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Vettel Takes Dominant Indian Victory But Alonso won’t let him go
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Vettel Takes Dominant Indian Victory But Alonso won’t let him go
Posted By: Matt Meadows  |  28 Oct 2012   |  1:50 pm GMT  |  288 comments

Sebastian Vettel cruised to a dominant victory in the Indian Grand Prix to increase his lead in the World Championship ahead of Fernando Alonso, with Mark Webber in third.

The title is now a two horse race between Vettel and Alonso with three races to go.

In a fairly uneventful race, Vettel survived a late scare with a floor stay to take his fourth consecutive race victory and extend his Championship lead to 13 points over Alonso.

Vettel’s car began to produce sparks due to a loose skid block in the final dozen laps, giving Alonso some false hope, but the German managed to cope with the problem and even set his fastest lap on the final lap of the race.

Vettel lead every lap of the race, for the third race in succession – equalling a record of Ayrton Senna’s from the late 1980s. That stat tells you everything you need to know about the momentum Vettel and Red Bull enjoy, but Fernando Alonso limited the damage with a dogged drive to second place and says he is even more confident now of winning the world title. With three races to go the gap is just 13 points.

“I’m very pleased with today’s result,” said Vettel. “I pushed hard early on to open a gap. With hard tyres Ferrari and McLaren were very strong.

“I don’t know about (sparking like Hell), there were a lot of cars throwing sparks, there was nothing I was told was a problem or that I could feel.”


Up until lap 20 it had looked to be another one-two for Red Bull, but a KERS issue for Webber allowed Alonso to close up and pass the Australian, to minimise the points lost to the race winner. The two had been in a tight battle in the second phase of the Grand Prix and a resilient Webber had initially managed to put a gap between the two, but it was to be undone by the Ferrari’s much superior straight line speed in the extended DRS-zone.

“It was a fight all race through, because we could not lose more points, we are still convinced we can win this (win the title),” said Alonso. “Today is a Red Bull day again, but our day has to arrive in Brazil.

“Seb won four consecutively but before long this will finish and so when it does we must take the opportunity. We remain optimistic. Today was a KERS problem for Mark, the same can happen to Seb, so we must be ready. I remain 100 per cent confident that we will fight for this championship, and we will win it.”

Webber subsequently came under pressure from Lewis Hamilton, but the McLaren ran out of laps to make it on to the podium. McLaren’s rapid pit-stops reached new levels today when the crew were able to change all four tyres and the steering wheel for Hamilton in just 3.3 seconds.

Vettel has been unbeatable all weekend and he was never seriously troubled as he took his 26th career victory and provided an impressive stat; no other driver has led a lap in India in its two year history.

Prior to the race Red Bull knew that their start was key, even more so than normal, as the very long back straight could leave them susceptible to the McLaren’s and Ferrari’s when DRS was enabled. However, the Red Bull duo pulled away with ease during the first phase of the race.

Behind, both Jenson Button and Alonso managed to jump Hamilton in the first lap after they drove three abreast down the back straight and through the following two turns. But Alonso quickly took second place with the use of DRS on the fourth lap and Hamilton made the same move just two laps later. Button maintained fifth position for the remainder of the race, losing time to those ahead after being held up by a long running Romain Grosjean. Button went on to set the fastest lap of the race , even though he was the first of the leading cars to pit; seven laps before Vettel.

Vettel was able to make his first stint last very long on the option tyre and spent, giving himself the chance to look after his RB8 and cruise to the flag.

Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen took sixth and seventh place respectively after a race long battle. Massa had shown good pace in the first phase of the race, hassling Button for fifth place but he could not sustain the pressure on the prime tyre. Raikkonen did get past the Ferrari; he pitted one lap earlier and passed him, only to be quickly overtaken again in the DRS-zone.

Nico Hulkenberg, Grosjean and Bruno Senna completed the top ten and each had a strong race. Senna, in particular, scored a much needed point as he showed the kind of pace that we saw in free practice, passing Nico Rosberg late in the race. He spent much of the race in a battle with team mate Pastor Maldonado, only for the Venezuelan to receive a puncture after being tagged by Kamui Kobayashi.

Maldonado was one of three drivers to receive a puncture during the Grand Prix, with Jean-Eric Vergne and Michael Schumacher also having punctures through similar incidents.

[Additional Reporting: Matt Meadows

INDIAN GRAND PRIX, Buddh International Circuit, 60 laps

1. Vettel Red Bull 1h31:10.744
2. Alonso Ferrari + 9.437
3. Webber Red Bull + 13.217
4. Hamilton McLaren + 13.909
5. Button McLaren + 26.266
6. Massa Ferrari + 44.674
7. Raikkonen Lotus + 45.227
8. Hulkenberg Force India + 54.998
9. Grosjean Lotus + 56.103
10. Senna Williams + 1:14.975
11. Rosberg Mercedes + 1:21.694
12. Di Resta Force India + 1:22.815
13. Ricciardo Toro Rosso + 1:26.064
14. Kobayashi Sauber + 1:26.495
15. Vergne Toro Rosso + 1 lap
16. Maldonado Williams + 1 lap
17. Petrov Caterham + 1 lap
18. Kovalainen Caterham + 1 lap
19. Pic Marussia + 1 lap
20. Glock Marussia + 2 laps
21. Karthikeyan HRT + 2 laps
22. Schumacher Mercedes + 5 laps

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  1. Irish con says:

    I don’t care what the table says at the end alonso is the best driver Is the best driver on a Sunday and one of the best ever. That man just does not give up. Vettel has to have a problem somewhere but looks like it will be tough for Fernando. Seb is a class class act also though.

      1. Tim says:

        + 1 Bazillion

        Tim

      2. KRB says:

        Alonso had a great race, no doubt. But Vettel has just won four races in a row! He was 4th at 140 pts only four races ago.

        205 consecutive laps led (though of course he started behind Webber in Korea and would’ve passed the start/finish line behind him on lap 0); 1,112 consecutive kms led. 5th best all-time in both respects. I guess the others can take small solace that it wasn’t another Grand Chelem for Seb in India, thanks to Button of all people!

        Kimi will probably have recurring nightmares of Massa’s back wing for the next week … too much drag on his car, not enough top speed. Still the only one to finish each race, and every race lap.

        In terms of consecutive points finishes, McLaren actually tied the all-time record for Constructors, at 55 races (guess Lewis’ solitary point last race was good for something after all!). Ferrari is on 45 currently too.

        Stats to date
        =============

        Wins: SV5,FA3,LH3,MW2,JB2,NR1,PM1

        Podiums:
        FA10,SV8,KR6,LH6,JB5,MW4,RG3,SP3,
        NR2,FM1,KK1,MS1,PM1

        T5 Finishes (3+):
        SV13,FA13,KR10,MW9,LH9,JB7,
        FM5,NR4,RG4,SP3,KK3

        Pts Finishes (8+):
        KR16,FA15,SV14,MW14,LH13,JB11,
        FM11,NR10,RG9,NH9,PdR8,BS8

        Longest podium streaks (2+):
        SV4,FA3,KR3,LH3,FA2(3x),KR2,MW2

        Current podium streak: SV4,FA2,MW2

        Longest T5 streaks (2+):
        FA7,KR6,SV4(2x),MW4,LH3,FA2(3x),SV2(2x),
        MW2(2x),FM2(2x),KR2,LH2,JB2,NR2,RG2

        Current T5 streak:
        SV4,MW2,FA2,LH1,JB1

        Longest pts finish streaks (3+):
        KR14,FA11,MW7,LH7,FM7,NR6,
        SV5,JB5,SV4(2x),MW4,MW3,LH3,
        RG3,NH3,PdR3,MS3,DR3

        Current pts finish streak:
        KR14,FM7,SV4,MW3,LH3,NH3,FA2,RG2,JB1,BS1

        Retirements (not classified)(3+):
        MS7,NK6,SP5,RG5,PdlR4,CP4,PM4,KK4,JV3,LH3

        T8-DWC Race Finishes (after Rd 17):
        KR17,MW16,SV15,FA15,NR15,LH13,JB13,RG10

    1. KAlan says:

      Who remembers and cares who finished second in the years to come BUT this is not one of those years.

      For me, whatever the outcome of the driver’s title; this will be a year i will remember for all the brilliance of Alonso. It reminds me so much of 1993 and at least i can’t pay a driver a bigger compliment than that.

      Bravo Alonso, the best racing driver in the world, period!

      1. NJB says:

        @ kalan, I share your sentiments entirely but the tragedy here is that in 93 senna had already won the all important 3rd WDC whereas Alonso, undoubtedly the finest driver of his generation, is powerless to resist vettel serenely etching his name all over the history books courtesy of Adrian Newey. At least when Schumacher was dominating we could be confident he was the best driver on the grid. These are depressing days indeed for f1.

    2. Peter Freeman says:

      I disagree. Put Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso in equal cars and Hamilton will win. He has improved this year in his ability to manage his race and his tyres, while his raw speed which Alonso could not match in 2007 has not diminished one bit. Alonso is good and may be able to beat Vettel, but Hamilton has a raw speed talent that the other two just don’t quite possess.

      1. JF says:

        Hamilton would clean up in quali, but his race craft is not as good as Vettel or Alonso. Hamilton makes too many mistakes.

      2. Chris says:

        Lewis has made zero on track mistakes this year IMO. Maybe he should’ve backed out with MAL in Spain but MAL was the driver who was punished, Lewis has a clean sheet this year so far too with the stewards. For me Lewis, Nando and Finger Boy are all very close (1:Nando, 2:Lewis, 3:Vettel for me) but to state Lewis has made too many mistakes and lacks racecraft based on this years results means you have not been paying attention this year JF.

      3. Yos says:

        Can you mmention at least 3 mistakes that hamilton did this year please?

      4. JF says:

        To Chris below:

        Fair enough, Hamilton is much improved this year. I am hoping that Ross Brawn can hone him further as he did for Schu back in the 90′s. If Merc has a car, it will be a great pairing.

      5. Sid says:

        Wow Peter, you seem to claim all that as if you’re a team principal at a leading team. There is no basis behind your assumptions mate. Looks like a Hamilton fan gone mad!

      6. Andrew says:

        Yeah if only we could see how Alonso and Hamilton would stack up against each other in the same car, then those ‘mad’ Hamilton fans would see the truth!

      7. Peter Freeman says:

        Andrew; good point! We did see Alonso and Hamilton stack up against each other in the same team in 2007. Let me remind some of what happened:

        In an unprecedented, unheard of and likely to never be repeated display of sheer talent, the world watched in stunned disbelief as the rookie (inexperienced outright beginner) Lewis Hamilton finished the season ahead of his double world champion team mate, Fernando Alonso.

        Sid; I am simply a fan who watched 2007. Perhaps you see that year as ‘no basis’ for ‘an assumption’ but others would disagree with you. Others might even be inclined to think that Hamilton has improved since 2007, especially this year. I would suggest you think more and insult less.

