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Lewis Hamilton
Christian Horner finally scotches Lewis Hamilton to Red Bull stories
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Posted By: James Allen  |  05 Jul 2011   |  7:33 pm GMT  |  262 comments

Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner has today come out with some comments which close the door firmly on ideas of Lewis Hamilton joining the Red Bull Racing team.

Horner met with Hamilton at the recent Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, starting all kinds of speculation which neither man was quick to shoot down. It was a puzzling incident from many angles; at Hamilton’s press briefing on Thursday in Valencia, he said that his meeting with Horner had taken place before qualifying in Canada. Horner later confirmed that it was at about 5pm on Saturday evening.

With Vettel under contract for three more years Red Bull do not need Hamilton from a racing point of view and there would clearly be risks of destabilising the team to have two champions, as has happened in the past. But Red Bull is a maverick brand and from a marketing point of view, Hamilton’s edgy style and appeal in markets Red Bull would want to reach, gave the notion of him racing with them some credibility.

What has been interesting has been that both sides have let the stories hang there for a while. Today, however, Horner took the opportunity to say what common sense suggests,

“A Hamilton-Vettel combination, on paper, would look very attractive to any team,” he said. “However, what you have to look at is the dynamics of any partnership like that and it’s difficult to see how two sportsmen at the absolute top of their game could work in harmony under one roof.

“That’s where the dynamics within a team are so important. History demonstrates more often than not whether you look at [Alain] Prost and [Ayrton] Senna or [Nigel] Mansell and [Nelson] Piquet, that it doesn’t tend to work.

How an Austrian Magazine saw the future


“Lewis is a wonderful driver, probably currently one of the top three in the world, but presently we are very happy with the combination we have.”

This is the common view in F1; that Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel are the three outstanding drivers of this generation. And so logically having them in three different teams is in the best interests of sport. It looks like that’s the way it will be, with Alonso committed to Ferrari for five years.

“Our understanding is that Lewis is committed to McLaren next year. We are under a long-term relationship with Seb. He is a product from the Red Bull junior programme and we are very happy with the job Mark Webber is doing. It’s difficult to see how Lewis fits into that.”

So far so logical, but Horner takes the opportunity to remind Hamilton of something of which he is all too painfully aware; that the younger man has come in and stolen his thunder,

“In a shorter career Seb has already won more races than Lewis, had more pole positions and won the same amount of championships.

We are absolutely delighted to have Sebastian.”

So much for the “Crash Kid” as McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh rather unwisely described Vettel last year.

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262 Comments
  1. Dino says:

    Clearly, Hamilton supporters would welcome a move to Red Bull as it would compare “like for like” and promise and answer to how much is driver and how much is car.

    However, it would be disastrous for the sport as a whole providing, of course, that the Red Bull car maintains its competitiveness. The “sport” would be reduced to an inter-team battle rather than, well this year isn’t a great example, but a fight across a field of different teams and drivers.

    I sure hope it doesn’t happen; three top drivers with three top teams with equal machinery is much better from a spectator’s point of view. More seasons like 2010 please!

    1. Wayne says:

      An interesting point to make about Horner’s assertion about Seb’s achievements compared to Hamilton’s: Lewis has never once had the luxury of the outright fastest car in F1 in any season, not even in his wdc season. Seb has had this two years in a row. And Seb has never partnered A driver of Alonso’s quality either. These pithy comments do not make Seb a better driver, they just make him more fortunate – so far.

      1. Tom in adelaide says:

        Wayne, do we really want to turn this into one of those blogs where everyone replies to the first listed comment despite their reply having no real relevance to that particular comment? It tends to ruin the flow of comment sections once large numbers of people start doing it.

      2. Wayne says:

        Apparently…yes we do Tom.

      3. Wayne says:

        Yes.

      4. Shane Stobie says:

        I would have to disagree with you on that one. Hamilton made his debut straight up for McLaren whereas Vettel spent his first season and a half with Torro Rosso. Vettel has had the lions share of the luck recently having arguably the best car on the grid for the past 3 seasons but considering all that i’d say that as far as fortunes go they are fairly even.

      5. wayne says:

        How? I say again that Lewis has NEVER had the fastest car in any given season. I’ve heard numerous F1 pundits, commentators and insiders make this point.

      6. Michael C says:

        got it in 1 Shane – Lewis in a faster Mclaren would almost certainly psyche Seb out in a duel

      7. Shane Stobie says:

        The MP4-22/23 of the 07/08 seasons were certainly no slouches. There was no clear domination due to some also stellar cars from Ferrari. I would consider the cars of McLaren & Ferrari to be on par for best car of the season. I do agree with you that Hamilton has never had a world beater of a car such as the current RBR that Vettel has but you would have to agree that Hamilton was certainly better off perfecting his race craft when he started his career in a McLaren than Vettel was when he was racing around in BMW’s & Torro Rosso’s. So IMO Hamilton was rather blessed wtih excellent machinery at the start of his career & Vettel is very blessed with excellent machinery now.

        I would also point out that Hamilton has only ever had a average car during the 09 season & that car ended up coming good.

      8. unoc12 says:

        I was just going to say that…. I wouldn’t take the ‘common view’ (accoridng to Horner) that Alonso and Hamilton are joined by Vette as best of the generation.

        2 reasons

        1) Alonso beat (at that time known to be top drivers) Fisi and Trulli. He also matched Hamilton in a new team and is beating Massa who nearly won a WDC.

        b) Hamilton has equaled Alonso and beaten WDC Button for the one and a half seaosn they have been together.

        c) Vettel has beaten Liuzzi who is barely an F1 driver, Bourdais, who was dumped for being too slow, and Webber who most call a decent upper midfield driver with horrible luck.

        Until Hamilton or Alonso struggle with someone much lower than what I ahve said or Vettel beats someone knwon ot be towards the top then I can’t see how this could be.

        2) Of this generation? At the start of 09 no one really cared much about Vettel. Sure he won Monza with quite a bit of luck, his teammate qualified 4th and then didn’t get to race. But he was never mentioned. 2 years before that and Hamilton wasn’t an F1 driver. Alonso was going to McLaren and looked to possibly be the first WDC at McLaren since Hakkinen in the 90′s.

        If find it stupid to be calling best of a generation when a driver could well in only 2 years away from entering F1 and going by Hamilton and Vettel, another good driver could well be coming in soon.. or is 4 years a new generation?

      9. Carlo_Carrera says:

        All you people who think Vettel is winning just because he is in the fastest car are truly kidding yourselves.

      10. unoc12 says:

        Carlo, could you please explain why?

        I have made 2 points and you have rejected them without either rebuttle nor making your own points

      11. Tank says:

        Lol. You can’t be serious.

      12. Wayne says:

        Surely you can do better than that as a reply?

      13. wayne says:

        ‘LOL’? Want to expand on that a bit? Perhaps by explaining which season Lewis drove the outright fastest car in the field? Because I can tell you that Seb has driven the outright fastest car in the field in both 2010 and 2011.

      14. steve simmons says:

        you devoted hamilton supporters are so blind to the truth.here is a kid who has talent but has also had the best of equipment,budget,etc.since mclaren took him on as a kid.he clearly had the best car in 07 and 08 was extremely lucky to win the title.now he clearly thinks it is his god given right to have the best car every year and that he should be champion every year.take some lessons from button shut up learn to positively motivate your team and develop a car and learn how to correctly pass people without causing accidents and be grateful for the opportunities mclaren have given you in life.there is always going to be someone coming along that will be better than you.

      15. Mike Monji says:

        + 1

      16. Lalit says:

        If I had just started watching Nascar and F1 at the same time (i know .. i said that..), then I would say Hamilton is perfectly suited for the crash-banging, headspinning circulating cars, with little technology world of Nascar…

        Any one listening?? .. could be a WIN-WIN-WIN for F1-Nascar-Hamilton …

      17. amit says:

        @Wayne

        Lewis had the fastest car in his debut year.

        He won the WDC by just one point, so much for Vettle limping home.

        Inspite of all that transpired, Vettle put himself in the best position to win the championship, Lewis’s on the other hand was a result of some suspicious driving by Glock.

        Webber is amongst the top 3-4 qualifiers of his generation, so Vettle outpacing him so convincingly says a lot about his talent and raw speed.

        This year Vettle has proved beyond doubt that not only does he posses raw speed but incredible race craft; a hall mark of a champion driver.

        Sure Hamilton is a bloody quick driver and amongst the best of his generation but to say that he is a greater driver than Vettle is unsound judgement and above all you offer no convincing argument to back your claims.

        PS: Although he was equal to Alonso on points, but Lewis was never on his pace. If we had DRS then Alonso would certainly beaten Lewis by quiet a margin.

      18. mark says:

        lewis also had the fastest car in 2008…

      19. Dave C says:

        In 2007 Hamilton might say he beat Alonso or whatever but they were level on points with 4 wins each so that on paper doesn’t look like Hamilton won by much does it? In fact it looks a tie, but the thing was it might have been Hamilton’s rookie year but Alonso struggled with the tyres more due to never driven them, the team was built around Hamilton and Ron publicly stating “basically we were racing Fernando” didn’t do Alonso any favour in the last few races, not to mention Hungary where Alonso got demoted back 5 grid slots after qualifying on pole on a track where they couldn’t overtake back then.

        The point is as someone mentioned Alonso was the faster driver in a unfamiliar team/car/tyres more so than Hamilton, in 2007 Hamilton didn’t beat Alonso if anything it was the other way round.
        Alonso is the better driver but Vettel is now better than the pair of them and Hamilton is so clearly rattled and I can see why, only the most hardcore patriotic British journalists would brand Hamilton ‘fastest’ or ‘best’ because those titles belong to Seb.

      20. Tealeaf says:

        Na Wayne, Hamilton had the fastest car for most part of 2007 and 2008.
        Vettel has achieved more in his career than Hamilton in smaller teams, Vettel is clearly the better driver hence why Horner doesnt need Shamilton.

    2. Doc-ric says:

      I think it would be very interesting! They may have a season-long battle and even if the RB car was the best the season would still be interesting. Makes me remind of Prost and Senna.

      1. kowalsky says:

        i agree. For the fans it would be just fantastic. But i doubt it’s going to happen.
        I think with the best car and this two drivers f1 could be back to the glory days.

      2. Marc says:

        I remembered that season too. Prost having more points scored at the end of the season but Senna winning his first wdc, as only the ten best race results were recorded. 16 races, 15 wins for mc laren. Yet, a great f1 season by all means.

      3. Andy C says:

        Indeed. That was something that actually (I was in my early teens) I had never appreciated at the time when watching those GPs as a youngster.

        Only the top results for each driver counted, so under the current points scoring regime Prost would have won at least another WDC title.

        Rules of the day I guess…

    3. DMyers says:

      On a pedantic point, F1 is an inter-team (between teams)battle. What you mean is an intra-team (within a team)battle and, to be honest, team mates who have fallen out, whether at the front of the field or not, have always added something to the sport.

      If it’s Red Bull vs Red Bull or McLaren vs Ferrari with different drivers winning, it’s better to have that sort of situation than the one we currently have: the same boy on pole every weekend, gapping the field in the first two laps and then tending to stay there. The racing may be exciting throughout the field, but one person winning the bulk of the races in extremely dull.

