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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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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… 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


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.


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.


Any reason for leaving Webber out of the list,

he did come second after all.



Others don’t come even closer.


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


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.


Sorry, the site is:

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.


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


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


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.


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


As per, 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 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.


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


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


Driver of the day?

Saint Sebastian



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


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…

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.


Di Resta.


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.


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


I think that was settled.


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 (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.

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