F1 2013: Brazilian Grand Prix Race Recap

{this recap was previously published by FOX Sports and can be found through this link}

Sebastian Vettel won the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix, despite losing the lead on the start to Nico Rosberg. Mark Webber finished second behind his teammate, after scrapping with third place Fernando Alonso multiple times throughout the race. Jenson Button, who started on the hard compound tires, opposite the rest of the field, would finish fourth after a charge through the field. Though Rosberg started second and went into T1 first, he would soon drop down the order on a wetter race setup, finishing fifth. Though Lewis Hamilton had made his way to third on the first lap, a drive through penalty after a collision with Valtteri Bottas would drop the Briton down to a ninth place finish. Sergio Perez, Felipe Massa, and Nico Hulkenberg would split the Mercedes teammates, with Daniel Ricciardo rounding out the points paying positions.

Early stages of the race were impossibly thrilling, as the top four changed places and pushed each other as hard as possible. Webber and Alonso in particular provided much entertainment. Then, as Vettel began to increase his lead, the action shifted to the middle part of the field. Button charged from a poor starting position, passing his fellow drivers easily and with determination. After the Hamilton-Bottas incident, things got messy, with Vettel diving into the pits ahead of his teammate. He had to wait for the crew to bring his tires instead of Webber’s. Though rain fell continuously through the latter half of the race, it was never enough to force a switch from the dry tires.

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F1 2013: Brazilian Grand Prix Qualifying Recap

Sebastian Vettel (1:26.479) won pole for the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix, after driving rain delayed Q3 by multiple ten minute delays. He was entirely unbeatable, setting a pole time six tenths faster than second fastest Nico Rosberg. Though all drivers began Q3 on full wet tires, all dropped back into the garage for intermediates as the track conditions improved. Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber qualified to start Sunday’s race on the second row, with Lewis Hamilton and Romain Grosjean behind. Despite the changing conditions, only Sergio Perez crashed in the three qualifying sessions at Interlagos.

Q1 saw mostly early times set the pace as the intermittent rain increased partway through the session. Though it looked as though Toro Rosso made the wrong call on holding Jean-Eric Vergne momentarily, the track improved late in the session, and he moved on to Q2. Kovalainen had also looked set to be dropped, but he moved up to fifth fastest with a solid lap from his Lotus. He would fare less well in Q2, managing only to qualify eleventh fastest as the rain increased. Perez ended that session with a heavy crash into the wall, pushing his McLaren onto the kerb while hustling in an attempt to move on to Q3. Neither he nor teammate Jenson Button would do so, qualifying their McLarens fourteenth and fifteenth. Between the driving rain and debris from Perez’s crash, race control delayed the start of Q3 by a total of 40 minutes.

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F1 2013: United States Grand Prix Race Recap

{this recap was previously published by FOX Sports and can be found through this link}

Sebastian Vettel won the 2013 United States Grand Prix, with Romain Grosjean taking second from Mark Webber on the start. They would remain in that order to the end, despite Webber’s late charge to near Grosjean, though further down the order the scrapping was often briefly intense amongst many different drivers. Adrian Sutil brought out a Safety Car on the first lap, misjudging his distance to Pastor Maldonado on the outside and crashing into the barriers near T12. He was unhurt and the field spent four laps behind the SC just after the start. Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Nico Hulkenberg had a scrap on the final lap, but the older driver outfoxed the Sauber driver to keep fifth. Sergio Perez, Valtteri Bottas, Nico Rosberg, and Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top ten.

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F1 2013: United States Grand Prix Qualifying Recap

Sebastian Vettel (1:36.338) snuck pole for the 2013 United States Grand Prix away from teammate Mark Webber on the last lap of qualifying, who looked impossibly dominant in Q3. Romain Grosjean and Nico Hulkenberg qualified on the second row for Sunday’s race, with Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso on row three. Alonso had to push his Ferrari into Q3, while Sergio Perez and Heikki Kovalainen slid into sixth and seventh fastest. Though Valtteri Bottas had been impossibly quick all through the qualifying sessions, he managed only ninth, just behind countryman and Kimi Raikkonen replacement Heikki Kovalainen. Esteban Gutierrez rounded out the top ten, though he will be investigated after qualifying for possible impeding of Pastor Maldonado.

