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Posted on April 16, 2013
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Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel is targeting a return to the podium after narrowly missing out in the Chinese Grand Prix. And a glance at the drivers’ championship table shows that, without the extra seven points he gained controversially by taking the win in Malaysia despite team orders not to, he would now by second behind Kimi Raikkonen with arch rival Fernando Alonso just two points behind him, having recovered from his retirement in the Sepang.

Knowing that they didn’t have the pace in Shanghai, the Red Bull driver chose a different strategy to the Ferraris, Lotus and Mercedes which meant he didn’t set a time in the final part of qualifying, which allowed him to choose the tyre compound that he would start the race on.

The German lined up ninth on the medium tyre, with everyone else in front of him – except McLaren’s Jenson Button – starting on the softs.

Vettel managed his tyres in the race while making steady progress and found himself fourth after his final pit stop, where he changed to a set of soft tyres to ensure he used both compounds during the race.

Despite being 12 seconds down on Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in third with four laps to go, Vettel used the faster, newer rubber to catch his rivals but two minor mistakes on the final lap saw him miss a podium by just 0.2 seconds.

“It’s a shame, I’m a little bit disappointed not to get on the podium because there’s nothing for fourth but there’s a trophy for third,” Vettel said. “The team obviously told me that there was quite a big gap, but there was also a gap to the car behind so [I thought] why not [try to catch him]?

“When I came onto the long straight for the first time and saw Lewis at the hairpin, I thought I was too far away, but we had more speed on the tyres. It’s a little disappointing to lose out at the end. A few more corners and we could’ve tried something.”

Vettel saw his lead in the drivers’ championship cut to three points over Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen with Chinese Grand Prix race winner Fernando Alonso a further six points adrift.

The German lost time behind Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg in the first stint and only started catching the leaders when he jumped his countryman at the stops.

He added: “Our strategy seemed to work today. We knew it was crucial to get clear laps at the start, but we did not. I was behind Nico and if you follow another car too much it’s bad for the tyres. It was hard to find the right compromise.”

However he conceded that his Red Bull didn’t have the pace to match Alonso.

“I think Fernando was too quick and if you look at the strategy they started in clean air and did most of the race in clean air whereas I was a bit held up,” he said. “[I’m] not blaming anything or anyone, it’s just how it is when you start a little bit further back.

“With a few more clean laps in the beginning we could have had a chance but would, could, should; three guys were better today so I hope to be back on the podium next week.”

* Analysis of whether Vettel’s strategy worked in China will be included in the UBS Race Strategy Report coming up soon today on JA on F1.

Vettel grateful for extra points gained as drivers’ table tightens up
119 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: dufus
        Date: April 16th, 2013 @ 8:34 am 

    Vettel didn’t deserve the 7 points.

    [Reply]

    Bob Baker Reply:

    Vettel didn’t deserve the 7 points? This comment is laighable, on the wrong strategy again for the 3rd time this year he drove well and actually deserved a podium, he could have fought Alonso if they just have opted for a run in Q3, ok so the car was off the pace but it wasn’t much difference to Ferrari and Lotus, expect more errors from.the strategy in Bahrain.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Did Alonso deserve his podium in Texas Last year?

    [Reply]

    AlexD Reply:

    For sure he did, why not? Did he disobey his team in doing so?

    kfzmeister Reply:

    He deserved to win the WDC.

    Me Reply:

    Why?…

    [Reply]

    madmax Reply:

    Why?

    Because you don’t like him?

    [Reply]

    dufus Reply:

    My point is simple and in reply to James’s saying the 7 point difference in Malaysia have helped him. I dont argue that.
    He did not deserve those points though as we all know and i’m sorry if its a problem but 90% of people agree.
    [mod]

    [Reply]

    Scuderia McLaren Reply:

    90% of people do not agree.

    Just 90% of the people you pay attention to.

    madmax Reply:

    Thought were talking about China points for 4th but ya that isn’t 7 points!

    About Malaysia, He was faster than Webber throughout and didn’t have to save fuel at the end as Webber had to. Morally he did the wrong thing but he was the better and faster driver in Malaysia and deserved to be ahead rather like Rosberg against Hamilton.

    Hamilton had the good grace to admit Rosberg drove a smarter race for as Webber as usual plays up to the media about how wronged he was.

    Snailtrail Reply:

    90% of people that think there is a right way to win agree SV should not have those extra 7 points.

    If SV wins the title this year that incident will rightly be remembered.

    gudien Reply:

    Excellent drive. Almost made the podium with a slow car. No accidents, no incidents.

    Vettel got the most out of the car.

    [Reply]

    AlexD Reply:

    Kimi made it to 2nd with half of the car.

