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Vettel opens up commanding points lead with dominant win in Spa
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Posted By: James Allen  |  25 Aug 2013   |  3:31 pm GMT  |  462 comments

Sebastian Vettel opened up a lead of 46 points over Fernando Alonso in the drivers championship – almost two race victories’ worth of points, with a commanding win in the Belgian Grand Prix.

It was his 31st career win, putting him equal with Nigel Mansell, and the fifth of 2013.

He started second on the grid, but took the lead from pole sitter Lewis Hamilton on the straight after Eau Rouge on the opening lap and drove away from the Mercedes driver, who finished third, a full 27 seconds behind the winner.

Red Bull had set the car up all weekend to have the highest top speed in the field at the top of Eau Rouge at 306 kmh, compared to the 298km/h of Hamilton’s Mercedes. The British driver didn’t get a perfect exit from the legendary corner and Vettel was able to slipsteam him and pass cleanly.

He pulled away from Hamilton into a comfortable lead.

Fernando Alonso was encouraged by the performance of his Ferrari, moving from 9th to fifth on the opening lap and then passing Rosberg, Button and Hamilton to move into second place. Alonso closed on Hamilton due to the Mercedes taking an earlier stop on lap 11, Alonso pitted two laps later and was right behind Hamilton and he made the pass for second place on lap 15.

“The car worked well in all conditions,” said Alonso, “with a full fuel load at first and then with a lighter one at the end and, on top of that, the extra speed we had on the straight meant I could overtake without taking too many laps to do so. We know we have made a step forward and that we have recovered some of the competitiveness we had lost in recent races.

Vettel was instructed to manage the gap and discouraged from pushing too hard in the closing stages. He said afterwards that the car had proved very quick in the race, more so than he had expected,

“I don’t think we expected to be dominant here, and it surprised all of us actually,” he said. “It’s a great result. I think we knew going into the race that our race pace, compared to Mercedes, maybe gave us a little in hand, but we didn’t know where we were compared to the others, especially Ferrari, and Lotus looked very quick in dry conditions also.”

Before the race the weather preductions suggested a 40% chance of rain from 13-00 local time. It never materialised and although some teams believed there was a threat of rain in the closing stages, the entire race was held in dry conditions.

After moving up from sixth on the grid to fourth on the opening lap, Jenson Button in the McLaren was able to race with Webber’s Red Bull, which had dropped from third to sixth after a poor getaway from third place on the grid.

Button tried to make a one stop strategy work, so pitted much later than his rivals on lap 17. But it proved difficult and he was forced to make a second stop on lap 34 due to pressure from Romain Grosjean, who was catching him. Grosjean did pull off a one stop strategy, the only driver to do so, making his only stop on lap 22.

Button finished sixth, seven seconds behind Webber, while Grosjean was 8th behind Felipe Massa.

The race featured plenty of overtaking, with the DRS passes on the Kemmel straight particularly straightforward for many drivers, but there many good passes witout DRS into the Bus Stop chicane. There were some incidents too: Pastor Maldonado took out Paul di Resta in a bizarre incident in the second half of the race, where he turned right in the left handed Bus Stop Chicane and smashed the left rear wheel off the Force India car. Maldonado had been passed illegally by Esteban Gutiarrez, who had run off the race track in setting up the pass, he was then tagged by Adrian Sutil and appeared to decide to turn for the pit lane, unaware that Di Resta was on his outside.

Kimi Raikkonen’s unbroken sequence of finishes stretching back to the start of the 2012 season came to an end with a brake failure. It was his first non-points finish in 28 races and only his second non-points finish since joining Lotus.

BELGIAN GRAND PRIX, Spa Francorshamps, 44 laps
1. Vettel Red Bull
2. Alonso Ferrari
3. Hamilton Mercedes
4. Rosberg Mercedes
5. Webber Red Bull
6. Button McLaren
7. Massa Ferrari
8. Grosjean Lotus
9. Sutil Force India
10. Ricciardo Toro Rosso
11. Perez McLaren
12. Vergne Toro Rosso
13. Hulkenberg Sauber
14. Gutierrez Sauber
15. Bottas Williams
16. van der Garde Caterham
17. Maldonado Williams
18. Bianchi Marussia
19. Chilton Marussia

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462 Comments
  1. Sebee says:

    Quite a routine Sunday episode really.

    It is what you get with durable dumbed down non-directional harder compound tires. To all who demanded the change, your wish has come true and you are welcome.

    …And goferet, told you that you jinxed Kimi! This one is all on your shoulders. :-)

    1. goferet says:

      @ Sebee

      Lol come on man, it was just a lucky guess.

      As for the tyres, we saw lots of overtaking in the midfield thanks to the more durable tyres

      1. Sebee says:

        goferet, with Kimi being a fan favorite and so much fan rage now directed at you for the jinx, I’m going to try and lift some pressure off you.

        Here goes…

        Isn’t it time Alonso had a collision on lap 1, always starting from so far back and trying to make up so many spots slicing and dicing? Monza? :-)

      2. goferet says:

        @ Sebee

        Hahaha but Samurais do this sort of thing every day, slicing through danger like a breeze.

        Besides Alonso already had his misfortune in Malaysia so no, I think he’s safe.

    2. K says:

      There have been races with cheese tyres which were much worse than this. These kind of comments make no sense.

      Majority rather sees a proper race with less gimmicks, rather than gimmicky tyres where a Sauber is faster than and RBR and Ferrari and sets the fastest lap and a Marussia is unlapping itself driving past the leader with ease.

      This was a proper F1 race like the old days (minus the easy pass DRS zone). You think its boring? There is always American wrestling.

      1. James Clayton says:

        DRS was a joke. Drivers making legit passes just to be re-passed under DRS. It ended up with drivers waiting until the DRS zones to pass and not to bother attempting proper passes (you can’t blame them – that’s the formula they have to work with these days :()

      2. Chris Acton says:

        Agreed James, Double DRS at a track like Spa is just not needed and killed the race for me too, far to many cheap passes ruined what used to be my favourite race of the year.

      3. F1 Badger says:

        Good point, saves their tyres waiting for drs. Why risk the tyres racing hard? A sad question to have to ask!!

      4. Goob says:

        I hate DRS with a passion… it’s taken the sole out of F1…

        F1 seems to do everything to cater for the corporate investors and nothing for the fans (ex in my case).

        We want to see driver battles – not DRS manoeuvers (can’t even call them overtakes as there is no skill needed).

      5. Dan says:

        It was evident that DRS was too powerful here. Think I heard Hamilton say he let Alonso past so that he could use DRS on the run to Les Combes. Don’t think we want to see that become the tactical norm.

        I’m really tiring of seeing every overtake being referred to the stewards as well. It’s definitely being over-policed.

    3. All revved-up says:

      Did Lotus score an own goal today? It looked like there wasnt sufficient cooling for the front brakes. Kimi’s failed. Even Grosjean’s front rims looked much darker than the other cars.

      1. Juzh says:

        Spparently a visor tear-off became stuck in the cooling shaft during the warm-up lap on kimmi’s car.

    4. Andrew M says:

      I’d rather see this race any day rather than the shotgun lottery of Silverstone thanks very much. The problem isn’t the tyres, the problem is we’re in for another Vettel cakewalk to the title. Great if you’re a Vettel/Red Bull fan, dull as anything for the rest of us.

      1. Sebee says:

        I just think it would have been interesting to see the original directional higher-tech tires go the distance this season. These uniform L/R new construction and hard compounds have all but become an invisible factor.

        All I’m saying is that F1 is high tech. Why shouldn’t the tires be high tech? Anyhow…that ship has sailed.

      2. Andrew M says:

        The old tyres weren’t high tech at all, they were deliberately low-tech to enforce an artificially low level of performance. They used steel instead of kevlar.

        And let’s not kid ourselves about the L/R thing, before Silverstone (when Pirelli laughingly tried to blame all the failures on this, which was proven to be false) this feature was hardly talked about at all.

    5. Wayne says:

      Double DRS at a circuit that has absolutely no need of it is what ruined this race. F1 has many thrilling races at this circuit on the most hardy of tyres in the past. My God, F1 has somehow managed to hold a dull race at the world’s greatest racing track because of all the gimmicks – good job! For next year DRS should be banned, the massive technical changes could be used to enforce a clean slate for the sport and restore some of its purity.

      Anyone have the faintest idea about the ‘race is defined by the white lines’ rule? Does it only apply at certain circuits? Does F1 now make its rules up on a race by race basis. I swear that F1 is the only sport in the world that has the arrogance to shove such inconsistent and terrible stewarding decisions down the throats of fans.

      Is it a rule or isn’t it?

      1. Jimbob says:

        +1. Sick to death of the ridiculous stewarding… I see more consistent penalties being dished out in local kart races by volunteer marshals.

        The FIA needs to wake up and get a grip, both on the application of the rules and DRS.

      2. Sebee says:

        Wayne,

        I’ve argued for DRS on a number of occassions because there is logical reasons for it. However, it was quite lame to see Alonso pulling up and in deed not able to make the pass in the first laps and then he resigned and waited for DRS to be enabled.

        Spa doesn’t need DRS. It didn’t in the past. However, if FIA would allow a race with no DRS, like Spa for example, and the race would turn out well it would remind viewers it may not be needed. Also, it may illustrate that DRS is a fix for certain poor tracks.

        For that reason it is not an option to say no DRS at one race and DRS at next. It’s either DRS for all with two zones at each circuit, or no DRS at all – which again, is no longer an option in this aero sport. Even with formula change in 2014, DRS stays.

      3. Wayne says:

        Good points, unfortunately. But its actually worse than that ALO example. HAM actually surrendered a corner to ALO at one point because he knew DRS was coming up and he hoped to re-pass.

      4. F1 Badger says:

        Which moves do you make that poi t in regard to? Only asking so I can watch it back and compare. I think a permenent ex driver steward would make sense to bolster consistency!

      5. Sebee says:

        Easier to bribe too! :-)

      6. Wayne says:

        Start with HAM surrendering the last corner to ALO because he knew ALO would pass him under DRS. He actually gave up track position because he knew DRS assured ALO of the position.

        Then move onto all the passes where the cars just breezed past each other in Zone 1.

        SPA has never needed DRS and it dulled this race.

      7. BurgerF1 says:

        The problem with DRS is that despite it’s good intention (closing the cars below the aerodynamic limit they keep bumping into when following another car), it’s constantly a moving target in terms of how much of a zone is required. This means at best, 1/3 of the time the DRS zone is too short to make a difference (the pit straight at Spa), and 1/3 of the time it’s too long (Kemmel straight at Spa) resulting in easy passes. They’ll get it about right the other 1/3 of the time. Not exactly the result they were hoping for.

        At Spa, it didn’t affect the outcome (Vettel made the pass on Hamilton before DRS was enabled) but it did make for a lot of lazy overtakes.

        This target is impossible to nail down correctly as the cars keep changing as do the track characteristics on the race day. Should be abandoned in favour of aerodynamic changes (i.e. less aero grip, more mechanical grip). Problem is, the aero genie is definitely out of the bottle.

        As for the white line rule, as far as I know, at some races, in certain corners, the drivers are allowed to swing wide of the track defined by the white line, but otherwise, they can’t let all four wheels drift wide of the white line. Doing this does not guarantee a penalty though, since it remains a case of whether the driver gained an advantage. And that’s where your mates the Stewards come in…

    6. Cliff says:

      Sebee, I’m with you on this one! Sometimes you just have to be careful what you wish for. Two of my favorite races (Canada & Spa) have been mediocre by recent standards

    7. dean cassady says:

      You got it right!
      Welcome to the bullet-proof tires and tedious championship, due to the completely manufactured ‘tire problem’.
      And while I agree that the time is coming for DRS to go away, at least at places like Spa, the real, underlying root cause of spoiling the spectacle is the unrepentent corporate arm-twisting and outright cheating.
      Red Bull have, as suspected, kept a ringer in the bag, and taken it out at the right time – now on top of everything else, they are fastest through the speed trap!
      It is unlikely that anyone will catch the Vettel-Red Bull package.
      My estimations of the Lewis-Mercedes package (heading to the top),so far seems out-of-line with the Spa results; seems I was wrong (but theer are nine races to go).

  2. bearforce1 says:

    Vettel is the man. What an overtake from the start. No DRS totally melted it…..

    Yabba dabba dooooooo……

    1. Michael S says:

      Yes, that was some brilliant driving today from Seb. Alonso/Ferrari made another brilliant start, I swear he makes up 3 to 5 places over and over again at the start of races.

      The Ferrari actually looked like the class of the field for the first time in a long time. They somehow had a lot of wing and still had great top speed. Kimi could not get Massa in the DRS no matter how he tried.

      1. Sid says:

        That V8 at the back of the red car is class of the field, on par with Mercedes!

      2. Sebee says:

        Ferrari better give Massa the remaining 5% of that power or their WCC standing will be off the podium.

      3. Padre says:

        I think it’s obvious that Vettel doesn’t have teammate this year and Alonso has 2. Pardon – servants. I think Webber should be booted from RB immediately for what he did in first lap Eau Rouge. Actually for what he didn’t.

      4. Hermann says:

        If you’re suggesting that MW deliberately let Alonso overtake him in order to give a challenge to Vettel, then I would like to remind you of one race – Malaysia 2013. How would you have felt if you were Mark Webber? Like Villeneuve in 1982 when Pironi did not obey team orders? He’s retiring from F1 now, so let the ship sink like the Titanic!

      5. absolude says:

        Webber was in “Team Alonso” last year too. Almost costed Vettel the championship with his antics in the last race.

      6. Hendo says:

        Yes, we made the same comment. It definitely looked a bit soft.

      7. Hermann says:

        I think you’re all underestimating the power Helmut Marko has on RBR. For him only Vettel and results exist. If you’re not a Red Bull man you’re in trouble. If Webber is soft then that’s his way to answer for RBR treatment – almost every breakdown on No.2 car … incredible! They’re worse than Ferrari!

      8. Padre says:

        Do you remember Webber’s long claimed excellent relationship with Mateschitz? You do realize that Mateschitz is not allowing wasting hundreds of millions he’s money and sabotaging hes protege?!?? You realize that all this sabotaging and conspiracy theories are total bs?!?

      9. F1 Badger says:

        SV wrote his own destiny

      10. BurgerF1 says:

        Disagree. In 2011, Webber was slightly ahead and had much more momentum. Alonso knew it, and “gave way”. This time Alonso was slightly ahead and had the momentum. Webber knew it, and “gave way”. Alonso and Hamilton did something similar in 2007. Yeah, Webber could have hung in there a few metres further, but the outcome was clear.

        Had this been a GUT, MAL, PER, or GRO, they’d still be sweeping up bits of the cars.

        Really great overtakes require two great drivers.

        I thought Spa was a good race for demonstrating how the experienced drivers race properly, vs. the new comers who don’t.

      11. Bartholomew says:

        Hermann – Almost every breakdown on the number 2 car, like Silverstone for instance?

      12. bearforce1 says:

        Yes I agree. The Ferari looked fast. I don’t blame Alonso for looking a little long in the face after the race. I can appreciate it would be difficult for him when his car improved a lot and it still isn’t enough, a huge let down for Alonso.

        In fact the Ferrari would have been the fastest car if RedBull hadn’t made such a massive improvement also.

        Alonso must be thinking about luck, blessings and other such things as to why he isn’t wining championships with Ferrari.

    2. Aj says:

      It’s become pretty routine now, whenever Vettel overtakes Hamilton. Just like stealing candy from a baby

      1. furstyferret says:

        As a Hamilton fan, youve got to give it to seb, give him a sniff of the lead and he just flies, its going to be 4 on the spin for him, and he thoroughly deserves it, he dosnt get the credit he deserves, it was a strange race giving all the merc powered cars were just so slow on the straight s, compared to the bulls and Ferraris , with the flyaways coming up, its usually vettal s strong point of the season, but maybe the mercs and Ferraris can nick a win or two, hope webber can win one before the end.

      2. Dwinter says:

        That’s odd Aj, I don’t remember it being that easy in the last race. Perhaps less obvious trolling next time.

      3. Elie says:

        Aero efficiency is Red Bulls domain and they used it perfectly with full fuel load in Sunday

    3. ACx says:

      So, that RBR is a lot quicker than the Merc, which we knew until it rained in qually, and Lewis got lucky. Hardly move of the century. It was only a matter of time. Might as well have been a DRS snooze by.

      Until we see Vettel compete with a known top driver with absoluty equal status in his team, he’s never going to shake the doubters.

      1. Tealeaf says:

        Yeah then why is everyone so happy to see Kimi not teaming up with Seb? to discredit Seb less because everyone knows Webber is actually faster than Kimi and Seb would have wiped the floor with him.

      2. NickH says:

        ‘everyone knows webber is actually faster than kimi’ hahaha

      3. Sujith says:

        Doubters will still doubt because Seb has not won a single Grand Prix starting from below P3. Do that first. All of the other world champions have done it. I still believe Kimi is slow over a single lap just because the Lotus is not at all a quali car…

      4. Bartholomew says:

        @Sujith -

        “Doubters will still doubt because Seb has not won a single Grand Prix starting from below P3. Do that first. All of the other world champions have done it.”

        Hamilton never won from below P4, Senna never lower than P5. Why is that a huge difference?

      5. Spindodontosaurus says:

        When has Raikkonen, for example, done this? Never.
        Schumacher and Alonso (prior to 2007, I mean) had not done this either and nobody doubted them either. It’s a nonsense argument.

        Webber is arguably stronger than the majority of team mates other top drivers have had anyway (with the exception of Alonso and Hamilton pairing in 2007).

      6. Aaron Noronha says:

        If webber dint have no 1 status he would have joined Ferrari when they approached him even at the cost of playing supporting role to Alonso because of the bad blood between him and Vettel and the great friendship he shares with Alonso. Webber is just sore because he hasnt beaten Vettel for the last 5 year. Dont underestimate Webber he did beat Rosberg as his team mate so he is no weakling as Rosberg has been impressive this year when compared to Hamilton even though so far Hamilton has a slight edge. Rosberg is languishing in the point table only because of reliability issues his car keep suffering. Apart from 2007 Alonso has never had a strong team mate to really challenge him. Hamilton was a unknown in 2007 and that is the only reason Alonso was willing to team up with him, if he had any inking about the potential Hamilton possessed he would have never let him be his teammate. While Vettel and Hamilton dont mind teaming up with any driver. Its not secret that Alonso prevented both Vettel and Hamilton from joining him at Ferrari. Vettel doent need to convince fools who are so biased by their own views and opinions to ignore stats and who have no understanding how F1 really works. Fast Drivers in fast cars win the WDC. Even Senna won his first WDC in a car that won 15 out of the 16 races. If someone wins in a bad car its because the fastest car has reliability issues or the drivers in the fastest cars aren’t driving to their full potential. Hamilton had a car last year that won the same no of races as Redbull did. But where did Hamilton end up in the championship??? I dont buy the pit stop blunders and retirement from leading a race excuse. Vettel and Alonso had their fair share of bad luck too last year. Yet they were the only two drivers that ended up in Brazil with an opportunity to win the WDC. Hamilton though impressive at Mclaren did finish behind Button one year and was not even consistent to score more points than Button during the time they were teamed together. Vettel wins titles because even though he makes the occasional mistakes yet he is more consistent over the course of the season than Hamilton is. Although he was not as consistent as Alonso. This year he has been the most consistent driver on the grid apart from Kimi which shows he is maturing as a driver and if he keeps this learning curve there is nothing stopping him from wining at least another 2 or 3 more championship before he retires. One last thing Vettel doesnt need to prove anything to the doubter. I think he has proved enough to those who matter and that is why Ferrari and Mercedes have him in their radar. I am sure their opinions matter more than your misguided one because they know how the damn sport operates and they know a star when they see one. Btw just asking Isnt Alonso the same driver who drove a dog of a car last year and nearly won the WDC?? why cant he getter better performance this year in a car that is more dominant than last years??? Last year the Ferrari was so strong because it was the best race car just like this years Lotus and no one had gripped the concept yet that with Pirelli tyres a car that dominates during qualifying might suffer during the race . Watch the races again and you will see that during the race their tyres would be more consistent than those who started ahead of them and that along with their higher top speed gearing helped them overtake those ahead of them once they ran into tyre issues

      7. James Allen says:

        Please use some paragraphs and punctuation! – Mod

      8. Jimbob says:

        ACx this is a daft argument… Webber IS a known and proven quantity, look at how he did against Coulthard. I’ll give you a clue, he wiped the floor with him when you take bad luck out of the equation.

