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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
US Grand Prix – Who was your Driver of the Day?
Posted By: James Allen  |  18 Nov 2013   |  12:05 pm GMT  |  169 comments

Red Bull’s world champion Sebastian Vettel became the first driver in history to win eight consecutive grands prix in a single season with a comfortable victory in the US Grand Prix in Austin.

Lotus’ Romain Grosjean scored his fourth podium in five races with second while Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton took a strong fourth – his best finish since the Belgium Grand Prix.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso battled back pain and a bad start to finish fifth while Valtteri Bottas scored the first points of his F1 career with eighth for Williams.

But who was your Driver of the Day?

Sebastian Vettel

Took his eighth successive victory and 12th of the season. Made a decent getaway from pole and fended off any challenge into the first corner. Managed the pack well at the restart after the safety car to keep the lead and from there controlled the race at the front. Kept a consistent pace throughout the race to look after the tyres and took the fastest lap by a large margin with a couple of laps remaining. Sealed his 38th career victory and Red Bull’s 46th.

Romain Grosjean

Continued strong form with sixth podium of the season. Got away well from the clean side of the track to jump ahead of Mark Webber into second on the exit of Turn One. Couldn’t match Vettel’s pace at the front, but defended his position well from Webber throughout the race. Pitted last of the leaders to maintain track position and from there managed his race well to score his fourth podium in five races to consolidate seventh place in the drivers’ standings.

Lewis Hamilton

Secured his best result since the Belgium Grand Prix in August. Started fifth, but passed Nico Hulkenberg and Mark Webber at the start to run third. Struggled with tyrewear in his opening stint and eventually lost a place to Webber to drop to fourth. Showed consistent pace from there on to build a gap to those behind him, but didn’t have the pace to challenge for the podium. Finished fourth for his best result in seven races and helped Mercedes increase their lead over Ferrari in the battle for second place in the constructors’ championship.

Fernando Alonso

Battled back pain to finish fifth for the second successive race. Had a bad start from sixth, dropping a place at the start for only the third time this season. Put consistent pressure on Sergio Perez before passing the Mexican for sixth. Passed Nico Hulkenberg for fifth and then resisted pressure from the German in the closing stages to hold on for his 16th points finish in 18 races.

Valtteri Bottas

Scored his first F1 points in his rookie season with eighth. Impressed in qualifying with his best performance in dry conditions to start ninth. Made a good start and ran comfortably in the points as the Williams showed improved pace having ditched their Coanda exhaust configuration. Showed his racecraft with a brilliant move on Esteban Gutierrez out of Turn One and in Turn Two on his way to eighth place and four world championship points.

Click here to vote for your Driver of the Day in Austin.

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Yes, Bottas all the way!

The Williams car is a piece of junk that is at the same level as a Marussia. Somehow, he manage to pull ahead of a McLaren, Force Indias and other Mid-level teams. All without the aid of blown exhaust downforce.

Plus, is his first time on the track.

There are plenty of job well done on the day but Bottas did a miracle!


@ JB +1...also interesting that you made note about the lack of downforce from the blown exhaust.... do you think we may see a slight resurgence from Williams considering the changes in 2014?


Yep!! Brilliant drive from him!

On a slightly separate note, I never liked Guttierez that much (probably because I feel Kobayashi should have his seat, which I know is quite unfair of me). He did no favours today.


+ 1 for Kobayashi


+3 for Kobayashi


+1 for Kobayashi.


Its possible people dont understand what driver of the day is anymore and interpret it as how well a driver did against his team mate.



A) In 500 words or less please tell us what DOTD really is.

B) From that please tell us who your DOTD was.

Points will be deducted for unoriginality 🙂


Rewrite of the above comment

A)The Best Driver

B)(and i hate to say this) Vettel


Best driver= ( and i hate to say this)Vettel


Yep, very very close between him and Grosjean for DOTD I think, but for sheer speed in the Williams and his pass on Gutierrez (which must have taken a mountain of guts as well as skill) I had to give it Bottas.

Hopefully it's a little taste of things to come 🙂

Tornillo Amarillo

Yes, but I mean HULKENBERG.


I fully agree. Just about Bottas.

On a side note, I hope I'm not too late for my traditional WORST DOTD... WDOTD.

This weeks candidates,


Disastrous weekend for Nico, in a car that was capable of scoring some heavy points. Made a mess of qualifying having struggled with the balance of his car on Saturday and never really forced his way through the field with any conviction up against much slower cars.


Three times in a row on this list unfortunately. More quali issues saw him knocked out in Q2 despite looking competitive on the Friday. Still managed a solitary point, however Perez looked much sharper throughout the weekend despite the fact that it's he is losing his seat for 2014 at McLaren. Interesting to note that Perez has now outscored Jenson in the second half of the season, despite Checo's tyre failure in Korea when he was running well in the points. Button needs to pull up his socks.


Pastor's relationship with Williams has deteriorated significantly in recent races, but sunk to a new low this weekend with some controversial comments regarding his car being potentially sabotaged to favor Bottas. Simple fact is that Bottas was far quicker all weekend and delivered crucial points for the team to secure 9th place in the constructors. Maldonado outpaced and sounding increasingly desperate.


Perhaps I'm being harsh on Heikki for putting him on the list, but got up to speed quickly and then seemed to lose it all. Perhaps I was expecting too much of him in looking for a points scoring finish but ultimately trailed his team-mate by 90 seconds on reaching the flag. For a race distance of 56 laps, and even discounting a second pit-stop, Heikki was over a second a lap slower than Romain on average. No two ways about it, that ain't good!!


