2013 F1 season is lowest-rated year since 2009

2013 F1 season review

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Start, Singapore, 2013Formula One’s efforts to liven up the racing failed to keep viewers excited during the 2013 season.

This year’s 19 races had a lower average rating* than those during the 2010 season, the last before the introduction of DRS and the current generation of rapidly degrading tyres.

Part of the reason for the fall in ratings will no doubt be the fact that the drivers’ championship was decided several races before the end of the season. But that was also true in 2011, which had a higher score than this year.

And for the most part the 2013 season did not benefit from one ingredient which tends to produce highly-rated races: rain. The wet weather tyres were not used all year in a race, and intermediates only made a brief appearance in the opening laps of the Malaysian Grand Prix. Apart from that it was a dry year on race day.

The highest rated race of the year had a score of 7.8, a lower score than eight races achieved last year.

The 2014 season is likely to see a major shake-up in the competitive order and the nature of the racing as the current generation of normally aspirated V8 engines makes way for more efficient V6 turbo units with powerful energy recovery systems.

Further changes to the racing are also being considered with two mandatory pit stops per race being proposed. However a poll of fans on F1 Fanatic showed a vast majority oppose such a change.

Season average ratings, 2008-2013

YearAverage ratingHighest ratingLowest rating
20086.6518.756 (Brazil)3.977 (Europe)
20096.3168.309 (Brazil)5.276 (Turkey)
20106.7598.668 (Canada)3.740 (Germany)
20117.239.241 (Chinese)3.871 (Europe)
20127.3679.449 (Brazil)5.158 (Korea)
20136.6917.826 (Bahrain)5.017 (Abu Dhabi)

Brazilian Grand Prix result

Start, Interlagos, 2013A score of 7.144 out of ten meant the Brazilian Grand Prix was comfortably above the season average.

Those who hoped the wet conditions of practice and qualifying would continue on race day were to be disappointed. But despite than and both championships having been decided long ago there were several interesting storylines at the final grand prix of 2013.

Local hero Felipe Massa was starting his last race for Ferrari and Pastor Maldonado was making a less emotional farewell to Williams. Sergio Perez also needed to impress potential new employers for 2014 in his last race for the McLaren team.

And of course Mark Webber was saying a final farewell to Formula One.

Much of the post-race discussion was centred on a pair of contentious penalties for Massa and Lewis Hamilton. Here’s what F1 Fanatic readers had to say about the race.

Good race, but not spectacular. Had some exciting parts, like the start, and towards the end with the collision and rush to get into the pits, but as I said, just a good race.

Happy for Button and McLaren to end the season on somewhat of a high.

I think it was probably the best race since the summer break, but still not a classic. Mostly they have been dull, I felt seven was suitable rating.

About the Hamilton/Bottas clash, Finnish commentators made clear that it was Hamilton’s fault, but also that it wasn’t really worth of penalty. Not stating clearly why, perhaps due to Hamilton getting puncture so he lost time there, although of course he was the one who suffered less as Bottas was out of the race.

DRS wasn’t as powerful as I expected it to be, but still neutered the racing quite a bit. The first couple of pre-DRS laps were brilliant.

Disappointed to see Grosjean go out of the race, but that’s how it goes sometimes. He has vastly improved over the season, so I’m confident he’ll carry that over to next season.

Not a Vettel fan, but I found myself egging him on to the record number of wins. The guy really is pure class!

Delighted Webber got a podium in his last race. Look forward to see how he goes in the World Endurance Championship next year.

It was a reasonably good and tense race, not a classic or anything.

It was better than some recent Grand Prix but I still wouldn’t class it as a good race.

From all the coverage and forecasts I was hoping it was going to be wet race but it wasn’t, and that disappointment probably affected my overall enjoyment of the race.

Webber bowed out of F1 on a high with a fine run to second and several readers are sad to see him go:

For me it’s been a very emotional weekend. I enjoyed this race, but it was more than just the season finale. It was the end of an era for me, personally, a driver I’ve supported since 2007/2008, during my final stages of secondary school and all my university stint (which is still going). It brings back all the memories you have of that period, those long lasting seasons, full of joy and disappointment as well. Specially 2010.

It’s fantastic how much your passion turns your mood on and off, and every time Mark did well, it was all about Mondays reading all the articles about it on the newspaper, reading it all, from the press conferences to the team’s press releases. Every timetable, your eyes switch right away to your driver: “Mark Webber”. And now that’s gone. One doesn’t expect it to last forever, but it’ll be super weird for a while.

I know he wasn’t the best driver on planet, but it’s something you can’t explain. It ends on high though, and that’s good. Thank you so so much, Mark! You were part of the reason why I woke up early every Sunday for the race.

