Webber wins Malaysian GP Driver of the Weekend

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Mark Webber, Red Bull, Sepang, 2013Mark Webber finished behind team mate Sebastian Vettel in controversial circumstances in Sepang.

But F1 Fanatic readers picked him as the best driver of the race weekend over his team mate by a ratio of nearly two to one.

Here’s your pick of the three best drivers of the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend.

1. Mark Webber

Started: 5th
Finished: 2nd

In qualifying Webber decided not to use a second set of wet weather tyres which saw him bumped back to fifth on the grid. But a great start – a rarity for him in recent races – propelled him up to second at the start.

That became first when Vettel made an early pit stop for slicks which turned out to be premature. Webber wanted to change even later than he did – but his stop turned out to be perfectly timed and put him in the lead.

He held the place, often with Vettel close behind, for much of the rest of the race. He emerged from his final pit stop side-by-side with his team mate and held Vettel off to begin with – until that controversial pass.

Webber deserved to win this race.

I went with Webber, he drove a good race and screwed at the end by Vettel.

Played the team game and didn?t take it too far. He?s rightfully annoyed, and was doing a good solid job. The team and Vettel owe him big time.

2. Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Sepang, 2013Started: 1st
Finished: 1st

Having lost his lead to Webber early in the race Vettel pressed his team mate hard to take the place back, even lobbying his team to order Webber to pull over.

He briefly lost second to Lewis Hamilton in the pits but quickly re-passed the Mercedes. His final pit stop brought him within range of Webber.

Vettel said he didn’t immediately understand the “Multi 21” instruction he was given – code for car two (Webber) to remain in front of car one (Vettel). But he wasn’t interested in holding back either, and took the place from Webber after a forceful move at turn one, the pair duelling until Vettel prevailed three corners later.

It?s a tough choice between both Red Bull drivers but Vettel is my driver of the weekend.

His pole position lap was very impressive, his start was great, he never gave up and his pass on Webber is most probably going to be one of the best passes of the whole season.

His move gained him seven additional points. If you take seven points off every season that Vettel has been in F1, he would have only won one world championship ?ǣ 2011. He would have lost out to Alonso in both 2010 and 2012!

That is why he took his chances and put the move on Webber. Schumacher would have done the same.

I?m a racing fan first, then Webber fan. I rather watch a brilliant race with Mark retiring than Mark winning from pole in 2011 Vettel-style.

What I got from Sunday?s debacle is that had the roles been reversed, people would?ve hailed Mark as a true racer and they?d have applauded him, as it happened in Silverstone 2011.

But because Vettel?s in that thin line between great and naughty, he?s fitted the silly boy hat. Their past history is known already. They both race hard, there are shortcuts but fron 2009 till today, it?s been a fair battle that?s been won by Vettel most of the times.

What Sebastian did is debatable, but come the end of the day, he did what Mark Webber always asks: he raced hard until the end. I?m sure had Mark been behind, we?d be cheering him for being how he is: a no-joke, flat-out racer.

Vettel might have lost respect, but that doesn?t mean he wasn?t the fastest driver all weekend. His only mistake was pitting for slicks a lap too soon.

3. Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Sepang, 2013Started: 6th
Finished: 4th

Jules Bianchi nearly ranked in the readers’ top three for his second Grand Prix as he did in the first, claiming 12.1% of the vote.

But Rosberg pipped him after showing great pace in the race and, unlike Vettel, obeying his team’s instructions not to pass his team mate.

He had pace all weekend, was very strong when qualifying was dry, unfortunately he didn?t get the lap in Q3 but can hardly persecute him for that given the conditions.

He had a measured and a (typically) understated drive. He held the pace of Hamilton, maintaining a gap early in the race, despite Hamilton (rightfully) getting the beneficial earlier stops. Then when Lewis slowed in the second half, Nico closed the gap. Had a clean battle before being told to settle behind Lewis.

Nico deserved the podium, Hamilton even acknowledged it, but Rosberg showed a great amount of respect to both his team and Hamilton by obeying the orders. He wanted to race and justifiably argued the decision and although I would have loved for him to pull a Vettel and go for it, he acted in the best interests of the team and didn?t make a fuss.

