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“Tough Luck!”: Vettel feels the pinch from Ricciardo as troubled streak continues
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Posted By:   |  20 Apr 2014   |  2:17 pm GMT  |  439 comments

After out-qualifying Sebastian Vettel for the third time this season and leaving his team-mate second best in consecutive races for first time since 2012, Daniel Ricciardo has had an impressive start to his career at Red Bull.

In Bahrain his pace led to the four-time World Champion moving aside, under orders from the team, as the Australian was on the faster tyre at the time.

Fast forward to Sunday afternoon and just after one third distance in the 56 lap race once again Red Bull management edict comes over the radio to Vettel: “Seb, let Ricciardo through he is faster than you.” This time the pair were on the same tyres, although Ricciardo’s were four laps fresher.

This time, Vettel was not so willing to give up his fourth place. Having asked what tyre Ricciardo was using, and learning the Australian was on the same tyres as himself, Vettel replied, “Tough luck”. The German decided initially to hold his ground and not succumb to the demands of senior management.

Two laps later Ricciardo was able to make the move, and although Vettel and the team said after the race that he had accepted the order to let the faster car through, Ricciardo was not certain that was the case at the time, “I am not sure if he ran deep or gave me a bit of room, but I managed to get by,” said the Australian.

But the story here is how Vettel was prepared to disobey Red Bull team orders for the second time (after Malaysia 2013), even though he did later relent.

Then there is also the ongoing question of how he will deal with being consistently outperformed by a team-mate; one who has full backing from Red Bull senior figures like Helmut Marko (something Mark Webber never enjoyed).

Many fans worldwide believe that Vettel has been handled with cotton wool and regarded as the Golden Boy at Red Bull, with the backing of Marko and gestures such as the front-wing swap from Mark Webber’s to Vettel’s car at the British Grand Prix in 2010, have served to strengthen those claims.

But now Vettel is up against it; with a car which is not the fastest and up against a team-mate who has made an immediate connection with the RB10 and who has important backers in the team.

The German’s gesture to move aside in Bahrain earned him plaudits. However, today he chose to not show faith in the decisions of the pit-wall, instead trying to race Ricciardo.

The Red Bull management was proved correct as Ricciardo romped away to eventually finish the Grand Prix twenty-two seconds ahead, whilst Vettel said that he let the fourth place finisher through.

“I think there was no point in holding him up any longer,” said Vettel. “He was quite a lot quicker and once I was told we were on different strategies I decided to let him go and also realised more towards the end that I couldn’t hold him back.

“At that point in time I was still on a three-stop, which we changed later on, also to a two-stop strategy. Towards the end of the race I also realized that I did not have the pace, which was not really clear to me at that earlier stage.”

Vettel was using up the tyres more quickly than Ricciardo and was struggling particularly with the medium compound tyre, having been competitive on the softs in the opening stint.

Team Principal Christian Horner said that Vettel’s problem is that he doesn’t have the feel from the current generation of cars that he enjoyed with the previous years’ cars.

Part of the reason is believed to be the lack of downforce and especially rear-end stability of these cars compared to the blown diffuser cars. Ricciardo is used to cars with less downforce and stability.

Horner confirmed that Vettel did let his team-mate past, which in-turn gave them the chance of a podium as Ricciardo closed in on Alonso, who might possibly have been beaten had Vettel yielded when first asked.

Horner’s version slightly contradicts Vettel’s; Vettel says he was on a three stop strategy (which normally involves running a faster pace and pushing the tyres harder; normally a three stopper is allowed to pass a two stopper) but was switched to a two-stop. Horner’s version was that Vettel was on a two stop, but Red Bull was thinking of putting Vettel onto a three stopper, “What he (Vettel) didn’t realise was that we were looking at a different strategy because Seb was going through the tyre phases quicker, to convert Sebastian onto a three-stop.

“As soon as he understood that he immediately let him through and he could
see he simply didn’t have the pace to hold him back.”

Vettel pitted on lap 13, which was consistent with a two-stop plan and Ricciardo on lap 17, a clear two stop plan. What hurts a driver is to switch from one to another mid race as what has gone before is not optimum for the new strategy.

“Seb’s done the right thing for the team today and as he said very honestly, he has let his team-mate through, he (Ricciardo) was quicker today,” said Horner. “That enabled us to get closer to Alonso in the final laps, with Daniel finishing twenty seconds ahead of Seb. More important for us is to understand what Seb is struggling with at the moment, because he’s obviously not getting as much out of the car as Daniel.”

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  1. Lambert says:

    Seb cost Red Bull a podium today. I firmly believe that Ricciardo would have had the pace to pass Alonso in the final laps had he been allowed to pass Seb as soon as he caught him. Seb is a good driver, that much has been proven, but he’s being shown up by his younger team mate and has not made the connection with the car that he’s enjoyed the past 4 seasons. Is it that Seb can only race when he has mountains of downforce? Or is Daniel just showing how mediocre Webber actually was? Who knows… I’m just loving this period of Vettel struggle after the last 4 years of his elation.

    1. AlexD says:

      I am really tired reading that it was Seb who is responsible. I do not like the guy and I like Ricciardo, but this time Ricciardo should have had a better start. Had he srated better or kept his position, he could give Red Bull a podium. Ricciardo should count on himself and should put all the elements together. He qualfied well, had a gread race, but he failed at the start and therefore other people deserved to take this podium position. Alonso was better and he got the 3rd place. Nothing to do with Vettel, his own mistake at the start did cost the team a possible podium.

      1. Sue says:

        +1 Well said.

      2. J.Danek says:


      3. Random 79 says:

        “I do not like the guy and I like Ricciardo, but this time Ricciardo should have had a better start”

        I wouldn’t go as far to say I don’t like Vettel, but you’re absolutely right.

        Ricciardo is a hell of a driver and he’s going to do very, very well for himself, but today the bad start was what cost him 3rd.

      4. ALL4IT says:

        Yes the start had compromised Ricciardo final position, his tyre management, Qualifying and racing are all so far so good and I like it, the start off the line in the last 3 GP was a + or =, so a bad 1 out of 4 I guess that can happen, as Bryce point out he was on dirty side, Ric & Rosberg both lost 2 positions at the start. Ric has a bright future and definitely be in for a win sooner or later and a finger free year is always good!.

      5. Bryce says:

        Not only was on the dirty side, but a bit of extra oil around as well. That is what probably cost him a podium.

      6. Brett Williams says:

        Yes, I noticed in the BBC web feed that there was oil on Ricciardo’s grid spot and that some sand had been put down prior to the race start. Any idea James if this affected his launch, or if it was just another regulation poor start?

      7. James Allen says:

        It seems to have cost him a bit at the start

      8. AlexD says:

        I have never seen it in the official report and I do not believe Horner, he is saying many thing and not always they are true. We need to accept that today Daniel was not pwrfect and you need to be perfect in F1 to fight for best results, unless you have a one sec per lap advantage

      9. thecrappest says:

        Yeah, Dan was on the dirty side.

        But so was Massa, he had a cracking start!

      10. JohnH says:

        I Agree Vettel did not hold Ricciardo up in any significant way. But lets see how team politics play out back in Europe.

        I have always thought Vettel is a bit of a sook myself.

      11. C63 says:

        I have always thought Vettel is a bit of a sook myself….

        I had to look up sook (I thought, at first, it might have been a spelling mistake) – what a wonderfully obscure word, which completely sums up my feelings about SV.

      12. yellowbelly says:

        A female crab??

      13. Aneesh says:

        @yellowbelly “a person lacking spirit or self-confidence; a coward.”

      14. james says:

        yep totally agree. i was glad when vettel said tough luck. daniel is good enough and fast enough to get the pass done himself.

        i am not a big fan of team orders.

      15. deldo says:

        ricciardo is humiliating vettel…. end.

      16. Patrick says:

        According to James’s article, there was oil on the track at Daniel’s starting position from an earlier race which caused Daniels rear wheels to spin up costing him get away traction. So hardly Daniels fault. It was just one of those things. The marshals had a go at cleaning it up but obviously left enough behind to make Daniels start less rapid than it should have been. Daniel has never been known as a slow starter.

    2. Sebee says:

      I think we need an update about the contract situation with Vettel. I’m thinking that RBR giveth and RBR taketh away. Vettel is on the books most successful driver on the grid. Taking him down a notch could give RBR a much stronger negotiating angle for renewal.

      Also, as some fans here pointed out, “My Boy” has had it all his way. A bit of hardship will do him good to refresh the hunger, drive, focus. And perhaps provide a bit of a humbling experience. Anyhow, few more races and it will hardly be worth it to rip his guts out. Look at Schumi in his prime. He’d rather DNF than bring it home 7th.

      1. StevenM says:

        I guess it’s not only the Hamilton fans that use conspiracy? But it’s Ok cause its the 4 times WDC? It clearlyhads to be something other than Dan being just plain faster? To be honest, as much add in enjoying it, I really do hope Vettel shows us that he can beat Dan. I dont want to believe that Vettel can be this slow

      2. james encore says:

        Fernando said something last year, and I wish I could find it verbatim it went something like
        “Seb won’t always have the best car, and if he gets on the podium with an inferior car, people will say he is a great driver; if he tours round in 5th or 6th place people will say he won all those races because he had the best car”.
        He’s won 4 championships – more than Senna, and 39 races from 124 starts vs Senna’s 41 from 162 – in terms of percentage of races won he’s done better than anyone in 40 years. Is it just the car ? A very good driver flattered by a very good car, or is he better than Senna (and only a matter of time before he overhauls Schumacher’s records)
        Personally I think it is the middle one: I’d feel a bit cheated I could have won 4 championships in Adrian Newey’s cars. So I’m cheering for Dan but hoping Seb beats him (if that makes sense)

      3. Sebee says:


        Just a little tidbit reminder for you guys.

        Isn’t the oldest guy in F1 34 right now? Isn’t he calling it a day at 36 apparently?

        Button 34 (probably will drive on, but who knows)
        Kimi 34 (probably leaving after Ferrari)
        Alonso 32 (won’t see a WDC this year)
        Vettel 4x WDC 26
        Lewis 1x 29, soon 30!

        Do you see the problem? We have 5 WDCs on the grid. 3 of whoom probably will not be around much longer. And with these young guns, these older guys aren’t going to get much in the years to come. Alonso who brings huge money to F1 with Santander maybe the exception, hence as much as it pains me, likely he’ll get some ROI in the form of 1 more WDC before he calls it a day.

        We need to mint some new WDCs, and soon! F1 basically has 2-3 years to make a few new champions while these guys are on the grid. With Lewis likely to win this year, we’re looking at 2 years window to expand the list before WDCs start calling it a day.

        I nominate Daniel and Kevin! I’m OK if Lewis and Vettel are the only 2 remaining after these guys call it a day. And chances are good. But it is in the interset of the sport to mint some WDCs, and soon!

      4. James Allen says:

        I wrote that last year, where are the next household names coming from?

        Big issue if a lot of the younger guys are paying their way.

      5. Sebee says:


        We can see the solution. That is, the older WDCs basically are assured employment for at least 5 more years as teams want a WDC in their car to satisfy sponsors. The problem is, beside Lewis, Vettel, Alonso/Kimi, who’s in a position to swipe a WDC in those 5 years before we’re left with only Lewis and Sebastian? After all, first they will have to hop over Lewis and Vettel, and of course Alonso/Kimi, and if Honda is good then even Button. Basically, to beat these 5 in these cars would be a magical effort equal to fairy tales.

        Educated guess would be Nico and Daniel can be added to the WDC list, maybe Kevin if package is good.

        I remember that piece about pay drivers. I didn’t really think about the fact that number of WDCs on the grid would be a problem when you wrote it, because we have so many even the mention of it I brushed aside. But time flies and it’s absolutely true. In just a few years it could be a real problem. I just don’t see many of these guys on this grid graduating to WDC status, especially since Lewis and Vettel are in prime and in fast cars, and next 2 years are probably going to be Lewis/Lewis or Lewis/Vettel. By then older guys are 36/37 and waying enough of all this Lewis/Vettel beatings we’ve taken.

        And when/if Alonso wins a WDC at Ferrari maybe 3 years from now, it will be his last year in F1. He’ll retire and leave on a high.

      6. J.Danek says:

        RBR giveth and RBR taketh away. Vettel is on the books most successful driver on the grid. Taking him down a notch could give RBR a much stronger negotiating angle for renewal.

        No disrespect, but I don’t think you have a very strong grasp of the contract negotiation process for a multi-time world champion athlete (OR his high-performance management) if you think that said athlete’s team would be interested in degrading his performance at any point during the competitive season (let alone in a very public way) in a misguided, counter-intuitive way to hypothetically strengthen their “negotiating angle”.

        Never mind the fact that it’s totally illogical to think that a four-time world champion would be more inclined to re-sign with a team that was messing around with him than if they were simply treating him fairly. Sheesh…

      7. rafa says:

        Are you actually trying to apply logic? I don´t think this is local currency for some!

      8. J.Danek says:

        Are you actually trying to apply logic? I don´t think this is local currency for some!

        lol. And would you believe I even try to check my posts for any instances of logical fallacies before I post them? Even “just” for #F1 stories… ;)

      9. Craig Hackney says:

        Vettel doesn’t have a manager, IIRC.

      10. Sebee says:

        Your first failing is that you see it as a sport full of fairness and all that snuggly stuff.

        If it is so fair where is the Marussia victory? Occasionally they should score at least a podium. Oh, that’s right, I forgot. They don’t have enough money to win.

        Look, MB needs ROI. Even DM understands that. He has plenty of series that is fully RB controlled and none are likely giving them the exposure that F1 is. So even RBR understand that they can’t have the “cover of the magazing” every month because eventually people won’t buy that magazine. So in this off-year, may as well kill a few birds with one stone. Yeah, I know it’s a theory with no fact of proof, but I stopped believing in coincidences when it comes to F1. Hence, my question.

        Since Seb is at RBR confirmed until 2015 only at this time, wouldn’t the timing be convenient to take care of a few objectives? Seb wants/needs to renew. RBR has team leadership covered with Daniel if needed and time to prep him. Seb negotiates without representation as well. If nothing else, RBR are in a position to ensure highest WDC driver on the grid doesn’t have to have the highest salary on the grid. Vettel has some documented image problems, booing, fans don’t “love him” etc. Is he the ideal ambassador for Red Bull brand? Why not play king maker again and make a new king? Daniel – new, younger, likable guy, English speaking, so he won’t get all chewed up on the websites and UK controlled F1 media. They don’t need to keep supporting the same “old” king. Why not put Daniel on top, make him beat the old king, show the people he’s the heir to the throne? New face of RBR brand in F1. Let’s be honest, if you were to take a poll right now, right here on a 4XWDC Vettel vs. no GP winner Daniel what do you think the result would be if the questino was “Who do you like more?” Any doubt Daniel “scores better” with the audience? And isn’t that important to a brand trying to market to that audience?

        RBR can’t lose by having an exit strategy with Vettel or negotiating leverage with Vettel. End of story.

      11. Gazza says:

        @Seebee I feel your and every Vettel fans pain.
        It’s not nice when your hero is shown to be njot quite as super human as you thought.

        I don,t subscribe to the theory that Seb is not a worthy champion, however I never thought that he was head and shoulders above Alonso & Hamilton either.

        If he can come back from this early bad start and get up to speed with Dan the man then no harm done. If not then I would get the paracetamol out!

      12. Sebee says:

        No pain.

        In F1 you have the car, you win.

        Seb is a worthy champion because he brought home 4 in a row. However, I’m under no illusion that without RBR giving him the tools he wouldn’t do it. Just as Lewis wouldn’t be doing it either with keys to his AMG MB.

        Right now, in this RB car, with the small issues it may have Daniel is up to speed faster and has extracted more from it. End of.

        On your other point, don’t think Lewis and Alonso are that much better. I bet you if you were to put the 3 in different cars for a perfectly balanced evalutation of their abilities, even if it took days to execute, you would find that the table wouldn’t always have the same order of these three. You would find that some can extract a little something extra from certain cars. Same is true in F1 cars.

        I also think that Alonso’s efforts at Ferrari were commendable, but in the end he has little to show for it hardware wise. 8 long years no WDC. And honestly, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I’m not hurt he’s not been successful. His behaviour after Crashgate has left a bad taste for me. He should have given back that win on principal alone as a Champion of the sport we love. He brought the sport, team, even WDC into disrepute. For him to have that trophy in his pad is unforgivable to me. And he missed the window to do it. If he was to give it back now it would be an even bigger spit in the face to F1 – as if he would be doing it to atone for past wrong. I hope Vettel and Lewis keep punding his will to win a WDC into the ground to be honest. That’s how strongly I feel about him keeping that tropy. Wow, I really don’t let things go, do I? ;-)

      13. rafa says:

        Yeah sebbe all your conspiracy theories are fine… except for one little detail… you only ever believe them to support Vettel, that´s why they´re tainted. Your driver is getting beaten fair and square… i fail to understand fans that continue watching a sport they think is rigged.