Previous rate the race results

Average ratings by circuit since 2008

Here are the average scores broken down by track since Rate the Race began in 2008.

Circuit Gilles Villeneuve58.02
Albert Park67.72
Shanghai International Circuit67.46
Circuit of the Americas27.08
Istanbul Park46.85
Sepang International Circuit66.79
Korea International Circuit46.74
Yas Marina56.48
Bahrain International Circuit56.22
Circuit de Catalunya66.15
Buddh International Circuit35.75
Valencia Street Circuit55.49

Over to you

How do you think the 2013 season compared to the previous five? Are DRS and rapidly degrading tyres producing better racing? Have your say in the comments.

*F1 Fanatic Rate the Race began in 2008. F1 Fanatic readers are invited to give each race a score between one and ten out of ten after it finishes.

Additional writing by Tom Taylor (@Tommo1976).

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Image © Red Bull/Getty

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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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89 comments on “2013 F1 season is lowest-rated year since 2009”

  1. Bahrain the most popular race of the season? Wow, really must have been a stinker of a season… 2009 was better than this year. Most recent year that was worse was probably ’04.

    When was the last time we had wet weather tyres used without the need for a safety car? I doubt it’ll happen again for a long time, unless the race starts barely too wet for inters (so 2/3 laps on wet tyres before drivers start pitting for inters…)

    1. Bahrain is quite a decent track though IMO. Definitely one of the better Tilkedromes although sadly in a horrible location.

      My Tilke rating is as follows (circuits designed by Tilke from the start):

      1 – Istanbul Park
      2 – Sepang International Circuit
      3 – Circuit of the Americas
      4 – Sakhir International Circuit
      5 – Buddh International Circuit
      6 – Marina Bay Street Circuit
      7 – Korea International Circuit
      8 – Shanghai International Circuit
      9 – Yas Marina Circuit
      10 – Valencia Street Circuit

      1. @vettel1 I like lists, so here’s mine:

        1 – Istanbul Park
        2 – Sepang International Circuit
        3 – Circuit of the Americas
        4 – Shanghai International Circuit
        5 – Sakhir International Circuit
        6 – Korea International Circuit
        7 – Valencia Street Circuit
        = – Marina Bay Street Circuit
        9 – Yas Marina Circuit
        10 – Buddh International Circuit

        For me, there are 5 good ones, and then below that, it’s really just choosing the best of a bad bunch.

        1. Good idea to rank them. Here’s mine:

          1 – Sakhir International Circuit
          2 – Marina Bay Street Circuit
          3 – Buddh International Circuit
          4 – Circuit of the Americas
          5 – Korea International Circuit
          6 – Istanbul Park
          7 – Shanghai International Circuit
          8 – Sepang International Circuit
          9 – Valencia Street Circuit
          10 – Yas Marina Circuit

          Sakhir has a great sequence of corners in S1 allowing for great moves into T4 and an overall stop-start character despite the even number of high-, medium- and slow-speed corners.

          Similarly, Marina Bay and the Buddh circuit have distinctive characters, one is stop-start again while the other is quite fast in S2 – but have next to no overtaking spots.

          From here on, all of them have an emphasis on slow-speed corners, slow-to-mid, and the often-said mix-of-everything element gets more pronounced – which I personally hate, because it suggests a lack of character. COTA, Korea, Istanbul, Shanghai got ahead still with a couple of unique challenges, like T19, S2, T8 and T1-2. The rest are plainly weak excuses for tracks in my opinion.

          1. My personal top 10:

            1. Sepang Circuit
            2. Istanbul Park
            3. Circuit of the Americas
            4. Shanghai Circuit
            5. Sakhir Circuit
            6. Singapore Street Circuit
            7. Buddh Circuit
            8. Yeongam Circuit
            9. Valencia Street Circuit
            10. Yas Marina Circuit

          2. 1. Sakhir International Circuit
            2. Istanbul Park
            3. Sepang International Circuit
            4. Fuji International Speedway (I added this one as I liked the Tilke verson)
            5. Shanghai International Circuit
            6. Circuit of the Americas
            7. Buddh International Circuit
            8. Marina Bay Street Circuit
            9. Yas Marina Circuit
            10. Korea International Circuit
            11. Valencia Street Circuit

        2. kowalsky and imaginary friends
          8th December 2013, 17:02

          i went to istambul park in 2009, and i agree is a good circuit, but like in many of today’s circuits, you are so far away from the action, it doesn’t matter how well designedit is. It’s not good at all.

      2. @vettel1 – You’ve gotta love a list!