      8. John Z says:

        Peter- Hamilton has not beaten Alonso since Fernando moved to Ferrari. Lewis has had a better car in that time and he has gotten worse results. I find it hard to believe Hamilton can beat Alonso in the same car. Button beat Hamilton only 1 year ago and Alonso is far better than Button. As for 2007, Alonso was the higher placed McLaren in 10 of 17 GP. Each guy won 4 GP, took 12 podiums and 109 points. This wasnt some Roman triumph for Hamilton that many make it out to be. Hamilton overachieved in everyone’s eyes, right up until he choked a nearly insurmountable 17 point lead away in the WDC with 2 GP remaining. Alonso’s second half performance for McLaren was staggering given that he was dead man walking and the whole garage was for Hamilton. Fitting that Kimi took the WDC as Team Equality froze out a defending double WDC.

      9. Irish con says:

        Since alonso joined Ferrari there has been no doubt that mclaren have had a better car every year than ferrari and yet alonso will finish ahead of Hamilton in the standing every year he has been at Ferrari. The man is a legend.

      10. Andrew says:

        It doesn’t matter how quick your car is if it’s horribly unreliable and your team is operationally the worst on the grid (huge pitstop errors, under fueling, poor race strategy, terrible driver management, poor car development).

      11. Quattro_T says:

        Exactly. There is no need to use jugment or estimation since there is already a 3-year (2010-2012) sample providing extensive data from many races – ALO out-scores BOTH Mclarens and also one of the red bulls, even when driving a tractor (in comparason to the packages of the others especially in low fuel situations).

        I have mentioned this before but I guess some fans do not feel actual statistics are reliable enough…

      12. KRB says:

        Second half of 2010, the Ferrari was better than the McLaren. It was better than the McLaren at various times in 2011 as well, and this year it’s been a saw-off in my opinion. The McLaren has been faster overall in 2012, but its reliability has been found wanting. Meanwhile, the Ferrari has been bulletproof reliability-wise, and it has had very good race pace at most races. It’s never been the outright fastest at any race (co-fastest at Monza), but only in China did it lack for race pace vis-a-vis the others. In Britain, Germany, Japan and Korea they were clearly the 2nd best car.

        As for Alonso finishing ahead of Hamilton each year since 2010, I guess it’s an interesting stat. But what’s it matter, if you don’t finish 1st? Ricky Bobby Rule #1: If you ain’t first, you’re last! It’s like the Button supporters saying that Button’s great form in the 2nd half of 2011 was significant. All it proved was that he was a deserving runner-up in a year when the championship for all intents and purposes was decided early on.

        I hope Alonso wins the DWC (out of him and Vettel), but it looks at the moment that he’ll be adding to his “vice-champion” year of 2010.

      13. mark says:

        couldn’t agree more

      14. W Johnson says:

        McLaren have had more DNF’s and Hamilton also had pit stop issues so your point about Hamilton is completely invalid.

        I do wish Alonso fans would get real instead of dreaming!

      15. Elie says:

        Same old,.same old arguments!!. In the same car with same privileges there would be nothing between the top four..& Raikkonen would be there for sure which many of you conveniently forget. It’s very easy to turn into worshipers when your man is on the podium in a Ferrari or A Red Bull or Mclaren but a guy that has been on the podium 6 times in a Lotus and finished every race bar 1 in the points is now out of people’s minds as he is no longer in contention. My how quickly we forget. His skills and struggles with the car at spa for 5th were unbelievably courageous and his determination with Felipe where more tenacious than anyone on the track over the last two races.. It’s not where you finish it’s how race that makes you a racer!

      16. bob says:

        Peter, can you, or some other one eyed Hamilton fanboy PLEASE tell me what ‘raw speed and talent’ is exactly?

        That phrase is a bit of a craze with Hamilton fanboys and I was just wondering if you or anyone knows exactly what it’s supposed to mean.

        Is it different from ‘cooked speed and talent’?

      17. KRB says:

        I guess what it means to me is that you could say to Lewis “here’s a car, drive it”, and he would hop in, and drive the wheels off the thing, straight away. On a new track, he would find the best lines in the fastest time; he seems to have a natural talent for it.

        That’s what it means for me.

      18. Peter Freeman says:

        Certainly. A ‘raw’ talent is what one starts with, before instruction, practice, experience and determination turn that talent into something improved/fairly good/good/very good/excellent/outstanding/unheard of.

        SO, Captain Slow once spent a day with Jakkie Stewart and improved his lap time under instruction with practice and concentration by 10 seconds.

        In a like manner you could improve your ability to think and lear!

      19. colin grayson says:

        +1

      20. Doobs says:

        Lewis isn’t quite the complete racer yet. I guess that’s where the “raw” comes into it. Nice when finished. Maybe Ross can do the job.

    3. Sebee says:

      Didn’t see the race as it was at 4am here, but found it suspicious that Alonso got by and then Webber is posting fast laps shortly after. Did it look like Webber didn’t want to “help” Seb? I’m not buying this KERS excuse.

      How is this for a conspiracy theory? Flavio manages both Mark and Fernando – right? Out of question for Flavio to ask Mark to not be too helpful to Seb and at same time not too in the way of Alonso?

      How would you guys rate Webber’s team performance today? Helpful or folded when needed most?

      1. GordonD says:

        I have faulted Webber in the past for saying he wouldn’t let Seb past if told to so it is highly improbable he would let Alnso go – especially when the team knows exactly what is going on in the car

      2. Sebee says:

        Seriously, I think it’s entirely possible.

        We know Vettel and Webber had their run ins, so no love lost. There is that 2010 where Vettel snatches it from Webber and team refused to back Webber. I wouldn’t be surprised if Flavio put in a word – just a little seed since he’s powerless otherwise.

        Mark is a straight character – and such thing is not inline with it. But there is only so much of #2 status such character can take. And like you say – he has refused it before. Probably will still refuse it for Abu Dhabi since he is still mathematically in it 73 points back with 75 on he table.

      3. Sebee says:

        Hmm…Mark storms out of the Seb and Fernando show post racw press conference. Interesting.

      4. F1fan4life says:

        That has to be the single most asinine theory I’ve read in a long time. [mod]

      5. Sebee says:

        Come on fan, conspiracy theories are fun!

      6. david says:

        +1 The telemetry would have shown that Webber lost his kers. If he really was helping Alonso wouldn’t he have let him by earlier?

      7. Sebee says:

        What would you do next as a team principa if telemetry did show this? Not exactly an easy hand to play now with a driver who’s signed onto the team for 2013, is it?

      8. FerrariFan says:

        I think RBR will know from their telemetry data id that were the case.

      9. Doobs says:

        It was the RB guys who told Mark about his KERS failure, so unless the whole side of Mark’s garage are in on the scam I think you’re a Bugs short of a looney toon.

      10. Quattro_T says:

        Yes definetly agree! I would also like to bring into your attention the situation with the two Mclarens. ALO got passed them suspiciously easily right at the start of the race, even though they should have had faster cars. I have a strong suspicion that M Whitmarsh asked his both driver to not make it too difficult for ALO to pass. He probably feels his fellow Brit Horner is getting too successful already and a third consecutive title would make him even more cocky. What do you think?

      11. MISTER says:

        You must be joking right? McLaren and Ferrari are fighting for the 2nd place in the constructors which is worth probably couple of millions of Euro, and you think the McLaren team principal would instruct their drivers to let a Ferrari past?
        So of you like conspiracy theories way to much!

      12. Sebee says:

        I think McLaren’s involvement in my theory is a stretch. But Mark and Alonso have Flavio as the link. It’s easy to work thing out in this circle. And let’s not forget that it’s not beyond Flavio to dream us such ideas. Nothing illegal is needed here mind you. Flavio could even try to sell it as – do it for drama, for entertainment value of the chase to get what he wants for Alonso. Which is to get all the help Alonso can get. Every little bit counts.

        But reality is Red Bull are paying Mark, and Flavio. And in my eyes, since Mark had no chance to win this 3 races ago, he should have been the widest darn Red Bull we’ve ever seen on that track.

        Anyway, Vettel will get this done without Mark’s help. It just would be nice for Vettel to know your team mate faces reality that he has no shot at the WDC and starts driving for the team.

      13. Quattro_T says:

        @MISTER,
        Right, everything in my post above was an (obviously very well masked) attempt at being ironic, in response to the “theory” of the original poster. :)

      14. Mike says:

        I’d like to have some of that choom you’re smoking.

      15. Wild Man says:

        You are dreaming.

      16. Luca says:

        its entirely possible – so long as all the race engineers and technical staff at RedBull are coluding with Mark to help Alonso.

        Seriously, how can Mark cause a KERS issue that the team can see on the pitwall, to allow Alonso past, but then fix it in time to stop Lewis….

        And Lewis and Button helped tow Alonso up the back straight in perfect unison as they would rather a Ferrari won over a RedBull right!?

        Pure rubbish.

      17. Sebee says:

        I painted the whole story for you Luca. Flavio is the link between Mark and Alonso as he manages both. Meaning, he can get them on the emergency Bat-line anytime and this thing need just one call. He tells Mark, hey listen – you know how Red Bull always favor Seb and didn’t support you for Championship run? Well, don’t support him.

        That one call gets Flavio what he wants for his other client Alonso – another conflict of interest from Flavio by the way if you ask me. Mark is a big boy and can figure out what Flavio means. And while fans may not make much of it if Mark “gets out of the way” of Vettel and Alonso to let them work it out, the truth is that as a proper team player, he should be doing all he can to make himself wide as possible and not let Alonso get to Vettel. And so if he isn’t doing so I ask you – is he being a good #2? Is he a good team mate? Right now Mark is getting out of Alonso’s way everywhere it seems – including post race press conferences.

      18. Doobs says:

        So…”Mark your KERS is rooted but it’ll come back” is RB speak for “Alonso is faster than you..” LOL

      19. Sebee says:

        Doobs,

        My theory is that it’s a seed or plan of action already planted in Marks mind by Flavio. Nothing to do with RBR. SImply not to be too helpful to Seb. Read some of my posts above. Again, just a theory, but we should watch how helpful Mark is going to be.

    4. Bring Back Murray says:

      I’d always had a great admiration for Alonso. Maybe its even gone up another notch today. Only one winner for driver of the day!

      1. Sid says:

        Reckon we’re about to have Alonso win the driver of the day by the biggest margin this year.

      2. MISTER says:

        That just happened if you take a look at the DOTD article!

      3. bob says:

        I reckon Alonso is bloody good, but not sure he’s as good as everyone thinks.

        Everyone is praising him for his 2nd place today, but as far as I can tell, it’s because the Ferrari was that good.

        Everyone thinks that because Alonso doesn’t qualify that well, that the car is crap. Well I’m sorry, but Alonso has never been the worlds greatest qualifier (not that qualifying is the be all and end all).

