Red Bull shows Ferrari how its done both on and off the track
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Posted By: James Allen  |  10 Sep 2013   |  6:55 pm GMT  |  84 comments

The Italian Grand Prix was an interesting race, if not a thrilling one and in some ways it was a perfect illustration of why Red Bull is currently on top of Ferrari, not just in the pace of the car, but in the way it goes racing.

It also put paid to the title hopes of Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen, who were both compromised in qualifying and also in the race. Both were very quick on race day on a forced variant strategy, but it wasn’t enough to recover the ground that had been lost.

Pre race expectations

Before the race, the strategists were briefing that the performance gap between the medium and hard tyre was likely to be negligible, with the medium a slightly faster race tyre. The prediction was for one stop for most of the field, which simulations showed was up to 10 seconds faster than two stops.


Ferrari trying to be too clever?

The major strategy talking point of the weekend happened on Saturday in qualifying, when Ferrari tried to use their second driver Felipe Massa to give lead driver Fernando Alonso a tow on the straights in his qualifying lap to save a couple of tenths of a second. It’s a notoriously hard thing to pull off and Ferrari did not manage it on this occasion.

The Ferrari was the fastest car other than the Red Bull this weekend and if Alonso had focussed on getting the perfect lap, there was an opportunity to qualify third and have a crack at pole sitter Sebastian Vettel off the start. Instead Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg qualified third, while Alonso ended up fifth behind team mate Felipe Massa.

Alonso managed to recover in the race and finished in second place, but the chance to finish ahead of Vettel and reduce the points gap by seven points, rather than see it increase, disappeared on qualifying day.

On race day they also played into Red Bulls hands, by pitting both Massa and Alonso later than their rivals with the result that Massa was undercut by Mark Webber, while Alonso fell further behind Vettel.

Ferrari had painful memories of last year’s race at Monza, where they ran out of tyre performance in the final stint, which would made them vulnerable and cost them places, to Sergio Perez pushing hard in the Sauber. So they ran a little longer this year on the opening stint.

In contrast Red Bull was very aggressive with its strategy; with an 11 second gap between Vettel in the lead and Webber fourth at the end of the opening stint, they went for a double pit stop on lap 23, servicing both cars in sub three seconds. Webber’s stop was actually a shade faster than Vettels!

This impressive work by the strategy and pit crews showed their confidence as a team and their desire to attack. By having Webber follow Vettel into the pits, where the mechanics were already in place, it concealed preparations for Webber’s stop and it wrong footed Ferrari, who were unable to bring in Massa – who was less than a second ahead of Webber at that point – until the following lap.

Webber’s out lap was very fast – faster than Vettel’s – and when Massa rejoined, Webber had jumped him. Having outqualified his team mate and got the better start – from fourth to second – Massa sadly ended up where he started. But the pit stop was only the final act. Massa missed the podium because his pace, once he had allowed Alonso past on lap eight, dropped off and this opened the door to Webber to close and jump him at the stops. He was between 2/10ths and half a second slower than Alonso each lap.

Alonso meanwhile had managed to pass Webber early on with a brilliant move on track and then was gifted second place by Massa. But he could not close the gap on Vettel, despite the German suffering from a flat spotted front tyre after a mistake at the start.

Once Vettel had stopped, the decision by Ferrari to leave Alonso out for another four laps sent a signal to Red Bull strategists and to Vettel that Ferrari didn’t think they could compete, so were going for the safest option for having a strong end to the race. From this point onwards, Vettel could measure the 10 second gap and comfortably respond to whatever Alonso tried. He didn’t have to push too hard and potentially run out of tyre performance at the end, which he might have done had Alonso been on his tail in the second half of the race.

Strategy wise, then, it was a busy race, even if most teams only made one stop, because the hard tyre didn’t warm up quickly and the tyres did not degrade. Wear was the only restriction.