    4. F1Fan says:

      I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in Horner and Hamilton downplaying a pairing as proof that there isn’t a mutual interest there. Didn’t we hear those same denials from Ferrari and Alonso while Raikkonen was still driving for the team?

      Conventional wisdom says Hamilton should stay at McLaren because it’s his team and McLaren will nearly always have a competitive car and are guaranteed to be in F1 longer than Red Bull, and going to Red Bull, Vettel would still be favored over him.

      However, I can see Hamilton ignoring all that and going to RB for the same reason why he races as he does, and takes risks when others would say he shouldn’t.

      It all comes down to Hamilton’s mindset. Hamilton believes he is a better racer than Vettel, and that Vettel has now surpassed him merely because he has a better car. So what better way to prove he is better? Go to Red Bull and beat him in an identical car, even if he’d be the outsider there. What better way to vanquish your rival than by beating him as a team mate. If you can’t beat him while driving for a different team, go to his home turf and beat him there.

      And it won’t matter if a year or 2 from now Red Bull isn’t the dominant car. As long as Hamilton is outscoring Vettel it would give credence, retroactively, to the notion that Hamilton would have been beating Vettel this year with a better car.

      Hopefully, Hamilton doesn’t get too caught up in that kind of myopic thinking and focus on Vettel too much rather than his own accomplishments. Like most others, I still think he’ll be better off in the long run staying with McLaren.

  2. Gav says:

    interesting, my personal opinion is lewis hamilton and mark webber will swap teams for next season.

    1. Robert says:

      That would be an incredibly stupid move for Mclaren if that happened. Hamilton has far more talent than Webber does. Bringing Webber into the team would provide the team with 2 drivers who are very consistent, yet lack extreme pace.

      1. David McVey says:

        Well, if Hamilton wants to go theirs not a lot Mclaren can do about it. Let’s face it, he doesn’t need money. In fact, he’s said he’d take a pay cut for a competitive car.

      2. Zombie says:

        He already have a “competitive car”. He just need to WIN RACES!!!

  3. jmv says:

    A lost chance for Red Bull.

    Which has been the most talked about and thunder-pairing in F1′s history?

    Prost-Senna.

    Red Bull could have given us the stage for an epic battle.

    But the bull has no balls.

    1. jmv says:

      adding to that:

      - you showed us you have the best car (2010)
      - you showed us you have the best driver (2011)
      - now give us an epic battle (2012)

      …as seriously I will be turning my TV off in 2012 if I get a repeat of 2011.

      1. jmv says:

        (last addition :)
        In the end I dont think it will happen…

        It seems Red Bull’s claims last year that they are in it for the “sporting values” and letting their drivers duke it out.. was a bit false.

        Horner is not Ron Dennis, and Red Bull is not McLaren. Maybe Red Bull after all is not a true racing team… but a marketing exercise on “Red Bull”.

        For the pairings that Ron and McLaren gave us: Senna-Prost, and the mickey mouse version of that between Fred – Lewis in 2007… I still take my hats of for them. We all enjoyed that, even if PR wise it was going downhill at some points.

        In the end these highly competitive pairings in both cases wrote F1 history. Thank you McLaren!

      2. Jason C says:

        Don’t forget JPM – Raikkonen. Didn’t turn out as expected, but JPM was very highly rated going in to McLaren.

      3. Marc says:

        I would mentioned, Lauda and Prost as well. No?

      4. Tom says:

        NASCAR is available if you want to watch “boys, have at it” nonsense.

      5. CanadaGP says:

        There is something bigger than the racing and that is money and big business whether you like it or not.

        Lewis Hamilton will end up in Red Bull sooner rather than later because of Dieter Mateschitz. Don’t forget that Mateschitz created the most successful global drinks company after Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola from an unknown energy drink used by Thai Tuk tuk drivers.

        Their target market is the global youth market. There is no other F1 driver today better than Lewis Hamilton in reaching this multi-racial, hip hop music, controversial, rebellious, edgy demographic. It is also the demographic that F1 has had trouble reaching these last few years and has been losing to Moto GP, WRC, extreme sports, etc. In this respect you can even say that Formula One needs Lewis Hamilton more than Lewis needs Formula One for all the Marketing reasons.

        LH’s controversial behavior the last few races may have been unintentional but from the Marketing point of view, it’s almost perfect. Now, if he starts winning more often, he’ll be much bigger than Schumacher ever was.

      6. Brisbane Bill says:

        Tom – yes, NASCAR is great if you want to see dummy spits and them taking each other out (how many finished unscathed in Daytona? Not many!). But 200 laps of draughting round in circles is as boring as bat sh…

        F1 is not quite there yet but it is getting closer to where it needs to be in terms of on-track action and drama. I am actually supportive of the way the tyres are going and, in the current format, DRS but the single biggest hurdle to dramatic overtaking attempts is the rediculously short braking distance. Braking and corner exits are where the real duels should be. The window of opportunity and margin for error is simply too small. Way too small. Do like Indy did and ban carbon brakes and go back to steel discs to add weight (introduces some great handling dynamics and multiplies the braking distance dramatically) to encourage drivers to have more of a go. Also, remove carbon fibre as a material for steering and suspension parts – they break way too easily in a collision so also take away incentive for a driver to have a speculative stab. If steering components bend rather than break then it doesn’t put a driver out instantly so he might be a little more ambitious. The recent road course races in NASCAR gave excellent example of how drivers behave if they have less grip, longer breaking distances and less race-ending damage if a small collision occurs. Now that WAS good stuff.

      7. Galapago555 says:

        @CanadaGP

        “Now, if he [HAM] starts winning more often, he’ll be much bigger than Schumacher ever was.”

        Oh really? “much bigger”? You can’t be serious.

      8. mtb says:

        Hamilton may have the potential to broaden the appeal of F1, but to date he has not done so. Ironically, some of his biggest fans on this site and elsewhere are people who are against the broadening of F1’s appeal.

      9. Damian J says:

        One only had to attend the Goodwood festival of Speed last weekend to see the impact that Lewis has had in the UK with so many wearing McLaren logo clothes.

      10. Gravelrash says:

        Brissie bill
        The Sonoma race was sensational. Slow heavy …[mod] but great racing and drama with Stewart and vickers gunning for each other. Just great. Leaves the V8 super cars fo dead. Not quite F1 but pure racing

    2. Marco says:

      but they have winggggggggggggs :)

      1. Sebee says:

        What they have is WINS!

      2. monktonnik says:

        Lol :)

    3. Stephen says:

      If Red Bull can continue to build cars like the RB6 & RB7 then Vettel has already proved he will win titles in them. No need to have Hamilton in the team. Having him there along with Vettel would probbaly end up like 2007 with Hamilton & Vettel finishing joint second and gifting the title to Alonso & Ferrari.

  4. Matthew says:

    Disappointing.

    The only way we’ll ever know how good Seb Vettel is, is if he pits himself against Lewis or Fernando in the same car.

    All the winning in the world from P1 won’t change that in my opinion.

    1. Wayne says:

      Yes Lewis went up against Alonso and won or at least held his own. Seb winning in a far superior car just shows how great the car is and how ‘consistent’ he is this year. Winning with such an advantage is not ‘great’ it’s just to be expected.

      Interesting the utter belief all Lewis’ fans have as they generally had no fear of the proposed move at all.

      1. For sure says:

        Funny, if its “expected” then why we dont expect Mark Weber, most of the other drivers to be dominating like Seb.

        If it’s Lewis in that Red Bull, I am sure they and media will say it’s the driver. Now someone overtook their boy and they put it down to the car.

        Seriously, if Alonso or Lewis is in that Red Bull, it’s hard to imagine the gap between Mark and them is larger then the current one.

      2. David Perel says:

        Completely agree, Seb is maximizing the car that he has been given. You can’t ask a driver for more.

        Those with a trained eye just need to look at his qualifying laps to see that Vettel is pure quality and not just riding off the back of a good car.

        I think people also have a short memory, if mine serves me correctly he won a race in a Torro Rosso – yes it was a good car but it was no McLaren/Ferrari.

      3. Wayne says:

        Webber and Vetell can’t both win can they?

        Seriously, are you suggesting that the RB7 is not a historically fast car? Are you further suggesting that it’s more about he driver than the car in modern F1? Additionally are you suggesting that the media, even the British Media, think of Hamilton as ‘their boy’?

      4. fieraku says:

        Webber is the benchmark we measure Seb with nowdays??

      5. Steve says:

        If we measure him against Webber we’re told that he’s not good enough to be a fair comparison. If we measure him against anyone else it’s just the car.

      6. For Sure says:

        @Wayne
        F1 is more about the car than the driver, we all know that. But if you think about the gap between Michael and Rubens, Lewis and Jenson, and now Seb and Mark, you would know what I am talking about. There is no evidence
        or what so ever that this car is way better than the cars that won championships in the past. It’s not like no2 driver can finish second all the time.
        Just curious, are you suggesting that 2008 Mclaren is historically NOT a fast car? Are you suggesting that just because Seb is consistent it only says more about the car not the driver consistently unlike Lewis in 2008?
        Additionally, are you suggesting that Lewis is NOT their golden boy?

    2. Kristiane says:

      +1

      “So much for the “Crash Kid” as McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh rather unwisely described Vettel last year.”

      Actually Vettel still hasn’t proved himself in able to overtake without crashing into another person yet.

      Agree with readers above, winning in a far superior car doesn’t mean Vettel is great. Anyone with that car can win. Much like Button in a far superior Brawn in 2009 and won. To me Button is still slightly over-rated.

      1. rad_g says:

        Anyone, Webber for example?

      2. iceman says:

        Well, Webber did spend most of last season beating Vettel, until he broke his shoulder. Not sure whether Vettel has stepped up or Webber has declined this season.

      3. 69bhp says:

        ah yes, the shoulder excuse. Even Webber himself didn’t try to run that one. And was his shoulder troubling him last year in Bahrain, Melbourne, Malaysia, Valencia, Monza, Singapore etc when Vettel outdrove him?

      4. rad_g says:

        I only commented to this bit “Anyone with that car can win”. As the example shows – not anyone. It doesn’t matter how strong webber was last year.

      5. Ravi says:

        As Hamilton overtakes cleanly!!! With KERS and DRS he still managed to crash each time he over-took people…..If Vettel wins it is the car but if Hamilton wins then it is the driver!!!

        Typical McLaren fan crib!

      6. Stephen says:

        Remember Brazil 2008? Vettel in a Torro Rosso overtook Hamilton in the McLaren.

    3. GURU 1156 says:

      they have both driven the same car on top gear

  5. Owen says:

    Sounds like Lewis approached him looking for a drive TBH.

    1. Robert S says:

      yeah, sounds like “thanks but no thanks”. those last by horner comments will surely hurt.

  6. Galapago555 says:

    “However, what you have to look at is the dynamics of any partnership like that and it’s difficult to see how two sportsmen at the absolute top of their game could work in harmony under one roof.”

    I understand that Mark is not “at the absolute top”. Not a bad message for a #2 driver…

    1. Wayne says:

      I too thought this was a terrible slight to Webber.

      1. Brisbane Bill says:

        Hopefully it will be a … red rag to a bull? There is no denying, Mark is not at the top of his game, whereas Seb is. Mark was far more consistent and aggressive last year. This year he just seems too pre-occupied, as if he is getting his head right for retirement. He says the right things in the press conferences but he seems very flat in his presentation. Perhaps the reality of the situation has become too much to fight against. He needs something to fire him right up again and maybe Horner has done that (again). I am a fan of Mark’s but you simply cannot place him this year in the same breath as Alonso and Vettel. Even Hamilton has also got to get his head back into the right space to be in that top group again – maybe he needs to slide back under his dad’s protective wing again to re-focus.

