Start, Spa-Francorchamps, 2013

Vote for your 2013 Belgian GP driver of the weekend

2013 Belgian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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

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

Belgian Grand Prix driver-by-driver

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2013Sebastian Vettel – Vettel held the whip hand during practice, even though a puncture cost him some running in second practice. Hamilton pipped him to pole in the wet Q3 but judicious use of KERS at the start and a committed run through Eau Rouge gave Vettel an irresistible run on the Mercedes to take the lead. After that he has never headed.

Mark Webber – Close to Vettel on pace all weekend but was a tenth off in qualifying and made another of his poor starts. Sixth by lap two, he passed Button but was unable to crack the two Mercedes.


Fernando Alonso – Ferrari had clearly made gains this weekend and in the dry part of Q2 Alonso was just a few hundredths of a second off the fastest time. But then the rain came and he ended up ninth on the grid. A typically strong start got him past both Lotuses and – importantly – Webber’s Red Bull. Button and Rosberg were easily dispensed with in the DRS zone and he out-braked Hamilton for second at La Source. Even if he’d qualified better it’s hard to see how he could have finished higher.

Felipe Massa – Also started well but had to run wide to avoid contact at the first corner, losing positions to Hulkenberg and Perez. He was hampered by a KERS glitch in the early running but the Grosjean/Perez incident effectively handed him two places. An early first pit stop also helped him move back up the order, though not as effectively as Alonso was able to.


Jenson Button, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2013Jenson Button – Arrived at Spa believing a podium was possible and left in a similar frame of mind. He reached the top ten in the dry conditions of Q2, then when the rain came in Q3 he produced a lap good enough to beat the Lotuses and Ferraris. Had McLaren extended his first stint to allow him to complete the race with a single stop it’s possible he might have finished higher than sixth, though third may have been too optimistic all along.

Sergio Perez – Had he left the pits a few seconds earlier in Q2 he would probably have reached Q3. Perez gained two places at the start but spoiled a pass on Grosjean by needlessly squeezing the Lotus driver, earning himself a penalty. He was clearly unhappy with the stewards’ decision during the race, but afterwards said “I now understand where the penalty came from”. McLaren converted him to a one-stopper but Ricciardo edged him out of the top ten with four laps to go.


Start, Spa-Francorchamps, 2013Kimi Raikkonen – Both Lotuses performed less well when the rain fell during qualifying and neither of them made good starts to the race. Raikkonen got ahead of Grosjean on the second lap but a visor tear-off had got into his left-front brake duct, causing the disc to overheat. It was removed at his pit stop but the brake was already too far gone and it eventually put him out, ending a 27-race scoring streak and leaving him 63 points behind Vettel in the championship.

Romain Grosjean – Out-qualified Raikkonen for the third time in four races but lost ground in the race when Perez forced him wide, allowing Massa through. Ran a one-stop strategy in an attempt to gain ground, and did jump ahead of the Ferrari, but was re-passed late in the race.


Nico Rosberg – If Rosberg had had enough time in Q3 to set another lap, as Hamilton did, it’s likely he would have challenged for pole position as he was flying in the damp conditions. His race was more subdued, finishing fourth.

Lewis Hamilton – Hamilton’s claims his fourth pole in a row was a “surprise” does not seem that unreasonable considering he was outside the top ten in all three practice sessions and only scraped into Q3 by a few hundredths of a second. Fell victim to Vettel at the start but might have made Alonso work a bit harder for second place.


Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, Spa-Francorchamps, 2013Nico Hulkenberg – Not for the first time this year Hulkenberg found himself eliminated in Q2 by a slender margin. Continuing a running theme of his season he began and ended the race unhappy with his tyre degradation, and was out of the points.

Esteban Gutierrez – Gutierrez showed clear signs of improvement but wasn’t able to capitalise on them. He was caught out in Q1 for the seventh time this year and started on the back row. His race pace looked at least a match for his team mate’s and might have beaten him had he not collected a drive-through penalty for going off the track while passing Maldonado.

Force India

Paul di Resta – After spinning in Q1 Di Resta almost pulled off a shock in Q3 by playing a tactical blinder. He left the other nine drivers to try in vain to set a time on a wet track using slick tyres, then left the pits on intermediates and had the track to himself. However the Mercedes and Red Bull drivers were able to beat his effort, leaving him fifth. despite a poor start with a lot of wheelspin he only fell as far as seventh. His first pit stop dropped him behind Massa and he then fell victim to Maldonado’s carelessness.

