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Vettel has no big weaknesses says Red Bull design chief Newey
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Vettel and Newey
Posted By: James Allen  |  28 Oct 2013   |  1:56 pm GMT  |  199 comments

Red Bull’s newly crowned four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has no big weaknesses and is developing into the perfect driver, according to Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey.

The 26-year-old became the youngest driver to win four world championship titles when he triumphed in Sunday’s Indian Grand Prix – his eighth win in 10 races and 10th of the season.

Vettel, who joined Red Bull in 2009 after being promoted from the team’s junior outfit Toro Rosso, and has since gone on to win the title in four of the next five years to join the likes of Juan Manuel Fangio, Michael Schumacher and Alain Prost in an exclusive club.

Newey said: “He’s not going to get worse, that’s for sure. He’s going to continue to develop, though it’s difficult to see how he can develop from this season.”

Vettel’s first two seasons with Red Bull were exciting as he showed flashes of brilliance along with errors in judgement – namely when he collided with team-mate Mark Webber in the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix when they battled for the lead.

However, he finished second in the standings in his first season with Red Bull before snatching his debut title at the final race of the season in 2010. The following season was dominant – he won six of the first nine and finished second in the other three – as he cut out the mistakes and hammered home his advantage.

The German had to work harder in 2012, but four straight wins from Singapore in September proved crucial and this season he crucially clocked up consistent points when the car wasn’t performing well early in the year and then took advantage when it was – winning six races in a row to wrap up the title with three races to spare.

“His driving has gone from very talented but slightly raw at times in, let’s say, 2009, to incredibly well rounded now, added Newey. “In 2009 and 2010 you could occasionally criticise him for making slightly ill-judged moves and hence having accidents.

“You could criticise him, possibly, for not being able to overtake. I think some people, possibly, felt that, if he didn’t start from pole and control the race from the front, then he was not so good. You really can’t make those criticisms any more. It’s difficult to see a chink in his armoury. He learns all the time.”

“Like other great drivers he can drive while considering and planning what he’s going to do next, and then get out of the car and continue to analyse and learn what happened so that next time he’s got that tiny bit more knowledge.

“I see it with him all the time. Every time he gets in the car he gets in with a bit more knowledge than he had last time.”

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199 Comments
  1. Sebee says:

    Place your 2014 bets boys and girls.

    I’m going with Vettel and RBR in 2014, but not in such a dominating fashion. I strongly believe the formula change will not impact their abilities. They have the resources and ability to deal with it just fine. More imprtantly, to out develop. When you already have some magic pixy dust in your package, it is a bit silly to think it won’t carry over.

    1. James Allen says:

      I say Hamilton.. maybe Rosberg if he takes it up a gear in consistency

      1. Jim says:

        What do you know that the rest of us don’t, James? Hamilton is awfully quick, but he seems to lack consistency and, at times, maturity.

        But a lot of it is down to the car. Do you see Red Bull’s dominance ending – and if so, why?

      2. James Allen says:

        He’s having a poor run at the moment, which isn’t good.

        I think his head is in 2014 and I’m guessing they will have the momentum in the team and the best powertrain.

        That’s all

      3. xyler says:

        I think the WC 2014 sits in a RB (Vettel) or Mercedes. And if it’s a Mercedes I’m not sure that it’s Hamilton.
        Hamilton seems to be a bit faster but I think Rosberg is more analytical/considered. So finally it possibly will be decided bei DNFs.

        And I fear that 2014 will be dominated by following questions:
        sprit, engine (durability) and maybe also tires.
        2014 durability is probably more important than power.

      4. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        Could it be the Brawn/Lowe/Toto/Lauda uncertainty that’s affecting Lewis?

      5. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        If the past few years are anything to go by, they’ll need a big head start to compete with Seb/Newey in the second half of the season.

        It’ll be really interesting to see if it’s engine, or tyres that is the greatest factor next year, I think it’ll still be getting the tyres to work.

      6. Sebee says:

        This strategy of strength in 2nd part of the season by RBR has been interesting last two seasons specifically. It’s clearly a calculated approach.

      7. Fada says:

        I do hope you are right James, I really do. Its been many years too long. As a fan, I really want Lewis to win it. I feel him and Fernando are the only ones that have constantly shown desire to topple the Red bull domination. They keep saying ” Give us a car that is nearly equal to Sebastian’s and we will beat him”. I recall Lewis trying to get the Red bull seat many times, but to no avail.

        It just shows how badly these two want it. I hope 2014 is a much competitive year. For me, it will be between Ferrari and Mercedes next year. Everybody else will play catch up.

        I suspect a few bad performances from Red bull will give more momentum to the Vettel critics. I hope he does have a good season next year and I expect him to

      8. Sebee says:

        Who wouldn’t want to walk in Vettel’s shoes? I don’t want to pressure you Fada, just one name will be fine. :-)

      9. Sebee says:

        Mark it down everyone. October 28th. The day the new Arkade Fire album went on sale, and also the day our James Allen places a stake in the sand! :-)

        Honestly, my feelings and I bet those of many here, would not be hurt if Mercedes got some ROI in 2014.

      10. CarlH says:

        I’d also say Hamilton, if he doesn’t suffer any personal problems which sadly seem to happen at least once a season.

        Feel sorry for the guy really, his talent deserves more than one championship. Same as Alonso’s deserves more than two.

        I hope one of them wins it next year.

      11. Truth or Lies says:

        Deserves got nothin’ to do with it !

      12. goober says:

        Hmm, I regard that “one championship” a tie with Massa :wink:

      13. Truth or Lies says:

        I am really surprised that you would make such a bold prediction James!

        Maybe when the dust settles you’ll give some more insight as to why Mercedes will be strong enough to usurp Vettel and Red Bull in 2014. I am guessing its the engine and energy recovery technology. Surely not the team organisation and drivers :)

      14. Martin says:

        James pretty much agreed with your guess later. Looking at the rules, I don’t see anywhere where there there should be massive differences in the engines, more trade-offs with packaging.

        Battery technology is a bigger variable, as the batteries will have to handle ten times the energy. Mercedes had an early edge in KERS in 2009. Nissan and Renault are both heavily into electric road cars.

        The aerodynamics are still there to be exploited and optimised. Ross Brawn has suggested that Mercedes has done a lot of work in this area over the last two years for 2014. The question mark is that the hit rate for that team is relatively poor.

      15. Rockie says:

        Hamilton hasnt got the consistency maybe Ros but for any of them to beat Vettel the Renault ERS has to be really poor.

      16. Kris says:

        Interesting you stick your neck out so willingly. Very brave and very good to know a person with the knowledge you have fancies somebody other than RBR to win it.

      17. Daniel MA says:

        Yep, Red Bull can’t win forever and next year it will depend also on Renault whether they are fighting for the championship or not.

      18. Fan says:

        I really want to like HAM, but he seems massively overrated. I know lots of people talk him up as being the fastest, but I don’t see it on track. He was gifted his only championship in 2008 when he was unable to get past VET (who was driving a TR at the time) when Glock lost it in wet conditions in the final laps. There was a lot of immature moments during his 2008 championship year such as Japan. Since 2008 he really hasn’t accomplished much… He’s been in good cars, only managing to finish 4th or 5th in the points. Some will say its bad luck, but a good driver makes his own luck to a ceratin extent. Sure he’ll grab 5 or 6 poles and 5-10 podium finishs in a year, but then he will have a weekend like this past one in India. A good driver no doubt, but very inconsistent and IMO not worthy of the heaps of praise that gets…

      19. Colombia Concalvez says:

        Seriously you need to get off with your nonsense. Hamilton from all the other front runners has no No1 status and he drives a car that is not build for his driving style. And nonsense you talking about his WDC was gifted ?, you know the FIA took away his victory in Spa and gave it to Massa right ?. And where was Alonso this weekend ?, your whole comment is nothing but bias.

      20. Alexander Supertramp says:

        I think you just have a short memory, Lewis was pretty outstanding in 2012. But it’s like people say:” In F1, you’re just as goos as your last race.” A lot of people judge Lewis’ performance in India, it amazes me that a P6 finish would justify those negative opinions. You mention 2008 and rightly so Japan, but I guess you understand that Lewis was still basically a rookie back then? An amazing rookie I might add. Look what Newey had to say about Vettel in ’09-’10.

        At the end of the day you’re facts are right, but I don’t agree that Lewis is overrated. But yes, at some point he will need to deliver those hard results, he will have to play a bigger part in the championship. 2014 is a very important year for him and I believe he will deliver- and James seems to believe the same thing.

      21. Yak says:

        He was “gifted” his 2008 championship as much as Raikkonen was gifted the 2007 championship. Hamilton basically had 2007 in the bag, with Raikkonen and Alonso both saying it was basically over unless something ridiculous happened. And then the ridiculous happened… twice.

        Last year he should have been in the running for the WDC, but the car kept falling apart and the team kept making mistakes. But his driving was pretty much flawless all year.

      22. Lohani says:

        Lewis is not overrated. There’s no question about his talent on the driving department. You don’t come to F1 on your first season and be more than a match for the well established double world champion Alonso (who got the crown beating the legendary Schumi) if you didn’t have what it takes. I do agree, however, that distractions away from the car won’t help Lewis. But, give the man time. He should (and must) come good eventually on all departments.

        The biggest advantage that was on Schumi’s side was his introverted personality, which unfortunately came across outwardly quite misleadingly as arrogant. This helped him stay dead focused as an F1 workaholic all those years. Add to that high intelligence, eagerness to learn everything on the technical side of things, dogged determination (too much sometimes), team relations,immense driving talent and and many long hours put in to hone all of the above to get that extra inch out of himself, the team and the car.

        Seb is Schumi 1+. He’s not as introverted, but the guy is still very private and an even more determined workaholic who is just 26. Their success is down to that unrelenting focus and that extra they put in in learning anything and everything they can.

        Lewis’ real challenge is to compete with Vettel on those fronts equally well. He is very intelligent, himself. We all know what he can do with the car. All the best to Lewis.

        Kudos to Vettel for his 4th WDC and to Red Bull for their 4th WCC. Not bad for a carpenter’s son. Before him, not bad for a brick layer’s son (Schumi). Fairy tale stuff. Brilliant.

      23. Sebee says:

        Yak,

        Ham indeed nearly had 2007 in the bag, but couldn’t close it. And 2008 ended so silly, I remember thinking at the time…”this guy is simply not a closer.”

