Sebastian Vettel has been voted the clear winner in AUTOSPORT‘s annual Team Principals’ Top 10 Drivers poll.
Each team principal provided a secret top 10 list of drivers, with points being awarded using the current F1 scoring system (25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1) to come up with an overall winner. The secrecy aspect is essential because it allows team bosses to offer their honest opinions on drivers up and down the field.
The job that Vettel did during what proved to be a dominant campaign was recognized as he secured a comfortable victory over closest challenger Fernando Alonso, with the pair well clear of third-placed man Kimi Raikkonen.
Although Vettel’s crowning as this year’s team principals’ top driver comes after a spate of awards and accolades, he has admitted that getting the acknowledgement from those inside the paddock was important.
“It means a lot,” he told AUTOSPORT. “Team principals generally have a lot of insight in F1, as usually they have been around quite a while and see a lot of drivers. As much as getting the respect and appreciation from outside people, it is very nice to get the same from people on the inside.”
Red Bull boss Christian Horner reckoned that Vettel’s performances this year set a new benchmark.
“It’s been his best ever year and he’s raised the bar continually,” he said. “The exciting thing about him is that he’s still only 26; he’s only done just over 100 grands prix and he’s a four-time world champion.
“He doesn’t win by mistake or achieve the results he does by accident; he’s achieved them through having an enormous amount of natural ability, utter commitment and a fantastic work ethic, where he continually looks at his own performances and analyzes himself. He certainly deserves to win the Team Principals’ Poll again.”
AUTOSPORT’S TEAM PRINCIPALS’ TOP 10 DRIVERS 2013
1 Sebastian Vettel 248 2 Fernando Alonso 213 3 Kimi Raikkonen 158 4 Lewis Hamilton 117 5 Nico Rosberg 95 6 Romain Grosjean 76 7 Nico Hulkenberg 68 8 Mark Webber 66 9 Jenson Button 2410 Felipe Massa 14
For a full review of the 2013 Formula 1 season, check out this week’s AUTOSPORT magazine, available in digital format here.