      2. CH1UNDA says:

        You don’t fire up drivers by slighting them – i dont think it is professional to do so and managers who use it in F1 or outside cannot be said to be good managers. I regard Horner highly and i don’t believe he set out to slight Webber at all – it was just one of those comments that cannot please all parties but had to be made to explain why he wouldn’t want Lewis onboard without ruling out the possibility of his boss overruling him.

        I would support Lewis staying at McLaren and consolidating the team around him the way Schumacher did to Ferrari – unfortunately i don’t think the presence of Button and Whitmarsh would allow that which is why he should consider his options. However, Villeneuve’s view that by moving to Red Bull Lewis would be effectively going up a dead end career path is also very true.

        It would appear that McLaren is the only reasonable option available to Lewis. There is still Mercedes as well but he would have to stop insisting on a winning car which would remove the reason for him moving from McLaren in the first place.

      3. build says:

        Their positions in the team are clearly displayed on their hats and overalls. Less clearly on their maps.

    2. mael says:

      Yep Webber just copped a nice backhander from the team principal.

      I wonder if this will fire him up a bit more?

      1. devilsadvocate says:

        It did last year

  7. Alexis says:

    I see Ross Brawn and Kamui Kobayashi were at McLaren with your the other day James! By the logic of the current media, I’d expect Ross and Kamui to be joining the silver arrows before too long!

    The Hamilton to Red Bull story is utter rubbish. It’s not even silly season for another month!

    1. Wayne says:

      The silver arrows are Mercedes! Always were.

    2. Paul says:

      Ross is already the boss of the silver arrows…

    3. CH1UNDA says:

      Did you mean McLaren?

  8. Michael S says:

    Hamilton is perfect for Macca and Vettel is perfect for Red Bull… No need for this move at all….

  9. TheBestPoint? says:

    well I hope HIS dig now doesn’t come back to haunt him too considering changes in exhaust and Newey’s most recent interview.
    scratch that (- now I recall his disrespectful comments last year toward ron dennis -) i hope they do.

    I am sure he must have heaved a sigh of relief. ultimately, he would have had to manage the egos involved – no easy feat. I know he is loyal to webber but most likely marko would have switched allegiance on this one to ensure the hamilton move to redbull never happened- cue the sudden arrangement for ricciardo at Hrt seat in a bid to prove/prepare him for the Webber slot.

  10. Sebee says:

    “In a shorter career Seb has already won more races than Lewis, had more pole positions and won the same amount of championships.”

    Ouch. Make that a triple ouch.

    What’s next? Saying that Seb took his Championship by force, and Lewis lucked into his? Seb naming his next car Pussy Cat Doll? I thought this was gentlemen racing – there was no need to rub salt in it.

    Personally I would have played a bit more with this Lewis to Red Bull idea if I was Christian – maybe even throw some numbers around to make McLaren work for it.

    Let’s say Lewis was to leave McLaren – who would fill that spot? No Kubica fantasies please – current drivers. There is a bit of a shortage of marketable drivers, isn’t there. I bet a few readers would put Kimi back in that McLaren, right?

    1. Alexx says:

      Rosberg to McLaren
      Massa to Mercedes
      Webber to Ferrari

      1. Steven says:

        I actually see Di Resta in a McLaren in the near future, he keeps beating his more expirienced team mate, and as long as Merc is providing engines, any Merc supported driver will have a way into a Maca.

      2. Sebee says:

        Rosberg is easy on the eyes, but not McLaren marketable. And outdone by a hobby driver on a few occasions.

    2. Chris P says:

      If Lewis left I think that would work. Who could fill the spot ?

    3. hutch says:

      Haha, Seb should definitely name his next car “Nicole”

      1. Rodger says:

        Since there is usually an adjective with a naughty overtone to it in Seb’s car names. Wouldn’t it be more like “Nasty Nicole”?

      2. Mark V. says:

        How about Lewise?

  11. Yomi says:

    What is also painfully obvious within F1 circles James is if you put Alonso or Hamilton in that Red Bull, Vettel will be beaten by both men…a clear case of the car flattering the driver. Vettel has yet to be truly tested in the same equipment (no disrespect to Webber)

    I have a tremendous amount of respect for Jenson (although I support Lewis), he took the plunge to really test himself against one of the best of the current crop – in a way, facing down the doubters about his championship win. I think he’s done a great job against Lewis and is holding his own. He has certainly earned Lewis’s respect.

    Seb (if he thinks he’s the best) should welcome the Lewis challenge…it will only enhance his reputation…and who knows? He might give Lewis a real run for his money.

    I think Horner is trying to protect Vettel…

    1. James Allen says:

      I don’t agree. I think Vettel is at a very high level now

      1. FemiA says:

        Yes he is at a very high level and the reason for that is his tremedous confidence in his car. He believes he can do anything he wants with that car and he will make it stick.

        LH on the other hand do not have that luxury except promises from the team…

      2. lecho says:

        He is. But many of F1 fans (including me) are unsure about him being a true racer and overtaker. It was proved few times over the last season that his weakest link is being under pressure, thus I still can’t imagine him fighting back f.e. like Webber did in China.

        He’s perfect in nailing a perfect qualifying lap and when he has the control. But in F1 you not always have the control. From my point of view in this season Seb is benefitting on Webber having lost his guts to fight against with him because of last year’s climax and team supporting Vettel against all odds.

        Once Webber has realised that he won’t be threated as #1 in the team no matter the conditions, he is not challenging as hard as he could. So the pressure is off Vettel and it’s paying off for him.

        But having a racer – even a reckless one like Lewis, with all my sympathy towards him – in the team alongside him would be a threat. Mentally Seb is no Button and there is quite a possibility that he would fall like Alonso did in McLaren.

        Nonetheless, I’m still waiting for Vettel to prove himself without the greenhouse conditions RBR team are providing him – just like Lewis did in 2009 season having lost the paternal support of Ron Dennis and being put in a rather midfield car.

      3. Oxford Bullnose says:

        So, wouldn’t you like to see two of the best in the same machinery for a year or two, a re-run of 88/89 (and 07), still the most talked-about seasons in F1 history?
        Lewis clearly wants to be in the fastest car and doesn’t trust Mclaren (i.e. Whitmarsh) to deliver – and I get the feeling Horner and Newey would’ve liked to see Seb vs Lewis at RB, but guess Seb’s people (Helmut and co) have scotched the idea…

      4. Dom says:

        Agree. And I think Vettel is very strong mentally.

        James when the telegraph first ran the report, there was a quote attributed to Horner that said, ” There is no driver in the paddock I would rather have on a long-term contract than Sebastian Vettel.” – that quote then seemed to disappear – you didn’t carry that quote – is there any significance to this…?

      5. Luke A says:

        Or maybe he is just being flattered by the fact the RB7 is an even faster and more reliable car than the RB6 that itself should have easily trounced the field in both championships, yet limped over the line.

        On top of this, the largest factor is that Mark Webber is poor on these Pirelli tyres. Having a team mate who has hardly been ahead for a single lap in the whole season makes life rather easy.

        There is no doubt that Seb Vettel is being flattered by these circumstances. He is obviously good, but I don’t like to see people saying he is at “a very high level”. Quite frankly, any of the drivers on the grid, in his car, could drive from pole to finish. Most races, all he is having to do is drive around and makes no mistakes! About 70 or 80% of the rest of the grid do that every race but they just don’t have the fastest car, plus they have to try and move up the grid and take more risks. Being on pole and winning is relatively easy, especially if your team mate is substantially lacking the edge.

      6. James Allen says:

        I’m afraid that isn’t accurate. There is a lot more to it than that

      7. Kristiane says:

        I’m interested to hear James explaining more about in depth analysis on Sebastian. As much as I don’t like Seb, I’d love to hear stories and info that could maybe switch my mind on him.

      8. For sure says:

        You are obviously a Lewis fan.

      9. Tank says:

        The really great drivers make winning look easy.

      10. unoc12 says:

        I agree. And remember that Webber is Vettel’s best teammate by far.

        As I saida bove, Hamilton has had Alonso and Buttton (both WDCs). Alonso has had Fisi, Trulli (back in the day) and Hamilton.

        As @Kristiane said, I wouldn’t midn hearing why JAMES ALLEN disagrees (post at 11:54 just above)

      11. krieng says:

        See the qualify. Seb do better than Mark and in qualify you don’t need to preserve your tire. It’s about Seb can push and more precise than Mark.

        Someone said about racer or overtaker is the great racer, this’s also true if he had more frequently overtake to P1.

      12. Luke A says:

        James,

        If what I said is not accurate then please fill me in on what I said that is not true because re-reading through what I said, I pretty much just listed facts. Vettel is in an even faster car than he had last season and one of the most dominant cars in the last 10 – 15 years. He does not have a team mate who can challange him, sure this is partly due to his own class, but is also down to the fact that Webber is not performing well on these Pirelli tyres and in all honesty, would not be ranked as one of the top drivers anyway. I think if Vettel had Hamilton, Alonso, Rosberg or possibly Button as his team mate then you’d not be seeing him with such a huge lead and he would have been tested much more.

        The fact is that not only are the rest of the field not truly able to test him as their cars are inferior, but he isn’t even getting much of a challenge from his team mate.

      13. Goob says:

        Vettel is like Button – just the car making 80% of the difference + 15% luck…

        So glad I no longer watch F1 races.

        No other sport intentionly handicaps better competitors, while giving crutches to weak competitors.

        If Button was a tennis player – he would never reach a final, and certainly never easily win a World Trophy – clearly F1 is in a royal mess.

        It’s over manipuated and gets worse every year – DRS is just junk.

      14. fieraku says:

        Yes it’s a case of Messi being the best player in the world,”when he’s playing for Barca”!!!

        When at Argentina he’s nothing special,no goals in the World Cup and his 1st game in the Copa he was yet again average.

        The car is flattering Seb,and Webber as well.

    2. Wayne says:

      I do agree. Vetell is a great qualifyer, but a racer? No, nowhere near enough proof. That rbr would be winning races in the hands of any curent driver’s hands.

      1. Brisbane Bill says:

        Wayne – not quite right. Mark Webber has one of those RBRs and he isn’t winning, or finishing second – as he should be if it really were all about the car.

      2. unoc12 says:

        Australia – Webber had a bad chassis and was off pace by alot (about a second from memory)
        Malaysia – No KERS on fastest quali lap in Q3 (his 2nd lap) no KERS at the start, went from from row of the grid to 10th within the first lap
        China – Started from 18th after Q1 problems

        Turkey – First race with things working MOST of the time at critical points. 2nd
        Spain – Stuck behind Alonso with stratergy
        Monaco – Extra long pit stop put him in the teens instead of 7th or 8th after stop

        Canada – With KERS his lap would have been on pole. Instead starts 4th without KERS. Gets hit by Hamilton (not Webbers fault) and heads towards the back. With a dry setup he can’t progress through like Button (6 seconds a lap faster at one point!). Overtakes his way through. Pit stop just before red flag puts hm back behind renaults and such again. Does it again and then finishes just behind his teammate
        Valencia – More problems including backmarkers gettting in the way when he was following Vettel. And then a gearbox problem that he had to nurse home afterwards among other things.