        …then there was a slow Toyota. :-)

        Like James says…he needs consistency and he needs to Glengarry, Glen Ross this thing and A.B.C.!!

      24. AuraF1 says:

        Although I’ve changed my mind on Vettel, I would still like to see someone else win next year just for the sake of the sport. I see too many casual fans have drifted away this year – which is probably linked to the BBC part coverage fiasco and partly to the perceived ‘boredom’ of Seb’s dominance.

        However I just don’t think Hamilton is the man to do it. In terms of pure outright aggression and old-fashioned racing bravery he’s in a class of one, but Formula 1 isn’t about just that aspect any more. Lewis will win a lot of races I expect, and put in some stunning pole laps on Saturdays but I don’t think he has the consistency, mental attitude or ‘total’ driving intelligence that his top rivals have.

        I think if you threw them all in karts Lewis would waste the field but that isn’t what’s going to happen…

      25. Sebee says:

        …for the sake of the sport?
        Don’t you think that this Vettel domination makes the goal of dethroning him even a bigger prize? Eventually someone will, but it’s not up to Vettel to surrender the throne.

        I think everyone is excited about 2014. But is there really nothign left to do in 2013?
        Here is a few things on my wish list:
        - Webber win
        - Massa podium
        - Lotus 2nd WCC
        - RAIN! Is it me, or has it been mighty dry this year? Did I already forget a wet GP?

      26. furstyferret says:

        Yep lewis is just so inconsistent, these tyres dont help, what is the news for the tyres 2014, will they be more durable, so lewis can be a bit more aggressive? ! James what have uou heard regarding merc, people are saying the reason brawn wants to stay on is that he knows they have something special ( bit like he new the brawn was a rocket ship in 2009)

      27. AuraF1 says:

        For the sake of the sport sure! It doesn’t have to worry about losing viewers like me – I’ll be there geeking out over winter testing like the obsessive I am – but I’ve had more ‘casual’ fans mention they haven’t bothered watching this year as it’s just Vettel winning everything – clearly he didn’t start the year that way but I think the sport always suffers if one person or team is dominant (obviously I think UK viewers wouldn’t have vanished nearly as much if it was Lewis or JB dominating but I still think it holds for a lot of the less dedicated fans – and sadly the sport can’t rely on those hardcore fans forever – unless it wants to be a niche entertainment formula).

      28. SteveS says:

        Rosberg has been at least as consistent as Hamilton this season, and probably more so. He’s had far more car problems than Hamilton and but for them would be ahead of his teammate in the standings.

      29. Colombia Concalvez says:

        Nonsense, all Rosbergs DNF happened behind Hamilton.

      30. rockyf1-Berlin says:

        I am not Hamilton fan but can people stop this sheep mentality when it comes to his consistency:
        Let’s talk facts:
        2007: he demolished Alo. almost won championship
        2008: he was a camp
        2009: proved to the world that he can win in a bad car.
        2010: did well as did Button
        2011: was his worst year in F1
        2012: everyone agrees (even James Allen) that he could have won the championships if it wasn’t for his team mistakes
        2013: 1st year with a new team, in a car built for someone else and is actually doing better than Rosberg who has been with the team for so many years.

        Does this convince you? so stop with this myth that LH is not consistent. make up your own mind rather than just repeating what other say.

      31. Alexander Supertramp says:

        The current standing reflects the Mercedes battle very well, close with Lewis edging it. To say Nico has had far more reliability issues is plain wrong.

      32. KRB says:

        Please do the math. Rosberg’s inherited win in Britain gained him 10 pts, whereas Lewis lost 13 pts (truth be told, it could’ve been worse, he could’ve lost out on 25 pts with a DNF easily). That’s a swing of 23 pts. Throw in Lewis’ unlucky puncture in Japan where w/o any contact he slots into 2nd in the early laps, and can bring the car home 4th (12 pts). We’re up to 35 pts. Please let me know where Rosberg would’ve made that up in the races where he didn’t finish.

        Your claims are baseless.

      33. Dave C says:

        Rocky you’re actually wrong,
        2007: it was close with the team clearly favouring a rookie which was bizzare, nowhere near demolishing Alonso.
        2008: Again the best car and struggled like mad to beat the only competion there was and it was Massa! Says it all, and still nearly lost it when he couldn’t out race Vettel at Brazil, thanks Glock, but the fact is if you had put Vettel, Alonso, and even Webber, Button or Rosberg in that F2008 or Kovalainen’s Mclaren we would have seen a different champion.
        2009: actually in a poor car in the first half of the season Hamilton was nowhere.
        2010: In a solid car he did a good job but over a season didn’t set the world alight and only just edged out Button who could barely fit in the car.
        2011: Beaten clearly by Jenson who in my mind is not actually that fast or consistent due to his usual dip in form during a season but still was too strong and consistent for Hamilton.
        2012: yet again even with Jenson missing from mid season he could only just edge out Jenson and subsequently lose to Jenson over 3 years together, they had the fastest car yes there was mistakes from the team but also lack of performance on many occasions by Hamilton just look at the first race, on pole but was out raced by Button?? Set the tone for rest of the season and Vettel who was struggling went up a gear and thats when many pundicts and analysists acknowledged Vettel as a superior driver to Hamilton.
        2013: with all Rosberg’s bad luck and suspect reliability he is right on Hamilton’s tail and soundly beat Lewis in the last race in a rare straight fight much like Malaysia, also even when most of the retirements for Nico were behind Hamilton he was catching him like at Australia, China etc and with those points Nico would be ahead, over a race distant Hamilton is faster than Rosberg and there shows lack of consistency, even James is giving Nico a chance for 2014, lets remember Rosberg is a journeyman driver who was often out qualified and beaten by a 43 year old Schumacher and during their times at Williams Rosberg was smashed by Webber who was cleary the faster driver even with his ‘weight’, year after year Hamilton has been exposed but well there will be a few more years for him to prove me wrong but if I were one of his fanboys I wouldn’t hold my breath, plenty of fast drivers out there thats maturing just look at Hulkenberg and Grosjean! With maybe Ricciardo and Bianchi looking to shine too I believe its 1 of Hamilton’s last chance next year, good luck.

      34. KRB says:

        @DaveC, you have a mighty bizarre and twisted take on F1 history. It’s amusing, I’ll give you that.

      35. Sebee says:

        KRB,

        Not happy questioning the Treasurer of the Canadian Chapter of JAonF1 Fans. But is DaveC really that far off? He’s speculating a bit about what would have happened with drivers in certain cars. And sure there were some DNFs shoulda coulda arguments you may bring up. But points scored are points scored. Also, under the current 25 points for win system Alonso actually scores 1 more point than Hamilton in 2007 for example. 2007 is not at all as clear, and I think it’s best to put 2007 as a, ALO/HAM tie in these arguments.

        Hamilton can be exciting to watch, but I always felt his style may be just a bit harder on the hardware and thus actually contribute to DNFs – and shouldn’t that be held against him? Why is it that the hardware is always blamed for the DNF for example without consideration for other contributing factors. We talk about driver style and car setup of certain drivers giving them tire life, doesn’t the same style and smoothness contribute to reliabiltiy? Perhaps Hamilton lacks that smoothness.

        Obviously you’re fond of Hamilton, and I’ve come to like the chap too. But he has weaknesses just like other drivers. And you can’t be fully convinced that with some harder work and focus, attention to detail he would have extracted a bit more from his time at McLaren. I think that essentially is the point of the exchange, and I have to agree that Hamilton was not some helpless chap at mercy of McLaren. He could have extracted more from his time there had he had the will, work ethic, and avoided the distractions that seem to follow him on occassion. I give him an honest “B” for his time at McLaren. He did not give 100% while there.

      36. KRB says:

        Sebee, have to say I’m disappointed you would pipe in for DaveC.

        For me, as soon as I see certain ‘claims’, it’s clear I’m dealing with a rockhead, and trying to persuade a closed mind is a waste of everyone’s time.

        Things like saying McLaren “clearly” favoured a rookie driver over their 2xDWC they’d just signed, or MP4-23 as the best car (13-3 in Fastest Laps for Ferrari in 2008, when FL’s were representative). Saying Lewis was nowhere in the 2009 dog of a car … DaveC’s of course a Vettel fan, but Lewis’ first 7 races of 2009 were better in a worse car than Vettel’s 7 STR races in 2007, or his first 11 races of 2008. Of course the lost 6 pts from the Lie-gate affair would’ve helped even more.

        Saying the 2012 McLaren was the fastest car, it’s just too simplistic. It was the fastest at times, but over the season it wasn’t close to the best car. I mean, what use are solid performances if the car blows up? At both Singapore and Abu Dhabi, Lewis put in cut-above-the-rest performances, thru qualifying and the race. But in both instances, the car gave up on him. 50 pts lost. Same with Brazil, then clipped by an overenthusiastic Hulk. If anything, I would put down 2012 as Lewis’ best year of driving. He was always in Q3, and I think just he and Alonso lapped their clean-race teammates in a race. I actually believe Bernie was being serious when he replied “Hamilton!” when asked late in the season who the best driver had been.

        Then there’s the whole Rosberg bad luck talk this year. Yet all of Hamilton’s bad luck this year (Britain, Japan) and last year (too many to list) is just given the “that’s tough” treatment by those same people wanting to martyr Nico. It’s tiresome.

        Another tiresome tactic is to say that b/c Webber beat Nico 7-4 in Nico’s rookie year with Williams, that that somehow shows that Webber “crushed” Nico. That’s just so bloody stupid on so many levels, that again it raises red flags to say you’re not debating with someone prepared to reevaluate their beliefs.

        Then to hop from that, to pumping Hulk’s and Grosjean’s tires (who were “smashed” by Barrichello and Alonso&Kimi, respectively), it just confirms that there’s no hesitation or concern about bending facts to a sought-after narrative.

        Being part of the Vettel fan club should not automatically enroll one in the Hamilton denigrators club, yet it seems for many of the former, they equate it as such.

        That doesn’t mean that Hamilton should be beyond criticism, of course not! But there are bounds that should be observed by all. I have no problems with someone saying Hamilton is inconsistent; I would agree with them in some instances. But stuff like year after year Hamilton has been exposed, it’s just dumb.

        As for your talk about Lewis being hard on the hardware, as far as I’m aware the gearboxes are not like the old manual gearboxes, which could be abused to the point of failure. Now with the paddle-shift, the smoothness or not of the shifting is handled by computer. When they blow up, it’s more lottery than any direct driver causation. Did Vettel hammer his gears at Britain this year? No. Just a part not manufactured as well as it could’ve been.

