2013 F1 Season Review Part II

30 Nov

So, now that Tom’s published his ratings for the 2013 season, i’ve decided that it should be my turn next. Get ready for an unnecessarily long set of reviews that you probably won’t agree with. Here’s how i’ll do it: Each team and then each driver will get a rating, and they’re completely independent from each other. You can have a really bad car but some pretty decent drivers etc. And each one will get a lovely picture. How nice.

RED BULL

 Image

Red Bull, as a team, were by far the best team on the grid this season. Supplied with an awesome car (courtesy of Adrian Newey), they really did show themselves as one of, if not, the best teams on the grid. Aside from the car crash that is Helmut Marko, the management aren’t bad either, and Christian Horner did fantastically to keep the team together after Multi-21 and when thy were being accused of cheating. And yes, I am aware that picture of Seb is from his time at Toro Rosso. It still works.
Rating: 10/10

SEBASTIAN  VETTEL

Ah, the German wonder, who’s broken so many records over the course of the season that i’ve actually lost count. A man who has proved time and time again that he can race, he can overtake, and he actually has a decent personality when he’s not inside a race car. He racked up 14 race victories, and had a performance rating of 51, unsurprisingly the best of anybody. Unfortunately, Multi-21 kinda put a dent on things. Actually, it did that quite a bit.
RATING: 9/10

Mark Webber
What can I say about Mark Webber? A true legend of F1, who was straight talking about pretty much everything, and had the ability to back it up. Although he never had the outright speed to challenge Vettel, he was always there or there about, and managed an impressive 7 podiums and a performance rating of 138 on his way to coming 3rd in the Drivers championship. Not bad for a number 2 driver eh?
Rating: 8/10

Mercedes

Image

Mercedes had a good year in 2013. Armed with new recruits in Lewis Hamilton and the Terminator (Toto Wolff), they really started to challenge up front, culminating in them coming second in the constructors championship, and 4th and 6th in the drivers one too. However, tyre-gate and a series of mishaps mainly involving Lewis Hamilton didn’t help their season too much, but overall, it was still sold, and with Paddy Lowe coming in next year, who knows what could happen….
Rating: 8/10

Nico Rosberg

The German driver has come on leaps and bounds since last season, and shows no signs of slowing down. Coupled with a good Mercedes car, he’s managed 2 race victories, has a performance rating of 146 and has genuinely looked more than capable of taking on Lewis Hamilton around any circuit. May have struggles on occasions, but should he be given a car like the Red Bulls, he will certainly be up there waiting to challenge.
Rating: 8/10

Lewis Hamilton

Though initially mocked/shouted at/abused by many for moving to Mercedes from Mclaren (Myself included in that), it’s turned out good for Lewis Hamilton, who was one of the many people to occasionally take the fight to the Red Bulls. A race victory in Hungary and a performance rating of 115 (Better than Webber) resulting in 4th place in the championship shows a good, solid season for Hamilton, although it has to be said, he hasn’t always had it his own way, especially when it’s come to tyres. Poor tyre management and lines such as ‘I can’t go any slower’ have shown up Hamilton’s over aggressive nature, something he’ll need to control for the future. And he needs to ditch the dog.
Rating: 7/10

Ferrari

Image

Ferrari seemed to come into 2013 promising so much; A car that could challenge the Red Bulls’ dominance and give Fernando Alonso another world title. Well, that never materlialised. The car was, at times, shockingly bad, especially in qualifying. The fact they came 3rd in the Constructors was mainly down to how good a driver Alonso was. Let’s hope, for their sake, that they come out with a better car next season.
Rating: 6/10

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso came in to 2013 with big hopes- hopes of being able to challenge Sebastian Vettel and the Red Bulls for the world championship, to add to what he already has. Unfortunately, that never happened, but that wasn’t his fault. Every race weekend he drove the wheels off the car, making up position after position and placing that car where it had no right to be, and he was rewarded by clinching second place in the Championship. Nobody was going to catch Vettel, so that, in my opinion, makes Alonso the best driver on the grid, at least the best who wasn’t driving a Red Bull (Although I reckon he would beat Vettel if they were both in the same car). He wasn’t afraid to speak his mind either, which has actually led to Luca Di Montezemolo has actually banned him from posting Ferrari related stuff on Twitter. That, and he posted an awesome selfie of himself on the Italian GP podium. Overall, and with a performance rating of 95, he was certainly my driver of the season.
Rating: 10/10

