Vote for your United States GP driver of the weekend

2013 United States Grand Prix

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

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

United States Grand Prix driver-by-driver

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Circuit of the Americas, 2013Sebastian Vettel – Webber’s early runs in Q3 were so strong it briefly seemed a serious possibility Vettel was about to be denied pole for the third time in four races. The final sectors made the difference: Webber’s was scruffy, Vettel’s flawless, and he took his eighth pole position of the season. He easily held off Webber and Grosjean at the start and therafter only had his tyres to worry about. This was not entirely straightforward – he pitted earlier than some of his pursuers after wearing his first set out quickly – but after easing his pace in the closing stages he took his 12th win of the season.

Mark WebberThe sector times from qualifying said it all – Webber had pole position in his hands but let it slipped away. The start was a predictable affair – both Grosjean and Hamilton demoted him. He was able to pass the Mercedes later on, but by the end of the race he was gaining too little from the DRS effect to do the same to Grosjean.

Ferrari

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Circuit of the Americas, 2013Fernando Alonso – Race engineer Andrea Stella praised Alonso’s effort in getting the car as high as sixth on the grid after the team ended practice outside the top ten. Starting from the dirty side of the grid he was unable to keep Perez behind but he jumped the McLaren at the pit stops. He passed Hulkenberg in the final stint but was unable to catch Hamilton as his tyres began to fade. Hulkenberg re-passed him as the final lap began but Alonso used all his savvy to reclaim fifth.

Felipe Massa – Massa was one of several drivers to be perplexed by his car’s handling in the changing conditions of qualifying. Had Maldonado and Sutil not had their problems with traffic he likely would have gone out in Q1. Matters did not improve in the race where he was forced to make a second pit stop and finished out of the points.

McLaren

Jenson Button – Baffled by the “weird” qualifying conditions and found himself in the middle of the grid again, demoted a further three places by a needless penalty after passing a car under red flags during practice. An excellent pass on Ricciardo recovered a single point.

Sergio Perez – Faced a tough weekend after McLaren confirmed he will lose his place at the team next year. Nonetheless qualified a strong seventh, bringing his score against Button level at 9-9. Passing Alonso at the start was a bonus, though as his team admitted it was always going to be unlikely they could keep the Ferrari behind. Sure enough Alonso jumped him, leaving the McLaren driver seventh.

Lotus

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Circuit of the Americas, 2013Heikki Kovalainen – Got the call to replace Raikkonen three days before practice began. He qualified eighth which was on par with his predecessor’s average qualifying position. But a cautious start cost him four places, and a front wing problem and KERS glitch consigned him to finishing well out of the points.

Romain Grosjean – Made it through Q1 without having to use the softer medium tyres – a “nice surprise”, he said – and despite having grappled with his car’s set-up at times qualified ‘best of the rest’ behind the Red Bulls. An excellent start split the two RB9s and an error-free race allowed him to stay there, claiming his fourth podium finish in five races.

Mercedes

Nico Rosberg – Baffled by how the changing temperatures affected the tyres in qualifying and produced his worst performance of the year – 14th before being promoted two places due to penalties. Passes on Kovalainen and Di Resta helped undo some of the damage in the race, where he finished ninth.

Lewis Hamilton – Heading into the weekend Mercedes revealed they had discovered damage on Hamilton’s chassis which they believed contributed to his problems in previous races. He took fifth on the grid: “I had a good balance but we just couldn’t get the tyres to work,” he said. Passed Webber at the start but had to let the Red Bull driver go in the first stint as he looked after his tyres. But his caution paid off at the end of the race where he had enough in hand to keep Alonso at bay.

Sauber

Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber, Circuit of the Americas, 2013Nico Hulkenberg – Was concerned by the change in his car’s handling as qualifying began but after a few set-up tweaks he put the Sauber on row two for the second time this year. Slipped back to fifth at the start but ran convincingly among the front-runners, only losing out to Alonso in the final stint. Had a chance to pass him on the final lap and arguably should have made it stick.