        The last paragraph I can sorta agree with you, although again it’s much easier to “look good” when you’re sitting in the best car. Seb has had the privilege of sitting in the out-and-out best car the past 4 seasons. Lewis in my opinion has not had the privilege of being in the out-and-out best car for a season (both 2007 and 2008, his best cars to date, were equal best at best with the Ferrari’s both years). For example, it’s silly to say that Lewis is not a more consistent driver now, than when he was a rookie. Yet right out of the gate in his rookie year he was able to chalk up 9 consecutive podium finishes. His best run of podiums since then is 4, in 2010. When you have the best car, it’s easier to be consistent.

      37. Dave C says:

        @ KRB
        Well you contradict yourself in many ways.
        You say its ‘simplistic’ when I said Mclaren had the fastest car on average over the 2012 season and then you go on and say Redbull had the “out and out best car” in the last 4 years is more than simplistic imo. Look at Webber often beaten by other cars like Jenson in 2011, is Jenson so much better than Webber? You moan about Hamilton’s retirements in singapre and Abu Dhabi last year but then Jenson’s also had retirements and bad luck like Monza and Malaysia and the safety car in Brazil that halted Button’s dominance but anyway you say Mark beat Nico 7-4 in 2006, yes but then look at Mark’s reliabilities and strategy errors! Just look at Monaco that year Mark was fighting at the front yet Rosberg was nowhere but thanks to that Cosworth that stat you produced seems clouded at best.
        I said Hulkenberg, Grosjean and Bianchi will progress into top drivers and I stand by that, and it was clear in the 2nd half of 2010 Hulkenberg was alot faster than Barrichello and Lotus have clearly stated even before Raikkonen’s move to Ferrari that on pure oace Grosjean is the faster driver and recently he’s showing he can harness that speed over a race distant and as you’ve seen when it all comes together he makes Kimi look quite ordinary, as for Bianchi I say its a solid season and has stood out more than the other Marrusia and Caterham drivers so for you to just discredit them just shows a lack of respect, intelligence and lack of class.
        Also since when have I been a Vettel fan? I merely state the state of play and its a known fact Hamilton fans boys are the most deluded of them all, so answer this: do you honestly think Hamilton is even a better driver than Nico Rosberg? The same Rosberg that was clearly slower than Webber over a season? Explain why Nico is faster over a race distant than Hamilton when they have similar strategy? And do you still believe Hamilton is better than Vettel? I’d bet over the next 5 years Vettel will win more titles and move to Ferrari and win there too, as for Hamilton? Prove me wrong but I also bet KRB, Marcelo and the rest know in their logic side of the mind that its almost a mountain to climb for Hamilton to win another title especially as he hasn’t able to blow away Button and Rosberg in the manner he did to Kovalainen.

      38. clyde says:

        @ rockyf1-Berlin

        2007: he demolished Alo. almost won championship
        ….. what championship were you watching :-)

      39. Tealeaf says:

        Wow James that is a big prediction from you I will hold you to that come next year, but unless that Mercedes engine is significantly better Renault I think Hamilton will have his work cut out, also he is matched by rosberg if you less the mechanical and strategy issues Nico’s had this year and that will only make them take points off each other in a fair fight next season, is it not possible for Ferrari to build a great all rounder and give Alonso a car in which he can have no excuses? Or can Mclaren using the same engine as Mercedes produce a 2012 level car and with the predicted best engine I’d bet on Jenson for a challenge, and finally betting against Vettel is almost a foolish act afterall Newey is still there at Rbr and Seb is now in his prime I doubt with Schumacher’s records in his sights I’d bet Vettel for another title imho Hamilton doesn’t stand a chance just not strong enough a driver all round, he’ll need a massive car and engine advantage and I doubt Brackley will give him that, I suspect Mercedes will do a BMW in 2009 for next year, full of promise and momentum from the previous year and a anti climax for 2014, watch this space, even if Merc were to lock out the front row at the first race in commanding fashion I still wouldn’t be celebrating too soon just look at Mclaren in 2012, Seb’s form will shock you all and very likely Alonso will be the main challenger with Jenson there or thereabouts.

      40. James Allen says:

        Not really, it’s just a bit of fun at this stage, before any of the cars run how can you make an accurate prediction?

      41. Yago says:

        “is it not possible for Ferrari to build a great all rounder and give Alonso a car in which he can have no excuses?”
        If Ferrari can do that, the one who would have no excuses is Vettel. 4 times WDC in a dominant car and then get beaten the first time someone has an equal car? Think about it, the one who has all to loose is Vettel. If Ferrari can give Alonso a “great all rounder” Vettel is going to be in serious trouble… XD

      42. KRB says:

        TL, it’s gonna bother you the whole week that JA said that, isn’t it?

        Lordy, lordy.

    2. Oletros says:

      I will go wild, RAI.

      1. Sebee says:

        Interesting. You and Vivek below – same call.

        I have a real problem with Ferrari. They have not been at the sharp end for a few GPs. I’m wondering if their current position means the whole team is not running at the level necessary to be “in the zone”, “at the sharp end”, “at the next level”, isn’t there a greater chance that this carries over into 2014?

      2. KRB says:

        Wasn’t that the feeling last year at this time re: Mercedes?

        Truth is *we just don’t know*.

      3. Doobs says:

        They are working on their 2014 car

    3. Vivek says:

      I think Vettel & RB will be difficult to beat in 2014 too. Ricciardo would be easier to handle in his first year than Mark ever was.

      My heart though says, Kimi for WDC (If Ferrari get the engine right). If 2014 is not the year at Ferrari, then I guess it will be time for a big senior mgmt shake up.

      1. xyler says:

        I’m sure that Ricciardo will never be a challenge for Vettel. His benefits has not really attracted attention.

      2. Truth or Lies says:

        If Ferrari win it has to be Alonso, Kimi won in 2007 with help from Massa, he won’t get much support in Alonso’s team.

        Anyway Ferrari took the wrong Lotus driver.

      3. Dave C says:

        Yes I believe too Ferrari took the wrong driver from Lotus, Grosjean has matured into a real handful of a driver for anyone! F1 is a up and down sport and I believe Rosberg or Button could surprise next year.

    4. Alexander Supertramp says:

      The smart money is on Seb. I’m a Mercedes fan, but as long as the field is more evenly matched I don’t care who wins it.

    5. Reggie says:

      Exactly! Newey is the best car designer in the sport. All this talk of them taking a step back is a joke. People forget that in 2009 when the cars changed, RB didn’t have the double diffuser and were still competitive with Brawn GP. To think that RB won’t take a step forward and further separate themselves from the competition is wishful thinking. I’m thinking Newey will deliver a true masterpiece next season.

      1. SteveS says:

        The praise showered on Newey is getting embarrassingly excessive. There are three components to a winning F1 car. 1) The chassis. 2) The engine. 3) The driver. Newey is doing his part (the chassis) but a lot of the credit belongs to Vettel and Renault.

        http://thejudge13.com/2013/10/04/red-bulls-clever-mechanical-systems-explained/

      2. James Allen says:

        I think that is a fair point

      3. Sebee says:

        OK Steve.

        33% credit to Vettel
        33% credit to Chassis
        33% credit to Engine
        1% credit to Heidi Klum for lending her name to Hungry Heidi.

        Deal?

      4. Andrew says:

        Plenty of other cars have Renault engines. I don’t think the engine has much to do with it.

        As for Vettel, maybe we’ll know a little more when we see how he goes with Ricciardo next season. Although he can’t really win because if Vettel beats him easily then people will say that he should do and if he doesn’t then people will say Vettel isn’t that good.

        Ultimately we need to see Vettel in the same car against another top driver and preferably not in a Newey car. All the last 4 years have shown is that he is a better driver than Webber.

      5. KRB says:

        @Andrew, RBR is Renault’s works team though, so they’ll get the latest and greatest stuff, when it comes to engine mappings, etc. Renault will work the closest with RBR for the 2014 reg’s.

        Talkin’ ’bout 2014 engines, who the hell is Lotus going with?!? They’re the only ones that haven’t confirmed an engine partner. Surely they would need to know engine dimensions by now (would Renault give that to them w/o a deal in place?), etc. Are they holding out for a better price from Renault or any other engine supplier? Or are they waiting for their external investors to come through, before they commit to a supplier (e.g. need more money for the Renault engine, etc.). What’s the scoop there?

      6. Dave C says:

        ople have talked so much about the RBR car. Here are the facts

        Newey joined RBR in 2006

        2006 Coulthard and Klien 0 wins
        2007 Coulthard and Webber 0 wins
        2008 Coulthard and Webber 0 wins
        2009 Vettel and Webber 4 wins v 2 wins
        2010 Vettel and Webber 5 wins v 4 wins
        2011 Vettel and Webber 11 wins v 1 win
        2012 Vettel and Webber 5 wins v 2 wins
        2013 Vettel and Webber 10 wins v 0 wins

        So in the first 3 years on Newey designed Red Bull cars the team had no wins, also from 2000 to 2006 Newey designed Mclarens never won a title, in fact the last constructors title from a Newey car before 2010 was 1998! so maybe Vettel joining the team after winning in a Torro Rosso might have changed the course of history, getting 4 wins in his first season with the team as a very young 21 year old showed his metal against Webber who was regarded as one of the fastest drivers out there with his dmolishment of Rosberg, Heidfield and Coulthard. But no it was Vettel who turned the F1 heirachy upside down, good on him and RBR.

      7. James Allen says:

        It’s a team

        You have to remember that Red Bull was building up the team, adding in key staff. developing a state of the art windtunnel and CFD facility, gearbox shop etc between 2006 and 2009

        Until fans get a chance to go around a top team factory, it’s hard for them to comprehend the scale of the operation. You can’t go from a P7 team to a P1 team overnight, however much money you throw at it. Our 10 readers who went around Mercedes’ base last week would tell you that

        Stability, creativity and resource brings through a strong car. Then you need a driver to get the maximum out of it 20 times a year in quali and race to get the results.

        As Nigel Mansell once said, “Very few people understand what it takes to win in F1.”

        That was never more true than today

      8. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        …and for 2013 you missed: 4) The incessant Bull whinging (and unfortunate delaminations) that lead to the mid-season radical tyre-change the even Newey admits was the ‘key to Vettel’s success’ sorting their awesome high speed corner advantages.