Adrian Sutil – While Maldonado took his team mate out and Gutierrez took care of himself with a drive-through penalty, Sutil was there to pick up the pieces. He didn’t qualify that well and made a poor start, but even so it’s doubtful he would have finished much higher than eighth.


Pastor Maldonado – Was one of several drivers to be caught out by the Marussias and Caterhams using slick tyres in Q1. Maldonado felt Williams committed to intermediate tyres too soon, leaving him 17th on the grid. He was coming to the end of his second stint on lap 27 when Gutierrez tried to pass him, followed by the two Force Indias. As Maldonado tried to make for the pits he clipped Sutil, then took out Di Resta entirely, earning himself a stop-go penalty.

Valtteri Bottas – Started behind Gutierrez and the two Toro Rossos and finished there. “We were struggling for pace in sector two and this made it difficult to get close to the cars in front and once I had been overtaken it was very difficult to regain the place,” he said.

Toro Rosso

Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, Spa-Francorchamps, 2013Jean-Eric Vergne – Another driver who looked quick early on in qualifying but missed the cut in Q1. “It was just a team mistake,” he said afterwards. “These things shouldn?t happen, but everyone gets it wrong now and again. It is very frustrating.” Made patient progress on race day and felt he could have finished higher but for a slow puncture during his final stint.

Daniel Ricciardo – Also got caught out during Q1. Ricciardo fought back by running long in his first stint on hard tyres then pushing during the final two on mediums. In his last stint he passed his team mate, Hulkenberg and Perez to claim the final point from 19th on the grid.


Charles Pic – Unlike his team mate he did not use slick tyres for his final run in Q1 and the difference between them at the end was stark: Van der Garde was almost seven seconds quicker. Bad luck struck again in the race when his engine failed early on.

Giedo van der Garde – After the high of finishing Q1 third thanks to his slick tyre gamble he lined up 14th on the grid. Within five laps he was down to 19th, unable to mount any realistic opposition to the faster cars he’d jumped ahead of in qualifying. Maldonado’s penalty helped him to 16th.


Jules Bianchi – Both Marussias reached Q2 thanks to their slick tyre gamble but once again they did not look like beating the Caterhams on merit. Radio problems hampered his race but he was generally quicker than Chilton.

Max Chilton – As usual he wasn’t miles off Bianchi’s pace but never really looked like beating him either – particularly after he collected a drive-through penalty for failing to respond to blue flags.

Qualifying and race results summary

Driver Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 2nd -0.125s 44/44 2 1st -33.845s
Mark Webber 3rd +0.125s 0/44 2 5th +33.845s
Fernando Alonso 9th -0.577s 44/44 2 2nd -37.053s
Felipe Massa 10th +0.577s 0/44 2 7th +37.053s
Jenson Button 6th -0.663s 44/44 2 6th -41.142s
Sergio Perez 13th +0.663s 0/44 1 11th +41.142s
Kimi Raikkonen 8th +0.309s 17/25 1
Romain Grosjean 7th -0.309s 8/25 1 8th
Nico Rosberg 4th +1.239s 1/44 2 4th +2.138s
Lewis Hamilton 1st -1.239s 43/44 2 3rd -2.138s
Nico Hulkenberg 11th -2.612s 32/44 2 13th -12.178s
Esteban Gutierrez 21st +2.612s 12/44 2 14th +12.178s
Paul di Resta 5th -0.178s 16/26 2
Adrian Sutil 12th +0.178s 10/26 2 9th
Pastor Maldonado 17th -0.36s 23/43 2 17th Not on same lap
Valtteri Bottas 20th +0.36s 20/43 2 15th Not on same lap
Jean-Eric Vergne 18th -0.017s 20/44 2 12th +13.27s
Daniel Ricciardo 19th +0.017s 24/44 2 10th -13.27s
Charles Pic 22nd +6.82s 0/8 0
Giedo van der Garde 14th -6.82s 8/8 2 16th
Jules Bianchi 15th -0.199s 41/42 2 18th Not on same lap
Max Chilton 16th +0.199s 1/42 2 19th 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 Belgian Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (38%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (39%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Jenson Button (7%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (1%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (3%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Esteban Gutierrez (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (1%)
  • Adrian Sutil (1%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (2%)
  • Charles Pic (0%)
  • Giedo van der Garde (5%)
  • Jules Bianchi (0%)
  • Max Chilton (0%)

Total Voters: 624

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2013 Belgian Grand Prix

Browse all 2013 Belgian Grand Prix articles

Images ?? Red Bull/Getty, McLaren/Hoch Zwei, Sauber, Daimler/Hoch Zwei

190 comments on “Vote for your 2013 Belgian GP driver of the weekend”

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  1. I went for van der Garde. He was the only driver who did better than I expected this weekend. A lot better, in fact. He’s probably been the most improved driver over the course of the season.

