Vote for your 2013 Australian Grand Prix driver of the weekend

2013 Australian Grand Prix

Start, Melbourne, 2013Which F1 driver was the best performer during the Australian Grand Prix weekend?

Review how each driver got on below and vote for who impressed you the most during the last race weekend.

Australian Grand Prix driver-by-driver

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel – Topped both Friday practice sessions, delayed by glitch on Saturday but stormed to pole position. Couldn’t get same tyre life over a stint as Lotus and Ferrari and was jumped by Raikkonen and Alonso – the latter was potentially avoidable.

Mark Webber – Had a chance to beat Vettel to pole but lost it with an error in the penultimate corner. A problem with his ECU left him without KERS for the first 20 laps including the start, where he slipped to seventh. Finished sixth after passing Di Resta.

Ferrari

Fernando Alonso – Out-qualified by Massa for the third race in a row, but by a mere 0.003s. Made a great start and picked off Hamilton at turn three, then had a go at his team mate as well. A savvy early second pit stop allowed him to jump Vettel and get a run on Sutil on the track. Closed on Raikkonen in the final stint but the Lotus was just too quick.

Felipe Massa – According to race engineer Rob Smedley Massa thought a few points was the best he’d get from this weekend on a track he doesn’t like. But he was on Alonso’s pace from the off and ended up fourth. Had he emulated his team mate’s strategy gamble a podium was possible.

McLaren

Jenson Button – McLaren find themselves in the situation Ferrari were in 12 months ago. Button drove with verve in the wet parts of qualifying, ending Q2 fourth, but when the track dried in the top ten shootout the car’s inferiority showed. Moved up to ninth at the start and clung on to it until the end with three cars on his tail at the chequered flag.

Sergio Perez – Went out in Q2 after gambling on super-soft tyres, then suffered a puncture which forced him to put on another set, losing precious time. Started 15th on the medium tyres but the kind of alternative strategy that served him so well last year wasn’t enough to drag the car into the points.

Lotus

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Melbourne, 2013Kimi Raikkonen – Disappointed to only qualify seventh but made up two places at the start, then overtook Hamilton around the outside of turn 13. Ran a long second stint on medium tyres to make a two-stop strategy work, which elevated him into the lead once the three-stoppers had come in. A late burst of pace secured his second win in four races.

Romain Grosjean – Qualified alongside his team mate but although he stayed out of trouble at the start he lost three places. Never seemed to have his team mate’s pace and was convinced there was something wrong with his car.

Mercedes

Nico Rosberg – Showed great potential in the wet parts of qualifying but slipped back to sixth when the track dried out. Kept Hamilton in sight during the race before retiring with an electrical problem.

Lewis Hamilton – Had a lucky escape in the sodden Q1 when he spun and glanced a barrier, but bounced back to qualify ‘best of the rest’ behind the Red Bulls. Fell behind the Ferraris and Raikkonen at the start but was clearly aiming to get through the race on just two stops, putting up with the super-softs until lap 12. However a lock-up while battling Alonso ruined that plan and left him fifth.

Sauber

Nico Hulkenberg – Didn’t make it into Q3 and didn’t make it into the race either due to a fault with his fuel system.

Esteban Gutierrez – Crashed in the rain-hit Q1 and lined up 18th on the grid. Was one of few drivers to use a two-stopper and got to the finish on his debut, albeit well out of the points.

Force India

Adrian Sutil, Force India, Melbourne, 2013Paul di Resta – Beat Sutil by over a second in Q2 to claim a place in the final ten. Force India were the only team to run two-stoppers for both drivers and Di Resta had to start his race on super-softs after qualifying on them. He was reeling in his team mate at the end of the race until he was told to back off and finish behind him.

Adrian Sutil – One of four drivers to start on medium tyres, he took the lead of the race on lap 14 after those in front had pitted. He led again at the end of his second stint before being caught and passed by Raikkonen and Alonso. His final stint on super-softs was a disaster, however, and he slumped to seventh place.

