Russian fightback?
Sochi 2016
Russian Grand Prix
Vettel commits to Red Bull to end of 2015, attention now turns to Webber’s seat
Scuderia Ferrari
XPB.cc
Posted By: James Allen  |  11 Jun 2013   |  7:22 pm GMT  |  421 comments

Three times world champion Sebastian Vettel has signed an extension to his Red Bull contract, taking it to the end of 2015.

The German, who is 25 now and will be 28 at the end of the new agreement, has been linked with long term moves to Ferrari and Mercedes in recent months, but Red Bull has been able to secure his signature on a fresh deal, albeit only another year. There have been rumours that Vettel had some kind of understanding with Ferrari. Italian sources say that Alonso has been working behind the scenes to ensure that the team does not pair him with Vettel.

A simple statement, with no quotes from Red Bull or Vettel, said:

“Infiniti Red Bull Racing is happy to confirm that World Champion Sebastian Vettel has extended his multi-year contract with the team until the end of 2015.

“A previous member of the Red Bull Junior squad, Sebastian first drove for Red Bull Racing in 2009. During his Formula One career, the 25-year-old has achieved 29 wins, 51 podiums and 39 pole positions. He is the current Formula One World Champion and also a triple World Champion, having retained the title since he first won it in 2010.”

Its simplicity is a statement of strength; Vettel is not leaving the team and will race for a further two seasons before the subject of his future arises.

However 2015 will come around soon enough and from Vettel’s side this is not a long term commitment, like the five year contract Fernando Alonso made with Ferrari in 2011. Vettel will have been mindful of the position of Adrian Newey and the contract period is likely to be similar to that of the design genius.

In other words, its a cagey deal this one. Nudging the relationship forward, rather than a long term statement of commitment.

Alonso is committed to the Scuderia to the end of 2016, so the contract is not aligned with Vettel’s.

Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes contract is aligned with Vettel’s, three years starting this season.

Now Red Bull turns its attention to the other car. There is speculation that Mark Webber is set to leave the team and be replaced by Kimi Raikkonen. After the Malaysian Grand Prix fallout with Vettel, Webber’s place in the team has been questioned and today’s announcement makes clear that Vettel is Red Bull’s man for the long term. Webber will be 37 in August.

The Australian usually does his contract renewal around the time of the British Grand Prix, so all eyes will be on him when F1 next reconvenes at Silverstone in two weeks time.

Featured Video
Behind the Scenes at the track
Behind the Scenes at the track
Featured News in ferrari
MORE FROM Ferrari
LATEST FROM THE SCUDERIA FERRARI COMMUNITY
Previous
Next
Share This:
Posted by:
Category:

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.

421 comments

by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest
1

Vettel maybe leaving the door open to a possible move to Mercedes, they could well be the team to beat by 2015

2

A possibility. If Mercedes look like the team to be at then he can move there at the end of 2015. If not another one year extension and a move to Ferrari at the end of 2016. Or if he doesn't get bored of his surroundings he could stay at Red Bull till he retires. But I see that as unlikely.

3

If he goes anywhere he will go to Ferrari to try and emulate his hero Schumacher. Alonso has to retire at some point or move teams.

4

Seb won't be signing for Mercedes, they just are not a team with the success and profile of Ferrari. Make no mistake about it Vettel is faster and as consistent as Alonso no wonder Alonso doesn't want Vettel anywhere near him, Vettel is faster than Alonso in a race and Vettel is faster than anyone over a single lap I doubt Alonso has an answer for Vettel, also Hamilton to the 'fizzy drinks company' in 2016, also Raikkonen to RBB next season.

5

Alonso was able to win in a yellow trolley called Renault just a couple years ago. Vettel is only able to win when he has the fastest car under him. He can win as many WDC as he wants but among true F1 followers he will never even be considered as one of the greatest drivers. See what happened whit Shumachers comeback. The same thing just waiting to happen to Seb. Senna, Prost and Fangio are still considered as greatest by majority F1 fans. As far as his move to Ferrari; I don't see it happening. There is another German on the grid waiting to jump in red car. Can you guess who? I'll help you he drives silver car! For now!

6

"Vettel is only able to win when he has the fastest car under him."

The mighty... Toro Rosso.

"He can win as many WDC as he wants but among true F1 followers he will never even be considered as one of the greatest drivers."

Correction- "amongst embittered people who claim to know about the sport, and throw around tired cliches" ("driver-X only wins because of his car!", driver-Y only wins because of his talent!") to prove an untrue point.

"See what happened whit Shumachers comeback. The same thing just waiting to happen to Seb."

Fifteen years of winning, against a variety of opponents, in varying cars is not undone by returning for 3 years in your 40's and not doing the same.

"Senna, Prost and Fangio are still considered as greatest by majority F1 fans."

What majority? You're deluded if you wouldn't throw Schumacher or Clark in there. Vettel is well on his way to being with those guys too.

7

Not quite. Renault was the dominant car in both of Alonso's championship years.

It benefited because of the tailor made rule changes.

8

Yes 1) due to crashgate 2nd and if you followed F1 you will remember that Vettel also won for Torro Rosso. If you put forward and arguement that it was a Redbull in disguise how come none of the other 3(Sebastian Bourdais, Webber and Coultard) get anywhere near the podium in the same race. Senna won his first WDC in car that won 15 out of the 16 races that is more dominant than the Redbull, Fangio like Vettel always won from the front row. Your pick Rosberg for Ferrari was Webber's teammate and Webber had no issues beating him or you could even say they were evenly match but Webber hasnt managed to beat Vettel in 4 years(make that 5 if you include this year too)So the boss at Ferrari has no issues sticking his neck out go on record to say that Ferrai would rather have Vettel then Hamilton.

9

Yeah, cause last year proved that Seb was a much faster driver. Faster car but the points were so close. So, hmm, I think now...

10

Yes, Phill, because reliability, strategy, team mistakes, driver mistakes never cancel out the fastest car. Clearly, the WDC is not necessarily the fastest driver. Take Jenson Button as an example. Does anyone think he would be a World Champion if not for the DDD advantage he had for the first half of his WDC season?

You can't look at the results of a season and claim one driver is faster than another from another team based on points finish. It's apples and oranges.

11

Haha, oh Dave. If Lewis had a faster car but still couldn't beat Fernando, then do you know what that means?

Alonso is quicker! Oh, that was tricky...

These Hamilton fan boys piss me off

12

Doesn't mean a thing, Hamilton had the fastest car last year and finished miles behind Alonso, and we know Hamilton is faster and actually beaten Alonso, so that argument is flawed.

13

I don't think Vettel would live with Alonso in the same car. Don't get me wrong I'm not one of these people who think Vettel is only 3 x champ because of his car I think he's very special but I think Alonso is a class apart, a very special driver. Only an idiot decides on the best driver based upon wins and championships in f1. That game is all about getting into a good team with the right package and a supportive No. 2 and repeating it year after year. If Prost had blocked Senna's arrival at Mclaren in 88 and they had got Honda anyway he'd have been champ in 88,89,90 & 91, to add to the two he already had by then. Does that make him the best? No, good but not the best. Vettel might have more titles but for me Alonso is superior.

14

alonso is a good driver, but he has said hinself that true greats are 3 times world champion. not only that, if your comparing the two drivers, take a look at the first corner for alonso at suzuka last year, nd think of another time vettel has done something like that other than when he ran into mark at valencia, alonso has done more since! i think true greats are 3 time consecutive world champions , n the only other 2 drivers to win 3 in a row, both won the 4th aswell. schumacher being the most recent won 5 in a row, if vettel wins 6 in a row does that make him the best? i say if! it's a sone deal!

15

Bart you make some good points, and Siobhans points about Vettel only getting better is indeed well made. I agree Vettel and Alonso are the best two drivers around at the moment. Roll on Silverstone!

16

@Lee - At least you do have good explanations for your opinions. I respectfully disagree than Alonso is beter than Vettel. I see Vettel as a driver who despite the ability to mature further (as Siobhan points out), has an uncanny ability to find extra performance when it counts, especially in qualifying which is very important. Either way though, I see Vettel and Alonso as the two best- Alonso has some stunning consistency himself.

As for comparing championships, indeed, you can't simply compare numbers to determine who is best. But while getting into a good package is what it's about, usually a driver won't get into such a package without proving their talents (e.g. Vettel STR, Alonso Minardi). You have to look at how well each driver has done with what they have.

17

Siobhan, yes good point Vettel is still maturing. As I say don't get me wrong i don't understand these people who don't rate Vettel. I think he's a very special talent. I even like the fact he disobeyed team orders, show he's a pure winner. He'll go down as one of the greats but I just suspect Alonso has the edge. It's an amazing era of drivers at the moment. We're very lucky to have them racing at the same time.

18

+1000

19

As a Vettel fan, it pains me to agree with you. However, this year is different. I am seeing a more consistent Vettel, doing what Alonso does best, getting the most out of his car come Sunday. During qualifing Vettel beats Alonso but Alonso never said he was a great qualifier. Over race pace they are, at least this year, evenly matched but Alonso does better at the start of a race than Vettel. I think over time Vettel will show more and more consistency and brillance. He is 25 years old and has more to come.

20
hero_was_senna

"Vettel is faster than Alonso in a race"

That tends to counter every general opinion in F1 circles. In a Red Bull, with advantages, yes he is, but put him into a car that is not dominant, he doesn't come close to Alonso's ability.

If you want to compare them over a single lap, then I wouldn't argue.

21

Currently, Red Bull are hardly dominant, but who is ahead of who? Alonso is brilliant on Sundays, but so is Vettel.

22

He maybe quick, but put them in the same equipment before you say he's quicker than Alonso or anyone else for that matter. The current red bull is quicker than the Ferrari in Qualifying, but I'd say they are pretty evenly matched in the race!

23

Truth is, we know Vettel is good, but we don't actually know how good. Unlike, say, Schumacher, we never saw him in a different car before his championship wins.

So we won't know for certain how good he is until he's in a different car from the Red Bull, or Red Bull hire another world-champion-level driver to replace Webber. So much could be down to the car.

24

Do you forget the Toro Rosso victory at Italy?

25

In my book alonso is the best race driver out there and vettel is the best Saturday driver out there. In the last 4 years vettel has made more mistakes than alonso come Sunday and on Saturday it's been the other way around.

27

I want Kimi to go to RB next season, would be interesting to watch them battle. If I was SV, I wouldn't want Kimi anywhere near the team though.

Question is, does Vettel have any say in his team mates?

28
Grayzee (Australia)

Yeah, i'd like to know, too. James, do have any inside info on whether SV can veto

his teamates?

29

If he could to you think WEB would still be there?