        Why does everyone assume that the Ferrari is crap and it’s only because of Alonso’s brilliance that it ever places well?

        Most people have said that the McLaren is currently stronger than the Ferrari, but was I seeing things, or did Alonso drive past Button like he was standing still?? And not only was there top speed in the Ferrari, but it just waltzed away through the bends as well.

        Alonso is good, but he is very much driving a prancing horse, not a donkey!

      4. hero_was_senna says:

        Alonso finished over 35 seconds ahead of Massa.
        Neither had any car problems, so effectively he was over 1/2 a second a lap quicker.

      5. James Allen says:

        Massa didn’t have the new diffuser and for some reason was low on fuel.

      6. JR says:

        Well, Massa used to be a great qualifier and look where he is now.

      7. KRB says:

        Agreed. The McLaren suffered from greater front tire wear than the Ferrari, especially on Button’s car. The McLaren is probably the 3rd best car on the soft tire, which is pretty important seeing as it’s the most used tire over the season.

      8. Doobs says:

        Maccas short geared their car. They were easy meat for the Ferrari in a straight line. Ask Kimi.

      9. MDS says:

        I don’t really get this. The Ferrari was the second best car on the grid today, with the top speed to enable him to fly past the Mclarens. Then when Marks KERS broke, Alonso passed the then slower-than-the-Ferrari Red Bull.

        Do I live in an alternate universe or was his second place really just the logical result in the end?

    5. Andrew says:

      “That man just does not give up”

      Cliched nonsense, none of the drivers ever give up, Alonso is not unique here. Alonso is made to look better than he is by Massa, Vettel is every bit as quick as him.

      The Ferrari team also have to be praised for being operationally superb, having the most reliable car on the grid and out developing their rivals (Mclaren and Lotus).

      1. Sebee says:

        Balanced view. I like it!

      2. Trent says:

        Ever heard of Nigel Mansell?

    6. Galapago555 says:

      Can’t disagree here.

    7. Stephen says:

      + another 1

  2. r0ssj says:

    Some good racing between Alonso and the 2 McLarens during the opening laps. But Vettel had it all his own way up front again. Drove well, built up his lead, game over after lap 1. Can’t fault his drive or strategy, but I do miss the more unpredictable races we had earlier in the season. This is dull.

    Alonso done all he could today. Seemed to be pushing hard the entire race and put in a great drive to try and keep the championship battle alive. But with Red Bulls current speed, can’t see Vettel being caught barring reliability issue’s or some rain which is unlikely in Abu Dhabi or Texas.

    Oh and Perez has been poor since signing his McLaren contract!

    1. James Allen says:

      Qualifying a Sauber 8th with his team mate 17th was poor?

      1. r0ssj says:

        Sure Perez had a good qualifying, no points in qualifying though and today his race was poor. In particular, his wheel to wheel racing wasn’t good. He tripped up over Ricciardo today and and couple races ago he tripped up trying to get past Lewis.

      2. KRB says:

        His race was poor. He moved pretty late when Hulkenburg was passing him, and then moved back too early when passing Ricciardo, and paid the price (like Vettel with Narain The Cucumber).

        It’s odd, b/c he was great in wheel-to-wheel racing before, with Kimi at Monza especially. He also didn’t push the defending limits with Lewis in that race, though maybe in retrospect that was b/c he was in secret talks with McLaren then.

        His move on his teammate in China down the back straight was pretty harsh, and more like what we’ve seen in the last three races from him.

      3. jeez says:

        So you still think it was driver’s mistake??

    2. Jordan says:

      Speaking of Perez, I can’t seem to find him in the list?? The numbers add up, but with Perez missing, someone else must be missing as well….

      1. Jordan says:

        Ok, it was Pedro.

    3. Robert Gunning says:

      I wouldn’t bet against rain in Austin Texas. If you look at the weather forecasts, it can be quite cold and inclement this time of year.

      1. Doobs says:

        Major Hurricane just up the road… :O

    4. Tim Sherman says:

      It occurred to me after the race that if the FIA made one small tweek in the rules allowing the use of DRS right from the start, that the Red Bulls may be more susceptible to being overtaken on the first lap and wouldn’t be able to pull away and tictate the race?

  3. AlexD says:

    Alonso the driver of the year and I hope he takes the title

    1. W Johnson says:

      We know you like Alonso. …you tell us in almost every report!

      1. Sebee says:

        It’s the time of the year when things are tight and so it is time to pick a horse and cheer for it.

        Go Seb! :-)

      2. AlexD says:

        Let me know what I am allowed to say and what I am not. Yes, I like the way he is driving….not alone here.

      3. Krischar says:

        Well put ALEX D

        We all know quite a few people here and in many other sites do not like alonso for whatever reason despite his brilliance and greatness

        Here W Johnson have made this clear

      4. AlexD says:

        By the way, let’s see who is going to be voted the driver of the day. I can only give one vote.

      5. Panya says:

        One more for Alonso

      6. Panya says:

        One more vote for Alonso from me

      7. Sebee says:

        DOTD is a nice participation prize.

        Let’s see who gets the WDC. :-)

    2. Quattro_T says:

      I think most RACING fans share your feelings, not least the drivers on the grid.
      No matter how big efforts and miracles he achievs though, it will be impossible to recover, unless Ferrari (do their damn job and) give him a package that is within 1-2 tenths behind the red bulls – nothing more is needed.

      1. AlexD says:

        Mr Johnson above does’t share this opinion, I think.

      2. W Johnson says:

        One of the contenders only! I am not an Alonso sycophant like some here clearly are ignoring the facts:

        1. Leadership qualities. This is nothing special to Alonso. Drivers past and present do the same with their respective teams!

        2. Flattered by Massa’s performance.

        3. A Ferrari with good race pace in part because it’s tyre wear is better than most.

        5. When Ferrari were playing catch up in the earlier part of the season, overall top speed was less important due to the number of race affected by bad weather this season….this benefitted the Ferrari and Alonso.

        It has become the norm for Alonso fans to deprecate the performance of the Ferrari car in order to establsih some form of genius on the part of Alonso. I don’t buy it.

      3. Krischar says:

        Yes Quattro_T Very well said.

        Ferrari have never improved the car for a wile now.

        Ok ferrari did 1 goo step through out the season in spanish GP that’s it.

        Yes if ferrari can provide a quick car if not the quickest to alonso (Yes 2 tenths of RBR will be enough).

        Then people will see or can sense Alonso’s brilliance and greatness.

        Bravo Alonso for making a indian GP worth watching. Simply genius

        We are sure you can the WDC this year.

        FERRARI please stop the needless politics and improve the car

      4. Moe says:

        In race pace Ferrari were consistently lapping within 1 or 2 tenths of RBR all race, sometimes at the same pace! But I suppose it makes u justify Alonso as a superior driver by telling yourself Ferrari are way off the pace??? if Alonso qualified on pole, do u not think he would’ve won?
        RBR have had good race pace all year, what they have managed to do is improve their quali pace, something Ferrari need to do…

      5. Krischar says:

        If ferrari had pole position they would have won as well.

        Ferrari were 5 tenths of the pace in quali against vettel. This clearly shows how much slower ferrari is and how much they need to improve

        Race pace does not count for nothing these days if you cannot qualify on the front row.

        RBR locked out the front row for the past 3 or 4 races. This shows RBR have improved the car even further

        RBR were simply not pushing too hard. They always have something in reserve to push when anybody closes in. Only webber kers problem presented the opening to alonso and he grabbed it

        This is why alonso is (genius & wizard). He converted half chances into victory this season to fight for the WDC

        Ferrari were very poor from the outset since winter testing in 2012 and have still not improved the car

        When did ferrari took pole position in dry race conditions last time out ? (Singapore 2010)

        This year weather and Alonso’s brilliance gave ferrari a couple of unusual P1. (GB & Germany)

        Ferrari do not have the desire to improve quali pace it seems. They blamed wind tunnel every time for the past 3 seasons yet they have not solved the issues

        Yes you answered my question.

        Fernando alonso the greatest driver in the history of formula 1

        Race pace ? Who cares ? with current regulations all you need is very good & excellent quali pace and some decent tyre / race pace

        I want to justify people vettel is not a top notch driver by any means.

        Beating webber to pole and driving of into the distance does not make you good or great driver

      6. Quattro_T says:

        Sometime you just wonder how short memory people have. Did you see the raw speed difference between the two packages, as clearly demonstrated during qualy?

        When the 10 sec gap is established, VET needs nothing but maintain it (i e drive just as fast as those behind – anything else would be plain foolish). You can be fairly certain that throughout whe whole race (1) ALO was driving right at the limit of the capability of his car to keep some sense of pressure on VET and (2) VET was cruising. He could easily (probably by pressing a button) make his car go another 3-5 tenths faster if needed to keep the gap backwards veery constant, just as he did at the start of the race before the gap was established.

        What you are referring to is not an indicator of how close the Ferrari is to the RB, rather how dominant the car VET has is.

      7. Rockie says:

        Well said there are phrases in F1 that sound Idiotic to me e.g Alonso never gives up am yet to see one driver that has given up in a race and yet dis statement gets spouted out by Martin Brundle every race.
        Now probably sure Alonso would win Dotd poll but is it hard to overtake with DRS n a 10kph advantage but his blinded fans who use massa as a yard stick would like you to believe the mclaren was faster than the Ferrari other than MW KERS prob Alonso finished where the Ferrari should finish

      8. Ahmed says:

        The reason for a 10 second gap at the first pit stop (lap 20) is that Alonso was battling Hamilton and Button, which allowed Vettel and Webber to build a 4-5 second lead. Everyone knows that you can dictate pace at the front and look after your tyres better.
        Race pace has always been there for Ferrari, they just haven’t been as ingenious as other teams at innovation. I thought F1 was about ingenuity in Motorsport at the top level???
        By the way if Alonso is such a brilliant driver and clearly best in today’s field (stats tell a different story), then why is there always talk of Alonso having clauses for the teams 2nd driver? “2nd driver must obey all commands and be a guinea pig for Alonso” etc. Seems like he is a little insecure to me…
        Why not welcome all challengers, no conditions and prove yourself? By walking out of Maclaren, because Hamilton was challenging him and he did not have the full support of the team speaks volumes for Alonso’s dummy spit attitude! Even Button was able to rally Maclaren around him (supposedly Hamiltons team), and get equal support…

    3. JD says:

      Afraid to say the British public is still against Alonso because of 2007, which is a pathetic attitude. Just because he had the audacity to speak out against McLaren for favouring Hamilton in their year together.

