F1 World Champion 2014
Lewis Hamilton
Vettel and Red Bull on course for fourth title at midway point of the season
Scuderia Ferrari
Vettel XPB
Posted By: James Allen  |  24 Jul 2013   |  7:35 pm GMT  |  165 comments

As we reach the midway point of the season with this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, we thought we’d take a look at Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel’s performance in 2013 compared to previous years to see if he is on course to win his fourth successive Formula 1 world championship.

The German has won four of the nine races this year, including two of the last three, and holds a 34-point lead over his nearest rival Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.

In the three years which Vettel has won the championship, only once has he led the title race at this point in the season. In 2012, he was third, 29 points adrift while in 2010, he was fourth, 24 behind. In 2011, he held a massive 80-point advantage.

However, the 26-year-old has 57 more points than he did after nine races last season, including three extra race wins, and 36 more than he did in 2010.

As it stands, he is 47 points shy of his total in 2011, when he won 11 races on the way to his second world championship.

Statistically, he has a strong finish to the season, too. In the last two years, he has won at least four races in the second part of the year and roughly scores the same amount of points as in the first half of the season.

To match his impressive total of 392 in 2011, he would need to score nine race wins and a third place in the remaining 10 races.

His Red Bull team are also comfortably ahead in the constructors’ championship, heading Mercedes by 67 points.

They have 34 points more at this point of the season than they did last term, and 36 more than in 2010. However, they are 78 behind their impressive 2011 total at the same stage of the season.

The team have clearly improved their consistency in races, as they have achieved their current points total with fewer podiums than last year. In 2013, Vettel and Mark Webber have had seven podiums between them, compared to 14 last year.

After nine races, the team have won four races, which is the same as in 2010, and one more than last year but three less than 2011.

If they follow the trend of the last three years, and more than double their current points total by the end of the season, the boys from Milton Keynes will, like Vettel, be very difficult to beat, once again.

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165 Comments
  1. Gareth says:

    However as Murray Walker used to say anything can happen in Formula one and it usually does.

    1. Brad says:

      Spoken in true hope

    2. AlexD says:

      Actually itusually doesnt as vettels wins all the time, no surpises

    3. JCA says:

      My second favourite Murryism, favourite being ‘Unless I’m very much mistaken… I am very much mistaken’

    4. domjones says:

      That was back in the days when there were more crashes, more engines blew up and back markers used to properly get in the way of the leaders.

      1. Sebee says:

        Today it’s not P.C. to have failures or crashes. Causes public outrage.

    5. MrExasperated says:

      Except that RB is proving the exception to the rule…. This is getting supremely boring.

      I cant understand why neither Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes or Lotus can match RB.

      My guess is that RB are seriously outspending their competition (would be interesting to know the spend per team).

  2. goferet says:

    Seeing as we’re at the half way point of the season, my hunch is that we’re about to see another driver come through as the strongest.

    With Vettel having been the strongest driver in the first half, it’s likely he won’t be the strongest in the second half more so since he was the strongest in second half of 2012/2011/2010.

    Anyway, whichever angel one looks at this season, Red Bull are long gone and funnily, it reminds me of 2002 when Schumi wrapped up the championship at Spa.

    As for 2011, you will recall Red Bull were mighty compared to 2010 and 2012 because the team were solely fighting Mclaren and not any Mclaren but one with an off form Lewis = complete walk over for Red Bull.

    And what was most amusing about 2011 is that despite Vettel’s points advantage, he kept talking down his chances saying anything can happen Lol…

    Overall, Vettel is truly a wunderkid because of all the Newey pilots of yesteryears only Mika was able to win more than 1 title in these machines.

    1. Martin says:

      stats seem not to be an issue with Vettel – just look at the never winning at home or in July one that some made a fuss about. Besides, Vettel was the strongest in the first half of 2011 as well as the second.

      A much more valid point is the development battle between Red Bull and Mercedes. Red Bull to add outright speed and Mercedes to manage the tyres. If that goes Red Bull’s way there will be only the odd race where the tyres play a major factor to allow Lotus and Ferrari into the mix.

    2. Tealeaf says:

      Clutching at straws a bit there, Vettel usually goes up a gear and dominates for parts of the 2nd half of seasons, usually the races between Singapore and abu dhabi he is nigh on unbeatable, also 2011 he just hit a purple patch of form for most of the season and no other drivers could come close, Webber in that ‘dominant’ car could only win the Brazilian GP and even that win most suspect was because RBR gifted him it by telling Seb to slow down because of the gearbox problem.

      1. justafan says:

        Was there a real gearbox problem or was that hidden team orders to boost Mark’s confidence by giving him at least one win that season, James?

      2. Gokart mozart says:

        He probably had Mark Webbers gearbox by mistake for that race

    3. Wild Man says:

      Nothing last forever. No wins in July. No wins at home. All history now.

  3. goferet says:

    I know Alonso is no mind reader or fortune teller but surely he must sit back and wonder sometimes on what would have been if he had accepted Red Bull’s offer in 2007.

    Stories such as these are sad.

    1. Brad says:

      Vettel would still have won in the other car…

      1. ShaBooPi says:

        Vettel would be propping up the midfield in the Lotus..

      2. H.Guderian says:

        Even in the current Ferrari????
        Come on!!!

      3. krischar says:

        What is great in the current Ferrari ?

        It’s another miserbale car produced by Ferrari.

        ONe of the reasons why massa was never able to redeem himself since 2010 was Ferrari produced poor cars year after year, which were very difficult to drive.

        Can Ferrari produce the quickest car like they did in 2008 with F2008 ? NO

        Can ferrari produce a car which can compete with the likes of RBR or even Mercedes ? NO

        Why Stefano is there still and what he has done to address the problem ? Nothing

      4. Miha Bevc says:

        He ment the other Red Bull, I think.

      5. SteveS says:

        It’s funny how, year after year, whatever car Alonso drives keeps forever getting called “useless”, and whatever car Vettel drives keeps forever getting called “the best on the grid”. At what point does a little voice in the back of your head start to intrude with “Maybe it’s NOT the cars, maybe it’s the men IN the cars”?