        Though I agree it is the team, Newey etc, Renault and Seb combined, but still think Newey is the single most important factor in the team.

        Pity it’s not Newey leaving instead of Brawn, just to see what would happen in the following years.

        On Lotus, I don’t understand how they can operate with the impression they will not go for Hulk if Maldo’s money is right, plus of course the not paying salaries stuff, plus Allison leaving – who would want to supply or sponsor them!

      9. Sebee says:

        Speaking of Renault, Infiniti, engine all that jazz Steve…

        The day after Vettel wraps up the WDC and RBR WCC in the Infiniti, the new revised Infiniti Q50 gets poor reviews from Consumer Reports.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/cars/ouch-consumer-reports-cant-recommend-2014-lexus-is-250-infiniti-q50/2013/10/25/e0879ce0-3d93-11e3-b0e7-716179a2c2c7_story.html

        Looks like Vettel has been spending waaaay too much time winning GPs and working on the RB9 and not enough time as Director of Performance at Infiniti getting that Q50 to be a BMW challanger! :-)

      10. KRB says:

        @DaveC, RBR was gearing up for the 2009 regulation changes. The reward/effort quotient always favoured saving the big push for 2009.

        If Vettel had moved to RBR in 2007 or 2008, I can assure you he would not have won a race.

      11. Sebee says:

        KRB,

        Are you theorizing that Lotus may declare bankruptcy and fold to deal with all the debt? :-)

      12. Pramod says:

        @ Dave C ..thanks mate for enlightening the Hamilton brigade,Alonso brigade ..and the booing brigade ..I wonder why nobody ever published a post like this.Thanks james ! time and again u have proven to be the most unbiased of all F1 pundits.I am honestly a kimi fan but the lack of respect for vettel caught my attention and lo!! i am a seb fan now! No body denies the talent of alonso or Hamilton but the criticism of vettel igonring all the mistakes of other drivers is just shameful.Thanks Dave ! Thanks James !

    6. Mike Dee says:

      I will not be so bold to put down names for the 2014 season, but I am prepared to bet that we will hear the German anthem most often next year.

  2. German Samurai says:

    ““His driving has gone from very talented but slightly raw at times in, let’s say, 2009, to incredibly well rounded now, added Newey. “In 2009 and 2010 you could occasionally criticise him for making slightly ill-judged moves and hence having accidents.”

    I always feel that Newey is a little harsh on Vettel. 2010 was his third full season in F1. 2010 he clipped Webber in Turkey, clipped Button at Spa. Yeah, mistakes he shouldn’t have made but the were mistakes almost borne out of being too aggressive, which is a trait all the great drivers possess. That aggression is better applied now.

    But everyone forgets that in 2010 Alonso with all his experience made a bad mistake at Spa and Webber made a bad one at Korea. Ultimately those mistakes cost them the championship.

    However, the best man won in 2010. Vettel was robbed of wins in Bahrain and Korea due to mechanical problems (might have been one more race can’t remember).

    1. Juzh says:

      australia. brakes.

      1. Tealeaf says:

        Bahrain. Spark plug.

      2. KRB says:

        Still got 4th there. Like Hamilton in Britain this year.

    2. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Interesting viewpoint on 2010…

      Seb did deserve his 2010 championship indeed and enjoyed taking it in a great car, with low expectation and pressure on him then. Certainly less pressure than he had in 2012.
      Though, many fans cite Seb’s 2010 mechanical issues without noting that his car, along with the McLaren, was developed a good bit better than, and was a good bit faster than the Ferrari at the end of 2010.

      So was it unlucky to have a super-fast car that has the odd failure, or a consistent, but not so fast car looking at 5th at best? I bet most drivers would go for the former, I mean you are not talking many failures here.

      You mention Spa 2010, now that really was a lottery, both Alonso and Seb failed to score there:

      I remember Alonso as one of the few front runners to make the wet bus stop without going off only to be smashed into by Rubens. Alonso then ended near the back with a strategic disaster when he stayed out too long on the wrong tyres. When he went off in the next downpour he was driving with nothing to lose.

      Lewis, the victor, also went off but luckily just skimmed the wall with his tyres.

      Seb meantime missed his braking at the bus stop when weaving behind Button, spun, rammed Button’s radiator into retirement and pitted. He was given yet another stop go penalty for causing an accident and went on, lucky enough to finish, but to finish well out of the points.

      Webber was on pole in Spa 2010 and messed the start up even then.

      (Webber’s starts are something that I believe is the only real weakness of team Red Bull. Not to address this area properly over the years, though (controversially) his slow getaways often caused trouble back down the field for their rivals, with the car concertina carbon fibre smashing effect, so maybe they were fine with this.) ;)

      Webber’s mistake in Korea came in the wet when he was under real championship pressure. It really threw away the title for him and you could say it was career defining for him from then on.

      I agree on Seb “That aggression is better applied now.” But it is easier to apply agression when you are mainly fighting a clear track as 2011/13 than it was in 2010 and in the first half of 2012, when he has to fight more cars that are more evenly matched.

      So I agree with Newey, he was a bit raw in 09/10, which is to be expected, and he has been better since.

      In these final races, I bet Seb wins by bigger margins, as he has nothing to lose by going for it with the car and tyres.

      1. German Samurai says:

        “Though, many fans cite Seb’s 2010 mechanical issues without noting that his car, along with the McLaren, was developed a good bit better than, and was a good bit faster than the Ferrari at the end of 2010.”

        That’s some revisionist history there. The last half of 2010 Ferrari was at least as strong as the Red Bull. In the second half of 2010 Alonso had 4 wins to Vettel’s 3, Alonso was on the podium every race except Spa (where he made a big error) and Abu Dhabi (where he got stuck behind Petrov), Massa was even getting regular podiums.

      2. Anil says:

        No it wasn’t, it was level pegging with the mclaren but in terms of aero (flexi wing development!) the Red Bulls were miles ahead. Monza was an exception yes but Alonso was able to maximise his machinary for the rest of the year, meaning that he capitalised on Seb’s qualifying mistake in Singapore and Seb’s engine blow out in Korea. Seb should have won much more comfortably in 2010 but on top of reliability problems, he also made mistakes in Spa, Singapore qualifying, Hungary (should have walked that race but made that silly SC mistake) on top of being beaten by Webber a few times across the season too.

        Kind of ironic you say ‘that’s some revisionist history there’ and then say ‘Massa was getting regular podiums’ and use that as a way of trying to justify how quick the Ferrari apparently was, because from Singapore onwards he scored bugger all apart from a podium in Korea, which he got because Webber, Rosberg and Vettel all retired.

        If you look at races like Brazil and Suzuka later on in the season when Red Bull actually managed a clean weekend, they won the races by a long way. 2010 was a close championship because they failed to maximise what they had at their disposal, which is funny looking back at it given what they can do now.

        I say this as a Ferrari fan first and foremost and not a fan of Alonso, but the Red Bull was much much stronger than the Ferrari was. Mclaren pioneering the f-duct and it gave them some great performance early on but Ferrari seemed to catch up with them in some areas by year end.

      3. Yago says:

        “The last half of 2010 Ferrari was at least as strong as the Red Bull”.

        It really would be interesting to know how you did get to that conclussion.

      4. KRB says:

        That’s some revisionist history there. The last half of 2010 Ferrari was at least as strong as the Red Bull.

        Talk about revisionist!! And ‘at least’, really?! That means you think the Ferrari might’ve been stronger? That is crazy talk.

        If Red Bull had lost the drivers’ championship that year, it would’ve been CRIMINAL INEPTITUDE.

        From GBR’10, laps led:

        1 VET 208
        2 WEB 110
        3 ALO 106
        4 BUT 71
        5 HAM 44
        6 MAS 42

        2010 turned on many things … Alonso’s spin at Spa, Webber’s at Korea were big. Lewis’ wheel rim failure in Spain was big. But even the Safety Car in Britain coming out when Vettel was only 3 sec’s ahead of Webber coming up to lap him. That and Alonso’s penalty that he had to serve after the field had all bunched up. Vettel was able to snag 7th b/c of the SC.

        Really though, it never should’ve been as close as it was. RBR then were not the totally professional outfit they are today. Since they won that first one, they’ve settled down nicely.

      5. German Samurai says:

        Ferrari was good enough in the last half of 2010 for Alonso to get 4 wins, a couple of poles (Alonso is a weak qualifier compared to Vettel, Hamilton and Webber), Massa got regular podiums.

        In the last half of the season Alonso got a podium every race except Spa where he made an error and crashed, and Abu Dhabi where he got stuck behind Petrov for most of the race. Alonso clearly had a car more than good enough to win the championship with.

    3. tim says:

      The thing I remember about 2010 is that when everyone else was stumbling towards the championship at the end, Vettel crossed the line at full steam.

  3. Jimbob says:

    I wonder when the majority of fans will come to their senses and accept how unbelievably good this kid is.

    I have to admit that in 2010 he annoyed me but ever since he’s just been getting better and better. People seem to think that because he’s had the best car he doesn’t deserve appreciation for his success but I don’t think I’ve seen such consistency from any driver over a prolonged period in the 30 years I’ve been watching F1.

    1. Jim says:

      Vettel’s a very good driver, no doubt. The problem comes from the fact that he’s also in what is widely recognised as the best car.

      So it’s very difficult to determine exactly how good he is. Put him in the same car as Alonso and Hamilton, who would you put your money on over a season?

      1. Jimbob says:

        Vettel. I’ve seen inconsistency from both Hamilton and Alonso and I doubt either of them would qualify as well as Vettel.. Hamilton would be close but I still reckon Vettel would win over a season.

        Why does everyone forget that Webber is in the same car? Does nobody remember that Webber was always considered a qualifying specialist before he became team mates with Vettel??

      2. Chris says:

        I have a lot of time for Webber, but he is sadly too tall (and heavy) for modern F1 these days and he is at the end of career now, quite unlike Vettel so not the best comparison.

        See Schumacher’s comeback for further details, he was no match for Nico and age has to be a factor when measuring speed at these levels.

      3. The Bard says:

        But what about Seb’s inconsistent seasons in 2009, 2010 and 2012? Many mistakes across those seasons and until he got a car that produced significant rear downforce to stabliize the loose end out of slow corners, he had a habit of being pretty anonymous every now and then.

        Seb is clearly one of the best on the grid, and I’d put him comfortably ahead of Lewis now, but I imagine that Alonso would have won titles in 2009, 2010 and 2012 much more comfortably than Seb did. Ofc, he was young and made mistakes, but so was Alonso in 2005 and 2006 and look what he did.

