F1 World Champion 2014
Lewis Hamilton
Vettel says of Ricciardo: ‘If he’s quicker than me, I have to accept it’
Scuderia Ferrari
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Posted By: Justin Hynes  |  19 Apr 2014   |  11:28 am GMT  |  297 comments

Sebastian Vettel has said that while his third qualifying defeat of the season to team-mate Daniel Ricciardo is “not to my liking”, he has to accept that “if he’s quicker than me, he’s quicker, nothing else.”

After losing out to his new team-mate in Australia, where he was dumped out in Q2 as Ricciardo went on to claim a front-row start, and then suffering the same fate in Bahrain, where he again exited qualifying in the second phase, Vettel has again struggled against the Australian here in China.

Despite easing through Q1 and Q2 ahead of Ricciardo, Vettel could not find the extra burst of pace need to seal the deal in the final 10 minutes and Ricciardo surged ahead of his team-mate with his final run to claim second place on the grid, beating Vettel out by just under half a second.

Afterwards, a magnanimous Vettel admitted that Ricciardo currently has the upper hand on merit alone.

“Daniel is doing a very good job, he has not just had one good weekend, he had good weekends and so far he seems to be able to get the maximum out of the car,” said the four-time champion who will line up third for tomorrow’s Chinese Grand Prix. “On my side, maybe I’m struggling a little bit more, but at the end of the day we have the same car, so if he manages to beat me, then he beats me on the circuit, fair and square. Of course, that’s not to my liking but equally, I know that I have to do a little bit better.”

Vettel continued by saying that he feels that improvements made in testing in Bahrain recently have improved his feeling fro the RB10, but he added that there is “a still a long way to go”.

“All in all I’ve felt happier this weekend,” he said. “We’ve made some improvements. The test after Bahrain helped on that front. But there is still a long way to go. Obviously a lot of things have changed but I don’t think that’s the reason for today’s performance. I would have loved to have got a bit more out of the last qualifying (the top 10 shootout) but I think I struggled a bit more than the front two.”

However, asked to detail the areas of the car that he is currently struggling with Vettel was cagey.

“I don’t want to blame anything on the car,” he said. “There are a lot of things that have changed, I don’t need to tell you. The cars are very different, everything underneath the body is very, very different, so I think there is a lot of work to be done to get it back to where I want it.”

Ricciardo, meanwhile, is looking increasingly confident and after landing his second front-row start of the year said that the fact that he has settled into the team quickly has helped his performance.

“I couldn’t have settled into the team any better to be honest, they made me feel at home very quickly and it’s helping me,” he said. “I’m really enjoying the driving and it seems to be showing with the results. I’m really pleased. The team is closing the gap to the front and we’re getting better each race.”

He admitted too that he had struggled in the early part of today’s qualifying session.

“To be honest, I struggled a bit throughout the session, at least personally I didn’t feel like I was getting on top of the conditions,” he said. “But then the last set of inters, right at the end of Q3, we managed to get a bit more out of it and I put a good lap together, so pretty pleased to be on the front row.

“It’s a challenging circuit, especially when a bit of water falls on the track it always makes it more challenging wherever you are,” he added. “And there’s a few places across the track here where there’s a tarmac change and you get quite a big difference in grip through some of these corners – so trying to basically find the right line and the best way to drive around, particularly these trickier parts of the track with tarmac changes, is a bit complex. Took a bit of time to understand that but I think we got it in the end.”

Ricciardo’s growing confidence, his ability to apparently match and outstrip Vettel’s usually impeccable one-lap pace and the champion’s obvious discomfort with the 2014-spec Red Bull add up to perhaps the biggest challenge he has yet faced. When it was later remarked that his body language and demeanour suggested he was somewhat downbeat, Vettel didn’t deny it.

“You know, I’m thinking a lot about the car. There are a lot of things going on in my head, maybe that’s why,” he said. “Formula One has got very complex and as a driver I think we have lost a lot of features, let’s say, and given a lot to the engineers, so it’s not that easy to understand and stay on top of everything. That’s why I think maybe I’m thinking more about the car in the last couple of years.

