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Posted By: Matt Meadows  |  03 Nov 2013   |  4:44 pm GMT  |  315 comments

Sebastian Vettel equalled the record of seven consecutive Formula One victories in one season after driving an immaculate race to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, ahead of Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg.

He was emotional afterwards on the podium as he dedicated the win to his parents, who have not attended a race for quite some time and again in the press conference when he contemplated the great names whose records he is catching and equalling.

It is the 37th win of his career, just four less than Ayrton Senna, and the 11th of this season.

The all time record for consecutive wins is Alberto Ascari with nine, but he did it over two seasons. Victory in the final two races of 2013 would also see the Red Bull driver match Michael Schumacher’s record for the most race wins in a single season – thirteen.

“Any kind of record involving Michael Schumacher takes my breath away. I’ve grown up watching him win in what looked liked each and every race when I was a child. And now that I am nearly doing the same can be quite humbling,” Vettel said.

“Most often from the outside people do not see the challenges involved. But one has to be prepared every time to go out there and nail it. If you ask me, the numbers are not that important, but to equal what he has achieved makes me very, very proud and I am old enough to realise this,”


Today Vettel was a class above the rest right from the first corner, as he took the race lead from team-mate Webber and simply drove off into the distance. He managed to square the circle of maintaining strong pace with preserving the tyres and the first stint put the win beyond doubt.

After running to lap fourteen on the soft tyre – longer than any other driver except Felipe Massa – he was able to exit the pits still in the lead and set about extending his advantage. He won by over half a minute.

By lap thirty his lead stood at thirty seconds and the need for excitement drew the attention away from the four-time World Champion.

Behind, Webber spent the first stint in third place after losing out to Vettel and Nico Rosberg at the start of the race. After dropping back and complaining of a KERS issue, Webber pitted on the ninth lap, two earlier than Rosberg, and set about pulling the Mercedes driver back.

With Rosberg hampered by a long-running Paul di Resta on the medium tyre, Webber reeled the two in and made the move past Rosberg with little difficulty. He had saved a little more KERS than his Mercedes rival. From here Webber maintained a four-second gap over Rosberg to make it the third Red Bull one-two of the season.

Rosberg followed his second place in India up with another podium here, collecting a much needed haul of points for Mercedes with the on-going battle for second place in the Constructors’ Championship. The sister car of Lewis Hamilton had a more difficult race as he struggled to pass slower cars and eventually came home in seventh place.

The Contructors’ Championship is now hotting up nicely between Mercedes, Ferrari and Lotus. Lotus were hampered late last night when Kimi Raikkonen was disqualified from qualifying due to too much deflection in the car’s floor following the session and would always be on the back foot today.

Opting to start from last place rather than the pit-lane, Raikkonen made contact with Giedo van der Garde at the first corner and was out of the race.

That left Romain Grosjean as the hope for Lotus and the Frenchman put in another solid drive. A good start took him past Lewis Hamilton and into fourth place, a position which he retained for the duration of the Grand Prix. Grosjean threatened Rosberg for the final podium place in the closing laps but could not make it four consecutive podiums.

Fernando Alonso, however, was able to make it ground in the closing laps as he switched to a two-stop strategy and completed the race on softs. He and Massa had hoped to complete the race on just one stop but switched late on prevent their tyres falling off the cliff.

Having started from tenth, Alonso made his way to fifth place, setting the fastest lap in the process, and keeping his team within touching distance of Mercedes. He had a controversial incident as he exited the pits for the second time, where he went off the track to pass Vergne and Massa. He argued successfully with the stewards that Vergne gave him no room and there was no penalty for the Spaniard.

Alonso went to hospital for precautionary checks following the race, after registering a 25G impact when he hit a kerb at Yas Marina – but doctors gave him the all-clear.

Mercedes sit on 334 points, whilst Ferrari are on 323 and Lotus take 297 points to Austin.

Paul Di Resta kept Hamilton at bay in the closing laps to complete the race on one-stop and impress any potential employers for 2014.

The top ten was completed by Felipe Massa, Sergio Perez and Adrian Sutil. Massa ran the furthest of anyone on the soft tyre and like Alonso had hoped for a single stop. However a drop in times in the closing stages necessitated a second tyre change, dropping the Brazilian to eighth.

Perez had an eventful race that saw him in the middle of many battles. He made a good move on Jean-Eric Vergne before passing Sutil late in the race for ninth place.

Kimi Raikkonen left early after crashing in the opening corner. A row over his salary payments with Lotus seems to have been resolved after he threatened them with an injunction. And we understand he will take part in the final two races.

ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX, Yas Marina, Race, 55 Laps

1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1h38m06.106s
2. Mark Webber Red Bull +30.8s
3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes +33.6s
4. Romain Grosjean Lotus +34.8s
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +1m07.1s
6. Paul di Resta Force India +1m18.1s
7. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +1m19.2s
8. Felipe Massa Ferrari +1m22.8s
9. Sergio Perez McLaren +1m31.1s
10. Adrian Sutil Force India +1m33.2s
11. Pastor Maldonado Williams +1m35.9s
12. Jenson Button McLaren +1m43.6s
13. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber +1m44.1s
14. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber +1 lap
15. Valtteri Bottas Williams +1 lap
16. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso +1 lap
17. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso +1 lap
18. Giedo van der Garde Caterham +1 lap
19. Charles Pic Caterham +1 lap
20. Jules Bianchi Marussia +2 laps
21. Max Chilton Marussia +2 laps

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315 Comments
  1. Krashan Birne says:

    Glad that Mark ‘heavy-foot’ Webber’ completed the race . . .

    However, the durable Porsche LMP1 will better suit his style.

    1. Phil Glass says:

      They can be a handful to start I’ve heard.

      1. Krashan Birne says:

        Damn ! . . the nightmare continues into 2014?

      2. Sebee says:

        Why?

        Did you see? Vettel came out without taking the collar out. Webber needed to remove it for his 11kg heavier hips. Extra weight will slow you down! :-)

      3. RodgerT says:

        Rolling starts in WEC will help, and with a team of drivers who’s to say that Mark will do the first stint.

    2. Miha Bevc says:

      F1… no country for old men :)

  2. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Another stupefying vettelian webberseconded lewisdropping race.

    1. Simon Lord says:

      The race was on at 2am this morning our time. I set the box and switched it on when I got up to find that it hadn’t recorded. Strangely, as a grand prix fan of some 40 years, I was almost relieved not to be wasting 2 hours before getting to work. Having read that report, I’m even more relieved.

      We are indeed back in the Schumacher era, without even the interest that was created by the fact that you knew Schumacher was ruthless and prepared to drive others off the track or cheat when he felt the need. Vettel, despite the occasional attempts of the media (and some fans) to paint him black, is not from the same mould, thank goodness. Clearly a very impressive driver – I just hope that, next year, some of the others will be able to put up more of a challenge.

    2. Grant H says:

      As a ham fan i have to admit that was prob his worst performance since i can remember, maybe some of it is poor luck like india he got off to a reasonable start but then lost position in the second phase of the start – from then on (also like india) he failed to clear slower cars,

      On one side you could say Rosberg managed P2 so why not lewis, on the other side you could say Rosbergs clean start kept him ahead of the traffic during the 1st and 2nd pit stops

      Maybe Lewis’s agressive style is potentially destroying tyres to quickly when he gets frustrated behind slower cars, during the race I heard his race engineer twice give tyre management instructions but then this is probably no different to the others

      Well done to vet that performance sums up his and RB’s dominance

      What happened to jenson, I had to double check the result in the end cos I thought he may have had a DNF

      1. Aaron Noronha says:

        Hamilton was let down by the top speed of his car. he was hitting the rev limiter very soon, much like Vettel in Hungary. you’ll be happy to know that Ross Brawn said they will look into it and hopefully at the next Gp either a win or a podium finish is in order

      2. KRB says:

        A win? Are you nuts? Only if both Red Bulls go out.

    3. deancassady says:

      I have to admit, it is getting boring.

      Anyone who thinks Vettel would give Webber a win, has not been paying attention.

      Barring a course correction in his strangely low frequency of comparative occurrences of mechanical problem, it is VERY likely that Vettel-Red Bull will win the remaining races, and Vettel will be distinguished with nine consecutive wins, in one season!
      He must be going for that, by now.
      How many did MS get, seven?

      1. Dave C says:

        It could be 9 in a row for a season but the the consecutive wins will continue into next year, we could yet see another record broken. As for handing Webber a win well we could see it at Brazil because I doubt Webber will be strong enough to win at Texas even if Vettel wasn’t there so all eyes on Brazil to be fair if I was Vettel I wouldn’t gift Webber a win.

  3. Sebee says:

    Christian, you want me to let Webber have one during a partial eclipse?  Has Schumi won a GP during a partial eclipse?  No?  Who else has won a GP during an eclipse?  (goferet?)

    It is settled then, we’ll let Mark have the USGP.

    …let us remind you Vettel in lead by 30s… (Cue coffee out nose.) He’s not a man.  He’s a machine! :-)  Better double up those fines FIA if you want to stop the donut delivery man!

    Hey, which year of F1 car is hands down fastest when looking at unmodified circuits lap times? 2004?  2005?

    1. Xman says:

      I really think LH style is not helping him in the pirreli era. And neither is he trying to change it succesfully. Unlucky for him, its more of the same for at least the next 2-3 seasons. If not the rest of his career. Helps him in qualy but he cant bring it back for the race. Regarding vettel, its like a differeny category when driving in clear air. A difference of over a second to the rest of the field i think shows that as the race goes on the difference is multiplies because of the traffic conditions. Its a fine line and seb is showing the rest who the proffesor is.

      1. GPC says:

        LH is a “splash & dash” driver. Refuelling during pitstops will give him advantage again.

      2. Aaron Noronha says:

        Vettel too is a good splash and dash driver Rocky comes on radio to reel him in the only difference is that Vettel can adapt i.e set purple sectors and yet maintain the range on his tyres. Unfortunately Hamilton hasnt learned that art yet.
        Next year if the fuel restrictions cause drivers to safe fuel. Hamilton will surely suffer again.

      3. GPC says:

        @Aaron Noronah, totally agree, was just highlighting LH favourable driving conditions. Vettel will become a stone in the for he spend time learning the car instead of selling image rights.

    2. mkl says:

      > Who else has won a GP during an eclipse?

      Championship races held in a day of a solar eclipse:

      1963 British GP (Clark)
      1965 Monaco GP (Hill)
      1968 Canadian GP (Hulme)
      1970 South African GP (Brabham)
      1975 Monaco GP (Lauda)
      1980 German GP (Laffite)
      1985 Monaco GP (Prost)
      1988 Italian GP (Berger)
      1997 Australian GP (Coulthard)
      2010 British GP (Webber)

      So he DID equal that record as well…

      1. Dave Aston says:

        Great work!

      2. Sebee says:

        Oh snap!

        Seriously, I wish I could send you a prize. If this data is accurate, and you put it together you deserve it.

      3. Glennb says:

        Don’t fret Sebee my friend. Alas, Seb was probably the “youngest” driver to win during a partial eclipse. Or the first driver to win his 7th on the trot DURING a partial eclipse. Or the first blonde headed guy, with a team mate sporting a 3 day growth AND win during a partial eclipse. Just pick one out ;)

      4. Sebee says:

        BUT…as the eclipse was happening? :-)

      5. Jonathan says:

        This GP was hosted in the path of an eclipse at the very hour it took place. Not just the same day. Has that ever happened before? I doubt it.