    [Reply]

    Nick_F1 Reply:

    How do you treat what Mark did before vs Seb when he tried to overtake under the team order?

    If he succeded did Mark would deserve that win ?

    I see it clear that Mark can’t overtake Seb in the equal enviroment but Seb can do that and he had just shown that.

    [Reply]

    dufus Reply:

    You see it clear ?
    Webbers engine was turned down. The team and Vettel knew it. Vettel snuck up and closed the gap when he fjll well knew what he was going to do. Webber was sucker punched and with the aid of drs passed him.
    It really is that simple. Webber would have controlled the gap if orders previous to the race were followed.

    [Reply]

    Brian Reply:

    Vettel took 2 and a half laps to make the move stick. If Mark didn’t turn his engine up in all of that, then he deserves to be passed.


  2.   2. Posted By: blowndiffuser
        Date: April 16th, 2013 @ 8:35 am 

    Very solid, nearly flawless drive, given the strategy that RB set for him

    [Reply]

    aveli Reply:

    vettel should have beaten hamilton to that chinese podium if he was good enough a driver. his car was so much faster than hamilton’s. they went toe to toe in the last few corners with vettel about a cars length away. hamilton braked so late in the corners that vettel tried to do the same but just didn’t have the skill to control his car in the same corners at the same speed. a clear indication of hamilton’s greatness, the only current world champion who has been brave enough to twice experience having a world champion as a teammate. he is desperate to make clear just how far ahead he is of everyone in terms of driving skills. willing to take on all champions at the same team.
    vettel deserved that podium but his driving simply let him down.

    [Reply]

    giorgio Reply:

    “his car was so much faster than hamilton’s”..
    ..his car was faster on the last 4 laps, not including 52.

    [Reply]

    aveli Reply:

    over the last 4 laps, vettel’s car was much faster and he was so close to hamilton but failed to pass because his driving skills let him down.
    vettel can overtake and he has demonstrated that time after time but his overtaking skills are not as good as those of hamilton.
    we have all seen how f1 has changed since hamilton exploded into the sport. he demonstrated how exciting f1 could be. the problem was that only he was good enough to do it so the overtaking working group threw everything at f1, higher narrower rear wings, lower and wider front wings, slick tyres, kers and drs. all to help other drivers to drive like hamilton.
    i pray for the day hamilton and vettel are in the same team. he has seen off two world champions already mind you.

    VP of Common Sense Reply:

    Aveli, Vettel failed to overtake Hamilton because the soft tyres were gone after 5 laps.

    The rest of your comments seem nothing more than Lewis fanboy worship. Where was the great Hamilton’s almighty overtaking skills on a stricken Raikkonen’s Lotus? Did Lewis not have two DRS zones and KERS to pass Kimi? Only someone so biased to Hamilton would criticize Vettel for not making that pass. He was 11 seconds behind Hamilton with 5 laps to go and he caught him at the end and his tyres were gone. As for seeing off two champions, that’s quite a reach. If that’s how you feel, then the same could be said for Button seeing off two world champions in Jacques and Lewis.

    aveli Reply:

    @vp of common sense, is it common sense to call me names because i praise a driver? you seem upset that i whom you don’t know, wrote to praise a driver you may have never met. i find that rather odd but let’s [mod] continue to enjoy the sport.
    by the way hamilton demonstrated his superior driving skills in chasing down and passing the youngest ever triple world champ in austin and successfully prevented the triple champ from doing the same to him in china.
    data shows that hamilton pulls 6g under braking under control. the best of the rest manage 5.

    aveli Reply:

    vp of common sense, vettel failed to overtake hamilton because he couldn’t. nothing to do with his tyres. hamilton managed 6 laps on those soft tyres.
    [mod]

    Pete_from_Nepal Reply:

    Vettel’s tires were going off by a lot towards the end of the 4/5th lap, and the time difference between HAM and VET were decreasing because of this so it wasn’t as straightforward as you make it seem. He did make a mistake though, I agree.

    There were detractors many moons ago who said that VET couldn’t overtake. Of course now we know that isn’t true, but I can see that you are still to be won over.

    For the sake of good racing, I hope VET continues to overtake vs. boring lead from start to finish, and in the process you may be convinced!

    PS: not a VET fan really. I like Kimi :)

    [Reply]

    Nick_F1 Reply:

    do you remember that LH can’t overtook MS within 3 or 4 laps (Italian GP, 2011) but Button did that just straight away from the first coming lap?

    Does that mean the LH doesn’t have skills or he is not a good diver???

    [Reply]

    AlexD Reply:

    How is that better than what Button did, for example?

    [Reply]

    gudien Reply:

    Vettel finished ahead of Button. That’s how.

    [Reply]

    AlexD Reply:

    Oh yes, indeed. And his car is like 2 sec per faster than McLaren? 1.5?