        Webber is quick and proven. Vettel is right up there with, in my opinion at least, Hamilton, Alonso, Raikkonen & Hulkenberg as the best drivers in the field.

      9. Macca Man says:

        Vettel must have many sleepless nights knowing that he hasn’t won over the likes of ACx, LOL. 3 WDCs heading to a 4th and some muppets still go on and on about priority status and lesser teammates. What a joke. Vettel does what he is paid to do, win races and win championships. His teammate is Red Bull’s decision, save your silly criticisms for Horner.

    4. PB says:

      Merc went out of their comfort zone of using their engine for top speed despite knowing from free practice which way Red Bull were going and chose to be slower in a straight line.

      This meant, in a dry race against their most likely competition (Red Bull), they would NEVER be able to overtake if they were behind despite being faster overall through the lap.

      They tried to beat Red Bull in the game of World of Downforce. This meant even if they managed to qualify ahead, the only way they could avoid being sitting ducks is by doing a ‘Vettel’ on Red Bull – getting more than 1 second clear in the first two laps by excelling in Sector 2 and staying there throughout the race (not the mention after the likely safety car intervention(s) given it was Spa they’re racing at!). To say the least, I can only wonder what could’ve led them to even imagine that they may be able to do this to Red Bull and Newey!

      The only plausible explanation is that they gambled on a (at least partially) wet race but clearly got it wrong. Hindsight is of course a wonderful thing, but I hope they’ve learnt their lesson for future!

      James, I’m looking forward to your race strategy discussion, where for a change we’ll hopefully read more about car set up and overall strategy rather than the usual tyre discussion. Hopefully you’ll talk about some of this there.

    5. Yes, Vettel is a ‘the man’ as Horner would put it.

      Superb start and overtake on Lewis, pure drag and no DRS.

      Alonso also impressed – great drive.

      And at the back, who else but Ricciardo to grab the last point from the back(-ish) of the grid. Red Bull gives you wings, even if not officially announced yet.

      1. RudyBB says:

        Pure drag only???
        The 7th gear of Lewis was too short!!!
        The problem with F1 is that is very difficult to know what is the influence of the car and the driver

      2. The Red Bull was the slowest car at the end of the Kemmel straight.

        I don’t think the Mercedes 7th gear was an issue. Just look how Webber was never able to pass Rosberg for most of the race.

      3. Bartholomew says:

        “The 7th gear of Lewis was too short!!!”

        As was Sebastian’s in Hungary!!!

        “The problem with F1 is that is very difficult to know what is the influence of the car and the driver”

        Makes for interesting debates, until the inevitable double standards creep in. Four weeks ago, the results were used to judge how well the drivers did. Now, on what is supposed to be one of the best and most challenging circuits, the results are being used to judge only how good the cars are, exactly when a 26 year old German wins.

    6. Jon Sandor says:

      No DRS but he used KERS, which is another overtaking gimmick which greatly aids the drivers weaker at clean overtaking e.g Vettel

      1. bearforce1 says:

        Actually Vettel used KERS in an very clever way. You watch next year the other drivers will try and do what he did.

        Lol. Vettel is such a weak driver that he has three world driving championships and about to get his fourth. Vettel is also about to overtake Alonso for wins. I don’t even mention Hamilton in comparison for achievements.

        Stay Nice.

      2. Jon Sandor says:

        Whether he used KERS in a “clever way” or not, the point is that he used an overtaking aid. Which you seemed to want to deny in the case of DRS. Why?

        I also said Vettel was weaker at overtaking, nothing more, nothing less. I also didn’t mention Alonso, nor Hamilton.

        So why are you being so defensive about Vettel?

  3. Alberto Dietz says:

    Time flies. Baby-Schumi’s already nearly half way towards his 8 consecutive WDCs before retiring by age 30.

    1. Dave C says:

      Yes Vettel is the best driver on the grid but not by alot, he just has the qualities of Alonso, Hamilton and Button combined as he is super consistent, as fast as they get and can use an economic but fast style to gain most out of the car throughout a race, but even with all that he won’t win 8 in a row and I doubt he’d retire by 30, with constant changes in F1 and also he is a human it’s a tough ask for him to win 8 titles through his whole career, expect a Alonso, Kimi or Hamilton title within the next 2 years.

      1. Mick says:

        I really don’t think Vettel has qualities of Alonso, Hamilton + Button combined. Put them all in the same car and Alonso or Ham would likely win.

      2. Dan says:

        what a joke. he has the best car on the grid since 2009, which has clearly tricked some people into thinking he is top class in combination with an old journeyman number 2 team mate. He only looks consistent and fast because he ALWAYS has the fastest and more consistent car. Hopefully this sham will be exposed one day when he loses the dominant car advantage.

      3. Tealeaf says:

        This best car dig is just to discredit Vettel, its not the case for example McLaren had the fastest car last year and also Mercedes have the fastest car over a lap this year. Put Hamilton in this Redbull Vettel smashes him.

      4. Jimbob says:

        Urgh, these comments are tired and old now. What more does the lad need to do to prove himself? Drivers only win WDC’s with the fastest\joint fastest car in the field. And arguably, in the last 3 years Lewis had a car to win – He and JB won plenty of races between them and if LH had dominated JB the way SV had done to MW then LH would have had a damn good shot at all of the titles. Go back and have a good look at the results if you think I’m wrong.

        Vettel wins because he is relentless in his quali and race pace. The only question mark hanging over him in 2010\11 was his race craft which has now clearly been sorted.

        Move on peeps, Vettel is the real deal.

      5. Kirk says:

        I think Vettel is the best right now, no doubt, and the fastest car in 2009 was the Brawn GP, to win a WDC is not easy at all. Yesterday he drove fantastic.

      6. H.Guderian says:

        If you put Button (BUTTON) on an RBR, he will probably have more wins that VET. VET’s car is from another planet. Also, the championship was manipulated by FIA and Pirelli to favor the strongest team. See they are not moaning any more. Now THIS IS RACING.

      7. Bartholomew says:

        “If you put Button (BUTTON) on an RBR, he will probably have more wins that VET.”

        Funny, Button suffered nowhere near the mechanical failures of his teammate last year, and was driving the fastest car, but still took less wins than Vettel (and Hamilton, as well as only equal with Alonso in the car that is always waved in SV fan’s faces as “inferior”).

      8. Jon Sandor says:

        When Button had a car with the dominance of Red Bull, but for only half a season compared to the four seasons (cumulatively) Vettel has had, Button actually put together a more dominant race-winning run (6/7 wins at start of 2011) than even Vettel managed in 2011.

        It does make one wonder about how good Vettel actually is. Or isn’t.

      9. Bartholomew says:

        Jon Sandor – Vettel’s RBR wasn’t dominant in 2010, 2012 or 2013. So your point fails.

      10. Jon Sandor says:

        The Red Bull absolutely was dominant in 2010 (see elsewhere in this comments page for details) and has been again this year. It’s the only 2013 car which is consistently good in both qualifying and in the race. That Vettel hasn’t had many PPs this season, is mainly down to Hamilton.

        Also, Hamilton did more with his spell of having the quickest car in 2012, than Vettel did with his. However, the McLaren car and team let him down, whereas Red Bull did not let Vettel down.

        So, no, my point does not fail.

      11. Bartholomew says:

        The RBR hasn’t really been “dominant” this year. How many races, really, have RBR been fastest? Malaysia, Bahrain, Canada, Belgium.

        In 2010, RBR could have been dominant, but Vettekl was let down by reliability issues, much like Hamilotn in 2012.

        Obviously, last year, there wasn’t a dominant team. And Hamilton had the faster car for longer in the season.

        So yeah, your point does fail, “Jon Sandor”.

      12. Jon Sandor says:

        Red Bull still has the fastest car in qualifying (Hamilton has been most often the spanner in the works for Red Bull on Saturdays) and by far, the fastest car on Sundays. On Saturday or Sunday or judged over both together, the Red Bull is the class of the field, AGAIN.

        Vettel lost fewer points (by a long way) in 2010 to car/team problems or errors than Hamilton did to car/team problems in 2012. Don’t make yourself look even more ridiculous by trying to compare the two.

        In addition, Vettel lost a lot of points in 2010 due to his own errors. Hamilton lost a lot of points in 2012 to the errors of OTHER drivers. Yet Vettel won the WDC in 2010 and Hamilton didn’t in 2012. If you ever need any proof that F1 is a team sport, and it’s the team which flatters Vettel, then there it is.

        So, no, my point doesn’t fail “Bartholomew.”

      13. Bartholomew says:

        @”Jon Sandor”

        “Red Bull still has the fastest car in qualifying (Hamilton has been most often the spanner in the works for Red Bull on Saturdays) and by far, the fastest car on Sundays. On Saturday or Sunday or judged over both together, the Red Bull is the class of the field, AGAIN.”

        No, since you’re just judging Hamilton as fast when he takes pole, but the Red Bull car as fast when Vettel wins, or finishes on the podium. Mercedes have had more front row lockouts than Red Bull.

        “Vettel lost fewer points (by a long way) in 2010 to car/team problems or errors than Hamilton did to car/team problems in 2012. Don’t make yourself look even more ridiculous by trying to compare the two.”

        Vettel lost three wins across Bahrain, Australia and Korea, had the puncture in Silverstone, which was not his fault (another win or 2nd), and lost positions in the pits in Spain. Then there’s even the chassis defect from Monaco, and the penalty in Hungary, that was linked to being told to slow down under a safety car to allow his teammate to lose less tim making a stop. You trying to insist that Hamilton lost far more, is what is ridiculous.

        “In addition, Vettel lost a lot of points in 2010 due to his own errors. Hamilton lost a lot of points in 2012 to the errors of OTHER drivers. Yet Vettel won the WDC in 2010 and Hamilton didn’t in 2012. If you ever need any proof that F1 is a team sport, and it’s the team which flatters Vettel, then there it is.”

        In 2010, it wasn’t just Vettel that made errors. His main challengers Webber and Alonso had quite a few as well, effectively cancelling out SV’s mistakes. Certainly more points dropped there than Vettel or Alonso in 2012.

        It wasn’t the team that flattered Vettel in 2010, he won as while all the top drivers made errors, at the end of the season, Vettel won 3/4 races, despite being the youngest of the title contenders.

        Your conviction that Vettel is flattered by the team so much more than the other top drivers simply doesn’t work.

    2. dean cassady says:

      referring to Vettel as “Baby-Schumi” discredits everything he has done.
      despite all of the opinions about how he’s never been tested, he’s shown again, and again that when the chips are down, he is the most consistent driver at squeezing the results out of his car in both quali and race.
      I personally think Webber is a fantastic driver, definitely at least on par with Button and Rosberg.
      whatever you want to think, his results are more impressive, and came with no more advanatge than Schumacher ever had.
      If you look at it objectively, with winning his fourth WC in a row, (should have been five except for the cheating double diffusser), Vettel has already fully eclipsed Schumacher, and despite his ruthless driving at times, Vettel is a lot less hypocritical than Schumacher.
      I don;t agree with everything Vettel does, but he has definitively proven his greatestness in this driving F1 cars-thing.

      1. Alberto Dietz says:

        What a hilariously absurd PC thought police notion! Not yet aware legions of Schumi fans have also become Seb’s and affectionately call him Baby-Schumi, are we?

        Cheer up! What’s the point of not coming to terms with the irrefutable, intersubjectively ascertainable fact that The Schumi Era will last until someone other tan The Greatest Ever wins 8WDC’s and that no one but Seb, Schumi’s close friend, is best endowed as successor?

  4. Tim L says:

    This is the first race that Ferrari actually showed the bits they put on the car worked

    1. Dave C says:

      Didn’t work on Massa’s car all weekend it seems, and also if they dont improve their qualifying there’s no chance they’ll finish ahead of Mercedes.

  5. dimitris says:

    A commanding victory by Vettel. More than a full pit stop in front of the Mercedes, and 16 sec. in front of the Ferrari. If Mercedes and Ferrari had thoughts of catching Red Bull they can forget about it and concentrate on next year’s car.

    The pace of the Mercedes was a surprise, I expected them to challenge the Bulls, and Ferrari was indeed a lot better. The Lotus cars almost took each other out at the start. That kind of ruined Kimi’s race as it put him behind slower cars, but even so they did not have the pace they showed in Friday’s practice.

    With car development slowing down- I do not believe Ferrari and Mercedes will devote a lot of resources to pursue a lost cause- Vettel can now be declared champion for 2013. This I believe accounts for Alonso’s rather bad mood after the race. He realized that Ferrari did indeed made a step forward, but it was not enough since the Bulls took a leap.

    1. Simon Donald says:

      I thought maybe some teams compromised on set up with the big threat of rain over the weekend, in particular Lotus and maybe Mercedes.

      I also think Mercedes never dialled in their car with the car under steering all weekend, maybe a balance issue with their front and rear.

      The Red Bull took a few low DF upgrades (very skinny rear wing) and they worked very well. They can afford to trim their downforce and still have the car grip well in that middle sector.

      The Ferrari made a leap I feel because Spa requires less DF which Ferrari have been lacking, they should have a good shout for home victory at Monza

    2. All revved-up says:

      It looks like Mercedes have well and truly solved their tyre munching problems. Both cars beat the 2nd drivers in a Ferrari and RB, and beat both Lotuses.

      Rosberg is much much closer to Hamilton, than the 2nd drivers in RB, Ferrari and Lotus. Looking like a strong team for 2014.

  6. Shri says:

    So the title battle for this year is now effectively over unless Vettel and RB make a mess out of nothing.

  7. Alexander Supertramp says:

    Great drive by Seb, the Seb-Rb combo looks unstoppable.

    Good race by Fernando, but there is no way for any team/driver to beat RB+Vettel at the end of the year on pure pace. They might lose some ground in Monza, but after that it’s Vettel on P1, 2, 3 or 4 with maybe 1 DNF. Championship not over in points, but it’s really over. Roll in March 2014 please!

    Mercedes boys really on par. Look at Mclaren, Ferrari and Red Bull and you’ll find domination. Mercedes is much more balanced with Lewis having the edge over Nico, but the gaps between them are never like the ones with Red Bull and Ferrari. The pace difference between Vettel and Mark today was shocking, that’s not just Seb, that’s different set-up! RB really just need Mark in the solid points, they don’t need him fighting Seb for victory. Today Mark could have got P3, he was on the same pace as Mercedes. But he was practically as quick as Seb on Friday and Saturday. I am not a conspiracy guy, but this is clear right :D? Mark was never going to win today..

    1. Ezio says:

      So basically you are conceding that Webber quite simply isn’t as good as Vettel?

      I don’t see any conspiracy to deliberately sabotage Webber’s car. What I see, is a driver who despite having the same car just isn’t on the current champion’s level.

      1. All revved-up says:

        Alonso in a weaker car flew from 9th to 2nd. Webber’s clearly not in the same class. There’s no need to sabotage his car. But on his day, Webber can challenge the best. He should drive for Lotus next year, if Kimi doesn’t.

      2. Mick says:

        They may have the same car but the car is likely tailored to Vettel’s style and preferences while Webber has to adapt.

      3. Alexander Supertramp says:

        I agree. Look at 2012: RB had to find a way to make up the lost ground due to the minor rule changes with the diffuser. Up untill Silverstone, Mark was the one scoring the most points because the car wasn’t using the exhaust gasses the way it did in 2011. Where was Webber in 2011? Basically nowhere, yet the RB7 was the absolute top of the class. Every year RB try to mimick the effects of the blown diffuser and in 2012 they were on the backfoot for a little while, but once they got it right Seb was flying again. This year they were quick right out of the box.

      4. Alexander Supertramp says:

        Look at what Mick said and what I responded. webber is a very good driver, but RB really make the car for Vettel. I don’t blame them, the combo has worked for 4/5 years now and it’s deadly efficient. But where was Vettel in the first half of 2012? He was clearly adapting to the rule changes and he didn’t have an instant answer. He has improved dramatically, but I really want to know whether Seb can be as good as he is now in a less balanced car. Credits to him and his team for balancing the RB that well, but I’m wondering how good he’ll be in an era where aero is less important.

      5. Ezio Auditore says:

        The cars are always designed towards the lead driver of the team. It is true for Ferrari (Alonso), Lotus(Kimi) and to some extent Merc (Hamilton: remember the Brembo brakes story. Also it seems highly surprising to me how Rosberg has suddenly under performed relative to Hamilton in recent races).

        You raise 2012 as an example. Let’s talk about that for a second. What you remember is that Webber doing better than Vettel in an ill-handling car, at least in the first half of the season. What I remember is that Webber wasn’t alighting the world either way. Vettel was better in racing conditions throughout the season. He got robbed of points in Malaysia and Valencia, drove beautifully in Spa (2012)from 12 to 2nd. What I remember is, that even when Vettel was in an ill-handling car he was maximizing the car’s race potential and bringing home valuable points despite all adversity being thrown at him. Webber on the other hand, as usual was blow-hot blow cold throughout the 2012 season.

        The problem is that you people will never acknowledge the sheer talent that Sebastian Vettel possesses. Guys like Hamilton and Kimi who are amazingly fast, just don’t have the consistency and the relentless pace that Vettel seems to possess. No matter the circumstance he’s always there to take valuable points if not the win. He showed his racing ability as early 2008.

      6. Alexander Supertramp says:

        I’m sorry you feel that I’m attacking Seb’s talent, I’m not.. I won’t even comment on your premise that Kimi and Lewis lack consistency- FYI Kimi just ended a 27 points finishing streak in Spa..

        On a different note, I reckon you actually made my point by aknowledging that Seb was “just” bringing home valuable points with an ill-handling car in 2012. He was not dominating at all, he wasn’t winning races with 17 seconds advantages – the BIGGEST gap so far this year! 2012 proved that Seb doesn’t have more talent than Kimi, Lewis,Fernando.. He has had a car advantage for a long long time now, and you would be so naïve to disagree. Nobody is denying his talent, I actually believe that he is very very good (top good), but his car advantage has not been fair in comparison to the other top talents. F1 needs other guys to have a proper shot at the championships. By that I mean that the drivers deserve a shot, not necessarily the teams who fail to build a faster car. 2013 is just another alibi year, there was never a championship to fight for. But don’t confuse me with haters, I aknowlegde RB and Vettel’s merritt for doing what they have the past 4 years. It’s shocking that other teams have been behind for so long and one wonders whether the rule changes will even actually benefit the losing teams.

