This year’s Indian Grand Prix voted best so far

2013 Indian Grand Prix

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The third Indian Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit was, like the two before it, won by Sebastian Vettel for Red Bull.

But this year’s race received a considerably better rating than the two before it, scoring an average of 6.502 out of ten from F1 Fanatic readers.

Although that only ranked it tenth among this year’s races, it does suggest there was something more to this year’s event. Did Pirelli’s aggressive tyres make for better racing? Did a longer DRS zone help? Or were Vettel’s celebratory doughnuts after the race really that popular?

The race saw differences in strategies leave the front runners scrapping in the midfield, Romain Grosjean produced arguably the best recovery drive of the year so far from 17th on the grid and another Red Bull reliability failure robbed them of a one-two. Here’s what F1 Fanatic readers thought about the Indian Grand Prix.

The race was decent, not very spectacular, and I felt a bit sad for Webber. But there were some good battles too.

What made me vote 8/10 is mainly the atmosphere around the race. Great to see Vettel being genuinely happy and do some doughnuts for the fans, and also finally getting the recognition he deserves.

Also India and the fans showed why they deserve a spot on the F1 calendar. Great so see so many people being so enthusiastic about racing.

Great atmosphere after all the pre-race shenanigans, unfolding tyre strategies, great driving by Vettel, Grosjean, Massa and Perez – and Vettel’s fourth title in a row. I enjoyed his celebrations

The race also drew some harsher responses:

DRS and appalling tyres. Cars are too reliable. FOM’s director is useless. Rubbish circuits in places that are only on the calendar through the money they pay. Robotic corporate drivers. Fining Vettel for his doughnuts. Penalties for everything. The distinct lack of any racing for position.

Every form of motorsport I’ve watched this season has been thrilling, the exception being Formula One. F1 is just plain dull. Devoting my time to Moto GP and BTCC next season. Hope something changes my mind.

Good: Interesting start which mixed things up for some drivers, variety of strategies which made the race exciting for about ten laps, somewhat interesting end.

Bad: Stupidly powerful DRS what made overtaking look ridiculously easy and totally eliminated defensive driving, circuit design mean there was nowhere to overtake apart from the stupid DRS zone, Webber retiring while in a certain podium through no fault of his own.


Some were baffled by the criticism the race received:

I’m reading through the comments and I cannot believe the ratings I’m seeing. I saw a fantastic race yesterday. A drivers’ championship and a constructors’ championship decided by a very gritty drive from Vettel. Webber dropping out was the disappointment for me, however, it introduced the risk of Vettel not finishing and to be told that he can’t use his drink bottle in 30-plus degree heat for fear of overusing the alternator. That is a call that not many drivers get during a race.

In regards to the race, the strategy was open, there were effectively three different strategies going on, those starting on softs going for three stints, those starting on mediums going three stints but using softs for the second stint, and the crazies like Sutil and Raikkonen going for one stop – and in Raikkonen’s case not quite making it.

We saw names like Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Massa and Sutil spend most of the race in front of the Mercedes and Alonso’s Ferrari. The race was unpredictable right up to the end. There were overtaking, battles, defending and not too much controversy.

Vettel’s celebrations were special last night, it is rare to see a driver exhibit such emotions in F1, and better yet, he flaunted with the fine he eventually he received for not adhering to the end of race procedures. It has been quite some time to see a driver win a drivers’ championship with a victory and it was exceptional to see that Vettel made the most of it.

The fans were great too, and I will be sad when yet another Asian race is lost. I feel that more time is needed to allow the Asian fans to come to the sport, motorsport is new in many of these countries.

The 2013 season has really been dominated by two topics that just wont go away, I think you know what we mean by now.

The DRS was too powerful, but for most of the race something was happening, so it never got too boring. The softs were appalling though.

Condolences to Mark Webber also.

Today’s race could be called the DRS paradox. We don’t like motorway-style passes, like some we saw today. We don’t like seeing cars stuck behind slower cars, like we saw today. The FIA have their hands tied – they’re damned if they have it and damned if they don’t.

The last ten laps were very interesting but DRS overtakes and the soft tyre degrading too quickly annoyed my quite a bit and the race had it’s boring parts. Grosjean had a great race from 17th on that one-stopper and have to wonder what would have happened had he qualified higher up, also glad both Force India’s got into the points again.

The drivers’ use and abuse of the track limits was a talking point before and after the race. On reader suggested a solution for the problem:

The constant leaving of the track ruined it for me. Vergne passed a car by going fully off the track and it wasn’t even looked into.

Also Charlie Whiting’s pre-race comments showed he has perhaps come to the end of his time in that role. Lovely bloke as he is. On this subject was just wrong.