But most importantly, he showed he isn?t going to be thrashed by superstar Lewis and that he has the pace and brain.

Kept his cool even though a podium was up for grabs.

Driver of the Weekend is the driver, who “did the best job this weekend” and in my opinion (and Hamilton?s) Rosberg did better job than Hamilton this weekend.

I?m quite certain that Hamilton?s number one priority was achieving the best possible result, not being entertaining. And had it not been team orders, Rosberg would?ve achieved a better result than Hamilton by merit.

2013 Driver of the Weekend results

Australian Grand PrixKimi Raikkonen (51.2%)Adrian Sutil (17.9%)Jules Bianchi (13.6%)
Malaysian Grand PrixMark Webber (34.2%)Sebastian Vettel (17.4%)Nico Rosberg (13.6%)

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

    Browse all 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix articles

    Images ?? Red Bull/Getty, Mercedes/Hoch Zwei

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    71 comments on “Webber wins Malaysian GP Driver of the Weekend”

    1. It sure is good that they don’t hand out WDCs because of sympathy.

      1. Where’s Bianchi, where’s Vergne. Bianchi was astonishing and impressive. Vergne collided – not of his fault – in the pit and still got point behind a Toro Rosso steering. Vettel spit on team orders row, and I a fan I want to see a race where drivers are racing.

    2. Right…

      So the best driver qualified 5th, then had team orders to make him win when he wasn’t quick enough to do so.

      1. And third was a guy who decided to obey team orders when he could have got a podium.

        Suddenly everyone loves team orders. Don’t remember much love for it in Hockenheim 2010 and Silverstone 2011.

        1. People appreciate respect.

          1. How much respect did Webber show in Silverstone then?

            1. Listen, I’m not going to discuss events that happened in past seasons and try to see some kind of a difference in the way drivers are appreciated – there have been comments made like that by many people over the past three weeks that sparked pointless and resentful debates.

              Vettel got less votes than Webber when ignoring a team order, Rosberg got more votes than Hamilton when obeying a team order – from this I concluded people must appreciate the respect a driver shows to his team and with that to his teammate.

            2. @andae23 – Webber also was “respectful” when he swiped across the front of his teammate after the finish.

            3. @david-a I agree with you: I think both drivers lacked respect and behaved like a bunch of drama queens.

      2. Absolute joke Tom, there’s clearly a big anti-Vettel agenda by a section of the F1 public which is hindering their ability to judge things. Yes, he hasn’t covered himself in glory with some of the things he said, why not just say this in the last race?
        No wonder us Brits don’t win stuff, we have this gentleman’s mentality and we see regular winners as boring- even our own! We’d rather see a determined, plucky loser than a ruthless winner

        1. Ok you guys, did you ever think what would happen if it was the other way around in Malaysia. If Vettel was in front and Webber was faster? And if Webber would have overtaken Vettel despite “multiple 12″?! I think Webber would get a far worse treatment than Vettel did! Firstly because Vettel is a whiny little b***h, and secondly Helmut Marko would raise hell because of what Webber would have done. Lets face it, Red Bull hate when Webber wins in front of Vettel, and the other way around is “what things should be like”.
          The issue here is not if someone was aloud to race or not, but if someone is an honest man and a driver who respects his teammate and Vettel is not. He disappointed everyone as an unfair driver. He just should have said “Guys I’m racing him” and in my eyes his decision to pass would be ok. But he acted as a backstabber.

          1. Lets face it, Red Bull hate when Webber wins in front of Vettel

            hence they issued “multi21″… makes perfect sense dude

            1. Ask Helmut Marko, “Dude”.

            2. @valentino @lajo makes perfect sense, and if you base your opinion of Red Bull on Helmut Marko your judgement is skewed!

          2. From the public, there would be little to no reaction had the positions been reversed and Webber defied the team order.

      3. Judging by the race though, I voted for Webber because he made his best start in a long time, timed his pitstops well, and was solid against Vettel in wheel-to-wheel combat especially just after the last stop. Even when Vettel whinged like a little girl that Mark was “too slow”, he managed to build a gap and match Vettel on lap for lap speed.
        He should’ve won the race.