        The reason why Webber hasn’t been just behind or just ahead of Vettel this season is first and foremost he hasn’t had the car to do it.

        It may look like a RBR, may sounds like a RBR but if it doesn’t go a like RBR then he can’t do it

      3. For sure says:

        If you check the facts, Seb has won a few races without sitting on poles and he finished impressive fourth in a Torro Rosso.

        How do you think is a racer by the way? Lewis The Crash kid?

      4. unoc12 says:

        Actually he has won all his races from being the first into corner 1 lap 1 except 2 cases

        Abu Dhabi 2009: Hamilton was leading until his engine blew. Vettel in 2nd inherited the lead and hence win withou overtaking

        Spain 2011: This is the only other race he wasn’t leading out of corner 1 lap 1 and won

      5. Tank says:

        Webber disproves your point immediately.

      6. wayne says:

        Webber can’t win if Seb is winning can he? Webber is still joint second in the standings and is second because of the car and despite himself (as a beaten, resigned man after last year).

        Webber helps prove my point.

      7. rad_g says:

        Always makes me wonder, I remember at Silverstone last year, Vettel had a puncture, at the beginning of the race was last, he was first in the pits afair on the first lap? And he finished 7th.

      8. Anil says:

        He crashed into Sutil trying to overtake him, that made me laugh. His car dominated on that track too, it wasn’t much of an impressive drive from him.

      9. Zombie says:

        Even Massa could win with a RBR… ;-)

    3. herald says:

      lewis then should have the balls to say publicly that he wants to go to redbull to beat vettel

    4. Fozzy says:

      Wrong. Webber beat Vettel for most of last year and only really had one mistake last year (Korea) which cost him the championship.

      Unfortunately this year Vettel is a class above everyone else and has pretty much killed this season for the fans.

      Its not like we are not used to it, look back a few years when MS was winning everything. Still we are not even half way in the season so hopefully someone will really give it to the finger this year.

      1. wayne says:

        No Vetell is a class above Webber. The car is a class above everyone else. I would dearly love to see Alonso or Hamilton in that sister car and see just how quickly Vetell’s run of race wins dried up.

    5. Im a big Lewis fan, but Vettel, while he has won most his races from the front row, has a very good ‘management’ mind. He’s spoken before of breaking the race into parts to protect his tyres, he’s racing and managing at the same time, very schumacher esq. I have no doubt the Vettel is a HUGE talent in F1…. Lewis really has to up his game. Not only drive with his heart, but drive with his brain and manage the race, looking at the bigger picture. Im my view, that would make Lewis the best driver there is

      1. jon says:

        iits easy to manage the race from the front in that way as u have less to think aout.vettle still has lotts to proove before i concider him the best.rosberg,kovi,kobi,truli,well anyone on the grid including eccelstone wuld be wc n the rbr

    6. **Paul** says:

      “What is also painfully obvious within F1 circles James is if you put Alonso or Hamilton in that Red Bull, Vettel will be beaten by both men.”

      What F1 circles are these? Because from what I’m told by my contacts in the sport there is some belief that Vettel could go on to dominate like Schumacher given his ability to drive consistently quickly, manage less than ideal sitatuions and know when a good points haul rather than an outright win is what’s best for his championship.

      Oh hold on, I see your a Hamilton fan, that explains it.

      1. Yomi says:

        …and who exactly are your ‘contacts’ Paul? That sounds credible coming from James Allen…you on the other hand…

      2. **Paul** says:

        James isn’t the only person to know people in F1, there are lots of people involved in the sport you know, there’s plenty of people I know of who work in F1 who I don’t know/contact too. My contacts are team employees, but one of them is a key member of the Renault pit crew. :-)

  12. simon fehr says:

    James, last year Vettel WAS crash kid…just because he’s pulled a blinder this year doesn’t make it untrue.

    1. Dom says:

      Well this year Lewis has taken that mantle :)

      1. simon fehr says:

        True…and I’m surprised Horner hasn’t used the opportunity to have a light hearted dig at Whitmarsh to be honest…and Hamilton is Crash Kid this year for exactly the same reason as Vettel was last year…impatience.

    2. **Paul** says:

      I’d love to see stats of which drivers have crashed most in the last couple of seasons (through driver error rather than car failure, like LH @ Spain and SV @ Aus). I’m willing to bet Vettel is way down the list and Lewis near the top.

      Can anyone think of any more driver error accidents he’s had other than Spa 2010 and Turkey 2010?

      1. F1Fan4Life says:

        Maybe you can ask your ‘contacts’ for the stats? please note that you should take into account that race position matters, so factor in the number of laps leading a race. While we’re on it, add in the number of successful overtakes vs crashes. I have a feeling they’ll even out…I can’t recall Seb overtaking much or needing to. Drivers risk more when they aren’t leading…I remember Alonso in a Renault winning a ridiculous number of early races (06 season maybe) and so I don’t see anything special from Seb.

  13. m.schumacher says:

    Drivers contracts are too long & too safe! Mix it up.

    1. Sebee says:

      You’re one to complain – locking it up for 11 years at Ferrari.

      Stop reading up on Lewis and Red Bull and win a race for old times sake!

      Wrong Schumi? :-)

    2. Maximum Attack says:

      You jest but it has been thought of before. Earlyish last decade when the FIA was trying to break the Ferrari-Schumacher dominance with rule changes (much like the engine map tweaks that will hopefully slow Red Bull down), their was a suggestion that car and driver pairings would be randomised before each race weekend, with the idea being each driver would drive for each team at least once. (It was never really fleshed out, but it was something like that.)

      They ended up ditching the idea, going instead for a truly awful “qualifying” format that lasted two hours or so.

      1. Doc-ric says:

        It would be great fun, less so for the sponsors!
        Think of Alonso Hamilton and Vettel on HRTs and Virgins duking it out for 20th! (and karthikeyan on redbull!)

      2. Kristiane says:

        I remember that idea of each driving drive for each time at least once came out from Bernie quite some time ago. Personally I like this idea, I would LOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVVVVE to see someone else in Webber’s RBR (Maybe Alonso or Hammy) and thrash Vettel by 1s per lap, putting out stories and voices saying how good Vettel is.

        Though I’d imagine various sponsors and companies wouldn’t like this, which is what halted this idea.

      3. Zombie says:

        Totally agree with you… It would be wonderful to see Alonso and Vettel under the same roof.

      4. Alex W says:

        How would they thrash Vettel? Webbers car always has problems this year, or they slow it with the pits.

      5. Sebee says:

        Perhaps contract out building a qualifying car to one manufacturer, and every driver has to use the qualifying car on Saturday with no modifications permitted outside of setup variables. No limits on engines on these cars – if engine breaks, in comes a new car – just change the team body panels, wings, seat. Most of the TV ratings are Sunday, and with an even car on Saturday, and old style 1 hour session to set a time everyone has the time to set it up and get in the best lap and show us who the fastest driver is in equal hardware. It also would shuffle the grid. They can paint those cars to team colors to satisfy sponsors, but it remains a spec car for this purpose. Sunday – in come team built cars.

        What do you think? Too much danger of F1 pushing those spec cars to Sunday and F1 becoming a spec series?

  14. Dan says:

    Hamilton should stop throwing his toys out of the pram and start trying to galvanise the team to build a better care rather than constantly lambasting their performance and strategy calls. The only really dud McLaren Hamilton has driven was in 2009, and even that came good in the end. This obsession with having the de facto fastest car is a bit much, other people are allowed fast cars as well. He could have won the title last year if he hadn’t blown it in Monza and Singapore, that was nothing to do with the pace of the car.

    1. Damian J says:

      Hamilton may have a had point about the car at Monza after they turned up with a barn door for rear wing compared to all the other teams.

      1. Dan says:

        What, and that caused him to try a risky move on Massa and break his suspension?

      2. mtb says:

        I was under the impression that McLaren turned up with two configurations. Simulations and back-to-back testing suggested that the larger element was the optimal solution, however one driver disregarded the data and paid the price through qualifying further down the grid than his team-mate.

      3. Damian J says:

        I recall that McLaren did not turn up with a wafer thin rear wing that weekend like the other teams even though they make have tried different configuations as all teams do.

        You are very lucky to be privy to McLaren’s data to be able to assert they had a clear optimal strategy but I’m not surprised that you are taking yet another swipe at Lewis Hamilton.

      4. Damian J says:

        I recall that McLaren did not turn up with a wafer thin rear wing that weekend like the other teams even though they make have tried different configuations as all teams do.

        You are very lucky to be privy to McLaren’s data to be able to assert they had a clear optimal strategy.

      5. mtb says:

        According to Formula1.com, Hamilton “decided to use a very low-downforce rear wing”. The set-up gave him a 14 km/h advantage over Button.

        http://www.formula1.com/news/technical/2010/837/791.html

        When interviewed by Ted Kravitz on BBC Radio 5 Live in Singapore, Martin Whitmarsh seemed to think that the set-up that Button chose was the optimal solution. He indicated that he could not understand why Hamilton rejected this configuration.

        I am not taking a swipe at anybody, merely stating the facts.

    2. Femi Akinz says:

      Maybe so. The difference is Vettel could afford to crash out of Turkey, Spa and retire in Korea and still win while Lewis couldn’t.

      The car does make a huge difference. As good as Vettel is right now do you think if there was a car matching his RedBull for pace he would have 6/8 wins?

      The kid is good and knows how to deliver but lets calm down on the GOAT and all that

      1. For sure says:

        In fact, Mclaren had the pace to beat them in a few races, if someone didn’t crash out of course.

      2. Dan says:

        Well, Hamilton was 31 points ahead of Vettel at Monza and seeing as it is probably Red Bull’s weakest track of the season it would have been prudent of Hamilton to try a risky move at the second chicane on the first lap and take himself out of the race. He only finished 16 points behind Vettel in the championship so if he’d just managed to finish 5th and 6th in Monza and Singapore he would have won the title.

      3. Dan says:

        Would have been prudent to have not tried a risky move, obviously.

      4. Damian J says:

        Hindsight is a wonderful thing. We could loads of if’s about other drivers and they would have had more points too.

    3. Steven says:

      I dont think he wants the fastest car, he wants a car with wicj he can beat Vettel, and right now, the RBR is out of reach.

  15. Iain T says:

    There’s a subtext about Mark Webber’s perceived role in the team.

    Mark is to Sebastien as Filipe is to Fernando.

  16. les pert says:

    Most drivers could drive vettels car and win very few including vettel could drive Lewis’s cars of late and do as well as Lewis and Jenson

    1. james says:

      Oh! Ok Les, thanks for the inside info.

      1. F1Fan4Life says:

        Hahaha….inside info indeed. I think Sebastian could match Lewis…he probably would not have made as many mistakes….but Jenson? Jenson has only profitted from the downfall of others…not from outright pace. He’s not a barometer for any sort of plan other than plan B. I’d love to see Jenson and Rosberg swap seats.

    2. 69bhp says:

      spoken with all the authority of a couch-dwelling f1 fan no doubt.