Hamilton and Raikkonen pacy but lose ground

The races of Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen were compromised by a poor qualifying session. Hamilton made a mistake early in Q2 and then was blocked by Adrian Sutil, while Raikkonen couldn’t unlock the single lap performance from the Lotus on medium tyres.

Both drivers started on the hard tyre, aiming to repeat the strategy of Sergio Perez from last year which took him from 12th to sedond place.

Both were forces to make two stops in the race, in other words travelling the 25 seconds down the pit lane twice, which cost time and track positions. In Hamilton’s case it was due to a puncture.

Although the track didn’t suit the Mercedes as much as recent races, both it and the Lotus were arguably podium contenders, but whereas the race pace was very strong, the qualifying pace was poor and Raikkonen was 11th on the grid.

Qualifying in midfield, like this, has a knock-on effect as it increases the risk of a collision at the first corner and that is what happened to Raikkonen, who lost his front wing and had to pit on lap one.

When he rejoined he was 37 seconds behind Vettel and he was a similar amount behind the world champion at the end, which means his race pace was identical.

However in mitigation, Raikkonen did do the whole race on the slightly faster medium tyre, one set of which was new. And he pushed the whole race, because he had to, whereas Vettel was pacing himself once Alonso made that late stop.

Lotus once again had the best tyre life, with Raikkonen doing the longest stint on mediums at 29 laps and Grosjean managing to do 33 on a set of hard tyres.

Hamilton was very fast after his puncture on lap 13. He fell to six seconds behind Raikkonen, but came through strongly in the final stint and beat him by five seconds. Even starting outside the top 10, with the pace he had on Sunday he could have finished fourth or fifth without the puncture.


Hulkenberg stands out

Last year Sergio Perez got a second place result in the Sauber which springboarded him into a McLaren seat a few weeks later.

This year Nico Hulkenberg, on the list of candidates at Ferrari and Lotus, sprang a surprise with third place in qualifying and fifth in the race.

The young German is something of a Monza specialist, as in 2010 with Williams he outqualified and outraced his team mate Rubens Barrichello (who himself had won three times at Monza). He had plenty of experience of qualifying strongly and defending a position there, which he put to good use this year in holding off Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg.

This result was also helped by the introduction of the new specification Pirelli tyres. On the original 2013 specification used up to Silverstone, Hulkenberg averaged 12th place on the grid. With the new ones introduced in Hungary he has averaged eighth place, an improvement of 34%.

It is clear that Sauber has gained significantly from the change back to the 2012 tyre constructions.


The UBS Race Strategy Report is written by James Allen with input and data from several F1 team strategists, from JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan and from Pirelli.

TYRE STRATEGIES – ITALIAN GRAND PRIX

Vettel MU HN (23) 1
Alonso MU HN (27) 1
Webber MU HN (23) 1
Massa MU HN (24) 1
Hulkenberg MU HN (24) 1
Rosberg MU HN (26) 1
Ricciardo MU HN( 22) 1
Grosjean MN HN (20) 1
Hamilton HN MN (13) MU (38) 2
Button MU HN( 21) 1
Raikkonen HN MN (1) MU (30) 2
Perez MU HN (22) 1
Gutierrez HN MN (27) 1
Maldonado MN HN (24) 1
Bottas MN HN (25) 1
Sutil MU HN (24) 1
Pic MN HN (17) HN (38) 2
V der Garde MN HN (18) HN (39)
Bianchi MN HN (22)
Chilton MN HN (23)

Code:
M = Medium compound
H = Hard compound
N = New compound
U = Used compound

RACE HISTORY CHART

Courtesy Williams F1 Team
The zero line is simply the race winner’s average lap time (total race time divided by the number of race laps). This is why his curve can go above the line if he’s lapping faster than his average, and below the line if he’s slower than his average or doing a pitstop.
The vertical axis is the gap behind the leader, the horizontal axis is the number of laps.

Note Massa’s pace drop off after he lets Alonso past on lap eight.