    3. C63 says:

      I’m just loving this period of Vettel struggle after the last 4 years of his elation….

      I can’t argue you with that :-)

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        well said C63. i couldn’t agree more. if i ever see that finger again it will be once too often!

    4. Basil Binx says:

      While there are plenty of options, including the two explanations offered in your post, I like a good old fashioned conspiracy theory, so here goes.

      Maybe there isn’t a lot between the two drivers. Red Bull is one beast of a marketing machine, and they know how to maximise their marketing opportunities.

      Vettel has had his turn with four titles under his belt, but it is no secret that he is not the most popular driver in the paddock.

      On the other hand Ricciardo is very popular with the fans, demonstrated by his very well received podium at the first race and the outrage that followed when he was stripped of his points.

      I think that if there isn’t much between them speed wise, or even if Ricciardo is quicker, that Red Bull have decided to back Ricciardo over Vettel, just like they backed Vettel over Webber. That way they get maximum exposure with the underdog beating the 4 times WDC. It is a story in itself as well as what many people want(ed) to see.

    5. Simmo says:

      It would have been undone by the cancellation of the last 2 laps anyway, in all likelihood.

    6. The F1 kid says:

      RedBulls would have never got ahead of Ferrari even if Seb dint hold Dan for 2 laps. The only reason being RB cars doesn’t have straight-line speed to out do Ferrari even with the help of DRS. It was evident when Seb tried to get past Alo after their first pitstop. So stop blaming Seb that he costed RB a podium.

      1. Sid says:

        The guys jumping on Ricciardo’s bandwagon are naive and not old F1 fans. Anyone who has watched F1 for around 10 years would know that first Seb is a very very good driver, anyone who reads data, sector times, laptimes and does comparisons. Second this phase is temporary for Seb, I would laugh at these fanboys eating their words back when Seb’s back.

        I remember Seb going through this phase in 2010 when Mark went on an outqualifying streak and similarly in 2012 but Seb came back. This is exactly what Christian’s predicting as well, he’ll come back with a bang. And then those hailing Ricciardo will eat their words.

      2. Kingszito says:

        Ricciardo is no Webber, because Vettel came back stronger against Webber is no assurance that he can come back stronger against Ricciardo. It’s time you Vettel fan boys start having open mind that this Wonder kid (Ricciardo) can beat your Hero (Vettel)

      3. Craig says:

        the car was develop toward Vettel and way from Webber.

      4. Peter Mitchell says:

        Dan has always been quick in all aspects of Motorsport he has participated in. Agree a lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon and a lot of people have had to eat their words bagging him out in favour of Kimi before his announcement to be the new RBR driver. Think it’s pretty obvious the correct choice was made.
        Yes Vettel is struggling and yes he will slowly come to terms with the new cars just like all the drivers. Having said that it does not mean when he does he will have Dans measure because simply put Dan can only improve too.
        Don’t underestimate what you are seeing now in Dan Ricciardo. No disrespect to Mark Webber but Dan is a naturally quicker driver so don’t compare what has happened between mark and Vettel over the years to cloud your judgement. Vettel now has to prove his self.

    7. snailtrail says:

      Horner: If Dan would not have got on the podium by being let through by your boy Vettel then why did the order go out in the first place?

    8. damo says:

      Webber and Vettel were virtually inseparable before the EBD came along. In 2012 when F1 changed the exhaust exit position from the floor to the top of the rear cowling to reduce the EBD’s effect Mark had his measure for the first 5 races until they got the stability back into the rear end of the car. With Marco famously saying that “Seb needs the car to be a certain way and Mark just needs 4 wheels” to explain his struggles.

      And Mark was “just” 12 yrs older than Seb at 37…you say mediocre, i say that is a [mod] statement.


  2. Richardd says:

    They can say all they want, we all saw what happened…

    1. Warren G says:

      Exactly! This is just saving face for Vettel after being embarrassed on track. Which is worse? Moving over for your team mate because of a radio call, or, getting passed anyway after deliberately disobeying the call?

      They can say what they like, but if he had decided to move over, he would have made it more obvious and much easier.

      1. C63 says:

        Brundle said, in commentary and post race analysis, that he thought SV made a mistake and then tried to turn it into looking like he was yielding.

  3. Joe B says:

    And the Red Bull PR machine kicks into action once again! I’ll take that back though, if we ever hear/see transcript of the radio call to Vettel agreeing to let Ricciardo through.

  4. Guybrush Threepwood says:

    Interesting that a lot of media report that Vettel can’t get to grips with the car, rather than Ricciardo just being damn quick. Ricciardo proved that in qualifying over the last couple of years.

    Dan deserves more credit than simply beating his team mate by default due to issues on the other side of the garage.

    1. MISTER says:

      If Dan is quick, then must’ve been that Vettel is slow..and after 4 years of winning Vettel is not that slow.

      Alonso never got the credit of dragging the Ferraris to 2nd place. Instead fans here thought Massa was just slow. Well, it seems Massa was not that slow since Kimi is nowhere near Alonso.

      1. justafan says:

        Give Kimi some time. He doesn’t like those tyres. But he will adapt. I’m sure.

      2. Sid says:

        Then give Seb some time as well. Go watch 2010 and 2012 when Seb went into this slump but came back with a thud…

      3. Random 79 says:

        It’s true: Vettel is not slow.

        Vettel is quick, it’s just that Ricciardo is just that little bit more quick ;)

      4. Kingszito says:


        Vettel is very quick, but Ricciardo is quicker. Let’s don’t forget that same Ricciardo went more than a full second quicker than Vettel’s 2010 pole position time in Abu Dhabi with the same car during 2010 young drivers Abu Dhabi test when he was not yet in F1, but Medias and Vettel fan boys attributed that to improved circuit as the test was held few days after the Abu Dhabi race.

    2. Kingszito says:

      People are not giving Ricciardo the credit he deserves because they believe that Vettel is quicker so they think the car is the problem. They don’t even consider that Ricciardo might be naturally quicker than Vettel hence he is beating him. If Vettel could come from Toro Roso and beat Webber why can’t Ricciardo do the same to Vettel?

      Let’s don’t forget that Red Bull could have been the best car (so far) this year if not for Mercedes, and they could have taken 3 pole positions out of four if not for Lewis. Red Bull is only down in power (straight line speed) and that is the only thing they need to be quicker or as quick as Mercedes but doesn’t mean that Vettel would beat Ricciardo with more engine power as both would get the same.

      Red Bull currently has the most efficient down force on the grid and if Ricciardo is beating Vettel now, then I don’t see the reason he won’t continue beating him unless Vettel raises his game. For me I think that Vettel should rather raise his game to beat Ricciardo because their cars are just fine. We are not saying that Vettel is not as good as we thought because he is not beating Mercedes, rather we say this because Ricciardo is not just beating him but rather humiliating him.

      1. justafan says:

        Ric is only beating Vet with the help of team orders.

      2. Peter Mitchell says:

        Are you watching the same races as everyone else?
        An obvious Vettel fan looking for answers without the realisation Dan is just quicker!

      3. Ian says:

        So the team said “Let Ricciardo through, then drop back another 25 seconds”?

      4. Cordova says:

        Nonsense, team orders don’t come into play during qualifying.

        Also Vettel seems to disregard team orders when they aren’t in his favour, eg “Tough Luck” & “Multi 21″

        He never let Ricciardo past in China, he overcooked it and went wide.

      5. Ash says:

        Sorry justafan….

        You wrote “Ric is only beating Vet with the help of team orders”….

        What a desperate statement….

        Give credit where credit is due….

      6. justafan says:

        Ash, look at the results, the only time Ric finished in front of Vet this year, was in Bahrain and China. Both were classic team orders.

    3. All revved-up says:

      The great thing about this season is that the answers to all these interesting questions will be revealed.

      If by race 7 Dan is still beating SV, the impartial F1 fan will know that Dan is quicker. By race 12 even SV fans will acknowledge that Dan is quicker.

      Let’s see how the season unfolds. While each race may be boring – the season’s an interesting one. We have the Hamilton vs Rosberg story; Kimi vs Alonso; Hulk vs Perez; and the Button vs Magnussen story.

      If SV had just dominated Ricciardo – then the story would not have been so interesting. But Ricciardo dominating SV? What a 2014 story this would be. A rookie beats a 4 time champion in his team. An intriguing season lie ahead.

  5. Chris Ralph says:

    Ooh this is very tasty. But I’m betting that German nationalism will be brought into play before too long…

    1. C63 says:

      What would German nationalism have to do with anything? The team is Austrian isn’t it?

      1. aezy_doc says:

        He means that Merc (that team from Brackley upon Dortmund) will order their divers to take out Alonso and Ricciardo to leave the way clear for Vettel.

      2. kenneth chapman says:

        is this car racing or speedboats?

      3. aezy_doc says:

        It’s Bernie’s new initiative to make f1 more appealing. F1 under water.

      4. GWD says:

        A vehicle launch ramp will be installed at the marina in Monaco specifically for this purpose! ;)

      5. Hudson says:

        Germany and Austria are pretty much the same country, are they not?

      6. Fareed says:

        Hey!! They say the same thing about USA and Canada too!

      7. kenneth chapman says:

        hahaha only if you’re american!

      8. Roberto says:

        ” Germany and Austria are pretty much the same country, are they not?”

        Nope. Austrians are much smarter. They convinced the world that Beethoven was Austrian and Hitler was German.

      9. capitano says:

        Germany and Austria the same country… lol. i hope this was a joke.

      10. C63 says:

        Germany and Austria are pretty much the same country, are they not?….

        I think (hope) you are joking. Right?

      11. justafan says:

        It’s a little bit like North Korean and South Korea. Same people, different countries. Or China and Taiwan for that matter. The reason lies within the political history.

  6. TheLollipopMan says:

    Ricciardo would have definitely been on the podium had Vettel not held him up. However, I reckon sod team orders, and let the drivers duke it out on track. We want to see RACING, not drivers yielding to mundane team orders. Ricciardo has been too cautious around Vettel. He needs to be allowed to attack him, and Vettel should be allowed to defend.

    1. AlexD says:

      RicciArdo should learn how to start better. His own poor start is to blame.

      1. Sotiris says:

        Well said.

      2. Rufus says:

        Absolutely 100%.
        Vetted denied Daniel and the team a podium.
        All of you who praised Vettel for letting Daniel through last time got hoodwinked. You fell for it.
        A leopard dos not change its spots.
        Now it’s time to back Daniel for the rest of the season and forget the slower Vettel

      3. dufus says:

        He had grease or oil on the track under him. Horner said they tried to clean it up just before the start.

      4. AlexD says:

        Do not believe what Horner says.

      5. kenneth chapman says:

        i would think that your comment may need to be re addressed if it comes to pass that, as i read somewhere on the ‘newsnow’ board, that ricci had a car problem at the start.

      6. Anil Parmar says:

        There was a lot of oil on his grid slot. Horner said after the race that they couldn’t clean it themselves (had to be done by marshalls) and that’s what cost him.

    2. BW says:

      I wonder how anyone can be so sure that:
      1/ Ricciardo would catch Alonso before the end of the race,
      2/ Ricciardo would get past Alonso.
      You’d better check the pace data and compare the speeds.
      And don’t forget that race was unexpectedly shorter by two laps.

    3. jakobusvdl says:

      I think we are seeing REAL RACING, Team Red Bull are really racing Team Mercedes, Team Ferrari, etc.
      Something to do with the money being paid out on team performance rather than driver performance I expect.
      I don’t mind that, the teams consist of several hundred people not just the two drivers, and the strategies and tactics are a big part of the interest for anoraks like myself.

  7. Chris J says:

    Karma!! Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy!!!

    1. super seven says:

      While I can’t agree with you more in the sentiment behind your comments, I deeply dislike unnecessary team orders.

      While Williams had the class to admit their team order on Massa was wrong, I doubt we’ll get any such admission from Red Bull.

      Let the guys race. If Dan was unable to get past Seb, then he wouldn’t have deserved to be there. It’s way to early to be favouring one driver over the other.

      1. GWD says:

        At this stage of the championship, I completely agree. No favour, no quarter should be given. However, I’m not a team principal looking to get the most points out of a race either…

  8. Matthew Cheshire says:

    An irony here is that Vettel and Webber were apparently in sync with the car, liking the same setup.

    Clearly Ricciardo and Vettel have different requirements.

    Riccardo is ahead on the track, does the car get developed to his needs or Vettel’s?

    1. damo says:

      These cars are completely different to last years cars and they take a different technique to drive them. If you try to drive this years car like a car from the exaust blown diffuser period then you will be slower than your team mate. Setup could be exactly the same but driving style is different.

      They won’t develop the car for Daniel but they will develop the car to be as quick as it can be e.g. more downforce or less drag but same downforce or more stability in the rear for acceleration. The drivers will have to adapt to any changes made.

      Webber and Vettel were virtually inseparable before the EBD came along. The year F1 changed the exhaust exit position from the bottom to the top of the rear cowling Mark had his measure for the first 5 races until they got the stability back into the rear end. With Marco famously saying that “Seb needs the car to be a certain way and Mark just needs 4 wheels” to explain his struggles.


    2. Mike says:

      My bet would be with Golden Boy. It was clear Webber never got that luxury. Vettel was only dominant when the rear was glued to the track.

    3. Martin says:

      Your point may be correct, but it isn’t necessarily true. Webber didn’t have a good feel for the Pirelli tyres and so while he adapted faster to aerodynamic changes than Vettel, he was slower overall. The same thing could apply here.

      Christian Horner is quoted above as saying Vettel doesn’t have the feel he needs. It will be difficult for Red Bull to engineer this feel. It could be that with the reduced downforce and the stiffer construction Pirelli tyres that the tyres distort less in the corners and that this reduced movement is not giving Vettel the granularity of feel that he used so effectively last year.

  9. Peter says:

    Seb is being outclassed by Dan and he doesn’t like it. I think we are seeing that with no rear downforce Seb is an average driver at best.

    1. C63 says:

      I made a comment after Bahrain, along the lines of a Martian landing on Earth this season would find nothing remarkable about SV. This provoked considerable ire from another poster. As the saying goes – the truth hurts :-)

      1. Andre says:

        Childish ;)

      2. C63 says:

        from the mouths of babes…..

      3. maanz says:

        thts too lame and kiddish bro #c63 ;)

      4. justafan says:

        Do Martians even exist?

      5. C63 says:

        It was meant as an analogy. The intention being, to have a light hearted dig at the remaining handful of Vetell fans – have you noticed how they have faded away?
        Like snow in springtime ;-)

      6. Dr T says:

        Are Martians sponsoring Williams this year? :-)

      7. jakobusvdl says:

        Yes we do, there are a few of us here. As well as me there are the Sebastian’s (Vettel, Loeb and Ogier), Michael (get well soon), Valentino, and young Marc.
        C63 is right, nothing so remarkable about SV,. Just your average Joe Martian really, pretty special compared to the other 7billion inhabitants of your little planet though ;-)

  10. Anil Parmar says:

    It’s worth remembering that whilst Vettel let Ricciardo through in Bahrain once, Ricciardo got past him at the end of the race when they were genuinely racing. That’s twice in two consecutive races he’s been out raced.

    Seb wasn’t that great in early 2012 imo, when the Red Bull suffered a lack a rear grip, and he found Webber beating him and beijg competitive

  11. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Finished VETTEL’s career in Ferrari…

    1. Nathan Jones says:

      I can just picture LDM storming away from the TV monitors and catching an early taxi home, a la Bahrain, when Ricciardo passed and then left “Sebbi” for dust. Oh, that was after he dropped Vettel’s Ferrari ‘pre-contract’, the one we were talking about a coupla years ago, in the shredder.

      1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        Yes, the Italians won’t be impressed by this unexciting driver as a number 1, maybe just as an obedient number 2 of a True Champion.

    2. Bryce says:

      The prospect of having a driver with Italian heritage must be tempting given the early form RIC has shown

      1. Dr T says:

        RIC is an Aussie… and I’ll be very happy to remind anyone of that fact who cares to ask

      2. Bryce says:

        Heritage, not citizenship or birth.

      3. Poyta says:

        Hardly much Italian heritage – only his dad is Italian and even then he came over to Australia as a child.

      4. James Allen says:

        His Mum’a family is from Calabria in Italy apparently, so he is very much of Italian stock..

      5. Bart says:

        I think his father is Sicilian and Dan speaks Italian

      6. Poyta says:

        His mum may have italian parents but she was born in Australia so sorry but she’s an Aussie like Dan.

  12. Vivek says:


    Kimi seems to be in even more dire straits in the F2014 vis-a-vis Alonso. So two among the four that are generally considered top four are having problems with the current generation cars. On the basis of the 2014 races, Dan probably deserves an entry into those considered top-flight category.

    I for one, surely do not feel the gulf between Kimi and Alonso is really this large? I mean 50+ seconds in China works out to nearly a second a lap. Will you do an article on Kimi’s travails at Ferrari at some stage?


