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30th November 2013, 16:55 at 4:55 pmParticipant
+ The rise of Romain Grosjean. He’s had such obvious speed for a while now but has struggled to harness it, like in Monaco. But his second half of the season was tremendous. The change of tyres and long wheelbase Lotus may have helped but he used them effectively whilst drivers rated much more highly were underperforming and getting caught up in incidents.
+ Nico Rosberg. Two tremendous wins and firmly established himself up with the big boys. For me he outperformed Hamilton over the season, despite having a lesser points tally.
+ The Bahrain GP. Whether you think there should be a race in Bahrain or not, we did get an afternoon of wheel to wheel throughout a lot of the field, some great overtaking moves, and a variety of strategies at play.
+ Alonso’s start in Spain.
+ Ricciardo getting the Red Bull drive. Yes, it would have been to see Raikkonen vs Vettel, but I think it will be nice to see a new face near the front in 2014.
+ Grosjean’s start in Japan. 4th to 1st by the first corner made the Japanese GP a lot more interesting than it probably had any right to be based on most of the other races from the second half of the season.
+ Webber in Brazil. Given the amount of bad luck he’s had in his career (this season alone losing wheels in China and Germany, and catching fire in Singapore and Korea) I was sure something bad would happen to him. Yes he was beaten by Vettel but his moves on Hamilton and Alonso were top draw and it was great to see him get a fantastic reception on the podium.
+ Button’s overtakes at the Brazilian GP. Past two cars at once, then round the outside of Gutiérrez at turn 5. Nice to see some spark at Mclaren after a terrible year.
– Mclaren. Only Mclaren would choose to ‘go radical’ after ending 2012 with the fastest car when there was only one season to go before a massive regulation change. It made no sense and F1 was poorer for not having them up at the front in 2013.
– Lack of a world championship fight. Yes it was tedious watching Vettel reel of his wins, but its not his fault – he should have been challenged harder. 2013 felt like a season where only Vettel really turned up for all of the races. Alonso had some fantastic drives but more uncharacteristic errors than usual (Hoofing Vettel in Malaysia, leaving doors open in Monaco, lack of pace in India). Hamilton was dazzling on occasion but unusually quite anonymous in a lot of races and aside from Singapore and Korea, Kimi’s second half of the year was largely quite poor. Only Vettel seemed to be able to string a series of results together.
Track Limits – Romain Grosjean makes, in my opinion, the overtaking move of the season by going around the outside of Massa at turn 4 in Hungary. He goes a few inches over the edge of the track whilst doing this whilst doing this and gets a penalty. A few races later, the drivers seem to be able to go wherever they like in India, without penalty. There is no consistency.
– Hulkenberg not being picked up by Lotus – Its very sad that such a brilliant driver is yet again stuck in the midfield because of money being more valued than talent. The fact that its in relation to the team that finished 4th in the constructors championship is similarly shocking.
– Pastor Maldonado – I am not his greatest fan anyway but accusing your team of tampering with your car in order to slow it down is ridiculous. Especially when the team in question only had 1 point at the time and needs every point they can get.
– The sad death of Maria de Villota.
6th December 2011, 23:02 at 11:02 pmParticipant
-Button storming through to win on the last lap in Canada. Last to first…a heroic drive in what was an epic grand prix.
-Alonso’s starts in Spain and Italy. Bravery in the extreme, especially in Catalunya.
-Webber overtaking Alonso in Spa. In a year where so many moves seemed quite inevitable due to cars being at different stages of tyre wear, it was brilliant to see such a ballsy pass involving cars with tyres that were both around the same age. The fact that is was between two great drivers in Eau Rouge is the icing on the cake!
-Rosberg jumping everyone at the first stops in China. With everybody focusing on the Button/Hamilton/Vettel battle it was brilliant and genuinely surprising to see Mercedes pull off a strategic masterstroke an slip Rosberg into the lead using the undercut…a fact move nobody, including the BBC commentary team, seemed to notice for a good few laps. If only they had fueled him a bit more!
-The Hamilton/Schumacher/Button duel in Monza. Not really a Schumi fan but brilliant to see him up there. Also fantastic to see the 5 champions in positions 1-5.
-India. Not much overtaking but what a middle sector!
-On a slightly different note the BBC opening sequence in Monaco with Jake, DC and EJ in the lift still makes me laugh even now. Shame they probably won’t be together next year.
-Red Bull’s team orders in Silverstone. Hypocritical considering their comments on the subject last year.
-The inevitability of Red Bull getting pole made qualifying less exciting than last year, as did people trying to save tyres in Q3.
-Perez’s Monaco crash.
-The Monaco red flag and subsequent tyre changes which destroyed what was shaping up the be an incredible finish.
-The BBC/SKY deal.
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