      6. Sebee says:

        That was amazing coincidence. No great pics of it yet out there!?

      7. Sebee says:

        All those photographers with those fancy SLRs and lenses, and this is the best we got?

        http://s3.thejournal.ie/media/2013/11/mideast-emirates-f1-gp-auto-racing-9-630×443.jpg

      8. Sebee says:

        OK, I think it’s safe to say this Vettel Eclipse win was one of a kind. It was a “hybrid eclipse event” F1 win! :-)

        > From CBC
        A hybrid eclipse is an unusual eclipse that morphs between a total eclipse — in which the moon completely covers the sun — and an annular eclipse, in which a brilliant halo of sunlight is still visible around the moon. The moon’s apparent change in size is caused by the fact that its orbit around the Earth is elliptical, and it appears bigger when it is closer to the Earth.

        Typically, a hybrid eclipse starts and ends as an annular eclipse but appears as a total eclipse in the middle.

        However, today’s eclipse is “even more unique,” reports NASA, because it starts as an annular eclipse and ends as a total eclipse.

    3. Malik says:

      I loved your comment. thank you :D :D :D

      1. Sebee says:

        JAonF1 and it’s fans aim to please. Maximum F1 laughs in comments is the goal.

        After Random 79 serves his FIA sanctioned panalty, look at his deep thoughts too. :-)

      2. Random 79 says:

        My thoughts aren’t that deep; it’s mostly optical illusion ;)

    4. Spinodontosaurus says:

      I do a lot of comparisons between the seasons, and I don’t think there really is a ‘fastest ever’ season, although V10 fanboys would like to think otherwise.
      On some tracks, 2010 are untouchable, likewise 2011 on others, and 2004 on others still. Toss 2006 and 2013 in there too, and occasionally 2009 can match the others.

      As a general rule, 2004 at power tracks, 2010 or 2006 at aero tracks, and 2011 at technical ones.

      Due to 2004 races essentially being a series of short flat-out sprints interrupted by fuel stops, most lap records are from that season, however.

      1. James m says:

        2004 was the fastest season in history

      2. Sebee says:

        I wonder what these V8 cars could do today with refueling? Probably shave 5min. off GP time?

      3. Sebee says:

        What circuits are left unmodified from 2004 that you look at?

        What’s the best criteria? I think total race time and pole time since winner wants to go fastest and there are no real limitations on pole attempts last few years, like that crazy fuel thing a few years back.

    5. Miha Bevc says:

      I would actually love to witness Vettel winning 9 in a row …

      1. Sebee says:

        I’m with you, but 2 things.
        1. Why not 10 to make him greatest Seb ever and bring most WDCs back to F1?
        2. Remeber, you won’t be able to wear Vettel gear outdoors for fear of assault.

  4. Mark says:

    Got up early to watch this one… and should have gone back to bed after the first corner!
    At least there was a bit of good racing later on. Hope Kimi suits up for the last two races.

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      Kimi will be racing in Austin and Sao Paulo according to Autosport.

      1. H.Guderian says:

        You mean, will be crashing, right???
        (If you know what I mean)
        8-)

      2. Sasidharan says:

        Kimi will be getting out of the **&*&** way as he was instructed ;)

    2. Simmo says:

      I found it so boring that, for the first time in 3 or 4 years, I switched the F1 off and did something more interesting.

      Sadly, that means I can’t criticise all the bad moves ;) (apart from Gutierrez, who I saw darting around in front of Hamilton just before pressing the power button)

      I was bored as it gets watching it today

    3. Mansell Mania says:

      I was going to try and watch it on a live stream but decided just to wait for the “highlights” on the Beeb. Good decesion, evem the highlights seemed to go on for a bit…

  5. Carl says:

    Really disappointed with Ferrari’s decision making today. Alonso should have given immediately given the place back to Vergne. Instead they risked a drive through or time penalty all of which were unrecoverable from so late in the race. Also disappointed that the stewards deferred the decision until after the race. F1 is a fast paced sport and they had ample time to make a decision.

    1. Andy says:

      How Sutil and Alonso avoided penalties is beyond me. It adds a new meaning to exceeding the white lines and gaining an advantage.

      The simple answer is to fit Armco barriers in suitable places as the stewards and race director don’t seem to have the balls to enforce the regulations.

      1. KRB says:

        Alonso was well alongside, and Vergne drifted all the way out beyond the white lines, pushing Alonso off. No penalty, and stewards have agreed.

        As for Sutil going off, and then rejoining in front of Perez, I don’t see how that wasn’t penalized.

      2. Kimisoverated says:

        How about a little conspiracy theory? Bernie and Ron Dennis have never got on. Force India are breathing down McLarens neck in the WCC, hence Sutil is not punished in order to maximise the FI points haul. I can’t think of any other more credible reason why Sutil was not punished. He either overtook by going off the track or avoided being overtaken by going off the track. Either way, both offences are not allowed.

      3. JSpeed says:

        Well, Massa said the same about Grosjean, in Hungary, but the stewards didn’t left the decision to after race and the frenchman paid a heavy drive-through.

    2. DonSimon says:

      Yeah, with you. This whole after the race thing is a joke. Basically it leaves the only option as a grid penalty for the next race.

      I cannot remember the last time a driver had time added to his race time. I can remember it happening, but I would appreciate any JAonF1 posters helping me with this stat!

      1. DonSimon says:

        Pic, Singapore 2012? 20 second bump for overtaking under 4 sets of reds? Am I wrong?

      2. James Allen says:

        Happened in GP3 this weekend.

        Trying to remember in F1, there was one maybe last year

      3. Antti says:

        Grosjean got a 20 second post-race penalty this year at Hungary.

      4. Antti says:

        Grosjean, Hungary 2013.

      5. SteveS says:

        2012 German GP. Vettel was given a post race 20 second penalty for going off track while overtaking Button in a move strikingly similar to that in which Alonso overtook Vergne. The penalty dropped Vettel from second to fifth and cost him eight points.

      6. KRB says:

        Not even close to the same! Button gave him room, and was never near the white lines before Vettel went off track. The diff in delta’s only widened b/c Vettel went off track.

        Please explain in detail how they were the same.

  6. Grabsplatter says:

    No penalty for Alonso? He went so far off the track, he almost ended up at the Italian border!

    1. KRB says:

      Heard the force he got going over the kerbing was 25g’s! Is that correct? That sounds in the death range.

      1. TitanRacer says:

        25g is way more than I ever wanna attempt to endure, but really. look at some of the 80 and 90 g’s that have been recorded at the Indy 500 where MEN walked away or at least waved to the crowd as they were carted off for a checkup!!!

    2. AlexD says:

      why you want him to be penalized so badly?
      http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/111117

    3. Richard says:

      Forced out by the French.

  7. P says:

    Vettel is MAD OVER DONUTS

    1. AndyFov says:

      Much more of that and I’ll become convinced they’re trying to court sponsorship from Krispy Kreme.

      1. CYeo says:

        + 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

        Who knows, maybe the next race in Austin, Texas, KK will have a Vettel special.

        Just make sure it is not round with black icing and yellow Pirelli markings.

        It’ll probably go flat 2 secs after getting out of the box.

    2. Glennb says:

      Fans love it. It’s all part of the ‘new’ image thing. How can you boo a guy thst does donuts? He’s also being complimentary to Mark lately ( and visa- versa). It all makes for a better image. I like it.

  8. Rob Newman says:

    Was Vettel racing in Abu Dhabi? Wow! Never saw him.

    Out of the five world champions currently on the grid, four of them drove like amateurs.

    The stewards decisions were pathetic today.

    1. Robert says:

      Who can remember the last time the stewards got it right? It seems to be impossible for them!

    2. Andy says:

      I totally agree with you regarding the stewards, they made the regulations a farce.

    3. Xman says:

      Does anybody realise that unless u leave a space for the others to drive on the track also, they are going to drive off the track neseseraly. By the stewards allowing this precedent, drivers will be reminded to leave a cars width for the other driver so both are on track. Pretty simple really.

      1. Rob Newman says:

        Do you think drivers would have gone off track if there was a wall? No, they would have backed off or crashed on to the wall.

      2. Xman says:

        If the wall was there the driver not allowing enough space would obviously be at fault purely because he is sqeueezing the next guy against the wall and crashing onto him.

        The fact is the guy making a move needs space to do so. Wen a wall is present and u move over its called blocking. No wall makes is harder to comprehend, but just think about it.

      3. Rob Newman says:

        If there was a wall and a car in front, then why do you want to poke your nose in between? You just back off instead of trying to get the other driver penalised for not leaving enough space when he is on his normal racing line.

  9. cometeF1 says:

    Vettel did it again. Difficult to find something to fault him with in this particular race. job well done. Webber made it a 1-2, but hard to understand his being so far behind. Disappointed again with Hamilton I must say. Did not seem to be able to overtake today. Alonso did well to finish 5th. If he is penalized,
    will it be added time or a grid penalty for the next race? Romain & Nico did well but nothing more really. Not a thriller, but a descent race still. Marc

    1. Harshad says:

      “If he (Alonso) is penalized,
      will it be added time or a grid penalty for the next race?”

      Time will be added to his race time. Most likely drive through penalty costs you 15 seconds here (I hope so), so that much time will be added to his race time.

      1. Simmo says:

        Post race penalties are always either 20 seconds (for a drive-through) or 30 seconds (for a stop-go)

    2. Andrew M says:

      Hamilton has really been anonymous since his Hungary win. He’s never really been that strong on the “Asian tour” apart from Abu Dhabi, and even that has deserted him this year. If he’s not careful Rosberg will overhaul him qualifying/points wise by the year end.

      1. trev says:

        might be difficult for Rosberg to overhaul him in qualifying

      2. Andrew M says:

        Indeed, I thought they were closer than that :)

        10-7 at the moment, so Hamilton can’t be caught. 10-9 would be a lot closer than I think most people would have expected, especially during the summer when Lewis was banging in pole after pole.

      3. Torchwood Five says:

        You are right. It certainly feels like the Hungary win was the last time he shone.

      4. All revved-up says:

        Hamilton was surprisingly down at Massa’s level today.

        Alonso came through both of them.

      5. Emanuel says:

        It’s not very surprising actually. Lewis and Felipe find themselves very often fighting for the same postion in races since 2008 where Hamilton took the WDC crown from Massa by a margin of a single corner. I think when it comes to pure ability and race craft, these two are about as evenly matched as it gets. The difference is that Massa is a nice guy and was forced all to often to play second fiddle, while Lewis is a bully and has never had to drive a bad car or fight his own way up the charts. I reall find it baffling that Lewis gets still so much credit from the fans.

      6. Rob01 says:

        Yeah its interesting to see over the years Hamilton and Massa are on a similar level, both decent qualifiers but ragged and inconsistent in races unless they’re given dominant cars but then both are exposed when a team mate turns on the style in a race and smashes them. Massa and Hamilton should have swapped seats with Hulkenberg and Grosjean 2 years ago.