Felipe Massa

I know everyone says this, but i’m going to say it too- Felipe Massa is not the driver he used to be. It’s true, he isn’t; He’s man that has gone from almost winning the title in 2008 to falling so far behind in 2013 that, points wise, he was closer to Max Chilton in the final standings that he was to his own teammate. However, it wasn’t all disaster for Massa- he came out of 21013 with a podium in Spain, and failed to score points on just 4 occasions, which is quite impressive, even if they weren’t always great points. He was, also, a great team player, and is a much loved guy in the paddock. Hopefully 2014, and a drive with Williams, will finally bring the best out in him once again.
Rating: 7/10

Lotus

Heikki lotus

Lotus are like the ‘Almost guys’ of F1. For a couple of seasons now they’ve had a good car, yet just been able to get right up to the top end of the grid (I think Red Bull had a hand in that though). They’ve always sported decent drivers, dating back to when they were Renault, and have had a hand in the comeback of Kimi Raikkonen and the upbringing of Romain Grosjean, who’s really matured this year. They also have a really good team principle in Eric Boullier, who has managed to keep the team’s morale vaguely high during all their problems. Unfortunately, those problems, including a lack of funds, took centre stage during the season, which led to the exit of Kimi and the entrance of  a certain Pastor Maldonado for next season *Shudders*. Let us not forget the dodgy Quantum deal either, although that of course was never going to happen.
Rating: 7/10

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen had a typical season by his standards. Monotone interviews, one word answers, never afraid to speak his mind (Which included telling everyone that he left for Ferrari because Lotus couldn’t pay him). But, most of all, he scored points. He ran in the top 3 for a good part of the season, and won the first race of the season in Australia. He did score an impressive rating of 114 (Albeit in 17 races), but unfortunately his season was overshadowed by his decision to have back surgery, which ruled him out for the last 2 races, and, to some people, made him look a bit like a cry baby. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next year at Ferrari, but he certainly has the speed.
Rating: 7/10

Romain Grosjean

Romain has undoubtedly improved and matured the most of any driver that has been a part of that season. Going from last season’s ‘First lap nutcase’ to scoring 6 podiums this year is no mean feat, and overall Romain has certainly started to prove himself among the countless number of hopeful drivers. Had he not had such an inconsistent start to the season, he would have been fighting with Raikkonen for most of the season. If he is to challenge next year, his first impression will certainly be vital.
Rating: 8/10

Heikki Kovalainen

Now, Heikki is my second favourite driver on the grid, but i’ll try to be objective. America, his first proper race all season, was actually pretty good. Qualified 8th, and raced really well considering his car problems. Brazil, however, was a car crash of a race. I keep playing the start over and over and….. it’s so bad, I cringe every time I see it. He actually managed to make up a few places, but that start was just awful. Simply awful, and it’s so frustrating because he’s a great driver…… I can’t help it though. It  really was that bad. Good luck for 2014 Heikki!
Rating: -2/10 (For the Brazil start alone)

Mclaren 

Mclaren 203

Mclaren really had a 2013 to forget. For a team that finished 2012 so strongly, with Button winning in Brazil on the final day of the season, you would expect them to come out fighting with a car that would challenge for the title. And so did they, with Jenson coming out in pre-season saying ‘This is the best car we built’. It could have been that way, except it wasn’t. It really, really wasn’t. They let everyone down so much, but they still managed to get ‘a few’ points on the board. Yeah……..
Rating: 3/10