    1. GP says:

      Who would have thought Massa was a bigger threat to Alonso than Kimi.

      1. super seven says:

        He certainly was at this race, particularly going into turn one :-D

  13. Elie says:

    I’m sure Red Bull are watering it down,
    But how much did Seb hold up Dan?. Dan finished only 2-3 sec behind Alonso and if Seb held him up more than that Red Bull must show this to Seb and say ..”look what you did- you cost a chance of a podium”

    Less downforce, more torque, one step up in tyre compounds means these cars need consistent load to be generated through all 4 tyres without graining them. This is not an easy thing to do & drivers like Seb and Kimi that enjoyed great downforce, tyres that heated up quicker and a far more progressive power/ torque delivery last year are finding it difficult after 2 years of fine tuning last regs. They must re- balance their mindset to driving differently- this is not an easy thing to do. I’m really hoping an improvement in downforce and handling set-u

    1. Elie says:

      (Cont) “set ups” coupled with a tweak in their styles will see them fight back..

    2. GP says:

      It’s not a problem for HAM and ALO…

      1. Warren G says:

        or Hulkenburg ….

      2. jake says:

        Ham took a lot of the pain last year adapting to less downforce. Seems to have set him up well for these new cars/regs.
        Alonso has had his share of bad cars. Seb is probably the one driver who has to adapt the most, sure he will get there eventually. Do not see any reason not to enjoy his troubles while they last.

    3. Phil Glass says:

      Thank you Elie that puts it in a nutshell.

      It seems on top of that Kimi and his mechanics have had to put aside too much time to deal with repairs essentially -eg electronic system, chassis cracks, etc. Plus a brand new race engineer who seems a little green and inexperienced……

      I’m hoping JAMES will write a piece explaining Kimi’s current situation as too many people here are quick to reach for the “abuse” button without taking the trouble to find out facts first.

      1. Elie says:

        Phil, I agree there definitely something going wrong at The Kimi side of the garage. Ferrari made some changes and It cant be that one car went that far forward but one going that far back.. Its not like Kimis a beginner and every other car hes driven goes forward in leaps & bounds. Its true that Alonso inherited Kimis WC winning engineers from 2007 and now Kimi has new people stepping up to the racing garage & seriously think they are not gelling. Cant understand this especially when he got a new chassis for China.

  14. Rick says:

    Well done James. More Red Bull spin. “He’s a team player” says Christian. Yeah right!

  15. dzolve says:

    Hi James

    I don’t think you should be giving Vettel so much credit for letting Ricciardo past in Bahrain.

    It appeared he let him by immediately after getting the message from his team over the radio, but as you know there is a considerable delay in these messages being broadcast. I think he deliberately held Daniel up for a considerable time after being told to move over.

    As for today, when will Red Bull learn that their continued efforts to manipulate the result are just very bad PR!

  16. Formula Zero says:

    I am not a Vettel fan. I still struggle to accept how Webber was treated in Red Bull. However, on this occasion I back Vettel. The battle between Vettel & Ricciardo was outstanding in Bahrain & in China if they had the same tyres & same strategy, then they should have been racing each other. Ricciardo can pass Vettel just like he did in Bahrain. It’s too early in the season for the teams to impose team order. Vettel is not the most popular guy amongst the fans, but Red Bull is responsible for this mess, not Vettel. He might be heading to Ferrai sooner than we expected. Maybe Kimi can take another payout not to drive next year based on his performance.

    1. Warren G says:

      Based on Vettel’s current performance, do you think Ferrari would hire him? Particularly as their cars tend to be a little unstable in nature. The most impressive potential recruit for Ferrari right now is the Hulk – new team, new engine, new tires yet picked up right where he left off last year.

      1. Bryce says:

        Italian heritage in RIC may just be that little more enticing.

      2. Phil Glass says:

        Hulk has never been on the podium.
        He had the chance of a podium in Bahrain.
        Perez showed him how to qualify and how to take a podium.

      3. Lew says:

        Vettel is accustomed to being in the fastest car on the grid and that,despite being driven by one of the best,Alonso,is certainly not a Ferrari. If Vettel wants to start winning he’s going to have to start sniffing around Mercedes for a seat.

  17. David says:

    I’m stuck between wondering whether the easy ride Vettel has had with the Red Bull up to this year has made him complacent, or he just isn’t that good. Ricciardo is clearly very good and has entered the team at the right time to take on Vettel. One thing is for sure: Webber was awful in the final three years, after Red Bull has knocked the stuffing out of him in 2010.

    1. Andy says:

      I don’t see how anyone can say that a driver who has won 4 WDC’s ‘isn’t that good’, irrespective of wjat car they were driving. Vettel looks as though the car doesn’t suit his style, but I don’t see him giving up. The RB seems to suit Ricciardo more, but it’s early in the season yet to write Vettel off. Despite what Vettel said, he didn’t let Ricciardo by, he ran too deep into the corner, but he’s following the team’s line from a PR point of view. This suggests he thinks he will get the better of Ricciardo once he gets to grips with the car.
      It’s far too early to write off Vettel after only 4 races.

      1. Bryce says:

        Looked too deep into the corner for me as well.

      2. schick says:

        And me. what strikes me as unsettling if I were Ric is, Seb has no respect for Horner’s authority (with justification), Horner is a wooz and Seb knows it.
        As a Kimi admirer I suspect the game is up, Fernando is much quicker as much as I hate saying it.

      3. kenneth chapman says:

        @ andy, i do agree with most of your sentiments re vettel resisting but being beaten nevertheless.

        i recall many many years ago when marko told the press that the car was being built to specs that accorded with vettels style and that webber would simply have to change his style if he wanted to compete.

        we now have a new car that has very little in comparison to the previous cars. ricci is doing better because his style seems to suit this new configuration. that plus a superior talent. yes vettel will fight back but he will need some customisation to help him. the question is, should this occur will it be to ricci’s detriment? knowing horner et al i would not be surprised to see them accede to vettel’s demands. they have done that in the past, so why wouldn’t they do that in the future?

        the biggest question of all though is simply this, where does red bull’s future lie if ricci can maintain his superiority?

      4. Andy says:

        I agree with you Kenneth, the only exception being that Ricciardo is a superior talent – I think it’s a bit early to judge.
        Red Bull have certainly had their money’s worth from Vettel, but as Ricciardo is from their young driver programme, I’m not sure they will give in to Vettel’s demands.
        Ricciardo seems to have alot more appeal when it comes to the public, so as far as Red Bull is concerned, Ricciardo could offer them alot more from a business point of view. Red Bull must also think back to last year when Vettel was almost continually booed on the podium, for winning. That’s not good for their image.
        It will be interesting to see what happens, I think they will actually start to favour Ricciardo, twice now they have told Vettel to move over, and it’s only the start of the season.

      5. kenneth chapman says:

        @ andy… what i actually meant was that ATM, ricciardo is exhibiting a ‘superior talent’ insofar as he seems to be getting a lot more out of a supposedly identical car. a proven point.

        i have also said on many occasions that once vettel gets what he wants he will be a formidable force within the red bull garage. whether or not ricci can continue depends on so many issues but so far he has met those challenges admirably. may he continue to do so.

      6. Andy says:

        Point taken Kenneth, Vettel has had 4 years with a car that suited him. Confidence goes a long way, Raikkonen is looking average, and even more disinterested than usual.

  18. Cynic says:

    Really just puts Vettel’s performance in the last few years in perspective. He is very clearly not a ‘great’. He’s just been lucky to be in an unbeatable team in those years. He has a lot to prove.

    Just wish McLaren would sort it out!

    1. mark says:

      I am certainly NOT a Vettel fan but I don’t think you can call him not great.

      I think he gelled with a team and a car, cars aero design perfectly these past few years and he was clearly the best in that combination and deserved his titles….I deeply dislike him and the team for the appalling (to us outsiders at least) treatment of Mark Weber but still cant think you could call Vettel not great simply for his actual winning of 4 WDC’s!

      As for McLaren, as a kiwi who grew up admiring Bruce, went to Bruce McLaren Intermediate etc I couldn’t agree more.

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        @ mark…. vettel has been top drawer in the past and he may very well come back in the near future but he is definitely not ‘great’. that word should be reserved for the very few that shine brightly and prove their worth over every thing that is thrown at them in adversity. but that is only my opinion.

  19. Mike says:

    I really don’t like it when you try to focus on some one like Seb trying to prove a point which was mentioned loud and clear in your previous article. I am only saying this out of respect to your profession. We got it first time.

    1. aezy_doc says:

      This was one of, if not the talking point of the race. It deserves to be more than a footnote in a broader article.

    2. jake says:

      Seb is the raining world champion Dan is the new boy in the team. The fact that Red Bull even issued the team order regardless of whether Seb ignored it or not makes this a worthwhile topic.

  20. Irish Con says:

    I think Monaco will be a track red bull will be able to beat merc and vettel needs to hope he has the car sorted for there. He needs to make the most of any opportunities he gets this year and Monaco and Hungary and maybe Barcelona will be his chances.

    1. super seven says:

      Lewis has always had an extra something at Monaco. Barring mechanical defects or the vagaries induced by a wet qualifying session, I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t put it on the front of the grid there.

    2. justafan says:

      I’m afraid Merc will win all the races this year. No chance for the rest. But Merc deserve it. They have produced a steamroller.

    3. jake says:

      A wet qualifying in Monaco may let the Red Bull snatch pole and allow them to control the race. Has to be one of their best chances for a win this season. I do think there will be other opportunities tho’.

    4. Timmay says:

      Erm, even Michael Schu put a Merc on pole in Monaco in the dry – no other team has any chance vs Rosberg & Hamilton in 2014 at any circuit. Most dominant car I ever saw in 18years

      1. Irish Con says:

        The fact is that through the corners the red bull is still the fastest thing out there. There speed in the middle sectors in Malaysia and China shows that clearly. Did you see how vettel pulled away out of turn 13 yesterday when rosberg was behind trying to overtake him? The merc only had the advantage on the straights and there isn’t too many straights in Monaco.

    5. Patrick says:

      I don’t think that Monaco’s outcome is determined by downforce but more by traction. Mercedes definitely have superior traction over Red Bull so I don’t expect that any of the tracks that you mention will benefit Red Bull.

      1. Irish Con says:

        It’s obvious to me the red bull has the best traction from watching and if u don’t believe me take a look at Fernando alonsos quotes from after the Malaysian Grand Prix when he says the red bull has the best traction of the field too. Fernando also said Barcelona is a red bull track but maybe you know more than Fernando ?

      2. Patrick says:

        If Red Bull had the best traction them they would be beating Mercedes in the wet which is traction dependant. But Mercedes are still faster in the wet. Look at the sector times. It’n not only in a straight line that Mercedes are faster, it’s also in the technical sections. So all of a sudden because Fernando says so and because it is obvious to you than it must be so, and yet Mercedes has won every race this season so far. Funny how you can win races with less traction than Red Bull. Enjoy smoking the rest of your socks, I hope you are enjoying them.

  21. Fareed says:

    Hmmmm… did they “lie” to Vettel about him being on 3 stop just so he would let Ricciardo through. Then “change” their mind back to a 2 stop which was the real plan all along??

    1. Sue says:

      Agree, that is the question. Why didn’t James mention the second part of the team radio conversation in his article?

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        yes sue, i did see on the broadcast that during that period horner was seen talking rather animatedly but the details of that radio discussion were not broadcast!

    2. Glennb says:

      A 3 stopper letting a 2 stopper through? I dont recall that scenario ever happening. Its normally (almost exclusively) the other way around. Had Seb stopped a 3rd time, he would have been like 25 seconds further back at the end of the day. Back with the midfield runners like Kimi etc.

  22. Still think it's not the car anyone? says:

    No blown Seb. Tough luck! Other drivers that are used to the rear of the car moving around are clearly much more comfortable.

    1. Shouldn't type when tired says:


    2. Mhilgtx says:

      I am confused. Was Sebs car the only one to have this blown diffuser you speak of.

      1. justafan says:

        No. But Seb drove it to many victories. Something most others couldn’t do.

      2. Val says:

        No, you are not confused. Seb was the only one with ‘that’ blown diffuser.

      3. Anil Parmar says:

        Red Bull had the best one by a long way; the renault engine was just fantastic at it, particularly in the slow corners. He out did Webber fairly easily but now without it, he’s clearly struggling.

      4. Martin says:

        There were two styles of blown diffuser that the entire grid ran one of in 2013. Williams couldn’t get it to work and took it off its car for the last few races of 2013.

        McLaren was the leader of the coke-bottle style rear end in 2012 and in general had a better car than Red Bull, but messed it up for 2013. Red Bull started the blown diffuser concept in 2010 and improved it with Renault over the four season.

        In 2011 the Renault team (to become Lotus) pioneered hot-blowing where the ignition was delayed to the point where off throttle the car was still burning some fuel, but after the power stroke. Red Bull adopted hot blowing after McLaren did for example. What Red Bull were doing was leaving throttles open and using the engine to pump as much air as possible through the exhausts.

        In mid 2012 exhaust blowing was taken a step further in its application by Red Bull. As hot and cold blowing were stopped for 2012 by making the throttles shut when the driver came off the pedal, Vettel-Red Bull-Renault came up with a technique of getting on the throttle before the apex to quell turn-in oversteer. The oversteer helps rotate the car quickly, but normally it comes at the cost of having to slow the rear of the car down before the driver can start the exit phase. What the blown diffuser did was to allow the rear of the car to gain more grip almost instantaneously and stop the slide very efficiently, which effectively allowed the driver to achieve a very late apex without having a slow entry.

        The engine maps to achieve this took some development. In Germany 2012 there was some controversy about the new engine maps Red Bull wanted to run and were stopped due to the torque demand to throttle position being quite different from the start of 2012. For 2013 Red Bull wanted to run new maps, but were told that everyone would have to have the same torque demand curves as 2012.

        The final iteration of the exhaust blowing technology that I’m aware of is that in the second half of 2013 Renault came up with a map that took into account whether a corner was a left or right hand bend. The V8s would run as 4 cylinder engines to help preserve the tyres in some circumstances. By making the right hand bank be the working one on right hand bends the downforce was increased where it was most needed.

        Red Bull started the idea and were the most committed to it, and it generally seemed that Vettel was the driver who worked out how to make the most use of it. You may have seen comments here about Vettel needing to have the rear of the car glued to the ground to be fast, but that is missing a key point. To get the speed the car first needs turn-in oversteer, and so the car needs to be ‘moving around’. In racing conditions (as opposed to one lap qualifying) turn-in oversteer is slow as it hurts corner exits and generally chews up the tyres. In a rear wheel drive car, if the back end is sliding applying more power only makes that worse. To gain grip from the exhaust is counter-intuitive. For those who understood Senna’s throttle blipping to reduce turbo lag technique, what Vettel did was significant as it was a driver going beyond what was instinctive.

        So far the best theory I’ve read on Vettel’s 2014 problems is that he’s not happy with the Renault torque delivery, which is reported to be quite abrupt. I haven’t been able to study the lines he’s been taking too much, but I suspect he’s wanting to drive in a similar way to Hamilton – make the slow corners relatively V-shaped and then rotate it quickly, using a mix of throttle and steering inputs to rotate the car quickly. If Ricciardo is taking a more U-shaped line then his throttle input demands would be simpler.


      5. jakobusvdl says:

        Thats a really Interesting and insightful comment, thanks Martin

      6. schick says:

        Well said.

      7. StephenAcworth says:

        Finally, an objective comment rather than the highly subjective comments posted by people with opinions but no logic…
        Insightful, thank you, Martin

      8. foreverf1 says:

        I didn’t understand half of what you said but somehow I feel smarter already.

        I’m an avid F1 fan, but sadly not very technical or mechanical. But for something I could not comprehend fully, I thoroughly enjoyed your explanation. A bit jealous, actually, but thank you anyway. Cheers.

      9. Glennb says:

        Not blown diffuser, just blown. HUGE difference where I cum from ;)
        I know, I know, delete this post…

  23. Jean-Christophe says:

    “Many fans worldwide believe that Vettel has been handled with cotton wool and regarded as the Golden Boy at Red Bull, with the backing of Marko and gestures such as the front-wing swap from Mark Webber’s to Vettel’s car at the British Grand Prix in 2010, have served to strengthen those claims.”

    Webber never wanted that front wing in the first place. He just made a big fuss of it just to appear to be a victim there. He wasn’t a team player and showed less respect towards Seb than Ric.

    1. David Howard says:

      Which psychic friend gave you this keen insight into Marc Webber’s mind? I’m an American with no stake in this game but I’m sorry, RB treated Webber rather poorly. He may not have been as talented as Vettel but they beat on that man relentlessly to keep him in his place. It’s my opinion that RB has a real thing about “outside” talent. Since Riccardo is a home grown he has one less political hurdle to leap. Hopefully that means he’ll never have to face a Multi 21 or wing swap but we’ll see.