      6. Ryan says:

        At the beginning of the season, Alonso did say the F138 is 200% better than last year’s car.

        Maybe, if we’re lucky… When Vettel takes the Championship again this year, Alonso will finally admit that Vettel is the best driver. I don’t even like Vettel -but I do admit he is a very rare talent and in a class of his own.

      7. Anil Parmar says:

        With the amount of mistakes Vet made in 2009 and 2010 I seriously doubt it, but 2011 and 2012 would have been classic battles!

      8. SteveS says:

        Vettel made as many mistakes in 2010 as Alonso did. Which is very impressive, given his age at the time.

      9. Bart says:

        Alonso made some errors in 2010 too (Australia lap 1, China jump start, Monaco qualifying crash, Turkey Q2 elimination, Britain illegal pass, Belgium crash). If anything, Lewis Hamilton made the least errors, though in return, he won less races than the top three.

      10. krischar says:

        @ Brad

        “Vettel would still have won in the other car”

        In your dreams mate.

      11. Sebee says:

        How are you so sure?

        Now for a zinger.
        At least Vettel doesn’t take&keep wins by having team mate crash.

      12. James says:

        My opinion is that a great driver would have won the title in the 2010 Ferrari. A lot of mistakes were made that year across the board, by several drivers.

      13. Spinodontosaurus says:

        Actually James, that’s a very good point. If Vettel or Alonso had put in performances like 2011/2012 then they would have walked the championship in 2010.

    2. F1fan says:

      Very interesting Point. History Shows that often it takes very Special Drivers to lead a Team to the very top and that another type of Driver could not have done the same. A prove is Ferrari’s fortunes where in the history of more than 6 decades only 3 Drivers could lift the team to the very top on a consistent Basis. They were Ascari, Lauda and Schumacher. On the other Hand many good Drivers like Ickx, Alboreto, Berger, Mansell or Prost cracked under that Kind of pressure and ultimately failed. Senna didn’t even dare to take the risk of driving for Ferrari. Since Alonso has been touted like the Driver with even more potential than Schumacher I still believe he can lift Ferrari to the Echelon of F1, despite the voices that Fernando will ultimately fail are getting louder. I still believe in the man since I saw him winning in Hungary 2003. Ten years later in Hungary he may very well be on the right track to Change Ferrari’s fortunes. We will learn the answer this Weekend.

      If Alonso could have brought the same amount of success to Ferrari that Vettel did, is another question alltogether, that no one will be able to answer. Ever.

  4. Sebee says:

    I actually expected Red Bull to be more dominant in 2013.

    If you think about it, if not for Mercedes bending it hard and buying up 1/2 of McLaren to get McLaren’s 2012 form Red Bull would be more dominant.

    Oh…and I stand by my early season views. McLaren’s form is self sabotage or surrender to not get cut off from Mercedes engines for 2013 ans 2014.

  5. Elie says:

    The real big question is how much resources have they switched to the 2014 car? And how much progress are their current rivals risking on this years cars.
    Either way – the single biggest advantage they have going for them is that they are do experlenced at winning now – they seem to be able to find the pace whenever they need it. Also they make the right calls in tough situations..
    Heaven help us – we don’t want that finger boy jamming it up the camera- he is annoying!!

    1. Anil says:

      I actually know someone who works at the RB factory here in MK and he said back in may that wind tunnel time for the was almost 80% dedicated to next years car. Apparently even then people throught that the 20% wind tunnel time this years car was receiving was ‘too much’.

      1. Cole says:

        I think anyone who’s in a position to know that, is way more cleaver than revealing something of that calibre over a paint.

      2. Tealeaf says:

        Well whatever is the case ‘the finger’ will continue to stick it to the rest of the field next season and even when/if he joins Ferrari, current crop of drivers can’t stop him maybe Bianchi might come good we shall see but I wouldn’t hold your breath for Vettel to be suddenly seem average.

      3. EdC says:

        Sounds right to me. The RB9 would have been basically a done deal by then, how many races into the season?

        Sure, work still needs doing, but the ’14 car will be a big focus by then.

        Anyway, for some work I’ll bet they have access to other facilities – Toro Rosso?

  6. unF1nnished business says:

    I never thought Schumi’s record could be touched but if Seb gets #4 this year, I think he actually has a chance to beat it in his F1 career!

    1. F1fan says:

      He might beat Schumacher’s record ultimately, but he’s still a Long way off. After 2006, I thought Alonso would be the man to eclipse Schumacher. Two years later, I thought Alonso passed the torch over to Hamilton. That was before Vettel rose to the top. Now I became cautions with predictions like that, because the man to eclipse Vettel may already be around the Corner. Vettel’s reign might be over quite soon. It did happen to Alonso and to Hamilton, why shouldn’t it happen to Vettel too? Unless Vettel is too good to let it happen, though. We will see the truth come out in the future.

  7. Miha Bevc says:

    If Vettel wins his 4th title this year people will start saying it is getting similar to Schumi/Ferrari domination in 2000′s, but I don’t agree. Ferrari really had everything their way (Bridgestone tires for example, testing, etc), plus nobody (except Hakkinen for maybe 3 years) was able to challenge Schumi.

    Today we have Alonso, Hamilton, Raikkonen and Vettel. It’s like Senna, Prost, Mansell and Piquet in the 80′s all over again! Can you imagine one of these drivers winning 4 titles in a row?

    I have BIG respect for all Vettel’s competitors and that is why I believe his success is even greater. He only had it easy in 2011. All other years he had to fight, and he still has to. If Vettel wins 4th title, it will be well deserved.

    However, I fear he won’t be able to match Schumi’s 5 titles in a row. I think Mercedes are on the up. They are like Red Bull in 2009 or McLaren in late 1997 when they started winning. But 2014 is a blank piece of paper, so who knows. Maybe Newey does it again…

    1. goferet says:

      @ Miha Bevc

      To be honest, Red Bull have had it easy because they have had the all round best car since the second half of 2009.

      In this game, you are not going to make it (even though you’re Senna/Alonso) if you haven’t got a good qualifying car and that’s been Red Bull’s rivals biggest handicap.