Contract for 2014 in hand, Massa back to his old self..... rubbish. How many times have we seen him secure a drive for the following year only to forget where the accelerator pedal is. Alonso may be outperforming the car as per usual, but Massa was in a different time zone all weekend. And let us not forget, Ferrari need points big time as they try to hold of Lotus and catch Mercedes in the constructors. 12th place finish was without any major issues during the race and simply reflected his lack of pace.

So there it is folks, choose your WDOTD wisely.


I think you are being harsh with Kovi, first race in almost two years, new car, never raced the patented fall apart tyres. Qualified top ten, finished race, mostly competitive.


Whilst he got no points he by no means embarrassed himself (like say, Badoer and Fisichella in the 2009 Ferrari), also Grosjean has been beating Raikonnen too, so no shame in losing to him first race back. Hopefully in Brazil he will be closer to RoGro, although that will be relative.


Pretty on the nose with the rest though!


Hmmm, let's think about the Kovalainen situation. Grosjean was in clear air, Kovalainen wasn't. Then Kovalainen had a problem with his front wing (the reason for the second stop) after which his performance was much more in line with how it ought to have been (according to the team). He was in line to score points before the problem with the wing, so you're being a bit harsh.


Massa. Enough said...


B O T T A S.


1. Grosjean

2. Vettel

3. Bottas








Vettel and Grosjean drove outstanding races. But the best move was made by another driver. A move which lit up an uneventful race. Therefore my vote goes to Bottas.


Absolutely agree, mindnumbingly boring race this year, but Bottas' performance was special.

Really underlines how poor Maldonado's race was if you look at their lap times through the race - Pastor-it couldn't get close in the same machinery


38th career win for Vettel. I really had to look twice at that I was so sure it had to be a mistake 🙂

Let's look at that another way: Over the last four years he has won on average every second race give or take.

And still they doubt him.


"And they still doubt him"

Well, it's just more of the same isn't it? This season is no different to 2011.

If Seb went on to win 138 grand prix or even 1380 grand prix with a car that is clearly in a different league, what does it prove? Nothing. Just that he's exceptionally good at driving that Red Bull, which is miles faster than anything else.

Anyone who thinks Vettel isn't world class needs their heads tested. But to the rest of his (many) doubters that think Alonso or Hamilton or Kimi would do just as good a job with his machinery, this extended dominance provides no new answers. He did this in 2011 more or less.

Get yourself in a team against Alonso or Hamilton Seb, please, for the good of the sport and to confirm your reputation in history.


Historically the best drivers get the best cars. Do Fangio's wins in the Mercedes invalidate his ability because the Mercedes was so far ahead of everyone else? What about Clark and Lotus? Or everyone who won in a 49/72? Prost, Senna and the Mclaren Honda? Schumacher and the juggernaut that was Brawn/Byrne/Todt Ferrari?


Not only can Vettel drive, he can talk to the designer and adapt to work with the car and get the best out of it.


@ Matt H

I agree. Don't get me wrong it doesn't matter how good the car is, it won't budge an inch without a driver.

I'm no Seb fan but I do admit he does appear to work in perfect harmony with the car managing to push when needed and back off also....BUT...and this is where I agree with you...lots of folks say he is a great driver and quote lots of facts and figures...but not one single person susggests asking the question:

"if you could dirve for any car / team right now - who would it be?"

Now ask that of every single F1 driver in the paddock and I'm pretty certain the majority will say Red I wonder why that is? The lure of the endless amounts of energy drinks?


"Get yourself in a team against Alonso or Hamilton Seb, please, for the good of the sport and to confirm your reputation in history"

Totally agree! Shame that Kimi didn't go to RB.

Ricardo will get slaughtered.


Hamilton vs. Button:

2010 - 240:214

2011 - 224:270

2012 - 190:188

Obviously Hamilton beat Alonzo (right after taking two WDCs from Schumi) as a rookie in 2008.

Hamilton vs. Rosberg:

2013 - 187:161

Webber vs. Rosberg:

2006 - 7:4

Webber (RBR): Vettel (STR)

2007 - 10(full season):6(half season, 1 from BMW)

2008 - 21:35 (vs. 8 from RBR David Coulthard)

Newey was in RBR since Feb 2006

Your conclusions don't seem to be supported by the data above.

Have to say, that Bottas passing Gutierrez was the highlight of the race!


As much as I wish it wasn't, F1 is always like this, always has been, and probably always will be.

However, Red Bull hasn't exactly been permanently dominant; in fact most of last season and the second half of 2011 they struggled to keep up with McLaren, and 2009-2010 they were hopeless on any track with straight line bits, and could barely hold together for a race distance either.

Even the first half of this season was super close between the top 4 teams.


At no point in the last 4 years (save perhaps 5 races out of around 80) has the Red Bull struggled to keep up with the McLaren.

It's been the stand-out car every year from mid-2009 until today. Most people accept that.

Also, F1 isn't "always like this".

Only 3 guys in history have demonstrated this level of domination.

1. JM Fangio - who definitely found himself in a the best cars more often than not but there was a unanimous acceptance by all his peers that he was the best. Like Jim Clark, no-one argued otherwise. The same cannot be said for Vettel. His closest peers constantly assert that it's the car - why is that?

2. Michael Schumacher - no doubt was in by far the best car for many of his championship years, especially 2002 and 2004. Some of the other titles were closer - it's difficult to judge for sure. Two things are for certain; he won 2 titles at Bennetton that weren't driving what was by far and away the best car. He also dragged that Ferrari around from 1996-1998, kicking and screaming, winning races he had no right to win in (sometimes) a complete dog of a car. He was up against a Newey-designed McLaren that was capable of taking pole by 1.5 seconds at some races and he's split them or win. So Schumacher's achievements have some context - and still sometimes people argue it was the Bridgestones or whatever.

