Well, here we are then. After 10 races, we've had 5 different winners from 4 teams, but Sebastian Vettel, yet again, seems to have a firm grip on the 2013 Formula 1 World Driver's Championship. With 4 wins to his name this season (2 more than the nearest rival), Vettel really looks like this season is his to lose. But is it really that simple?
No. There's not been a single driver who's been performing at Vettel's level all season, but that doesn't mean there aren't those who've beaten him on more than one occasion. And right now the strongest case for driver of the season goes to Nico Rosberg for Mercedes. Despite tyre issues earlier on, he seemed to be totally outclassing Lewis Hamilton in the early stages of the season, despite being hampered by the car's reliability. And then there was Monaco. If anyone needed any proof that Nico Rosberg really is one of the best drivers in the world, that was it right there. After getting his first podium and win of the season at Monaco, he drove decently in Canada, before hanging on to Vettel and Hamilton well enough to pick up the pieces of a chaotic Silverstone Grand Prix to hold off an inspired Mark Webber to win. Whilst recent qualifying and race disasters, coupled with tyre issues) have rendered his last 2 Grand Prixs as worthless, there is no doubt that Rosberg has more to offer this season than just 2 wins.
And let's not forget Lotus and Ferrari. The Italians had a great start to the season, reaching a high-point with a 1-3 finish at Spain, but after experiencing an off-the-pace car and seemingly off-form Fernando Alonso (joining an eternally off-form Felipe Massa) from Monaco onwards, they've lost some ground to the big players in the title race. Lotus, despite winning with Kimi Raikkonen's awesome speed and strategy in the season opener, had a small flop early on, not helped by incidents, such as the seemingly infamous Raikkonen-Perez clash at Monaco. But not only have the Brits returned fighting, with Raikkonen seemingly back to his best, but his young French teammate Romain Grosjean has recently put on star performances. He was totally outclassing Raikkonen at the most recent race at the Hungaroring, but a small misjudgement with Jenson Button and, most outrageously, the best and bravest overtake of the race by a country mile were both rewarded with hate from the stewards, with Allan McNish seemingly jealous of the matured overtaking ability of the Frenchman. Without that, Grosjean would've repeated his Bahrain podium, perhaps going one further to a career-best 2nd, behind an imperious Lewis Hamilton. And, on that note, it seems that Mercedes have fixed their tyre problems and Lewis has got his head around the car...
But what has stood out so far? Well, here are my opinions of the top 3 of various aspects of the first half of Formula 1 2013.
Top 3 drivers:
1 - Nico Rosberg - He'??s had off moments, but if not for his team's mistakes, then he'd be 2nd in the championship with a car that, despite giving him 3 pole positions, ruins its own races
2 - Sebastian Vettel - Car or not, Vettel has been on top of it from the word go this season, but will need to keep this form to get a title
3 - Kimi Raikkonen - That points run continues...
Top 3 rookies:
1 - Valterri Bottas - Yet another Finnish ace who deserves far more than a useless Williams car for his talent. The only reason Red Bull wouldn't put him in Webber's car over Ricciardo is due to sponsorship reasons - they sponsor the Aussie, Bottas has next to no money.
2 - Jules Bianchi - Yes, Max Chilton isn't much to go by, but the Frenchman has done his job better than the rest, with only the more experienced Charles Pic being at his pace in the new teams war.
3 - Geido van der Garde - The quality of rookie drivers has dipped severely this season, but Monaco's qualifying (and recovery drive) earns him a 2nd place, being the only other rookie who has something to offer, albeit not much
Top 3 overtakes:
1 - Kimi Raikkonen vs the rest of the field @ Monaco
The best piece of aggressive driving that Monaco has ever seen. The last 2 laps were proof, if needed, that Kimi has the best racecraft in the field.
2 - Romain Grosjean vs Felipe Massa @ Hungaroring
OMG OVER THE WHITE LINES!!!!!! So what? Felipe said it was fine, so it's fine. The bravery there was something else.
3 - Mark Webber vs those guys ahead @ Silverstone
Yes, this was mainly due to tyres, but seriously, it's not like Mark didn't want the win. His move on Kimi at Copse, running side-by-side for so long, so fast, around that corner proves the Aussie still has it.
Top 3 moments of idiocy:
3 - Jenson Button anywhere. Yes, you're the best driver in the wet by a country mile, have racecraft that only Kimi can match, but seriously, how is it NEVER your fault when something goes remotely wrong?
2 - Christian Horner in between Malaysia and China. I know you literally love Vettel, but you have to discipline him somehow if he says he'd BREAK YOUR ORDERS AGAIN, even if it jeopardises a WDC, considering you're not going to help Mark anyway.
1 - The stewards. Why give Grosjean a 20 second penalty for minor contact at Hungary when the penalty HAS NO EFFECT ON THE RACE RESULT???
I hope you've enjoyed the season so far, and will enjoy the season still. But there are some questions yet to be answered. Will McLaren have a turnaround at Spa? By what margin will Sebastian Vettel win the Singapore GP by? And will Nico Rosberg ever score a point again? Well, that's it from me, and I'm going to leave you with this thought - Mark Webber is 0.9s faster than his teammate Vettel in Top Gear's Reasonably Priced Car.
Opinions expressed in blogs are those of the individual bloggers and do not necessarily represent the views of racing-reference.info.