      1. mark says:

        Actually I think Webber is/was as good as Vettel but was in a car that wasn’t to his style.

        He was just old school in that he didn’t get on with the blown diffuser with its completely different driving style.

        Early last year when they didn’t have the diffuser sorted Webber was equal if not better than Vettel, then they developed the blown difusser better and Vettel pulled away again.

        Now that there is no blown diffuser, Vettel is struggling again…

        In the very secretive, PR controlled world that is F1, I imagine there is a lot we are yet to learn about Weber/red bull/vettel/marko in the coming years….

        I only hope Red Bull sponsorship of Mark doesn’t trump a tell all book at some point in the future……most likely will though. Sadly.

      2. Timmay says:

        In practise that weekend Webber was quoted as not liking the wing upgrade…. You might have an egg in your ear now or all over your chin lah.

    2. Sotiris says:

      True. And it is not many fan’s around the world, it’s more like “many English language media and social media writers”

      Many of us foreign non-English speaking F1 fans do not buy all the whiny Webber stories and the hate spewed by those press. Having watched Sebastian since 2007, he has always been fair and definitely a much better team mate than Webber.

      1. Sue says:

        Absolutely. As usual here no bad mouthing the team from Vettel in public despite getting some poor strategy calls and maybe even lied to, can you imagine if Webber had been in this position?

      2. aezy_doc says:

        ‘Many of us foreign non-English speaking media and social media writers…’ there are no altruists in F1, they’re in it to win it.

      3. Rohind says:

        Agree completely

    3. snailtrail says:

      The wing change over showed what was happening within the team….

    4. Anil Parmar says:

      He wanted the front wing as it was worth time (a tenth), but he said it produced more understeer which he didn’t like.

    5. John S says:

      This is absolutely true. David Howard you need to look it up. I remember them being asked before the race how they felt about the new wing and Webber said it made no difference to him. That does not make what Red Bull did (not telling webber they took his wing off) right but still its not like they took off a part he wanted or made a difference

      1. David Howard says:

        Sorry I must have missed that quote. In that light Webber does look like he was jabbing at the team for personal reasons. I still think RB treated Webber poorly overall over the course of his time there. As one poster said above though, there is so much behind the scenes that we may never know. I would love to know why Marko and Webber seemed to be ready to kill each other all the time.

  24. sennaQLD says:

    Seb will be back soon ,hes just 2 good not two get his head around it.In saying that i live in Perth and i find this topic real good. it could of been a lot worse for Dan

  25. roberto marquez says:

    If Vettel was not the spoilt child he is ,Ricciardo might have passed Alonso.This should be penalised with at least 5 grid penalty.

    1. anirudh says:

      Why should Vettel get a 5 place penalty? He broke no technical rules nor did he crash into Ricciardo. It is a downright silly suggestion to recommend a grid drop in what is clearly a inter-team dispute

      1. roberto marquez says:

        It is just a way of saying that Sebastian should stop being the primma dona he believes to be. I hope Ricciardo does not need a few points to grab some position at the end of the year ,points he should have won today.

    2. Rohind says:

      Thankfully for other fans, you are not the race director or the Red bull team principal :D

    3. Dutch johnny says:

      Oh get real man.. A give grid penalty? You are out of your mind..

      1. Blackmamba says:

        Oh dear lord people, the man was clearly joking! Where is your sense of humor?

      2. Dutch johnny says:

        Haha sorry then. I have hard time Reading sarcasm hehe

    4. Rene says:

      So when HAM and ROS race, its ‘the greatest race in decades’ but if RB drivers race – penalties? What a clever comment.

      1. roberto marquez says:

        If Rosberg had been in front of Hamilton the situation would have been exactly the same, Hamilton ahead and quicker there is no comparison between the two situations.

      2. Rene says:

        ROS was quiker, but HAM managed to keep him behind. Pretty much the same situation.

    5. jake says:

      It’s all academic. Realistically Dan was never going to pass Alonso, the Red Bull was too far down on straight line speed. Even if Dan had mugged him into a corner Alonso would have sailed past on the long straight with DRS.

  26. Anil Parmar says:

    Woops, didn’t mean to click send!

    It’s going to be interesting to see Seb come back from this. He has to adapt to these cars and quickly, or else he might end up looking silly (like he said he would if he didn’t beat Daniel).

    Cracking season ahead. The races might not always be dramatic but there are a lot of stories unfolding.

  27. Gaz Boy says:

    Sorry to be a spoiler, but in a way the battle between Daniel and Sebastian is, to a certain extent, two bald men squabbling over a comb.
    Lewis was able to lap a second a lap faster than the Bull if he wanted. A second a lap. And Merc finished 1-2. And Red Bull finished 4-5.
    At the end of the day, Red Bull were scrapping the final place of the podium, and I’m pretty sure Christian, Adrian and co, competitive folk that they are, are only interested in winning. So really finishing 4-5 is at best average.
    Kind of puts things in perspective!

    1. Purple Helmet says:


      RB are already second fastest team on the grid. Not sure many people would have expected that after pre-season testing.

      Merc are a long way out front, but if anyone can catch them it is RB; they have won four WCs on the bounce, and have an excellent record of developing their car throughout the season – last season being a classic example.

      So I don’t even think RIC is purely competing for the glory of beating a 4-time WC. If RB continue to improve, he has a real shot at the title and is certainly staking a claim to be the de facto number one if he is most capable of taking on the Mercs.

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        I actually would like RB to catch up with Merc, for the sake of the championship.
        However, I’m a pragmatist, and a lot is incumbent on Renault F1 finding more power/torque – if that is possible.
        I agree the Red Bull chassis is producing excellent downforce, but the lack of straight line speed is incredible. 20 KMH slower!
        You are right about Dan the Man – he can certainly challenge for a championship – agree with that.

      2. Warren G says:

        “I agree the Red Bull chassis is producing excellent downforce, but the lack of straight line speed is incredible.”

        You dont think the two are linked? Running a slightly higher downforce set up to overcome a power deficit, resulting in even less straight line speed?

      3. Anil Parmar says:

        Higher downforce is making them draggy.

        That, combined wwith their short gearing, is why they are slower than the other Renault teams down a straight.

      4. schick says:

        Red Bull will never get on competitive terms with Mercedes as long as they have that boat anchor of a Renault engine, its a slug! all the Renault engined cars are struggling, handling wise they are still the best.

    2. Ahmed says:

      The entire rb camp would save a lot of face if they just let the boys race…. Ricciardo had the speed advantage on both occasions, he should have attempted an overtake… Its really nt necessary to radio in to the team. If or when vettel asks for ‘help’ its as good as blasphemy but in ricciardo’s case he gets a pat on the back… Let’s face it, vettel is the driver everyone loves to hate especially if u happen to be an “old f1 fan”

  28. roberto marquez says:

    “Part of the reason is believed to be the lack of downforce and especially rear-end stability of these cars compared to the…… ” Vettel is definetely not the driver he should be after 4 championship wins, he had a car that was GLUED to the track,he only had to move the wheel and accelerate, now he has to drive and he is not up to it.

    1. Rohind says:

      You know this because you have driven a red bull?

      1. roberto marquez says:

        No I just watch the races.

      2. Rohind says:

        Wow..You must be a genius, if you can get that all from watching TV

  29. Tim says:

    The fact is that we are witnessing a true assessment of Vettel. He is a good, quick driver who happened to have a stunningly good car, and he was able to maximise and adapt to exhaust blown diffusers far better than Webber could. He is not one of the very greatest of all time. Very good, but not from the top drawer.

    He has to accept team orders, because today he probably cost Ricciardo a podium by delaying him for a few laps.

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      @ tim. yes, you are quite right. for those vettel apologists [and i say that in the nicest possible way] it may well prove to be differentiator in the long run to the WDC. after all vettel did say, ‘i decided not to hold him up any longer’[or words to that effect] which rather proves that he did hold ricci up.

  30. Matt says:

    I have been very surprised at how well Dan is driving. He is showing exceptional talents and seems to be such a great personality for the sport. He shows so much enthusiasm, grit and determination. He is developing great relationships with the team, really making it his own. I am also reading that his technical feedback is very impressive.

    Vettel has really lost his way. I’m certain he will work things out and start delivering more consistent results but the question seems to be when? This will clearly not be his season. I think he will continue to be outperformed by Dan for a while longer.

    It seems pretty clear that Vettel does not enjoy a car that moves around underneath him in dry conditions. He seems to be very unhappy with losing his aero advantage, a formula that he had clearly mastered.

    The question is how adaptable can he become? Right now he looks to be in for a long and dreary season as a quick stability fix does not seem likely any time soon.

    1. Martin says:

      Your analysis doesn’t really stack up with comments about Vettel from the team last year. His whole technique last year was based around having the car initially oversteer into a corner and then using the throttle to energise the diffuser to stop the slide before it hurt the corner exit. To do this he had to make the back end step out in the first place, so that is the car moving him around.

      As has been noted below, the German media has raised the abrupt torque delivery of the Renault engine. The suggestion is that Vettel is not getting the throttle sensitivity that he needs for his style. This to me is much more plausible than your theory.

  31. Mike says:

    No blown diffuser Seb? Tough luck!

  32. ruben says:

    Interesting how after all Vettel might not realy be in the Alonso-Hamilton league, maybe he is just in the Button-Raikkonen one. Still a very quick driver though.

    1. Miha Bevc says:

      Hamilton has not been at his best for several seasons. Button often outperformed him, Rosberg too. He came alive this season when the car is right. But you still put him in the same league as Alonso. Why not Vettel?

      1. aezy_doc says:

        No one ever doubted Hamilton’s speed. Even when he was getting beaten, and enjoying banging wheels and dnfs of his own making or otherwise, he was still fast. Vettel has had some car issues but, at the moment, ricciardo is genuinely faster.

      2. John S says:

        I agree with this there has never been doubt over Hamilton’s speed. Right now Vettel is simply lacking in speed.

    2. BadBob says:

      When I see Alonso-Hamilton league, I read cheat-liar league. Not a good league. Author of this piece (Meadows, not James) is also wrong on the old Silverstone wing story. Webber didn’t like the wing, but didn’t want his team mate to have it.

      1. Steven M says:

        And you know this because Webber told you?

      2. UAN says:

        He knows this because it’s been well reported. It’s only that people tend to remember the first thing they read-which was WEB whinging about the wing and being treated as a number 2-and because believing the initial fiction because of confirmation bias-it fits in with what people already believe.

        Webber had 2010 in the bag, except he binned it, all on his own, in Korea, and then totally choking in Abu Dhabi.

        Overall, Webber’s worse enemy has always been himself, and more specifically, his starts. I bet if you go back over his career, that he has lost more places than he’s gained. With Red Bull, in a car designed to run at the front or in clean air, he consistently put himself into the pack. It’s not that he was an average starter, he was bad. Fortunately, WEC have rolling starts.

    3. Rohind says:

      What is this Hamilton-Alonso league.Your fantasy league?

      No champion has it handed over to them. They have won because they had worked hard and were the best of that respective year. The regulations and the car change each year and they have to get on top of it.

    4. Ticketyboo says:

      Wow Ruben, you stirred up a couple here didn’t you… But you’re correct in your broad assumption in that SV is not all that he enjoyed making himself out to be these past couple of years, when the story could have been so very different had the prancing horse not mucked up big-style; Vet didn’t win all of his championships, he was gifted at least one if not two, but the detractors shall say whatever suits. The garbage about Hamilton being outperformed by ‘There’s no grip Button’ when the debate has been had numerous times on this form and backed up by data to illustrate the contrary, and this gobbledygook about Webber ‘not wanting’ a new wing is rather unfortunate but illuminates an otherwise dark place for others to dwell and feel pity. I’m not a huge fan of Hamilton, but you are correct in putting both he and Alonso in a category where either can drive the wheels off a largely poor car and obtain results which flatter it beyond it’s norm – that is the mark of a champion(s) be it a one-time winner or double, that ability affords them considerably more respect than those who have enjoyed a cakewalk.

      1. Mike Martin says:

        Absolutely +1!

      2. Darcy says:

        True Webber did drop the ball and bin his car under treacherous conditions in Korea, which is widely believed to have cost him the 2010 title. But it came out later that (unknown to the team) he was driving with a broken bone from a second cycling accident and drugged up with pain killers. Can’t have helped his performance.
        I’m just trying to add a bit of balance.

    5. justafan says:

      Vettel has won more titles than Alonso and Hamilton together. Think about it for a minute.

      1. damo says:

        Hold that thought…..

  33. justafan says:

    I wonder what happened to RBR strategy analysts. Vettel was comfortably holding 2nd place during the first stint until RBR strategists let Ferrari undercut their leading car at the first round of stops.

  34. Jeb Hoge says:

    Fascinating to watch and listen to Vettel contend with this year’s challenges.

    1. Ticketyboo says:

      +1, and the outright gaul of KK to have the audacity to overtake him… I laughed so hard that it hurt.

  35. all the time you have to leave da space! says:

    James what do you make of the stories in the German media that Vettel’s issues are actually engine mappings and not rear end stability like the British media like to make out.

    Helmut Marko has come out saying that Daniel has been lucky to hit the right engine mapping off the bat for his driving style while during the very limited testing they had in pre-season , Vettel hasn’t be so fortunate as Daniel to have it all set up it’s being reported. Since engine mapping controls the whole dynamic of the car and how it handles everywhere as it’s vastly more important this year than in previous years, isn’t it slightly obvious that when Vettel finds a mapping he enjoys like Ricciardo will he be put back in his place because of it?

    Vettel’s times in the high speed have been close to Daniel this weekend and better in Malaysia even in the wet so wouldn’t rear instability make this more obvious for Vettel to struggle in, rather than being better?

    Vettel’s soft tyre stint was faster than Daniel by 0.250 a lap on average until it went on the prime so his goose was cooked. So in certain climates Vettel is just as fast and even faster than Daniel when he’s happy with the mechanical grip of the tyres.

    Seems more like Vettel is struggling with these new Pirelli’s in the new era rather than it being rear instability as the main cause for Daniel having the edge on him.

    1. Ticketyboo says:

      Well if RB run true to form then we should expect Pirelli to be forced (sorry, encouraged, owing to safety concerns) in to making yet another change as happened last year.

      1. Rene says:

        you are thinking of Mercedes, not RB

      2. aezy_doc says:

        No. The tyres were changed to mercs detriment.

      3. Bring back V12's !!! says:

        Tyres were changed to suit RB, not Mercedes mate.

      4. justafan says:

        Only if their tyres explode again.

    2. Sue says:

      Very interesting and ties in with Dan saying he like the car straight out of the box rather than having to play around with the set up.

    3. damo says:

      The gap in the first stint could also be explained by saying that Daniel had a car in front of him and he was conserving tyres and fuel….long race. Seb was in clean air after 2 laps because Hamilton took off into the distance. But he still couldn’t make his tyres last as long as Daniels and pitted 4 laps earlier.13 to Daniels 17.

      Do you agree?


    4. Martin says:

      That’s an interesting point on the torque delivery of the Renault, which is noted to be quite harsh.

      I wouldn’t focus too much on the first stint average speeds as they were different lengths and after lap one Vettel had clear air while Ricciardo would have dropped back from Alonso to look after his tyres and run longer.

      Vettel may well improve, but that doesn’t stop Ricciardo also benefiting from it too, or that Vettel will always be quicker. The Renault last year was noted for its driveability, while Dan has spent most of his racing in F1 with the Ferrari engine. That along with the lower downforce levels of the Toro Rosso may be helping him adjust.

  36. sudipt123 says:

    I think horner is covering up the fact that Vettel didn’t follow team orders today. They clearly shifted vettel to a 2 stopper as heard in the radio message.

    1. TJ says:

      Think you right on that, the explanation by both Horner and Vettel was word perfect though flawed and neither could be relied on to be truthful.

      But even if the three stopper was being considered for Vettel, wasn’t he so deep into the dudu by then that a further stop could only make matters worse……I suspect this was the best Horner could concoct in the limited time available before he went in front of camera. Pity he had to insult our intelligence in the process.

      1. Sue says:

        Couldn’t just be the truth from them both I suppose?

      2. kenneth chapman says:

        why change the habits of a lifetime sue?

      3. Bring back V12's !!! says:

        Horner/truthful? Both words I wouldn’t normally put in the same sentence.

      4. GWD says:

        I think we need to measure it against the “Bernie Eccleston Truthometer (TM)” for an uneqivocal, genuine & non-spin result, don’t you? ;)

  37. Mark Shueard says:

    While I love to see my countryman putting it up on Sebastian, I dare not right off the 4 time world champ. It may end up being a changing of the guard but at this stage I will hold my grin with great trepidation.
    As for if Seb really pulled over, I think not until he went slightly wide and then made the decision to save face in the middle of the corner.

  38. goldeneye76 says:

    The issue here is not whether he’s lying about letting Dan through or how badly he’s performing. It should be about how he reacted to that order. If I cut off my bosses cojones in public, a large Malaysia 2013, I’d get my posterior kicked all over the shop. If I blatantly tried to do it again I’d be kicked out!!

