matching his team mate in the same machine.


Vettel. Monstrous all around. Would've finished a full minute ahead of Webber (who had no issues this time around! - KERS got fixed on lap 2) if he hadn't been told by the team to go slow.


I hope they let him go in Brazil, just to truly underline their dominance of the last half of the V8 era.


Yes, I'm wishing they'd just let him rip too. He'd lap the field.


I hope they let Newey go in Brazil, just to watch a race for first instead of for third 😉


If you like good racing what does it matter what position it's for, unless of course you're only interested in your favourite driver winning.


Well, I was pretty happy with what I saw from Lewis today. No major major mistakes, no sulks at the ends. All in all a good day at the office. Certainly better than Chiltern.

As for middle order drievers, Perez and Massa did well. For front runners, Seb and Mark and Nico and Romain.

All in all, Seb wins it by a good 30 seconds!


SV by a country mile. He was in cruise control from lap 10 onwards...

Kudos to MW and NR for make the 'best of the rest" race interesting.


How does spending a race in cruise control qualify for DOTD?


Yup, Vettel all day long. Save for Alonso towards the end and an inspired Massa overtake, it seemed as if no one really turned up today.

Ah, those post championship, end of season blues...


Kimi for making me go to sleep and not enduring the bore-fest!


There is no way it can be anyone else but Vettel.


Much as I hate the bore fest that Vettel and Red Bull have made of F1, to beat a team mate by half a minute when the mate had no incident to account for the difference demonstrates a very masterful performance.


webber was stuck in traffic and slow for the 1st stint, that is where most of the gap came from. Your really impressed him him beating the oldest driver on the grid 2 races from retirement huh?


the truth cannot be ignored. people see what happens on track.

hamilton tried to join redbull and was denied. raikkonen also tried to join redbull and was denied. they want to join redbull because of neweys work.

only if ecclestone was brave enough to allow us to witness two world champions go at it at redbull. we could all witness the truth.


how could have left him out? yeah alonso also tried to join and was denied,

ecclestone should let the best race against each other in the same team rather than trying to manufacture a great. we can all see what's going on.

it'll only be good for vettel to convince the fans of how great he really is.


What about Alonso?He tried to join them too!


Those grapes must be sour...


Yeah, Mark is so old, three years younger than Mario Andretti and Nigel Mansell were when they won the WDC.


Mark just hasn't got the mental drive any more. The bloke's great, but he is 3 tenths slower than he was in 2010. A combination of tyres and mentally checking out maybe. Looking forward to new blood with Ricciardo.


And who were their team mates when they won? You failed to put that in!


Pre-Schumacher era drivers didn't have the same level of fitness as nowadays.

I don't think you can compare now and then. I would also assume drivers were much older in the 1950s.


Even Mark said he"s on a diff planet!


Agreed, I don't think that I have ever seen somebody who came second look so happy! SV was in a league of his own, and the pragmatic response of his team mate spoke volumes...


Hands Down Vettel!!

He was on another planet!!

I know he has the best car but his on another planet even compared to Webber.

Ricciardo hehe!!Poor dude!!

His going 2 get annihilated in 2014!!

He can barely put Vergne away I wonder if he will last more then 1 season at Red Bull.

I wonder what Ricciardo must be thinking when he saw Webber finished 30s behind Vettel.

His big break or a career ending move


I wouldn't write off Ricciardo, he is faster than anyone he's raced against and also faster than Vettel on the simulator do his basic racing skills are sound. I'm sure he can give Seb a good run for his money especially when Seb might suffer from burn out after dominating so long like Schumacher and Alonso did, remember how Lewis had 'no chance' against Alonso but in the end gave Fernando the toughest beating from a team mate in his career. I say if Seb loses interest or lacks form Ricciardo could challenge for the title but over 3 years with Seb at his peak? Thats too much to ask for Daniel but it'll be close.


The Alonso/Hamilton comparison does not apply here as a lot of people assumed Alonso was so good then but forgot MSC was at the end of his career then.

Right now not even Alonso can beat his chest hard and say I would go against Vettel and beat him.

The level of relentless consistency from Vettel from qualifying to race is unbelievable.


Time for my weekly WORST DRIVER OF THE DAY segment. WDOTD - This weeks contenders;


Yet another disastrous weekend for the Brit. For a second week running, outqualified by his team-mate. This left him attempting the alternate strategy of starting on the medium compound tyres which requires a long first stint. Needless to say, pitting for a new front wing almost immediately was not ideal. From there, poor race pace and no overtakes of note see's Jenson finish outside the points again.


What in the world did Webber do in a former life. He may be the most unlucky driver in F1 at the moment, but there is no getting away from his awful starts. Luck has nothing to do with struggling to hold onto 3rd place into turn 1, this despite starting on pole and having a short run to the first corner. From there did well to get back to second place but his race pace compared to his team-mate in an identical car is utterly shocking. 30 seconds lost in 55 laps tells its own story. 2nd he may have finished, but again destroyed by his terrible start and much faster team-mate.