    2. Quade says:

      I sort of knew Webber would make another “bad” start.
      It would be worth doing some statistics of Webbers “bad” starts before and after he became Vettel’s teammate (especially after a certain memorable race in Turkey).

    3. BM says:

      what about Alonso and Massa

  8. KRB says:

    Yeah, that’s it now, too much for anyone to make up when the RB is showing that pace. James, can you find out why Merc went the higher-downforce route? Was it just simply b/c they anticipated rain, or were there any tire considerations that led to that decision? In previous Belgian GPs the Merc has had great top speed. Certainly cost them on the opening lap today, dunno how it would’ve shook out over a whole race for them.

    In race trim it was RBR, Ferrari, then Merc. Biggest no-show was Lotus!

    Again Perez did a shuffle move when getting passed on the Kemmel straight! They gotta stamp that stuff out. Wasn’t as bad as what he pulled on Hulk last year in India, but bad enough.

    1. Dave C says:

      Actually Vettel and Alonso out performed their cars this race, look at Webber’s performance, just like last year completely shocking.

      1. KRB says:

        Hmm, out-performed, dunno about that. Took their cars to results that elite level drivers should have taken them? Yes.

      2. Tim says:

        I understand the point you are trying to make, but it’s physically not possible for a driver, however good, to out perform their car. The best drivers will get closer to the absolute potential of the car, but they cannot exceed this limit.

      3. Elie says:

        We all know that Mark is the No2 driver and we all know that he drives the No2 chasis.

      4. Bartholomew says:

        The chassis that has had 2 mechanical retirements since 2009 to 6 for the No1 chassis?

      5. Elie says:

        How many KERS failures, clutch problems, gearbox problems has the no 1 chase had compared to Mark 10 to 1 use a little more get matter before you open your post

      6. Bartholomew says:

        “How many KERS failures, clutch problems, gearbox problems has the no 1 chase had compared to Mark”

        Probably a similar amount, it’s just that Vettel still delivers good results (like when he had a puncture earlier this weekend, heating issues in Hungary, and KERS issues in Germany), while Webber simply struggles due to a lack of ability compared to the other top drivers in the sport.

  9. Elie says:

    Great start to the race by Seb.with that move on Lewis It’s starting to look like 2011 all over again. The pace of that RB9 is phenominal again. The others not only have to find speed but balance also. That car is such a complete beast!

    1. Michael S says:

      The driver is a “beast” also. I could argue easily that the Ferrari was just as fast today, if not for their usual bad qualy.

      1. Roberto says:

        Ferrari was faster than in the past, but still not as fast as the RB. I was watching the enhanced coverage on Sky.it. Vettel and Alonso were on essentially the same tire strategy, pitted within a few laps of each other, had plenty of clear air for much of the race, and neither made any serious mistakes. Both of them are very talented drivers and it looked like they made the most of their equipment. Yet Vettel constantly was faster than Alonso by a few tenths most laps and more than that on several other laps. Sad to say, at the end when RB thought it might rain, they asked Vettel to push and he proved to have an additional five tenths or so in reserve. Overall, the RB had a 7 tenths (or perhaps a bit more) advantage over the Ferrari .

      2. H.Guderian says:

        Perfect!!! With 0.5 over the others, you can win everything.

      3. Hansb says:

        No way, when Vettel was asked to pull a bigger gap between him and Alonso he pulled away with a second a lap. It was on the hard tyre but still, that RB is the most complete car in the field. Fast in qualifying, fast on all kind of circuits and fast on whatever tyre they put on it.

      4. Sid says:

        finally someone with sense, wonder why people forget the pilot!?

      5. KRB says:

        http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/08/25/2013-belgian-grand-prix-lap-times-and-fastest-laps/

        Under lap times, click Select None, then click on the boxes for Vettel and Alonso. On the mediums their times are close, though Vettel already had a sizeable lead by then. On the hards the RB9 was clearly faster.

        Anyone who thinks the RB9 wasn’t the class of the field in today’s race, knows nothing about F1.

      6. Juzh says:

        Vettel was coasting from lap 2 onwards. That’s why rb and ferrari look the same on mediums.

      7. Odjebi says:

        He’s a ‘beast’ when he’s got tyres that suit him and his car, when the car has been able to alter its ride height between quail and race, when he starts on pole, when he’s allowed to keep points even though car has been found illegal (just make sure it’s changed for next race though!).

      8. Bartholomew says:

        Here we go with the “illegal” nonsense again…

      9. Jon Sandor says:

        The “holes in the floor” of 2012 were deemed illegal, for which RB received no punishment whatsoever. So not “nonsense” as you claim.

      10. Bartholomew says:

        @Jon Sandor – Maybe we ought to talk about Mclaren “cheating” with the F-ducts, since they were only “deemed illegal” after they were already raced.

      11. Jon Sandor says:

        Bartholomew,

        Maybe we ought to stick to the subject in hand – Red Bull illegality – rather than try to avoid debating the holes in the floor episode by saying “McLaren.”

        Why do you think Red Bull didn’t receive any penalty for their holes in the floor, which were deemed illegal? It hardly seems fair, no?

      12. KRB says:

        Bart, what are you talking about, re: the F-ducts? They were never deemed illegal. McLaren had kept the FIA aware of what they were doing, unlike RB with the floor holes.

        The FIA banned F-ducts at the end of the 2010 season.

      13. Bartholomew says:

        “Why do you think Red Bull didn’t receive any penalty for their holes in the floor, which were deemed illegal?”

        The FIA asking teams to alter certain components on a team’s design because they’ve been suddnly deemed illegal is hardly uncommon. You cannot pretend it is only RBR pushing the boundaries in this manner.

      14. Jon Sandor says:

        As KRB has explained to you, the F-Ducts were got rid of at the end of the season. Whereas the holes in the floor on the Red Bull were deemed illegal and Red Bull were told to alter them immediately.

        If you wish to persist with the laughable and diversionary F-Duct line, then you’ll have to accept that blown diffusers were also “illegal,” and thus Vettel won the WDC in 2011 with an illegal car. Thus Red Bull’s 2011 should be struck from the history books and Button is actually the 2011 WDC. No

        “You cannot pretend it is only RBR pushing the boundaries in this manner.”

        No-one has said anything of the sort. The only person who has a problem admitting that Red Bull got away unpunished for the illegal holes in the floor, is YOU. Hence the “yeah but what about McLaren?/yeah but what about other teams?” replies.

      15. Bartholomew says:

        The holes in Red Bull’s floor were only truly illegal when the FIA decided to retrospectively change the rules after Monaco in order to ban them. So it’s pretty laughable to agree with Objebi’s claim that SV is only a beast when the car is illegal. As it technically wasn’t.

      16. Ross McDougall says:

        Do not agree Alonso could not get near vettel even when he got into second place and was running in clear air.

      17. Elie says:

        No you can’t because Seb pulled out 16seconds with ease at the end. Also when a Red Bull can pull out of the slip stream at the start of the Kemmel Straight and say bye bye to A Mercedes car long before thw end -you know the car is far more aero efficient than everything else on the track.

  10. Dale says:

    Well, what a disappointment that was!
    Was there a single truly great overtaking manoeuvre?
    Seeing cars flash past another at Spa (of all tracks) simply because they have the benefit of ‘drs’ is criminal to what F1 should be and it (in my opinion) completely takes away the skill factor – the skill of attacking and the skill of defending.
    It’s clear from today that Mercedes still have tyre issues and I, like so many others I’m sure was hoping for a fight with the Redbulls till the end of the season……

    1. Ghayth says:

      Realy I do remember one pass on the first lap you might to watch the race again or vettel pass does not count ?!!!

      1. Dale says:

        For you that was a truly great overtaking manoeuvre?
        Hardly chaps, the difference in speed between Vettels Rebull and Hamilton’s Mercedes at that time in the race made Hamilton a sitting duck.

        For me the race was nothing short of a borefest and not worth watching.

      2. Mick says:

        I fully agree.

      3. BM says:

        selective memory huh, when Hamilton passed Vettel last year in Texas then it was a great overtaking not considering Mclarens straight line speed over RB last year making SV a sitting duck that time. Give credit where it is due.

      4. H.Guderian says:

        Agree. Really BORING!!!

    2. Sebee says:

      Did you forget about Vettel on Hamilton into Eau lap 1?

      1. Sid says:

        Wunderkid made a pass on Lap 1, many chose to ignore it!

      2. galazz442 says:

        That was easy.

    3. Tealeaf says:

      Mercedes have tyre issues? Is that why Webber couldn’t make any impressions on the Mercedes?

      1. Quade says:

        Webbers car is “engineered.” You know the drill.

      2. Bartholomew says:

        As well or badly engineered as Vettel’s anyway (given that he had a tyre blowout in practice, and KERS issues 2 races ago).

    4. NickH says:

      Kimi passed someone at turn 9 or 10 which is pretty unheard of, he had to risk overtakes in the infield S2 because he was slow on the kemmel staright… couldn’t even pass massa with DRS open

    5. Elie says:

      Yeah it was a little poor .But I quite enjoyed Kimis battle with a faulty brake against the Saubers both of them- in non DRS assisted areas.. Round the outside of Guttierez on the tight left hander was pure class. Sutil at Eau Roug on Hulkenberg was pretty darn good too

  11. ramsa says:

    It was boring Spa race despite the overtakes… the qualifying was much more on the limit.

  12. jake says:

    Vettel did exactly what Hamilton did in Hungary. Lets see if he gets the same credit…

    On a completely unrelated note, as a fan of motorsport in general, I was extremely disappointed at the BBC’s coverage of the MotoGP, as the race finished before the F1 started but was hardly even publicized. It was a great warm up to a rather damp squid of a race.

    1. fada says:

      How ? Please explain.

    2. Tealeaf says:

      Na at Hungary Button ruined Vettel’s race by holding him up and breaking Seb’s front wing, the Redbull just didn’t have the straight line speed at Hungary to do anything, race pace itself Seb was faster just like he was here at Spa, Alonso, Kimi, Hamilton, Webber or Button are no match for this racing machine Vettel over a season.

    3. KRB says:

      It was not exactly the same. Pulling a gap each lap when you have the clearly fastest car is not the same as winning a race when two other cars are nearly as fast or faster. When in clear air in Hungary, Vettel was on average 0.5s faster than Hamilton. That’s why his win was so impressive.

      Today was a stroll for Vettel, just as it was a stroll for Button a year ago. When the car is that hooked up, any driver worth his salt will bring it home.

      That’s why the articles allude to the ease of the win:

      Autosport – Vettel scores routine win
      BBC F1 – Vettel wins with ease
      Sky Sports – Vettel cruises to Spa win

      Let’s put it this way … if you swapped Hamilton and Vettel in Hungary (for the whole weekend) can you be 100% certain that Vettel would win in the Merc? Hardly.

      But swap Hamilton (or Alonso) and Vettel for Belgium, and there’s no doubt that Hamilton (or Alonso) would win, and Vettel would likely be 3rd in the Merc.

      1. Quade says:

        Said just as it should be.

      2. Equin0x says:

        Well actually in Hungary the Redbull was only slightly faster in race trim than the Mercedes and the lack of straightline speed of RBR effectively killed off their race with Seb unable to pass Button and broke his front wing, could Seb have won the race if he was Hamilton’s Mercedes? If it was the same situation then yes he could and could Alonso or Hamilton been as dominant in that Redbull at Spa? Maybe but you have to say Seb was a class apart from Webber whilst Rosberg who used old tyres for the first stint manage to match Hamilton and Webber is faster than Nico, I doubt anybody in that 2nd Redbull would have beaten Vettel today and if Vettel was in the Mercedes he could have beaten Alonso to 2nd.

      3. KRB says:

        That’s why I said “could you be 100% certain” for Hungary? And I don’t think you can be. If Hamilton’s in the RB9, he more than likely qualifies that sucker on pole, and then he’s off, just as Seb would’ve been if he’d led.

        Webber is not faster than Rosberg, no way, no how! Put Rosberg in the second Red Bull, or second Ferrari, and he finishes either 2nd or 3rd respectively. The top drivers for RBR and Ferrari got their car where it should’ve finished, while the 2nd drivers fared poorly (I realize Massa had KERS problems, but even still, it was a weak performance). Rosberg was the best 2nd driver, gaining two places over what would have been the “natural” result.

        Vettel in the Merc would never have beaten Alonso in the Ferrari! Alonso was 11 secs up the road from Hamilton, and no doubt had some speed to spare. Vettel’s a great racing driver, top drawer, but he’s no superman. First half of 2012 should’ve been enough evidence of this.

      4. H.Guderian says:

        No need for HAM or ALO. Button would win with that car.

      5. Bartholomew says:

        The guy who never looked like winning in the 2nd half of 2009 when Barrichello won twice?

      6. Jon Sandor says:

        Barrichello scored 37 points to Button’s 34 in the second half of 2009. A mere three points separated the two teammates in that time period.

      7. Bartholomew says:

        Being outscored by Barrichello, even by 3 points is not the way to go if you want to prove that Button would win in the Red Bull.

      8. Jon Sandor says:

        I haven’t even tried to prove or disprove such a thing. Instead, I merely pointed out that Barrichello barely outscored Button in that time, race wins or not.

        Also don’t forget we can all point to underwhelming periods in every driver’s career e.g Vettel was outqualified by Liuzzi when they were teammates at Torro Rosso.

        Should we therefore dismiss Vettel because of that, as you’re trying to do with the JB’s three point deficit to RB in the second half of 2009?

      9. Bartholomew says:

        “Also don’t forget we can all point to underwhelming periods in every driver’s career e.g Vettel was outqualified by Liuzzi when they were teammates at Torro Rosso.”

        Vettel outscored Liuzzi as a rookie, and took STR’s best race and qualifying results.

        I’m not saying that Button should be written off. More that Button has had significantly more “underwhelming” spells relative to his teammates in his career than Vettel has. There’s little reason to believe he’d suddenly be doing as well as SV this year.

      10. Jon Sandor says:

        Vettel lost to Liuzzi in their head-to-head record in 2007. The reason Vettel finished ahead of Liuzzi in the 2007 is because of one race, where Vettel finished 4th and Liuzzi finished 6th.

      11. Bartholomew says:

        Well in any case I don’t believe that Vettel can be described as “lacklustre” in 2007, given Vettel’s inexperience compared to Liuzzi, and the pace he showed in Japan and China.

      12. Bartholomew says:

        “Let’s put it this way … if you swapped Hamilton and Vettel in Hungary (for the whole weekend) can you be 100% certain that Vettel would win in the Merc? Hardly.”

        Actually, yes. Mercedes’ qualifying pace would have had SV on pole, and on the clean side of the grid, both of which were crucial for Hungary.

        “But swap Hamilton (or Alonso) and Vettel for Belgium, and there’s no doubt that Hamilton (or Alonso) would win, and Vettel would likely be 3rd in the Merc.”

        Fair point, but I stil disagree that Vettel wouldn’t have won in the Merc in Hungary.

      13. Jon Sandor says:

        Mercedes have the best qualifying pace? Or Hamilton does? Afterall, when did Rosberg last even make second place on the grid.

        The Red Bull is still the quickest car in qualifying but Hamilton makes the difference in a Mercedes which slower over one lap than the Red Bull. To Hamilton’s immense credit.

      14. KRB says:

        Vettel should’ve won pole in Hungary, in the RB9. He even said as much, and I’m sure Rocky and the team knew he should’ve as well … you could hear it in his voice on the team radio, when he told Vettel he’d been pipped to pole.

        Hamilton beat Vettel to pole by 38-thousandths in Hungary, in the W04. It would be more than that if they’d swapped cars.

        We’ll agree to disagree then.

      15. Bartholomew says:

        @KRB @Jon Sandor

        How about Canada then? To be consistent, you’d have to admit that Hamilton wouldn’t have had pole or victory in the RB9.

      16. Bartholomew says:

        @Jon Sandor

        “Afterall, when did Rosberg last even make second place on the grid.”

        Silverstone, 3 races ago.

      17. Jon Sandor says:

        Bartholomew,

        “Silverstone, 3 races ago.”

        Exactly! Although that was actually four races ago but still, you’ve proved my point for yourself.

        If Mercedes is quicker than Red Bull over one lap, why hasn’t Rosberg at least qualified second since Silverstone?

        If Mercedes have the best qualifying pace, why has Mark Webber outqualified Rosberg in two of the last three races?

      18. KRB says:

        Bart, the reason why Hamilton didn’t beat Vettel’s time in the rain in Canada is b/c Vettel was the last to set a time before the rain intensified, slowing everyone’s sector 3 times.

        So if they were in the same circumstances, only swapped, then yeah, Hamilton would’ve won pole in Canada with the RB9, and won at a canter.

      19. Bartholomew says:

        “Jon Sandor”

        “If Mercedes have the best qualifying pace, why has Mark Webber outqualified Rosberg in two of the last three races?”

        Same could be asked for race pace. If Red Bull had the best race pace, why didn’t Webber finish ahead of either Mercedes last time out?

        “So if they were in the same circumstances, only swapped, then yeah, Hamilton would’ve won pole in Canada with the RB9, and won at a canter.”

        Actually, we’d hardly be sure of that. While it is possible that Hamilton wouldn’t have improved his S3 time, there was no chance of finding out, as he cut the chicane. It’s not to say he got his final lap in cleanly, and still lost time.

        Conversely, in the W04, Vettel would have had pole at Spa, bearing in mind that the track was at its fastest when LH was the last to set his time.

      20. Jon Sandor says:

        “Same could be asked for race pace. If Red Bull had the best race pace, why didn’t Webber finish ahead of either Mercedes last time out?”

        Yes, that’s the usual line trotted out by Vettel devotees!

        So it’s funny (laughable double standards, even!) how adamant they are about Mercedes having the fastest car over one lap despite Rosberg’s recent qualifying performances suggesting otherwise.

      21. Bartholomew says:

        “So it’s funny (laughable double standards, even!) how adamant they are about Mercedes having the fastest car over one lap despite Rosberg’s recent qualifying performances suggesting otherwise.”

        The impression I get from bk201/Jon Sandor is along the lines of: Hamilton pole (or win)= him, Vettel win (or pole)= the car.

        To avoid the double standards of which you speak, you ought to agree with me on this: Mercedes generally have the fastest car in qualifying, while Red Bull generally have the fastest car in the races.

    4. Dave C says:

      Moto GP? they do more boring processions these days than F1, also how many works bike have they got? Basically just the 2 Hondas and Yamahas.

      1. Tim says:

        Aren’t the Ducati’s a works team?

  13. Stringers says:

    Wow what a depressing race. Roll on 2014.

    1. Jim:) says:

      Agreed, we know it’s not Red Bulls fault, it’s up to the other teams to raise there game, but come on since the middle of 2009 Red Bull have been so fast, and still the others can’t do it :(

      1. Justin Case says:

        No it is their fault……….remember how it was “farcical” when Alonso won in Spain by stopping four times? But it was gutsy strategy, superb driving and a fantastic red bull package that allowed Vettel to lap around the Circuit de Catalunya in lap times fast enough (and according to james allen, strangely similar to Alonso’s times of this year) to make a four stop strategy work….God help us

      2. Jim:) says:

        Yeah sort of, aparantly red bull told Vettel to start cruising from lap 3, it’s a shame webber seams to of lost it, can’t blame him really, but he has not been the same driver since the end of 2010, want to a see a
        Flat out battle between both red bulls. They would no doubt be a minute up the road form 3rd place

    2. Sri says:

      2013 is slowly going to be like 2011. All the initial excitement of other drivers in fray has all been lost now.