Q1 felt fairly typical, with the Red Bull drivers waiting seemingly forever to join the other drivers on the track. Both Ferraris performed terribly, only skating through to Q2 after Adrian Sutil had a right front puncture that forced him off the track at T1 and to pull to the side on his final lap after the flag. Maldonado came under pressure, weaving through traffic to find clear track, with both Gutierrez and Max Chilton to be investigated for possibly impeding him after qualifying. He was knocked out in Q1, taking his post quali press time to blame someone in the team for messing with the settings on his car, resulting in decreased speed.

Q2 saw a number of unexpected drivers knocked out, with Nico Rosberg unable to do better than fourteenth fastest. Felipe Massa also underperformed in his Ferrari, only managing fifteenth, while Button was thirteenth fastest. Button also will suffer a three place grid penalty after passing Toro Rosso Friday driver (and Daniel Ricciardo’s 2014 replacement) Daniil Kvyat while the red flags and lights were shown in the truncated first practice. Charles Pic also received a five place penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change for his Caterham.

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F1 2013: Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi Race Recap

Sebastian Vettel won the 2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in a commanding fashion, taking the lead from teammate and pole sitter Mark Webber on the start and never looked back. The German regularly pulled out a thirty or forty second lead, leaving him time for both pit stops without relinquishing the race lead. Webber followed Vettel home to finish second, with both Red Bull drivers performing donuts on the cool-down lap. Nico Rosberg finished where he started, in third. Romain Grosjean and Fernando Alonso rounded out the top five, with the latter posting a hard charging drive and the race fast lap. Still, he and Jean-Eric Vergne were under investigation for the Spaniard’s return to the track on his second pit stop. Paul di Resta took his Force India to sixth on a on-stop strategy.

Though the race at the Yas Marina Circuit is often processional, there were some furious scraps in the latter half of the points positions, particularly including Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa, who finished seventh and eighth. Sergio Perez and Adrian Sutil rounded out the top ten. Only Kimi Raikkonen did not finish the race, after breaking his front suspension in contact with a Caterham on the start. He had started from the rear of the field.

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F1 2013: Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi Qualifying Recap

Mark Webber (1:39.957) won pole for the 2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, beating out Sebastian Vettel in a massive final lap during Q3. They make it a Red Bull front row, with a Mercedes row two. Nico Rosberg qualified third, with a spinning Lewis Hamilton unable to complete his final lap. He would not have bested Webber’s time, in any case, with his first two sectors around two tenths off the Australian’s pace. Kimi Raikkonen, Nico Hulkenberg, Romain Grosjean, Felipe Massa, Sergio Perez, and Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top ten qualifiers.

Q1 saw earlier running that usual, with many drivers straight out onto the track. Neither Vettel nor Webber did so, waiting until a few minutes remained to set super fast times on soft tires. Only eight tenths separated second fastest in Q1 (Felipe Massa) from the first driver (Esteban Gutierrez) of the knockout zone. Alonso dropped out in Q2, pushing hard to keep a handle on his Ferrari, but unable to best Massa and move up to fight for Q3. Button was also disappointed as his McLaren did not improve on the weekend while other cars did. A number of drivers put all four wheels outside the white lines on the exit of the final turn, and race direction had given them a talk. Still, much like in India, it appeared that no action would be taken.

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F1 2013: Indian Grand Prix Race Recap

Sebastian Vettel won the 2013 Indian Grand Prix and with it his fourth straight driver’s championship. He celebrated with donuts on the front straight and a bow to his car and the fans, climbing the fence and flinging his gloves into the stands.

Vettel took a pit stop on the second lap, driving through the field to third in just ten laps. Massa flew ahead on the start, getting into second by the end of the first lap. Webber had a terrible start, coming into contact with Raikkonen and Alonso. The latter had gone for a sneaky strategy, but contact and a necessary front wing change dropped him down the order and ruined his medium first tire strategy.

Webber looked set for a second place finish on the working tire strategy, but had to retire with twenty laps remaining with a alternator issue. Nico Rosberg and Romain Grosjean completed the podium, the latter needing his team to tell the slowing Kimi Raikkonen to get out of the way of his charging teammate.

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