      With [mod] Ron Dennis always favouring one of his drivers, it was Alonso who was not the favourite, and Alonso played hard ball with McLaren, something DC admitted he should have done in late 90′s, granted Alonso hit back in not in the most advisable way (Hungary qually), but he would admit that. Also at this time he was 26, younger than Hamilton is now and everyone seems to think Hamilton’s twitter debacle along with his general sullen demeanor is somehow different to Alonso in 2007. All of this while under Martin Whitmarsh’s regime of ACTUALLY treating the drivers equally!

      Before anyone starts the Alonso threw toys out the pram etc, just ask Coulthard about his treatment against Hakkinen, or even treatment of Prost against Senna.

      It’s time for a balanced attitude and to applaud one of the greatest driven seasons of all time!

      1. JD says:

        BTW – I’m also a fan of Hamilton’s driving!

      2. W Johnson says:

        Please get your facts right. Alonso reacted badly to being challenged by a rookie driver in 2007….and so threw his toys out of the pram because he did not get no 1 driver status in a team that does not have the Ferrari favouritism policy!

        Try finding a balanced attitude to Lewis Hamilton in Spain…..I recall a number of racist incidents directed at Lewis Hamilton a few years ago.

      3. Doobs says:

        ..becaus of the way Alonso was being treated. Cause and effect.

      4. Quattro_T says:

        I have followed a big procentage of Brittish F1 coverage since 2008/2009 and can only agree with your observation. It was quite telling at Silverstone this year when seeing how the quite big number of Brittish fans infront of the stage (at BBC F1 forum), went booo when E Jordan (who from what I have seen loves to take stabs at ALO/Ferrari whenever possible) said the name Alonso…Of course ALO took a brilliant 2nd place there in not so easy circumstances.

      5. krischar says:

        W johnson

        Tell me who has some special leadership qualities ? Let’s see how good they are (because in your world alonso have nothing)

        Massa performance ? why alonso to faltter because of massa’s performance. Massa quite simply not a top notch driver. He is very one dimensional. Massa needs the set up and car to be his liking. Then he can be quick for one or race two race weekends in a season. Please face the fact ever since 2009 ferrari have produced rubbish cars to till date

        Massa is a driver who normally flatters when he has quick car

        Ferrari Race pace ? In this PIrelli / No refuelling ERA Race pace does not count for nothing if you cannot qualify on the front row. Having said this ferrari race pace is not so good (Thay cannot even beat maldonaldo williams in barcelona) ferrari quali pace aweful / race pace 3rd or 4th best depending on circuits. Get real please

        Alonso fans have no need to deprecate ferrari’s performance. Ferrari kepps producing aweful cars year after year

        Let me ask you a question ? When did ferrari took pole position on dry race track or conditions?

        Malaysia / GB and germany affected by wet weekends. who stood out to sense half chance and took victory / PP this season

        Rain provides equal footing to all drivers still only genius prevailed where rest of the grid failed

      6. W Johnson says:

        I recall seeing a hostile response to McLaren and Hamilton winning at Monza Italy this year!

        You could have mentioned this also!

  4. SENNA QLD says:

    MERCEDES NEED HAMILTON SEEMS LIKE THEY GOT THE BETTER DEAL

  5. Nima says:

    And so the season is grinding to a dull finish. I don’t care whether Alonso or Vettels wins but I do want to see some good racing. There has been little since the summer. All of this proves that any rules changes will be engineered out by the teams after one season. To be fair, this is what they do, but it simply shows that F1 needs an element of unpredictability. Bring on new engines……..

    1. Stuart Harrison says:

      RBR = Really Boring Racing

      1. Doobs says:

        Rule Bending Racing ;)

    2. alexbookoo says:

      Yes rule changes get engineered out by the teams, but I’m amazed there isn’t more comment about Pirelli. We’ve quietly got back to Bridgestone-style dull one-stop races.

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        It’s the tyres MSC wanted earlier in the season and a number of fans wanted.
        Instead of drivers nursing their tyres, a skill that has always been in F1, they now can race all the way through, like Lewis said.
        Oh joy.

      2. Irish con says:

        Agree completely with this. Pirelli have Been so conservative as past 8 races or so. And gets worse with hard and medium in brazil.

    3. AuraF1 says:

      I have to laugh – the start of the season every forum was full of fans screaming about how awful the unpredictability was, cursing Pirelli for hamstringing their favourite driver, claiming it was all fixed to make races winnable by different teams…now the teams figured the tyres out, normal RBR service has resumed and everyone is crying about how bland it is to have vettel running away with it…

      This isn’t aimed at the initial post by the way – just a general point to all those who threw a tantrum about unpredictable racing brought about by rule changes and mysterious tyres. If you allow the teams too much money, too much knowledge of tyres and too much development leeway it will always be this way – the rich team of RBR with the best aero dept just running away at the front. Boring. Bring back the bonkers tyres and keep the costs down.

  6. Troppo says:

    What about Vettel’s bottom flat down and up? Spare part? If not…?

  7. Lars J says:

    James – what can be done.
    No one can oppose that Newey, the Red Bull team and Vettel is doing a great job, nor that the Pirelli tires, DRS and regulation stability has created a tight field and more overtaking in 2012.
    But – as we saw in 2011, and what is now likely to destroy and otherwise exciting season, is the pole to victory phenomenon. Far too much is decided outside the track, inside Neweys head and a wind tunnel, and too little on the racetrack, and even though the fastest car-driver combination wins (fair you might say), it is not exciting for spectators. We prefer racing on the track, not that one lap in Q3 decides the race and the championship. So in India – thanks to Alonso, Hamilton, Webber for at least a little action.
    But how can F1 im prove – Should aero be restricted further? Should refuelling be reintroduced (so at least, front row does not equal a win, as has been the case even in the good part of the 2012-season). Is it even necessary to introduce weight disadvantages for say pole? (higher weight at qualifying for the next race).
    One might argue, that Montezelmo and Ferrari should be better at introducing car updates (and navy flags doesn’t count as an update…), and McLaren should create mere stability – but that doesn’t help F1-fans, that can only live their passion in one Q3-lap, and to whom Red Bull is something you drink to stay awake during the race.

    1. Kevin says:

      In terms of fastest laps the first 11 finishers were separated by 1 sec only! To me that says the cars are pretty even on light fuel ( as all the fastest laps were set at the end on worn hard tyres). Refuelling if re-introduced could spice the racing up next year!

      1. Ez Pez says:

        +1 for refuelling! Same amount they have now, or slightly less, but they can choose how much to carry in quali and would vary strategy, which at the moment consists of not much more than leave the slowest tires till last…

      2. F1addicted says:

        Agree!

        It has been done, it is sensible and allows even teams with less money to use strategy to potential gain

        OR tight tight aero ruled

        This is dull, dull, dull

        I followed f1 for a decade and then stopped for 5/6 years when Schumacher won and there was no sport to watch

      3. Pranav says:

        You’re suggesting making F1 more artificial.

        If they’re winning like this, they deserve it after the season start and how they caught up and passed everyone.

        I might not fault Ferrari or Alonso, but this was McLaren’s season to lose. Again.

        It’s just that Vettel and Red Bull are more consistent once they’re on a roll. Which they are now. The domination is almost Schumacher-esque. And it’s the competitors’ fault for not making the most of Red Bull’s disadvantage at the start of the season. Guess you just have to live with it, barring something stupid like the FIA banning Adrian Newey/Red Bull or Seb. Vettel.

      4. Hansb says:

        No I think Kevin is right. Refuelling during the race is not artificial, the rules are the same for everyone but it gets unpredictable because only in the race you will find out how much fuel everybody had on board during qualifiying. I always found it exciting to watch.
        Artificial to me is when you deliberately visit circuits during a rain season or flood a circuit with sprinklers to make things more unpredictable. F1 should be about speed, not rain or mud racing.

      5. Pranav says:

        The problem is that people are way too impatient now. We always had processional races. Even during the Senna-Prost-Mansell era. Don’t look towards rule changes after just 2-3 boring races (and btw, I don’t feel the Indian GP was boring). There’s no need to change the sport’s rules every year. 10 exciting races out of 20 is still way more excitement than we had during the Schumacher era. I don’t want F1 to turn into a lottery like the start of the season. It was fun to watch, but not sustainable, and not very exciting once you consider how all the teams were falling over themselves to make sense of the tyres. And the winners were generally the ones who were lucky with a fluke strategy.

      6. Thomas says:

        Refuelling!! Give it back! F1 has been crappy since they forced everyone to drive as on ice in these bloated fuel-laden monsters.

        The drivers don’t ever look tired these days, as opposed to the crazy flat-out sprints we used to enjoy. Back then we even had strategy..!

    2. Cliff says:

      Probably since the 80′s F1 has had a dominant Team…Willians, Ferrari, Renault and McLaren. Red Bull’s domination is part of the cycle. To restrict one team simply because the others can’t build or develop a car to match RB’s makes no sense. Re-fueling only introduces a number of sprint races and the chance of a Fuel Rig/Pit Stop going wrong. What it doesn’t do is guarantee on better racing.

    3. Wade Parmino says:

      One thing I’ve often thought of late is that the qualifying format should be slightly altered.

      Q1 and Q2 should remain as they are. Q3 should have each driver allowed only one warm up lap and a single hot lap on a clear track. The order the cars go out on track should be first to tenth from Q2 results. This would make Q2 a bit of a balancing act for the frontrunners as they will want to make it into Q3, while also wanting a Q3 lap on a more rubbered in track. I think this would shake up the front end of the grid for the race reasonably often.

      A mistake like Vettel’s on Saturday would have put him in 10th place on the grid. It ups the ante and the pressure which would make Q3 much more entertaining as well as the race start.

    4. Tony says:

      If you want more driving thrills with more equal cars then you need to look away from F1, there are lots of single make championships out there and we are fortunate to get pretty good coverage of some on both ITV and CH4.
      F1 for me has and always will be about both team and driver, if that were ever to change then it wouldn’t be F1 anymore.

    5. Allwyn says:

      If not refueling , I would atleast hope that the mandatory usage of tyre choices is removed.

      1. Amar says:

        This might sound a bit odd, but is this allwyn kent by any chance?

      2. Allwyn says:

        Nope :)

    6. JF says:

      Well, ban Newey, formula1 needs less innovation, bring on a single designer for all cars so that all drivers are in equal machinery. Like Indy (or whatever they are now). Lets make it a stock series, they can all drive pickup trucks or tricyles, that way all are equal. Will you watch?

      1. Grayzee (Australia) says:

        Better still, let the one chassis design be a small underpowered undertyred (no slicks) car……..oh, yeah……..we already got that….it’s called Formula Ford!!!!!!!! :-)

    7. Msta says:

      Maybe the drivers should have to perform some sort of out of car physical challenge mid race. Get them to change their own tires or go through some sort of obstacle course before hopping back in the car, amazing race style!

    8. mazirian says:

      Don’t ignore the tracks. The fact is that’s it’s always boring on the new tracks while the classic ones works just fine – regardless of the changes made to the rules each year. I cannot figure out why this is not discussed more.