On the edge of track problem, am I the only one that sees an easy solution?

Put five meters of (real) grass on the edge of every kerb. Then have your 1km tarmac run-off if you so wish. But that small bit of grass will stop anyone using it as ‘track’ problem solved.

But what this race will most likely be remembered for is Vettel’s delirious celebration of his fourth world championship title:

Didn’t enjoy the race to be honest but was impressed with Grosjean and it was great to see Vettel’s celebration at the end.

He deserves his success and I think he is handling himself very well. Screw the boo boys. I’m not a fan or at least haven’t been but this booing situation has got me supporting him a lot more.

Loved the doughnuts and the bow… That was incredible!

Previous rate the race results

2013 Indian Grand Prix

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Image © Red Bull/Getty

32 comments on “This year’s Indian Grand Prix voted best so far”

  1. It’s looking like Bahrain will top the chart at the end of the year at this rate.
    Not that thats a bad thing but I’m sure that no one would have ever bet on that.

    1. @bosley which is odd, I don’t remember the Bahrain GP being that extraordinary.

      1. @fer-no65, me neither. All I remember is Alonso’s DRS failing.

      2. No race this year was really something memorable, I hope we get a wet race in Brazil :)

      3. It was overrated, like Hungary was. Germany, Japan and Australia were the best in my opinion.

    2. I thought Bahrain was one of the better ones this year actually. Personally I still find Malaysia to be the best though, as I loved the Webber-Vettel battle!

  2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    8th November 2013, 9:50

    When I read the title I thought it meant best race of the year… Almost had a heart attack. Wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either.

    1. Me too!! :o

  3. I think it shows just how turned off many fans have become by the sport.

    The year started off promisingly, with decent range of potential winners, different stories of interest in terms of how certain teams or drivers might do, but ever since the tyres changed there’s nothing to watch any more. Most of the teams gave up on this year months ago, and it shows.

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      8th November 2013, 10:08

      Personally, my interest in the sport hasn’t been diminished, I still think it’s by far the most glamorous, interesting and technically advanced form of Motorsport in the world (and it’s not even close).

      I do find that there is a usual lull for extended periods of time during races, and I feel this is because of the tyres. They’re simply too fragile. If drivers are being prevented from racing because the tyres will be destroyed, then doesn’t that fly in the face of what the FIA were trying to achieve in the first place?

      For me DRS isn’t the killer. It’s the tyres.
      I think that if there was DRS back in the Bridgestone days, then we’d see better battles resulting from it because drivers were able to brake deeper into corners in order to defend positions. With the current Pirelli’s, they’re too fragile to do any meaniful, or exiting (for both the driver and viewer) racing, and cannot defend positions as they would like.

      I think the racing will be vastly better if we get more durable tyres in 2014.
      Just my 50c though.

      1. For me DRS isn’t the killer. It’s the tyres.
        I think that if there was DRS back in the Bridgestone days, then we’d see better battles resulting from it because drivers were able to brake deeper into corners in order to defend positions.

        @tophercheese21 Precisely my view on the situation. They brought in DRS to solve a problem, which was solved by the tyres (at the time), and now DRS just compounds the problem with the tyres. We need one or the other (personally, I’d have the tyres over the DRS, just back to 2011/2012 compounds), and that’s it.

        1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          8th November 2013, 11:03

          Yeah good point. The two factors combined have doubled the problem rather than solving it.

  4. vettel’s win = low rating :)

    1. The most popular race of this year so far (Bahrain) was won by Vettel.

    2. Vettel has won 11 races this season out of a possible 17, so by definition at least 3 of those victories must be in the top half of popular races. In reality, they rank as follows:

      Bahrain – 1
      Germany – 4
      Korea – 7
      Japan – 8
      Malaysia – 9 (unfair, IMO)
      India – 10
      Canada – 11
      Singapore – 14
      Italy – 16
      Belgium – 17

      Truth be told, that is only 3 of his race wins in the top half (from the 16 results), so you do have a point. However, Singapore, Italy, Belgium and Canada [Abu Dhabi discounted since no results] were Vettel “walk overs” where he only ever lost the lead to pit stops (if at all). India could also be categorised as a walkover in a way as it never looked in doubt, but he didn’t lead for quite a significant period of time.

      So I don’t think you should be saying Vettel winning as such brings the rankings down, but Vettel romping away from the field at a second per lap.

  5. I know there are a few unattractive things about F1 right now. DRS, tires, one team dominating etc.

    But I enjoy F1 just like I did 20 years ago when I started following it and in many aspects it has improved compared to the late 90s early 00s. Maybe I’m not purist enough but I can’t really understand why races like we saw in India are rated so low – I would take such a race any day over some of the processions during the refueling era.