Jenson Button

Throughout this season, i’ve seen numerous people saying that Jenson isn’t good enough for Mclaren, that he’s past it and that he’s been outperformed by his teammate. Yet these people seem to forget just how bad the Mclaren has been this season. He drove the best he could, in a car that was well below average. He still scored in all races bar 5, comprehensively out-scored Sergio Perez and just drove better. When the chips were down, he stuck at it, through the terrible qualifying and tyre problems, he still grabbed 5th at China and 4th in Brazil. He mad up so much time every race, especially compared to Perez, even when he didn’t score. By Mclaren’s standards 9th isn’t a great position, but if you look at how Jenson’s performed 9th is a real achievement for the car he was given. Yes, qualifying was poor, there were a few odd strategy choices and JB doesn’t do well with an unbalanced car, but hey, details.
Rating: 8/10

Sergio Perez

The useless Mexican as i’ve lovingly dubbed him came out in force this year, first being too aggressive, then not aggressive enough, then….. etc etc. Now, i’m not saying that he was awful, because he wasn’t, but he wasn’t the most convincing driver the world has ever seen. Good performances in Bahrain and India can’t make up for his performance deficit to Button. I don’t know what it was about Perez, he just didn’t seem to have full commitment. He’s like the guy who tries so hard to get somewhere, but when he actually gets there he doesn’t know what to do. He’s a decent racer though, I reckon he deserves to stay in F1
Rating: 6/10

Force India

FI

Force India started off the season well enough that they looked like they might even be able to challenge Mclaren. Yeah, that didn’t happen. Force India kinda just fizzled out in the least spectacular fashion ever. After Britain, (When the tyres were changed), they went on a pretty awful run, and never got back their mojo they saw in the early part of the season. It wasn’t the worst season i’ve ever seen, but it was far from the best
Rating: 6/10

Paul Di Resta

The most miserable man in Formula 1. Just listening to one of his interviews, in which he usually blames a member of his team for a bad performance, is enough to depress me so much that I just want to turn off the race. The guy’s heart really doesn’t seem to be in it any more; he moans when he does badly, he moans when he does well. You can’t win with the guy. He showed so much promise back when he was test driver, but now… it’s gone. He actually had a great start to the season, scoring in 7 of the first 8 races, but then a series of mistakes/crashes meant that he only scored twice thereafter.
Rating: 6/10

Adrian Sutil

Not the comeback he was looking for. To his credit, he did outdo Di Resta on a few occasions, and he was hardly awful, but he was far too inconsistent to put any serious points on the board. The fact he finished with 29 points to Di Resta’s 48 says a lot, considering Di Resta was hardly impressive either. Sutil was almost the man that didn’t exist during races- you never looked and though ‘Look how good Sutil is doing.’ Would I miss him if he didn’t get a drive? No, not really. But if he does get a  drive, then fair play to him.
Rating: 5/10

Sauber

Sauber

Sauber didn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, have a brilliant season. But, they were still a decent team, and sometimes that’s what counts. They slowly made their car better and better, learnt from their mistakes and took the car forward in it’s developement, something Mclaren couldn’t really do. The team are likeable too, which is something that helps when you’re not the best team on the grid. I still miss seeing Peter Sauber at GPs with his massive cigars though.
Rating: 7/10

Nico Hulkenberg

I would call Nico Hulkenberg the most underrated driver on the grid, but that would be incorrect- everyone knows his talent. He is however the unluckiest man on the grid, mainly because none of the top teams have signed him yet. He is wasting away in the midfield when he could be there challenging for trophies. Lotus couldn’t sign him because they’re poor and they need Maldonado’s money, Ferrari almost did sign him, but then they got Raikkonen, Mclaren have too many drivers to choose from already anyway, they don’t need another one to add into the mix, Red Bull won’t sign him because he’s not from their academy,and Mercedes don’t really need to sign anyone. Hulkenberg dd have a pretty amazing season, completely outperforming the car he had and finishing in the points on 10 occasions, securing a top 10 championship finish. If this guy ever gets a top drive, then he’ll do really well. Trust me.
Rating: 9/10

Esteban Gutierrez 

Well, Gutierrez came into Sauber looking to follow in the footsteps of fellow Mexican driver Sergio Perez. However, he really didn’t have the same sort of impact. Whilst Perez was off scoring podiums whilst at Sauber, Gutierrez scored just the one points finish, all the way near the end of the season in Japan, and generally didn’t look like scoring anything up until right at the end. Heavily outclassed by his much more talented teammate. Does Gutierrez have a future in F1? Well, I guess that’s for the teams to decide.
Rating: 5/10