30

@ Dave C

Vettel is faster than anyone over a single lap

---------------------------------------------------

Actually a certain BBC programme >>> Top Gear >>> says otherwise.

31

Dint Hamilton have a second go on the track? Btw Webber beat Rosberg as teammates at williams but they were evenly matched. Hamilton and Rosberg are evenly matched so far maybe Hamilton has a slight edge(due to reliability issues for Rosberg). Hamilton matched Alonso. The only way to compare Vettel to Alonso and Hamiliton is to assume that as he beat Webber for the last 4 years(make that 5) he would have no issues beating Rosberg or matching him in pace. So i am pretty sure if Vettel isnt faster than Alonso and Hamilton he is at least as fast as them

32

I've beaten Hamilton's time on the topgear test track on a simulator, does that count?

33

Did you just reference Top Gear to prove a point? haha!

34

You're confusing TG with fact-based programming.

35

If you're taking that lap seriously then I just give up trying to reason with that, it was a TV show biased towards Hamilton, hell knows just a different set of tyres would make a huge difference.

36

Oh, that Top Gear thing sent me look for answers. ~2 seconds?! That must have been eating Vettel's heart out.

37
Wilma the Great

Huh? it's Formula 1, not Formula Vauxhall.

38

considering that there is no active driver with more pole positions to his name I'd beg to differ

39

your imagination is fair far fetched and for that i shall give you a bow.

40

Facts speaks for themselves, so you think Hamilton will win another title whilst Vettel is in F1 and in a competitive car? Tell me the true answer of what you think.

41

It has been confirmed by many sources, including Italian, that Alonso has been blocking Vettel coming to Ferrari for a year now.

What is he afraid of if he thinks he is better?

43
Wilma the Great

I'm a little disappointed by this. I hoped for a stir in the drivers field by a change to Ferrari.

Vettel had originally linked his contract to Neweys employment and I believe a couple of other key heads at RBR. Is Newey also going to stay with RBR for this time or is there a possibility he retires or goes some place else by 2014?

44

2014 is just next year so the 2014 car will be designed by AN

45

Kimi to Red Bull makes so much more sense. The entire relationship no longer makes any sense for either side. Webber going back to Red Bull is the definition of insanity... "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results"

Perhaps it is simply time to retire, I think he will be 37 or 38 next year... He had a nice run, made great money, etc

46

Kimi will be crushed by Vettel at RB it would take him too long to adjust to the car his rep would be destroyed like Schumacher - he should stay at renault

It's a shame when fans cannot see their hero's skills are fading.

Kimi belongs to another time he's doing well only because Grosean is struggling dont mistake him a the great hope that will put the young upstart on his place - he''ll get whooped

47

To be fair to webber he is solid for RB in the conductors. Kimi would be a welcome change at a good time with the regs changing though

48

If Kimi leaves Webber would be a solid reference point at Lotus.

He could also support Alonso at Ferrari. While Webber may not be obviously faster than Massa - I think he has a more solid track record in delivering 2nd driver points.

Or replace Hulk at Sauber, with the Hulk moving to Lotus. Sauber seems to need an experienced hand with car development - especially for 2014.

Outside Kimi, Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton and Rosberg, Webber has a very solid track record of delivering championship points.

Something the younger drivers like Grosjean, Maldonado, Perez, DiResta etc have yet to establish a solid track record. Hence I see Webber to be of tremendous value to any team serious in picking up consistent championship points - as opposed to flashes of brilliance.

49

I think you could be partly right here. The way I see it, both in a car to their liking, Massa's pure speed is superior than Webber's. However, I think Webber could be more consistent in a more difficult car, at least at his prime (I'm not sure his motivation is up there now).

Funnily, my view is that Massa would be a better driver for Red Bull than Webber. With the high downforce levels of the Red Bull and it's driveability, Massa could be superior than Webber (specially from 2011 onwards, as 2010 was a pretty decent performance from Weber). Webber in 2011 was really poor, too few points for that car. Actually, extrapolating cars performance and driveability, for me Webber's 2011 was worse than Massa's 2012.

50

Enjoyed reading your perspectives.

It would be ironic if Webber and Massa swapped seats and both performed better!

Webber's run in 2013 to date has not been bad. Finishing 1 place behind Vettel in 3 races. Unlucky DNF and Van der Garde incident.

Plus his race starts has improved. Finally!

That said, he is not as fast as Vettel, and does not overtake like Hamilton/Alonso.

51

Why would Red Bull want a different result? They've won three WCC in a row with Webber as their no.2.

For Webber, what option does he have and why would he not stay in his seat in the 3-time WCC car? Replace Massa and be Ferrari's no.2? That assumes Ferrari wants him. It also moves Webber from a wink-no.2 at RBR to an outright no.2 behind Alonso. What other team wants him and would be competitive? Really, Webber has very little (or no) option but to stay at RBR.

Doesn't seem like insanity at all, on either side.

52

If they sign Kimi, what's the point in torro rosso?

53

RBR uses STR as a power tool against the FIA and Bernie, also if a young driver does come through its a bonus, like Vettel and maybe another star will be born in the coming years we never know.

54

That's not the way it is.

It's the other way around

55

Torro Rosso does not only generate new drivers, I would suggest that they are constantly developing the next generation of engineers, designers, and other creative people behind the scenes.

This could be the core strength of Red Bull. Could you imagine having a complete team (some 600+ people) with no rookies, only proven veterans operating at there personal best? Having a junior team preparing all staff members for the senior team makes a lot of sense.

56

That's a good question, what is the point of Torro Rosso?

Aside from Vettel, none of the drivers have been that convincing. Bourdais, Buemi, Alguersauri, Ricci and JEV all look like excellent racing drivers, but none have got close to the air of unstopability Vettel developed by the end 2008. Certainly none have looked a threat to Webber, retirement or a new team will finish him before Toro Rosso. As a feeder for Red Bull, they don't seem terribly useful.

57

Thats a good point. Both Torro Rosso drivers are driving under the impression that if they prove themselves, they drive for RB. But if Red Bull fill that seat with Kimi in a long term contract, then those drivers will try to go elsewhere (probably McLaren, Mercedes, Ferrari or maybe Lotus) and RB will essentially have paid for their development to see a rival poach them. Im sure that has to be going through Helmut's mind as well.

58

If TR doesn't produce quality drivers, they have to look somewhere else. Daniel & Jean Eric look alright, but we can't really judge them because we are not sure how good the Torro Rosso is.

They might be excellent drivers, but the car is so bad that it doesn't show. Or it might be the other way around.

59

Why would Kimi go there? He is not going to be a number 2 driver. I know that Horner can promise him equal status but Helmut Mako might have other idea. If Webber´s days are numbered then Ricciardo or Vergne will get the seat.

60

No 1 status is not a birth right, it is earned if you keep beating your team mate. If kimi were to join the team and beat Vettel there would be no team orders until the position where only one of them could theoretically win the Championship. In Redbull case they need a replacement plan in case Vettel were to leave. And they want to hire the best driver available in the market if Webber decides to move on that is. Alonso and Hamilton are not available that only leaves Kimi. There is some sort of urban legend that Webber doent get equal support in Redbull what people fail to notice was that Webber was asking for no 1 status in 2010 and was pissed that they dint give it to him, If Webber was truly treated as a no 2 Driver at Redbull he would have no issues signing for Ferrari last year.(they offered him the contract before they confirmed Massa)While Alonso is at Ferrari he will not let either Vettel or Hamilton to join him as he is afraid of tarnishing his legacy. Ferrai might be interested in signing Webber for a year to access how good Vettel is. It is Interesting is that by signing only a one year extension he could join either Mercedes or Ferrari both of whom have shown very keen interest in signing him.

61

"I know that Horner can promise him equal status but Helmut Mako might have other idea"

You clearly don't have the foggiest notion of the team structure within RBR. Marko has absolutely nothing to do with the "status" of Vettel or Webber.

62

What are you chatting on about? Is it because you will not want to see a high profile top 3 driver in F1 beaten comprehensively by Vettel thus making Vettel look even stronger? Webber has had his fair crack at the cherry in recent years but the bottom line is he's just not good enough compared to Vettel and I fear Kimi will be even slower, I just wished Hamilton actually signed for Redbull for this season so that Seb could have shown the world what the fuss is all about.

63

"Probably more so than Hamilton …seeing as he is going from what many in the paddock see as the car/packaged to beat to one that is clearly being driven to positions way above it’s station by both Nico and Lewis."

How do you know they are driving the Mercedes car to above its capability, but somehow Vettel, Alonso, etc aren't?

64

would-a, should-a, could-a...

I notice you say "Hamilton sign for Redbull so Seb could have shown the world what the fuss is all about"...Leaving aside the 'Helmut factor' how about if we turn what you wrote upside down and hypothetically say...Seb joins Mercedes. He would then be driving a car not designed by Newey and the team. I wonder if he would fair any better or worse? Personally I think he wouldn't be running rings around Lewis.

Hamilton has clearly had to change his driving style considerably to adjust to the Merc...and although yes Seb is a 'smoother' driver I think he too would have to alter his driving style. Probably more so than Hamilton ...seeing as he is going from what many in the paddock see as the car/packaged to beat to one that is clearly being driven to positions way above it's station by both Nico and Lewis.

Just look at Button. He's supposed to be the smoother driver, better on his tyres etc ( accorrding to many) and yet leaving aside the mechanical breakdown he is ending races in positions where many at the start of the season said Hamilton would end up.

65

Kimi slower in a Red Bull? He was not slower in McLaren nor in Ferrari. Last year he was fighting for the championship against both Alonso and Vettel. He finished ahead of Hamilton when McLaren was a much faster car than Lotus.

The only thing that can slow Kimi is RB if they just want Kimi to be only a number 2 driver.That is what Webber is. He never had the fully support of RB,not even in 2010. Kimi won´t tolerate that situation.I´m not saying Webber is an amazing driver but he deserves more support from the team.

66

Kimi is more likely to tell Marko where to stick it though and be more outspoken.

And no way would they treat Kimi like a Number 2, he would stand for it....and given the same machinery as Vettel would be more than able to challenge him and push him harder.

With Massa's last two races....I wouldn't be surprised if Webber made a move to Ferrari on a 1 year contract, given that he and Alonso are good friends and there is actual respect between them, Alonso needs a more consistent team mate, and that is exactly what Webber offers.

67

My thoughts exactly. Webber may not be winning, but is consistantly the higher finishing of the number 2's. This is a significant contribution to Red Bull leading the constructors, and it is the constructors title that pays the team bills !

68

True about Webber. However, Webber having to constantly play a supporting role to Alonso could cause embitterment between them (even if it is agreed beforehand). He quite possibly would not want to risk his friendship by joining Ferrari.