Note also Hamilton’s pace relative to Raikkonen’s after the Mercedes’ pit stop for a puncture on lap 13.

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84 Comments
  1. Lawrence says:

    I noticed Massa didn’t quite hit the spot when stopping in the Ferrari pit. Maybe that cost him time too.

  2. madmax says:

    Hamilton finished 22.6 sec behind Rosberg who was in 6th. Take away 23 sec for extra pitstop as said in preview of track and that’s 0.4 seconds slower despite being able to push the tyres.

    How then on the one stop would he have been able to finish ahead of not only Rosberg but Hulk and Massa?

    1. Seb says:

      Hamilton would have lost a good amount of time overtaking something he wouldn’t have had to do as much on his original strategy. This would have put him above at least Rosberg.

      1. Tealeaf says:

        Yeah but that’s negated by him having fresher tyres for majority of the race…

    2. Chris says:

      23-22.6=0.4 faster surely? Also, ROS messed up and out braked himself while closing in on HULK, this was after the team radioed ROS to let him know how HAM got passed HULK.

      I think Massa was out of reach, but ROS and HULK would have been on if not for the extra stop imo.

    3. Jim says:

      Using your figures, if Hamilton had been 23s faster he would have finished 0.4s *ahead* of Rosberg, not behind. In the article JA says that it took 25s for a pit stop, not 23s, giving him another 2s. Massa finished 1.6s ahead of Rosberg, so Hamilton could theoretically have beaten him.

      And presumably the puncture slowed Hamilton down a bit, so his “true” speed would have had him finish further ahead.

    4. Laplce Bessel says:

      22.6 – 23 = -0.4 sec. So that’s already 0.4s FASTER than Rosberg. Hulk was less than a second infront of Rosberg so that’s probably 5th, with DRS assistance of course.

    5. JackL says:

      Hamilton was fifth behind Massa before he made his second and final stop. His pace was quicker than Rosberg throughout the race too. If he didnt need to make that second stop, he wouldve finished ahead.

    6. Quade says:

      madmax
      This is funny! Lol!
      There’s a graph up there that shows Lewis was faster than Rosberg.
      Why argue with the obvious?

      1. Quade says:

        The graph even shows where Lewis, on older tyres, overtook Rosberg who had just put on fresh boots.

      2. Jim Dee says:

        Not arguing that Hamilton had the better drive but the pass was a team order. Rosberg needed to wear them boots for the rest of the race.

      3. madmax says:

        He had 2 stops so was going to be faster but by just a second or two minus the stop shows clearly he was not a certainty to be 4th or 5th.

        This is not F1 10 years ago were everyone just goes as fast they can the whole race. Rosberg was told to nurse the tyres when Hamilton passed as sure everyone else on one stop was doing including Kimi because he was in on lap2.

        Is it not obvious someone on shorter stints can push the tyres more and you can’t just compare minus the pitstop?

  3. Quade says:

    Hmmm! Mystic Meg see’s more dagger gifts to come at Ferrari.

  4. Sarvar says:

    James,

    Everytime when we look at Race History Chart we can see two colors keep on falling off a cliff so it obviously arises a question: does F1 really need 10 teams or does it really need a strict budget control?

    Nothing against those teams, to be honest.

    1. James Allen says:

      Let’s see if the cliff is as steep next year. Let’s hope not

      1. Simmo says:

        It seems that we say that each year but it never changes. HRT eventually liquidated, and while Caterham and Marussia are not as unstable as HRT was, they will surely not survive much longer like this.

      2. vuelvekowalsky says:

        james agree 100% with you the the ferrari of alonso should have been in 3rd position on the grid. I was telling some spanish journalists on tweeter that ferrari was a car capable of winning the italian gp in my humble opinion, they thought that alonso did the maximun any driver could have done. With a better qualy a better strategy and vettel’s gearbox problems. Don’t you think ayrton senna would have been able to take the fight to vettel when he was at his most magic?

