2013 Malaysian Grand Prix
Mark Webber finished behind team mate Sebastian Vettel in controversial circumstances in Sepang.
But F1 Fanatic readers picked him as the best driver of the race weekend over his team mate by a ratio of nearly two to one.
Here’s your pick of the three best drivers of the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend.
1. Mark Webber
In qualifying Webber decided not to use a second set of wet weather tyres which saw him bumped back to fifth on the grid. But a great start – a rarity for him in recent races – propelled him up to second at the start.
That became first when Vettel made an early pit stop for slicks which turned out to be premature. Webber wanted to change even later than he did – but his stop turned out to be perfectly timed and put him in the lead.
He held the place, often with Vettel close behind, for much of the rest of the race. He emerged from his final pit stop side-by-side with his team mate and held Vettel off to begin with – until that controversial pass.
Webber deserved to win this race.
I went with Webber, he drove a good race and screwed at the end by Vettel.
Played the team game and didn’t take it too far. He’s rightfully annoyed, and was doing a good solid job. The team and Vettel owe him big time.
2. Sebastian Vettel
Having lost his lead to Webber early in the race Vettel pressed his team mate hard to take the place back, even lobbying his team to order Webber to pull over.
He briefly lost second to Lewis Hamilton in the pits but quickly re-passed the Mercedes. His final pit stop brought him within range of Webber.
Vettel said he didn’t immediately understand the “Multi 21″ instruction he was given – code for car two (Webber) to remain in front of car one (Vettel). But he wasn’t interested in holding back either, and took the place from Webber after a forceful move at turn one, the pair duelling until Vettel prevailed three corners later.
It’s a tough choice between both Red Bull drivers but Vettel is my driver of the weekend.
His pole position lap was very impressive, his start was great, he never gave up and his pass on Webber is most probably going to be one of the best passes of the whole season.
His move gained him seven additional points. If you take seven points off every season that Vettel has been in F1, he would have only won one world championship – 2011. He would have lost out to Alonso in both 2010 and 2012!
That is why he took his chances and put the move on Webber. Schumacher would have done the same.
I’m a racing fan first, then Webber fan. I rather watch a brilliant race with Mark retiring than Mark winning from pole in 2011 Vettel-style.
What I got from Sunday’s debacle is that had the roles been reversed, people would’ve hailed Mark as a true racer and they’d have applauded him, as it happened in Silverstone 2011.
But because Vettel’s in that thin line between great and naughty, he’s fitted the silly boy hat. Their past history is known already. They both race hard, there are shortcuts but fron 2009 till today, it’s been a fair battle that’s been won by Vettel most of the times.
What Sebastian did is debatable, but come the end of the day, he did what Mark Webber always asks: he raced hard until the end. I’m sure had Mark been behind, we’d be cheering him for being how he is: a no-joke, flat-out racer.
Vettel might have lost respect, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t the fastest driver all weekend. His only mistake was pitting for slicks a lap too soon.
3. Nico Rosberg
Jules Bianchi nearly ranked in the readers’ top three for his second Grand Prix as he did in the first, claiming 12.1% of the vote.
But Rosberg pipped him after showing great pace in the race and, unlike Vettel, obeying his team’s instructions not to pass his team mate.
He had pace all weekend, was very strong when qualifying was dry, unfortunately he didn’t get the lap in Q3 but can hardly persecute him for that given the conditions.
He had a measured and a (typically) understated drive. He held the pace of Hamilton, maintaining a gap early in the race, despite Hamilton (rightfully) getting the beneficial earlier stops. Then when Lewis slowed in the second half, Nico closed the gap. Had a clean battle before being told to settle behind Lewis.
Nico deserved the podium, Hamilton even acknowledged it, but Rosberg showed a great amount of respect to both his team and Hamilton by obeying the orders. He wanted to race and justifiably argued the decision and although I would have loved for him to pull a Vettel and go for it, he acted in the best interests of the team and didn’t make a fuss.
But most importantly, he showed he isn’t going to be thrashed by superstar Lewis and that he has the pace and brain.
Kept his cool even though a podium was up for grabs.
Driver of the Weekend 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.
2013 Driver of the Weekend results
|Australian Grand Prix||Kimi Raikkonen (51.2%)||Adrian Sutil (17.9%)||Jules Bianchi (13.6%)|
|Malaysian Grand Prix||Mark Webber (34.2%)||Sebastian Vettel (17.4%)||Nico Rosberg (13.6%)|
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 © Red Bull/Getty, Mercedes/Hoch Zwei