        I say this as someone that hugely dislikes Alonso’s personality but I’ve really grown to admire talent. The results he’s achieved in the cars he’s had is something special,

        That said, Seb will probably shut me up next year when he’ll finally be consistent in a car without much rear downforce and I’ll look like an idiot I bet :)

      4. James Allen says:

        Just remember that Vettel was only 22 in 2009…

      5. Glennb says:

        Vettel. He has the ability to focus better than the other 2 drivers mentioned. All 3 are top shelf but have their strengths and weaknesses. He’s also on a roll ;)

      6. jb hyam says:

        When you are in the best car you can focus more.

      7. AuraF1 says:

        This is an awkward question. If you put Alonso or Hamilton in the Red Bull, I believe Vettel would still trounce them both because he drives how THAT car is designed to be driven. It requires a destabilising/counter-intuitive approach to cornering and blowing the diffuser/floor and has done since 2010. It’s this approach which has really impacted Webber. He is a fast driver but he can’t alter his style to drive in this new way. It’s not as simple as saying, the RB9 (or 7 or whatever) is the BEST car – it is the best car for the particular driver who can modify and adapt to it’s idiosyncrasies.

        If you put Vettel in Massa’s Ferrari or Rosbergs Mercedes – I think it’s fair to say Hamilton would likely outqualify Vettel regularly and Alonso would likely win more races (though given his current form Fernando would still lose the quali battle).

        It’s not just the best car – it’s the best combination. The right car for the right driver.

        It’s a little like Jenson Button in the 2009 Brawn – a lot of people take away his achievement as they consider him a sub-top 3 driver who lucked into a dominant (at least first half of the year) car. But even Alonso said, the car meshed with Jensons particular style and he doubted other drivers would have adapted to it quite as well.

        Our best hope is that Mercedes build a car Lewis has been crying out for since 2008, Alonso gets a Ferrari built entirely to his needs (hard to know given they might split the design with Kimi) and McLaren at least build something closer to the 2012 car in competitiveness and then we’ll have a hell of a season.

      8. Chris says:

        I agree with you on the car/drive combo but sadly for us F1 fans Vettel has another number 2 as his partner next year and not a Nando, Lewis or Kimi so we will never know…..

      9. Yago says:

        It’s an interesting point of view, but I do not agree. Alonso and Hamilton are the only drivers that can adapt in two or three laps to any car and any condition. And by adapt I mean being equally fast or faster than anybody else (Alonso is the most chamaleonic driver I have had the pleassure to watch). Alonso would have beaten Button in the Brawn GP easily, and Hamilton would have been faster than him by quite a margin. However in Hamilton’s case you never know how he would do consistency wise. And in my opinion the same (althought to a lesser extent) in the Red Bull against Vettel. Of course the drivers need to adapt to the team (I’m talking about the staff and the way things are done, not the car) and bla bla, but I’m trying to extrapolate all that. Just for the fun of it.

        Finally all this thing of a car built to the needs of a driver, I think modern F1 is much more complex than that. Look for example Ferrari. Last year car was perfect for Alonso’s style, but towards the end of the season Ferrari stiffened the front suspension for aerodinamic gains. They kept that trend trough 2013, even knowing Alonso was less comfortable with it than with the previous configuration. The thing is the car was faster. As a consecuence, we have seen Massa a bit closer pace wise this year, and Alonso not as comfortable as in 2012. So some things are tuneable to driver needs, but many other are not.

        Regarding current qualifying form, if you watch closely the Indian GP quali session, I am pretty convinced you will agree that the best lap done by any driver was Alonso’s lap on the softs in Q2. For me that was better than Vettel’s pole lap, and by quite a margin. He did the third best time of the qualifying session, thousands off Rosberg time, who actually said he did the perfect lap. And that was in Q2, in one of the tracks in which the gains on track improvement over the session is biggest. He actually got the second best time of Q2 3 tenths off Vettel’s time.

        But yes, F1 is so complex, and that’s the beauty of it!

      10. veeru says:

        that is a good question. vettel fans would say, it would be vettel, Fernando fans would say it would be Fernando.

        we probably will never know as they probably wont be team mates anytime soon.

        my personal opinion — Fernando. not to take anything away from Vettel. kid did a great job.

        don’t ponder on what I mean by ‘great’….we will never know

      11. Tealeaf says:

        Vettel is slightlt faster and more consistent than Hamilton, also technical abilities he is well advanced to Lewis, now Seb is significantly faster than Alonso and just as consistent if not more consistent now, adding up all these attributes with his saving tyres ability whilst goin fast I say Seb would beat both of them over a season or definitely over 3 seasons.

    2. AlexD says:

      I will tell you when. I am 100% sure that he needs to be able to repeat this success with another team in a car that is not designed by Adrian. This is when people will not have any excuse and Vettel will really be among the greatest. Until this happens, it will always be the case of a dominant car.

      1. Chris says:

        F1 has always been this way though, more car than driver and I am pretty sure Vettel will move to Ferrari one day. After all he is a bit of an F1 nerd himself and the call will prove too great I feel, one day.

    3. Dan says:

      how on earth would u know how good he is when he spent basically his entire career in dominant newy machinery? do you not understand that newey cars dominated the 90s and whoever drove for them won titles? the only difference is that vettel is lucky enough to have spent more years than anyone one in such cars. You are comparing apples and oranges.

      1. Dan says:

        In your 30 years please list all the occasions when 1 driver has had 4 years of dominant machinery in a row in combination with a journeyman number 2 like webber who loses 5 places every start. Never right? So what is so impressive?

      2. Jimbob says:

        Consistency is impressive… Firstly anyone who can consistenly out qualify Webber is downright fast – Webber beat all of his previous team mates in quali. Secondly, he never puts a foot wrong, I mean, since the beginning of 2011 he’s been near faultless – Doesn’t matter if he’s had a dominant car, he’s got the absolute maximum from the package every single weekend and this is all a racing driver can do.

      3. Jimbob says:

        Oh, and two drivers have had the dominant machinery, not just one… And where is Webber? I like Webber and think he’s fast but c’mon he’s been absolutely battered by Vettel and please please don’t start with consipracy theories because they’re just silly.

        What about Formula BMW… All driver in the same car, Vettel won 18 of 20 races. The junior categories matter and he was phenominal by all accounts.. Just like Hamilton, Button, Alonso, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg. It’s no coincidence that the highest point scorers in F1 have the best junior formula records…

      4. Ahmed says:

        Dan,
        If it was all down to Newey, why hasn’t he won every championship in F1? When was his last championship before red bull???
        F1 is about who’s got the dynamics right between 3 equally crucial factors 1)driver 2)chassis 3)engine.
        And Webber the “journeyman” has destroyed all previous team mates inc Rosberg and Heidfeld & was regarded as a qualifying specialist before teaming up with Vettel…

        Give credit where it’s due..

      5. Ange says:

        I don’t understand how anyone would expect a talented driver to deliver in an utterly unreliable car!! It’s just not possible. All the drivers that won many championships in succession were driving very good cars. Senna did, Schumacher did, Lauda did, Prost did. Do people really expect Vettel to go to Sauber so that he can prove he is worthy of the four championships and his success is not merely down to the car?

        Yes, Newey is the best designer currently in F1, but surely it’s not just him! He spent 9 years at McLaren, yet the team only managed to secure 2 constructors’ and 2 driver’s championships. Even if you have the best car in the world, if the driver is not good enough to deliver results, you’ll win nothing!

        Red Bull have managed to create a great team that works and builds a top class car and they also have a very consistent, reliable and mature driver.

        Sometime soon, people really need to have to start respecting what Vettel has achieved!

      6. Dan says:

        Jimbob, formula bmw was full of no names, when Vettel raced in F3 Euro against the best drivers he only won 4 races out of 40, and 1 scored 1 measley pole, and was beaten by his team mate paul di resta. That showed his true talent without dominant newey machinery. he was average.

    4. Alexander Supertramp says:

      Nobody in his right mind would suggest Vettel isn’t a great racer. Everyone even agrees he’s one of the best of this generation. But it remains hard to ascertain just how much of his succes is due to his-to put it in your words- unbelievable skills. A lot of people agree that he’s been doing a phenomenal job with a phenomenal package and he’s been at his best this year. Seb is close to gaining everybody’s respect- imagine him winning the WDC next year in a ‘normal’ car. On the other hand, imagine him getting defeated by Ricciardo next year.. The higher you go, the harder you can fall. Ask Icarus..

      1. Jimbob says:

        Agreed but the people I was referring to do actually suggest that Vettel isn’t a great racer and those people also don’t agree that he’s one of the best of his generation… This is what I can’t understand.

        You’re right, these people are not ‘in their right mind’ :)

      2. CarlH says:

        +1.

        Also, hello McCandless.

      3. Alexander Supertramp says:

        Finally someone recognizes my username :D

      4. SteveS says:

        The “phenomenal package” is not something which sprung into existence on its own, he’s played a crucial role in creating it. And of course he’s the only driver who has ever made it look “phenomenal”. You have to go back to the late 1990′s to see the last time a driver made a Newey car look exceptional. As it happened, that was another exceptional driver named Mika Haikkinen.

    5. Rockie says:

      “but I don’t think I’ve seen such consistency from any driver over a prolonged period in the 30 years I’ve been watching F1.”

      This is what defines Vettel for me, he is relentlessly consistent.

      1. Alexander Supertramp says:

        Only his 2013 season can be regarded as highly consistent. Alonso did the same thing last year, look at him this year. Consistency is a matter of form and Seb has been driving on a cloud this year.

      2. Rockie says:

        Please do not mistake the two Alonso’s 2012 is nowhere near Vettel’s, as the latter’s season was about his own performance and not others failing.

      3. SteveS says:

        Vettel has been the most consistent driver in F1 for the last three and a half seasons now. Spa 2010 was his last bad race and marked one of the “steps” he’s made in his career.

      4. The Bard says:

        SteveS, I’ve just read you comment on how Seb’s last bad race was in 2010 and that is hilarious.

        You need to rewatch 2012 mate, he had some crackers in the first half of that year, including being nowhere relative to Webber at Monaco and Silverstone. He didn’t cover himself in glory at Germany (rookie mistake) and Barca that year did he?

        In fact, many would suggest that his drive at AD2012, where he drove into Senna and hit a marker on the side of the track weren’t too impressive, despite the end result being very positive for him.

