Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2013

Alonso edges Vettel in Belgian GP driver poll

2013 Belgian Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2013Fernando Alonso scored a narrow win over Sebastian Vettel in the Driver of the Weekend poll for the Belgian Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver received just four more votes than his championship rival.

Alonso headed the poll for the third time this year after recovering from ninth on the grid to finish second.

1. Fernando Alonso

Started: 9th
Finished: 2nd

At the end of Saturday’s qualifying session it seemed likely to be a weekend to forget for Alonso. He had been in contention for the quickest times when the track was dry, but when rain came he and team mate Felipe Massa slipped back to the fifth row of the grid.

Alonso fought back on Sunday, beginning with one of his trademark rapid starts. He gained four places on the first lap then passed Jenson Button for fourth place and Nico Rosberg for third.

Lewis Hamilton was dispensed with after Alonso’s first pit stop. But he could do nothing to catch Vettel, who proved a close rival in this Driver of the Weekend poll:

Vettel drove superbly, and did nothing wrong. However, Alonso gets my vote for yet again pulling off a terrific come from behind second, from ninth on the grid.

A tough one this weekend but I went for Alonso. He was unlucky not to get a crucial extra lap in at the end of Q3. That did little to hold him back during the race, and he had his now seemingly customary battling drive up to the podium. His first lap was thrilling and he made some great overtakes, on Grosjean in particular and defended well against Hamilton.
Colossal Squid??(@Colossal-Squid)

I voted for Alonso. Although he was unlucky in Q3, he put his head down at the race and from ninth he finished second. He also defended amazingly when Hamilton attacked him on Kemmel straight. Great performance from him.

2. Sebastian Vettel

Started: 2nd
Finished: 1st

Despite narrowly losing pole position to Hamilton, Vettel asserted himself within moments of the start to take the lead. After that he kept his cool and no one was able to threaten his run to win number five this year.

Never put a foot wrong the entire weekend. No mistakes, a quick, crucial overtake on Hamilton – which was not an easy feat as was proven later by Webber who was unable to overtake Rosberg despite having softer tyres.

It wasn?t a spectacular win, but it was a commanding, flawless one. Vettel couldn?t have done it better. Wins like that aren?t remembered for years to come

He was excellent throughout the weekend, was only outdone by Hamilton in qualifying which given Mercedes qualifying prowess is no shame and come race day was pretty much perfect.

He dominated the race, pushed, looked after his tyres, came through the traffic and won easily.

3. Jenson Button

Started: 6th
Finished: 6th

Button took advantage of the wet conditions on Saturday to give McLaren their best qualifying result of the year, ahead of the Lotus and Ferrari drivers.

He also drove a solid race, though a better result might have been on offer had McLaren stuck to a one-stop strategy.

Credit where it is due, Button out-performed that car by a mile all weekend. Shame they didn’t one-stop, could have been fifth or better.

He was mighty impressive in qualifying, and even if he is also responsible for the strategy, he was still driving really well in the race.

I picked Button as he was far ahead of his team-mate all weekend, even though Vettel dominated the whole weekend Sad we couldn?t choose a top three.

2013 Driver of the Weekend results

Race First Second Third
Australian Grand Prix Kimi Raikkonen (51.2%) Adrian Sutil (17.9%) Jules Bianchi (13.6%)
Malaysian Grand Prix Mark Webber (34.2%) Sebastian Vettel (17.4%) Nico Rosberg (13.6%)
Chinese Grand Prix Fernando Alonso (47.0%) Daniel Ricciardo (18.2%) Kimi Raikkonen (15.6%)
Bahrain Grand Prix Sebastian Vettel (32.2%) Paul di Resta (17.8%) Fernando Alonso (11.9%)
Spanish Grand Prix Fernando Alonso (61.4%) Felipe Massa (10.8%) Kimi Raikkonen (10.5%)
Monaco Grand Prix Nico Rosberg (54.3%) Adrian Sutil (22.2%) Kimi Raikkonen (9.6%)
Canadian Grand Prix Sebastian Vettel (36.8%) Fernando Alonso (24.6%) Jean-Eric Vergne (14.0%)
British Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton (52.5%) Mark Webber (18.4%) Fernando Alonso (10.2%)
German Grand Prix Sebastian Vettel (39.2%) Romain Grosjean (27.6%) Kimi Raikkonen (15.9%)
Hungarian Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton (63.9%) Kimi Raikkonen (12.4%) Romain Grosjean (12.0%)
Belgian Grand Prix Fernando Alonso (39.1%) Sebastian Vettel (38.5%) Jenson Button (6.9%)

2013 Belgian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

76 comments on “Alonso edges Vettel in Belgian GP driver poll”

  1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    14th September 2013, 18:01

    Closest poll ever? (I still think the poll should get a “points system” next year, so you can pick 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices).

