The F1 season ended with more of a whimper than a bang last night in Brazil. Sebastian Vettel secured his consecutive wins record, as many expected him to, but as for the rest of the race, Gary Meenaghan wrote, "the strong and storied relationship between Formula One and Brazil is weakening."
With that second task in mind, Graham Caygill examines the five best performances of the 2013 Formula One campaign.
1. Sebastian Vettel – Yes, he had the best car, in the Red Bull Racing’s RB9 chassis, but he used it to frightening effect. What was truly impressive was he did not put a wheel wrong in a race all season, and his consistency was rewarded with the longest winning streak in a season in F1 history.
2. Nico Rosberg – Having out-performed Michael Schumacher in the same car, the German has more than held his own against Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes-GP. Two victories came his way and he has finished the season more impressively than Hamilton. Could be a genuine championship candidate next season.
3. Romain Grosjean – Written off as a “nutcase” in 2012 after a string of first-lap shunts, the Frenchman has been rejuvenated this year with Lotus. Still quick, but without the silly errors, he has raised his game and regularly out-performed teammate Kimi Raikkonen.
4. Nico Hulkenberg – It will be an injustice if the German is not on the F1 grid next season. Four top-six finishes in an average car in the Sauber was superb. The way he kept faster cars behind both in Italy and in South Korea were two of the best displays of defensive driving seen in 2013.
5. Fernando Alonso – The Spaniard once again did the best he could with disappointing machinery. Second in the championship is not what the Ferrari man desires, but he never gave up, as a spirited drive to fifth place in Abu Dhabi demonstrated. Best of the rest is no mean feat behind Vettel.