        I know he’s your hero, but come on mate.

      5. Yago says:

        Agree partly. You are forgetting something. It is MUCH more difficult to be consistently brilliant with a car that is third or fourth fastest and that is impossible to put in the first two rows, than with a car more than half a second faster than anything else on average over the seasson.

      6. Spinodontosaurus says:

        @The Bard
        Do you define a ‘bad weekend’ for Vettel as one where he makes a small mistake?

        IMO since Spa 2010 he has only 2 races I would call sub-par, Germany 2011 and Germany 2012 funnily enough. He looked out of sorts in the former, and in the latter was simply ragged (although Hamilton didn’t help by un lapping himself, thus allowing Button to jump Vettel in the pits), but even then he was miles ahead of Webber in the latter instance.

        Whilst Vettel wasn’t outstanding for the first half of 2012, the only race where I thought Webber was actually the better of the two was Silverstone, unsurprisingly (Webber is mighty around there), where Vettel finished a full 5 seconds behind his team mate.

      7. SteveS says:

        “You need to rewatch 2012 mate”

        No, you need to. But for an engine failure while leading the race in Valencia, he’d have led the WDC standings for almost the entire season (bar one race) and wrapped up the title with a couple of races to spare. This story about how “bad” Vettel supposedly was at the start of 2012 is a fable kids tell themselves. By his own astronomically high standards he had a poor half season (he didn’t win every race!) but by everyone elses standards he had a very good one indeed.

        It’s amusing that people who think it’s dire for Vettel to finish in fourth can praise other drivers for finishing in the same position.

        “his drive at AD2012, where he drove into Senna”

        Anybody who thinks that Vettel drove into Senna is blind as a bat. He drove into Senna in the same sense as Hamilton drove into Hulkenberg in the same race.

        I know you can’t stand the guy, but come on mate. Open your eyes.

      8. bk201 says:

        SteveS,

        “No, you need to,” (rewatch 2012)

        And just to prove The Bard’s point you then write…

        “Anybody who thinks that Vettel drove into Senna is blind as a bat. He drove into Senna in the same sense as Hamilton drove into Hulkenberg in the same race.”

        …in response to The Bard referencing “AD2012.” AD means Abu Dhabi, by the way. In which Vettel and Senna had another coming together. Not that you would know, seeing as you don’t watch the races.

        “But for an engine failure while leading the race in Valencia, he’d have led the WDC standings for almost the entire season (bar one race) and wrapped up the title with a couple of races to spare.”

        Looking at one driver’s misfortune in isolation confirms your embarrassing level of bias!

        http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2012/11/analysis-how-the-points-and-the-title-slipped-away-for-lewis-hamilton/

        (And to pre-empt your predictable reply, that was written before Brazil and James has actually been conservative in his other calculations.)

      9. veeru says:

        so is Fernando, in terms of consistency.

        too bad, the car under him was not so — what’s the word I am looking for — ‘consistency’

      10. Rockie says:

        Alonso is consistent but Vettel is relentlessly consistent that’s the difference between the two drivers.
        When last if you caan remember Vettel has had a race like Alonso had?

    6. Sebee says:

      Schumi was a 4th degree black belt in consistency.

      We were fooling around on another post about Alonso’s points record, and so I did the simulation of what Schumi’s point total would be if for his entire carrier he raced under 25 for win system. Anyhow, I wrapped up the excel and found this – summed up in my comment in that post, but here again for your pleasure.

      >
      When doing my Schumi under new points system calculation, one thing clearly struck me. Schumi didn’t score much outside of top 5, or podium for that matter. He’d rather DNF than take finish P14. This past 3 years must have been a whole different experience for him.

      Check this out.

      Schumi until 2006, which is what was needed to convert old placement to new points Schumi finished with 91 wins as we all know, but 154 podiums, and if you stretch to top 5 that’s 175, or only 21 more point placements. Stretch that to top 10 and you get 195, or only 41 more than podium. Amazing.

      Clearly Schumi’s moto was, stick your P4 and higher where the sun don’t shine. :-)

      1. Jimbob says:

        Agreed, as much as I hated Schumi’s ethics sometimes there’s no denying his unfathomable speed and consistency!

        I bet that once Vettel has equalled Schumi’s number of race starts his stats will be comparable though! I know this is aided by being in a good car for a long time but that’s F1 and people need to get over it.

  4. Dan says:

    Of course he has no big weaknesses when he has a car 1 second a lap faster than everyone else and can cruise around dominating races with a team mate who gives him no pressure because his car is always breaking down.

    He sure seemed to have a weakness last year when Webber was quicker than him in the first part of the season when he couldn’t adapt to the lack of EBD. 1 win out of 12 races.

    1. Oletros says:

      > He sure seemed to have a weakness last year when Webber was quicker than him in the first part of the season when he couldn’t adapt to the lack of EBD. 1 win out of 12 races.

      Let’s see:

      At the end of those 12 races VET has more points, more poles and more fast laps tan WEB.

      Also he finished ahead of WEB in 7 of the 12 races.

      And not taking into account Valencia when VET cars had a engine failure when he was first.

      It is really boring.

      1. Oletros says:

        So, the only stat that is better for WEB is number of wins, 2 against 1.

      2. Yago says:

        And qualifying record.

      3. Oletros says:

        What?

      4. Yago says:

        By mid season, vis to vis qualifying record was on Mark side. There even were three quali sessions where Vettel did not get to Q3 (Barcelona, Monaco and Spa), aginst one from Mark side (Barcelona). And in Monaco Mark got pole position!

    2. Me says:

      “He sure seemed to have a weakness last year when Webber was quicker than him in the first part of the season when he couldn’t adapt to the lack of EBD. 1 win out of 12 races.”

      Yes, very good, now what happened after that?

      1. Alexander Supertramp says:

        Dr. Helmut Marko, the real power behind the Red Bull succes, worked his magic in his secret laboratory during the summer break. He did it again this year after fearing that Lewis might mount a title challenge after clinching victory in the Hungarian GP. The result: the RB9 2.0,winner of the past 6 grands prix.

      2. Sebee says:

        Let’s say that actually happened.

        Legal? 100% YES! :-)

      3. KRB says:

        Me was talking about 2012. The RBR DDRS happened, catapulting the RB8 to dominant car status.

      4. The Bard says:

        Red Bull took updates to SIngapore to significantly increase the amount of rear downforce the car generated, hence why Seb picked up pace whereas Mark struggled.

        They’ve gone a step further this year too. Apparently they now produce more DF than they did with the EBD which is scary.

      5. Yak says:

        Didn’t Vettel set a new fastest quali lap around India? That’s pretty nuts considering these cars don’t have the off-throttle exhaust-blown diffuser and they can’t use DRS where ever they want around the lap anymore.

        And to think, all the crap Pirelli have copped… and this is what they have to deal with. Cars that are lapping faster than the nutty EBD cars, while making tyres that degrade appropriately. With minimal testing.

    3. KARTRACE says:

      One day we will see if he is going to live up to expectations when there is another team, or even two, at the same playing level when it comes to the car performance. Till then he is very nicely developing but was a very fortunate one to.

      1. KARTRACE says:

        Yes, you may lol as much as one likes

    4. German Samurai says:

      He won in Bahrain, got robbed of a win in Valencia. The tyres really through a spanner in the works with 8 different winners in the first 8 weeks. Even Maldanado got a pole and a win.

      Webber beat Vettel straight up at Monaco and Silverstone. That was about it. Big deal. How many times has Massa out qualifed Alonso this year, Rosberg beat Hamilton on the weekend and has more wins this season than him, Grosjean has had the upper hand on Raikkonen since July.

      Vettel has a couple bad races and it’s etched in everyone’s memory.

  5. Tom says:

    Yeah, great. Congratulations. And more congratulations to Adrian.

  6. James Encore says:

    It’s too easy to knock Vettel, and say it is all down to Newey’s designs. Actually let’s not kid ourselves if Alonso, Hamilton, or Raikonnen had been in that car they could have picked up the last few championships. It’s not because Vettel has a level of talent that places him above Senna (or any other 3 time winners). Which isn’t to say Red Bull didn’t find a very talented young driver and bring him through to their team (witness his win for STR). But how talented is impossible to say when he enjoys such a car advantage.
    But had he swapped seats with any of the three drivers I mentioned would he have won a championship in any of their cars this season or last ? Hopefully the change in regs will mean the other teams up their games – even Seb’s fans must be bored with him leading into turn one and going round in front till the flag for half the races in the season.

  7. Valentino from montreal says:

    Vettel is the best driver after Schumacher ..

    BUT , I’m not gonna jump on the band-wagon …

    If he can win future titles in another team , say Ferrari , and/or be able to fight for the title in every season with the second fastest car , then he will show he IS INDEED truly one of the best ever …

    Schumacher if stayed at Benetton would of possibly win 3 or 4 championships in a row too …

    Vettel is great in a great car , fastest on the grid without a doubt …

  8. Truth or Lies says:

    Compared to Michael Schumacher at the same stage in his F1 career he makes less errors and that for one is really incredible, especially considering how strong Schumacher was in 94/95 and even 1996 with the uncompetitive Ferrari.

    From what I’ve seen this year Sebastian is pretty much error free and even the very best people in every discipline make mistakes, so his consistent performance through the season to date is truly remarkable.

    1. KARTRACE says:

      Hardly challenged to make any mistakes

    2. German Samurai says:

      The cars are a lot easier to drive today and the drivers don’t have to drive on the limit lap after lap in the refueling era of the 90′s, so all drivers will make less mistakes than drivers did in the 90′s. I remember at Melbourne 96 the Goodyear tyres being good enough to last the entire race if they needed to.

      But Vettel makes less mistakes than anyone driving right now and is clearly the best on the grid.

      1. Rohind says:

        Cars are easier to drive today?? Cmon man..With no traction controls and ever degrading tyres

      2. German Samurai says:

        TC wasn’t brought back until Spain 2001. A car today is much easier to drive than one from the 90′s, especially some of the bad cars Schumacher had.

        The tyres don’t make today’s cars difficult to drive in terms of making mistakes but difficult to find the optimal performance level.

  9. CarlH says:

    “You could criticise him, possibly, for not being able to overtake. I think some people, possibly, felt that, if he didn’t start from pole and control the race from the front, then he was not so good.”

    And with reason. Those questioning his overtaking had plenty of proof to point to at the time, after he made several high-profile errors. He has now improved in that area and has made few, if any, overtaking errors this year.

