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Vettel wins Japanese Grand Prix as Grosjean comes of age
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Posted By: James Allen  |  13 Oct 2013   |  8:31 am GMT  |  588 comments

Sebastian Vettel won the Japanese Grand Prix, after a race long challenge from Lotus’ Romain Grosjean, who led for most of the race. Pole sitter Mark Webber passed Grosjean for second place two laps from the end to make it a Red Bull 1-2.

Fernando Alonso finished fourth, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg, who put in another strong performance.

It was Vettel’s fourth win in five years at Suzuka and his ninth win of 2013 and the 35th win of his career. It was also the first time he has won five consecutive races.

Vettel now has a 90 point lead over Fernando Alonso, who finished fourth today, which means that he is likely to clinch his fourth world title in India in two weeks time. He needs to finish fifth or higher in Delhi to finish the job off.

After three consecutive second places in Spa, Monza and Singapore, the Korea/Japan leg has not been kind to Ferrari, which has lost ground to Lotus in particular.

“I’d like to thank the fans, for the appreciation and respect they show the drivers,” said Vettel. “I had a very poor start. We were patient and looked after the tyres and had incredible pace in the end. I’m blown away. It (the championship) looks very good at this stage, but it’s not over until it’s over.”

It was a different kind of race from what we have seen recently in as much as Vettel didn’t drive away at the front; rather it was Grosjean, who controlled things in the first part of the race, with Webber behind him and Vettel in third.

Strategy was decisive; Red Bull split the strategies with Webber on a three stop and Vettel on a two. Vettel’s second stint was decisive; he was able to run a long middle stint and that gave him fresher tyres in the closing stages to pass Grosjean for the lead. Webber struggled to do the same on medium tyres in the final laps.

Teams were aware that a two stop strategy was around 8-10 seconds faster than three stops on paper, but there would be some teams possibly struggling to make the tyres last for a two stop.

Grosjean did a superb job throughout the race, but didn’t quite have enough pace on the strategy he was on to make it stick and take the victory. Another driver who excelled again was Nico Hulkenberg, who kept the Ferraris behind him for most of the race, but lost out to Alonso and Raikkonen in the final laps as his tyres faded.

At the start, Grosjean jumped into the lead, ahead of pole man Webber, while Hamilton and Vettel touched, Hamilton getting a rear puncture. Alonso moved ahead of Hulkenberg into 6th place, with Massa and Rosberg ahead of him.

At the back Van der Garde and Bianchi crashed in Turn 1, the Caterham suffering heavy front damage.

The order on the opening lap was: Grosjean, Webber, Vettel, Rosberg, Massa, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Perez, Gutierrez, Button.

Hamilton pitted on lap one and took on a set of new hard tyres, but he also had problems with aerodynamic loss from bodywork damage, up to one second per lap.

Vettel found himself third, obliged to drop back two seconds to protect his tyres, as was Webber.

Alonso was desperate to pass Massa in the opening stint, while on lap 9 Hamilton retired from the race. The opening stint was uneventful, little changing at the front through the first round of pit stops.

Button pitted on lap 9, Hulkenberg and Di Resta a couple of laps later. All moved onto the harder Pirelli tyre. On lap 12, Webber, Raikkonen and Massa pitted.

Lotus reacted and brought Grosjean into the pits on lap 13, retaining position ahead of Webber. This left Vettel leading on the medium tyres, trying to build a 22 second gap over Webber to jump him at his stop. He didn’t manage it and remained behind Grosjean and Webber.

Nico Rosberg was given a drive through penalty for unsafe release from a pit stop, he came out of his pit box into the path of Sergio Perez. Mercedes’ miserable race was compounded by Rosberg losing seven places, dropping down to 12th.

In the train which had formed behind Ricciardo, Alonso passed Massa, then a lap later Hulkenberg and Alonso both passed Ricciardo.

The Australian had started on hard tyres and this showed the others that they were good for at least 20 laps, which helped them to plan their strategy for the remainder of the race.

Grosjean maintained a 2.2 second gap over Webber, with Vettel a similar margin behind.

Webber pitted for the second time on lap 26, as Red Bull split strategies with Webber moving to three stops and Vettel on two stops. Grosjean kept going until lap 30 the pitted with 23 laps to the finish. He dropped in third behind Webber. Vettel pushed hard in the lead.

But Grosjean had it covered and maintained the gap below 20 seconds, not enough for Vettel to pit and rejoin before the finish. Vettel’s tactic was to have fresher tyres at the end of the race to challenge Grosjean in the closing stages.

Vettel pitted on lap 37 and rejoined on fresh tyres less than two seconds behind the Frenchman. He passed him four laps later for second place.

Webber pitted on lap 43, losing the lead to Vettel; he put on a set of medium tyres for the final stint. He attacked Grosjean on lap 47 and lap 48 into Turn 1 but couldn’t get through and that cost him the momentum he’d built up to potentially challenge Vettel for the win in the closing laps.

He passed Grosjean with two laps to go to the end.

The sixth place for Hulkenberg and seventh for Gutierrez (his first points in F1) meant that Sauber closed on Force India for sixth place in the constructors’ championship, the gap is now just seven points. Hulkenberg has scored points in the last four races.

JAPANESE GRAND PRIX, 53 laps
1. Vettel Red Bull 1h37.410s
2. Webber Red Bull +7.1s
3. Grosjean Lotus +9.9s
4. Alonso Ferrari +45.6s
5. Raikkonen Lotus +47.3s
6. Hulkenberg Sauber +51.6s
7. Gutierrez Sauber +1m11.6s
8. Rosberg Mercedes +1m12.0s
9. Button McLaren +1m20.8s
10. Massa Ferrari +1m29.2s
11. Di Resta Force India +1m38.5s
12. Vergne Toro Rosso +1 lap
13. Ricciardo Toro Rosso +1 lap
14. Sutil Force India +1 lap
15. Perez McLaren +1 lap
16. Maldonado Williams +1 lap
17. Bottas Williams +1 lap
18. Pic Caterham +1 lap
19. Chilton Marussia +1 lap

Drivers’ Championship
1. Vettel 297 points
2. Alonso 207
3. Raikkonen 177
4. Hamilton 151
5. Webber 148

Constructors’ Championship
1. Red Bull-Renault 445 points
2. Ferrari 297
3. Mercedes 277
4. Lotus-Renault 264
5. McLaren-Mercedes 83

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588 Comments
  1. Tolga says:

    Would love to see the “he passed vettel 2laps to go” for webber @james ;))) would you mind correcting the last sentence

    1. KRB says:

      Another correction: the gap to Force India for Sauber is 17 pts, not 7.

    2. Abraham says:

      Anyways James do you think RBR was honest in their strategy I.e they seems to scew Web strategy to help Vet.

      1. James Allen says:

        You will find out in our UBS Race Strategy Report tomorrow.

  2. Random 79 says:

    Well done to Vettel, absolutely earned that one :)

    Shame for Mark, but still a good race and a good finish.

    Good result for Grosjean also, just a matter of time I think before he has his first win.

    Best race I’ve seen for a while, really enjoyed it start to finish :)

    1. Andrew M says:

      Yes, probably my favourite race of the season. Grosjean was very hard done by racing both Red Bulls, as he just couldn’t cover off both strategies, meaning he was kind of in no-mans land.

      1. Martin says:

        I’m not sure Webber made a big difference – Vettel was able to close to the point where the undercut could work – it was then a case a what lap could the Red Bull do that and still get home. Lotus had to stop Grosjean on that lap to force a pass on the track. On the hard tyres the Red Bull was just too strong. If the only available race tyres were the mediums then the Lotus would have won.

    2. FW14B says:

      Earned? Gifted by his team more like, Webber was sold a dummy. Expect more of the same next year for Webber’s compatriot Ricciardo …

      1. Equin0x says:

        Grow up just honour Seb for being the champion he is, if most of the Hamilton/Alonso/Webber fans are now man enough to admit Seb’s brilliance I’m sure the rest can, you’re witnessing an all time great maybe even an all time top 5 driver here, I always feel privilaged to be watching these kind of drivers, starting with Senna even though I was a tad too young in the late 80′s and early 90′s but I understood his brilliance I’m just dissapointed in the small group of english media and fan for being ignorant and bitter with jealousy but at the end of the day Seb drove a clever race whilst having a rough weekend and won a straight up derserved win, if Webber had been on the 2 stops after that first stint of his he would have been swallowed up by even Grosjean and maybe even Alonso and Raikkonen then what would the people say? RBR have bent over backwards in plessing Mark and give him everything he needs to win for the past 9 years its just fact he is not good enough compared to Vettel, get over it.

      2. Grant H says:

        Webber was running in front controlling race then they gave him a slower strategy, track position is king

        When you are running in front with a gap the best strategy is to react,

        Vet did not earn that win the team gave it to him

        They played grosjean so that vet ended p1

        RB strategists won today

      3. DomJones says:

        I’m a Hamilton fan and I’ll admit that Vettel is a great driver. However, people would give him lot more respect if more of his wins were like today’s win instead of the usual lights to flag, 5 second lead, walk in the park.

        He does what he has to do almost faultlessly. He gets poles, drives away and rarely makes mistakes. If the others can’t keep up that’s their problem. But F1 fans want to see battles for the lead but we don’t usually get that with Vettel. Not his fault – but not very exciting.

        Hamilton said this week that Vettel’s dominance might be a turn off to fans. He’s right. I haven’t paid Sky for the Sky F1 channel since before Hungary – and I’m a dedicated F1 fan. I’ve been watching F1 for nearly 25 years. This era reminds me of 2002 and 2004. I used to watch the start of the race and if Schumacher was leading at the end of lap 1 it was a foregone conclusion and I’d go and do something else. There’s more racing down the order these days so I do stay tuned (usually to the highlights).

        At this rate, by the middle of next year Vettel will have won more races and more championships than Senna but who will people rate higher? People who remember watching Senna remember him battling, overtaking, fighting, sometimes winning, sometimes losing, but definitely earning respect as a great racer.

        Webber has had the Red Bull for longer than Vettel but Vettel has trounced him – and generally trounced everyone else. He must be a great driver to get those results. He does everything right, but his race wins are usually straight forward and boring. His dominance is a turn off. What excitement do his fans get from watching him cruise round five seconds in the lead race after race after race?

      4. JF says:

        Dear DomJones

        The majority on this site never saw senna race. Myself included. There was no coverage in rural Ontario. If you believe the hype you agree that there are no good drivers in f1 now. You assume that since Vettel does not have to battle, his competition is weak. If Vettel is unworthy of Sennas legacy, what does that say of the likes of Ham and Alonso who can’t win, or even bring a real battle. They are not overcoming any great deficit, they are just plain losing, to a driver who is by all account — useless.

      5. petes says:

        Exactly!

      6. Kris says:

        Still can’t understand this whole notion that Webber gets a rawl deal at RBR. He might have done a couple of years ago, but all my sympathy for him has gone. Everybody love nice, straight-talking, Mark. That niceness and that straight talking for the journalists and cameras only distracts us from the fact that he’s the poorest driver with a good car out there. I’m sure you could take anyone from Alonso, Kimi, Grosjean, Hamilton, Rosberg, Hulkenberg and Button and put them in the same car as Seb. I’m not saying any one of them would beat Seb over a season, but I’m sure all of the above would get the better of him more times than Webber has this season.

        I like the guy as a character and F1 will be poorer for losing him but, come on, we talk about Massa being a waste of a good seat at Ferrari. Webber is as bad if not worse.

      7. Mikeboy0001 says:

        +1

      8. aezy_doc says:

        Not convinced they would beat SV any more than MW has. The RB is built around Vettel and his dominance is a combination of a driver at the top of his game in a car that is at the top of it’s game (would SV win the championship in a Marussia? No, so some of it must be the car!). His dominance is to his credit as he has earned it. I reckon it all went wrong for Mark Webber in Korea 2010. If he’d won the championship that year Red Bull might (might) have been a little more accommodating of his driving style and tailored the car to him. As it was SV won the first of what will be many world championships (more than 4 I would have thought) and garnered the might of RB forever more. SV went forward MW went backwards. I hope that next year with the changes coming in SV won’t be as dominant – however I can see that after the summer break he will be mighty again, so the other teams need to make hay in the earlier part of the season and hang on for dear life at the end of the European season. Well done SV, a worthy champion, but I hope it will be closer next year!

      9. Thompson says:

        Mmmmm…. I dunno, things have changed over at RB – not taking anything awAy from Seb but all the problems on Marks car are now suspect.

        Any other week if Marks car was this competitive it would have a problem come race day. I have joked about this over the past few races but the strategy calls this weekend when his times were still consistent….c’mon

        While SV is the better driver Mark has beaten him and has been competitive. But you think about it if the cars were equal then the team would dominate the sport aka McLaren, Williams back in the day when team orderswhere ignored but all was equal in terms of machinery.

        Those Schumacer years……..

      10. BRad says:

        It’s true. They had both Mark and Serb on a two stop as confirmed by the radio calls for them to back off. Then on lap 22, Mark is told he is now on a 3 stopper, while Seb remain on two. Pit reporter says marks used primes look fine after 2nd stop.

        So as Mark said after the race he got caught out between the two. He knows what happened and why. REDBULL didn’t want mark to remain in front of Seb.

        If people still doubt the conspiracy theorist after this race……well you’re not looking at the race close enough.

        Let’s hope Riciardo doesn’t play along with it for too long. Why Mark hasn’t gone completely rougue yet is disappointing.

        Redbull as a team are a disgrace. Sad part is, it takes away credit from Seb because they erase his competition by stealth.

      11. Jay says:

        +1 Absolute win for team strategists.

      12. I know says:

        If Webber, on fresh medium tyres, had been able to pass Grosjean who was on older hard tyres once he caught him, he would have had a real chance to challenge Vettel on the final laps.

        Grosjean obviously defended well, but Vettel, on hard tyres, managed to get past him a little earlier. So, I don’t think you can blame the fact that Webber ended up behind Vettel on strategy alone; Vettel also raced better, and presumably looked after his tyres better as well.

        Still a good effort from Webber, but I think the finishing order was a fair reflection of the way he and Vettel were racing.

      13. Thompson says:

        They were scrubbed mediums and most likely the most scrubbed up set they could find…..

    3. Mr Squiggle says:

      You’ve got to be kidding.

      Redbull knew 2 stops was quicker than 3, as did this website, as did the rest of the field, so they put Webber on 3 stops to put him behind the battle for the win.

      Redbull are a disgrace.

      And an they are an abject one at that.

      “shame for Mark”??? It was clear from the radio comments as early as lap 20 (engine 21) that ‘the team’ was shafting him again.

      Its a shame for the sport, I would rather stop watching.

      1. David C says:

        And its ok for ferrari to tell Massa to move over while leading gps or have his gearbox opened just to help his team mate move up the grid? What about NR not being allowed to pass a LH car that cant go over 30MPH cause LH used his fuel too hard. The fact is that its unfair to expect SV to race his team mate when none of his rivals have to. If you wanna stop watching after this but had no problem continuing after the Massa gearbox I think that proves that your problem is not with team orders but its more that you dislike SV.

      2. Anil says:

        Massa moved over once whilst leading a Grand Prix and that’s because Massa was basically out of the title fight Nd Alonso was their only chance, a decision that was clearly right.

        It didn’t matter if Seb or mark won today as the title fight has been over for some time.

      3. David C says:

        @anil before the 2010 German GP FA had 97 points and FM had 67 points. At the point in the race at which the team orders were (as of 2010 illigaly) issued FM had 92 points while FA had 115, a difference of 23 points. As in 2010 there was 25 points available for a win and that year the German GP was round 11 that means there were 225 points up for grabs. Do you still think Madsa was already out of the fight?

      4. Wade Parmino says:

        Ferrari have an honest driver hierarchy. Red Bull claim driver equality but conduct themselves in a way that clearly shows a 1-2 policy. It would be less irritating and a little easier to take if Christian Horner just honestly said “Seb is number one and everything we do is for him, Mark gets whatever leftovers we have”.

        This fact along with Vettel’s attitude is why people don’t like him. He actually said “keep him away from me” (referring to Webber) in the closing stages of the race. His own words condemn him. These five words indicate Vettel’s clear number 1 position within the team. It can also be inferred that Vettel’s success has been as great as it has due to this apparent modus operandi Red Bull has of keeping Webber away from Vettel. They do this with ‘strategy calls’, friendly fire ‘errors’, parts swaps, and of course the inherent design of the car built to Vettel’s demands.

        Perhaps none of this is true. Not relevant. The impression given by Vettel himself when his political guard is down (while racing under pressure) is that it is very much the truth.

      5. DonSimon says:

        You do know Mark set the fastest lap straight after then engine 21 call?

      6. H.Guderian says:

        So what??? What is your point??? WEB was clearly ambushed (AGAIN).

      7. kfzmeister says:

        I can’t stand Vettel either, but that was necessary move for the championship by RB

      8. Anne says:

        Yes, they fooled Webber and Lotus. Nothing new they did the same in 2010 with Webber and Ferrari. Having said that RBR has every right to do any strategy they want. They did nothing against the rules. If they wanted to help Vettel is fair game. If fans don´t like it it´s irrelevant.

      9. Doobs says:

        If fans then chose to boo the ‘chosen one’ on the podium and RB don’t like it, then that’s equally irrelevant.

      10. Anne says:

        And I agree. I never understood why there was such big deal with the booing when it´s part of all sports.I´ve seen worst things at football matches. But here we´re talking about a team strategy. Fans don´t decide over strategy.

      11. H.Guderian says:

        That’s not the point.
        The fact is that RBR is very quick to judge other teams (Alo/Mas at Germany). They think they are the moral compass, but they do the same things (or worse)

      12. SteveS says:

        I’d rather you stop watching too, as you clearly don’t understand what you’re seeing. Webber is always harder on his tyres than Vettel and he’d have finished behind Grosjean on a two stopper.

      13. Equin0x says:

        Stop watching? I doubt you will until uou know there is no hope of Hamilton in winning another title and let me tell you this now, unless Merc has a huge advantage next year you might as well switch off.

      14. Colombia Concalvez says:

        Like Kimi or Alonso has better change..

      15. I believe you are mistaken. After all, had Mark not been held up behind Grosjean the Red Bull pair would’ve indeed arrived at the same destination at the same time, and we would’ve had a nail-biting finish. No conspiracies here.

      16. A. says:

        And you seriously think RB would’ve let them race had Webber closed up on Vettel with 2-3 laps to go???

      17. @A. Given the circumstances, I don’t see why not.

      18. Grant H says:

        I agree with the sentiment – would not go as far to say RB are a disgrace, very disappointed mark did not win

        The strategists arranged it

        Team orders influencing the result is never good for sport

      19. monsterFG says:

        Spot on, anyone think Seb earned win I suggest have re listen of the message from team to Seb “you are not racing Mark, you are racing Roman” which was on lap 20 just before they put Mark on 3 stopper. Someone said “they didn’t do nothing against the rules” no they didn’t because FIA changed the rules so team orders are legal now and are detriment to the sport which now is basically engineered from start to finish as we all know who’s gonna move out of the way since each team have a N01 driver. In the past at least they tried to hide it for the sake of not being punished.

      20. Hammer says:

        “Team orders influencing the result is never good for sport”

        Serious? What you say after Malasya Multi21?

      21. David C says:

        So you disagree with the multi 21 team order and applaud SV for attacking ……. Of course you don’t. It’s SVs fault when team orders are for him, and when they are against him ….. and even when they don’t exist.

      22. Random 79 says:

        Mark couldn’t have done two stops.

        If he didn’t get stuck behind Grosjean for those two or three laps he would have been right on Vettel and then suddenly it would have gotten verrry interesting…but it wasn’t to be and full credit to Grosjean for the great defensive driving :)

      23. Ronnie says:

        I watched the race twice.

        The first time I was outraged by the 3-stop strategy RB made Webber do, for I thought they were helping Vettel, and Vettel does NOT need to be helped. As a Vettel fan since 2007, I routed for Webber until he could not pass RG for so many laps when Vettel passed him clean with one lap under 1 second. I would have loved to see MW pass RG then pass SV for the win, for I though it was unfair for the team to call him in so early.

        The second time I watched the race yielded a different picture – Mark had such a hard time passing RG on newer and faster tires towards the end, that he could not have ever been able to pass him on equal or older tires. The 3-stopper was the only way to put Webber in front of the Lotus, and Mark at the end had a real chance to regain the lead. So the 3-stopper was the best strategy for Webber given the circumstance. If VET had been stuck behind GRO the same amount of time WEB had, WEB would have won. That was why VET was crying about the traffic being unfair, which was not very attractive even for someone who loves him, for he knew the potential threat from behind.

