Abu Dhabi

Last Race: 23rd Nov Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi GP Results
Pos Driver
1 Lewis Hamilton
2 Felipe Massa
3 Valtteri Bottas

Team-Mate Wars: Indian GP

Tuesday 29th October 2013


Has this man got a note on his back...?

Has this man got a note on his back...?

Because in F1 the first person you have to beat is your team-mate...

Red Bull Racing
Race: Vettel
Season: Sebastian Vettel 15 - Mark Webber 1
When the differing strategies panned out between Mark and Sebastian it wasn't even close. Vettel made short work of anything in his path once he got his medium tyres on, and although Mark wasn't slow at getting to the front, he just didn't have Vettel's sheer pace. Or his alternator.

Race: Perez
Season: Jenson Button 12 - Sergio Perez 4
Perez drove faultlessly and had the all-too-rare pleasure of 2013 of catching a Lotus and a Mercedes. And passing them in a single move. But for a thump from Fernando Alonso and Button would have been right behind him.

On Friday Button had mentioned that the team were going to try something radical because they had nothing to lose - maybe, we thought, it was along the lines of fitting a part upside down so it reduced the right height, as we saw in that notoriously unrepresentative pre-season test when it looked like McLaren were going to be very quick in 2013. Fitted correctly the car wasn't anywhere near as quick, but at least it was legal. Friday's radicals moves didn't work out and were quietly binned.

Race: Rosberg
Season: Lewis Hamilton 10 - Nico Rosberg 6
One of the things that's been noted of Sebastian Vettel before (in fact it used to be a regular joke in the Secret Diary of Adrian Newey column on OffonF1.com) is how Vettel would insist on going to see all the component suppliers; from Pirelli all the way down to the people who supply the visor tear-offs. Seb leaves nothing to chance. He looks at every little detail and, like Dave Brailsford at the Sky cycling team, benefits from the aggregation of many small returns.

Lewis could learn from this. It would be interesting to know how detailed a study Lewis did on deploying his KERS on the opening lap, because yet again he got stuck behind someone. And it didn't help that he and Felipe Massa have some 'previous' from the Buddh International in 2011. There are weekends when Nico is faster than Lewis and this was one of them. Will Lewis apply himself diligently to find out why, or will he spend some time mixing music...?

Race: Massa
Season: Fernando Alonso 13 - Felipe Massa 3
Massa outqualified Alonso again and did some Alonso-like first lap moves to put himself in P2. And then he had the honour of being only the second driver ever to lead the Indian Grand Prix. Had Kimi Raikkonen been even more unhelpful with his team-mate towards the end of the race then Felipe might even have been back on the podium. Alonso had no remorseless drive through the field thanks to a steering malaise and it's to his credit that he didn't go on about it afterwards.

Race: Grosjean
Season: Kimi Raikkonen 10 - Romain Grosjean 6
Grosjean's strategy was a master stroke, but Kimi's looked a bit hopeful. Although the BBC commentary team are always bleating on about Kimi not trying now, that's not how it looks on race day. If the remaining races mean so little to him why is he trying so hard to stay in front of Grosjean. And while we're talking about Grosjean, Dave Jorgensen thinks that Romain Grosjean was the kind of kid who went around in High School with a note on his back saying, 'I don't know I've got a note on my back'. Discuss...

Force India
Race: Di Resta
Season: Paul di Resta 9 - Adrian Sutil 7
Paul di Resta edged out Sutil in qualifying and scraped past him in the race as well, proving that one and two-stop strategies can have a similar outcome.

Race: Hulkenberg
Season: Nico Hulkenberg 15 - Esteban Gutierrez 1
Back to the drawing board for Gutierrez who qualified a long way behind his team-mate again. Esteban did have a starring moment, though, when Alonso overtook him... and then the Sauber driver calmly took the place back. It wasn't quite 'Senna and Irvine at Suzuka', but it had that kind of feeling to it. Hulkenberg got a great start but Nico didn't have the car to sustain the position he'd dragged it into.

Race: Bottas
Season: Maldonado 10 - Bottas 6
Bottas is beginning to get the edge on Maldonado who could be off to one of three teams next season - Force India, Sauber or even Lotus. If he goes to Sauber with Sirotkin next year it'll be less like a driver line-up and more like an episode of Fraggle Rock. Thankfully with the wide open spaces of India he didn't manage to do any damage to his car or Bottas's FW35 - but there's always the barriers at Abu Dhabi.

Toro Rosso
Race: Ricciardo
Season: Daniel Ricciardo 9 - Jean-Eric Vergne 7
Daniel outclassed JEV but the balance of the season isn't overwhelming. A good start, though, putting pressure on Alonso and forcing him into a mistake, then holding him off at the end.

Race: Chilton
Season: Jules Bianchi 14 - Max Chilton 2
Not content with trouncing the man who brings out the cougar in Suzi Perry, Natalie Pinkham and Lee McKenzie at drivers' circuit Suzuka - he only goes and does it two races running. What's more, in doing so, he's elevated himself above Gutierrez and Webber as the worst team-mate on the grid (or at least the worst team-mate record, these things are all relative).

Race: Pic
Season: Giedo van der Garde 5 - Charles Pic 11
Pic again. Van der Garde should look up the would caution.

The Kimi is Disappointed File: "I had a brake problem for all of the race where they were overheating, and this got worse in traffic so I couldn't overtake."

Star of the Race
Vettel 3, Grosjean 3, Alonso 2, Hamilton 2, Hulkenberg 2, , Sutil 1, Brawn 1, Perez 1, Rosberg 1

Overtaking Move of the Race
Raikkonen 6, Vettel 2, Grosjean 2, Alonso 1, Button 1, Bottas 1, Webber, Hamilton 1, Perez 1

Dull vs Exciting GPs
Exciting 13 - Dull 3

Sat on the Naughty Step
Van der Garde 2, Sutil 2, Maldonado 1, Vettel 1, Red Bull 1, Gutierrez 1, Hulkenberg 1, Grosjean 1, Hembery 1, Stewards 1, Webber 1, Massa 1, Bianchi 1, Raikkonen 1

Media Watch
It was a whimsical wigtastic weekend with Eddie Jordan coming the closest he's ever come to outing himself.

Suzi Perry: "You know I could see you in a turban."

Eddie Jordan: "Who's to say I'm not already in one..."

Suzi Perry: "I thought that grid walk might be a bit like a live version of 'The Office'."

Eddie Jordan: I don't know what you're talking about, is that derogatory?"

EJ talking about Sebastian Vettel on the grid: "For the first time I saw him slightly stressed...wasn't that nice?"

Last year we ran a regular section entitled Crawling Up Bernie's Butt Crack, "Loike you would not believe" and we were back there again from Mr.Jordan: "Bernie, I have to compliment him, F1 without a Brazilian driver, it's unthinkable."

How Suzi Perry managed to stop herself saying, "and we know Bernie loves a Brazilian" is anyone's guess.

Andrew Davies

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