    1. Gutierrez also showed real pace yesterday, but I voted for van der Garde too!

  2. The DOTW is Sebastian Vettel.
    Pre weekend No one expected RB to win this race and lot of People considered Mercedes has the Best chance of Overhauling Vettel and RB’s Lead in Championships.
    His Practice of Long runs was hurt by the Puncture and by qualifying he was there again and Pipped his team mate (again) to get the Front row for the 3rd consecutive time with Hamilton and won it in a Dominant way that his team couldn’t believe.
    Alonso was also a Contender but this time he was the reason to start in P9.

  3. The early overtake shows the decision making by him that it was very crucial to win the race.

    He does not want to rely or put too much faith into the DRS.

  4. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
    26th August 2013, 17:00

    My DOTW vote goes to Vettel. After Spa, I got seriously frustrated and cursed Vettel, of which my pal @vettel1 was a witness. And then a few hours later, I realised with great heart-ache, that the guy was spotless this weekend – unlike my man Alonso who messed up qualifying. So yeah, Vettel it is.

    1. @shreyasf1fan Alonso’s race was impressive absolutely (arguably on a par with Vettel’s) but I agree, his qualifying wasn’t flawless so in that respect Vettel’s weekend performance was better.

      I though Ricciardo was excellent in the race also, van der Garde was excellent in qualifying in particular and Buttom was pretty good overall!

      1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
        26th August 2013, 17:48

        @vettel1 Yep, if it was a DOTR it would have been Alonso, Ricciardo and der Garde would have shared about 85% of the votes between themselves. But as this is the DOTW, Vettel it is. *sigh*

        1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
          26th August 2013, 17:52

          LOL what happened to my grammar :p *if it was a DOTR Alonso, Ric, and der Gard e would have shared 85% of the votes among themselves.

  5. Alonso. It wasn’t even close.

  6. Was close to voting for Alonso, but since he stuffed his own qualifying session I can’t.
    Vettel was superb all along, but I think Button deserves it.
    He was mighty impressive in qualifying, and even if he is also responsible for the strategy, he was still driving really well in the race.
    I think McLaren and Jenson could have celebrated a really good result, had they just committed to a 2 stop from the start.

    1. Spa was actually were Alonso came good in qualifying, he had the pace, so for you to say he stuffed his qualifying session, that makes no sense seeing Hamilton, Vettel and Webber locked out the front row due to luck- the track started drying up on their last flying laps. Alonso basically dominated qualifying until the rain gods decided to play games. I’m say this Vettel was a lucky boy the track started drying, because if Alonso qualified closer up the grid which was expected, he wouldn’t have won that race the way he did.

      1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
        26th August 2013, 18:10

        @liambo Alonso actually spun before his second flying lap, so he lost time there and didn’t have enough left for another fast run. As the track was drying, everybody else started improving leaving him at 9th at the end. So yes, it was his fault. I am an Alonso fan myself but it was his mistake. His race was phenomenal, but his qualifying is what cost him. But I don’t think he would have finished better than 2nd even from a higher grid position – he would have been closer to Vettel, but that RBR had huge pace.

        1. Alonso spun, but that didn’t change a thing for him. Three reasons:

          – There were no time improvements on the lap Alonso spun in
          – He wasn’t close enough to Hamilton to get that last lap in had he *not* spun
          – He didn’t have enough fuel for a final lap, anyway

      2. @liambo
        That isn’t due to luck alone.
        They timed their qualifying so they could get a lap more in then everyone else. Of cause they have to depend on the weather to dry up, but doing what they did would always increase their chances of being on the track at the right time.
        Secondly, the reason I think Alonso stuffed his qualifying session was because he could have got a lap more in, just like the Web, Vet, Ham trio, had he not spun his car at the bus stop chicane.

  7. Finally as a JB fan, I could finally vote him DOTW.

    I am usually unbias and vote for whom performed the best over the weekend, whether I like them or not, but credit where it is due, Jenson out performed that car by a mile all weekend. Shame they didn’t one stop, could have been fifth or better.

  8. who earth thought that Pastor Maldonado was the DOTW, he livened up a boring race, but that was about it?