“Of course I’m not happy,” he concluded.  “I’m not here to finish third in qualifying or second, or behind my team-mate. Generally I’d love to… I’m here to win. As I said before, [Daniel’s] doing good. We have the same car and if he’s quicker than me, he’s quicker, nothing else. Maybe the car is not the way I like 100 per cent but I’m trying to work on that but for now, if the result is like this, I have to accept it.”

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297 Comments
  1. S Butts says:

    Ricciardo is the real deal.

    1. David in Sydney says:

      Well, he has surprised me but he really does pull out a fast lap during qualy.

    2. All revved-up says:

      Wonder if JEV is also being held back by the Torro Rosso, and could also shine like Ricciardo if given the opportunity.

      Hindsights a wonderful thing – but it looks like Webber should have been replaced earlier. (I’m a Webber fan.)

      1. Mhilgtx says:

        Yeah unfortunately it looks like either Webber and his antics and complaining were unfounded or he lost the Garage. I started out a Webber fan but he quickly lost my respect.

      2. Bradley says:

        Or hung around for one more season. Really depends how much influence you think rules and car design has on merit order within a team. Is Dan doing so much better than Webber because he is so much better, or because the EBD era was perfectly suited to Vettel, while this new turbo era is not (at least to the same extent)?

      3. marky2112 says:

        The main reasons why Vettel is a 4 time champion is he had a car that was miles better than the rest of the field and a teammate who should have retired 5 years ago. Vettel certainly is no Daniel Riccardo anyway. I suspect half the drivers on the field could beat Vettel in the same car.

      4. Ian says:

        Yes, it seems that Vettel needs oodles of downforce that the current setup just can’t provide.

        Remember that he also struggled early in 2010 when the Red Bull also lacked downforce, then improved later on.

        If this is true, his legacy as a great driver is in grave danger.

      5. littleredkelpie says:

        To compare Ricciardo and Webber in this fashion is simply ridiculous when arguably the biggest variable in the F1 world (the car) has changed.

      6. Chris G says:

        +1 (or two) I think it is two easy to compare drivers of different era’s (yes this is a differnet era) Fangio or Senna would likely be rubbish in these cars, we should not be to fast to judge a 4 times world champion (like we were quick to judge these cars as slow, unexciting, taxi’s) in that he was used to a car with loads of rear end grip, and is taking a little while to adjust, and his team mate who wasn’t (the TR ever had a lot of rear end grip) isn’t

      7. Alexander says:

        Are you crazy Chris, downforce it´s something big from the late 90´s and in the 80´s was the big era for turbo cars, so I don´t think Senna or Fangio will be rubbish. But talent also include bein able to adapt to different circumstances and it seems that Vettel does not have that as Raikkonen as well. They seem to have a narrow window in their driving style.

    3. Prine says:

      Its the kind of mindset Seb and Dan are in. Seb is dejected because he doesn’t have a dominant car and Dan is excited because he has a better car than previous years. :-) Anything less than a pole and a win, whether it is 2nd, 3rd or 4th, doesn’t seems to matter to Seb. Because Merc has such a big advantage, Seb feels he has no chance of catching them in Championship and probably due to that feeling, he is unable to give 100%. Whereas Dan is a like a kid who has got a new toy and just happy to everything. I am sure if Seb and Dan would have been in W05, the situation would have been entirely different.

      1. erik says:

        Totally true. I would like to add one more point to that. Schumacher was like mentor to Sebastian and i feel that Sebastian, seeing Michael in such a condition, has lost a little bit of fire or determination or something that brought him titles.

        I am sure Michael could give away all the titles to be normal to his family.

        Maybe Sebastian does not value the sport as he did before. He had said it before that f1 is just a one peace in life.

      2. Kyle says:

        I doubt that very much. If you spent any time in motorcycle racing paddocks you see guys getting hurt and killed. It never slows you down at all. I’ve seen it 10′s of times before. Just part of the game

      3. Kingszito says:

        @erik your post doesn’t make sense. People die and get hurt in every field of sports yet participants move on. Besides Schumi incident wasn’t in Formula one car. So I don’t see how that could affect Seb.