  14. Harshad says:

    Congratulations Vettel on your 4th title well deserved one :)

  15. Bjorn says:

    James,

    What happened at the podium?
    The crowd made all sorts of noices.

    Best regards

    1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      I think a group doing a planned protest, not against Vettel.

    2. Jonathan says:

      There was a Greenpeace protest going on which was not broadcast.

    3. KRB says:

      Greenpeace protesters tried to crash the podium ceremony.

    4. Jim:) says:

      It was for Vettel, the protest was going on most of the podium ceremony, it was only when Vettel was speaking the booing was loudest

  16. Dan42 says:

    The race was a bit disappointing compared to qualifying, but a good race overall. Flawless drive from Vettel. Easily the driver of the weekend. Untouchable. Webber, as usual, underperformed in comparison to his teammate.
    Alonso was very good as well, but his massive mistake in qualifying cost him. Ferrari seem to really have improved the car. And their speed on the straights was frightening. Wow.

    I feel a bit sorry for Lewis. It was odd seeing a Mercedes being overtaken so easily by Ferrari on the straight. Though he lost his position to Vettel thanks to his mistake, I think. But then again, Vettel would have probably overtaken him anyway.
    Who I do feel sorry for is Kimi. His championship is definitely over now.

    1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      Qualify does NOT count for DOTD, so ALONSO is the candidate (not Vettel).

      1. Hal says:

        Agree Alonso was DOTD but Vettel was a candidate (as well as others on the list for the reasons stated in the article).

    2. JohnBt says:

      [And their speed on the straights was frightening. Wow.]

      Honestly, Alonso was getting chomped up by Vettel like 5 tenths to one second per lap. Gosh it was awful even when Ferrari improved, RB improved even more.

      1. Equin0x says:

        Also Vettel was constantly told for at least 2/3 of the race to slow down, as Bundle mentioned Vettel would have had another 10-15sec advantage if he pushed all the way, utter dominance and definitely DOTD.

  17. goferet says:

    Blimey, somebody changed the script at the last moment. Oh well, everything happens for a reason.

    Dominant performance by Vettel and the Red Bull team, that’s textbook stuff on how to pour cold water on your opponents’ dreams.

    It’s really remarkable that the team also got the setup just right for a dry race but as always the same can’t be said for the other Red Bull car as Webber suffered another mysterious launch problem.

    Alonso’s Ferrari showed strong pace and that was a magical first lap from the Samurai. It appears the Ferrari likes the high speed tracks and isn’t too happy on the twisty ones.

    As for Massa, he had a poor race making his seat very venerable after today.

    I think Mercedes can be happy with their points haul considering their setup and the fact the tyres held up.

    Sorry for Kimi’s end of a good run but the Lotus’ current form since Allison left makes it very difficult for the team to convince the Iceman to stay on.

    Job well done by Jenson for he kept his nose clean the entire race and was mixing it out with the front runners for most of the time.

    Regards Maldondo’s penalty, I think his former reputation got him that because that looked like a racing incident to me.

    Last but not least, a high five goes out to the midfield teams and the backmarkers for making it through the first corner all in one piece.

    Keep up the good work fellas.

    P.s.

    On the topic of the weather, the new evidence shows that it’s near impossible to have a wet race if qualifying the day before was wet e.g. Silverstone 2012.

    1. Valentino from montreal says:

      Replace Massa with the Regenmeister ASAP !

      Ferrari need him , Italy needs him and I want him back …

      Somebody has to stop The Wonder Boy soon ..

    2. Hendo says:

      You’re joking aren’t you? That was a pathetic penalty for Maldonado… The 10 sec dropped him from 4th last to 3rd last… Especially with his history he should have got 5 grid place penalty for the next race.

    3. Yak says:

      Maldonado’s crash was a racing incident? He went too deep, then tried to just join back in on the racing line where Sutil happened to be driving at the time, and then when that went poorly he just decided to try for the pit lane… at which point he utterly destroyed Paul di Resta’s car. Mind you, it’s not like PDR was on his own there. There was another Sauber right behind him that had to swerve suddenly around the other side of Maldonado to avoid adding to the incident.

      I agree with Hendo that a 5 place drop for the next race would have been better. A stop-and-go is supposed to be a fairly harsh penalty. He was nowhere to start with, then had to come in for a new nose anyway. What’s a stop-and-go on top of that really going to do to his race? Might as well forget the stop-and-go entirely and just make him sit in the naughty corner for 15 minutes after the race.

  18. fox says:

    Last third of the race was boring. Maybe it was a reason for Alonso’s drinf it the last corner LOL

  19. Spinodontosaurus says:

    Was not expecting Vettel to be that fast in race trim. His pace in the middle sector early on was incredible. He is always very quick in the opening few laps but even so. I look forward to the barrage of Hamilton fans chastising Vettel for winning though…

    Alonso seized through the field as if it wasn’t even there. I expected him to move forward but perhaps not at quite the rate he did. Granted the hugely over-effective DRS played a part (seriously, 3 years on the trot DRS has been terrible at Spa. Are the guys who decide the DRS zones incompetent or something?).

    Quite enjoyed the large number of Eau Rouge passes during the race (though Gutierrez was a menance…), and again feel the stewards are to trigger happy with handing out penalties for what are clearly racing incidents.

    1. KARTRACE says:

      DRS is there equally 4 everyone

      1. Quade says:

        We had that same story about the tyres… And look what happened.

      2. Me says:

        So DRS is an advantage for certain teams? Is that what you’re trying to say?

      3. Quade says:

        DRS is artificial.

      4. Spindodontosaurus says:

        Doesn’t make it any less aggravating when it kills a circuit such as Spa.

        DRS has shown to be a decent asset at some circuits where passing is traditionally more tricky. But those tracks where passing comes naturally anyway, DRS has done little but kill the races (see Spa 2011 and 2013, also Turkey 2011)

      5. James Clayton says:

        No it’s not!

  20. The Spanish Inquisitor says:

    Porca Miseria, the best Alonso’s race and the result is “The first of the losers”.

    Nothing to do this season.

    1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      But Alonso is still runner-up, if he gets a new win and Vettel a DNF, you have something to cheer-up. Just pray.

  21. Ahmed says:

    Hi James, All.

    I rarely comment, but have been following this fantastic blog since its inception and i have hardly missed a race since Monaco 1995.

    I don’t want to talk about massive disappointments (i’d rather save that for more significant issues such as the recent events in the Mideast) but I did feel let down by today’s race. For several laps it was just non-stop meaningless (in my opinion) pass and re-pass. The passing maneuvers(again in my opinion) had little significance and really devalued, not only what should have been a great race on a great track, but also the great races and passes in history. For the first time I find myself asking if it is worth my time watching modern F1.

    Have we not reached the footballing equivalent of a 20 goal match?

    1. I will says:

      Ahmed, I agree. Something needs to be done.

    2. Odjebi says:

      Haven’t watched a race since they changed the tyres for red bull………I mean, for safety reasons…….

      Did u know red bull ignored Pirelli safety guidelines by under inflated their tyres? Yet complained about safety and excessive tyre wear??!!?

      1. Quade says:

        You mean DRS is the new name for Red Bull? Who woulda’ thunk it?
        Hmmmmm!

      2. Equin0x says:

        They changed the tyres for Redbull? Clutching at straws there, Seb was winning races and leading the championship before any tyres were changed, if anyone’s been improved since the tyre change its Hamilton and Mercedes, maybe something to do with that secret test.

      3. Juzh says:

        Almost everyone on the grip was doing that.

      4. Ahmed says:

        In honesty, I don’t really mind the tires. I just feel that the combination of DRS and KERS is causing fake racing which acts to devalue both the past and present. I think at most KERS should be kept, but ideally we would lose both.

        Oh well… I was more annoyed about this yesterday. Sort of forgotten about it for now!! haha

  22. Glennb says:

    DRS? Vettel don’t need no steenking DRS :)
    That was one of the most resounding victories I’ve seen for some time. Red Bull tried something different and it worked (when doesn’t it).
    Another memorable start from Webber. Just made it hard for himself again.
    I still dont get the Perez penalty though. Watched it a few times but I dont get it. Looks to me that GRO just ran out of track and ability and the exact same time. He might have given some consideration to giving up the corner when it was a done deal…
    Good job from JB and the team.
    Good result for Alonso. He did all he could to score the maximum from a lousy grid slot.
    Plenty of excitement from the mid-field today. Great to see :)
    DOtD would be Vettel but seeing as though he’s exempt, I don’t know who I would pick. JB?

    1. Greg (Aus) says:

      It was interesting that Perez copped a penalty but similar instances between Hulkenberg and Vergne were ignored.

    2. Yak says:

      I wonder if it’s somewhat a continuation of the Grosjean vs Button incident in Hungary, only in Spa Grosjean went off track to avoid a collision. It’s not like a it was slight, although maybe the camera angle made it look worse. But from what I saw, in a fairly heavy braking zone Perez moved over and basically forced Grosjean to get over half his car up on the kerb. That’s not really on.

      Why any other similar incidents weren’t similarly penalised I dunno. I’d have to watch the race again to see, as I don’t remember the others. I wouldn’t be surprised if I came out with the opinion that once again the rules in F1 are enforced at random.

  23. Lars Jespersen says:

    Not a great race, and looking at the strengt of the Newey-Vettel combination with 1 sec advantage over Ferrari-Alonso in the last part of the race, this season seems to be over and out. Which sadly will be boring.

  24. JB says:

    The British fans are getting annoyed by Vettel’s win with their Boos.

    Otherwise, it was a great win for him. He is showing again who he is. Alonso is pretty amazing though, starting ninth and finished 2nd. Like Raikkonen, Alonso deserves a championship winning car.

    Ferrari is really embarrassing, defeated by a soft drink company.

    1. DJ says:

      The booing wasn’t Vettel related, it was due to the Greenpeace protesters who tried to disrupt the podium ceremony. They were abseiling from the paddock roof.

    2. Deb says:

      I think the boos are unfortunate and not very sporting. If you don’t like whoever is on the podium, just don’t cheer……

    3. SketchCND says:

      The booing on the podium had nothing to do with any of the drivers or officials whatsoever. This I can assure you!

      And I suppose all the booing in Montreal was the British contingent, was it?

    4. RodgerT says:

      The boos (this time at least) were for the Greenpeace protesters trying to repel onto the podium.

    5. JB says:

      My bad!
      I hate the greenpeace. They should be considered criminals.
      I cherish and love the planet that we live in and everyday i do my bit to make it better. Greenpeace should try to do something useful for a change.

  25. Joe B says:

    What a disappointing race. After the excitement of yesterday’s quali I was hoping for a classic, but it was a Spa to forget, unfortunately. Here’s to a more lively Monza!

    1. Odjebi says:

      Well why don’t we just blame the tyres like some other ‘fans’ did whenever a race didn’t go quite like they wanted. Now those fans get to see vetted win every week and even Mercedes are in with a shout! Hooray for Bernie

  26. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Vettel has The Car of the Day, 1 or 2 seconds faster.

    1. I will says:

      Hi James,
      A bit disappointed by the race. Quali is by far entertaining. Do you think such a gap between RBR vs Ferrari & Mercedes will continue to the rest of GPs or it is a setup or some other issue. I don’t think RBR has made such a step forward leap above others.

      1. Equin0x says:

        Na RBR wasn’t dominant it was just Vettel, also Mercedes will be really strong on the streets of Singapore, Alonso will be hard to beat at Monza along with rest of the Mercedes brigade, expect Vettel to be really strong at his tracks at India, Korea and especially Suzuka but Hamilton at Abu Dhabi and Texas, Brazil will be a lottery.

    2. Bartholomew says:

      1 or 2 seconds faster, lol, that Webber really is bad when he got beaten by a Ferrari and 2 Mercedes, one of which was driven by a dude he beat in the same car…

      1. KRB says:

        Not 1s/lap, that’s nuts. But 0.5s/lap, yes.

        The whole Webber-Rosberg thing is silly … it was 7-3 in pts, and it was Rosberg’s rookie year. Webber is w/o doubt not as good as he was then, and Rosberg is w/o doubt better now. Or are drivers abilities frozen from the time they face each other? If so, would we compared Vettel to Di Resta, and say Paul was a shade better, b/c PDR beat him in the same car?

  27. Quade says:

    Season is over. There is no answer to the Red Bull except a miracle.

    1. Sebee says:

      4th WDC in a row? Red Bull IS the Miracle!

  28. goferet says:

    Meanwhile I liked the banter between Lewis and Vettel before the podium ceremony and on the actual podium which later included the Couthard ambush.

    It’s nice to see rivals get along when office hours are done and this also gives the impression that Vettel is a pretty chilled/fun bloke and not the villain that the booing fans make him out to be.

    1. Sebee says:

      Alonso seemed quite alienated there in deed. Seems like Lewis and Seb get on quite well.

      1. CYeo says:

        They all seemed happy to torment Coulthard on the podium with champagne.

        I believe this is the 2nd time?

      2. Sebee says:

        Beside lap 1, that fun episode was…well…fun! D.C. is such a good sport and always cool.

        Darn McLaren putting two likable drivers in the team at once all the time!

      3. KRB says:

        Yeah, it was good to see. Anyone have a transcript of what was said? Friggin’ TSN lost the audio at that point, and didn’t get it again until halfway through the Austrian anthem!

      4. Sebee says:

        KRB, what city are you in?

      5. KRB says:

        Are you Canadian Sebee? Thought you were American. I’m just north of Toronto.

      6. Sebee says:

        I’m a global citizen. Lived/worked around in EU, US, and now yes, in Canada.

        We may have to start an F1 club, eh? :-)
        JAonF1 Official Canadian chapter!

      7. KRB says:

        Haha, nice. So you’re in Hogtown now? You can be club chair and I’ll be treasurer, ok? First meeting guest speakers will be Vic Rauter and Gerry Donaldson. :-)

        Found a great video with them, from 1997:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVpi5IhzBDY

        But where’d you grow up, mostly? Last year when I made reference to the great Ric Flair, you were on it in a flash. Now yes even back then the WWF (now WWE) had global reach, it seems to me that the NWA and WCW didn’t. Those seemed to me to be more a N.American-only thing. Of course, I could be totally wrong about that.

      8. Sebee says:

        I spend the second part of the 80s and early 90s in Jersey City, NJ. Hence, I’m rooting for them to get the darn race so I can go to my old neck of the woods next year.

        Those were good days. WWF, MTV with music videos and still respectable VJs – even Pauly Shore!

        But I’ve also been to Canada over that period.

        So what are you saying with all these WWF/NWO/WCW refernces, that F1 is like wrestling? :-) OK, who is the main event in the F1 Wrestlmania No Holds Barred Cage match?

        Alright James, FYI we’re officially establishing the first JAonF1 International F1 Club location. As you can see Canadian F1 fans, two positions have been filled. For a limited time only, no membership fees if you join before the lucky 13 season ends!

      9. PB says:

        Have you ever seen Alonso truly ‘involved’ with others in that situation. He almost always seems to have an expression on his face that he’s unhappy with everything that’s going on.

        Perhaps I’m getting carried away, but even when he wins he’s not much different. Much like an old chap thrown into an amusement park with youngsters, no matter what comes his way these days, his pulse seems to only be 72 per minute!

        @KRB, I think they were talking about:
        1. How much faster Hamilton noted both Alonso and Vettel were in a straight line in comparison to him.
        2. How he deliberatly let Alonso past in the first corner hoping he could get a tow and slipstream back past him on the straight but couldn’t. (I actually did think this was the case when I saw the overtake but the commentators didn’t mention it so I thought I might be wrong!)

      10. Sebee says:

        Lauda called Alonso “unlikable” recently. Unusual choice of words, as it relates to Alonso and his team.

        Anyhow, we should trying to stop opinionating on drivers personalities based on brief displays of TV pictures. I know them not, they will not be my friends, and thus to me they are just like The Expendables – there to do a job full of action that I want to see!

    2. I will says:

      I think the booing is irritating and unsportsmanlike behavior from the fans. Anyways this is part of their life (for celebrities & athletes). That is why they are highly paid. I don’t think vettel will lose a sleep as a result of it. I’m Ham fan.

      1. Tim says:

        From what I’ve read, a lot of the booing was for the green peace protesters trying to crash the podium.

      2. f1vgn says:

        I think they were booing the greenpeace idiots who tried to interrupt the podium ceremony.

      3. SketchCND says:

        The booing on the podium had nothing to do with any of the drivers or officials whatsoever. This I can assure you!

      4. I will says:

        Thank you guys for the clarification. Now I got it why the booing.

      5. Sebee says:

        This is an interesting delema and perhaps a point for further discussion. Let’s be honest, we like F1. But it’s paid for by corporations who have interests in oil production and fuel consumption mostly.

        There really isn’t a perfect time for a protest, but if GreenPeace thinks there is a case to inform us about something, when would be the perfect time and ideal stage to have this perticular audience listen? Goes back a bit to Bahrain as well.

        A bit of a gut check moment really if you think about it. Here is a combustion engine based sport, in a moment of it’s celebration, when a guy propels down and tries to make you think twice about what exactly it is that you are celebrating.

        How exactly does one stop an accident like we had in the Gulf with BP in the cold, dark unforgiving arctic?

      6. All revved-up says:

        Very good point about an oil spill or some other pollution in the Arctic. I understand commercial shipping via the Arctic is already beginning. So I guess we are the generation that waves goodbye to a pristine Arctic. Quite sad.

    3. All revved-up says:

      Agree. The banter was great – until dark and moody Alonso walked into the room. What a mood killler.

      Must be depressing working with him. But a great driver – from 9th to 2nd in 6 laps.

    4. Yak says:

      What I found amusing was that Lewis came in straight away joking around and perfectly at ease, the two of them chatting away. Then Alonso comes in, stands around awkwardly… then awkwardly slips in one comment, and they all bail for the podium.

  29. Joan says:

    Maldonado was probably looking to make his way to the pits when he took out the Force India.

    1. All revved-up says:

      Maldonado’s blatant disregard for the safety of others is menacing. He should be suspended for one race, so that he learns his lesson. He could kill someone one day.

    2. Timmay says:

      Just another crash for Maldonado – no biggie.

  30. Truth or Lies says:

    Ominous win from Vettel, Fernando might have been closer if Ferrari had qualified towards the front of the grid, but not sure he could have beat the Red Bull.

    Unless Vettel gets very unlucky in the next few races its looking very good for title number four especially as Mercedes, as proven already, can take points from Ferrari and perhaps Lotus as well.

    Alonso needs wins to take the fight to Vettel and while getting closer for sure its hard to see if they can take a giant step forward in performance. Monza will be a really crucial race for both Ferrari drivers.

    1. JohnBt says:

      [Ominous win from Vettel, Fernando might have been closer if Ferrari had qualified towards the front of the grid, but not sure he could have beat the Red Bull.]

