... and Monaco was only a couple of weeks after the test. That's barely enough time to disect the data and translate it into upgrades. Then of course there was Silverstone. Mercedes clearly had an advantage there didn't they? Um, no, just like most of the field the tyres fell apart. Nico got his boots changed in the nick of time. If one looks at the season as a whole the pattern was pretty much the same. Mercedes fortunes ebbed and flowed depending mostly on the nature of the circuits and the tyre choices dictated by Pirelli for them. Mercedes were usually the team closest to threatening Red Bull but the failure to translate poles and front end grid positions into corresponding victories and places was a theme that ran throughout the season. It's also no coincidence that two of their wins occurred on the slowest two tracks on the calendar and where overtaking is the most difficult. 2nd in the Championship reflects their general position whichever half of the season one looks at.
Tyre-gate was a **** up but it was a confluence of errors on the part of the FIA, Pirelli and Mercedes and that was recognised and confirmed in the judgement of the independent tribunal which penalised all three parties. Still one has to expect the mythology to outlast the reality of events, such is the nature of social networking.
You know I'm a dreamer
But my heart's of gold
I had to run away high
So I wouldn't come home low
Just when things went right
It doesn't mean they were always wrong
Just take this song and you'll never feel
Left all alone
There's an interesting piece in Autocourse on the situation between Vettel and Webber in Malaysia. Basically, Webber was going too slowly (no surprise there really) and was backing Vettel up towards the Mercedes pair which was why Vettel was getting upset with the team on the radio and then chose to ignore the Multi 21 message as Webber had deliberately tried to ruin his race. The guy writing it also suggest there was a bit of pay back for Brazil 2012 where Vettel believed Webber "chopped" him contributing to the near disastrous events goign in to turn 4.
When I have time I'll reproduce the major points in the article as it explains things in a very pragmatic way and does show Webber was engineering a situation where Vettel would be passed by the Mercs at the various pit stops.
For me personally, 2013 will be remembered as being the year that I actually started to enjoy watching Vettel race. I love the fact that he's finally starting to show the ruthless side and the absolute will to win. We can go on and on for days arguing about rule changes, tires or Vettel having the best car, but after going to Austin and watching him in person, i'm convinced he's the best driver on the grid hands down.
Was 2013 a year for the ages? No, not really. We'll see if Vettel is truly able to back up his success in 2014 with the new regulations.