    AlexD Reply:

    I do not think Vettel is the person that will allow other people to set anything for him. So he set this strategy for himself and yeap, got the 4th place. Nothing special….Button did the same thing, but he car is much-much slower.

    [Reply]

    Tim Reply:

    Do you really think SV set his own strategy? Maybe he manufactured the car, arranged the sponsorship and flew the plane that transported the team to China as well!

    [Reply]

    AlexD Reply:

    Well, he doesnt listen to his team….so it had to be the case.

    Giorgio Reply:

    Well, you just don’t like SV and look for the math to justify ur opinion, otherwise JB and SV are different racers to compare.

    [Reply]

    AlexD Reply:

    Vettel is a better driver then Button, I think. Vettel is one of the best drivers that are there on the grid today. But it is true, I dislike him a lot. I met him, Horner and Bernie 2 years ago in a restaurant in Croatia. We had a nice chat and I have a photo with Sebastian. I told him that he is doing a phenomenal job and is driving exceptionally well. I did like him. But…the events of Malaysia shocked me. For me, a F1 driver is also a human being. It is not just his driving, but his personality and how is he positioning himself, how he treats other people. He put himself about everything and everybody. 3 weeks later he also said that he would do it again, despite saying sorry. To like him will mean to take side with him and I don’t. Many people changed their mind and opinion about Vettel that day. It doesn’t make him a bad driver at all….but there are things that are more important that the number of races that you are going to win.

    Kartik Reply:

    Stuck to the same Comment when Vettel wins Races and say that was due to his own strategy,

    [Reply]


  3.   3. Posted By: Reppu
        Date: April 16th, 2013 @ 8:42 am 

    So…”I think Fernando was too quick and if you look at the strategy they started in clean air and did most of the race in clean air whereas I was a bit held up”.

    I couldn’t help to laugh out lead reading this. I guess ALO would also laught lungs plenty, since that’s how his life has been like for the last three years.

    Anyway, VET now has the chance to show everybody how good of a driver he is, now that his car is not a second ahead the rest. This will be fun.

    [Reply]

    Tealeaf Reply:

    [mod} Redbull gave him the wrong strategy on a underperforming car yet you mock his comments which was perfectly legit, also his car always 1 sec faster? Give it up, in race pace Redbull rarely had that sort of advantage and majority of last year Mclaren was faster in quali and race but no mention of that, look [mod] once RBR, Ferrari and Mclaren install this [mod] ‘FRIC’ active suspension Mercedes will be back to where they were in recent years, and yeah even in an inferior car with terrible strategies this season so far guess whos leading the title race? Get use to Vettel vs Alonso in the years to come.

    [Reply]

    dufus Reply:

    @Bob Baker isn’t it “laighable”,….. :)

    [Reply]

    AlexD Reply:

    Since when Vettel takes what other people set for him? Vettel did not have the car that was 1 sec per lap faster and was afraid to qualify for this reason. So he demanded a strategy that will give him a better chance to score more points. He moved from 9 to 4 thanks for this and should be very happy. He could be on a podium if not for his mistake.

    [Reply]

    Me Reply:

    He is happy… hence:

    ‘Vettel grateful for extra points’

    AlexD Reply:

    red Bull has the best car and Vettel is picking any strategy he wants for himself and still needs to lie and lie and lie to get extra points. He will do anything to win…legal or not.

    [Reply]

    Me Reply:

    The Red Bull was not the best car in China…

    I don’t understand this ‘and still needs to lie and lie and lie to get extra points’ what is this regarding?…

    Dave C Reply:

    I said Redbull didn’t have the fastest car and its proved true, the pecking order will constantly change but right now its between Ferrari and Mercedes who has the fastest car, its just Hamilton isn’t good enough to mount a title challenge unless he has the best car and rivals are not in a competitive car e.g. 2008 where his main challenge was Massa, give it up.

    Mack Reply:

    RedBull gave him the wrong strategy. I’m guessing the wrong strategy was not having a go during quali. He may have not been slowed down by some of the slower cars in front of him. Or are you saying he had no input into the start strategy – just like he had no awareness of overtaking his team mate in Malaysia. I’m quite happy to mock him! He has the morals and backbone of a jellyfish.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Your comments frequently break our rules and require moderation

    Please play by the rules or the entire comment will be deleted – Mod

    [Reply]

    Nathan Jones Reply:

    You do that quite a lot to me. My comments always seem to get deleted. To be honest, I really can’t see what your/moderator’s problem is.

    If you’re saying my comments are out of order then I think your ceaseless censorship [of comments that do not contain swearing or malice towards anyone] is bang out of order.