Vettel - aside from winning the Italian GP at Monza in 2008, which was a superb win, he has never won without having an outstanding car underneath him. His win in Monza was great but it was, admittedly with a topsy-turvy grid due to a mixed/bungled qualifying for some and a wet race... did TR just nail the set-up? Who knows. It was fantastic regardless.


The records Vettel is setting will always remain questionable unless he gets himself into a car that pits him against the rivals of his generation in equal (or at least not completely unequal!) machinery.

You cannot look at Vettel's record and say anything other than he has done a superb job in the best machinery and is a supremely intelligent driver, consistent performer and has mastered this set of regulations as well as anyone.

To claim that he is even better than Alonso is impossible. So how do you start comparing him historically? It's a minefield.

I reckon Seb is the real deal but I truly think he needs to leave Red Bull for his own good and place in history.

Look at Nico Rosberg - he always had question marks over him until they stuck Lewis in the same car and he hasn't come off badly. We know he's mustard, and therefore that Schumi was half bad for a 42 year old either.

Until something like this happens, arguing over Vettel is pretty futile and the records tumbling will continue to annoy me because they mean more about Newey and Red Bull as a team than they do about Sebastian Vettel.

That's my opinion.


With only around 19/20 races a year its scary how quickly time flys for Vettel to have racked up 38 wins!

It only seems like yesterday Vettel was in the Torro Rosso. I think where he has won four championships back to back it feels a bit like 4 years rolled into 1! 38 races! thats mad!


Okay, I just checked and Schumacher has 91 to his name.

If Vettel keeps up this insanity that record will almost certainly be busted within the next five or six years.

What's really scary is that records are mad to be broken, but when Vettel finally retires can you imagine what the generation that follows him will have to do to beat him?



Maybe, but if Bernie does that a little too soon then Vettel will end up getting about 482 wins, which frankly is going to be a bit tough for anyone to beat 😉


It'll be tough for sure, unless Newey has a son.


True - but if Bernie gets his way before he pops his clogs there'll be 50 races a year and so some next gen driver might be able to rack up 38 wins in a single year...;)


In by far the best car over the 4 years


We certainly don't doubt the Red Bull team and car, and yes we think Vettel is superb in the curent formula.


Germany produces not just great cars, even greater drivers. Vettel has the immortality in F1 already, we are just not going to know how far his records will stretch to. Vettel told his team to remember these days. I still remember when he won 2 races in Toro Rosso! I still remember when Martin Whitmarsh called Vettel "F1's new crash kid" at the beginning of his Red Bull career in 2009. Look at him now. I can't remember when he made any kind of driving mistake!!! As I said, it is boring, but it is immortality at the same time.


I've checked the stats and can tell you that last time he made a driving mistake was Abu Dhabi 2013 qualifying 😉

The last serious mistake was arguably Brazil 2012 turning into Bruno Senna.


Seb only won 1 race with STR, Italy 2008


Two races in the Toro Rosso? He's good, but he's not that good lol! 🙂

It was just the one win in the STR (the only race they've won period): Monza 2008 in the rain - still a very good effort 🙂


I've got to say Bottas. I think he maximized the potential of the car, only a few mistakes in Q3 didn't allow him to start even higher. He drove very wisely not being too aggressive. He followed Alonso most of the race and kept the distance to Rosberg. A job well done.


Bottas. Fast, consistent and brave when he needed to be in a car thats under performed all season.


That Williams is much improved with the exhaust update. Bottas still drove well, though.


I might get a stick for this but, I think Heiki did a great job given the conditions. It's sad that he had to change the nose which affected his race significantly. Otherwise anyone mentioning Bottas is probably spot on. Bottas / Gutirrez dice was refreshing...well done to both for being so matured about it!!!



He was already a long way behind Grosjean by the time he had to change his nose, he did about as well as Ambrosio did when he stepped in last year; not a very flattering comparison.


No, that's a fair call. He put in a respectable drive and at the very least did better than Badoer (not that that's saying much).


Got to be Bottas. The other candidates regularly put that sort of performance in whereas Bottas was well above his norm so well done lad.

Off topic slightly, but I really hope that Maldo doesn't get another drive next year, sure his millions will see that he does but attitude to current team and another "wasn't my fault" crash to me shows he should be out. Any arguments in his defence out there?


Maldo is just making himself look foolish, they way he blamed Williams, plus he has a bad record of crashing, but...

On the crash with Sutil, initial gut feeling was that Sutil drifted slightly into Maldo.

Think Brundle said the same as well as a first reaction. Pressure really told on Sutil, ok the car is a dog on the new tyres but he was already out of Q1 when he had his brake failure on his final lap which he had blown anyway, then to crash out of the race in such a daft incident was poor. Lucky the car scrubbed off speed as it hit the barrier at a bad angle due to the gap in the track side.


I will argue in his defence. I was so impressed with his win last year, so he has proven race winning experience. I also find that his attitude is actually a great asset, I mean at least he has a personality, think of Hulkenberg, Rosberg, Sutil to name just three, all are a bit bland and dull, come on whats wrong with some fire and a bit of attitude.

I hope he gets a Lotus drive and gets half a chance to mix it near the front, I would love the chance to see him racing against Vettel, Alonso and Raikkonen and put a few more nose's out of joint, bring it on!


Pastor's Driving Very Safe Actually


Nice try PDVSA employee


Please Don't Voice Spurious Accusations 😉


Thats a nice sponsor


Mansoor Ijaz for a special mention.

His performance on sky against teammate Eric was every bit the equal of Seb's win from pole. Fast, clinically precise, error free. Unstoppable winning machine.


Show me the money!!!


Yeah, but talk is cheap.


It is always inspiring when a young man is given an opportunity to shine and he instantly delivers with such a determination, Made some mistakes in q3 but came back big time in the race. With that pass on Gutierrez he already mentally declared himself as the rookie of the year but let's hope he'll outscore Esteban also in Brazil to make it official!

