Vote for your 2013 Bahrain GP driver of the weekend

2013 Bahrain Grand Prix

Which F1 driver was the best performer during the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend?

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

Bahrain Grand Prix driver-by-driver

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2013Sebastian Vettel – Slipped from second to third at the start but was quick to attack Alonso further around the lap, claiming the place back. He got Rosberg before DRS was activated too. Those two moves gave him the benefit of clear air for much of the rest of the race, and put him on course for win number two.

Mark Webber – Beaten by Vettel in qualifying, then had to take a three-place grid penalty. Pitting early to gain track position meant he had to run long stints later which came back to haunt him at the end of the race. Despite losing grip he fought hard against Hamilton but the Mercedes driver broke his defences on the final lap and Perez took advantage as well. Was later reprimanded for contact with Rosberg at turn two.


Fernando Alonso – Made his usual good start before being pegged back by Vettel. His race was ruined when his DRS jammed open passing Rosberg, then again when he overtook Bianchi. Climbed back into the points but was passed by Perez near the end.

Felipe Massa – Collided with Sutil at the start, then picked up two punctures during the race. Hulkenberg, Sutil and Bottas all passed him in the last six laps.


Jenson Button – Was pleased to reach Q3 again but less happy with his tyre wear and even less so with his team mate’s driving. Button helped Perez onto the run-off at turn four but needed to make a fourth stop for tyres which demoted him to tenth.

Sergio Perez – Failed to reach Q3 for the third time in four races. But a great start saw him move up to eighth by lap three. He played hardball with his team mate and crossed the line at times – he was fortunate not to ruin both their races when he tagged Button at turn four. But he came out on top and having conserved his tyres he was able to attack in the final phase, passing Alonso and Webber for sixth.


Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Bahrain International Circuit, 2013Kimi Raikkonen – Raikkonen admitted his qualifying lap “wasn’t great” – he was promoted to the fourth row by Hamilton’s penalty. He lost further ground when the McLarens passed him on the second lap. But his two-stop strategy lifted him ahead of most of the three-stoppers to finish second behind Vettel.

Romain Grosjean – Trying for a single run in Q2 was his downfall: a mistake at turn 11 caused his elimination. But equipped with a new chassis and plenty of fresh tyres he had his best race of the year so far. He had to make his first pit stop early as a McLaren endplate lodged in his radiator, causing overheating. That meant he couldn’t emulate his team mate in running a two-stop strategy, but he still managed to catch and pass Di Resta for third.


Nico Rosberg – Took pole position but his car seemed better suited to a flying lap than a race stint. “I didn’t feel comfortable in the car today and it wasn’t much fun out there really,” he admitted after slipping from first to ninth by the chequered flag.

Lewis Hamilton – Hamilton was demoted to ninth by a gearbox change penalty, then puzzled by his car’s mid-race improvement in pace. From then on he went on the attack and came out on top of a battle with Webber to claim fifth.


Nico Hulkenberg – There was little evidence of the progress Sauber thought they’d made in China. Hulkenberg suffered rapid degradation at every stint and unsuccessfully lobbied his team to put him on a four-stop strategy. “A difficult and frustrating weekend,” was his verdict.

Esteban Gutierrez – Carrying a five-place penalty into the weekend, Gutierrez failed to reach Q2 and lined up last on the grid. He picked up damage on the first lap and spent his race trying to catch Pic’s Caterham, which crossed the line half a second in front of him.

Force India

Paul di Resta, Force India, Bahrain International Circuit, 2013Paul di Resta – Both Force Indias took advantage of Hamilton and Webber’s grid penalties, so Di Resta headed Sutil on row three. He got ahead of Massa at the start, then passed Rosberg and by lap 11 he was in the lead of the race. He was the only driver besides Raikkonen to run a two-stop strategy, though he couldn’t keep either of the Lotuses behind, surrendering the final podium place to Grosjean.

Adrian Sutil – Pipped by Di Resta in qualifying, Sutil tangled with Massa on the first lap which ruined his race. He passed the delayed Ferrari on the penultimate lap for 13th.


Pastor Maldonado – Came home in front of his team mate for the first time this year but 20 seconds behind the points finishers as Williams continue to struggle.

Valtteri Bottas – Reached Q2 at the expense of his team mate after he was the first of the two to set times that were identical to a thousandths of a second. He started on the hard tyres and ran as high as fourth to begin with but had difficulty looking after his rear tyres and dropped back.

Toro Rosso

Jean-Eric Vergne – Tangled with Bottas at the start, then was hit by Van der Garde. He tried to carry on but the damage caused overheating and forced him to retire.