Once more, Hamilton finishes behind where he started. It's a worrying trend for Lewis. Multiple times this season, he has found himself going backwards throughout the race and this weekend was no different. Rosberg left him for dead and spent too many miserable laps fighting with Gutierrez and Di Resta and couldn't get past either despite his fresher tyres. Improvements needed.


He may have found his quali mojo again with the short wheel-base Lotus, but ultimately a nightmare weekend for the Iceman. Bumped to the back of the grid after being DQ'ed from quali, from there a slightly clumsy/unlucky entry to turn 1 saw him make contact with VDG. Although it was minimal contact, the front rod was damaged and Kimi was headed for the airport before Vettel even made his first pitstop.


A great quali on Saturday saw the Australian starting in the top 10. However, fell backwards from the get go and ultimately finished a lowly 16th, only one place above his clearly struggling team-mate. Points were very much a possibility but finishing behind both Williams' drivers says it all. Not good enough.

So there ya go folks, choose your vote wisely. Who was your WDOTD?


Vettel --sure the car drove itself around!!


This is a good post Baz, a nice break from the norm! WDOTD = Button. OK I know McLaren have not got the best of cars this season but at least he should still be in the points....


How many seconds did Webber loose to Vettel once he got into 2nd and clean air? There was minimal time lost once both drivers were in clean air, now I'm not saying mark would have beaten him had they both got away together. But those suggesting that Seb just drove a 30sec gap into Mark in a straight fight are either Vettel fan boys or did not watch the race.

Do you think Webber once in clean air was chasing down a 27sec gap for the win? No he was doing the same thing as seb banging out laps managing tyres and gaps. Seb deserved to win but the 30sec gap assumption is not correct.


I'm sure the team were getting Vettel to slow down once he'd built up a steady gab. Vettel could have probably lapped everyone if he'd wanted to.

But I wouldn't give the worst driver of the day prize to Webber. Button wins, hands down.


Seb was cruising since lap 12. And then occasionally banged in the fastest lap some 1s faster than anybody could manage at the time. You really think webber wasn't pushing hard with rosberg hot on his tail? and Grosejan hot on rosberg tail.


You think Webber is unlucky? Johnny Herbert failed to finish 37 out of 82 races in 5 seasons! That includes a DNS and a DQ. I always said I would not cross the road with that guy.


Yes and now amazingly Sky pay him good money to speak absolute [mod] a good 60+ days of the yr! 🙂


Yep, between JH and Lazenby, I've got tired of watching the build-up and post-race.

Herbert is lovable and fairly unoffensive but seldom says anything of insight or interest. Kind of like Mark Blundell with marginally better grammar.

Lazenby though is the ultimate in smarm and schmooz. He's flippant and too often seems uninterested in what's actually going on. Really grates on me and I think Georgie Thompson can feel rightly agrieved that this weapon got the presenting gig.


He also blagged a few lucky wins for Benetton and Stewart. Lucky but deserved as well. I'm sure Brundle would take a few more retirements for a win.


Hard to choose between those. I'd give it to rai or button in the end. Both made clumsy mistakes not worthy of their f1 status and experience.

Rai was clearly squeezing into a wedge that was always going to disappear and on top of that got oversteer mid-corner on the kerbs which ultimately sent him on a collision course.

Button botched quali and then proceeded to mess up his FW to which he then admitted was his fault.

In the end, it has to raikkonen this time. This of course is worst driver of the DAY, not weekend.


Alonso must also be a contender for WDOTD,

Outqualified by his teammate. Not making the top 10 in a car that he and 100's of millions of dollars developed over the years..... and resorting to putting 4 wheels off the track to stay ahead of his (end of the line) team-mate.

--and was fortunate not to be lapped.


got to be vettel, he was on a different planet.


Paul Di Resta without a shadow of doubt. Completely in control and again outperforming the machinery. If Hulk had put in Di Resta's drive everyone would have been in raptures.


+1 and kudos to you for having the balls to say someone other than SV.


Ha, fantastic user name, shame about the impossible statement: "outperforming the machinery".


Massa! Therefore I didn't vote in the poll.


Massa' pass on Hamilton was the best I saw today.

But DOtD = Vettel for me. Webber is a very good driver and was on pole! The difference (>> 30 s if not pulled back by Rocky) was a reflection of how amazingly he's able to move that machine.


Massa did well, better than Alonso but for the medium tyres on at the end he'd have finished higher up. It's a flaky list with Alonso on it, that's for sure.