        I would rather agree with @Prine, but then this can be said to all other world champions on the grid that they give their best when they are on a title contender car, but then it come to prove that Seb was’t special after all rather his car made him look so. Believe it or not Stars are known when they are in a lesser machinery. Not that Seb has anything to prove to anyone, but he is as special as any other world champion on that grid no more no less only his car made him look more.

      4. clyde says:

        Hmmm +1 for originality that’s a new one :-)

      5. erik says:

        You are talking about the past here. You are right, it was very common to drive through your friends bodies just to win.
        Priorities changing tough.

        Just like it was unthinkable to car manufacturers to say they will not race if there`s not a deeper reason for that beside drive around and waste a lot of money just to see who is faster. Now they want to have engines they can use in more wider purposes.

        Mercedes threatened to leave, renault was pessimistic. Now honda will come back and few more are interested too.

        So, common sense triumphs and priorities shift.

        Your post is disrespectful and out of date.

      6. GP says:

        I disagree,

        The first driver you need to beat is your team mate, whichever end of the grid. Otherwise you hear “JoBlo is faster than you.” And then you’re looking for a job.

      7. Quade says:

        @Prine
        You kidding? Seb has told us what he feels in quite a few sentences, so where are your thoughts coming from and why attribute them to Vettel?

      8. keke says:

        Yes, seems to be the case. Seb looks a little dejected. If he cant come first, 2nd or 3rd doesnt matter. Being a new dad doesnt help the energy levels either.

      9. marky2112 says:

        No Daniel would beat him in any car just about I think. Webber was slow and should of retired 5 years ago. Half the drivers in the field could beat Vettel in the same car. It was the car and the team that won the last 4 championships. If Hamilton was his teammate the last 4 years Vettel would have zero championships.

    4. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      There are Champions and True Champions…

      It doesn’t matter if you have won 1,2 or 4 championships, but VETTEL is not in the same league than ALONSO, HAMILTON.

      Usually the True Champions have the best car, but they are not beat by teammates, and they are consistent through the years regarding the whole grid and teammates. Example, BUTTON is just a Champion (with nice PR), RAIKONNEN a True Champion.

      All in all to say VETTEL is like BUTTON.

      1. Chris says:

        Erm, Button Beat Lewis and Kimi lost out to Massa so you post makes no sense buddy, sorry.

        (I am a big Lewis and Nando fan btw)

      2. Mike from Colombia says:

        That old chesnut

      3. fox says:

        Kimi won title, Massa lost title. That makes True difference.

      4. Jez Playense says:

        Kimi was beaten by Massa one year. He also bear Massa the previous one… Same with Hamilton? Lets not have this “He’s a champion, but the other is a champion champion” nonsense. The drivers themselves frequently say the one who wins is the champion, and if the say so, it must be goo enough for us armchair drivers! LOL.

      5. Dr Lewis says:

        Hmmm

        Actually button had one good year while ham had his worst ever. And don’t give me that ‘add up all the points across the years’ rubbish that the idiots come out with on another site. There is no question Lewis came out worst in the reliability and pit stop screw up issues and that he had one bad year.

        He absolutely and demonstrably won the important battles that sit in the history books.

        Nothing to be ashamed of but, Button came out second best on any realistic measure – those that count anyway. He did however (understandable given his almost double number of races within F1 when compared to Ham) put up a better fight than Alonso did in 07. Like I said, nothing to be ashamed of. And he won some commendable races when everything went his way.

        What he did not do is win when neither he nor the car should have (Ham wins in 09 for example) and frankly it looks unlikely he will win anything for some time for all his changeable weather abilities unless Ron can work some remarkable miracles. That is a shame.

        But beat Lewis? – really? Very occasionally with a prevailing wind, favourable pit and mechanical circumstances, a favoured status etc etc, but then you surely could not expect anyone to win everything all of the time in the rarified air of F1.

        Perhaps the measure is who won the most wheel to wheel battles? Obvious really.

        That said, one has to ask questions of how the team has performed since Lewis left and if losing such a talent has left a development hole? I am pretty sure Ron thought so.