    1. He successfully maldonaded a car . I was outraged . DOTW my _____

    2. the poor guy was defamed by his own stupidity. if he kept his mouth shut about trying to drive into the box, more people would have said that sutil’s line was too narrow.

  9. @keithcollantine as a reasoning, we should have the possibility to choose 3 drivers on this poll. Yep, I know it’s the DOTW poll, but many people want to give an “honor mention” to the second and third (I don’t know if that would distort the original – and good – idea about this poll, but I’m just saying. For example, I would give Ricciardo a solid 3rd on my choice, but there’s no way I could mention it. Of course Vettel and Alonso deserve the 2 top places

    1. @omarr-pepper wholly agreed – I think it’d give us a much more accurate “podium”.

    2. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
      26th August 2013, 17:57

      @omarr-pepper +1. That would be awesome. There’s a suggestion, @keithcollantine

    3. I think that is a really good suggestion.
      The problem is, in this poll I think it would make Vettel and Alonso look even with the third driver well behind.
      While the poll as it is gives Vettel a clear, and IMO deserved, lead in the poll.
      So I think the honourable mentions should get, say half a vote, or point if you will. With the first choice getting 1 point. Just so people’s pick as DOTW is clear and rewarded.
      But I think there is a need for a system like that. If the winner of the vote looks dead certain, then I sometimes find my self giving my DOTW vote to another driver as a honourable mention, which of cause, isn’t the idea.

      1. @mads what about a simple 3 – 2 -1 points for your first, second and third choice respectively? Of course that poll could have another name, like “Drivers of the Quali and Race” because that’s what usually people look at when choosing a driver

        1. @omarr-pepper
          That would probably be the easiest, yes :)

      2. @mads I’d simply do 3-2-1 for 1st-2nd-3rd as @omarr-pepper has suggested, as in that case I’d have Vettel-Alonso-Ricciardo (so therefore Ricciardo would get recognition from me that he would otherwise get in this example) :)

    4. I would like this option too. You could weight the top 3 (say 25/18/15 points in true F1 style) to get the results. Then you would see more of a spread of votes when there is one obvious choice but several worthy mentions – a bit like a proportional representation vote rather than first past the post ;)

  10. Only 9% votes for Button and 32% for the guy that spun out during qualifying?

    1. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
      26th August 2013, 18:19

      The 32% guy recovered 6 places in 6 laps. Finished 7 positions ahead of his starting positions. SO, YEAH, HE HAS 32% VOTES.

      1. It was brilliantly clever of him to dive on the inside of La Source on the first lap and saving a lot of KERS to outrun Mark on the entry to Eau Rouge but really, given how the car was performing under the sun it was practically a given that he was going to be on the podium especially considering that this is Spa.
        All he did on Sunday was to correct his mistake on Saturday which he shouldn’t be doing in the first place had he not spun out in Q3.
        He didn’t exactly punch above his weight in this race, if anything he fought with a self-inflicted handicap and emerged victorious.

        Button meanwhile managed to outqualify both Lotuses and Ferraris and somehow managed to keep in touch with the leaders throughout the race instead of falling through the field like the mighty Scotsman.
        A long first stint was basically the only thing keeping him from a perfect weekend but they have absolutely no way of knowing that beforehand.

  11. I was truly torn on this one. I gave the slight edge to Vettel. Alonso had the best race, in my opinion, coming from 9th to 2nd. But Vettel did better overall and dominated the race. I think he didn’t have much competition, but then again that is down to that fact that he can take off like a JackRabbit and get that early lead and yet still made his tires last longer than those he was leaving behind. And I believe he went further than Webber did before changing tires as well.
    So I had to give it to Vettel.

  12. I went with Vettel but an honourable mention to van der Garde. Caterham were criticised for taking this “pay driver”, but he is giving a good account of himself. His form has picked up recently after an impressive race in Hungary, and he’s made two Q2 appearances.

  13. Well lets see the options

    1) Lewis : good quali lap but was not perfect in Eau rouge . If he had done that corner 100 % he could have kept vettel for a couple of laps and who knows, something interesting could have happened further down the field ? so no.

    2) Alonso : terrific race but messed up qualifying . out of luck this weekend but still better compared to the 4ths and 5ths he has been having .

    3) Ricciardo : great comeback from a shock qualifying ouster . Could not see much of his wheel to wheel overtakes on TV (poor coverage) .

    Seb4)astian . No other option really . It has got to be him

  14. A tough one this weekend but I went for Alonso. He was unlucky not to get a crucial extra lap in at the end of Q3. That did little to hold him back during the race, and he had his now seemingly customary battling drive up to the podium. His first lap was thrilling and he made some great overtakes, on Grosjean in particular and defended well against Hamilton.

