Top 10 F1 Drivers of the Year 2013:
Red Bull Racing
2012 Driver of the Year position:
Mark Webber's final F1 campaign ended without a win, but with a fighting performance in Brazil that underlined all his abilities as a racer.
The Australian announced his retirement ahead of the British Grand Prix – following sustained rumours that he was in talks to spearhead Porsche's nascent sportscar return – and appeared to race with a little more freedom from there on in.
Unfortunately, he ran into a team-mate in inspired form, and with an RB9 that, on tyres that better suited its development, proved a better tool for Sebastian Vettel than it did for himself. An earlier run-in with the German possibly denied Webber his only realistic chance of victory, the Australian having led from the front at Sepang only to be undone in the 'Multi21' affair.
A couple of late season poles – in Japan and Abu Dhabi – were not capitalised upon, but four podiums in the final five races, interrupted by a DNF in India, were enough to catapult Webber from fifth to third in the overall standings.
Forthright and honest as usual, the veteran's attempts to show the human side of F1 resulted in admonishment for hitching a ride home with Fernando Alonso in Singapore, but he still dared to complete his farewell lap sans
helmet, at Interlagos. He will be missed in more ways than one...
's 2013 F1 Driver of the Year – top ten to date:
8. Lewis Hamilton
9. Valtteri Bottas
10. Daniel Ricciardo