      I don’t think so, Vettel woulda done the same to Alonso what he done to Lewis for sure. Simply because Nando finished 16.8 secs behind Vettel and he had more in the Red Bull I tell ya.

  31. Clark says:

    James, what do you make of the talk that New Jersey’s race has been cancelled? I was looking forward to going there :(
    Has it been replaced with Mexico or is this bargaining?

    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130825/f1/130829880

    1. James Allen says:

      Sounds like a last warning shot from Bernie to NJ promoters

    2. Random 79 says:

      If we actually end up with a race in New Jersey I’ll be very, very surprised.

      Chances are we’ll get a race in Mexico again before we get one anywhere near NJ.

  32. KRB says:

    Heidfeld’s record lives on!

    http://bit.ly/1dFRm0y

    Quick Nick will be pleased. :-D

    1. KRB says:

      That stat also just looks at consecutive Grands Prix, and not the driver in question.

      Taking into account Kimi’s sabbatical, he was classified for 38 straight races in which he entered (Germany 2009 his last DNF before today), so even there Nick’s record is safe.

      1. Cali says:

        And so is MS’s points aka TOP 6 spot finish record. Kimi’s is based on the “easy” top 10 system.

      2. KRB says:

        Doubt many will care too much about that. You could then say that MSC benefitted from 10pt wins instead of the 9 that was handed out before.

        MSC will be passed for career total points by Alonso later this year (he’s 51 pts behind now). Fully 8 of the top 10 in career points have raced in the T10-25W points era. Only Schumacher and Prost didn’t.

  33. Tmax says:

    Clearly dominating performance from Vettel. It was a surprise that Webber could not replicate the same performance. Alonso did a good job of catching up a lot but there seems to be a lot of performance gap still.

    Mercedes is making the season interesting. They are as good as Red Bull in qualifying and they are close to Ferrari in race trim. Plus they have Lewis who is obviously a fantastic driver who has simply out raced Fernando on equal machinery !!!!

    1. KARTRACE says:

      Outraced Fernando, you are joking, right ?

      1. TMAX says:

        Yes that was a joke. That was why Alonso was so happy with Mclaren that he decided to break the contract and go back to underperforming Renault.

      2. KARTRACE says:

        Alonso was sabotaged by the villain called Ron the Impaler.

      3. kfzmeister says:

        Oh God. He’s talking about ’07
        Just let it go (shakes head).

      4. expertf1 says:

        kartrace- hamilton finished 2nd that season and alonso 3rd. oh and lets not forget hamilton was a rookie and alonso was a double world champion

      5. Tealeaf says:

        Still going on about that old chestnut? It meant nothing Alonso was racing against Ron Dennis that year and also Jenson Buttob went to Mclaren and beat Hamilton does that mean Button is a better driver than Alonso???

      6. Odjebi says:

        That season? So season 2007 somehow has significance in 2013…

        Did u know Fernando was penalised 5 grid places for impeding or preventing Lewis from entering the pit box even though there was no rule that mentioned teammates must vacate their pit box when their teammate is queuing behind? There was no time limit for teammates to exit their box in qualifying. Did u know Anthony Hamilton was allowed to lodge the protest even though he wasn’t an employee of McLaren or even authorised to lodge protests?!?!
        From pole to 6th cost Fernando the title in 2007

      7. Hansb says:

        Hamilton had a very good start of that season but in the second part it was Alonso who collected more points. So how much worth is that rookie thing in those days of unlimited testing?

      8. Random 79 says:

        …and so the legend began…

      9. Quade says:

        Not taking sides, but a rookie almost won the World title in 2007.

      10. TMax says:

        @Odjebi Alonso was Penalized because he had purposefully blocked Lewis. He could not stand the fact the he was not considered the No 1 Driver against a Rookie. He blocked Lewis because he thought Lewis will take the pole away from him. the Punishment Fir the Crime. So what did Alonso do after the race.. threaten Ron to leak the News about stealing the Ferrari design if he is not given No 1 position. The rest is history… “So Much for a Samurai”……

        Well Not to mention Ron asked Lewis to hold position in Monaco and not to overtake Fernando to which Lewis Commented “it is something I have to live with. I’ve number two on my car and I am the number two driver.’”

        So Lets not talk too much about the 2007 season between Alonso and Lewis on an equal machinery.

      11. KARTRACE says:

        Hamilton was prepared to lye for his boss on the subject of Spy gate saga, while Alonso came forward and opened his mouth, so he was punished by being constantly sabotaged afterwards.

      12. KARTRACE says:

        Alonso left and who stopped Hamilton becoming a 4X WCD ? anyway he was the boss at McL F1 team.

      13. Odjebi says:

        @TMAX………..monaco now? instead of giving me your point of view on how it was possible for Alonso to be punished when there was NOTHING IN THE RULE BOOK that mentions a driver must vacate his teams pit box, either immediately or in a reasonable amount of time, if his teammate is waiting,but no, you just make another ill informed point. I guess it was also ok for the stewards to accept a protest from Lewis’ dad?! After reading the allegation and realising that there was no rule broken by Alonso, the stewards found a way to find Alonso guilty of something…………so they pulled out ‘unsportsmanlike conduct’. Which if we were judging Schumachers driving, he would have so many grid penalties that he would be starting every race from the pits.
        Let the past go dude or do we have to count how many times Lewis qualified with a lighter fuel load and debate the advantages he gained from that?

    2. Baghetti says:

      If ‘fantastic’ Hamilton would have shown us some average defending skills we could have had an actual race today…

      1. KRB says:

        Huh? You’re only allowed one move … you can’t weave back ‘n’ forth to scare off a potential passer. Lewis had no chance holding off Vettel on that first lap, or Alonso on lap 14. Any reasonable F1 fan could clearly see that.

        Hamilton with DRS still wasn’t as fast on Kemmel as Alonso without it!

    3. Hansb says:

      My personal feeling is that today LH didn’t have a good race. In fact I’m wondering if there weren’t any teamorders at Mercedes. Rosberg seemed faster than Hamilton on equal machinery

    4. kers says:

      Where did Lewis start today? Where did Fernando start today?

    5. Odjebi says:

      Now that’s a summary….Absolutely nailed the Lewis /Fernando comparison…… So after starting on pole and losing the lead to vettel, Lewis out drives Alonso but loses 2nd place to……..Alonso…….who started 9th by the way…….and finishes in 3rd…….. Even though Fernando has finished higher in the drivers points table every year since 2010, Lewis has continually shown Alonso how to maximise the Ron Dennis designed, Ferrari powered, Norbert Haug upholstered, Mercedes…..which they share……equally.

      1. TMax says:

        @kers @Odjebi. in Spa the Ferrari was a much better car than Mercedes. It was obvious in the FP2 and FP3. Fernando was even confident of winning the race. So all said and done it was the weather that gave Fernando a bad starting position and not the car itself. Again Fernando is a great driver package but on an Equal machinery Lewis has the final word !!!!! no question about it. I know it is very hard to accept but it is the truth …we all have seen them race each other in equal machinery….

      2. Kirk says:

        Actually, Alonso made a mistake in qualy in his last lap, so it was not the weather per se.

      3. Odjebi says:

        @Tmax………Well that is true………”Lewis was racing Fernando……not Kimi”

    6. anthony says:

      Webber was told of a clutch problem going to the grid. Why was vettel able to pass the merc so easy and Webber could not even with DRS. Different gearing? down force? Webbers fastest lap .6 slower than vettels.

  34. Tealeaf says:

    Well well well, just when the Hamilton fans think there’s a chance for something this season Vettel puts in the most dominance performance for over 2 years and kills the morale of rest of the challengers, on a side note its funny how Webber is ’1seconds’ faster than Vettel on Topgear and yet he can’t touch Seb, rhe fact of the matter is Webber couldn’t beat the Mercedes or Alonso and yet this Redbull is suppose to be dominant, Mercedes can do suspicious things to Rosberg all they want they can even turn Hamilton’s engine up to Q3 everytime but at the end of the season there will be 1 world champion and thats Vettel.

    1. I will says:

      Finish! Is that the best you can contribute re the race? I think we can have a better discussion and share some opinions rather than posting some silly comments.

    2. KRB says:

      Outta the woodwork comes Tealeaf, to enlighten us all. :-D

      1. Quade says:

        @KRB
        I think we should invent a new word for the purpose, “endarken.” :)

      2. Tim says:

        or how about diminise – that works on two levels ;-)

  35. bk201@hotmail.co.uk says:

    “Dominant win?” Or the latest in a long line of easy and unchallenged Vettel wins, courtesy of Newey?

    Vettel made one simple slipstream overtake and then cruised to victory. It’s bread-and-butter stuff of an F1 Championship.

    Or as Nigel Mansell wrote in his biography (paraphrasing)- “PP, lights-to-flag victories in the quickest car is the easist way to win a race.”

    Ultimately, Newey has flattered Vettel and made it easy for Vettel to rack up the wins and titles. Widespread respect and recognition has yet to come – note more booing of Vettel today and this time I thought he looked genuinely upset by it.

    1. f1fan says:

      Vettel was in class of his own after making fantastic move on Lewis so early on.

      When Vettel wins, most of them say it is down to the car, Whereas when Lewis wins it is all down to him. Those getting tired of Vettel wins should ask themselves ‘Aren’t you tired of Merc poles?’
      Are Merc poles down to car or Lewis skills?

      Webber did his best to get past of Rosberg for much of the race, but failed. this shows how important it was for Vettel to be ahead of Merc car.
      Vettel deserves to be DOTD.

      1. Charlie says:

        Given that Merc were 1-4 on the grid and RB were 2-3, then yes you’d have to say that Lewis’ pole was down to him.

      2. Equin0x says:

        Are you serious? Rosberg’s lap was set over a minute before Hamilton’s lap the conditions were different and also Rosberg basically matched Hamilton in the race but Webber went backwards and finished over 30sec behind a ‘cruising’ Vettel, if Seb was in that Mercedes he’d beat Hamilton.

      3. KRB says:

        Equin0x, I surely hope you’re talking about pole with that last sentence. If so, I could see it … though there was only a tenth in it. In the race though the RB9 was head and shoulders better than the Merc.

      4. AlexD says:

        Think about alonso and vettel today

      5. Sid says:

        What was fantastic about the move was that Vettel did not use his KERS at the start, rather he used it when exiting Eau Rouge and then slipstreaming Hamilton and catching him unawares.(According to Ted Kravitz)

      6. Timmay says:

        +1 mate

      7. MCGARL says:

        100% agree f1fan.

      8. formula says:

        Let me ask you this, have you ever seen Vettel wrestle with that Red Bull car with oversteer or understeer and still get a solid result out of it? And Mark even said that the redbull was setup to run in free air and they had the quickest speed figure in the speed trap at the top of eau rouge all weekend which made lewis a sitting duck on lap 1.

      9. Equin0x says:

        Well you contradicted yourself a bit there, if RBR setup the car especially for topspeed then it wasn’t only setup to run in free air, just like last year at this time of the year Seb is turning up his engine and blowing the field away just wait for India, Korea and Japan, everyone will see what winning from the front is like.

      10. Odjebi says:

        U can thank Pirelli for this farce……all was fair until red bull, Mercedes and Bernie got their way. Wonder if Ferrari and Lotus start crying to the media the tyres can return to their original composition……as long as red bull run them at the correct pressure and not deliberately under inflate them!

        Yeah right…..

      11. Quade says:

        Cheer up. The tyre change is done, dusted and forgotten.

      12. Odjebi says:

        Never!

      13. absolude says:

        +1

      14. Sri says:

        Yes both Merc poles and Bull wins are boring as they are due to cars. Satisfied?

      15. bk201 says:

        I cannot agree that it was a “fantastic move.” Rather it was an easy and routine slipstream pass on a slower car.

        Even after the race Hamilton could be heard marvelling at the speed of the Red Bull.

        I do wonder why everything Vettel does has to be over-hyped so much. Look, Vettel had an easy race yesterday and a routine victory. There is no shame in that.

        But there is shame in trying to make every Vettel win (whilst in the best car for the best part of four years) some major and significant moment in F1′s history.

        As for Hamilton – multiple PPs across two teams, against two World Champions and a seriously quick Rosberg. He has destroyed every teammate of his in qualifying and unlike Vettel, he’s not had the advantage of Newey’s cars to do so.

      16. bearforce1 says:

        Ummmmm, read the comments. You have it the wrong way round. Most people never rate Vettel for his wins and other achievements. In evidence Vettel hardly ever wins DotD, DotW.

        It more like this whenever Lewis wins it down to the driver whenever Vettel wins its the car.

        Don’t worry though people are slowly coming around to the reality that Vettel is one of the best drivers if not the best driver.

      17. bk201 says:

        I do read the comments and I see far too many examples of posters (on here and elsewhere) selectively ignoring the huge advantage Vettel has, courtesy of Mateschitz’s millions and Newey’s genuis.

        In addition, I’ve seen repeated denials of factual truths about Vettel i.e that his wins have largely come from PP (75% approx of his race wins, in fact), lights-to-flag, and unchallenged. Yet he has made, on many occasions, repeated errors/crashes when caught in the chasing pack and indeed on the rare occasions he has been hounded by the car in second place.

        Spa on Sunday was a routine win as an F1 driver could ever hope for i.e one slipstream overtake on an infinitely slower car on lap 1 and then controlling the pace from 1st place, on a whim.

        Why can’t Vettel’s fans seldom seem to employ modesty or context for his achievements? You’ve even made my point for me with the “if not the best driver” claim.

        “Best driver” off the back of a routine and unchallenged win in Spa, in which his car had pace to burn!? Hype, hype, hype! The sort of which you profess to hate when it comes to Lewis Hamilton. Er, ok!

      18. James Allen says:

        He’s not made too many errors since 2010. And remember he’s still only just 26

      19. bk201 says:

        True, James, Vettel is relatively young. But then I’d point to more errors/punishments in 2012 for which he received numerous punishments.

        LH, FA, KR all received zero punishments in 2012 and despite that LH&FA still didn’t get a WDC that both deserved. Even in Brazil, Senna’s car was a write-off after the collision with Vettel…yet Vettel’s car held out.

        All in all, I think one of the main reasons Vettel struggles to gain widespread recognition is because of the frequency of his errors in the chasing pack, alongside most of his wins being PP, lights-to-flag affairs.

        Cracking website by the way, James. And when are you coming back to television commentary!? I respect Ben Edwards but when something dramatic happens, he sounds like he is on helium!

      20. James Allen says:

        LOL!

        I’m happy on BBC Radio 5 Live and Australian Network 10 thanks

      21. Bartholomew says:

        “Yet he has made, on many occasions, repeated errors/crashes when caught in the chasing pack and indeed on the rare occasions he has been hounded by the car in second place.”

        When were these? Did he make errors when hounded by the Lotuses in front of his home crowd? As James Allen has said, Vettel rarely seems to make errors. He’s not always been on pole this year (only 3 times in 11 races in fact) yet has 5 wins and 8 podiums to show for it.

        ““Best driver” off the back of a routine and unchallenged win in Spa, in which his car had pace to burn!? Hype, hype, hype! The sort of which you profess to hate when it comes to Lewis Hamilton. Er, ok!”

        I can’t speak for everyone else, but I didn’t whinge- never mind to the extent that you’ve done on this article- back in Hungary, when Hamilton drove unchallenged for the majority of the race (maybe because he put in a great pole lap, and was the fastest man in that particular race, like Vettel here?), or in China or Spain for Alonso, or Australia for Raikkonen.

        The issue is not with Vettel fans lacking “modesty”, it’s rather more with people whining about the car, Red Bull and Newey, as you have demonstrated perfectly.

      22. Jon Sandor says:

        “When were these?”

        At risk of wading into the middle of yours and BK201′s debate, I’ll flesh out some of BK201′s references from further down the page.

        2007 – JAP, Crashed into MW under Safety Car
        2008 – FOUR race-ending 1st lap collisions.
        2009 – AUS, crashed under pressure from RK
        MAL, crashed out of race
        MON, crashed into barriers
        2010 – TUR, race-ending crash into MW
        GBR, crash with Hamilton, lap 1
        BEL, as above but with JB
        2012 – MAL, crash with Karthekeyan
        ABU, Two crashes, one with a DRS board!?
        BRA, crash with Senna
        2013 – HUN, crashed into Button

        Vettel also choked under pressure from Button, infamously, in Button, under pressure from Hamilton in Hungary 2011 and under pressure from Hamilton in USA. From memory. There have been further examples.

        As for Hamilton’s Hungary win, I’d suggest it’s rated higher than Vettel’s Spa win because of Mercedes’ on-going struggles with their race pace, it’s Hamilton’s first season with Mercedes and he made two superb corner overtakes, without using KERS or DRS, on the outside of Webber.

        All on a track which, unlike Spa, is not an easy place to overtake. Red Bull also had clearly superior race pace in Spa, that Mercedes cannot be said to have had in Hungary. I wonder if BK201 had something such as that in mind?

        Also, Raikkonen won in Australia because he had made his tyres last, thus Lotus’ race strategy and Raikkonen’s superb execution of it were the reasons he won. Not because his car was the best car of the day.

        The Red Bull has largely been the best car on the grid for the previous four years, hence Vettel has for the most part won in the, er, best car. His fellow competitors have seldom had that advantage in the same time.

        Hope that helps.

      23. bk201 says:

        “LOL!

        I’m happy on BBC Radio 5 Live and Australian Network 10 thanks.”

        Shame. Individually and collectively you and Brundle are the only two, post-Walker/Hunt, commentators/analysts I’ve truly liked listening to. None of Edwards/Croft/Coulthard are remotely bad but you and Brundle are just better.

        The pair of you on free-to-air British domestic television would be great to hear again. Let’s hope somewhere, somehow in the not-too-distant future the two of you will once again share co-commentary duties.

        Cheers.

      24. James Allen says:

        Thanks, kind words

        I have my reasons why I enjoy the broadcast work I do now and have no desire to return to what I did before

      25. Bartholomew says:

        “2007 – JAP, Crashed into MW under Safety Car”

        Webber later blamed Hamilton’s erratic driving under the Safety Car.

        QUOTE: “It definitely contributed to Sebastian hitting me up the back because he [Hamilton] wasn’t doing what he was supposed to be doing, clearly.”

        http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2007/10/04/video-japanese-gp-highlights/

        “2008 – FOUR race-ending 1st lap collisions.”

        The majority of which weren’t his fault. Here’s video footage from one of them:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xN94lq2sJ8I
        Are you really trying blame Vettel for that?

        “2009 MAL, crashed out of race”

        He aquaplaned off the road because he wasn’t on full wets? A mistake, maybe, but hardly because of pressure.

        “2010 GBR, crash with Hamilton, lap 1″

        Caused by Hamilton putting his car inside of Vettel’s when he wasn’t alongside?

        “2012 – MAL, crash with Karthekeyan”

        LOL, Karthikeyan was to blame, as viewed by the stewards and Karthikeykan himself.

        “2012 – BRA, crash with Senna”

        Senna was 10th, Vettel 7th. Senna outbraked 2 other cars, and hit the back of Vettel. Vettel came from the back to 6th and won the title despite the damage.

        Considering that Vettel recovered and got a podium from Abu Dhabi (from last), the only examples of yours over six years that hold up are Fuji 07 (still debatable), Australia 09 (racing incident with Kubica, so debatable), Monaco 09, Turkey 10, Belgium 10 and Hungary 13 (the most minor of contact anyway, and it didn’t affect either driver’s race). Hardly a record that is worse than any other top driver.