Daniel Ricciardo – Difficulty with tyre warm-up and braking pointed to a lack of downforce. Ricciardo’s best lap was slower than that of the Caterhams and Marussias, though he finished ahead of them in 16th.


Charles Pic, Caterham, Bahrain International Circuit, 2013Charles Pic – Was the only Caterham driver to benefit from the team’s upgrades though it’s doubtful they accounted for all of his one second margin over Van der Garde in qualifying. Fell behind both Marussias at the start but overtook them and stayed there, and kept the delayed Gutierrez behind too.

Giedo van der GardeHeikki Kovalainen drove his car in first practice which must have given him food for thought. Having started well he was helpless to avoid hitting Vergne. That forced an early pit stop, and another one later due to a delaminated tyre meant he made five visits to the pits.


Jules Bianchi – Both Marussia drivers were unhappy with their car’s balance in Bahrain. Bianchi’s usually ample margin over his team mate in the race was reduced to 12 seconds as both had to make four pit stops.

Max Chilton – Kept Bianchi in sight early in the race before dropping back.

Qualifying and race results summary

Driver Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 2nd -0.494s 57/57 3 1st -37.244s
Mark Webber 7th +0.494s 0/57 3 7th +37.244s
Fernando Alonso 3rd -0.54s 43/57 4 8th -48.79s
Felipe Massa 4th +0.54s 14/57 4 15th +48.79s
Jenson Button 10th -0.212s 32/57 4 10th +10.633s
Sergio Perez 12th +0.212s 25/57 3 6th -10.633s
Kimi Raikkonen 8th -0.616s 38/57 2 2nd -10.396s
Romain Grosjean 11th +0.616s 19/57 3 3rd +10.396s
Nico Rosberg 1st -0.432s 34/57 4 9th +5.896s
Lewis Hamilton 9th +0.432s 23/57 3 5th -5.896s
Nico Hulkenberg 14th -0.321s 56/56 3 12th Not on same lap
Esteban Gutierrez 22nd +0.321s 0/56 4 18th Not on same lap
Paul di Resta 5th -0.011s 57/57 2 4th -54.992s
Adrian Sutil 6th +0.011s 0/57 3 13th +54.992s
Pastor Maldonado 17th 0s 39/57 3 11th -15.061s
Valtteri Bottas 15th 0s 18/57 3 14th +15.061s
Jean-Eric Vergne 16th +0.31s 0/16 1
Daniel Ricciardo 13th -0.31s 16/16 3 16th
Charles Pic 18th -1.021s 54/55 3 17th Not on same lap
Giedo van der Garde 20th +1.021s 1/55 5 21st Not on same lap
Jules Bianchi 19th -0.298s 52/56 4 19th -12.284s
Max Chilton 21st +0.298s 4/56 4 20th +12.284s

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 Bahrain Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (32%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (12%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Jenson Button (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (11%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (10%)
  • Romain Grosjean (9%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (5%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Esteban Gutierrez (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (18%)
  • Adrian Sutil (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Charles Pic (0%)
  • Giedo van der Garde (0%)
  • Jules Bianchi (0%)
  • Max Chilton (0%)

Total Voters: 698

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141 comments on Vote for your 2013 Bahrain GP driver of the weekend

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  1. jh1806 (@jh1806) said on 22nd April 2013, 17:15

    Has to be Alonso. Last 8th with no DRS was super impressive stuff!

    • Commendatore (@commendatore) said on 22nd April 2013, 18:42

      Agreed. Alonso of Kimi, though I voted for the Finn this time. He just impressed me the most this weekend. :)
      The finger-boy with lady luck on his side, was left completely unchallenged in Bahrain. I see no reason at all to vote for him.

      • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 22nd April 2013, 20:22

        The finger-boy with lady luck on his side

        It’s incredibly reductive to state that Vettel’s victory was purely down to luck. Alonso running into problems and possibly missing out on victory does not mean that Vettel’s win was down to mere luck. He qualified well, made great passes on Alonso and Rosberg and commanded from the front. Quite like Alonso in China. Both were great drives and deserved victories. Neither were reliant on luck.

    • Yeah I loved to see Alonso running up the field without DRS, demonstrating the obsolescence of it when you are racing like a hungry hunting dog. He gets my vote for pure racing as he kept it stuck in.

    • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 22nd April 2013, 19:05

      His DRS became stuck ‘upside-down’ – effectively generating lift instead of downforce – at the beginning of lap 4. He pitted at the ned of lap 7.

      So he basically not only held onto his position for three laps with heavily reduced rear downforce, but overtook Rosberg on lap 5 as well.

      Overtook Button and Pérez later on with no DRS at all.

      Mighty stuff.