        1. @nackavich

          Even when Vettel whinged like a little girl that Mark was “too slow”

          That’s where your argument falters: Vettel was ordered to maintain the gap, which is why he was complaining Webber was too slow – he was. I think Vettel quite conclusively proved he was faster from the fact he won despite the fact he lost position early on due to him pitting a lap early.

          Webber used more fuel just to stay ahead of Vettel, then lost out when he had to conserve it. Besides, the race is only half the competitive weekend and in qualifying he was well and truly thrashed.

          1. If he was told to “maintain the gap”, then explain how Mark started to pull away and increase the gap in the middle stint?

            1. I am disappointed to see Mark Webber winning Driver of the weekend award…more because of sympathy I guess(still not sure why is getting so much sympathy though)… I thought vettel deserved it more … and I am no Vettel fan…

              However I fail to understand the argument that vettel was ordered to stay behind Webber during the middle stint and that’s why he demanded to get Mark out of his way…. I think Vettel thought he could go slightly quicker if he got ahead of webber and he demanded that place to be given to him rather than try to overtake him on track at that stage of the race…
              he did the right thing at the end by overtaking Webber on track .. and we got to see some brilliant wheel to wheel racing between the bulls…

      4. firstLapNutcaseGrosjean (@)
        12th April 2013, 11:08

        @tommyb89 So you would vote someone who, being second and slower than team mate who is first, told the team to let him pass?? Where is racing? When Alonso did that(German GP), he tried to overtake Massa, he was clearly more faster, and said to the team “this is ridiculos”. But Vettel, didn’t even tried to overtake. He is more ‘imoral’ than Alonso.

        1. But Vettel, didn’t even tried to overtake.

          Sure he didn’t @sorin , sure he didn’t

      5. At least the guy in 2nd gave it his all, and this weekend he’s shown he’s turned into his own man by making clear that his purpose is to win @tommyb89, lets take heart from that. After all, with all the dislike Vettel is getting, he could have ended up not even being voted into the top 3 :-)

    3. Looks like Mark got the pity vote on this one.

      1. firstLapNutcaseGrosjean (@)
        12th April 2013, 11:09

        Is a negative vote to Vettel.

    4. Shock! of! the season!

      1. lol I really want to steal your avatar @aka_robyn

        1. Hahaha thanks — it was a fun one to make! :-)

    5. So
      Sebastian Vettel takes pole by a whole second in tricky circumstances
      Wins the race after ignoring team orders, which was ‘evil’ not long ago. In fact, it was evil right behind them in the battle for 3rd.
      Clearly worst ever DOTW result…

      1. agreed. mark was so much slower than vettel, didnt even get front row, had the win offered on a silver platter and did a dangerous swipe across his team mate at the finish. driver of the weekend? sure…

        1. @sato113 I understand if people don’t want to vote for Vettel. But why do people vote for Webber? This IS DOTW… it is a vote for the best driver over the weekend.
          If one doesn’t want to give it to Vettel, one could have easily given it to Jenson Button, Nico Hulkenberg or Jules Bianchi. Webber didn’t deserve it AT ALL.
          But he’s got the sympathy vote..

    6. I don’t think there’s much of a case for saying Webber was driver of the weekend over Vettel: maybe, just maybe in the race but that’s only part of the weekend. Emotions shouldn’t affect the voting.

      1. @vettel1 driver of the weekend also includes fair play. Vettel certainly dsnt deserve it on that respect. It was unfair when WEB was told to slow down and assured that VET would do the same too. Incase u do consider Team Orders in DOTW, then the DOTW must be outside the top 4. Bcz all top 4 drivers were under team orders.

        1. @malleshmagdum – Webber is the first to ignore team orders and so he’d be foolish to be complacent, so duly wasn’t. Besides, what would Vettel indeed have to have done to win your vote then (as in after the premature switch to slicks)? I’m curious.

        2. artificial racer
          11th April 2013, 17:54

          If Mark had won under team orders it wouldn’t be “fair play”.