      1. Carlos Marques says:

        +1

        I find I only watch races live when they’re racing in one the classic tracks. The new tracks are boring- period. No action for 98% of the time.

        Imagine if we could replace the boring tracks of today with these classics: the old Imola (before Senna’s death), Hockenheimring (from the 80s with the huge straights), Adelaide (awesome and feared street circuit), Brands Hatch, and Estoril in Portugal.

    9. Andrew M says:

      Is it even necessary to introduce weight disadvantages for say pole? (higher weight at qualifying for the next race).

      No thanks.

  8. Richard says:

    Well as Alonso said he is not only fighting Vettel, but the prowess of Adrian Newey’s design team, and seemingly there is not a team on the grid that can live with that. Unfortunately these days aerodynamics are king, and drivers are further limited to the extent cars can be pushed by the tyres. If a driver qualifies at the front, with a good start, he can just pull a gap and that’s it. -Boring really!

    1. Andrew says:

      It’s pretty obvious that Alonso said this in order to diminish the performance of Vettel.

      I remember an unusual comment last year about Hamilton being his main rival that was also clearly designed to diminish Vettel.

      Alonso’s ego is clearly hurting and i think he is furious that Vettel will be a three time world championship when this season is over.

      1. Richard says:

        Maybe so, but doesn’t diminish the fact. If Alonso was also in a Red Bull where would that leave Vettel

      2. Andrew says:

        Probably beating him, just like Hamilton did at Mclaren. Vettel is a better qualifier and just as quick in the race.

      3. Andrew M says:

        Hopefully we’ll find out when the two are team mates in 2014!

      4. Richard says:

        Vettel just like any other driver is only able to do what the car will allow. What Vettel has not done is show the tenacity Alonso has this year by pushing a car that is not the best to maximise the point score. This year Alonso has demonstrated just what a great driver he is, and has gone up in my estimation. The problem though with all these comparisons is that they are affected by so many different aspects of the current F1 environment. When we can get back to proper racing with durable tyres is when we will see the proper racers come to the fore, and rather than have drivers artificially constrained as they currently are.

      5. Rockie says:

        Vettel is the greatest qualifier since senna in F1.

      6. Richard says:

        Vettel like all top drivers qualifies well because his equipment allows him to do so. Adrian Newey on the other hand is one of the very best F1 aerodynamicists/designers extant today. – Sort of gives him an advantage!!!!!

      7. hero_was_senna says:

        Alonso’s right.
        The other thing he said regarding Hamilton, was he was the only other driver who could win in a poor car.
        MSC used to have that ability in his first career, but the years have taken that edge away.

        Vettel has never won from below a 3rd grid position? Or is it front row?
        Either way, all he’s proved is the mighty RBR and Marko combination have given him every tool to dominate F1. Not always with the most gracious attitude.

      8. MISTER says:

        There’s nothing Alonso need to be ashamed or furios like you say. alonso got beaten in a superior machinery and everybody (media and ex and current F1 drivers) said it.
        You can pump awesomness into Vettel as much as you like, non-biased fans can see beyond that.

    2. Bismarck says:

      I have actually heard in a story that during the race Newey goes to a private area and drives vettel’s car like a video game. He has all the same controls and everything and just does it all in this room. That is why they keep having to tell him to slow down at the end of every race because Newey is up there forgetting he is not playing a video game. I don’t think there is a team on the grid that can live with this either!

  9. KRB says:

    Vettel has now led an entire race 7x! That is equal to Alonso, Hamilton, and Button combined (Button doing it in Spa this year, just). To lead every lap indicates serious speed, as there will always be some who try different pit strategies and go longer, so you have to gap any of those by a pit stop in the first pit stop window.

    I think only Vettel and Button have managed it this year.

    1. Mingojo says:

      Well, I guess if you have the best car the last 3-4 seasons, it’s easy to set these records.

      1. JF says:

        he was dominate in 2011, thats it

      2. ida says:

        Interesting….. where would you place the 2010 and 2012 Red Bull????

      3. JF says:

        To Ida below:

        2010 was pretty close, and 2012 is not over yet. Alonso still has a shot, Vettel has not walked away yet.

      4. Doug Adams says:

        It’s a little disturbing to read history being invented as I read. I’m no Vettel fan but I think we should give him some respect. A man in his prime, driving superbly, for a great team.

      5. Doobs says:

        Vettel won a race in the wet in a TR once. Nico won a race in that dog-Merc which is a far better achievement.

      6. Mingojo says:

        There’s a respect for Vettel’s achievements. But, there’s also a fact he had/have the best car. To ignore it is rewrite history.

    2. Timmay says:

      Or pitstop after them & just react from pole every race.

  10. Troppo says:

    Who manage skid block loose, Vettel or Newey…? What can a driver do to raise a car going touching the ground?

    1. Michael Prestia says:

      I wonder the same thing… how did the car suddenly raise off the floor and stop sparking?

    2. Thompson says:

      I thought that was odd, how can a skid plate be kicking out sparks for one lap then as if by magic not do it again for the next 10 laps?

      not putting anything out there suggesting height adjustments or anything like that – but can anyone offer an explanation.

      1. david says:

        Lighter fuel load with each passing lap.

      2. Denise says:

        It has to do with the DRS, something about the balance of the car shifting when it is deployed. Don’t think Vettel used the DRS again after over taking Glock.

      3. Afonso Ronda says:

        Most likely there was something trapped beneath his car. It must have got loose when he crossed one of the kerbs.

      4. paoloc says:

        Interesting question:what is your opinion James,are there talks about it going on?

      5. Moe says:

        If it was rubbing for a few laps, it would be likely that it rubbed a few millimeters off the skid plate therefore clearing enough space.

      6. BlueRacer says:

        Another explanation is that the skid pad wore down enough not to touch the ground anymore.

  11. Panya says:

    Fernando – what a drive!! Bravo Bravo

    Magnificent piece of driving. Can’t wait for the remaining 3 races.

    Go go go Fernando !!

    1. GideanYates says:

      I appreciate Alonso as one of the very best, but all this sentiment driven by the gushing media about Alonso performing miracles with not the fastest car is getting a bit much. As opposed to Vettel where the never ending theme is the car that make’s him special. For me they are the two best drivers of their generation as they have the best overall driver package (Speed/race craft/mind management)….I give Vettel the edge at this time as I feel he deals better with a quicker 2nd driver then Alonso would.

      Ferrari seem’s to have the best launch system as they are always gaining places at the start. Add in the top speed advantage over the McLaren’s and Webber’s car issues he maximized his result. Full mark’s for that but so did Vettel.

      I understand the media’s need to deliver stories (especially with how quick the Bulls are of late rendering the championship anti climatic) and who doesn’t like a good underdog story but it’s hard to read over the top (both pro and con) stories….ie…Ferrari never having a fast car…early in the year they seemed to have the fasted car in the wet and seem to have the best launch system by a mile.

      1. Sid says:

        Yeah people who dislike Vettel seem to forget that he’s dealing with a pretty quick Aussie and trouncing him for 4 years in a row!

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        Really? Deals better with the No2?
        Turkey 2010 ring any bells?
        He rammed Webber off the road then called him crazy. His team fully supported finger boy, despite the world’s media and fans seeing Vettel turn into the side of Webber.
        How many times has Mark been told to slow down, not overtake or called himself a number 2 driver?
        Everytime he’s been beaten to pole by Webber, look at his face, he is not happy.
        I can almost see him today after the race.
        Set fastest lap right at the end, Alonso follows with a quicker lap then Button faster again, something Button alluded to in post race interview.
        They will do whatever they can to wind the boy up. Pity they haven’t got the car to race the blighter!!

      3. Doobs says:

        Vettel is still a brat at heart. Mark, wth respect is not in his league so “dealing” with a competitive teammate is not exactly a hardship. He has full suppost of his team and he knows it. So does Mark, who decided he’d had enough of the Seb love-in and walked out of the post race interview.

      4. MISTER says:

        Have you listened to Lewis’s interview after the race? He was talking about trying to catch Webber and how beautiful his car was feeling. He said it was one of the best races he driven because he could push to the max without worrying about fuel or tyres.
        He said that his car felt perfect but in the last sector Webber (with a broken KERS) was pulling away, so his car must’ve feel even more amazing.

        That should tell you how good that RB8 car is. When Lewis says his car felt perfect but that RedBull was still pulling away from him.

  12. Good to see Vettel getting pushed hard by Alonso, he’ll probably take the title as Red Bull obviously have the momentum at the moment. But at least Alonso isn’t going to give it to him.

    Heard someone commenting on the tele that it is the Alonso of old (pre McLaren, I assume was meant), I’d have to agree with that.

    1. Mocho_Pikuain says:

      Honestly I think he is driving even better than in 2005/6 seasons. He has been on a diferent level for the past 3 years and this is the culmination.

    2. Allwyn says:

      Even during his McLaren days he was very determined, the couple of years he spent at Renault after that was probably a tad less, especially the second year.

  13. Kushal says:

    Alonso deserves to be world champion this year….

  14. Matt2745 says:

    Thought that Alonso’s comment in his interview on Sky about the bad atmosphere in the McLaren team at the moment was interesting, saying that they were too busy looking at each other and forgot about him on the first lap.

    Is the relationship between the two McLaren drivers as bad as he was suggesting or is it just mischief making?

  15. Rob Newman says:

    A boring race to be honest. The extended DRS zone helped a few drivers to overtake but other than that nothing exciting.

    If Red Bull don’t sort out their reliability and technical problems, they are going to be sitting ducks in the coming races. Abu Dhabi is going to be tough for them.

    Pat Fry and his team has produced a fantastic car. It is a pity that Pat never gets any credit. The car is very fast and in my opinion, they have closed the gap massively.

    Noticed some TV guy comparing Massa and Alonso today. What he failed to say was, Alonso had new updates on his car which Massa didn’t have. Also Ferrari under filled Massa’s car and he was struggling half of the race trying to complete a race on low fuel. In my opinion Massa did a better job. I wish Ferrari will give him an equal car.

    I can’t understand what is really wrong with the McLarens. I hope they will be stronger in Abu Dhabi. For the second race in a row, Hamilton moved over for a Ferrari at the start.

    1. CF says:

      Are you serious?

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        Of course he is CF. I don’t know how many of Mr Newman’s posts you have read, but they all follow in much the same vein.

        I have come to believe that he was run over by a Spaniard driving a red car some years ago, and he has had a pathological hatred ever since.

        Of course, it’s not a balanced viewpoint, but they do allow the patients out at times.

      2. krischar says:

        Excellent hero_was_senna very well said

        Your post made my day good.

        I do not know what is newman’s problem towards alonso

        He is the one who crack good jokes (says massa is good and can do well)

      3. Rob Newman says:

        What makes you think I am joking?

    2. MANish says:

      For the second race in a row Hamilton moved over for a Ferrari at the start… what a joke…. ok so now Now Alonso has 2 Team mates who move over for him!!!!