Esteban Gutierrez – Should have started tenth on the grid but was relegated to 20th by a penalty for dangerous driving during qualifying. Damage forced a pit stop behind the Safety Car and a two-stop strategy was unlikely to lift him back into the points. Had put a fair move on Vergne for 12th on the last lap when the Toro Rosso driver caused contact between them, dropping Gutierrez behind Massa.

Force India

Paul di Resta – “This is a track that does not particularly suit my driving style,” said Di Resta after qualifying 12th, missing the cut for Q3 by less than a tenth of a second. Was forced to make a second pit stop in the race and was the last driver on the lead lap when the chequered flag fell.

Adrian Sutil – Sutil’s car problem during qualifying was originally suspected to be a puncture turned out to be a broken brake disc. It left him 16th on the grid. Laid the blame for his lap one exit at Maldonado’s feet, but both deserved a share of the blame for managing to tangle on such a wide straight.

Williams

Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Circuit of the Americas, 2013Pastor Maldonado – Was quick not only to blame his team for his qualifying problems but also to suggest there was a sinister motive behind it, as they are parting ways after the next race. Traffic was a particular problem for him during the session, with both Chilton and Gutierrez holding him up. After a a very early pit stop he ran a huge 47-lap stint to the end, unsurprisingly losing a couple of places in the latter stages.

Valtteri Bottas – Maldonado’s frustrations stemmed in part from the gap to his team mate – it was a surprising one-and-a-half seconds in Q1. Bottas held the upper hand throughout practice as well, but made mistakes on his best lap in Q3 and lined up ninth. He took a place off Kovalainen at the start and, remarkably, held the resulting eighth place until the end for his first F1 points.

Toro Rosso

Jean-Eric Vergne – Found a huge lap time improvement when he put the mediums on in Q1, but not in Q2. Still penalties helped him to 14th on the grid. The only driver to start on hard tyres, he switched the “Plan C” during the race to go to the end on a one-stop. Had his team mate in sight on the last lap but made a mistake while under attack by Gutierrez and hit the Sauber, which earned him a penalty.

Daniel Ricciardo – Was generally on the fringes of the top ten he didn’t make it into Q3, though the margins were very slight, and lost the final points place to Button two laps from home.

Caterham

Charles Pic – A gearbox change penalty left him last on the grid. He kept pace with Giedo van der Garde but a drive-through penalty for holding up Hamilton dropped him out of contention.

Giedo van der Garde – Was very pleased with the overnight changes to his car on Friday and was quickest of the tail-enders during qualifying. But Bianchi passed him at the start and although he felt he could go quicker Van der Garde was unable to pass. “Obviously for us we need a bit of a crazy race to be in with a chance of reclaiming tenth in the championship, so now it goes down to the wire in Brazil,” he said.

Marussia

Jules Bianchi – Gonzalez drove in first practice, meaning he had to begin his familiarisation on a new track with high-fuel running. He was unhappy with the car’s balance and the team made several changes. However he managed to get ahead of both Caterhams at the start and held them off until the end.

Max Chilton – A brake disc failure limited his running on Friday. During qualifying he held up Sutil and Maldonado, earning a five-place grid penalty for the race. That left him well out of contention, though his race pace suggested he wouldn’t have been in the running anyway.

Qualifying and race results summary

Driver Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 1st -0.103s 55/56 1 1st -8.396s
Mark Webber 2nd +0.103s 1/56 1 3rd +8.396s
Fernando Alonso 6th -1.224s 56/56 1 5th -57.322s
Felipe Massa 13th +1.224s 0/56 2 12th +57.322s
Jenson Button 15th +0.177s 0/56 1 10th +30.586s
Sergio Perez 7th -0.177s 56/56 1 7th -30.586s
Heikki Kovalainen 8th +0.56s 0/56 2 14th +88.779s
Romain Grosjean 3rd -0.56s 56/56 1 2nd -88.779s
Nico Rosberg 12th +0.51s 0/56 1 9th +31.783s
Lewis Hamilton 5th -0.51s 56/56 1 4th -31.783s
Nico Hulkenberg 4th -0.738s 56/56 1 6th -61.307s
Esteban Gutierrez 20th +0.738s 0/56 2 13th +61.307s
Paul di Resta 11th -0.356s 0/0 2 15th
Adrian Sutil 16th +0.356s 0/0 0
Pastor Maldonado 17th +1.53s 0/55 1 17th Not on same lap
Valtteri Bottas 9th -1.53s 55/55 1 8th Not on same lap
Jean-Eric Vergne 14th +0.565s 5/56 1 16th +23.57s
Daniel Ricciardo 10th -0.565s 51/56 1 11th -23.57s
Charles Pic 22nd +0.105s 0/55 1 20th +30.255s
Giedo van der Garde 18th -0.105s 55/55 1 19th -30.255s
Jules Bianchi 19th -0.873s 54/54 1 18th Not on same lap
Max Chilton 21st +0.873s 0/54 1 21st 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 United States Grand Prix weekend?