        Having watched and, in the early years of karting, raced against both of them, I can honestly say the answer is obvious. Button is quick. Lewis had something extra. Given a competitive car, he is now showing it. His stats have always suggested such, like or loathe him.

      6. Chris says:

        In Reply to Dr Lewis

        Did you read the part where I stated I was a Lewis Fan? Maybe go back an check some of previous posted before barking up the wrong tree.

        I personally just prefer to NOT knock other drivers that are proven world champions when bigging up my current fav driver, who as already stated is Lewis, who I have followed since his exciting and sometimes crazy GP2 days.

        I never quoted the total points over three years rubbish you speak of because I don’t buy that, each season is treated in it own right and sadly for one reason or another Lewis did get beat by Jenson one year, so deal with it.

        I merely stated he beat Lewis once out of three (and he did) so get off your high horse and go preach to someone else. Some of Lewis’s fans give the rest of us a bad name.

      7. Michael says:

        @ Chris Please, I doubt very much you are a Lewis Hamilton fan. Nice try though. lol

      8. Cee says:

        Webber and Ricciardo fan here… Ummm Vettel by your definition would be a true champion then.

        Best car, beat webber 5 years straight and has won as you said 4 WDC titles and has consistently beaten the whole grid.

        I’m not a fan of Vettel but it’s pretty hard not to hold him in the same regard as Alonso or Hamilton.

      9. Steve Zodiac says:

        +1

      10. Glennb says:

        Well said Cee. I was going to post the same thing but couldn’t be bothered. Some kids just get too carried away and post without thinking it through.
        Bottom line, the Champion is the guy who finishes the season with the most points. Doesn’t matter who his team mate was or where he came from.

      11. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        HAMILTON has overtaken hundreds of cars, and ALONSO too. VETTEL just is not the case.

      12. Chris says:

        Hey Mike from Colombia, these are facts though.

        Button did beat Lewis in 1 year out of their 3 together as team mates and Kimi did lose out to Massa. Most history can be considered old regardless of how you choose to roast it.

        I quite dislike Vettel but credit where due, he did win four on the bounce and Button is also a world champ and while I rate Lewis and Nando higher myself I always hate to see these guys run down as not true champs, it’s demeaning and these guys are legends in my eyes.

      13. Grant says:

        “All in all to say VETTEL is like BUTTON”

        You’re spot on there buddy.
        They both need the car be absolutely perfect.

      14. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        Yes, you are right, thanks.

      15. Rich B says:

        weird comment and I’m a Hamilton fan. massa beat kimi and vettel has never lost to a teammate so by your theory that makes him a ‘true champion’

        nevermind, trying to suggest vettel isn’t a true champion is farcical anyway.

      16. Chris says:

        + 1 buddy, agreed.

        I can’t believe these guys kicked off because I stated Jenson got Lewis one year. It was a dark time as a Lewis fan, he had both myself and my son quite worried at one point. Thankfully Lewis stopped meeting up with Massa for a tangle each weekend and did we we all hoped and knew was possible; came back stronger and this year Lewis seems more composed and mature then even, and the results show the same for me.

        I don’t like Vettel much but four on the bounce is four on the bounce, Button made the best of his situation and took what was on offer, we all know F1 is mostly about the car but you still have to beat your team mate.

        I follow Lewis because he is the most exciting driver on the current grid hands down but that does not mean I have to bash every single other driver in the process of supporting him.

        I have followed the sport for over 30 years and I have always been drawn to the more exciting drivers on track including, Senna, Villeneuve, Montoya, Mansell and Lewis. Drivers come and go but I still love the “sport” and it’s many faces.

        Peace, Chris.

      17. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        MASSA is not a champion… (he’s a loser- championship contender).

        He does not count in this discussion.

      18. F1.6T says:

        Errrr, they wouldn’t be champions if they were beaten by team-mate when they had the best car. That would mean their team-mate won wouldn’t it.

      19. Quade says:

        @Tornillo Amarillo
        You hit the bullseye! Lewis and Alonso are the stand out class drivers.