        You’ve also named Hungary 2011, when both Mclarens appeared to have better race pace, and it was Hamilton that spun off when under pressure from Button. And USA 2012 was a great battle (ultimately decided by a DRS pass). A great win for Lewis Hamiton, not “choking under pressure”.

        In Hungary, Webber slid wide to give Hamilton the chance to pass. Otherwise, he spent the race in clear air, as Vettel did. So it is not logical for you to claim that Mercedes didn’t have the best race pace in Hungary, especially when you’re so insistent on RBR having been much faster in Belgium.

      26. Jon Sandor says:

        You could have saved yourself a lot of time by simply stating “Vettel is never to blame.” I’m sure if anyone tried to absolve Hamilton for nearly all of his collisions, you’d have something to say!

        Speaking of Hamilton, he was already on the inside at Silverstone 2010 and was already on that line into the corner from the start. Vettel misjudged things in pulling across on Hamilton, as he did with Webber in Turkey in the same year. Watch the highlights.

        Hungary 2011 – again you’re mistaken. Vettel went wide under pressure from Hamilton, thus surrending the lead. And no, Hamilton was not under pressure from Button when he spun. Denying actual occurrances won’t change history! Again, watch the highlights.

        If you hold Senna responsible for Brazil, why didn’t he get a penalty? And in Hungary 2013, Vettel did not spend the race in clean air! With respect, do you even watch the races?

      27. Bartholomew says:

        For one, I meant to say “as Vettel did in Belgium”. Some of your other claims really don’t give you the right to be questioning whether others watched the races.

        “You could have saved yourself a lot of time by simply stating “Vettel is never to blame.””

        That’s just laughable! I highlighted that there clearly some incidents that Vettel was to blame for.

        “Speaking of Hamilton, he was already on the inside at Silverstone 2010 and was already on that line into the corner from the start. Vettel misjudged things in pulling across on Hamilton, as he did with Webber in Turkey in the same year. Watch the highlights.”

        So when another car gets their wing inside Vettel’s rear wheel, it’s a “misjudgement” from Vettel. When Vettel gets his wing alongside someone else, but contact is made, Vettel still is the one that made a misjudgement?

        “Hungary 2011 – again you’re mistaken. Vettel went wide under pressure from Hamilton, thus surrending the lead. And no, Hamilton was not under pressure from Button when he spun.”

        His lead was being reduced, then he spun. He then picked up a drive through for recovering dangerously. That Vettel ran wide earlier in ther race is rather moot- he finished 2nd, Hamilton squandered victory to end up 4th, behind Alonso’s Ferrari.

        “If you hold Senna responsible for Brazil, why didn’t he get a penalty?”

        By that logic, why are you holding Vettel responsible for Malaysia 2012?

      28. bk201 says:

        “I have no desire to return to what I did before.”

        I’m disappointed to hear that you’re so definite about that, James. At the same time it’s good to hear that you’re enjoying your current roles.

        Regards,
        BK201

    2. trop says:

      No, Newey said once it’s Vettel that flatters his cars, no the other way around.

      1. bk201 says:

        Newey might have a point…if he hadn’t already won heaven knows how many WDCs/WCCs with Williams, (multiple drivers) and McLaren!

        Besides, you’re taking Newey at face value there. I don’t. Of course he is going to stick up for his driver. Anything else would be counter-productive and pointless, even if inwardly he thought Vettel was the weakest WDC who has won in one of his cars.

    3. SteveS says:

      Ha ha, you keep on spamming under different aliases if it makes you feel better.

      1. bk201 says:

        To JAF1 mods,

        I have one account on here – check my I.P address.

        I am surprised you let the above comment by “SteveS” be posted on here, not only because his accusation isn’t true but also because JAF1 usually keeps all of this kind of silly personally motivated posting off the boards. Which is what attracted me to join.

        As such I would be grateful if you removed SteveS’ post as it is untrue and adds nothing to the discussion about F1 on here. Thanks.

      2. SteveS says:

        You’re a comical fellow, “bk201″. If I chose to do so I could also comment here under multiple different usernames and multiple different IP addresses. It’s not a difficult trick which only you know about. Most people have a bit more respect for the site owner and the other commenters though.

      3. Bartholomew says:

        Oh, stop denying it. You’re masquerading as “Jon Sandor”, someone who routinely sticks up for Vettel on F1 Fanatic, just so you can continue your nonsense “bk201″.

      4. bk201 says:

        And you’re a paranoid fellow “SteveS!” I post on here and the Beeb. That’s it.

        Anyway, given that “bartholomew” has suddenly appeared and is replying to the exact same posters/posts as “SteveS,” then I think it’s clear who is guilty of multi-account abuse.

        And if you really want to show “respect” to this website then you’ll stick to posting about matters F1, rather than trying to personalise things with your conspiratorial nonsense.

        So, the Belgian GP…

      5. Bartholomew says:

        On this website, I haven’t “suddenly appeared” (it’s “Jon Sandor”, who did that), given that I’ve checked and posted here for over a year.

        Back to the Belgian GP (or onto the Italian GP), then. Winning by ~20 seconds comes under the definition of “dominant win”. “Courtesy of Newey” ignores the role of the rest of Red Bull’s staff, as well as the driver, who did not finish in say, 5th like the other one.

      6. bk201 says:

        Well, “bartholomew” given your “over a year” claim, the big question is quite how many accounts are you running on here? And for how long?

        Belgian GP – “a dominant win.” In a dominant car. Predictably, you left out that last bit.

        Dismissing Newey’s influence “ignores” the multiple titles he won for McLaren and Williams.

      7. Bartholomew says:

        One account, “bk201″. How many for you?

        Predictably, the definition of “dominant car” seems to be one that Vettel can win in. Even if the other “dominant car” lounges in 5th place behind a Ferrari and two Mercedes.

        And no, I wasn’t dismissing Newey’s influence. You dismissed everyone else at Red Bull with your “courtesy of Newey” comment.

      8. Jon Sandor says:

        This is getting silly.

        I am the Jon Sandor of the F1 fanatic website, too. Though I’m not sure it was your place to tell this forum where else I post, “bartholomew.”

        And yes I defend Vettel on that other website because he gets too much criticism there, whereas I think he is getting too much praise on here.

        I always like to try to redress the balance of debates.

      9. Bartholomew says:

        No fan forum will ever give drivers a perfect level of criticism or praise. All I can say is that you should try to form your own opinions, Jon, rather than contradict yourself time and again, looking for an F1 driver related argument.

    4. Wilma the Great says:

      “Widespread respect and recognition has yet to come – note more booing of Vettel today and this time I thought he looked genuinely upset by it.”

      Look around you – there is much respect for him on this forum as well as for many other fine drivers on the grid for their respective achievements.

      I believe, the booing was mainly directed at the Greenpeace activists which Vettel couldn’t see from the podium. But it has happened in past races and takes nothing away from Vettels achievements. It rather spells “bad sportsmanship” about the booing “fans”.

      I don’t know, if Vettel was upset by it, but wouldn’t you be upset, if you would be booed after having won a Grand Prix?

      1. bk201 says:

        “Look around you – there is much respect for him on this forum as well as for many other fine drivers on the grid for their respective achievements.”

        I’d be surprised if even 50% of the comments I read about Vettel, indicate respect for his talents or achievements. Rightly or wrongly, many F1 fans think Vettel is merely a good driver in a great car.

        “I don’t know, if Vettel was upset by it, but wouldn’t you be upset, if you would be booed after having won a Grand Prix?”

        Do you think Alonso or Hamilton would have been upset by it? Nope. Besides, Vettel is at least partially responsible for some of the bad reputation he seems to have. Strangely, I think he also wants to be popular. So I imagine he’ll have to think about some of his future behaviour if he wants the booing to stop.

        He should also take heart from Alonso – think about how he was thought of after his behaviour in 2007. He is now near-universally respected and I’d suggest, reasonably well liked.

      2. F1fan says:

        ‘He is now near-universally respected and I’d suggest, reasonably well liked.’

        By Ron Dennis?

      3. bk201 says:

        I presume you understand the meaning of “near-universally” and “reasonably well-liked?”

    5. Tealeaf says:

      This comment is laughable, where was Webber? Why couldn’t he beat the Mercedes or Alonso? Even in RBR’s strongest year in 2011 Webber couldn’t win a race to save his life and was often beaten by Ferrari, Mclaren and Mercedes and had to be gifted a win in Brazil, just give credit where credit is due Seb at his best beats any driver on the grid over a season.

      1. bk201 says:

        Webber’s poor starts and mysterious car problems go a long way to the explanation you’re seeking.

        “…Seb at his best beats any driver on the grid over a season.”

        I see. You’re reducing a team sport (in which Vettel has had the best team and car since mid 2009) to an individual one?

        Statements such as yours actually work against your aim of wanting people to give Vettel more respect.

      2. James Allen says:

        I think what you can say is that the Vettel/RBR package gets close to the maximum in both quali and race on most occasions and more than the opposition manages.

        It isn’t true to say that he’s had the best car for the last four seasons, clearly 2011 he did and the RBR is the best car in 2013 (albeit not in qualifying), but first half of 2012 it was behind McLaren (having lost blown diffusers) and 2010 was pretty mixed up, if you remember.

      3. Yago says:

        Sorry James, but Red Bull was the fastest car in 2010 by miles. It was not mixed up.

      4. Bartholomew says:

        @bk201 –
        “Webber’s poor starts and mysterious car problems go a long way to the explanation you’re seeking.”

        What issues did he have that you are claiming? Comments like yours only prove how laughable some of the anti-Vettel crowd can be.

    6. BW says:

      Just as if slipstream overtakes were so easy these days…

  36. Nick says:

    Webber played a fine helping hand to his best buddy Alonso at Turn 1, leaving acres of space, squeezing out Grosjean and Kimi to make way. That’s why he didn’t move to Ferrari. In a superior car, he can help Alonso in a better way.
    And some of Kimi’s overtakes were pure gold, too bad he had to retire.

    1. kfzmeister says:

      You mean like Schumi helped Seb to last year’s title in Brazil?

      1. Juzh says:

        Vettel was already a wdc before schumacher let him go.

    2. Stephen Taylor says:

      And so Kimi’s great record ended on the track he loves most.

    3. Bryce says:

      Still at the pub?

  37. Dean says:

    If Mark Webber doesnt have the decency to join the team for the winners photo after such a bad race, maybe he should quit today. [mod]

    1. Tealeaf says:

      Completely agree, Vettel at his absolute best is in a different league to Webber and also a step above Alonso and Hamilton, shame the English speaking fans can’t look beyond the prejudice and accept what a talent Vettel is.

      1. Tim says:

        shame the English speaking fans can’t look beyond the prejudice and accept what a talent Vettel is…

        Did you know the attendance at the German GP for race day was only just over 50,000?
        So, we have a German driver leading the WDC and in with a good chance of the win, and only 50,000 of his fellow countryman turn up to see it.
        Seems like his lack of popularity isn’t restricted to just the English speaking fans after all ;-)

      2. bk201 says:

        “Vettel at his absolute best is in a different league to Webber and also a step above Alonso and Hamilton…”

        The Team Principals didn’t agree with you last year. Despite ending the season as WDC, Vettel was a long way behind Alonso in the TP vote and marginally ahead of Hamilton and Raikkonen. Which is, quite frankly, damning.

        By the way, the sheer arrogance and inaccuracy in your views above only make people dismiss Vettel’s achievements all the more. Which is odd because the man himself and his fanbase seem keen for Vettel to be given more respect.

      3. Bartholomew says:

        And yet Vettel has been ranked as number one by them twice, and 2nd in the other one, hardly damning. The only time he wasn’t in the top 2 was 2008, when he was in the Toro Rosso.

      4. bk201 says:

        Vettel has three WDCs but twice the TPs have ranked Alonso as the better driver in the years of those WDCs i.e 2010, 2012.

        What do you think that says of both Alonso and Vettel?

      5. Bartholomew says:

        It isn’t “damning”, as you suggest, considering that Vettel was voted as the best in a year he did not win the title as well.

    2. Azza says:

      You don’t think the team has alienated him already?
      Why would Mark want to celebrate with Seb after everything that’s happened in the last 4 years?
      I think Mark is a genuine guy, if he was celebrating with the team and Sebasian post race it would be fake, Mark keeps it real..

      1. Dean says:

        He also genuinly extended his contract each year didnt he? Also got a multi 21 order on Vettel last malaysian gp. Webber may not like Vettel, but missing the team celebration photo after such a bad race is disrespectful to the team. Havent even talked about him saying Ricciardo is already signed.

      2. bearforce1 says:

        I disagree. I am an Aussie and it pains me to see Webber. It is actually more painful to hear Webber.

        Never has a man been given such a great opportunity and complained so bitterly about it. RedBull despite Marks poor performance and complaints continued to give him equal billing as evidenced in Malaysia this year.

        Sadly for Webber he was never good enough for the RedBull drive. Webber was not good enough as a driver and not good enough as a team player, a sportsman.

      3. Greg (Aus) says:

        A somewhat typical comment from a fellow Aussie – Mark was never given the respect he deserves in the Austalian press (apart from most of 2010 when it looked like he could be the WDC) and sadly those opinions from the peanut gallery have leaked into the general populace. For any Australian to make it to this sport, let alone get a drive at a top team and have a legitimate shot at a title is a much more difficult achievement than for a European and should be respected.

        “Given such a great opportunity”? What rubbish, the word you’re looking for is earned. The man has shown he has the talent and determination to drive at the highest level of motorsport for over a decade. Not good enough indeed…

    3. NJB says:

      Why should webber feel like celebrating with a team that has consistently subordinated him? That would be a gesture as hollow as his team mate’s victory.

      1. Dean says:

        What was subordinate for Webber about Horner telling Vettel to hold station in Malaysia this year? And why did he extend his contract each year? I find his conduct disrespectful. Maybe he dont like Vettel, but he should be there for the rest of the team.

    4. trop says:

      Vettel also doesn’t attend celebrations when Mark wins. They both stopped doing this in the middle of 2010 when the tension grew to the point where they couldn’t stand each other anymore.

      1. Bartholomew says:

        Really? That happens so rarely that I can’t remember anyway.

  38. KARTRACE says:

    @Nick. Are you telling us that he loves Fernando better then himself ?

  39. SteveS says:

    Mercedes gambled on a high downforce setup, expecting rain on Sunday, and it didn’t pay off for them.

    Ferrari had the correct setup for Sunday but they lost out on Saturday. As a result Alonso was in damage limitation mode all race long.

    Red Bull, as they typically do, got the strategy just right over the whole weekend. That is what is winning them the WDC and WCC, not “the best car”.

    1. KRB says:

      Agreed that RBR is the best team when it comes to getting the strategy right more often than any other team. But it also helps that they have the best car as well.

    2. bk201 says:

      Best “team,” “best car,” whatever. I’m glad that you do accept that Vettel has had an advantage over the rest of the grid for years now.

      1. SteveS says:

        Vettel certainly has an advantage. It’s called being Vettel.

    3. NJB says:

      If you truly don’t believe RBR have had the best overall car since mid 2009 then your understanding of f1 is very poor indeed.

      1. Bartholomew says:

        On the whole, of course, but others have been capable of challenging in each individual season (except 2011, though LH and JB squandered a fair few chances even then).

    4. Thompson says:

      I agree the high downforce on the merc was always going to hurt them

  40. Seized Up says:

    Just wondering if fuel efficiency between Redbull and Mercedes made it so easy for SV today at the start. If the Merc is heavier, hauling that extra mass up Eau Rouge is going to hurt. Great drives by SV + AF.

    Difficult to see how FA, LH or KR are going to reign in SV before the seasons’ end. #4onthebounce

  41. Irish con says:

    Gary Anderson has always said and I agree with him that red bull should run a little bit less wing to help straight line speeds and today was the first time they did that really and won at a canter. I wonder will we see red bull use this set up in future as they have the most downforce anyways and can afford to lose a bit of wing and the less wing set up makes them more racey and less compromised if they are in the pack. Makes sense to me if it doesn’t compromise tyre life with less downforce means more sliding around.

    1. Juzh says:

      I’m sure gary anderson knows better than red bull what is best for them and how to run their cars.

    2. Me says:

      Really?

      Look at the depth of the wing for the last 2 races at Spa…

  42. Michael Grievson says:

    DRS ruined the race for me

  43. luqa says:

    The booing during the podium ceremony was directed at those half wits from Greenpeace protesting against Shell- the title sponsor of the Spa event. Apparently during the podium ceremony a couple of large banners were unfurled that upset the crowd and caused the booing.
    Pity the anti Vettel crowd (above) feel justified jumping to unfounded conclusions to put down a very controlled performance.
    Also Kudos to LH and NR for great drives.

    1. Trent says:

      Is it wrong to stage a protest?
      Why are they half wits?

      I don’t profess to understand this particular issue, but I do have some objections to people writing off any protest as half-witted, especially when it appeared to cause minimal inconvenience (if not embarrassment) to the event itself.

  44. darren c says:

    Gutted. When will someone else challenge Vettel/ Red Bull? It’s an embarrassment to the brains involved, just maybe they’ll get engineering, operations, tactics & strategy for car & team aligned, a la Red Bull, to give themselves a chance to win multiple races.

    When a team like McLaren are being left behind & the might of huge teams like Ferrari & Mercedes look stupid on a power circuit like Spa. You have to ask how many teams have been wearing the emperors clothes in F1.

    I’m mightily impressed this is 4 years & doesn’t look like changing. Well done SV/ RB!

  45. AlexD says:

    Typically Hungary is the race I do not like so juch and Spa is always the race I am looking forward too. I need to say that this year is the other way around. It was a boring race mostly….if you have 15 sec between 1 and 2 and also 2 and 3….there is not much to look forward to. Couple of passes here and there, but no fight for anything meaningful. Maybe I will skip a couple of races….maybe something will change

  46. spactus says:

    hey guys game on still,Vettel is in a very very commanding position,but 1 dnf and couple bad finishes and it could all tighten up in 3 races.Merc are still in there,It seemed clear that they gambled on a wet setup.Vetell could very easily walk it from here on ,but I think a few 1 2 finishes for merc with Alonso beating Vetell and 4 races down the line ,things could be very interesting,we can atleast hope.we havent seen the last of the mercs I expect them to win atleast half the remaining races…lol

    1. Equin0x says:

      Hahaha a few 1-2 finishes for Mercedes? Where is this going to happen? Suzuka? Monza will be the best chance for the challenge from Ferrari and Singapore will be the track for Mercdes but I suspect Seb might even win there, another way to look at it is 1-2 more wins fr Seb then rest of the teams concentrate on next year, unless something unusual happens from now til the end of the season its Vettel’s 4th title in a row, whos to bet he won’t win at least 2 of the next 5 and they fight for Schumi’s record in the next decade.

      1. furstyferret says:

        Equinox you need to calm down, vettal drove a great race no doubt, but you only turn up when he does, hes going to win 4 on the spin, and deserves it, but your constant ham/alonso bashing really is boring,

    2. Juzh says:

      Why is everyone wishing seb more DNFs instead of beating him on merit? I know why.. they can’t.

      1. CYeo says:

        Wishing for another car to have problems rather than making your car better is a poor way to win points.