Go Valtteri!



1. Bottas

2. Grosjean

3. Hülkenberg

Worst Driver of the Day:

1. Maldonado

2. Pic

3. Gutierrez

Bottas made such a great performance in a race that was quite uneventful during the first 2/3. He really showed why he should be in F1 yesterday. I wish him all the best in 2014!

In contrast, Maldonado should easily have had all three top 10 in WDOTD. The atmosphere around him is everything except winning or sportsmanship. He blames his team, he considers a pretty serios racing accident as "nothing important" (since his race wasn't affected). On top of that, he seriously thinks that he has contract negotiations with other teams because of his driving skills. Give me a break. A big hand to McLaren, Williams and Lotus who try to bring up driver talents rather than pay drivers. Hope the other teams can do well withouth Maldonado's cash. He doesn't deserve representing F1.

Charles Pic's performance; what can you say? Taking unnecessary penalties for ignoring blue flags. What a talent...

Gutierrez' performance could be argued as "OK", but it was just so inconsistent. Both tactically and in terms of performance. Clear class difference to Hülkenberg.

For the WDOTD, Button could've easily qualified for the top 3 had he not made a strong effort for a points finish...



1. Grosjean

2. Bottas


Bottas - enormously outperformed both his car and his teammate all weekend.


Probably should be Vettel, but he's been DotD so many times before that I'm voting for Bottas. He did a sterling job to get into Q3 and then managed to finish ahead of his grid slot.


While he was DOTD many, many times in reality, I think he got voted only twice as such here on JA. Too many people think the car and the designer had a much bigger part in his success then it was the case in the entire history of great drivers in F1. Truth is, none of the all time greats did it in a bad car. As much as Adrian makes Seb look good, Seb makes Adrian look like a designer god. Remember Newey's cars have a reputation of being extremely fragile, only Vettel's smoothness and ability to change his driving to suit the car, allowed for it's raging success.


Couldn't agree more with this post.

Take Vettel out of Red Bull and would people claim Neweys cars are unbeatable? No way, because they'd have only picked up one WDC in 2011 with Mark.

It takes a good designer and good driver to win, and Red Bull have both.


Bottas of Grosjean. Both up and coming drivers who are going to mature into some of the best IMO.

As for DOTD, can't they both have it?



Great to see a Williams in the points & his pass on the Sauber was the best move of the weekend!


1. Bottas - outperfoming the Williams and showing his teammate what racing means

2. Hulkenberg - outperforming the Sauber (again)

3. Vettel - 8 in row and a faultless drive


Bottas - hands down.


Bottas without a doubt. Rookie pulling best overtaking in a place it was not supposed to be possible. This race convinced me that he is real deal.


Has to be Vettel, again in a different league. Could / would have driven into next week if Rocky let him.

Honourable mentions to Grosjean and Botas, Grosjean showed good composure under pressure. Strong weekend from Botas but I'll reserve judgement till next weekend, everyone is capable of a freak result, none more so than his esteemed team mate.

Thread the Needle

Bottas, great move turn one


Easily Bottas. Future champion.


Toss up between Grosjean and Bottas. Both drove a flawless race.


I concur! If Grojean had been in a Redbull (exactly like vettel's - i.e. no Kers problems etc) he would have won.


At the end of 2004 season I never thought I'd see MS's record disappear so quickly. I am not not a fan of comparing drivers from different Era. Therefore, Vettel is the best all round driver on the current grid regardless of Newey's genius design brain. Can't get past Vettel as the driver of the day after the historic 8th win!!! Boring & ugly as early 2000s, but extra ordinary & beautiful at the same time.

I must say something about Hamilton here. I understand he doesn't like nursing the tyres & just want to drive flat out the entire race. I want to see refuelling back & flat out race as well. But it doesn't give him the right to act like the way he does on the radio. Someone needs to make him understand, "it is what it is Lewis". If billion F1 fans can suck it up, so should Lewis Hamilton.


+1 regarding Hamilton. His radio messages showed his petulant, sense of entitlement has not gone away. When will he realise that actually he is not as good as he thinks he is?


I wasn't going to do this, but your comment pushed me into it.

What did Vettel do to be DOTD? Who did he fight with? Who did he overtake? From whoom was he under pressure? I know it's not his fault that his car is good and we should not assume he is not a top driver, but when he is winning a race like that and you call him DOTD it annoys me. When his car or Mark's never slide or has understeer and he won so easily without even pushing, it's like a race between a bicycle and a motorbike.

How can you bypass Bottas's performance or even Grosjean's fending off Webber?

And about Lewis, he's just saying what most of us are thinking. Get rid of these nursing tyres and let's go racing.


If the car is so brilliant I've got to ask why Webber is so far back? Sure Seb raced him in Malaysia and yes the Suzuka Strategy favoured Vettel - so that's 10 points... what about the other 181 points that he's behind?

If the car is simply brilliant, Webber who is probably still a top 5 or 6 driver in F1, would surely be taking 2nd consistently? He's not.

That says to me the differentiator here is the driver. Over 5 seasons luck doesn't come into it.

@Forumla Zero

Agree RE: Lewis.


He fought the other 21 drivers in the track. Like always. And beat them all, like most of the time.


I don't mean they've given up on beating Vettel, I mean they've given up on their cars being as good as the Red Bulls. My whole point is this season isn't a true reflection of his endeavours (which isn't to say I am undervaluing those endeavours just putting them in context).


Again Laura, the fact that the other teams might have given up just comes to show how much higher he has put himself above all others. He is merely reaping the benefits of his own emdeavours.