        The past few years have been something of a blot, with plastic races, plastic EBD, plastic TYRE’s and maybe the wrong champion. As for Vettel, he seems to have gained as much as both he and F1 have lost – if Riciardo outshines him this season, his four championships would rapidly lose currency.

        I’ve always rated Alonso higher than Lewis, even though Lewis is faster. That’s because he has the guile that comes with experience, while Lewis seemed to have his mojo suppressed at McLaren.
        However, Lewis has grown massively in stature at Merc and could even surpass Alonso this year.

      20. fox says:

        let’s see how those two will battle during next two years, both on good cars.

        this is difficult to arrange, because if Alonso switch the team to new, it will take two years to build the people & tune the car around him. Staying in Ferrari is uncertain, with new boss… they may rock, they may suck.

        but nothing is more interesting that the battle of Alonso and Hamilton.

      21. JB says:

        Vettel is often a slow starter. Just look at his 2012 and 2010 campaign. When the car is not right, he tends to be slower than teammate.

        I think he is showing what a true champ that he is. When Alonso was threaten by teammate, he backstab the whole team. When Hamilton was threaten, he just lie to the media (in Melbourne 2009 and looks like Bahrain 2014).

        I have even more respect for Vettel now. I will never have any respect of drivers like Alonso.

      22. Andrew M says:

        Yeah, because Vettel has never done anything morally suspect when threatened by a teammate.

      23. Richard says:

        massa isn’t a champion and he still beat kimi which gives even more reason kimi isn’t a true champion according to your logic.

        no point arguing about it though because claiming there’s such a thing as a true champion is stupid, whoever scores the most points wins, end of.

      24. marky2112 says:

        Vettel only won the 4 championships because he had a weak teammate. He’s not a bad driver he just isn’t a top 5 like Hamilton or Alonso.

      25. Scott D says:

        All this talk of Vettel not being a true champion is laughable, particularly only a few races into the season. Reminds me of an old golfing joke: “Jack Nicklaus wasn’t such a great golfer, he just had a twenty five year lucky streak…”

        Ultimately, there is no factual basis for such criticism, other than a personal dislike.

    5. Gaz Boy says:

      He is indeed.
      I think the difference between Mark and Daniel – in relation to Sebastian – is that Daniel seems quite happy with pre-apex oversteer in a way Mark didn’t, particularly in slow corners. I was watching his quali lap on the BBC and noticed that Daniel was using the pre-apex oversteer in slow corners to straighten the car early and allow for fast throttle application out of the curves.
      This is actually a similar technique to Sebastian, pretty much identical actually. I suppose when Helmut Marko was analysing Daniel’s technique at Torro Rosso, he realised that he had a driver whose driving technique and set up preferences were the same as Sebastian.
      From looking at the quali footage, I would say Daniel’s lap time advantage over Sebastian has come in the fast swoopy corners in the middle of the circuit – and weirdly enough, Mark was always slightly better at Sebastian at the mega fast corners at Silverstone too!

      1. Martin says:

        An interesting analysis – not something I’ve been able to check.

        I’ll be more interested in long run pace differences than one lap differences. Wet qualifying sessions can be a lottery with getting the tyre temperatures right.

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        Martin, it could be an age and “culture” overlap with Sebastian and Daniel.
        Daniel is in the same age range as Sebastian, and I would suspect in their days driving in the lower formulas, both Daniel and Sebastian established a technique of using pre-apex oversteer to “back” the car into a slow corner, thus allowing early throttle application.
        Its worth remembering there was an 11 year odd year age gap between Mark and Sebastian, and culturally – ie in terms of driving technique, race craft learned from the lower formulas – there was very little overlap in terms of set up preferences and rotational technique.
        The only slight difference between Sebastian and Daniel is that Sebastian uses a big blip of throttle when the pre apex oversteer arrives, perhaps Sebastian does the same thing but much more moderated.
        I could be wrong, and if I am feel free to correct me, but I suspect in terms of driving technique and set up preferences Sebastian and Daniel have a strong similarity.

      3. Martin says:

        Hi Gaz,

        I haven’t seen the footage to comment on the techniques.