      24. BRad says:

        It was so obvious he got shafted.

      25. JF says:

        Please do! You are clearly not a fan.

    4. Dimitar Kadrinski says:

      you do NOT earn a victory when you drive the FASTEST car on the grid (and the fastest by quite a margin), it is called saved the win. It was redbull’s to loose all weekend. So please…. Back to the shumacher years, this sport is not an interesting one for me any more… just hoping next year can bring us something different!

      1. Random 79 says:

        What??!!!

        How about you drive an F1 car for a couple hours faster than anyone else and see how easy you find it.

        I am not a Vettel fan – I would much rather have seen Mark win it – but the fact is that Vettel won and he did earn it.

        Saying he didn’t earn the win just because he had the fastest car is a direct slap in the fast to most (if not all) race winners and world champions past and present.

        And back to the Schumacher years? What the hell do you think he was driving? A donkey maybe?

        No, Schumacher had the fastest car too.

        If this sport is not interesting to you anymore that’s cool, maybe then you can keep rubbish like that to yourself.

      2. Harshad says:

        +1, well put

      3. Dimitar Kadrinski says:

        Well if you just look at the facts, then you might agree to me, but it is up to you. What I can say is: a victory earned would have been Webber’s if he managed to make his 3 stop work (intense drive all the way + overtaking cars on the track) or Grosjean’s with a much slower car, but through a good start and good strategy. Vettel on the other hand had a POOR start, did more mistakes in this race alone than he did in the first half of the championship maybe, overtook just ONE car on the track (Grosjean was not trying to defend, I am sure, he knew or been told, he is not racing Vettel)and won it… easy in my own opinion ( or should I say relatively easy…)
        When the whole F1 audience expect Vettel to win it easy, then it is NOT EARNED, even the team principals began to talk that they are not racing redbull!!! What does that tell you?
        I am one of a few F1 fans that do not have a clear favourite driver, i watch this sport simply to enjoy it, whoever wins. Respecting the drivers with their fitness and their reactions and all the rest. But Vettel is too arrogant for me to like him, although i do not hate him, he’s just a kid (this race he also spoke to the pit to try and ask then to stop Webber catch him…)
        And not on the last place, listen to Martin Brundle( I think it was him) flying on a plane to Japan with most of the drivers, saying that ALL the drivers HATE the current formula, but they are not allowed to go public with their opinion!!!!
        Enough.

      4. JF says:

        Yes the best must be punished at all cost. Please let the mediocre rise. It is unfair to be good. Only the poor drivers should win. Having a god car means you are a loser.

      5. H.Guderian says:

        You are right. Newey must not be punished at all.

    5. AlexD says:

      It was not a bad race at all. My observations are slightly different. Despite so many mistakes from Vettel today (really unusual), he still got with a win. It just shows how massive advantage his car has. I think Red Bull always knew they can win it, either with Webber or Vettel (preferably). They just said…you know, if you cannot overtake Grosjean now…just keep the 2 sec gap and we will do it later. You say it because you know you have something in the pocket and you have a performance advantage.

      I did like the race, I have to say. I still had a hope that somebody else is going to win, but it was obvious that Vettel will make it. 3 races ago I knew he is going to win this one, just like I know he will win the next one too:-)

      I did not fully understand his comment about Webber…to keep him away from him. What did he mean exactly?

      Also…I am wondering, would Kimi be able to win if he was leading the race? He needs to start doing a much better job on Saturday, just like Alonso. Alonso was really good today as well, but he did not have the pace of Red Bull really.

      Glad that Massa did not let him go. They need to race…always. It is fair like this.

      Kimi and Alonso would do so much better on Sundays if they would have qualified better.

      1. Random 79 says:

        Yeah a lot of mistakes from Vettel, really unusual.

        It might be easy for us to say the pressure’s off now that he all but has the WDC sown up, but I suspect the butterflies are still there.

      2. AlexD says:

        Things can always be worse. For instance…..say this year Red Bull wins again. Fine. But if next year they are struggling…then it is a breathe of a fresh air. If they will dominate again…or not dominate, but just win…then….it is a pain, huge pain. But….it can go even worse then that. Say Vettel wins again next year with Red Bull his title #5 and then goes to Ferrari and starts winning there. What do I do? It is always tough to support a guy that you do not like in a team that you have always been supporting.

      3. Random 79 says:

        That’s a real dilemma Alex – one that I kind of sympathise with – but interestingly if Vettel goes on to start winning with Ferrari down the line and wins one or two titles with them I think I might actually like to see just how far he could take it.

        Eight, nine…dare I say it even ten titles?

        Boring maybe, but unquestionably history making and something we’re not likely to ever see again :)

  3. splade24 says:

    Last line *Grosjean

    1. Juzh says:

      Vettel heads red bull 1-2. Must be a conspiracy! RB changes it’s mind quite a lot it seems, yesterday they were sabotaging vettel’s kers and today they sabotaged webber’s race lol.
      Mark was attacking grosjean and in the process destroyed his tires, while vettel patiently sat behind waiting for his turn. Webber could never do a 2 stop because he’s much harder on tires than Seb as witnessed numerous times since pirelli came into f1.
      Good effort by gro to keep the RBs behind but he used too much fuel in the process and obviously had to run lean in the final stint, before parking his car at the end of pitlane. What goes around, comes around.
      Funny how mercs self-destructed. Hamilton driving into vettel was a racing incident as far as I see it. He thought he was already in front, much like grosjean in spa last year.
      Silly stuff in the pitlane forcing ros to do a drive trough, dropping him way down the field and then got stuck behind hulk who was doing a fantastic race.
      Alonso lucks into somewhat good position as usual.
      If anybody could hold RBs behind it was raikkonen, had he not botched qualifying yesterday. His fault entirely. Doesn’t seem like a bright future in ferrari with 2 less than optimal qualifiers in the team.

      1. radohc says:

        +1
        It is refreshing to see not everybody is in the auto-conspiracy mode.

        Btw. You forgot to mention the schizopfrenia of RedBull, who for once not only sabotaged Mark’s, but also Seb’s start! Bad, bad guys!

        Or they maybe really care about what Lewis said about boring F1, so they just try hard to improve races :-)

        But looking at quality of their drivers they need to do better. LOL

      2. Gazza says:

        Actually if you bother to look at the replay you can see Webber move sharply right squeezing Hamilton into Vettel.

        Racing incident yes but he didn’t drive into Vettel, he was pushed, the puncture was just plain bad luck.

      3. “…Mark was attacking grosjean and in the process destroyed his tires, while vettel patiently sat behind waiting for his turn. Webber could never do a 2 stop because he’s much harder on tires than Seb as witnessed numerous times since pirelli came into f1…”

        You nailed it!

      4. L.B says:

        Mark was told to attack Grosjean. Rocque to Vettel…”Mark is working on Grosjean now, hold station”. Excellent strategy from Red Bull nonetheless, I think Mercedes in a similar position would have kept both their drivers on a 2-stopper just to prove their equal-status and lost the win.

  4. phil_too says:

    This is in my wind why Vettel is true class and not the car. Webber couldn’t overtake Gro despite fresher and faster tyres. Vettel breezed passed him on slower tyres and when Gro was on fresher tyres himself.
    It should have been easy for Web but he just doesn’t have the same talent as Seb.

    1. Miha Bevc says:

      I agree. I actually beleive that if Red Bull would put Vettel on a 3 stop strategy and Webber on a 2 stop, the result at the end of the race would probably be exactly the same: 1 VET 2 WEB 3 GRO

      1. SteveS says:

        Nope, it would have been (1) VET (2) GRO (3) WEB.

        Webber does not manage his tyres well enough to have even equaled his second place on a two stopper.

      2. Ronnie says:

        Totally agree. Webber wouldn’t have found a place or point to pass Gro with 2-stopper.

      3. Webber has shown us why he is leaving the sport. Any racer worth his salt would have overtaken Grojen.

      4. Glennb says:

        Yeah. Webber so should have overtaken GRO. That would mean Webber would have come second right?

      5. DonSimon says:

        Kimi didn’t beat him in the same car. Just be gracious and try not to bitch about drivers. Be a good sport.

      6. Grant H says:

        What? Track position is king japan is not an easy place to overtake

    2. TGS says:

      Vettel was on fresh primes when he overtook Grosjean but I agree, it’s things like this that separate Webber and Vettel.

      1. Tealeaf says:

        Yeah but when Vettel overtook Grosjean the frenchmans tyres was fresher than it was when Webber was struggling to overtake him, who says Seb can’t overtake and race should take note this was an example on where Webber ruined his chance of a win due to his lack of overtaking ability compared to Seb.

      2. Anil says:

        Seb had a huge car advantage when he overtook Grosjean, as with the high downforce wing he was able to follow RG much closer than mark even could (mark was running a skinny wing hence why he was under steering out of spoon and the esses.

    3. dufus says:

      No, thet dont have the same car and they sure as hell make the strategy favour Vettel
      Anyone with there eyes open can see that.

      1. phil_too says:

        Yes, my eyes were open enough to see that WEB car was set up for straight line speed with the skinny wing. And even with DRS still struggled. So it’s arguable that WEB had a faster car set up…

      2. aezy_doc says:

        No no no no no. Skinny wing = less downforce, less traction out of corners, moving around more in the corners, unable to follow as closely through the corners, left behind on the straight with a bigger deficit to make up over the car ahead along the (relatively short) straight. A need to brake earlier too as stopping distance is longer. All of this made it harder for Webber to pass Grosjean. Mind you, you have to ask, why did he opt for that setup in the first place? The error was made before the red lights went out.

      3. Oletros says:

        Well, anyone that want to see that

      4. Jeff says:

        First it was multi 21.
        Then Multi 3.

        Apparently, multi is a Red Bull code word for ‘Screw Vettel’s teammate’

    4. Scuderia McLaren says:

      +10000

    5. Andrew M says:

      How does a Red Bull 1-2 prove it’s Vettel and not the car? All this does is confirm (i) Red Bull has the best car, and (ii) Vettel is better than Webber; both of those we already knew.

      1. Anil says:

        Yup. Thank you for posting some sense.

    6. David (Sydney) says:

      WEB couldn’t overtake because of his car setup versus GRO’s car setup… it’s at least 50/50 car and driver in F1 and it’s generally true for motor sport…

    7. Irish con says:

      That’s true in a way but not in another. Webber and Vettel had different set ups. Webber ran less rear wing so was slower out of the chicane and out of spoon curve. Vettel is a class act no doubt.

    8. jee1 says:

      I would like you to remind that Mark Webber was running a LOW DOWNFORCE setup on his car,unlike Vettel and Grosjean,who had HIGH DOWNFORCE setups…And so,Webber did not have same traction out of corners as Vettel and Grosjean..So it took long for him to pass Grosjean..Webber is a class driver..

      1. Timmay says:

        Oh the excuses

      2. aezy_doc says:

        oh the reasons. It’s called physics. Webber is a class driver – that’s why he is in a team tat is winning so many WCCs. He’s just not as good as Vettel.

      3. Phil Too says:

        I never said Webber wasn’t a class driver, and thanks for point out the OBVIOUS about the car set ups.
        So let me remind you that because Mark had a LOW DOWNFORCE set up he should have been faster (much) on the straights and able to overtake easier (especially) with DRS

      4. jee1 says:

        AND because he had LOW downforce,he had LESS TRACTION coming out of corners than Grosjean..If you get a good traction out of final corner,you can streak away from the behind car ..For DRS to be effective,Mark had to be really,really close to Romain after the chicane..In normal case,if he was little behind also, DRS would have enabled him to pass Grosjean earlier than what we saw in the race at Japan..
        If you are too far behind in the DRS straight,no matter how much extra speed you have using DRS,you cannot pass the front car..

  5. BRad says:

    Rocky,” you’re not racing mark, you’re racing Grojean “.

    Redbull shananigans again. Did that mean Mark was already out of their equation?……so far from the finish.

    Good strategy .SV.

    1. DaveF1 says:

      No, it means they expected Webber to win and Vettel to fight for second with Grosjean.

      1. no , it was red bull confirming that they had strategised webber out of the equation as brundle realised what has been done to webbers strategy.

        i said yesterday that there was no way that redbull would allow webber to win. even webber said he was surprised when they changed his strategy and he questioned it!!!!

        when the car to pit to car transcripts are published it will be interesting to hear the full wording of vettels plaintive call for help…’don’t let him near me’ or words to that effect. maybe other posters will fill in the spaces if i have got it wrong.

      2. James says:

        “Get him out of the way, even if he’s on options”

        “Charlie, get him out of my way please, thank you”.

        It was Vettel asking for Perez to be moved aside and lapped as he was on new options and holding Vettel up.

      3. SteveS says:

        The only person who did anything to Webber’s strategy was Webber. He’s the one who was chewing through his tyres faster than his teammate … as he has been doing for the past several years. But invariably there’s still somebody out there scratching his head in bewilderment asking “Why did they pit Webber earlier?”

      4. Tealeaf says:

        Brundle fuels people like the Vettel [mod] with small hints and digs at Seb but making it out he is not discrediting Seb, there are plenty ofhis puppets on here and I use to think James was like Brundle on this subject but he has proved he isn’t and any intelligent person can see whats going on. As for the race just admit it Vettel did the best job, Redbull did everything they could for Webber but he just wasn’t quick enough, enjoy the rest of the season.

    2. TGS says:

      I think it just meant that they were now on different strategies.

    3. Doug says:

      Virtually confirmed by Webber on Sky!!! And people are being accused of being mad conspiracy theorists when the proof is right there.

      1. anon says:

        Webber’s bitter like Barrichello.

        3 stops was probably the optimal strategy today for Red Bull, but anyway, he couldn’t make it work. Couldn’t get past Grosjean on fresh mediums. There wasn’t a point in the race when Webber was trying to do anything but win. Had he caught Vettel we may have seen him be told to be careful, but he couldn’t get close enough. Red Bull did nothing to compromise Webber’s afternoon. They could have brought Vettel in earlier than Webber to get the undercut early but didn’t.

      2. Doug says:

        And you are the gullible type of a fan willing to accept everything that you see and are told without critical analysis. Red Bull are trying to build a legend and a brand out of vettel and a Webber win was not in their “One of 6 drivers to ever get 5 wins in a row (or whatever it is)” scheme of things. So they simply manipulated the race in WWF fashion. I dont know about you but I get offended when they think I will dutifully lap up such manipulation like some gullible unintelligent F1 fan. With all their resources dont for a second tell me they did not know putting Webbo on a three stop would clear the way for fingerboy Vettel and lose Webber the race? For crying out loud no other front running team even bothered with a three stopper EXCEPT Red Bull for Webber! If they were honest and open about instead of trying to pull wool over our eyes, they would have my respect.

      3. BRad says:

        Doug, well said. That’s exactly why Helmut sniffs around the garage……….to look after the Redbull brand. Though thy leave a lot to be said about sportsmanship and fair play.

      4. TGS says:

        What did Webber say on Sky?

      5. Doug says:

        “After the first stop, the guys said we were still on a two [-stop strategy], ‘there’s no problem so keep looking after the tyres, we can get to the target lap,” he told Natalie Pinkham.

        “That was the plan, I was looking to wait behind Romain and then squeeze up between lap 28 and 31 – which was the target lap. Then, on lap 25, the guys said we were going to a three-stop.

        “I asked the guys if this was right. They said ‘yes, give it a go’. And that was it.

        “I don’t have the whole chess match in front of me. They had more information than me.”…….They had the whole chessmatch alright, one with Vettel with a gifted win.

      6. Doug says:

        Actually that Webber virtually accusing the team of not being entirely honest with him re: his stretegy.

      7. Tealeaf says:

        Webber’s a talented driver but when it comes down to it he’s talented loser and anyone can see his tyres couldn’t hold up and would have been beaten easily by Grosjean on a 2 stop hence why they had to switch to a 3 stop which proved he could have took the fight to Seb but ultimately ran out of talent in he couldn’t clear Romain with a faster car in a straight coupled that with Grosjean’s ever degrading tyres.

      8. Ronnie says:

        Questions – if Webber had trouble passing Gro with medium tires that were munch fresher (not sure if he could have succeeded without the traffic at the end), what would be the odds for him to pass Gro in equal or older tires? When comparing the odds of the two scenarios, what would you have done if you were in charge?

    4. RogerD says:

      I took that radio comment to mean that Vettel and Grojean were obviously on the same (two-stop) strategy at that stage.

    5. Sue says:

      Followed by “save your tyres so you have some left to race with Mark at the end”. Mark’s fault he didn’t get past Grojean quickly enough to make a fight for it at the end as RBR expected.

      1. gadfly says:

        Exactly. RBR expected Webber to use those fresh options and his low downforce/top speed setting in his final stint to make the move on Grosjean and hunt Vettel down.

  6. Tealeaf says:

    Great drive by Seb after the bad start and damaged front wing, its clear that the 2 stop was a slower strategy especially with Webber’s degredation, no doubt the vultures will be swarming saying the team favoured Seb but it wasn’t true Mark on 2 stops would have probably lost to Grosjean and another note why was Brundle so fast to say Seb meant Webber when he said Perez needed to get out the way after coming out the pit and baulked Seb for over a lap? It was obvious but yet another thing to stir the pot! English speaking media and ‘fans’? Yeah well Seb won yet again best driver in the world, enjoy.

    1. SteveS says:

      Yes, the blatant anti-Vettel bias of the majority of British pundits is getting very tedious.

      1. Miha Bevc says:

        But Brundle is usually not anti-Vettel, is he?

      2. James Allen says:

        I’m not sure which British pundits are anti-Vettel?

      3. Andrew M says:

        Pundits in general aren’t anti-Vettel, it’s fans who are. And Brundle certainly isn’t, he’s always saying that Vettel doesn’t get enough respect.

      4. Sebee says:

        I tell ya, I get no respect!” – Rodney Dangerfield. ;-)

      5. Sue says:

        The misinterpretation from Brundle that Vettel’s “get him out of the way, keep him away from me” was about Webber instead of Perez who he was just about to lap doesn’t suggest commentators too ready to believe and exacerbate the hype? The BBC’s view that Webber’s strategy hampered him when Vettel would have been able to make a three stopper work? Really these comments are just too tedious and a bit of balance would be good. Susie Wolff coming in and spouting the same views is unhelpful, surely there is someone brave enough to voice an opposing view isn’t too much to ask? The British media need to look at themselves IMO when considering the bias from some fans, if only from a commercial point of view – millions switching off F1 because they don’t believe the best driver is winning doesn’t make commercial sense.

      6. Gazza says:

        Hogwash name one anti Vettel British pundit.

        Go on the BBC website and see what Murray Walker says about Vettel.

        Yes a lot of fans of all nationalities are not pro Vettel but please stop trying to make out this a British thing.

        I think its more your problem with the British people for whatever reason.

      7. James says:

        Brundle is not anti-Vettel. He is a good friend of Mark Webbers though.

      8. SteveS says:

        The biased fans are a result of the biased media. In fairness, some (not all but some) members are the press are now belatedly trying to correct the impressions left by their past bias, but it’s not that easy to correct a false impression on the part of the fans.

        You only have to look at all the people moaning about how RB supposedly “sacrificed Webber to gift Vettel the win” to see the end result of years of pervasive anti-Vettel bias in the press. To this day huge numbers of people think that Webber is a decent, honest, honorable guy who was stabbed in the back by his dirty teammate. They came by that particular bit of nonsense from reading/watching F1 pundits.

      9. j says:

        Haha SteveS… if the press says something good about anyone else it’s “anti-Vettel bias” and when they say something good about Vettel it’s “making up for past bias”. I think you’ve finally lost it.

      10. Sue says:

        The British media are certainly pro the Brits (including Newey) pro Alonso and pro Webber which means apparently they have to discredit Vettel. Names – the whole Sky team. Very nice to see Murray’s recent comments, rare in the British media.

        Ted’s odd comment about so many Japanese fans attending despite there not being any Japanese driver or team says so much about the attitude of Sky presenters on their nationalistic approach to coverage.

      11. gadfly says:

        I thought Brundle’s mis-comment about who Vettel was asking to be kept out the way was more about playing to the narrative Sky had set up for this race – a focus on Webber/Vettel’s mutual enmity, the potential for team orders (and possible disobeying), and how this might affect the race. They were so caught up with keeping to this core theme it didn’t occur to Brundle that the most obvious person Vettel was speaking about was Perez in front of him, rather than Webber. The Sky team was seemingly more engrossed in the team-mate ‘battle’ than the actual team-mates, who were just getting on with it! The BBC commentary team didn’t make the same mistake.