Has to be Alonso

Alonso experienced vertical 28G in the impact. Of over over the curbs avoiding Vern after his 2nd pit stop

A measurement of acceleration felt as weight, most F1 drivers are exposed to a lateral load of about 5G on fast corners.The alarm in the car is triggered when it exceeds a G-force of 18, and means the driver must go to the medical centre for a check-up

And he still raced and did 3 overtakes

People still question his skill and abilities

He's still the best

Hope his back is 100% come the next race


Turns out G-sensor was mounter incorrectly and recorded much higher G than what actually happened. Apparently it was less than 14G.


Surprised the suspension can take that impact alright, ballsy move and lucky the kerb wasn't any bigger.

In fact it was good to see a driver, on these 2013 Pirellis, going as full on flat out as Alonso did for his final stint full of fastest laps and overtakes.


Ballsy? Stupid and outright dangerous seems to be more appropriate to me. He rushed from the pits directly into another's drivers racing line on a very fast corner and nearly took himself and the other two drivers out. As Brundle put it: "The throttle works in both ways". There is a reason where the pit exit shows blue lights. He should have backed out of it.

If I had been a steward I would have penalized him big time.


Just goes to show your negative attitude towards great driving

Tell you what

Let's just do qualifying and who ever are the top 3 give em the trophy then

Let's forget about racing and overtakes

If a driver is in front don't try and overtake

What's your name Horner


Vettel. He finished 30 seconds ahead of his teammate who was on pole. It can't be anyone else.


While it was a remarkable performance from Vettel, one has to wonther if it can be done any worse than Webber did after grabbing pole. Incredible poor race from him and from Hamilton. Their gaps between quali pace and race pace are there to be studied...


Ups! I wanted to say "wonder", sorry for that.


I propose Kimi: drove a standard production car and managed to make the airport before the first round of pits.


I don't think he could be bothered could he. Probably thought Vettel was going to walk the race anyway, also stuff it, I haven't been paid all season. I'll just bum out at the first corner and be done with it.


PDR on the merit that he just saved his F1 seat at Force India and ousted Sutil!!


Agree, but who will get the remaining seats...

Good driver VS fat wallet, sport VS business, competing VS surviving.


I believe that seat is Hulks simply for the taking if nothing else more attractive comes up for him i still think there is a massive chance he will land at Mclaren for next season yet at the expense of either or current drivers. But one thing if he does land at Force India next season this is going to be a testing time for PDR as if he does not match Hulk within 10 points and noticeable results i feel his career will be stagnant at absolute best.


Probably on balance Paul di Resta edging out his old F3 sparring partner Sebastian Vettel for this DotD. His best drive since Bahrain and a very important contribution to make at this point in the season. It's been an odd season for Paul; he came into it under pressure after Nico Hulkenberg showed him a clean pair of heels in the second half of 2012 and initially he responded fantastically.

Then after the new tyres came in his form dropped away dramatically. Yes, Force India as a whole struggled, but Paul also made driver errors in three consecutive races (Monza, Singapore and Korea); proof (arguably) that having a low profile is not always a bad thing.

As for the race itself, well Mark Webber's fingertip-perfect pole lap gave us hope that this might be something more than just the usual procession from his team-mate. But we all knew it was conditional on Webber getting into the first corner first. This didn't happen, thus the outcome of the race was a foregone conclusion from the exit of Turn 1 onwards. Sport loses its magic when the outcome is known ex-ante (or at such an early stage at least), though I did watch the race to the end and there were some decent battles in the midfield.

Everyone is already looking to 2014 and hoping it provides a big reset of the running order. But here's a somewhat scary thought; what if it doesn't?


Three drivers of the day-





I take it his Mum and Dad are your p2 and p3. They must have driven him to and from the track really well for the family to make your three dotd.


Vettel. How could it be anyone else. I'm really tired of seeing him win like this, but during today's race I was hoping the guys would tell him to push and see if he could lap the whole field. They've already won WCC and WDC so why not?


yes it would have been great to see him race to the maximum till the end of the race instead of managing that 30 sec gap for the last third of the race - maybe we get that in the US or Brazil


It's incredible really: Vettel does a few donuts and all of a sudden everyone likes him again!

Makes me wonder how long it will last...


Don't underestimate the power of a good publicist. I'm sure it's not coincidence.


Until he points that finger again? 🙂


This is my 1st year watching F1 Racing. Last December I was very interested and excited to learn about the sport and when I watched the 1st few races of 2013 I was thrilled!!! I had no favourite driver or team: it was all new to me. After what Vettel did to Webber at Malaysia i still find it hard to be a fan of him. And ever since Spa i personally have found it to be very boring with one driver dominating with ease...to me that's not a 'race' --there's no challenge. There's no excitement. Im hoping and praying that the 2014 rule changes spice things up.