      Last year when Red Bull finally got a challenger in Mclaren, the team kept making operational mistakes and so Red Bull were at hand to take the spoils.

      The 2010 Red Bull was untouchable even better than the 2011 one but as you remember, the car was unreliable plus Vettel was making rookie mistakes and that’s why the season appeared close but in reality it wasn’t.

      1. SteveS says:

        “they have had the all round best car since the second half of 2009.”

        No, they have not. (This argument by assertion is fun and easy!)

        By historical standards, none of the RB cars have been anything very special. The 2012 car was on a par with the McLaren and Ferrari, as was the 2010 car.

      2. Spinodontosaurus says:

        I don’t think the RB7 was faster than the RB6 relative to the rest of the field, although I agree with the rest of your comment.

        Vettel qualified on average nearly 6 tenths ahead of Webber in 2011, yet the fastest car bar Vettel was, on average, only 3 tenths behind him. Vettel flattered the car – not the other way around – especially in the final third of the season where the McLaren was clearly faster.

      3. goferet says:

        @ Spinodontosaurus

        Vettel flattered the 2011 car
        —————————————-

        I don’t think this is right.

        If you recall, 2011 was the first year of Pirelli and Webber didn’t like them plus Webber was still feeling under the weather after he had closely lost the title the year before.

        So no, Webber wasn’t a good barometer on the true potential of the RB7.

      4. Anil Parmar says:

        The 2010 Red Bull was equal to the Macca and Ferrari? I’m sorry but that’s ridiculous; the 2010 Red Bull was one of the most dominant cars in terms of pace I’ve ever seen. Just rewatch Webbers pace around Hungary on old tyres or their pace at Silverstone..other than Hockenheim they were incredibly strong as they simply had more downforce than anyone else.

        That championship was kept alive by retirements and mistakes from the RB drivers. If Seb was as reliable now as he was back then he would walk that championship with races to spare.

      5. Tealeaf says:

        Of course Vettel flattered the car just like he flattered the Torro Rosso in the 2nd half of 2007 and 2008 and also he flattered the car in 2011 with his brilliance, englosh speaking media and fans won’t be man enough to admit it of course but its the truth. I use to think Webber was a unbelievably fast driver when he literally blew away all his team mates including Nico Rosberg and can make cars like the Jaguar and the 2006 Williams seem like a front runner sometimes but then he ran into Vettel and got destroyed himself, but at his very best only Vettel, Alonso and sometimes Hamilton are better than Mark, you will see this next year when Ricciardo or Raikkonen will seem even slower than Mark.

      6. Yago says:

        Some times I wonder what sport some of you Vettel fans are watching on Sunday afternoon? Because it surely is not Formula 1!

        2012 Red Bull similar to 2012 McLaren: ok
        2012 Red Bull similar to 2012 Ferrari: are you kidding????
        2010 Red Bull similar to 2010 Ferrari and McLaren: are we talking about F1????

        Thanks god you didn’t mention anything about 2011 Red Bull…

        Maybe for you differences around 3 or 4 tenths between two cars means similar… But the thing is, while 3 or 4 tenths is A LOT in modern F1 and almost insurmountable for any driver (asuming we are talking about top drivers) differences have been even grater than that.

      7. SteveS says:

        The 2010 Red Bull was the equal of the Ferrari and Mclaren, yes. A glance at the points totals at the end of the year is sufficient to confirm this. Using some of the arguments I’m seeing here (look at their qualifying pace!) the 2013 Mercedes is vastly superior to the 2013 RB. For some reason people who can see that the latter is absurd have blinkered vision when it comes to RB. Reliability is a big part of what makes the best car “the best” and the 2010 RB (like all of them, really) was not a reliable car.

      8. Bart says:

        @goferet

        Actually he was right. Webber performed approximately as well as he did in 2010 in 2011, scoring more points and making less mistakes. So no, he was not “under the weather”. Webber just didn’t have Vettel’s mistakes, car unreliability and bad luck to fall back on to appear close.

        So yeah, if Webber was a good barometer in 2010, he was one in 2011.

        @Yago

        Well, an example was just given where one driver was supposed to be 6 tenths faster than another in the same car, and that didn’t even consider the usual margin between others in the same car, like Button and Hamilton. So just 3 tenths of a second is no “insurmountable” margin between cars.

      9. Rachael says:

        Did anyone watch the Michael Schumacher interview on Top Gear several years ago, the one where Michael masqueraded as the Stig?

        I loved it when Clarkson asked, “Well Michael, you went to Benneton (under Ross Brawn) and won the title, then you went to Ferrari and won the title (again under Ross Brawn) then when you retired Ross Brawn started his own team, and he won again (with Jenson Button). Clarkson then asked, “Michael, was it just the car all along, and not the driver?”

        Schumi’s response was that Clarkson was right, there wasn’t any one element which was the key to success, but it was the team. Michael acknowledged that he was always fortunate to be part of good teams.

      10. SteveS says:

        I’d be a lot more impressed with Clarkson if he ever posed that question to a British driver. He asked it of Vettel as well, but not of Hamilton or Button. Funny, that.

    2. Rachael says:

      “Can you imagine one of these drivers winning 4 titles in a row?”

      Actually, I can. Senna won the WDC in 1988, 1990 & 1991.

      He should have won in 1989 as well, but he was robbed by the pro-Prost French FIA president.

      That would have given Senna four titles in a row.

      1. Nick Towsey says:

        One can say ‘if’ all one likes. But using counter ‘if’ arguments, then Senna should not have won 88 as he had less points than Prost and only asthe Suzuka start was downhill did he recover from his stall. In 1990 he rammed Prost off when the Ferrari & Prost looked easily able to take the title. Look further back and you’ll see Prost ‘should’ have won other titles too.

      2. Tealeaf says:

        Yeah but which of them drivers in the 80′s and early 90′s were even in with a shout of winning 4 titles in a row? even though the 1988/1989 McLaren and the 1992/1993 Williams were some of the most dominant cars in history…

      3. domjones says:

        I reckon Prost could have won six titles at least.

        The worst one for him was 1984. At the famous Monaco race where rookie Senna charged through and nearly beat him, Prost successfully moaned about the rain and got the race stopped. Due to the distance in the race, only half points were awarded. He won the race and was awarded 4.5 points.