    James Allen Reply:

    Yes, we you see the thing is this we have a responsibility to the majority of the readers to keep the standard high

    Other sites are available on which to leave any comments you like

    KonPatTsh Reply:

    Is it false?

    Perhaps i don’t have all the data but per the race i watched this weekend it’s the truth…

    So your laughing because it’s Vettel who said that? or because the Alonso/Ferrari just got their first win as the championship leader Vettel/RBR?

    How good of a driver he is? He is leading the championship with a car which is not the fastest.

    Looking at the facts he is a multiple WDC

    Even Hamiltan said “”It has been a good weekend. Of course I would have loved to have won, as that is what I came here to do, but we just were not as quick as the Ferraris”

    [Reply]

    TukingFypo Reply:

    I pray for Kimi to go to RBR next year so you can clearly see how good VET is.

    [Reply]

    Lol Reply:

    Maybe you should try watcdhing 2008 and 2012. Vettel was beating faster cars in 2008 with his Torro Ross, including winning a arce and won the championship in 2012 while not having the fastest car.

    [mod]

    [Reply]

    KRB Reply:

    Red Bull had the best car last year … the best combination of quickness, reliability, and consistency.

    Anyone who thinks different is deluding themselves.

    [Reply]

    hero_was_senna Reply:

    Once again, this needs to be corrected. The 2008 Toro Rosso was exactly the same chassis as run by the sister team RBR. Only difference was the Ferrari engine.
    A great drive, a great team effort but don’t delude yourself that this was a Minardi!

    [Reply]

    Tim Reply:

    The Red Bull has clearly been the fastest car/package for the last 3 seasons, hence the double championships. I am not say SV is not a good driver, he is exceptional, but please don’t say he is winning without the best car. It’s nonsense to suggest otherwise.

    [Reply]


  4.   4. Posted By: Jipaide
        Date: April 16th, 2013 @ 8:44 am 

    Alonso didn’t spend the whole race in clean air, and unlike Vettel was able to overtake Hülkenberg – and with no DRS.

    [Reply]

    Brett Williams Reply:

    I believe Ricciardo also managed to overtake the Hulk…

    [Reply]

    Lol Reply:

    And Alonso being in a faster car with also a much higher top speed.

    [Reply]

    Jipaide Reply:

    Top Speed didn’t have anything to do with it if you look at where he overtook Hulkenberg, Button and Vettel

    [Reply]

    KonPatTsh Reply:

    Sorry for you but top speed has something to do with it. RBR were almost 20km/h slower than others so even with DRS (+ 10-15km/h) they couldn’t match some others speed. e.g Force India without DRS were quicker as RBR using DRS. To pass some you need some speed.

    Due to tyre degradation and different strategy, Alonso (new tyre) overtook Button, Vettel and Hulk (all on old tyres) they didn’t fight to keep tyre in good shape.

    e.g. Button asking his engineer “Do i have to fight?”, RBR telling Vettel to let pass Alonso on newer tyre to focus on constant pace

    Hi James, can you please write something on strategy to explain implication of tyre degradation (New vs old), effects on cornering / straight line and car top speed, fighting or not fighting another car to save tyres…

    Tom Haythornthwaite Reply:

    Every time I can remember reading speed trap data, the Red Bulls were the 10th out of 10 teams. And I think that included some races they won.

    More evidence that top speed may not be so important was that Ferrari test comparing performance with the Shell petrol you buy on the high street to performance with race petrol. Race petrol gave Fernando faster laps (or else heads would have rolled) but the high street petrol gave greater top speed.

    KRB Reply:

    Yes, that was Red Bull’s main failing … not having enough top speed. But that goes back to the entire RBR philosophy surrounding car design.

    [Reply]


  5.   5. Posted By: AlexD
        Date: April 16th, 2013 @ 8:46 am 

    Do I sense it correctly that it is now justified what Vettel did 3 weeks ago as he kept his WDC lead?

    Anyways, I hope that he will not get the title this year. Some other people deserve it more and they are better drivers.

    Hope to see Vettel starting a lot more often a bit behind to show his class.

    [Reply]

    Me Reply:

    Surely the only person who deserves it is the person who wins it, even if it’s someone you’re not a fan of.

    [Reply]

    Random 79 Reply:

    +1, as much as I hate it :)

    [Reply]

    Equin0x Reply:

    Better drivers? Well just put it this way Alonso is scared to go up against Vettel and you will see how Kimi will fail when he joins RBR next season, anybody underestimating Vettel will get a shock year after year.

    [Reply]

    Justin Bieber Reply:

    Alonso wants team harmony.. dont forget Kubica was suppose to replace Massa before his rally crash.

    As for Kimi vs Vettle… it think you could flip a coin..