  • Sebastian Vettel (19%)
  • Mark Webber (0%)
  • Fernando Alonso (5%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Jenson Button (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (1%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (0%)
  • Romain Grosjean (27%)
  • Nico Rosberg (0%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (2%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (2%)
  • Esteban Gutierrez (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Adrian Sutil (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (41%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Charles Pic (0%)
  • Giedo van der Garde (0%)
  • Jules Bianchi (1%)
  • Max Chilton (2%)

Total Voters: 617

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2013 United States Grand Prix

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Images ?ι?® Red Bull/Getty, Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Lotus/LAT, Sauber, Williams/LAT

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120 comments on Vote for your United States GP driver of the weekend

  1. bull mello (@bullmello) said on 18th November 2013, 16:34

    Valtteri Bottas. Beat his far more experienced teammate throughout the weekend, qualified well, gained a place in the race and raced strongly for the entire race including some great wheel to wheel racing with Gutierrez. This is so gratifying to see since he was the talent driver signed by Williams at the last minute as opposed to the pay driver he has outclassed this season.

    Yes, Vettel did his usual great race and Grosjean drove a superb race. But, Bottas drove strong and achieved things he was not supposed to be able to achieve in practice, qualifying and the race. That to me is, the Driver Of The Weekend.

  2. Andrew VanderLei (@andrewvanderlei) said on 18th November 2013, 16:36

    Chilton

  3. Neil (@neilosjames) said on 18th November 2013, 16:37

    Bottas for me. Finally got a chance to show what he can do and did it.

    Extra brownie points because it was probably a ghastly weekend in the Williams garage with the Maldonado crap, and he gave them something huge to smile about.

  4. Deej92 (@deej92) said on 18th November 2013, 16:37

    I’ve gone for Grosjean ahead of Vettel and Bottas. He did extremely well to keep a Red Bull behind him for the whole race after a good start, and his qualifying performance was excellent again. It’s quite astonishing that now we expect him to be in the top 3 in both sessions.

    Special mentions to Hamilton, Alonso, Hulkenberg and Perez (has anyone else noticed how good his starts have been this season?) as well.

  5. Krichelle (@krichelle) said on 18th November 2013, 17:02

    Bottas by miles in this one.

  6. Strontium (@strontium) said on 18th November 2013, 17:09

    I think Guttierez is awful. He has been nowhere all season, while his team-mate has had fourths. Today was just the icing on the cake really. Disgraceful.

  7. McKenzie (@mckenzie) said on 18th November 2013, 17:16

    Torn between Grojean and Bottas. Very tempted to go for Bottas for his wonderful pass on Gutierrez, and for maintaining position in a car that has often went backwards.

    Decided to go for Romain for a) maintaining his good form over the last, few races and b) refusing to buckle under pressure from Webber.

    Romain’s performance last season led many people to write him off. Yes, he committed a few blunders, but there was always that hint of speed. The speed only needed to be tempered with a modicum of restraint. Looks like he might have managed to combine his (undeniable) raw speed with the necessary savvy. Shortly after his ban, Romain seemed hesitant (unsurprisingly). The starts he has made recently suggest Romain has overcome an important psychological block. He could have remained out of trouble yet sacrificed that edge. Instead, Romain seems to have found a way to stay out of trouble, without being too nervous. Not only has he found a way of staying out of trouble, Romain has found a way to channel his speed into a couple of excellent starts, and even overtakes such as the one on Massa that resulted in a penalty.