    1. That would be great

    2. Agreed. That would make the system much more accurate.

      1. And significantly more complicated. Which has the unfortunate potential to put people off. Which I think is a hazard worth noting.

        1. @mike not really, you’d just click one for the winner, second and third or something like that.

    3. I would like something like that as well, there’s been a lot of occasions where it was hard to pick one single outstanding drive.

  2. Don’t get how one can pick someone who utterly messed up the qualifying as driver of the “weekend.”

    1. Errrmm….may be because of the reasons already cited in this article? ;)

      1. @nirupam he had to recover from 9th because he qualified 9th remember. Realistically he should have been at least a couple of positions higher before the race even began.

        @kingshark I disagree, I think the weekend gives a much better representation of how well drivers performed. Qualifying is pretty much 50% of the competitive weekend (even though it’s not worth any points directly – but is indirectly definitely).

        1. Qualy was more down to who got over the line at the right time, usually there is a skill in getting that right but due to the weather changing drastically in the matter of a minute it was a bit of a lottery.

          1. …and he didn’t make it because he spun.

          2. Alonso made an error in his lap, it was not due to weather or luck

          3. that was not when the quickest laps were done. So yes an error but not relevant to the result.

        2. @vettel1

          he had to recover from 9th because he qualified 9th remember. Realistically he should have been at least a couple of positions higher before the race even began.

          Yeah .. well.. realistically Vettel should have put it on pole with the car advantage he had.. but he didn’t. I guess thats reason enough for people to vote for someone else.

          On Sunday Alonso was way more impressive

          1. @todfod Vettel didn’t blow his opportunity to set a lap in the best conditions. Also, the Mercedes is a handy car in the wet (and of course was geared and winged for wet weather).

            Well, if we’re nitpicking on qualifying results, why not vote for van der Garde? It’d hold more validity IMO.

          2. @vettel1

            Vettel didn’t blow his lap.. but he didn’t put it on pole even though his car looked the quickest throughout the weekend.

            Also, the Mercedes is a handy car in the wet (and of course was geared and winged for wet weather).

            Talk about double standards. When Alonso cant put the car up the grid its driver error, but when Vettel fails to take pole in a car capable of pole, the Mercedes is just a better car?!?!?

          3. @todfod please, give me a logical break! The Mercedes has been the fastest car all season in qualifying trim, as Rosberg also proved by beating everyone comfortably who didn’t get te chance at a last lap in the optimal conditions.

            Alonso would’ve had that chance, but he spun costing him multiple positions. The two performances barely merit a comparison, it’s nothing like double standards.

    2. “Driver of the race” would be a better poll, as that’s how people vote anyway.

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        14th September 2013, 20:50

        @kingshark Agree. Especially when not everybody has full broadcast (practices) and because even when practices and qualifying are important for the development and place on the grid respectively, it all comes down to the race and to the climb up for th final result. There’s where people get divided on the poll. Vettel was almost faultless all weekend (bar 2nd place on the grid) but gain “just” one position (1st place is the most important though), while Alonso, because of his grid place, had to climb up more (which is great) but could only get second because by the time he got good pace, Vettel was far ahead

        1. I disagree. People vote for who they think did the best job, people would be divided anyway given that this is a personal opinion. I think discounting qually wouldn’t work anyway. It’d just mean when someone commented on it they’d get accused of not doing the poll properly. In the same tone that perhaps Dennis has used above.

          1. I’m not accusing anyone of anything, I’m just wondering, seeing how Vettel lost polls for races like Abu Dhabi and Spa 2012…

          2. People vote for who they think did the best job

            No, they don’t. I examined all DOTW polls going back to the start of 2011 – that’s 51 GP’s. When drivers not named Vettel win a race, they win DOTW 80% of the time. When a driver named Vettel wins the race, he wins DOTW just 31% of the time. That can’t be explained by people voting for who they think did the best job. And the actual comments left on DOTW polls should clear up any remaining doubts on that score.

            That said, the trend line shows that the anti-Vettel bias is diminishing as time passes. I predict that within two years we’ll see Vettel finally get over 50% in one of these polls. And within four years many of those who now automatically vote against him will be explaining to their friends “Of course I knew he was something special right from the start. I was never one of those odd ducks who went out of their way to claim he couldn’t drive”.