        1 – Circuit of the Americas
        2 – Sepang International Circuit
        3 – Shanghai International Circuit
        4 – Buddh International Circuit
        5 – Istanbul Park
        6 – Sakhir International Circuit
        7 – Yas Marina Circuit
        8 – Korea International Circuit
        9 – Marina Bay Street Circuit
        10 – Valencia Street Circuit

        Now let’s see how many of those appear in my top ten favourite ever racetracks (i.e. not just F1)…

        1 – Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
        2 – Circuit de Monaco
        3 – Silverstone International Circuit
        4 – Nurburgring GP Circuit
        5 – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari
        6 – Brands-Hatch GP
        7 – Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
        8 – Algarve International Circuit
        9 – Autodromo Nazionale Monza
        10 – Autódromo José Carlos Pace

        Sorry Herman, not one. You might now be guessing that I could be categorized as F1 “purist”…

      3. COTA is not a Tilke track.

        1. So is Istanbul Park… Tilke was in a consultancy role and was forced to step aside half way through. Essentially, the Turkish company Evren Construction completed the remainder of the circuit layout. Though probably Tilke was the one responsible for turn 8, i ll give him that.

      4. Agree. Although the Shanghai IC rates lower in most of your ratings, it has indeed produced some great races since it’s inception.

        1. its^ (bloody typo!)

      5. @vettel1 It’s funny that we both like sakhir but I dread Istanbul, my top is heavily influenced by the layout of the track, and to a certain extent if I like to play F1 on these tracks.

        1 – Korea International Circuit
        2 – Sakhir International Circuit
        3 – Sepang International Circuit
        4 – Buddh International Circuit
        5 – Yas Marina Circuit
        6 – Circuit of the Americas
        7 – Marina Bay Street Circuit
        8 – Valencia Street Circuit
        9 – Shanghai International Circuit (bad version of Malaysia)
        10 – Istanbul Park

    2. @pwaa If you analyze data closely you will notice that the bahrain GP is at the top of the avg overtakes per race, what spoiled the tracks reputation is down to the 2010 race and perhaps the fact it is set on a country with social issues and the fact it is often one of the first of the season therefore there’s no championship drama as it often happens with the races in the latter part of the competitive years.
      2009 racing wise is probably the best year we’ve had in decades but in similarity with 2013 the championship was never to be seen and the fact it is so poorly remembered by people shows that people rate races by the championship, 2009 is also marked by a the fallout of the established teams therefore fans are always going to be a bit sore watching those races.

  2. 7.826 (Bahrain)

    Bahrain got the highest score?!? that’s shocking ! I don’t remember Bahrain as being particularly entertaining appart from Webber defending from Hamilton at the end of the race….

    All in all, I think people started to get more and more annoyed by the gimmicks we criticize every weekend. DRS and Pirellis got even more annoying this year, so those that hated it, started hating it more, and those that didn’t, now had reasons to hate them…

    Throw Vettel’s dominance to the mix and there you have it…

    1. Nail on the head.

    2. Bahrain got the highest score?!? that’s shocking ! I don’t remember Bahrain as being particularly entertaining appart from Webber defending from Hamilton at the end of the race….

      Well Perez and Button had a brilliant battle, and we saw Alonso work his way through the field after an early setback.

    3. @fer-no65 Spot on. Our cynicism with the tires and the DRS gimmick only got worse as time went on. Bahrain was a decent race which took place early enough in the season…

      BTW, I love your send off to Webber.

      1. @pandaslap thanks ! I had not noticed it got here aswell (it was COTD the day after the race)

    4. @fer-no65, Indeed, a change may be as good as a holiday, but once it is the norm the negatives outweigh the novelty.

  3. I’m not surprised – I don’t mind a one-sided WDC if the races are good but this year the races weren’t that great and the championship decided rather early. And if I had to name 2 reasons I’d say the tires and an over-use of DRS. And I guess many share this view seeing that the ratings improved between 2010-2012 and dropped down for 2013 when both DRS and the tires went to the extreme.

    1. I cannot believe that 2011 and 2012 ranked higher than 2010!!!???

      2010 was one of the closes seasons we have ever had! 6 World champs on the grid and 5 of them slugging it out for the title to the bitter end! How the hell did 2011 and 2012 beat that?

      And another thing I can’t believe – that in 2011 China was the highest rated of the year??? China????? Oh, that’s right, Hamilton on new tires drove straight past Vettel on worn tires and won – ye-ha! I’ve also seen that pass rated as one of the best of the season – you’ve got to be kidding me!

      How that race beat Canada is a mystery of the universe! Canada 2011 was one of the greatest races in the history of the sport!

      1. @nick101 some of the boring races, plus Germany getting an all time low score, surely contributed to 2010 being lower than 2011 and 2012. That being said, I’m with you, 2010 was probably the season that saw my fever for F1 completely revived !

