Vettel wins Bahrain Driver of the Weekend poll

2013 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel was voted Driver of the Weekend after scoring his second victory of 2013 in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Force India driver Paul di Resta came second in the poll following a fourth-place finish, while Fernando Alonso’s recovery drive to eighth after a DRS failure was recognised with third in the voting.

Here’s why F1 Fanatic readers picked those three as their top drivers of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.

1. Sebastian Vettel

Started: 2nd
Finished: 1st

Vettel was beaten to pole position by Nico Rosberg. At the start he lost second place to Alonso while he tried to find a way around the Mercedes.

But he fought back quickly, passing Alonso later on the first lap and taking Rosberg shortly afterwards which gave him a clear shot at victory.

A remarkable performance from Vettel, even by his high standards. The moves that took him from third to first were very impressive, and further dispelled the myth that he can’t overtake.

Once he was at the front, he was in a class of his own. He barely made it onto the TV feed after that, but watching his lap times on the timing screen was astonishing, and he even had pace to spare at the end after he had been asked to bring the car home safely.

Quite a few drivers deserve recognition for their performances – both Lotus drivers, di Resta and Alonso, to name a few – but Vettel really ought to win this.

I was actually surprised to see him out-qualify Alonso, I didn’t think Red Bull had the speed and, besides, he only had one shot in Q3.

His first few laps were just amazing. Alonso is one of the best drivers when it comes to lap 1, he is able to overtake people quite easily, I certainly didn’t expect Vettel to overtake him as soon as turn five.

He knew that to win, he had to make two crucial pass at the opening laps, and that is Alonso and later Rosberg.

He get the best out of his car to overtake the two cars before lap three (when DRS is not yet activated). From there on, he just drove a commanding race to the chequered flag.

2. Paul di Resta

Started: 5th
Finished: 4th

For the second year in a row Di Resta led the Bahrain Grand Prix at one stage. But he wasn’t able to hold the Lotuses back and slipped to fourth at the chequered flag, which equals his best ever race result.

Di Resta for a brilliant qualifying performance, superb start, and a flawless race. He would’ve got a well deserved podium if it had been a Mercedes or McLaren chasing him in the last stint.
Sundar SV (@Ssvracing)

He out-qualified Sutil, he made his two stop strategy work and very nearly managed to sneak onto the podium. If he did it would have been thoroughly well deserved.

Fourth was still a terrific result for Force India who continue to be the surprise package of the year for me. I thought they’d be nowhere after pre-season testing but they are putting Sauber, Toro Rosso and (particularly) Williams to shame.

3. Fernando Alonso

Started: 3rd
Finished: 8th

Alonso narrowly beat Sergio Perez to third place in the poll. His race was scuppered when his DRS failed early on. That forced him to make an early first pit stop and an extra pit stop as his team tried to fix it, without success. Nonetheless he recovered to salvage eighth place.

He had to make an extra stop or two because of the wing problems and then drove almost the entire race with no DRS yet managed to hold on for points and even press people with healthy cars.

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%)
Chinese Grand PrixFernando Alonso (47.0%)Daniel Ricciardo (18.2%)Kimi Raikkonen (15.6%)
Bahrain Grand PrixSebastian Vettel (32.2%)Paul di Resta (17.8%)Fernando Alonso (11.9%)

2013 Bahrain Grand Prix

Browse all 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix articles

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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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77 comments on “Vettel wins Bahrain Driver of the Weekend poll”

  1. Clearly there are more Alonso and Kimi fans in comparison to Vettel. But for me Vettel drove well and deservedly won the driver of the weekend.

    1. “Well done Seb, you deserved this one!” (radio voice of C.Horner)

      1. iAltair (@)
        5th May 2013, 12:18

        ya ba da bah deeee. That’s what I’m talking about!

      2. “Well done Seb, you deserved this one!” (radio voice of C.Horner)

        Emphasis on THIS ONE.

        1. @rankx22 – Let’s not get into this again. I’ll just end this by pointing out that considering the extra fuel saved, and extra set of soft tyres, he was always going to win on that occasion.