  3. Driver of qualifying: Lewis Hamilton
    Driver of the race: Fernando Alonso
    Driver of the weekend: Sebastian Vettel
    Driver of the last ten years at Spa: Kimi Raikkonen

    1. brilliant and true :D

    2. I actually think Van der Garde is worthy of driver of qualy

    3. Absolutely spot on!

  4. Brace yourselves…

  5. Well vettel was so on top that I cannot understand why people chose Alonso for the DotW.

  6. I really didn’t understand this one at all. The weekend element is the crucial part, and the fact is he messed up his qualifying (when he ought to have been taking advantage of the wet weather). This was one of those baffling results…

    1. @vettel1 I won’t try to convince you as I understand how tough that would be ;)
      As you mentioned yourself that Alonso should have qualified a couple pf positions higher, which probably justifies he was not having the best equipment at his disposal, and to finish 2nd he had to make his race a perfect one, which he did

      1. @nirupam at least was the key element there ;)

        Vettel however also made his race perfect by winning the most dominantly yet (led every lap), so since both were pretty equal with respects to the race it really has to come down to qualifying, and Vettel there was better.

        So for the weekend, I really don’t understand how Alonso had the majority verdict.

        1. i know you cant be convinced that alonso can drive but he can. Quite well too.

          As for Q the rain had more to do with the result than much else, Ferrari’s were on the wrong part of the track at wrong time. Both suffered from it.

          As for the race he was 7 seconds behind when in about 5th after first couple of laps and still 7 seconds behind on about lap 30 in a car that everyone(except maybe you) will agree is not as fast as the RBR. That is class, considering he passed many great drivers.

          Saying all of that im surprised Alonso got it as seb drove brilliantly as always. But there is many reasons to vote for alonso for those that open their eyes.

          Pauls Q deserves a nod too.

          1. The reason Alonso’s qualifying got messed up was a result of his spin at the bus-stop, which not only blew that lap, but more crucially delayed him, and therefore messed up their timing.
            Had he not spun, then he would have been able to complete a lap more, like Webber, Vettel and Hamilton did right at the end.

          2. i know you cant be convinced that alonso can drive but he can. Quite well too

            You clearly don’t know my point of view then: I hold Alonso in the highest regard as a racing driver but loathe him as a person. “Quite” is a massive understatement. That however does not mean that he is always faultless, always better than everyone else: absolutely he was in China and Spain, but this weekend he wasn’t. No driver that spins in qualifying can really be considered DOTW unless they subsequently did something remarkable in the race (which a distant second wasn’t – he was in quite comfortably the second fastest car). That leads us on to this:

            in a car that everyone(except maybe you) will agree is not as fast as the RBR

            Don’t be ludicrous – I’d be mad to ignore every single piece of data which entirely dispels that idea. However, that doesn’t mean he had a far inferior car at all. Ferrari brought a successful upgrade to Belgium and so were a clear second fastest in the race. Alonso duly finished where the car deserved to be, so you could put him in contention for driver of the race absolutely.

            However, weekend? No. He spun in qualifying, consigning him to a grid slot where the car didn’t belong.

          3. @Vettel1

            Ferrari …..were a clear second fastest in the race.Alonso duly finished where the car deserved to be

            Even in your logic, that Ferrari deserved 3rd place, not the 2nd, unless of course we all assume that Webber was not driving an identical RB machinery!!

          4. @nirupam

            Yes, because the only thing that counts is the car, not the driver

          5. @nirupman that just serves to prove the RBR really wasn’t as dominant as so many make it out to be, considering Webber was a great distance behind Vettel. It’s far, far from a William’s FW14B and pretty far even from an RB7.

            That goes to show more that Webber under-performed, not Alonso performed beyond expectations.

          6. max. Yes he made an error, but it had no effect on his qualy lap, and would not of delayed him like you say it did.

            His position was due to where he was on the track and how the weather fell. It on this occasion could not be planned.

            And yes alonso did do something remarkable. Like i said passing many cars and great drivers, yet still being the same distance behind the leader that he was before he passed them.

            Seb stretched his and his cars legs in last 5 laps. Which was testament to his great performance. Like you say you loathe Alonso and its quite clear in the fact you have to be the first person to reply to any subject and have a dig at him.

            personally id probably put seb down as driver of the weekend, but that doesnt take away that Alonso has every right at a claim at it too

          7. that just serves to prove the RBR really wasn’t as dominant as so many make it out to be


            Who are you trying to kid?