      12. Drew says:

        No SteveS, for me (and I think many) it was Malaysia, no media needed…only our own eyes and ears and from the players themselves. True colours on display.

      13. aezy_doc says:

        What does it say Sue? I’m not getting it. Ted’s comment seems sensible enough to me. There aren’t even any Japanese engines at the moment. What is the Japanese interest in f1? No driver, no teams. It’s remarkable that so many people turn up to support no one.

      14. Sue says:

        aezy_doc that the possibility of fans supporting someone or something not of their own nationality is something so odd that they can’t understand it. I guess then they would have no understanding of someone like me who doesn’t rate the Brits and supports a German, and would have no understanding that I am not interested in a Brit-centric commentary.

      15. Rob Newman says:

        Let me put it this way. A German driver is hardly popular in the eyes of British media or fans.

      16. Elie says:

        :) lol Yes. !

      17. SpaceJunk says:

        I always get a laugh out of comments like this. You know, there’s always a possibility the issue isn’t English speaking media/fans being anti-Vettel, or anti-German.
        It could be that those who make such comments are actually anti-English themselves.

        Just putting it out there.

      18. Mitori says:

        I think it’s normal to favor drivers of your own country. Winning drivers are also often more popular. I said often! ;-)

      19. AndyFov says:

        I don’t think that’s true. Obviously if Seb was British he’d suffer the same fawning focus from the national press that Hamilton enjoyed when he was a WDC contender, but I pick up on no anti-German bias at all.

        Most fans seem to rate Seb as a driver and as a character. The problem is his peerlessness. It’s all too easy for him, or at least it looks that way.

      20. rob h says:

        I wish the fans would show a little more respect for Vettel! When he has won the race, and has got out of his car, and gives the victory number one sign, it is considered good form to respond by raising the INDEX finger in return, and not the middle one.

      21. Me says:

        Some of us british (English here…) fans have no problem at all with Vettel…

      22. Random 79 says:

        Let me remind you that Brundle was one of the first to recognise Vettel’s talent.

        “That boy will be world champion, sooner rather than later”

      23. Tealeaf says:

        Yeah Brundle probably is just about clever enough to realise Seb’s talent back then but now all he wants to do is please the english speaking Hamilton/Webber fans and I can also see small subtle things he says to make Vettel look bad, Brundle as a professional of the front line british media should show more respect, him, Simon and Gary Anderson are the worst 3 english pundits/presenters in trying to discredit Seb and back in the days Alonso and Schumacher, give it a rest be professional they and the pubic know deep down how good Vettel is now, I was skeptical a couple of years ago as I’ve always been a Button and Raikkonen fan but its clear to see Seb outraced Webber today and nearly every other race.

      24. Ronnie says:

        To be fair to the British, the US feed was questioning the strategy as well. True, the three of them are of Australian and British origin, but as a Vettel fan, I never felt that they had any bias against him. I was questioning the potential gifting situation as well, until realizing after watching the race again, that Mark could NOT have finished in front of Gro with a 2-stopper.

    2. Tim says:

      @tealeaf
      another note why was Brundle so fast to say Seb meant Webber….

      To be fair Brundle apologised later on for his error. I imagine during live commentary it’s relatively easy to get things wrong – Murray made a career out of it :-)

      1. Tealeaf says:

        Yeah just like yesterday where Simon made a foot note of saying Seb didn’t have KERS for Q3, today he had to say something and its all half hearted mumbles when they do correct themselves, its clear to see what Brundle’s trying to do, Murray made mistakes but he never insulted anyway or try to stir the pot to add fuel to the fire for the haters of a driver, he never done it with Schumacher or Senna, Murray might have been clumbsy but he had class something Brundle and the likes of Gary Andrson lacks, even their predictions for cars in winter testing are well off these so called ‘experts’ was distinctly average in their main career in F1 and just can’t handle the fact that Vettel and to a certain degree Alonso are just dominating F1 by force and the message they try to get across are quite pathetic in my opinion, rant over. Next race please.

      2. Cliff says:

        You keep ranting, but your accusations of media has no substance or basis. Someone daring to have an opinion that differs to yours does not make them biased towards Vettel. Since Vettel broke onto the scene in 2007, one thing has been constant in the media, and that is the he is one of the best of his generation. The fact that the media do not always support Vettel in the way that you would like should not be used to make sweeping unfounded statements. Rant Over.

      3. Tim says:

        I think you need to take a couple of chill pills :-)
        Honestly, I think you are imagining this perceived bias. I agree with you regarding Gary Anderson and his pre-season predictions, it really irritates me.
        However, your point about Gary Anderson and Martin Brundle being biased against Vettel and Red Bull is simply wrong. Martin always goes out of his way to praise them. Gary Anderson recently wrote a piece on the BBC saying how great the Red Bull and Vettel were and he also said he didn’t think much of LH.
        Finally, please may I make a polite request – please can you refrain from referring to anyone who is not a fan of Vettel as a hater.

    3. KARTRACE says:

      IMO Weber yet again was short changed with strategy that isn’t favorable. I had the feeling that he had the will, craft and the pace to win this race but it wasn’t to be as long as that pit wall got the “DOCTOR”. In any case I support SF so it is not my business after all. I am just more and more resent as the season progresses. From being top 3 teams SF is sliding towards 5th place in the bunch. If it wasn’t for FA race craft and perseverance SF wouldn’t currently hold 2nd spot in constructors Championship. I am sorry to say but think the time has come for Massa to find some other formula. I doubt someone is going to give him a seat in 2014.

    4. OffCourse says:

      I agree that Vettel was talking about Perez, but why would he think his team can do anything about it (unless it goes on for an extended period of time and then they talk to race control.) Its up to the flag marshals to signal to Perez to let Vetell pass, and if he does not then there would be a Stewards inquiry. I’ve not heard of any? I think its comments like these that Seb makes that makes him unpopular. It smacks of arrogance and a sense of deservedness. Sky did a big “Seb is misunderstood and a really nice guy behind the scenes”, but they did not mention the list of comments like this that he has built up over time. I have no doubt that Seb is a nice person (you can only go by what the people that know him say), and he is obviously a very talented driver, but for me, I want my winners to be tough, confident, fair and gracious. It’s comments like these that stop me from being a Seb fan.

      1. Sue says:

        Drivers make comments about back markers so that race control hear them and ensure the timely blue flags are waved. Many drivers make similar comments, only with Vettel apparently according to fans it smacks of arrogance. It’s simply bias.

      2. OffCourse says:

        and your evidence is? I’m confident that blue flags are waived in a timely manner 99% of the time.

      3. Sue says:

        My evidence is watching races since the 1990s, hearing these comments many times and the commentators says that’s a message to race control. I’m not saying flags aren’t waved, just that drivers want to make sure they are waved in a timely fashion so they do not get held up by a driver not paying attention.

      4. Yak says:

        Just because blue flags are waved, doesn’t mean they’re always observed by the drivers. And just because the flags are waving but a driver isn’t letting the lead car through, doesn’t mean race control are always right on the case. And even if that backmarker is warned, still ignores it and cops a penalty for ignoring blue flags… well great, he’ll be out of the way when he travels the pit lane, but that’s not much consolation for the driver who was held up by him.

        Remember last year’s USGP where Vettel was just managing to hold off Hamilton lap after lap until he was Karthikeyan’d through the twisty bits? Grosjean and Webber weren’t quite that close to him, but Vettel knew he had to keep up his pace with minimal delays, so he got on the radio to make sure race control and the team kept an eye on Perez.

        And no, it’s not anything like a Vettel-only thing. I’ve heard it many times before, and in much less pleasant tones, and I’m sure there have been many others and many other worse messages that were never played over the feed.

      5. James says:

        It was a call from Vettel to race control asking for Perez to be told to yield position as with his fresh option tyres, Vettel was sat in his dirty air.

      6. gadfly says:

        Get the feeling the drivers really don’t quite trust Perez! I did wonder if FOM released that particular radio snippet to reinforce that little storyline (in the name of entertainment) but instead it was misinterpreted as Vettel taking a swipe at Webber (fitting in with yet another popular, ongoing storyline!)

      7. why couldn’t the four times world champion make a pass? c’mon james…he is notorios for making these silly requests.

      8. SteveS says:

        I’m pretty sure that Vettel could say “Hello” and certain people would claim it smacks of arrogance. God knows what they’d say if he ever claimed to be of “higher caliber” than other drivers.

      9. Tealeaf says:

        Perez was holding him up for about 1 and half laps, Perez is actually a liability and all these ‘racecrafts’ last year was down to Sauber, they sacrificed Kobayashi’s strategies to please Telmex and with a top driver Sauber would have won races last season, Mclaren please be bold sack him hire Hulkenberg and build the team around him and keep Button as a proven winner to push the Hulk, once a team relies on a pay driver the team always goes down its happened time after time dont get sucked into this blackhole Mclaren.

    5. KRB says:

      Damaged front wing? Looked fine to me, team said it looked fine as well.

      I’ve hated the wide front wings since day 1, can’t wait to see the back of them! How many times have we seen punctures or broken front wings from close (but not that close) racing? Hopefully the 15cm reduction in the front wing width next year is enough to make such occurrences a rarity.

      Tealeaf and SteveS, may I ask where you come from, and what your mother tongue is? The anti-anglophone, anti-Brit sentiment just comes off strange. Just wondering what motivates it.

      Congrats to your driver, he drove a very good race.

      1. Tealeaf says:

        I come front England and south of England so there you go, James can verify my IP address, I just have problems with this country’s ignorant people’s attitudes towards the world, no one owns anything or anywhere, without Germany, Asia and the rest of the world I’d be missing out on alot of things like this BMW I’m sitting in and the Samsung smartphone I’m typing this message on, but now lets get back to the racing yes these front wings are stupid I agree and even though Vettel’s front wing looked alright there was significant contact so I’m sure it wasn’t completely 100%, also with it being a dodgy weekend for Seb with lack of setup work Saturday FP3 and a KERSless Q3 and that start I’d say he done a great job, Webber was nearly beaten by Grosjean even though it was a perfect weekend for him the Redbull wasn’t much faster than Lotus. As for Hamilton’s puncture? Unfortunate, Alonso barely beating Hulkenberg? Poor, Raikkonen outshone by Grosjean big time? Worrying for Ferrari, Luca get the cheque book out convince vettel to join the team its win win for both and time to prove whos what, it’ll silence everything.

      2. what a big up that post was! [posted on my apple i-mac at around 9.25am as indicated by my omega constellation before i get into my audi A5 and head down to the university square for a sumptious breakfast before ralaxing around my pool reading the morning news on my samsung note tablet.]

      3. bk201 says:

        “I just have problems with this country’s ignorant people’s attitudes towards the world…”

        And your unpleasant generalisations in the above isn’t ignorant!?

        And you’re quick to credit, er, “Germany and Asia” yet neglect to acknowledge that without someone born in the UK (i.e James) you wouldn’t be posting on this website.

      4. KRB says:

        Are you English, I mean English ancestry, or part of a diaspora? I just got the impression that your tendency towards black-and-white arguments was as a result of posting to a foreign-language site, so sorry for that.

        Being from England, I would think you could see first-hand the English press’ propensity to build up their sporting heroes, only to tear them down soon after. To generally think that the Fleet Street press reflects the country’s collective opinion, is just so wide of the mark.

        There are ignorant and xenophobic people in every corner of the world. Rarely are they the majority in any country, though their vocal nature might give that impression.

        As for Germany, as with most countries, there is much to admire (German efficiency and know-how, their soccer team, etc.), and other stuff that puzzles (Hasselhoff’s star status, while a brilliant comedy like Seinfeld fails), and other stuff that titillates. I know I wouldn’t want the Germans to be any other way. :-)

      5. H.Guderian says:

        Hohohoho!!!!
        I’m sure VET can go to Ferrari NOW if he really want to. You know… he have a dream to drive for then. Ohh… I’d *LOVE* to see that.
        Seems to me he is not that confident he can face ALO or KIM. Agree???

      6. bk201 says:

        “The anti-anglophone, anti-Brit sentiment just comes off strange.”

        It’s a desperate attempt to explain why Vettel is disliked by many.

        And SteveS is American.

    6. Cliff says:

      The media are not anti-Vettel. Anyone I’ve ever heard speak of SV is quite clear that he is a genuinely nice bloke away from the cameras. His problem is the image he likes to project in front of the fans and viewing public.

      Perhaps you could tell who the anti-Vettel pundits are.

    7. Grant H says:

      How was 2 stop slower, all the pundits said 2 stop was faster plus you have to deal with traffic on a 3

  7. K says:

    You can always trust the biased British media (Sky this time) to take a radio message from Vettel directed against a backmarker almost being lapped, to turn around and portray it as Vettel telling the team to tell Webber not to pass.

    So obvious now.

    1. Scuderia McLaren says:

      Isn’t it FOM?

    2. Robin says:

      The BBC guys (live in Canada as for every race) immediately interpreted the message as regarding lapping Perez.

      1. Tealeaf says:

        Yes Coulthard abd Edwards are somewhat more impartial towards Seb.

    3. CYeo says:

      I too was wondering about that comment.

      When the radio transmission went out, Vettel was coming onto Perez and the comment was obviously in relation to Perez’s penchant for fighting the wrong race.

      I do believe that almost all the drivers are too aware that Perez is a dangerous racer to tangle with. He is not afraid to push other cars to the edge.

      1. if i heard it correctly vettel said something along the lines of, ‘tell him not to come near to me’. now how could this relate to perez? was horner supposed to telephone whitmarsh and give him vettels message?

        maybe i have totally mistaken what what was actually said. someone please post tha actual message from vettel.

      2. Sue says:

        It was a message to race control (who hear all the team radio messages) along the lines of “get him out of the way” to ensure blue flags were waved to Perez.

  8. abashrawi says:

    Vettel points tied with Ferrari.

    1. Miha Bevc says:

      Yes, I noticed that too. I was actually looking at this last week after Korea and thought it might happen. Not good for Ferrari.

    2. Rob Newman says:

      Yes, great! If Vettel was a constructor, he would be second on the Constructor’s Championship!!

      1. J Hancock says:

        If Vettel was a constructor, he would be first on account of having more wins than Ferrari. It’s enitrely possible Vettel’s about to win both championships by himself. There stems the cause of all the booing, he’s so insufferably good everyone’s getting flashbacks to Schumacher…

    3. Sebee says:

      Look at Lotus and Mercedes for WCC too. If Lotus keep this uo they may take 3rd. Maybe even 2nd! They had a 40 or 50 point gap after Korea. They are all over 3rd place now. More DNFs for Mercedes cannot be afforded.

      1. gadfly says:

        The race between Ferrari, Merc and Lotus is exciting! Lotus will be desperate to take 3rd – even 2nd if poss – as they so desperately need the cash.

  9. Dave C says:

    Webber! Useless. Perfect opportunity failed big time nearly lost to Grosjean as well. Perfect overtaking easily from Vettel something Webber couldn’t do and Susie Wolff or whatever she’s called trying to kiss up to the british viewers along with Brundle trying to take digs in on Vettel like telling Perez to get out the way and then Wolff constantly trying to say its the car. Its getting old get real Vettel is far too good for rhe field including Alonso and Raikkonen, shame Lewis retired I think a top 4 would have been easy and Perez? Worse driver in a top team since Kovalainen.

    1. Scuderia McLaren says:

      Take what Susie says with a grain of salt. She’s hardly any more an expert than you or I. She’d be no where in an RBR, that’s for sure.

      1. Nige says:

        Suzie is a professional race driver which makes her an expert in my book. Anyone on this site being paid to race cars?

      2. Random 79 says:

        I get paid to drive a cab and sometimes I drive it fast…does that count? ;)

      3. gpfan says:

        Not since I retired after winning
        my 3rd WDC in 1973.

        It was then, I became an astronaut.

      4. Random 79 says:

        @gpfan

        I’m sure there’s a movie to be made there :)

    2. dufus says:

      Please, do you really think the strategy calls favoured the leader being Webber ? Of course not. Best strategy to Vettel.
      How many times did the tv coverage show Vettels front lockups ?
      We know the pecking order at rbr. Nothing new.

      1. KARTRACE says:

        At RBR we call that a “doctor” factor, don’t we? You give the guy to travel the long way round and yet blame Weber for loosing to a favored one ? Get to the grips.

      2. Craig D says:

        Webber is well known for struggling to make his tyres last. He wouldn’t have lasted on a 2 stop. He pitted too early for his first stop. After that it seems he was locked in. If he’d stayed out, he may have still stayed ahead of Grosjean if his tyres didn’t cliff it (they were 4 laid older than Grosjean’s), but Vettel would have swallowed him up for sure. By pitting on mediums the team expected him to attack Vettel at the end. Vettel showed his strength today.

      3. BRad says:

        Spot on.

      4. Chris J says:

        ditto!

    3. did we watch the same race dave C? to anyone who understands F1 racing, webber did not have the downforce that vettel had due to the rear wing on webbers car. it was painfully obvious and apparent to everyone else that webber lost out big time in corner exit.

    4. SpaceJunk says:

      Dave, I look forward to watching your F1 career with great interest. I’m sure you must be a better than useless driver. What’s holding you back?

    5. Random 79 says:

      “Vettel is far too good for the field including Alonso and Raikkonen”

      You’re right of course – all the other drivers (including the four other world champions) might as well just retire.

      And Webber of course! Did an extra pit stop and still only finished seven seconds behind Vettel after being held up by Grosjean for three laps. That’s just horrible!

      Just how disrespectful can you be Dave?

    6. David C says:

      If you want a laugh have a look at her racing record on wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susie_Wolff

      1. KRB says:

        Can you provide the link to your racing record please? Or anything of note.

      2. David C says:

        I’m not being paraded on tv as an expert criticising triple world champions.

      3. Nige says:

        Have to check his Xbox first!!

    7. MISTER says:

      Vettel is a much better driver than Webber, I think we can agree on that. And the RBR car is built around Vettel too.

      Now what is interesting is that Webber qualified 0.750 ahead of Alonso. With KERS working, Vettel would’ve probably been 1 second ahead of Alonso if not more.

      The second thing that we all can agree is that Alonso is a better driver than Webber, therefore how good is that RBR car if even Webber can put it 0.750 ahead of the Ferrari?

      Now there’s something to think about for all those Vettel fans who think the car has nothing to do with the results.

      1. Rob Newman says:

        Can you please elaborate on what exactly you mean by ‘we all know that Alonso is a better driver thean Webber’? Have you got any proof? Did they drive equal cars recently?

      2. MISTER says:

        “Have you got any proof?”
        If you watched the last 2-3 seasons you wouldn’t ask such question.

      3. H.Guderian says:

        TWO WDC Titles against Schummy. Is that good enough for you???

      4. Elie says:

        You can say till your red bull blue in face-they dont listen..but this sums it up well @Mister

      5. anon says:

        Alonso got out qualified by Massa (again) and Hulkenberg (again) in a car with a customer Ferrari engine.

      6. MISTER says:

        You are saying it like Hulkenberg is a rookie in a back-of-the-grid car. Look at the facts below and tell me if you still think being outqualified by Hulkenberg in the Sauber is something out if the ordinary.

        Hulkenberg outqualified Kimi in Suzuka, Koreea, Singapore and Monza. Basically all last 4 races.
        Hulkenberg outqualified Massa, Alonso, Lewis, Kimi, Rosberg and Grosjean in Monza.

      7. Krischar says:

        @ anon

        It does not really matter anon. Alonso did a excellent job in the race where it matters the most.

        Moreover Alonso did trounce massa to the core for the last 4 seasons. I doubt how much knowledge you have about F1. In the last few races sauber have really made some superb improvements to the car. Sauber were quicker in korea and here in japan as well

        Your comparison is the joke of millennium

        Get some sense before you post the anti-alonso stories or comments

      8. anon says:

        He didn’t have an excellent race. He finished where he was supposed to.

        He has a car that is lightning off the grid (traction control), Hamilton got a puncture, Rosberg got a drive through.

        All he did was pass Massa who has had no business driving in F1 since his accident, and he passed a Sauber – which has a customer Ferrari engine and has had little development work throughout the year.

      9. Torchwood Five says:

        That actually is a very good point.

      10. Iceman says:

        Couple of points. Even Massa outqualified Alonso by 3 tenths, and I doubt anyone will say he is close to Alonso’s level. Also, although I agree with Alonso being a better driver over race distance, over 1 lap Webber would make a decent fist of it no question.

  10. Miha Bevc says:

    Interesting race. It was like chess game, with different strategies …

    Too bad Webber couldn’t pass Grojean sooner, so we could see Seb/Mark fight at the end. Seb didn’t lose time with Grojean – he always gets the job done, whatever the strategy.