      3. Nick4 says:

        I agree. I was very disappointed that Ferrari/Alonso didn’t push harder when they knew Vettel had issues. That’s where Senna and Mansell were so good – if there was a chance of winning they would go for it.

      4. James Allen says:

        He did push harder, look at the graph. But the gap establised at the stops was manageable

  5. Michael S says:

    I too thought Alonso would have been best served to simply come out and qualy his best lap. That whole “get a tow” thing is so hard to pull off and often times takes away from concentrating on the lap itself. You could hear it in Alonso’s voice before the lap started that he was stressed about where Massa was. If he had done his own lap and taken 3rd in qualy the fight for a win was there, but starting 5th?! not so much.

  6. KARTRACE says:

    Well there you go, I rest my case. I was telling the same story on the other tread only to receive explanations from the fellow readers how this Ferrari strategy at Monza was intelligent. Anything but intelligent.

    1. Doobs says:

      If it had worked it would have been very intelligent. Ferrari were never going to keep up with Vettel and can’t be blamed for thinking out of the box. They had a better quali than Kimi and Ham

      1. KARTRACE says:

        If perpetual motion is possible it would be also thinking out of the box, wouldn’t it ?, so when you hear that it works and it is possible please let me know. I sad so many times premier teams like Ferrari may not afford to get involved for so long in a monkey business. In is not one race with the failed strategy and the car that is impotent we are talking years. They failed everyone. They failed Tifosi, they failed their drivers, they failed everyone in the process of producing the car. They failed us, their fans to.

  7. Rob Newman says:

    Just hearing that Massa will not be driving for Ferrari next year. Very sad. But all the best for him.

  8. Rang says:

    James, just out of curiosity, where do you get those graphs from ? pretty , interesting :-)

    1. James Allen says:

      Williams. It says it above the graph!

  9. goferet says:

    For sure it’s becoming a cliche for Red Bull to do a good job but judging from Newey’s tears at the end it appears it was so close to slipping through their hands.

    The only times I have seen Newey emotional on the pitwall are times when Vettel came close to throwing it away e.g. Spa 2011, Brazil 2012 and Malaysia 2013.

    As for Ferrari, since Abu-Dhabi 2010, they have been in need of new strategists for according to Gary Anderson, Ferrari missed a trick in pitting Massa too early.

    Apparently what Ferrari should have done is leave Massa out who in turn would have held up Vettel whilst Alonso makes a quick stop.

    Mercedes did well for having got both cars in the points unfortunately for Lewis, he seems to have lots of bogey tracks compared to other top drivers, I mean, have you ever heard of Vettel getting a puncture during a race or Alonso having a gearbox penalty?

    Thanks to Perez’s heroics last season, the Sauber team had got experience in the strategy game up front and so this didn’t lose Hulkenburg places in the pits.

    Regards Kimi, maybe the team needed to leave him out there for a couple more laps during this first stint because slightly older tyres at the end made him perfect prey for Lewis.

    Now, am not sure if my maths is slightly off but I believe Perez’s slightly slower pitstop is what lost him a place to Jenson.

    1. KRB says:

      They said Lewis’ puncture was pinhole size. How does that happen???

      1. goferet says:

        @ KRB

        I know, pretty strange

        But seeing as Lewis went through Kimi’s damaged parts at the start perhaps he picked up something.

    2. SteveS says:

      “I mean, have you ever heard of Vettel getting a puncture during a race or Alonso having a gearbox penalty?”

      Sure. Vettel had a puncture in Malaysia last year. Alonso botched his qualifying once in 2010 even worse than Lewis did here in Monza and had to start from the pit lane. Lewis is normally very consistent, at least in qualifying. I’ll agree strange things seem to happen to him on Sundays a little too often though.

      1. Spoo says:

        @SteveS
        Are you for real?
        “I mean, have you ever heard of Vettel getting a puncture during a race or Alonso having a gearbox penalty?” – I actually needed a whole minute to recover!