69

But that´s the issue. If Kimi has a bad relationship with Marko he is not going to last very long in RB.

70

Simple answer: money.

71

Money is the reason Kimi came back to F-1 and isn't off racing snowmobiles in Finland.

Sure he'd take the #2 spot to Vettel, if he's paid.

72

I doubt that money is a motivation for Kimi. And while Red Bull will surely provide a fast car, will he want to play second fiddle to Vettel? He's seen what happened to Weber.

73

Kimi to Red Bull is indeed the wise choice. The one thing Red Bull lacks is more popularity and it so happens that Kimi is one of the most popular drivers in the grid. Perhaps with him on board RB will stop being the bad guys.

And we'll hopefully see some Vettel vs Raikkonen races.

74

Nice summary, Mr. James.

I really appreciate your effort to keep us updated about almost everything regarding F1.

Hopefully Raikkonen will be driving for Red Bull Racing next year.

75

Excellent news!

'Just a Drinks Company' will show them how it's done and wrap up 6 WDC's and WCC's in a row.

76

A team is just as good as the people in it.

How about that? A name doesn't give you any performance. Think about it.

77

Lets be honest here: The drink company is not showing the rest how has to get done,is Newey the one that is doing that

78

Newey is a great designer but is not infallible, I'll see your newey and raise you a schumi. But seriously RBR is not just a one man team, MW is very beatable in the Red bull, and even if he gets the short end of the stick compared to SV as claimed, its not like he is finishing 2nd in the WDC, do the driver is making a difference. Also they are the works Renault partner something I guess Horner would have been responsible for, and Marko is responsible for working with the junior team where SV hails from. That's before you look at the guys who do all the work in the factory and pit crew who make little mistakes. That's all down to recruitment which I doubt newey overseas. Anyway what's wrong with a drinks company creating an F1 team?? Force India has very little to do with motor sport, just some Jedi hanging out in calcutta. Williams is named after a guy not a car company, mclaren the same but they did later make cars, maybe in a few years redbull could start making sports cars. And for people complaing that they win all the time and that makes it boring I disagree. It dosent matter if one team wins each year as long as the years are close battles in 2010 and 2012 they went right to the wire and last few laps. If every year they won it was like 2011, fare enough that's boring but of the 3 years they won two were crackers!!!

79

Bones, 100 per cent, did the owner of redbull tell you himself or are you psycic, the funny thing is the mods will prob block this comment but they will let you say something as silly as that. Where is your source that makes you 100 per cent sure.

80

My only "problem" with RB is that they dont care about the sport,F1 is for them a marketing tool. I am sorry but I am 100% sure RB wont remain in F1 if for some reason they go backwards Williams style for a full decade.

81

Na Redbull hasn't even had the quickest car for most of last year and this year, I think you'll find its Vettel. Its funny how most of the Hamilton fans try to down Vettel all the time to make Hamilton loom better but in reality Vettel is just plain better than him.

82

"It has nothing to do with Vettel,he is a great driver but IMO is Newey the one that is irreplaceable at RB."

If it was nothing to do with Vettel, then why give any other driver credit for achieving anything?

83

It's funny that you seem to need to keep repeating the same lines over and over again. Like you're trying to convince yourself.

If it floats your boat, then I guess what's the harm?

84

Can someone please remind me what Newey won between 2001-2008 before Seb joined up with him? Also before 2010 when was the last time a Newey car won the constructors championship? Oh yeah 1998...

85

It has nothing to do with Vettel,he is a great driver but IMO is Newey the one that is irreplaceable at RB.

86

Change the record a bit...I wish there was a way to ignore some comments

87

There is..moderation!

88

It takes more than one individual to design that car. For sure Adrian Newey is a major factor, but he can't do it on his own. Red Bull have assembled an entire team of talented engineers to design and build this car.

89

JackL, too true about the formula being all about aero right now. Ferrari and Mercedes can't beat them on engine instead. That will change next year, though they'll be frozen again soon enough.

That is why we see stories that Newey might leave F1 if it becomes an engine-centric series. But really, the lack of in-season testing, and the stability of the 2009-13 regs, have allowed RBR's dominant run to occur. If it wasn't for Brawn and the DD diffuser, they'd be in the catbird's seat for their 5th WCC this year.

90

@Aaron @Sid, its a combination of things, but Newey is a big factor. Yes, he was at McLaren and didnt dominate like he is now. Part of that is the regulations are more heavily aero-focused now. Any gains can only be found in the aero department; you cant really increase mechanical grip anymore. No one does that better than Newey. Ferrari are lagging because their infrastructure is still catching up. Merc and McLaren are strong in that department but are lacking elsewhere.

The other thing RB have is money. Lots of it. You cant discount that in the development race. How many teams were developing the car until the last race for multiple years and still came out with a contender the next year?

Finally, they have the driver. Im a Hamilton fan, but Ill be honest, I give major props to Vettel after last year. Theres no question Hamilton is blazing fast, and Alonso is great, but Vettel is the complete package right now.

91

There are many other good engineers part of the team that contribute plus the facilities and infrastructure that they have built. I value their commitment and devotion, don't forget they're going against the likes of Ferrari and Mclaren and are still coming out on top.

Newey? Yes he is phenomenal but he was there at Mclaren as well while Ferrari was going about destroying the whole field...

92

Spot on man

93

So it was John Barnard as well then... damn that man never gets any recognition.

94

@JoeP and @Bones - Completely correct.

95

"‘Just a Drinks Company’ will show them how it’s done and wrap up 6 WDC’s and WCC’s in a row." <--- which would certainly make for a horribly boring, uninspiring 'sport,' marked by low-viewership, decreased-sponsorship and general apathy.

Yea.

96

Agreed.

Then maybe it’s time for a few more drinks companies – Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola? – to get involved as major team sponsors/developers, employ the right people and challenge RB.

The traditional teams just can’t cut it anymore.

97
Valentino from montreal

Ze Germans are coming , ze germans are coming !

Meanwhile in the German press , Bild has run a story titled :

''Ferrari: We want a German sooner or later ''

Why do Ferrari want a German ? Becuase of Michael Schumacher !

Ferrari team boss Stephano Domenicali was asked who was Ferrari's all-time best driver : "You only have to look at the numbers. It is Michael Schumacher" ..

Stephano wants Vettel ,and also Rosberg if he's available : "He is certainly one of the drivers, which we have already considered. I'm not surprised that Rosberg at Mercedes is faster than Lewis Hamilton. He has always been good in quality. But he has now shown that he has matured in the race. "

Concerning the 3 time world-champion , Domenicali says this : "I do not think we lost Vettel. Sebastian is still very young, he still has many years as an excellent driver in front of him. One should therefore never say never. "

Finally Italians and their beloved Ferrari will get their titles sooner rather than later when the German(s) are on board !

With Rory Byrne back in action in Maranello equipped with Vettel behind the wheel, it's going to be Italiana-Tedesco domination once again !!

98

Hmm, seems to me the last time the Italians "invited" the Germans in, it didn't end well for their country.

Did like the bit of the Vettel F1-36 special when he was having dinner with the Italian family. His Italian is pretty good it sounds like, a product of his STR days.

99
hero_was_senna

Val, as much as I like your rhetoric, and in a previous post stating about Luca Cordero Di Montezemolo, being actually called Luca Montezemolo, I have to call in question your spelling of Domenicalli.

His name is Ste F ano, not Stephen or Stephano.

100
Valentino from montreal

Gotcha ! Stefano ...

Im telling you its " Luca Montezemello " !

No " Di " please ... It has been comfirmed by la RAI too ! Italy's TV broadcasting company , so I'm right ..

BTW , is it Carlo with a "c" or with a "k" ??

Just kidding !! : ))

101

I hope their selection criterion isn't restricted to nationality alone, they might have some concerns about their EEO policy! It takes a certain type of personality, temperament and ability to be considered a proper "Ferrari Driver" and win the adoration of the Tifosi. I still think that Alonso fits this bill nicely!

Plus, would Vettel deal with the politics of Ferrari well? He has been groomed in the Red Bull stable and projects certain aspects of his persona, but there still lies something beneath the veneer, and his vacillation regarding his conduct would be hounded by the Italian press!

102

I don't think Luca likes Vettel much.

103

@doobs. What on earth brought you to that opinion. Luca said a while back, he'd have Vettel in a minute, but not whilst Alonso is there. He also said he regarded Vettel as a more down to earth and balanced person, compared to Hamilton, when asked which one he preferred. So am not sure where your comment comes from.

104

Alonso will be at Fearri for the next few years and Luca won't have Vettel there at the same time. But never say never. I guess Seb will go there sooner or later.

105

Well, unless you know him personally, or are reading different articals than me, I don't know where you get that impression. Can you link something, or give me a google search hint to find it?

106

LdM,Vettel, Two Roosters, Hen House

107

As much as I respect Vettel I must say there needs to be a break in his dominance in the next few years, its literally making the likes of Alonso, Webber Hamilton and Button lose the plot completely and competition is always healthy, I doubt RBR will have the best package next year as the chassis rule changes are not big enough for Newey to do much and also Mercedes are widely reputed to have the best engine (fingers crossed) and the return of Byrne will only help Alonso next year, if Vettel does continue to win every title til he's 30 then the interest in F1 will suffer much like the Schumi years, I have no doubt Vettel is the best driver by far now in F1 but next year won't be easy for him.

108

Vettel had a streak of wins later in 2012, but "dominant" would hardly describe his season. And he certainly hasn't dominated this season so far either. He's won a couple of races in a fairly dominant fashion, but so has Alonso.

Just because Vettel's winning titles, doesn't mean he and his team are dominating the sport. If it was like 2011 year after year you might have something to complain about.

109

True about 2012. Marko wouldn't have been criticizing his qualifying performances up 'til then at Spa last year if he'd been dominant. It was just about near that time that Newey sorted out the car, to allow Vettel to rattle off four wins. Add in the no-scores for Alonso in BEL and JAP, and Vettel was able to close what was a pretty big gap late on.

As for this season, if it's not dominance, then it's just below it. Out of 7 races, he's won 3, podiumed in 5, top 4 in all. Others might be close on wins, podiums, or top 5's, but not close on all of them together.

110

Hmmm, the WRC is still riveting and it has been won 9 years in a row by Sebastian, sorry Sébastien... Loeb.

Sponsored by Red Bull, by the way! (Moreover both Sebs seem to get along very well)

Cheers!

111

The wrc has never been in worse shape. It's at a all time low with very little full manufacture backing and tv deals.

112

Val, Rory Byrne will be well into his 70s by the time Vettel switches to Scuderia ! I doubt if he'll be around to "recreate" another Schumacher-esque era at Ferrari.