    Great drive by Grojean and Hulkenberg again, it would be nice to see them together at Lotus next year – with a competitive car.

    What’s with Mercedes, the are totally losing it? After Hungary I thought Hamilton will challenge Vettel for the title, now they can even finish 4th in the WCC standings.

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      Lotus are going to sign Massa.

    2. Ronnie says:

      Seb was stuck behind Button when HAM passed Button easily in Hungary. Car set up had something to do with it. I wonder if Mark was set up to do a Vettel disappearing act that did not work, which made overtake harder, and that was why 3-stop was used to have better tires to mitigate the set up differences to give Mark a chance to pass Lotus.

  11. SteveS says:

    Only six drivers in history have won five or more successive races. Alberto Ascari (nine), Michael Schumacher (seven), Jack Brabham, Jim Clark, Nigel Mansell and Sebastian Vettel (all five).

    1. Alberto Dietz says:

      Please note 1953 Indianápolis, so Ascari 7 as Schumacher, followed by Brabham, Clark, Mansell and Vettel with 5 each.

    2. Craig D says:

      Impressive.

    3. David (Sydney) says:

      Although I’m Australian, that says everything you need to know about VET right there: one of the greats.

      WEB is not in the same class. The same four routinely feature as great in races: VET, HAM, ALO and RAI. Any fan knows the truth, regardless of their own preferences.

    4. KRB says:

      A nice stat to have, for sure. But see the pattern? Save for Ascari, all were in dominant cars, with decidedly inferior teammates (Ascari had the car definitely, but had Farina as a teammate).

      That’s how a driver like Button was able to get a 4-straight streak in 2009, or Alonso with a 4-straight and 3-straight in 2005 and 2006. Since 2010, Vettel’s had five win streaks of 3 or more wins (two 3x, two 4x, plus the current streak).

      Schumacher also had another 6-straight, and 5-straight run, to go with his 7-straight.

      Senna winning 4 straight in 1988 with Prost in the other car, is more impressive, in my opinion.

      Lastly, Ascari is 9 if you don’t include the Indy 500 in 1953, which many F1 stats sites do; otherwise it’s 7.

      1. David C says:

        I think one of schumachers streaks (not the 7) was against Senna in a Newey designed williams, thats pretty impressive.

      2. KRB says:

        That was a 4-straight, out of the gate in 1994. If you read or listened to the Newey interview on this site this past week, you’ll see that Newey said the ’94 Williams was a horrible car at the start.

        It’s a case of we’ll-never-know, but I’m pretty confident had Senna lived, that he would’ve been able to beat Schumacher that season once Newey got the car sorted (seeing as Hill finished only a point back).

        And that’s to say nothing about the legality questions surrounding the B194 that year.

      3. KRB says:

        That was a 4-straight (his 3rd-6th win), right out of the gate in 1994. As Newey said in his recent interview with JA, the Williams was a horrible car at the start of the year.

        It’s a case of we’ll-never-know, but I’m confident that had Senna lived, that he would’ve beaten Schumacher that season once Newey got the car sorted (seeing as Hill finished only a point back). That’s to say nothing about the legality (or not) of the B194 that season.

      4. Promugger says:

        I believe Schumacher was driving a traction control aided Benetton that senna simply could not beat in what Newey admitted to be a problematic Williams

  12. Equin0x says:

    Where was Webber’s overtaking skills? On a brand new set of tyres and Grosjean on older tyres compared to where Seb passed him easily! No doubt the usual fans will try to discredit Seb but it was a great drive after a bad start just too good.

    1. clint says:

      Well we’ve all learnt from your previous comments that you’re [mod]Vettel fan so I dont put much weight behind your opinions anymore. Webbers wing was affecting his rear tyre wear. That, combined with the traction of the Lotus meant no hope. Face it, Vettel is a spoilt brat with a team thats scared of him.

      1. bearforce1 says:

        lol. Man are you gong to be embarrassed tomorrow when you read what you have written here today.

        You have just had a temper tantrum online.

        I would give more weight to @Equin0x than you @Clint. You haven’t said anything constructive o or interesting. you have just attacked had a dummy spit at a person making a genuine post.

      2. Random 79 says:

        +1

        “Webbers wing was affecting his rear tyre wear. That, combined with the traction of the Lotus meant no hope”

        But he sort of got that part right at least…

      3. Craig D says:

        How was his was less opinion based than what you’ve written?! You don’t even have the facts right: it was Vettel who had the damaged wing not Webber!

        Webber had fresher tyres relative to Grosjean than Vettel did when trying their respective overtakes, and it was Vettel who got down to business as efficiently as the German he is!

        I’m not a Vettel fan and am sick of him winning too, but the fact some people can’t respect his talent is just tiresome now and pathetic.

      4. Craig D says:

        Ok, I’ll correct my post by realising you were talking about a rear wing difference. I watched BBC and this wasn’t mentioned. Even so, considering the tyres Webber was on, he should have had the grip to easily do what Vettel did.

      5. Simmo says:

        Not just the tyres though, but the overall down-force itself was compromised going through the corners.

      6. JFK says:

        Have to agree with bear force. This anti-Vettel vitreous is sure getting tedious. Vettel was fantastic, so was grosjean, did a great job of defending on webber. New exactly where to stand on it going into the drs zone to neutralize web’ s advantage.

    2. Harshad says:

      He had a different rear wing because of which he was losing traction coming out of the schicane, at least that’s what Brundle said

    3. Scuderia McLaren says:

      +1

    4. TGS says:

      Webber’s last set of medium’s were scrubbed but I agree, he should have got Grosjean earlier. Vettel is a better overtaker than Webber and has proved it time and time again.

      1. KARTRACE says:

        When your car handles better it is much easier to overtake.

    5. Melb F1 fan says:

      They were a scrubbed set of Mediums – not new.

  13. Harshad says:

    Finally we got a race where RBR had to earn their victory!
    Lotus pls keep your good form and RBR keep up with your bad starts!

    I felt for Grosjean though…He was racing both RBRs on different strategy!, excellent job by RBR, to split the strategy to virtually ensure victory, In the end Seb came out on top.

    gr8 race, good battles all round.
    GRO for the driver of the day.

    1. Tim says:

      +1
      Interesting how Grosjeans form has improved since Lotus have decided they now like him the best :-)

      1. Julius says:

        Hmmm … how Roman did manage to outperform Kimi in such big way? He is fighting with RBR guys for podium … meanwhile Kimi faded out to the middle of grid. I believe Ferrari has mixed feelings meanwhile Boullier is shining with big big smile. Lotus managed to build up a new leader with very strong performance in short term. Lets see how Roman will beat Kimi in the next races or …

      2. Sujith says:

        Lotus engineers have always said, Grosjean is faster on paper and in the telemetry… not faster “way faster” is the term they used.

        Kimi was struggling with Setup in Korea and Singapore yes, but feels the car is better here.

        Instead of asking questions, read what Kimi said, he made a mistake in Q3 and lost time with the cars being so close in Quali that meant he lost a few grid spots. Provided he does not make a mistake in India, I see him qualifying a little better. Faster than Grosjean? No.. because, he is not.

      3. dimitris says:

        Is it not surprising, though, that Kimi’s form in qualifying has dropped noticeably since Hungary, with the tyre change? How long does it take for a team to solve an understeer problem? I am not suggesting some consiracy, but simply that no one at Lotus is willing to devote time and energy, as well as money, to work on a solution. They may do so if they have a chance for third or even second in WCC and need more points from both drivers.

        Lotus needs to build up Romain’s confidence, and attract sponsors, so they really want Romain to beat Kimi fair and square. Kimi spoiled it for them in previous races, but today they got it all right because Grosjean drove a fantastic race and Kimi lost places at the start with wheelspin. Credit is due to Romain who ceased the opportunity and made the best of it. He has certainly come of age.

        Also, Kimi gets a lot of money for the points he scores and the podiums. Surely Lotus would like the points and the podiums to be scored by Romain, it would cost them a lot less.

      4. chuck says:

        Hmmmmmm, grosjean is better than kimi since germany, 7 races, wake up don’t believe the points only…

        Raikkonen had 3 safety car, team order plus an unusual problem for the romain’s car in singapor,
        plus very arsh penalty for grojean in hungary…

      5. Elie says:

        It doesn’t matter if Romain wins all 4 races now..the team is 100% behind him.Kimi is already gone in their opinion. But if you think going from 1st at the start to 3rd at the end & being happy about it is the sign of a champion, then I’m afraid he has a little way to go yet. Whereas the guy on the other side starts a disappointing 9th and almost took Alonso 4th and is somewhat disappointed. All this and he’s not even paid yet..Lotus can smile but if they end up with Hulkenberg or Massa- Grosjean will have to go back to the fake smile again…

      6. Fireman says:

        One race hardly makes one a new leader. And after a great start, Romain lost two places and came 3rd.

        It’s more like they have to hype Grosjean since Kimi is leaving.

      7. Simmo says:

        Just shows the difference between being fully backed by the team, or half backed!

    2. Geno says:

      Exactly, great strategic team work from RB to beat Lotus ! Makes me wonder how championship worthy they would still be without the best car.

      Although had Hamilton been in front of Vettel through the first stint it could have given Grosjean & Lotus more room to maneuver and maybe allow them to use the Mediums as they’ve never been good with Hards this year.

      1. anon says:

        At the Nurburgring, Lotus was the quicker car, they split the strategy between their drivers, yet Vettel still hung on to win.

        Strategy only works if you have a driver able to make it work.

      2. Harshad says:

        Not correct entirely…..Lotus split strategy but only later on..after the last pit stops (late in the race). Whereas RBR decided to split it by the middle of the race. Makes a lot of difference when you have that much time to make those strategies work.

      3. Elie says:

        At the Nurburgring Lotus made the wrong strategy call & if I remember rightly it was the RB9 that was quicker on Sat. Better on tyres Does Not make a “quicker car “.. And that’s where the strategy has to be perfect to win..& sadly it was not quite. Hungary was the same story both times Raikkonen questioned it.. Why do you think he’s leaving – car+ team + driver wins he’s not stupid he’s got a better chance at Ferrari

      4. Geno says:

        You’re partly right and Vettel’s pace in his last stint ultimately gave him the win and put Webber out of it.

        But it’s also down to execution, RB forced Lotus to go long (20+ laps) on middle AND last stints.
        If they had been able to do a shorter last stint on Mediums Grosjean would have had a much better chance of staying in front of Vettel.
        I think RB recognized that and decided to bring in Webber early, making it impossible for Lotus to use the Mediums again.

        And in Germany there was a Safety Car screwing the fight. It wasn’t a real 2 vs 3 stops strategy by Lotus.

  14. Harshad says:

    Before the race,
    Alonso : “Kimi is no quicker than Massa”

    After the race,
    Alonso starts P8 finishes P4.
    Kimi starts P9 finishes P5. (less than 2 sec behind Alonso)
    Massa starts P5 finishes P10.

    Whom is Alonso kidding? Its the most ridiculous comment I ever heard!

    1. Greg H says:

      Also, Alonso could only overtake Hulkenberg with DRS. Kimi took longer to get pass but used real skills and starting catching Alonso really quickly but the race ended to quickly.

      Anyways, great race by Grosjean, Vettel and even Guitierez (might have spelt it wrong)

      1. C Lin says:

        Yeah that was an amazing overtake by Kimi.
        Intelligent drive.

      2. Mbh says:

        Kimi is driving a Lotus. Where did his teammate finish? Obviously the Ferrari’s pace is really poor. Instad of a caballino (horse) it looks like a donkey so you can’t compare.

      3. clyde says:

        HEH heh

      4. Spinodontosaurus says:

        >”Also, Alonso could only overtake Hulkenberg with DRS. Kimi took longer to get pass”…

        Which means that Raikkonen was unable to use his DRS to make the pass, does it not? Why use DRS to discredit Alonso when Raikkonen was unable to utilise it in the same fashion?

      5. Greg H says:

        Fun fact: Lotus and Red Bull are the slowest cars in a straight line

      6. ferrarifan says:

        I dont understand why people discount Alonso so much.What if he overtook only at the DRS?
        If you look at it that way,Alonso did way better than his teammate as compared to Raikonnen.Also it looks like ,presently,the Lotus is better than Ferrari wrt the traction it gets.

        The fact is both are amazing drivers in not so good cars.Hopefully Ferrari can change that next year.

      7. fox says:

        It seems that Ferrari will be poor next year.
        Alonso should get back to the McLaren to finish the job. He always wanted three titles as Senna, there he will get the third on same combination of chassis and powertrain as Senna had.

      8. KARTRACE says:

        Ouch, must be we were observing some different events ?

      9. Fireman says:

        All is subjective :D

      10. Krischar says:

        @ Greg H

        DRS is there to make overtaking moves easier and possible.

        @ Harshad

        I cannot understand what is great with kimi’s race ? He was well and truly beaten by Grosjean. Lotus were quicker than Ferrari all weekend yet alonso finished P4 whereas kimi could only manage P5. This clearly reflects who drove a great race

        Could you please let us know whom you are trying to kid ? Harshad ?

      11. Harshad says:

        Alonso made a comparison between Massa and Kimi, so I commented accordingly.
        Also, in this season,
        Kimi===177 points
        GRO===87 points
        Massa===90 points

        That’s your answer who has been better driver of the three.

      12. Yak says:

        If you put Kimi out on track for a race distance, and then put out Alonso for a race distance (in the same conditions of course), I imagine it’d be Kimi who’d come out on top. Whether you think Kimi’s a bit better or Alonso’s a bit better, the Lotus was the better car this weekend.

        But, in an actual race all kinds of other influences come into play. If Alonso happens to come right up behind someone going into the DRS zone to drive straight past him, and then Kimi behind gets stuck behind that car going through the esses and all the other high speed, difficult to overtake bits of the circuit… he might not look to be doing as good a job in positions and gaps and whatnot, but it doesn’t necessarily mean Kimi’s not driving as well as Alonso.

        Not saying Grosjean’s race wasn’t good… he did a fantastic job. But he was basically running out in clean air for most of the race, so it’s a different situation to what Kimi had to deal with. Of course, Grosjean’s great quali and fantastic race start are what put him in that position.

    2. bearforce1 says:

      I think Alonso peaked last year and is on the decline physically, reflexes and performance.

      Sad but true I think.

      1. anon says:

        Maybe he wasn’t that good.

        He was basically gifted Malaysia by Perez making a young driver mistake and gifted Valencia by the perfect timing of the safety car and Vettel’s mechanical breakdown while in the lead.

        He stayed in contention on account of having a car with decent pace but incredible reliability.

      2. ajag says:

        I’m very Glas someone else Sees Alonso 2012 that way. Just goss to show how powerful the media really is.

      3. Krischar says:

        @ ANON

        what about germany 2012 ? Who gifted alonso the pole and victory in the slowest car all weekend ?

        Who gifted him the PP in tricky silver stone ?

        Perez made a rookie mistake at Malaysia. How perez gifted the victory to alonso ? I still credit perez for his determination he chased down alonso and just was not patient enough to pounce on the opportunity

        ALonso made 11 overtakes in 2012 valencia GP. How that can be gifted one ?

        Who was not good enough in 2012 ? MR SEBASTIAN VETTEL. Examples : Malaysia, Germany, Italy, Silver stone 2012. Who do not deserve the WDC in 2012 ? VETTEL

        Could you please explain me how a reliable car alone can win the WDC with no real pace ? Have you watched the opening 7 races and final 6 races of 2012 season? I suggest you to watch the 2012 season thoroughly once again.

      4. Jaybrig says:

        Alonso slowest car all weekend? Really?

        If he was that awesome in Germany 2012, he should be able to pole and win everywhere, no? Or is it because his car was not the slowest that weekend?

        Alonso in 2012 might have been portrayed as doing miracles with a bad car, but the truth is he stayed in contention due to the relative reliability advantage he had. Nt also that

      5. anon says:

        “what about germany 2012 ? Who gifted alonso the pole and victory in the slowest car all weekend ?”

        What? The Ferrari was quickest Saturday and Sunday. Talk about revisionist history.

        The Ferrari has decent pace last year and incredible reliability.

        Alonso had a fast car at Valencia, qualified low on the grid, was able to easily pass slower cars in the race and benefited greatly from the timing of pit stops and the safety car.

        Last two races of 2012 Alonso got out qualified by Massa. Could only finish one second ahead of Massa in Brazil. Alonso choked like he did at Abu Dhabi 2010. He doesn’t like pressure.

        Yesterday was an example of how reliability helps you when you perform poorly in qualifying. He got 4th but all he did was pass a Sauber and Massa. Big deal. Hamilton went out of the race, Rosberg got a penalty. All of a sudden he’s up to 4th despite not doing anything.

      6. Nige says:

        He’s getting old I especially notice when he only makes up 5 positions at the start!!

      7. anon says:

        Those starts are due to the engine mapping more than anything. Even Massa is good off a standing start.

      8. JD says:

        Brilliant!

    3. Spinodontosaurus says:

      I think you said more than you realise; as you say Massa qualified ahead, which is all about speed.
      Raikkonen moved forwards during the race, owing to consistency and race craft, whilst Massa went backwards due to his penalty.

      A lot of Kimi fans seem to be mistaking consistency, race craft and all round quality with outright speed. Alonso only ever made reference to speed.

      1. dimitris says:

        In order to extract maximium one lap speed out of the car, it needs to be set up in order to get the maximum out of the tyres and minimize understeer or oversteer, depending on the driver’s style. Neither Alonso nor Kimi can get the set up they want for qualifying after the tyre change, and both have suffered in comparison to their team mates. Ferrari seems to have lost race pace too. It appears, also, that Lotus is running much better with the new tyres on long race pace also, something that has benefited Grosjean who has mastered the new tyres in qualifying.

        As for the qualifying speed of Alonso and Kimi, just look at how they did in 2005 when they went head to head and drove competitive cars. Kimi, especially, still holds the fastest time record on a few circuits, for qualifying and for the race. So, do not write them off just yet. In a competitive Ferrari, they will achieve front line starts. And, for those who have forgotten, pre-accident Massa was a pretty fast driver, outqualifying and outracing on occasion, he certainly held his own, Schumacher while at Ferrari.

      2. Harshad says:

        I understand what are you trying to say, but what’s the use ; if with that good speed Massa only managed 1 point, whereas Kimi managed 8 and Alonso managed 10. (both of them where handicapped by poor qualifying.)

        So, in today’s race;
        Alonso+Massa===> 11 points
        Alonso+kimi====>18 points

        That is exactly the reason why Ferrari have signed Kimi.

        What I don’t like about Alonso, is when he opens his mouth, he is all about “I,Me,Myself”.
        He criticizes the team, the car, & other drivers and quiet repeatedly keeps saying about how good he is etc etc….

    4. Rob Newman says:

      To be fair to Alonso, you need to look at how Grosjean did in the race and where he finished in comparision to KImi.

      1. Harshad says:

        To be fair to Kimi, Alonso made comparison between Kimi and Massa, so you had to look at where Massa and Kimi started their race and where they finished.

    5. deancassady says:

      you’ve really made yourself a target for the Alonso Media Corporation

      1. Harshad says:

        haha….I don’t mind, but I only comment on factual info.
        Whatever, Alonso has achieved in his career is great, and he will go down as one of the all time greats.
        but when he opens his mouth…its all about “I,Me,Myself”.

    6. Nige says:

      Not ridiculous remember 2008? Also Massa qualified 5th kimi 11th, so Massa faster than kimi. Overall I would agree however that Kimi is the faster driver, but Massa still deserves some respect.

      1. Harshad says:

        I didn’t disrespect Massa…I only commented on what Alonso said prior to the race.
        Also, we are here in 2013, if someone like Alonso keeps commenting on what happened in 2008, then I don’t think anybody would really take him seriously.

  15. Miha Bevc says:

    Is this gonna be the first season with Vettel having more wins than poles? I guess he doesn’t only win from P1 after all …

    1. Mbh says:

      Yes, today he won with the engine multi 21 and the 3 for Webber, and his first stint wil stay there like an example of his excellence. His start was one of the cleanest of the season. He really is becoming a legend.

      1. Clear View says:

        Vettel himself said he had a poor start, plus he clipped Hamilton, not a clean start in anybody’s book!

      2. Mbh says:

        I was being ironical.;)

      3. Random 79 says:

        @Mbh

        I think you mean sarcastical… ;)

      4. gpfan says:

        @Mbh. No. One was not being “ironical”.
        I believe that requires an element of
        humour.