        Alternator failures, Gear box failures, Grojean’s, DRS failures, Anti roll bar failures … … They are all part and parcel of the game. When it happens to Vettel, it is unfortunately labelled as greedy packaging and narrow tolerances but same thing for Hamilton makes him an unlucky bloke. (Irrelevant but I am a Kimi and Button fan)

        @James – Wouldn’t it be great to collect the failure statistics for teams and drivers and rate them on a scale according to their severity of the failure. For e.g.

        10 -Brakes/Hydraulics/Car failure
        8 -Slow puncture resulting in an extra pit stop
        4/5 – Drs-Kers failure
        1 – Botched up pitstop delayed by a couple of seconds.

        This would actually provide a better reference and discourage fans and haters alike from vague assertions. Half of the comments ;)

        P.s. – Thank you for the wonderful site

  10. dren says:

    Update, Massa just posted he is not returning to Ferrari for 2014.

    As for the race, Mercedes was second quickest, but botched qualifying and the race. Hulk drove a great race to keep Rosberg at bay.

    1. KRB says:

      I don’t for a second believe that Mercedes were second fastest. It’s a pattern this year that at the low-downforce tracks (CAN, BEL, ITA), the race pace order has been Red Bull, Ferrari, then Mercedes.

      1. dren says:

        I do. Check this link out:

        http://intelligentf1.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/italian-grand-prix-race-notes/

        He does analysis of race weekends. He also basically says Mercedes screwed themselves as they were the second quickest team. He also says the radio message to Rosberg that he would be in podium contention at the end was legit. He just couldn’t pass Hulk.

      2. Frique says:

        And this is where I question how good NR really is. He just does hot strike me as a top driver however good he is. Never seems to take things by the scruff of the neck; just waiting to make it happen. Maybe a bit too clever. A la JB

  11. charles says:

    Two points to make here..

    1. Everybody (both the BBC live commentary, and the media in general) seemed to gloss over the fact that Alonso’s pass on Webber wasn’t at all clean, in that he damaged Mark’s front wing. There wasn’t evidence of this hurting Webber’s pace, and it didn’t go to the stewards, but i wonder how different the reaction and analysis would have been had it been Grojean, Maldonada, or Perez?

    2. Watching Lewis at the post-race interview was frustrating. The way he sometimes thinks about situations can be his downfall, and surely he needs to do something to get into the right headspace and stay there. His reaction was clearly overblown and unhelpful. He could benefit from some ‘mindfulness’ training… anybody heard of it? I wonder if he’s heard of it, it might make all the difference.

    1. madmax says:

      Might not be helpful but it’s refreshing that at least one person(Hamilton) in F1 actually says what he’s feeling at the time instead of some boring PR rubbish.

      1. bearforce1 says:

        I agree with both of you. I love it that Lewis tells it like he thinks it is ( I often think he is a little lost). Lewis open responses are interesting to listen to but I agree that it appears that Lewis emotions affect him and also that his attitude could be better.

        I will never forget Lewis commenting something to the effect that Jenson Button has everything, family support a girlfriend as opposed to his own situation. I thought at the time he really just doesn’t see how very fortunate and well supported he is.

        I hope one day Lewis gets it together cause he is a better driver and more fun to watch when he is at his best. I also hope he keeps telling it like he thinks it is.

      2. Chris says:

        Agree with you madmax, it’s not always great to watch Lewis down in the dumps but I kind of like the fact that he can’t hide how he feels, makes him more human in my eyes.

    2. KRB says:

      Can’t wait ’til we’re rid of these super-wide front wings!! Hate them, have always hated them.

    3. John S says:

      This is what really annoys me about Lewis. I respect him highly as a driver but he is so way behind Alonso and Vettel in maturity and mental fortitude. It frustrates me because this is what holds him back sometimes.