    1. Rohind says:

      I notice you didn’t have any issuea with Raikkonen swearing at Parmeane and Massa disobeying the team orders.

      1. goldeneye76 says:

        Funnily enough massa and raikkonnen haven’t offended more than once. Vetted got away Scott free last year, if red bull do nothing now then it’ll look like they condone the driver throwing their weight around

      2. Rohind says:

        Check the statements from Dan,Horner and Vettel again and watch the highlights.He did leave a wide gap which he could have easily covered.So in short he let him by.Although I believe Dan would have overtaken him in another couple of laps.

        And BTW Massa and Raikkonen are not 4 time world champions and drivers before Vettel have done worse ,like crashing into team mates ( prost/senna),deliberately screwing up team mate’s qualification ( Alonso/Hamilton ). So compared to that,Vettel is a saint.
        Also F-1 driving is not like your regular day it? Unless u have your cohones, I doubt anybody will make it this far.

        And finally,if Red bull doesn’t have problems with him disobeying team orders, why would you??

      3. kenneth chapman says:

        @rohind…..your final para says it all. why would red bull issue team orders in the first place then?

    2. Mike84 says:

      Right, they should fire him, not cover for him. He is driving their car and they don’t need him, they have Ricc and can probably get Alonso. But Vettel thinks he’s Schumacher.

    3. Ticketyboo says:

      You’re actually doing well to be given the chance to do it a second time…. It says a lot about Horner though, and none of it complimentary.

    4. Sue says:

      So your boss makes what you think is a bad decision and you just nod and do it? That’s kind of sad, what kind of work are you in, want to make sure I never join that sort of industry.

    5. UAN says:

      oh absolutely, they should fire a 4x WDC, 39 race winner, who is all of 26 and has what? only has a measly 10 more seriously competitive years in him, at best? Of course VET would be incredibly lucky even to pick up a seat in F1 after RBR let him go, I’m sure nobody else would want a loose cannon such as him and he might end up hanging out with DiResta in DTM, though more than likely, he’d be looking to do some sprint racing around dirt tracks in the US, but he’s probably not good enough even for that…

  39. Andy Warhol says:

    Looking at what Vettel is going through makes you realise what an impressive driver is Alonso, he’s constantly able to adapt himself to get the best out of what’s available to him, having driven different cars under different regulations and he is always up there. Not saying that Vettel is bad, just that Fernando’s qualities come out even more. Just look at Raikkonen, he is another brilliant driver that seems to struggle with these new cars.

    1. Tom says:


      Fernando is quite simply brilliant. Time and time again he outperforms his car. They say that no driver wins a title in a car that is not the fastest, well Fernando came within 3 points in 2012 in not even the second fastest car. Until Sebastian stops whining and starts doing the same, his championships will always be viewed with skepticism.

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        @ tom… errrrr….it’s not possible to ‘outperform the car’. whatever performance anyone gets out of a car is only what the car is capable of delivering in the first place.

      2. bmg says:

        Agree, Vettel needs to show he can drive in a not so perfect car.

        Was not a Alonso fan until he moved to Ferrari, he has shown the world what a great talant he is.

        It would be a travesty, if he does not win a third WDC.

    2. Ticketyboo says:


    3. Rockie says:

      Simply put why he’s not won a WDC in a while!

      1. Yago says:

        As if drivers were not driving cars…

    4. kenneth chapman says:

      i do think that in the end you will realise that raikonnen was only ever slightly above average. his reputaion is vastly overstated.IMO.

      1. Glennb says:

        I’ve been of that opinion for a long time.

    5. UAN says:

      hmmm, and yet Vettel still has a podium finish this year – not something the “great” RIC has accomplished yet (RIC would have been P5 in AUS if RBR had use the sensor per Race Control). In fact, VET got his podium before ALO.

      Folks also seem to forget that VET was pretty darn fast in 2007 with BMW and Toro Rosso, and again in 2008. He was fast straight out of the gate with RB in 2009 as well (before double diffusers etc.). Was he rough around the edges, absolutely, he was like 20/21 years old.

      In 2012, ALO needed to rely on the shunt between Senna and VET and then between Hulkenberg and Hamilton to be in with a shot for the WDC. ALOs strategy is to be the last man standing, rather than grasping victory for himself. It almost paid off in 2012.

      You can see this even more clearly in 2010, ALO’s only needed a P4 in Abu Dhabi to win the WDC (with Vettel winning). P4 and not in the 3rd or 4th best car, but for sure at least the second fastest car on the grid. And he couldn’t do it. You could fault Ferrari for having ALO cover Webber, but ultimately, ALO thought WEB was his main competitor (would would actually need to win the race with ALO finishing 3rd) and he was, wait for it, wrong. ALO didn’t put in a championship drive when he needed to do it most.

      WRT Hamilton, he phoned in most of 2011 and then again the latter part of 2013, and no one faults him for or calls him average?

      Yet with Vettel, all of 4 races into a whole new formula of cars, requiring a new style of driving, and teams still trying to come to grips with engine maps, etc., and we have proof positive that he’s not up to it? That he’s not on par with ALO or HAM?


      1. Sue says:

        Well said. I share your views on the gaps in Alonso and Hamilton’s abilities – the mental strength that Vettel has in spades to go out and grasp a championship not wait for it to fall in his lap.

      2. Rockie says:

        Could not have put it better.

    6. C63 says:

      I am not a particular fan of Alonso, but credit where credit is due. When he and Massa came together on the first corner Massa lifted and, in so doing, was nearly collected by the driver behind. In contrast, Alonso didn’t even appear to blink!
      If you look up the word ‘formidable’ in the dictionary, there should be a picture of Alonso. Mind you, if you look up the word untrustworthy, his picture should be there as well.

  40. Rick Albright says:

    I wonder if Seb would have been Champion 4 times had he not had the blown diffuser, and why hasn’t he figured the new car out by now. Isn’t “feel” what makes a Champion stand out ?

    The question is whether Daniel would have caught Alonso if Sebastian had let him past when asked. Once again he’s going his own way.

    1. Rockie says:

      When silly questions likethis are being asked you start to wonder whether people just started watching F1 in 2010.
      He didnt have blown diffuser in TR or in 09

      1. Rick Albright says:

        Been watching since 1978…and observing true champions adapt to changes like ground effects and turbos for a long time.

      2. C63 says:

        Do you remember when Seb used to pull away at the start in order to get out of DRS range? And how you used to assure us it was all Seb magic and not just the car? What can have happened? Has Seb forgotten how to drive?
        That must all seem a long while ago now :-)

      3. Rockie says:

        In that era he was the only one who could do it! Also Rosberg is doing same as Hamilton he led the race same way in Australia so I don’t get what point you are trying prove.
        Yes he might be struggling now but the schadenfreude display by fans of Hamilton is just funny not happy that their driver is winning, but more interested in Vettel struggling it just shows even when he’s not on top its all about him.

      4. C63 says:

        Don’t get what point I am trying to prove? Sure you do, it’s very simple. You and your fellow SV acolyte’s have spent a considerable amount of time assuring everyone that SV was some kind of demigod, who could walk on water should he so desire. We, the unconverted, spent an equal amount of time explaining that it was the car that afforded SV the advantage he enjoyed. So, now the car is gone, SV is exposed for what he was – a good driver in a great car (as another poster said, he is like Button, just with more titles). Surely if he was as good as you claim, he would be able to beat his teammate at least. A 4x WDC against a comparative novice, SV should be brushing his teeth with DR.
        As for your claims of schadenfreude, I can’t deny it. Whenever Red Bull, Horner or Vetell have some kind of trouble it always puts a spring in my step. Not so much as when Hamilton wins of course, but a definite spring nonetheless :-)

    2. justafan says:

      With RBR’s straight line speed probably not.

  41. rodolfo says:

    Vettel does not spill out excuses like other drivers… in 2010 we know that he lost a couple of races to webber because of a problem with the chassi but vettel never talked about that…thats is exactly why he is GREAT. when you don’t look for excuses you learn faster because you always try to see how you can improve. Vettel will be back in no time.

    1. Darcy says:

      I don’t know who made it known, but we knew about Vettle’s chassis problem at the time and it was being commented on, so I’m thinking he didn’t really need to put it forward as an excuse.

    2. Old dry joint says:

      Vettel has no humility… You could see he was devastated after Ric knocked him off by 0.6s…

      The pressure of that alone caused the “tough luck” reaction.. I’m guessing there will be more to come..


  42. Paige says:

    Man, the crowd of F1 followers can be really short-sighted, can’t they?

    Nearly every driver in the history of F1, including the greats, have gone through periods when their teammates were going more quickly. This doesn’t say anything about how great or talented they are, but rather that a) their teammates are bloody quick, and b) that the standard of F1 is extremely competitive.

    F1 doesn’t work the way that things are usually written on paper. These drivers aren’t robots who you plug into the cars and they perform according to some pre-engineered specifications. They are human beings, and sometimes human beings have a tough time figuring something out in their jobs- especially if their jobs involve the kind of complexity that a F1 car has.

    The measure of a great driver is whether or not they are able to figure out what they need to do to adjust, respond, and come out on top. Vettel has been in this position before in which his teammate was challenging his pace, if not eclipsing it sometimes. And he would always come out on top in the end. So instead of saying that Vettel isn’t really all that great, what we should be saying is that Ricciardo must be a bloody good driver if he is able to get right in a car and start beating his 4x World Champion teammate, regardless if said teammate is not at his best right now due to whatever.

    I fully expect Vettel to respond. But with that said, it will not be nearly as easy for him as it has been in the past. Daniel Ricciardo is the real deal, and he is capable of going quicker than Vettel.

    1. clyde says:

      Nearly every driver in the history of F1, including the greats, have gone through periods when their teammates were going more quickly.


      it never happened to Senna or Alonso,

      1. PeterG says:

        it never happened to Senna or Alonso,”

        Trulli was regularly faster than Alonso in 2004.
        Lewis was matching him/faster than him in 2007.
        There were also times in 2005/06 when Fisichella was getting the better of him.

        As to Senna.
        Berger matched/beat him a dozen times while they were team mates. Berger thrashed him in his 1st qualifying session for McLaren, Berger got pole while Senna was 5th, 8 tenths behind.
        Hakkinen beat him 1st time out in qualifying at Estoril in 1993.

        Barrichello & Massa proved to be faster than Schumacher on occasions while teammates.

      2. GP Back To Adelaide says:

        Re Berger vs Senna. For their first race as team mates at Phoenix in 1990 there was unexpected rain on the Saturday which meant that no driver improved on their Friday time. Over the course of the season it was Senna 12 – Berger 4 in qualifying. In 1991 it was Senna 13 – Berger 3. In 1992 it was Senna 14 – Berger 1.

        Total poles in their time together:
        Senna 19 – Berger 4

        Total wins in 1990-92:
        Senna 16 – Berger 3.
        (Actually make it 17 – 2 for the gift to Berger at Japan 1991).

        Total points (10-6-4-3-2-1):
        223 – 135

        World Drivers Championships 1990-92:
        Senna 2 – Berger 0

        You call that matched?

        p.s. where are these “dozen times”?

        p.p.s where was Mika Hakkinen in the Estoril race, and when Senna was busy winning Japan and Adelaide 1993?

        Although he was beaten from “time to time” Senna is the one of the very few drivers NEVER to have been beaten by a team mate over their entire time together. Don’t even start me on 1989…

      3. clyde says:

        @ peterG
        In 2003 Alonso beat his very experienced teammate Jarno Trulli by 22 points in the Drivers’ Championship, finishing sixth with the Italian eighth.In 2004 he finished fourth in the championship, 12 points and two places ahead of Trulli
        Against Fishchella Races: 35
        Head-to-Head (where both finished): Alonso 24-5
        Qualifying: Alonso 26-9

        In 2007 against Hamilton
        Head-to-Head (where both finished): Alonso 8-6
        Fernando was fighting not only hamilton but the entire McLaren team so much so that The FIA appointed a steward at Interlagos to keep an eye on the McLaren pit during qualifying. Who can forget Ron Denis comment after Japan “The problem was rain and [Hamilton's] tyres were in the worst condition. But we weren’t at all fazed about Kimi. We weren’t racing Kimi, we were basically racing Fernando”
        That year Hamilton and Alonso scored de same amount of points,

        As for Senna
        In the three races he and Hakinnen were team mates
        Q senna 4 hakk 3
        R senna ret hakk crashed
        Q Senna 2 Hakk 3
        R senna won Hakk 3
        Q Senna pole Hakk 5
        R Senna Won Hakk ret

        Senna and Berger
        Senna 19 – Berger 4

        Senna 17 – Berger 2.

        Nuff said :-)

      4. clyde says:

        also to compare barichello and massa to Schumacher is plain stupid

      5. KRB says:

        GP, well yes there’s 1989, but also in 1988 Prost beat Senna on total points gained, but not on the Best-11 results. Of course those were the rules going in, so fair’s fair, and it was that year actually a better way of separating the drivers (Senna won 8 races to Prost’s 7).

        clyde, forget this “matched him on points” thing … where was Alonso classified in the 2007 DWC? That remains the closest finish in the DWC from 1st-3rd.

        I don’t see anything sinister in that quote … they (Hamilton’s side of the garage) were racing Alonso. McLaren screwed Lewis up in China, and then there was the mysterious gearbox issue in Brazil (after Alonso’s brake test on Lewis). Add that to the fact that Lewis had to play second fiddle to Alonso in the first 5 races, and I think it evens out. I’m not saying that McLaren shouldn’t have favoured Alonso in the early races, they should’ve, but equally it’s clear that that hurt Hamilton’s title bid later on.

        Really, that year McLaren needed Alonso to be a bit better than he was, and Lewis to not be as good as he turned out to be. That would’ve made the whole situation more clear cut for all.

  43. kfzmeister says:

    Vettel went too deep and Ricciardio passed him on the inside. You could clearly see Vettel’s car slide on all 4 tires.

    1. GWD says:

      To me it appeared they were both fanging it into the corner, and SV chose to take a non-optimal line (on the marbles) and attempt a late brake, swing back to the inside line with better traction on a straighter corner exit and simply lost it a little under braking, being on the marbles. By then his idea had been lost and tried to minimise loss of ground to DR on corner exit.

  44. Goggomobil says:

    Well,Well, will all those subscribers to J.A site who beat the drum forcing their opinion how Vettel is the great if not the best F1 driver ever, come forward please.
    Today F1 in China was on disply for all to se how Vettel is just an ordinary without the dominating car,but also very selfish and not one bit a team player.
    To compare him to Alonso you got to be kidding he’s not Alonso shoe lace when it comes to a truly great F1 deiver.

    1. MISTER says:

      And BBC Sport found Vettel the 4th best F1 ever. They put him above Schumi. Disgraceful and shameful on them.

    2. justafan says:

      If all were on same level, he would have same number of titles.

  45. German Samurai says:

    I would just like to see some consistency in the comments.

    Massa was widely applauded for ignoring a similar team order.

    Also, let’s look back to 2011 at the British Grand Prix. People were outraged that Red Bull had the temerity to order Mark Webber to “maintain the gap” in the closing stages of the race. Mark Webber ignored the team order and was supported by most people for doing so. People thought it was a disgrace what Red Bull did.

    I just ask for some consistency in the comments.

    1. Sue says:

      It’s not about what you do, it’s about who you are and whether they like you lol ;)

      1. aezy_doc says:

        And people don’t like vettel. Simple as. Multi 21 didn’t help, neither did wing Gate, nor how Turkey 2010 was handled. Sad really because he seems quite likable and is an exceptional talent.

    2. Rohind says:


    3. Martin says:

      I noticed that this piece and two you linked to have three different authors (Allen, Hynes and Meadows). That may set some of the tone. As to those posting comments, the moderator only censors language and some topics, not irrational, illogical or strongly biased ideas.

  46. Joe Elwell says:

    It’s clear that this years’ cars are posing different challenges to different drivers. At this point I’m reluctant to draw any firm conclusions when there are three teams whose drivers’ performance seems ‘interesting’ to say the least.

    Is Kimi really so much slower than Alonso? Is Rosberg really so much slower than Hamilton? And of course, is Ricciardo the next coming of Senna/Clark/whomever?

    An interesting season to say the least!

    1. Yago says:

      Rosberg is not being “much slower” than Hamilton by any means.

  47. Sotiris says:

    Interesting to see so many people here seem to think that F1 racing is just about being able to drive faster in circles. A true racer should be able to overtake on their own merit. Nico was faster than Lewis in Bahrain, yet he was unable to overtake Lewis. That’s not unusual in F1, and it’s a joy watching a good defender holding off a quicker car.

    Mercedes did not tell Lewis to move aside just because Nico was faster. That’s what racing is about.