113

lol...enjoyed that

114

"Stephano wants Vettel ,and also Rosberg if he’s available"

Ferrari rarely have two drivers that could compete with each other. Any way it's Luca that will make the decision not Stefano.

115

You have to question the value of Toro Rosso as a development team for Red Bull when their two current and two former drivers aren't in the equation for Webber's seat.

116

Totally agree

Whats the point of having Torro Rosso if their drivers are overlooked for Webber's seat.

117

Easy. The point in having a RB "B" team is to let Vettel overtake them without opposition like it happened last year in Brazil.

Why did the TR leave a gap of 19.7 seconds when running behind the SC on the last laps of Brazil 2012???

Why? THERE is the answer. It is not a team to promote young drivers. It is there to race with 4 cars.

Plain and simple.

118

@David C - He means Toro Rosso and Safety Car.

His post is nonsensical though.

119

Who's TR and SC?

120

continued from above;

It's also a team where they give up and coming technical people roles, remember it's a whole team 🙂

121

Torro Rosso allowed Red Bull to give their star man a debut F1 season, and boy did he deliver. 3 world championships later prooves torro rosso have been worth their weight in gold.

122

While it would appear that Kimi going to Red Bull would be a good move for both him and the team, it might have the potential to be disastrous. While Red Bull tries to propagate the image they are not political within, Vettel is the incumbent golden calf/cash cow so there is a lot riding on keeping him happy and ensuring his continued success.

Having someone come along who could regularly beat him, particularly someone who he clearly looks up to (it was no accident Seb cursed on tv after Kimi did it first), could cause him a lot more frustration and subsequent friction within the team than Webber ever did. Especially since it seems nobody there has the spine to keep Seb's tantrums or misbehaviors in check.

123

Kimi is my favorite driver, but I do not think he would beat Vettel as much as the other way around.

1) The move makes RB more popular since Kimi is so popular.

2) Vettel would get more cred for racing a Champion

3) No more nasty spats between teammates(Kimi and Seb are great friends on top of everything else)

124

Great friends or not, fact still remains that when there's a clash between professional interests and personal interests, personal interests usually suffer the first blow so don't bank on it .

125

Kimi going to RBR will be an excellent move. He and Vettel are friends and Kimi is not stupid, he know's what it'll be like there...

Also, and I say this as a massive Kimi fan, Vettel will beat him fair and square. I can't see Kimi being any faster in the races than Vettel and he certainly won't be a quicker qualifier. Kimi is the kind of driver who doesn't get flustered by having a mega star team mate so it'll be fine.

If Kimi does go to RBR and if the RB car is still the class of the field when he does then expect serious RBR domination... Kimi is definitely better than Webber in every way so it'll be RB 1-2's all season.

126

Interesting from a kimi fan who doesn't se em to know who Kimi Raikkonen really is. So you think Kimi is the kind of guy that would be happy driving around, being Seb's errand boy because he "is not the kind of guy that get's flustered by having a "mega star teammate""? this is clearly an insult to us other less massive Kimi fans

127

I said he wouldn't be flustered, I didn't say he'd be happy about being beaten... Kimi is realistic, he doesn't spit his dummy out when he loses like 90% of the grid do.

128
hero_was_senna

Kimi is definitely better than Webber in every way so it’ll be RB 1-2′s all season.

I can imagine in 2006, when Kimi was announced at Ferrari for 2007, you were saying that Kimi is definitely better than Massa..

2 1/2 seasons later that illusion had been shattered.

Personally i have never really understood all the hype that surrounds this guy.

He's even let his IceMan image slip with recent remarks about punching people in the face and shouting at his engineers during races.

He was on a par with Heidfeld at Sauber, ok, he was a rookie. He out performed DC at Mclaren but then Mclaren always treated DC as second best.

JPM vs Kimi wasn't as one sided as the rose tints would proclaim.

Massa I have already mentioned.

Vettel, would dominate Kimi, but what would it prove? Would it underline Vettel's greatness or would people say Kimi isn't the competitive animal he had been?

129

Its always been known that Massa was faster than Kimi anyway, Peter Sauber even said so after Massa replaced Kimi at Sauber, the problem with Massa is his race pace is erratic and lacks consistency but when on form then yes he was faster than Kimi and Kimi would be perfect fodder for Vettel.

130

Eh? You never understood the Kimi hype? Did you not pay attention to his career or something... ? If you're going to make a statement like that it needs backing up.

Montoya and Kimi were close but does that mean Kimi is bad or Montoya is good? I guarantee Montoya is good, very good. Massa? When he was on form at his favourite tracks in that particular Ferrari he was pretty much unbeatable and Kimi had gone off the boil anyways... It happens but it doesn't take anything away from his talents.

Still, Vettel is better, probably better than Alonso & Hamilton as well. Either way, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel and potentially Hulkenburg are in a different league to the rest.

Clearly there will never be agreement until we see these drivers against eachother in the same team. Nobody doubts the caliber of Hamilton and Alonso because we've seen them go head to head in the same car... Kimi to RBR will clear this up - lets hope the Hulk goes to Ferrari!!

131

Yes yes yes...the old "Massa beat Kimi" argument.

First of all, who won a WDC with Ferrari? Not Massa. Second, it is fairly well known that the year at Ferrari that Kimi struggled was when the car's development was heading in a direction that better suit Massa's style (rumored to be in part due to Schumacher's influence).

Webber is a good, but not great driver. Vettel is definitely a very good driver winning championships in a great car but we will never know if he is truly great until he has a teammate who can really push him.

132

Kimi is Ice Man because he is so cool. Who else would (rightly imo) dare say Perez needs a smack in the mouth?

AND HE NEEDS TO SHOUT TO BE HEARD ABOVE A 200MPH 17,000RPM V8 WITH NO SILENCERS ABOUT 30CM BEHIND HIM AND WITH THE INLET DUCT JUST ABOVE HIS HEAD...

133

I am not a kimi fan by any means

Yet i believe you are too notional here

How you are so sure that vettel will wipe the floor with Kimi ?

Kimi will certainly will give vettel a run for his money. If kimi moves to RBR and have a equal status. I am very sure kimi will outscore vettel and may even win WDC. Kimi is much better racer than Webber (No offense to webber though)

My only Question here is how much of marko's Influence will fluster kimi ?

So a move to RBR for kimi looks good on paper. However reality says something else.

I Hope kimi moves to RBR and prove the world that he is miles better than VETTEL

134

Though I'm not as harsh as hero_was_senna or Jimbob on Kimi, I absolutely believe Vettel would come out on top against Kimi Raikkonen. Vettel is the fastest man on the grid right now, and rarely makes mistakes.

135

Just being realistic. I don't understand why people underrate Vettel so much. Ultimately only a move to RBR for Raikkonen will prove who is right but I think Vettel is the outright fastest and most consistent driver... Millions of blinkered F1 fans will disagree I'm sure but I don't see why. People never underrated Schumacher in the same way and honestly I don't see any difference between them other than that Vettel hasn't outright cheated yet...

136

You really think Kimi would regularly beat Seb... I highly doubt that..

137

I don't

138

I only said Kimi COULD beat him regularly, not will. It is all speculation at this point. But keep this in mind: Sebastian hasn't exactly been cleaning Kimi's clock the past two seasons, has he? And he's been in a car that is generally regarded as the best on the grid while Kimi's Lotus has been regarded as being anywhere from second best to fifth. Don't make the same mistake so many others did when they poo-poohed Kimi's chances at a comeback. The man is good.

139

"Sebastian hasn’t exactly been cleaning Kimi’s clock the past two seasons, has he?"

Wins: Vettel 8-2 Kimi

Poles: Vettel 9-0 Kimi

Last year Vettel had the 2nd fastest car, with Raikkonen having the 3rd-4th fastest car (not to mention that the gaps between the top teams has pretty small). This year, Lotus have had a great car especially on raceday. Even if you chuck 2008 in there, where Kimi had the WCC winning car, with Vettel having the 6th-8th best car, Kimi still only gains 1 win and 1 pole back!

Kimi is definitely good, no question about that. He'd run Vettel much closer than Webber. But better than the current 25 year old triple champion? Doubt it.

140

If there is any top driver that's willing to be 'number two' and not care, it's Kimi. He'd probably prefer it as Vettel can do most of the promotional activity.

141

Uh-Oh! A one year deal???

It appears then that the Red Bull-Vettel partnership is about to come to a amiable close in the not too distant future.

Yes, when a driver resorts to the one year deals, this usually indicates he's thinking about retirement and this is the reason why veterans such as Webber prefer the one year deals.

I mean, why else would a driver sign a one year deal with a competitive team unless he has plans to pull the plug.

I doubt Vettel has his eye on the Ferrari seat for Alonso looks the type that will race late into his 30s and Mercedes wouldn't part with a winning partnership in Lewis and Rosberg.

Now, this new deal leaves Vettel in a position where by it pretty much guarantees he will lose his F1 crown whilst still driving for the team >>> which will be a major earth shattering event by the way >>> So yeah, I wait to see how the team will take defeat.

As for Webber, I too believe he will retire at the end of the season for it's impossible for two drivers to work together whilst there's animosity in the air.

So I think, out with Webber, in with Vergne. I doubt Kimi will be joining Red Bull for Lopez seemed confident he would be staying taking into account, Lotus' pretty relaxed environment.

142

Vettel knows that 2014 could mix up the pack. Like 2009, we could get a winner that strikes gold. But if RBR couldn't get back on top for 2015, then Vettel can move to greener pastures for 2016.

143

I think one of the main reason for the early announcement is to stop Ferrari playing mind games to destabilise Vettel especially when he has got the momentum. This situation was uncomfortable for the team last year.

The one year deal could be because, Vettel made no secret of his desire to drive for Ferrari and Merc and he will leave RBR in a couple of years. And at Ferrari, they want Vettel (even if their current drivers oppose it).

144

Excellent observation.

It is interesting to look at that BBC story from last year again, where Vettel had signed a pre-contract agreement with Ferrari and was definitely moving there for 2015, possibly 2014. See

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/19941541

That story was based on "Ferrari sources". So did Ferrari really put his out to destabilise Vettel and RBR? Telling is the line that "Alonso has sanctioned the move", clearly implying that he was confident of beating Vettel etc.

145

If I was Massa, I would oppose it to 😉

146
Stephen Taylor

Yes but Mclaren were confident of keeping Lewis last year.

147

Kimi please. RAI/VET: what a team to set next season alight.

My impression is that Horner is not over keen on Kimi on a personal level. I really fear they will prefer to stick with a No 2 driver.

148

I would imagine that all of the other top team bosses have nightmares about the prospect of "managing" Raikkonen, two of which have first hand experience of this.

149

There is absolutely zero chance of Red Bull taking on Raikkonen whilst Vettel is still there.