      One day he says

      “Oh my god I can win the next ten races!”

      Then he says

      “The championship is over”

      People like to say “Put any driver in that Red Bull and they’ll win the championship, especially Alonso or Hamilton”

      Well as a Vettel fan, let’s see if Hamilton could have a wave of success like Sebastian’s, and not only withstand but laugh off incessant boos from immature fans. He would crumble. Don’t believe me? Read his column he wants everyone to accept him.

      1. Frique says:

        I think you might want to look at Lewis response to being booed after wining in Monza last year.

      2. John S says:

        Being booed in Monza for being Fernando’s former teammate and winning in a car other than a Ferrari, is different than being hated on for your overall success.

        Sebastian is completely comfortable with his situation he doesn’t care what others think. He was just fine in Malaysia with what he did, whereas Lewis was all sad on the podium “Oh I don’t feel I deserve this.”

        This makes Lewis a great human being no doubt, but it isn’t always going to bring the points home.

    4. SteveS says:

      There does seem to be a tendency for certain drivers overtakes to get gushed over more than they really warrant. It seems like all Alonso or Hamilton overtakes are always “fabulous” just because of the names of the drivers involved. If that had been Vettel clipping Webbers wing in the exact same move, we’d be hearing “See, he can’t overtake without crashing into people!”

      I think you’re wrong about the interview though. Hamilton was naturally frustrated and disappointed at, essentially, seeing the WDC slip away from him. I’d be worried if he was NOT a bit upset.

  12. Hansb says:

    Ohhh boy…. Massa just revealed he is out…..

  13. Elie says:

    What really stands out here is:-
    1. Hulkenbergs speed and consistency on the 2nd set
    2. Raikkonens incredible speed over 29 laps through traffic
    3. Hamiltons speed after each stop.*

    *its worth noting that Lewis could max.Perform.evenly over the 2 stops as he managed to make lap 13 following the slow deflation. Whereas Raikkonen had to make a long first stop work from well behind everybody.

    Which clearly confirms my DOTD selections. 2/3 for racecraft and speed. 1 for speed and consistency from a midfield team at the Front !

  14. shri says:

    Massa is now out.
    Hopefully Hulkenberg gets a drive at Ferrari or Lotus and show his abilities.

  15. Anop says:

    Don’t agree that Alonso stayed out for 4 more laps than Vettel cause Ferrari thought they could not compete. Andrea Stella said after the race that Ferrari knew they had to try something different than Red Bull and if Fernando had fresher tyres then he could challenge Vettel in the closing stages.

    Decision made in race time look illogical after the race but during the race they are perfect. No one could have predicted Fernando’s pace on medium would be slower than Vettel’s and that Vettel will have gearbox issue.

    During Abu Dhabi 2010 race, I jumped from my seat when Mark pitted and yelled Ferrari should pit Fernando. They did. No one knew that Petrov and Rosberg won’t pit again and it would be very tough to pass. They call it the worst call ever on a pit wall. It cost Fernando the championship. I felt sad but still remember that I thought the same thing during the race. Sometimes strategy work sometime they don’t.

    1. KRB says:

      Seemed clear to me at the time that they were giving up on the win, and instead consolidating 2nd place ahead of Webber.

    2. KARTRACE says:

      How many laps it takes to realize how much slower your driver is ? Same applies to keeping him out with the broken front wing. Ferrari is lately believing in impossible as if they are some low budget team. To many times those “different things” didn’t go their way. Please tell us when those “different moves” were ever beneficial to SF. Instead of playing a monkey role they should look into data and develop that car so that their drivers got something to qualify and race with.

      1. Anop says:

        Yes I agree Ferrari should improve the car but they can’t do that during the race, can they?

        I can give you numerous instances when Ferrari strategy has worked – Monza 2010, Singapore 2010 – Fernando nailed qualifying in 1st run in Q3, Korea 2010, Britain 2011, Sepang 2012, Valencia 2012, Germany 2012 and Spain 2013 – 4 stops and won the race.

