Vettel vs Webber and Alonso vs Massa, 2009-2013

2013 F1 season review

Felipe Massa, Mark Webber, Istanbul, 2011Two of F1’s longest-running driver partnerships of recent seasons have come to an end.

Mark Webber has left F1 of his own choosing after five years alongside Sebastian Vettel. And Ferrari dropped Felipe Massa at the end of his eighth season at the team, the last four of which were spent alongside Fernando Alonso.

In both cases the most recent arrivals to the team – Vettel and Alonso – were never beaten over a full season by the drivers they joined.

But as the statistics show it was a much closer contest at one team than the other.


Average grid positions

Grid average 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Average
Sebastian Vettel 4.4 2.0 1.2 5.0 2.0 2.92
Mark Webber 6.7 2.5 3.7 5.8 5.4 4.82
Fernando Alonso 5.8 4.5 6.1 6.0 5.60
Felipe Massa 7.8 5.7 9.8 7.95 7.81

Pole positions

Pole Positions 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Total
Sebastian Vettel 4 10 15 6 9 44
Mark Webber 1 5 3 2 2 13
Fernando Alonso 2 0 2 0 4
Felipe Massa 0 0 0 0 0

Alonso and Vettel had a similar edge over their team mates in both seasons, though Webber had a particularly strong year against his team mate in 2010.

Strikingly, after 14 races that year the qualifying score between Vettel and Webber was 7-7. But over the final five races, following the team’s introduction of an exhaust-blown diffuser and during which time Webber sustained a shoulder injury, Vettel was ahead every time and clinched the world championship.


Average race positions

Race average 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Average
Sebastian Vettel 3.8 3.6 1.5 4.4 1.6 2.98
Mark Webber 5.2 4.0 3.3 6.1 4.5 4.62
Fernando Alonso 4.5 3.4 3.2 4.0 3.78
Felipe Massa 7.1 6.3 8.0 7.1 7.13

Race wins

Wins 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Total
Sebastian Vettel 4 5 11 5 13 38
Mark Webber 2 4 1 2 0 9
Fernando Alonso 5 1 3 2 11
Felipe Massa 0 0 0 0 0

Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Hockenheimring, 2010The gap between Vettel and Webber’s finishing positions was fairly consistent in their first few years together but rose to almost three places this year.

Massa’s unfortunate record of failing to win in four seasons, all of which Alonso won at least one race in, would of course look very different had Ferrari not ordered Massa to hand a victory to his team at Hockenheim in 2010. But the fact remains he has usually been much further behind Alonso than Webber has behind Vettel.

Despite his clear underperformance Massa’s Ferrari contract was extended in 2011 and again in 2012.

His last extension, coming after a season where he finished 4.8 places behind Alonso on average, did not pass without comment from Ferrari’s rival team. Christian Horner said he wouldn’t have kept Massa based on how his results compared with Alonso’s.


2009* 2010 2011 2012 2013 Total % of team’s total
Sebastian Vettel 84 256 392 281 397 1410 59.81
Mark Webber 69.5 242 258 179 199 947.5 40.19
Fernando Alonso 252 257 278 242 1029 67.48
Felipe Massa 144 118 122 112 496 32.52

*Previous points system

The view that Webber was closer to Vettel’s pace before the switch to Pirelli tyres is backed up by their points hauls. Webber was much closer to Vettel on Bridgestones in 2009 and 2010 than he was in the following three years.

However even in his final year alongside Vettel Webber managed to score more than half his team mate’s points tally – though he only just managed it this season. Massa, meanwhile, scored less than half Alonso’s points haul for the last three years in a row.

The graph below shows what percentage of their team’s points total the drivers scored in each season.

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Sebastian Vettel 54.72 51.41 60.31 61.09 66.61
Mark Webber 45.28 48.59 39.69 38.91 33.39
Fernando Alonso 63.64 68.53 69.50 68.36
Felipe Massa 36.36 31.47 30.50 31.64


This graph shows how many non-classified retirements each driver had during the same time period, and whether those were caused by technical faults or another problem, e.g. a collision.

Over to you

Share your thoughts on the intra-team rivalries between the Red Bull and Ferrari drivers in the comments.

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90 comments on Vettel vs Webber and Alonso vs Massa, 2009-2013

  1. Michael Brown (@) said on 4th December 2013, 14:27

    Also, Massa has more wins than Webber and finished runner-up in the championship, while Webber’s best is 3rd. Perhaps we were so hard on Massa was because Alonso made him look bad? It’s Alonso. He can take the mediocre Ferrari to places Massa can’t.

    • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 4th December 2013, 16:39

      @lite992 What has that to do with the subject of this article? It’s the 2009-13 Vettel vs Webber and 2010-2013 Alonso-Massa article not a who’s career was better overall article. Also the correct stat is that both came within sight of the championship(contender until the last race) 1 time and hadn’t managed to win. The fact that Massa has a top finish of 2nd(once) a 3rd(once) and a 4th(once) while Webber finished 3rd three times is purely anecdotal.

      And Massa that manged those places isn’t here since Hungary 2009. Sorry

  2. Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 4th December 2013, 16:06

    Vettel the most technical failures and the least other (driver, accident etc) says enough for me.

  3. magon4 (@magon4) said on 5th December 2013, 6:36

    A little bit of stats: These four plus three others are the only ones who have been in F1 since the new point system 2010.
    Here they are:

    1. Vettel 1326
    2. Alonso 1029
    3. Webber 878
    4. Hamilton 846
    5. Button 745
    6. Massa 496
    7. Rosberg 495

  4. karter22 (@karter22) said on 5th December 2013, 11:31

    Geeez, Massa really got squashed by Alonso.

    Funny how in every round-up written by @keithcollantine , he has to bring up Hockenheim. Not a very pleasent moment but we get it! Massa was ordered, get over it allready…. the numbers speak volumes and it was proven at the end of this season ALO could overtake Massa may it be on track or in the pits! Geeez.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 5th December 2013, 12:12

      @karter22 It’s one of those situations where whatever I do someone will complain. If I put up the data showing Alonso won five races in 2010 and Massa won none I guarantee you I would get complaints I was ‘ignoring’ or ‘forgetting’ the circumstances of Hockenheim.

  5. What I would love for someone to work out is what the results would have been if you factor in that Mark is 10Kg heavier than Seb which equates to roughly 0.3 secs a lap. If you were able to adjust all of thier results over the past 5 years what would be the effect?

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