      5. Clear View says:

        @MBH, I missed that, sorry dude, maybe I’m too serious about F1 lol.

      6. Random 79 says:

        His start was terrible and then (without assigning blame) he and Hamilton touched.

        But yes, it was a good win.

  16. jmv says:

    Webber having 10-11 seconds to Vettel in 2nd, after Vettel´s last stop… I cannot believe that Webber was told to pit.

    Red Bull could have given F1 fans a great showdown to the end. Vettel on fresh tires and Mark on worn.

    Mark deserved a shot at the win. Red Bull took it away from him.

    I feel disgusted (and I am not a die hard Webber fan).

    -
    Probably Red Bull reasoned:
    - pit Mark, make Vettel P1
    - Mark will do everything to take P2 from Grosjean and we will have P1 and P2

    Seeing Mark not eager to pass Grosjean seemed to me that he was wondering why to give Red Bull a 1-2.

    When the back markers came and DRS worked him past Grosjean, he had no option to let the car take him to P2.

    I find Red Bull the most unsporting team in the paddock!

    1. TGS says:

      Webber would no way have been able to make those tyres last till the end. As Horner said, Mark was on a 3 stop because he is so hard on his tyres.

      1. KARTRACE says:

        If someone was hard on tires it was Seb this time. He was smoldering his front ones on braking so many times in the race, hardly to note that Mark was doing the same to his tires. So just check the footage of the race before you go there on the wings of that theory as to who was hard on tires. Horner is a poor puppet while the doctor is making sure that no one gets equality at RBR team.

      2. OffCourse says:

        Webber said in an interview that he was surprised that RBR called him in for a 3 stop strategy. He felt that he could match he same lap targets as Seb. Interesting that the team made the call o tyre deg and not he driver.

      3. JF says:

        That’s just Webber. Always plays the underdog and conspiracy card cause he knows suckers on discussion boards will bite. He knows he would not have made it.

    2. DaveF1 says:

      Did you even watch the race?

    3. Steven says:

      That makes no sense, if Webber was half as good as he thinks he is he would have got past Grosjean as quickly as Vettel which would have put him in the clear to give it everything on fresh medium tyres and battle Vettel, even if it would have been for a lap or two. It was in his hands to get the win and he never stepped up to the occasion.

    4. couldn’t agree more with your logic JMV

    5. David (Sydney) says:

      Were you watching timing? WEB clearly needed to pit. He’s harder on tyres than VET (as reported elsewhere) and today couldn’t pass GRO with his setup, otherwise it would have been on for young and old.

      Credit where credit is due: VET and his engineer won the race. Class.

    6. Craig D says:

      Nonsense. While I would have liked to see webber trying to stay out, he would clearly have lost to Vettel still, and there was the danger of him running out if tyre life completely and losing 2nd as well.

      As for deciding that Webber was choosing to not try and pass Grosjean…well, all I think of that is, “Sure…”

    7. Chris J says:

      So true and I thought Horner was squirming in the after race interview!

      1. jmv says:

        Today was the usual “let´s show mark his place in this team” exercise by Horner, Marko and Vettel.

        Webber didn´t even try to pass Grosjean after the 3rd surprise pit stop. He was just following him.

        Probably there was a lot of radioing going on between Mark and the team… trying to tell him how contractually he is bound to try his best.

        In the end Mark passed Grosjean just for the folks back at the factor.. but not for Horner´s 1-2.

        Malaysia 2013 I perfectly understand and appreciated because racing drivers are supposed to race.

        Suzuka 2013 was about taking away the chance to fight victory away from your nr 2 driver.

    8. Krischar says:

      Excellent post JMV

      you have made my day

      Simply true and a balanced comment with reality

      I share and agree your views

      1. gpfan says:

        Ah-hahahahaha!
        Good one.

    9. Ronnie says:

      If Mark pitted when he pitted the second time, no way the tires would have been fresh enough to fend off both VET and GRO, or even last to the end. If he pitted later than he pitted, he wouldn’t have gotten in front of Gro. Hindsight, the strategy worked the best.

  17. roberto marquez says:

    Vettel closed on Hamilton when he was almost passed him, proof is that he hit Lewis back tyre with his front wing ? If Perez,Gutierrez, Pic or any other of the second tier drivers did this they would at least get a 20 second penalty in the pits. Why Vettel gets away with it ?

    1. SteveS says:

      Vettel gets away with (a) because Hamilton was at fault there and (b) because at this stage in the race just about all contact is deemed a racing incident. When did you start following F1, last week?

      1. KARTRACE says:

        Even in daily traffic you hit the guy from behind and you come second best with the Cops.

      2. Yak says:

        Except it wasn’t Vettel driving up the back of Hamilton, it was Hamilton moving over into Vettel.

      3. Jeff says:

        Nobody was at fault.
        It was a racing incident.

        Lewis was trying to get through the gap. Mark moved sightly right. Lewis had to move right to protect his front wing. That forced him into Seb, who had nowhere to go.

        Poop happens.

      4. KRB says:

        Hamilton was at fault?!? Geezus. Point (b) is valid, point (a) is stupid.

        It was a racing incident, and more down to the stupidly wide front wings that we’ve had in place since 2009. Webber jinked to the right, Lewis had to move right, and that took him into Vettel, who couldn’t move right b/c Grosjean was right beside him.

        Just plain bad luck for Lewis. A horrible race weekend for Mercedes.

      5. Robb says:

        No, it wasn’t Lewis’ fault either. Lewis and Seb were the meat in a webber Grosjean sandwich. Neither had anywhere to go.

      6. Abraham says:

        Very nice analogy Robb.

    2. bearforce1 says:

      No I don’t see it that way at all.

      I watched it again and again and Vettel had a car on either side of him and he continued straight because he had to. In fact he couldn’t move without hitting either of the two cars on either side of him.

      Race starts are very tricky and incidents are expected and driver culpability is very low.

      1. Tim says:

        Reasonable and fair analysis.

      2. KARTRACE says:

        Did you know that those cars are fitted with tz pedal that is called BRAKE ! For safety reasons. When you need to slow down or to stop. And there is another pedal as well that is called Accelerator and you may just lift it off a little bit and moderate the power ?

      3. Michael Turnbull says:

        All very obvious and easy to say from the view of the roll hoop camera but from a drivers point of view they cannot see their front wings. Plus a slight lift would increase the risk of someone crashing into the back of them or losing places. It was nothing more than a racing incident.

      4. Lee says:

        and take the big risk of causing a pileup by suddenly slowing in the middle of a straight? is this your first time watching any sort of race or what?

      5. Simmo says:

        It all happens too quickly for them to react like that. Remember, drivers don’t get the same view we do – they sit low down, where they can’t see most of the front of the car.

    3. DaveF1 says:

      Because he didn’t. Watch the race and listen to what the experts say, you can learn a lot from them! :-)

    4. OffCourse says:

      I thought Mark pressed across on Lewis, who then made a slight move to the right as an instant reaction. Appeared to be the faintest of touches. I agree with Martin Brundles comment, that tyres should not puncture that easily. It’s an area that I think Pirelli should focus on, or front wing rule revisions. A slightest of grazes changes the whole profile of the race:(

      1. Simmo says:

        It’s not Pirelli’s fault. At those speeds with the speed of the wheels spinning just a slight point touching it will could do damage, and there isn’t much for Pirelli to do.

        I like that idea, to change the front wings to prevent it, but ultimately it will still happen, and only a fraction of punctures would be saved.

        It is just an F1 thing that will always happen.

    5. kally says:

      the championship is over, nothing you say will give alonso more points, [mod]

      1. kally says:

        why was the “[mod] modded??

      2. James Allen says:

        Because it’s aggressive and rude and we don’t allow it – Mod

      3. gpfan says:

        I used to be a Mod. Then I was a Rocker.
        Now I’m a: …….! LOL

        (Sorry; that is such a groaner, not even
        I shall finish the punch-line). :)

    6. RogerD says:

      Vettel didn’t get away with anything. Hamilton moved across Vettel under pressure from Webber on the left. Racing incident – move on…

      1. Ronnie says:

        Question – was there a good reason for Mark to do what he did? He seemed to be the reason for the incident?

    7. David (Sydney) says:

      Racing incident.

    8. JF says:

      Wrong. Vettel was dead straight, webber pushed Hamilton over. Racing incident. Simple.

    9. Harshad says:

      Hamilton himself said it was racing incident, and not Vettel’s fault.
      If you look at vettel’s onboard footage he was basically sandwiched between Hamilton and Grosjean and had nowhere to go.

  18. Scuderia McLaren says:

    This race just showed why Vettel has 4 WDC’s and a bucket load of wins and Webber doesn’t. Realistically I am just happy the second RBR seat is not going to waste anymore starting next year.

    1. Timmay says:

      Hear hear – except Ricciardo isn’t up to much either

      1. KRB says:

        Well, stupid for the team to not instantly give the place back to Sutil, after the Grosjean precedent from Hungary.

    2. dufus says:

      Agreed. I just shows when a team favours 1 driver what can be acheived. Strategy is everything.

    3. Hansb says:

      I don’t believe the outcome of this race shows that.

      Webber’s race strategy was compromised just to beat Grosjean. Hunting him, forcing tyre wear at the Lotus and his own car too with very (too?) early pitstop thus forcing Grosjean to follow. In the mean time RB nursed Vettel to save tyres.

      Its excellent team work and really Grosjean didn’t have a chance against two more efficiënt cars.

      1. OffCourse says:

        +1

    4. BRad says:

      Realistically, F1 has been boring the last 4 year’s. Todays victory was more proof. Were was the competition?

      1. ajag says:

        Interesting to call it boring when history is made right in front of your eyes… I See it AS a privilege.

      2. bearforce says:

        Nice comment. It’s true we are seeing something special here. Enjoy it.

        Only a handful of drivers have won five races in a row. Youngest WDC etc etc etc….

    5. KARTRACE says:

      Oughh, how wrong you are. Till Seb is there, along with the nutty doctor, that seat would always remain a second row one.

    6. SpaceJunk says:

      Can you explain how the second RBR seat was being wasted???

      By season’s end, RBR will have won the last 4 Drivers and the last 4 Constructors championships.

      Not sure there is really any other objectives RBR have missed out on?

      That being the case, I’d imagine team management will be delighted.

      Unless of course, you hope Ricciardo proves to be a gun, RBR finish 1-2 for every race next year. That won’t be a waste then!

      Would also make for a pretty exciting season too. Not.

      1. Scuderia McLaren says:

        “Can you explain how the second RBR seat was being wasted???”

        Yes of course… Mark Webber occupied it. Top notch equipment for half a decade and barely a challenge for Vettel. Vettel’s domination is as much Webber’s failure as it is Vettel’s skill and Newey’s brilliance.

      2. Yak says:

        What’ll be interesting is that I think Ricciardo, even if one assumes he’s going to be treated like a definite #2 driver, is going to have to do a better job than Webber has been doing for the WCC.

        Next year we’ve got Alonso and Raikkonen at Ferrari, Hamilton and Rosberg at Mercedes, and the new and improved Grosjean (and hopefully Hulkenberg) at Lotus. Then there are Button and Perez at McLaren who might be fighting for good points if McLaren can design a decent car next year. Even if Vettel takes his 5th title, I’m not sure Red Bull will have such an easy fight for the WCC next year.

    7. deancassady says:

      we’ll see how RBR does next year in the absence of Webber’s input….

    8. Tim says:

      I can see where you are coming from with the first part of your post, but what has DR done that convinces you that he is any better than MW?

    9. Ronnie says:

      I think Webber is a good driver. What he lacks are consistency, hunger, constant improvement, and mental toughness compared to Seb.

  19. SteveS says:

    Another all Renault engined podium … well done.

    Vettels tyre management is fantastic, he won that race by lasting to lap 38 on his second set.

    Rosberg is starting to look like the unluckiest driver on the grid. Just a little less ill fortune and he’d be tied on points with his teammate.

    1. JohnH says:

      Yes I think tyre management is the was the key Vettel secured a podium finish in the first stint and and first place in the second. Webber just did not have the pace to make a gap for the undercut. It really is annoying to see people bag out world class drivers from the comfort of their lounge, when they themselves could not drive out of sight on a dark night.

      1. Random 79 says:

        +1, and a lot of them can’t even drive well on a clear summer’s day ;)

    2. Random 79 says:

      No, Webber is the unluckiest driver on the grid.

      Rosberg will have to wait until next year to have a go at the title, and even then he’ll still have to compete against Hamilton ;)

    3. KRB says:

      Rosberg the unluckiest?!? Give me a break! He was unlucky with the pit penalty (stupid one to take), but at least he got to finish the race!

      Hamilton’s bad luck has cost him more points than Rosberg’s bad luck has, definitely. Hamilton and Vettel’s bad luck at Silverstone gifted the win to Rosberg!

      1. SteveS says:

        Is that the “reasoned debate and discussion” whose lack you were decrying in a different comment? LH collided with another car while trying to put his car into a space too small for it, that’s not exactly bad luck. It’s bad judgement.

        NR was on for a podium spot in Korea before his wing fell off, and would have been fighting with Kimi and Alonso for fourth/fifth here if not for the team screwup.

      2. Abraham says:

        KBR didn’t say anything bad he is just counter argue your comment. Why you are trying to divert the issue. Anyways Ham is better than Ros the whole weekend. See where they qualified. Most of Ros bad luck is when he is behind Ham. Please do some math and see where the two would be before commenting nonsense.

      3. Tim says:

        @SteveS
        Correction. The team did not screw up Nico’s pit stop. He did it all by himself. The front jack was dropped and away went Nico – unfortunately the red light was still on! Nico has no one to blame but himself for ruining his race.

      4. KRB says:

        Uh, yeah, reasoned. I’d like to know your thoughts on Vettel’s squeeze of Button at the start of the 2011 Japanese GP then?

        Or Grosjean’s move on Hamilton at Spa ’12? I’m sure if we went back to those posts, you’d be one of those claiming that Hamilton was at fault and could’ve prevented the collision, as many on here ridiculously claimed at the time.

        There was clearly a gap for Hamilton to move into, he was alongside Webber, when Webber jinked to the right, which Hamilton had to react to. It was a slight move right, but Vettel couldn’t move in tandem, as Grosjean was beside him. A consequence of the narrow Suzuka straight.

        Bad judgement was Rosberg in Hungary turning into corner 5 too tight when he hadn’t cleared Massa (and should’ve known he hadn’t), which sent him tumbling down the order on the first lap.

        I know Rosberg thinks he was on for a podium in Korea. No chance. As for here, again no way would he have snagged 4th, and there’s debate as to whether he was at fault at the pitstop.

        On lap 32 in Japan, Rosberg was 2.5 sec’s behind Kimi (with Alonso and Massa ahead of KR); by lap 38, he was 4.6 sec’s behind.

        I’m sure the team will big him up, to keep him motivated, but I’m sure it’s clear to them who the go-to driver is in the team. Maybe the driver who has the second most Top-5 results this year after Vettel? 12-6 on that score between HAM and ROS.

        Another example … after the last race there were many asking why Lewis couldn’t pass Hulkenberg in Korea?

        But from halfway thru lap 47, to the end of the race, Rosberg was stuck less-than-a-second behind Gutierrez. Hulkenberg is far better than Gutierrez, plus there’s more overtaking opportunities in Japan than Korea. Alonso and Kimi had difficulty passing Hulkenberg’s Sauber in Japan, but both managed it in the end. But Rosberg couldn’t pass Gutierrez. And you think Rosberg would’ve been fighting for 4th, with them?!

        Source: FIA Race History Chart (JPN13)
        http://bit.ly/19BeKbR (PDF file)

    4. Tim says:

      Can’t really disagree with your first 2 points, but I am intrigued by what your third point is referring too. How was Nico unlucky today?
      If you are referring to the unsafe release which effectively ended Nico’s race, then that was self inflicted. Sky did some analysis after the race and Nico definitely set off before the red light was extinguished. Not the teams fault at all, just his own mistake.

  20. TGS says:

    Why in Singapore was Hamilton told via radio to give the place back to Massa but here Ricciardo gets a drive through for the move on the Force India? Do the stewards decide who to warn and who to punish on a case by case basis?

    1. TJ says:

      Was a harsh penalty. Was in for a solid points scoring position after starting 16th until the drive through screwed all that. 2 races in a row now where he has shown good skill to work his way through the field to be in points scoring position only to be rooted by mechanical failure in Korean and useless penalty in Japan.

    2. James says:

      Sutil came into the pits so the place could not be immediately returned.

    3. David (Sydney) says:

      RIC should have been told to give the place back before it got to the point of the stewards penalising him with a drive through.

      What was the pit wall thinking?

    4. Richard says:

      Stewards are switched every race I believe, which is totally wrong.

    5. L.B says:

      Hamilton’s overtake in Singapore was on the opening lap. There’s a lot more leeway for that especially since he was taking avoiding action.

      1. TGS says:

        Very good point.

    6. Afonso says:

      Ricciardo had already overtaken a lot of cars, whilst Hamilton was just ahead of Massa.

    7. Martin says:

      I agree doesn’t seem very even.

      It can get messy as Sutil was soon passed by Rosberg as Sutil’s tyres were shot. So because it was little contest, Ricciardo gets hit harder than if it was a tight fight – which is interesting logic.

      Unfortunately, the results I can find only have Ricciardo as one lap down, so I cannot take his pit stop time off his race time to see where he might have finished. He was ahead of Rosberg with a stop to make for the mediums, which he managed well, so he may have had a shot at Massa, who feel off the cliff on the last lap.

      1. James says:

        Ricciardo would’ve been fighting Massa for 10th.

      2. Rachael says:

        Massa’s tyres were shot in the closing laps, while Dan’s pace was great. RIC set third fastest lap of the race.

        Daniel lost 20 seconds serving the drive-through, plus he lost another 5 seconds clearing the Williams’ in the closing laps.

        I believe that Daniel should have been fighting Button for ninth place today.

    8. Sean Thompson says:

      I think Sutil pitted and therefore there was no opportunity to give the place back.

      Perhaps someone could correct me if I am wrong.

      A great move by Daniel on Maldonado on the outside into turn 1 though.

    9. Random 79 says:

      Don’t quote me on this, but I think in Hamilton’s case it was the team telling him to give the place back quick to avoid a penalty.

      Maybe STR thought Dan was safe, maybe they just didn’t tell him to give the place back, or maybe he just didn’t listen if they did. In any case, he didn’t give it back and so got the penalty.

      1. Elie says:

        Spot on. Unfortunately here they did not think ( with good reason ) that he had to give it back. Perhaps they should have asked stewards immediately..

      2. TGS says:

        I just checked the Singapore replay and the message is “Ok Lewis, we’ve been instructed to give the place back to Massa, need to give the place back to Massa, purple monkey dishwasher”. Perhaps Mercedes asked the stewards and Toro Rosso did not.

      3. Random 79 says:

        “Purple monkey dishwasher”

        That’s going to need an explanation lol

      4. TGS says:

        It’s a chinese whispers gag from The Simpsons, thought it was appropriate :)

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

      5. Random 79 says:

        Consider it explained lol :)

    10. Ronnie says:

      It was unfair. One doesn’t gain advantage by going on grass after having cleared the other driver 100%.

  21. Tim says:

    Something I found interesting is how Grosjean performance has improved since Kimi announced he was off. It clearly demonstrates the difference it makes when the team is behind a driver. Not sure whether it’s all physiological or being the recipient of the new updates etc – probably a bit of both.

    1. bearforce says:

      Yep. I can’t imagine the damage to Massa’s performance and race mentality knowing he is just a sacrificial part for Alonso/Ferrari. I hope Massa can get his head back in the game when he is out of Ferrari.

      1. ferrarifan says:

        There were no team orders at Ferrari today.Massa defended Alonso and even tried to get back.That didn’t stop Massa from finishing where he was.

        Its funny how people say Massa is affected by this.Ferrari always gave equal chances at the beginning and Massa screws it up to the point where all he can do is play second fiddle to Alonso.

    2. Martin says:

      Probably a bit to do with the tyres too. Grosjean also had that mysterious chassis problem for the early races where he couldn’t get the right feel in the car.

    3. Julius says:

      We know that Kimi has E21-05 and Roman E21-04. It looks that Kimi has more advanced version but why Roman is much faster? Is it because the whole team focuses on Roman car? Does Lotus understand how to tune the older version in much better way? Kimi did mistakes on Fri and Sat. Very poor start at the race “ … I left the line with a lot of wheelspin and lost a few places”. Why? He told that very happy with the car, means the car is tuned according to his taste, but at the end of the day such huge gap to Roman. And I think both Merc and Massa helped him to gain some more points. Sad to see Kimi in such situation.