  47. wenner says:

    At least now we know why Hamilton gained on Vettel in the corners yesterday. Vettel had optimized set up and wing for straight line speed over downforce while Mercedes was prepairing for a rain race. Had Mercedes opted for less wing they might have been class of the field instead.

    And whats with Webber, is he driving to some delta for save 5. places, just avoiding risks in general so short before his F1 retirement or did he also have rain set up. He never made a single atempt to overtake Rosberg during the whole race.

    And finally Massa, nothing personel but i hope his race in Monza will not be so hot as Luca promised some new blood in the other Ferrari should Massa not perform close to Alonsos level in the next two races. Its overdue and it looks like the highly likely Ricciardo to RB move will be the only driver change in a top team otherwise. After all the noise during the summer stale lineups at Lotus and especially Ferrari would be quite a let down.

  48. Hello says:

    Massa cut the pit exit line during his first pit stop.

    1. formula says:

      I saw that, but it was pretty marginal so a penalty would have been quite harsh seeing as he didn’t gain an advantage anyway

  49. deancassady says:

    What are the mathematics starting to look like, for anybody else to win?
    What does Vettel have to get, to clinch the title?

    1. All revved-up says:

      One DNF by Vettel, and a couple of strong races by Ferrari/Mercedes/Lotus. If one of them can get to within 15 points before Brazil – then Brazil could be a nail biter.

      Two DNFs and everyone else is back in the game.

      DNFs can occur when least expected – eg Kimi’s brake failure on a track that’s not hard on brakes.

      1. Yak says:

        The problem is, it’s not one strong WDC contender taking the big points. Even if Vettel DNFs, it’s basically Alonso, Hamilton and Raikkonen going for the big points, with the reasonable possibility of guys like Grosjean, Webber and Rosberg to take podium finishes too. And then the odd-ball possibilities after that, although those are less likely in the later stages of the season. Still, Perez was on the Monza podium last year…

        Unless someone (Alonso’s obviously in the best starting position for this, points-wise) starts nailing it race after race, Vettel DNF’ing or just having some other similarly horrible race isn’t necessarily going to knock him from the number 1 spot.

    2. Equin0x says:

      A win at his ‘normal tracks’ at India, Korea and Japan and he seals the title, also finishing 2nd for rest of the season should be enough unless Alonso wins every race from now til the end, Monza will be realistically the last chance for the challengers to close the gap, if it wasn’t for that gearbox failure at Silverstone whilst leading the rest of the teams would already be writing off this season.

      1. KRB says:

        Yeah, his points conversion rate is 71.64% at the moment. That’s better than Fangio in 1954 with the dominant Merc’s, or Alonso in 2005 in the dominant Renault, or Mansell in his 1992 supercar (a less reliable-car era there it must be said).

        For anyone to catch him up, their team would first have to close the car-advantage gap, then create a similar car-advantage gap over RBR. The former’s not very likely, so no point thinking about the second.

        The only way Vettel loses this year’s title is if he breaks a leg like Schumacher in ’99. By putting that there, I’m not wishing for that … just saying that’s the only way that Vettel could possibly miss out on a 4th WDC.

    3. Odjebi says:

      Hard compound tyres…….

  50. Jem says:

    Fell asleep. I’m turning into my dad probably.

  51. deegs says:

    Another ruthlessly efficient, and effortless win from Sebastian. I actually contemplated switching off(for the rest of the season) on about lap 5. No question the guy is a class driver, but there are certainly 50 shades of schumi going on, and if weren’t for Alonso carving through the field, I may well have been bored to tears. Maldonado proved he’s still one to….avoid. I hope Kimi goes to Ferrari, for no other reason than they’ll at least have the budget to keep his ice cream freezer stocked. I wonder if it’s written into his contract?! ;)

    1. James Clayton says:

      At least in the Schumacher years there was some good racing going on down the field. DRS has robbed us of that these days.

  52. Gazz says:

    For goodness sake stop moaning….. It was only one race ago that Lewis dominated and everyone was bowing and groveling to him like he was the chosen one!! Now the same people are saying the season is over, no one can catch Seb….. get over yourselves. There is lots of racing to be be and as a fan I for one am looking forward to it.

  53. Tenno 1868 says:

    To all the Vettel critics – how poor of a driver is Webber? Webber is good – Vettel is just outstanding!

  54. Lockon says:

    Hello and welcome to the sebastian vettel show

  55. mr squizzer says:

    The red bull does seem to be the best car again this year ,its looking like championship 4 for the young German .
    Despite the car being the best you still have to have a driver that can get the most out of it and although I believe Ham, Alonso, and kimi could have done just as good a job its Vettel that’s been in the right place at the right time .Things will hopefully change next year .

    1. KRB says:

      +1. Sensible post … any of the elite drivers would have done just as good a job with the Red Bull for the past 5 seasons. For me it’s akin to the Brawn/Button hegemony, but for four-and-a-half seasons instead of one-half.

      It could be in 2014 that Vettel/RBR are in the position Ferrari, Merc, and Lotus find themselves in this year, of always being a step behind in car performance. If that’s the case, there’ll be nothing Vettel can do about it, as the top 4 drivers (VET, ALO, HAM, RAI) would cancel out each other.

      Of course, RBR have the money, and the Newey, to ward off such a backslide. The one area out of their control is the engine.

    2. Dean says:

      It wasnt on saturday, or in hungary, very marginal in germany and also not in silverstone.

  56. Matt H says:

    Game – over …..

    Too easy for vettel again well driven but man the red bull makes it easy for him. 4 times world champ soon to be and 4 times constructors champ really does make all the vettel fans sound silly with their theory’s about other cars being faster. Stats don’t lie! Merc best one lap speed only just but red bull much better over long haul.. Best machine by a mile since late 2009 bloke makes the best out of the situation and webber gets the bridesmaids outfit again. Coincidence cannot be used to explain a continuous repetition of errors. Sorry but the Aussie is a bloody good driver numerous years in F1 is proof. What is dubious is how he now seems to plank every start. No way on earth this guy can make this many errors conspiracy theory or not anytime he’s near vettel its another clutch bite error …. Oops ? Ferrari Merc Lotus someone please up the game and beat Neweys flying machine I’m losing faith in the sport I love. Or even better as a mclaren fan sort it out for button. Rant over as is the championship
    : /

  57. JRay says:

    Just want to put this out there and I don’t want to be a conspiracy theorist, but does anyone else find it odd that Webber has another clutch issue when he is close to Vettel on the grid and that the person collecting the trophy for Red Bull was the man in charge of starts and clutches…Im just saying!
    Any thoughts and could you ever look into the telemetry to make sure that there has been no tampering with Webbers car?

    1. Fireman says:

      Webber is just poor at starts.

    2. Yak says:

      So why didn’t they do anything about Webber’s car for the start of Korea last year? Or Brazil? Or Germany this year, where he actually got a better start than Vettel (but Vettel had the better line into turn 1)?

  58. Colocantaa says:

    Boring race! Still RedBull is the best team right now, shouldn’t be a surprise!
    Shame for Kimi. Alonso managed to come 2nd. Lewis and Nico grabbed some good points for the Mercedes second spot in the Constructors (a lot of work to do to find some race pace again) The rest I don’t remember and it didn’t rain! Boring!
    Bring on Monza!

  59. peruvian says:

    Hello James, can you please explain to us how the brake failure on Kimi’s car happened?… I just don’t get it, highly paid engenieres did not know the brakes will not last the race?… maybe the car was set up for rain, and the brake coolers (??) were too small?.. maybe, but why go racing then, why send the guy to hurt him self or somebody else.
    I think it was lap 11 when Kimi was told to watch for his brakes, and he said, why, it is too early… anyway, the fact of the matter is, that this kind of rookie mistakes don’t happened in F1, and it is my particular believe that Kimi already sign for another team… james your opinion on this?

    1. James Allen says:

      Spa is a light braking track – not like Bahrain or Canada where they had no problems, So clearly something went wrong in the braking system from early in the race, looked to us like the calliper was maybe sticking on.

      1. Padre says:

        Lotus claimed that helmet visor protection plasticstripe has blocked vent

  60. JohnBt says:

    Shucks! Rain gods were sleeping?

    A boring race after Alonso cut through the field and just held to second like forever. Vettel was too fast even though Ferrari up their pace and improved. Vettel could have easily finished more than 20 seconds ahead if he wanted too. SIGH.

    The jeering once again was uncalled for but the fans are so sick of Vettel dominance and who coulda blamed them. Unsporting though.

    Alonso’s body language says it all that his WDC is over.
    Now he needs to rope in Luca for serious prayers so Vettel will DNF for 2 races? or more? Were Lewis and Vettel giggling about Alonso, like two school kids ganging up against him even up to the podium. I think so, LOL!

    James, I bet ya the comments for this race will be minimal. The amount of comments is an accurate rate of each race.

    I rate the race four upon ten.

    1. James Allen says:

      Possibly, but well over 200 comments in 12 hours shows a healthy level of interest and debate

      1. Dale says:

        This has as much to do with how boring and disappointing it was.
        Bring back the skill and get rid of drs, maybe we’d have seen a few memorable overtakes if it wasn’t for the ridiculous one side drs.
        If we have to have it then drivers should be free to use it when they see fit so they are not a sitting duck – no true F1 fan wants to see overtakes that mean nothing just like no football fan wants to see 20 goals in every match.

      2. CYeo says:

        So in that sense, Vettel’s overtake of Hamilton, with no DRS, was the best of the race then?

    2. Juzh says:

      Booing was for greanpeace protesters who tryed to disrupt the podium ceremony and not vettel himself.

      1. JohnBt says:

        Yeah, found that out later. But Greenpeace was awesome hanging on the roof like a James Bond movie. More interesting than the race I must say, lol.

  61. Mike J says:

    Another Grand Prix, another message to Webber before the race even starts, “Mark, we have a clutch issue with the car”. For a WCC team, it amazes me that one side of the garage is having so many issues BEFORE the race starts.
    I am interested in Horners quote after the race…”For Mark, his clutch wasn’t good in preparation going to the grid. We did our best to tidy it up”.
    Webbers said. “The two practice starts we did were diabolical. The clutch was like a tractor”.
    With all of Webbers nay-sayers and calling that he is hopeless and that someone else should be driving his car, just look at 2013 practise and race issues to date. It must be very frustrating. I cannot see Webber even getting a podium in the remaining races. The chemistry is gone, 2013 will be a year to forget for him.
    Vettel is a great a champion however he would simply not be where he is this year if he had Webbers gremlins. There is no conspiracy here, just facts. The RB when in traffic, as Webber normally finds himself is just not the same rocket when in clean air. Both Vettel and Webber show this.
    Unless Vettels wheels fall off, it is his championship to lose. There is no ‘stand out’ second driver to hunt him down in the points.

  62. Cali says:

    Im not sure this was Redbull being.. alien. The track didnt suit the Mercs, the Lotus’s were equally bad, and Ferrari just merely held their ground as the rest failed. (even if ferrari did take a step forward it was rather clear RB had nearly a sec per lap on them, thats light-years in F1).
    Looking forward to monza, hopefully with alonso/ham in the 1-2 and a Vettel retirement to breath some life into this championship.

  63. Jon_C says:

    Wow, what a boring race. Such an anticlimax after a boring month of no F1. Oh well

  64. leonp says:

    Vettel is a one trick pony, leads before drs is enabled and holds position. Hamilton made a mistake on the exit of Eu Rouge and that’s what enabled Vettel to overtake.

    He may win this years championship, but he’ll always have the doubters who will question his ability to overtake and win races from places lower than 2 place on the grid. He’ll never be a legendary champion.

    1. Tealeaf says:

      Yeah thats right even when he’s proven to be able to overtake he still can’t overtake, who is the legend on this grid then? Hamilton I take it…

    2. Lq says:

      Yep, he can’t over take, look at the final race of last year, when he crashed, he just stuck at the back of the field.

    3. leonp says:

      If you look at SV conversion of wins from leading a race before DRS is enabled, you’ll see why so many doubt his talent. SV will never be in the Fangio, Prost, Senna, Lauda or Alonso league no matter how many championships he wins.

      1. Bartholomew says:

        And then you list Senna and Fangio, who usually won by leading from the front?

  65. stu.b says:

    Its looking very bleak for a contest this year

    1. P.Relli says:

      Considering most teams have now switched to the development of next year’s car, I would suspect we will see RB running away with it now.

      I’m already planning other activities for my Sunday afternoons for the rest of 2013, as I’m focusing on next year as well :)

  66. Krist says:

    Who was driver of the day last year? Button or Vettel, who was P13 after the crash in turn one?

  67. Neshaen says:

    Alonso (This coming from a Vettel fan)
    Just like Vettel – he did what he needed to do in the early stages of the race BUT he had a slight disadvantage (ALO started lower down the grid).
    The whole debate about Seb not being a good driver due to the fact that he drives a “Newey” designed car, will be settled in the near future. Seb will be moving away from RBR for a “fresh” challenge in another year or two.

  68. Charlie says:

    DRS ruins Spa.

  69. krischar says:

    Hi james

    Can you shed us some light on how RBR have pulled away from rest of the field massively after summer break ?

    Have other teams brought any updates and made it work ? Why mercedes was never able to show the race pace ? why Ferrari were second best all day long at spa to RBR by huge margin (nearly a second)?

    1. James Allen says:

      I think it was the track

      Singapore will suit Mercedes more

  70. krischar says:

    Vettel and RBR have won WDC and WCC already.

    Other teams can forget this season and better concentrate on next year with rules changes in 2014

    I simply cannot understand how on earth big car Manufacturers (Ferrari, Mclaren, Mercedes) are beaten by a drinks company regularly for the last 4 seasons?

    Does this mean there is no one can out smart newey or RBR ?

    This is simply far too easy and predictable

  71. Sri says:

    The more interesting than the race itself is: “where will Kimi end up? Will ricciardo get a RB seat? Will Alonso really leave Ferrari?” etc.

  72. bk201 says:

    To James Allen,

    Thank you for your reply to one of my posts as part of #35.

    You wrote:

    “It isn’t true to say that he’s had the best car for the last four seasons, clearly 2011 he did and the RBR is the best car in 2013 (albeit not in qualifying), but first half of 2012 it was behind McLaren (having lost blown diffusers) and 2010 was pretty mixed up, if you remember.”

    In response…

    2010 – Vettel lost a LOT of points – both to car reliability/failure. I remember working out it was 60-70 points lost, based on where Vettel was running in the race at the time of the failure.

    Also, he had a number of high profile crashes in 2010 – in Turkey with his teammate, in Belgium he crashed into Button, and in Britain he crashed into Hamilton on the first lap and had to pit, leaving him last. Net point loss – 40 to 50?

    If not for car problems and his own errors, Vettel would have had the 2010 WDC sewn up, long before Abu Dhabi. In other words, the Red Bull of 2010 was by some margin, the class of the field throughout.

    Further evidence can be seen by Webber’s best performance for Red Bull over a season. Further evidence of Red Bull’s superiority in 2010 can be seen in their average grid positions – Vettel 2.0, Webber 2.5. The next best was Hamilton (a consistently strong qualifier) with an average of just…5.2! Pole Positions in 2010? Vettel 10. Webber 5. 15 PPs for Red Bull in 2010! Hamilton? Only 1 PP in 2010.

    2012 – I’d make it a roughly half a season each that Red Bull and McLaren had the quickest car. Crucially, where McLaren failed, Red Bull ultimately succeeded. However, as you yourself have detailed on this website, Hamilton lost a crazy amount of points through no fault of his own (in fact, I’d say your estimate was conservative) and thus the WDC Hamilton deserved was gone.

    Hamilton won four races and was on for another four until the problems started. Eight wins in total, which is always enough for the WDC. Vettel won five and was on course a sixth in Valencia. Hamilton ultimately was on course to deliver more with a half season advantage of having the quickest car than Vettel managed. But again it comes back to F1 being a team sport, and Vettel demonstrates this more than most.

    Indeed, one can also assess the “team” element in another way. Hamilton and Alonso have both deserved a WDC each in the previous few years. However, we can see that they have had little-to-no margin of error, be it either their mistakes or their team’s errors which has cost them. Both have been fatal to their WDC hopes.

    Now compare that to Vettel in 2010 and 2012. He has been able to have both mechanical errors and cause multiple collisions (he had more penalties in 2012 than FA, LH & KR COMBINED!) yet still win the WDC in both years. That is some margin of error he has been able to enjoy, whereas the lack of margin of error has cost LH&FA a WDC each.

    In short, I do agree with your suggestion that Red Bull have been kings of maximising performance since 2010 – but as well as having the best car (apart from the first half of 2012) since mid 2009.

    Because of that is why I find any suggestion (from certain kinds of F1 ‘fans’ and the more reactionary element of the media) of Vettel representing some kind of unseen-before-standard in F1 so laughably misinformed. As I’ve detailed above, Vettel has not been (overall) performing any better than Alonso or Hamilton in the last four years. What has been the difference is the car and team Vettel has had when compared to Alonso and Hamilton.

    PS. Apologies for the lengthy reply, James!

    1. Jim:) says:

      +1 if I remember correctly, the most telling race of redbulls car advantage was turkey 2010, when they were flat round turn 8 in qualifying and all the other cars had to downshift.

      1. bk201 says:

        There have been numerous examples of that kind of thing with the Red Bull car, 2010 onwards.

    2. F1fan says:

      In the end, the best Drivers end up in the best cars. It has been the case with Fangio in the 50ies, Clark in the 60ies, Lauda in the 70ies, Prost in the 80ies, Schumacher in the 90ies and Schumacher again in the 00ies. So there must be a reason why Vettel is driving the RBR and not Alonso, Hamilton, Räikkönen or Button. If RBR would think those drivers are better than Vettel, surely they would replace him with ALO/HAM/RAI/BUT?

      1. krischar says:

        @ F1fan

        “If RBR would think those drivers are better than Vettel, surely they would replace him with ALO/HAM/RAI/BUT?”

        So you see vettel as the best and better driver than ALO/HAM/RAI/BUT ?

        Not really

        RBR clearly know there are better drivers out there in other teams as well. Vettel simply have too good a car to win WDC. All vettel had to do is beat webber for the last four seasons to win WDC’S which he did easily. RBR have no need to replace vettel simply because he is better than webber and consistent enough through out the season to win WDC. If vettel is on par with webber or inconsistent then RBR may need to change their star driver.

        hamilton Alonso kimi or JB will easily beat vettel 10/10 if they drive for same machinery

        Vettel have lucky stars on his side and the move to RBR from STR in 2009 when rule changes came into play was pivotal to his career sucess

      2. JL says:

        so you know better than the entire RBR management – they produce the best car 4 years in a row, but then they choose an average driver, and somehow they don’t get it. They could have had HAM, RAI and even maybe ALO, but they can only make fast cars, they can’t assess drivers because they picked SV. Probably all their data are wrong, but they don’t know, only a bunch of pundits get it that SV is just an average driver. RBR doesn’t get it. Is that your thesis ? great…..

      3. Bartholomew says:

        “hamilton Alonso kimi or JB will easily beat vettel 10/10 if they drive for same machinery”

        LOL what a comedian.

      4. nenad says:

        Best drivers in best cars? Where is Senna then on your list? Is it him not being best driver or McLaren not being best car?

      5. bk201 says:

        “In the end, the best Drivers end up in the best cars.”

