Vettel wins F1 Fanatic Driver of the Year and Pass of the Year polls

2013 F1 season review

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Sebastian Vettel has won F1 Fanatic’s polls for 2013 Driver of the Year and Pass of the Year.

Vettel was voted Driver of the Year by over 63% of readers, with last year’s winner Fernando Alonso a distant second, followed by Nico Hulkenberg.

It is the second time Vettel has won this poll.

Recent winners

2013 F1 Fanatic Driver Rankings

Pass of the Year: Sebastian Vettel on Mark Webber

Vettel also won the vote for Pass of the Year – the first time both polls have been won by the same driver.

He was the only driver to have two nominations for Pass of the Year inside the top ten. The one which attracted the most votes was his controversial overtaking move on team mate Mark Webber during the Malaysian Grand Prix, after he had been ordered not to pass him.

The runner-up for Pass of the Year was also a contested choice. Romain Grosjean’s pass on Felipe Massa during the Hungarian Grand Prix led to him being penalised for going off the track while completing the move.

Third place in the poll went to Alonso, for his pass on Webber during the Italian Grand Prix.

It was a close poll with the most popular choice only getting 29% of the vote.

Recent winners

2013 F1 season review

Browse all 2013 F1 season review articles

Image © Red Bull/Getty

Author information

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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46 comments on “Vettel wins F1 Fanatic Driver of the Year and Pass of the Year polls”

  1. I’m pleasantly surprised by that verdict – I personally would have tipped Sutil on Alonso for one of the better passes of the year at Loews Hairpin.

    1. @vettel1 I rated Seb’s higher because there was an actual battle for position and I needed to change my pants afterwards :P Sutil’s was perfectly executed but felt like he just caught Alonso unawares.
      It’s a real shame Alonso at Catalunya wasn’t nominated prior to the poll going up.
      Merry Christmas Max

      1. was it a battle? it was like a shootout where one of the participants was equipped with a slingshot, and the other with a machine gun. it obviously looked cracking from the outside, but to be honest, i don’t believe that pass would ever has happened if the team doesn’t instruct Webber to drop the machine gun because he won’t need it…

        1. @andrewt that argument was dispelled a long time ago by Christian Horner. They were fighting for position in fair equipment, just Vettel had saved his brand new option tyres for a push at the end and Webber hadn’t – only difference.

          Webber saw Vettel coming as he had been following closely for two laps: he was fully aware and his car fully able to match Vettel’s.

          1. In fact, for a more technically accurate comment see here @andrewt

        2. @andrewt – No, it’s like a shootout when one uses up all their equally allotted ammo shooting inaccurately and failing to finish off the opposition, while the other saves his ammo for a later attack.

        3. not sure, but wasnt webber relaxed since the team told him that vettel was told not to pass him? he was not fighting since he was not expecting to be passed…

          1. If Webber really thought of it that way then he really needs a reality check; did he really expect Vettel to comply with team orders when he himself didn’t give a damn (Silverstone 2011, Interlagos 2012) about them?

          2. Vettel attempted to overtake Webber on the outside of T1 after he came out of the pits, then the overtake happened a lap or two after that. Surely when your team mate attempts to overtake you on the outside of a corner then you would understand he has no intention of staying behind, or does Webber not have that level of intellect?

  2. Just throwing this out there. Grosjean his pass on Massa, how nice it was, was deemed illegal no? Should it then really be entered in a top 10 poll? Ricciardo on DiResta (I think) in Suzuka was also nice, but also illegal as he extended the track.

    Maybe, with the ending of V8, tehre should be a ‘best V8 pass poll’.

    1. I agree on the illegal aspect – you surely can’t rate a pass that was illegal as being the best?

      I think the best passes don’t need to use off-track areas, which is why I don’t actually rate Zanardi’s 1996 pass off the track at the Corkscrew as highly as some do.

      1. The Zanardi is all about having the balls to do it but it would have been illegal in F1 for sure

    2. @ardenflo
      Well I would certainly contest the illegality of the Grosjean move, whereas Ricciardo was half way to Tokyo he was so far off track. Anyway, in this context it’s fair to let people make up their own minds whether an overtake deserved congratulation no matter how it was viewed by the stewards.

      1. It’s not really a matter of discussion whether it was illegal. It was deemed so by the stewards and that’s how it went.

        You can always discuss whether the rule in the rulebook should be changed – but even that has been already done so I don’t really see the point.

        1. @tmekt For me it isn’t the fact that it was illegal, it simply wasn’t a well executed move, he misjudged the level of grip on the outside and went wide, end of story.

          It almost paid off but if there had been a wall there those couple of inches would make all the difference.

  3. The pass considered the least sportsmanlike action of the year wins the poll? Are people that cynical?

    1. Webber got was he was asking for,a taste of his own so to say. The same ting has happen 100 times before without anyone caring.

    2. @maichael

      Actually, I think it was very sportsmanlike from Vettel. With Webber going on and on about how he wants to work for victories and all.

      And let’s not forget Webber’s opinion on last minute racing.

    3. How can you say it’s poor sportsmanship, the paying fans want to see ‘racing’, if the race result is a fix then it’s a waste of everyone’s time. Also Webber burnt more fuel at the start of the race while Vettel saved fuel for the end, so Vettel’s patience rewarded him in having a faster car near the end of the race meaning he could complete the race distance in less time than Webber, explain how this is ‘unsportsmanlike’.