      2. KARTRACE says:

        Monkey business is not for historic and established teams. When they win they are rewarded, isn’t that enough ? Look at the dates and numbers that you are calling success. In 3 championship seasons their strategy worked only on eight occasions !? are you telling us that is OK ?, out of 50+ GP !!??, Hellooo !! I am sorry that’s not good enough, and that is exactly where they are, nowhere.

      3. Doobs says:

        Kartrace, how many time HASN’T it worked? Maybe you should put up some examples too and give your argument some credibility otherwise you just sound like a whiny brat.
        So far you’ve mentioned two examples of “wrong” strategy calls out of these 50+ races. You’ve just said Ferrari get it right 8 out of 10 times… Over to you champ.

      4. KARTRACE says:

        I can’t remember any worth to be mentioned, if you got some evidence I would be more then prepared to learn something new. All I know they produced car in 2011 that was beyond drivable. With car like that no strategy could help. I do not remember “attacking” @ Doobs, I was merely taking about SF and how pathetic bunch of impotent mangers they lately have. If you do not like the way I see then tough luck my friend. And buy the way no need to shout here…..

    3. SteveS says:

      There must be a gigantic difference between Vettel and Webber, if Alonso could pass Webber with ease early in the race but Ferrari didn’t even consider it worth their while to attempt to chase down Vettel.

  16. JB says:

    In free air, Raikkonen pace = Vettel’s pace. If not better.

    1. RogerD says:

      My road car is just as fast as Vettel’s Red Bull in free air if Seb’s just out for a cruise :)

    2. MikeyB says:

      That’s not saying much – Vettel was on reduced pace throughout the race, as he had no need to do more than manage the gap to Alonso.

      1. Benalf says:

        I agree. It was easy to see that no matter Alonso tried, Vettel was able to increase the gap, or keep it the same. He was full throttle -as it is needed in Monza- but it seems he always had the extra speed waiting to be unleash while Alonso was pushing the car 100%…and unable to challenge Vettel. I personally don’t think Alonso could’ve challenge the RB even starting in P3. The race pace of Vettel in the last third of the race was simply faster.

  17. JB says:

    Looks like Sutil’s Quali sabotage really damaged Hamilton’s day. LOL.

    Perhaps it is time to apologise now, Mr. Hamilton?

  18. luqa says:

    What I found really impressive was how the Red Bull pit crew managed two pitstops on the same lap without screwing up. That was superb! Kudos!
    That performance definitely screwed up Ferrari’s strategists and significantly contributed to the ease with which RB dominated the rest of the race.

    1. Doobs says:

      Maybe Webber was faster than Massa and would have caught him anyway. Ferrari tried to stay out longer to have better tyres at the end of the race, so I doubt they were really worried about MWs stop

  19. Grant H says:

    James lewis got knocked out in q2 not q3

  20. AlexD says:

    Like I said before, Massa is the wrong man to leave Ferrari. Reality is, Ferrari lost it completely, they might have two best drivers on the gridnext year and still fail miserably. Ferrari lost in and they do not have thetechnical team or strategists on par with the Red Bull. They should have replaced Stefano with Ross Brawn…this woul make a difference, but LDM is too proud to admit it.

    1. Elie says:

      They’ve got James Allison and Rory Byrne has been contracted on he new car project since last year. Those names are not to be sneezed at

      1. AlexD says:

        Yes, but they do not even have tools to work with (wind tunnel is again not up to the task and they struggle to do it).

        I really have a strong feeling that it will be Red Bull and Newey all over again next year. If not from the very beginning because of the Renault engine, they will catch up and just do a better job then the rest.

      2. Frique says:

        I agree with you mate. They just seem to get everything right. Car, strategy, personnel and of course drivers.

    2. KARTRACE says:

      Its time to replace LDM, his leadership sucks.