    [Reply]

    BJovi Reply:

    Good guy Alonso just wanting team harmony… LOL. Well if he truly wanted Kubica to partner him I’m pretty sure he was 100% convinced he could beat him, you see no driver wants to be the good guy just to have a good battle with his team mate, especially not a 2xWDC of Alonso’s calibre.

    TukingFypo Reply:

    Yes, Alonso is *very* scared of VET and Kimi will fail because he will be sabotaged (as well) by Marko, Horner and everyone else at RBR.

    [Reply]

    Mark Long Reply:

    Well I agree that Alonso is scared to go up against a strong team mate because on raw speed he is nowhere near the fastest, he believes Vettel is faster and has the same consistency I don’t blame him for veeto’ing Vettel’s Ferrari move. Kimi will get a fair shot at Redbull but he just won’t beat Vettel, if theres any sabotage going on its at Mercedes and its happening to Rosberg, Nico has been faster so far and when it comes to Q3 the car is slower I wonder why, also the 2 failures eh? whos Ross and Merc trying to kid they’re just trying to big up Hamilton at the expense of Nico


  6.   6. Posted By: rafa
        Date: April 16th, 2013 @ 9:12 am 

    Vettel took the win malaysia, and then apologized to Webber for “not hearing” the team order issued to him.

    He also apologized to the team as naughty boys do…

    then he says that him ignoring team orders was an indirect payback to Webber for being a naughty boy himself.

    Now he tops it all saying that in reality he’s not really sorry for anything he’s done!

    I’ve not had any problems with him taking matters in his own hands in Malaysia… my opinion that as long as he doesn’t whine later because his teammate is not being helpful-which may actually occur- and takes full ownership of his actions, all this outrage is really a bit overblown. all that said, he should stop giving so much versions and justifications: he did it, full stop: Vettel should learn a valuable lesson, from all this: he will never be liked by all, and with his early success, he will not be liked by a great many, so he should quit trying to play the nice guy, because it won’t change people’s opinions, probably just worsen them.

    [Reply]


  7.   7. Posted By: Sasa
        Date: April 16th, 2013 @ 10:02 am 

    I guess that’s the reason he robbed Webber of the win at Sepang. There’s a trophy for both 1st and 2nd places. No difference using Vettel logic.

    [Reply]


  8.   8. Posted By: goferet
        Date: April 16th, 2013 @ 10:19 am 

    Oh yeah, I had forgotten about those 7 points from Malaysia.

    Surely Vettel would have been on the back foot now without those 7 points and looking at what happened to Webber in China, they would have been wasted points if they had gone to Mark.

    Also fair play to Vettel for giving the fans some entertainment by giving Lewis a run for his money, it sure was tight but it inversely showed that when it comes to maximum pressure, Vettel has the ability to crack e.g. Austin 2012, Hunagry 2011, Canada 2011, Turkey 2010/2009.

    Also it’s quite odd, for whenever Vettel doesn’t feel he has the car able to plant it on pole, he would rather not set a time than try and fail e.g. Monaco 2012.

    Anyway, the championship is set up nicely at the top, thanks to Pirelli so from now, it’s mano-a-mano combat.

    [Reply]

    Andras F. Reply:

    goferet,
    What crack are you talking about at Austin 2012? Wasn’t that a HRT which held him up in sector 1 to let LH to close the gap enough for a DRS activation? McLaren/LH was much faster in sector 1.
    Interesting thing was that Red Bull/SV could manage fastest sector 2 time w/o DRS when chased LH after the pass.

    [Reply]

    goferet Reply:

    @ Andras F

    Well, after the race in Austin, Lewis said that he could see Vettel make mistakes up front as he was missing/cutting apexes and that’s why I said he cracked.

    [Reply]

    Andras F. Reply:

    @goferet,
    LH was right there I cannot question his words but…
    SV just set a fastest lap before he was passed. If he was in ‘cracked mode’ than it is not bad at all.

    BJovi Reply:

    Well you see unfortunately, people are not interested in facts, but quite happily advocate their own personal views and present them as hard facts without the ability to back it up. This is especially true of F1 fans.

    [Reply]

    KRB Reply:

    Vettel should not have lost in Austin, and Hamilton should never have been able to get into DRS range. Flip the drivers, and it would still be the same result, Hamilton winning in the RB8.

    Pic’s Caterham held up Hamilton far longer on Sunday than Narain’s HRT held up Vettel in sector 1 at Austin. Nevermind the previous laps where Vettel got DRS off of backmarkers, with Hamilton not within DRS range.

    [Reply]

    hero_was_senna Reply:

    I want to add to cracking under pressure. He had amazing luck in Abu Dhabi after avoiding Ricciardo whilst too close during a safety car period and breaking his nose against a track side marker.
    Then in Brazil, despite what Webber had done at the start, he turned in on Senna and unbelievably was spun with minimal damage and continued on his way.