Vettel will not want anyone challenging his superiority within the team and Raikkonen is definitely someone who isn't going to care about team orders and won't be subordinate to Vettel.

Anyone who thinks differently does not know the first thing about Red Bull/Kimi.

150

And what? Mark Webber cares alot for team orders I suppose?...

151

Kimi did obey his team's orders when he gave his place to Massa in 08. Yes he had little/no chance of championship while Massa had but that shows he's not an egomaniac and will just go about doing his job.

He was shown clean pair of heels by Massa both in quali and races so I expect him to be sown up by Vettel.

152

Kimi was faster in the races than Massa but because it was then impossible to overtake he got stuck behind other cars too often.

153
Seán Craddock

I'm surprised he's signed this new contract, I thought one that ended at the end of 2014 was perfect. It meant Seb could see what happens to Red Bull's speed after the new engine and regulations come in. There's a possibility that another team, such as Mercedes could make a big leap forward and be the team to beat, that would mean Seb would be available to join. I'm not saying it's a bad decision, just that it's a surprise. Red Bull should be delighted with this extension!

154

2014 will be a hit or miss as far as the design is concerned. Makes sense to give it a couple of years to settle down and see who the leading teams are. Also Honda not in it till 2015 so even more reason to hold off until the 2016 season.

155

I'm surprised Vettel didn't wait and see how competitive Red Bull will be in 2014, with all new rules etc. But yes, 2015 is not long term either ...

I would actually love to see Kimi and Seb together at Red Bull. But will Red Bull still be a winning race car? Mercedes looks dangerous for next year. They are doing something right and they have two great drivers too.

156

Maybe he wants to see what the Mclaren Honda is like, I think both Hamilton and Alonso have burnt bridges with Ron (who is to blame is immaterial).

Joe Saward theorized that this contract may include less or no automatic performance extention triggers.

157

If Alonso hasn't veeto'd Vettel from joining Ferrari he would be there by 2014 and we would of had a titanic battle but shame Alonso doesn't have the stomach to face Seb's speed.

158

I think Alonso learned in 2007 that to win a WDC, you need to have the majority of the team working for you.

Even Mclaren won their last three WDCs when one driver was clearly better than the other, thus negating the need for team orders.

If all you care about is beating your teammate to improve your legacy, then by all means, go for it, but unless the car is as dominant as the 1988 Mclaren, the championship is likely to go elsewhere.

159

I think you may have it a little skewed here. I honestly think Vettel is just as scared of Alonso as Alonso is of him.

160

It's interesting how all this veto thing has emerged since Vettel was linked to Ferrari. I wonder who has started all this? It has to be the English press, as in other countries this Alonso's supposed veto doesn't even exist! I'm having fun watching how people (Vettel fans and Alonso haters I suppose) so quickly have embraced this.

The other supposed veto is the one over HAM. I know this came from Andrew Benson, since I read his blog. I rate Benson pretty highly, and it might be true (always together with his bosses, as they are who really have the last word). ALO and Pat Fry have worked with HAM and know if he fits or not within Ferrari's mentality. But suggesting vetoes based on fear is a foolishness, more so when it is the team and not the driver who decide.

161

Journalists can't just publish something, they have to have sources. Doing so without trusted information can ruin their careers. It was also stated in a news story and not in a opinion piece . I don't think Alonso or Vettel or Hamilton or Kimi doubt their ability to beat the others, they are all supremely confident men. They also know that if you are competing against your teammate for the title, you are giving other top teams that can use their second driver as a rear gunner a significant advantage.

162

Red Bull should and will leave the decision down to Mark (however much Helmut Marko winges). People tend to forget it was Coulthard and Webber along with Newey and Horner who built the bedrock of the team as both drivers had a wealth of experience. Red Bull owe a lot to Webber in gaining 3 x WDC - if they had Ferraris number 2 driver in the team instead then Red Bull wouldnt have been successful on that front.

Whatever Mark chooses to do next season I wish him well.

I personally would love to see him at Force India on a multi-year deal along side Moan di resta or failing that Massa and Webber at Lotus!

163

@ Leeschumi

Good post

I feel very sad for Webber. He worked very hard with RBR ever since the team's inception.

Yet marko ruins the entire RBR team by protecting his market model Vettel.

Mark has made a mistake having turned down the offer from Ferrari earlier this season. Webber should have taken the seat at Ferrari for 2 seasons and then could have decided his future plans. (WEBBER would feel more happy playing second fiddle to Fernando rather than sulky Vettel)

164

Sentimentality counts for naught. No one much cares who built the bedrock of the team.

Webber has sadly proven Marko's pre-season comments correct. Don't get me wrong, I like Webber as much as the next man, but he should be challenging Vettel.

Instead, he seems content to meekly pootle about, satisfied in 3rd or 4th place.

Yes, he got the fastest lap in Canada, but why not string a succession of them in order to improve his placing?

165

Webber would even have beaten his team mate in a certain race this year... 😉

166

M

U

L

T

I

2

1

167

Yes, that's what you should boast. "WEBBER NEEDS TEAM ORDERS TO WIN!".

168

Or obeys team orders 😉

169

Beaten? Webber can't beat Vettel unless something is wrong with Seb's car.

170

If you are the number 2 driver for a team, the aim should be to finish directly behind your mumber 1 driver. Isnt this what webber is doing or there abouts? I would think that Red Bull are happy with current arrangements. Two topflight drivers battling for first (eg SV and KR)can only undermine one drivers ability to streak ahead in the championship...

171

maybe something to do with silly litle hiccups the team seem to present him with such as dodgy starts,underfuelling in qualifying, the kers failures i dont think Mark pootles about lol hes one of the bravest out there ie alonso eau rouge, maybe its the team that hinders him to run a string of successes together. but yes i get your point!

172

Yes same at Mercedes for Nico, dodgy gearbox in OZ, told to stay behind a slow overrated teamate at Malaysia, another technical retirement at China, questionable tyre strategy in Canada and also the long face off Brawn everytime Nico claims a pole, all of a sudden Mark doesn't look that done by does he? A serious lack of talent is to blame for Webber being smashed by Vettel 5 years on the trot.

173

Moan di resta hahahaha!

174
Daniel Spiller

more "Drawl di Resta"

175

The scary part being Adrian Newey is just 54 ! If he stays another 12 yrs in F1, and continues to work with Vettel ( ala Byrne-Schumacher, Rossi-Burgees ), Vettel will probably rewrite the record books and make it inaccessible to others for the next 100 yrs !

176
Val from montreal

It is scary Zombie .... Let's face it , in my opionion the new future generation coming in are useless .. They all are super young and have no respect on the race track .. Jacques Villeneuve was critical last week-end in Montreal .. He said in his days , drivers left a space while being over-taking , there was alot less wheel banging .. How many Racing incidents did Schumacher get these last 3 years while fightinf in the mid-field against Petrov and Grosjean ?? Alot !

Vettel is destroying the competetion ! Just like Schumache was two notches above his competition , Vettel is two notches above everybody now .. It's not true that his Red Bull is some sort of "alien" car , look at Webber ! Mark is no slow-poke but Vettel takes it to the extreme eoth his speed ...

I don't see anybody coming close within these next 5 years who can challenge Vettel .. Switch Alonso to Red Bull and Vettel to Ferrari and the results would be the same in Vettel's favour ...

But only time will tell ....

177

You're right if Vettel and Alonso swapped seats Vettel would still win as the Ferrari is hell of a race car, but I think 2011 would of been a big ask though.

178

LOL Webber would've beaten Vettel in at least one race this year but we won't go there eh? And Mark had a wheel fall off, not enough fuel (grid penalty) and more than his fair share of dnfs and Kers issues over the years. Vettel is protected in the team and they're now talking up Mark's possible replacement to keep him in his place..

179

@Doobs - What a joke. Webber needed team orders to win in Malaysia, and he still lost. And in China, he had that brainfade moment with JEV when the team's strategy had already helped him to approximately where he would have been in the race.

Also, don't talk about Webber having his share of bad luck at Red Bull- he had no mechanical DNFs between Singapore 2009 and US 2012- Vettel had five in that period.

Webber is a good driver, don't get me wrong, he was unlucky at Jaguar and Williams, maybe he could've got into a better car earlier in his career, but his only bad luck has been him being paired with a superb driver in Sebastian Vettel.

180

He would only have won that race due to team orders. And in the wheel falling off incident, webber had already ruined his own race by crashing into Vergne the previous lap. You also mention webber's underfuelling issue but overlook the fact that it happened to vettel last year too. As for other car problems over the last few years, Vettel has had lots as well, and has in fact lost quite a few victories because of them.

181

Webber would have beaten Vettel in one race this year., no 'at least' about it. He hasn't come close in any of the other races, bar Monaco where he had to beat Seb into the first corner to stand a chance. He rightfully got the blame for his clash with Verne in China, so the wheel coming off had no influence in him losing to Seb there. Even if you give him the race and qualy points for China and race for Malaysia, it would be 11-3 instead of 14-0 to Seb. The Autosport article on Kimi possibly going there does mention Marks robust challenges of Seb in Brazil last year infuriated the team, apparently much more than Sebs retaliation in Malaysia.

182

@ Zombie

Re-write the record books you say.

Just recall how many decades passed before anybody re-wrote Fangio's records

Exactly.

And yes, Newey is a genius but last I checked, he's also just a man >>> with imperfections and everything.

183

This is why I (and I suspect many other F1 fans) want to see a real move away from aerodynamics. Too much emphasis on cars/down-force and not enough on engines/drivers. In my humble opinion 🙂

184

+1

but it is coming , albeit slowly

185

Webber & Massa should retire.

186

Too harsh on the drivers

Both are quick drivers on their day and still have atleast couple of years to offer for F1

187

I can see SV going to Merc and LH back to his home in Woking for McLaren as they will have the Honda engine arriving in 2015 and if it is strong, Lewis will have had almost a season to evaluate their performance. I believe Jenson's contact is out at the end of 2014, I'm sure James or one of the more knowledgable posters will correct me if I'm wrong.

I can't see Lewis and Seb being comfortable team mates although a very strong pairing.

The next 3-4 seasons are shaping up to be really interesting already, I can't wait.

188

I wouldn't mind LH going back to McLaren, but this year (so far) he certainly seems better off than running in 12th or 14th in the McLaren.

189

Is Vettel still his own manager? Did he negotiate this deal?

191

Cool. Thank you! I'm new to your site and love it.

192

My bet:

Rosberg to Ferrari, Webber "back" to Mercedes and Raikkonen to Red Bull whether Vettel likes it or not.

Massa? Maybe back to Sauber? Hard call. He's underrated, but certainly hasn't performed well the past few years.