Opps!: I forgot to mention who was the driver of the day: ~~No One~~ No one is the driver of the day because i didnt see anyone do anything at this race that really stood out. Everyone did a good job but no one driver did anything extra special.


Hello "Rockie'....um yes I fully understand what Im watching..its not rocket science. Maybe you dont understand my coment?...its simple: No driver did anything that really stood out. They all did a good job but nothing amazing. I think Vettel did a good job but i think if he was free to go faster i think he would have. I think Grosjean has matured a great deal --he was the driver of the day at Japan. If i had to pick a driver of the day a Yas then maybe Fernando Alonso for getting through the pack to get 5th.--cheers☺


Its because you dont understand what you are watching!


Although we didn't see him, and although it made it boring, you can't say what Vettel did wasn't special. He was gone.


Grosjean stood out for me.

If you'd seen him racing (aka crashing) during 2012 you might have been impressed with some of his passes, particularly the one when he came out from one of his pit stops. Not so long ago that would have been certain to end in disaster.


To my great dismay, he softened his finger solute from up-straight, definitive, prolonged and in-your-face to low, discrete, short, side ways and bashful. Instead, he pumped his fist in the air where that finger historically belonged. I wonder if his revealing of how the booing really made him feel made him more human to the masses as well. To me, the reason for his dedication of the championship title to his girl friend in the F1 site interview made me a little sad that we often forget that he is merely a 26 year-old man boy who cares to be funny and liked.


For some strange reason, I can now visualise a multiple re-making of the 'Catch me if you can' movie poster, with SV and any other driver you care to mention, all with the completely unedited buy-line 'The true story of a real fake'... wow, and I haven't even taken my 'Cynical B***ard' pills this morning :/


Well said.


It's a marketing ploy.

Perhaps courtesy of Saatchi, Saatchi, Marko and Horner:

"A bit less finger and a few more donuts."

Spin that hand around while donutting instead of aggressive finger and sneer to camera.

What's not to love, everyone loves doughnuts, ... mmmmmm doughnuts, mmm what a nice guy he must me, mmm doughnuts.

Perhaps 😉


Ahh, but masses have always had a short, unreliable memory... that's why marketing actually works.


"Ahh, but masses have always had a short, unreliable memory…"

The dumbest buy the mostest...


Lol 🙂


Its not the donuts that has made people like Vettel now, its the reality that has hit home people are starting to seperate his performance from the car when you listen to the greats talk about Vettel.

Prost today after the race said all there is to understand about Vettel!


Agree. When guys like Prost and Moss start talking about Vettel in the same bracket as Fangio & Senna it does make you think.

Be interesting to see if Moss adds a Vettel autograph to his wall!

I read that he only has two autographs on his wall (Fangio and Senna), as they are the only two drivers he considered above his level.

Senna signed his "with the deepest respect".


Senna had a deep knowledge of the history of the sport and great respect for its former greats.

I introduced him to Phil Hill once, when I was working for ESPN in the US and Hill thought Senna wouldn't know who he was

Senna knew all about him and the 246 Dino front engined cars and the Sharknose Ferraris


Stirling Moss said vettel is second only to fangio, who he considers to be the best of all time.


Has to be Vettel, though DI Resta certainly had an excellent race as well.


Why on earth is Felipe Massa not here - he was the next best after Vettel- who was just brilliant. His passes were much stronger than every driver on track- including his team mate-/ ( Im usually anti Felipe).

People rabbiting on about Alonso -he was being beaten by Massa until Ferrari pitted him then they kindly gave Fernando soft rubber=win, win. Felipe let it be known he was not impressed with the "strategy" - there's that cursed word for screw driver 2. No denying Fernando last stint- but his first one was terrible he was going nowhere.

When Kimi left the track - it felt like 2010/11- something missing -he has a presence no one else has and it's not just a popularity thing it's a bit more than that- and we've grown used to it since his return. There goes that finishing run since 2006!


Alonso did the difference in the second stint (hards), last stint with softs was just a consecuence. It was his second stint what allowed him to beat Felipe, who drove amazingly well, one of the drivers of the day for me. He should be in the list.


Not at all! What makes the difference was one second lost at the pit-stop because a problem in the front-left wheel that made Felipe return behind Hamilton and Vergne, plus Vergne holding Felipe in the laps before Alonso' pit-stop.


Yes, he did the difference there! Watch the lap times to check it. When both in clear air, Alonso was catching Massa at a rate of more than a second a lap, with tyres several laps older! He would have passed him anyway in the final laps even without that problen in the pit stop, due to the advantage of the soft new tyres. But that advantage of having new soft tyres for a last short stint was earned due to a fantastic second stint.


Vettel! Nothing to prove now, both championships won, yet still crosses the line 30.8 secs ahead of his team mate in second! Even Webber said he's on another planet! Not a big Vettel fan, I must agree with mark tho! Stirling Moss said he considers him a second to Fangio as the greatest ever!