    RBR has lost it’s plot this weekend. They looked like a bunch of amateurs — for allowing the Ferrari undercut on Vettel and issuing this team order. There’s no way Ricciado could have overtaken Alonso, not with that RB10′s straight line speed. This team order was as bad and as unnecessary as the one in Malaysia last year.

    F1 is getting worst each year not just because we have a one team domination but also it’s getting less and less about racing.

    1. Sue says:

      Well said.

    2. Real world calling says:

      Watch something else then. It’s not always about only the racing.

    3. aezy_doc says:

      It’s been a long year since f1 was about the racing. It’s about the racing and the personalities and rivalries and politics. It’s a soap opera and I love it.

    4. kenneth chapman says:

      i haven’t had the time to check out the times as such but i do believe that at one stage, just after ricci passed vettel, that the gap to alonso was something like 4.5/5.0secs. the margin at the flag was something in the order of 1.2 secs.

      if that was the case then obviously ricci would have had a fighting chance to beat alonso as the vettel hold up would’ve cost ricci at least a couple of secs.

      maybe someone has the details to check this assumption out?

  48. Rohind says:

    A very harsh and biased article that is normally not seen in this forum and seen on the likes of Andrew Benson and BBC.

    I can see many Vettel bashers have already started ranting abt him not obeying team orders.But they conveniently forget what Raikkonen said to Parmeane last year and what Massa did this year.In fact they applaud them for standing up to their team and keeping up the true racing spirits.
    If in both the cases, if it was Ricciardo who had to yield, same people would have raised a ruckus.

    ‘Many fans believe that Vettel was handed with a
    Cottol wool and was golden boy in redbull’.
    Yes.Many British and Spanish fans do.

    James, we were also watching the race.He did give Ricciardo a plenty of space when it looked like he could have covered him easily.So no reason to disbelieve him.But yes,Ricciardo would have overtaken him eventually

    1. Hiten says:

      Spot on! Need to be responsible while writing such an article. So when vettel is faster and asks Mark to move over in Malaysia then Seb is being a brat!! Double standards! This is such a shame!

      I am wondering what all anti-Seb fans will have to say when he starts beating Ric in coming races!! And yes it is going to happen, soon!! Lets see who will have the last laugh!!

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        yes vettel may come back with a rush. anything is possible but i would like to borrow your crystal ball for a while as there are some tasty offers on the share market at the moment.

        as for what we’ll say when vettel takes control and annihilates ricci… he must be cheating hahaha

    2. clyde says:

      Is the article biased or is it that you are biased towards Vettel ….Food for thought

    3. Patrick says:

      You are not comparing apples with apples. During Raikkonen’s tenure with Lotus, his income (salary) was detrmined by how many points he scored. Permane had no right to ask him to move over and he certainly had no call to swear at Kimi over the radio. That little outburst likely cost Lotus millions and I am surprised that he still has a job.

  49. Richard says:

    Has any ‘great’ driver ever been shown-up by a team-mate when they had identical, healthy cars?

    1. Mike says:

      2007 when rookie Hamilton matched and beat two time world champion Alonso.

      1. mbh says:

        You mean Hamilton’s 2007 car. Fernando was fighting against Mclaren and most of us know what it means. That year Hamilton and Alonso scored de same amount of points, and what is most important, after that year they earned the other respect. Hamilton knows what happened and Alonso Knows that Hamilton, being a rookie (with Mclaren’s help) demostrated to be able of becoming the superclass he actually is. I like the relationship they had, and I like Lewis, but sometimes people see only what they want to see, to defend what is indefensible, in this case Vettel´s poor perfonmance. To Vettel fans, is easier being a Alonso or Hamilton fan, so, you know.

      2. clyde says:

        In 2007 against Hamilton
        Head-to-Head (where both finished): Alonso 8-6
        Fernando was fighting not only hamilton but the entire McLaren team who even fiddled with his tyre pressures during qualifying in China to prevent him from claiming pole so much so that The FIA appointed a steward at Interlagos to keep an eye on the McLaren pit during qualifying. Who can forget Ron Denis comment after Japan “The problem was rain and [Hamilton's] tyres were in the worst condition. But we weren’t at all fazed about Kimi. We weren’t racing Kimi, we were basically racing Fernando”
        Despite all this Alonso finished on the same amount of points as hamilton

      3. Mike says:

        Championship positions are not decided on head to head but number of points. The FIA results for 2007 put Hamilton ahead in 2nd place, ref:

        Quite true that Alonso was also fighting against the Mclaren team, however, arguably Alonso doesn’t have anyone other than himself to blame for that. Although if Mclaren had backed Alonso as a number 1 he would have won the championship. Once again it’s not just the racing that wins championships but the off track politics. All part of F1′s appeal I suppose.

      4. clyde says:

        Well mike if championship positions are decided on the no of points maybe it escaped your notice that Alonso finished on the same points and wins as Hamilton despite Fernando fighting not only hamilton but the entire McLaren team ….quite an achievement wouldn’t you say :-)

    2. Oly says:

      There are a lot of examples in F1 but in most, if not all cases they were both F1 greats.

      The point is, 4xWDC should eat for breakfast a new tech car, new regulations, all competition and brush his teeth with new, young teammate. At least some voices around the world (and here) were making a lot of noise about his extraterrestrial abilities. Many of us are now surprised – where is that Superman now ?

      1. Rick Albright says:


      2. dragonf says:


      3. C63 says:

        The point is, 4xWDC should eat for breakfast a new tech car, new regulations, all competition and brush his teeth with new, young teammate…..

        Absolutely spot on :-)

      4. Xcellent says:


    3. GP Back To Adelaide says:

      Alain Prost springs to mind

      1. Richard says:

        Agreed, but if Vettel is a ‘great’, then DR must be a Senna.

    4. Yago says:

      Not shown up, but beaten yes: Prost, Senna, Alonso are the clear examples.

      1. Richard says:

        Who beat Senma?

      2. Yago says:

        Alain Prost in 1989. And Gerhard Berger, who was not a great driver, in 1992 was very very close to beat him. They ended 7-7 in head to head position finishes.

      3. clyde says:

        1989 Qualifying Senna 13 prost 2
        race wins Senna 6 prost 4
        now you know why prost won

        Senna vs berger
        Senna and Berger
        Poles Senna 19 – Berger 4

        Wins Senna 17 – Berger 2.

  50. Alex Trickle says:

    A lot of double standards going on here. People hailed Massa a hero for ignoring team orders at Williams and praised the facts that teams (notably Mercedes) allowed their drivers to fight last time in Bahrain.

    Seems people apply a different rule to Vettel – he challenges the order and makes Ricciardo fight for the place and now he is a villain? Sure he has some history with team mates in the past but people must view things objectively. Either everyone who ignores team orders is selfish or they’re all heroes/real racers – you can’t choose depending on whether you like the driver or not.

    1. Mike says:

      Well said, I fully agree. F1 fans are a fickle bunch.

    2. aezy_doc says:

      It’s different people.

    3. keke says:

      Did you expect anything different? Everyone has rose tinted glasses for their favourite driver/team.

      I see a lot of subjective comments are stated as objective comments. A lot of opinions are stated as facts. A lot of historical data is being ommitted from supporting arguments. Even when strong evidence is given, this fails to influence a change of opinion.

      Hence creating the perfect conditions for a good all round debate! And the reader’s comments still make for compelling reading.

    4. Miko says:

      While I agree that F1 fans are a “fickled bunch” we all have an opinion, and the “opinion” is a personal one that everyone is entitled to…

      Fact is, some drivers and personalities are “love ‘em or hate ‘em” type of guys. SV just happens to be on of them, you either love him or hate him. There seems to be no in between with this guy.

      For me, I lean more to the latter. Can’t find a reason to like the guy (its probably an Aussie Webber thing I have no problem admitting to). Do I respect him for what he’s achieved? You bet. Hats off to him. There have been many a time over the last few years where I’ve said, “Geez that [mod] was quick”. Still doesn’t mean I like him. You either click with a person or you don’t.

      Should that stop us from having a say in what we believe, I think not.

      People have differing opinions and that’s just part of what keeps this community thriving and generates interest and replies. Should you hold that against us, definitely not.

      Have your say and back it up with your views, no-one says we all have to like one driver over the other. Everyone has their own reasons for watching the F1, whether they agree with yours doesn’t means squat.

      Is F1 all about being “unbiased” and treating all drivers as equal when it comes to team orders. In my opinion no. Its as much about the personalities as it is about the racing.

      So in my opinion is he (SV) a villain for disobeying team orders? Yep. But its because I can’t seem to find a reason to like the guy (personality thing). And yes its based on as you mentioned “Sure he has some history with team mates in the past”. The history is what makes it interesting for some, including me.

      Am I right or wrong? Hey its my opinion which I’m entitled to despite what you “educated” bunch think.. No right or wrong reason. I watch and enjoy F1 for my own reasons not yours, And my “opinion” isn’t always going to be in sync with yours, regardless of whether I’m as “educated” as you are in terms of F1.

      So lets get it straight, your thoughts of “double standards” is more a personality thing than “treat them all as equal”.

      Surely its not that hard to figure out. Its obvious.

      So yep, Seb’s a [mod] who’s won 4x WDC. But thats my opinion :). Whether you argree or not, who gives a toss, I’ll still keep watching F1 . Go Ricciardo!!!

      1. James Allen says:

        Please watch your language – Mod

  51. richardc says:

    Horner try,s to cover up the cracks but can,t. The simple fact is that DR is doing a better job than SV. I can,t beleive someone at RBR is not telling him to be quite and concentrate on making the car quicker??!! All he does is make RBR look even worse than they do already.LH was awesome today and drove like a champion.

    1. Martin says:

      Interesting definition of awesome. At times he and Rosberg made it pretty clear the car was a second a lap faster than everything else. Being 10 seconds up the road after 10 laps, yet he only finished 25 seconds ahead of a Ferrari and a Red Bull? So awesome that he ran off the track because he misjudged how long his tyres would last?

      He seemed to do very good job in qualifying, but the level of rain makes assessing how good difficult. He made a good start and after that he did enough. There was no threat to him an any point, so he could cruise.

      1. Patrick says:

        Did you not notice how long his tyres lasted compared to the other drivers or how little fuel he used? Maybe that will explain your confusion over the 25 seconds?

      2. Martin says:

        I’m not confused at all Patrick. My comment was about the use of the word awesome. Compared to my driving skills Hamilton would seem awesome, but having followed F1 since 1985 and ~500 race his drive was unremarkable.

        Given that all the Mercedes-engined cars were using less fuel than Renault and Ferrari and that Hamilton had a clear air race where he could look after the car, I didn’t find his fuel use unusual. We saw in Bahrain that with the Mercedes racing each other that they had good tyre life compared to other cars, so when cruising out in front it doesn’t surprise me at all Mercedes could take a conservative strategy with the tyres to help cover for safety cars. That Hamilton had an off track moment, possibly because he overestimated the tyre life, does not fill me with awe either.

        Apart from that one off, I didn’t see anything that Hamilton did wrong, but he didn’t have to do anything special. It was not like the middle stint of the Singapore race with Vettel where he had to optimise the performance over the stint to the point of technically illiterate people suggesting the car was running traction control. I’m not trying to argue that Vettel is better than Hamilton, just that in one race something remarkable occurred, but Hamilton’s race in China was ‘just’ a race he won.

  52. Tom says:

    I think Ricciardo isn’t being given enough credit. All the focus seems to be on the reasons for Vettel’s struggles, rather than Daniel just being bloody fast. I suppose it’s understandable in a way, you’d expect a 4x champion to adapt quicker. But I don’t for a moment think that this year’s Red Bull is anything like last year’s Toro Rosso to drive, Ricciardo has had to his fair share of adapting as well!

    1. Krischar says:

      Exactly tom

      A 4X WDC who is not able to adapt fast enough to this new formulae and car – Pathetic

      As you pointed out here people here do not give enough credit to Dan Ricciardo. He has done a commendable job thus far and held his own against a so called 4X WDC. Webber failed to do what dan is doing now to vettel. yet i can understand the differences between two scenario. Webber was never provided enough entourage by RBR on other hand Dan Ricciardo has come through the ranks from STR to RBR.

      Dan is the man and keep up the bloody good work Dan

  53. Mike84 says:

    I don’t believe anything Horner says anymore, or anything Red Bull says officially. But the Chinese should give Vettel a golden wok, because by holding Ricc up he spared them the liability from changing the 3rd place finisher by waving the flag early. This is the problem with conferring flag duty as an honor to people who are clueless about what to do, rather than giving this critical duty to someone already oriented to the sport.

    Also, if I were Red Bull, I would fire Vettel immediately and offer his job to Alonso, and Vettel can go to Ferrari.

  54. Reuben says:

    I’ve never heard of a three stopper (faster lap pace) being asked to move out of the way for a two stopper so for Horner to give that as the reason why they let Dan through is just rubbish.

    Nice one Dan!

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      very well said. i fully agree.

  55. Nick Lynn says:

    I said on this site last year that I’m not convinced about Vettel’s Champion’s credentials, and that we would need to see how he fares in a car that is not the best and with a team mate who pressures him. I think I called him a ‘fair weather’ champion.

    It’s early days yet, but he’s not convincing me I’m afraid.

    Believe me, I want to like Seb and be convinced that he really is out of the Champion mould, but on his showing so far the signs don’t look good.

    The irony will probably be that Vettel leaves Red Bull at the end of the season to show his detractors that he’s made of the right stuff. And Alonso will slip away from Ferrari into the vacancy Seb leaves – wouldn’t that be a twist.

    1. keke says:

      Dan was asked to go longer on the 1st stint hence he was on a diffetent strategy…ie two stopper…vettel was probably open to 2 or 3 stops depending on the conditions. Seb lost a place to Alo and in trying to past alo, he may have taken too much life out of his tyres. This made him susceptible to Ric who was on a fresher set. As the race progressed the boys at Rbr strategy team possibly changed Seb back to a 2 stopper as the primes performed better than expected. This might explain Horner’s explanation.

      I would tend to think that Christian would see this as a very small issue (managing 2 drivers fighting for 4th & 5th), compared to the task of making the Rb10 more competitive. So there seems to be little reason to tell fibs.

      Imo, Newey’s absence suggests there is nothing more he can do until Renault provides them with a better PU….so staying back at the factory and having time to visit Mark was higher up on his agenda. Although we wont know for sure but if we see Newey in Barc, maybe he did make time for Mark and the sports cars that he likes to race.

  56. Jorge says:

    If Merc decided to give team orders we have not assisted the great race we saw in Bahrain, if DR is quicker than SV, he must pass Vettel without orders. I hate team orders.

    1. Rohind says:

      Alonso to McLaren
      Vettel to Ferrari
      Kyvatt to Redbull

    2. Glennb says:

      Team orders have been around since Jesus told Moses to come forth.

  57. Cheesypoof69 says:

    I don’t think Daniel is that quick, I think he’s good, learning but not great. I think Seb is very good but not great, he lucked into the fastest car on the grid four years in a row. That is my opinion. I think Hamilton is very good but not great. I can’t stand the media hype, they have the fastest car and he’s beating the good Rosberg. That’s all. He’s not walking on water. I think Raikkonen is good, but is getting trounced by Alonso who in my opinion is great. Why? Year in year out he’s always there in slower cars. He’s never been truly outdone by a team mate. Every year in slower cars we see examples of him getting the car to places it shouldn’t be. But this shouldn’t need to be explained, it’s obvious. Those who bark otherwise are just making noise, the last few seasons would be incredibly boring without Alonso in a slow car and I’d bet if he had a fast car all of these “dominant” drivers setting records with cars a second faster than the field will really worry.

    But fate has decided this not to be the case. I think Seb is overrated and can’t stand him but I don’t think he was wrong at all in putting up a fight against his team mate. I felt its fair and not a surprise.. This is the same guy who broke any manner of fairness with Webber multi21. To me the greater concern is once again it’s another year with one team miles ahead of everyone, and that’s dull. Hopefully Barcelona brings tighter racing. All these drivers struggling makes me wish we could see whether Kubica was good, very good or great.

    1. Mark Shueard says:

      I tend to agree. We jump to say this driver is great just because he beats the slower cars. Alonso ( great) , Senna ( great) we know that Senna was special, did we aver really see Vettel doing something special or just driver better than Webber in a special car.

    2. Yago says:

      Very very good post. One only point: I think Hamilton is great, better than Vettel, but worse than Alonso. The thing is: Vettel is clearly beatable, as he clearly has weaknesses in his driving. Hamilton is also beatable but less so, he has very few weaknesses in his driving, but some more in his head. Alonso is almost unbeatable, he has virtually no weaknesses nor in his driving (maybe overworking a bit the tires on the odd occasion and circumstances, as it could be seen in 2007 with the soft compound in some circuits) nor in his head. The only time Alonso was beaten was in 2007, with an entire team against him, driving his worse season to date, and against the second best driver of the grid. And even then they ended tied on points.