193

webber to mercedes? i doubt that. mercedes has a reputation of only taking talented drivers. Hence Schumi, Hamilton and Rosberg. Rosberg being the fact he has always been a spectacular however underrated driver and this season has been his first season with a legit car at disposal. Webber on the other hand is a rather mediocre but capable driver like Rubens and he is pushing his age. And we all know what happened to Rubens once Mercedes bought out Brawn GP.

Raikkonen to redbull is a arguably possible move.

Massa i'd say will be heading to lotus if he gets axed. As they are in need to a good experienced driver to score consistently.

Rosberg is happy at Mercedes and i don't see a reason of him leaving as the prospects of Mercedes seem to look good in the near future.

That leaves webber, i'm gonna call a long shot and say he'll probably retire or swap places with Raikonnen to Lotus.

194

It would be stupid for Rosberg to sit in the Merc for all this time when they have been struggling for pace only to leave for the unknown just as they are getting better. Rosberg is not stupid.

Don't know how the German fans will feel if there is no German driver at Merc.

195

Alonso will vito Rosberg if he can due to-

Rosberg is a faster qualifier.

Rosberg will not play the patsy to Alonso.

196

Funny jake

I see plenty off comments stating Vettel, Rosberg, Lewis, Kimi, Massa, all are quicker than ALONSO and alonso cannot handle a quicker team mate.

Tons of people here support the above thought

However the truth is none of the above mentionned drivers are no where near ALONSO's Talent or Skill

197

@krischar @Doobs -If Alonso is so much significantly better than the drivers mentioned, then how come Hamilton matched him? I really rate Alonso, but he's about even with Hamilton and Vettel.

@GY - And Vettel was voted best driver twice as well, including in a year where he didn't win the title. So far I'm sure they'd vote for SV too this year, looking at how much more consistent Vettel has been.

198

Are we talking about the same Alonso, who was voted the best driver by F1 team principals in two of the three years that SV won the championship?

Surely these guys are better placed to form an opinion than us!

199

In reality there is very little separating the top drivers. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, none of them are the best at every aspects of F1 racing.

I will make no attempt to rank the top drivers as this is subjective and therefore pointless.

There is no competition for "Best Driver" other than these forums. What we have is a competition for best package consisting of a support team a car and a driver. There is nothing subjective about the best here as it is clearly reflected in the points.

Note; I did not say that Nico was a better driver, I just said he was a faster qualifier.

200

Alonso is consistently quicker than any of the others mentioned.

201
Mike from Colombia

James - any news on James Allison ?

202

Latest rumor says Honda 🙂

203
hero_was_senna

http://thejudge13.com/2013/06/12/daily-f1-news-and-comment-wednesday-12th-june-2013/

I read that too, something to do with Honda not being signed up to F1 regulations, so they can test every day with their own chassis because they are not governed by the FIA

204

Mclaren has denied this story

205

Process of elimination RBR ruled themselves out last week

So it must be Ferrari

206
Pete_from_Nepal

Thought LdM ruled Ferrari out no a few weeks ago?

207
Pete_from_Nepal

No He said "“I know nothing,” which is very different....

208

He said he wouldn't comment anything at that time. He said something on similar lines when they were about to announce Alonso.. .

209
Tornillo Amarillo

Honda?

210

I Believe Allison is linked with the Honda/McLaren calibration for 2015.

Designing a car for testing the engine during 2014.

211

McLaren has denied this

212

Its rumoured to be Honda.

213

What about McLaren? When the news broke that Paddy Lowe was going to Mercedes there were rumors that McLaren were seriously thinking about him. Although Ferrari is a good fit for Allison and he has friends there. What Ferrari is going to do with Pat Fry?

214

Appreciate James, any thread without your replies isn't very fulfilling!

215

Seb could just be playing the waiting game until Alonso's contract runs out. Besides, Seb is always emulating Kimi, who's been saying he doesn't know what he's going to do next year for years. So this non-committal attitude of young Seb's could just be an attempt to seem a little more cool and credible 🙂

On a different note, if Alonso fails to win WDC for Ferrari by 2016, it's got to sting badly. And it would be even better to see Vettel move to Ferrari after Alonso goes and win WDC with Ferrari straight away. Knowing fingerboy's luck and skill this is not impossible, methinks.

216
Tornillo Amarillo

Vettel sounds more important that Red Bull, James if I am not wrong, he was to stay until 2014, now a contract until 2015 is just... 1 more year?

It's like he is in a good position to negotiate, maybe year by year like Webber.

Regarding Webber, he was good for 3 WCC, maybe RBR is willing to keep him and negotiate one more year, if not Hulkenberg should be a good asset for any team (and he makes less mistakes than Vettel IMHO, with a crap car).

After 2015, Hamilton can go to... (not Ferrari, not Red Bull, not...), maybe Lewis can go back to McLaren.

217

How does Hulkenberg make less mistakes than Vettel?

218

I think its pretty much a frgone conclusion that Webber is out once the 2013 season ends.

I don't know if the Kimi-Seb chemistry will work. 2 strong personalities in very different flavors that are bound to clash eventually.

Vettel and his ginormous ego need someone more complementary as his teammate, not a former world champion to throw a wrench in his quest for world domination. A Massa-type guy would keep things kosher in the RBR camp.

219

Vettel has ego?

220

Is vettel the Saint ?

NO.

He is the most Egoistic and a driver who sulks the most in the grid

221

Personally I think Alonso is more egoistical.. he has his big throne at Ferrari and plays his Samuri card to the papers/tweets all the time.

222

Predictably playing it safe as usual, it's easy to win when you're in the best car year after year. He should have left for the challenge like Schumacher did with Ferrari. Until he leaves Red Bull and does it with another team this will always be my opinion of him as a driver - good but not great.

223

@Barry – You seem to forget that none of the drivers on today’s grid, and quite a few past “greats” like Senna, won all their titles with more than one team. Plus, this year and last year, RBR have had a car that was equal-best, rather than carrying any significant advantage. Way to delude yourself.

224

Agreed, The only solid conclusion I can say about Vettel is he is a better driver than Webber, since they drive the same exact cars.

I will crown him with greatness if he can go to McLaren or Lotus and still win championships. Until then, he's a pompous whiny twit on the best team.

225

I don't even know where you get such ridiculous logic. I hope you at least apply the same standard to the other champions on today's grid, none of whom have won the championship with more than one team.

226

Schumacher could afford to do that because the competition wasn't anything like as strong as VET faces today

I know that because... He told me himself !

227

In retrospect, Schumacher wasn't very smart if he made a move to Ferrari thinking opposition was not very strong. He fought against a formidable array of Newey designed cars that were stronger than Schumi's Ferraris, atleast until 2001. And during his Ferrari years, he competed with 6 former and future F1 champions, out of which 4 were in Newey designed cars. Not counting other talented drivers of that era like Alesi,Frentzen, Montoya and others, he was still up against a lot of good guys who were clearly no slouchs.

I think James' book 'On the edge of greatness', he mentions Mclaren and Wiiliams both offered Schumacher a drive several times throughout his career, even as late as 2005. Had Schumacher made a switch to Williams after 96, and Mclaren from the late 90s onwards, i think he would have retired with atleast 10 titles to his name.

228

the driver could make more of a difference back then. he was regularly 1sec faster or more than his team mate. nowdays the car is a lot more important. however if vettel continues like this in the history books will go as the least competitive era ever.

229

I agree. Cars were more difficult to master, more difficult to drive on the limit, and the consequence of a mistake was much greater (getting beached rather than flooring it on the asphalt run off). More variables so more opportunities to make up or lose time.

230

We cannot allow comments from anonymous email addresses. Please register with a real email address or the comments will not pass - Mod

231

"the driver could make more of a difference back then. he was regularly 1sec faster or more than his team mate. nowdays the car is a lot more important."

That's just bizarre. So back then drivers were often a second faster than their teammate - and than the other cars - because it was all about the driver? But noways everyones car is basically identical because of the rules, and everyone laps in a very similar time - but the CAR is more important?

232

And to be honest, last seasons are VERY competitive, with a sole exception of 2011.

233

I don't agree with your last sentence. I think history will always remember Alonso, Hamilton and Raikkonen, even if they win no more titles. But c'mon, although I'm a Vettel fan, he cannot win 10 in a row. This will be a great era in history books IMO.

234

If that's the case then it could be argued Schumacher mis-judged the decision and under-estimated the opposition, as it took him until 2000 to win the title.

Damon did a perfect job in 1996 (albeit in a superior car).

Mika also had fantastic speed in 98-99.

I've often wondered what the B196 and B197 would have done in Schumacher's hands!

235

Schumacher knew it would take a two or three years, he would have won in 1999 except for the accident, and was close in 1997

236

It still doesn't change the fact Schumi did move when he could have just stayed put in what had been the championship winning car 2 years in a row.

It might not have been a huge risk to take as it would be today, but it was still a move to a none competitive car that was well behind Williams and Benetton at the time.

237

"The fact that Phillip Morris (Marlboro) was giving Ferrari a blank cheque was also a big incentive, having the biggest budget means you can get the best driver, team principal, designer and technical director. Then, unlike Toyota, get out of their way, thus allowing long term domination. The fact that Benetton wasn’t a works team also limited their potential to stay ahead of Williams. Benettons sponsors wouldn’t be as committed to staying in the sport as Ferrari."

Yeah it was that easy...

At the end of the day this so called dream team of Rory Byrne and Ross Brawn only ever only ever came up with the best car on the grid in 01, 02 and 04. It took until 2001 for Schumacher to be given the best car and look what he did? Smashed every record. Championship won by August.

If sponsors writing big cheques was all it took then Alonso wouldn't be 7 years without a championship.

238

The fact that Phillip Morris (Marlboro) was giving Ferrari a blank cheque was also a big incentive, having the biggest budget means you can get the best driver, team principal, designer and technical director. Then, unlike Toyota, get out of their way, thus allowing long term domination. The fact that Benetton wasn't a works team also limited their potential to stay ahead of Williams. Benettons sponsors wouldn't be as committed to staying in the sport as Ferrari.

It can reasonably be expected that Ferrari, Williams and Mclaren will stay in F1 for at least a decade at any given time, even back then, barring complete financial collapse. The rest? Peter Sauber allready sold the team once with the plan to retire. Other manufacturers will stay as long as participating ads value to their main business, same goes for the owners of teams like Force India, Red Bull, Lotus, etc. If you want to build a dynasty over a decade, best go for the best funded of the top three.

239

I'm sure Vettle won't lose any sleep over failing to change teams to appease the ego of an anonymous internet blogger.

240

I think Schumacher's being a little too humble if he's saying that.