        BTW, 2010 had 4 world champions :P. Vettel wasn’t a WDC and Kimi had not returned yet. Unless you mean “5 WDC in heart battling till the end”…

      2. I thought this at first too!
        But, thinking back, I can name more pieces of exciting on-track action from 2011 than 2010, despite the lack of title fight. I guess the legacy of an awesome title fight might skew memories of the on-track action a bit?

  4. For me, this is without any doubt the least enjoyable season of Formula 1 I have ever watched – and I have been watching since the begin of this century.

    Over the last few months I have been thinking why this season just seemed to be so dull and dreary, and the main reason for that in my opinion is that a Grand Prix is no longer ‘special’. What I can remember from previous years is that I felt excited an entire week before the GP. In 2013, that excitement either came a couple of hours before the race, or it simply didn’t come at all (for instance in Korea or India).

    During the Spanish GP, I thought to myself: “This is just exactly the same as the other four races.” And looking back at the season, I can’t remember much from certain races, for instance the Chinese and Belgian GP. And I’m sure that this time next year, I will have forgotten India, Korea, and Italy as well.

    DRS is definitely a culprit, since no skills are required to overtake another car. It is the same ‘everyone is special’ mentality that has been bothering me in daily life as well. And yes, it does allow for different strategies, but it also means that in most cases the fastest car will win – as we saw in the final eight races of the season. The skill of overtaking has become completely obsolete.

    But the worst part is that the drivers don’t seem to enjoy their profession anymore. Directly after the race, the drivers look like they went for a 3 km jog around town, not like they have just run a gruelling marathon. And comments from some drivers, Webber in particular, give me the impression that it isn’t fun to drive a Formula 1 car anymore. The tyres hold the drivers back instead of enabling them to show what they’re made of. If the drivers aren’t enjoying it, then why should I enjoy it?

    So all in all, the 2013 was not enjoyable. Not for me, not for a lot of other fanatics, and not for the drivers. F1 in 2013 was just generic. It lacked excitement. I’m glad I’ve made it to the end without turning off for good, and I hope 2014 with the rule change will bring back that spark. But if it turns out to be exactly the same as 2013, I’m done.

    1. I agree with your opening – and I’ve been watching since 1996. Not to show up – OK, a bit :) – but to illustrate the comparable excitement level of processes this year even more.

      There would be a strong competition between 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2013 for the least appealing season recently – objectively. As a Ferrari fan, obviously, 2013 was the worst for me as the former three were dominated by ‘my’ team at least.

      1. @atticus-2
        2001 was kind of like 2011. The championship was one-sided, but at least there was competitive racing.

        As for 2002, 2004, and 2013 – well, if you haven’t got much good to say about a season, you better not as much at all.

        1. @kingshark For me the difference between 2002 (&2004) and 2013 is the fact that at least in 2002 you knew the racing is genuine. In 2002 drivers really had to push hard, while in 2013 the drivers had to go just slow enough to make their tyres last. So perhaps the racing was just as unexciting, at least back then you knew they were racing ‘on the edge’ and had to fight for the points.

    2. I share your sentiment. Usually, even when there is some degree of dominance, there is a sense of “what will happen this weekend?”. After the first few races there was none of that left, not only at the front but even behind there wasn’t much going on that would keep a race exciting (often because there was no need to fight, just push eachother a bit for a lap or two, then drive past).
      Even statistics show that this season was just the same every race, standard deviation of race ratings this season being way lower than any other season, even much lower than 2009 (and yes, I actually did calculate them all, and no, I am fine). So even the statistics are getting bored :-/.

      I don’t think I would ever stop watching F1 (and believe me, these years were tough for me) but I found that other motorsports have caught my attention some more, MotoGP was always nice but now I’m looking for a tough and proper fight between a lot of guys next season (like the 5 way battles each lap in Moto2), endurance racing is getting more attention again with so many good and popular drivers and potentially a tough fight between Audi, Toyota, Porsche and the potential to see Nissan and especially Honda (due to the possible use of engines) in the future, DTM has a lot of really talented guys and in my opinion really good looking cars (the new M4 will probably look extra-mean) and so much more that I’ve forgotten right now. I’m even looking forward to see the Formula E, the rules are weird, the cars look okay and don’t seem very fast but still it’s something new and who knows, we might be surprised. But its a long way until those things happen, for now I’m waiting for the Dakar.

      1. @bananarama Regarding those statistics, you’re right. It really reflects my feeling as well, because most races were not particularly atrocious, most of them were just very ‘meh’.

    3. Couldn’t agree more. I feel such a disappointment compared to last year’s finale promises. Slight differences and it becomes completely dull. Those artificial rules are perverting the game, fake overtakes are just… fakes.

