Which F1 driver was the best performer during the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend?
Review how each driver got on below and vote for who impressed you the most during the last race weekend.
Brazilian Grand Prix driver-by-driver
Sebastian Vettel – If Vettel’s rivals were hoping rain would put him off his stride in qualifying they were to be disappointed, as he took his ninth pole position of the year by a comfortable margin. Not for the first time the year Rosberg beat him to turn one, but Vettel had edged ahead by the end of the first lap. Despite a delay during his second pit stop – the slowest of the race – he seldom looked troubled on his way to taking a record ninth win out of nine.
Mark Webber – “The car felt slow and I was struggling for grip,” said Webber after qualifying fourth for his last F1 race, over a second off Vettel. “I wasn’t too comfortable in Q1 and Q2 on the intermediate tyres, but that’s the way it goes.” Like Vettel he didn’t get off the line well, but in his last race he swiftly went on the attack, passing both Mercedes drivers and then Alonso. He had to re-pass the Ferrari after a slow pit stop to claim second place as he bowed out of F1.
Fernando Alonso – Apologised to his team after taking third on the grid – an error at Subido do Lago potentially cost him second. He was boxed in at the start and slipped behind Hamilton but had dispensed with the Mercedes by the end of the first lap, after which he caught and passed Rosberg as well. Webber’s Red Bull was clearly faster so it was no surprise to see him slip back to third, and it’s hard to see how he might have finished higher.
Felipe Massa – His Ferrari swansong got off to a less than ideal start as he could only manage ninth on the grid. But he started well and was ahead of both Toro Rossos before the first corner, and was soon running sixth. He passed Rosberg on the track and jumped Hamilton in the pits, but when the pair complained he was repeatedly crossing the pit lane entry line – something drivers had been warned against doing – he was handed a drive-through penalty which left him a very unhappy seventh.
Jenson Button – Despite being one of two drivers to start the race on the hard tyres, Button made up five places in the first two laps, then passed Ricciardo and Hulkenberg during his first stint. This moved him up to seventh, and he gained further places thanks to Hamilton and Massa’s penalties, and Mercedes’ conservative tactics. He took fourth, McLaren’s best result in a disappointing year.
Sergio Perez – Spun into a barrier at the end of Q2 while trying to grab a place in the final ten. He said the crash “looked bigger than it actually was – as soon as I lost the car, I went over the grass and hit the wall – but it was only a slight hit, and the car wasn’t too badly damaged”. However he made amends in the race, starting well then passing a string of cars, picking up ten places in fourteen laps. He wasn’t able to attack Rosberg at the end of the race as he was having to save fuel, but sixth was a strong result from the penultimate row of the grid.
Heikki Kovalainen – Kovalainen’s second race for Lotus also failed to produce any points. He blamed no one but himself for failing to make the cut for Q3, saying he “just didn’t have enough pace”, and made similar remarks after finishing 14th for the second race in a row.
Romain Grosjean – Felt there was “probably just a little bit too much water” to use intermediates in Q3, and took sixth on the grid. His team said they should have held him in the pits for longer before beginning his final run. His race ended up lap two with a spectacular engine failure.
Nico Rosberg – His fastest lap in Q3 came on the second of two consecutive laps, meaning he was low on KERS at the end of the lap which explained part of the six-tenths deficit to Vettel. A great start briefly put him in the lead but he swiftly dropped back, struggling with rear tyre degradation and a faulty engine torque map. However his pace improved in the final stint and he was able to keep Perez and Massa behind.
Lewis Hamilton – “Wet sessions haven’t been too good for me this year,” said Hamilton after qualifying fifth, “although we made some changes going into qualifying, I’m struggling to get to grips with how the car works in these conditions”. He was in much better shape in dry weather in the race and might even have caught Alonso for third had he not squeezed Bottas too hard while the Williams driver tried to unlap himself. The contact gave him a puncture and led to a penalty which left him ninth.
Nico Hulkenberg – Said getting into the top ten in qualifying was a success having been unhappy with his car’s balance. He continued to grapple with it in the race, complaining of understeer, but by staying out of trouble was able to come home eighth.
Esteban Gutierrez – An error at the last corner on his first lap in Q1 cost him dearly – after that the rain came down and he was unable to set a time good enough for Q2. A very good start saw him gain six places in the first two laps, but he was then passed by Perez and both the Force Indias as his hard tyres started to grain. His pace was better on the mediums, allowing him to regain lost ground, but it wasn’t quite enough to reach the points.