World champion Button getting beaten by Perez. Button scoring more points than Hamilton over their three seasons together at McLaren. Rosberg and Hamilton seem to be as quick as each other. Hamilton matched Alonso from his first race in the same machinery. Oh, Alonso got matched by Trulli in 04 too. All those guys are great drivers but Vettel is on another level. Hamilton is on Vettel's level at times (2012), but can go missing for races or entire seasons (2011).

241

Operationally Jean Todt was in the same position as Ron Dennis so I don't understand your point about Ferrari not handing over the reins.

Going to Ferrari was a huge gamble by Schumacher but he wanted to do something more special than reeling off consecutive championships and that was to bring Ferrari back to prominence after nearly two decades.

242

You seem to ne missing my point. Someone made the point that Schumi could have stayed at Benetton and been successful. My point was not that he would be guaranteed success at Ferrari, but that leaving Benetton was a good strategic move, and going to Ferrari too. Ferrari let Schumi, Todt, Berne and Braun take over and gave them a big budget. Frank Williams and Ron Dennis would never hand over the team like that. Also the success of Mclaren in 98 was not expected in 95. I started watching F1 in 1992, when it became available on TV in my country.

243

That 98 McLaren was every bit dominant over the field as the 92 Williams or 04 Ferrari.

Ferrari didn't give Schumacher the best car over the course of a season until 2001.

You mustn't have watched F1 at the time or the years preceding 1996 since you gloss over how dysfunctional and how big of an uphill task it was to not only win races at Ferrari but win a championship.

244

I'll reply here to yours further down, I didn't mean it was easy, I ment it was a better strategic decision than staying at Benetton. They probably didn't anticipate Mclaren would be so strong, but they still had the next best car after the 1998 regulation changes. Imagine it is 1995, you have to choose between staying at an independent team owned by, lets say an eccentric, man with a, lets say complicated, business past. Or going to the biggest team in the sport with the biggest budget and take all the top management from your current team. What would you do?

245

There is no championship as "three seasons". This is a constructed statistic to prove a point. If you coint the points for all seasons Rubens B. drove, probably he has beaten any other driver.

The fact is that LH won the battle against two seasons, and was beaten in one. Why people try to create another number from one that is very fair and square?

Button is having his a** beaten by SP... c'mon!

246

Wow, excellent insight.

How recent was that? Does he still come to race weekends?

247

And because Ferrari got the whole package from Benneton. Schumacher,Byrne and Brawn.

248

Thanks James.. !

249

Have people lost their minds (reference to most F1 site)...they seem to forget this entire season. Red Bull have the second fastest qualifying car and usually the third best race car (bar Canada)

250

Kimi in a Red Bull makes a mockery of the RB young driver programme, although having said that, RB have done a pretty good job of making a mockery of it in the past.

The Alguersuari/Buemi dumpings seemed like a knee-jerk reaction...not to mention Liuzzi,Speed,Klein etc.

Let's say Kimi goes to RB and Helmut Marko drops both TR drivers because they haven't won a race.

Two more rookies in TR and Vettel on the way out. Not a great succession plan.

The current Toro Rosso drivers seem fairly evenly matched.

Either TR driver would benefit from a year or two alongside Vettel, with Antonio Felix da Costa partnering the remaining TR driver.

I read somewhere that Ricciardo was quicker than Vettel in the RedBull simulator. I'd like to see how that plays out on track.

Also, wouldn't be surprised to see Webber stay put.

251

Don't know where you got the idea from that Ricciardo is faster than Vettel in a simulator. Source?

252

If Ricciardo is quicker in the simulator, and that correlates closely to real life, it would be fascinating to see him in the same car as Seb... although it might also rule him out of contention!

It might make sense for RBR to bring in Ricciardo anyway: they wouldn't have to compromise on the second car's set up to account for Webber's frame and weight. I think Mark is terrific, but I don't want to see him compromise any more.

As for Ricciardo and Vergne: I wonder what extent their presence in F1 is limited to the Red Bull young driver program. If Kimi was to go to RBR, what then for the STR boys? Would they be permitted to advance outside of the Red Bull stable?

253

If RBR go for RAI then I can see Toro R keeping one of current drivers for a few years to develop for 2016 onwards

If they believe in him

254
Stephen Taylor

The question is will Kimi go for them?

255

James do you have any insight that you might be willing to share on who is currently the most sought after driver between Ricciardo and Vergne?

I personally rate Ric as the pick of the two but they are so closely matched that its hard to see what is going to happen.

256
Scuderia McLaren

Smart move Sebastian.

Don't get caught in the romantic trap of Ferrari or McLaren. Keep Newey happy and keep winning. The record books quote what you've won, not where.

Ferrari is a trap. Alonso is figuring this out now. Take Schumacher out of the equation, what driver leaves Ferrari happy and successful? None. Alonso will be the same.

257

Leaving Ferrari, the only way is down so why would anyone be happy about that?

258

Think you can drop the 'happy'...

259
hero_was_senna

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/22844748

Hey Scud, this may be of interest. Vettel hasn't won the Championship yet. All I have seen from Ferrari recently is average results at 2 circuits that everybody said would favour Red Bull and Mercedes because the circuits wouldn't punish their weaknesses.

Maybe from Britain onwards Alonso reduces the gap and wins the title, or maybe RBR will convince Pirelli to make tyres they need, but we have another 12 races to go.

Don't count you chickens

260
Scuderia McLaren

Good article HWS. Thanks. I get the point. The thing is, IMO RBR were at their weakest in the first 4-5 rounds prior to Monaco. Sebastian has still topped the championship order. Despite populist thought, he doesn't need the outright best car to keep tallying up the pts. Unlike 2010, he now has that Alonso like ability to limit the damage and take the max available. Then when he does have his opportunities, he converts them to max points. That is a formidable combination. RBR even without tyre changes will understand the tyres better and better. The weak circuits won't be as weak for them as they were in the first 4-5 rounds. Hence that was Ferrari's opportunity, and to me, it looks like they blew it. Fernando still has his damage limitation abilities, but he has a few occasions this year not coped with the pressure in quali or in race starts when he is expected to have the car advantage. It's a curious trait in him as a sportsperson. Vettel doesn't suffer that problem.

261
Val from montreal

Actually Irvine left pretty wealthy after his stint at Ferrari !

Schumacher's best teamate at Ferrari was Eddie Irvine , hands down .. The Irish man was Goose to Schumi's Maverick ( wink Top Gun ) ...

Who can forget Suzuka 1997 ?? Brilliant race by Irvine !

262

Irvine is also a wonderful people person. A real character.

264

+1

I don't think ALO will win a championship with Ferrari.

265

I really don't see webber at red bull next year but I really really hope he is still in f1 next year. He is one of the good hard charging guys who Doesn't really have a stupid grid moment in him like Perez and grosjean do. I wonder will mark rock up at lotus with his old race engineer again in a swop with Kimi. Just thinking there that the mark, Kimi, jenson and Fernando was a great generation and then the next generation of Lewis, seb and Robert kubica was another good one. I don't see another good generation like that coming now tho but bottas and bianchi are the bed hopes.

266

So we're all convinced Mark's on the move? I mean, he and Seb haven't seen eye to chin dimple for a few years. Even Malaysia seems to have calmed down.

267
Adrian Newey Jnr

James - are people viewing Schumacher's final three years in the sport differently now that Rosberg's talent is more easily comparable this year? Was the F1 paddock too mean to him or too quick to send him off last year?

268

Don't forget that Schumacher had a few incidents last year, and also a reasonable number of penalties associated with them.

269

I remember pre-season testing where Rosberg was "delighted" with the new car. It felt so much better than 2011's.

LH was a bit more critical, having come from McLaren, where it seemed to be a step down.

Poor Schuey, would he have gotten his first win if he had stayed another year?

270

Yes and no

It was a mixed bag

And Rosberg has clearly raised his game this year

But yes, to a certain extent

That said F1 people don't tend to look backwards much..

271

"Rosberg has clearly raised his game this year"

According to an article in Autosport+, Ross Bawn, Mercedes mechanics, Rosberg himself all have said he has not suddenly raised his game this year and that it is in fact the first year he had a good car to show what he could do.

Even before Hamilton joined there where mechanics in Mercedes saying Hamilton will have his work cut out to beat Rosberg.

With all this evidence to the contrary does it not loose credibility to persist with this opinion?

272
Val from montreal

He raised his game , according to who , YOU ?

I'd rather take the word from Ross Brawn , the man in-the-know ... According to HIS data and of the Merc mechanics and engineers , Rosberg has been ALWAYS quick ... He has'nt magically become any faster this year ...

People will never change , im not talking about Rosberg !

273

First time of all posts I have read from you that I completely agree. But don't take it as a trend from now onwards! xD

274

Why would Rosberg raise his game now but not when he was racing a 7 time champion?

275

That's just convenient explanation why Hamilton isn't wiping the floor with Rosberg. I think people are too harsh though. Hamilton is doing great!

276

We need Kimi in that seat to show how good Vettel is. Until he is up against a known quantity we simply won't know, and, perhaps unfairly, will continue to question his status as a 3 times + world champion. Alonso, Hamilton as team mate would be the acid test, but just needs someone to provide a different challenge. He's a triple WDC and all he's done is beat a now aging Mark Webber (most of the time). An interesting comparison is Button, who felt the need to move on and face Hamilton to demonstrate his ability. It's obvious Vettel is up there, but he needs to step out of Newey's shadow, or allow another fast driver into it, to prove himself unequivocally.

277

Well, you've admitted it yourself, that it is "unfair". Remember, Button knew that Brawn GP were in their way down, and was faced with the choice of staying there, or going to a better team (one that happened to have Hamilton in it).

278

Kimi was alongside Massa and they were evenly matched on pure pace, during two and a half years, and that was in his prime, before retirement. I know there are a lot of Kimi fans here, and he is a driver I like a lot, but I have to say he is not a benchmark on pure performance, in a daily basis. If he goes to RedBull, Vettel will beat him, and that would say nothing on his comparison with HAM and ALO. But perhaps it would increase even more the admiration his success has generated on F1 fans.

279

Still think Kimi in the Mclaren years was up there with Schumi/Alonso. He was WDC and then demotivated (oh those poor F1 drivers) at Ferrari. Whether he's still as good is debatable. Your right Vettel probably would beat him. I'd just love to find out.

280

What exactly is the Newey shadow? Why do you need to see Kimi vs Seb before you are convinced also most people says Alonso is the best after just comparing him against Massa or you also believe Massa would come anywhere near Seb?