    4. Hear, hear. I’ve been watching F1 since 1996, and definitely for the past few years it has become more of a habit than hobby. Instead of “Yay! It’s F1 this weekend!” I go “Not again?”.

      I think the highest/lowest score for this year shows something: everything is just the same. The cars, the tracks, the races are all so similar to each other that nothing stands out.

  5. there’s not a single race that stands out this season, which is sad for the sport really.
    the sport isn’t doing itself any favours by having ridiculous rules (drs, tyres) and also to have one guy win nine races in a row, it just gets tedious after a while and will not attract any new viewers to the sport, actually the opposite of that is happening; people get bored and quit watching f1.

    i’ve been on the edge of turning the tv off during a race for a lot of times this year, actually did it a few times.

    as far as this years rating goes, it doesn’t surprise me at all that it has the lowest rating of the last few years. the most intresting and intense session we’ve had all year must’ve been spa qualifying (!!!!).

    so for next season to get better ratings, there needs to be some of the following things: (in order of importance)
    – not have the same guy win nine races in a row
    – not have one team being one second quicker than the rest
    – battle for the lead
    – battle for positions
    – weather changes during a race
    – a retirement here and there

    add these ingredients and you will have earned a good rating.

    1. @rigi Your priorities are skewed – who actually wins the race has (or should have) no bearing on how exciting the race is. If you got numbers 2,3,4,5 & 6 on your list but not number 1 it would still be epic!

      1. @jerseyf1 i admit, if that driver has to actually fight for his wins it’s a different story. but to see him pull away immediately makes the outcome of the race predicable and therefore boring.

  6. If I had to rate the seasons, based on the championship and the races, I’d rate them as:

    2008 – 7.5 (good championship, with some pretty good races. Not brilliant overall, but it was a good season).
    2009 – 6 (Mostly awful racing, helped by a few memorable races, and a relatively good championship, but still, not a great season).
    2010 – 8.5 (Some pretty great races, some really poor races, but a really, really good championship fight brings it up to an 8.5/10, though maybe an 8/10 is a fairer reflection, as in a sense I give it the extra 0.5 because of rose-tinted glasses, looking back before DRS was ever a thing).
    2011 – 7.5 (Had some really, really good races (oddly, all the ones where Vettel didn’t run away with it). Some of the great ones were: Canada (obviously), Hungary, Germany and China, with Britain and Malaysia being really good as well. However, the championship battle was very poor).
    2012 – 9.5 (Had basically everything. A whole bunch of fantastic races, and very few poor races. It also had a great championship fight. What an absolute cracking season, such a shame it doesn’t happen all the time).
    2013 – 4.5 (This was the first season I wasn’t as excited to watch an F1 race as normal. Before each race, during the formation lap, the excitement builds in my stomach, sitting there waiting for the lights to go out, I can barely sit still waiting for it. I didn’t have that towards the end of the year, from around Korea on-wards. This season was the first season for a long while that lost it’s fizz for me).

  7. Only watched Malaysia and Britain this year, both weren’t that great. F1 itself has become pretty lame since 2009 with all these idiotic rule changes and ugly cars. Pre 2009 cars looked much better with all the aero bits and the racing was better.
    I would have stopped watching much sooner but Schumi’s comeback was the only reason I continued. After he retired for a second time I had to reason to continue watching this snooze fest, Vettel can 200 races and 10 championships for all I care, I’m done with F1 until they stop with gimmicks like DRS and KERS

  8. Interesting how variety on the front gives a plus for the majority of fans when it comes to rating the races: 11 out of the bottom 13 were Vettel wins whilst 4 out of the top 6 were won by someone else.

  9. Found this weird review of the 2013 Formula 1 season:
    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3

    1. Saw that the other day and it’s pure gold!

    2. @hzh00 Oh yeah. That’s amazing. The full version is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OH8DlUEChg4

  10. A pretty dull season. Overtaking is dead and Pirelli continue their reign. I recall Martin brundle saying most of the drivers hate it as it is, so why don’t they voice their opinions in the public domain instead of keeping it to themselves? Oh I forgot, that might be bad PR.
    I also think as boring as the season was, those who voted in the polls were still overly generous, thus giving a race an undeservedly high rating.

    “Mostly they have been dull, I felt seven was suitable rating.”

    I don’t get how a dull race can get such a high grade when a fantastic race is only 3 points higher.
    I know I’m not alone in this because I’ve seen countless overs mystified by peoples questionable voting patterns.

    1. …and there you have it, “overtaking is dead” isn’t it ironic that there was more genuine overtaking pre-DRS? If there isn’t any genuine racing then what’s the point? I asked myself that question nearly every race as I had nothing else distracting me other than the same race over and over again. The answer is there is no point. GP2, Indycar, Motogp and V8 Supercars are all vastly superior championships. One day the powers that be will wake up and smell the ******** but until then it’s like I live in a world where F1 doesn’t exist, in spirit anyway.