      7. KRB says:

        Two silly replies up above.

        Hamilton (and Massa too, for that matter) have never had a dominant car clearly better than all others, like the Red Bull has been the last 4 years.

      8. KRB says:

        Well, Belgium was decent, best that the Merc could’ve done that day.

        Singapore? He did well there in ’08, ’09, and ’12 before the car blew up.

        I think at the start of the year, I predicted quali to go 12-7 or 11-8 in HAM’s favour. ABU would’ve been if not for the suspension failure, but no matter. He’s won the quali battle, so better to figure out why his race pace has been down vis-a-vis Rosberg the past couple of races.

      9. Andrew M says:

        Yeah, maybe I was a bit harsh, he’s won Singapore and Abu Dhab and would have won both again last yeari, broke Red Bull’s pole dominance at Korea in 2011, I guess it’s just compared to Vettel it looks a bit threadbare.

        Also, didn’t the suspension break because Lewis rode one of the kerbs too hard? I’m sure I read that somewhere.

    3. KRB says:

      Horrible race from Hamilton. Seems he was being overly cautious in going (or not) for overtakes. With these tires, you have to get the overtakes done quickly, and he wasn’t able to.

      Apparently the team feared for his gearbox, so expect that to blow in one of the next races.

      1. Sebee says:

        What was all that drama with HAM brakes on the grid pre start? Heard about it in the feed but know nothing as to why.

      2. Andrew M says:

        He just didn’t seem to have the straight line speed advantage of the others, but the Mercs looked fine during the speed traps. His corner exits must not have been good enough I suppose?

  10. JB says:

    Vettel no longer have pressure of securing championship, he is unleashed! Love the donut show… and What a message he has sent to their opponents with 30+ seconds lead.

    He is a master class when other champions are busy with excuses and disappointments.

    It is clear that it is not down to just the car. Have a look at Webber and how close he is with Rosberg. I mean lets think of it this way… RB car only = Mercedes. RB + Vettel = Mercedes + 30 or more seconds (remember Rocky still restrain him warning about potential RISKS).

    I suppose give it to Alonso, will he yield a better, same or worse result??? unfortunately, we will never know. All I know is this kid is mind blowingly good. He will be beaten one day just like Schumacher. But I have a feeling it will be someone new, rather than the existing line-up. At least I hope so anyway… LOL

    BTW, Alonso should have been penalised.

    1. Dan says:

      So the fact vettel can whoop the oldest driver on the grid who is 2 races away from retirement is proof he is a class above everyone else?

      you really believe that nonsense?

      1. Aaron Noronha says:

        Hmm when you use the term oldest have you even considered that He did set the fastest lap during qualification and started from pole

        Or the the World champion won by drivers when they were older than webber and in an era where racing dint have most of the driving aids are
        1 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio 46 years, 41 days 1957
        2 Italy Giuseppe Farina 43 years, 308 days 1950
        3 Australia Jack Brabham 40 years, 155 days 1966
        4 United Kingdom Graham Hill 39 years, 262 days 1968
        5 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell 39 years, 8 days 1992
        6 France Alain Prost 38 years, 214 days 1993
        7 United States Mario Andretti 38 years, 193 day
        So the only person delusional is you Dan. Vettel has been beating Mark since 2009. And Mark also beat Rosberg as teammate(and yes before you idiot call Rosberg an Rookie remember like Hamilton he came from an age where there was unlimited testing and it took only a couple of races for the Rookie drivers to come up to speed(Rosberg set the fastest lap on his debut and Hamilton needs no mention)

      2. Jimbob says:

        +1. The silly Vettel hating is ridiculous, F1 fans need to wake up.

      3. Nick W says:

        I think everyone would agree that Vettel is a world class driver and through his record one of the greats now, but the question mark will remain how much is the car and how much is it him.

        Vettel clearly has a specific driving style that takes advantage of the exhaust blown diffuser, and credit to him for developing that. However, it is noticeable that he was regularly outqualified by Webber when the exhaust blowing effects were reduced.

        I think it’s a shame that F1 is unable to provide a competitive environment in which the top drivers can compete against each other.

        At the moment, you have 3-4 great drivers in F1, but three of those four great drivers are playing with a wooden racket against the other great with the graphite super racket.

        Excuse the tennis comparison but Vettel is chalking up wins and championships with an ‘unfair’ advantage. It is not his fault but when Alonso nearly wins the drivers title with the 3rd best car, it puts the others performances into perspective.

        Vettel is a great driver but the car is giving him an ‘unfair’ advantage and F1 is becoming tedious to watch for it..

      4. James Allen says:

        A well made point

      5. Andre says:

        To NickW.

        There is no ‘unfair’ advantage.
        F1 is a Teamsport, driver and machine. It’s not a individual sport.

        The other teams are just not delivering, that is not Vettel’s nor RBR’s fault.

        Does Barcelona have a ‘unfair’ advantage too? Because they have Messi???

        Instead of looking for reasons to put down the achievements by RBR and Vettel you should applaud them for their brilliance.

        All the teams and drivers compete within the same set of rules. Some teams apply the rules better then others. Remember Brawn GP?, remember Williams?

        Next year may be totally different too. What if the Mercedes engine is miles ahead of the rest next year. Does that mean that they have an ‘unfair’ advantage over the other teams?? It only means they have delivered a better package then the others.

        The competitive environment in F1 is the same as in any sport. Norwich City will never win the Champions League. At least not without ‘help’ from the Russians or Arabs.

      6. Aaron Noronha says:

        Dear James Allen and Nick

        In 2012 before Redbull got it conanda exhaust and drs nailed just before Singapore Gp. Vettel was 140 to Webber’s 132 before that GP, so in no way Webber was dominating Vettel. Vettel had a bad start to last year but he was still ahead and would have been even more ahead if he hadnt had an alternator failure in Europe while leading the race and have Narain give him a puncture in Malaysia.(but retirements, bad lucks, crashes are part of the sport so we wont waste our time considering it)

        Actual stats Pole position and Race win Comparision between Vettel and Webber
        2009 Poles 4 to 1, wins 4 to 2,
        2010 poles 10 to 5, wins 5 to 4,
        2011 poles 15 to 3, wins 11 to 1,
        2012 poles 5 to 1, wins 5 to 2,
        2013 poles 7 to 2, wins 11 to 0,
        You can see Vettel beating Webber even before the blown diffuser era of 2010 or even the Pirelli era.

        2012 is a very interesting year. I put a simple question to you. “How can Alonso nearly win a WDC in a car that is allegedly 1.5 seconds off the pace during qualification and yet not be able to repeat that performance this year where the car has been so much quicker.” go to wiki and do an average qualification times of the of Vettel and Alonso for this year and compare it to the same average of last year.

        In 2012 the Mclaren and Redbull were more or less evenly matched with Mclaren more dominant than the Redbull but more fragile in Lewis hands while the Lotus and Ferrari were both Good Race cars that compromised on outright Single lap pace for Race pace or tyre range or longevity.

        If you dont believe me either watch the races again or check the timing achieves on fia.com. If the Ferrari race pace was really bad Alonso wouldnt be able to make positions other than those he made at the starts and he would be under attack from the very cars he over took at the start but what you’ll see is that as the laps go by, other cars ahead of the ferrari have more tyre wear, which in turn aids the Ferrari to get better tractions out of corners and on to the straights for the overtake. Its the lethal combination of lightening fast starts and consistent race pace that let let Alonso fight for the WDC. If you think this was only a Alonso phenomenon, You can even compare Massa’s races from his qualification position to his race result especially from the British GP because before that he wasnt consistent. 4th, 12th, 9th, 5th, 4th, 8th, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 4th, 3th. Considering that Massa was helping Alonso and always had to compromise his races and his strategy to help his team mate, you can still see he is near the front considering that one car ahead of him Must be Alonso in all these races(except where Alonso retired) It doesnt take long to deduce that Ferrari weren’t as slow in race trim as most people made them out to be. It was this fallacy that gave rise to the God complex around Alonso. Last year even Ferrari dint clearly comprehend this this. This year they did and hence they dint waste anytime signing Kimi to push Alonso and put him in his place at the same time. You can go through wiki or the f1 achieve to verify that the Ferrari had superior race pace. Last years Ferrari was amongst the fastest cars on longer runs other than the Lotus. Its the same this year too. Last year people dint know to differentiate it yet because Pirelli had tried to artificially spice up racing by bringing in less durable tyres and some teams got around this by building cars that were Faster over few laps and thus compromised their range. While others developed their cars to be easier on the tyres and thus compromising on qualification for consistent and longer race pace.

        Let see Hamilton’s 2012 results in a different perspective just for the sake of arguing(based on the statements i read on this site). Since you used an analogy of the tennis racket You can either check out live timing archieve or check on wiki you’ll see that Redbull and Mclaren were equally good last year. With 8 poles for Mclaren and 8 Poles for Redbull. and 7 wins for Mclaren and 7 wins for Redbull(if you consider that Vettel had one retirement from leading a race and Hamilton two, the stats would tilt towards Mclaren i.e one less win for Vettel/Redbull in Singapore(if Hamilton dint retire) would be compensated for his one retirement in Valencia and Hamilton would have had a win in Singapore and Abu Dhabi, So for the sake of arguing Vettel would still be on 5 wins and Hamilton on 6.
        That clearly shows that in 2012 the most dominant car over most of the season was not the Redbull but Mclaren(I dint even consider the pit stop errors made by Mclaren). (And in this non refueling era fastest laps dont have so much significance as they had before so i excluded them)

        Now that we have established Mclaren was the slightly faster car, lets suppose we level the playing field to vary the final results. As Vettel and Alonso had only 2 Retirements last year compared to Hamilton’s 6. Lets give Hamiltons 4 positions back to make sure Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton had only 2 retirements. For easy calculations and keeping things simple lets also remove Alonso from the equations and compare just Vettel and Hamilton. And to be fair to a driver of Hamilton’s caliber lets discard two of the worst races amongst his retirement i.e Germany and Belgium. And lets give him his victories in Singapore and Abu dhabi where he retired. And lets also give him 3rd in Brazil assuming Nico dint crash into him and completed the overtake, and third position in Europe assuming he dint retire after crashing with Pastor. That would give him an extra 25+25+15+15=80 points, taking his total to 270 points. Now lets deduct 7 points from Vettel for Singapore(because he finished 2nd behind Hamilton as per our assumption) that would mean Vettel would have ended 2012 at 274 points(281-7). Surprise surprise Vettel still beats Hamilton even though in this case Hamilton had a slightly better car/racket.

        Yes I agree it’s a shame that F1 is unable to provide a competitive environment in which the top drivers can compete against each other but one must not lose track of the fact that it has always been this way since F1′s inception. Never were the cars equal and never will they be, That is part of the F1 Legacy and integral to its DNA. If you try equalizing the cars you’ll find the manufacturers leaving the sport.