The problem I have with Vettel's win and indeed his series of wins is that it's quite clear the other teams have given up developing their cars in favour of trying to steal a march on the new regs in 2014. The situation with Vettel and the Red Bull car is utterly artificial regardless of how good he or the car is. I guess you could say he's beating Mark Webber hands down but, due to bad management and PR at Red Bull, there will always be that nagging doubt that Vettel is being given a better car than Mark. As others have repeatedly said, let's see Vettel pull one out of the bag on a level playing field before we get all hyperbolic about the stats.

PS Bottas FTW.


"Who did he fight with? Who did he overtake? From whoom was he under pressure?"

I've seen Hamilton get driver of the day on numerous occasions whilst not doing any of the above... the difference please?


Give me an example. What race? I can't give you an answer if you don't tell me on which race. Maybe he did something else, I don't know. Tell me what race and I will tell you what I think.


Valtteri Bottas!!!


Bottas. I love the fact that some people have doubted his talent this season, despite out qualifying Maldonado (who destroyed Senna in qualifying last season) in his maiden season.

He's mentally strong, has a cool head and is mega quick.

Bottas will definitely go on to become a top driver.

Can't wait to see him against Massa next season.


1.) Bottas (I'm delighted for Williams!)

2.) Grosjean

3.) Vettel


Grosjean and Bottas were both excellent yesterday, but I don't see how you can you look past Vettel, he's just flawless.

He spent the whole afternoon trying to go slowly and still won.

Hoping for a bit of rain in Brazil to throw some spice into the mix.


"He spent the whole afternoon trying to go slowly and still won." ROFLMAO, comment of the day!!!!


Vote goes to Bottas, awesome drive


Interestingly Vettel is now only 3 wins behind Senna in the all times standings and already has more championships.

This has also been achieved in less races than Senna. An incredible achievement.


Are you joking? Vettel is no Senna.


No not joking, these are all facts.

Apart from the comment about it being an incredible achievement, which is obviously my opinion.


Bottas.... He earned 4 points which is 2 points more than Williams has earned as an entire team all year. Good for him!


I think it must go to Bottas for putting the Williams in a place it didn't ought to be, and of course measured against his team mate!


1. VET for being so magesticly dominant

2. GRO for being best of the rest

3. BOT for his first points with a difficult car

Sebs is saying its not getting boring for him. But it is for me. for first time since many years I passed to watch a grand prix on television, cause I knew ho will be first and second in advance. i give this scoring based on what i read on this blog post race. How come so much engineering teams, but 1, prove impotent...

Alexander Supertramp

Next week is the final race, after that comes the big drought! Don't skip races man 😀


Wanna bet?


Bottas. Good drive. Grosjean is forever improving and turning into a level headed front runner.


Considering the Mercedes lacks race pace Lewis did the best job possible against superior cars in front. there was no way he was going to catch Grosjean or prevent Webber from overtaking. I was alittle surprised webber did not get passed Grosjean, but he did not do it quick enough when his tyres were in good condition, and I guess Grosjean has learnt something about defence.


Grosjean drove a brilliant race and is my driver of the day. I didn't think he'd hold of Webber in that Red Bull, but he did it to perfection. His best ever drive in my opinion.

Other notable mentions for Bottas, and of course the obligatory Vettel who is clearly supreme at the moment. Glad Vettel got due crowd recognition. He really is at the top of his game and is pure class.


There were a number of very good drives this weekend but my vote goes to Valtteri - well done to him and my old Team.


Grosjean and Bottas. Honorable mention Hamilton and Alonso



I also thought Lewis drove a controlled race;watching the action from turn 15, it was quite interesting to see Lewis alter his line consistently to gain exit speeds. That was where he eeked out a bit of control over Hulkenberg and Alonso. Fun race.


Undoubtably got to be Roman this time around


defo Roman


Romain Grosjean, without doubt !


Kimi Räikkönen... sorry !


The safety car driver.

For a few laps he managed to get in front of Vettel.


Alonso followed by Grosjean and Bottas. Sorry but I can't take Vettel seriously anymore, his car is way to fast, just look at his pole lap, far from perfect, still 0.8 than the next non RB car. Is not his fault that his team is awesome but let's not pretend he is the best driver out there, some drivers fight with everything to finish were they finish, Vettel just drives, zero fight.


The significant difference between Webber and Vettel over the past 5 seasons is a clear indicator of Vettel's brilliance. It's not as if Webber is a slouch; back in his Jaguar and Williams days Webber was lauded as a qualifying master. Vettel has completely outdone him.

Also I don't buy that Red Bull, being a serious and consistent championship winning team, offers technical favourtism over one driver. They have the same machinery.


I don't really understand the point, if he had to struggle for those wins he would be a better driver? Isn't it, perhaps the other way around? If he makes it look easy then he is surely great. If he had to struggle he wouldn't be so good.


He doesn't make it look easy. It is easy. There is a quantum difference between the RB and the chasers.


Whats wrong with Webbers RBR then? He's 191 points back from Vettel. If the car is so great, why is the 5th or 6th best driver in F1 THAT many points back?

I'd suggest that Vettel is just as much a factor in RBR success as Newey is. Take either away and they're not the dominant force in the sport.


I agree, there is a quantum difference and it is called Seb Vettel. He takes a great car and puts it where it should be. And yes, he makes it look easy, I'dd doubt his abilities if he was struggling to manage it. But he does it over and over and over again. Eight times in a row. Eleven times this season. Does that come very often? Or is that the mark of a true great? There have been dominant cars before in the past you know?


Bottas done real good. What a determined brave pass on GUT, who is my preferred F1 Mexican driver.

Looks like another Finn is to make his mark on F1.


Bottas, He drove a very mature, yet daring race, he's definitely a future champion in the making.


