We were all predicting that Vettel would nab 1st from Webber straight off the grid, but it was Grosjean who stole the top spot from under the noses of both the Red Bull drivers and held the place impressively for the first stint of the race.
“It’s not all over yet” said Webber’s race engineer to the driver on lap 36 … but, unfortunately for fan favourite Webber, the race was over by the time he needed to make an additional stop near the end of the race. A spirited charge from Webber in the dying laps was hampered by a battle with Grosjean and, frustratingly, he just couldn’t reach Vettel in time to prevent The Finger from having yet another outing in 2013 (and for the 5th time in a row!)
Hamilton suffered a puncture on the opening lap but sadly it resulted in his retirement from the race by lap 10. In other news, Van der Garde and Bianchi were the casualties of the first corner.
On lap 9 Felipe Massa’s race engineer, Rob Smedley, relayed a message over the radio to switch to “Multifunction Strategy A”. Teams really must think up better code names for “budge out of the way for your team mate who is the Golden child of this team, yep, sucks to be you”. Rosberg capped off a lacklustre race with a drive through penalty for an unsafe release (narrowly avoided by Sergio Perez) on lap 16.
Following the first round of pit stops we saw a Ricciardo train (the only man not to pit early) which resulted in quite a bit of mid-field musical chairs. Ricciardo was later awarded a drive through penalty for a spectacularly bad overtaking move – way to impress the new employers.
Webber took an early 2nd pit stop and managed to perform the undercut on Grosjean. Vettel finally got past Grosjean on lap 41. The reaction in the Red Bull pit garage to Vettel’s overtaking move was more like the applause at the end of a rather posh opera than the enthusiastic air punching we usually see for such moves … might Vettel’s own team be a tad jaded by all the wins this season?
Webber then pitted for a set of quick medium tyres which put him back down in 3rd with only 10 laps to go… it took an AGE for Webber to pass Grosjean. Meanwhile Vettel was like a little sea of calm in his Red Bull, saying this to his team over the radio about Perez: “Tell him to get out of the way….GET OUT OF THE WAY, I’m losing time….thank you thanks for that” (ta, @F1PitRadio2).
Ay, caramba! Shout out to Gutierrez who did a cracking job from 14th on the grid to 7th. Despite everyone’s best voodoo powers, Vettel easily held onto 1st place to take another win in 2013, the year of the Vettel.
|Driver||Car||Team||Grid||Fastest Lap||Race Time||Points|
|1||Sebastian Vettel||1||Red Bull||2||1:35.317||1:26:49.301||25|
|2||Mark Webber||2||Red Bull||1||1:34.587||+00:07.129||18|
|11||Paul Di Resta||14||Force India||12||1:37.407||+01:38.572||0|
|12||Jean-Eric Vergne||18||Toro Rosso||17||1:35.895||lapped||0|
|13||Daniel Ricciardo||19||Toro Rosso||16||1:35.020||lapped||0|
|14||Adrian Sutil||15||Force India||22||1:37.367||lapped||0|
|20||Lewis Hamilton||10||Mercedes||3||1:41.202||retired, 7 laps||0|
|21||Giedo van der Garde||21||Caterham||19||No time||retired, 0 laps||0|
|22||Jules Bianchi||22||Marussia||21||No time||retired, 0 laps||0|