Vettel. Now is second in the constructors championship all by himself.


Yep, it is amazing to think that Red Bull could be winning the Constructors championship by only running one car. That really does shame the other teams.


That is quite a stunning statistic; has it ever been achieved before?


I really hope one team can get their act together over the winter. Well maybe competition between Kimi and Alonso can spur those two on a bit.


He is actually first


Yep - you're right. Wow. Seb Vettel, winner of WDC as well as WCC.


Di Resta. Everyone else did what they were expected to do. Would have been fun to watch Kimi work his way through the field.


DOTD, DOTY - Vettel.


Vettel by a country mile. In a different league this year.


Why Alonso didnt get punishd for his stupid manuever? Surely a younger face would have got a drive through or 10 secs added.


You can read Vergne's opinion, hopefully that helps you to see things more clear... http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/111117


Vergne didn't give him enough room, according to the stewards.

I'd tend to agree with that.


I do wonder why Vergne also escaped any penalty for pushing Alonso off the track.


I beg to differ. This corner was also the exit of the prevous, fast corner. How could Vergne have backed up without unsettling his car and putting the guy behind in danger? The pit exit shows blue lights for a reason, that is cars on the track have priority over cars exiting the pits. Pulling ruthlessly from the pits into the racing line of another driver and cutting the chicane because it doesn't work out is a dangerous and stupid move, especially at high speeds.


Alonso. Rang the crap out of that truck of a Ferrari again. Fastest lap at the end to spoil it for Sepp.


If Vettel, Grosjean or Perez had done that stupid move, they would have been penalised. Not only that, they won't even feature here on the driver of the day list.


Apart from being outqualified by Massa in the same car, and running behind Massa for the majority of the race... And making a pass off the racing line out of the pits in what could have resulted in a huge shunt for 2 drivers.

Yeah, driver of the day.


Apart from the fact that qualy was yesterday and the fact that the incident out of the pits was more vergne's fault than Alonso's, plus puting the 4th car on the grid (7th being natural position) in 5th at the end and securing 2nd position in the champinship while driving the 3rd-4th best car of the year...

Yeah, not driver of the day.


Dude, you lost me. What?


Yeah, i guess you could look at it that way.

Managed his tires masterfully and ended up finishing 3 positions ahead of Massa. Can't hold a true Champion back 🙂


Of course Vettel, but you got to admit Rosberg drove superbly again while Hamilton just destroys his tires.


Yes, a bad day at the office for Hamilton wasn't it.



Rosberg: Made a mistake allowing Webber to pass

Grosjean: could not overtake Sutil

Alonso: smelled Teamorders and the box exit was dangerous. At an accident i would have flamed him most. Perhaps longer the white line so that a faster car leaving boxes can't join the ideal line in front of cars who have to speed up still.

DiResta: Would he have been there if not for Sutil opening a gap by blocking most of the field (team tactic to sacrifice Sutil who could have done two stints with softs)

Sutil: a bit uncertain about a certain situation


In India i asked my family for fun if it wouldn't be wise to have a shoe sponsor for a certain whipping shoe shown at every race.

Yesterday i noticed that someone already did it. Was it sponsor request to ask Vettel about how fine his feet do in a race and then showing the brand of the shoes?

Who brought Geox to Redbull: the whipping shoe or a driver?


Vettel, obviously.

The way he can go really fast without destroying these silly tyres, is incredible.

Then it's Alonso. Very, very patient, and then put the hammer down to get higher than he objectively should. Very mature drive.

And Rosberg. Mercedes had set up the cars for the lap time instead of straight line pace. Lewis made a mess of it, but Rosberg (once again) did the job.


Vettel as he ll win both championships alone.

I don't think Red Bull need second car next year)))


Dan Ricciardo races with no pressure then!


DOTD is Vettel! Superb performance... Overtake of the day goes to 2 drivers. Massa for his move on Hamilton and The Hulk for driving through the middle of the 2 toro Rossos.. brilliant!!


I dont comment on whose the best driver of the day, but Man of the Race was given to ALL Audience watched the whole race!!! It's so boring except couple of laps in middle with racers fighting for 10th-15th positions....OMG....such a boring race....unbelievable...i was struggled a lot to keep my eyes open (as the race started at midnight in Australia).

Next two races, i will wake up and if i found the bulls is in front, time to bed mate.


After 7 consecutive wins the question of the driver of the day looks a bit too obvious. This was precisely the reason why I did not watch the race live and conveniently the BBC was not showing it live. The question of the day should be: What is the FIA doing about the risk of spinal injuries with today's cars? Very much like Vergne at Monza last year, Alonso's event looked fairly harmless. But he took 25 g into his spine and a visit to the hospital. Is there really no possibility to give the drivers some sort of airbag or whatever? If nothing is done we might soon se a driver forced into a wheelchair just because he jumped with 4 wheels over the kerbs!