        Even though Vettel has the odd race where he is 30 seconds ahead of rest inculding his team mate in the same car. Webber isnt much ahead of the chasing pack or in most cases he isnt even in 2nd position. Let me remind you and them, Vettel, Kimi Alonso and Hamilton normally find themselves going forward no matter where they start from, even if its back of the grid(Hamilton had one bad race in Abu Dhabi and Vettel in Hungary but they still buck the trend) While Webber, Massa do deliver once in a while during qualification and during some races in most of the time they end up going backwards compared to their team mates. Again if you go and check the timing archives and watch the races simultaneously you’ll find that Webber and Massa lack consistency over long runs compared to their team mates. Like Vettel in Japan just hanging there behind Webber waiting for an opportunity to make his move and Alonso in Abu Dhabi not making and impression on Massa during the first stint and then coming alive in the end Its not only these two races you can go back a number of years and see you’ll see Mark and Massa fade during most races. I started this reply with stats you can see right from 2009 before blown diffusers and Pirelli Vettel was already performing better than Mark.

        Now if you assume he wins only because of a dominant car, Then we should be accustomed to a Redbull 1,2 procession and Have Webber finish no 2 in each year Vettel won the WDC. When was the last time Mark Finished no 2 in the WDC??? Only in 2011. The only year Rebull were truly dominant. This year Mark sits 5th on the point table with 2 races to go.

        In fact the gap between different cars during qualification is lot lesser currently years then it has ever been in history. If you want dominance go back each year and see the qualification gaps you’ll get a lot more enlightened to actually accept that Vettels racket in most cases isnt so much better than Hamiltons, Alonso’s or Kimis’. I wouldnt go as far as to say his racket is Graphite because if you take the odd two races out of the picture(Abu Dhabi and Singapore) you’ll see that there was always someone who could challenge him. Even in Singapore if Rosberg dint have rubber stuck in his front wing and wasnt stuck behind the cars that pitted after the safety car, the gap would have been maybe 5 to 10 seconds max. If you want to talk of a graphite racket you must think of the dominance of the car where both the drivers at the end of the year end up 1 and 2 on the WDC table .ie Ferrari in 1952, and 1953, also Ferrari F2002 and F2004, the Williams FW14 in 1992 and Williams FW18 in 1996, the Redbull RB 7 in 2011, and the most dominant car the Mclaren MP4/4 which one all except one race. Go ahead check the stats and google these cars.

        The only edge Vettel has over Webber due to the blown diffuser is maybe 2/10th or 4/10th of a second. When he pulls out over a second or two over Webber or the rest of the field its because of the way he can keep his tyres alive and not just down to the diffuser. Comparing Mark’s lap times to Vettels will confirm this. There is no other way to explain a qualification surplus of 2/10 or 3/10th followed by a race surplus of over 2 seconds. Mark has access to Vettels telemetry so there is no way they can run a part on Vettel’s car that mark wont be aware of.

      7. James Allen says:

        All good stuff but please keep posts shorter!

      8. Andrew M says:

        “Surprise surprise Vettel still beats Hamilton even though in this case Hamilton had a slightly better car/racket.”

        You didn’t take into account any of McLarens operational errors outside Valencia (e.g. botched pit stops, not fuelling the car in Spain) – they account for 40-odd points easily.

    2. TitanRacer says:

      +1

  11. luqa says:

    How can FA avoid a penalty? Special rules for him again. He is the one who joined the track and was filtering in back into the action. He should’ve conceded. JEV had every right to be where he was. It was FA who did the crowding.

    Congrats to the top 3 finishers who drove a superb race..

    1. Tickety-boo says:

      When you watch it again you’ll see the FA was crowded off the circuit by JEV, so if anything it is he that should have been penalised – he knew where FA was but continued, there were lots of instances throughout the race where it could have ended in tears and shards of carbon fibre, but maturity and professionalism resulted in a great show.

  12. Irish con says:

    Didn’t di resta do 20+ laps on the soft tyre. Bring on 2014 now. The same driver winning and not even being challenged is boring. I can’t believe anyone thought mark webber was going to beat vettel. Great guy but not good enough in this era of Pirelli tyres and blown exhausts. And is he the worst starter ever for a man of 200 + races. ?

    1. Harshad says:

      I don’t think his heart is in it any more!
      same issues over and over again, for experienced driver like him well…

  13. james a says:

    Well what is there to say apart from vettel was in a different class today . Theres many a driver on the grid i prefere to vettel , but this guy is relentless . It takes a hell of alot to win when everyone expects you to win .

    1. Doug says:

      Yes he is relentless alright,and so is the Red Bull pitwall. Webber, ” whats happenning to my kers????” Pitwall in a nonchalant, matter of fact way, “Oh yes its not charged up.We will charge it in a minute for you”……As soon as the blue eyed baby boy has had a chance to make a quick get away and create the now notorious gap. Pathetic, contrived, manufactured and fake Greatnest. Entertainment for the unquestioning and not so inquisitorial minds!!!

      1. Clear View says:

        They can’t control anything on the car from the pit wall, they can only ask the driver to make adjustments. It’s against the rules.

      2. Torchwood Five says:

        “They can’t control anything on the car from the pit wall, they can only ask the driver to make adjustments. It’s against the rules.”

        Oookay…how when RBR were worried in India that Seb might suffer Mark’s alternator problem, did a relieved Adrian Newey say after the race that they were turning off all that they could, drinks bottle, KERS, etc, so that Seb’s car made it to the end.

        Was he fibbing?

      3. Doug says:

        Watch the race again and listen to what the pit wall said to Web when he enquired what was wrong with his KERS!

      4. Me says:

        @Torchwood Five

        Turning stuff off isn’t the same as adjusting it.

      5. Aaron Noronha says:

        I really find it odd that people with no real F1 experience have more knowledge about what quantifies as greatness. [mod]

      6. Doug says:

        Its funny how James you allows the poster above to call people idiots and when we respond with similar insults you dont publish our posts? So its ok for this Noronha fellow to insult people and deny us a right of reply?

      7. James Allen says:

        No, it’s just slipped through the net and has been modded now. When it’s massively busy at times like this sometimes one slips through

        Sorry

      8. Doug says:

        Greatness when manipulated and contrived is nothing more than WWF…… Have you heard the WWf commentators going on on TV? You would think the mother of all battles was going down, yet its all BS. I worry, you so called knowledgeable F1 fans a partaking in a morden day version of the “Emperors Has No Clothes” discussing and analysing in supposedly highly intellectual tone and circumstance events that are nothing more than marketing scenarios that have been pre-determined by the marketing men at Red Bull. Be careful people!

      9. SteveS says:

        There was nothing wrong with Webbers KERS, he just doesn’t know how to use it.

        The pitwall never said “We will charge it in a minute for you”, because charging it is not something which is under the pitwalls control. How can you follow F1 and not have picked up at least a rudimentary understanding of the technology involved?

      10. Clear View says:

        Agreed SteveS, it’s not hard to check the facts on the internet before they make themselves look a little silly.

        I’ve just been called out over saying that nothing on the car can be controlled/changed/adjusted (what ever you want to call it) from the pit wall. Once the car is unplugged from the laptops and the umbilical is out, only the driver can change anything, even switching things on and off etc. The only thing 2 way is the radio the test is 1way, I would expect even a fairly new fan to know this. It’s in the rules I read it myself. Some people have nooooo idea, otherwise the RB pitwall would have turned down Seb’s car in Malaysia to stop him overtaking.

        It’s funny really that some so call ‘fans’ have not even bothered to read the sporting regulations, they are on the F1.com website. So are the technical regs but they just get me confused due to the way they are descibed, I’m no technical director lol (wish I was)

  14. SteveS says:

    Ferrari really stuck it hard to Massa with the pit stops and tyre choices. He drove better than Alonso today and was treated badly.

    And Rosberg once again out-performed Hamilton, and of course Grosjean drove brilliantly. Of the “big four” drivers (Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton, and Raikkonen) only Vettel consistently out-drives his teammate.

    Will Alonso get away with his off-the-track-pass? There always seems to be a different set of rules for him.

    1. Gaspar says:

      You watched the race , or just write automatically every time Alonso involved in something ? Massa drove better ? He actually hold up Alonso for a couple a laps , then pitted and with fresh tyres still can’t match Alonso’s pace who then rejoined the track in front of Massa , and yes he overtook Vergne not crystal clear , but again Massa outdrove Alonso ? Are you serious ?

      1. SteveS says:

        How could they not put the soft tyre on Massa’s car for the last stint? It was simply a bizarre decision, unless they were trying to hurt his race.

    2. Aaron Noronha says:

      This was Alonso’s best performance this year considering how bad the car was on this circuit. In the first stage he dint take unnecessary risk and played the waiting game but later showed why he is so critical to Ferrari when he proved yet again that come race day and he is amongst the best pound for pound racers on race day just like Kimi and Vettel. Massa is a one lap wonder. He may out qualify Alonso once in a while but his consistency during the race is pathetic. Perhaps after his crash he has lost a little edge or perhaps Alonso’s Race craft is far superior to his. Only next year we will know for sure when Kimi and Alonso go head to head. Because if Kimi comes on top it would definitely mean that Massa isnt the racer he once was before his crash

    3. Anil says:

      Massa was pretty poor today and his race pace, particularly in the second stint was abysmal. He just can’t use the Pirelli’s in the same way that Alonso/Seb etc can.

    4. ferrarifan says:

      What race were you watching?
      Ferrari did the best they could with massa…He pit one lap later than Alonso in first stint and couldnt manage the tyres.If he did not pit when he did,he would have lost a lot of time.

      It was Massa’s mistake that he lost out his tyres while Alonso was able to lap much faster when needed and was able to pit later for softs.

      Great strategy call by Ferrari,for both their drivers and a good drive by Alonso.If only they could fix the car…..

      1. SteveS says:

        Massa went two laps longer than Alonso on the first stint with soft tyres. His times were good with the mediums when they called him in, he did not need to be brought in at that point. Lastly, even when they did bring him on lap 29, he could and should have been on the soft tyre for the last 17 laps. He already did 18 laps on the soft at the start of the race with a full fuel tank. Ferrari ruined his race, he said so himself afterwards.

    5. AlexD says:

      Do you realized that Alonso caught Massa on track, before the pit stop? Also….I really think you need to think a bit more about the penalty for Alonso: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/111117

      But you know better, I am sure….have the experience to drive the F1 car and have access to the information

    6. NickH says:

      Agree they treated Massa badly over Alonso today. Why did they not put softs on Massa??! Massa even said he was totally shocked when he saw they put mediums on as he thought it was so obvious to put the softs on.

  15. a says:

    All drivers & teams other than Vettel & RB should be ashamed of themselves.

    It’s their job to bridge the gap.

    1. Andre says:

      Exactly!!

      Especially Ferrari, with their heritage, and one of the best drivers in the field they failed hard to make a competitive car these last years.

    2. AndrewM says:

      Also the rule makers. Vettels constant winning is not the main problem that F1 has at the moment. he and his team are consistently excellent and are getting the results they deserve. The problem stems from the failure to restrict the dominant effect of airodynamics on the performance of the cars. Now we’ve ended up with the art of defending made reduntant by drs attacking neutered by the Pirelli tyres.

  16. Phil Glass says:

    ALO: I think Ferrari strategy today was all about finishing ahead of Kimi to stay second in the standings. Suddenly they found KR out of it.

    RAI: let down by his team’s shoddy preparation and dishonest case they made to the stewards on the faulty chassis.

    GRO: sorry to be blunt, but KIMI WOULD HAVE WON.

    1. AlexD says:

      Kimi would never win this one. Maybe 2nd.

