Vote for your Malaysian GP driver of the weekend

2013 Malaysian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Sepang, 2013Sebastian 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.


Start, Sepang, 2013Kimi 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, Sauber, Sepang, 2013Nico 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.

Force India

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.

Toro Rosso

Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, Sepang, 2013Jean-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?t 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
Sebastian Vettel 1st -2.57s 21/56 4 1st -4.298s
Mark Webber 5th +2.57s 35/56 4 2nd +4.298s
Fernando Alonso 3rd +0.14s 1/1 0
Felipe Massa 2nd -0.14s 0/1 4 5th
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
Kimi Raikkonen 7th -0.996s 5/56 3 7th +12.915s
Romain Grosjean 11th +0.996s 51/56 3 6th -12.915s
Nico Rosberg 6th +0.82s 9/56 4 4th +0.459s
Lewis Hamilton 4th -0.82s 47/56 4 3rd -0.459s
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
Adrian Sutil 9th -7.675s 12/22 2
Pastor Maldonado 16th -0.34s 12/45 3
Valtteri Bottas 18th +0.34s 33/45 3 11th
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
Charles Pic 20th -0.618s 27/55 4 14th -8.984s
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

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 Malaysian Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (17%)
  • Mark Webber (34%)
  • Fernando Alonso (1%)
  • Felipe Massa (1%)
  • Jenson Button (6%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (1%)
  • Romain Grosjean (2%)
  • Nico Rosberg (14%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (4%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (5%)
  • Esteban Gutierrez (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Adrian Sutil (1%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (1%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Charles Pic (0%)
  • Giedo van der Garde (0%)
  • Jules Bianchi (12%)
  • Max Chilton (0%)

Total Voters: 862

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2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Images ?? Red Bull/Getty, Sauber

149 comments on “Vote for your Malaysian GP driver of the weekend”

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  1. Rosberg for me. Webber, yeah maybe, but Rosberg definitely.

  2. It will be very interesting to see which driver wins this vote, since there were many great (and controversial) performances and in my opinion none of them stands out. I honestly can’t decide whom to vote.

  3. I’m going with Bianci, partly because that was a genuinely impressive driver and party because I so nearly gave it to him for Melbourne. It’s difficult to stand out when you’re at the back of the grid, but Bianci is doing what Alonso and Webber did in the past by consistently punching above his weight and threatening to give the established teams a bloody nose. Could well nick a point in a future chaotic/wet race.

    This guy’s special, well worth keeping an eye on!

  4. Sebastain Vettel – brilliant tyre strategy in qualifying to steal pole by nearly a second, then a controversial but well-earned victory.

  5. I am asking myself how could it be Vettel?? He was asked to maintain an at least 3 seconds gap right after he was closing up to Webber after the first stops from lap 12, than the same after the second stop from lap 24 and than again from lap 35 or so. He was following orders until lap 43. Team decisions favoured Webber 4-0 against Vettel. It must be Webber he was excellent all weekend and that overtake… Ohh boy! Awesome! Wait, maybe I mixed them up. Was it Vettel after all ?

  6. I have to say Bianchi. His qualifying lap was spectacular, thumping Chilton by over 1 and a quarter seconds. He was great in the race to, finishing over 30 seconds ahead of the Caterhams (granted they did have a few issues). He’s winning the battle of the tail enders and if he continues performing like he has in the first two races he will be making his way onto a top team’s radar very soon.

  7. vettel. his ruhtlessness explained why he is a 3x WDC and mark’s whining explained why he is 0x WDC. and do people honestly think that if it were alonso and massa in the situation, alonso will no overtake him? come on

  8. Jules Bianchi, although I hardly saw these backmarkers on TV. I would have awarded this to the top drivers but to see them whine, lie and also defy orders, I can’t. It was an interesting race nonetheless.

  9. I vote for Vettel, his racing dna is phenomenal.
    There is an important issue about the tyres.
    But, he made his move at the final laps, when it was clear that the tyres will last.
    These points are so important.

  10. Lewis was the only driver to battle the dominant Redbulls upfront, and he only gets 4% of the votes?

    1. @jason12 Hamilton himself admitted that his team mate performed better and would’ve been on the podium hadn’t there been team orders.

      1. A false admission…
        He out-qualified Nico, and was faster than Nico throughout, until he ran out tyres and fuel (almost :D).