Toro Rosso

F1 Grand Prix of Germany - Qualifying

Toro Rosso, being the feeder of the Red Bull team, were never going to be the greatest team in the world coming into the season. They’re a bit like Super Aguri were; a secondary team with more limited funds and resources who have to take on the drivers that may not be ready for the big drive yet. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but this season, on a whole, it worked. Daniel Ricciardo is now at Red Bull, and Jean-Eric Vergne has another year to prove himself. Yes, they came 8th in the constructors, but their drivers came 14th and 15th in the drivers’, and they got some good experience out the end of it.
Rating: 7/10

Daniel Ricciardo

The smiley Australian, who is aptly taking over Mark Webber’s seat at Red Bull next season. Performed well in a car that isn’t the greatest, racked up 7 points finishes and had some impressive qualifying campaigns to add to an overall impressive season. A fully fledged member of the Red Bull team, I reckon he’ll flourish now he’ll have a decent car to drive. Not only is he a good racer however, he also has a fantastic personality; I can’t think of a single time he  hasn’t smiled during an interview and he never criticises  the team. He’s a credit to have in the sport, and i’m sure he’ll be great next season- he just needs to work on keeping the car at the front once he gets there. He may even challenge Vettel…..
Rating: 8/10

Jean-Eric Vergne

In the shadow of his teammate, Vergne never really took any opportunities presented to him to make a stand, to stand out amongst the many drivers vying for a place ont he grid. He didn’t score that often either, and just in general was an average performer. He’s not the worst ever, but he certainly isn’t anywhere near being the best any time soon. Really needs to fins his form next season, or he could end up being outstaged by his rookie teammate, and would almost certainly mean the end of his F1 career…….
Rating: 6/10

Williams

AUTO-F1-PRIX-MONTMELO

Williams were poor this season, there’s no other way to put it.The car was pretty terrible, and they scored just 5 points all year. The team itself is made up of really cool guys and I applaud them for doing what they do on the rather more limited resources that they have. It can’t be easy being an independent team, just ask Lotus or Sauber, but Williams have quietly gone about this season doing, er, nothing. The team did come 11th 5 times during the season, but you don’t points for 11th. If only you did……
Rating: 4/10

Pastor Maldonado

I have pretty much nothing good to say about Maldonado. The guy has an ego the size of South America, but doesn’t put in the performances to back it up. He scored just the 1 point all year, and was more often than not being chased down by teammate Valtteri Bottas throughout most of the season. This is a guy that potentially could be very good- he won a race last year, and that’s no mean feat- yet by the end of this season he resorted to claiming he would rather stay at home that come back to Williams and then accused the team of tampering with his car. Now, this guy has somehow got a drive all the way up the grid with Lotus. What has he done this season that has shown he deserves this drive? Madness, utter madness. I hope for Lotus’ sake that Crashtor cleans up his act, and fast.
Rating: 2/10 (And that’s being generous)

Valtteri Bottas

Bottas, coming into this season, showed a lot of promise, and was touted as a star of the future. However, he managed just the one points finish all season. It wasn’t all his fault- the car was pretty awful, and he did have a few bits of bad luck- but you can’t blame bad luck on everything. On average he performed better than Maldonado, getting a performance rating of 277 compared to Maldo’s 284, but Maldonado did out-position him on 11 occasions out of 19. Overall, Bottas had a pretty average season in a below average car. Scoring in America was a particular highlight, and now he’s partnered with Felipe Massa for next season we’ll be able to see what he can really do.
Rating: 6/10

Marussia

Marussia

At the start of this season, before the racing had begun, I made the prediction that Marussia would finally finish ahead of Caterham. And you know what? I was right. We all know that Marussia operate on a very tight budget, and although the car isn’t fantastic it’s the best of what they can do on that money. They’re a great team of great people, and have a fantastic young talent in the form of Jules Bianchi. Next season, with all the rule changes, they may even managed to score some points. I hope they do.
Rating: 8/10