    2. All revved-up says:

      Agree with the Grosjean comment.

      He was well beaten by Rosberg in a Mercedes!

      The Merc was never threatened.

    3. KRB says:

      You do know Vettel was 34s up on Grosjean? Kimi was never gonna with this one. 2nd at best.

      1. Phil Glass says:

        I mean if Kimi had started p5 he would have won. From back of grid I expected p2. Ah well, not to be.

      2. NickH says:

        I think from 5th p2 was very possible, but even as a kimi fan he wouldn’t have beaten Vettel..no way

      3. KRB says:

        I meant if Kimi had started P5 as well! You were expecting P2 from P22?!

  17. Harshad says:

    Any excitement in the race well at least for P2 was taken away after a ridiculous penalty for Raikkonen!

    i.e Kimi’s car goes over the kerbs, brakes a part on the car which damages the floor, and he is disqualified.

    Lewis’s car also goes over the kerbs, some part in the rear of the car is broken, and he is ok to race!

    Stewards should get some lessons in consistency, at least when the championships are decided.

    1. Equin0x says:

      What a good point there, never thought of that ;)

    2. Clear View says:

      Kimi’s car failed a test, Lewis’s didn’t where is the inconsistentcy in that. Lotus tried to make the same argument as before when it was RoGro’s car and the stewards said that once is an oversight, twice is an infringement.

      1. All revved-up says:

        One could technically argue that Hamilton’s car failed the ride height rule, after the suspension broke.

        Interesting conundrum.

      2. Clear View says:

        He didn’t want the time he set on that lap to count for his qually time!

      3. Tickety-boo says:

        Correct.

      4. Harshad says:

        Kimi’s car failed a test because of part that broke by running over the kerbs.
        Lewis’s car also suffered broken part for running over the kerbs.

        How is Lewis’s car not illegal then!
        They didn’t even test it.

    3. CYeo says:

      Two different parts of the respective cars were damaged.

      Kimi’s was the floor – a supposedlly unmovable part. Allowed 5mm movement, it moved 10mm.

      Lewis’ was a suspension component – a movable part.

      Kimi’s damage was similar to Grosjean’s some races back. The stewards allowed Grosjean’s damage to go through but not Kimi’s because they felt Lotus should have done something to avoid a repeat breakage.

      Lotus didn’t do anything to strengthen that area, and tried to use the same excuse.

      I wonder if the Lotus SWB chassis that Kimi prefers is not reinforced compared to Grosjean’s LWB chassis.

      Can JA comment on that?

  18. Quade says:

    That was a really dull race.

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes, it wasn’t a thriller, there wasn’t as much of a scrap over P2/3/4 as we’d hoped. Although P2 changed hands twice.

      Webber did well to get the place back.

      Sutil causing a train behind him, created some interesting racing for midfield positions, but it’s not enough really, is it?

      1. AlexD says:

        James, see where we ended up? Struggling to find some level of excitement in the sport that so many people enjoyed for battles and competition. I was really hoping to see a battle for P2-P4, but nothing happened.

      2. James Allen says:

        Yes, disappointing this time

      3. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        I’m usually in a rush to watch the race that I neglect my early breakfast.

        Yes, indeed, lately it’s the other way around.

      4. NickH says:

        The stewards robbed us of any excitement in this race by relegating Raikkonen, Webber Rosberg and Grosgean just cruised round 3 seconds apart

      5. Truth or Lies says:

        It’s not enough and something really has to change to generate more racing.

        Sebastian Vettel is on another planet and driving very well but there is little doubt that he also has an amazing car, however what really annoys me is that drivers who simply manage tyres well (Di Resta & Sutil) can be credited with having a very good race.

        Yes they did drive well, I mentioned Di Resta’s performance in my own post later down the thread, however it was a conservative economy drive and that’s not I want to see in Formula One. I want to see more of the moves like Massa made. Even Alonso’s strong finish was artificial as he benefitted by having a set of new soft tyres (because he was too slow in qualifying) and drove past people on the slower tyres at the end of the race. The fact that he escaped penalty then, for the Verge manoeuvre makes matters worse.

        I am sure the Red Bull is legal, though I’d be interested to know how they have such good traction. Would make a very interesting feature James.

      6. Hezla says:

        It reminded me of the races back in the early 00′s.

        In this case you could say Vettel=Schumi and Sutil=Trulli

        No, it’s not enough

      7. Anil says:

        The track layout doesn’t help tbh, The chicane before the hairpin and the incredibly slow chicane between the two straights just make it impossible for a following car to hassle the car ahead and, much like Singapore, you just get a spread of cars.

        Oh well, COTA next :)

      8. All revved-up says:

        Don’t like Alonso as a person, but enjoyed watching his strategic thinking race.

        Coming through Hamilton and Massa with a Soft, Medium, Soft strategy – very good thinking on the feet race from him.

        Made Brawn/Hamilton look surprisingly uninspired. Perhaps Brawn was planning his fishing trip, or touching up his CV.

      9. F1 Fan says:

        Lets cross our fingers for a thighter championship next year. Im not sure this Red Bull domination is good for the sport in the long run?

      10. Mazirian says:

        Totally agree, and isn’t it interesting that no matter how much stuff is tried (DRS, tires, etc) the boring tracks stay boring?

        I actually fail to see how F1 can survive long-term, having moved to a pay-to-view model while watering down the entertainment.

        There are several reasons for the loss of entertainment, IMO, and it’s not just Vettel or aero.

        First, the tracks are the biggest problem, especially with the excessive runoff areas. Nice light shows and hotels unfortunately does nothing for the actual racing.

        Second, the rules now promotes reliability over all-out speed. There is very little areas of technical progress, especially on the engine side. This has removed a competitive dimension as well as the unpredictability of past seasons.

        Third, DRS has eliminated most of the excitement from overtaking.

        F1 is not on the edge of anything anymore.

        I honestly believe F1 will find itself in deep trouble if it continues down this path. At this point, the vast majority of my friends have stopped watching, and I don’t really see why and how anybody new to the sport could get hooked enough to pick up a subscription.

        Thanks for a great site James!

      11. TitanRacer says:

        I respectfully submit that anyone who does not get on-the-edge-of-seat excited by watching near perfection for an entire weekend can ever be truly considered a fan of the Sport…

    2. JOdum5 says:

      The track has never provided good racing. It’s pretty telling when the commentators keep speaking about a hotel and underground pit exit as key “features” of the track. The place is a joke (having attended in 2009, it does have a great backdrop and decent atmosphere, but that’s not what racing is about).

    3. H.Guderian says:

      Come on!!!!
      The donuts were great.
      Really exciting.

  19. Harshad says:

    “Paul Di Resta kept Hamilton at bay in the closing laps to complete the race on one-stop and impress any potential employers for 2014.”

    James, I think Paul has an option that he can exercise next year? Is it true?

    BTW, Paul Di Resta is my DOTD for sure! How did he keep that Mercedes behind, when he himself was one stopping! gr8 job that.

    1. James Allen says:

      No, I think he’s on edge waiting to see what Force India decides. He needs to persuade them that they haven’t seen the best of him yet.

      Hulkenberg is still improving and Magnussen has huge potential and McLaren backing.

      And as Force India have to pay McLaren a lot for gearboxes etc, there may be a deal to be done there

      1. Harshad says:

        Hulk signs for Lotus! (for sure), that Quantum deal has seen the light of the day, & those investors have demanded Hulk for Lotus seat.

        Also, Kimi races for next couple of races.

      2. ManOnWheels says:

        Isn’t Force India getting the whole drive train from Mercedes next year?

    2. Grant H says:

      Its a sad situation for PDR as its actually Force India who have the option meaning he has to wait until they decide whether to keep him or drop him, if the latter there could be no seats left on the grid by that time

  20. James says:

    Best driver on the grid in the best car = demolition.

  21. Sri says:

    1. How could one car + driver have such a big advantage over others? This is very poor performance from other teams/drivers. In fact we were talking of how to slow Vettel during the race. Kimi may have kept him a bit more honest had he been in the mix, but still Vettel would have won comfortably by a less margin. This kind of dominance was last seen in 2011 again by the same person and team. It is so bad that all other teams and many fans are looking forward to 2014 (and praying that RBR don’t dominate).

    2. Vettel tried a donut-like victory celebration, more as a tribute to stewards I guess.

    3. How could Sutil escape penalty? Alonso should also be penalized.

    4. Kimi could have been on second step today if he was not penalized. But then he looked very disinterested to even start the race perhaps. LEaving the circuit mid-way will only bring the infamous ice-cream episode of Malaysian Grand Prix of 2009 to the fore-front. He definitely is not a fan of watching F1 – says a lot about F1 these days perhaps!

    6. If Permane was working in Ferrari, I wonder what message would have gone to Massa on the radio.

    7. Hamiton seems to have got the Jenson disease called “no-grip”.

    8. Hulk missed points due to his team error.

    May be we should just cancel the next two races as we know who the winner will be. The fight for the rest of the positions although interesting financially etc., but seriously who cares (even the drivers don’t as they have told many times all they care about is a win).

    1. Dave C says:

      Actually Vettel was 30secs ahead just after half way through the race and after that had to be restrained by the team to slow down otherwise he would have probably been 50 odd seconds ahead but yes every generation there’s a phenomonal driver that just at times can make the competition look very stupid indeed. We had it with Jim Clark, then Senna and then Schumacher and now Vettel has taken up that mantle. At 26 he’s reaching his prime and its showing if RBR can continue to bring competitive cars out even if not outright fastest the next 2-3 years will see Seb match Schumi’s records and rest of the current generation will just be helpless, time for the likes of Bianchi, Hulkenberg and Kvyat to step up but I for one feel previlaged to be alive for the last 3 generation of great drivers. I remember as a little boy watching the red and white car of Senna in the late 80′s dominating at Monaco but didn’t quite understand apart from I knew it was somerhing special and the recent few races of this Asian tour I see that sort of level from Vettel. Its unbelievable and good on him I will watch closely and hope someone with a car advantage take the fight to him next year.

      1. TitanRacer says:

        +1
        awesome post!

    2. H.Guderian says:

      1) Cheat mode enabled in one car only.

      1. Tim says:

        C’mon. Field Marshall. You’ve flogged that horse to death a long time ago.

    3. NickH says:

      You could actually make a game out of guessing when Button will say he has ‘no grip’. At least a few times each race weekend

  22. NickH says:

    When is Alonso getting his penalty?? If he doesn’t get one it’s ridiculous. Alonso said after the race he had no room.. Well you can always brake can’t you..

    1. AlexD says:

      I think this one was really OK. Why should he break? There should be enough room on track for them….closing the door when he was so fast would either destroy his tyres or lead to a crash. I was thinking about this one a lot. If you dislike Alonso, you want him penalized, if you support him, this was not a very obvious case. I think it was OK…it was not easy to judge it.

      1. Tickety-boo says:

        Spot-on, I believe that’s the view the stewards took and was evident from the high shot behind them, JEV shut him out not in compliance with the rules.

      2. NickH says:

        If you rewatch it, Alonso could see vergne as he was exiting the pits. Vergne cannot see Alonso. Alonso catches him up out of the pit exit so they weren’t instantly side by side. He had an option to lift before they were side by side.