      1. Krischar says:

        Why hamilton has to move over for alonso

        Your comment do not make any sense.

        Lewis never moved over for alonso during 2007 in mclaren

        Few people like you needs a reality check.

        Both alonso and lewis admire each other very much. They want to race against each other.

        Lewis accepted and told many times Alonso is the best driver in the grid. Even schumacher acknowledged this by saying “Alonso outgrows himself”

        Alonso see lewis as a great talent and lewis say alonso is the best out there

        In Truth both lewis and alonso are simply too good for the grid. Alonso have the edge over lewis at this point. May be lewis will do some excellent things in future.

        Iam massive alonso fan, i like lewis as well

        Iam really happy to see both getting on very well these days.

      2. Rockie says:

        so you didnt feel Hamilton sounded idiotic praising Alonso its like me going to work and saying another guy doing the same task as i am is doing a better job what does that say about me?

    3. KRB says:

      Moved over?! So he just dived down the inside of Alonso right after he’d passed just for entertainment’s sakes? That dice between JB, LH and FA down to Turn 4 and out of Turn 4 could reasonably be said to have constituted 90% of the “action” of this race.

    4. ida says:

      Again with the fairytales. Heres one…..The Ferrari mechanics topped Massa up with regular unleaded and “accidently” left the handbrake engaged…… thats why Felipe struggled

      1. Rob Newman says:

        Did you listen to what Massa said after the race?

  16. rafa says:

    james what´s the situation with the motors at this point of the season?

    1. Good question – this has certainly been a big talking point at this time previously – although it has never seemed to make much difference…

  17. Sasa says:

    I just hope Vettel gets a DNF in next race and Alonso winning it. Its always more fun seeing the driver with the superior car playing catch up.

  18. Trent says:

    It’s hard to not be disappointed by this flat end to the season, after such an amazing opening half. Damn…

    1. Yep – agree – it has been pretty hard to watch at times

      Hopefully we get a wet race soon

  19. dkfone says:

    James, I have been watching with live timing for the last few races and the following pattern always seems to occur with Vettel in relation to Webber:

    Start: Vettel opens up a 2-3 second lead.
    Lap 4-5: Gap stabilises, Webber closes a few tenths
    Near the first stop: Vettel pumps in a series fast laps while Webber struggles.
    After the first stop: Game over.

    Why does this always happen? Surely Webber has access to Vettel’s data and can work out why he seems incapable of staying with his teammate. Yes I know he had a kers problem today but he was still well behind Vettel when that happened. Tyre wear wasn’t really an issue today. Martin Brundle alluded to this phenomenon today as something that should be analysed. I was wondering if you could shed any light on this James? I ask because from very early on in the race today it was clear that a Vettel win was an inevitability which doesnt make for compulsive viewing.

    1. Brad says:

      I would say the extraordinary ability of Vettel to adapt and extract the best out of the tyres plays a significant difference…

    2. Craig in Singapore says:

      Is it that Webber needs that 2-3 second gap to be able to manage his tyres? If he follows too closely the tyres will be used or degraded more by sliding around in Vettel’s dirty air.

    3. marcusv says:

      Why does it not surprise me that James is silent

    4. snailtrail says:

      Get both drivers on their good days and there’s almost nothing between them – but I think it is tyre wear when there is a difference. Webber is about 10-12kg heavier than Vettel which means he has that much less in ballast to play with = car set up not as good – have a look at this: http://formula1.about.com/od/drivers/a/Driver_Weights.htm

      Also add a team and car designed for Vettel and you will get the difference you see.

  20. Holly says:

    One have to wonder what Alonso could achieve with a RB car…….

    Brillant drives by Alonso and Hamilton, I hope we have the pleasure to watch a fight between then from start to finish of the championship in the coming years, such amazing talents.

    1. M says:

      “One have to wonder what Alonso could achieve with a RB car…….”
      No more than VET anyway.

      1. Doobs says:

        He would b WDC by now;)

  21. Franco says:

    Another great race but can’t help thinking there is still a further twist that is going to change the outcome of this championship.

    Yes the RedBull is the quickest car but also the most fragile therefore I can see a DNF for Vettel with Alonso picking up the pieces.

    Highlight of the race was seeing how good McLaren where in changing Hamilton tyres and steering wheel and the opening laps of course.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      F1 needs to be worried whena pitstop is a highlight of a race.

  22. Methusalem says:

    With Button & Perez McLaren will even be more in trouble next season. The team has become a loser team year after year.

    1. bob says:

      Yeah, I guess you’re right.

      I mean, after all, Hamilton has SMASHED Button since being team mates and really has been the class of the field for the last 3 years hasn’t he?

      Poor old McLaren, what ever will they do without Hamilton?

      I mean besides celebrate, rejoice, have team harmony and not have to run into damage control after every outburst?

    2. John says:

      Respectfully, I don’t buy that. If McLaren focuses on Button initially giving him a car that suits him, while getting Perez bedded in gradually over 2013, we may see Button having a good year in 2013, with Perez emerging as a well-grounded driver by 2014, taking the fight to Button and beating him and others.

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        I’m not convinced by Perez tbh. He isn’t appreciably faster than Kobayashi in qualifying or races. They both seem to be faster than the other at various times. In fact, at 2 of the greatest driver circuits, Spa and Suzuka, Kobayashi was ahead.
        Perez has had some great races where strategy and tyres have played their part.

        In 2002, Mclaren signed Kimi from Sauber after one season. Heidfield,his teammate,was gutted because he’d beaten Kimi over the season and was part of the Mclaren family. He had won f3 and f3000 titles as part of their junior squad and had tested for the team.
        Ron Dennis explained his decision as, Mclaren knew all about Heidfeld’s abilities, whereas kimi’s were potentially greater and he was untapped.

        That decision made sense, but Perez is flavour of the month. I wonder if LdM knows more than he’s saying.

      2. James Allen says:

        Good analogy. I agree with Lauda that Hulkenberg was the better bet

        But there may be a commercial dimension to this too

  23. Bored says:

    Another Red Bull snooze-fest today. No disrespect to Vettel or to Newey, but to even state that the race was “fairly uneventful” is stretching it a bit – this was dull as dishwater.

    I might just watch Q3 and lap 1 next week: after all, if Vettel is on pole and gets the lead then the race is effectively over. No wonder many of the grandstands were empty…

  24. Bring Back Murray says:

    Well he just kept hanging on in there today didn’t he, despite the Red Bulls being a country mile faster.

    All it needs now is one DNF from Sebastian and he’s back in it.

    1. Brad says:

      People tend to forget what might happen if Alonso is the one having a dnf. GAME OVER right?

      1. Doobs says:

        You have no soul.

        But no. Alonso would just keep on fighting.

  25. Tom L. says:

    James – it was Perez rather than Vergne who picked up a puncture. Vergne was the one who caused Schumacher’s puncture.

  26. danny11 says:

    This proves once again how technical development, which is on the edge of the rules by RBR as always, can screw up perfectly exciting season (that was of course up until Suzuka). It used to be about drivers before Shumacher era and now it is all about who has best engineers in the team! Vettel might go in the books for his numbers but as soon as he doesn’t have fastest car by enormous margin he can’t do anything as we have seen previously this season. He will never be one of the greatest by my opinion and reach the heights of driving skills of Senna, Prost, or Hamilton and Alonso for that matter! If, or better when he wins the title again I will stop watching F1 as I did for 3. seasons when it was all about M.S.! I believe I am not the only one so Bernie you better come up with something that will spice up competition before you die!

    1. xyler says:

      Well, I would say, RB does the best, they can do. Give Newey ALL rights and constructs and “organises” the best cars.
      McLaren said to much, what he has to do.
      Geniuses need freedom!

    2. david says:

      Vettel won his first GP in a Toro Rosso.

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        Check on wikipedia, I can’t be bothered finding the link but the 2008 Toro Rosso was the same chassis as that used by Red Bull that year.
        The only difference being Ferrari power as opposed to Renault.

      2. david says:

        yes, I’m aware of that, but wasn’t it last year’s chassis, and Toro Rosso certainly didn’t have the budget and resources to keep abreast of updates like the big teams.

      3. david says:

        And I believe Monza was the only GP they were competitive at and that was because it was raining.

    3. Andrew M says:

      “It used to be about drivers before Shumacher era and now it is all about who has best engineers in the team!”

      Cooper introducing the rear-engined car? Colin Chapman? Nigel Mansell’s FW14B? The quality of the designers and engineers has always played a part in the outcome, it’s hardly a recent phenomenon.

    4. Ahmed says:

      0.5 of a second usually seperates the top 10 in quali, and the top 3 teams are within 1 or 2 tenths of each other in race trim. Where is the massive advantage you are referring to??? The margins have never been tighter. Bravo to the team that finds the extra tenth or two and wins!!! Don’t be a sore loser just because your team is not winning

      1. Doobs says:

        And add some dodgy engine maps and holes in the floor and the persistant rumours about the flexing front wings and floors, and exceeding the budget cap… why wouldn’t you be sore about it?

  27. Harrison Vrbanjac says:

    Many people seem to dislike Vettel, which is ok but it’s not ok to not be able to be objective! Vettel maybe or maybe not be the best. The fact is that he is one of the best drivers ever. Don’t forget that Redbull was nowhere near championship top at point Vettel arrived. Adrian Newey is great, we all can agree on that, but imagine Redbull without Vettel, I’m not seeing Webber and Couldhard leading WCC at this point, do you, does anybody? Webber is fourth in championship and Couldhard would be say sixth, then nobody would be talking of dominant Redbull car or greatness of Newey, would we? It would be fair to say that Redbull had overall best car last three years, and Vettel has won twice and on his way for third title, what could you ask more for? Last year Redbull had dominant car, Vettel won in one of the best seasons ever to be achieved in history, Webber drove that same dominant car he wasn’t even second, do you see Couldhard be champion in that same car? My point is, that only Hamilton (not in his 2011-form), Alonso and Räikonnen can do same thing, the other 20 drivers wouldn’t be champions (in 2011) in that same car, maybe the tree other earlier mentioned drivers are better, I don’t know, but Vettel is one of the best and that is a fact.

    Alonso has been best driver this year, and is having a “perfect” season as his more or less maximized the result, the problem is that Ferrari is sometimes third fastest car (even worse in beginning of the season), especially in qualifying. With that said I must say that I don’t like his less charming side when he’s losing. He’s keeping playing mind games with states like “Hamilton is only driver who can win in car that is not best”, “Hamilton is better than Vettel”, “we are not fighting just Vettel but Newey”, etc. His reaction towards Petrov in 2010 reminds me of Schumacher’s less flattering sides. This guy is simply very bad loser.

    1. Sid says:

      Someone finally talking sense about Vettel. 100% agree.

    2. Fireman says:

      Couldn’t agree more.