  58. Pete C says:

    Ricciardo’s form has surprised many, he was pretty well matched with JEV and many thought he was something of soft option for Red Bull and Vettel. Should this continue there will be a major reassessment of the last few seasons.

    1. Martin says:

      It was more 2012 that JEV was presenting a case for being better in the races. Pretty much after Canada 2013 Dan had him covered and almost always had the edge in qualifying. I looked up the average grid positions across 2013 and Ricciardo advantage over Vergne was only better by Hulkenberg over Gutierrez.

      Kyvat still needs some polish, but to me he’s another indication that Red Bull’s junior drivers are generally really good. With Vergne and Ricciardo, they were very strong F3 champs – in top teams admittedly, but Hamilton needed two teams in F3 to win the title – so it is not as if they had weak pedigrees.

    2. James says:

      Sorry, Ricciardo was not pretty well matched with JEV. He smashed JEV in qualifying, absolutely trounced him. It was a rare thing for JEV to finish a race ahead of Ricciardo. Can’t understand how people think they were on equal terms las year.

  59. Reuben says:

    Also, I’m not sure if the points system rewards a win enough over second place. Three straight wins and Ham still hasn’t recovered the deficit of just one DNF.

  60. the kiLLing JoKe says:

    Vettel will get back on it as will Raikkonen, and wait for Lewis to have a bit of bad luck come his way as it always does. So far Fernando, Hulk and Ricciardo have impressed me the most. Not sure that Nico Rosberg has the fight in him to deal with Ham. McLaren coming back to earth so soon?

  61. Mike says:

    Reading a lot of the comments on here I can only come to the conclusion that an awful lot of F1 fans are hypocrites or have the memories of a goldfish. Vettel ignores team orders and is the villain. Massa ignores team orders and is a hero.

    1. roberto marquez says:

      The truth is a lot of formula 1 fans do not like SV,myself included. It happens in other individual sports like tennis. You do not see it in football (basket,hockey etc) because normally you are a fan of the team first and above all, and a fan of a particular player in second term .

      1. keke says:

        Its called the tall poppy sydrome. Everyone seems to love an underdog… but if he rises too high, he moves further away from the masses and ppl want to see him fall… hard. Give Ham the next 4 titles, and watch the fans scream for someone… anyone, to beat Ham…for current Alonso/Vettel haters, they will see him as their new messiah…hehehe.

      2. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        I was fan of McLaren for years, but… tired of silly errors and management arrogance now I’m not, and I have not replaced them by another team. Sad for me, it’s not what I would have want it.

        At the same time I’m more open to admire other new drivers, like BOTTAS, MAGNUM, and enjoy their achievements.

      3. Overheard Cam says:

        I agree Tornillo. The current problems facing some of our favourite teams does allow us some unbiased space to enjoy the performances of other teams and drivers. This must be a good thing I’m sure.

    2. Random 79 says:

      That goldfish / memory thing is a myth.

      That some F1 fans are hypocrites, not so much. ;)

    3. Miko says:

      Some people forget, its as much about the personalities as it is the racing. Get over it.

      Are they hypocrites? maybe in your eyes, but you seem to have the “blinkers” on.

      As @roberto marquez said.

      1. Mike says:

        Miko, as I can see both sides of the story, it suggests that I do not have blinkers on. Quite the opposite in fact.

        I agree about peoples perception of Vettel’s personality having an influence on how they judge him. But that shouldn’t get in the way of facts.

  62. Fada says:

    Alonso, when asked if he considered Vettel an all time great. Here are his words.
    “Time will tell us, There are many years [to go in his career].
    “He is 26 years old, so when he will have a car like the others, if he wins, he will have a great recognition and be one of the legends in F1.
    “When one day he has a car like the others and he is fourth, fifth, seventh, these four titles will be bad news for him because people will take these four titles even in a worse manner than they are doing now.
    “So there are interesting times for Sebastian coming.”

    1. Mike84 says:

      Alonso has proven he has the IQ and now has the self-control and deserves to have at least 4 like Vettel, maybe he’ll be the one who shows Vettel up.

    2. Martin says:

      Fernando doesn’t really answer what he thinks, instead just summarises what the public is likely to conclude. To me Alonso, like Stirling Moss, is in the all time great category, even though the record books have drivers with more titles. That is part of thinking who is the best driver, not who has the records.

      I would be interested to know why Webber in his assessment of his peers had Alonso and Vettel above Hamilton? Self interest, or was it based on honest observations?

  63. Lukee says:

    I think it shows how immature he is that he wouldn’t move over. If the shoe was on the other foot he would be saying let me through I am faster!

    1. mark says:

      This is a great point.

      For all the people saying there is double standards and so on, Kimi and Massa etc…

      We have spent 4+ years of seeing Vettel favoured and Webber asked to pull over as Seb is faster etc…now we have seen the opposite and him not play the game in the same way he benefitted from these past few years…

      THIS is what is making people have so called “double standards”…if he lives by the sword, he should die by the sword.

      Excellent point.

    2. kenneth chapman says:

      i think the wording would be something along the lines of ‘get him out of the way, i’m faster’. that is if history was to repoat itself!

    3. jake says:

      The words you are looking for are “get him out of the way he is too slow”..:-)

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        thank you for that correction jake.

  64. mike says:

    Very impressed by Alonso performing way above the car
    he was given.

    Ferrari should forego the notion of signing Vettel, and
    start putting their chips on Mr Ricciardo who would
    give them far better performance for their money,
    and be a true hit with the fans.

    Come on Ferrari ! show some imagination !

    Of course if Newey can’t come to terms with the aerodynamics
    for Red Bull, who can? [Mercedes fans, don't spoil this
    thought by replying.]

    And what of Hamilton’s silly behavior as the pack gridded?
    What was the point there? Trying to delay matters so
    the other cars would have excess heat and be impaired?

    Still, above all, hats off to Mssrs Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Kvyat
    Bottas and Perez. Sad luck for Massa.

    As for Hamilton, he did no more than his talent and the
    car would suggest. Great performance, but why the need
    to be silly at the start?

    When he says that is going to rise, why does he never merely
    demonstrate that he is mature? Never just grow up?

    There are champions and then there are those whom we
    admire without any reservation. Neither Vettel nor
    Hamilton have filled such shoes.

    1. Dr Lewis says:

      It is the pole mans right and responsibility to back the field up in all forms of racing.

      Further it ensures that as you managed to get pole in the first place you are not disadvantaged by cold tyres and brakes while those at the back play silly games lining up just so they can get a jump at the start.

      On top of that I have no doubt his pit engineer was requesting the movement to ensure temps etc were correct.

      Go and watch some club racing some time…

  65. John from OZ says:

    Why so many Vettel [mod]? Is it because he has been so dominant the last 4 years? The guy comes across as a decent bloke. I assume it’s the usual tall poppy crap — someone is super successful so let’s beat him down. If you hate him because he is successful then my guess is you are most likely a bit of a loser in life yourself.
    And if you hate him because he disobeyed team orders…well boo hoo hoo ya big baby! That’s why he is a champion – he looks out for himself and that’s what ALL champions do! ALL Champions are selfish! Schumacher was selfish. Raikkonen is selfish. Hamilton is selfish. Alonso is selfish. Senna was selfish. You DO NOT get to be a WORLD CHAMPION if you are not selfish. I can pretty much guarantee those other guys would have done the same thing as Vettel did.!

    …well even though Vettel is not my fave driver on the grid, I hope he bounces back just to shut you tall poppy people up. I get fed up with people bagging out people because they are successful!


    1. Random 79 says:

      A bit over the top John but yeah, agreed.

    2. kenneth chapman says:

      hahaha….interesting comments. one question there john. why did vettel request horner to ‘get webber out of the way, i’m faster’?

    3. kenneth chapman says:

      @ john. yes i am also an observer of the tall poppy syndrome but in this case it is more like poison ivy posing as an african violet.

      i for one am not at all a subscriber to the syndrome that you mentioned and i do feel angry that sometimes it is the losers last resort who simply cannot see themselves as anything but a victim.

      this case is vastly different though. vettel/horner/marko have constructed an environment that embraces vettel as a ‘god’ amongst mere [F1] mortals. when he is upstaged it shows just how flimsy it all is.

      lurking there in vettel is a sense of entitlement despite his and horner’s attempts to sugar coat it. they do take the fans for fools sometimes and there will always be a backlash. desrvedly so IMO.

  66. Random 79 says:

    I’ve said god knows how many times I’m not a Vettel fan – about as many times as I’ve said that I am an unashamedly biased fan of Ricciardo – so here’s a shocker for you:

    I think Vettel made the right call.

    They were both on the same tyres, on the same strategy, Vettel is a 4x WDC and had track position while Ricciardo is the rookie in the team.

    So from Vettel’s point of view at that particular point in time why should he have moved over?

    Having said that Dan still kicked his proverbial anyway so good on him and here’s hoping it happens again and again ;)

    1. TGS says:

      I think Horner et al were looking at Seb’s tyre degradation on the mediums and thought, there is no way he can catch Alonso. Dan still had a chance to catch Alonso so they wanted to give him that chance but I agree with you, I laughed when Vettel said “tough luck” and thought it was the right thing to do. But what can they say in the future? “Sebastian, your tyre degradation on the mediums is so severe you will be unable to catch Alonso at this rate. Daniels degradation is not as bad so he will have a chance. Please let him through”. I think it’s time for the bosses to drill into the drivers heads that they make these calls from a privileged position, information wise.

      1. Random 79 says:

        I’d agree with that.

        Rumours and denials aside, I’m not sure how Horner could be expected to run F1 when he can’t even run his own driver.

  67. Henri says:

    Best bit: watching VET get done by a Caterham (tyre situation aside n’ all) – still satisfying…

  68. Jonathan g says:

    I’m loving it at the moment Dans got the upper hand! but it s only going to get better when Vet comes to grips with the new car, what racing we are going to see between team mates. Can’t wait!!!!

  69. Sath says:

    We all knew that Vettel would struggle without being able to copy Webber’s car set ups. Throw in his inability to adapt to the technical changes as quickly as his team mate coupled with a team that is now actually prepared to fully back the second driver is showing Vettel up for what he actually is as a driver. Average.

  70. kenneth chapman says:

    @ random. like you i am an unashamed supporter of ricci. the point is this. if vettel is, as horner blatantly states, ‘a team player’ then his own [vettels] acknowledgment that dan was faster but that he held him up flys in the face of horner’s weak attempts to hose things down.

    you can’t have your danish pastry and eat it at the same time.

    1. Random 79 says:

      “you can’t have your danish pastry and eat it at the same time”

      ‘Course I can, otherwise it would defeat the purpose of ordering the Danish pastry in the first place.

      Maybe I should clarify myself a bit:

      I still think Vettel was justified (at the time) and I give him credit for his no apologies yes I ignored team orders approach (this time).

      The problem as you say is Horner trying to suger-coat it, and clearly no-one is buying that line.

      Vettel learned to be honest about his actions, Horner should do the same.

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        @ random79….maybe this is where we have a minor divergence of opinion. you see, i don’t think vettel is being honest at all. how was it that he took almost two laps to consider and make up his mind? then on top of that ‘he moved over, bang’.

        if you watch and listen to the post race interview ricci, when questioned about that move and vettel’s supposed acquiesence to the team orders, ricci clearly but diplomatically does not really think so!

        i think ricci observed vettel going too deep and he seized the moment then vettel tried to use that as foil to his intransigence, which horner lapped up.

        vettel is dishonest. malaysia and the multi 21 fiasco proved that point conclusively when after the race he feigned an apology to webber then a week later said webber desrved it and he would it again if he got the chance! if that isn’t a dishonest approach then i don’t know what is.

        the fact remains that ricci is making vettel look ordinary ATM. that may not last and i am sure that vettel will kick back, one way or another.

        ricci is not bullet proof by any means but just so long as he continues to keep on keeping on then that is great for us followers/fans and F1.

    2. Random 79 says:

      Ahhh…now I see :)

      Vettel was being honest when he said “tough luck”, so no pretending to misunderstand team orders there – at that time he had no intention of letting Ricciardo through.

      Then the team spent a couple laps talking to him and explaining the strategy, at which point Vettel did let him through…by making a mistake :)

      What you say about Malaysia is true and the way he handled that whole situation post-race was terrible, but I still think he learned a bit from it.

      There was a bit of PR spin, but at least there was no false apologies this time :)

  71. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    James, is Baby Vettel the reason of this unimpressed start of the season for VETTEL?

    1. James Allen says:

      i doubt it. That was in the days when the cars were dangerous and unsafe

      1. Phil R says:

        Surely it could be a distraction though.

        When he left the Jerez test early this year (admittedly the car wasn’t exactly going very far…) I remember that being different from the Vettel who was the only driver to visit the Pirelli factory in 2011 or bothered to do the mid season Silverstone test last year when all the other race drivers considered it not worthwhile.

    2. GP Back To Adelaide says:

      Maybe it was a water birth and Seb has been spending too much time at the pool? ;)

  72. Mikeboy0001 says:

    One doesn’t have to be very smart to understand what happened
    Vettel first tought Ricciardo was on the same strategy, and righteously denied giving the position. When told Ricciardo was on a 2 stop, he gave the position away by not fighting it back

  73. Torchwood Five says:

    Hi James

    I don’t really know anything about the makeup of the teams that come to the races, outside of the pit-stop engineers, and a couple on the pit walls.

    Is there an actual team of “strategists”, 1-4 people, that become superfluous once the drivers decide they won’t listen to team instructions.

    1. James Allen says:

      There is a chief strategist at each team and he has support from engineers in the Operations Room back at the factory (with the larger teams)

      He works with the race engineers to define and execute the strategies. Remember he is working for both drivers in a team, so he has to have a split brain!

      1. Torchwood Five says:

        Okay. Thank you for that!

  74. Ian James says:

    Interestingly, Adrian Newey didn’t go to China. He was back home with Mark Webber in the Porsche 919 pit at Silverstone!

    RBR is doubtless working flat out right now with Renault to give the RB10 the additional engine grunt that they desperately need for the next race in Spain. Within the engine homologation rules, of course.

    I suspect they weren’t expecting Dan’s vastly superior drive to Seb’s in Shanghai and they now urgently need to figure out how to best manage their 2 star drivers (and 1 giant ego!) After all, they achieved enough harmony between Seb and Mark to win 4 constructor’s championships…which is where the big money is in F1.

    I think we could see RBR right up there again in 3 weeks’ time. And, probably, with Dan ahead of Seb again. If RBR can’t work their magic on the RB10 by Spain, they will probably have left their run too late to challenge Mercedes this year.


  75. Ross Treseder says:

    It seems Vettel held Daniel up enough to deny him a podium finish, but what a disaster it would have been to get a podium and have it taken away because of the flag marshal waving the checkered flag early.

    1. James Allen says:

      Vettel lost between 2 and 3 seconds to Alonso during that time, according to the Race History charts

    2. Random 79 says:

      It’s strange – I’m kind of disappointed and relieved at the same time, and Dan would have been wondering when he could get a podium they’d let him keep.

      It’s maybe better this way :)

  76. Pete says:

    As a proud Australian I am pleased to see Daniel doing so well. Personally I think this debate is all the doing of Red Bull Racing there should be no place for team orders in racing as a true team everyone should be aware of the team tactics prior to the race, so they would know if one driver will be quicker during a certain segment of the race and not to impede that driver, however once all tactics have played out and we are in a straight race for the line, then the racers should be allowed to race end of discussion. Granted if we are at the pointy end of the season and one driver has a chance of winning the title and the other does not, the team should instruct the second driver to assist his team mate any way possible to ensure he wins but this should be discussed prior to the race and everyone know their responsibility to the team. Here is a change to F1 regulations I would like to see, reduce the amount of communication between teams and drivers, and limit it to exclude team orders as such only allow clear instructions like box, change mapping position and time, laps remaining, and feedback from the driver regarding performance or damage, and leave the drivers to get on with it, if that then results in a driver not behaving in the best interest of the team, take him to one side after the race and adjust his attitude behind closed doors.
    If the driver in front of Daniel was anyone other than his teammate this would not be a story at all.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Every time they ban team orders the teams find a way around it.

      I don’t like them either, but it’s better to have them transparent.

  77. ydbe says:

    Not bad for a No.2 driver, Seb
    Will we hear this again at RBR?

  78. Drew says:

    A lot of people seem to be comparing this (and kimi and massa), to multi 21. In my view, they could not be any different. In M21, both drivers were told to turn down the dial. MW did, SB didn’t…it wasn’t a racing moment. It was a deception. And all the blah blah that went on afterward from SV took him down a few pegs, not as a racer, but as a sportsman and brought the sport into disrepute.
    I agree they should all be allowed to race, in fact I think there should be penalties for “not racing”… For the good of the sport, we shouldn’t be discussing a drivers intent!