Williams

Pastor Maldonado – Very unhappy with a car he’d been enthusiastic about in pre-season testing. Having failed to make it through Q1 he dropped behind Gutierrez and Bianchi on lap two. He began a recovery, passing the Marussia and getting on the tail of his team mate before spinning out.

Valtteri Bottas – Kept his chin up on a tough weekend for the team, claiming a place in Q2, passing three cars at the start and bringing the car home. By his own admission it wasn’t an error-free race, which cost him some places. An instruction to let his team mate pass at one point appeared to go unheeded.

Toro Rosso

Jean-Eric Vergne – Showed the STR8’s potential with the second-fastest lap of the race but a late error cost him a place to Perez when he was fighting to get into the points.

Daniel Ricciardo – Said “it felt like I was driving on ice” as he struggled to get heat into the medium tyres early on. Switched to super-softs on lap 30 but didn’t last much longer as an exhaust fault forced him out.

Caterham

Charles Pic – Hampered by a KERS failure during the race, he nonetheless finished in front of one of the Marussias.

Giedo van der Garde – A puncture forced an early second pit stop on lap 16 and left him out of sync with his rivals. Pressured Chilton in his final stint before his tyres dropped off.

Marussia

Jules Bianchi, Marussia, Melbourne, 2013Jules Bianchi – Looked quick in practice and qualifying, easily ahead of the Caterhams and threatening to exploit any slip-up by the midfield runners. Climbed as high as 12th in the early stages and beat Pic by 20 seconds.

Max Chilton – Brought the car home on his debut but was almost a minute behind his team mate.

Review the race data

Vote for your driver of the weekend

Which driver do you think did the best job this weekend?

Cast your vote below and explain your choice in the comments.

Who was the best driver of the 2013 Australian Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (1%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (6%)
  • Felipe Massa (5%)
  • Jenson Button (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (51%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (3%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Esteban Gutierrez (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Adrian Sutil (18%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Charles Pic (0%)
  • Giedo van der Garde (0%)
  • Jules Bianchi (14%)
  • Max Chilton (2%)

Total Voters: 830

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2013 Australian Grand Prix

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144 comments on Vote for your 2013 Australian Grand Prix driver of the weekend

  1. Vassilis (@bjbill) said on 18th March 2013, 11:17

    I went for Kimi.
    He drove extremely well, and if he had qualified better, it would have been the perfect weekend.
    Congrats to Bianchi and Sutil, too. They were nearly perfect!

  2. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 18th March 2013, 11:19

    For me it was Kimi and Bianchi. But like many, I picked Bianchi :-)

    What a talent he has!, made Max look like he was not even trying :-D

  3. tmekt (@tmekt) said on 18th March 2013, 11:26

    Voted for Bianchi.

    Even though Kimi was flawless he did make a big mistake in quali. It was Bianchi’s first race and he crushed every other backmarker by a country mile.

  4. KronicSonic (@kronicsonic) said on 18th March 2013, 11:37

    Is it just me that thinks over the entire race Di Resta did a better job than Sutil? If it wasn’t for a last minute team order Di Resta would have finishes ahead.

  5. sumedhvidwans (@sumedhvidwans) said on 18th March 2013, 11:40

    Bianchi for me!

    Kimi’s fastest lap at the end proved that he just had a brilliant car. Like the argument used so many times to not Vettel, ‘It is the car not the driver’.

    Sutil did brilliant too but faded on the supersofts. Nevertheless, for someone who was on a break for one year, he did very well.

    But Bianchi was driving his first race ever! And in tricky conditions too. But he put daylight between himself and his teammate. And good job taking on the super softs in the end and doing the 11th fastest lap. It will help him get attention from team bosses up and down the pit lane.

    Very happy that Glock’s place did not go to a pay-driver and to a genuine talent.

    • Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 18th March 2013, 11:43

      Makes us think about what he (Bianchi) could have done is he were driving that Force India…

      • sumedhvidwans (@sumedhvidwans) said on 18th March 2013, 11:48

        Indeed!

        I somehow get a hunch that Paul might get the boot midway through the season and Jules will come there along with the 2014 Ferrari engine supply.