    But that doesn’t necessarily mean those criticising him at the time were wrong. The revisionism from some high-profile members of the paddock has been over the top (looking at you, Brundle). Instead of bashing those who pointed out his errors, credit should go to Vettel for taking it on board and improving.

    1. Alexander Supertramp says:

      “The revisionism from some high-profile members of the paddock has been over the top.” Talk about hitting the nail on the head!

    2. SteveS says:

      But they’re not “criticising him at the time”, this comment section is awash with people who are still criticising him today.

      1. CarlH says:

        Maybe, but the arguement put forward by a lot of ‘informed’ F1 insiders is that anyone who ever questioned Vettel’s overtaking is stupid, or ‘overly critical’.

        I would simply argue that the criticism WAS justified because he kept crashing into people. If some fans continue to say he can’t overtake then they’re entitled to their opinion, but its not one that I would agree with. I think he’s improved beyond measure.

  10. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

    A mate of mine says Seb will be classed as a ‘true great’ in his view if he can match his number of driver titles to the number of constructor titles Newey has. ;)

  11. goferet says:

    Aww… Pretty sweet words there from Newey. For sure, this means Newey rates the new four time champion in the same bracket as the Prosts, Mansells, Mikas and Sennas as these are the greats he has worked with in the past.

    Now for Vettel’s sake he better hope Newey’s praise hasn’t jinxed him for whenever there’s this much praise for a driver, something usually goes wrong somewhere e.g. Schumi in 2004 when the big rule changes came around in 2005.

    Then we also had Alonso in 2006 who was seen as the greatest that ever did it then 2007 came around.

    The morale of the story being when you’re on top, the only place left to go is straight down back to earth.

    Regards Vettel’s weaknesses, we have seen over the years that when you apply enough pressure he has the ability to crack e.g. Australia 2009, Turkey 2009, Turkey 2010, Spa 2010, Canada 2011, Germany 2011, Hungary 2011, Austin 2012 etc

    Now if Vettel could make these mistakes in a car that’s considered the best, you can just imagine the blunders that will occur once he gets machinery that’s equal to the competition.

    So yeah I think it would be wise for Vettel to quit the sport for there’s no such thing as a perfect driver but rather perfect conditions but as we all know those don’t last forever.

    P.s.

    No individual driver has won another title once their good run came to an end e.g. Fangio, Schumi

    1. tim says:

      I once heard someone once say, champions don’t quit their sport. Their sport kicks them out. That’s what happened to Schumacher and probably a few other whose names escape me.

  12. goferet says:

    Meanwhile one thing I didn’t get is why Newey used the past tense when he said, it has been a pleasure working with Vettel???

    I mean who of the two is leaving to justify the use of the past tense.

    And then we had Christian Horner taking pics of Vettel during his pitstop like he wasn’t coming back.

    I believe somebody knows something, they’re just not talking.

    The truth is out there.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      I believe that was the subjective clause when talking about a season that has ended in triumph, even if it hasn’t officially ended yet.

      Also I’d probably take pictures of a guy who helped me get a massive cash bonus in time for Xmas…;)

      1. goferet says:

        @ AuraF1

        Lol yeah…

    2. SteveS says:

      You remind me of those people who, after Bewey recently said that Vettel is “well on his way to becoming an all time great”, proclaimed “Newey says Vettel is not an all time great!”. You try too hard to read meanings into things.

      As it happens, Newey clarified his comments after India and repeatedly said “Sebastian must now be considered one of the all-time greats”. For some reason that repeated insistence was not picked up on by any news outlet.

  13. Paul D says:

    I think Vettel is a class act, but I believe he will not fully get the credit he deserves until he goes to another team and wins with them.

    He could win 8 in a row at Red Bull and people would just keep going on about Newey, Newey etc.

    My 50pence worth is he’ll join Ferrari for 2015 alongside Kimi.

    If he then manages to take a Ferrari title after 5 Alonso attempts / failures he will then go down as an all time great. Possibly the greatest.

    1. Fan says:

      I hope not. Too many promising careers have been killed at Ferrari. IMO VET has nothing left to prove at this point. Sure there will always be those demanding that he win a championship blindfolded in a Caterham, but history will be a kinder judge of his accomplishments. He is approaching if not already in ledgendary status. Long after people have forgotten about BUT, HAM, RAI or ALO people will remember and stop and talk about what VET did with RBR from 2009-2013.

  14. Alexander Supertramp says:

    On a different note, autosport says Maldonado is out of Williams. Heading to Lotus?

    Pastor is a grand prix winner and deserves more respect than he gets. However, I believe his biggest problem is that he sees himself as a top driver worthy of a better car and often refuses to take responsibility for bad performances. That’s the kind of attitude that makes you stand still and in the dynamic world of F1 that means going backwards.

    The guy has potential, but him in a Lotus might be RoGro 2012 all over again. A couple of decent performances would make him lose patience in difficult and critical situations, which would have the potential to result in (ugly) crashes.

    1. 4ttel says:

      *I believe his biggest problem is that he sees himself as a top driver worthy of a better car and often refuses to take responsibility for bad performances. That’s the kind of attitude that makes you stand still and in the dynamic world of F1 that means going backwards.*

      Thats sounds like di resta as well

    2. Fan says:

      Funny I thought the same about ALO and HAM earlier this year when they were lamenting about being “too good” to race for 5th or 6th place.

      1. Alexander Supertramp says:

        Poor choice of words. But every driver on the grid believes he’s the best or believes he could be champion in the right car. If anything, Fernando and Lewis are world championships and proven race winners, so their sense of entitlement is more justified. Besides, Lewis is very critical to his own driving and often blames himself for bad performances and seeks ways to improve, that’s the right attitude if you ask me.

    3. KRB says:

      Maybe the teams are colluding to show him the exit door out of F1? That would be fitting.

  15. Nedder says:

    It’s probably worth pointing out that, prior to Vettel joining the team, Red Bull wasn’t a MASSIVELY sought-after seat, despite Newey’s presence. After all, they hadn’t even won a race at that point, and their drivers had only gone there after their (much more highly rated, at the time) previous teams had decided they wanted some new blood… Then along comes Seb (after winning a race in a Toro Rosso/Minardi, don’t forget) and the RB team says ‘we want THAT fella’. If it was ALL about the car, it would have been winning before Seb’s arrival and Webber would have been consistently second, or maybe even won a championship or two himself. Vettel isn’t my favourite of the drivers, but a) he won a race in a MINARDI and b) he won the Championship in every season he contested in a car that wasn’t previously considered a front-runner, apart from his first RB season, where he finished second. Not only is that not too shabby a record, it’s also unprecedented in F1. Nobody has a record like that, not Fernando, not Prost, not Lauda, not Senna. In fact, not even Fangio, who didn’t win his first four on the trot. What has the guy got to do? Maybe be the youngest guy to do it? Oh, what’s that, he already is…?

    And all this time, he’s been getting better and better (as has the car, and Seb can take a fair chunk of the credit for the way he has led the cars’ development) to the point where Newey says he has no obvious chinks in his armour, unlike (say) his major competitors.

    And when he did the donuts in India before bowing before his car, I had a huge smile on my face… THAT’S how you celebrate winning the Championship. That’s Old School. Say what you like, he’s got the minerals. Like Schumacher or Senna (both of whom are considered greats, and, I seem to recall, lots of folks disliked or didn’t rate at time), he is one of the greats, no question. I’d rather be saying that about any number of other drivers, but facts is facts. The boy done good. You’re watching history being made, people. If you’re a true F1 fan, you’ll see it for what it is.

    1. Mikeboy0001 says:

      +1
      Couldn’t put it better myself
      Vettel was never my supported driver, already had one, Hamilton
      Still, I never allowed myself to be fooled by driver’s (Hamilton included), critics and haters about how good Vettel was, and how he deserved everything he’d got
      Thanks to a growing spiral of Haters, I started to support Vettel a few months back (I hate injustice)
      But now in India with the donuts and classic images of him on top of the car surrounded by smoke, I think that might have turned me into a true fan
      And they say F1 is boring!!!

    2. Mike Allfrey says:

      Spot On! Mate!

      Thank you folks for all of your comments.

    3. Yago says:

      Yes Vettel won a race in a “MINARDI” from pole position, and Sebastien Bourdais, a Champ Car driver, qualified fourth with that same “MINARDI”. Do you actually know what a “MINARDI” is??

      1. Nedder says:

        Hahaha! You’re funny…

    4. Olivier says:

      +1, Even Alonso turned Red Bull down in 2008. He could’ve been Alonso VII by now. I can imagine him winning the Championship from the onset (2009).

      On a side note:

      1. Vettel’s Torro Rosso was a customer’s car from Red Bull. But still, everyone was surprised at the time that the kid got the car on pole and won that race.

      2. 2009 saw a massive rule change with the introduction of KERS, V8s (?), DRS, simplified aero (wings) and no refueling (?). It was Brawn and Newey who outsmarted everyone. That bodes very well for 2014 … Mercedes vs Red Bull.

    5. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      You learn a new thing every day, today I found out that Newey designed a race winning Minardi ;)

      1. Nedder says:

        Ok, I’ll accept that my over-emphasis on ‘Minardi’ was a bit strong… Sorry, I had been drinking! Hahaha!

        But the point still stands, I think. It was still an incredible achievement.

  16. Goob says:

    With all the excess aero and engine limits – the driver does not require much skill to do good detla times… that is all Vettel is good for.

    Vettel is like a test driver, compared to the true great racers of the past…

    1. Rob Newman says:

      You mean a test driver who is better than the great racers of the past?

      1. Goob says:

        Not at all – he has no relation with any racer of the past, as he is not racing… he is merely getting good delta lap-times, and using zero-skill DRS overtakes, and all because of Newey’s domination in engineering.

        The reality is that there is nothing memorable at all about Vettel’s wins as all the real work was done in Newey’s office.

        As a Schumacher fan, I got as much thrill out of Hakkinen winning as the racing to the limit was always there… none of this delta boring as hell stuff with DRS overtakes.

    2. Mikeboy0001 says:

      Better go back to school
      You lack basic knowledge on things
      What a bunch of nonsense

      1. Goob says:

        I’ve got top grades in advanced engineering maths at university as part of my engineering degree.. thank you for your input.

      2. Mikeboy0001 says:

        You must have skipped a lot of classes then!!!

