Start, Shanghai, 2013

Vote for your 2013 Chinese GP Driver of the Weekend

2013 Chinese Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Start, Shanghai, 2013Which F1 driver was the best performer during the Chinese Grand Prix weekend?

Review how each driver got on below and vote for who impressed you the most during the last race weekend.

Chinese Grand Prix driver-by-driver

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel – Opting not to set a time in Q3 and start the race on medium tyres was a striking deviation from Red Bull’s usual tactics. It almost paid off at a track where the RB9 lacked its usual edge. Vettel picked his fights carefully during the race but when it came to the crunch a slip-up at turn 11 on the final lap cost him a clear chance to take a podium finish.

Mark Webber – If Webber was owed a karmic debt after Sepang it certainly didn’t come in Shanghai. He ran out of fuel in qualifying and an improperly fitted wheel ended his race. While problems beyond his control wrecked this event for him an error of his own making – an optimistic move on Vergne at turn six – saw him collect a grid penalty for the next round.


Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Shanghai, 2013Fernando Alonso – Laughed off questions about Massa out-qualifying him for four races in a row then put a stop to it on Saturday, claiming third on the grid. After his usual good start he put a straightforward DRS pass on Hamilton to take the lead. His driving in the second stint won him the race, quickly working his way through traffic to minimise the strain on his tyres.

Felipe Massa – Disappointed to miss out on the top three in qualifying, but the first round of pit stops really spoiled his race. Left to do another lap on worn softs, he dropped back into the midfield where he struggled with tyre degradation and finished sixth.


Jenson Button – As in Malaysia he took the best that the MP4-28 had to offer. But this time there was no pit lane slip-up to deprive him of the reward for his efforts. Ekeing the tyres out for two pit stops asked a lot of his self-control: “I had to cruise when I’d normally fight the others. It’s not the most exciting way to go racing, but we got ten points today because we did it.”

Sergio Perez – Another driver who found himself mired in the pack and struggling to make his tyres last. He persevered with his two-stop strategy to the end but finished out of the points. He was clouted by Raikkonen on the way: the Lotus driver claimed Perez had pushed him off the track but the McLaren hadn’t deviated from the racing line and no penalty was forthcoming.


Kimi Raikkonen – Qualified on the front row for the first time since Monaco four years ago. But a problem with his start settings saw him get away poorly. This was the first blow to his victory chances: the second came when he hit Perez’s McLaren. Despite front wing and nose damage estimated to have cost him a quarter of a second per lap he soldiered on and jump Hamilton at the final round of pit stops to take second.

Romain Grosjean – Grosjean had the same problem as Massa when it came to timing his first pit stop, but his lap times suffered even more and he emerged even further back in the midfield. From there he salvaged ninth, passing Hulkenberg in the closing stages.


Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Shanghai, 2013Nico Rosberg – An error at the final corner on his flying lap in Q3 probably cost him a place on the front row. He followed his team mate into the pits on lap five but didn’t lose too much time. However a fault was detected with his rear anti-roll bar after his second pit stop and that ended his race.

Lewis Hamilton – A clean sweep in qualifying including a brilliant Q3 lap produced his first pole position for his new employers. But his lead only lasted four laps, after which he was unable to hold off the Ferraris. He struggled with understeer in the middle of the race but it cleared up later on, suggesting rubber debris had become stuck in his wing and then been dislodged. But it was too late to claim second place back from Raikkonen.


Nico Hulkenberg – Reached Q3 for the first time this year but decided against doing a lap. He started on medium tyres and passed Button and Vettel on lap four. That handed him the lead of the race three laps later, but by the end of the race he’d fallen to tenth. Having used the soft tyres for his third stint it was his return to medium tyres in the final stint that really hurt him and he was passed by Ricciardo and Grosjean.

Esteban Gutierrez – Eliminated in Q1. Five laps into the race he missed his braking point at the hairpin and slammed Sutil out of the race, earning himself a five-place penalty for the next round.

Force India

Paul di Resta – Missed the top ten shootout by 0.026s. Paid a high price for getting too close to his team mate on the first lap, running wide and losing several places. Although he recovered to finish seventh his team believed he could have finished ahead of Button. His stints on the medium tyres were impressively consistent.