        If he had kept going until full points were awarded, even if he had finished 2nd he would have been given six points.

        Prost lost the title to Lauda by 0.5 points. If I were him I’d still have nightmares about that.

      4. Brad says:

        So Vettel is in the same league as Senna, or maybe even better when he gets his fourth title! :P

      5. Wade Parmino says:

        Prost should have won in 1988 were it not for the ridiculous points system. The Formula 1 champion is the BEST driver, not necessarily the fastest. Senna was the fastest in 1988 but Prost was better, hence his greater points tally albeit with fewer wins.

      6. John61 says:

        +1 Racheal , That Prost protest has to the worst in F1 history! Senna clearly deserved the 89 WDC , that 89 FIA president was so biased

    3. krischar says:

      @ Miha Bevc

      Vettel had it easy pretty much ever since 2009.

      If anything Brawn faded during the 2nd half of 2009 season.

      RBR could have won WDC in 2009 as well, only the double diffuser row stopped them.

      I do not know how people come up with “vettel had to fight for WDC”, RBR have covered all the basis since the mid season of 2009 to till date.

      2010 RBR had the quickest car, though mechnical failures tested them vettel won WDC easily abu dhabi, 2011 scary and dominant, 2012 once again RBR and newey delivered when it matterted. 2013 already looks very ominous.
      All vettel had to do is beat mark webber to win WDC”S. Vettel did that in style for the past 4 seasons

      RBR had no real opponent ever since 2010. newey and RBR have beaten Mclaren and Ferrari easily year after year with stunning development.

      I feel very Depressed for Lewis and ALONSO

      1. Rockie says:

        The Kubler Ross model best describes your feelings about Vettel pick a stage from it.

  8. Valentino from montreal says:

    And to think that Christian Horner is only 39 years old and has ( and will ) achieve alot more success as Team Principle as compared to the likes of say Domenicalli , Briatore , Ross Bawn ( Brawn , Mercedes Venture ) etc ..

    Add Vettel , who is still very young , this IS the Dream Team Part 2 …If they stick together with Newey and keep Red Bull’s same ” Culture ” , this Trio will continue to massacre Formula-One for many many years ..
    They are too strong as a unit …

    As much as like Vettel , he will never be as great as his hero Michael Schumacher …

    There’s only 1 Michael !

    Go Vettel !

    1. Miha Bevc says:

      I never liked Schumi, but he of course earned my respect.
      But yes… go Vettel!

    2. Sebee says:

      Ahhh…that Schumi.
      So many great stories. Isn’t that what makes a Legend?

    3. janis1207 says:

      Well,
      Schumi earned his reputation by doing what seemed impossible in a second best or even third best car. There are so many races where he came through against all odds that you can’t count them.
      Vettel on the other hand is doing everything that IS possible, and consistently so. His performance against Webber says it all.
      So, it’s possible vs. impossible. Easy to see why Schumi is a legend, but Vettel is not quite yet.

    4. Absolutely,Schumacher was free to drive more of his competitors off the track prior to the driving standards penalties being tightened up !

    5. H.Guderian says:

      Problem is that Newey will not last forever. When he leaves the wonder boy will be in trouble.

      1. Bart says:

        Not really. If the car is still good enough, he’d still fight for and win titles. If it isn’t, he’d still maximise the machinery at his disposal, which is what he’s done throughout his career.

      2. MrExasperated says:

        As I have asked before……imagine you are Horner and you are told you can keep only one, Newey or Vettel…. Who would you choose. Fast drivers come along all the time, but star designers once in a blue moon!!!

      3. Rockie says:

        So by your logic who would you choose if you are a team principal Newey or Alonso?

      4. John Ferdinand says:

        Tell that to Eddie Jordan!

      5. Wild Man says:

        Both could go on for another 10 years & retire at same time.

        Who knows how the future will play out.

  9. Olivier says:

    We’re witnessing something exceptional here. Vettel is beating the likes of Alonso and Kimi fair and square in a car that is not always the fastest out there …

    I hope Mercedes pull their socks up. We need Lewis in the mix as well!

    1. Anil says:

      Not out and out the fastest? It’s the only car that is fast in ALL conditions. Ferrari and Lotus are so hit and miss is unreal. The ony team with a pace advantage on Red Bull is Merc and even then that’s only over 1 lap.

      Seb has he perfect car to chase his 4th WDC and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t get it.

      1. SteveS says:

        If you’re going to define the “out and out fastest car” as any car Vettel wins in, then sure, any car which Vettel wins in can always be called the “out and out fastest”. That’s circular reasoning. Using a slightly more sensible definition of terms the current RB can’t really be called the fastest car though.

      2. ShaBooPi says:

        So put it in factual terms. The car that is leading both championships and that has won both championships the last 3 years also. Wow he really is the greatest ever huh. Give me a break. Was he winning a world title when he had the second fastest car in 2009? No. Wah wah wah…lucky guy.

      3. Anil Parmar says:

        Sorry for not being clear. I was trying to say that whereas the Merc destroys it tyres in the races and the Lotus/Ferrari are only strong in very specific conditions, the Red Bull is always at the top and never struggles. The only race they’ve really been on the back foot on was Spain and they’ve sorted out their set up issues since then.

        It reminds me on 2009 (well the latter half) when all of jenson’s rivals were tripping over each other and being inconsistent race to race. Unless one team emerge to take a series of wins and become dominant, consistency should be enough for Red Bull.

      4. Spinodontosaurus says:

        >”Was he winning a world title when he had the second fastest car in 2009? No.”

        …a fact that he rectified in 2012. What’s your point?

        Glancing at the standing and drawing all of your conclusions from that is seriously narrow-minded.

      5. SteveS says:

        “The car that is leading both championships and that has won both championships the last 3 years also”

        So all you are saying is “When Vettel wins, that proves he has the fastest car, but when the driver I’m a big fan of wins the WDC it shows HE is winning in a slug of a car through his own skill and talent”. I don’t see how anybody can make that argument with a straight face. “The car” is not leading both championships.

