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. the_sigman (@sigman1998) said on 18th March 2013, 15:09

    Ironical but Bianchi had his fastest lap, faster than Sutil’s. They both did their fastest laps with super-softs in their last stint. But that’s not the reason I voted for Bianchi. It was the difference with Chilton.

  2. Diceman (@diceman) said on 18th March 2013, 15:54

    Voted for Kimi, but Bianchi comes very close. Marussia were actually quite lucky that Razia ran out of money before the season started.

  3. RagingInferno (@raginginferno) said on 18th March 2013, 16:16

    I chose Bianchi, by far the best out of the backmarkers and looked poised to take advantage of any mistakes that midfielders might have made. Given that this was also his debut, very impressive.

  4. Andrew Simmons said on 18th March 2013, 16:26

    How can anyone say Massa was good this race? Because he wasn’t outside the top 10 fighting williams or toro rosso’s? He held up his teammate, he didnt even bother trying to overtake the slower Vettel, even when Alonso used his brain and undercut both of them he absolutly left them both standing in pace, so why couldn’t Massa get by Vettel instead of just cruising behind and not even attempting to do anything?

    Simple. Because he is rubbish. Lauding him for being 21 seconds behind his teammate and 11 seconds behind Vettel. Seriously. Just ludicrous.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 18th March 2013, 17:55

      He held up his team mate

      I don’t consider out-qualifying a driver who has the same car as you and staying in front of them a bad thing.

      Massa was entirely right to defend his position from Alonso at the start and it’s to his credit that he stayed in front as long as he did.

      • AldoG said on 18th March 2013, 18:46

        I agree entirely with Keith. But gosh, only the first race of the season and already there are people complaining because Alonso’s teammate didn’t go into the gravel to let the Spaniard pass.
        Seriously. Just ludicrous.

      • What @keithcollantine said. And apart from that, it’s driver of the weekend. Massa was strong in quali, had a brilliant start and raced well up until the bad strategy decision threw him off 2nd place and behind Vettel.

        Simple. Because he is rubbish. Lauding him for being 21 seconds behind his teammate and 11 seconds behind Vettel. Seriously. Just ludicrous.

        …and about 15 seconds in front of Hamilton and Webber. Does that mean those guys are rubbish too? And when did finishing in 4th place become a standard for being rubbish?

        You seem to forget speed is not the only factor here. Those gaps could be related to tyre management or simply there because he backed off once he realised there’s no point in pushing as Vettel’s pace was stronger towards the end of the race. Tyres behave differently on different cars and there’s a decisional factor involved too. You can’t judge a driver JUST by the gap between him and the guys in front at the end of the race.

        Just say you don’t like Massa and we’ll understand that but don’t start fabricating arguments out of nothing. That’s just wasted time there as no one will take you seriously.

  5. Bianchi was very good, Sutil was impressive in the race and Vettel was electric in qualifying – nobody could touch him. But my driver of the weekend has to be Kimi Räikkönen – not the most stellar of qualifying performance but boy did he make up for it in the race and setting fastest lap two from the end on older tyres than the guys chasing him was impressive.

  6. And who was the poorest driver? Maldonado?

  7. Bianchi showed potential in such a messy car like Marussia (shame he was so long only the test driver). Sutil was surprisingly fast in Force India, which seems to be the fastest middle grid team, but only one driver was consistently quick (during whole weekend)- Kimi Raikkonen. He could have had disappointing qualifying, but Lotus never have been quick on wet (remember Germany last year, where Kimi should be in front line considering FP3 pace, but it was massive rain during qualifying). Race was his masterpiece and very good start of the season. I think we could see many more such a dominant victories from Iceman this year. Hope so.

  8. Bayan said on 18th March 2013, 18:21

    I thought Bianchi beat both Caterhams but the article above says otherwise.

    • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 18th March 2013, 22:41

      Bianchi beat both Caterhams as stated in the article:

      Jules Bianchi – Looked quick in practice and qualifying, easily ahead of the Caterhams and threatening to exploit any slip-up by the midfield runners

  9. markopoloman (@markopoloman) said on 18th March 2013, 18:34

    I had to vote Kimi – but looking at the results so far, I wish I’d voted for Massa as it is shocking to see Alonso 1% ahead of him.

  10. Palle (@palle) said on 18th March 2013, 18:41

    @Keith: “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 Red Bull and Ferrari and was jumped by Raikkonen and Alonso – the latter was potentially avoidable.”
    shouldn’t it be “.. over a stint as Lotus and Ferrari and..”

  11. John Graham (@johnnyg) said on 18th March 2013, 20:57

    An instruction to let his [Valtteri Bottas] team mate pass at one point appeared to go unheeded.

    I wouldn’t let him pass either.

  12. JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 18th March 2013, 22:59

    @keithcollantine, the following quote relates to Vettel, I assume you mean Lotus rather than Red Bull!
    Couldn’t get same tyre life over a stint as Red Bull and Ferrari

    I went for Sutil, his performance was impressive considering it was a dry race and even though he ended up a few places down after suffering terribly in the super soft tyres it isn’t often you see a midfield runner anywhere near the front so deep into the race in dry conditions. Bianchi also did a great job.

    Massa was solid but not anything worth driver of the weekend I don’t think, on that measure Alonso had an unspectacular drive, being more-or-less matched by his less fancied team mate. Now that Massa has found his mojo Alonso can’t play the ‘my car is rubbish’ card every race weekend so he needs to move forward from solid podiums in his rubbish 2012 car to regular victories in his somewhat better 2013 challenger if his previous comments are to be believed. Raikkonen quietly gets on with it as usual, but winning from 7th on the grid is pretty rare and so he deserves a lot of praise. Hamilton also performed well and I think if Merc can sort out strategy he can be mixing it with Alonso, Vettel and Raikkonen for podiums regularly this year.

    So in my rankings for this weekend it’s Sutil, then Bianchi then Raikkonen and Hamilton tied for third.

  13. M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 19th March 2013, 1:44

    (@todfod) This completely, I really like Kimi and massively respect Alonso, but to me Sutil was the driver of the weekend. It’s a shame Pirelli bought the SS instead of normal soft or he might’ve ended up on the podium, but then again I think enough has been said about the tyre farce this weekend.

  14. Tyson Watts (@omegetau) said on 19th March 2013, 2:08

    I’m going to have to go with Sutil. He made the correct choice by starting on the medium tyres, everyone else had to pit before him and he lead the race on two separate occasions on his “2nd debut” you could say.

  15. smifaye (@smifaye) said on 19th March 2013, 8:28

    For me it was Jules Bianchi. He massively impressed me. I just think he blew away his closest rivals and I reckon by the end of the season he will have definitely scored a point.

    He just seems to have a very experienced head on such young shoulders and it is really encouraging to see.

    Honourable mention must go to Sutil and Raikkonen but they would be drivers of the race, not the weekend for me.

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