Boring? Well that might be the opt word for the last two Korean Grands Prix but the 2013 edition of the race was fairly exciting and saw some great drives throughout the field. Sebastian Vettel drove beautifully to win the race and inch closer to his fourth championship while Nico Hulkenberg continued his 'auditions' with an equally good drive for fourth place. The Lotus duo of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean impressed on a poor day for Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso as they joined Sebastian Vettel on the podium. Here are our top 5 drivers of the 2013 Korean Grand Prix. Vote for your driver of the day in the poll below or give further opinion in the comments section, also at the end of the article.
Sebastian Vettel - 10/10
Another race, another dominant win - Sebastian Vettel made it look easy in Korea as he breezed to his eight Grand Prix win of the season. While haters may say it's down to the supreme RB9 and Adrian Newey, in reality it's down to the perfect competition between the all round Red Bull RB9 and an equally exceptional driver who is on top of his game.
Vettel got a beautiful start and maintained a decent gap over the rest of the field in the first stint. He was also perfect at the two Safety Car restarts and managed his tyres and pace beautifully to take his fourth consecutive win of the season. He has the pace to win remaining five races of the season and is set to become a four time world champion. While it won't be fair to compare with all time greats unless he performs equally well in a non-Red Bull/Newey car or against a A-rated driver, he certainly deserves 10/10 for his performance in the Asian country.
Nico Hulkenberg - 10/10
In an era dominated by not so good pay-drivers in midfield and backmarkers teams, Nico Hulkenberg showed his supreme skills in Korea with a great drive to fourth place. The German started the race from seventh and got passed two Ferraris during the opening lap of the race. He then lost fifth place to Raikkonen who pitted during the Safety Car but regained that place after Nico Rosberg had to pit again following a front wing failure.
But what was impressive about his drive was how he held the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton for much of the race in an amazing duel which was later joined by double world champion Fernando Alonso, Nico Rosberg and 2009 world champion Jenson Button. The 26 year old showed his supreme skills and his cars ability to keep the former world champion at bay. It will be unfair for him not to drive in a top team next season or for that matter be without a drive considering Sauber's ongoing financial performance and their subsequent contractual deal with Russian investors. Nevertheless, he gets 10/10 for his amazing performance at the Yeongam Circuit.
Kimi Raikkonen - 9/10
Kimi Raikkonen scored another podium from a lowly spot on the grid. The Finn gained only a single place on the opening lap but made up multiple places by making an early second stop. He was up into Raikkonen then overtook his teammate when he ran wide at the final corner in-between the two Safety Car periods.
While the 2007 world champion didn't have the pace to challenge race leader Sebastian Vettel, he was able to keep Grosjean behind despite some controversial radio messages by the latter. The 33 year old's fourth second place finish earns him 9/10.
Romain Grosjean - 9/10
We all know Romain Grosjean has the speed and deserves to stay at Lotus, but at Korea he also showed that he can lead the team with an almost faultless drive to third place. With Raikkonen leaving for Ferrari in 2014, Grosjean might be given the job to lead the team in 2014. And the Frenchman led his experienced teammate in each of the session but the race. However, unlike the Finn, he didn't have the advantage of pitting under the Safety Car.
Talking in detail about his race, Grosjean made a clean getaway got passed the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton at the start of the race. He then held off Hamilton in the opening stint but more importantly maintained a decent gap over race leader Sebastian Vettel. He made his two stops on lap 10 and 31 but lost out to Raikkonen on lap 37 after running wide at the penultimate corner. He gets 9/10 for his third podium of the season.
Jenson Button - 7/10
While Hamilton and Alonso couldn't do much with their un-competitive cars, Jenson Button tried a different strategy by pitting as early as lap four. This started a chain reaction causing other drivers to pit earlier than normal and extend their second stint. With tyres facing more degradation than expected, other drivers, for example, Lewis Hamilton had to literally nurse their car during this stint. If Button hadn't pitted earlier, drivers would have sticked to their original plans and might have also got a chance to pit under the Safety Car.
Back to Button's race, the Brit made his two stops on lap four and 22 respectively and did a massive 33 lap stint on medium tyres in which he initially joined the pack fighting for fourth place before backing off and saving his tyres instead. His pit stop and a comparatively better race result compared to his grid spot earns him 7/10.