      6. Tealeaf says:

        The thing is McLaren had the overall fastest car last year and also McLaren had the fastest race car in majority part of 2011, Mercedes has the fastest car this year just not in high temperature with high fuel and even in 2010 Ferrari were the most consistent, so no RBR hasn’t always had the fastest car and definitely not his year.

      7. krischar says:

        Excellent points ShabooPi – You make perfect sense and i agree with you totally.

        @ Tealeaf

        “2010 Ferrari had the fastest car” – Good joke

        When was the last time Ferrari have produced the fastest car ? 2008 (F2008)

        FACT IS “Neither Mclaren nor Ferrari came up with good’s to beat RBR for WDC and WCC for the past 4 season’s”

        Mclaren at least perfomed well in patches in 2011 & 2012.

        Ferrari well what i can say ? They produced woeful cars year after year since 2009 to this point and made far too many operational errors. If anything ferrari have improved their reliability which will not win them WDC or WCC other than some hopeless points finish.

        RBR ruled the roost from 2010 to this point with car development, if anything vettel took full advantage of this and won 4 WDC’s in a row sadly webber failed and never made any real impression.

      8. Tealeaf says:

        When did I say Ferrari had the fastest car in 2010? I just said they were consistent…
        Also the last time Ferrari produced the overall fastest package was 2006, the F2008 was fastest sometimes but the Mclaren more often, especially in the wet, even Kovalainen with no updates on his car qualified on pole at Silverstone and front row many times e.g. Monza, if Mclaren was so slow in the races in 2011 how comes Button won races and was often as fast as Seb? Fact is Vettel is taking his chances and Hamilton wasted his…

    2. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      I agree with Olivier.

      Last year I believed in 4th in a row for Vettel, but this year I HOPE that Mercedes doing poles and good points “steal” one of two championships.

      The WCC is not far away yet IMHO.

    3. H.Guderian says:

      Yes. You are right. Not always the best car. Just 90% of the time.

  10. Lockon says:

    Well…last year alonso had a 40 point lead before the summer break, and then he lost the championship. Anything and Everything can happen now

    1. Steve says:

      But this is Red Bull.

    2. Fireman says:

      But that was Alonso.

    3. Yago says:

      He had a points lead, but not “material lead”. How can you even compare both situations? To mount a challenge from way behind you need to have a car at least on par.

      Anything can happen yes, but bear in mind “that thing” is Ferrari finding half a second compared to Red Bull. Now you can think on the probability for that to happen…

      1. Kirk says:

        Remember that Alonso lost massive points in 2 races that he didn’t finished by accidents not necessary his fault, so, anything can happen, remember Brazil and Vettel’s accident last year also, when he was lucky not to be touched, again anything can happen.

      2. Brad says:

        The 2nd accident was clearly his fault, when he moved over and gave Kimi no chance but to clip him, so mistake on his part

      3. VSI says:

        @yago – correct.

        Alonso’s 40 point lead was built as much on his consistency as other top teams/drivers tripping up and making mistakes during H1’2012. Hence 7 winners in 7 races. It was clear that as soon as McLaren or Red Bull managed to string consistent performance that their car was capable of delivering, F2012 would not be able to keep up with them.

        This yr, with consistency that Seb has demonstrated in more than a capable car, it is hard to see anyone challenge him – so comparing his 34 to last year’s 40: apples and oranges :)

  11. SteveS says:

    On the other hand, both the Ferrari and Lotus seem to be bullet-proof while the RB cars over the last several years have a history of breaking down, as happened recently at Silverstone. So I expect another close title race this year.

    1. Jake says:

      That “bullet-proof” Ferrari has had a few reliability problems this year. luckily for Alonso only one of the issues was during the race.

    2. krischar says:

      @ Steve S

      Bullet Proof reliability will not win you anything forget WDC and WCC.

      perfect example is 2010 vettel had issues with his car yet when ever RBR finished the races he had the pace to challenge for Wins and 25 points, not just 5th or 4th place finish like Alonso and Ferrari.

      You need PACE to win championships not just reliability.

      1. SteveS says:

        Alonso could easily have won the title in 2010 if he had not made so many mistakes. There was nothing wrong with his car.

    3. Lewis says:

      Red Bull have had 1 mechanical problem this year. It’s not 2010 anymore, we can drop the “Red Bulls are unreliable” patter.

      1. SteveS says:

        Red Bull have had a lot more than one mechanical problem this year. They have had one mechanical DNF. (Which is one more than Ferrari have had)

  12. Oz Geeza says:

    Mr Allen, your prognosis is a bit premature.
    Over the years, and I mean many years I followed F1 nothing can be taken with the
    grain of salt, in fact one week in F1 is like
    a week in politics, one minutes you riding
    high the next you wonder what have happen.
    Cheers.

  13. Anon says:

    Red Bull survived a late rule change which really hurt them at the start of 2012 and the tyres don’t really suit their car in 2013 but they still found success. If they survive the wave of changes in 2014 and come out with a strong car then who can stop them?

    1. Tealeaf says:

      That’s the question, I doubt anyone could, this is the Vettel decade I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins 5-6 title in a row before joining Ferrari and wins more.

  14. Irish con says:

    For the good of F1 vettel and red bull have to be stopped winning the titles this year. Bit sadly I don’t see that happening. I respect vettel massively and like him but I want to see other guys win more. You cold argue the case that Fernando, Lewis, and Kimi all deserve more world titles than what they have currently got. In a strange way I feel that if seb had a season like Fernando had last year and lost the championship it might get him more credit and praise than people saying he is only winning because he is in the best car.

    1. SteveS says:

      People are never, ever going to give up on claiming that Seb’s car is “the best”. If he finishes this season runner up, they’ll say “He had the best car and STILL couldn’t win – you see, he’s useless!”

      That is one prediction about the outcome of the season which can be made with absolute certainty.

      1. Irish con says:

        To be fair tho u can count on 1 hand the amount of times that seb has started a gp since the middle of 2009 and thought he wasn’t the favourite to win or finish on the podium at the very least. That’s why he wins so much but it’s also why some people can’t quite take to seb as the booing he got in Canada shows.