    3. xyler says:

      If Vettel leads, he makes no mistakes. Even Schumacher or Senna did this.
      I think, being in front he is one of the very best and very fast.

    4. Brad says:

      I really liked your objective view, it’s like a breath of fresh air.

    5. JR says:

      Of course you may not like it but he is just telling the truth. Surely you prefer the usual politically correct PR stuff of most drivers.

    6. Quattro_T says:

      Did you see Vettels face post qualy in Korea, when Webber beat him to pole? ALO is probably just as bad a looser and that applies to all winners. Worse is Vettels late habit of turning to his team mate at the podium ceremony right when it is ALOs turn to talk, and start to chat. I always felt that is disrespectful and seems Webber is not interrested anymore in that behaviour.

      His comments reg HAM vs VET – there is a big possibility that he genuinly feels that way actually and I believe he is not the only one. And regarding “not fighting just Vettel but Newey”. That is exactly how it is, in the same way VET is not just fighting ALO, but also the design team producing the Ferrari. It only happens that the RB team is able to provide VET with features that will enable him to literally take an easy pole, cruise from pole to race win and at any time during a race increase the pace of his package by pressing a button on his steering wheel to easily increase the gap to whoever is 2nd.

      1. Panya says:

        very well said

      2. Harrison Vrbanjac says:

        I saw his face expression, he was very disappointed. I remember his reactions towards Pirelli at Spa last year too. I agree with you that all winners express big disappointment when they loosing. But you can express you in different ways, and here I believe Alonso plays mind-games with Vettel with his states more then compliment Hamilton. Regarding the Vettel’s habit you mention, I haven’t notice because I don’t like the new interview arrangement, I will look after it next time.

        As I said, Hamilton and Alonso may be better drivers but 35 pole positions and 26 race wins doesn’t come of by it self. Lately both Alonso and Hamilton have tried to undermine Vettel’s achievements, with different kind of statements, but as I said before you can’t do more than winning. Vettel may be as bad loser as Alonso, but he hasn’t made any statements what so ever about Alonso or Hamilton for that matter. Hamilton is seeking credit for leaving McLaren to build a “smaller” team; Vettel has already done that together with Redbull and for sure it’s not just thanks to Vettel but 20 other drivers wouldn’t achieve what he has and then nobody would consider Redbull’s car as superior. In end of day who would leave a team that’s winning (after this season, McLaren is just fifth best team over last decade counting WDC and WCC, so Hamilton is not leaving a “winning team” more a “serious championship challenger team” that usually doesn’t win) ?

      3. Doobs says:

        A few races ago, Maccas were the class of the field…

    7. bearforce1 says:

      Nice one. I agree there are way too many sore losers.

      1. Doobs says:

        And eben more that won’t give credit to a gutsy second place against the overwhelming superiority of the RB cars.

  28. Kris says:

    Alonso was great today – a joy to watch.
    We do, though, need to put this theory of him not having had a good car to bed now.

    With the exception of China, where Mercedes ruled, Redbull McLaren, Ferrari and Renault have had the fastest cars, each of them having been at the top and bottom of that four-team pile at some point in the season. The Ferrari hasn’t made the news because it doesn’t seem to be optimised for qualifying but, on race pace, it’s been strong all season (note the average number of places both drivers make up in races). McLaren, meanwhile, seem to have a very strong qualifying car, but it falls away in the race.

    I simply can’t understand why McLaren’s development always seems to fall away at the most important part of the season. They seem to have a much more fits-and-spurts approach to development compared to the continuous progress that RedBull seems to benefit from.

  29. Tony says:

    General tyre wear question for James or anyone else: In MotoGP the bikes use different compounds for the front and rear tyres, would this be allowed in F1 or is it simply that there is no advantage on a car? Also, in the old days the front and rear wheels were sometimes very much different sizes, is this now prevented by the regulations?

    1. Timmay says:

      It is not allowed

      Of course it would be an advantage to someone somewhere to mix them – mercedes rear tyre wear comes to mind

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      Very real advantages on cars, but the FIA or rule makers deem F1 a one tyre show due to costs.
      Back in the 80′s, Goodyear used to provide 4 compounds. A, B, C and D. Each if these was harder or softer than the other, had different heating up abilities and wear rates.
      These were available for front and rear and drivers would work with the tyres throughout free practice on Friday and Saturday.
      For qualifying they would have purpose made qualifying tyres. I still shiver at the memory…

      Anyway, drivers would go to the grid with a mixture of tyres on their car. You may find they had compound b on the right and compound d on the left, or compound a on 3 wheels but the front left would have a harder compound due to being an anti clockwise circuit.
      When Brabham reintroduced re-fuelling in 1982, they would have run softer compounds for obvious reasons.

      Hope that helps.

  30. Bismarck says:

    Everyone thinks that Newey is a master car maker and brings these updates to make impossibly to defeat cars. But the real story is Vettel is a robot machine and Newey keeps making updates to him to make him faster and faster! :)

  31. Simmo says:

    The first 3/4 of the season was so promising to got down to the wire. But since lap 23 in Singapore Red Bull became dominant, ending McLaren’s short lived dominance and Fernando Alonso’s speed (to a certain extent). 2011 is about to repeat itself :(

  32. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Boring, boring race!

    No action, no excited overtakes, no clashes, no gestures, no pitstop messes, it was like watching a highway from the balcony.

    If Vettel and RBR deserve this, yes, but also there was no action in the midfield. Boring not to see Kimi overtaking Massa, and so on.

    I thought Vettel can have a record of 4 WDC next year and that’s scary if we have to watch just that.

    And now that everybody understand the Pirellis, what is Mercedes doing there? And Di Resta will finish out like Koba soon?

    If the best drive was from Massa… something is wrong, again.

    1. Rockie says:

      Am guessing if Vettel had a DNF and Alonso won thid race it wouldnt be boring.

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        With all due respect rockie, can you get back to engineering Seb’s car and having a go back at the brat… Lol

      2. Rockie says:

        Hahahahaha nice one trying to get Sebastian’s car to go a second quicker to put this title to bed already. What a season!

  33. Thompson says:

    Was it me or was Button overly aggressive cutting across Hamilton to the first corner. Gifting Alonso a place in the process. It did’nt even look like he was targeting the Bulls but the intention was to just get in front of Hamilton.. pity he fried his tyres for his effort.

    I thought that was odd, are the gloves off in Macca, the good manners out the window?

    Good drive by Kimi, pity about the short 7th gear though.

    1. Thompson says:

      To add, can’t help but feel that upto this point Red Bull were sand bagging, gut tells me they were toying with the field,they look unstoppable now or at least in Vettles hands.

      Webber rapidly becoming a Rubens.

      1. Timmay says:

        She is already a Rubens

    2. bob says:

      Yes, how rude that a formula 1 driver would try to gain places in a formula 1 race!

      Poor old Jenson, no manners at all!

      Tut tut!

      And how utterly inexcusable for him to go round the outside and take both Alonso AND Hamilton in the same corner.

      What a bad mannered so and so!

      1. KRB says:

        Huh? The outside of where? Button was 3rd going into the first corner already! If you’re saying turn 4 on lap 1, Button was never behind, which seems to me a pretty crucial element to qualify as an ‘overtake’.

        But your talk about going ’round the outside brings back memories of probably the last truly GREAT overtake seen in F1 (great in terms of difficulty, daring, and importance to the race result), which was Hamilton going ’round the outside of Alonso at turn 2 at the Nurburgring for the race lead.

      2. Nick says:

        “…But your talk about going ’round the outside brings back memories of probably the last truly GREAT overtake seen in F1 (great in terms of difficulty, daring, and importance to the race result), which was Hamilton going ’round the outside of Alonso at turn 2 at the Nurburgring for the race lead….”

        Yeah, cause Webber on Alonso at Spa or even Kimi on Schumacher at Spa was no where near as good as that!

        Let me guess, Hamilton on Vettel in China in 2011 was the second best GREAT overtake in recent F1 history was it??

        HAHAHAHA!

  34. Norman says:

    Boring? Can not agree. Yes the front running Vettel had the race from beginning to end but the rest? Wow! Alonso’s taking both the McLarens was great. A determined Massa who had Kimi on his gearbox for most of the race was the Massa of old. The driver who lost a world championship by 1 point, to a very lucky Hamilton. Down the field there were great dices that made the race a delight to watch. Viva F1.

    1. Afonso Ronda says:

      +1

  35. Sammy says:

    What about getting rid of radio messages during the race from the pit wall to the drivers?
    A driver now can win the race using the indications he receives from his engineers: look after your left front tyre, use 30% of your kers in turn x, move the brake balance, etc.
    Just keep the pit boards and let the drivers race as fast as they can, thinking of their own strategies of when to push and how to change the car handling in-race. Let’s move on to a more karting-like F1 (=real racing)

    1. AlexD says:

      F1 World Nurses Championship

  36. Andrew says:

    Very interesting Interview with Hamilton on the BBC. He believes this was one of his best races because he was able to push all race long without having to look after the tyres. He also said that he finds it much more challenging to push all race and not have to cruise to preserve the tyres.

    I absolutely agree, I want to see drivers pushing all race long. Some races will be interesting and some not but there is nothing worse than seeing drivers cruising around the track preserving their tyres. We might even see drivers making mistakes again like Alonso did in this race near the end, it was lucky for him that gravel traps are no longer in favour.

    1. Timmay says:

      Good idea to move to mercedes then Lewis – the team with the worst tyre wear by far all year.

    2. F1Ray says:

      Another nice little dig at Alonso, by a Hamilton luvvie. Andrew, gravel traps don’t stop Alonso, look at how he drove through one at Monza, when Vettel pushed him wide. I know he overtook and out drove, “your man” today, but these things happen.

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        I believe Andrew, Rob Newman and val from Montreal are one and the same…

  37. Sammy says:

    I noticed the problem with Seb’s floor plate suddenly vanished due to a hydraulic system that automatically can adjust the car’s ride hight during the race.
    Italian TV confirmed that the FIA will investigate what exactly was going on there.

    1. KRB says:

      Link please. If this were true, I would expect the FIA to disqualify RBR from the entire championship. I doubt it unless you provide a link that shows it.

      1. Myer says:

        It is easy to explain. The part that holds the floor off the ground broke off while going over a kerb. It only happened once when Seb had his DRS open while behind Glock – due to the DRS stalling the wing and changing the balance on the car which forced the floor downwards.

        We never got to see the sparks again because Seb didn’t use use his DRS again because he was always in the lead.

      2. BlueRacer says:

        Italian TV showed Red Bull engineers working on what looked like “an hydraulic connector on the third suspension element” during one of the practice sessions.

        I didn’t hear anything about FIA investigating it – but I didn’t follow the post-race interviews and comment.
        James, do you know anything about it?

        Also, does anyone know if all cars have their skid block measured after the race or if they check only a random few after the race?