Adrian Sutil – Having been out-qualified by Di Resta, his race had barely begun before he was taken out by Gutierrez.


Pastor Maldonado – “We didn?t have a chance to fight for any higher positions,” was Maldonado’s glum assessment after coming home with just the Marussias and Caterhams behind him.

Valtteri Bottas – Used his soft tyres at the end which helped him pass his team mate but couldn’t offer any opposition to the faster cars.

Toro Rosso

Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, Shanghai, 2013Jean-Eric Vergne – Comprehensively beaten by Ricciardo in qualifying – the gap between them was almost a full second in Q2. His race was ruined when Webber knocked him into the spin at turn six.

Daniel Ricciardo – Qualified an excellent seventh and eventually came home in the same position having out-raced Grosjean but lost out to Vettel.


Charles Pic – Ma Qing Hua drove his car in first practice and Pic lost furthe time in second practice with a suspected hydraulics problem. In the race he got rid of his soft tyres early which jumped him to the head of the Marussia/Caterham battle. He lost out to Bianchi on their final stops but stuck with his rival until the end, which perhaps explained his reluctance to let Hamilton and Vettel past.. He reckoned that was “almost as good as we could have hoped for with our current performance levels”.

Giedo van der Garde – Said he was struggling to understand the tyres and made a mistake in Q1 but was little slower than his team mate. However in the race his tyre trouble told and he was over a minute behind Pic at the flag.


Jules Bianchi – Came out on top of the ‘back four’ cars, using the undercut to jump Pic at the final round of pit stops.

Max Chilton – Closer to his team mate than Van der Garde was but was warned about obeying blue flags several times in the race.

Qualifying and race results summary

Driver Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 9th -1.336s 15/15 3 4th
Mark Webber 16th +1.336s 0/15 2
Fernando Alonso 3rd -0.145s 54/56 3 1st -40.827s
Felipe Massa 5th +0.145s 2/56 3 6th +40.827s
Jenson Button 8th -0.53s 56/56 2 5th -28.575s
Sergio Perez 12th +0.53s 0/56 2 11th +28.575s
Kimi Raikkonen 2nd -0.603s 53/56 3 2nd -43.255s
Romain Grosjean 6th +0.603s 3/56 3 9th +43.255s
Nico Rosberg 4th +0.377s 0/21 3
Lewis Hamilton 1st -0.377s 21/21 3 3rd
Nico Hulkenberg 10th -1.005s 4/4 3 10th
Esteban Gutierrez 18th +1.005s 0/4 0
Paul di Resta 11th -0.118s 1/5 3 8th
Adrian Sutil 13th +0.118s 4/5 0
Pastor Maldonado 14th -0.488s 19/56 3 14th +1.592s
Valtteri Bottas 17th +0.488s 37/56 3 13th -1.592s
Jean-Eric Vergne 15th +0.941s 11/56 3 12th +29.913s
Daniel Ricciardo 7th -0.941s 45/56 3 7th -29.913s
Charles Pic 21st -0.046s 48/55 3 16th -67.119s
Giedo van der Garde 22nd +0.046s 7/55 3 18th +67.119s
Jules Bianchi 19th -0.757s 49/55 3 15th -37.928s
Max Chilton 20th +0.757s 6/55 3 17th +37.928s

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 Chinese Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (5%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (47%)
  • Felipe Massa (1%)
  • Jenson Button (6%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (16%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (5%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (1%)
  • Esteban Gutierrez (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Adrian Sutil (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (18%)
  • Charles Pic (0%)
  • Giedo van der Garde (0%)
  • Jules Bianchi (0%)
  • Max Chilton (0%)

Total Voters: 725

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2013 Chinese Grand Prix

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Images ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Red Bull/Getty

120 comments on “Vote for your 2013 Chinese GP Driver of the Weekend”

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  1. Alonso, although I wish I could have voted for Ricciardo as well. Alonso beat his teammate in qualifying for the first time this season after being behind in practice times. Alonso beat the field in qualifying with only one chance to do it. He got everything right in the race and never put a foot wrong. He made better use of the DRS than most of the other drivers. He managed his equipment well and had a great race. One slight error could have cost him the race. This seems to define GP driver of the weekend.