      2. F1fan says:

        The booing only Shows the unsportive attitude of the Canadians, which is an isolated factor. I haven’t seen that Kind of Podium behaviour in other countries yet.

      3. SteveS says:

        Which illustrates that the “it’s the car” line of argument is dishonest. You said “Seb” and not “Mark” or “one of the Red Bulls”. Vettel has been very impressive the last few years. The Red Bull cars have not looked all that great. I’ve been watching F1 since the early 1990′s. I’ve seen some impressive cars, and the RB’s are simply not that good. They’re decent, competitively quick cars, though definitely on the fragile side. But they’re not in a class all of their own like the F2002 or FW14B.

      4. Jake says:

        There are cars on the grid that may outperform the Red Bull in certain areas or conditions but not in all areas and all conditions. Put another way, the Red Bull is the best and most consistent all round package at this moment in time. It does not have to be dominant in all areas to be considered the best.
        Clearly the Lotus is better on tyre management, the Merc has a slight advantage in one lap pace and the Ferrari is more reliable, however all of these cars have a performance deficit in other areas compared to the Red Bull that swings the advantage back to the Bulls.

      5. Anil Parmar says:

        +1.

    2. gEd says:

      Who has won the world title in the last 15 years in the second best car ? (I honestly don’t know as whilst I have been watching F1 for 20 years,I am not someone who remembers facts & figures).

      1. Anop says:

        I guess only Fernando in 2006 but he had the best car in the 1st half of the season before FIA banned Renault’s mass damper system.

      2. Anil Parmar says:

        I’d say the Ferrari in 2000 wasn’t as fast as the Macca, but they were pretty close and that’s just my opinion.

        Lewis in 2008 won the title in a car that was stronger than the Ferrari in wet/cold conditions but usually slower in the dry. That said, Kimi didn’t turn up that year and there was a large amount of wet races that year which really hurt Ferrari.

      3. SteveS says:

        Alonso’s cars in 05 and 06 were the best by a long shot, far superior (compared to to their competition) than the RB’s in 2012 or even 2010.

        Hamilton had the best car in 2008.

        Perhaps Kimi won in 2007 in the second best car, but that was due more to stupidity at McLaren than to his own brilliant driving.

      4. F1fan says:

        Perhaps Fernando in 05/06 but then his rival’s cars were unreliable.

      5. Giorgio says:

        Renault 2005,
        but again “if”, if MP4/20′s reliability issues.. “then”..

      6. aveli says:

        2007 & 2008 champions did it in not the fastest cars.

      7. Spinodontosaurus says:

        Hamilton 2008 and Vettel 2012 would be my guess, although I know that latter one is bound to be controversial.

        With car performance so close between the top teams since about 2008, there isn’t really much in it anyway.

  15. r0ssj says:

    Saying Vettel and Red Bull are on course for a 4th title is a bit of an understatement. This title is done, no way anyone is going to catch Red Bull and Vettel.

    There are some great drivers currently in F1, Vettel undoubtedly among them. The problem is, there is only one great team in F1 and that’s Red Bull. Aside from being technically superior than there rivals, they’re usually strategically & politically superior as well.

    It’s up to the other teams to raise their game, but there not getting it done. Ferrari and Mclaren are particularly disappointing. They should have the budget and experience to compete with Red Bull, but have come up far too short for the last 5 years.

    Lotus actually do a good job given the deficit they have in resources compared to their rivals and Merc are showing signs of improvement. But right now there is only one team capable of winning the championship, which is frustrating.

    1. Kirk says:

      I wouldn’t say the title is done, but yes, the fact is that the other teams are not doing their best, both McLaren and Ferrari have been in trouble for some years but decide to continue doing the same with the same people, and it seems this will be the same next year, only Lotus and Mercedes are doing something, hope we will see more competition next year.

    2. jean says:

      Agree 100%. It’s so frustrating seeing Ferrari struggle as they do. Red Bull hasn’t been in the sport that long and they are flying away at the moment. It’s also the mistakes of Mclaren and Ferrari in recent times that are mind boggling

  16. Serrated Edge says:

    Easy for Vettel when he is in the best car and gets preferential treatment over his team mate.

    1. Brian says:

      Preferential treatment? Vettel probably gets the least preferential treatment out of the top 4 teams. Multi-21 proved that RBR were willing to let Webber finish ahead of Vettel. Can’t say the same about the other teams in the top 4.
      Massa’s infamous “Fernando is faster than you.” or gearbox at COTA.
      Rosberg being ordered not to pass in Malaysa.
      Grosjean being ordered to let Kimi pass in Germany.

      1. Goldeneye76 says:

        To be the Multi 21 fiasco did prove Vettel’s preferential treatment.

        Vettel ignored team orders and blatantly handed Christian Horner’s balls to him on a plate on international television and got away with it scott free.

        Try doing that to your immediate boss unless you’re in bed with the Executives

      2. F1fan says:

        It gave us good racing, though.

      3. Rockie says:

        Your reply is missing the point totally for obvious reasons the fact is Redbull was willing to let Webber finish in front of a 3 time champion.
        Which he wasnt going to stand for as Webber would not have agreed to that as evidenced in silverstone 11.
        Ferrari wont allow that.

      4. Anil Parmar says:

        +1. Really felt sorry for Horner after all that.

      5. SteveS says:

        You conveniently ignore the fact that Webber has a long history of ignoring team orders at Red Bull, and of getting away with it. Using your logic, this “proves” that Webber has been given preferential treatment.

        In fact F1 forums seem to be overrun with people who cheered Webber in the past for defying team orders, and who suddenly decided just a few months ago that defying team orders is now the most despicable thing EVER.

      6. Goldeneye76 says:

        You could see it 2 ways:

        It was very early in the season, the drivers were allowed to race each other and so Webber was being given a fair crack of the whip to go for the championship. Hence there was no preferential treatment at that point.

        OR

        Regardless of who had done what to whom before, Horner should have told Seb to back off (not just say he was being a bit of a silly billy) or told him to give back the place to Mark.

        Ross Brawn handled his 2 drivers perfectly in that situation – he sounded like he was in charge

      7. SteveS says:

        How exactly is ordering Seb to stay behind Mark “giving a fair crack of the whip to both drivers” and a sign of “no preferential treatment”?