    2. Xman says:

      You cannot have one ruel for corner entry and another for
      Mid and exit. You have to leave a widths car at all Times. If not – the other driver has no choice but to run off The track.

  23. ffcunha says:

    LOL, so we´ve seen Grojean being punished at Hungary for overtaking Massa off the track with an amazing move and now Alonso overtakes JEV off the track and the stewards don´t decide the same way. For me that´s bull…t!

    An easy race for Seb, with some interest behind him. It´s going to be a very boring end of the year.

    1. AlexD says:

      Did Alonso have any room to go? Really? What he should have done? Hit breaks and let others go? It is F1!

      1. Truth or Lies says:

        Alonso should have the place back plain and simple.

      2. Ged says:

        ALO had blue lights leaving pits.

      3. Richard says:

        No, they’re both racing drivers and they should fight for that position, they were exactly next to each other coming out of the corner where JEV should have left him room. Alonso could have gone the pussy way, yes, but instead he took the “I’ve got bigger balls than you” way.

      4. Harshad says:

        He has a valid point! GRO got penalised for leaving the track and gaining an advantage, but Alonso didn’t.

        To be fair, Alonso should have been penalised. Yeah, Vergne did close him, but Alonso could have lifted for split second and would have obviously had DRS on the same lap.

      5. CJD says:

        like surer said on sky.de

        alonso was behind gro when he was pushed of track, but was infront when joing back. clear advantage – should have been given a 20 sec.

        greetings

    2. KRB says:

      He was pushed off track. He was alongside at the moment he was pushed off track. Stewards accepted from Vergne that it was hard for him to give acceptable room b/c he was on older tires, and he was committed to his line already.

  24. German Samurai says:

    Crushing win. As dominating as his Singapore win. Unless Mercedes or Ferrari can create a car at least half a second quicker than the Red Bull next season they don’t have a hope against Vettel.

    What was Ferrari’s rush to bring Massa in for his last stop. They put out behind a gaggle of cars.

    Bad day for Alonso. Couldn’t pass Massa on the track. Was still stuck behind him after 30-odd laps. Benefited from better strategy in the end. No doubt Alonso won’t be penalised for making a pass while off the track.

    Hamilton showed again why he’s not on Vettel’s level. He might have the raw speed, but he’s so inconsistent.

    1. Anil says:

      Bad day for Alonso? He used the tyres in a way Massa could only dream of and ended up 5th somehow. I love Felipe but much like Webber he can’t use the tyres in the way people like Alonso and Vettel do. To be a second off Alonso’s pace in the second stint shows how poor he was.

      1. German Samurai says:

        Massa has no business being in F1. The fact Alonso couldn’t make a pass stick on Massa in the first stint and still be behind him after 30-odd laps is testament to how bad a day Alonso had. As we saw in the last half of the race the Ferrari had strong pace, but Alonso can’t get the most out of soft tyres.

        My theory is that he can’t adjust his relatively inefficient style of inducing understeer to the Pirelli softs.

      2. Anil says:

        It’s Abu Dhabi; you need to be MUCH faster to make an overtake work due to the slow corners and chicanes. Alonso was a second faster, which as we’ve seen at this track over the last 3 years isn’t always enough even with DRS. Also worth remembering Massa was geared just as long.

      3. German Samurai says:

        I don’t really buy that. Alonso was fast enough to get past Massa on the straight but couldn’t make it stick. Plus Massa is a poor driver. If you can’t beat Massa in the same equipment then you can’t expect to ever beat Vettel.

    2. NickH says:

      Yeah Ferrari really screwed Massa today. Alonso seems to be getting pretty hot under the collar by being beaten by Massa in quali last 4 out of 5 races. Alonso was made to look good at the end because they put the medium (WRONG) tyres on Massa’s car at for his SHORT last stint

  25. Flyboy says:

    I have been watching f1 since 1961 and i have finally had enough… I turned the race off at the 1/3 mark.
    It is time for Bernie and Todt to wake up and revise the rule package before Newey completely destroys F1… Is the Red Bull illegal? Who knows, but I am sure that they skirt the edge of legality much closer than other teams. It is time to do away with all of the aero nonsense… Mandate spec front and rear wings, a spec undertray, eliminate all of the garbage turning vanes. No one will be able to see the difference and the competition will be refocused on BASIC car attributes, engine performance and driver skill. Only then will be able to realistically evaluate drivers.

    1. James Allen says:

      Will be interesting to see how many did the same. I think quite a few

      It’s F1′s problem. But next year offers a fresh story….one hopes

      1. James says:

        Vettel is the #1 properly in the field and as Marko has already said he will leave RB once they’re knocked off the top step. Like him or not, there are many, many more championships in his future.

      2. Dai Dactic says:

        F1 ain’t ‘lipstick-on-a-pig’ . . .
        More like ‘lipstick-on-a-dinosaur’ – velociraptor maybe?
        Anachronism incarnate I’m afraid.

        Been following it since the mid ‘60s.
        Hasn’t really changed that much –

        Where’s its version of Garage 56?

      3. Anil says:

        Today’s race was the first since Bahrain 2010 where I actually just wished the race ended after 15-20 laps. The track layout is just appalling for racing which is such a shame given the budget they had to make the track.

        At least other processional tracks like Hungary and Barcelona have some great and unique corners, whilst also throwing up some interesting results from time to time.

      4. Andre says:

        Last years race wasn’t too bad.

      5. Xman says:

        It seems the 2014 reduction in fuel limit that will effect max drag on the cars will disadvantage the higher downforce teams. What do you think James?

      6. James Allen says:

        It’s still about efficiency above all

    2. luqa says:

      And I suspect you still prefer flying a Tiger-Moth. We live in a dynamic world!
      Back in your time (and mine for that matter) you couldn’t have shared your views with the world instantaneously, but would’ve
      had to do it down at the local watering hole with a few of your mates. It’s called progress. Just wait until next year when everything becomes even more complicated. F1 cars are not motorized soapboxes as they were in the past but represent the pinnacle (more or less) of Motorsport.

      1. Flyboy says:

        I don’t think it is unreasonable for F1 to put some sensible restrictions on aerodynamic performance. When Ferrari dominated in the last decade there was no hesitation in removing their primary advantage… Unlimited testing on their dedicated test track. The same sensible restrictions are called for today. F1 is not only about unlimited development, but also about equitable competition. There are already many rules governing the equality of the car’s design and it needs to go further.
        Excuse me while I step outside and hand prop my Tiger Moth…

      2. Phil Glass says:

        Flyboy, OK if I join you?

        I think a lot of viewers lost interest when the predicted result loomed, [lap 2], the rest having already left when Kimi retired.

        There’s just a few of us watching, James!!!!

      3. German Samurai says:

        I think you’re overstating the advantages from a small, pokey track next to the factory. If it were such an advantage then Ferrari wouldn’t have gone from 1979-2000 without a drivers championship. Schumacher only ever got the best car on the grid in 2001, 2002 and 2004. Some advantage.

        Teams like McLaren, Williams, Toyota, BAR, all had similar resources to Ferrari, and most of the top teams built their factories close to Silverstone.

      4. JB says:

        There has been a lot of measure to help rebalance the performance difference between teams. 2009 aero rule overhaul. 2010 ban double diffuser. 2011 ban f-duct. 2012 ban exhaust blown diffuser. 2013 tougher front wing test.

        FIA has been making effort to restrict the genius Adrian Newey and his RB team. But each time, they restrict him, the other teams suffered too. So in the end, we simply have to applaud his amazing talent.
        I mean if you want to have only the driver to influence the race outcome and no one else, then all the engineers and mechanics from all teams should be banned. LOL

    3. ErikT says:

      Spec cars are not the answer though. I hate that we have to have spec tires. I’d rather see a tire war and a more open rules package.

    4. SteveS says:

      So you want F1 to become a spec series. At least you’re honest about it, but it’s still a bad idea. There are already plenty of spec car series out there for people who prefer that sort of thing.

      And the FIA have made numerous regulation changes over the years aimed at curbing RB and Vettel.

    5. Mansell Mania says:

      I was feeling like this when Ferrai and Shumacher were at their peak. But then in the mid 2000s it started to get interesting again, especially when Alonso came on the scene.

      I’d say the fact that only half the races are on free to view now is a bigger determining factor in the loss of interest in the sport.

      1. Rob01 says:

        Well by 2005 Schumi was already in his mid 30′s and in decline, by 2015 Vettel will be 28 and in his prime with probably 5-6 titles in the bag, this is a long dark road for the haters I’m sure even if he blew Alonso away to the moon and back if he joined Ferrari there’ll still be excuses but then thats life people will always have a set way of thinking and stick to it.

    6. JOdum5 says:

      For someone who has been watching since 1961, I’m pretty shocked you’re advocating the sport becoming a spec series. Utter domination isn’t much fun but the sport has always been about driver AND machine. If Red Bull is pushing the limits on legality more than others, maybe the other teams should take more risks.

    7. Tim says:

      Let’s hope not. Punishing performance is not the answer for anything.

  26. Harshad says:

    May be we should have something like “pass of the day” or “overtaking manouvre of the day”.

    Massa’s pass on Hamilton was exceptionally good and smart! Move of the day for me.

  27. Harshad says:

    Sebastian Vettel now has more points than every other team (with 2 drivers) in the competition!

    I don’t know what to say!

    1. James says:

      That’s the result of the best driver in the best car.

  28. Sarvar says:

    Over 30 sec lead from a sister car, unbelievable…
    Could Vettel make a one stop if required?

    1. CYeo says:

      Possibly, but in the event of a safety car, Vettel could be caught out with degrading tyres on the restart and be disadvantaged.

      2 stops was the best way to win, as seeing most of the other cars on 1 stop were forced to do a 2nd stop in the end to avoid falling into the pack when their tyres finally fell off the cliff.

      Even so, Vettel had ample time to do an extra pit stop for newish tyres if he wanted to really really get the fastest lap.

      He would have emerged 5-6 seconds ahead of Webber.

      1. Mansell Mania says:

        The distubing thing is that he probably was cruising and saving the tyres despite being 30 seconds out front.

    2. All revved-up says:

      One could say the same for Rosberg too.

      Good race from him, beating Grosjean in a Lotus (arguably a stronger car than the Mercedes).

  29. xyler says:

    A flawless race from Vettel and RB
    Good race from ROS and GRO.
    A poor race from HAM.
    Alonso must get a punishment

    Wishes for the last races:
    VET wins the next race to brake Schumis record.
    WEB wins the last race.

    1. Timmay says:

      Webber doesn’t deserve it – from a competitive sporting perspective. To have zero wins all year & one handed to you at the end…. Very weak.

      The truth is he shouldn’t have spun off in Korea 2010, won the title and retired then and there.

    2. Ealdfrith says:

      Even Vergne has acknowledged that if Alonso hadn’t gone off the track there would’ve been a huge crash:

      http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/111117

      But haters gonna hate, right?

  30. xyler says:

    The first rounds of Vettel will be a part of F1-history
    It’s astonishing again and again that he takes an advantage from about 2s every race.

  31. Craig D says:

    Can’t really fault Vettel today. It makes it dull when there’s no competition for the lead but it’s not Vettel’s fault. After all, what we want to see is driver excellence.