  11. Zantkiller (@)
    8th December 2013, 13:30

    I’ve calculated who would win a ‘Best Races Ever’ season using this years calendar with each race being the best that had ever happened at that circuit.

    Lewis wins in a three way championship showdown at Brazil between him, Alonso and Vettel.

    Alonso and Vettel needed to win the race and have Lewis finish no higher than 9th to win the title.
    And it almost happened with a controversial crash involving Lewis and Nico Hulkenberg taking him out of the race but as we already know Alonso could only manage 2nd and so Lewis is the victor with Vettel having no chance after a first lap spin caused by Bruno Senna.

    The final championship standings are:
    1. Lewis Hamilton – 241 pts
    2. Fernando Alonso – 238 pts
    3. Sebastian Vettel – 231 pts
    4. Jenson Button – 174 pts
    5. Felipe Massa – 154 pts
    6. Mark Webber – 149 pts
    7. Kimi Räikkönen – 99 pts
    8. Robert Kubica – 82 pts
    9. Nico Rosberg – 75 pts
    10. Michael Schumacher – 54 pts

    1. @zantkiller
      That’s an awesome statistic! ;-)

    2. That’s a great idea!

    3. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      8th December 2013, 14:45

      Amazing how Kubica is eighth.

      1. Zantkiller (@)
        8th December 2013, 14:53

        He was only part of 7 race weekends but he finished on the podium 4 times and was out of the points once.

    4. So Lewis finally wins something :) As a Lewis fan, I’m well stoked :)

    5. I don’t mean to miss @zantkiller‘s point – I like your stats but I do think it demonstrates that, for many F1Fs, where a favorite driver finishes does influence how they rate the race. That is to say that if a season of the highest rated races result in a Hamilton championship, then the highest rated races are races in which Hamilton does well.

      Conversely, many of the races Vettel won this season are on the lower end of the ratings and Vettel won 2 of the top 5 highest rated races of 2013.

      1. Zantkiller (@)
        8th December 2013, 20:45

        No you are completely correct.
        In terms of race winners it goes:
        Hamilton – 6
        Button – 5
        Alonso – 3
        Vettel – 3
        Kimi – 1
        Pastor – 1

        Though I must add that Lewis has had a competitive car and been a frontrunner since the rate-the-race feature started so will get a natural advantage along with all the drivers who were in every top race who were:

      2. It’s important to note that some of the highest rated races on this website: Abu Dhabi 2012, Brazil 2012, Canada 2011 are all Hamilton DNF. You also have to factor in that races like India have only ever been won by Vettel.

  12. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    8th December 2013, 13:32

    Yeah it was pretty awful season for racing. Not many stand-out moments and most of the races just failed to live up to anything which is a shame. Also what is that merc doing in the picture at the top, lol.

  13. I have been watching Formula One since 2002, and I would rate the past twelve F1 seasons like this, from best to worst:

    1. 2010
    2. 2003
    3. 2012
    4. 2008
    5. 2006
    6. 2007
    7. 2009
    8. 2005
    9. 2011
    10. 2013
    11. 2004
    12. 2002

    1. Generally:
      Top 4 – ultra-close for the title
      Middle 4 – transition period away from Schumi; Alonso and Raikkonen’s challenge
      Bottom 4 – no challenge for title
      Top 8 – close title battles
      Bottom 4 – no title battles

      Although, I have to say I agree with this ranking. I’m not going to try and rank from 1997.. too hard! But they’d probably fall from mid-high up (1997-2000) to relatively low down (2001).

    2. It’s surprising you kept watching after 2002 ;)

      1. @yoshif8tures
        I was a very young Ferrari & Schumacher fan at the time, so unsurprisingly I actually enjoyed 2002 a lot back them. Although looking back now, I can understand why people hate it so much.

        2003 had me on the edge of my seat all year long.

    3. Mr win or lose
      8th December 2013, 20:31

      My ranking:
      1. 1997 – My first season and it had everything
      2. 2003 – New qualy rules, exiting championship battle
      3. 2012 – Best year of “modern” F1
      4. 2011 – Great season thanks to Pirelli
      5. 1999 – How not to become world champion
      6. 2007 – Started watching F1 more frequently
      7. 2000 – Not great, but certainly not bad
      8. 2009 – Not bad, except for the twilight races
      9. 2008 – Only one great race
      10. 2006 – The last season of the “real” Schumacher
      11. 2010 – Racing was BORING, but the championship wasn’t
      12. 2001 – Pure racing and pure Schumacher dominance
      13. 2002 – Same as 2001, but worse
      14. 2005 – Death of all backmarker teams
      15. 1998 – Why did they ruin F1?
      16. 2004 – Let’s blame Michael Schumacher for this
      17. 2013 – Hopefully 2014 is much better

  14. In past seasons, I have watched the pre race build ups for every single race, eagerly awaited the race itself, and watched all of the pre race analysis. I even watched highlights of the races I had only just watched hours previously.