Hulkenberg. But I might not be the right person to not remember the race:-)


Bottas. Good for him to thrash the poison that is his teammate and bring valuable points to his team.

Alexander Supertramp

I've criticized RoGro in the past, but he drove very well yesterday. He won P2 on pace and strong driving and not by making a pitstop less.

Great to see Bottas scoring nice points for Williams. It's weird, even Williams seem to have found some late season pace. Ferrari, Mercedes, Sauber and even Mclaren look to be able to genuinely race each other. And now Bottas was mixing with these guys, great stuff. I have a feeling the Williams team will be a happy place in 2014.

Dotd: difficult. Seb was again faultless, but so were Grosjean, Lewis, Hulkenberg.. Heck, give it to Bottas, 4 points for Williams is a huge deal!!


It's gotta be Maldonado, no? I haven't seen a snap like that in years.


Grosjean. Excellent pace all the way through the race. Preveted the bull's getting a double 1-2 finish. Only non-red bull car in the race - Ham and Alonso were a distant 4th and 5th.


Bottas was the most exciting thing on track.

Vettel is fast, and he's maturing, but he's boring-- granted, it's hard to be exciting when you're 20 seconds down the track from the rest of the field, but when I look back at the last 4 years, the Vettel overtakes that stand out are Webber in Turkey, Button in Spa, Button in Germany, Alonso in Monza (both times) and that spectacular incident with the distance marker in Abu Dhabi under the safety car.

Now, if you ask what team is at the absolute top right now, I'd say Red Bull. Put Alonso, Hamilton or Raikkonen in the Red Bull garage, with the RB9 (or RB7), and they'd have been champion that year too.

I think 2010 and 2012 however, were given away by other teams, and Red Bull took advantage.


The thing that defined 2010 and 2012 was that Newey's in season development was so much better.

It was given away by Ferrari as they could not match Newey's genius. At the end of '10 and '12 Seb's Red Bull was far better than Alonso's Ferrari.


HAM - oh, was he on track? Yeah, Webber overtook him nicely.

VET - yes, he won, beating some record. But I don't see him getting award for driving 'far not fast', even if we call it tyre and pace management.

ALO - lost at start, but fought it back and even a little more. Stylish.

GRO - great piece of defensive work, nice start. Oh, and he spoiled another VET's Grand Chelem.

So BOT? Well, in 80% he fought his points on Saturday... but these are his first, and we had hardly memorable drives this Sunday...



I think we'll have to define what 'driver of the day' means. If it's just a dominant performance then picking any one other than Vettel is silly. He probably had to start playing i-spy with his engineer to keep himself amused. I wouldn't be surprised if he turns the team radio off and puts his MP3 player on in future. Might as well have some music to make that Sunday drive less dull for himself...

In fact, couldn't Vettel do some donuts MID-RACE and then try and get back on track just to liven up the viewing figures. At least then he'd get some TV time - right now Infiniti must be squirming as their sponsorship packaging rarely gets much airtime these days!

If driver of the day is about overcoming obstacles and a performance in spite of the sheer wall of things stacked against you - clearly Bottas, even though the Williams was much happier on this track, he still dragged it up beyond it's natural placings.

Special driver against adversity award to Alonso for securing 2nd in championship again despite having a car that the Ferrari road factory would be too ashamed to badge up.


Vettel is DOTD, he spanked the field yet again. Grosjean didn't have a chance.

Grosjean 2nd for dicing with Webber.

Hulkenberg 3rd for putting in a good performance.

Bottas honorable mention, though that Williams is much improved after dumping the exhaust. I expect Williams to have an upturn next year.


Bernd Maylander, as he was the only guy able to get in front of Vettel all day.


The race was so boring that I have chosen ....

Kimi Raikkonen.


I vote for Grosjean. Honorable mention to Bottas.

I can't see how you included Ham and Alonso in the selections. I get the British thing but seriously.


It's right to include them both. Not as obvious as RomGro or ValBot...

Alonso because of his excellent overtakes and racecraft. For recovering fron the dirty side of the grid in a rotten looking Ferrari. For going for it on the tyres before everyone else the end, bucking the save the tyres concepts, gaining the positions and holding Hulk with skill at the end. For making the race more interesting and for thumping his teammate.

Hamilton beacuse after the recent tyre dropoffs and bleating over the radio, most people are gobsmacked he managed to manage his tyres and make it to the end. Lucky to start on the clean side of the grid in p5 so he could take p4 and p2 at the start but he also for beating his teammate, man!


On reflection, I accept your Alonso arguement. He did make it more interesting and had a decent battle with Hulk, who is no slouch himself. That dirty side of the grid really did come into play. Webber's start wasn't all that bad by his own low standards yet he was swamped by 2 into turn 1. Both from the clean side? He soon took Ham back which only goes to show how pathetic the FIA directed tyres are when a guy like Ham can't race in the first few laps.

Thanks for your reply.

Darrin from Canada

Because Alonso is so darn British 🙂


Tough call between Vettel and Grosjean for me . Special mention for Bottas. Btw who is Bottas' teammate?


It's that top bloke from South America...

Massa 😉


Okey, enough is enough. It amazes me how people is so much influenced by car performance, and can not extrapolate that when judging driver performance. I said it several times already.

Almost no one mentioned Hamilton and Alonso, the ones who actually performed at the highest level this weekend. Their pace was above the rest of the field. Just look what they did with their teammates both in quali and the race. Rosberg and Massa are both at a sweet spot at the moment and racing amazingly well. But they were obliterated by these two beasts.

How can Grosjean and Vettel performances been mentioned as the best if we had Alonso and Hamilton specially, but also Hulkemberg and Bottas, and probably Perez, driving at a higher level, is beyond me. The difference pace wise between Grosjean and Kovalainen was smaller than that between Hamilton and Rosberg and Alonso and Massa. Kovalainen is an average driver that has just stepped in that Lotus, he actually did pretty well in qualifying compared to Grosjean, given the circumstances.