    If either of those two incidents had put him out of the race, he would have lost the championship.

    [Reply]

    Tim Reply:

    You are spot on, SV effectively won the WDC by the narrowest of margins. If the damage had been just a little more severe (in either incident) or the weather had been dry (in Brazil)then he would have lost the title race.
    But it wasn’t and he didn’t, hey ho :-)

    [Reply]


  9.   9. Posted By: Peldo
        Date: April 16th, 2013 @ 10:26 am 

    In this site many are complaining about the tyres which result unorthodox racing. Funny thing is that no matter what the rules are the same drivers are occupying the podium and challenging for the victories. So for me the reasoning anyone could drive to win is totally wrong. The talented drivers seem always find a way with their engineers to drive faster than the average guys. Some rare exceptions last year but that is just nice to see new faces in a podium genuinely happy. The contenders don’t enjoy anymore individual wins same way. Only the year end result matters. So lets keep the format as it is and enjoy the mess during the race which at the end sorts itself out with fastest drivers on top. This format brings better the different design philosophy of the cars for anyone to see. The tracks favor different teams so no real dominance is most likely possible like 2011.

    Watching and participating in several races since 1981 I think this is the best era. Cars don’t break down to create changes in order but change positions all the time and finishing the races. Only thing which I am missing is the real classic overtaking. This era does not promote those amazing maneuvers but they were far to seldom.

    [Reply]

    Lol Reply:

    You said”In this site many are complaining about the tyres which result unorthodox racing. ”

    Racing? Lol, don’t make me laugh, this is not racing. This is cruising for these guys most of the time ad not even defending positions because then they will lose the tyres.

    [Reply]

    Peldo Reply:

    well that is the big change in racing with these tyres. You are not able to push all the time. That is the way to go quickest with these rules. You may argue that tyres should not have so significant role in F1 but this way you get changes in order more than with most other rules so far. If you remember turbo era. They were so unreliable most of the time that if you pushed the whole race engine would blow up and they blew even when not pushing. So you needed to preserve engine. Last years the aerodynamics have ruled. Who ever has best car aerodynamically will win. Where is the role of driver there. No overtaking. Anyone can follow another car of these F1 drivers with car similar performance. Like in my previous post the best drivers will win no matter where the emphasis is.

    At least Lotus is happy:
    Kimi: “I think they are very good in qualifying and have good grip, so it’s up to you and you have to look after them a bit more in the race.”

    “It’s not really any different from last year – at least for us anyway – so I don’t really understand why people are complaining.”

    Team principal Eric Boullier said Formula One had been supplied with the tyres it asked for: “As a sport we asked our tyre supplier, Pirelli, to provide us with tyres which encourage different strategies and adapting to this is part of the competition.”

    [Reply]


  10.   10. Posted By: Irish con
        Date: April 16th, 2013 @ 10:31 am 

    China has never been red bulls best track. Probably because they have to run less downforce than others to make them a bit quicker on the straight. But still vettel was slower than alonso after 6 laps on new tyres than alonso was on tyres 8 laps older. Not a good sign that is.

    [Reply]

    AlexD Reply:

    Why this is not a good sign?

    [Reply]

    Irish con Reply:

    If there wearing out tyres at that rate it isn’t good for them although u can say china is different than most tracks as its front tyre limited but if the same thing happens this weekend again red bull will be beaten by lotus and Ferrari come Sunday. Bring it on tho.

    [Reply]

    AlexD Reply:

    If Red Bull is beaten by Lotus and Red Bull – it is the best sign of all.

    hero_was_senna Reply:

    RBR had tyre wear issues in Australia, they qualified 1-2 and some distance ahead of the others. But on race day couldn’t run at race winning pace.
    I’m not convinced that they would have won in Malaysia if Alonso hadn’t crashed out.
    In China, they knew in qualifying that they didn’t have front running pace.
    One of the reasons they want last years tyres is because they believe they have more downforce than the others which crucified these tyres.

    Bear in mind, the rules changed in 2005 regards tyres because Ferrari had dominated, so the FIA brought in regulations that would handicap Ferrari especially.
    RBR has become as arrogant as Ferrari were then and I doubt whether the tyres will be changed to suit them now

    Me Reply:

    Because it means that the Ferrari is a dominant car, and we all know what people think about drivers having a dominant car, it’s boring… isn’t it?

    [Reply]

    Justin Bieber Reply:

    I’m sorry I haven’t seen a dominant car yet in 2013. By that I mean, qualifying 1sec in front of everybody and then driving off into the distance. Red Bull did it but it Alonso hadn’t lost his front wing it would have been a different race.