    1. @tmf42 I agree, I gave it an 8 (plus a bonus mark for Vettel’s doughnuts)!
      I think that, once the FIA and Pirelli inevitably bow to fan pressure and make more durable tyres, a lot of people who have been complaining will be in for a shock. Pre-2011 a race like this would have been one of the highlights of the season.

      1. See I can’t understand that – an 8?? Is this relative to all other races in F1 or just this year?

        The way I see it – a 10 has to be wall to wall action, with a little bit of everything. I can only measure against what I’ve seen, and for me Brazil 2008 was probably a 10 – action and emotion right up to the last lap. So a 9 has to be close, for me perhaps Brazil 07, Brazil 09 or Canada 10. Was this race really an 8???

        No race this year sticks out for me, at all. I don’t think I’ve marked a race above 6 and even then I think my scale is off (what sort of race would rank a 1 or 2?)

        1. I gave Abu Dhabi a very generous 2!

  6. I don’t think I buy this result; this 6.502 rating. To be fair up front, late votes may have come in (I just voted as I apparently forgot to do so on the weekend), and these results may have been calculated yesterday or some other time. Is there a methodology for reporting results? Are they only tracked through the Tuesday after a race, for example? Are the historical results linked to the actual results should they change over the following week(s)?

    I ask, because by my count (methodology below) the race has been voted a 5.042. If correct that is not only considerably lower than the 6.502 reported (22% lower) but it would make it the worst race this year by more than half a point (Belgium at 5.688 is next) and the worst Indian GP by about 0.2. Of course one has to ask if the other race rankings reported accurately reflect current votes as well. I hope this is just an issue of the timing of calculation, or perhaps I am mistaken in my methodology (if so, do say), otherwise this calls into question the ranking for at least this GP.

    -I took the current vote percentages and vote total (589) provided by the site – current as of 8 Nov at just before noon GMT-6.
    -I multiplied the percentages for each ranking category (1, 2,..) by the total number of votes and rounded the resulting number of votes for each category. The sum of rounding came to 590 total votes, or plus one versus actual number of votes, which I deemed immaterial.
    -I then multiplied the rounded category totals by the value of the vote (i.e. 65 votes for ‘rank 3’ multiplied by 3) and summed the result.
    -I got a total ranking vote of 2975, which when divided by 590 (due to rounding) gave me a 5.042 ranking.

    1. A calculating error perhaps, or they use a different methology maybe.

      1. They must, because based on the data I can’t get 6.5. If I eliminate all votes for categories 1-4, I get around 6.3. If I use 490 instead of 590 (typo) I get less than 6.1. Unless a looooot of low ranking votes came in after the article was written, something doesn’t seem to add up.

    2. @hobo I tried three different methods including the one you seem to have followed and every time I get 6.58 as the result (with 502 votes as of my posting time). You can check my calculations here

      1. I am half asleep now. So pardon the formatting mistakes. I have tried to format it better this time. Check here

        1. @seahorse, you are correct. Long story short, I was using Abu Dhabi data. I forgot the Abu Dhabi GP even existed (how boring it was) and simply went back to the last “Rate the race..” page and looked at that data without even seeing that it was Abu Dhabi and not India.

          I didn’t confuse the two races, tracks, or countries. I simply didn’t read. Apologies to Keith and Tom. Wow. My mistake.

          1. @hobo Glad that’s been cleared up.

    3. FYI, the methodology I used checks out for Japanese GP. The article reports 7.338 and based on the data reported on the rate the race page, my reported methodology gives the same score.

      So it appears it’s either a calculation on very old data (day of?) or miscalculation in some way or another. Cheers.

  7. Definitely better than last year, the only interesting thing was Alonso’s race, overtaking Button, Hamilton and webber having a *rare* part failure.
    Maybe Indian GP of this year could have a lot better rating, but usually in the second half of the year, teams get on top of tyre degradation so there are no races like australia anymore.

  8. Well all the Asian races are in top 10 right now,while the traditional European tracks are in bottom 5 , its hard to digest that iconic track like Spa is at the bottom of the pile while the least favorite track among F1 fans is at the topping the chart

    1. @smokinjoe If you’re comparing track by track it would make more sense to use the data for all seasons rather than just one year, which is obviously not going to be as useful. Here’s the most recent data for that:

      Has F1 “improved the show”? See what the data says: Circuits

  9. I would have rated the race,but couldn’t remember what happened even though I managed to watch the highlights on BBC. I remember Seb made a great start and Lewis made a mess of it as usual and at the end Seb did some doughnuts.Perhaps I fell asleep or even more likely was totally mesmerized.

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