      1. Fireman says:

        Kimi said that he doesn’t get a good feel of the new spec front tires. Grosjean didn’t like the old spec tires. That’s about it.

        Grosjean does get more attention now from the team, but it’s more like polishing his ego. Which could very well work if he can elevate his driving and believe himself like today.

        Grosjean is not there yet though.

      2. but he is knocking on the door

      3. Fireman says:

        @kenneth chapman

        Sure. It’s also hard not to like the guy after watching him giving post race comments to media.

        Always smiling.

      4. Tim says:

        I agree. It wasn’t that long ago everyone was screaming for his head (myself included). I guess EB must know a thing about a thing or two. Maybe that’s why he is an F1 team principal and we are just viewers :-)

    4. anon says:

      Last year they were pretty much even in terms of raw pace. Grosjean made some silly mistakes in races, though his mistakes were never as bad as what some of the top drivers were making them out to be.

      Seems all the criticism and psychological games played on Grosjean (some warranted) and Vettel (completely unwarranted) has strengthened both of them if anything. It’s made them more determined, while the likes of Hamilton and Alonso are left to complain about luck.

    5. Simmo says:

      +1. Immense difference. Him and Hulkenberg next year would be amazing! I really hope it happens!

    6. Yak says:

      I don’t think it’s necessarily just the Kimi leaving thing. Grosjean has been building up to this level of performance for a while. I think what helps make it look good all of a sudden for GRO is that lately RAI has been pretty rubbish on Saturdays. So come race day, RAI starts back in the pack having to fight through the field, whereas GRO’s been giving himself an easier job of it. That’s not to say GRO isn’t genuinely performing well, coz he certainly is.

      Hopefully it’s not just a freak run of good results and the new GRO is here to stay.

      The other thing I like about GRO is he actually seems thrilled to be out there, much like Hamilton in his first year. But I suppose give him a few dud cars, drag him through some F1 politics… it’ll probably soon be beaten out of him.

  22. Simmo says:

    It’s a big shame that we didn’t get to see what happened at the back of the race between the Caterham and the Marussia at the start. FOM (or Japanese TV company or whoever was in charge) is clearly more interested in where the sponsorship TV time money is rather than the action. Am I right in saying this?

    1. Random 79 says:

      Yeah, in principle.

      I was waiting for a decent replay to see what happened too, but I’m not actually sure there was a camera on them at all.

      1. Simmo says:

        There are the on board cameras which would have done for me. Nothing at all sadly :/ This is what really ruins it — when we don’t see something exciting or interesting because of all of the £$€¥.

        Nothing of the Force Indias either this race :(

      2. Random 79 says:

        Well, at least the were no fireworks over Singapore this time :)

  23. kally says:

    once again others’ misfortune helps alonso

    1. Martin says:

      If your car is slow and you make no major mistakes in this race this tends to happen as there’s a good chance the misfortune is front of you. Credit to Ferrari that the car is at least normally reliable.

  24. DonSimon says:

    Really enjoyed that race, loads of good fighting and all pretty clean. Some great drives out there today. Seb totally deserved it on balance, but you have to feel sorry for Gro. The Hulk was great but I am gutted for Lewis.

  25. Glennb says:

    I was hoping RBR were going to leave Mark out onthe worn hards for the last 10 laps or so. He was maybe +15 secs? ahead – 23 sec stop = -8 secs. Could he have defended a 15 sec lead on the worn hards? Dunno.
    Well done Seb again. Thanks to Romain for keeping it interesting at the front.

    1. James says:

      Ricciardo managed 21 laps with heavy fuel but was slower than a slow thing.

      Webber would’ve had to do 28 laps and even on his inlap Vettel was circa 2 secs faster, so no he wouldn’t have made it.

      1. Glennb says:

        Thanks mate. I didnt have that information. Sounds like a good think they did pit him then.

    2. BRad says:

      I wonder too.

    3. Chris J says:

      Think the problem was they pitted Mark far too early on the first and second pit stops knowing full well Lotus would pit Grosjean leaving the field clear for Vettel. The way Horner spoke to both drivers after the race told all – RBR took the win away from Webber so Vettel can go after his 7 wins in a row!

      1. Ronnie says:

        At least from hindsight, 3-stop was the only way to get Webber pass Gro.

  26. Rob Newman says:

    Ichiban! Yes!!

    In my opinion, Grosjean didn’t control things in the first part of the race eventhough he led the race. The race was controlled all the way by Red Bull.

  27. Leah O'Dwyer says:

    Great drive by Grojean, shame he was overtake by Webber at the end.

    Though hardly necessary, Sebastian Vettel showed once again why he is a mutiple world champion. Mark got his chance to use the faster tyre to pass Grojean and chase down his teammate, but couldn’t get the job done.

    The Red Bull is a great car and Sebastian is a great driver, together they exude excellence.

  28. Prancer says:

    Enjoyed that – he Japanese Grand Prix is always worth watching – even if Ferrari are nowhere…

    And congratulations to Gutierrez on his first points.Hope he has the backing to stay on at Sauber next season.

    According to EJ the Hulk is going to Force India which I think is a bit disappointing – was hoping he could do better…

    1. dimitris says:

      The rumour is that Hulk is indeed going to Force India and Maldonado joins Lotus. It seems that Lotus needs pay drivers to make it financially. It is a shame because it would have been interesting to see how they would have performed in 2014 with the rule changes.

  29. goferet says:

    Splendid result for the Red Bull team, at least this time round, they fought for the result which was good to see.

    Vettel was relentless and hungary for the win like he has never tasted champagne in his entire life and as evidenced by his middle stint, he not only has aggression but must arguably be the smoothest driver on the Pirellis.

    Well done to Webber too for showing raw pace but unfortunately high tyre usage let him down possibly due to his heavier weight.

    Darn, I felt sorry for Grosjean for after a perfect start and controlling the race for a long time, he ended up on the wrong side of the podium but, 3rd place finish is nothing to sneer on.

    For sure, Lewis’ luck hasn’t completely changed for the better but judging this has been his first DNF all season, I say, things aren’t as bad as before besides Lewis’ misfortune is what makes F1 seasons exciting e.g. 2007, 2008, 2012.

    For sure, it seems Ferrari closed shop on the 2013 season a long time ago for the car seems to be slipping down the grid in terms of competitiveness and that’s why Sauber is giving the team headaches.

    Kimi had a pretty quite day for the circuit didn’t allow the Lotus to gain a couple of positions by making their tyres last longer.

    Massive result from Guiterrez who was able to score his first world champions so happy for him.

    Last but not least, disappointed for Rosberg’s penalty after getting a good start off the line, it’s never fair for drivers to get penalized for team’s mistakes.

    P.s.

    Seeing as Vettel is breaking his own benchmarks, left, right and center (e.g. Germany win) for sure his 11 wins in a season record is in serious doubt.

    1. KRB says:

      Dunno if I’d use the word ‘exciting’ to describe the effect Lewis’ various misfortunes have had on F1 through the years. ‘Dramatic’ would be the word I’d use, though I wouldn’t include 2012 in there for that. If anything, the horrible reliability and horrible pitwork at McLaren last year robbed us all of an even better title fight.

      Dunno if I’d call Gutierrez’s result ‘massive’ either … it’s the result the car should be getting. The Sauber is a very good car at this point in the season. It’s frankly ridiculous that it’s taken him this long to score his first points. The Sauber is w/o doubt a better car than the Toro Rosso now, who on the whole have a better driver pairing than Sauber (I would order them, on driver ability, as HUL-RIC-VER-GUT). Force India are within reach of Sauber now, over the next four races. From 5th to 7th for FI would be quite gutting.

      And did anyone else see the total DH move that Maldonado pulled on his teammate at the end, over 16th place?!! Wth was with that?

      1. Yak says:

        Yeah, was that Maldonado throwing it wildly down the far inside of the chicane, basically giving Bottas no choice but to run straight on? Thought that was a ridiculous move, and something he only could have pulled on his own team mate. Reminded me why I quite thoroughly dislike Maldonado as a driver.

    2. Tim says:

      Last but not least, disappointed for Rosberg’s penalty after getting a good start off the line, it’s never fair for drivers to get penalized for team’s mistakes..

      Sky did some post race analysis and it was Nico’s error – he set off before the team had given him the green light. He just started moving when the front jack was dropped but the red light was still on. No one to blame but himself.

      1. KRB says:

        It’s probably human nature to think that a computer glitch could keep the light red, and you’d be stuck there forever.

        A lollipop man might have slower reaction times, but the driver knows his action is deliberate.

      2. Tim says:

        I know what you mean about a lollipop man, but in this instance Nico just dropped the clutch as soon as the front jack was out of the way. He was so quick I don’t think he had time to think there was a problem with the system. It just looked like an error on his part – human nature to react in that way I guess, ie jack dropped = time to go, but an error of his and not the teams none the less.

  30. Sujith says:

    This GP proves what I have been noticing for a while now…

    In tyre management skills, Vettel is up there with Raikkonen.

    Great race. A safetycar was the missing element for Kimi fans today :P (Which Includes me ofcourse) :P

    1. Julius says:

      +1

      no safety car – no podium for Kimi :)

    2. AlexD says:

      I think this is what Newey once said. Vettel is very good with tyres and mechanical….Webber is very good at aero and so this is how both drivers are giving their feedback.

  31. Nick Lynn says:

    I switched off after Hamilton retired – mind numbing tedium I’m afraid.

    Lewis was right, it’s as boring as the Schumacher years.

    1. Rob Newman says:

      So at which pointed you switched on again?

      1. Nick Lynn says:

        When Hamilton came into the F1

      2. All revved-up says:

        +10

        F1 attracts all types including those who switch off but still have the time to moan and groan.

        The amount of moaning on this site puts gives many whorehouses a run for the money!

    2. Tim says:

      If you switched off so early, how do you know the rest of the race was boring? ;-)

    3. AlexD says:

      Easy to see that you are a Ferrari fan…..

  32. MickeyRSA says:

    Can’t help say I knew Vettel wouldn’t win this weekend just yet! Lotus seem to be the new team to annoy RBR for the rest of the season? Can’t help but to wonder what would have happened if Lotus had both their drivers fighting up there. Kimi was flying up until the point he got stuck behind Alonso and Huleknberg. He was like over a second faster than the rest.. Maybe a straight fight between RBR and Lotus?? Mmm, maybe in India!!

    1. KRB says:

      Agreed about Lotus. They’re definitely in the fight for 2nd in the WCC … Ferrari and Merc are bottling it at the moment.

  33. Giorgio says:

    Pit wall to SV: you are not racing Mark, yr racing Grosjean. That meant I think that – Mark is quicker, far too away and you perhaps won’t be able to challenge him. But the question is, how the things turned like that? did the team anticipated MW’s 2 stop, but was the reason for 3rd stop Webber’s unexpected high wear?
    P.S. I’m supporting SV but this uncertainty left my bit frustrated.

  34. yst_01 says:

    Hamilton is the worst starter in current F1. He is so bad. Everyvody was jumping on Grosjean last year, but Hamilton loses so many places…

    I have the feeling Lewis is the guy, who loses the most at the start over the year……

    Mercedes is falling apart. Last races soooo bad.

    Poor Nico once again. He splitted the Ferrari,

    1. KRB says:

      Huh? You betray your bias against Hamilton with such a silly comment. That was a great start for Hamilton … w/o the slight contact with Vettel’s wing he would’ve slotted into 2nd.

      Both Red Bulls had horrible starts today. That’s expected from Webber, but not from Vettel.

  35. PeterG says:

    Still far too much ridiculous tyre management for my liking in the early phases.

    I want to see them racing hard & not maintaining 2 second gaps to nurse the stupidly fragile tyres.

    Martin Brundle also mentioned during the sky commentary that he spoke to most of the drivers on the plane from Korea & everyone that he spoke to absolutely hates having to manage the 2013 Pirelli’s as much as they need managing.
    Its just as dull to watch as well.

    Roll on 2014 & proper racing tyres!

    1. Tim says:

      I admire your optimism. :-)

    2. Elie says:

      It’s going be much, much worse particularly on fuel. They will be measuring every last drop and driving to very specific deltas till they optimise balance between engine and ERS because it will be so marginal… The tyres too- Pirelli won’t have a handle on the torque characteristics of the powertrains till late Jan and we already know the current ones are very marginal. The reliability will be a tremendous challenge and I can already see several failures in the first few races.

  36. Richard says:

    Started watching halfway through and thought Grosjean could win it, considering Red Bulls superior car, I should have known better.

  37. threep says:

    The split strategies by Red Bull made it very difficult for Lotus. Its all hyperthetical, but I wonder what the outcome would have been if Grosjean had just concentrated on trying to beat Vettel using a similar 2 stop strategy (i.e. stopping later). He had the track position and wouldn’t have been easy to pass on equal rubber, so would have slowed Vettel’s overall race pace. Webber would have gained time in his second and third stints owing to fresher tyres. If he gained enough then he might have come out ahead of Grosjean and Vettel after the third stop (WEB, GRO, VET finish), and if not it would have set up one hell of a finale with Webber having to pass Vettel and Grosjean for the win. That might have produced some fireworks ;)

  38. Elie says:

    I’m really confused by that race.
    1. Why on earth would Red Bull tell Mark keep 2+sec gap – rather than attack, attack so early in the first stint!. I understand after about 12 laps. But both the team and Mark did not attack the in lap at the first stop either for the undercut.
    2. Mark Webber was not loosing time to Grosjean and if he was asked to hold back it only assumes he could have gone a few laps longer and made time when Grosjean pitted. Also this would not have jeopardised his 2 stop.
    3.Sebastian’s pace and sliding was terrible in the first stint in traffic and really showed how big a difference when he’s not at the front. Why would you keep him out instead of Mark- ok hindsight proved otherwise but certainly not then- unless Seb was sand bagging

    All this reminds me is that Mark Webbers future at Red Bull was over at Brazil 2012.

    As crazy as the start was and struggles of the first stint- this race highlighted Sebs skills at pulling the car back into line- it was going nowhere for 15 laps – then he just pulled the reins and off he went- this is the most impressive Ive seen from him this year- in terms of bringing the car back into line. His next few stints ( Im guessing the lighter fuel load and a bit of clear air– it’s like it was a different car.

    To be honest Im very disappointed by Lotus and Grosjean. Given the great start I can’t believe they could not have gone a bit longer in the first 2 stints. Especially if Mark did not/ or could not attack the gap!. To me the only person they had left to cover was Seb and he stayed out. Lotus took the bait- hook, line and sinker. They made similar strategy mistakes in Hungary and Germany with Kimi – and these were far more marginal. Whilst he did good job, Grosjean should have attacked those laps when Mark finally pitted for his 3rd stop. I’m really surprised that Romain said “I’m glad we took it to the Bulls..” In the post race.. When truth be told- they had both Both bulls by the balls at the start and truly should have had the confidence to take at least one if them at the end.

    I’ll just finish be saying it was a s^%# coverage- because we apparently missed a Raikkonen pass on the outside of 130R.

    1. Rob Newman says:

      RBR asked both drivers to keep a two second gap to prevent tyres over heating. I think they suffer more when running close behind a car compared to Ferrari, Lotus and Mercedes.

      Vettel was not the only driver to lock his front right but the TV covered more on Vettel locking up than others. Apparently there was little grip in the early stages. But pace wise Vettel what he was asked to do – maintain a two minute gap to Webber.

    2. Tim says:

      When truth be told- they had both Both bulls by the balls..
      Lol :-)

      1. Elie says:

        Grosjean/ Lotus don’t yet have the ticker to go for the horns yet ..:)

    3. Fireman says:

      I was thinking what would’ve happened if it was Kimi instead of Grosjean taking the bulls by the horns :D

      1. Elie says:

        It would have been good bye Seb and thanks for coming Mark- for sure ! (Would’ve , could’ve should’ve of course)

    4. Chromatic says:

      Is it possible the Lotus telemetry holds the expanation as to why RG didn’t stay out to put in fast laps when Web pitted. RG just isn’t as easy on the tyres as some others. ie, his tyres were going and he just had to pit.

      I wholly agree about the coverage. Frustrating too is that Seb, while he had more to do today, was not duelling with opponents of his own calibre.
      [I don't wish to detract from Web's and Grosj's performances, which I applaud] BUT:
      Lew out with damage, Alo and Kimi locking horns with midfielders nearly a minute down the road. Are we ever going to see the big four in a battle to the death? Deflating answer is: don’t look like it, unless the 3 mentioned can get their acts together in the races that remain.

    5. Ronnie says:

      Great comments +1

    6. Yak says:

      I think part of Vettel’s struggles earlier on were also down to the option tyre. I think Webber post-race was saying the option was a bit rubbish in the race.

      That said, the few slow-mo shots I saw of Vettel locking up, at least the tyre was still rotating a bit, i.e. not just brutally flat-spotting it. But yeah, some fairly rough driving by Vettel’s usual standards.

      1. Elie says:

        Reading team principles post race analysis. Suzuka is just that kind of a circuit. The off camber turns cause the inside front to lift and it’s near impossible to avoid without loosing to much speed.. That and the extra lateral forces created by high wind really had everyone guessing.

  39. Richard says:

    Off topic: Will BBC still cover next season?

  40. Sean Thompson says:

    Great race. Enjoyed every second of it.

    Well done Seb.

    Kimi’s passes on Gutierrez at 130R and on Hulkenberg at the chicane prove that he is the absolute king of the outside overtake.

    In the last 4 races Nico Hulkenberg (32 points) has outscored Button, Rosberg, Massa and Hamilton. Another outstanding drive.

    Grosjean also did exceptionally well.

    At least there is one Australian race driver named Mark who is truly happy today: Mark Winterbottom who won the Bathurst 1000. Webber fought hard but the three stop strategy just didn’t pay off.

    4 races to go, and while the poultry is not yet accounted for, it would take a series of unprecedented disasters for Vettel to lose the title.

    1. KRB says:

      … it would take a series of unprecedented disasters for Vettel to lose the title.

      Haha, y’think?

      Even if Seb slipped in the shower and broke his leg tomorrow, he’d be odds on to win. The gap is 90 pts … even 3 wins and a 3rd is not enough for Alonso (he’d lose on countback). 3 wins and a 2nd is the minimum necessary for Alonso to win.

      Even just to prolong the inevitable, Alonso would have to outscore Seb by 16 pts in India.

      1. Random 79 says:

        Ahh, but what if he broke both legs?

        Nevermind, what am I saying…

        He’d just operate the throttle with his pointy finger :)

    2. Elie says:

      + 1 on Frosty- that was Awesome!

      1. Yak says:

        Was just waiting for FPR to balls it up somehow, but to my amazement they actually held it together.

        And that dive by Frosty on the last lap to hold position was nuts. As soon as they started turning in I had a flashback to that Sydney race in the wet on slicks, where the three leading the race simultaneously went into the same wall (although in that race, followed by pretty much everyone else).

  41. trev says:

    See Webber gets screwed again. Despite what was said about the ‘tyre wear’ by Horner, his lap times were fine when he came in so he could have done a 2 stop. It is not like Vettel is going to lose the title.

    1. Doug says:

      Hell, personally thats why I loathe Vettel to be honest. I really cannot stomach such underhanded injustices being metted out to someone week in week out and to add insult to injury the blame Webber for it. ITS NOT RIGHT.

      1. i agree as i hold exactly the same sentiments.

      2. Elie says:

        Yeah and whilst it’s good luck to Seb for having everything go his way, He carries on like he lapped everyone in a Marrusia- ramming that finger in our faces. And we have so many people still trying to figger out why he’s very much disliked

    2. Chris J says:

      Webber was screwed because Vettel is going after the race wins in a row record!

    3. Ronnie says:

      It must have been Vettel and or RBR’s fault that Mark could not pass Gro lap after lap with fresh medium. It must have been that VET and Horner told Mark to do that. Or worse, they told Gro to hold up Mark and let Seb by. How can anyone stand it!

  42. Juan says:

    Watching the spanish TV, Pedro dela Rosa said from the very beginning that the best strategy was 2 stops because 3 stops was 5 to 10 seconds slower.
    Why Webber who is leading the race, is given a 3 stops and Vettel a 2 stops, Vettel had 70+ points of advantage in the championship, why ruining Webber’s deserved win!?

    I don’t approve booing Vettel on the podium but people has enough reasons to, shame.

    1. Rob Newman says:

      Webber is normally hard on the tyres. What the team take was preventative measure. He could have pulled it off but didn’t.

