Vote for your 2013 Belgian GP driver of the weekend

2013 Belgian Grand Prix

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.

Ferrari

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.

McLaren

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.

Lotus

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.

Mercedes

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.

Sauber

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.

Williams

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.

Caterham

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.

Marussia

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 (3%)

Total Voters: 624

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2013 Belgian Grand Prix

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

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

  1. DaveD (@daved) said on 26th August 2013, 17:54

    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.

  2. Deej92 (@deej92) said on 26th August 2013, 18:05

    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.

  3. Akshay (@hamilfan) said on 26th August 2013, 18:12

    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

  4. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 26th August 2013, 18:18

    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.

  5. Wessel (@wessel-v1) said on 26th August 2013, 18:27

    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.

  6. Julien (@jlracing) said on 26th August 2013, 18:40

    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

  7. alofan (@alonsofan98) said on 26th August 2013, 19:09

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall) said on 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.

    • anon said on 27th August 2013, 9:41

      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.

      • 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

  10. Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 26th August 2013, 20:35

    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.

    • Deej92 (@deej92) said on 26th August 2013, 21:11

      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?

    • Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 26th August 2013, 22:36

      @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.

  11. Libellula (@ladyf1fanatic) said on 26th August 2013, 21:57

    Oh Lord! You can’t please everybody eh! Why does it have to turn into a ‘my-favorite-driver-is-better-than-yours fight? These are only ratings, just vote…

  12. João Oliveira (@oliveiraz33) said on 26th August 2013, 22:23

    It has to be Alonso… Vettel drove as good, but Alonso had to take more risks… The start was breathtaking…

  13. It has to be Vettel by a far margin. Simply unmatched. Compared to Webber and his constant car/clutch/KERS troubles, it makes wonder how finicky the RB9 is and how much more of an adaptable driver than his teammate Vettel really is. Kiddo’s already a legend.

    With all that said, my vote still went to Guti… Finest race he’s driven in his short and, um disappointing, F1 career. He had shown great starts in other races in the European season, that were often marred by accident or loss of pace after pitstops. Yes he undid his own race, but how much of that was to be expected when trying to overtake Maldonado, who is at the same time, defending from Sutil?

  14. Bazza Spock (@bazza-spock) said on 27th August 2013, 0:03

    Wow, 361 votes cast to date and not one for Webber. Even us die-hard aussies are getting tired of the backwards march he makes at the start.

  15. Lewis McMurray (@celicadion23) said on 27th August 2013, 8:18

    This race irritated me a bit, so I’ve decided to go alternative and vote for Ricciardo. Yes STR totally nerfed their qualifying and instead of another Q3 appearance Ricciardo couldn’t make it past Q1, but making up nine places during the race (granted, some of those were due to attrition) and cheekily stealing the last points position from Perez right at the end was class. A solid race performance at a time when he needs to prove his worth.

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