    There was some good action for the mid points at least.

    Stewards decisions were baffling. How could Sutil be allowed to gain 2 places even if run off track?

  32. Another ÜBER BORING race. Ecclastone must love these bore fests…

    1. Tim says:

      Bernie just loves performance. That’s all.

  33. Dan says:

    James why do you say Vettel was a class above the rest when we all know his car was a class above the rest?

    They are not fighting with equal weapons. Newey is just giving him races and titles, and redbull ensuring he only has number 2 team mates with number 2 machinery.

    1. James Allen says:

      Probably because that’s what everyone, including his team mate, is saying here in the F1 paddock

      Maybe you know different

      1. luqa says:

        Agreed James.

        I’m glad to see MW is in a better frame of mind than any time during the past 6 years. His body language speaks volumes. He can actually smile vs scowl now.

        It would seem he has accepted the fact he is being blitzed by a younger team mate with far more talent than his own, and making it is work for him in terms of his own results.

      2. Mansell Mania says:

        I admired his honesty today, when he said that he would still have been caned by Vettel even if he’d got to the first corner ahead!

    2. D Vega says:

      To say that SV’s maginificence, is only a direct product of his car’s superiority is an isult. The car plays an enormous role in his success, but so does his skill.

    3. Tim says:

      He’s in the best car because he is the best driver. That’s the way the game has always been played.

      1. Benjoi says:

        Tim you’ve got it exactly right. They’ve built the car around Vettel so it will suit him more than WEB, but you’d be silly not to. I’m a WEB fan, but some (okay most) of VET drives this year have been superb, and although he’s not my favourite driver I’ll give credit where it’s due.

  34. Nic Maennling says:

    It is very difficult for me to believe that qualy times can be so close yet SB can accelerate away from the grid and gain about a second a lap for about 30 laps. Like they said on Sesame Street which one is not like the other ? How is it possible for MW to have so much trouble starting, coupled with constant reliability problems ? Challenge: someone please prove to me that their cars are treated equally. If so I will happily retract my views.
    A.J. Foyt must be grinning – the master of how to circumvent the rules. He had his smile wiped off occasionally and we can only hope that all will be revealed someday with the Red Bull team. But hey, this is the end of the season and all thoughts are with 2014 development.

    1. James Allen says:

      Webber said that he really struggles on the soft tyres as they wear out. If you look at his lap times, after 7 laps he was two seconds slower than Vettel just prior to his stop.

      Vettel somehow combines pulling a lead with preserving the tyres- he went 14 laps on that set of softs

      1. Sri says:

        That “somehow” in your note is what some suspect to be not legal!

      2. furstyferret says:

        We all have our favorite drivers and well all one eyed generally, but I honestly believe that vettal is at this moment pound for pound the best driver, forget the redbull, put him in the merc, Ferrari, lotus etc he would beat the various drivers seven/ eight times out of ten, it hurts to say it being a ham fan, forget becoming a great, hes allready there..

      3. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        Can a driver imitate the trajectory of Vettel watching the videos?

        As a fan I feel so stupid for not knowing the secret of Vettel success…

      4. James Allen says:

        There are quite a few drivers who would like to know too

      5. TGS says:

        Yes I also thought that surely drivers would watch Vettel’s on board and copy him… But they try and still don’t know? He has a secret but he’s not telling.

      6. F1 Fan says:

        You know, Red Bulls philosophy is/was to have good traction, and sacrifice some topspeed. Now they have both. Vettels gains from yesterdays race was in the last sector(most of it) if im not mistaken, look at sector 3, sharpe/slow corners followed by straights and that car thrives there. Does everyone honestly belive many of the drivers wouldnt handle the Red Bull the way Vettel do? We are talking about the best drivers in the world here.

      7. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        @ TGS,

        “Here is my secret. It is very simple: what is essential is invisible to the eye” (The Little Prince).

        Maybe is not the driver, but the car, the mapping, the floor construction…

      8. TitanRacer says:

        like Colin Chapman said about Jimmy Clark and Mario Andretti. they could drive farther and faster than anybody else while using less tires and fuel. oh, let us not forget they also managed a few wins outside of F1 :)

    2. Nic Maennling says:

      To: TGS

      I think he may have let it slip when interviewed on the podium !

  35. CaringForApathy says:

    No penalty for Alonso? What a joke. Between the tires and stewards’ decisions, this entire season has been frustrating to watch. What’s the point of having rules if you don’t enforce them, or consistently for that matter?

    Toro Rosso must be wondering how that is much different that Ricardo’s trip off the track in Suzuka.

    1. Ealdfrith says:

      Vergne says Alonso prevented big crash

      http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/111117

      [mod]

    2. Richard says:

      Rules say room must be left for both drivers, didn’t happen today.

      1. Me says:

        Rules also say you can’t overtake off track, see Grosjean in Hungary, but then I guess if you’re not in a Ferrari…

      2. Richard says:

        This wasn’t supposed to be an overtake on the track but by strategy anyway. Coincidence they joined and almost crossed each other at the pit exit. Its called a racing incident and thats the main difference with Grosjean in Hungary. You should be thankfull for this because it actually brought up something which wasn’t boring.

    3. Grant H says:

      It could have been dangerous so I am surprised alonso dodged a penalty on those grounds only, as alonso launched over the kerbs the front wheels lifted off, during this moment its reasonable to think a lot of the downforce could have been lost potentially rendering the car uncontrollable for a split second – in this case he kept control

      I tend to think the overtaking outside limits was a racing incident in this case but am surprised he did not get a penalty on safety grounds

  36. AlexD says:

    Thinking about the race today. It was not dull, nor it was exciting. There was no fight for top 4 spots with Vettel, as expected, dominating the race.

    Alonso did surprise in a negative way in the very beginning. I really thought that he is not fighting anymore. Still do not understand what happened that he came back with a very strong drive to really close on Massa and go past Hamilton and Sutil to finish 5th. Still….what a shame it is for a team that was supposed to fight with the Red Bull.

    Massa did surprise me in a positive and then negative way. Where did he lose his speed later in the race? Strange….cannot explain it.

    More and more I start thinking that Hamilton is more like a pop star rather than a great F1 driver. He is not like Vettel. He can drive very fast, but his mind is not 100% on racing and his lifestyle is not the one of a F1 legend. Vettel is solely into racing, he removed everything from his life that is not helping him win and will not add anything that can distract him.

    Kimi….I think he could avoid the accident. It did not look deliberate, but it looks avoidable. The situation between Kimi and Lotus got out of control and they will lose together, their opponents will benefit. Compare it to Red Bull…they stand united.

    I guess there is nothing else we can expect from this season. I only want to understand whether other teams can win next year….this is my only hope and I really do not care who it will be as long as it is not Red Bull. Ideally….it is Ferrari, but I think they might explode if they will not have the fastest car.

    1. Clear View says:

      To be fair I wouldn’t mind Ricciardo winning in a red bull, just a break form Vettel dominance would be nice but his really is a very vert skilled pilot who exploits his car in way that is a cut above the rest.

  37. Clear View says:

    James
    do you think Sutil should have given the 2places back he gained by leaving the track, he should have yielded the corner when he new he couldn’t make it in my view. Do you think this adds to the argument for permanent stewards that attend every race?

    Thanks

    Vettel was just a class above the rest again. I liked to doughnuts on the cool down lap, shame for the fine as he bought the car back to parc ferme.

    I thought Lotus should have had a pit lane start as it exits on turn 3 and would miss the chaos and have a car optimised for racing, we shall never know…..

    I don’t think I was a particularly memorable race all in all.

    Looking forward to Austin as I thought it was the best race of 2012 for excitement and battles.

    1. Me says:

      “Do you think this adds to the argument for permanent stewards that attend every race?”

      No, I can’t even imagine this would be an argument, it’s such a bad idea.

  38. VV says:

    Vettel was exceptional today. And I’m glad to see more doughnuts, and some emotion on the podium. I didn’t like his stunt in Malaysia earlier this year at all, but I’m starting to warm to him again (even if his domination is boring).

    Unfortunately though, the race was a total snooze-fest. Massa’s move on Hamilton was great, and Hulkenberg overtaking both TRs in one go was entertaining, but that’s as far as it went.

    The lack of penalties for Sutil and Alonso is surprising.

  39. AlexD says:

    Can somebody explain how is even possible that all KERS problems go to Webber exclusively? It is extremely hard to believe that this is a mere coincidence.

    1. Me says:

      Like in Japan?

    2. SteveS says:

      All KERS problems do not go to Webber exclusively.

      Ad he had no KERS problems in this race. Unless using up all your KERS is now considered a “problem”.

    3. xyler says:

      Why not? Take a look at season 1985:
      Lauda:
      DNF DNF 4 DNF DNF DNF DNF DNF 5 DNF 1 DNF DNS INJ DNF DNF

      Prost: 1 DNF DSQ 1 3 DNF 3 1 2 1 2 1 3 (4) 3 DNF

      What an incredible difference:
      Lauda 16 races 12 DNF!

    4. Luke says:

      Vettel had KERS failure in the last race if I’m not mistaken. It just didn’t finish his race. KERS isn’t exclusively Mark, just happens to be worse when they do effect him.

    5. JB says:

      May be he uses it too often so it overheats. Vettel is known for being strategic and gentle on the car while maintaining a gap.

      Mark probably uses the KERS too much because he is unable to maintain a good pace without KERS help. gets pressure from behind.

      Only the engineers know who is more aggressive on the equipment. Before coming to red bull, Webber is known to be very harsh on the car and many DNF due to equipment failure. Of course, one can be polite saying he is very Unlucky. LOL

      1. TGS says:

        You can’t overuse KERS, you only get a few seconds of it a lap.

      2. JB says:

        Yes, i know that. You can still overheat it under normal usage. Especially following another car in front. Anyway, thats my speculation, so dont take it in too much.

    6. Richard says:

      So he did have the problem. Why did I question myself?

    7. Andre says:

      Ask yourself what RB would gain to give Webber the KERS issues in this race?
      With both championships already in their pocket!

  40. quest says:

    Vettel by himself now has more points than any of the other teams. Seb = 347, Merc = 334. Amazing.

  41. Sujith says:

    Rosberg owning Hamilton today made my day which was pretty down after seeing Kimi bumped into that Caterham.

    1. Kimisoverated says:

      That’s funny, I felt almost the exact opposite! I was really pleased when Kimi was demoted and then when he crashed at the first corner I was laughing out loud.

    2. aezy_doc says:

      Totally saw that coming. Hamilton started on tyres that had already done 6 laps, he was always going to have to stop early and from that point his race was going to be compromised. Getting passed by grosjean didn’t help matters. If Hamilton wants to up his game he really needs to drive smarter on these tyres. As frustrating as it is to hear ‘pass quickly or drop back two seconds’ that’s the name of the game at the minute. Hamilton did neither and spent a lot of time under someone else’s rear wing today – it really compromised his race.

      1. Grant H says:

        Hams tyres at start of race had 4 laps, he did an out lap in Q2 and 1 timed lap in Q3 – so actually only one more than everyone else, ham only pitted early to try and jump grosjean / webber another lap and he would have done

      2. L.B says:

        5 laps…out lap and in lap in Q2 plus out lap, flying lap and in lap in Q3. That’s 2 laps extra. Disappointing race from Hamilton but given Webber passed Rosberg when Rosberg also got stuck behind a Force India indicates it’s more of a problem with the Merc setup…qualify well and hope not to get stuck behind a slower car that’s much faster on the straights.