Jules Bianchi

A very talented young driver from the Ferrari academy, Jules Bianchi has done more than his fair share of impressing people over the 2013 season. A best finish of 13th place was enough to secure Marussia a coveted 10th place in the Constructor’s championship, and gain many admirers. Often regarded as the quickest of the backmarkers, he reminds me of Daniel Ricciardo when he was at HRT- a good driver who just doesn’t have the car yet. Credit to him for staying with Marussia for 2014, but I wonder, if the Marussia isn’t very good next season, if it will soemwhat halt his developement
Rating: 8/10

Max Chilton

The slowest man on the grid (Literally). He may have finished every race of the season, but I reckon that has more to do with the fact he drove so slowly the engine was never punished hard enough. Made a laughing stock in Japan where Charles Pic, after a drive through and a puncture, still managed to overtake him 3 times and finished 20 seconds ahead by the end of the race. He bring s money with him, yes, but the so do lots of other drivers who would love a seat in F1. Nice haircut. Finished last an incredible 12 times, and even his best finish of 14th happened when he was second from last. He’s almost as bad as Gaston Mazzacane. Almost. Nobody can be as bad as Gaston Mazzacane. Does he deserve to keep his place in F1? No. He hasn’t done one thing this season that has impressed me other than qualifying in Japan, and qualifying gets you nowhere at the end of the day. Completely obliterated by his teammate, this really has been quite an awful season for Chilton, and anybody forced to watch him.
Rating: 0/10

Caterham

Caterham

Caterham, the team that every season promises to score points, and yet never does. This season they had a completely new lineup, but even that couldn’t get them into the promised land of the top 10. Infact they actually went backwards, finishing last in the constructors for the first time in their history, leaving everyone rather embarrassed with just how they’ve done this season. It’s not to say they didn’t have a few good races, but overall the performance of the team wasn’t brilliant. Just to add even more bad news, the team are owned by Tony Fernandes, who seems to have a thing with causing disharmony wherever he goes. First QPR, now Caterham. Really don’t like the guy.
Rating: 5/10 (But feel free to knock a couple off because of Fernandes)

Charles Pic

If I were doing this review like the Guardian did, then Charles Pic would hold a solid position within the top 5. A massively underrated driver, who in the first half of the season obliterated his teammate Giedo Van Der Garde. Spent the end half of the season more worrying about getting a drive than doing well, but he really is a talent, shown by his Japanese GP performance where he made up a grand total of 60 seconds on Max Chilton during the race. It’s a real shame that people only really seem to remember the last couple of races of the season, when he was struggling with a car set up for Caterham’s favourite driver Van Der Garde (If you don’t believe me, look at Tony Fernandes’ tweets). He brings a nice package of Renault sponsorship with him, is one of the nicest people on the grid and overall could have a very bright future in F1. Unfortunately, it’s looking less and less likely he’ll get a seat, which would be devastating (You can read what I think about Charles’ drive options here: https://randomblogofpointlessness.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/charles-pic-a-man-who-deserves-a-drive/). Only thing i’d say Charles needs to work on is sticking to the rules, had a fair few penalties this season……
Rating: 9/10

Giedo Van Der Garde

The Dutchman’s season was one of being there, in the shadows, not doing fantastically brilliant but not being awful either. His season did start off poorly, coming last in Australia…. and China…. and Bahrain. But, he steadily improved, starting to match Charles Pic’s pace not only during qualifying but also during the race, although he was still a bit slower overall than Pic was. There’s no doubting he’s the team’s favourite driver, along with Heikki Kovalainen, which certainly helped his cause as the car started to develop around him. Overall a solid season- places to improve, but the guy deserves a chance to stay in F1
Rating: 7/10

So that’s it. 11 teams, 22 drivers, and overall a mixed season of performances. Now, i’m not saying everyone has to read this, bu it has taken me the best part of 2 days to write. Please.

And, soon we’ll have the first ever Pointless F1 awards, hosted by myself and co-writer Tom. I look forward to seeing you there.
-Chris

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