    And please, dear gods of F1, don’t allow Maldonado to take the vacant seat at Lotus. I can’t articulate this properly – I have a gut feeling pairing a nice guy like Romain, with someone as unpleasant as Maldonado, would be bad chemistry.

    • Alexander (@alexanderfin) said on 19th November 2013, 12:09

      I wonder what Grosjean is paying his psychologist? Obviously he/she is doing a pretty damn good job!

      • McKenzie (@mckenzie) said on 20th November 2013, 14:02

        I wonder what Grosjean is paying his psychologist? Obviously he/she is doing a pretty damn good job!

        Worth every penny (or cent, euro, conch shell or whatever)!

        I’m looking forward to seeing how Romain performs next year. If the advantage of the Red Bull car is lessened, and Lotus build a good car, we could be in for a good season.

  8. Jorge Lardone (@jorge-lardone) said on 18th November 2013, 17:19

    Vettel of course. Also Grosjean, Bottas and Perez did a very good work in the weekend.

  9. GuitarGraham said on 18th November 2013, 17:44

    Valtteri Bottas. he was up there all weekend in a car that cannot remotely be close in performance to the ones he was fighting with. there’s a very special talent in him. what made it even better was that he did it on the same weekend that maldonado burnt all his bridges.

  10. obviously said on 18th November 2013, 17:46

    Is there anyone who doesn’t feel Webber is driving absolutely horrible. I mean, you’d fluke into a win or two over 18 races, when you consider that your teammate won 12 already! He should have honestly retired last year, because you could see that he was completely undedicated this year. If he’s first and Vettel is second on the grid, Vettel gets him. If he is second and Vettel first, he finishes behind him again. He’s not worthy of that seat and in my opinion is the main reason why so many people still doubt Vettel. He just can’t put up a fight at all. If one is able to win 8 races in a row, how can the other one be so incompetent, that he doesn’t even finish second in half of those races. He has only two 2nd places and two 3rd places in a period where Vettel won 8 races in a row.

  11. lubhz (@lubhz) said on 18th November 2013, 17:49

    Massa was thrashed by Alonso, and given the performance that Bottas extracted from that Williams, I predict next year will be about the same or even worse. At least he will be giving some good feedback regarding car setup that could benefit the team as a whole, but sadly I’m not expecting anything brilliant on track.

    • Kimi4WDC said on 19th November 2013, 4:03

      Looking at Maldonado vs Bottas, I’d imagine, it’s Bottas who will have to be on his toes as Filippe can be as fast as the fastest driver sometimes, while Bottas turned out to be just another quick driver. Otherwise he would been wiping floor with Maldonado all season, unless Maldonado is very good himself – which I think he is.

  12. dot_com (@dot_com) said on 18th November 2013, 18:05

    Bottas – brilliant all through practice and qualifying, could have done a slightly better q3 lap. Then held on to the back of the Alonso/Perez train through the first phase and held off Rosberg towards the end. What was really impressive is how he held it together when Rosberg was catching him at a second a lap – he had a delta to stick to and stuck to it. Instead of wrecking his tires trying to pull out a gap, making it easy for Rosberg to pass in the final laps. Very mature drive, plus that move on Gutierrez was super-brave!!

  13. Bobby (@f1bobby) said on 18th November 2013, 18:07

    Grosjean or Bottas.

  14. Strontium (@strontium) said on 18th November 2013, 18:57

    Interesting how, in your reviews, Keith, you make a good point about everybody other than Chilton. Let me correct that for you.

    Errmm… Oh, there are none.

  15. Brian (@bforth) said on 18th November 2013, 19:07

    Extremely close between Grosjean and Bottas. Bottas was more shocking and executed one of the most exciting overtakes of the season (against a rather dirty defender, no less), but Grosjean again provided the only real challenge to Red Bull’s supremacy and flawlessly resisted a much quicker car all race.
    … By the slimmest of margins, I’m going with Grosjean. Bottas deserves massive credit for his drive, and it was made all the sweeter by Maldonado’s sub-Chilton driving.

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