A Review of the Year: F1 – November & December

The fifth and final of a review of the year (2013) in Formula One; following part one (January & February), part two (March, April & May), part three (June, July & August), and part four (September & October).

November 2013

Romain Grosjean and Sebastian Vettel topped practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but it was Mark Webber who took pole position. Vettel continued his winning streak, bringing the total to seven in a row.

It was a busy month for 2014 driver announcements, with Williams confirming that Felipe Massa would be joining Valterri Bottas, and McLaren revealing they were letting Sergio Perez go.

The following day, McLaren confirmed Kevin Magnussen would be joining the team in 2014 to partner Jenson Button.

Elsewhere, Kimi Raikkonen announced that he would be missing the last two races of the year (in the midst of a big pay dispute with Lotus) for back surgery. Lotus chose to field Heikki Kovalainen instead of their test and reserve driver Davide Valsecchi, who was not pleased with the decision. He did not mince his words when he declared: “From the sporting point of view, it’s a tragedy. It makes me angry to have lost the battle with Kovalainen who is not a great champion, not even an active driver; his last results were five years ago. If they had taken [Nico] Hulkenberg I could have understood, even [Pastor] Maldonado, but this…”

Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel topped practice in Austin, with the Red Bull driver taking pole. It was win number eight in a row when the chequered flag fell on Sunday afternoon.

At the final round of the year, Nico Rosberg topped FP1 and FP2 but it was Mark Webber, at his final Formula One race weekend, who topped FP3. Sebastian Vettel took pole and won the race with Webber finishing on the podium in second.

After some speculation surrounding his future, Ross Brawn confirmed that he would be standing down as Team Principal at Mercedes.

Lotus confirmed their driver line-up for 2014 at the end of November, opting to put Pastor Maldonado in the car alongside Romain Grosjean.

December 2013

After he had been expected to drive for Lotus in 2014, Nico Hulkenberg and Force India revealed that he would be returning to his former team instead.

The annual Autosport Awards were held and Sebastian Vettel and Niki Lauda were among the recipients.

The FIA confirmed the final calendar for 2014, revealing that Mexico and New Jersey did not make the final cut. The Russian and Austrian Grand Prix are on the calendar however.

The FIA announced that, from 2014, the last race of the season would be worth double points. This led to outrage amongst fans, classing the idea as silly.

Another few pieces of the grid jigsaw was put into place when Sauber announced that Adrian Sutil would be joining them. Force India confirmed Sergio Perez while later in the month Sauber announced they were retaining Esteban Gutierrez with Sergey Sirotkin as Test Driver.

Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari and Toro Rosso took part in a Pirelli tyre test in Bahrain. All eleven teams had been invited, with McLaren and Force India accepting the invitation, however they eventually pulled out.

Felipe Massa had his final few days as a Ferrari driver and was gifted the engine from the car in which he nearly won the championship – the F2008.

After his opposition David Ward pulled out, Jean Todt was re-elected as President of the FIA. He will serve another four years at the helm of the F1 governing body.

The annual FIA prize-giving gala took place in Paris. Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull picked up their championship trophies.

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