      1. Before the race, the team and its drivers had agreed that they would hold position after the final pitstops, should they be 1st and 2nd. No one cares for team orders, but it’s what they agreed on.

        What’s been voted pass of the year was a travesty, with Vettel admitting he’d messed up after the race, that the win should have been his team mate’s, only to say the exact opposite a week later.

        It was unsavory whichever way you look at it, but we all believe what we want to.

        1. It’s never truly been proven that there were pre-race agreements for that specific race. It’s only “unsavory” because Webber didn’t win. Nor did he when he did the same 2 years prior.

  4. Correct me me if I’m wrong, but was Webber instructed to turn down his engine or was he not? Exciting moment – sure. Pass of the year – really?

    See, to me, a better poll, if I may throw in my two cents @keithcollantine, would be ‘Duel of the year’ rather than ‘Pass’. As it is, there is far too little focus on defensive skills in F1 already, yet often both the driver doing the passing and the driver defending position ought to get kudos for good battles + some great battles don’t necessarily end in a successful pass. Personally, I’m more excited by the fight than its conclusion – which is exactly why DRS has the whole logic of racing turned upside down, far as I’m concerned.

    1. @maciek Webber was only on a lower engine map setting because he’d burned up more fuel in the opening 42 laps, so he had to save fuel to get to the end.

      I would reason from that Vettel was saving for an attack at the end, with brand new option tyres and more fuel to attack. That was good tactical work from Vettel, not Webber being unduly handicapped. So I don’t buy any arguments on those lines.

      1. That’s fine – but taking it the other way around, does how much of that can be cited as argument for pass of the year?

        1. @maciek

          Depends on the context. In this case, with Vettel and Webber fighting for multiple laps with Webber almost putting Vettel into the wall and the two off them taking different lines through multiple corners to try and get/stay ahead, the pass was pretty exciting.

  5. Happy Christmas Mr & Mrs @keithcollantine You even manage to bring us an F1 article on Xmas Day, absolute legend. And the Mrs of course for letting you :)

  6. I vote for Keith as the most hard working journalist in F 1
    Happy New Year!

    1. Ooooooh, don’t say that. If Joe Saward see’s it he’ll explode off on another rant about how he’s the only qualified F1 journalist in the world and everybody else is a plagiarist.

      1. LOL. A big plus one on that. Keith never insults his readers either. Joes got a mortgage on that trick.

  7. What a load of ******** SV voted as a DOTY and justifying the cheap pass by acknowledging it as a pass, when it really wasn’t… Shameful.

    1. Merry Christmas to you. Keep up that holiday spirit :)

    2. @masterluke – Lay off the wine. Have a happy holiday.

  8. Subjective. But I loved HUL over HAM. Sauber is in my blood

  9. Fanatic Driver of the Year! Couldn’t be a better title!

  10. once the dust settled and people looked at the Malaysia pass again knowing all the facts there is no doubt that was the best pass and battle of year. edge of your seat stuff

  11. Two sensible results: the top 3 in the DOTY poll was also my personal top 3, so I’m happy with that. Vettel on Webber is understandable, as it was probably the most thrilling pass and the only pass I will remember in five years’ time. So, yay all around!

  12. Surprised but glad that folks voted for this pass – it was controversial, but a great battle between them throughout several laps and corners with DRS as well as tires playing a minor role (as it should be).
    Also this overtake wasn’t just the highlight of the season in terms of racing but it also led to a lot of discussions. Engaging fans to argue pro vs contra and it sort of reflects how dull the season really was. a driver overtaking his teammate against orders is child’s play compared to what Senna, Schumacher and others pulled off back in the day, but it took center-stage this year and blew up a few comments sections past the 200 mark. Or I’m just underestimating Vettel’s ability to polarize fans.

  13. Congratulation Vettel! :)

  14. In addition to being the first driver to win both DOTY and POTY the same year, since it’s Vettel, we should probably add that he is also the youngest driver to have achieved that honor.

  15. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    26th December 2013, 7:13

    I thought his pass on one of the force India’s (Sutil I think) at Australia into Turn 3 was better than his pass on Webber.

    Simply because he braked so much later. Was actually scary to watch.

    1. Any link to the video of that part?

  16. Vettel was obviously the best driver, but his Malaysia move as pass of the year? A DRS assisted move, on a runway wide track, with a teammate who backed out at the end. People who are claiming it was a battle that went on for several laps!? No it didn’t, it lasted 3 corners, Vettel passing Webber into T1, Webber then passing him back into T2 (actually IMO the most impressive part of the battle) and then Vettel on Webber into T3 through which Weeber appeared to back out a bit. Completely ignoring the whole ‘multi 21’ palava, which we should when looking purely at pass of the year, there’s no way it compares to a move like Alonso on Webber Monza.

    1. I didn’t rave about Alonso’s because there was contact. For me his best pass was the start at the Spanish GP, with judicious use of KERS to pass round the outside of T3 – a very canny move.

      Similarly, Vettel on Alonso at Bahrain was pretty well executed.

  17. Pass of the year because of the controversy surrounding it or because of the skill involved? If the former, yes I agree. If purely based on skill, then Alo on Web at Monza.

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