          8. @todfod well, Webber couldn’t win, he couldn’t even finish second. Would you call him a crap driver? I certainly wouldn’t.

            In fact, I’d be willing to bet the vast majority of the grid couldn’t have cake walked the race like Vettel did.

        2. @vettel1

          So now we’re judging the pace of the Red Bull by Webber’s performances?? OK, how about Webber’s quali lap to prove that Red Bull had some serious pace.

          Its funny how you dont take Ferrari’s pace by Massa’s performances. If you look at Massa’s performances this weekend, the Ferrari looked like the 3rd quickest car on the grid. So Alonso putting it on P2 was pretty impressive.

          But I guess we never look at it this way…. probably because the domination by Vettel has absolutely nothing to do with a far superior car, and has everything to do with Vettel’s sheer awesomeness

          1. @todfod would you call Massa an equal driver to Webber currently? I wouldn’t. Nor would the half term driver rankings, or indeed any since 2010.

            Even despite that though, where have I argued against the Red Bull being the fastest car


            I said it’s not as dominant as many make it out to be as Webber isn’t coming anywhere near Vettel. So it cannot possibly be all down to the car. There has to be a driver element also, as there was with Alonso.

            So given both performed fairly equally in the race, we have to consider qualifying. And I’m sorry, but he messed it up.

        3. Wonders of democracy.

      2. As you mentioned yourself that Alonso should have qualified a couple pf positions higher, which probably justifies he was not having the best equipment at his disposal

        No, justifies that he made a mistake in his qualifying

    2. The two most baffling for me have to be Malaysia (come on, the guy lost to his teammate in both the race and qualifying so how he can possibly have been better I have no idea) and this.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        15th September 2013, 1:32

        For me in Sepang, it’s simple.

        I wasn’t that Vettel took the race win. If he was fastest then he deserved i…- Nay! *earned it*.

        But what ****** me off was the way he handled it.

        The whole “Mark is too slow, get him out of the way.”, started it for me. That was just him being a cocky…. I won’t finish it coz it could get very rude. Bottom line, it made me mad.

        Then the way he handled it after the race.
        Pumping his fist after the race, and acting incredibly happy.
        Then seemingly 5 minutes later, he’s sad and claims to have made a mistake (biggest lie I’ve ever seen).

        Then in China, he flipped his story again, and said Mark didn’t deserve to win, and that he was just purely faster.

        I would not loath him at this race so much if he had just kept his story straight from the start.

        He just came off as a pretentious ****.

        1. I thought it was unreasonable for him to obey team orders as Webber has done on countless… hang on; Webber hasn’t obeyed team ordeers has he…?

          1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
            16th September 2013, 4:28

            It’s not about obeying or disobeying team orders.

            It’s about keeping your story straight from the beginning, and sticking with it. Not changing your mind over and over.

            Clearly he knew exactly what he was doing and there was no confusion over the team radio. He should have gone with this POV from the start.

    3. @vettel1 I’m going to be honest here and say that I too voted Alonso. I voted him because I felt that he had a great race and showed real good racecraft.

      Then again I think Vettel should have deserved to finish in first place for this poll. People generally vote with the race in mind because that is the last thing they saw. I do it form time to time and usually don’t even realise I’m not doing it right. Perhaps for next year we need to change the format so we can choose someone for 1st, 2nd an 3d. That way if you also want to vote Alonso and Vettel you can actually do so and perhaps we could alsoc change it to driver of the race because a lot of people just forget qualifying in their conclusions.

      I really think we need to take a look at the current format and draw some conclussions.

  7. @vettel1 and @dennis

    How did Alonso “mess up” qualifying? Him and Rosberg were just unlucky that they happened to be the first ones over the line when the checkered flag was out, in rapidly improving conditions, while Hamilton and the Red Bull`s were very lucky in that aspect.

    1. Not to mention it was Ferrari who sent them out so late compared to the others.

    2. @kingshark
      Because he span at the Bus-stop chicane. Had he not done that, then he would have had time enough in hand to complete another lap, just like Lewis, Vettel and Webber were.

    3. How did Alonso “mess up” qualifying?

      Spunning in his lap

    4. And Rosberg managed to achieve 4th when Alonso just managed 9th. I still would have expected Alonso to beat the cars which struggle in rain the most – the Lotus.