Paul di Resta – Lost five places on lap one due to a dreadful start with too much wheelspin. “Unfortunately these starts are out of our hands,” he said, “they’re all down to the guys, they’re trying to optimise as much as they can and we never got it right”. He made reasonable progress from there, passing Kovalainen’s Lotus in the final stint to take 11th.
Adrian Sutil – Was one of few drivers who had to make three pit stops, though after the last one he was also able to pass Kovalainen and finished 13th.
Pastor Maldonado – Was knocked out in the last minutes of Q1 on his last appearance for Williams. The stewards judged his collision with Vergne to be a racing incident and didn’t punish either driver, and although it cost Maldonado time he was well out of the top ten at that point.
Valtteri Bottas – Out-qualified Maldonado again and a good start lifted him into the top ten, until he was passed by Perez. Williams continue to lose more time than most with their pit stops and Bottas fell to 19th after his. But his pace after his second stop was strong – so much so that he caught Hamilton to un-lap himself from the Mercedes. Hamilton, perhaps taken by surprised, collided with the Williams as the pair were side-by-side, sending Bottas out of the race.
Jean-Eric Vergne – Persevered in the wet conditions of Q1 and made it out of the drop zone in the dying moments. After that he joined Ricciardo in Q3 and was only narrowly out-qualified by him in their last race as team mates. However both drivers made poor starts and Vergne’s was particularly bad. An early pit-stop – his first of three – then dropped him to last. A late-race tangle with Maldonado capped a miserable race.
Daniel Ricciardo – Like many drivers found his right-front tyre was graining badly during the race, but unlike most he preferred the hard tyre for his two longest stints. He couldn’t keep Hamilton behind at the end of the race but finished his Toro Rosso career with a point for tenth.
Charles Pic – Overtook Bianchi and was doing his bit for Caterham’s slim constructors’ championship chances when the right-rear suspension failed on his car, ending his race.
Giedo van der Garde – A drive-through penalty for not obeying blue flags dropped him behind Bianchi.
Jules Bianchi – Rather like Alonso, Bianchi admitted he “made a big mistake at the end of my one quick lap” in qualifying. That left him behind Van der Garde on the grid, and although he passed the Caterham at the start their positions were reversed after just four laps. The Caterham drivers’ troubled meant Bianchi eventually won their private battle.
Max Chilton – Started and finished last but the latter was significant as it meant he had reached the chequered flag in all 19 races during his debut season.
Qualifying and race results summary
|Driver||Started||Gap to team mate||Laps leading team mate||Pitted||Finished||Gap to team mate|
|Nico Hulkenberg||10th||-1.374s||69/70||2||8th||Not on same lap|
|Esteban Gutierrez||17th||+1.374s||1/70||2||12th||Not on same lap|
|Paul di Resta||12th||-0.788s||31/70||2||11th||-0.889s|
|Giedo van der Garde||20th||+0.477s||32/58||2||18th|
Review the race data
- 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix lap charts
- 2013 Brazilian GP lap times and fastest laps
- 2013 Brazilian GP tyre strategies and pit stops
Vote for your driver of the weekend
Which driver do you think did the best job this weekend?
Cast your vote below and explain your choice in the comments.
Who was the best driver of the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix weekend?
- Max Chilton (2%)
- Jules Bianchi (1%)
- Giedo van der Garde (0%)
- Charles Pic (0%)
- Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
- Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
- Valtteri Bottas (0%)
- Pastor Maldonado (0%)
- Adrian Sutil (0%)
- Paul di Resta (0%)
- Esteban Gutierrez (0%)
- Nico Hulkenberg (1%)
- Lewis Hamilton (1%)
- Nico Rosberg (0%)
- Romain Grosjean (0%)
- Heikki Kovalainen (0%)
- Sergio Perez (9%)
- Jenson Button (33%)
- Felipe Massa (1%)
- Fernando Alonso (12%)
- Mark Webber (14%)
- Sebastian Vettel (26%)
Total Voters: 570
2013 Brazilian Grand Prix
- 2013 F1 season is lowest-rated year since 2009
- Adaptalis wins 2013 Predictions Championship
- Top ten pictures from the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix
- 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix fans’ video gallery
- 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix team radio transcript
Images © Red Bull/Getty, Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Renault/DPPI