    3. Benalf says:

      I agree 100%: even though Massa has been under par since the Hunagry incident, the problem with Ferrai seems to be the people designing the car and technical decision before and during the race. That’s not gonna change in the next two years, even with two of the best drivers lined up. They need better race engineers, strategy, still it doesn’t convince me that by putting Byrne, Allison, Fry together is gonna work for them. I rather prefer one vision and a a real fox taking the race decisions. RBR put it together in a few years following Newey’s ideas and maturing them quite fast. They had the pacience Macca didn’t have for him and they built the best team in F1 nowadays without the huge investment Macca has put into his R&D facility: quite impressive.
      When you hear year after year that Ferrari blames their wind tunnel, and then when using a third-party wind tunnel facility still don’t get it right you know is more thatn the wind tunnel. Without aero you can not challenge for the WC, no matter how bitter Di Montezemolo is about it, it’s Ferrari’s jobs to raise the game and get on par of RBR Newey’s designs. Otherwise, it’s not gonna work.

  21. Westy says:

    Hi James

    As you say, Red Bull shows how it’s done, but is the company really achieving the brand appreciation it wants from all this success? When they are viewed as the Top Dog, and their lead driver is booed on the rostrum when accepting the silverware, and the general reception to Vettel winning is boredom, is that what they are spending their millions for?

    Surely they would be better served by having a succession of younger “hipper” drivers in their cars to promote the Red Bull brand, rather than being viewed as a win-at-all-costs Germanic team ruled by the likes of Helmut Marko?

    For the last couple of years I feel the team has been alienating itself from F1 fans through it’s unquestionable support for Vettel, and as his popularity plummets, surely their investment is not getting the returns it could be. By employing an obvious Number 2 driver, I can’t see this situation improving, unless they set free the Number 1 driver and get some charisma into the team.

    James, I would be very interested to hear your views on this.

    1. James Allen says:

      I think bigger picture their brand recognition is off the charts.

      Only F1 aficionados are concerned with favouritism

      1. SteveS says:

        Judging by the lack of booing for Alonso, who was heavily favored over Massa by Ferrari in both qualifying and the race, I don’t think those “F1 aficionados” are actually all that concerned with favoritism.

  22. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    James, how many fast laps did HAMILTON?

    Statistically, I guess that is something exceptional, isn’t it?

    ps: second boring race, but another non-dramatic-tyre race as well.

    1. Torchwood Five says:

      I recorded three. There may have been a lot more.

  23. Mao Xiaogang says:

    Great comments on Ferrari’s trouble.

  24. Ryan says:

    Massa wasn’t passed by Alonso because he was “losing pace”, he was passed by Alonso because no one at Ferrari, especially Alonso; knows what sportsmanship is. Massa isn’t allowed to finish ahead of Alonso and take points out of him.

    1. KARTRACE says:

      Do you blame them ? Why then he let Mark pass him as well, was that also part of Ferrari stategy ?, I could give you doesn more examples of his poor performance and inconsistency, even much before Fernando came to Ferrari. Wasnt Kimi suppoting him in his quest to the title. Is Ferrari and Alonso to be blamed for that as well ? Lets get real and serious. Of course he has to support Alonso effort, he is some 100 points in deficit, isnt he ?

    2. Doobs says:

      Massa is just too slow over a season.

  25. Thomas says:

    Notable performance by Ricciardo too over the course of the weekend, you really get the sense he dragged the best possible result out of that car.

  26. Mr Squiggle says:

    Funny how Webber performs at podium level when he is given the ‘A’ strategy on tyres.

    I’d say a large part of Webber’s difficult results are driven by Red Bull’s splitting the tyre strategies, always giving the off strategy to the second driver.

    1. KARTRACE says:

      That strategy is possibly called “Super Helmut “

  27. Everything is very open with a very clear clarification of the challenges.
    It was truly informative. Your website is very helpful.
    Many thanks for sharing!

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