Jenson Button, Sergio Perez, McLaren, Bahrain, 2013

The winners of the team mate battles in 2013

2013 F1 season reviewPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Sepang, 2013Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Nico Hulkenberg and Jules Bianchi conclusively had the beating of their team mates over a full season in 2013.

But it was a closer contest at other teams and in some case the initiative swung from one side of the garage to the other during the course of the season.

A clear winner

At four teams the contest between the two drivers was very one-sided. Mark Webber and Felipe Massa took a pasting from their respective team mates and both will be driving elsewhere next year.

As noted here previously, Webber’s season marked the low point in his five years against Sebastian Vettel, whereas Massa performed slightly better relative to Fernando Alonso – though still short of the level that should have been expected of him.

Rookies Esteban Gutierrez and Max Chilton had a tough year against their team mates. Gutierrez at least had the excuse of being up against a widely-tipped star of the future in Nico Hulkenberg, but Chilton was comprehensively blown away by a fellow rookie, Jules Bianchi.

Heikki Kovalainen was unable to add to Lotus’s points haul during his two-race stint alongside Romain Grosjean. Third driver Davide Valsecchi cannot have been impressed at the meagre returns the team got after passing him over for the drive.

Red Bull: Sebastian Vettel vs Mark Webber

Ferrari: Fernando Alonso vs Felipe Massa

Sauber: Nico Hulkenberg: Esteban Gutierrez

Marussia: Jules Bianchi vs Max Chilton

Lotus: Heikki Kovalainen vs Romain Grosjean

Not much in it

Romain Grosjean, Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Korea International Circuit, 2013At the halfway point in the season at Lotus Kimi Raikkonen was comfortably ahead of Grosjean. But the balance of power changed in the second half, partly as Grosjean acclimatised more successfully to the new specification of tyres and the longer wheelbase E21. Run-ins between the pair on track in Korea and India showed how the balance of power had shifted.

Daniel Ricciardo, who will step up to Red Bull next year, was ahead of team mate Jean-Eric Vergne on every metric, though not by as much as he might have liked. However his superiority was greatest where it arguably matters most: qualifying pace.

In their second season as team mates (the first being 2011) Paul di Resta was generally the faster of the two Force India drivers.

Lotus: Kimi Raikkonen vs Romain Grosjean

Force India: Paul di Resta vs Adrian Sutil

Toro Rosso: Jean-Eric Vergne vs Daniel Ricciardo

Too close to call

Jenson Button, Sergio Perez, McLaren, Bahrain, 2013The raw stats indicate there wasn’t a large gap between the two McLaren drivers, making it something of a surprise Sergio Perez was dropped at the end of his first season alongside Jenson Button at the team.

But statistics like these always need to be considered in context. Without a series of first-lap collisions in the second half of the season, for which he was usually blameless, Button’s score would look much better. Even so it’s telling that Perez’s figures are considerably better than Massa’s were in 2011 and 2012 when Ferrari retained their driver despite his performance.

Pastor Maldonado said his 2013 campaign was the best he’s ever driven in Formula One. That being so, he must have a high opinion of rookie team mate Valtteri Bottas who more than gave him a run for his money, particularly in qualifying, previously seen as one of Maldonado’s strengths.

The closest contest of the year was between the two Mercedes drivers, with Lewis Hamilton enjoying a slender margin over former karting team mate Nico Rosberg. He will expect to shore up that advantage next year with a car that should be more to his liking.

McLaren: Jenson Button vs Sergio Perez

Mercedes: Nico Rosberg vs Lewis Hamilton

Williams: Pastor Maldonado vs Valtteri Bottas

Caterham: Charles Pic vs Giedo van der Garde

Over to you

Were you surprised by how any of the intra-team battles turned out – and how they changed over the course of the season? How would you qualify any of the data above?

Have your say in the comments.

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Images ?? Red Bull/Getty, Lotus/LAT, McLaren/Hoch Zwei