      3. aezy_doc says:

        Even so, only one or two more laps on these tyres is more than enough to compromise your race. I’m no physicist but I’m sure that putting heat cycles through these tyres is not going to help them. I don’t want tyres that last forever, but it would be nice for them to be durable enough to push for more than two laps before they need ‘managing’.

    3. aezy_doc says:

      Totally saw that coming. Hamilton started on tyres that had already done 6 laps, he was always going to have to stop early and from that point his race was going to be compromised. Getting passed by grosjean didn’t help matters. If Hamilton wants to up his game he really needs to drive smarter on these tyres. As frustrating as it is to hear ‘pass quickly or drop back two seconds’ that’s the name of the game at the minute. Hamilton did neither and spent a lot of time under someone else’s rear wing today – it really compromised his race.

  42. Truth or Lies says:

    Another surreal drive from Vettel, with a solid drives by Rosberg and Di Resta and a decent recovery from Webber. But infairness its hard to imagine other drivers being so far behind Vettel driving the same car. Right now Mark is being totally outclassed by Sebastian.

    Overtake of the weekend – Massa when he passed Hamilton and Sutil in one corner, very impressive.

    1. Richard says:

      One of the Saubers, I believe Hulkenberg, passing both Torro Rossos going straight between them on lap 53, overtake of the decade.

      1. Harshad says:

        Those Torro Rossos were on “SHOT TYRES”!!!

      2. Richard says:

        Still ;twas funny as hell

  43. The Spanish Inquisitor says:

    If there is a pilot massacred by FIA’S decisions this is Alonso. The FIA invented new rules to punish Alonso. Remember Hungary.

    1. aezy_doc says:

      Certainly they have invented rules to punish Hamilton in the past (Spa 2008)- i.e. giving the place back for three corners if you gain an advantage by going off track.

  44. Oz Geeza says:

    Mr Allen,to all due respect to you Sir, I am
    bit suprised that you who have been associated
    with the Motor sport and in particular F.1,
    for donkey years do not call RBR and its single
    seater that Vettel drivers in to question.
    To win the race by more than 1/2 minutes + from
    his team mate who run second,and amagst some
    very notable drivers who are on any given day
    unbeatable given an eaqual equipment, which is
    a FIA current directive.
    Thus,is it posible that that the might of Mercedes Group and the briliance and know how
    of Ferrari,and to some extend Renault an engine supplyer to Red Bull, being a 1/2 minute + outside ball park?,Logic says it’s
    not posible: Unless a blantant cheating is being used, be it traction control, overriding
    of its electronics during the race or what ever
    The result calls for the immidiate impounding
    of the RBR single seater and the an apointment
    of the independent scrutiners / engineers
    outside of FIA to investigate, WHY IS IT SO.
    Mr Allen your coments if any please.

    1. Grant H says:

      Dont be daft

    2. Gram Speltrol says:

      Drafting in ‘Notepad’ will always insert unnecessary carriage returns . . .

    3. Oletros says:

      Not sure if serious

    4. Tim says:

      Ah yes! The old ‘the might of Mercedes and Ferrari cannot be brought low by a soft drink company’ ploy. And they vaudeville is dead.

    5. Sujith says:

      Winning by half a minute has been done before. It is nothing new and spectacular to imply a team is cheating. Kimi did it with an Adrian Newey designed McLaren 2 times in a row almost. Correct me if I am wrong. If not 2 times, at least once for sure.

      If McLaren and Kimi can do it without cheating, why not Redbull and Vettel?

      1. KRB says:

        Autosport has an article up about it. A snippet:

        Winning by such a margin in a dry race is already a major achievement. Doing it twice in a season is very rare, and hasn’t happened since Michael Schumacher achieved it three times in 1995, in Spain, Monaco and France. His Benetton team-mate Johnny Herbert was runner-up in the first of those, with title rival Damon Hill the defeated man in the other two events.

        Hard to believe that the ’96 or ’97 Williams didn’t manage it. Or Schumacher from 2000-04. Then again, the current RBR model is most like that 1995 Benetton team: a great car geared primarily around one driver.

      2. Sujith says:

        Yes.. I thought Kimi did it in Spain and Monaco in 2005 (back to back). But checking the stats once again (by watching the Monaco race) he had a 30 second lead which then went down as he was taking it easy at the front. Trying to bring the car back home in one piece. But he did it in Spain. He started from pole.

      3. Sujith says:

        Oops sorry.. My bad.

        Kimi won in Spain 2005 with a 27.6 sec lead. My bad :)

  45. Alexander Supertramp says:

    Disappointing race by Lewis.. I think the beating by Rosberg might do him some good for 2014, the fighter is still in there- just need to wake him up…ASAP

  46. Paul says:

    Question for James

    Is there any way the media have access to the teams GPS screens as I was wondering if it would be possible for you to do some analysis on which corners/ part of the lap Vettel is so much better on over the first couple of laps against the others.

    I accept that I’d others are battling a bit it helps bit to see the way he just left them for dead AGAIN makes my wonder what the others do so wrong – after all the cars are all similar paced in qualifying usually…..

  47. Paul Mc says:

    The most dominant performance of Vettels career so far in my opinion. He destroyed everyone. It takes more than a good car to produce what he did and left Webber in the same machinery for dead.

    If Senna was doing this we would be lauding the achievement. I find Seb hard to stomach sometimes but his class is now undeniable and his status of F1 greatness is now cemented.

    Take a bow Seb. Magnificent.

    1. clyde says:

      vettel is not fit to wipe Sennas shoes ….period

  48. Torchwood Five says:

    It is Vettel’s skill piloting that car that largely lets him keep it on the road and get it to the flag.

    Those who criticise posters who say it is the car and not him should remember that till the first third of the season, we were able to say he could not overtake, but that was the car.

    Now the CAR has been modified to be able to pass, and I don’t see anyway that we can stop him winning.

    Barring technical issues that only exist on Rocky’s radio script, Austin is a done deal, as Seb is not going to get stuck behind a backmarker at the s-bends long enough for Lewis or other best-of-the-rest candidate to overhaul him.

  49. All revved-up says:

    What happened to Ricciardo?

    Why such a weak race from him? Car? Driver?

    Force India is responding to the Sauber challenge really well. Sauber suffered an own goal today – with Hulk’s unsafe release.

  50. All revved-up says:

    Did Kimi plan that first corner incident?

    He was snoozing in the 1st class flat bed by the time Vettel painted his doughnuts.

    A “go slow” at work protest – Kimi style.

    1. Grant H says:

      I could not understand why they did not start him from the pit /give him a longer gear, we saw vet get on the podium last year the same way. Had they done it he would have avoided all the turn 1 crunch, what a pants decision

      1. Phil Glass says:

        Would have meant more work and expense for the team. Besides, a local restaurant was already booked for a team party.

  51. dren says:

    Vettel is really THAT good. The car is great, yes, but he is obliterating the field.

    1. H.Guderian says:

      BUTTON “obliterated” the field back at Brawn.

      1. KRB says:

        Well, for the first half of the year, anyways.

        I just hope whatever mega-downforce-creating-with-zero-drag thingamabobber RBR have on there can’t be recreated on next year’s car.

      2. H.Guderian says:

        @KRB
        I’m a little bit pessimistic.
        They will dominate as usual.

  52. richardc says:

    How on earth did FA not get apenalty??!! By driving the way he did he was able to carry the speed enough to out out pace the other car. His four wheels were outside the white lines, therefore a rule was broken and a penalty should have been applied. Yet the stewards agreed with his explanation of events?? Why does this happen time after time? I bet when LH does it in the next race the whole pit lane and the BBC commentators will have a field day! Disgraceful!

    1. AlexD says:

      I am glad you are not a race steward….

  53. Morce says:

    Hulk from 5 to 14.
    ROFL like Koba from 15 to 6 last year, just the opposite.

  54. maverick says:

    Completely correct decision from FIA not to punish Alonso. Did Vergne leave a car’s width of room to Alonso? No he did not. Alonso had no other choice but to go off the track in order to avoid a crash. The rules clearly state that you need to leave a car’s width of room for the other driver. Alonso didn’t gain an advantage by going off the track, he was just trying to avoid a crash, and that’s why the stewards didn’t penalise him. Alonso didn’t break any rules, it was Vergne who didn’t leave him any room. Right decision from FIA, end of story.

  55. Fred says:

    I’m sorry to say, but the race was boring.

    1. D Vega says:

      Hamilton is starting to remind me of Massa, fast but nebulous in his approach. However, Hamilton has generally been in superior cars since their titanic battle. I see Nico beating him in 2014, and he may beat Ham this year.

  56. Grant H says:

    Hulk had a penalty dont forget

  57. Dave says:

    James,
    How would you assess Hamilton’s season? From the outside, it looks like flashes of speed, but without the consistency of Vettel, with some pretty average weekends. What the paddock view?

    1. James Allen says:

      Not so strong since Hungary

      Seems like mentally he is on to 2014

      1. Stephen Taylor says:

        James I would say he needs to make sure he finishes ahead of Rosberg in the Championship first.

    2. JB says:

      I was thinking that Hamilton is going through one of his emotional phase again. If you reckon LH is focused on 2014 and not the current race weekend while being paid €20++ million a year. I think that is not good, i prefer Michael Schumacher’s or Vettel’s never giving up mentality. That’s the true spirit of a champion in any sports.

    3. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      If you check this site, I said aprox. in October 2012 (last year) that without important regulation changes VETTEL will be the 2013 Champion, no doubt. But what’s the paddock view? I guess almost every person in the paddock knew that.

      Maybe this year we were just all distracted with the Pirellis’ problems.

      Show must go on.

  58. Fireman says:

    Analysis of the ALO-JEV overtake.

    According to stewards (source Autosport):
    1) ALO was forced to leave the track by JEV
    2) JEV had worn tires and had fully committed to the turn
    3) Telemetry confirms that ALO was faster and had the advantage
    4) Neither car could avoid the incident
    5) Drivers explanations were completely clear
    6) No advantage was gained as a result of the incident

    1-4 states nothing that allows overtaking off the track. So it all comes to ALO and JEV agreeing it was OK, hence the conclusion: no advantage was gained.

    1. Pink says:

      +1

      And I´ve to say that, obvious danger for the drivers apart, was the most spectacular moment of the GP and the bravest movement so far.

  59. Frank says:

    not Massa but Sutil had the longest stint on softs Sutil 25- Massa 19
    poor Massa would have been “faster than Alonso” so he got the mediums for the last 17. Otherwise he would easily been in front of Jev when Alonso rejoined.
    If than had happend at RB the reaction of the media would have been massivly different

  60. bobw says:

    I am so tired of people whining that they are bored watching F1. It isn’t just about who finishes in the first three places. There is all kinds of stuff going on further down the grid. One thing F1 has never been is entertainment. If you are looking for that, try NASCAR or Roller Derby.

    1. Goldeney76 says:

      But if F1 is not entertaining then people will stop watching. If peole don’t watch then what’s the point in having F1?

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