  8. People are definitely warming up to Vettel. A couple of years ago he’d win a race from pole and routinely finish in third place in the DOTW with less than 20% of the vote. (No, I’m notmaking that up). So second place and 38% shows real evolution in peoples views.

  9. It’s facepalm worthy that while most people agree Vettel didn’t put a foot wrong, he still loses. People agree there’s nothing he could have done better, but still vote against him. Incredible.

  10. Definitely an ‘Anyone But Vettel’ feel about the results but at least he still got a close 2nd. Out of of the 6 non-Vettel wins, 5 of the winners got 1st in the poll and only Rosbergs lucky win at Silverstone was he not given DOTW yet for Vettels 5 wins here, he only got it 3 times and never with over 40% of the vote, make that 3 out of 6 when Hulk gets DOTW at Monza (although he does deserve it to be fair)

    Maybe Seb should fluff qualy and make DRS passes in a fast car to get the recognition!

    1. Maybe he should actualy show something wthout the best car, especialy when he barely won the 2012 championship by a mere 3 points against a very uncompetitive ferrari….
      Seb took the car to the win, but his task was way easier than what in this case Alonso had to do…

      I think most people will recognise that a Hamilton, Alonso, Raikkonen, Rosberg in a Redbull would be as dominant if not even more dominant.

      1. Alonso had to do more because he made it hard for himself by missing the flag because he spun.
        Seb didn’t need the best car last year to win the title and I don’t see any of those named above whitewashing their teammate in both qualy and races when both finished this year. I’d even wager Seb would be leading in a Ferrari and possibly the Lotus or Merc this year

      2. @oliveiraz33
        What do you want him to do? Tell Adrian Newey that he is getting tired of all those fast cars and want a shopping trolley instead?
        And you are completely ignoring the vast number of car related problems Vettel had in 2012. His car was fast, but it was nowhere near as reliable as the Ferrari. Not that the Ferrari was a better car. I don’t think so. But it wasn’t much worse.

      3. There was nothing remotely wrong with Alonso’s car in 2012. His usual incompetence in qualifying made it seem worse than it actually was. At several GP’s he managed to go slower in Q3 than he did in Q2 or Q1.

        As for the alleged crushing superiority of the RB8, that is likewise a myth. Here are the points per race scored by the top drivers in the second half of the 2012 season.

        Vettel – 17.1. Alonso – 12.4. Button – 12.0. Raikkonen – 10.9.
        Massa – 9.9. Hamilton – 9.8. Webber – 5.9. Hulkenberg – 4.4. Grosjean – 3.5.

        That supposed rocket ship of an RB was less than average in Webbers hands. (As it has been again this year, come to think of it)

        1. I didn’t realise Webber was that much slower. Nearly x3 the points for Vettel‽ Wow @jonsan.

  11. will you guys stop moaning about the spin already ….. its becoming boring replying to everyone about spin again and again . Fact is conditions are terrible and sometimes mistakes happen due to conditions not driver error, Looking at pole lap hamilton made mistake at la source and still able to catch-up with vettel, sure says Vettel made mistake too. Alonso did better than everyone, so hes the best driver of the week end.

    1. @f1007
      A spin doesn’t happen due to the conditions. It happens when the driver misjudges the conditions. Which is a mistake. Unless a mechanical failure is involved of cause.

    2. @f1007

      Alonso did better than everyone

      You cannot say that with such affirmation and without any real justification. By pure result Vettel was best since he won, so by that definition he “did better than everyone”.

      1. well redbull was fast that weekend, but vettel could not get pole, he underperformed too.

        1. I see where you’re coming from, Alonso_fan.

        2. I’ll play along:

          First, yes, the Red Bull is extremely fast, but it’s not the fastest on a single lap. That’s the Mercedes. So wrong there, buddy.

          Secondly, missing the pole by a couple of cents of a second is nowhere nearly as bad as spinning and losing 3-4 places because of it.

        3. @f1007
          You can’t say that for sure. Firstly, the Merc has been a massively fast car in qualifying all year. Secondly, Hamilton was the last man across the line which would have given him marginally better conditions.
          So I don’t really see why Vettel “should” have been on pole.

          1. Because he says Red Bull is the fastest. And if he says Red Bull is the fastest, it is.

        4. @f1007 @todfod with regards to qualifying, please do read @mads and @Albert’s comments.

          1. I’m am now convinced

  12. I´m actually quite surprised with this!

  13. How much cash does the FIA pay out for winning a driver’s poll?

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