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. Timo (@timo) said on 18th March 2013, 12:22

    Kimi drove well and won from the 4th row on the grid, has to be him.

    Honorable mentions to Massa, Bianchi and Sutil.

    I think whilst Sutil drove well, he started from a pretty strong position in reality. With Hulkenberg dropping out he was the first of the runners on fresh tyres from the start, which was of significance given the Supersofts were giving up very early. Ultimately, Di Resta would have passed him but for team orders.

  2. Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 18th March 2013, 12:26

    I don’t understand why Sutil is getting so many votes. Out-qualified by di Resta and team orders helped him finish 3.5 seconds ahead of his team mate. Sure, he did get some valuable screen time for FI by leading the race, but that was only because he started with mediums and he was always going to drop back. Sutil and di Resta performed more or less as well, so it’s hard to see why one has 17% and other 1% of votes.

  3. Robert (@rob91) said on 18th March 2013, 12:34

    I voted Adrian Sutil because his race performance really impressed me. He hadn’t raced for 15 or 16 months so you wouldn’t expect much from him but he ended up leading several laps whilst holding off the likes of Vettel and Alonso and he finished ahead of his teammate Paul di Resta after starting behind him. Well done Adrian.

  4. Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 18th March 2013, 12:39

    My heart said Sutil, but my head won out and I voted for Kimi. It was a faultless drive on a better strategy, and his speed and relentlessness will serve him well this season if the Lotus is as good as it appears.

  5. EstF1 (@estf1) said on 18th March 2013, 12:45

    Voted for Kimi. If I had two votes I would’ve voted for Bianchi too.

  6. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 18th March 2013, 12:47

    Raikkonen, then Massa. Raikkonen for perfect strategy, cool head and excelent execution of the plan. The only think I can take from Massa is his slightly too cautious approach to the strategy, as he said, Alonso took risk – he didn’t. He could have won that one.

  7. Starbuck (@starbuck) said on 18th March 2013, 12:51

    Alonso/Kimi/Bianchi. I would say Kimi (in the better car) but reading that situation when Hamilton locked up his brakes so quickly and leaving the door open was astonishing.

    What I don’t get is the hype around Sutil. It was clear from the start that the one of the midfielders on primes would lead the race at some point. If anything, I’d say his performance on the options was incredibly poor compared to e.g. Bianchi in a Caterham(!)

  8. Massa for me. Provided his race engineer would have been willing to take the same risk as Alonso’s, Massa would have probably finished second. Nevertheless, solid quali, a very strong race, a brilliant start and a tight performance throught the whole weekend. Good for you, Felipe, good for you!

    Other notable mentions, in order: Sutil, Bianchi, Raikkonen, Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton.

    • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 18th March 2013, 13:26

      I went for Massa also. I’m even beginning to think that a change in race engineer would do him some good. Not that I don’t like Smedley, but someone with enough fire to really push him for victory – he seems like a bit of a lapdog for Ferrari these days.

      All the other drivers you mention I also agree with.

      • If I were Ferrari I would sack that traiter-in-the-house Smedley (reminds me of Nigel Stpheny who put watshing-up power in the Ferrari feul system and later sold Ferrari car design to an British team like him).

        Ever since Smedley talked down Massa few years back using the phrase “Good boy” I am puzzled how Ferrari are still blind to his dis-service to them.

        Sack him at once !!!

  9. andae23 (@andae23) said on 18th March 2013, 13:21

    I see that my three nominees are also the top 3 at the moment. Coincidentally all three haven’t had the easiest winter testing…

    Adrian Sutil made a remarkable comeback to racing, really impressive. I do have to say, he was running an alternative strategy which made him race in first place for quite some laps. But at the end of the day, he finished just in front of Di Resta, even if the supersofts had lasted just a little bit longer. What was impressive was that at one point he was leading a group with Vettel and Alonso and he was pulling away from them. In my opinion, Sutil hasn’t performed extraordinarily, so therefore no Sutil vote.

    Jules Bianchi had a good opening race, but there were some factors that made it appear more impressive than it actually was. His fastest lap was quick, but then again he was on low fuel and brand new tyres, while the rest of the pack was on old medium tires. Secondly, his teammate had a collision with Van der Garde which left him with a damaged front wing and he also had the two slowest stops of the day. Then if you look at the lap times, it cannot be noticed that Bianchi was significantly faster than Chilton. So I have no idea why people are thinking that Bianchi has performed some kind of miracle this race.

    Kimi Raikkonen is without a doubt my driver of the weekend. He just gave a masterclass in how to use your tires. He achieved something that Hamilton set out to do but he didn’t succeed – in my opinion that shows just how much of an achievement a 2-stop strategy was.