        Let’s face it, this is the second year in succession that Paul is being beaten by a driver who is coming back from a year off. And I doubt Paul brings in a lot of cash. Both the Force India bosses are out of money too. Jules is available with (possibly more) talent and (definitely more) money!

    • tmekt (@tmekt) said on 18th March 2013, 13:49

      Kimi’s fastest lap at the end proved that he just had a brilliant car. Like the argument used so many times to not Vettel, ‘It is the car not the driver’.

      So Grosjean is just that bad of a driver?

      I do agree with the Bianchi-part though.

  6. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 18th March 2013, 11:44

    No clear stand out for the whole weekend as all the leading contenders for it had a dodgy session or two, but I went for Sutil in the end. If ever there was a way to announce that you deserve to be on the grid, that was it. The late meltdown of the tyres which we suffered from happened to everyone, so I’m not going to hold that against him.

  7. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 18th March 2013, 11:45

    It’s Kimi, he was unstoppable in yesterday’s race. He overtook people when he had to, he conserved the tyres when he had to and he pushed the car when he had. He got everything perfectly right. If he drives so good all season and if the car will remain competetive, then he can become world champion this season.

  8. Eric (@fletch) said on 18th March 2013, 11:47

    I voted for Sutil but it was close between him and Rosberg for the fantastic laps he pulled off in the wet. Amazing!

  9. kimrogue (@kimrogue) said on 18th March 2013, 11:48

    Was tempted to go with Bianchi, but had to agree with roughly half the fanatics. It was a brilliant performance from Kimi, to make a clean start and disposing Lewis off quickly to make his strategy work. Though I do feel bad for Vettel and Alonso who were at the mercy of their tires. Honorable mention: Sutil, he shocked me when he pulled away from Vettel, now that is something you don’t see a FI car do, especially in the hands of a guy who made a comeback 15 days ago.

  10. sato113 (@sato113) said on 18th March 2013, 11:49

    For the simple favt that kimi said it was an easy win, im going for sutil. Great drive after so long out.

  11. wigster (@wigster) said on 18th March 2013, 11:51

    I voted for Kimi Raikkonen as I think he managed to make a 2 stop strategy work in the race and didn’t make any mistakes other than in qualifying, which I think he made up for with his overtakes at the start of the race.

    I think Massa did particularly well in the race too, though as with Hamilton he was quite lucky not to do more damage to his car in qualifying. Also congrats to the 5 rookies who all managed to finish the race, more or less, without incident.

  12. BenH (@benh) said on 18th March 2013, 11:53

    Would have been Sutil if not for the supersoft stint after belying his year off and “rustiness” however I went with Bianchi as he looked like the kind of driver we have been waiting for in the slower cars. One that can outperform the car and challenge the midfield where he can. Yes, Force India probably made the wrong decision… in keeping Paul di Resta.

  13. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 18th March 2013, 12:07

    went for Sutil. Most people are saying it was just down to strategy. I couldn’t disagree more! When the front runners made their stops and switched their worn out SS tyres for Mediums he was still on the medium tyres he started on. Instead of being easy pray from DRS and fresher tyres on his pursuers cars he actually managed to break Vettels DRS range. That was what impressed me most about his performance. Given he’s been away for a year and that he doesn’t have the mileage in the car that Di Resta does, I’d say that’s a stellar performance. His last stint was horrible though and I think FI might be scratching their heads on what happen there. Look at Hamilton he did 20 laps (or something close to that) on SS that he had already used during Q1. Still that good performance from Sutil that has sincerely impressed me. I wasn’t so sure he would be able to get a decent enough performance in this soon.

  14. Alex Brown (@splittimes) said on 18th March 2013, 12:12

    Bianchi for me. Drove with maturity throughout all sessions. Out-performed expectations, and I’ll always go for the un-proven underdog than the guy who’s just doing more or less what he should be!

  15. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 18th March 2013, 12:16

    Definitely Kimi.

    I know that Sutil and Bianchi drove impeccably, but Kimi came from 7th to win the race.

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