        I don’t really see Webber’s era as being the issue as the cars in there respective eras weren’t too different, I think it more down to individual talent. Webber was thereabouts in a few championships but never the stand out champion. With David Campese, Alan Docking, Norbert Haug, Paul Stoddart and Flavio Briatore, Webber took advantage of a succession of career sponsors to get to F1. Without often being brilliant, he was good enough not be forgotten. Once he got to F1 the cars started moving away from where his talents lay, particularly with the tyres.

        cheers,
        Martin

  2. Ealdfrith says:

    The new Senna is getting consistently beaten by his rookie teammate… kinda puts a new perspective in the four previous WDCs, doesn’t it?

    Wonder if Hamilton or Alonso would be suffering that much at Ricciardo’s hands.

    In any case kudos to him for admitting to it fair and square.

    1. Grant says:

      Martin Brundle will be devastated to hear this admission by VET.

    2. F1.6T says:

      How is Ricciardo a rookie? He had 2 years at Torro Roso, lets have less of all this silly talk. This site used to be full of knowledgeable “real” F1 fans instead of people with half facts grasping at straws.

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

      I wouldn’t be mentioning Vettel in the same breath as Senna let alone alongside him lol.. Are you joking or what?

  3. Sebee says:

    Well, if nothing else he is honest about the situation.

    1. Nathan Jones says:

      For pity’s sake, someone hand the boy a blown diffuser. He’s drowning without it.

      1. Michael says:

        Yes, he is. lol

      2. dufus says:

        Very funny…

      3. Dr Lewis says:

        Brilliant

      4. Andy Warhol says:

        +1

      5. barata says:

        +10!

    2. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      Honest? When it is obvious RIC got better results?

      “It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”
      ― George Washington

      1. Sebee says:

        Look, there is a learning curve to this rear brake recovery thingimajig. Some are taking a bit of time to get used to it. Daniel seems to be quicker to get used to it. That’s all.

      2. Matthew Cheshire says:

        But thats massive. Vettel always dominated Webber when they had blown diffusers, but it was even otherwise.

        If Vettel is a “one trick pony” he’s going to fade back into the pack like Button.

        When there have been major changes like the tyres, Vettel hasn’t been the quickest to adapt.

        Big rule changes, fast teammate, crap engine.

        This could be his “annus horribilis”

      3. James Allen says:

        How can a 4 x World Champion, a contender every year since 2009 be a “one trick pony” ?

      4. Glennb says:

        All these changes and you have it down to a rear brake thingamajig? :)
        I still love reading your comments Sebee ;)

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

        Or he’s just plain quicker than Vettel… It is possible you know.

      6. dan says:

        James you professional ‘pundits’ make me laugh.

        Ask yourself who did Vettel REALLY beat for thos titles? Mark Webber. A journey at best who was also one of the oldest drivers on the grid. Thats it. He was flattered by a mediocre team mate and dominant car and tricked all the clowns into thinking he was something special.

        Now no magic car and fresh new team mate is exposed as the same driver who was average in F3. Have fun taking the pie off your faces all season.

      7. barata says:

        James asked: How can a 4 x World Champion, a contender every year since 2009 be a “one trick pony” ?

        Well, having the dominant car that suited *his* style and didn’t suit his colleague, and also been preferred inside the team might just explain it in my book. Or do you really think that Ricciardo is that quick? It could even be that Webber, with the way the cars now behave, could be doing the same to Seb (although I doubt that we’d hear the “Seb, Webber is quicker than you” phrase — F1 is such a political game!).

      8. marky2112 says:

        Easy James he had a weak teammate and a car that was head and shoulders above everyone else’s. If Hamilton or Alonso had been his teammate and not Webber Vettel would have zero championships.

      9. Sebee says:

        dan

        Not sure where you’ve been, but Webber wasn’t 2nd in the WDC standings against Vettel, which likely means someone else was beaten to the WDC.

      10. Sebee says:

        Glennb,

        Apparently that rear brake energy recovery unit can be challenging. I wonder how and if feel changes over race distance or if it remains predictable and linear. Which if any friction components wear and how does it impact brake bias settings ability during race.

    3. Purple Helmet says:

      Yes, and hasn’t made excuses or tried to deflect the blame.