Vettel struggled for pace the whole qualifying, and did pole position because Webber made an error in the last sector. Then in the race he did not have competition, he did not even drive at more than 90% in the whole race. Webber is driving really poorly this season, for me one of the worst performances of the grid. Doing what he is doing race after race with that rocket he is driving is an aberration. I know it is hard to hear, and I too like the guy, but it is the way it is.

I am not saying Vettel and Grosjean did badly, they drove really well because they are good drivers, great in the case of Vettel. But man, there were other drivers performing at a higher level, and not precisely by an small amount.

I think it is sad that such amazing performances in the case of Alonso and Hamilton have been overlooked, at least in this site. They were in a level of their own this weekend. And Alonso's overtakes at the first corner were beautifully executed, not to mention his defense against Hulkemberg at that same corner, with no tyres left, or the perfect execution by driver and team to get past Perez during the pit stops.


Great points! I do think Grosjean did fantastically well to split the RedBulls, he drove a perfect race and held off Webber to P2. The gains to be had at the pointy end of the grid are so small that you have to be perfect to take anything away from RedBull at the moment.

That being said, Alonso and Hamilton drove brilliantly (but isn't that expected?) Alonso has perfected the over-under out of turn 1 (Curva Alonso?). I loved his overtake on Hulkenburg, two long black stripes coming out of Curva Alonso, good stuff! The Sauber had a little bit of the RedBull "wheel hop" coming out of that corner though... t/c?

I can't imagine what Hamilton has been going through thinking his form may have been off in the past few races. Glad to see they have sorted his car out. Hopefully he will have a car that allows him to shine next year.


Interesting point on the traction of the Sauber. I will be looking at it, but it was clear since Corea that they have very good traction out of slow corners. It really does not say anything good of Ferrari, as Sauber has Ferrari engines, and we know these days traction is achieved with exhaust blowing... Marc Gene, a Ferrari reserve driver, was saying in Austin that he didn't understand (and was a bit painful for Ferrari) how the Sauber could be faster than the Ferrari if they use the same engine. Amazing that Sauber engineers understand blown diffusers better than Ferrari engineers.

The Spanish Inquisitor

Grosjean 100%


Grosjean. He really drove brilliantly. Though he couldn't catch up Seb who is on another plantet anyway, he managed to keep Mark at bay for all the race. In the final laps, when Mark was catching a sec a lap, it looked like he's gonna be overtaken in the first place. Then, he picked up his speed, maintain the gap. It was just like he was reserving his tyre, controling the pace, monitoring all the condition. Pit must have helped a lot. But he really drive like a champ. Really like him more and more recently. I wish Lotus could provide him a good machine for the championship next year.

Bottas. So excited to see him beat his team mate in the championship.

The race between Hulk, Lewis and Fernando is really exciting and they all drove very well. I wish Hulk could find a good home next year. He really deserves a top team.

Seb was just too good to compare to the others. He's on another planet or even another league anyway. He drove like another league, that's really fantastic~~~


Vettel. yawn


1. Vettel

Did everything right: pole position, fastest lap, victory. Can't argue with that!

2. Bottas

Very mature drive. Conserved tyres when it was necessary, went fast when he had to.

3. Rosberg.

Failed to qualify well, but recovered well with some spectacular overtaking moves.

4. Grosjean

No fireworks, just a measured drive. He has grown very much!


F1 cars hide driver skill too much - driver of the day is becoming pointless, until we can actually see raw driving skill on display.

This should be renamed: Best Tyre Preserver of the Day.


I have to go with Grosjean, splitting the RedBulls is no simple task. I think the further up the grid you are, the more difficult it is to make ever decreasing gains, so Grosjean over Bottas in my humble opinion, but just barely.

Bottas definitely put in a great showing though, so kudos to him. I can't wait to see what he looks like if he ever gets a front running car under him.

I also loved watching Alonso fight for position. His final overtake of Hulckenburg through turn 1 was awesome. Alonso has mastered that line.

On a side note, did anyone else notice the wheelspin differences coming out of that corner between the Ferrari and the Sauber? Two solid black strips from Alonso's Ferrari (nice long ones too!) and a dotted line from the Sauber who has increased their corner exit considerably of late. Did Sauber find some magic RedBull not-traction-control?

Mike from Colombia

Could Gary Anderson please disclose the reason for hs dislike of Hamilton?

He seems to manage to turn around any incident regarding Hamilton into a negative.

As man of Gary's experience should do better than this.


I work closely with Gary on BBC Radio 5 Live and I've not detected that.


I am giving it to Vettel. He did a fantastic job.

I have a feeling something was troubling him this weekend. He was not his normal self. Even on the podium he seems to be looking down and mumbling something. Whatever it was, he managed to concentrate on the race and deliver.

May be James spotted something during the interviews??


Not sure I enjoyed this GP, race wasn't the best but the FIA video production *got* in the way. Stupid rotating cameras gradually sliding what you want to see away from you coupled with consistent rubbish editing.

Plus they should have given the podium posse the Stratton hats like last year - they looked nonplussed with the pirelli caps - like the pirelli tyres.


I think Bottas was the DOTD. Scoring 8th in a car that only managed 1 point all season until then and obliterated his more experienced team mate.

'Shake n bake baby' is still the man, and comes second in my mind. Grosjean third.


Don't know if you could call him DOTD, but surely Bottas should be BOFA (breath of fresh air) since he's not normally on the short list of usual suspects.