      Still, I went for Checo for keeping his composure for 57 laps bar one corner exit in the most heavy traffic possible.

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 22nd April 2013, 19:12

        I agree, Alonso was incredible, having to drive with no DRS against drivers who had access to this weapon, and still went from 24th to 8th was epic stuff.

      • It was a very good effort indeed, but I did think about it and really I don’t think having the DRS open would affect the car too much. Sure you’ve lost quite a significant amount of rear downforce, but the car is much faster in a straight line obviously and I have a feeling he only managed to maintain position because he had the dose the full way down every straight. Also, the fact the cars were laden with fuel probably helped offset some of the loss.

        Again though a very good effort from Alonso – I immediately thought “well, that’s him gone!” when the camera changed from Alonso’s rear wing in the braking zone – I thought he’d just have gone straight on!

    • Catalin (@mutulix) said on 22nd April 2013, 19:49

      Amen to that my friend. Alonso proves once again that has what it takes.

      • Jorge Lardone (@jorge-lardone) said on 22nd April 2013, 20:52

        Alonso make to big mistakes on friday and saturday. And another big mistake (with his team) by go to race again with DRS enabled after his first pit sotp. How can you voted him “Best driver of the weekend”???

        • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 22nd April 2013, 20:56

          What big mistakes did Alonso make on Friday and Saturday.

          Button made countless mistakes at Canada 2011, though that didn’t prevent him from winning that DotW poll.

          • @kingshark – well he did spin in FP3 but it’s hardly what is being suggested as a “big mistake” – you could maybe argue he could’ve gone faster in qualifying but he was against Vettel so I hold nothing against him there.

            The only other thing I can think of that wasn’t a team mistake was him making that slight error at turn 4 which allowed Vettel to pounce and do that great overtake, so I’d hardly say he made lots of ‘big mistakes': even though I don’t like him that’s quite a gross exaggeration.

          • clappy (@danielc) said on 22nd April 2013, 22:52

            Alo done the fastest q1 time Kingshark so he did make a mistake if he was such a great qualifier like you think he should of got pole. L.Ham or Seb would have that’s for sure. Alo done his fast q1 time on hard’s beat the red bull’s who were on mediums so surely their was more pace, if Alo could Be ahead on hards why shouldn’t he on mediums.

    • M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 22nd April 2013, 21:57

      +1 to Alonso.
      Although tempted to throw it at Kimi and Di Resta (was gutted he didn’t get on the podium, though Grosjean did drive a good race too).

      Maybe I’m biased towards him because because his DRS was broken and it sent my heart fluttering watching real overtakes for the first time in years, but it was a truly stellar drive with one hand tied behind his back, again.

  2. TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 22nd April 2013, 17:18

    Can’t be anyone but Vettel. Racecraft, pace, tyre management. He did it all.

    Shout out to Alonso and Di Resta too.

    • Estesark (@estesark) said on 22nd April 2013, 17:57

      Yes, that was a remarkable performance from Vettel, even by his high standards. The moves that took him from third to first were very impressive, and further dispelled the myth that he can’t overtake. Once he was at the front, he was in a class of his own. He barely made it onto the TV feed after that, but watching his lap times on the timing screen was astonishing, and he even had pace to spare at the end after he had been asked to bring the car home safely.

      Quite a few drivers deserve recognition for their performances – both Lotus drivers, di Resta and Alonso, to name a few – but Vettel really ought to win this.

      • @estesark – I forgot to mention the race craft part actually! That was my very first thought when he pulled those moves (and Brundle’s actually!) – he very sarcastically said on commentary something along the lines of “here’s the guy who can’t race overtaking again”.

    • Jake (@jleigh) said on 22nd April 2013, 21:36

      I normally give it to Vettel on occasions similar to this, but I didn’t this time. Partly because there were many other superb performances, and partly because he said himself the car had incredible pace and it was easy.

  3. Cristian (@cristian) said on 22nd April 2013, 17:20

    Vettel of course

  4. Rigi (@rigi) said on 22nd April 2013, 17:21

    grosjean, great drive from him! not every driver can manage to move up 9 places on the grid!

    great drives from alonso, raikkonen and di resta aswell

  5. ShaneB457 (@shaneb12345678910) said on 22nd April 2013, 17:22

    I’ve actually gone with Perez.

  6. MahavirShah (@mahavirshah) said on 22nd April 2013, 17:24

    Kimi Raikkonen but only just. I felt that he managed his tyres and race very well. Vettel did a great job and I hope he wins but for me the way Kimi managed his race was very good. Di Resta did well too but not spectacular enough.