  17. Sergio says:

    Hamilton is a very fast driver but that’s all. No intelligence, no adaptation, no common sense. Very attractive in a marketing way (maybe nº1 in that point) and very well supported since his entrance in F1 by Dennis – Macca & English Media Lobby. No regularity, no calmed enough, continous outbursts silenced by that Media, etc, etc. But he is a valious share and a completely entertainer. Business is business. I should go with Button as a nº 1 for sure and probably Ross Brawn would agree with me. Hamilton needs McLaren much more than the oppossite.

    1. For sure says:

      Precisely

    2. And he proved it in the last race. He put on new tyres, starting destroying them, was told to slow down and his answer was “I can’t go any slower”. A few laps later, he “couldn’t go any faster”. Not exactly smart driving.

  18. theRoswellite says:

    …this was always an end run to no where, with Red Bull’s savvy management obviously quite aware that they have finally brought to fruition the ideal team, and Lewis was never going to come out of this discussion as anything other than the odd man out.

    Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is….nothing.

  19. Craig D says:

    Lewis to Red Bull was never realistically on the cards, for Red Bull at least. Lewis appeared to more keenly entertain the idea, possibly desire it. Red Bull have Vettel and their up and coming drivers. Job done.

    All Lewis needs is McLaren to build a winning car. All this news has just been borne out of his frustrations of not having the continued success he feels his skill deserves.

  20. Alex Cooper says:

    @Dan

    Finally! Someone who talks a bit of sense. I couldn’t agree with you more Dan.

    My biggest disappointment of this year is Lewis Hamilton. I was really hoping that he’d have grown up a bit now and realised that great drivers don’t just notch up titles, they galvanise a team and build it up themselves.

    1. Tom Johnson says:

      He’s given up with the team. And I don’t blame him one little bit. The team, such as it is, is tactically inept and strategically incompetent. How many times has Hamilton got them out of jail, how many times has he been right and they wrong?

      Monaco 2007 prevented from passing Alonso – pit stops
      China 2007 notwithstanding the protestations of Bridgestone left a rookie out on worn tyers cost him the championship.
      Hockenheim 2008 didn’t pit him during safety car but for his brilliance would have cost him the win.
      Monza 2008 ridiculous qualy strategy almost redeemed in a spectacular race performance.
      Australia 2009 they didn’t listen to the driver and then got him involved in lies and disqualified.
      This year refused his request for slightly flat spotted options had to make an additional stop.

      There are many more instances of this incompetence and then add to that a car that cannot compete for championships 2009 2010 2011 and ask yourself why should he flattered the egos of Goss Lowe Neal and Whitmarsh, they don’t deserve a once in a generation driver.

      1. Trent says:

        Lewis has thrown a few in the wall let’s not forget. You can’t always blame the team and never blame the driver (unless your Nigel Mansell…)

    2. hutch says:

      Exactly! A complete driver is fast technically, makes good split-second decisions, is good tactically (on and off the circuit), and develops and as you say “galvanises” the team to greater heights.

    3. Grabyrdy says:

      It’s interesting to compare Lewis’s approach to Alonso’s and Vettel’s. FA is nearly always looking for the positives, even when things could clearly be a lot better. Seb is nearly always officially “happy” but apparently shouts a lot in private when he thinks it’s necessary. Lewis mouths off in public and drives like an idiot, then blames the team. Despite his talent, who would want him at the moment? He’s clearly being psyched out by Jenson, and is not on top of things.

      Horner has only spoken the truth. I wonder if Vettel and/or Marko suggested it was time he stopped playing silly buggers and put the lid on it ?

  21. Mike Dawson says:

    Interesting article. Red Bull are riding the crest of a wave at the moment. Luck, speed and the upper hand ebbs and flows in F1, look back to 1988, ’92 and many other years before and since the ballance of power shifts. Lewis should stay with McLaren, they have a massive strength in depth to build a winner next year or, at the very least, give us an epic battle between three or more teams next year.

  22. Patrick Byrne says:

    Hamilton is spoiled. Rarely if ever in the history of the sport has a driver come in so well prepared and with such a good team. OK, that’s old news and it’s true he grabbed that opportunity by the scruff of the neck & made himself a star.

    Still, the sense of entitlement is jaw-dropping.

    “In a shorter career Seb has already won more races than Lewis, had more pole positions and won the same amount of championships.”

    This makes me think Horner is playing with Hamilton, trying to goad him into more mistakes. Because that is what is REALLY eating up Lewis this year – Vettel is gobbling up all his ‘youngest-ever’ stats. Bernie loves him, other drivers seem to get on with him, hell, even the the BBC love him!

    Hamilton’s ego can’t take much more!

    1. zombie says:

      I’m glad there is atleast one other person here who feels the same way as i do! I compare LH with JV. Successful in junior formulas, stepped right into the best team in the grid (whoever thinks 2007/2008 Mclaren’s weren’t the fastest cars on grid needs to get their heads examined!), won the title the next year and let success get to him. Vettel on the other hand still have loads of boyish charm and a more understated way of dealing with success. I would respect Lewis more if he can move to Lotus or Sauber and make them successful aka Schumi in Benetton/mid-90s Ferrari or Alonso and Renault.

      If i were Hamilton, i would stay with Mclaren as long as i could and would work on consistency.Everybody said Button would be wiped clean by LH, that has not happened and i don’t see it happening. The day Mclaren gets bored with Hamilton (aka Kimi), LH would have a tough time finding a place in another winning team,esp. if Kubica makes a comeback and is as good as he was before his horrendous accident.Just my 2 cents..

    2. For sure says:

      Yep exactly the same thing Alonso suffered when Lewis came along.
      I think its one of those things. It’s like if you are the best at your school and you see a new kid arrives, he is good at every subject and you don’t like it.

  23. Chris P says:

    Unfortunately even a staunch Lewis fan like myself has to agree with this. His crashes in those last few races cost him the title. If he had kept his head he could won it no doubt.

    The problem it’s the same this year, if he had not hit Jenson he would be second in the Drivers championship not 4th. Fair enough still a way off the lead but still in with more of a chance than now.

    The thing with Lewis is, and I have said this before F1 needs him, his unpredictability makes F1 fun to watch.

    I see a big problem for F1 this season, if Vettel continues his charge will anyone bother to watch it? I have the opportunity to goto Singapore and Korean GPs this year, if there is no battle for the title I won’t go.

    F1 does not need another Ferrari style domination. It’s not in the interests of the sport.

    1. F1a says:

      Agree.

      I hate all this ‘I won’t change my driving style’ refusal – because in reality no one expects him to change his driving STYLE, just…. make better decisions at key moments!!!

  24. PeteM says:

    The rumours and innuendo is all part of the F1 circus. Its that bit of sideline news outside of the actual racing it needs to remain active between events.
    Hamilton wouldnt leave Mclaren especially when they too want a championship so he knows they will try anything to make that happen.
    RBR has a mix now which is pefect. Webber is fast enough to be competative with the rest while Vettel is in a class of his own at the moment. Untouchable. Webbers role is to pick up the peices should Vettel fail because in reality unfortunately Webber simply can not match Vettels speed.
    Stick Hamilton in the mix at RBR alongside Vettel I think it would again be a one constructor race for next years championship again as it is this year and that would be at the detrament of F1.

  25. HR says:

    What you and Horner say makes perfect sense. But with all due respect to Horner what he says and thinks doesn’t ultimately matter does it.

    The only two people that really matter are Lewis Hamilton and a certain Mr Meteschitz.

    Billionaires sometimes don’t always think like other people. He might just think it would be fun to have Seb and Lewis in his cars.

    And in the end he can do whatever he damn well pleases.

    1. Phil R says:

      I think Dr Marko would be annoyed to be left out of that group…

    2. Brisbane Bill says:

      Except that he has another super-kid in the making with Daniel Ricciardo. Why unsettle things when you can keep your prime asset (Vettel) happy, content, confident and winning whilst you are grooming his replacement who will most likely be a more compliant team mate whilst he learns the ropes and works his way up the grid so that after Seb has had his fill of three titles you can unleash the hunger of Danny Boy? Of course, there is no guarantee that he will be the next title-chaser but Red Bull don’t NEED a Hamilton whislt they have a Vettel and another potential in the wings. If Ricciardo proves NOT to be the talent they believe he is, THAT is when they need to bring in someone of Hamilton’s abilty.

      1. HR says:

        See here’s my point. You are talking like a racing person as is James and Horner. It makes perfect sense.

        But Meteschitz isn’t a ‘racing’ person. His passion is selling cans of drink.

        And should he decide that having these two drivers in his cars would be fun and interesting then who’s to stop him?

        After all, he has won one championship, is on his way to winning another. Would a third be as newsworthy as having the two fastest drivers in the world going head to head in his cars?

    3. mael says:

      They become Billionaires because they don’t think like other people.

      So you may have a very good point.

  26. drama queen says:

    Two crash kids in the same team !
    I think not.

    1. For sure says:

      Nah only one at the moment.

  27. Every true F1 enthusiast would love to see how the top three or five drivers perfom in identical cars. Sadly, unless they all take a sabatical in a F3 team, that’s not going to happen.

    I don’t think there was ever a chance that Lewis would leave McLaren at the end of this year – or probably next year, either.

    But there are obviously money issues to discuss and being seen talking to Christian Horner would undoubtedly have pushed up the salary on a new McLaren contract for Lewis.

    Ironically, by effectively closing the door on a Hamilton / Vettel partnership, Christian Horner has almost certainly saved McLaren several million dollars : possibly as much as $10-€15m over the next 3 years

    Money that can now, of course, be used to develop the car !

    1. hutch says:

      When all that (unlikely?) talk of Button going to Ferrari was happening a few weeks ago, it struck me that this was probably something that agents like to drum up around this time of year in order to get the best deal for their driver. Was never going to actually happen.

    2. Kristiane says:

      Lewis did say he’d rather take a pay-cut for a faster car, so salary increase was never an issue.

      1. Agreed but that wasn’t the point I was making:

        I’m sure Lewis would have been prepared to take a pay cut to go to Red Bull but in that situation McLaren would have had to offer conmsiderably more money to keep him on board.

        However, thanks to Christian Horner closing the door, McLaren can conceivably offer Lewis less money than his current contract because, realistically, he now has nowhere else to go.

        Surely, helping McLaren to save money is a strategic mistake on Red Bull’s part ?

    3. Greg says:

      Maybe Lewis should go in the ROC this year and hopefully we get a good draw as I’m sure Shumi & vettel will be back to defend their trophy (for the 5th time!)

      No excuses, same cars & same track!

      Come on Lewis we challenge you. Take Button for team England!

  28. Phil R says:

    Purely hypothetically, but who do we think would be Jenson’s team mate if Lewis was to leave at the end of the year?

    1. Greg says:

      Good question. Might not be hypothetical, Lewis has come out saying if he doesn’t win this year, he has the option on next year. So he could leave by choice.

      A lot of good drivers about, but no one stands out for a Mclaren drive. So with all the nostalgia happening in F1 at the moment, stick Bruno Senna in the car as then Mclaren can have best bragging rights on the level.

  29. Ahmed says:

    For all those doubting Seb’s ability. In a shorter career he has
    1)started in a low performing team and earned a drive in a developing team (Red Bull was not even in top 4 when Vettel joined them)
    2)No doubt that Newey was driving force behind development, however Vettel did play a part
    3)Overcome pressure and mistakes, however he has learnt from them and become a better driver
    4)Has an Amazing record with stats that will be very hard to beat
    5)is still improving and leaving others behind
    6)Stayed humble throughout and not letting his ego get out of hand
    7)Has kept the team focused on rallying behind him.