And while I am into this subject, why is it that in these brand new circuits the normal race line is ALWAYS over the kerbs at EACH corner?


Noone for me. I didn't see anything noteworthy. PDR did Ok but that's about it.


Fernando passing around the outside exiting from the pitlane is not noteworthy? Vettel destroying the field by >30s is not noteworthy? Sutil running 27 laps on softs is not noteworthy? Jeez, hard room.


I suppose Sutil's effort was memorable. Good point. But overtaking off-track doesn't do it for me.


The entire race nicely summarised


Yeah, incredible what a competent driver can do in that Newey car....

Sorry, getting very, very tired of Vettel getting Newey's praise. Lets be honest here, at least 1/3rd of the drivers on the grid could have performed like that in such a brilliant car. Why? Because taking the best car on the grid and dominating lesser cars is the most basic job a F1 diver must be able to do.

Sorry fans, the King is in fact naked. The season I see Vettel fighting for a WDC in a lesser car is the season I begin to judge him. Right now his is doing his basic job very well. It is the least expect from a decent driver. He is fast, he is precise, he is very successful, but is he a real racer? Until we see him in lesser equipment, making up the difference, or not, is when we can decide on words like "great" and comparisons with the likes of Senna, etc.

And that leaves aside the issues of weak team mates, and the vile anti-skill DRS...


I want to say Alonso, for a quick and bold drive in the race, but I just can't. Not with that poor qualifying form... Surely Ferrari is not the best qualifier, but he has been very poor in qualifying for a long long time now...

Solid drive by Rosberg and very glad to see Grosjean coming of age with a very good second half of the season.


Yes I feel the same way. Good strong race but what the blazes was he up to yesterday.


That's why it's not called Qualifier of the day.


James, why is it that Webber (though trounced on this occasion by his teammate) didn't rate a mention among the other drivers you short-listed? You may say Webber's drive was not comparable to Vettel's but that is equally, if not more, the case with all the other drivers. If you were to disagree with this, then you'd have to conclude that Webber was woefully under-performing in the Red Bull but that is clearly not the case - rather Vettel is quite masterful at the moment (with the tyres). So, Webber's performance is, in my view, just as worthy of merit as Rosberg, Grosjean, Alonso, di Resta and Sutil.


Webber has been woefully underperforming the whole season. Comparing his performances with those of Rosberg or Alonso really is going way wrong. Not taking anything from Vettel though, he is driving very very well, car-driver combination is close to perfection at the moment.

But if you ask me what is more difficult, grabbing 217 points in the Ferrari at such a depressing situation for the team, or 347 in the Red Bull with such machinery and hence psychological and motivational advantage, I would say the first option is harder.


The 2 Ferrri guys and the 2 Force India guys for making the race exciting. They were racing, overtaking and fighting for position.

Honorable mention Hulkember and Hamilton for at least trying


like it or not it has to be Vettel. Unchallenged maybe, but a total masterclass...

Best of the Rest could go to Rosberg for keeping Webber honest. Should've been 2nd today but made small mistake to let Webber go though. Kudos to Mark for saving enough KERS for the 2nd overtake.

Alonso's overtake out of the pits should be penalised...track limits.exceeded. It looked spectacular but should've been called.Massa had the measure of him until the "strategy" intervened...seems though that if you want a driver to do well, tell him he's lost his seat...Massa been very racy since the Ferrari "superteam" announcement.

Best overtake...Hulkenburg going betwen the STRs...brilliant move.I do hope he has a decent seat next year. Massa on Hamilton also very entertaining...


Can't agree that Alosno "bravely" kept his foot in - more like "recklessly". That is why ended up in hospital for a check-up, he was very lucky he did not lose control. As Alonso was rejoining circuit after pits all he had to do was match his speed to Vergne, it was totally avoidable. Quite frankly, I don't understand why the tack limits rule is not applied consistently. Alonso and Sutil both gained an advantage by going a long way off the track - but no penalties. Grosjean was punished for an excellent overtake earlier in the season, when he crept outside the track limits. Even though the stewards thought it was a racing incident, Alonso gained an advantage by going outside track limits - so he should have given the place up (or face a penalty). That is exactly what Grosjean did last weekend in India when he was force off the track by Raikkonen. For the record I have no bias for or against either Alonso or Grosjean - just hate seeing rules applied inconsistently.



Sutil: Correct no penalty. He went into the corner ahead of Maldonardo and Perez. Maldonardos car prevented him from turning in, as this was in the braking zone neither driver could simply 'brake harder'. Sutil had two options, 1.) Crash into the side of Pastor or 2.) Run across the chicane. Perez? Yeah he made the chicane, but why should Sutil lose two places for Maldonardos failed overtaking attempt?