    2. Simmo says:

      +1, although to be fair to Vettel, the strategy wasn’t his fault. It was RBR’s…

    3. Ronnie says:

      The car driver combination appeared to have a hard time passing Gro under the best circumstances. I do not understand why people think Webber could pass Gro under equal or inferior tyre situation.

  43. Erik says:

    What a rigged race by Red Bull.

    Vettel was behind Webber so Red Bull manouvered Webber out of the way by putting him on 3 stops. Have a look at Webber’s post race comments, he clearly didn’t agree with Horner’s post-race excuse about his tyres degrading enough to warrant a 3 stopper, and he should know he was driving the car. He seemed genuinely surprised that the team slapped a 3 stopper on him:

    http://en.espnf1.com/japan/motorsport/story/129993.html

    They put the final nail in Webber’s coffin in the last stint by putting him on the harder tyres, making sure he didn’t have the pace necessary to challenge Vettel. Don’t think I’m right? Look at how easily Vettel passed Grojean compared to Webber. Same car, only difference was the grip. In fact Webber had less downforce so he had more staight line speed, but you can hardly use it if you’re slow out of the corners can you. Look at how Grojean was able to pull away from Webber out of the slow corners like the last chicane (same tyres as Vettel), and before anyone starts saying it’s because of less downforce on Webber’s car remember that downforce plays a no part in slow corners, it’s tyre grip you need. Webber gets suckered again, Red Bull stitched him up real good.

    He would do well to leave this team early, Porsche has a reputation to maintain.

    1. Erik says:

      Oh and it explains the radio message to Seb during the race “you are racing Grojean not Webber”, despite the fact that Mark was in front of him at the time. The boys had it all figured out.

      1. Fireman says:

        According to fellow commenters, radio messages can mean anything you like. That is, what fits into your subjective reasoning of the race.

    2. James Allen says:

      Webber was on mediums for the final stint

      1. Tim says:

        Quiet please. If you listen carefully, that hissing sound you can hear is the air coming out of a balloon :-)

      2. Erik says:

        That’s right, a harder and less grippy tyre compared to the Seb.

    3. KRB says:

      Did Webber give a two-finger salute to the pitwall at the finish line? Looked like it.

      1. BRad says:

        Indeed. It’s the only public display of disgust he can afford. I’d be fisting the pit wall after that shafting.

    4. Rob Newman says:

      If Webber could have gone a little faster on the subsequent stints and overtaken Grosjean immediately, the situation would have been different. I think the team did the best for Webber. There was no bad intentions.

      1. Random 79 says:

        +1, was nice to see for a change.

    5. Ronnie says:

      Erik, pls get your facts right first. Otherwise, it makes you look very biased.

      1. Erik says:

        I’ll stick up for Webber any day over Seb, I’ll happily admit I don’t like [mod]. Not a massive fan of Webbers though so don’t confuse me for a die-hard fan. But the fact remains that the team gave soft tyres to Vettel and mediums to Webber in the last stint, virtually guaranteeing that Webber didn’t have the grip to pass Seb. He was lucky he managed to pass Grojean on grippier tyres. And Webber did come out in the post race press conference saying he did not understand the need for a three stopper. Those ARE facts, anyone can check them, so yeah I have my facts straight Ive checked them.

        After the run this guy has had with this team over the years you cant blame some of us for sticking up for him. Anyway, moving on.

      2. Ronnie says:

        There was no soft tyres in this race. Only medium and hard.

      3. Oletros says:

        > But the fact remains that the team gave soft tyres to Vettel and mediums to Webber in the last stint

        In the last stint VET had the hards and WEB the mediums.

        Yap, those ARE facts, anyone can check them, so yeah I have my facts straight I’ve checked them.

      4. Erik says:

        Oops epic fail by me then, lol. I was under the impression those tyres were red not orange! Couldn’t believe how no one else saw how it’s unfair to give Webber harder tyres, turns out I was the one who didn’t see, haha. I stand corrected there.

    6. Yak says:

      The other thing is, what’s a “slow” corner for F1… isn’t necessarily that slow. And even if it is a slow enough corner that aero doesn’t play that much of a part, it’ll still play a part once you start nailing the throttle on exit. Once you’ve got a bit of that speed back up, it helps to have the aero to glue the rear down and help maintain traction as you continue to build more speed.

      1. Erik says:

        Um ok. But physics dictate that if Grojean in front of you is on stickier tyres he will pull away from you out of a slow corner, simply because he has more grip to put the power down. It’s why Grojean pulled a gap on Webber out of the chicane and only managed to claw that back by the end of the straight. Take a look at the last few laps again, you’ll see what I mean, the gap opens up between Grojean and Webber as Grojean pulls away out of the chicane on sticky tyres and Webber claws it back by the end of the straight with less wing. If Webber was on softer tyres like Seb then the gap out of the chicane would have stayed small compared to Grojean allowing him to pass Grojean easily. Webber even almost gave up on passing Grojean on the straight because of this hence his desperate moves at other parts of the track where traditional passes weren’t necessarily on, but where he had more aero grip available to him.

        The fact is that on the same tyres as Seb (the softer, grippier tyres) Webber would have passed Grojean easily and with a later pitstop he would have had the fresher tyres to chase down Seb. By putting Webber on the harder tyres the Red Bull team guaranteed Seb had an easy run to the end. For me Horner after the race was suspiciouly fast to explain the team’s reasons for sticking Webber on the three stopper which Webber was confused about after the race. So you have the team principal who is sitting on the pit board getting a word in before the drivers are questioned? Webber then comes out in the press conference confused about it all. Hmm, sorry, we all have our oppinions, this one is mine.

  44. anon says:

    Good old Alonso. Stuck behind a Sauber with a customer Ferrari engine and inferior chassis for what seemed like 20 laps today. Stuck behind the same car for 50 laps last week. Yet they’ll talk about his race craft because he under achieves in qualifying therefore starting behind slower cars.

    Kimi also was appalling again in qualifying and comprehensively beaten by his teammate. Ferrari are in trouble next year with two of the worst qualifiers in the top 10 driving both cars. More 3rd and 4th row starts in a strong car.

    LOL at Hamilton calling his puncture bad luck. He chopped Vettel basically. Lucky not to have ruined Vettel’s race.

    1. KRB says:

      Silly comment all ’round. The Sauber is a very good car at the moment … great traction out of corners, allowing it to stay ahead of following cars with DRS.

      To call Hamilton’s move a ‘chop’ is ridiculous.

      I realize increased traffic is good for the site, but it’d be nice if more reasoned debate and discussion was possible with a greater proportion of the posters to the site. We’ve lost a few regular posters (hero_was_senna was one off the top of my head) who, while I often disagreed with him, were at least capable of reflection and evolution in their opinions/viewpoints/beliefs as regards F1.

      Many posters here now wouldn’t know nuance or context if it smacked ‘em in the face.

      1. anon says:

        Hamilton moved into Vettel. Really careless. Vettel didn’t deviate.

        The Ferrari is a much better car than the Sauber. Look at how Massa blew past Gutierrez today and last week. Look how Alonso struggled to get past Massa, Ricciardo and then Hulkenberg.

        Did you see how Vettel on hard tyres blew past Grosjean today, but Webber struggled for a quite a few laps to get past despite having fresh mediums? That’s what a good driver can do for you. Gutierrez can’t keep Massa behind him for a lap, but Hulkenberg can keep Alonso behind him for 50 laps like last week.

      2. Yak says:

        Hulkenberg is a great driver who just hasn’t had the chance to drive for a front running team. Gutierrez is a first year rookie who only this race finally scored his first points in F1. Look at Monza quali… Hulkenberg 3rd (I think it was) and Gutierrez out in Q1.

        Alonso vs Hulkenberg is comparing two top quality drivers in decent cars. Massa vs Gutierrez is comparing one thoroughly experienced and occasionally impressive, but wildly inconsistent driver in a decent car… with a rookie in a decent car who has pretty much done nothing notable since first setting foot in an F1 car.

        Also, there’s the fact that Suzuka is a tough circuit for overtaking. The best opportunities are the DRS zone, the hairpin, and the final chicane. None of those are much good for trying to get past the current Sauber with Hulkenberg in it. Put an average driver in the car though, who doesn’t make the most of its strengths? Yeah, overtaking it might not be as difficult.

        All that said, I do think Alonso gets talked up far too much. People raving all the time about how he had some amazing race when all he did was use the Ferrari’s unbelievable start to take a couple of rows before turn 1, and then held position for the rest of the race. The one thing I’d agree on is that he certainly does seem to have a near inexplicable ability to find just the right spot to place his car off the line. It’s as if in the drivers’ meeting they all just go, “Look… Alonso’s gonna come through whether we like it or not, so how about everyone just pulls over to the inside so he can just get a clean run around the outside? Agreed? Ok done. Oh and Mark, if you could have another utterly woeful start, that’d really help too.”

      3. Abraham says:

        You say “really careless” did you really watch the race? Ham was sandwiched by Webber & Vettel whip has no place to go.

      4. bearforce says:

        @ Anon, lulz.

      5. KRB says:

        So I wonder if Button held his line, and kept straight during the start of the 2011 Japanese GP, when Vettel veered right and squeezed him, to the point that Button was on the grass, that you’d say Vettel was at fault?

        Of course you wouldn’t … you’d find some way to blame Button. Mental gymnasts are like that. :-)

      6. Abraham says:

        @ KBR, Wayne is one of them who used to bring good discussion but now didn’t see him much.

    2. Matt H says:

      Funny that ! Thought from what I seen is Vettel clipping Hamiltons right rear tyre . In my opinion racing incident where Webber was forcing Hamilton right the gap was always closing . Yes Vettel stayed straight but he still hit Hamilton. Vettel had an option to lift to avoid a collision but decided not to and had little time to react. He couldn’t go right as that would have took grosjean out. Bit boring as ever as this site has degraded to anti seb or anti Hamilton fans like another online site I know. Why not try posting some unbiased reaction which adds merit.

      Decent race which was a shame that a front runner dropped out due to a racing incident. Vettel drove well despite a possibility of bad damage at the start.

      1. Rockie says:

        This is hilarious last year you were really vocal and saying why should Hamilton lift against Grosjean.
        Shoe on the other foot Vettel should lift.

      2. Matt H says:

        If you read my post I give an unbiased review. All I said was he had a option to lift (i know its not in race drivers DNA to lift and I never for one suggested that he did lift just said he had an option which would have avoided the incident) but I also follow this with he had little time to react and that I believe this was racing incident which a number of other sensible posters come to the same conclusion. My post was reacting to the frankly rediculous assertion that Hamilton was a fool and nearly wrecked Sebs race as Anon suggested in the first post by going for a gap. Hamilton did no wrong ,Vettel did no wrong hence the racing incident. As for my previous post you mention different races cause different situation so its never gonna be the same

      3. bearforce says:

        You say Vettel stayed straight but still hit Lewis. How is this possible? I mean doesn’t this mean that Lewis was moving over in to Vettel.

        You did say Webber was forcing Lewis over into Vettel. So…..

      4. Matt H says:

        Ham was ahead by a car hence his REAR tyre being hit maybe the big bold letters could help you understand better since you are struggling to grasp racing incident no ones fault just sometimes happens. Lewis is magic but i don’t think he can make his car disappear he was driving through a gap which was ever decreasing maybe in your infinite wisdom suggest what else Hamilton could have done ?

  45. Andrew says:

    James on the red button Eddie Jordan said that he was sure the Hulk has signed to go back to Force India, what’s your view on this?

    Pretty decent race with some nice scraps midfield. Ferrari must be depressed as the way it looks Seb will score more points than both their drivers! Grosjean drove well and certainly seems to have earned his seat for next year. I’m sure even if Webber found a way past Grosjean sooner there would have been a hold position call from the pitwall anyway.

    1. Rob Newman says:

      I thought Brundle said he has already signed for Lotus.

      1. Random 79 says:

        That’s the impression I got too, but he did stop short of saying it was an absolute certainty.

    2. Random 79 says:

      There would have been a hold position call…which Webber would have promptly ignored :)

  46. JRay says:

    Hi James
    Can you find out why was Webber given a 3 stop strategy when a 2 stop was clearly faster, especially considering that Webber was in the lead position.

    1. James Allen says:

      It will be in our UBS Race Strategy Report on Tuesday

      1. Doug says:

        Sorry to pre-empt your findings James, but I bet you are going to find Webber was screwed by his team. Seriously the fact that there was no way he was struggling with his tyres in terms of lap times behind Grojean,and that he himself says he was surprised by the switch to a three stopper makes that conclusion very hard to dismiss. Look forward to your view.

      2. JC says:

        It would be interesting to know if RB went for Web undercut or if as always Web goes through rears quicker than Seb. Undercut would mean aggressive pursue of Web win… But couldn’t make it. An analysis of the in-out laps for Web, Gro will be very interesting to understand why the undercut didn’t work.

        Great split strategy by RB to ensure all options were covered to maximize P1 chances.

        Great race and again, as I mentioned before Grosjean is really coming !

      3. Fireman says:

        Or could’ve Grosjean won, with aggressive three stop strategy, perhaps?

      4. DomS says:

        James, surprised there hasn’t been much discussion (unless I have missed it) about the fact that despite Web falling a little short on first stint, he was consistently reeling off 1.37.7 laps (as was gro and vet) when they pitted him for the second stop (about lap 25), and therefore likely could have done a few more laps to bring him within the two stop window? Assume that’s what he was questioning?

      5. Doug says:

        Thank you. Exactly same point made by Gary Anderson, in fact he even doubts if the early first stop was even necessary http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/24514661 …..Its really hard to escape a the conclusion that there was premeditated plan to shaft Webber.

    2. Ronnie says:

      Try watch the race again starting lap 46

  47. All revved-up says:

    Sauber is closing in on Force India fast and strong! What a turnaround in a dismal start to the season.

    Hulk already ahead of Perez on championship points. Would love to see what he can do in a Lotus next year.

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      EJ says Hulkenberg will join Force India which is a great shame if true.

      1. All revved-up says:

        Hulk might be leaving Sauber just as they are coming on strong. Don’t know. But my goodness – the poor chap just can’t seem to catch a break.

    2. Chromatic says:

      E Jordan ‘knows’ Hulk is going back to Froce India, would you believe !

      1. All revved-up says:

        Argh! Hulk can’t seem to get a decent break in F1.

        Hope Force India do a Lotus next year – punch above their weight.

        Hulk might turn out to be a Perez – who knows. But he does deserve a seat with a top team. Let’s see what he can do against WDC Button.

  48. Paul D says:

    When I read these comments lately it seems to flow from a) Vettel is bang average and it’s all Newey…. to
    b) Vettel is the new Senna.

    Such extremes of opinion get a bit tedious. This place is for balanced, well evidenced opinion, not the fan [mod] type stuff…

    Please lets get back to what this site does best!

  49. Elie says:

    Please disregard..must be timing of moderations! Cheers

    1. Random 79 says:

      Okey dokey :)

  50. Nige says:

    Ask yourself did webber lose time to grosean at anytime due to tyre deg? Why did Vettel appear to hold back from Webber? They wanted to avoid any contact between Vettel and webber so he stayed back waiting for the strategy to play out i.e. 3 stop webber and get him out of the way. The facts are there stop accepting the Red bull line. They are not only managing the races they are also managing the media. The media needs get out of RB hospitality and start digging a bit deeper.

    1. The Spanish Inquisitor says:

      Perfect explanation.

    2. SteveS says:

      I doubt if facts will change your mind, but try this.

      http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/10/13/2013-japanese-grand-prix-tyre-strategies-and-pit-stops-2/

      Webber’s inability to do more than 11 laps on his first set of rubber is what sent him down the three-stop path. Of course he still could have won the race on that strategy, if he had not wasted so much time behind Grosjean.

      1. Random 79 says:

        +1

    3. Ronnie says:

      Only 3-stopper could have put Webber in front of Gro, just watch the race after Mark caught up with Gro with all his will, green light to race flat out, and much fresher option tyre against prime. Not sure if he could do it without the traffic situation, and/or Gro’s fuel level.

    4. that is a an exceptionally valid post nige. the media are being manipulated just like webbers strategy was yesterday.

      1. James Allen says:

        It’s a giant conspiracy…if we could just figure out where the CIA fit in….

      2. Doug says:

        You know James, you would have at the time probably responded with equally sarcastic gusto, had anyone dared suggest that Fabio Briattore and co had intentionally engineered a crash in Singapore, no? And yet was that not with time proved to be true and a fact? Please before we rush to dismiss people as raging lunatics lets accept that F1 is staffed by people, and people by nature are fallible and ambitious, and YES as history proves, anything is possible and lets not ridicule people who suggest such. Its very plausible that Red Bull are try to create a legend and a brand out of Vettel,which could be worth millions, and I really would not rule out ambitious elements in the organisation engaging in underhanded tactics to achieve their own ends.No everyone in F1 are angels my friend (i.e. Flavio!!!) You just wait for Webbers’ memoirs!

      3. James Allen says:

        Actually, that’s a poor example. I left the commentary box with Martin Brundle after that Singapore race and said that it seemed awfully suspicious crashing at that precise moment. So in the back of one’s mind was the doubt and when it was revealed it wasn’t as huge a surprise as you’d imagine.

    5. Torchwood Five says:

      It is just like on the post-qualifying thread – someone asked, who would you believe out of tv commentators versus the Red Bull team principal.

      Frankly, Christian Horner holds absolutely no credibility for me.

      1. Doug says:

        Exactly the point I am trying to make above regarding the Flavio incident. Hoener unfortunately inspires the same acute lack of confidence in me. One, he claims all these supposed strategic consideration which his own driver Webber, seems to be not aware of! Two, his claims dont seem to be supported by fact. See what Gary Anderson thinks: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/24514661.

        Basically my view is, if they came out in the open like Ferrari, I would respect them for it. But to take us for fools who lap up everything we are told, then I get offended and to be honest THAT is the root of my dislike for Vettle as I see him as the beneficiary of injustices. And for people to want to turn the blind eye and almost INSIST to be a “good fan of the sport” we must all applaud Vettle irrespective of the unfairness and injustice, in some sort of fraternal support for the sport actually make it worse for me.

    6. Yak says:

      They held back Vettel for the same reason Webber wasn’t right up on Grosjean. This isn’t Monza where we’re talking a series of huge straights with a few little corners in between. We’re talking about a circuit that’s nearly all mid to high speed corners. Get yourself in another car’s wake and you’re just going to be sliding around everywhere destroying the tyres. And even if they told him to have a crack at Webber, would he have had a chance? Probably not. Even if Vettel had a bit more pace, they’d still have been fairly evenly matched, only Webber would have been the one with the benefit of running in cleaner air.

      So why destroy your race in the first stint when you could instead maintain a gap, run the stint out to wherever you want to and make your moves with strategy over the full race distance?

      Mind you, I’d rather see the drivers really having a go at each other out on track, but this is today’s F1.

    7. Erik says:

      Remember the radio call to Seb during the race? “Youre racing Grojean not Webber” despite Webber being in front of Seb at the time? They already had Webber on a three stopper before the first pit stop.

      The thing that irks me about the Vet is the same reason I disliked Schumacher. He may have been the best but the number of times he was given an unfair advantage by his team..

      Vettel had a scruffy day, Brundle kept saying so every time Seb locked up or ran wide during the race. He needed the teams help that day and they were more than happy to oblige at the expense of Webber.

  51. Matt Wills says:

    Sincerely, Sebastian’s celebration in front of Webber is one of the worsts ways of doing his role on this GP. Actually you can 1)Celebrate the win and giving body language thanks to your team and Webber 2)Celebrate the victory as if you are the best and you deserves it, with that finger, i think this guy hasn’t grown enough, he is a adolescent.

    It’s a shame. I can’t imagine the same on other driver, neither if that were the case on Alonso, Hamilton or some other, the media would be now so silent.

    1. Julius says:

      Agree with you Matt. It is very sad to see how RBR treats Mark. He lost the race podium already on Sat. RBR prepared for him 3 stops strategy and if necessary they would invite him for the 4 time, just because he is very hard on tires … I believe it is very obvious why Seb gets boo … If Seb wants to get the respect he should start from himself first. He is a fast driver but this is a different story. I see a big difference between great and fast. RBR is not better. Mark is leaving and they could give him a chance to win a couple of races and leave something sweet in his heart. This will not impact Seb and RBR championship in any way. But this is not the case for RBR and Seb. I am very sorry for Mark.

      1. Random 79 says:

        It’s a nice sentiment, but gifting someone a win is not a win; he has to earn it.