        3. @jonsan
          First Vettel was ordered to stay behind Webber – all the way back at lap 24. By lap 29 he was being instructed to “be patient”. Webber was backing him up into Hamlton – who eventually jumped him at a pit stop – which prompted Vettel to complain that Webber was too slow. He WAS too slow.

          After twenty laps of obeying team orders and sacrificing his own race by staying behind his teammate Vettel finally took matters into his own hands. The result was the best racing of the entire GP – against a teammate who had NOT “turned down his engine”.

        4. It was unfair when WEB was told to slow down and assured that VET would do the same too

          That may be true but I fail to see when exactly Mark did slow down seeing as they were racing each other hard from the moment Mark emerged from the pit lane beside Seb to the moment Seb passed him…

          1. the same happened with the mclarens at turkey 2010 and i dont seem to remember there being much fuss about it…

    7. Put simply, Webber doesn’t really deserve this. A massive case of heart over head here. Call me naive but I honestly thought it would come down to a close battle between Vettel and Webber but that Vettel would still win. Still think Rosberg deserved over both of though

      1. @silverkeg

        Put simply, Webber doesn’t really deserve this. A massive case of heart over head here.

        Precisely, and I believe the whole point in these polls is that you don’t let your emotions or your like for certain drivers skew your judgement.

        1. I think that went out the window somewhere between vote #1 and vote #69 in the first poll.

    8. I am happy to be proven wrong, but why is Rosberg so deserving? He qualified lower than his teammate who was faster or as fast as he was for most of the race and this only changed when fuel-saving became critical. Well done to him for obeying team orders, but as far as I can see it is just that Lewis’ engineers shouldn’t gamble on fuel in such a way in future. Lewis didn’t seem to be having any trouble with tyre wear – well, no more than everybody else, let’s say.

      It is going to be a good battle though!

      PS, I am not suggesting Lewis should be up there – as others have suggested, Bianchi, once again did a stellar job.

      1. artificial racer
        12th April 2013, 1:33

        Rosberg was blocked in final qualifying, he was faster Lewis until that point. If Lewis was ahead at the end of the race with low fuel then he had an advantage in the earlier part of the race. Not sure if Rosberg deserved to or had a chance to win the whole race but I would have loved to see him try.

      2. I’m with you @tomshelley – Bianchi should be there instead of Rosberg in my view! A full 1.2s ahead of his teammate in qualifying, and lapped him in the race!

    9. So when respected F1 experts say Webber deserved the win, certain people still accuse the voters here of hating Vettel.
      Sometimes driver of the weekend is not the race winner.
      More people voted for Webber, live with it.

      1. @katederby – of course, but what did Webber actually do to be worthy of driver of the weekend?

        1. A brilliant start from 5th (you could argue only poor timing from the pitwall meant he was only 5th on the grid). Good timing in tyre change from Inters, taking advice from the pitwall too.
          A measured, faultless drive until he obeyed team orders and turned down his engine and was still able to battle for over a lap.
          I’d have put Bianchi up there too and Vergne.

          1. Bianchi and Vergne yes, but Webber just wasn’t on a par with Vettel this weekend: Vettel was far quicker in qualifying (even if we take the wrong decision with tyres) and he only got ahead at all due to an error of judgement by Vettel pitting a lap early for slicks. Throughout the race though he was slower than Vettel which is why he eventually won despite having lost the lead, so of the paring Vettel was the better.

            I can’t see how Webber was the best.

            1. You could say Vettel was only on Webber’s tail towards the end of the race because the team gave him the final pit stop undercut, to rightly, protect him from Hamilton.

            2. @katederby – you can definitely say that Webber only got ahead of Vettel at all because he pitted a lap later at the start. That’s worth more than the late pit stops in my opinion.

        2. but what did Webber actually do to be worthy of driver of the weekend?

          @vettel1 May be the fact that he gained from 5th on the grid to finish 2nd in the race and the considerably quick start he had could have also played a major role in him being voted DOTW

          1. The very part where that fails though is weekend: he could be considered driver of the race, but not the weekend in my view – Vettel had him well and truly trumped there.

    10. I repeat again what I said earlier, this is turning into a Vettel support site. Look at all these people quoting @jonsan saying Webber DID NOT turn down his engine and believing it as a fact when Horner himself has said Webber was on a lower engine setting.