281

The Newey shadow is a vaguely poetic way of saying he makes the fastest cars. The point is Sebs never beaten anyone but Webber in a RB. Alonso faced Hamilton at Mclaren, they were very even. Hamilton faced Button Mclaren, again they were pretty even (but that's a whole other debate). Now Rosberg is showing he's up there with Hamilton at Mercedes and therefore Alonso and Button, as, I suppose, is Perez. Massa, like Webber, has a reputation for being fast, he beat a bored Kimi in '08, though not quite one of the best. But Alonso proved himself vs Hamilton and in taking on Schumacher and Ferrari. The comparison is never gonna be exact, but we still have too little on which to completely judge Vettel. Kimi would be a good test.

282

That's another way of looking at it. I think we all just want to see them compete. Senna was no angel when it came to competition - he blocked Warwick and others (?) at Lotus. I'd say its not about rising to the challenge, its about Seb being able to say it was me and not Adrian Newey that won those championships. Perhaps drivers should go RB and drive for free, perhaps Kimi will next year (though I doubt it somehow). Just hope someone that isn't Webber or a young driver is in the other seat. I'd happily see Vettel thrash them (well not happily but...). Be pretty lousy if he ended up 10 times WDC as number 1 in a Newey built car. Statistics is all very well, but many people call Senna greater than Schumacher. A lot of that is because of Prost.

283

Well if the so called greats believe in their ability they should do what Senna did approach Horner and tell him they would drive for RB for free to prove they are better.

Alonso vs Hamilton is a dent on Alonso's image a DWC easily matched by a rookie in actual fact beaten as without Kimi Ham would have been WC.

Same for Ham vs Button people went as far as saying he's going into the lions den.

The way I see it people need to prove themselves against Vettel, he has thrown down the gauntlet its up to the others to rise to the challenge not for him to drop down to compete.

284

True but don't forget alonso has also beaten fisicella

285

Same Fisi that couldn't come close to Kimi in a Ferrari/

286
hero_was_senna

No, Alonso isn't rated as being the best because of Massa. In fact, Massa over 3 seasons has not been anywhere near Alonso, he has been comprehensively destroyed.

Webber has been told to back off, hold back or support Vettel on a few occasions, but he has also had the beating of him.

Ultimately, Alonso is a double World Champion, from the proper Schumacher era, and has almost won WDC on 3 other occasions.

Last year he was inspired and rightfully judged the best in the world by the F1 paddock.

287

Webber has been told to back off but he didn't listen so whats your point?

has it occurred to you that Vettel is only driver that has moved teams and has not struggled to settle in, in the first year.

What is the proper Schumacher era? Ferrari was not in contention in 2005 and also after mass damper was ruled out he never out-scored Schumacher.

That is still not a world title Vettel was voted best in '09 n '11 but when Alonso is voted in '12 it is all important.

288

Very well put. I couldn't agree more.

289

Nobody can deny Vettel is a brilliant driver, but he is a smart guy and even he must realise that until he proves himself with another team/manufacturer people will continue to undermine his achievements. Perhaps there is some justification for this, I guess it depends on who is analysing it and what their personal bias is.

I must say, I am personally a little disappointed at this decision. I was hoping to see him move on similar to what Hamilton has done.

As for Webbers seat, I would love to see RAI move to Red Bull and I still think Webber is good enough to field a seat in a mid range car, perhaps WEB and RAI do a swap over?

290

MW has stated repeatedly and convincingly that he is not interested in moving back to the midfield. He will retire from RB or perhaps Ferrari when the time comes.

291

"I was hoping to see him move on similar to what Hamilton has done."

Hamilton left a team going down for one going up. Which was a smart move, obviously, but Vettel leaving RB at present for any other team would not be "similar" to that. In order to make a move similar to LH's, SV would have to spend four years with RB while they fail to make a serous title challenge and then jump to a rising star.

292

Hmm, more than a bit revisionist. Most F1 fans thought Hamilton was nuts last September to leave a pedigree team like McLaren for Mercedes, which had only won once since their return, and were in the midst of a downward spiral at that point in the season. Most said he only moved for the money.

Vettel going from RBR to Ferrari wouldn't be the same as Hamilton's move, as they're both acknowledged as top teams. Merc weren't perceived as such up until this year.

Schumi's the only one to leave a champion team by choice, to go to a team where he knew he'd struggle (Alonso's move to McLaren doesn't qualify).

Can't fault Vettel at all ... I'd be signing up with RBR too!

293

He doesnt need to prove himself the record books does all the talking.

People who undermine his achievements are basically jealous thier idols dont have a shot against Vettel. Also Martin Brundle who started this has also had a change of mind.

What has Hamilton done he alienated himself at Mclaren has he failed to get the upper hand against Button at Mclaren and merc was his only option and it would be daft to say the least to move from a winning position to a losing one.

Nobody leaves a good company for a bad one to work to prove a point we all wanna work for the best and be the best we can.

294

Kimi is a known entity - he's been impressive with many teams and there's no reason to think he wouldn't be just as good in a RedBull (although he is getting on a bit, and all that vodka must have done something to his speed over the years!). If Seb beat him fair and square in the same car, that would be the end of the conversation about Seb's 'real' skills.

295

It wont as I see even in your reply you already have the excuse prepared.

"(although he is getting on a bit, and all that vodka must have done something to his speed over the years!)"

296

"he must realise that until he proves himself with another team/manufacturer people will continue to undermine his achievements."

Maybe he's secure enough that he doesn't care? He seems to be motivated more by setting records than by what people think of him, so why not carry on with Red Bull as long as they keep winning?

297

I agree and I actually respect Vettel more for being smart enough to not be distracted by other noise. With Red Bull, he can be a winning machine for years to come. He doesn't need to prove anything with another manufacturer. If he gets bored, by 2016 or whatever, he'll probably be able to cherry-pick any drive that he wants -- or retire.

298

@ Tom

The reason why some undermine Vettel's achievements is because he has achieved so much, so young.

Senna and Clark too won all their titles in the same team but nobody questions their achievements.

299

Senna won his first championship against a World Champion Team Mate. Vettel can't say he's done that yet.

300

Senna also hasn't won a title outside Mclaren and Honda much like Alonso hasn't won a title outside Enstone, Seb would literally destroy the likes of Prost, Button, Hill, and all those 'smooth' and steady world champions, but it means nothing give Seb a chance at Alonso I doubt Fernando will have an answer apart from crying to Luca.

301

We didn't like the tone of your pro Vettel anto British media post so it's deleted.

If you want to express it better and get your main point across, be our guest - Mod

302

I don´t think it has to do with age. Vettel hasn´t face adversity. We don´t know how he may handdle that. By adversity I mean a car with problems.

303

@Anne - Vettel and Webber have driven cars as bad or worse than this year's Mclaren. Mclaren are still the 5th-6th best car - Vettel drove cars worse than that in 2007 and 2008, and impressed far more than Button/Perez are now. Therefore your guess has been proven pretty much correct. Webber arguably impressed too, when he drove the Minardis and Jaguars.

304

That´s exactly my point. How do we know for sure that Vettel and Webber are better drivers than Button and Perez when they never drove a car that bad? My guess is that Vettel is capable to be as good as Alonso was last year when facing that kind of adversity. But it is only a guess and mere speculation from my part. I need to see it to believe it.

305

Well the RB8 wasn't as bad as the MP4-28, but as I suggested, you're putting too much emphasis on a team having to do a poor job for a driver to somehow prove themselves, rather than looking at the quality of the driver on track.

At any rate, Vettel and Webber have collectively got more out of what they've been given in their careers than Mclaren's drivers. You cannot ask for any more than for a driver to push the limits if their car, and therefore, such a level of performance would lead to Webber and especially Vettel doing far better than say, Button and Perez.

306

Do you really belive that last year RB was as bad as this year McLaren? If that was the case they would have never won the championship. Nor Vettel and Webber would have been fighting for the championship winning many races combined and finishing in the podium most of the races

307

@Anne - If anything, the ability to lead the championship despite often lacking speed in the first half, and several car related DNFs showed off the consistency of the drivers (both of them) and team, despite not having things going their own way. Their problems weren't serious enough? Then maybe too much emphasis is being placed on "adversity", and not enough on "quality".

308

Bart I´m afraid I have to disagree. Red Bull lead the the Constractors Champioship almost from the begining of that season. That shows that depite an alternator problem or a crash with Karthykayn or whoever the car was very strong. An incident here and there was expected in 20 races for any team. That didn´t mean RB had serious problems.

309

Anne, RBR and Vettel were in adversity at various points last year. Vettel and the team overcame it.

310

It´s not about winning it. It´s about competing with a car like McLaren this year or Ferrari last year.

311

Who has done it facing adversity/car problems? a few names would do!

312

"Vettel is a brilliant driver, but he is a smart guy and even he must realise that until he proves himself with another team/manufacturer people will continue to undermine his achievements"

...but not the people that count...

313

The fans are the people that count and Seb knows it.

314

Problem is, certain "fans" who undermine certain drivers' achievements don't base it on fact, rather doing so based on double standards or serious deviations from the truth.

315

Good choice for Vettel. The so called allure of Ferrari is all well and good, but Vettel could be a 6 times champion before going there and a legend in his own right.

History would probably be even kinder to a driver that won that many titles without the historic clout of Marenello.

316

It is very early into the season but Vettel is in a very good position to get the 4th title.

I think Christian Horner must be relieved to secure Vettel. Based on Button, Webber, and Schumacher; I estimate that Vettel still have at least 10 to 12 glorious years ahead of him.

317

Now we wait for the 2nd seat confirmation.

James, how realistic to see Kimi partner Seb in 2014? It will be great to see 2 WDCs in the team. The last 2 WDCs partnership was Lewis & Jenson & I enjoyed that. Let's hope we can see one next year at RedBull!

318

Makes perfect sense when your on a good thing...

I don't get people wanting him to go to Ferrari (other than Ferrari) it makes absolutely no sense to me. He is in the best team in F1 and if Mercedes get their act together surely that is the next stop for him.

319

So 2015 it is for the wunder kid!

Now here's the thing, in life whenever someone has had a good run especially consecutively, whenever that ends, it's really over for him/her.

Just look what happened to Fangio and Schumi when their back to back title wins came to a halt >>> never won again.

The same thing can be seen in other sports such as football for example what happened to Liverpool after their good run in the 80s and what's going to happen to Manchester United after Ferguson left.

So stay tuned folks!

320

Agh! Don't remind me about Liverpool ... no EPL titles, it's quite bad. Not as bad as the Toronto Maple Leafs (1967 their last Cup), but not good at all. Made even worse by United pipping them on top-flight titles now.

At least England can say they only get a shot at a major tourney every 2 years, to lessen the pain of their constant failure.

321
Wilma the Great

So out of the current championship contenders (Vettel, Alonso, Räikkönen, Hamilton) everyone has had his first non-championship year after winning one. That leaves us with - tadaa - Vettel for winning WDCs, until a completely new star arises. I can live with that.