      3. yes baby! yes baby! :D

    2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      5th May 2013, 15:19

      Now I am no Vettel fan, hence the avatar, but there simply was no other choice this weekend. He was aggressive when he needed to be, at the start, and then fully exploiting the rather ideal circumstances to make a perfect win. OK, he went completely unchallenged, and when you’re unchallenged you’re not at 100%, in fact he wasn’t even at 90% probably, hence the minimal deg, but it was still a great win. However do not get sucked into the notion that the RB9 is now a dominant car, because had Alonso not had that DRS failure, or if Raikkonen had qualified better, I am certain there’d have been an extremely tight fight for the win.

      1. Well is time laps show that he was unbeaten even in 1st he pushed, even so he does not have the credit, if it was Alonso, Kimi or Hamilton, was a spectacular race, go figure…

      2. You are right about Vettel was not pushing because his team was Asking him to match a certain lap time. His true pace was in his 1st stint of hards . He went faster and yet he managed the Hard tires to 15 laps. He can comfortably win even if Alonso was behind.
        You are also right about RB9 is not a dominant car it was the Driver who was Dominant.

    3. Phenomenale Vettel, Phenomenale

    4. In what basis? Have you factored in that probably there is probably people that worship Vettel and haters as well?

    5. MB (@muralibhats)
      6th May 2013, 6:25

      Seb: Got positions 1,2
      Kimi and Alo: Got positions 1,3 each

      And still you say!

      1. The second place was a race he won from pole. But at least he DOTW for once in Bahrain.

      2. @muralibhats I don’t mind the fact he didn’t win in Malaysia, expect for the fact the person who did win it was Webber. The only thing Webber did better than Vettel that weekend was staying out longer than Vettel on the intermediates at the start of the race – for the rest of it, Vettel had him checked in every aspect (qualifying, race strategy for the large part, ultimate race pace, tyre conservation skill, overtaking…).

  2. I think if anybody other than Seb had won it after Alonso won in a very similar fashion the previous week it would’ve been very hypocritical indeed.

    1. But surely it depends what others did as well. I personally felt that there were more other standout performances in Bahrain from people who didn’t have a car capable of winning then there were in China, hence why in China I was much more inclined to vote for Alonso then I was Vettel in Bahrain (in the end I voted for neither)

      1. @jleigh fair enough, but his performance was just as dominant and so driver of the weekend I think was well deserved with both drivers.

    2. I can’t remember any occasion where the DotW poll was misjudged.

      1. @peartree good, your point being?

        1. @vettel1

          I think if anybody other than Seb had won it after Alonso won in a very similar fashion the previous week it would’ve been very hypocritical indeed.

          Vettel won… nothing wrong there.

          1. @peartree I’m not really seeing the significance of you pointing that out then!

    3. sounds as if you got a case of alonsitis :)

  3. Alonso 3rd? Really?

    1. @jleigh as in should’ve been higher or should’ve been lower? I think 3rd is pretty a pretty accurate representation of how good he was (although I’d maybe put him behind Perez personally).

      1. I personally felt there were others that deserved a place in the top 3 more than him @vettel1 . E.g Perez, Hamilton, Raikkonen.

      2. @vettel1
        Should’ve been higher, like in 2nd place.
        Kimi, 1st place.
        Perez, 3rd place. ;)


        1. @commendatore the man himself disagrees with you. I wouldn’t put words in other people’s mouths.

          1. @vettel1

            What words did he put in whos mouth?

          2. @mike first from @commendatore

            Should’ve been higher, like in 2nd place.

            …which was in reply to me asking whether @jleigh thought he should be higher or lower. Then from the man himself:

            I personally felt there were others that deserved a place in the top 3 more than him

            Fair enough if that is his opinion, but I didn’t appreciate the fact they felt the need to reply on behalf of somebody else – especially because that didn’t reflect their own feelings.

    2. Traverse (@)
      5th May 2013, 12:22

      Yes, he had an awesome race, he managed to salvage some points from what could’ve been a nightmare of a weekend. To finish 8th (ahead of both Rosberg and Button) without DRS for practically the whole race is pretty remarkable.

