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Vettel and Massa make biggest gains so far

Apr 1, 2013, 9:09 AM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Practice Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa have made the best starts to the new season compared to how they performed last year.

Both drivers have racked up 22 points more than they collected in the first two rounds of 2012.

Vettel’s controversial win in Malaysia has put him at the top of the drivers’ championship with 40 points – five more than last year’s early leader Fernando Alonso enjoyed at this stage.

Massa’s bright start to 2013 is in marked contrast to his troubled 2012 campaign. This time last year he was yet to score – twelve months on he is ahead of team mate Alonso in the championship.

Alonso’s failure to finish in Malaysia – a race he won last year – is an early setback for his championship prospects. He went into the season expecting a stronger start than he had with the troubled F2012:

“I’m confident I can start the season with a better car than the one we had in the first few months of last year, Alonso said in January.

“It was actually in the early races that we lost decisive points, when we had a car that was only good enough for seventh, as was the case in China or ninth in Bahrain.”

This year it’s McLaren who’ve started the season with an uncompetitive car, meaning Jenson Button and Sergio Perez are the drivers who have lost the most points compared to 2012. Here’s a full table for all the drivers.

Position Driver Points Change
1 Sebastian Vettel 40 +22
2 Kimi Raikkonen 31 +15
3 Mark Webber 26 +2
4 Lewis Hamilton 25 -5
5 Felipe Massa 22 +22
6 Fernando Alonso 18 -17
7 Nico Rosberg 12 +12
8 Romain Grosjean 9 +9
9 Adrian Sutil 6 +6
10 Paul di Resta 4 -3
11 Nico Hulkenberg 4 +2
12 Sergio Perez 2 -20
13 Jenson Button 2 -23
14 Jean-Eric Vergne 1 -3
  1. apexassassin - Apr 1, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    Glad you included the list so I don’t have to add that Kimi is also off to a much better start than last season.

    Even more glad Massa seems to be back to his old self. Alonso has his hands full, with the Paulista imo.

    If 2012 was any gauge, these early points will play a strong role in deciding the championships.

  2. petearon - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    I do hope that Massa continues to rack up points, however, I don’t really see him challenging Alonso for the championship if it comes down to a fight between the Ferrari drivers. Alonso has been the victim of bad luck, poor strategy, etc., and still knows how to keep a positive, confident attitude. Massa, on the other hand, seems to be very susceptible to waves of poor confidence, which affect his performance.

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