        Horner is undermined in this but not by Vettel or by Webber. He is undermined by Dietrich Mateschitz, who has never wanted team orders at his team. That’s why Wrebber has never been punished for repeatedly defying team orders, and why Vettel has now decided to do the same.

      8. Bryce says:

        I have to agree with Goldeneye76.

        All of my employees would be/are punished for disobeying instructions from me or my supervisors, regardless of their ability to perform one’s job.

        In other words, they all have equal standing.

      9. SteveS says:

        They all have equal standing at Red Bull. Neither driver has faced any punishment for ignoring team orders. If anything Webber has been applauded by the fans for ignoring team orders.

      10. H.Guderian says:

        Come on!!!
        Multi21 just proved Mark was AMBUSHED by his team.

      11. Bart says:

        “Ambushed” like Vettel was when Webber ignored team orders?

      12. F1fan says:

        HoWw is that, when Webber was the Chosen one?

  17. Sebee says:

    At a bar I was watching Jeopardy on one of the screens today and for category Sport the clue was “Senna” and no one buzzed in to name the sport!!!!!

    I almost threw my beer at the TV!

  18. pargo says:

    As a Webber fan, it was easy for me not to like Vettel, especially after that infamous collision.

    But I have to say, Vettel is a wonder kid. And I don’t really buy the “only because of Adrian Newey… fastest car” comments.

    His overtaking has been spot on and he has shown he can drive under pressure (Brazil 2012 etc).

    My 2 cents, Vettel deserves credit for his ability.

    1. Bryce says:

      +1

      I respect his driving ability, but not much else.

  19. yassin says:

    The other team might aswell not bother turning up.

  20. Anop says:

    Good article James but uncertainty is the reason why I love this sport. If Sebastian and Red Bull win the title this year also then they will thoroughly deserve it. However, if there is something called as the commentators curse then this article has done that job.

    Hoping for a three way battle for title among Fernando, Sebastian and Kimi at Interlagos.

  21. All revved-up says:

    I realize mine’s a minority view – but I’m still enjoying this F1 season – even if RB/Vettel cruise to a 4th WDC/WCC.

    I think the gap between Mercedes and Lotus to the Top 3 (RB, Ferrari and what was then a strong McLaren) has closed. Am I watching the “next Red Bull” in one of those two teams? RB after all came from no where in F1 history and took down teams that have a long history in F1.

    Are Mercedes just one fix away from being a championship contender? How long will it take a raft of world class F1 engineers to solve a tyre wear issue? Will some deep pocket billionaire see the fantastic value in Lotus and buy it off the current owners. Surely Lotus F1 is more fun and has a better global audience reach than a super duper America’s Cup catamaran sailing in the middle of water miles away from spectators. . . . .

    Vettel’s dominance detracting from my enjoyment of F1?Not yet by a long way. Man U’s dominance diminishing our enjoyment of EPL? Nope.

    Forum talk seems very different from the enjoyment of long standing fans that meet over a drink and talk sports – and have been for decades. Will Vettel diminish this enjoyment? There’s no evidence of this from my bar stool.

  22. Jake says:

    James, do you have any more info on what the teams are up to with the 2014 car development and when they are likely to switch all the resources to the 2014 car? Will any team think it is worth the risk to the 2014 car development by continuing to use the resources in order to challenge Red Bull this year?
    Surely Lotus has to switch development soon to have any chance of a competitive car for 2014.
    Merc can probably continue for a few more races without it interfering with next years car but I would expect McLaren have already given up this years car. What about Ferrari?

    1. James Allen says:

      We will do things on it soon

  23. John says:

    Seems to me that RED Bull are the best team. On average they get more out of the car than anyone else. They can develop the car better than others and that is why they have won 3 championships, no reason to think that they aren`t going to win the next one. A good team doesn`t suddenly become a bad one, its not just the driver or the aero guy or the engineer.

    1. F1fan says:

      It happens, though. Mac and SF were the best Teams in 2008, only one year later they fell behind Bra and RBR.

      1. F1r says:

        But the Brawn (or Honda if u want) was a car that was worked on for 2 years. They did nothing with the racing car (except drive around the back) and focused on 2009 since 2007

    2. Jake says:

      F1 is engineering on the edge. Both Ferrari and McLaren, top teams by anybody’s standard, have both produced lemmings in recent years, even tho’ the simulation data was looking good at the time. There is nothing to stop Red Bull, or any team, following in McLaren’s foot steps with next years car.

  24. Richard says:

    Red Bull is a well run team based in excellent design. Design, team management, and driver capability. – They are at the pinnacle in all three areas so they must win. Sebastion Vettel has had very good fortune to be with them to give him the platform from where he can win.

    1. SteveS says:

      He didn’t have “good fortune” to be with them. He could very easily have gone elsewhere: there were other more established teams who wanted him. Among his good qualities is loyalty. You might want to check out an Autosport article titled “Adrian Newey on Sebastian Vettel”.

      1. Richard says:

        Of course he could have easily have gone elsewhere, but had he done so he would not have had the excellent platform he has for winning races and gaining the championships. It’s nothing to do with loyalty for he is in the best place. Make no mistake had Red Bull not been a top performing team both from a design and operational point of view by now Vettel would have been looking elsewhere. – It’s a fact of life! That being the case he as I originally said most fortunate to be with such a team.

      2. SteveS says:

        The Red Bull cars at the time he made that decision were simply dreadful. You make it sound like a now brainer going to mighty Red Bull, when Red Bull at the time were an absolute joke of a team.

        Vettel is a large part of what transformed RB from a joke of a team into champions. If you’d bothered to read the article I mentioned many of your misconceptions would be corrected. But then, I suppose you enjoy having those misconceptions and don’t really want to lose them.