      1. But the Ferrari was clearly a faster race car than pretty much everything else out there. And in my opinion he/Ferrari were pretty foolish to open DRS on the lap after it broke.

        1. Traverse (@)
          5th May 2013, 12:40

          he/Ferrari were pretty foolish to open DRS on the lap after it broke.

          I agree. He did open it, and indeed it failed again (it was a dumb move on his part), but he still managed to finish ahead of ROS and BUT, both of whom had no such issues with their letterboxes.

          1. Both of whom had fundamentally slower race cars

    3. I thought the same, Perz and Kimi deserve it more

  4. Traverse (@)
    5th May 2013, 12:17

    I voted for Hamilton, but The Vet is of course a worthy winner.

    1. The Vet

      Not catchy…

      1. Traverse (@)
        5th May 2013, 23:37

        Not catchy…

        That’s because you haven’t joined the dark side allowed The Vet (piece be upon him) into your life and accepted him as your one and only racing saviour. The Vet (piece be upon him) operates on a higher plain, with the sole mission to liberate race tracks around the world from their sin. Every time The Vet (piece be upon him) wins a race he raises his sacred Index Finger of Truth and in doing so cleanses the race track of all its sins. For you see every Tilke track is inherently sinful, due to their stupid run off areas and and and stupid hairpins and and just, stupid Tilke, Bill Gates looking silly poopy head!

        …I apologise profusely for my extreme profane language, nobody deserves to be called silly poopy head. Hopefully The Vet (piece be upon him) won’t smite me with his Middle Finger of Death.

        1. **laughs

          What a cracker! (y)

        2. HAHA…:)) awesome…
          Seb The Vet (piece be upon him) the F1 Prophet

        3. Melchior (@)
          6th May 2013, 9:47

          (piece be upon him)

          Piece of what ?Prey tell? (insert unsure smiley here) ;);)

          1. Traverse (@)
            6th May 2013, 10:27

            Thanks for pointing that out, I honestly didn’t notice my blasphemous error. :)

          2. Traverse (@)
            6th May 2013, 10:30

            Prey tell?

            Don’t you mean Pray tell :P

        4. Traverse (@)
          6th May 2013, 10:23

          It should of course read *The Vet (Peace be upon him)…XD

          1. Melchior (@)
            6th May 2013, 11:10

            Oops,it seems like we both know how to spell…;)

  5. Personally I’ll still go for Alonso in this race, simply because seeing him over-taking oldschool was the most utterly pleasurable, pure racing I’ve seen in a race since DRS came in – though there’s been a few great moments like Kimi and Webber overtaking on Eau Rouge, and Massa’s epic heart-in-mouth overtake in Singapore of course.

    Still sad to see Di-Resta not get a thoroughly well deserved podium – seems a shame DRS simply leaves slower cars hopelessly unable to defend a hard-fought position.

    1. @sgt-pepper He was very good absolutely and it did just serve to prove how unnecessary DRS is but I think Di Resta and Vettel for sure were better.

      1. (@vettel1) hmm you could be right on Di Resta actually…though would’ve liked to see him fight a little harder for the podium, I guess there’s not a huge amount you can do without getting a penalty nowadays.

        1. @sgt-pepper

          I guess there’s not a huge amount you can do without getting a penalty nowadays.

          Oh not even that, there just isn’t really any defending you can do with a DRS-equipped car breathing down your neck! I think he just really didn’t see any point in trying to defend because it was a futile task

          1. (@vettel1)

            True, but I also mean that it could be perhaps slightly possible to defend if they wern’t so insanely touchy about penalties nowadays as well. To me the most frustrating thing about Di Resta not getting on the podium is that in my eyes he deserved it for his sterling drive in an inferior car, but that on the modern tilke tracks, and with DRS, it’s physically impossible to hold a driver behind you with pure skill, irrespective of a car advantage. What to me is one of the greatest things to watch in F1 and has given us some of the most legendary battles over the years has been eliminated fromt he majority of the calendar due to one man’s designs, and a flap on the rear wing. It’s pathetic.