  11.   11. Posted By: Richardd
        Date: April 16th, 2013 @ 10:48 am 

    It goes to show that every point is valuable and that’s why I’m concerned that Ferrari threw away a couple of points in Malaysia by not pitting. It could hurt them by the end of the season seeing how tight the championship is already

    [Reply]

    VP of Common Sense Reply:

    If Alonso’s Ferrari continues to win races, Malaysia will be a distant memory. The F138 is fast and the Toyota windtunnel should make developing the car a whole lot easier, as we saw with the car they brought to Shanghai. Three weeks of hard work paid off well.

    [Reply]


  12.   12. Posted By: Irish con
        Date: April 16th, 2013 @ 11:21 am 

    If there wearing out tyres at that rate it isn’t good for them although u can say china is different than most tracks as its front tyre limited but if the same thing happens this weekend again red bull will be beaten by lotus and Ferrari come Sunday.

    [Reply]


  13.   13. Posted By: AlexD
        Date: April 16th, 2013 @ 12:59 pm 

    I see that Pirelli is already cracking under pressure from Red Bull and will not bring soft tyres to Bahrain. Anything to help red Bull….sad…..

    [Reply]

    Me Reply:

    So… just to be clear…

    You weren’t one of the people complaining about the qualifying in China?

    [Reply]

    AlexD Reply:

    Nope….I even said that i prefer boring qualifying, but good races….so all ok for me.

    [Reply]

    Me Reply:

    That makes it okay then…

    As long as you’re happy.

    Ihsan Reply:

    Some other people would spin it the other way and say “ferrari had great pace on medium/hard tires, anything to help Ferrari” as well.

    Let’s just say, bringing tires that would only last 4-5 laps in anger (as we’ve seen with Vettel at the end of the race), was an interesting choice.

    And for the fellow posters that believe Vettel was handed a bad strategy, I only say he almost made it to the podium from 9th so it wasn’t as bad as you guys make it out to be.

    [Reply]

    hero_was_senna Reply:

    Hmmm, 9th to 4th, 5 places..
    Remind me where Kimi finished in Audtralia after starting 7th.

    [Reply]

    Ihsan Reply:

    Like there was ANY chance Vettel could have made a two stop work with a soft tire that only lasted 6-7 laps at best.
    Remind me how many laps Raikkonen did on the option tires in Australia after starting 7th?

    KonPatTsh Reply:

    Not only RedBull complains…

    [Reply]

    AlexD Reply:

    Did not hear anything from Lotus or Ferrari

    [Reply]

    Vivek Reply:

    This makes me quite sad. The tires choices should have remained same and any change should have been done after Bahrain.

    [Reply]

    AlexD Reply:

    Exactly. I do not fully understand how other teams agreed to this. Can Pirelli simply make the change? This means they can manipulate the outcome as they will know which tyres are good for different teams.

    [Reply]

    Me Reply:

    Do you really think for one minute if Ferrari hadn’t agreed that they’d make the change?

    KRB Reply:

    I’m not sure it’s just Red Bull. The original choice was for hard and soft … last year they did medium and soft. The thing is this season’s tires are softer thru the range, so it could be closer to what we had last year, than it looks.

    Tires that are really only good for four decent laps is simply not good enough. I want tires that will drop off, but that you can push the car to its limits on, or that the penalty for pushing it as opposed to ‘nursing’ them, isn’t as extreme or drastic as it is currently.

    [Reply]


  14.   14. Posted By: Ihsan
        Date: April 16th, 2013 @ 1:56 pm 

    Well, karma is a b**ch.

    I have no problem with Vettel going for the win, however, if the passed driver is not aware he’s being raced against, it is quite low in my book.

    [Reply]

    Lol Reply:

    Actually Webber got his karma in Malaysia and this wee ;)

    Webber was fully aware Vettel was racing, he was side by side after the pitstop and they both kept pushing and Webber lost.

    [Reply]

    trullili Reply:

    Webber was aware he was raced as soon as he came out of the pit lane and saw Vettel attacking for the lead as it should be (if we asked all Webber fans before Malaysia) ! It was just that Vettel was faster as he did not have to save fuel and was on the option which he saved in qualifying. Webber could have saved a set of options in qualifying as well, but he was too slow on his first run and had to do another run on unused set to reach Q3.
    Maybe Webber should take a good look in the mirror and ask himself why karma is biting him in the behind again and again ?!!

    [Reply]

    Bring Back Murray Reply:

    “Get him out of the way”

    [Reply]


  15.   15. Posted By: Tornillo Amarillo
        Date: April 16th, 2013 @ 2:04 pm 

    I like the smoke screen from Hamilton in that decisive moment in the corner when Vettel was going to overtake him.

