Nine from nine for Vettel and another record to add to the many he has broken in the last five years. Webber was valiantly close to Sebastian in the Australian’s final race and it bodes well for his future World Endurance Championship career. Brazil was one of Mark’s strongest races of 2013 and Sebastian has very much put as much pressure against the incoming Ricciardo as he could. Game on for 2014.
Felipe’s last race for Ferrari could have yielded him a podium for the team, but clumsily driving over the cross-hatched pitlane entrance after having been warned previously cost him a final taste of glory. But the race was a great example of the Alonso-Massa partnership. While Felipe fumbled, Fernando kept it on track and delivered the goods.
Massa should consider himself lucky he’s been at the team for the last four years.
In Perez’s final race for McLaren, many hoped he would pull a surprise result out of the bag to cement his place on the grid in 2014. It wasn’t to be and Jenson was the star at McLaren in Brazil, despite qualifying behind Perez. Button secured McLaren’s best result of the year with fourth place and Sergio came in a solid sixth, some seven seconds adrift at the end.
Grosjean may have suffered an early race engine failure, the last seen in the V8 era, but qualifying sixth to Kovalainen’s 14th suggested he had the pace to out perform his new team-mate again. Heikki’s disappointing cruise to 14th at the chequered flag did nothing to help him gain a seat in 2014.
Standings: Rosberg 7, Hamilton 12
Nico bested Lewis in qualifying and then was the only one of the two Mercedes drivers not to clumsily put himself at risk of a DNF. A penalty for Lewis put the Brit ninth at the end of the race while Nico took the lead early on and came home a solid fifth. Lewis may have come out on top at the end of the year, but for Nico to have scored within 18 points of his team-mate says a lot about the German’s understated talent.
Standings: Hulkenberg 17, Gutierrez 1
Nico in qualifying, Nico in the race. A predictable end to 2013 for Sauber and a debut season Gutierrez will prefer to forget in the future.
A disappointing race for the Force India drivers, but one that di Resta put himself at the front of the pair for. He’s supposedly off to IndyCar for 2014 and after the last 12 months he’ll probably be looking forward to the change of atmosphere.
Bottas was on top in qualifying and but for contact with Hamilton would almost definitely have finished in front of Maldonado. Pastor’s negative comments about the team two weeks ago won’t have helped the motivation of the mechanics working on his car. But for 2014 it’s unsure whether or not Massa will be a quicker replacement than Pastor.
Standings: Vergne 6, Ricciardo 13
Daniel had the upper hand in a strong qualifying session for Toro Rosso and it was the first time he’d looked equal to JEV in the wet. A single point at the end of the race for the Australian meant he ended the season with 20 points and out-scored his team-mate by one point over their two-year partnership. Daniel now has an enormous hurdle ahead of him with Sebastian Vettel as a team-mate, but he’ll have the self confidence to tackle it face on.
Standings: Pic 12, van der Garde 7
Though van der Garde had the upper hand in qualifying, Pic was lapping strongly before a mechanical failure lead to his retirement. Van der Garde has had a strong debut season and both drivers should be proud of their season, even if they didn’t beat Marussia.
Standings: Bianchi 17, Chilton 3
Max was slower in qualifying and slower in the race. Nothing changes. The team was proud of its 100% finishing rate on Chilton’s car, but a car should be expected to hold together when it’s going as slowly as Chilton was.
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