  38. Chromatic says:

    James would you say that Alonso has shifted the momentum back in his own favour in spite of Vettel winning here?
    I think that is the case: and RB have shown that reliability is still the achilles heal

    1. Chromatic says:

      forgot to add. I posted a polite critical comment about the wording in the article earlier. Didn’t get through

    2. James Allen says:

      I would not say that, but he has kept things alive on a weekend when RBR had a big performance advantage

      1. Adelaide says:

        There’s this talk of Red Bull having to go back to their problematic alternators. I think that’s the joker card Ferrari is betting on: Red Bull’s poor reliability.

      2. Robert Gunning says:

        The other is that the F2012 is by far the best car in the wet. So if a wet race or qualifying session occurs, Alonso will be at a significant advantage.

      3. Onko says:

        More certain Alonso wining thi year wdc.
        Reason being Ferrari was the fastes car in
        the stright line speed today,an eye opener
        what Alonso did at the start, all Ferrari
        need to improve the traction in the corners
        and Alonso will have his man.
        One must remeber Vetel is a leader simply by the circumstance.
        Alonso’s ability as the driver can not be egnored.

      4. MGM says:

        What Ferrari needs to do is get a driver that goes for the win, not for the points. Im not a SV fan, but c’mon… Got to hand it to the guy, he goes for the win, since every Saturday. Maybe if FA had risked more in midseason, and tried to win some races instead of settling for some points, the story would be different. Today SV has a better drive, but is also a better driver… Goes for the win, always. Would lovevto to see LH or Kimi (again) dressed in red.

    3. Rob Newman says:

      I was thinking the same thing and probably you are right. Even though Vettel is leading, it looks like Alonso and Ferrari have suddenly come alive. Red Bull had an advantage during qualifying and not so much during the race. If the Ferraris were ahead of Webber and with the great straight line speed Ferraris had, we could have seen a different conclusion today.

    4. KRB says:

      That’s a pretty optimistic view. Alonso has w/o doubt limited the damage, but how can anyone possibly say the momentum is not with Red Bull?!?! Vettel’s won the last 4 races, led each lap for the last 205 laps, and the last 1,112 kms (5th highest streak all-time in both regards).

      They could’ve gone faster today. That’s all you have to say!

    5. JF says:

      Mclaren and RB have about equal (relatively bad) reliability issues among the front runners, Ferrari has had better luck.

      1. f1fan123 says:

        mAYBE IT#S NOT BETTER LUCK; BUT THEY WORK BETTERß

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        Exactly. It really irritates me when people speak about luck. If it hadn’t been for a reckless Frenchman in Spa, Alonso would have taken Schumachers record of most consecutive point finishes. Another era where Ferraris reliability was astounding.
        Everything is part of the package, and you try to improve every aspect, speed reliability, ease of set up and team work.
        Ferrari need inherent speed in their car, everything else is working fine

  39. Richardc says:

    I am amazed that even though the drivers were pulling 6g they carried out interviews straight away. Great drive,by the top 4. I smell a rat by red bull racing. They do things that just don,t feel right. Their development is outstanding but there is something fishy about their ride height…..worst part of it for me is I believe Vettel knows about it!! The rule stretching is out of order but as we all know the FIA will not do anything!

  40. Jorge Gaviria says:

    Please stop complaining about Adrián Newey and RedBull, Ferrari has the Best engineers, more budget, the Best team, but they have found a team and a driver that give them battle. What better thing for F1 for which Vettel and AN exist and FA and Ferrari have to do their best and continue to work hard. Vettel is the Best driver on the grid today, FA showed that Ferrari has an excellent car. Beautiful year thet we are witnessing in F1.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      I’m assuming your first language is not English… because so much much was lost in translation.
      Either that or you are stuck in 2004 and still believe that Ferrari has that infrastructure in place.

  41. Pete says:

    what a dreadful GP by Mercedes

    Rosberg could not believe that he did not even have the pace of Senna

    when will ANYBODY start questioning Ross Brawn ?

    1. Andrew says:

      I agree, the Mercedes is an absolute mess. The Merc team has probably been one of the weakest teams on the grid this year, development has been non existent, their cars have been horribly unreliable and they still seem to have no understanding of how to use the Pirelli tyres.

      I’m sorry to say that the future looks bleak for Hamilton.

  42. James Stride says:

    Well 2014 cant come soon enougth, red bull have basically had the fastest car since the middle of 09, only a lack of double diffuser at the start of that year, and unreliability in 10 made it look close,

    I think people have to understand that drs and degrading tyres, are a easy way to cover up the fact that the cars cant follow close through corners,and so cant over take, a new philosophy is needed in formula one, ground effect mayabe and 1 peice front and rear wing maybe,

  43. Ryan M says:

    Ive renames races like today as a vetictory. When Sebastian Vettel retires in many years to come we will all be in awe of a) his qualifying talents, regardless of whether he was in the fastest car or not. And b) of how he starts the grand prix and within 4 – 8 laps he down the road with 4 – 8 seconds lead. When talking to f1 novices they do not understand how critical this is in his success, clean track ahead, managing of the tyres, the luxery of waiting to see what everyone else does, all with a decent time advantage. Having watched all this guys victories, without crunching numbers a good 75% have run to this script. When Vettel is off the front row he is vulnerable, he makes mistakes, and is not as a complete racer as say… Mr Alonso?

  44. thejudge13 says:

    Sorry to moan again. Complained race significantly affected by safety car in Singapore, marshalling in Korea and now Pirelli picking the wrong tyres. Super soft – had to be the way to go – not soft

    I can’t criticise Pirelli overall as they have done an awesome job, but when are all the components going to be right to facilitate the best race possible.

  45. Carlos Marques says:

    One word for this race and this championship ending: boring.

  46. Sensei.GT says:

    Hydraulic system on the Red Bull? I was wondering why SV’s sparking magically went away. Any news on this? I had a feeling that RB were cheating again!

  47. JohnBt says:

    Wow, it seems appraisals for Vettel is flat and very negative, it’s not just the car and I feel Vettel is a very good river. I support Mark Webber too but he didn’t produce the results Vettel did. Yeah I know, they are favoring Vettel like Nando to Massa.

    Rate the race at 5, other then the opening overtaking moves by Nando, Senna too made some pretty good overtaking moves.

    Just hope Ferrari is closer to RBR for the next race as I did fall asleep quite a bit though.

  48. For sure says:

    While I appreciate that the fans are giving props to Alonso for his sheer brilliance (rightly so), why does it always have to be one or another?

    Seb somehow, seems to be able shine in pretty much every season.
    I think this kid IS the real deal too. If Alonso is Mayweather, then he is Manny.
    He won in a Torro Rosso, he won his first title in one of the fastest but unreliable car, he dominated in a dominant car. He kept himself in the hunt while his car wasn’t good, now he is making it look easy again when the car is good. It’s not that easy, ask Jenson.

    Alonso looked more of a fighter, punching above the weight of his car. You can’t help but admire the guy. But who really is doing a better job?

    If you are neutral, you can’t tell.

  49. Sebastian says:

    It would be much better if the top ten could choose to start on new tyres of their choice. That would give more strategic option for the fastest cars. Right now all the excitment during the race is outside the top ten cars.

  50. Scott says:

    Reading most of the comments above you wouldn’t bother watching the final 3 races of an exciting season, as people seem to have made up their mind that Adrian Newey has won what will be a “boring” championship. In other words, they can’t stand the thought of Vettel winning another championship (whatever the inexplicable reason for disliking him might be).

    More objectively, though, the championship is far from decided. Anything can happen still. At yesterday’s race Vettel could easily have been forced to retire given his problem during the latter part of the race, and almost coming a cropper with Maldonado’s slow moving car which had a puncture eariler in the race. In either situation, Alonso would have won the race and regained the lead in the championship.
    Plus, the Ferrari is not nearly as far off the Red Bull pace as is being made out. So come on people, enjoy the climax to a competitive world championship in which, despite the early season lottery (which people seemed to like for some reason), the cream has risen to the top and the two best drivers of the season are fighting it out.

  51. Paul says:

    Surely the death knell of F1 was the Kimi/Massa dice at the end of the pitlane. Kimi pulls a proper racing pass on Felipe but gets mugged when Felipe uses the “cheating flap”.

    So why would a driver try a proper racing pass in future when he can just wait till the DRS zone, open the cheat flap and sail by.

    I know it only works like that on certain circuits but we are depriving fans of proper racing.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      Says it all doesn’t it, Kimi brakes, Massa breaks harder. Will we ever see drivers come to a stop like the cyclists at the Olympics??

  52. Chris says:

    If Vettel winning is boring, so is the post race bitterness from Ferrari fans. Get over yourselves seriously!!
    It isn’t just Newey who’s beating Alonso, Red Bull employ an entire team of engineers (probably less than Ferrari?) who all contribute. Vettel has won 25% of his grand prixs, impressive stat, especially when he’s never signed for a team that could boast a Grand Prix win!!
    If Newey was at Ferrari, and you were winning every race from pole, you wouldn’t care, you’d say our technical team is doing a better job than anyone else. Point your figure at your engineers, and not at easier targets, ie Newey and Vettel.
    Ferrari don’t have a God given right to win, no team does, and if another team other than Ferrari is winning, they are not Satin for doing it, they are simply a motor racing team doing what they are paid to do.
    Ask yourselves this, if Massa was at Red Bull, would he be challenging Vettel? Why doesn’t Webber more consistently? Would DC be challenging if he was there? Would someone like Di-Reista (a driver I like) being winning 4 grand prixs in a row?

    1. Brad says:

      Great post Chris, can’t agree more

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      You make some good points, agree in general but I doubt Ferrari has either the engineers or the freedom of budget RBR has.
      Newey was Mckarens designer between 1997-2006, yet apart from 98 & 99, didn’t dominate anything else.
      2005 was an anomaly because Bridgestone was handicapped with tyre regs, so newey was taking on Renault.
      Between 2000-2004 Byrne and Ferrari were always ahead.

      Regarding Ferrari fans bitterness, any true Ferrari fan will tell you that when MSC was dominating, it was one of the most boring periods in F1 history.

  53. f1fan123 says:

    ‘when MSC was dominating, it was one of the most boring periods in F1 history’

    Senna,that shouldn’t diminish Ferrari’s and Schumacher’s achievements during that period. Don’t blame it on them, blame it on the opposition that there was not a too hard fight. Btw 2000 and 2003 were entertaining seasons, despite the Ferrari wins. 2001 wasn’t too bad either. So that leaves only 2002 and 2004 as being ‘boring’. However 2011 or 1992 were also quite dominant. And if you look back in history, 1963 and 1965 were also dominated by Lotus and Clark, yet no one complains, everyone hails Clark as one of the best drivers ever, despite only winning titles in dominant machinery. That’s why I don’t get all that whining because of MSC domination.

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