    Nice to see Vettel a such speed, I think we’ve never saw a rush like this lately, I think Vettel is improving for the better.

    Maybe it was a mistake from Red Bull to change tyres at that point, maybe he’d have needed to do it 2 laps before.

    [Reply]

    TukingFypo Reply:

    Probably the super softs wouldn’t last two laps more…

    [Reply]

    Tornillo Amarillo Reply:

    Well, IMO with 2 more laps, you can first overtake Hamilton and then just stay ahead for those 2 extra laps. Hamilton couldn’t get the position back neither, what do you think?

    [Reply]


  16.   16. Posted By: Anop
        Date: April 16th, 2013 @ 2:24 pm 

    Correct. Fernando had the pace even in traffic. I don’t know why Vettel would blame traffic. They chose to start from 9th. No body forced them to. I’m glad Vettel’s and Button’s strategy didn’t work or else no one would run in Q3 when Pirelli bring soft or super soft tires to a race.

    [Reply]


  17.   17. Posted By: Michael Prestia
        Date: April 16th, 2013 @ 3:09 pm 

    Vettel is RB #1 driver and Alonso is Ferrari’s #1. I know fans of Webber and Massa have a problem with this but that is the reality of the situation whether the team’s publicly play the equal driver bit. Vettel will do what he has to do to get as many points as he can and so will Alonso. Sit back and watch a fun year of tight racing. I love it so far… I hope this continues.

    Here is my list of TOP team #1s:

    Ferrari – Alonso
    Red Bull – Vettel
    Lotus – Kimi
    Merc – Hamilton

    I am sure other teams have a preferred driver but because they have no chance to win either title this year so who cares who the #1 is.

    [Reply]


  18.   18. Posted By: Ljconnolly
        Date: April 16th, 2013 @ 11:00 pm 

    Just out of interested anyone else think the picture at the top of this page is awesome. Vettel in Abu Dhabi you can actually see the concentration in the drivers eyes in the picture.

    James, have you heard that pirelli are switching softs for medium tyres in Bahrain? If so are we likely to see a race more similar to Malaysia than China as the degradation between the two tyres won’t be as great.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Confirmed, switch from softs to mediums

    They announced softs and hards for Bahrain in their pre-season release on Feb 12th.

    Yesterday they sent out Bahrain preview with mediums and hards

    [Reply]

    mhilgtx Reply:

    I also saw on ESPN that Bernie said there would be harder compounds starting in Europe. It being ESPN it wasn’t really in depth what that means. I guess it will be either closer to the 2012 tires or just doing away with soft and mediums except for Monaco.

    [Reply]


  19.   19. Posted By: Poyta
        Date: April 17th, 2013 @ 2:13 am 

    Never liked Vettel but have to admit he drove a smart race in China and got the best he could out of that car.
    Hats out to the Red Bull Strategists who did a perfect job.

    [Reply]


  20.   20. Posted By: mhilgtx
        Date: April 17th, 2013 @ 2:17 am 

    Vettel and RBR’s strategy almost worked out quite nicely. If as the other peice on here is correct that racing behind another car increases tire wear by as much as 20% and racing a driver has the same effect then I see Vettel’s point. On the radio RBR asked Vettel how much faster he could go if he passed HUL and estimated .5 seconds. I think they were going to tell him to go ahead and pass but his lap times crossed over the threshold and he had to pit.

    As I have said before all the Vettel hate and the Vettel did poor innocent Mark “I don’t follow team orders” Webber wrong comments befuddle me. Vettel was told he could race Mark at the end. We all heard that. Then apparently RBR changed it’s mind on that. Quiet shortsighted as we see now with Webber’s crash in China. Vettel was the one strong enough in Malaysia to get his car to the race with enough new tires and enough fuel to race at the end not Webber.

    Then you have all the conspiracy theorist that think Marko and Vettel sabotaged Webber’s car in conjunction with the fuel man, the tire guy, and remote control of Webber’s car forcing the crash.

    Man this kind of irrational thinking frustrates me.

    [Reply]


  21.   21. Posted By: 5reasonreviews.com
        Date: April 17th, 2013 @ 3:27 am 

    I think we will have to wait until the end of the year to see if the net effect of those 7 points is still positive

    [Reply]


  22.   22. Posted By: Craig S
        Date: April 17th, 2013 @ 9:47 am 

    I think Vettel has not done himself a favor by making comments about payback to Webber and that he will do it again in the future. That is really short term thinking and such comments will not go un noticed by other team bosses. Unless he plans to retire at Red Bull, what if in the future he wants to switch teams, very few team bosses will want to hire a driver who undermines team orders and a lot of team bosses were outraged by what happened in Malaysia. He should have just apologised and left it at that.

    [Reply]

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