    1. GWD says:

      And as an Australian, and a MW fan, I wouldn’t have minded it one bit if SV had simply said ‘Tough Luck’ with a wry smile after taking the place in the Multi 21 incident. The other stuff he went on with and then changed over to something quite bizarre took him down the pegs that you mention. But I’m sure SV learnt from all of that also. The voice I heard on the radio transmission broadcast to TV here in Oz (the Sky feed) sounded like an overly frustrated SV being given one more problem. And sometimes frustration like this makes one work too hard to fix problems and simply get nowhere. I’m sure SV will learn that too.

  79. kimberly says:

    Hello there.. i just want to share my thoughts on the “seb is a fraud” talk here because of his struggles this year for lack of ebd. Well, if someone mastered a technique for his entire career and suddenly it gets banned, so obviously the person who used it most to his advantage will inevitably be the one who is gonna struggle the most. I just think he needs time to master the new regs.

    1. Random 79 says:

      You’re not the only one thinking that, but the question is once he does start to get a handle on it will he start to beat Ricciardo or is Dan genuinely just faster?

    2. Rafael says:

      In 2007, the switch to Bridgestones and McLaren rendered Fernando Alonso’s infamous aggressive-understeer-inducing-turn-ins ineffective (which he enjoyed in Renault w/ the wider and squarer Michelins, and one of the many reasons why he could not so easily out-perform his then rookie team-mate [aside from the fact that Hamilton is very very good]). But then, he was still very very competitive through out the year. Point is, there will always be changes that will not be to a particular driver’s favour, but it is up to him to make the adjustments.

      There is no doubt Vettel is a good driver – he has 4 world championships as proof to that, after all. Problem is, so-so performances like this when driving a less than ideal car (and when things aren’t heavily in his favour), only fuels detractors’ claims that he (Seb) is nothing special without the car advantage. I think, this was already somewhat proven in 2012: when Red-Bull didn’t have a clear-cut car advantage, Seb struggled to find his form which enabled a more consistent Alonso (in a slower, yet bulletproof, Ferrari) to run him very close for the title. It was only in the latter part of the season – when Red-Bull finally out-developed the rest the front runners – that Vettel was able to perform consistently by tying-up a string of wins and podium finishes. But even w/ the late charge, Seb might have even still lost that title had Fernando not have those run-ins w/ the Lotus drivers (partially the Spaniard’s fault)… All bec. he could not maintain a high level of consistency when his car was not the best out there.

      1. kimberly says:

        I think seb is still competitive, i mean he is not perfroming like kimi at the moment. Lol. Nownthat is what i call uncompetitive. He is still on pace but the problem is he is not performing like the way we are used to. I mean nobody said lewis was a fraud after being beaten by button 2011.

      2. Yago says:

        Good point. But there is a difference between ALO-HAM 2007 and VET-RIC 2014. In 2007, HAM had already driven bridgestone tires, so he didn’t have to adapt any more. In 2014, both RIC and VET had to adapt, they both started from the same point.

        Imagine what would be happening now if RIC had already experience driving these cars… Or imagine the ALO vs HAM if HAM would have had to adapt to the Bridgestone tires also, and not only Alonso.

        Plus Hamilton is Hamilton, and Ricciardo is not Hamilton… ;)

        Alonso’s talent is far greater than Vettel’s. It is evident by comparing the adaptability of each driver, which is a signature of talent.

      3. Rockie says:

        “Alonso’s talent is far greater than Vettel’s. It is evident by comparing the adaptability of each driver, which is a signature of talent.”

        I would rather have Vettel’s talent driving for me than Alonso it migjt take him time to find the optimal setup but when he gets there he his phenomenal.
        Whereas Alonso drives same throughout the year and only Ferrari’s reliability keeps him in the game.

  80. Sath says:

    Seb’s results so far this underscore why, even when he was winning world championships, many rated Alonso the better driver. Without the dominant car, Seb looks to be uncompetitive. Proof? His near rookie teammate is smashing him.

    1. Krischar says:

      Vettel sucess and his titles were simply down to RBR and webber not being good enough to challenge vettel except 2010. This season with a car which lacks a little bit of rear downforce and all of sudden vettel is no where near Dan Ricciardo.

      Many see Dan ricciardo performances as suprise and vettel will come back at him later this season. However i am cert more than 100 % Ricciardo will not get overawed by vettel at all and he will continue to put vettel back in his old place

      More of the same please Daniel, you beauty…

      1. Rockie says:

        Lol comeback at the end of the season you said same in ’12.

  81. mem says:

    I like the new vettel. his ‘tough luck’ comment was funny and i think he is often misunderstood. He obviously did move over so seems like he was just having some fun.
    I wonder if the tragedy that happened to his mentor has given him cause to reflect on his approach to life and F1.

    1. Old dry joint says:

      I think he’s under so much pressure… And he doesn’t look particularly happy…

      He’s body language after quali was pretty telling – he looked shocked that Ric had got him by 0.6s…Though i’m not sure whether SV made a mistake..

      I dont think babies and MS have had an impact… They say that in bike racing that babies cost a second.. Thats only because of the danger, where these alpha males would probably fuel them more.. Certainly it’ll make him a man..

    2. kenneth chapman says:

      yes mem, he should take note and retire while his career is still intact.

  82. Ahmed says:

    If dan is that much better and vettel has been such an average driver… It shouldn’t be a problem for dan to simply overtake vettel… Right? Or m I missing something?

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      @ ahmed you are missing something. defensive moves can ruin a close run race insofar as passing on a ‘carpet’ of marbles can be problematic without taking into account the tyre degradation that also ensues.

      ricci finally got vettel when he went too deep and daniel seized the moment ensuring a clean pass. if you believe that vettel ‘allowed’ ricciardo to pass then you are dreaming. vettel used that excuse for his own ends…not for the team.

      1. Ahmed says:

        I get that but my point is this, dan needs to make a statement by means other thn a radio call

      2. kenneth chapman says:

        achmed, he did make a statement after the race in the paddock interviews.he was asked to comment on the fact that vettel supposedly moved over to let him pass eventually but ricci then said, diplomatically’ that i’m not so sure about that? i think he went too deep’.

        ricciardo could easily have made a meal out of it all but he played it down. well done daniel.

      3. GWD says:

        In a perfect F1 world where driving directly behind another car doesn’t cause tyre degradation and unsettle the car’s aerodynamic efficiency, I fear you are correct. However, we currently don’t have this F1 world right now…

      4. Torchwood Five says:

        There may be pre-race instructions to not pass the lead RB car, so Dan calls in to see if it is okay to pass.

        Or, like I suspect happened with Bottas and Massa in the team orders they had, the following car catches up with the leading one, and checks in to make sure that passing it won’t compromise the strategy of the lead car.

      5. Ahmed says:

        Lol @achmed (phlegm)

        We saw the merc boys go head to head in bahrain, another race tht comes to mind is hungary 2011 (or was it 2012) where jenson and lewis were attacking each other for the lead. dan is in th big league now… We expect him to let his driving do the talking, yes he ws much faster thn vettel in the last 2 races but he needs to complete it with an on track overtake.

  83. Xcellent says:

    DAN THE MAN!!!!!

  84. rodolfo says:

    I am noticing a lot of irrational arguments here and not enough facts. Can you help to shed some light for us??
    1) what other issues other than skill can be olding back Vettel? Is it the so called engine mapping?
    2) Can you explain for those of us who are not experts – what that means “engine mapping”? and isn’t the engine mapping already fixed and therefore there is no room for improvement?
    thank you very much from a non expert

    1. James Allen says:

      I’m looking into it myself

      It’s to do with modes for energy regeneration under braking, delivery of power

      He’s not lacking skill, it’s getting comfortable with the way the car works. Raikkonen is also having problems

      I suspect Vettel will be consistently ahead of Ricciardo in the next month of so and then onwards

  85. Goob says:

    Vettel has been exposed… hopefully this will put to bed the nonsense about comparing Vettel to past greats, who actually ‘raced’ to victory…

    Driving to detlas is not a skill…

  86. james encore says:

    It’s interesting to see people talking about Seb turning nasty. It’s easy to put on a nice face when you’re winning. When you’re competitive enough to get into F1, and then into a top team , and then when win championships not winning is pretty sucky. Hamilton is going round saying “I’ve never been this happy” and various others look utterly miserable. This isn’t a surprise – or at least it shouldn’t be. Some Hamilton fans haven’t forgiven Alonso for how he was at McLaren when he wasn’t strolling to victory, well … it comes with territory.

    Some drivers (Seb, Jenson) like their cars really nailed down at the back and do better relative to the others when that’s what they’ve got; others do better relative to the others when they’re a bit loose. Seb hasn’t got on terms with this car; maybe he will maybe he won’t. And the advantage does appear to lie with Mercedes.

    I’m still interested in what happens among RBR management, if a driver doesn’t do as he’s told to the they sanction the driver or the management quit, or are team orders seen as things you can stick to or not , like FIA directives and contracts of employment.

    1. Goob says:

      Seb and Jen are not racers… they need to have have a massive car advantage, so their lack of skill can be compensated…

      Jenson relies entirely on luck and misfortune of others to hang onto F1.

  87. Fareed says:

    If Ricciardo ended up passing Alonso on the last lap, it would have been invalidated due to the early checkered flag and he would have lost a second podium through no fault of his own again. So in the end maybe good that Vettel held him up??

  88. StefMeister says:

    Just wanted to comment on Vettel & his struggles so far in 2014.

    Firstly I’ve seen a lot of comments about his struggles & Ricciardo been faster is showing him up as been overrated, His success was all about the car & was a fluke etc…
    Well why is it not been considered by some of these people that maybe Ricciardo is actually just very good & much better than they believed him to be? Afterall I saw some comments when he was announced as Webber’s replacement talking about how he was only signed because they wanted a weak teammate to play the clear #2.

    As to why Vettel is having a bit of a hard time, I think I share what Martin Brundle (And apparently others in the paddock) believe is the cause.
    That been that Vettel is used to having a ton of downforce with a very efficient blown diffuser & all the various engine maps & whatever else that Red Bull/Renault were using to increase downforce. By all accounts getting the most out of that setup required a specific way of driving, Something Vettel adapted to very well & something he changed his driving style to maximize performance gain in that area.

    With no meaningful testing Pre-season & the problems he had over the Melbourne weekend Vettel hasn’t had as much seat time to re-adapt his driving style to the new regulation & to start driving in a way to get the most out of the car under the new regulations.

    Daniel Ricciardo on the other hand was in a HRT/STR that didn’t have as much downforce, He never had the sort of performance gain from the blown diffuser that RBR had, He didn’t have to change his driving style to get the most out of that & the Renault engine maps.
    As such the banning of those things & effects the lower rear grip/downforce are having on this years car’s hasn’t affected him as much as it has Vettel & so he’s been able to jump in & just drive as he always has while Vettel is having to change his way of driving again to get used to the way things now are.

    Vettel will figure things out I’ve no doubt in that & I expect it to be soon. He will win races this year & I fully expect him to end the season ahead of Ricciardo in the championship standings & he will win more championships in the future.

    1. StefMeister says:

      Specifically regarding comments about Vettel been shown up as been overrated, His success was all about the car & was a fluke etc…

      Utter Nonsense!

      Contrary to what many ‘fans’ believe the best car does not automatically give you success, You still need to have a great driver in that car to get the maximum out of it.

      Great drivers will take ‘the best’ car & dominate with it, Good drivers will simply do OK & average drivers will be average in it.

      Vettel certainly didn’t have the best car at Sauber yet he still scored points on his debut, Regularly ended practice session at the top & clearly stood out as been a big talent.
      The STR he drove in 2007/08 wasn’t the best yet look what he did with that, A pole/Win at Monza & many other top performances where he was right up towards the front.

      Even at Red Bull there have been times when its not been the best car or where other cars have been on equal terms with it yet he’s still won races/championships.

      The people who still think Vettel to be ‘nothing special’ will think that regardless of what he does, They will ignore anything & everything which shows him to be one of the best & instead highlight the things which back up there opinion.

      Go back to 2010, These same people were going on about how he couldn’t race/overtake. They ignored all examples of him racing/overtaking & just focused on the 2-3 examples where he made mistakes.
      Through 2011/2012 he proved them all wrong by pulling off some brilliant overtakes yet you still hear people going on about how he can’t race.

      Vettel could start beating Ricciardo, Finish ahead of him in the championship standings & the critics will still find a way to dis-credit it.
      The people who just don’t like Vettel will never rate him, They will never give him credit, They will always have a reason as to why he wins & for them it will never be because he’s really good.

      Was exactly the same thing with Schumacher & there were people out there who believed the same with regards to Senna.

  89. Tim B says:

    I’m a long way from being a Vettel fan, but a lot of people seem to be writing him off too quickly. Certainly he’s struggling at the moment, but there’s no reason yet to assume that he and the team won’t get on top of it.

    I think sometimes we as fans forget how many different factors go into driving an F1 car on the limit. With the top guys it’s not as simple as “driver x is quicker than driver y”. It’s about optimally balancing a vast array of variables in real time. Vettel isn’t able to do that at the moment, and his own explanation seems plausible enough – he’s not as comfortable with a car that moves around as much as the current cars do.

    As many have said, the great drivers adjust their driving style to deal with new cars/tyres/conditions, and it will be fascinating to see how Vettel goes over the next few races. It’s also worth bearing in mind that Red Bull will be working like mad to get some of the lost downforce back in other ways, and as the car gets better Vettel will likely find it easier.

    As far as the team orders issue goes, I think people are tending to focus on the wrong aspect. Whether you think Vettel should have pulled over on this occasion or not (I tend toward not – 3rd was a long shot for Dan, so really the RB guys were racing each other for 4th), the interesting point is that Red Bull are still managing this very badly, despite all the problems they’ve had in the past.

    As a team, if you want to use team orders then you should have all the possible situations plotted out, a clear outline of what the team expects, and buy-in from the drivers, otherwise there will be tears. The consistent impression from Red Bull is that there isn’t a plan and that the drivers aren’t on board (true for Vettel and Webber, at least – Ricciardo hasn’t had an opportunity to let Vettel by yet).

    So far the worst that has happened has been bad publicity (and if you’re Red Bull, maybe any publicity is good publicity), but it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where it could cost them a championship if they don’t have this sorted.

    1. James Allen says:

      Remember 2007 when Raikkonen and Alondo both had to adapt from Michelins to Bridgestone tyres it took them a few races , especially Raikkonen

      …and he won the world title that year

      1. Krischar says:

        James, do you naively say Ricciardo is not quicker than vettel and it’s all down to vettel not being able to adapt to the new Formulae or cars?

        I cannot understand why people cannot give enough credit to Dan Ricciardo. He looks like the real deal and i am clearly confident even if vettel improves Ricciardo will easily fend him off.

        I am very sure when the chips are down and the car is difficult to drive vettel have always underperformed. I do think he does not deserve all his 4X WDC titles

      2. James Allen says:

        Let’s compare notes in the summer

      3. Phil R says:

        I love it when an armchair pundit calls an expert naive.

      4. Kay says:

        I was going to mention that too about tyres, just forgot which year.

        Took them half a year actually as far as I remember. It was a pain to watch their sufferings back then as I like them both. Glad they overcame that in the end.

        Hope Raikkonen will overcome his current issues soon.

      5. Tim B says:


  90. kenneth chapman says:

    i hear all the comments and the rationale for supporting vettel and yes, he is a good driver and i am certain that he still is. i for one feel that once he gets the car set up and performing to his style then we will see some spirited racing between both of them.

    actually though i have very little respect for vettel for all the very same reasons as a lot of others and that feeds my dislike of him overall. similar to shumacher and to a lesser degree senna. some of their actions were nothing short of despicable but that is another story.

    what i like about ricciardo is that he is up front and no BS. he gets on with the job and he is relentless. i see a lot of the alonso style in ricciardo and that cannot be a bad thing.

    vettel is being shown up by a ‘top team rookie’. as a four time WDC he should be a master at all things set up/control wise due to his vastly superior experience. that is what top drivers do. hamilton/alonso/rosberg are all coming to grips with the new complexities as one would expect at this level. don’t forget that these guys are very best in the world, broadly speaking that is.

    we have now completed four races or 20% of the total. it is time now for some serious race/team definitions to emerge. if vettel hasn’t put a definitive hold on ricciardo then his cred will be hard to re establish. for me there is nothing i would like more than for ricciardo to continue in the same way as he has started. am i totally confident….not really.

    1. James Allen says:

      I think post Barcelona test Vettel will be in top if his issues

      Let’s check in on this discussion again then

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        @ james, …..yes, by all means. as i said, i would absolutely love to see ricci smash vettel for whole host of reasons but, as i also said, i do fear that vettel will come back at him with a vengeance.

        ricci has laid down a marker so far and it is now up to vettel to re establish his credentials. given the support from his ‘cheer squad’[horner et al] he should, if he really is the real deal,easily overcome ricci. four years of total devotion and a great car should be more than enough for this to occur.

        so long as ricci keeps his head down and chips away then i will be a very happy fellow. already, after only four races, ricci has given me an exceptional amount of pleasure. hopefully there will be more to come.


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