      3. Richard says:

        Steve S don’t you realise that any team starting from scratch needs time to build up to where they are now. As I have said before design is almost everything, beyond that the team has to be operationally sound. It doesn’t matter what they were when they started, it was the brainchild of Adrian Newey and his design team that has put Red Bull on the map. I’ll go as far as saying 80% of it is having the best car, and this year again it is proving to be the case by a country mile.
        So given that you agree that Vettel did in fact have good fortune in choosing the right team I rest my case

      4. Bart says:

        And the drivers are a key part of the team as well. Vettel and even Webber haven’t been passengers in RBR’s transformation, hence it is not just “fortune in choosing the right team”.

    2. F1fan says:

      In F1 you make your own fortune.

      1. Richard says:

        Actually no! That is an impossibility. Success in F1 is dependant upon so many variable aspects quite beyond the control of the driver. All a driver can do is do the best job possible in any given circumstance, and leave nothing on the track. – Most top drivers do that anyway so it is the car and the way the team operates that makes the difference.

      2. Rockie says:

        Actually you do Alonso was offered the drive but refused it when Vettel was offered the redbull drive he had not even won for toro rosso then.
        Martin Brundle was critical of Vettel moving to redbull as he felt it was a backward move for Vettel.

      3. SteveS says:

        If you sincerely believed that you would not follow F1, and if it were true than no F1 driver would be highly regarded. People say that sort of thing in a desperate attempt to diminish Vettel. They either don’t know or don’t care that the sentiment expressed diminishes ALL drivers and the sport in general. “Who were Fangio and Clark and Senna anyway? Just some drivers who had the great good fortune to be in good cars and good teams”.

      4. Richard says:

        The thing is nobody has a crystal ball so they can see just how a team will grow. Those at Red Bull have done an excellent job in producing a car that is aerodynamically supreme, beyond that they have very quickly got on top of very difficult tyres producing what is the best compromise with regard to tyre degradation. The whole thing has become a tyre strategy and conservation exercise giving the sport a contest within a contest that puts drivers of over teams at a considerable disadvatage. Vettel is an excellent driver, but he would be nowhere without the Red Bull car.

      5. Bart says:

        “Vettel is an excellent driver, but he would be nowhere without the Red Bull car.”

        Being an excellent driver would have seen him get into a top team regardless. If you’re suggesting that he wouldn’t be as successful without RBR, then fair enough, though this also applies to any race winner and champion.

      6. Richard says:

        Yes Bart we are in agreement! All drivers need a top performing car to get anywhere in the current formula. – They also need a team that does not make mistakes.

  25. John M says:

    I think Vettel and Red Bull are probably well on their way to a fourpeat. But, the statistics in this article really don’t mean anything (no offense, James). This year is not dependent on last year, or the last three years. If it did, then McLaren wouldn’t be such a dog, for example. Performance changes, drivers change, unpredictable events occur, etc.

    Plenty of times, we’ve seen a team develop rapidly in the middle of a season, or another team stop development and nearly lose a big lead. Drivers even go through inconsistent stretches. Granted, Red Bull does seem to have things in hand and Vettel is unlikely to fall off a cliff.

    People always like to compare the performance or results of teams/individuals in all sports to past results. There are just too many variables, usually, to make any such statistical comparisons valid.

  26. Dean says:

    I must admit there cannot be enough Vettel dominance for me, rewriting the historybooks and upping the ante higher for his peers in a Schumacher-esqe style. I also admit the reason for this is my resentment for Lewis Hamilton, and the accompanying screaming British media, who now have been silenced for a while. Vettel cannot beat Lewis enough in my book. The day that Lewis Hamilton leaves F1 will be the day I will care more about diversity.

    1. Jon says:

      mmmmmm controversial.
      Couldnt see many people agreeing to liking a Schumacher-esque dominance again doesnt matter who’s driving. just saying. Although if the reason is mostly Lewis then, dont let it him get you down. Actually, Vettel gets me down week in week out cos of Red Bull dominance, Damn. Oh what ya do

      1. Dean says:

        Even if we leave Lewis out, is Vettel really dominating? The last race suggests he isnt so. He is winning titles because hes so consistent in races that he doesnt dominate. This is something that starts to dawn on Alonso and Lewis, both having had a fair share of wild races that costed dearly. This is were he ups the bar to his peers, like Schumacher did.

        Schumacher had a great car in 2002 and 2004, but his other championships were closely fought. You cant blame him for the retirements of the Williams cars in 2001 and 2003, or Mika dropping the ball in 2000.

      2. SteveS says:

        A driver you don’t like winning does not really count as “dominance” though. “Dominance” means a teams drivers finish the season, and many (most?) of the races one-two. Red Bull have never shown any dominance.

    2. Richard says:

      If Hamilton or Alonso had an equivalent car in a similarly performing team, Vettel would find it very difficult to beat either of them. As I’ve said many times he is very fortunate to be where he is, and would be a fool to move elsewhere. Ferrari or McLaren hold little attraction to a winning driver.

      1. Dean says:

        Oh, I think Vettel also beats them in inferior cars. Look at Monza 2008, or Melbourne 2012, when he beat that rocketship McLaren of Mr Hamilton.

        Besides, Alonsos was offered a drive at Red Bull but turned it down, and Lewis, well he kind of blew any chance he had by saying its just a drinks company. So I dont think you can blame Vettel for not having either Lew or Fernando as a teammate.

      2. Richard says:

        The Red Bull car has been top performing for four years now. That is to say it is the fastest car around medium to high speed corners. It has supreme aerodynamic efficiency with maximised downforce. It is a supremely agile car that other drivers can only dream about. The McLaren car was fast in a straight line, but could not match Red Bull around the corners. What you need to do is learn how F1 cars work. All top drivers need a top performing car and team to win a championship. It is so obviously design that makes the Red Bull car so good not necessarily the driver.

      3. Bart says:

        Well, they’d find it difficult to beat Vettel in similar cars. In fact, Alonso’s car hasn’t even been far off this year, but he lags behind (only a few points ahead of Raikkonen).

        And remember, Vettel is where he is on the back of becoming the youngest ever winner, polesitter and point scorer, in cars that wouldn’t have been expected to do so. It’s a combo of fortune and obvious talent.

  27. Jon says:

    Let it go. This season is over. I like everyones enthusiasm though. Look at it this way, Red Bull wont be dominating forever. If only it came sooner rather than later.
    Enjoy the race jamesallenonf1.com friends

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