Alonso: This one is far less clear cut for me. For a start it wasn't on the brakes, thus either driver could back off and relent - something that wasn't possible for Sutil.

Alonso exits the pits (on track) after passing the white line. At this point JEV is ahead (watch the video!), and is clearly following the racing line, which sweeps him out to the left of the track.

Alonso moves into a gap which he knows is closing. JEV continues to move over - pressumibly because he can't corner any tighter at that speed. Alonso is run out of room, off track, and passes JEV off track.

So the facts. JEV is ahead, Alonso goes for a gap that he knows is closing, JEV runs Alonso out of road, Alonso passes off track.

I think in 90% of situations that the driver in Alonsos position would get a pen for that. Think Vettel passing Button on the last lap of the German GP.

Also whilst on the steward decisions, let me point out this FIA rule "38.7 During the formation lap practice starts are forbidden and the formation must be kept as tight as possible"

As tight as possible? I'm sure at one point Lewis (pressumibly trying to bed in his brakes) left a monster sized gap on the second back straight, before catching up to the field again. See here http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03gtj63/Formula_1_2013_The_Abu_Dhabi_Grand_Prix_Highlights/ (12:45>12:50 ish).


Even Vergne said Alonso did the right thing going off, come on...


The rules clearly state that you must not force another driver off the track. Alonso had every right to attempt the move, Vergne should have been penalised for "recklessly" forcing Alonso off the track.


But... don't the rules also state that you cannot pass somebody off track... so penalise them both.


You are allowed to go outside the track limits to avoid an accident.

Now you might think "Oh, but he overtook him!", but he was going to overtake him anyway if it wasnt for Vergne's move, so no advantage taken, and no penalty deserved for Alo.


Kimi for showing up even though his employer doesn't pay to drive.


I think that was settled.


One does have to wonder about the British Vettel fan base. Are there any British Vettel fans who can honestly put their hands up and say they supported him from before he joined Red Bull? In other days when a German driver was totally dominant racing for a non-British team the hate from the British fans and press was almost universal.

There is absolutely no doubt that he is an amazing driver, but there is no way you can give him DotD, he did nothing exceptional (for him).

Alonso and Massa are my stars, going all out, laying everything on the line, just to try and keep their team in with a chance of second place - remarkable.


He was the driver of the day in my opinion.

I actually thought I might support Vettel if JB retired or didn't get a drive after 2008. Glad I didn't have to.

Long time MSC and JB supporter, and whilst I don't alwaysmlikemSebmi could see myself supporting him.


Di Resta.

The Spanish Inquisitor

Vettel, of course

Alonso: Mediocre

Hamilton: Mediocre+

Button: Mediocre++

Kimi: Mediocre+++

Massa: Medicre++++ (Only strong against Alonso and Hamilton,then disappears from track)

Tornillo Amarillo

DI RESTA? Your list it's not complete, please complete your list...

DI RESTA, do you put "mediocre", really?

I don't like him very much, but like driver "of the day" I think he deserves it.


It really has to be boring to watch races full of such mediocre drivers. Thanks God the races I watch are full of amazing F1 drivers. You should consider watching the same sport as me.


What's happening to Hamilton right now? His career seems to be losing serious momentum.

Reminds me of Jacques Villeneuve. Exploded onto the scene with a bang, nearly wins title in first year, WDC in his second year, a tough 3rd season and then career starts to go backwards...


James, Nico Rosberg seems to be getting the upper hand on Lewis all of a sudden. Why has Hamilton lost form?


Not sure. It's strange.

He's not been on great form the last couple of months


Could it be because like Webber, Lewis can't get the softs to last?


Another Question for you James : Will Kimi ever score another Pole Position in his Career?


Good question! Why not?

Although with the Pirellis he seems to have fixed on a technique which is more about race focus and looking after the tyres for fast long runs


Driver of the day?

Saint Sebastian



Has to be Paul di Resta, for managing his tyres, and staying in front of Lewis....


Can't be Vettel. He wasn't in the same race as the rest of them.


Vettel could drive a car with one wheel, from the back of the pack, whilst stuck in 5th gear, overtaking all cars to win by 3 minutes only for people to still say that he in unproven and that it is just the machinery.

One suspects this is down to sour grapes in that everyone thought Hamilton or Alonso would be the next big thing, only for Vettel to come from pretty much nowhere and surprise everyone.


If people say its just machinery is because the rest of the guys seem to "drive a car with one wheel, from the back of the pack, whilst stuck in 5th gear" compared to what he has to do driving the millennium falcon.


As per http://www.formula1.com, the Official F1® Website:

"Alonso came out of the pits alongside Vergne following his second stop, but was only able to edge ahead of the Frenchman’s car after running off the track. The stewards subsequently announced a post-race investigation as the Spaniard had exceeded track limits, but on reviewing the evidence and hearing from both drivers they decided no penalties were necessary.