        It’s a nice sentiment, I suppose, but an unfounded cliche in Vettel’s case.

        Afterall, he was signed to the Red Bull Junior programme at, what, 12? That Red Bull subsequently signed Newey had nothing to do with Vettel, nor than it was more than a fortunate crossing of paths for Vettel.

        Morover, neither the Torro Rosso nor the Red Bull were “the best cars” in 2007 and 2008. Newey was clearly focussing on the 2009 regulation changes, and Vettel being part of the Red Bull programme and with one year at Torro Rosso under his belt, promotion to Red Bull was already part of the pre-ordained career path.

        There was no “ending up” at Red Bull in 2009, rather it was already planned. The crucial detail is Newey’s arrival, which as already mentioned had nothing whatsoever to do with Vettel.

        One can also look at your “best drivers always end up in the best cars” claim about Vettel in terms of his junior record. Which was good, rather than great. He spent two years in the F3 Euroseries, finished 5th in his first year and in his second year was signed by the dominant ASM team. Yet was beaten to the F3 ES title by teammate Di Resta.

        In short, he wouldn’t have been the first choice junior pick for any top team based upon his junior record. Moreover, when he signed for the Red Bull programme as a junior, they weren’t the top racing outfit they are now. But crucially they had Mateschitz’s billions and a heck of a lot of ambition.

        You can compare Vettel to Hamilton as a junior to further assess your claim. When Hamilton signed for McLaren (aged 12-13) they were a genuine “top team.” Hamilton then won every junior class of racing he participated in, setting many records along the way.

        And in 2007 he was one point away from being F1′s first rookie Champion and had he done so, he’d have completed a hattrick of titles in three straight years across three different forumlas. And Hamilton of course now drives for the highly ambitious and wealthy Mercedes team.

        I’m sorry if it this disappoints you but whichever way I assess or analyse it, Vettel looks like little more than a good-to-very-good driver in a great team.

      6. Bartholomew says:

        “Morover, neither the Torro Rosso nor the Red Bull were “the best cars” in 2007 and 2008. ”

        Other than Hamilton, it is rare for drivers to start their careers in a frontrunning team. That is part of the reasoning that the best drivers end up in the top teams. Look at Alonso for instance- started with Minardi, and worked his way up to Renault. Same with Vettel working his way up to Red Bull.

        Look at his performances back then- his performances pretty much dragged STR forwards, scoring 35 of their 39 points.

        “One can also look at your “best drivers always end up in the best cars” claim about Vettel in terms of his junior record. Which was good, rather than great. He spent two years in the F3 Euroseries, finished 5th in his first year and in his second year was signed by the dominant ASM team. Yet was beaten to the F3 ES title by teammate Di Resta.

        In short, he wouldn’t have been the first choice junior pick for any top team based upon his junior record. Moreover, when he signed for the Red Bull programme as a junior, they weren’t the top racing outfit they are now. But crucially they had Mateschitz’s billions and a heck of a lot of ambition.”

        Dr. Mario Thiessen actually blamed Vettel’s 2006 loss on the fact that Vettel was racing across three different series (F1 test driver, F3 Euro, WSR- in the latter, he won on his first weekend).

        http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/55728

        At the age of 19, he was third driver at BMW Sauber. And of course, he was on course to win the WSR 2007 title, when he made his F1 race debut at 19 (ending up 5th in that championship, having done only 7/17 races). From there, you’d have to be rather ignorant to say he is only “little more than a good-to-very-good driver in a great team”.

        In addition, the fact that RBR had the resources they had, an a great designer, showed that they were likely to become a top team. It’s not like they planned to put a young talent like Vettel, (who was already a racewinner) in the Red Bull to be struggling for points. If that turned out to be the case, he would indeed have been snapped up by another top team.

    3. krischar says:

      @ BK201

      superb post mate

      you make lot of sense

      1. bk201 says:

        Thank you. I’m just glad that a few people have at least read my lengthy thoughts!

      2. JL says:

        again a post on Vettel being lucky to be in a great car… and of course, the great team, with the best engineer, that design the fastest car since 2009 (if not before) is not interested or not able to the get any of the fastest drivers (ALO, HAM), they are only able to get Vettel to drive that fast car… come on

    4. SteveS says:

      “..he had a number of high profile crashes in 2010 …. Net point loss – 40 to 50?”

      You conveniently omit the fact that Alonso, Hamilton, and Webber all had “high profile crashes” in 2010 as well, costing each of them 40-50 points.

      Hamilton’s back to back crashes in Monza and Singapore (which were his own fault) cost him the 2010 WDC.

      Alonso would have won the 2010 WDC if not for any of a series of errors. He crashed in qualifying at Monaco and as a result had to start from the pit lane, finishing sixth. He crashed out at Spa all on his own, no contact with another car. He jumped the light in China and had to fight his way through the field to sixth as a result.

      Webber had the 2010 WDC in his grasp in Korea before he crashed out from second place in an unforced error.

      Vettel was no more error-prone in 2010 than any of the older and more established drivers whom he defeated.

      1. bk201 says:

        “You conveniently omit the fact that Alonso, Hamilton, and Webber all had “high profile crashes” in 2010 as well, costing each of them 40-50 points.”

        Well, “40-50 points” simply isn’t true.

        Alonso’s race in Spa was already ruined by a gamble over tyres in the wet. The crash cost him no points in the end. The loss of points in Monaco was between 4-7 based on Massa’s performance and up to 13 in China. And the other 30 points…!?

        Hamilton was in fourth at Monza and sixth in Singapore before the collisions for which he received no penalties. So that’s clearly not “40-50″ points.

        Webber was running second in Korea but those 18 lost points can be offset against the 7-10 points Vettel cost him in Turkey. Again, where are those 40-50 points you speak of?

        It’s also worth remembering that Vettel also received a penalty for crashing into Button in Spa and the race before, Hungary, he received another for an error behind the safety car.

        He was also widely held responsible for the Turkey crash with Webber but in what was a sign of things to come, received protection from within Red Bull and Webber was, farcically, made the scapegoat for Vettel’s mistake.

        In fact, the intra-team troubles at Red Bull can be traced back from Turkey 2010 due to Marko’s/Horner’s shameful scapegoating of Webber for Vettel’s error.

      2. Bartholomew says:

        Alonso had already seriously underachieved in Belgium by qualifying 10th, with Massa 4th. There’s also the points lost from his Q2 elimination in Turkey, jump start in China, and first lap incident in Australia.

        Webber crashed into Hamilton twice in Australia, crashed in Valencia, and obviously threw away a podium in Korea. Obviously then there’s the fact he was driving the same car as Vettel, suffered nowhere near the mechanical failures/bad luck as his teammsate, and still blew the title.

        Also, the penalty Vettel received in Hungary was linked to the fact he was told by his team to back the field up under the safety car, in order to allow Webber to make a stop and lose minimal time, to beat Alonso.

    5. Bartholomew says:

      “And in Britain he crashed into Hamilton on the first lap and had to pit, leaving him last.”

      It was Hamilton that hit Vettel actually. LH’s front wing made contact with Vettel’s rear tyre. Hamilton had his own incidents in Italy and Singapore, Webber in Valencia, Korea and Australia, Alonso in Australia, Belgium and China.

      “If not for car problems and his own errors, Vettel would have had the 2010 WDC sewn up, long before Abu Dhabi. In other words, the Red Bull of 2010 was by some margin, the class of the field throughout.”

      Not throughout, since Mclaren and Ferrari were more often than not, on par, especially on racepace. And you said it yourself, Vettel had a lot of car issues and bad luck- that counts against any advantage Red Bull may have had.

      “2012 – I’d make it a roughly half a season each that Red Bull and McLaren had the quickest car.”

      Not really. RBR were quickest only in Valencia, and the Asian rounds towards the end of the season. Mclaren had it for the first few rounds, the final few European rounds, and the last few rounds. Almost certainly they had a faster car than RBR for more races. Of course, Mclaren’s greater unreliability cos them a possible championship. There were numerous weekends where it was too close to call, or Williams, Ferrari, Mercedes and even Sauber probably had the fastest car.

      ” He has been able to have both mechanical errors and cause multiple collisions (he had more penalties in 2012 than FA, LH & KR COMBINED!) yet still win the WDC in both years. That is some margin of error he has been able to enjoy, whereas the lack of margin of error has cost LH&FA a WDC each.”

      How about Hamilton in 2008? How many penalties did he have and still win the title? More than SV, FA and KR combined?

      We should really be talking about how Alonso could lose a title in 2010 in which he inherited one win because of Massa moving over, and two down to Vettel’s car failures.

      “Because of that is why I find any suggestion (from certain kinds of F1 ‘fans’ and the more reactionary element of the media) of Vettel representing some kind of unseen-before-standard in F1 so laughably misinformed. As I’ve detailed above, Vettel has not been (overall) performing any better than Alonso or Hamilton in the last four years. What has been the difference is the car and team Vettel has had when compared to Alonso and Hamilton.”

      Hamilton had a poor 2011, having another season full of penalties, while Alonso has been behind in performance this year, with an ever-worse Massa in the other seat. The only constant in the last four years has been Vettel.

      1. bk201 says:

        Well, “Batholomew,” Vettel clearly turns right onto Hamilton’s front-wing. Anyway, I’d already mentioned some of the other driver’s errors but crucially, you claimed FA/LH/MW all “cost themselves 40-50 points.” Which I’m still waiting for you to detail.

        “And you said it yourself, Vettel had a lot of car issues…”

        Indeed. I’m always happy to factor in any driver’s loss of points to car problems and failures. As indeed you – partially – seem to accept about Hamilton’s McLaren in 2012. Although Hamilton lost a LOT more points in 2012, through no fault of his own, than Vettel did in 2010.

        “How about Hamilton in 2008? How many penalties did he have and still win the title?”

        It seems odd when the subject is Vettel, to respond “Yeah but what about Hamilton?” Yes he had a number of error/penalties in 2008 but I’ve never seen anyone have trouble admitting that. Compare that to the constant denials and point-blank refusals, by too many of his fanbase to acknowledge ANY of the multiple errors made by Vettel. Similarly, constant denials about the clear superiority of his car.

        “We should really be talking about how Alonso could lose a title in 2010…”

        Well, clearly he didn’t. Red Bull and Vettel nearly threw the WDC away in 2010. Ferrari/Alonso shouldn’t have been in with even a sniff of a WDC chance in Abu Dhabi 2010. That he did was due to Red Bull/Vettel trying their best to throw away their significant advantage.

        “The only constant in the last four years has been Vettel.”

        Hahaha and you conclude with that! You know what I was just saying about Vettel’s fanbase struggling to ever acknowledge any of his errors and the advantage his car has given him…!?

        Even from the detail described above, Vettel clearly hasn’t been “the only constant.” You’re simply point blank refusing to even acknowledge factual occurences. Do you realise how that makes you look?

        Anyway, the fact that in two of his three WDC years, the TPs voted Alonso driver of the year tells you Vettel was clearly not “the only constant.” As does more errors/penalties than FA,LH&KR, combined, in 2012.

      2. Bartholomew says:

        @bk201 -

        “Vettel clearly turns right onto Hamilton’s front-wing.”

        No, Vettel was making the corner. Hamilton clearly wasn’t alongside, and had no business being there.

        “Yes he had a number of error/penalties in 2008 but I’ve never seen anyone have trouble admitting that. Compare that to the constant denials and point-blank refusals, by too many of his fanbase to acknowledge ANY of the multiple errors made by Vettel.”

        Actually, I wouldn’t deny that Vettel made errors in 2010, especially the collisions he caused in Belgium and Turkey.

        “Similarly, constant denials about the clear superiority of his car.”

        Again, I doubt anyone would claim that Vettel has had the best car in the last four years. But the problem is when this advanatge is exaggerated in order to diminish his driving.

        “Ferrari/Alonso shouldn’t have been in with even a sniff of a WDC chance in Abu Dhabi 2010. That he did was due to Red Bull/Vettel trying their best to throw away their significant advantage.”

        Had Vettel’s car not broken down in Bahrain, Australia and Korea, he would have had an extra 63 points. Alonso would have had 16 less points. Alonso’s only major reliability issue was in Malaysia, in which he may have finished 7th-8th. Red Bull did throw away far more points than Ferrari did (largely through unreliability).

        Vettel made errors that cost him points from major positions (largely Turkey, Belgium). Alonso certainly lost points in this manner. The sestimated points lost in brackets. There was the jump start in China (6), Belgium qualifying 10th (with Massa starting and finishing 4th) before crashing (12), and Monaco crash that kept him out of qualifying (7), and corner cut against Kubica at Silverstone (15). These would have tallied to around 40 points, not far off what Vettel “threw away”.

        “Hahaha and you conclude with that! You know what I was just saying about Vettel’s fanbase struggling to ever acknowledge any of his errors and the advantage his car has given him…!?”

        Vettel has had the best car over the period 2010-13. However, not to the extent that is often suggested. We know that Raikkonen only returned last year, and that Hamilton underperformed in 2011. With regards to Alonso, SV has what appears to be an unassailable advantage (46 points)over him. Yet this is even with Hungary being SV’s worst race, where he dropped 3-10 points. Had Alonso not broken his front wing in Sepang, there is a strong chance he would have won that race. The points swing would have had him just 14 off the championship lead.

      3. Bartholomew says:

        “Anyway, the fact that in two of his three WDC years, the TPs voted Alonso driver of the year tells you Vettel was clearly not “the only constant.””

        Vettel hasn’t been out of the top 2 in the TP rankings since 2008. The only driver to do that, and as I have already explained, has been the most consistently good performer over that time period (considering that Alonso, the driver came close in 2010 and 2012 has been lacklustre in comparison this year).

      4. Jon Sandor says:

        Bartolomew,

        “Vettel hasn’t been out of the top 2 in the TP rankings since 2008. The only driver to do that…”

        Vettel has had the best car, overall, in that time. Unlike Alonso and Hamilton. Vettel should be performing better.

        “Alonso, the driver came close in 2010 and 2012 has been lacklustre in comparison this year).”

        Alonso has performed better in the first half of 2013 than Vettel did in the first half of 2012.

      5. Bartholomew says:

        @bk201/”Jon Sandor”

        “Vettel has had the best car, overall, in that time. Unlike Alonso and Hamilton. Vettel should be performing better.”

        The TPs aim to remove the car variable. The fact that Vettel has the best rating over the last 4 years is to his credit, is it not?

        “Alonso has performed better in the first half of 2013 than Vettel did in the first half of 2012.”

        That is debatable. Alonso would have been much closer if not for his DNF in Malaysia. Vettel’s only DNF in the first half of last year was a car failure that promoted Alonso into P1.

      6. Jon Sandor says:

        “The fact that Vettel has the best rating over the last 4 years is to his credit, is it not?”

        F1 isn’t judged over clumps of years. It’s funny how some F1 fans selectively try to suggest that it is, just to support their own bias. The fact is that for two of his three WDCs, Vettel wasn’t rated as the best driver of that year. Which tells us how much the TPs think Red Bull is the reason for Vettel’s success.

        “That is debatable.”

        It’s really not. Vettel was beaten easily by Alonso in the inferior Ferrari for the first half of 2012, where the Ferrari is 2nd-3rd best overall this year, yet Alonso is second in the WDC.

      7. Bartholomew says:

        “The fact is that for two of his three WDCs, Vettel wasn’t rated as the best driver of that year. Which tells us how much the TPs think Red Bull is the reason for Vettel’s success.”

        And the fact is, that Vettel has also been voted as the best driver when he hasn’t won the WDC. This’ll just go around in circles. Since Vettel has been with Red Bull (i.e. a clump of years), he’s been considered the best or 2nd best driver in every year. That is still a good achievement.

        “It’s really not. Vettel was beaten easily by Alonso in the inferior Ferrari for the first half of 2012, where the Ferrari is 2nd-3rd best overall this year, yet Alonso is second in the WDC.”

        You mean, Alonso led Vettel by 29 points in a situation where numerous cars (right down to Williams) were capable of winning, and Vettel lost 32 points to Alonso after not putting a foot wrong in Valencia?

        And this year, Alonso could have been much closer (and the point margin wouldn’t have seemed to daunting for RBR/SV’s rivals) had he not broken his front wing in Malaysia.

    6. Jon Sandor says:

      Cracking post, BK201.

  73. Missy says:

    A pretty good race from my perspective, what surprises me most is the lack of reporting on the coup that Greenpeace pulled off. There’s been barely anything said about it anywhere by F1 reporting sites, I guess if it had been 2 bombs exploding instead of 2 banners raising and we had 3 dead world champions then maybe it would be news worthy. F1 got lucky this time but I doubt they will do anything to prevent security breaches in the future, it doesn’t seem like F1 learns much unless someone dies in the process. An example that comes to mind would be Brundle saying how he worries about a F1 car going under a crane tractor when it’s removing a car, yet the tractor’s stay the same, no side guards to prevent that sort of thing happening, sad really I can see the danger but apparently not F1. Hats off to you Greenpeace, not only did you get your message across expertly but you showed how flawed the F1 security is, unfortunately F1 has just tried to sweep it under the rug and not learn.

    1. Olivier says:

      +1

      Great work by Greenpeace. I wasn’t aware of arctic drilling until Sunday. Shell should do their homework first instead of fooling us with fifties style F1 movies. There’s much at stake here. And I am not talking about F1.

      It is time for circuits to get more sustainable. Perhaps they should get a part of the F1 revenues. Especially the classic circuits.

  74. Lq says:

    Mercedes should hire Alonso, he can do qualifying laps all day on Race day. Not just on Saturday.

  75. Racing Fan says:

    A lot of enthusiasm from Hamilton´s fans on that tyre degradation data at hungaroring, but it was predictable that it would be a fiasco at Spa. Too slow Mercedes at Hungary compared to last year race and tyre diferences. Mercedes needs a deep transformation in the techinal departament and Paddy Lowe is a hope. The car seems to have aerodinamical problems when is racing on high speed tracks. Too soon to declare that the tyre degration was over. You let your heart go too fast.

  76. Thompson says:

    Bit late on this but was having problems with the local internet…

    Anyhow I see this win by Vettel very much like Hamilton’s win before the break.

    Mercs weather people are rubbish and the car set up hurt them on race day still this bods well for Merc as they Kept pace, both of them

  77. Olivier says:

    Here’s the Greenpeace video on vimeo. You’ll notice that the booing was not meant for Vettel this time …

    https://vimeo.com/73215350#

    Their video on Youtube has been taken down already.

    1. Olivier says:

      Here’s a video from a fan’s perspective:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byL32yDacKI

      And another one. Just after:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dETdvnkJ7SQ

  78. Odjebi says:

    @Bearforce……How bout you share your amazing story of making it to the top in a sport that is probably the most difficult of all to get into, let alone survive for 12 odd seasons and succeed! From a little town outside Canberra, he makes his way to England. Battles through the various feeder series from 1995 to 2001. Lends money from Aussie rugby great David campese to help him continue racing. Somehow in 2002 makes it to F1………no sponsors, respected by all in the F1 world for his driving talent and as a person. Yet in australia, he is viewed as a guy who makes up the numbers……….not a legend of Aussie sport. That’s reserved for afl and rugby league players. Afl is the sport where u get a point even though u missed a goal that is 15meters wide and infinitely high…and test positive to illicit drugs 3….yes 3 times before you are publicly revealed and then banned!

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