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Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean
Born Origin
Team F1 Debut
Career statistics to end 2013
Race(s) Win(s)
Pole Position(s) Fastest Lap(s)

This is one of the more pleasing stories of the 2013 season. Vilified by many for the crash-and-burn attitude he seemed to have brought with him from GP2 when he returned to F1 in 2012, Romain Grosjean ranks as one of THE drivers of 2013.

Going back to first principles – and first laps – Grosjean re-examined himself, his driving and his ambition. As a result, he completed the season in seventh place overall and can count himself unlucky not to have been even higher in the final reckoning.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton
Born Origin
Team F1 Debut
Career statistics to end 2013
Race(s) Win(s)
Pole Position(s) Fastest Lap(s)

It can’t have been an easy transition for Lewis, leaving his home of many years at McLaren to go and drive for a very different, German-based and very German-oriented team where his new teammate was already the favourite son.

Indeed, there were signs early in the season that the 2008 World Champion was casting around for support – why else would you start bringing a British bulldog along with you to the F1 paddocks of the world?

Pastor Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado
Born Origin
Team F1 Debut
Career statistics to end 2013
Race(s) Win(s)
Pole Position(s) Fastest Lap(s)

“Money can’t buy everything it’s true,” the Beatles used to warble, but it can buy a drive in a leading Grand Prix team.

“It’s no secret that I have wanted a change of scene to help push on with my Formula 1 career,” said Pastor Maldonado when his departure was announced,“and Lotus F1 Team offered the very best opportunity for me to be competitive next season.”

The Venezuelan comes with backing from his home country worth millions of dollars, and he comes to Lotus after an increasingly bitter breakdown of his short relationship with Williams, whom he joined in 2011.

Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa
Born Origin
Team F1 Debut
Career statistics to end 2013
Race(s) Win(s)
Pole Position(s) Fastest Lap(s)

Something had to give, and in the end Ferrari’s patience proved finite as they said goodbye to a man who has been a loyal servant of the Scuderia since 2006, winning 11 races in the scarlet cars and so nearly taking the 2008 title.

Felipe’s failure to provide back-up to Fernando Alonso in recent seasons – half the contribution made by a Webber at Red Bull or the two Mercedes men – finally meant Ferrari had to look elsewhere.

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen
Born Origin
Team F1 Debut
Career statistics to end 2013
Race(s) Win(s)
Pole Position(s) Fastest Lap(s)

Whether it was deliberate or not, the normally taciturn Raikkonen’s revelation in Singapore last season that he had gone unpaid through his second season with Lotus triggered one of the most intense debates in the F1 paddock all year.

Winner of the opening round in Melbourne, Raikkonen then went winless for the remainder of his tenure with Lotus, which ended when he withdrew from the final two rounds in Austin and Interlagos, ostensibly to have much-needed corrective surgery on his back.

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo
Born Origin
Team F1 Debut
Career statistics to end 2013
Race(s) Win(s)
Pole Position(s) Fastest Lap(s)

Dan the Man racked up a significant milestone in the last race of 2013: Brazil was his 50th Grand Prix start.

But there is a real sense in which Daniel Ricciardo’s career as a Grand Prix driver begins now, when two things happen: he gets his hands on the next car built by the World Champion team of the last four years, and he comes up against a bloke called Vettel on the other side of the garage.

“Next year I will be expected to deliver,” Ricciardo acknowledged when the news of his promotion broke.

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg
Born Origin
Team F1 Debut
Career statistics to end 2013
Race(s) Win(s)
Pole Position(s) Fastest Lap(s)

In 2014 it’s time for Nico Rosberg to stand and deliver.

It will be his eighth season as a Grand Prix driver, and his fifth with Mercedes. Throughout 2013 Rosberg was adamant that the Silver Arrows should prove themselves ‘the best of the rest’ in a field outstripped by the Red Bulls.

They duly did that: two victories in three races by Rosberg himself in Monaco and Britain helped considerably, but they were his only two race wins of the year and they both came along in the first half of the season.

Jean-Eric Vergne

Jean-Eric Vergne
Born Origin
Team F1 Debut
Career statistics to end 2013
Race(s) Win(s)
Pole Position(s) Fastest Lap(s)

There was bitter disappointment for the man they call ‘JEV’ in mid-season when Red Bull announced that his teammate Daniel Ricciardo would be the driver to replace Mark Webber in 2014.

While he retains his seat at Toro Rosso, that decision closes off some options for the Frenchman: there is no longer an obvious progression for him within the Red Bull framework, and recent history suggests he is unlikely to be offered a third straight year in the junior team. Just ask Jaime Alguersuari or Sebastien Buemi…

Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg
Born Origin
Team F1 Debut
Career statistics to end 2013
Race(s) Win(s)
Pole Position(s) Fastest Lap(s)

They say you should never go back, but then again they don’t say where…

Nico is going back in 2014: back to the Force India team he drove for in 2012, which was his second season as a fully-fledged Grand Prix driver.

His 2013 campaign with Sauber was initially disappointing: the Swiss team, sixth overall in 2012 with 126 points to their credit, never looked like reproducing that form as Hulkenberg and Mexican rookie Esteban Gutierrez teamed up.

So Near And Yet…

ROUND 15 – Japan, October 13, 2013

1st: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Renault) 1hr 26m 49.301s (212.484 km/h)
2nd: Mark Webber (Red Bull Renault) gap: 7.129s
3rd: Romain Grosjean (Lotus Renault) gap: 9.910s

Fastest Lap: Webber 1:34.587 = 221.015 km/h on lap 44

Pole Position: Webber 1:30.915 = 229.942 km/h

World Championship: Vettel 297 points • Alonso 207 • Raïkkönen 177

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