Vote for your Malaysian GP driver of the weekend

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

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.

Ferrari

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.

McLaren

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.

Lotus

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.

Mercedes

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.

Sauber

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.

Williams

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”.

Caterham

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.

Marussia

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 (1%)

Total Voters: 862

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2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Images ?? Red Bull/Getty, Sauber

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

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  1. F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 25th March 2013, 20:10

    i like to choose the driver that hit above his weight, when applicable. i flipped a coin between the resurgent massa and the strong showing from rosberg – i clicked on massa.

  2. MarcusAurelius (@marcusaurelius) said on 25th March 2013, 20:17

    Hmmm,. Seems like I’m the only one to vote for Jean Eric Vergne. He and Bianchi are the only ones that really impressed me enough to take notice. All others were performing worse that they should (for all different reasons).

  3. ciara said on 25th March 2013, 21:01

    Sebastian Vettel!

  4. James Blackman (@cocoonfxmedia) said on 25th March 2013, 21:32

    Vettel was he best driver… Simply that he raced to win like Senna,Schuamacher,Prost. He drove like a champion! For some reason Webber seems to get more support as he plays the political game… He raced Vettel in Brazil last year when he was completely out of he title race and potentially could of ruined Vettels title bid. Webber is and will always be a number 2 driver. Lets hope he moves to Ferrari and then he will really find out about team orders!!!! Make way for some younger and better talent!

  5. dirgegirl (@dirgegirl) said on 25th March 2013, 22:37

    Grosjean for me – he outKimi’d Kimi in a car which was not the class of the field this weekend.

    I would have voted for Vettel for his sheer couldn’t-care-less attitude and driving skills, but those spur-of-the-moment lies about whether he knew about team orders leave too a sour taste in the mouth.

  6. Ivano (@) said on 25th March 2013, 23:38

    Vettel for me.

  7. wigster (@wigster) said on 26th March 2013, 0:04

    I’m finding it difficult to pick the best driver from this weekend. For me no one had an exceptional weekend. The Red Bull drivers did more or less what I’d expect from them, as did the Mercedes. The Ferraris, Lotus’s, Force India’s, Saubers and Williams all had underwhelming weekends I think. Neither of the Torro Rosso drivers really stood out for me either, and the same can be said for the 2 younger teams at the back, except perhaps for Bianchi. However, maybe that’s how fast his car is this year and he’s not outperforming it, it’s just that Max Chilton is making him look good, but I don’t know as I can’t remember seeing much of the Marussias in the BBC highlights.

    In the end my top three are Webber, Rosberg, and Bianchi. I think, in the end, my vote will go to Bianchi, purely because he finished the race quite a bit ahead of the other racers from the 2 younger teams.

  8. Drezone said on 26th March 2013, 1:16

    If people worried about team orders and drivers paying their way and others saying nobody really stood up maybe the grid should look like this

    Red Bull: Bianchi & Ricciardo

    Ferrari: Alonso & Vettel

    Mercedes: Hulkenberg & Hamilton

    Lotus: Raikkonen & Rosberg

    McLaren: Button & Webber

    Then the best 10 drivers are in the best 5 cars

  9. phil9079 (@phil9079) said on 26th March 2013, 11:47

    I choose Vettel. Let me tell you why firstly. Go all back to that point where they raced eachother. Now look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MFRpipkQu8 , why isn’t the refferee coming in between them? IT’S FREAKING PART OF THE GAME! Their reason to fight is to settle a score that has happend in history OR in many cases, just because there is a fault that hasn’t cleared out. There are even hockeyplayers that shaked eachothers hands after a fight. What does this all have to do with F1? Everything. What I want to say is “this sorts of racing is part of the game”. THE FANS LIKE THIS RACING! So in hockey, they fight to give the fans a good show. Presumably, this is just the same in F1. Why did hamilton and button fight? Cause they would make the race exciting! Alot of history happend between them (sort of why they want to settle the score once again) but seb has changed his overtakingmanouvre (don’t say it’s true, or have you already forgotten Abu Dabhi and Brazil? Don’t say it was luck eighter cause in Brazil, Vettel was taken out by someone and pointed in the wrong direction) so there was no need to panick anyway.

    As a Vettelfan I certainly don’t tolerate what he said onto the radio “mark is too slow, get him out of the way”. Seb could’ve easaly said to the teamradio that rosberg was behind him and that mark was slowing him down, allthough mark was faster after that lap. But then Webber was also guilty saying multi 21. So both refered to team orders even asked for team orders. It’s all verry complicated and confusing when you are a fan and you’re trying to understand the other side of the story…

    And another thing, lets all sit back and have a life. I’m sure your husbands appreciate this… Seriously, what is everyones problem anyway? You can’t do anything about this AT ALL! You can’t be part of this situation. This is behind redbulls closed doors. Send as much mails to redbull racing, THEY WON’T LISTEN TO YOU! So go ahead and disagree as much as you can. You ain’t helping much… Instead of all this, you should just go to school/work/have a nice day/do some sport/pay attention to your family and concentrate on that rather then keep jamming around…

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing against you at all, but some people are so furious about this that they think that the wole world is suddenly going to die.

  10. MW (@) said on 26th March 2013, 13:21

    Massa for me, outqualified the brilliant alonso again and battle through the race to bring the car home in the best possible position

  11. markopoloman (@markopoloman) said on 26th March 2013, 17:53

    Vettel 2nd!!! You got to be kidding….

    Webber for me, closely followed by Rosberg.

  12. katederby (@katederby) said on 26th March 2013, 20:43

    Webber for the start, the call on tyres and pacing the car perfectly. Also impressed with Grosjean, Bianchi and Vergne… a good race for France with Pic also impressive.

  13. fangio85 (@fangio85) said on 27th March 2013, 5:56

    Vettel for sure, even though I find his attitude disgusting at times I won’t deny his ability. Alonso deserves a mention for retaking and holding second with a broken front wing, but I would like to know who made the call to keep him out :\. Bianchi also deserves a mention, excellent job considering the machinery he had to work with. One question, how did the red bulls manage to look so planted with what looked like a much smaller rear wing to other teams?

  14. PJA (@pja) said on 3rd April 2013, 17:56

    It looks like I have missed voting in this poll.

    I thought it was a hard choice which is why I delayed voting and ending up not voting in time. For what it’s worth I think I would have voted for Bianchi.

    Bianchi impressed me on his debut in Australia and did again in Malaysia, of course we are only really comparing him to Chilton who is also a rookie and so also an unknown quantity.

    While Vettel had a good weekend and I would prefer it if there were no team orders and teams let their drivers race, the fact remains he did disobey team orders so I couldn’t vote for him as my driver of the weekend.

    Webber was hard done by but I feel that over the weekend Vettel did outperform him.

    I would also mention that Rosberg and Hulkenberg were also in the running for my vote and di Resta seemed to be set for a good result if it hadn’t been for his team’s problems.

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