" While car #3 did leave the track at Turn 3-4 the stewards believe that he had no choice, as car #18 closed on him," said a stewards’ statement.

" 'Car #18 was at the end of his stint with worn tyres and was fully committed to the turn as car #3 exited the pits. Telemetry confirms that car #3 was significantly faster, on option tyres, and had the advantage throughout the sequence.

" 'The drivers' explanations were completely clear. Therefore the stewards determine that neither car could avoid the incident, and no advantage was gained as a result of the incident.' "

In Autosport:

"Fernando Alonso has been given the all-clear by doctors after his big impact during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

"The Ferrari driver had to go to hospital for checks having registered a 25g impact when he went off the road at Yas Marina.

"The incident happened as he rejoined alongside Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne following his second pitstop.

"Vergne had not seen the Ferrari and Alonso had to leave the track and take to the run-off at Turn 2, emerging ahead.

"The Formula 1 stewards did not regard this as a track limits offence as they agreed he had no option.

" 'I still have all my teeth after the impact," Alonso joked after the race.

" 'My back is obviously in pain a little bit because it was a big hit."

After the race Vergne explicitly declared that he, Vergne, had not seen Alonso coming out of the pit. Then, he, Vergne gave not the due space to him, Alonso.

Still, you should no worry. The anti-alonso brigade will not cease in their campaign. Yet, Alonso not stop driving and behave on and off the track extremely well.

Could you imagine what you would be saying if Fernando was in the same position as Kimi and do the same as him now? And, this is not a criticism of Kimi, which in my opinion does the right thing. It is a critique of the hypocrisy of the anti-Alonso brigade.


Dedicated to the anti-Alonso brigade.


Vettel, he is just on another planet. Different universe even.


Kimi, for inadvertently screwing over Lotus. It was all purely accidental, but Kimi extracted a level of revenge when Lotus was denied any Constructor Championship points which he would have won them.


Di Resta. Based on recent performances that was a good solid race, with an excellent long first stint.


Hi there...

With all the great information and discussion we have at a very cool popular F1 forum ;-), I did put together a site with some numbers about:

- how many times a driver is referenced (in the article or in the comments section);

- how many times a team is referenced (in the article or in the comments section);

The results are divided by years, and the result I think is pretty interesting. The data is since 2008, and as this year is not done yet, the 2013 data is incomplete...

I should add some comments section to get some feedback and here what other metrics do you think would be good to have. And I'm planning to provide a dynamic query feature, so you can play with the data...

Maybe even James can extract some information from there, as I'm sure he likes numbers and these kind of mining 😉


ps.: Romain Grosjean for DoD


Sorry, the site is: http://www.aroundcorners.com.br

But you can just click on my name on my comments, and you will go directly to the site...

Sebastian Vettel is in a growing curve, I think because this year was "the" year to discuss him and the "all about the car" stuff.


Vettel was his usual imperious self, and given Pirelli tyres could have the next four years wrapped up too. Paul Di Resta also did an excellent job of preserving the tyres to make his one stop strategy work. Did I really say that? Heaven forbid! Is tyre strategy and preservation what F1 has really come to. Jesus wept! I'm afraid so. Hopefully if Ecclestone departs and the FIA leadership changes we may one day get back to proper racing rather than this prancing around like pussies on a hot tin roof. We want drivers to push push push not drive to a lap time.


Vettel ofcourse. Followed by Rosberg. Rosberg is a lot quicker than what most people credit him for.



Others don't come even closer.


Any reason for leaving Webber out of the list,

he did come second after all.


Drivers of the day : the truck drivers that carry over 500 Pirelli tyres to each race.

I am waiting for next year to see if drivers will be able to drive rather than keep eyes on their tyres.If not I foresee Kimi going back to ralies, Hamilton going to drive for Audi or Aston Martin or Porsche ???? and formula one becoming more boring than an american football match or TV poker.


I have only local data, but when Vettel made the races 'boring' less people seem to suffer from heart attacks, shocks, less fist fights at pubs, ... while the race is going and the 2 hours after.

So for the health in our area, nothing wrong if this would continue for 20 more years.


Well I for one can't wait to purchase the 2013 season review...what started as an unpredictable highly competitive season soon turned into an ongoing farce. Congrats to Bernie for manufacturing another red bull clean sweep. The political power red bull have built over the past 4 years is to be commended.....in years past, only Ferrari were able to pressure the FIA into mid season rule changes. Not to mention all the bits on the car that weren't within the rules that managed to avoid detection.......Has Bernie


Has Bernie given Adrian Newey a date to hand in his amendments to the 2014 rule book.....might as we'll implement regulations to suit red bull at the beginning of the season and avoid another mid year present

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