      2. Julius says:

        Disagree with you.
        Seb and Mark have never been in the equal positions from team point of view. Or you think differently?
        We have heard before team orders and race strategies in advance of Seb and after that you are saying it shouldn’t be gift?
        Why gifts should always go only to one direction? Double standards? By this I do not like to apply it to all Seb’s wins but in some instances this is true.
        It was a lot of messages before the race that 3 stops is slower by 10-15 sec. And Mark finished 7sec behind. Proved.

      3. Random 79 says:

        @Julius

        I agree with most of that. Obviously the team do favour Vettel (regardless of the pretense of equal treatment that they try to keep up) and it’s clear that at times Webber has gotten the short end of the stick, and it’s also true that at times Vettel has basically been gifted the win…but that doesn’t disprove my point.

        Put yourself in Mark’s position in Suzuka about one lap from the finish. As you said he was about 7-8 seconds behind at that point; he clearly could not win from there.

        But if Seb had suddenly dropped back and let Mark through then sure, he would have won, but would it have meant anything? No. Mark would have known that without Seb’s help he still would have been second and that he only won because Seb let him.

        It would have been a hollow win. If Seb likes those, fine, and as you said it is a double standard, but I still say a real win is one you earn, not one that is gifted to you.

        But again, you’re entitled to disagree :)

    2. Rob Newman says:

      I don’t get your point. Vettel won because he did a better job. So, what is the problem?

      1. Matt Wills says:

        Vettel won because RBR forced Webber to stop (2nd stop) much before than needed. By doing that, they forced Grosjean to stop also, and then Vettel could opt for the optimal stint in every of his three stints.

        Now, it’s obvious that Vettel did a good job, but not better than Mark neither Grosjean. So what’s the problem?

      2. BRad says:

        Are you drinking again?

      3. vettel won because the team gifted him at webbers expense. don’t you read the details..ever?

    3. DaveF1 says:

      You know, like when Alonso celebrated in Singapore after Piquet Jr. crashed on the wall? ;-)

      Jokes aside, why wouldn’t Vettel celebrate? He won because he drove great, passing Grosjean in one lap, when Webber needed SEVEN. That was the deciding moment of the race.

      Complain all you want about the strategies, but had Webber driven as good as Vettel (which he should have, considering he was always on fresher tyres), the result would have been different.

      Finally, stop with the finger already, most drivers have their signature way of celebrating, deal with it.

      1. Matt Wills says:

        Vettel passed Grosjean in one lap with fresher tires than Webber. By the time Webber reached Grosjean hi was with the options, and in this GP, as several drivers said on the quail, that softs tires lasted two or three laps with an advantage good rhythm, in contrast to hards, which in this GP suffered more linearly in time. As some driver commented in the broadcast, when Webber reached Grosjean he was with soft tires but not in optimal conditions already.

        By the way, it’s funny how that finger in front of Webber is not criticized by any of you. To me is not a kind gesture, neither the celebration on radio. Sebastian Vettel is an outstanding driver, but he is not acting like i think and any person here, sure, it should act.

    4. Sean Thompson says:

      Matt.

      I guess you hate cricket then.

      Even the umpires use “that finger”.

      Seriously, how would you like him to celebrate?

      Google mark webber wins and go to images. There are a few shots of Mark with a single raised finger. Also a few of Mark doing a goofy Schumacheresque podium jump.

      I really don’t see what the big deal is.

      Remember Fernando with his bull horns, or raising multiple fingers to show what number win it was.

      I reckon that if you look at people celebrating their wins in just about every sport played you will find photos of someone with a single raised finger.

    5. bearforce says:

      You think the finger is bad.

      Look at Alonso embarrassing himself here:

      http://thewonderfulworldoff1.tumblr.com/post/49846287601/f1marv-fernandos-2006-celebrations-never-say

      Every time someone complains about Vettel just link this.

      1. Sean Thompson says:

        Thanks Bearforce,

        I forgot about Fernando launching arrows into the crowd.

  52. Marcelo Leal says:

    I start to think that Kimi move to Ferrari, is he trying to runaway from RG…
    Against Alonso he can qualify better (I presume, but actually will be a fight for who can not be slower), and if he actually do qualify better, he can do the “I manage my tyres” thing.. so we will have the duo fighting for the first positions (third, 4th, etc).
    So, if Kimi would race against RG next year, with the expirience this guy has right now (without the starts issues from the past), Kimi would have a run for his money! Wise decision! Alonso even Massa can beat…
    Alonso: kimi don’t need to be faster than Felipe to beat you, just be as fast. ;-)

    1. Elie says:

      Pfft.. Because before the tyre change Kimi 8/3 in Quali and 10:1 in the race..even now after announcing he us leaving and the team had effectively made agrisjean No1. Do you honestly think Kimi Raikkonen gives a sh#% what Grosjean or any driver does ???. He’s the only guy with the balls to take Fernando on without hesitation.. You think he’s worried about Grosjean…Il have whatever your taking !!. Despite all his success at Lotus- they have proved they don’t have the winning mentality because Grosjean had every reason to expect to win and in the end was very happy to be 3rd.Raikkonen would have been bitterly disappointed in the same position. He’s only going to Ferrari cause he wants to win –more often!!

      1. bearforce says:

        Yeah. I wonder what Alonso and Ferrari will do if Kimmi out qualifies Alonso. Also Kimmi might stay in front of Alonso in the race. There is only so many gearbox seals that can be broken without looking really silly.

    2. Harshad says:

      What are you exactly trying to say?
      Lotus have built the team around Kimi. But Kimi has made his reasons clear as to why he wanted to leave Lotus.

      Kimi has beaten RG comprehensively this year. After tyre change midseason, the car has been under-steering a lot and hence Kimi suffers.

      Anyway, he said the problems seemed to have sorted out but he made mistake on his flying lap in Q3.

      I think he will improve his qualifying come next races.

    3. Sujith says:

      +1 Harshad

      Why do people make stupid assumptions when the driver himself explains whats happening!!

  53. Daniel MA says:

    Also Gutiérrez came of age in this race, great start as usual and keeping everyone behind him, Sauber is looking good for a sixth place in the WCC.

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      Who knows maybe they will catch Macca for 5th . It’s a long shot but still.

  54. Monkian says:

    With regards to your summary, I would argue the point about Vettel not building a gap to Grosjean the other way round. Grosjean was on the newer tyres and it was key that Vettel did not lose any ground towards the end of his second stint. This mean’t he came out just behind Grosjean and was able to use his newer tyres straight away instead of having to catch up and then attempt to pass. Had he been required to do the latter then he probably would have struggled more to pass Grosjean and left himself exposed to Webber.

    With regards to the Webber strategy. It would be interesting to know whether Red Bull would have gone to the 3 if Vettel wasn’t sitting in 3rd? I have a feeling they might have left Mark in 2nd and hoped he still had enough pace at the end of the stint to get the undercut. If there was an undercut at the this race? Although Mark says he had plenty of pace in hand, whether that remained the case to the end of the stint is another question.

    1. Ronnie says:

      We saw what Mark could do with everything and superior tires against Gro at the end. What makes people think that he could do any better than that with worse tools?

  55. L says:

    It made sense for Red Bull to split their strategies, and Webber is normally harder on tyres than Vettel.

    If they had put Seb on the three stop strategy and left Mark on two stops I am sure people would still be complaining that Seb had been given the undercut on Mark and the faster medium tyres at the end of the race.

    Red Bull can’t win with some fans whatever they do.

  56. Methusalem says:

    The F1 circus has become a joke. When was the last time we saw 90 points difference between the 1st and 2nd placed four races to go?

    1. Random 79 says:

      2011ish?

      Might be right, might be wrong, but it sounds right.

    2. Ronnie says:

      From the US Feed, if I heard it correctly, one in six WDC were locked in Japan.

    3. Yak says:

      I’m guessing 2011, or at least it was something along those lines.

      That said, what about last year? What about 2010? It’s not like every year for the past however many years has been a 2011-style “Year of the [Red] Bull”.

    4. CrIpleX says:

      2011…

      The points difference between 1st and 2nd was even 114 points after the Japan GP.

      Not saying that 2011 was an exciting season, far from it.

  57. Rishi says:

    A really intriguing race and James’s Strategy Report will make for fascinating reading.

    Obv the conspiracy theorists have smelt a rat but were they right? It’s difficult to say because, at this moment, we don’t know what the trajectory of Webber’s laptimes would have been relative to Grosjean’s in the build-up to the second stops and again at the end of the race.

    Mark will probably feel the team have pushed him onto his sword in the name of ensuring Red Bull had a better chance of beating Grosjean, or by simply wanting a “Vettel-Webber” order, by splitting the strategies. However it’s worth pointing out that if he’d won the start (from pole after quali) I somewhat suspect the whole debate would have been irrelevant. Also, if he’d passed Grosjean quickly and Vettel had hesitated, we could well have had a ding-dong in the final few laps between the team-mates so credit to Vettel for making his strategy work and for clearing Grosjean quickly. Webber gave it everything but deep down will know he can’t give Vettel second or third chances; if he carries that forward to India in two weeks time he may still win.

    Regarding Grosjean he really made Vettel fight for the win today and it was another really good performance, uninterrupted by Safety Cars thankfully! For a while I thought he might just have the legs to pull off the victory but, as Eric Boullier said, as the second stint developed it became apparent that Red Bull still had some reserves spare in the tank while Lotus didn’t.

    1. Olivier says:

      +1, The strategy report will be a fascinating read indeed.

      I believe Webber had to make the third stop as Vettel was closing in really rapidly. Question is: Did Webber had to make his first stop so early? Because that really set him up for a three stopper.

      Vettel is definitely king of the Pirelli F1 era: Aggressive when it counts, tyre management in between. I don’t believe Webber would’ve been able to make a two stopper work. He is more like a racer. A three stopper was the right thing to do for him, me think … Let’s see what the Strategy Report brings us …

  58. yst_01 says:

    Vettel was sooo stiff and keen to overtake Grosjean. He had one shot and he made it stick.
    He even forgot to open DRS half the straight,
    LoL

    Display of a 4 time WDC and a (insert name here), who was on at least 8 laps fresher tires, but needed 5 laps and couldn’t take the fight to Vettel once more!

  59. Lucas says:

    So, no comments on Red Bull’s TC-like system and whether it’s really on Vettel’s car only? I was thinking that’s what every journalist would look at this weekend.

  60. Alexander Supertramp says:

    Come on, Christian “Two-face” Horner: “Good drive Mark, strategy didn’t work out in the end.” They were never planning on letting Webber fight for the win with Seb in the equation. Awful stuf..
    On a side note, I have a feeling that RB are right up there with Lotus on tyre management, Mark was lapping strong times before his last pit stop.

    Very bad week-end for Merc, they should look back, Lotus is nearing.. Lewis did what he had to do, i.e. go for the gap and try to fight the mighty Bulls. Can’t believe some people out here criticize him for that :D.The guy is a magnet to bad luck, look at what happened to Nico last week :D.

    The Hulk confirms and Gutierrez shows his skill. Sauber will chase Force India now.

    Impressed by Grosjean. He has been maturing as a driver and his last grand prix have been consistenly strong. Let’s see what he can achieve next year without Kimi but possibly alongside Hulk.

    Perez confirms as well, he confirms that he’s not up for the job. What bothers me is that he’s full of excuses, that’s not the attitude that will make him a better driver. The best way to progress is to aknowledge your weaknesses and attack them.

    Lastly, I still believe only Mercedes can really take the fight to Red Bull next year. This is just a subjective gut feeling and Mercedes will need to get their act together, but I have a feeling they are the only real hope for a more competitive F1.
    Go Merc, #Merc’14!

  61. Howard P says:

    What a race for Grosjean. Amazing that a year ago, everyone was dismissing him and that he wouldn’t get a seat ever again… just goes to show that if you nurture someone and don’t get rid of them because they didn’t perform that well in their first season, you can get a true gem.

    1. Random 79 says:

      I don’t mean to quibble, but he didn’t perform well in his first season and they did get rid of him.

      He is starting to make a nice comeback though.

  62. deancassady says:

    As previously suggested, Big John is on the rise.
    Some people say that Kimi is declining; but the facts do not support this.
    A better alternative explanation of the trend is that Grosjean has always been fast, as Boullier has said, and is now gaining his confidence to challenge in the fully supported Lotus, which has finally come good.
    Clearly the tire switch favoured Romain over Kimi.
    Webber and Vettel were set up quite differently, and in that set up Webber couldn’t make a two stop work.
    Another good job by Hulkenberg; he should drive Red next year; though it would be great to see Hulkenberg against Grosjean; it might even be better than Alonso-Kimi.
    Good job Vettel, you make any strategy work as well as it can.

  63. Red Dull again GAVE the victory to Fettel by changing Webber’s race stragey during the race…
    All credit to Red Dull making boring racing even more boring!

    1. Random 79 says:

      Another time traveler. Awesome.

      Well Jyrki, pleased to meet you.

      You find yourself in October, 2013, where we just watched a thrilling race at Suzuka in which Red Bull deliberately chose two different strategies for their drivers before the race in order to maximise their potential.

      Webber gave it a good shot on his planned three stop strategy, but was held up near the end by Grosjean for a few laps which killed any chance of him catching and passing Vettel, but still it was the closest and most hard fought finish we’d seen for a little while.

      Sorry for the spoiler, but I figure if you want payback you’ll just hop forward to the end of 2014 and tell us know how it all pans out :)

    2. Ronnie says:

      That is not true. How else can Webber pass Gro?

  64. zx6dude says:

    No doubt who is number 2 at Red Bull…

    1. Ronnie says:

      You been judged by performance?

      1. zx6dude says:

        Ronnie, not sure what you mean.

        I have stated before on this site that I don’t like SV, but I admit that he is in a class of is own at the moment. I will also state once more that people that say it is only the car are wrong. SV is incredibly fast. Credit where it is due.
        I have no doubt that SV is faster than MW, SV proved it time and time again over the years. But I also believe that on this occasion SV benefited from a highly suspicious strategy call for MW. MW himself couldn’t quite understand why Red Bull did what they did. I think this cost MW first place. Yes he couldn’t overtake RG fast enough, but would he have even been in that situation if he had two stopped? We will never know.

  65. Zhenya says:

    I wonder why Lotus did not ask RG to pit immediately after MW’s 2nd pitstop. This was the only thing they could do against RBR.

    1. Ronnie says:

      Good point. I guess they did not think it through. Or they believed more in the Lotus relative performance than it actually had.

  66. Wouldn’t try to add to the speculation about why, who or what, but (unless I’ve missed it above somewhere) no one’s commented on the “stressed-out” radio messages broadcast by NBCSports channel from the leading driver in the last part of the race. Makes ya wonder about the real character and true quality.

    1. Ronnie says:

      I guess many of you have never experienced “the heat of the moment”.

      I thought Jesson was cool. But Perez made him yell too, remember? Perez made Kimi say that someone should punch him. Perez made Rosberg ready to explode as well…

  67. Matt W says:

    Amazing, Vettel wins through sheer intelligence and canny driving and STILL people believe the myth that it’s all the team and poor old Mark is being robbed. Mark has simply never been quick enough to win a WDC and even on his fastest day, Vettel is still quicker. It might not be a comfortable truth, but it is (unfortunately for some) true all the same.

    I’m not Vettel fan, but one must wonder what else he needs to do to prove the doubters wrong.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Vettel is faster than Mark, but don’t forget Mark damn near won the WDC in 2010.

      One unlucky spin in Korea, a bad final race in Abu Dhabi, in my eyes that was what lost it.

  68. Oddz says:

    http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/blogs/motorhead-uk/sorry-seb-not-fault-f1-really-better-old-144537276.html

    What is your take on this blog guys?
    James if you don’t mind also would like to know what you think

    1. Doug says:

      Amazing blog. Especially liked: “The Japanese Grand Prix this weekend showed exactly why F1 has got so dull, and it has nothing to do with the genius of Sebastian Vettel or his car designers at Red Bull.

      It’s because they’ve discovered that the way to win isn’t by trying to drive faster than the other guys, like it used to be in the good old days when duels could last half a race. It’s about managing tyres.

      All of the first three drivers spent the first half of the race not trying to catch each other, simply because they knew that preserving their tyres would ultimately prove faster over the 200-mile race than pushing hard to overtake a rival.

      Genuinely, the most interesting thing about the race – and perhaps the only noteworthy thing – is that Vettel won the race by choosing to change one less set of tyres. His average speed around the circuit while in motion was several seconds slower than that of team-mate Mark Webber, but he won because he needed only two pits stops instead of three.

      That’s it. That’s your two-hours of entertainment in a nutshell”!!!!

  69. anon says:

    Why is there no outrage that Massa defied a team order?

    Double standards?

    1. Random 79 says:

      Yes, it is.

      We like Massa, so when he tells Ferrari to stick it we cheer him.

      Go figure…

    2. 69bhp says:

      I’ve been checking Joe Saward’s blog to see what he has to say this time, since he blasted Vettel so much after the Malaysian GP. Will be very odd if he has nothing to say about Massa.

  70. ffcunha says:

    Everybody praying Romain, he had podiums before. This was more like a win oppurtunity that got away.

  71. Seized Up says:

    “We were patient and looked after the tyres…”

    I wish someone looked after the fans.

    2014 is going to be even worse for F1 Pacing. Not only tyres [pirelli haven't learnt their lesson] but fuel management will doubly impact pacing.

  72. Kenneth A says:

    It seems that there is more attacking of other posters on this thread than usual. It really is a shame, since I personally watch this blog to hear from JA and other experts (to grow my understanding of F1), AND to hear from knowledgeable and passionate fans (to enhance the experience). I’m confident that JA (and his moderators) will eventually get it back to what it was. Sigh, until then…

  73. Ferrari Fran says:

    Hey please don’t write off Raikkonen or Alonso because they weren’t on the podium today. Look at the driver standings. They are both up there just behind Seb

  74. George says:

    And everyone was wondering how the team would move SB aside to get a win for Webber.. this race makes that sound a little naive now…

  75. Robert N says:

    James,

    when VET overtook GRO, it looked as if he did not have his DRS open for the pass itself, he only opened it very briefly once he was already passed.

    Did anyone else spot that or comment on it?

    Cheers,
    Robert

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes VET spoke about it himself, rather embarrassed!

  76. Bolaji says:

    After watching today’s race I felt empty so I dug out the 2005 japanese grand prix to see some really hot stuff. With all due respect there’s something missing from F1 today.

  77. Simon Donald says:

    Great race. Would love to have seen Grosjean win this one. He really has impressed me the second half of this season especially the last few races. Raikkonen may be the more experienced and tactical driver of the two, but Grosjean definitely is faster now and that come from someone who is a massive Kimi fan! Impressive race too by Vettel. Good to see him actually having to earn a win for a change!

  78. Timmay says:

    This race has produced some of the funniest anti-Vettel nonsense so far. Pro-tip: you don’t have to like the 4x consecutive world champion, just because you acknowledge that he is good. I am a case in point. Can’t stand him.

    He is, infact, the best.

  79. Hanns says:

    Webber had difficultys to overtake Grosjean with much fresher tires.
    It´s unlikely he would been able to prolongue his second stint like seb did.
    Therefor he wouldn´t been able to create a tire diffrence in a two stop strategie like Seb did.
    => For a 2 Stopper he would´ve needed to box very close to the round Grosjean did it.
    No tire diffrence => difficult/impossible to overtake. He would been locked behind Grosjean.

    I don´t undertand why Red Bull do officially hide that they have a number one driver.
    That would make life much easier for them and seb.
    Still in this race i´m convinced they did choose the right strategy for both drivers.

  80. Eff1osaurus says:

    here’s the thing…

    everyone was unhappy with Vettel walking away at the start of races…”F1 has become boring” “F1 Snorefest” etc..

    Sunday we saw the little team that could take the fight to the big boys…Lotus vs RB, and you guys are STILL not satisfied!

    Vettel drove well to make his tyres go the distnace when he needed to, and passed Grosjean at his 1st attempt…

    Webber chewed up his rubber trying to get past the Lotus, and didn’t have the traction out of spoon, the ability to follow as closely through 130R or the traction out of the Casio Triangle to blitz Grosjean in the way Vettel did.

    Hulkenburg drove well again.

    Hamilton Vettel was a racing accident, similar to Alonso Raikkonen incident last year.

    Speaking of, Alonso and Raikkonen did well to move up 5 places each to score 4th and 5th…

    a great race…lets just hope Kimi can qualify a bit better…imagine having had both Lotus cars challenging the RBs…

    Kudos to Vettel. I’m not a big fan, but the kid’s good. 4 and 9/10′s WDC confirms it.

  81. Danjit says:

    Do you think there’s any truth to the idea that Redbull might be using KERS to circumvent traction control restrictions? http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/10/red-bull-f1-traction-control/

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