Which F1 driver was the best performer during the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend?
Review how each driver got on below and vote for who impressed you the most during the last race weekend.
Malaysian Grand Prix driver-by-driver
Sebastian Vettel – Spot-on tyre tactics in qualifying helped him claim another pole position, but getting a similar call wrong at the start of the race cost him the lead to Webber. Came very close to passing his team mate using the ‘undercut’ at the final round of pit stops. Ignored Red Bull’s arrangement for the drivers not to race each other in the final stint and passed Webber for the win.
Mark Webber – Got his timing wrong in Q3 and missed a chance to improve his lap time. But started well to claim second place and made the correct call to delay his switch to intermediate tyres. His race pace was a touch slower than Vettel’s, but he got to the last stint in the lead and expected team orders would guarantee him the win.
Fernando Alonso – Massa out-qualified him again (that’s four in a row now) and he damaged his wing on Vettel’s car at the start. He chose not to pit but it failed and put him out almost immediately afterwards. You don’t need hindsight to see staying out with a damaged front wing was a huge risk – this was a surprising call from a driver who usually plays a good long game.
Felipe Massa – A poor start compromised his race: he was beaten off the line by Alonso then held up in the opening corners and lost more time by pitting too early for intermediate tyres. Ferrari’s pace didn’t seem as strong here and he never looked like to challenge the Mercedes pair for a top-four finish.
Jenson Button – Ran fifth for much of his race and seemed to have the measure of Massa until a catastrophic pit stop halted his progress. Having made some improvements to the problematic MP4-28 it must have been especially frustrating to have his race spoiled by a recurrence of last year’s operational problems.
Sergio Perez – Unable to make a three-stopper work, he had to pit on the penultimate lap for fresh rubber. By this point he had already fallen behind the Lotuses and Hulkenberg, but held on for his first points with McLaren.
Kimi Raikkonen – Raikkonen put a second set of intermediates on in Q3 but could only manage seventh on the grid. That became tenth after a penalty for holding up Rosberg. Both Lotus drivers were passed by Hulkenberg and Ricciardo at the start, and Raikkonen dropped behind Grosjean when he went off at turn 12 on lap five – a mistake he repeated later. Despite slight front wing damage from the first lap and what he believed was unfair driving by Hulkenberg, Raikkonen passed the Sauber and finished seventh behind his team mate.
Romain Grosjean – Began the weekend without Lotus’s latest upgrades again. He started Q2 on used tyres, Lotus unaware of the incoming rain due to a radar problem, so he failed to set a time quick enough for the final ten. He used a three-stop strategy and was fifth with five laps to go, but Massa easily took the place off him.
Nico Rosberg – In a reversal of Australia, Rosberg looked strong in the dry parts of qualifying then dropped back when the rain came. Lost a place at the start but quickly passed Massa and Button to take up fourth behind his team mate. The pair swapped positions using DRS after their final pit stops, but Ross Brawn intervened to call off the battle. Rosberg was unhappy at the instruction to stay behind Hamilton but complied, telling Brawn to “remember this” at the end of the race.
Lewis Hamilton – Of those who didn’t take a second set of intermediate tyres in Q3, Hamilton was the highest on the grid in fourth. He split the Red Bulls during the race but dropped back when he had to use the hard tyres. Mercedes also repeatedly told him to save fuel, beginning early in the race, but with Rosberg holding station he collected his first podium for his new team.
Nico Hulkenberg – Showed his flair for damp conditions early in the race, climbing from twelfth to sixth. But he dropped behind Grosjean at the second round of stops and was passed by the other Lotus later. Took advantage of Perez’s struggles to claim eighth in the dying stages.
Esteban Gutierrez – A disrupted build-up included an exhaust fault and a fire extinguisher going off in his cockpit during practice. A second behind his team mate in qualifying, he tried to run a three-stop strategy but had to make a final stop with four laps to go, dropping out of the top ten.
Paul di Resta – Di Resta was left vexed by his team after qualifying and the race. He missed a chance to reach Q3 after he was told to abort a lap on slicks before the rain arrived. In the race a problem with Force India’s new wheel nuts forced him to retire.
Adrian Sutil – Looked in great shape in qualifying when it was dry, but fell to ninth in the rain-hit final session. Was passed by Hulkenberg early on before succumbing to the same pit stop problems as his team mate.
Pastor Maldonado – Another driver who was caught out by the rain in Q2. Damaged his front wing early in the race and had a couple of excursions off the track. He was running 15th in the closing stages when, for the third year in a row in Malaysia, he suffered an engine failure, this time relating to his KERS.
Valtteri Bottas – Missed Q1 and fell to last at the start but was less than one-and-a-half seconds outside the points at the chequered flag after a battling drive.
Jean-Eric Vergne – Having gone out in Q1 his start to the race was compromised when his team released him into the side of Charles Pic’s Caterham in the pits. The stewards confined their punishment to the team rather than the driver and Vergne set about recovering from 20th. His team mate’s retirement and Gutierrez’s tyre problems helped him claim a point.
Daniel Ricciardo – Was one of several drivers who went off at the flooded turn three on his way to the grid (Webber, Gutierrez, Chilton and both Williams drivers did likewise) but picked up floor damage. “That probably played a part in my problem at the end,” he admitted after retiring with an exhaust failure for the second race running, “the damage on that opening lap affected my overall performance all race long”.
Charles Pic – After being mauled by Vergne he did well to recover and finished ahead of his team mate and Chilton’s Marussia. “It’s such a shame that incident happened as we could definitely have finished better if it hadn?óÔéĽÔäót happened,” he said.
Giedo van der Garde – A puncture early in the race was of little consequence as he was pitting at the time anyway. Was out-raced by Pic but praised his team for their quick pit stops after the race.
Jules Bianchi – Qualified within three-tenths of Vergne and Bottas but fell behind both Caterhams at the start. He recovered to finish ahead of them and kept Maldonado behind for ten laps in the second half of the race.
Max Chilton – Continued to struggle with tyre locking as in Melbourne, and was some way off his team mate’s pace. Was racing with the Caterhans until he dropped back in the final stint.
Qualifying and race results summary
|Started||Gap to team mate||Laps leading team mate||Pitted||Finished||Gap to team mate|
|Jenson Button||8th||-0.961s||35/53||3||17th||Not on same lap|
|Sergio Perez||10th||+0.961s||18/53||4||9th||Not on same lap|
|Nico Hulkenberg||12th||-1.096s||55/55||4||8th||Not on same lap|
|Esteban Gutierrez||14th||+1.096s||0/55||4||12th||Not on same lap|
|Paul di Resta||15th||+7.675s||10/22||2|
|Jean-Eric Vergne||17th||+0.435s||16/51||3||10th||Not on same lap|
|Daniel Ricciardo||13th||-0.435s||35/51||3||18th||Not on same lap|
|Giedo van der Garde||22nd||+0.618s||28/55||4||15th||+8.984s|
|Jules Bianchi||19th||-1.238s||52/54||4||13th||Not on same lap|
|Max Chilton||21st||+1.238s||2/54||4||16th||Not on same lap|
Review the race data
- 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix lap times and fastest laps
- 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix lap charts
- 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix tyre strategies and pit stops
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.
2013 Malaysian Grand Prix
- Horner: Vettel and Webber have a “healthy rivalry”
- Webber wins Malaysian GP Driver of the Weekend
- Red Bull gives up on team orders as Vettel admits he would defy them again
- Malaysia retirement no concern for Alonso
- Massa: Red Bull’s team orders not “intelligent”
Images ?é?® Red Bull/Getty, Sauber