  7. EstF1 (@estf1) said on 22nd April 2013, 17:26

    Kimi Räikkönen. Started from 8th, the dirty side of the grid, fell to 9th or 10th in the first laps, got overtaken by both McLarens, and still managed to get 2nd. Good drive from him. Lotus’ strategy has to be credited too though and their cars being kind to their tyres

  8. David not Coulthard (@) said on 22nd April 2013, 17:27

    I went for vettel, though Kimi and Fernando were probably as good as him.

  9. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 22nd April 2013, 17:30

    For me it’s Sebastian Vettel. He made right moves at the beginning of the race, especially that one over Alonso, which looked quite impressive. He quickly disapared into horizon and from then on looked like a mirage for his rivals. Fastest lap was icing on the cake. You can’t demand more.

  10. Sebastian Vettel: qualified very well (of course though second to Rosberg) and then swiftly took the lead before even the DRS was activated. From there, he managed the race and went completely unchallenged for position and in fact twice came out still in the lead after pitting I believe.

    Honourable mentions go to Alonso and Perez but not actually Räikkönen I don’t think – he performed fairly poorly in qualifying by failing to replicate his Q2 time (which would’ve allowed him to start fourth and probably challenge harder for the win). So as a driver of the weekend no.

    • Also forgot to mention the Force India pairing (although can somebody clarify who was at fault with the Sutil collision?)! Grosjean though again under-performed in qualifying, so I’ve not considered him either.

  11. Alex Brown (@splittimes) said on 22nd April 2013, 17:32

    Grosjean for me. He out-performed my expectations of him. Whilst some managed their tyres well, and others drove aggressively, he found the perfect middle-ground between the two, and it paid off big time: not the kind of things you’d have expected from him last year!

  12. ME4ME (@me4me) said on 22nd April 2013, 17:33

    Voted for Vettel. If there is such thing as a perfect race, this was certainly it. He was faultless all the way to the finish line. Very impressive first laps as well, proving critics once more he is an exellent racing driver. Other drivers which would have been an option for me if Vettel hadn’t produced the kind of result he did were Alonso (for being quick all weekend) and Di Resta. For me Perez wouldn’t have made the cut, cause he actually hit his team mate. Neither would Raikkonen nor Grosjean, because I feel they aren’t getting everything out of the car at qualifying.

    • @me4me agreed on everything expect possibly the Perez mention – I don’t think it was anything major, just a small error which I don’t feel tainted his whole performance. I feel personally this is the Perez I always wanted to see – gutsy in wheel-to-wheel combat and reliving (to an extent) the race pace he had at Sauber, so good on him!

      I agree though, not a driver of the weekend-winning performance.

  13. Slr (@slr) said on 22nd April 2013, 17:35

    I voted for Perez as he was much closer to Button in qualifying and his racecraft was brilliant and he pulled a few ballsy overtakes down into turn 6.

  14. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 22nd April 2013, 17:35

    Vettel, by a long way. He failed at 2 things only: not getting pole and being overtaken by Alonso at turn 1, two very tiny things.


  15. Marciare_o_Marcire (@marciare-o-marcire) said on 22nd April 2013, 17:37

    Alonso, all the way. Highest-placed four-stopper and placed higher than many 3-stoppers, all without DRS. As usual, the only thing stopping Alonso is the incompetence of his own team.

    • liam (@) said on 23rd April 2013, 0:44

      hear, hear.

    • Mike (@mike) said on 24th April 2013, 5:59

      Like in Sepang! :D

      At the end of the day, things can go wrong, that’s part of racing. The people who build the cars and those who drive them work together as a unit, this unit is called the team. They share luck and mistakes alike.

      • Marciare_o_Marcire (@marciare-o-marcire) said on 28th April 2013, 19:02

        That’s a very simplistic explanation that I don’t agree with. In Sepang, Alonso made a slight mistake and damaged his front wing (that’s one of the “things that can go wrong”, “part of racing” you were referring to). He couldn’t have known the condition of his wing because… well, he couldn’t see it from the cockpit. Also, due to the wet track, he wasn’t driving full speed therefore didn’t have a very good indication of whether or not the damage to the wing had significantly impacted the car’s driveability and downforce level.
        His incompetent team, however, had a clear view of the damaged wing from F1’s television feed. His worthless team saw that the wing was hanging on by a single vertical support pillar. When drivers damage their wing and keep on driving it’s because the wing is still attached via both pillars. It’s a miracle the wing lasted that long. And yet somebody in the team made the call to stay out even longer. That was the team’s fault, not Alonso’s. Alonso knows this very well, he just won’t say it in public.
        There’s definitely an “I” in “team”. In Ferrari’s case, I stands for incompetent. And I won’t change my mind even if Ferrari wins both titles this year.
        Coming from a Ferrari fan.

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