          2. @sgt-pepper yea I agree with that: forgive me for using an example regarding Vettel (as obviously there’ll be bias there) but I felt the penalty he received in Monza last year wasn’t particularly just: he took the racing line through what can be defined as a corner despite the fact it is more of a flat-out kink these days, which I don’t think would’ve happened even as recently as a few years ago.

            I think defensive driving is a really important aspect of racing and is a skill that can really sort the great drivers, such as Gilles Villeneuve proved at the 1981 Spanish GP or Ayrton Senna at the 1992 Monaco GP.

            That’s all but impossible to repeat now, which is rather pathetic. On occasion, I think the show is actually getting worse for all it’s artificial enhancements.

          3. (@vettel1)
            Funny I was also thinking of exactly the same example in Monaco :p – nowadays he likely would’ve recieved a drive through at the minimum, or Mansell would’ve just DRS’d past. Urgh.

            I’ll disagree with you on the Monza example, and not just because I can’t stand Vettel – he squeezes him out onto the grass on a corner (or flat out kink) at speeds that could’ve quite easily ended in tears. There’s a great slow-mo here – You can see clearly see the difference in the gap that Alonso allows for, and that Vettel allows for – Alonso has literally nowhere to go, the cars are interlocked. However if Vettel had left the same gap that Alonso did and still got a penalty, I would’ve (begrudgingly) said he didn’t deserve it.

  6. If first place in the driver of the race results gets 3 points, second 2 points and third one point, the standings would be:
    Vettel – 5
    Alonso – 4
    Raikkonen – 4
    Webber – 3
    di Resta – 2
    Ricciardo – 2
    Sutil – 2
    Bianchi – 1
    Rosberg – 1

    1. Traverse (@)
      5th May 2013, 12:24

      Hamilton nowhere to be seen :(

      1. If Hamilton was there, it should have in front of him, Nico, Button and Perez…

  7. Traverse (@)
    5th May 2013, 12:34

    Introducing the legendary Kung Fu Grandmaster known simply as…The Vet

  8. I think the top 3 is just right, although I’m surprised Vettel & di Resta only got half of the votes, as they were the only two who in my opinion deserved the title in Bahrain.

  9. I don’t know on what basis you guys are voting but why is Kimi so low? What did Sergio Perez for example do better than him? Is overtaking Button really that much of a merit?

    His end result from the weekend was probably the best he could’ve taken even if he had qualified higher.

    1. It’s precisely because this is a driver of the weekend poll and his qualifying wasn’t up to scratch: had he just replicated his Q2 lap, he would’ve started 4th once penalties are applied. Considering Alonso’s misfortunes and Rosberg’s race pace (or lack thereof) he would’ve had a great chance to challenge Vettel more strongly, but as it panned out he was a distant second.

      That’s why I didn’t consider him driver of the weekend.

      1. Yeah, I’m not saying he’s driver of the weekend but I still think he should have been higher.

        Why exactly are Alonso and Perez higher than him?

        1. @tmekt well because Alonso had a much better qualifying and had his team not made a disastrous error yet again by allowing him to use DRS after they had just had to jam it shut he probably would’ve been able to challenge the podium. As it were though, he did well in the circumstances.

          Perez showed flashes of the race form he had last year at Sauber and had a welcome turn of aggressiveness in wheel-to-wheel combat. Also, he pretty conclusively bettered Button after having been playing second fiddle to him in the opening races, so I’d say he’s deserved of beating Räikkönen.

          1. We don’t really know anything about Alonso’s true race pace so it seems kinda odd that he’s third only based on qualification.

            It’s apparently okay to vote Perez only because of his hardly impressive race result but with Kimi’s near perfect race it’s forbidden to do basically the same? Perez still failed to enter Q3 even though his teammate did.

            It’s kinda dumb to undermine Kimi’s weekend that much just because he went under 2 tenths slower in Q3.