    Vettel is becoming the standout driver of this generation, and if he continues on this path, no one will be able to dispute that.

  30. goferet says:

    This is all B.S. from Horner.

    Seeing as Senna ended up in a Newey car. I fully expect Lewis to follow suit as early as 2013 for we know Mclaren win the WDC once every 11 or so years.

    And oh boy, a Lewis-Vettel partnership would really put the cat among the pigeons more so since Hamilton is known to chase down prey ahead of him.

    Honestly am no fan of Vettel but I have a soft spot for the lad because Vettel is my Rafael Nadal of Formula 1.

    In that I don’t really like Nadal but the fact that he beats Federer and in so doing has prevented Federer from even getting more titles is so endearing to me.

    Likewise I love the way, Vettel made Alonso cry last year at Abu-Dhabi & am so looking forward to the time this year when he will strip Alonso of his youngest double world champion title. That would be so sweet.

    Thank you so much Vettel, we shall never forget you.

    1. Skanda says:

      Thats the comparison I was going to write about – Vettel and Ham as Nadal and federer. Only if Hamilton shows more grace as Fed!

    2. Galapago555 says:

      All those Alonso haters… you are so predictable!

  31. Dave Deacon says:

    Pity, LH SV would have been very interesting and entertaining. My view is SV would have thrown his rattle out of the pram as he was comprehensively battered by LH. I can see the demands for being No 1 all over again…

    I think that LH-RBR is not likely to happen is due to RedBull marketing machine having built the image of SV for their purposes. LH would not fit there. JB’s would fit but he too would beat SV silly. SV does well in the fastest car else he’s nothing special – lot like MS.

    A RACING team and not a DRINKS team would have gone for it and enjoyed it…

  32. cjf says:

    The other unmentioned part of the quote from Horner today was

    “If you look at any great team, …it’s about the unit working as such, and not about individuals….that no individual is bigger than the team.”

    Maybe some have Lewis’s outbursts this year have come back to haunt him.

    His view on driver pairings may also give an insight into the view in the paddock on the 2007 problems rather than the “evil Alonso” scenario painted by the British media.

  33. Rishi says:

    A Hamilton-Vettel combination would definitely be a risk for Red Bull but these guys (even though RBR have a clear marketing premise) are racers and they may feel that they could get the best out of the combination without it combusting, much as Ron Dennis felt he could get the best out of Alonso-Hamilton or Raikkonen-Montoya. It’s also a way of weakening opponents by prising away their driving talent.

    A fortnight or so ago I felt that if (and only if) McLaren were unable to find those last few tenths then a move would be on the cards – but for 2013 (after Hamilton’s contract with McLaren expires) with Webber on a one-year extension until then. Both parties definitely seemed to be keeping their eyes open on the matter.

    The thing that’s changed? Daniel Ricciardo at Hispania. Given what James has said about the relations between Buemi & Algersuari and Red Bull then they could instead have an eye on promoting Ricciardo to RBR in 2012 (if he does pretty well and adapts quickly to F1 at HRT) and that too would explain the stalling on Webber’s contract.

    Ostensibly this would enable Red Bull to keep bringing their young drivers through, keep Vettel happy and enable the team to remain competitive while avoiding the fiery atmosphere a Hamilton-Vettel pairing could create (although as a caveat Ricciardo could surprise Vettel under this arrangement; it can be argued that McLaren didn’t expect Hamilton to be as much of a thorn in Alonso’s side in 2007 as he was and this hastened the strained intra-team relations and subseq the Alonso-McLaren fall out).

  34. gudien says:

    Happy to see Christian Horner finally put an end to the Hamilton nonsense. What team manager in his right mind would want Lewis complaining about his team, and crashing on a regular basis, all the while telling the world he’s the next Ayrton Senna?
    Let’s be clear, Lewis will never be in the same league as Senna, Prost, Clark, Schumacher, Fangio, or Stewart.

    1. Dan says:

      What made me laugh was when he said him and Alonso were like Senna v Prost. To be fair to Alonso, I don’t think he’s ever claimed to be Alain Prost, but it totally highlighted Hamilton’s overblown ego when he assumed that he was Senna.

  35. Yeah, yeah, Seb is definitely making Alonsós and Hamiltons of this world nervous. He won the title on merit last year and he’s at the toppermost of his game. Obviously this type of discussion will end up in tears because you’ll get “I hate you for thinking my favourite driver is slower that Vettel”. The unity amongst F1 fans… or rather lack of it.

    I think the new Chewmacher has arrived in the form of Seb, at least it’s not as bad as 2004 or 2002 with Ferrari domination, we get a lot of mid-field fights and all, even fights for the win in case os JB and LH vs. VET. It’s not too bad at all, Seb won’t be talking about out-of-body experiences and stuff like that but he deserves credit for his achievements.

    Lewis may do something spiritual I think, maybe record a gospel song with PD or quote Ezekiel 25:17 on the team radio…

  36. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    Red Bull is an Austrian team…and bar a comeback by Gerhard Berger, Vettel is the closest that Helmut Marko will get to having an Austrian driver.

    Marko would not want to upset Vettel by ruining his party trick of qualifying easily on pole in the quickest car and then galloping off into the distance in the quickest car…without the need to overtake.

    In 2010 we saw how easily Vettel was unsettled by Webber gaining the upper hand for the first half of the season…imagine how he would feel if he had to go side by side with Alonso or Hamilton.

    Horner shutting the door is about protecting Vettel…nothing more.

  37. Shingai Mtezo says:

    I think it’s a shame Horner has chosen to come out and protect Vettel. Epic battles is what fans want to see, they do wonders for the F1 brand, better than record pole positions and wins an a vastly superior car. (I would have loved to see Schumi and Montoya in the same car)

    As much as people Seb fans will deny, truth is he is not a racer and is yet to really prove himself in IMO. It is easy to be called a “mature” driver when you are cruising at the front in clean air, and not fighting down to the wire. Canada was just a glimpse of what happens to Seb under pressure.

    I think Mclaren have to step up their game,they their owe it to Lewis and themselves. Three years is too long a time for such a top team to be in the doldrums.

    1. AnDrOiDz says:

      Why is it a shame to protect your employee, especially when he does all goods, and does nothing wrong?

      I am a fan of his. All F1 drivers are racer, if not they wont be driving in F1. By saying what you are saying, as some people mentioned here, Horner is sort of taking a dig at Webber. I don’t see yours is any difference.

      Is it too hard to chew, that he is beating everyone else on the track, with the best weapon? We don’t call US a weak military, because they have better machinery. Or we called their pilot not so good pilot, because they fly a a better jet.

  38. F1Fan4Life says:

    To me, my personal opinion is that Seb has lifted his game this year, but more importantly, Red Bull have also. Last year they were still fragile, this year, only Mark Webber’s car is still fragile. I’d like to point out that at one or two races this year, when Mark has fixed his gremlins, he has been close to Vettel. I think we’ll see at least 1 Webber win this year, but Red Bull actually need to give him a non-malfunctioning car during the weekend. He’s maybe had that twice in the entire year so far? He always seems to have issues.

    My thought on Lewis is simply that he hasn’t improved much over the years. He still brings the same traits, his game hasn’t stepped up. Compare that to Alonso who I believe was always at a high level, stepped down in 07 because I think the Mclaren environment wasn’t a fit for him, but last year he came back and were it not for his comeback the year would have been dull. Unless Hamilton finds a way to up his overall game he will to me risk losing some of his clout in being in the top 3. I’d love to see Rosberg given a decent car, I think he already has better racecraft than Lewis.

  39. james says:

    At least Webber knows exactly where he stands now with Horner publicly not rating him as a world class driver.

    Way to go Red bull, your level of contempt and your smarmy team manager have taken any dignity Webber had left.
    They don’t deserve Adrian.

  40. For sure says:

    Like many posters here, I believe Lewis is a very fast driver but he is weak in the head.
    He doesn’t have what it takes to conquer the adversary. He lets his emotions get the better of himself. Instead of raising the game in building the team like Schumacher would have done, he thought about leaving his team. No loyalty or whatsoever

  41. Hendo says:

    maybe Red Bull could buy McLaren and make them their “D” team

  42. Kristiane says:

    James, any chance of looking into Steward’s decisions lately?

    As quoted from Jacque Villenuve’s interview with a media:

    “is the fact that any time tries something they get punished, they get penalised. You shouldn’t penalise someone for making a mistake, you should penalise them for driving dirty. To me it seems like the dirty driving doesn’t get penalised, the overly blocking; people cutting chicanes; weaving down the straight, doing really stupid stuff you shouldn’t do, but someone trying to overtake at Monaco, why? You shouldn’t.”

    I cannot agree more with him. And the trend lately is that drivers can’t try a move without risking being penalised. I’d love to read your articles on this.

    1. James Allen says:

      I’ll look at that

      1. Kristiane says:

        Thanks James! Looking forward to reading it, hopefully soon! =)

      2. unoc12 says:

        Another thing, you could maybe help explain that JV said…

        He said that he didn’t get a chance to resign with Williams. That Williams don’t resign drivers.

        I wasn’t watching F1 back then, but is there some reason why this is the case?

        I know Prost himself so no to 94. Mansell pulled out after his WDC because Prost was entering. I think Jones elft as well.

        Hill left.

        Any reason why?

    2. Trent says:

      Yep – Villeneuve has hit it right on the head. There are way too many penalties.

  43. Rich C says:

    It was a trick. They were trying to draw our attention away from someting else.

  44. RC says:

    I’m fascinated by the view that Vettel is merely a decent driver in a super fast car. I think these arguments are totally false and while it is early, there isn’t any evidence to suggest he isn’t in fact the finest talent of his generation.

    Vettel is very young. Yes he did quite a bit of failing to finish in 2008 and had a couple of high profile crashes in 2010, but I seem to recall several other drivers doing the same thing, notably Schumacher in 92-93). (Hamilton did remarkably little crashing in his first seasons but seems to be making up for it! ) Like Shumacher, Vettel goes on to do very well in his early seasons and when he gets passed crashing starts to get points and win.

    On the matter of why the RBR is the fastest car, is it possible that Vettel is brilliant at quietly working behind the scenes in close collaboration with the engineers to get the package as dialed as possible even in this era of limited testing? Submitted for your consideration, the 2007 and 2008 seasons. Going back to 2004 (all results from Formula1.com), STR’s constructors results look like this:

    2004 (minardi) 10th out of 10 teams
    2005 (minardi) 10 of 10
    2006 (Now STR) 9 of 11
    2007 8 of 11 (Vettel has half a season at STR and I’m counting DQ’ed McLaren back in!)
    2008 6 of 10. Vettel scores 35 of 39 points to Bourdais’ 4.
    2009 10 of 10 (Vettel now at RBR)
    2010 10 of 13 and you know what those other three teams are.

    In other words, this excellent car STR was supposed to have in 2008 was mysteriously correlated with Vettel’s short tenure there, and he got the 9 points finishes to Bourdais’ 2 and was responsible for almost all their points. STR also BEATS RBR that year by two places and Vettel beats Webber in the championship, but then Vettel goes to RBR which conveniently goes on to become the fastest car on the grid and he is able to come 2nd overall in 2009 and first in 2010. Coincidence? I’ll let you decide.