  10. HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 18th March 2013, 13:28

    I have to give it to Kimi. So many drivers deserved it, but Kimi first win, deserves the driver of the weekend

  11. KaIIe (@kaiie) said on 18th March 2013, 13:38

    I went with Kimi, but there were other great performances as well:
    - Felipe Massa continued the way he ended last year, i.e. being the Felipe of 2008. Shame that his strategy perhaps cost him a podium.
    - Adrian Sutil. Great drive, certainly blitzed his teammate (apart from the last stint spend on supersofts).
    - Jules Bianchi. Best rookie. Put in a performance comparable to, say, Kimi and Alonso in their rookie year.

    • Kimi and Alonso in their rookie year.

      Clearly you mean Alonso and Webber? Maybe? Raikkonen made his debut with Sauber in a transition era for the team (from a crap car to a decent one), didn’t really do anything to impress in his first year as an F1 driver and got beaten both on classifications and in the WDC by Heidfeld.

      Not saying he didn’t do enough to earn his seat with a post-Hakkinen McLaren team (his story is very similar to Perez’s, to be honest) but he didn’t perform a class above the car’s potential as a rookie either (something Alonso and Webber clearly did in their Minardi days).

      • Diceman (@diceman) said on 18th March 2013, 15:51

        If I remember correctly Tarso Marques did beat Alonso in 2001, so I don’t find his first season very impressive either. I do agree Kimi’s debut-season wasn’t as great as some seem to think.

        • @diceman He did, statistically. He ended up in front of Alonso in the WDC. It happened because Marques managed to finish the race race at Interlagos in 9th place (out of 9 drivers who actually finished) while Alonso retired with a mechanical failure. But aside from this one-off happening, Alonso always ranked in front of the brazilian in the races (on the few occasions when the Minardis didn’t let one or the other down) and he beat him a whooping 13-1 in quali out of the 14 races they were team mates in, on some occasions by more than 2 seconds. On top Marques grabbed more retirements than Alonso and had a couple of DNQs as well, before getting replaced by Yoong.

          This is just one of those cases where the final season rankings don’t reflect who the actual better driver was, that’s all.

  12. Of course Kimi is a legend. But I voted for Bianchi, dude’s got potential, needs a better car, imho.

  13. Ben (@scuderia29) said on 18th March 2013, 14:00

    who the hell voted for hamilton?? XD he was just a roadblock for most of the race

    • Damien Blackman (@hyakuyagami) said on 18th March 2013, 16:27

      ~Raises hand~ I did because of that best of the rest after Red Bull qualifying performance in a Mercedes I am still sure is being a bit over hyped, especially when looking at that race pace.

      Still hats off to Kimi for getting that two stopper stuck in and being so quick on it and Bianchi for driving that Marussia like he stole it.

      Sutil on the surface seems impressive but for me was a bit more strategy luck than anything else.

      • Ben (@scuderia29) said on 18th March 2013, 17:23

        im just wondering what hamilton did exactly to be voted as driver of the weekend? consistently slower than rosberg during qualifying up until q3, got in the way of numerous quicker cars during the race, and finished behind Alonso, Massa and Raikkonen who all started behind him…so what did he do that was so great? lol

        • Damien Blackman (@hyakuyagami) said on 18th March 2013, 20:01

          because of that best of the rest after Red Bull qualifying performance in a Mercedes I am still sure is being a bit over hyped, especially when looking at that race pace.

          In my opinion the race was really a bit of an exercise in tyre strategy and that seemed to be Pirelli’s goal with the tyre selection. There were some standout drives in the race don’t get me wrong and I rate Raikkonen as a driver, but to vote based on who managed their tyres better just seems wrong to me.

          With all that in mind going on the fact that everyone was pushing their hardest in Q3 as the track dried I just like the way how Hamilton cheekily stuck it up there with the clearly superior Red Bulls.

    • Brace (@brace) said on 18th March 2013, 22:44

      Haha, when a driver of Hamilton’s caliber gets to be called a road block, you know there were some stunning performances at the sharp end. :)

  14. F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 18th March 2013, 14:33

    what’s with all the sutil love? sure, he drove well…but his time in the spotlight was artificial. he was out of phase with the rest of the contenders, and when the rain didn’t come and he had to run the same tires everyone else already had, he quickly fell to 7th (8th on merit). he put in a very respectable performance, but not quite as respectable as mr. raikkonen.

  15. zippyone (@zippyone) said on 18th March 2013, 14:52

    Kimi, although he didn’t qualify too well, he drove a great race and barely broke a sweat by the looks of him upon exiting the car. He has really improved his fitness.

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