  10. Fikri Harish (@)
    5th May 2013, 19:28

    Kimi this, Kimi that.
    What about Grosjean? 1 extra pitstop, a lower qualifying position, still managed to finish 10 seconds behind his teammate. Both had a bad qualifying but in the actual race, Grosjean was arguably better.

    1. @fihar

      1 extra pitstop, a lower qualifying position

      That’s why.

      1. Fikri Harish (@)
        6th May 2013, 6:01

        An extra pitstop that was in no way his fault. A debris got in his car, he had to adapt to a three-stop strategy which meant dealing with more traffic.
        Ended up 3rd, only 10 seconds behind Kimi.

        The tv broadcast didn’t exactly show him much, but I bet he’s pulled more overtaking moves than Kimi.

        1. The tv broadcast didn’t exactly show him much, but I bet he’s pulled more overtaking moves than Kimi.

          The TV also didn’t show all of Kimi’s overtakes, Kimi was able to overtake people very quickly that is why he ended up in 2nd place.

          1. Fikri Harish (@)
            6th May 2013, 11:26

            You’re kidding right?
            He was overtaken by and was stuck behind the slower Mclarens during most of his first stint. He was able to get to 2nd place only after all of the guys ahead of him pitted.
            After that, with the benefit of clean air, a good car, and a two-stop strategy, he was able to pull away from the rest of field.

            Kimi had a good race, but flawless? Not by a long shot.
            Grosjean on the other hand, had a relatively tougher race and, I reiterate, managed to finish only 10 secs behind Kimi.

        2. @fihar I have never heard of that reason as to why he had to pit another time, care to share a link? I’m not doubting that you’re right, I’ve just yet to hear of that…

          1. Fikri Harish (@)
            6th May 2013, 19:07

            Lotus tweeted a picture of it after it was removed from Grosjean’s car.
            It was during the early parts of the race by the way. He was planning on making a long first stint like Kimi, but ended up diving into the pits as early as lap 8 because of this.

          2. @fihar yea I wasn’t aware of that! What’s the situation now with upgrades anyway: if Kimi and Romain have the same car I’d still say his qualifying performance wasn’t up to scratch. Great race after that pit stop though!

    2. Grosjean was arguably better

      Care to elaborate? @fihar

  11. Totally deserved.

    Considering the cars are pretty close this year, and that the RedBull ‘supposedly’ eats its tyres, Sebastian to pull out such a dominant (almost 2011!) performance showcases his phenomenal talent. Nice to see him get recognition of such a great performance from fans of various drivers in the F1 Fanatic best driver of the weekend poll.

    1. For such an easy decision, its amazing more than 2/3 of people didn’t watch the same race… 32% is the lowest score to win DOTW despite it being the most glaringly obvious of the 4 races!

      1. (@91jb12) I watched the same race.

        Just didn’t agree.

        1. I’m curious – have you ever voted for SV as driver of the weekend?

          At the end of the day these polls say very little about the drivers, but a good deal about the people taking the polls.

  12. Vettel, Raikkonen, Alonso all two times in the top 3 so far this year.

  13. I am pleasantly surprised by the voting pattern of F1Fanatics in 2013.
    1) Vettel has already won this poll once (even in 2011, it took him until Monza to win this poll).
    2) We have recognized talent outside of the podium finishers 6 out of 12 times (Sutil, Bianchi – Australia, Rosberg – Malaysia, Ricciardo – China, Alonso, Di Resta – Bahrain). And this has been drivers in mid-field as well as those at the back.
    3) No driver has won a land-slide victory. The highest is just 51% for Kimi at Australia. I remember a particular race in 2011 where Lewis won about 78% of the votes.
    4) Neither of Jenson or Hamilton (the traditional favorites) have featured in the top 3.

    As a group, I think the readership is definitely getting mature and is able to identify talent without letting their personal predisposition towards favorite driver / favorite team. Kudos to all!

    1. Absolutely agreed: the only occasion in which I think there was a misjudgement so far is in Malaysia but that was exceptional circumstances, so all in all I think the voting has been largely accurate this year!

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