    There is also the business of passing and I’ll be the first to admit there’s been not too much of it for Vettel this year. Having said that, there have been cases where Vettel’s had to pass people very quickly after a pit stop in order to make the strategy work. Yes the passees were on worn tires, but in Barcelona (I think) he was able to clear Massa and Button on the same lap with minimal drama. It simply unfair and at variance with the facts to say he can’t pass.

    By the way, I should note that I’ve been following F1 since 1981 and for the first time, I can honestly say that, for different reasons, I’m a fan of all the leading five drivers in the championship now:

    1. Button – Seems really grown up and chilled, and funny, in interviews. Drives smartly. Going to McLaren showed great class.
    2. Alonso. I love the way he came and beat Shumacher in 2004/05. A true passing of the torch. Alonso at Ferrari is also perfect.
    3. Hamilton. I love him because my English-emigre-to-Canada uptight old guy formula 1 watching friends instantly hated him. Plus he’s fun and causes havoc.
    4. Webber. Actual adult comments on the Bahrain issue have elevated him above the rest of the field for all time.
    5. Vettel. Gets good reviews by the press as a nice kid. (See recent Globe and Mail article about some Infiniti presser he did in Montreal) Possibly the Atomic God of the Universe.

    RC

    1. Kristiane says:

      Pre-RBR years, STR cars designed also by Adrian comes to mind maybe? Everything STR had were the same as RBR other than the engine as I recall.

      Nothing chances my view for Vettel as crash kid and inability to overtake. His attitude towards his punishments for his own mistakes (Hungary 2010) and inability to admit them (Turkey 2010) just makes him less of a worthy winner and top class driver.

      1. For sure says:

        The last paragraph, I actually thought you were referring to Lewis.

    2. unoc12 says:

      As Kristiane said above. Also note that while you may point out that Vettel scored 35 to Bourdais’ 4, Vettel is now being questioned as a possible best driver, while Bourdias isn’t even in F1 anymore.

      Liuzzi has smashed Kartik in every race so far and Kartik’n has had far more races in F1 that Bourdais.

      Buemi came in and in his FIRST 9 races of his ENTIRE F1 career beat Bourdias! Out of the 2 times he finished in his points in the 9 races spent as teammate he finished ahead of Bourdais. Bourdias’ only points coming behind Bumei in Buemi’s first race (7 for Buemi 8 for Bord) and when Buemi retired for a race.

      Out of the 9 races together, only 1 of the times did both drivers finish and Bourdias was the first.

      We aren’t talking a top level driver here.

      —-

      Sure Schumacher was a crasher early on but people don’t remember for that. He isn’t a 7 time WDC because of his crashing 92-93. He is known because of 94-95, because of his 97 debacles, his style, and his time at Ferrari.

      Vettel hasn’t done that yet.

      Going by that logic I could call Hamilton J Vill as he nearly won his first in a team, won his 2nd year in the same team and then didn’t go on to have a stellar career after. Doubt theywil have similiar careers, but shows my point; Logic is flawed.

      —-

      The reason for the debate is simple. ANd thanks for putting up an arguement btw, I like to hear the other side of the coin too.

      The reason is because Vettel hasn’t had a great teammate. Alonso has had Fisi and Trulli back in the day, Hamilton and Massa. Hamilton has had Alonso and Button. Vettel has had guys not fit for F1 and Webber, a top midfield driver.

    3. Alex W says:

      The STR performance was best in 08 because that was the last year they were allowed by FIA rules to use the RBR chassis. That and the fact that the STR had the Fez engine, and the Renault in the identical RBR car was much slower in all aspects, the FIA even allowed renault to engine upgrades after 08!

      That and the fact Vettel is a freak in clean air.

      1. dan says:

        Actually, they only built their first chassis last year (2010). In 2009, they had a Red Bull Technology chassis, designed in Milton Keynes

    4. AJ Senior says:

      “4. Webber. Actual adult comments on the Bahrain issue have elevated him above the rest of the field for all time.”

      Best comment I’ve seen. Great point RC.

      There are a few gentlemen racers left – Rubens, Fernando, Mark, Jenson. Great competitors, but well spirited too. I hope Lewis and Seb become the same as they mature.

  45. eric weinraub says:

    Folks, Schuey and Rosberg are coming! Do you seriously think that Mercedes are going to pony up for their own team with the results they have at present? Put Schuey in the RB, at present, and watch him gallop off!

  46. Mario says:

    Has any one worked out how much speculation contributes to the economy? Must be quite a few bobs, I’d say.

    1. Mario says:

      I mean every one’s buying it.

  47. AlexD says:

    Even JV became a World Champion…do it doesn’t mean anything really. Vettel is a star, this is for sure. Can he drive like Hamilton or Alonso? Hard to say…

  48. KK says:

    “So far so logical, but Horner takes the opportunity to remind Hamilton of something of which he is all too painfully aware; that the younger man has come in and stolen his thunder”

    - vintage James! I’m so happy to read the same.

    Coming to the topic, I guess Whitmarsh have already eaten his words which he mouthed against the crash kid last year in Spa. The most imrpoved driver from 2010 has simply been SV and currently, no one is able o match him for pace and determination, even the might of Alonso and Hamilton. That said, I don’t have an ounce of sympathy for Lewis’ plight as he clearly had teh car to beat in four of the eight races and he didn’t make hay while it stood. Spain, Monaco and Canada were races a McLaren driver could have won easily. This sad truth coupled with Lewis’ not so encouraging post race comment about the team, reinforces my belief that Lewis should be happt to drive a McLaren and not the other way around. I think he needs to stay put, needs a clean head and badly needs to get Vettel out of his skin.

  49. Pete says:

    The first comment on this article is so ludicrous I just had to reply… “clearly, Hamilton supporters would welcome a move to Red Bull”

    What!? I hate Red Bull with a passion. If Lewis went there, I don’t think I could continue to support him, in all conscience, especially because of the way he’s slated them in recent months. I’d feel betrayed.

  50. Holly says:

    So Hamilton has nowhere to go, he put himself between the wall and the sword, he is not happy with McLaren and can’t go to RB or Ferrari.

    Maybe he should eat his pride and stay with McLaren, or he can pull a Fernando Alonso 2008-2009 and do nothing in a mid field team in hopes of getting hires by Ferrari or RB in the future.

  51. Ravi says:

    Red Bull actually does not need Hamilton, to be very honest Hamilton is not as good as he is painted by the English F1 press. He will never be close to Schumacher and in the current generation of F1 drivers both Alonso and Vettel are much better.

    Vettel may have the best car but then so does his teammate Webber who is yet to even win a race this season despite having some good drives.

    Red Bull can actually give Kobayashi a go as he is experienced and has proved time & time again that he can drive the wheels of his car. He is by far the most under-rated driver of this generation and it is more fun to have Kobayashi in the car rather than see Button, Webber and Massa.

    Alonso is the most complete driver on the grid and he truly can add an extra second to any car he drives. All Hamilton can do is crib, look at him, he has a car which can win races and yet he cribs!

    A true legend is Schumacher and Ferrari is Ferrari today because of the combined forces of Schumi, Ross Brawn, Bryn and Toltd.

    1. For sure says:

      Agreed most of what you said but not sure who is the most complete at the moment. May be its Vettel.

    2. Peter C says:

      English F1 press. Yes,they do give out some hype……but they have also given out some strong criticism of LH for his hot-headed driving & comments. A single-minded & determined approach would be to his advantage.

      If people read the Press from one country, of course they will get a biased view. You can’t tell me that the Spanish Press don’t talk up FA. Would I then be able to say ‘FA is not as good as he’s painted by the Spanish F1 Press?

      No, I wouldn’t be so one-eyed.

  52. Werewolf says:

    I think two super-fast drivers in one team only really works if that team has a significant car advantage, such as Prost and Senna at McLaren (exciting as that was); otherwise the drivers deny each other points and another team lifts the WDC.

    Significant car advantages are difficult to predict, especially when the FIA uses the rules to slow them down.

  53. .... says:

    The amount of anti-Vettel BS is just pathetic (mainly by Hamilton fans….they obviously are afraid of him to paint him off as some amateur who just is lucky…the McLaren was faster in 3 races, Vettel won 2 of those).

    Seriously, even Schumacher didn’t get this much utter crap written about him. People making up stuff, twisting the fact, living in an alternate reality it seems to dismiss Vettel.

    Vettel is doing the best job of all drivers at the moment, fact. And people whining about him being in the fastest car (not true in 3 races); this is F1, it is about having the fastest car first and foremost if you want to win. Fangio (won most of his races from pole), Senna (won most of his races from pole), Schumacher, Alonso, Hamilton, Prost, Mansell, Stewart were all in the best car that season when they won their championship.

    If you don’t like that concept, go watch GP2.

  54. Paul Mc says:

    Lewis is crazy to leave McLaren and common sense will prevail no doubt. McLaren are always ther or there abouts like Ferrari. Every so often a team like Red Bull or Brawn come along and steal the thunder but at the end of the day McLaren and Ferrari are the two top teams so Lewis should consider himself lucky to be in a seat other F1 drivers would kill for.

  55. Ncedi RSA says:

    This isn’t probably the right place to say it and I’m putting my head on the chopping block…but I think either Lewis or Fernando will win this championship (depending on certain factors)

    1. This weekends off-throttle diffuser ban: if this does indeed hurt RBR much more (as Adrian Newey suggests) and significantly enough. IF it does, Seb can no longer cruise and nurse tyres, he’ll have to be on the ragged edge…which as at times last year pointed out, is when he is most vulnerable.

    2. Mclaren and Ferrari coming to the party: their cars have to be up to it in the race, and it seems so so far, particularly with Mclaren but Ferrari have performed strongly recently.

    3. Alonso and Hamilton’s reargunners: This is vital, Massa and Button (who I believe Hamilton will beat overall) have to take more points off Seb.

    I know it seems crazy, but I just have a sneaky feeling it could happen. But it means nothing if Redbull are strong this weekend. That, as they say, will be that.

    I’m praying for this comeback, I’m an Alonso fan and it would be incredible to watch.

  56. Adelaide says:

    I have an enormous amount of respect for Lewis as a racer & competitor (and that comes from a big Fernando Alonso fan), but I think that his mind isn’t in the right place the last 2-3 seasons. I think that he should have more confidence in his team. McLaren are a fantastic team, and Lewis should remain there as long as is possible.

    I think that Red Bull is great team, but I don’t consider them to be as competitive in, say, next 3-4 years. By that time Mercedes will be a strong team with, I suppose, Vettel in their ranks.

    So Lewis should focus on delivering in Silverstone, and help the team to make a beast for 2012. At the moment he needs to look at Button and learn a few things from him. Or maybe Lewis needs a situation like Button had in 2008 (quote: “With these new updates we should be able to fight for 14″), to make him see things from a different perspective…

  57. CGM says:

    The fact that LH even approached Horner at a race weekend smacks of amateurism. Surely he knew that such a meeting would (1) create media interest which would eventually need to be killed by Horner and/or (2) create a negative feeling within Mclaren.
    Surely he didnt really think that such a secret-yet-not-secret discussion with Horner could end in a positive result from any perspective ??

    James : Do you know if any journo has asked LH to explain why he approached Horner? If so, was the answer “valid” or just blah-blah-blah ?