    This doesn’t happen anymore. These days, I think hard about getting out of bed for the early morning races. For the normal time races, I’d sometimes tune in for the start of the race. Most of the time though, and during this season in particular, F1 has struggled to hold my attention. Sure, that last race was reasonably ok, but it was the best race of the season, and let’s be honest here, for the “best race of the season” to be just “ok”, is pretty rubbish. The fact that Vettel has obliterated the field this year isn’t really a factor to me. Gimmicky tires and ridiculous DRS zones have knocked my interest quite a bit though. I’ve be holding out for 2014 to possibly reignite my feelings for F1, but with talk of 2 compulsory pit stops and uglier cars than those 2012 stepped nose things, I’m not banking on it. I hope it will be better, I really do. I’ve followed F1 since 1995 ish, but if 2014 turns out to be “reasonably ok” again, that’s not going to be good enough for me and I’ll be done and dusted.

  15. The first half of the season was alright, nothing special, but OK. Then Pirelli caved in because of all the whining about the tyres, and the second half was a complete write-off. I feel sorry for Pirelli, they get so much criticism from the teams and fans, they’re just trying to do their job. Blame the FIA/FOM. Blame the rest of the teams for basically giving up and handing the season to Red Bull on a plate. Blame the awful DRS. Don’t blame Pirelli.

    Thank heavens for the regulation changes for next season, because another season like this, well, I guess the ITV’s viewing figures for BTCC will go through the roof. Proper racing, no whining and no politics this year. A proper title fight settled in the final race of the year.

  16. For me 2011 was an even more dominant year by Vettel, he had a realistic chance to win up to three more races (Canada, Brazil, Abu Dhabi) bringing the total to an incredible 14.
    He had the faster car all trough that year and yet there was better racing, so why a better score? Probably the teams didn’t understand the tyres as well and of course they didn’t disintegrate so easily, it also helps that Vettel’s winning streak was “only” four races.

    1. It was actually three wins in a row in ’11 hehe

      1. @mantresx
        Had Vettel’s car not have up on him in Silverstone, he would have won 14 races this year too. Likewise, he had a reasonable chance of winning in Monaco and Hungary too if he had sown his qualifying lap together better, which brings his win total to an incredible 16 out of 19.

        I certainly don’t believe that SV was more dominant in 2011 than he was in 2013.

  17. Well, I expected that. At the start of the season I had so much expectation following 2012, the best year of F1 that I’ve ever seen, and it turned out that it was the worst season of F1 in some years. I think that the new DRS rules and the non-lastng tyres ruined the racing this year at some of the best circuits of the calendar. Who would say that Belgium, Italy, Canada and Austin could produce boring races?? Nobody. Because it wasn’t the fault of the circuits, it was the rules’ fault. These rules need to be changed before 2014 for the sake of F1, and the fans, and the action. Also the FIA should stop making lots of pointless race edits with the idea that this year’s F1 was the “best season ever”.
    I know I’m not a real F1 fan beacuse I started watching F1 since 2004, but I found my great passion that year, and now I’m ashamed when talking to someone else about F1, for what it was become today.
    I hope 2014 could be a radical change to F1 due to the new rules, and the change of the top teams’ drivers. With that expectation, we could have a better year than 2013.

    1. @cocaine-mackeine

      I know I’m not a real F1 fan beacuse I started watching F1 since 2004,

      How does that make you “not a real F1 fan”?

      1. I think that a real F1 fan is the one that watch the golden years of it, the one who knows the real racing of F1. And I’ve watched documentaries and races of the 90’s and it’s not comparable to what we are watching nowadays.

        1. @cocaine-mackeine

          How about us fans who weren’t even born back then during the “golden years”?

          I guess we can never be real F1 fans…

          1. it’s very easy to see seasons that happened before you were born, there are online f1 video communtiys that have from about 1974-2013 for download. I was born in 1983 but that didn’t stop me from going back and watching single race from every single season…If you haven’t seen any races from the 1980’s you’re missing out

        2. I think you’re suffering from self-imposed nostalgia. Go watch the 1998 German GP and try not to fall asleep.

  18. Interesting to note that the bottom 3 races in the average rating have now been dropped by F1. That’s very F1 in its own sense… so the next thing to do would be to drop Hockenheim for a permanent Nurburgring race, so no average races under 6 were left.