      Again, I stress the reason most people here are deluded about that is because somehow, this important news wasn’t given enough coverage here. A website i shall not name actually gave the front page headline to this news.

      Now again I ask, why would such an important piece of information be treated with such disregard? I can quote multiple people, including Keith himself, saying that the reason they supported Vettel was because there was no evidence that Webber’s engine was turned down during the battle. Since Horner already came out to clarify this, why are people still lying to themselves?

      You said you supported Vettel because you wanted racing, FAIR racing. This is not FAIR racing. When evidence comes to the contrary all of you just ignore it as though it weren’t there. Unbelievable. This site has fallen, it used to be full of smart, unbiased users and now its degraded to this.

      What a pity.

      1. this important news wasn’t given enough coverage here

        I addressed your claim about that earlier – perhaps you should have read that before repeating the same incorrect assertion.

      2. +1 Keith
        @tony, I think its ridiculous to suggest this site has bias towards anyone, I supported vettel in this, despite being an Aussie and a ferrari fan, because I’m a racing fan first, and don’t let my own driver preferences cloud my judgement.

      3. Ehm, not sure I get you there

        this is turning into a Vettel support site.


        Vettel set a pretty impressive pole position, led from the start, then a badly timed pitstop got him on the backfoot, but in the end a great in- and out-lap (together with his team rigthly recognizing that it would be wise to pit him before Webber to get some air on Hamilton) get him in a position where he can push for the win. He gets told not to, but races anyhow.

        And he is only voted 2nd best driver of the weekend.
        Not to mention all the times in the past years where despite dominating Qualifying and often the race, he was regularly passed over for DOTW by others.

        I really fail to see how that shows a Vettel fansite.

        And Claiming that Keith did not adress facts here is just lame, especially when it was in fact mentioned in an earlier article

        1. @bascb – it’s quite the opposite actually! I too fail to see how who realistically was the second best driver in that team getting almost double the votes of his teammate is favouritism towards the trailing driver in the polls.

    11. My thoughts exactly TonyRomas…

      1. Ditto. Turned from people having constructive conversations to an attack forum. I only check the site about once a week now, and only for the journalism. Which is top rate in my book. Made it on this rare occasion to see the comments on the vettel/web thing.

        1. @hugomac I don’t see what you’re objecting to here. This is the normal Driver of the Weekend rating article which we’ve been doing for the last couple of years. There’s no agenda being pushed here, it’s just showing who was picked as the top three as usual.

          So what is it I’ve written that you’re unhappy with?

    12. I think there are more people whinging that Webber didn’t deserve DOTW than there were who voted for Vettel..
      I voted for Webber purely because he didn’t go backwards at the start!

    13. Zantkiller (@)
      12th April 2013, 1:52

      Personally I think even if you remove the emotion from the team orders then the rankings are correct.
      Vettel and Webber both drove very good races, they were near enough faultless.

    14. Re-vote please.

      1. @maksutov – agreed, I think we really needed the facts for this one before reasonable judgement could be passed. There were far too many people voting with their hearts whilst either unaware or blatantly ignoring the facts. What do you say @keithcollantine?

        1. I have abstained from voting this time exactly for the reasons you mentioned, @vettel1. If I was to vote two weeks ago, I’d vote Bianchi and if I was to vote for worst driver, it would be VET. But, although my opinion has changed (I now aplaud VET’s actions (not so much his words)), I believe the general blockheadness is too high and we would get the same result… I’d love to see me proved wrong.

          1. @daniel-chico I too would love to see you proved wrong, but sadly I think you are entirely correct: ignorance is a hard thing to rid of in certain people.

            1. I think the selected comments for Webber say it all really.

    15. Funny how the people whining about Webber getting the sympathy vote were probably the same people who voted for Massa at Germany 2010…

    16. Lot of people complaining webber got DTOW but isn’t this what everyone voted for???

      If you talk about the whole weekend people are very quick to forget that vettel usually had very bad Fridays on a regular basis and then still wins when it counts so most people’s arguments are flawed about sympathy vote

      People just know who was the best driver last weekend

      Live with it

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