    Other than Alonso both Button and Vettel had brilliant drives, bringing home the maximum out of their respective cars. Further down the field I was impressed by Ricciardo and Van Der Garde.

    1. I think ALO wasn’t just unlucky – he spun in Q3 which cost him 8 something seconds. Which would have been enough to get another run and start higher up.

      1. I did not know that he spun, was it shown on the world tv feed? That certainly impacts the DoTW, probably should have just gone for Vettel!

  15. I voted Van der Garde, I think he’s not as bad as many thought he was. In Monaco he made it to Q2, but in Australia he had the pace to get there as well until he made a mistake. He was also impressive in the race though Pic had such a bad saturday and sunday his real performance can’t be compared. Yet, I think Vettel did an absolutely brilliant job on Sunday, which Alonso and Button did as well. Di Resta was stunning in qualifying and not bad in the race. It was hard to choose, but this time I vote for the underdog.

  16. I voted for Van der Garde. I think the backmarkers also deserve some credit. As in Monaco, he drove a
    brilliant Q1, he drove with slicks on a wet track (wich was his own choice), kept driving untill the track dried up and eventually finished 3rd in the session, with a Caterham! And furthermore he was by far the best driver of the
    new teams this race and also last race in Hungary. The new tyres suit his style better, as you can see in his results. Hopefully he can keep his pace up the whole season

  17. I voted for Alonso. Although he was unlucky in Q3, he put his head down at the race and from 9th he finished 2nd. He also defended amazingly when Hamilton attacked him on Kemmel straight. Great performance from him.

    1. He was great in race but i wouldn’t say he was Unlucky in Q3. It was his mistake so i will say Great Performance from him on Race day but a Very poor performance in Saturday to his standards.

      1. Your opinion mate. He may have spun off and lose time but who knows if he had fuel for another hot lap!

        1. By spinning he killed his shot on a fast lap and then another one.

    2. Alonso defended amazingly? Lol, Hamilton’s car was simply slower than the Ferrari even with DRS open. Alonso did nothing but put his foot on the throttle.

  18. Alonso was a close second with a brilliant drive, but Vettel gets my vote. Vettel and Webber drive the same car, the difference in performance in Vettel’s talent.

  19. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    26th August 2013, 19:41

    It’s surprising that given how much Vettel wins he rarely ever gets driver of the weekend (as far as I am aware). I hope that’s about to change.

    1. If Vettel was a poor qualifier like Alonso then people would have more respect for what he’s achieving. Also, Vettel’s only had the fastest car at three races this year. Bahrain, Montreal and Spa. Yet he’s still nearly two races ahead of his nearest rival.

      Qualifying poorly in what is a fast car that is a rocket off a standing start really flatters Alonso’s performances.

      1. I would say Redbull was fastest is Canada too, and possibly Malaysia – although we don’t know what the ferrari pace would have been if alonso hadn’t crashed out.

        The reason Vettel has such as lead in the championship is 1) When redbull is not fastest it is usually second fastest while the other top 3 teams are inconsistent, and 2) Vettel has been the best driver this year imo as the other contenders have all lost points through mistakes or poor performances

        1. Also, Vettel’s only had the fastest car at three races this year. Bahrain, Montreal and Spa.

          I would say Redbull was fastest is Canada too

          I would say Montreal is in Canada – although les Québécois might disagree.


          1. oops…that’s a fail.

  20. Odd how Alonso seems to get praise for botching his qualifying. He spun in qualifying while the other main contenders kept it on the road.

    Alonso should have been on the front row in qualifying. Not 9th. The fact that he was in (close to) the fastest car doesn’t mean he drove a great comeback race, but that he never should have been that far down to begin with.

    Lewis on the other hand, was obviously in a massively slower car than Vettel and Alonso and he managed to beat both of them in qualifying. He also had a pretty solid race. Just in a slower car.

    1. I agree, that is why Alonso didn’t get my vote. His qualifying just continues to let him down, even when the car is capable of getting at least on the front row. I think he did well to get up to 2nd, but the car was very good this weekend, and even Massa gained a few places as well. Monza should be a good opportunity for Alonso to get on the front row, but does he have the bottle of Hamilton and Vettel to make the most of it?

    2. @patrickl It says ‘driver of the race’ so that’s probably why he is getting the praise, for his excellent fight to P2. Yes he seriously botched Qualifying but here we rate the race.

      1. *fail by myself* I’m going to bed now.

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