Hi James,

You say Vettel was "managing tyres", but I can see just two options here:

1) He was not, as he was setting best lap after fast lap, and the RBR team saying to him to stop doing that. It was like Brazil teo years ago, when RBR was saying Vettel was having problems, and he was doing fastest lap one after the other.

2) He can do fastest laps with his car even managing the tyres. Well, if so, he is the best ever ever driver of the planet... or he has the best car by a mile. 😉

Another interesting thing is this: everyone in the front (I do remember the first five), where lapping the "same" lap times. Really, I was looking at racecontrol, and the sector times were the same... exception for Vettel and Webber lapping sometimes almost a second better even everyone in the same strategy. Seems like RBR have the best drivers F1 ever had...


Think you have a number of crossed wires there in your conclusion!


Vettel. Seb is right we must appreciate these days. As a Vettel fan it doesn't get much better than this.


DOTD - Bottas!

That overtake on Esteban was awesome.

Finally got his first F1 points.


On a plane back home to Minneapolis after another great USGP in TX.

Surprised not to see Perez on the list. He outperformed for the piece of junk he was driving. While on the subject of Perez, after spending another weekend down here surrounded by passionate Mexican fans, most of whom were sporting McL apparel, I can't help but think that dropping him so quickly was a major dropped bollock for the team. Commercially, the Mexican contingent is very significant and they always got behind Sergio and McL in a way that is very impresssive IMO. It appears that they are now very disillusioned with the team. McL prides themselves on being a meritocracy, great, but if next year's car is crap again they may rue the lost revenues and moral support from the fantastic MX fans. No disrespect to the Danes or KM, but they have very big shoes to fill. I'm not quite sure how Whitmarsh hasn't already been fired, but a year from now, barring an extreme turnaround in the car, his pathetic words justifying the dropping of Sergio and his even more pathetic comments about how we was ringing other teams to help him find a seat (gimme a break) are going to sound even more hollow. I know, KM may well be a better driver than SP, but SP has hardly been given a fair chance yet.

Secondly, this was the most boring GP I have ever witnessed, but I still loved every minute of it. Thank you Austin, thank you COTA. I realize that if I still enjoyed this weekend, I will be back every year for years to come. COTA, last year was good, this year was better, you should be proud of what you have achieved. Unbelievable.

Third comment, a little odd, my GF, first-timer at the race this year, pointed out how many fans, if not most, seem to support a variety of teams (Ferrari cap, Lotus shirt, Caterham jacket, etc). She's right, it seems that most fans at COTA are just F1 fans more than anything. I think that's an interesting comment on the sport. FTR I'm a big fan of Lewis and Fernando, but also have huge respect for every other driver and team. Perhaps that's why there's so much frustration among fans in general when we see one driver/team being so dominant. Most of us would rather see a close, riveting season than one particular favorite team or driver win.


Hello James,

I was at the US GP and had a great view of turn 15, through the twisty back section of the racetrack.

Given my vantage point, Sebastian Vettel was by far the driver of the day.

Vettel was beyond comparison for speed & consistency. Seeing his performance really changed my view of him as a driver and of the season in general.

Before this race I was in the camp of "great car, ok driver". But his consistency and speed made me realize how good he really is.

Vettel took a different line into turn 15 than just about every other driver and hit the the apex EVERY lap. His turn in was more aggressive, his consistency was perfect & his speed out of the corner was amazing. Vettel was on the gas on or before the apex, whereas everyone else was getting hard on the gas a car length out of the exit - quite remarkable to see the difference & made it obvious why Webber & the others loose lap time to Vettel.

Mark Webber, as well as Alonso, Hamilton, and the rest of the pack, missed the apex many times during the race (is that the driver or the car causing the inconsistency?).

There remains the argument from some that its the car making Vettel look good, but seeing Vettels race-craft obliterates that argument.

An amazing driver and definitely the driver of the day.


Good insight, no doubt Seb's style on these tyres blows Webber away, plus Webber has the double whammy of tyre wear from following others. Then again he shouldn't have blown his Q3 lap throwing away 3 tenths in the final sector.

It's not superior skill that gives him the much better cornering speed over everyone else, it's the superior aero downforce glueing him to the apex every time.


His car is on rails - driving on train tracks will make anyone look good... its staged, in Vettel's favour.


Vettel is good alright, but until now no one can explain the sound his car made accelarating out of corners, and in the eye of experts, the sound looks to be TRACCION CONTROL.... (I am no expert of course) ok, I read somewhere in this web page, that it was impossible to have traccion control in this day and age, but still, can somebody explain what the sound was/is? and if it did help Vettel coming out of corners faster...

Also, Hamilton expressed his concerns regarding this too, and he is no fool, so what it is then.


Thanks for the input

This goes back to what we wrote by way of insight into Vettel's opening stint in Abu Dhabi

Once clear of the DRS 1 second, he drives a burst of laps with great precision to build the gap and then maintains it

He clearly enjoys that, because he wants to carry on and his engineer has to keep holding him back to preserve tyres etc.

Who can blame him? It's a wonderful car, but as you say, you have to see him in the flesh hitting his marks every time to appreciate that he's dancing with that car.

It's a shame that people dis him because they don't like him from a distance, but there it is; he hasn't helped himself in that respect out of the car, although he does seem to be trying a bit harder now to connect with people



Can we have a car of the day thread?

Suppose there is no point?


We should have Most Suppressed Talent of the Day...

It would be between:

Hamitlon, Alonso, Kimi, etc... Vettel and Button would be pretty low down...

I can't believe current F1 is wasting the best racing talents in lame cars and presenting mediocre drivers as WDCs...

F1 could have been amazing, if only the real talents were let loose...


"F1 could have been amazing, if only the real talents were let loose…"

Yes that's the whole point. And the reason why people are going to stop watching.


While you're waiting for the COTD thread, why not have a Red Bull? 😉






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