    Ricciardo really impressed me this weekend. He’s not made much of an impression on me previously, but more racing like this could certainly change my mind. Very satisfying to see a driver do well with a car that is not the best.

  2. already voted but I just have to say this: What a great feeling Hamilton must´ve had when he passed Button twice!!!! I can only imagine the look on his face whenever he had him in sight! I would love to chat with him about that over a pint!

    1. Its ok I guess. He passed Jenson a bunch of times when he was at Mclaren as well… so nothing new for Jenson.

  3. Alonso hands down. Great start, intelligent overtaking, strong race pace, managed his tyres well and did everything perfectly on race day to take the most commanding win of the season. Great way to silence any critics after his mistake in Malaysia

  4. voted for alonso as that was a untroubled and magnificent drive where the nothing wrong.

  5. Tough choice between four drivers. Alonso did a great job: like Raikkonen in Melbourne, he gave a true masterclass in driving. The clever overtakes he made at the final turn before the long straight where he already made the pass stick before he opened his DRS, genius.

    Kimi Raikkonen did an excellent job as well, with a damaged nosed that according to Lotus’s technical director cost them a quarter second a lap. I’m not so sure about that, but still he outperformed his teammate by quite some margin and I’m surprised and impressed he finished ahead of Hamilton.

    Jenson Button took a gamble doing only two stops, and unlike his teammate he managed to make it work – which I think once again confirms his status as F1’s tyre yoda. But from the four listed here, I’m least tempted to vote for Button.

    Daniel Ricciardo did an excellent job, qualified well and drove very smooth and consistent stints. I don’t know if the STRaight just clicked with the circuit or if Ricciardo’s drive was simply that good, but I suspect the latter.

    In the end, Alonso got the vote with a marginal difference to Ricciardo.

  6. Allan McNish; in the final 35 minutes, he managed to close up a 35 second gap to his team-mate, and then went on to win by 5 seconds or so.
    He was incredible

    1. I like your thinking. :D

  7. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    16th April 2013, 8:15

    For me, Ricciardo.

  8. Hamilton first for me. He deserved the victory just how he he raised the level of competition Mercedes.
    If we can vote for more than only one driver, Alonso was my second choice despite he drive a Ferrari…

  9. I voted for Jenson Button. I’m not his fan, but he really impressed me during the race. Made only 2 stops, where most drivers made 3, and managed to maintain repectable pace. Even Alonso with fresher tyres didn’t pass him quickly when he caught Button. Mclaren is not worth 5th place, but Button made it possible.

  10. Ricciardo for me as he did really well to stay seventh and even qualify seventh, a whole second ahead of Vergne I believe.

  11. Quite a few of drivers were good this weekend: Räikkönen, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Bianchi (again), but, from my point of view, Alonso was the best all-round. Consistent pace trough practice and qualifying and then an excelent race.

  12. For this i have to name Alonso for the driver of the weekend. It’s not the pilot that i support, but has enough talent to be WC.This race Alonso face it with maturity and with a good pit stratagie. It worked…It wasn’t a breafth taking race until the last lap, for the lead lacked a bit of fight there. But it wasn’t Fernando’s fault, he was there, he did enough to came out in 1 and win the GP.
    The second driver, Ricciardo, with a Toro Rosso, coming in 7th is a great achievemet.
    Note for the 5 WC in the Top 5

  13. My vote would have to go to Ricciardo, he seemed to get much more out of the car than JEV – the first time really that anyone has been able to properly race the STR since Vettel, maybe if Webber does decide to move to the Porsche WEC team next season we’ll see him as Seb’s team mate.

  14. It has to be Alonso for me, he just seemed to be in control the whole race. I loved the team radio when Ferrari told him not to push and he said he wasn’t, then the fastest lap for Alonso caption came on screen straight away.

    Some other drivers who I thought did well included

    Raikkonen – it would have been nice to see if he could have challenged Alonso without the damage to his car.

    Ricciardo – impressive in both qualifying and the race, the way things are going there may be an opening at Red Bull next year so he will have to keep putting performances like this in to convince them to promote from within.

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