  17. Colombia Concalvez says:

    Vettel is nothing, he’s driving the best car and Webber got eliminated to benefit Vettel. In the middle of the pack most of us who watch F1 longer know that, these new Vettel fans who’s opinion is shaped by media don’t know what true racing is, they see a guy starting from pole with the best car and then they think that he really is the best. Be prepare for an absolute shocker next year when it is far less about aero. Let’s see how good he really is then

    1. Yak says:

      So… were RB holding back Webber and Coulthard when Vettel put his Toro Rosso on pole and won a race? Were they already favouring him back then over both main RB drivers? Were they somehow favouring Vettel when he went out on track for BMW Sauber and impressed people with his pace, and went on to score in his first F1 race?

    2. Oletros says:

      After saying “Vettel is nothing, he’s driving the best car and Webber got eliminated to benefit Vettel.” you say ” In the middle of the pack most of us who watch F1 longer know that, these new Vettel fans who’s opinion is shaped by media don’t know what true racing is”?

      The irony on the comment is really great

  18. Nick Hipkin says:

    James,

    Next year is a whole new ball game as we know but IF Red Bull with Renault steal a march on their rivals next season and Vettel dominates again do you think the FIA could find themselves at an awkward crossroads like they did at the end of 2004? I.e leave the sport pure or in the face of dwindling interest bring about rule changes to handicap the best team like the concrete tyres hampered Ferrari in 2005.

    P.s I hope it doesn’t come to this!

    1. SteveS says:

      The FIA have already made several rule changes aimed at handicapping RB over the years.

  19. Jehu says:

    There is a big change to the electrics for next season and that has been RBR/Renault’s weakest area over the last couple of seasons.

  20. Ms. Pedant says:

    When did Adrian Newey say that Sebastian Vettel has no big weaknesses? It’s certainly not quoted in the article. Given the general precision of F1 wanna-be-Ron-speak, I doubt that Newey himself would agree with the article’s reinterpretation of the text. (“It’s difficult to see…” is, in F1, a huge distance from, “There are no…”)

  21. ferggsa says:

    Not that VET needs my comments, but I do think general opinion on him is unfair, and I don’t think the media or RedBull’s PR are trying to “sell” him to the fans

    To start with, I am not a VET fan, and neither was I a Schumi fan for the same reason: utter dominance makes races boring, but having said that and after following F1 since Jim Clark was alive and racing, here are some cold facts:

    VET(4) stands in 4th place in WDC after Schumacher(7), Fangio(5) and Prost(4), and I am sure he will at least pass Prost and Fangio

    He stands in 4th pace in Wins(36) after Schumi(91), Prost(51) and Senna(41), and is past the present demi-gods: ALO, HAM and RAI who all started racing before he did

    The point that convinced me he was good is the Poles stat(43), where he stands 3rd after Schumi(68) and Senna(65), and is one of the very few with a higher pole than win ratio together with Senna, Clark, HAM and RAI, way out of ALO, Schumi or Prost’s league, this means the guy is FAST

    As percentages, he has won 30.76% of the races he has started, and is behind only Fangio(41.38%) and Clark(34.25%) (maybe Ascari and other old era racers when there were fewer cars and races), and has passed Schumi(29.74%), Prost(25.75%) and Senna(25.46%), this means the guy is SMART

    This last percentage stat will probably go down in time when he drives a merely competitive car like the other poor drivers have done this past 4 years, but it is impressive numbers anyway

    You can go to http://www.gpguide.com which JA recommended some time back to look at the numbers

    Sorry @goferet, not trying to follow your footsteps, but seemed relevant info

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes, good source of F1 stats

    2. R. says:

      again like majority take stats without taking into consideration the car capabilities, let me make it simple, how many poles would he make if he still was in STR car ? what would be his stats then ?

      1. SteveS says:

        How many poles would Senna have had if he’d stayed with Toleman? It’s an equally silly question, as the the best drivers tend to end up in the best cars for obvious reasons.

      2. R. says:

        why silly ? this unfortunately is the answer giving by die-hard fans. If this was so automatic process, he would replace Heidfeld or Kubica, somehow his “talent” didn’t persuade the BMW engineers. Or if there was already a top driver in RBR, he would be still stuck in STR. And, another funny possibility, if he did replace Heidfeld or Kubica how many WDC would he have ?

      3. ferggsa says:

        I was using stats to make a point where IMHO Vettel is better than the majority of fans think

        Of course if he was still driving an STR (or even a Ferrari) his stats would not be the same, but am also sure they would be better than Algersuari’s, Buemi’s, Vergne’s and Ricciardo’s are

        You and I will not know for sure how good he is until he races someone else than Webber in equivalent cars, but his numbers lead me to think he is good enough, regardless of the car

        I am also sure HAM, ALO, RAI and BUT would have won in the RedBull as well, and Webber, Barrichello and Massa in present form probably would have not, but the fact is Vettel was driving the RB

        We know HAM is as fast as ALO, faster than BUT but ends scoring similar points, and a tad faster than ROS but wins less races; we have no similar data to measure VET, that is what makes it difficult to judge him objectively

        I will be watching the next seasons just to see what VET he can do in more level equipment

  22. Andras F. says:

    James,
    In your reply at the 1st comment you have predicted Mercedes powertrain to be the best next year. On what basis you draw thar conclusion?
    Do you have some insider information about the new power units?
    We know the Mercedes engines are good but why do you or your information source thinks that Ferrari and Renault behind.
    If Mercedes the best in which area are they edging the others? ERS? Fuel consumption?
    Thanks,

    1. James Allen says:

      No, just a feeling based on many conversations around the F1 world

      1. Giorgio says:

        .just a feeling.. and just knowledge – Made in Germany! :)

  23. Ryan Eckford says:

    Vettel may have no big weaknesses right now, but we don’t know what the future may hold.

    Not many drivers have defended their championship from the previous year when there has been a massive regulation change, and next year is one of the biggest regulation changes in a long time.

    For example, in five years time, Vettel may still have four world championships, while someone like Hamilton may have four or five. In the new regulations, the engine and the recovery systems will have a greater impact than ever before, something that Red Bull has shown weakness in the past, and if that weakness comes back, it could cost them very dearly indeed.

    At the moment, Vettel is the best, but what Newey has said must be a slap in the face for Raikkonen. He had very fast cars at McLaren, but the cars lacked the necessary reliability to get the job done, most notably in 2005, and possibly in 2003.

    1. German Samurai says:

      2005 Raikkonen only retired from two races from mechanical problems. He did have bad luck compared to Alonso though. I thought Kimi had the better season.

      2003 Raikkonen had a car good enough (the Williams drivers too), but just couldn’t get it done. Schumacher was too good. Raikkonen only won one race all season. Schumacher won 6. The better man won the championship.

  24. McRocket says:

    Personally, I think Vettel’s advantages are emotional stability (he seems very grounded – for an F1 driver), obviously talented and – most of all – extremely intelligent. Almost every time he Speke, it is obvious there is a great brain behind those eyes.

    I still want to see what he is like when he does not have the best car – something he really has not experienced for long since mid ’09. Multi 21 suggests to me that he may not handle losing all that well and I have read he has a bit of a temper.

    But I believe that even if he does some silly things when his car is no longer the best – that emotional stability and good brain will learn to do things better.

    I think he has all he needs to potentially, one day, be the greatest driver – all around – F1 has seen since Fangio.

    1. Goob says:

      Vettel’s only advantage is that he is sitting in Newey’s car… and Webber was the weaker of the two, and that the team gave Vettel a leg up on every turn, against Webber.

      A very unconvincing state of affairs.

      Another black mark on F1. Not as terrible as Button’s double diffuser WDC, but very similar.

      1. McRocket says:

        Okaaaay….whatever.

        Have a nice day.

  25. yst_01 says:

    Vettel always has a race win sooner than Webber in the season. It was always the case: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and of course 2013.

    But when the car wasn’t that good in 2012, he was leading the WDC after the fourth race… Webber never led the championship in 2012. In fact he never did after Korea 2010 again.

    So I don’t know why people saying, Vettel isn’t that good, when the car isn’t the fastest and then he even loses to Webber?? The facts speak for themselves.

    When the RB8 was a rather bad/slow car, Vettel had bad qualifyings as in Shanghai. He even didn’t make it to Q3 there and started from P11.

    He also had a very poor start. He was P15 after the second corner, but finished on P5 just behind Webber, who qualified P7 and only passed him in the last two laps or so, because of fresher tires..

    Reversed scenario in Barcelona. Vettel qualified P8, Webber P12. Vettel finished with a P6 and without the punishment on P5. Webber in a RB was lapped by Maldonado in a Williams…..

    Without the alternator failure in Valencia, Webber had never made it in front of Vettel in the standings. Even with his win in Silverstone. Alonso gained in that very race 25 points (32 respectively!) on Vettel instead of losing 7 with a P2 behind Vettel.

    And also Grosjean would be ahead of Kimi after Valencia, if he hadn’t had to stop the car during the race. Something people fail to oversee and that is one reason why I think Kimi will lose quite badly in 2014 to Alonso.

    In Monza 2012 and the second alternator problem for Vettel, Webber only had to finish in the points to be ahead of Vettel again, but he failed, made a driver error and therefore DNF the race.

    With regard to Hamilton
    Of course he is one of the quickest out there, but I think he lacks technical logic. 2006 he was allowed to test a lot in a McLaren and a year later as a “rookie” he also profited from the work of a two time WC. In the first half of 2009 then he wanted to stop the car in two races or so, because he was in the back of the field…

    I remember the beginning of the 2013 season when Mercedes was the quickest car in Q3 by a distance and people jubilating, Hamilton will be even better when he understands the new car later in the season.

    So now it is the end of the season and what does Lauda said a few days ago about Hamilton’s setup work? That Nico makes a much better setup work than Lewis. That he is a very intelligent driver, knows how and when to use the tires. So I think Hamilton not only lacks consistency. Of course, give him a fast car with the right tires, then he might be much, much quicker than any other driver. But you can’t always get what you want and need in life and/or F1.

  26. SteveS says:

    Newey actually praised Vettel to the skies after the Indian GP. To say he clams Vettel has no big weaknesses severely understates the case.

    “I’d say that Jim Clark and Ayrton Senna are two of the all-time greats and Sebastian needs to be considered in that line.” That’s well beyond “He has no big weaknesses”, that’s Newey saying Vettel is one of the best drivers to ever climb into an F1 car.

  27. Paweł says:

    Despite some weaknesses Vettel has got one unique strength, a big one – Newey… it is enough.

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