    But, that’s unlikely to happen of course, as Hockenheim is favoured by Mercedes (perhaps both German tracks are in some way), and Nurburgring is struggling financially to keep up with it’s biennial schedule. If anything, it’s likely now to happen the other way around (just like ‘pay drivers’ over non-paying talents on occasion). Perhaps, the high ratings (and subsequent boost to TV ratings?) are why Bernie gave the Nurburgring a good deal to keep the track alive and hosting an F1 race last time out.

    Highest Average Ratings calendar:
    Turkey (Austria for 2014)
    Suzuka (or Mt. Fuji in reserve)
    Korea (Sochi for 2014)
    Abu Dhabi

    I.e. basically, what we have now :) Although, I wonder if any ‘grade inflation’ accounts for any of the results.

    1. Zantkiller (@)
      8th December 2013, 15:01

      Hockenheim I would say is unfairly low due to the 2010 race with the team orders causing it to be the lowest rated race ever at 3.74 while the other 2 hockenheim races average out at 7.11.

  19. Really enjoyed this year, and looking forward to next year.
    As a proudly South African , i would like to express my deepest sympathy to the Mandela Family. Tata Nelson Mandela you will always be my inspiration, leader and freedom fighter. May you rest in peace, God bless you always and this beautiful country South Africa.

  20. I think the DRS novelty has worn off.

    Other racing series were far more interesting this season, IndyCar especially.

  21. David not Coulthard (@)
    8th December 2013, 16:29

    Did anyone else enjoy 2010 more than the seasons after that (though I might have found it to be a bit less interesting had the WDC been less interesting)?

    1. Yes, a classic, brill season….

  22. How Bahrain became highest rated race of the year yet Germany was only the 3rd highest baffle’s me.

  23. Well 2010 was the best in the last decade and not being able to watch over half the races doesn’t help

  24. This headline has to sum up how most of the current generation of f1 fans feel including myself…this season was so dull, so boring, the passing was child like and artificial, not to mention endless tyre problems. I have watched every season from 1980-2013, and i have to say that this season (with the championship a foregone conclusion by half way) was close to equalling the uber boring 2004 season….the new rule changes better shake things up

  25. no surprise really…
    notice how most of the lower rated races were from the second half during the change back to the old tires and vettel’s dominance.

  26. This season will personally be remembered as ‘the start was alright, then it got boring until the last 10 laps which were nice’, as I’ve typed that at least 9 times this season on Rate the Race.

    To me, DRS and the current way F1 deals with tyres have worn out their welcome. DRS because it’s essentially a free pass, which KERS or even DRS in Formula Renault 3.5 are less likely victims of, and the ‘no testing tyres, complaining about tyres, doing something about tyres, but not necessarily the right thing’ stick are getting very old, very fast.

    In the past, you could tell when drivers were going 100% all the time (Schumacher’s famous stint at Hungary 1998 or Trulli’s statement of all qualifying laps at Toyota) or not, but now it’s too visible, it’s getting too much attention and the drivers even seem fed up about it.

    I fell out of love with F1 after Schumacher’s first retirement, but I continued watching and fell back in love in 2010 and 2012 somewhat. 2013 has done a lot more damage to my love for F1 than 2012 and 2010 did to restore it, I’m afraid.

  27. The only good thing about this season was that i am Vettel fan and actually i enjoyed his success.

  28. I agree with most of the comments above, but to summarise my view of the season I will quote a popular driver:

    I can’t drive any slower man”

  29. And here’s something to think about, if scuttlebutt is true, hard to believe it’s possible, but next year’s cars could look waaaaaaaaaaay uglier than the current dogs.

  30. Keith, is it possible to sort out from your stats the rise and fall of the number of voters and whether or not the start of Sky broadcasting has affected them?

    1. @ceevee The number of voters has an influence on the standard deviation of every rate the race result, but the average of the votes stays the same. Of course it’s more likely for a poll with many voters to represent the ‘actual’ feeling of all people than when there are not many voters, but the error for the poll with not many voters will still be very small, i.e. negligible.

      1. … what I was trying to say before I accidentally pushed ‘post comment’, is that it doesn’t require compensation for fewer voters.

      2. I wasn’t so much interested in the potentail effect on the race ratings as much as the rise/fall of the total numbers of votes cast. The comments following each race rating, to my eyes anyway, seem to have become more critical of the quality of each passing season’s races. I was wondering if this is reflected in a variation in the number of people voting, rather than the actual ratings themselves. Just a different way of looking at the rise/fall of F1 as a sport.

  31. I stopped watching half way though, not done this in 20 years.

    I think they need to sort the tyres out, just have normal tyres and not tyres that are trying to effect the race.

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