  58. Adron Gardner says:

    I’d be better for the sport if they just canned all the CFD and aerodynamicists and let the folks race than worry if Lewis is going to pull a LeBron James and go drive the sports drink car.

    1. Femi Akinz says:

      I’m taking my talents to RedBull :-)

  59. cool_ani says:

    James, I have noticed that your website has become more flashy and headlines even more juicer.

    I prefer ur older style and a impartial views.Hope u keep that..otherwise its just planetf1.com

      1. Merlinghnd says:

        No one likes change too much but when a website changes its lay out, it takes time to get used to and thus eventually becomes the norm.

        Regarding the content, it was the best on F1 in my view and after? It is still the best on F1 in my view.

        Keep up the good work. Maybe one day I might win a competion on here who knows. Probably the one I will win will be drive an F1 car but at 6’4″ and 1??kg find I am not eligible. Can someone who is 6’4″ ever win a GP, don’t bother answering that one!

      2. Stretch says:

        I love the new look and extra features added to your website as long as the content is to it’s usual high quality this will always be the first website I come to for my info

  60. Qiang says:

    To compare Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel, this is how I look at it:

    (1) To put them in a much faster car like RBR this year, they will all win the title.

    (2) With an car advantage of smaller scale, Lewis or Vettel will probably win more races but I bet Alonso will win the title more easily. For instance in 2009 and 2010, Alonso will make the championship fight look a lot easier than JB and SV did if he was driving for the Brawn or RBR respectively.

    (3) with a second faster car, I bet Alonso will have the best chance to battle for title. Again, 2010 is a good example of that.

  61. For sure says:

    If you are a team boss and has the luxury to choose one driver among Alonso, Vettel and Lewis it is very clear that Lewis is the last option.
    Because of obvious reasons.

  62. JohnBt says:

    For harmony I feel Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren should keep the same drivers for 2012.

    As a fan I would prefer the top three drivers in separate teams like now. Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton.

    Lewis is getting edgy as championships have been lost. I agree with what Mansell said in a recent article that Lewis should stay with McLaren. 2007 was almost his WDC, 2010 was not really his but possible. All top sportsmen badly want championships and world records.

  63. Snailtrail says:

    James,
    Maybe a little off topic but:
    Would love to know what difference a drivers weight has on the performance of a F1 car.

    Drivers like Button and Webber are about 12kgs heavier than some of the drivers -
    What does this do for performance and tyre wear?

    Also should there be a standard weight all the drivers should be – ie the lighter drivers carry a few kgs with them?

    Cheers

    1. James Allen says:

      Good point. We’ll do something on that

  64. Michael Prestia says:

    At least we know how Horner feels about Mark.

  65. http://www.classicgrandprixclub.com/ says:

    Red Bull dont want him but Lewis can still stay at McLaren- all he needs to do is stop slagging off his own team, stop thinking that he is Senna , no more “social visits”with other team bosses, stop being jealous about Vettels car and Alonsos No1position in the team, accept lower wages and try to be more polite to his race engeneer.[ to watch old f1 seasons go to http://www.classicgrandprixclub.com/ ]

  66. Steven Pritchard says:

    Vettel sneaked last years Championship and this years he is dominating the start of the season similar to JB’s 2009 compaign.

    The thing is we’ve yet to see Vettel perform in a not-so fast car week in week out, until he has a good season in an ordinary car, I will suspend full judgement.

    As for Christian quashing the rumour? Well who knows what was said behind closed doors, he’s hardly going to admit to it now is he?

    1. Rodger says:

      In 2008 he placed 8th in the championship in an STR. Does that count? Rhetorical question of course.

  67. Johnny Leone says:

    In what car did Vettel win the Italian GP of 2008?

  68. Oliver says:

    I think we have to remember aswell, that this years redbull, is thoroughly built around vettel, and probably would be even if lewis went there.

    Also i think that Mclaren dont particularly like Lewis, even though the interviews to the contrary, far from it being lewis’s team, its actually jensons team. Mclaren just realise Hamiltons quality and know they would be silly to lose him by openly dislking him.

  69. Alex_D says:

    Who knows the reality and how good really Vettel is?
    There are always goig to be “ifs” and “buts”-even if Alonso or Hamilton will drive for the same team as Vettel, there is always going to be a reason or excuse for one to be better than the other.
    I think that people here….also me before I realized it….are accusing Vettel of something that he has no control over. Think about it…he was driving as good as it was possible last year…he is driving as good as possible this year. He did not cone to F1 the same way Hamilton did, while starting in the winning car from day 1.
    things are working well for Red Bull – the have the best car, the smartest engineer, one the best driver who is at the peak of his abilities right now……people are pissed off, many people….mclaren, ferrari….button, hamilton….alonso. But what vettel can do? He should drive as good as he can……he is not here to satisfy you an me, he is to win as many races as possible.

  70. Chris says:

    Horner has played Hamilton like a fiddle. He was never going to sign him. It was all part of the gamesmanship of winning the championship.I feel the Hamilton to Red Bull thing was encouraged by Horner to drive wedge between Hamilton and his team and cause a distraction. In addition to this Hamilton’s frustrations have snowballed as result of having one eye on a Red Bull seat. I believe Horner is a canny chap, it’s been a very successful ploy, but he probably can’t believe how fruitful this little game has been.

  71. Matt B says:

    Ahh how fickle the media is, if Vettel crashes out and Hamilton wins the next couple of races it will all turn around and the F1 merry go round continues.

  72. RogerW says:

    Red Bull F1 Team’s one purpose is to increase sales of fizzy drink. They will do this by grabbing as much media space as possible. Speculation about driver lineup is great advertising and contributes even more to the companies EBITDA. F1 is a show, not a sport, this is constantly echoed by Ecclestone whose sole purpose is to increase his companies EBITDA off the back of the revenue stream providers. Hamilton to Red Bull ticks all the boxes for increased revenue streams across the board.

  73. ed24f1 says:

    Does Horner actually make the final decision though, or does Dietrich Mateschitz have any influence?

    Of course what might be a challenge for Horner would be brilliant publicity for Mateschitz.

  74. Andy C says:

    Its interesting the way this has all been played out in the press (silly season stuff).

    To be honest I’ve actually changed my opinion somewhat of Lewis having seen him speak at the FOTA event.

    What you have to remember is that he’s actually still a young guy, and his perceived arrogance/petulance is actually just him still being fairly young.

    I agree with horner that it would not be right for Redbull. I rate Hamilton/Alonso as the two top drivers in the sport and either one of them in a Redbull I think would succeed.

    Sebastian is a product of Redbull, and buying someone in when you’ve developed your own world championship would not really be the done thing would it. Especially if he beat their home grown product.

    Even though I cant make it to Silverstone, I’m still really excited about the weekend. I was going to go up tomorrow and work from the track (3G cards are great arent they), but I cant now.

    Everyone who is going, have a great time. Give my regards to Copse.

  75. Thandz says:

    Hamilton is indeed an awesome driver, people forget that he practically gave Kimi his first world title in his debut season, he could have easily been a two time world champion by now. I for one would love to see Kubica driving alongside Fernando at Ferrari, since it doesnt make sense for Hamilton to move to Red Bull, I would love to see either Kimi or Jenson in a Red Bull and Mark Webber driving the Renault. The reason I would choose either Kimi or Jenson for Red Bull is because both of them seem comfortable in their own skin. I dont recall them being involved in garage politics with their teammates. They are both quality drives who could do a better job in that car than Webber. They both fit the Red Bull profile(not just their parting habits). They both have a decent relationship with Seb, just like Fernando and Kubica. Massa and Webber arent bad drivers but I think their seats are wasted with them in those cars.

  76. pallys says:

    Vettel is a premier qualifer, and theres probably no difference between him and Hamilton.

    However with race pace the jury is out, I personally think Hamilton has stronger race pace – that has always been his strong point, even in lower categories qualifying was never his strong point.

    People talk about Hamilton walking straight into McLaren. Does it really matter as he proved he deserved it by being classified higher than the 2x WDC Alonso?

    People then compare this to Vettel having to be in a STR. But hasn’t this ‘equality’ now swung too far the other way? i.e. wouldn’t you give up 1 year in a mid/back grid car to have 3 or 4 years of a DOMINANT car? I know I would.

    Every top driver looks good in a dominant car, its just perception.

    Hamilton has also never lost to his teamate in any racing category. Vettel in comparison has. One of those is Di Resta in the Force India. Put Di Resta in that RBR and he’ll probably do the same thing again to him, i.e. beat him in identical car. So Vettel does not have an unblemished racing CV like Hamilton has.

    Vettel has also only been benchmarked against team mates by the likes of Luizzi and Bourdais.
    Hamilton has already had to face 2 WDC’s already in his short career which is almost unheard of, yet came out on top.

    I think its for these combined reasons Hamilton does not fear of going into Vettel’s team. And that speaks volumes, Hamilton is not afraid of Vettel. It seems to be more that Vettel is more afraid and blocking Hamilton from joining the team.

    You see Vettel realises that no team mate has ever beaten Hamilton in same car. Vettel must be thinking ‘if Alonso couldn’t do it how would I be able to do it…’ and once you start doubting you’ve already lost half the battle.

    Another point is that Horner has been lieing the past year or so. He categorically said that RBR don’t have a #1 #2 policy like Ferrari did. But he’s now effectively demonstrated that he doesn’t want two #1 drivers, he wants a #1 and #2 setup hence no space for Hamilton.

  77. Greg says:

    Tired of hearing Lewis moan how the whole world is against him, telling past drivers to keep their opinions to themselves when all they did was answer interview questions.

    The guy is really showing he’s true colours and for one I don’t think Red Bull would want someone who thinks they are bigger than the team.

    Lewis, you’ve been given the best or almost best car for your entire career and saying things like next year’s contract is dependent on results with Mclaren this year amazes me.

    This guy has no option but to stop with mclaren for the next few years, No way of Ferrari having him, Red Bull says no. So keep your head down for a bit Lewis if you want to keep in a competitive car and hope Mclaren extends the contract in your favor after next year or I guess we will be seeing you in NASCAR.

    1. Kate Mag says:

      I agree. Lewis thinks he’s David Beckham of Formula One. Red Bull should stick with their current drivers or wil lost chances to win Formula One title next year

  78. Stretch says:

    James I have a feeling that red bull may make a move for jenson I no that all the talk has been about Lewis making a move there but jenson would be a better fit there I feel just wondered what you thought on that idea ??

    1. James Allen says:

      Don’t see that myself

  79. One lunger says:

    I think Lewis better start worrying about his performance rather than the car’s, especially when the title he won was a gift!

    At least when Vettel won the title, he was at the front when it counted, and not 5th or whatever Lewis got in 08 at the finale round.

    1. You can win even from the grave, check F1 history.

  80. Benalf says:

    kind of funny to hear Hamilton as a top three driver and after four and a half seasons he “inherited” only one WC having had a very good opportunity to have 2-3 WC’s under his sleeve. I know he’s a fast racer, superb overtaker…but he has mades too many mistakes. Not smart enough to be consistent race after race….kind of over-rated IMO. Vettel still needs to learn effective overtaking but if he starts from pole, no-one can stop him. He’s got his chances and has taken almost all of them. If I were Horner I would never consider hiring Lewis…he just don’t need him and he may be counterproductive for the team….similar like what happen to McLaren in ’07; both WCs should have been theirs and the Hamilton’s and Dennis blew it up badly because of the rookie…

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