        1. @jason12 Hamilton was faster at first only because he used his fuel very early on whereas Rosberg saved fuel (and would’ve passed Hamilton because of that, as Hamilton himself stated)

        2. @hotbottoms
          Would you have been happier if Lewis didn’t race the Redbulls, right from the beginning, but saved his tyres and fuel?
          For how will these F1 races be killed half way through, in fear of severe tyre degradation?
          Kimi wins ‘the easiest race of his life’, and the team can’t replicate that coz they don’t really have a handle on these tyres.
          So they were probably just lucky the tyres switched on that time.
          Who’s gona be lucky next?
          We really need to go back to RACING and at least Lewis does try to do just that (until HANDICAPPED by the status quo).

          1. @jason12
            Whether the current tyres and fuel rules are good is completely different thing. DotW is the driver, who “did the best job this weekend” and in my opinion (and Hamilton’s) Rosberg did better job than Hamilton this weekend.

            I’m quite certain that Hamilton’s number one priority was achieving the best possible result, not being entertaining. And had it not been team orders, Rosberg would’ve achieved a better result than Hamilton by merit.

          2. @hotbottoms
            If ‘best job’ means ‘nursing tyres’ then ofcoz…..

            Hope Lewis doesn’t deteriorate into one of those guys anytime soon.

        3. Also I don’t think Bernie wants Lewis at Redbull because of some ‘fatherly love’ that he has for him.
          Bernie realizes that F1 desperately needs some REVITALIZATION (it’s getting boring quite quickly).
          And there’s no better medicine to achieve this right now then to team up Lewis with Vettel (and just let the games begin).
          Vettel supporters, both inside and outside Redbull, would obviously not be too keen on this.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      25th March 2013, 16:43

      +1 I was surprised too and to think that he had actually been told to lift off on lap 20, his performance was very impressive.

  11. I voted Vettel, but i think Biachi would deserve it too. Voted Vettel because he got the pole, he was the faster, we wanted to win.

  12. Good set of choices for this race.

    Vettel will get votes for pace and breaking team orders (albeit only when it suits him)

    Webber will get votes for a great start, good control of the race, speaking out, and sympathy for Vettel’s control of the team.

    Button got his car where it possibly doesn’t belong, kept up with the leaders and fought off overtakes as much as possible.

    But I think the vote goes to Bianchi, even if we didn’t get to see much of it.

    1. How do you expect him to break team orders when it does not suit him? Just as Webber he breaks them when they play into his hands.

  13. Not alot of drivers really standing out this weekend. I voted Vettel. Great quali lap, and quick in the race. Webber did good too, and so did the Mercedes boys (not Hamilton’s fault being under-fuelled) and Jensen Button.

  14. The top drivers and their teams did a real mess this time, at that degree that I am not feeling comfortable to vote any of them. Massa was no where, Lotus drivers as well, so I picked Hulkenberg. It was his first drive for Sauber, and he did well.

  15. Well, it’s tough one. I feel that all this mess about team orders doesn’t show what a great weekend Vettel had. He was stunning in Q3, and he was very fast throughout the race. And he had to fight for it, after a bad strategy call in the first few laps. His battle with Webber was amazing, I think it was one of the best of recent years.

    I expected Hulkenberg to do a very good job in mixed conditions and he didn’t disappoint me at all. His first and second stints were absolutely impressive, considering Sauber’s pace. He was very aggressive with Raikkonen, but I think he respected the rules, even if Kimi wasn’t too happy about it. It’s a shame that Sauber could only manage P8, considering their podium last year, but that was the best the car could do. It’s great to see Hulkenberg fast from the very beginning (that’s his first race!), even if he is probably quite disappointed with the car.

    1. I totally forgot to say the driver I voted! In the end I voted Hulkenberg.

  16. Voted for bianchi once again. Another impressive performance by him in the marussia just a shame he didn’t get some t.v coverage. Not sure why people are voting for webber, he had a good race but there was better drivers on the day and voting for vettel. WELL… What cam I say?

  17. Vince (@devilontrack)
    25th March 2013, 18:31

    Can never understand how underrated Grosjean is, how can a driver start 11th and finish 6th (a position higher than his teammate who had upgrades on his car) yet he only gets 2% of the votes. Voted for him because i thought he was superb during the race.

  18. Mark Webber for being a team player.

  19. FlyingDutchman
    25th March 2013, 19:56

    I voted Vettel. Somebody (I forget who) once said, “if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver.”

    1. That’s the best defense I’ve heard yet.

  20. i voted for Mark and was amazed to see that he was the over whelming favorite. little vettle showed that he has been reading too many press releases about his greatness…. No need to be a lo life when you are on the top of the mountain. I was also very surprised that Massa did not get more votes as he was my 2nd choice. Thanks, R & R

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