      1. Sebee says:

        Other thing is, maybe my boy isn’t #1 on the team any more. Maybe RBR are getting ready for his potential departure next to Hamilton at Mercedes? :-)

      2. marky2112 says:

        Vettel wouldn’t stand a chance against Hamilton.

      3. Nathan Jones says:

        Go to Merc? So that after he’s been humbled by Ricciardo, Lewis can beat ten bells out of him??? It’d be the end of him.

  4. bronnie says:

    Love it!!!! I bet RB are glad they decided to take Daniel instead of Kimi!

    1. Alexander Supertramp says:

      Horner is kicking himself!

      1. Grant says:

        :D
        This was not supposed to happen!

      2. Michael says:

        Yes, but it is happening and I’m loving it. lol

    2. Elie says:

      Whos to say Kimi wouldnt go better than both???. Just because hes struggling in that heap if &$@ Ferrari.. How quickly people forget what he did at Lotus

      1. Sebee says:

        Hey, like in sales and love…there is only on thing that seems to matter in F1:

        What have you done for me lately?

        Records and WDCs you enjoy when you retire and look back.

      2. Elie says:

        Well Schumi has 7 and still most people say there was better. Seb already has one of the best records but already there are better.

        What can Hulkenberg have done better?? If Hamilton were Sebs team mate in Red Bull- how many WC do you think they have..?? The WDC is every drivers dream but not everything falls into place on the day & we all know theres alot more than driving that gets you one.

        When drivers look themselves in the mirror they know who is better – it doesnt matter how many shiny things they have in their cabinet or what Wikipedia says–thats for most people on here..

      3. justafan says:

        Well said.

      4. Anil Parmar says:

        The Lotus was often the best car on race day. It’s a shame Kimi struggled so much against Grosjean in the second half of last year.

        I do find it odd how much of a narrow set up window Kimi has. He’s turned into Jenson.

      5. Elie says:

        Do you mean when Kimi was half a second faster at the last track & outqualied & raced him in both years . If your talking about Kimi having the best drivers stats than All team mate pairings in F1 over 2 years..perhaps you should rethink your comments..

      6. k5enny says:

        Its clear that that Lotus should have been a championship winner.

      7. Elie says:

        Really!!- given Red Bull quali pace was often 1 sec faster than everyone and after Singapore more than 1 sec in race pace..c’mon people get a grip

      8. Matthew Cheshire says:

        Alonso has shown the Fiat is third fastest at worst. Kimi has shown he’s five places slower than Alonso.

        So I’m happy to say Kimmi isn’t faster than Riccardo or Vettel.

        I’m happy to draw a Venn Diagram if that helps!

      9. Elie says:

        Whos saying Fernando isnt faster- of course he is !- Just give Kimi time to adjust

      10. Anil Parmar says:

        @Elie, in response to your reply regarding kimi.

        I wasn’t talking about the last race, I meant the whole of the season after the rule change (tyres). He struggled with tyre warm up and got out performed quite a few times vs Grosjean. Narrow set up windows, et al.

      11. Elie says:

        I know what you meant.. But the real answer was the long wheelbase chassis introduced around Monza ?whilst it gave greater aero efficiency and stability it created an understeering car.. I think after Korea reverted back to the short wheelbase car (with all the upgrades) the E21 came right back to Kimi. In Abu Dhabi he was significantly faster in quali (1/2sec) and found the balance in the car again.. A real pity about the floor in that race and more so the problems with Lotus’s “broken heart” at his departure!.. I think he would have been much closer to Seb had he raced the last 2 races ( & the fact he never complained about his back- though Im sure it must have been an issue)

        There is no doubt that Kimi needs a car to be within that narrow window you mention. But this is totally and thoroughly correct. Every driver should get a car as close as possible to their driving needs. It is absolutely & completely pointless for a top a driver to drive a car thats not quite right and expect he will win a championship– This is exactly why -despite Fernando consistently driving better than most for 4 years has not got a title.– He and Ferrari have not been able to get the car to the point of near perfection.People like Kimi / Hamilton and Vettel need and insist on that exact set up- but once they get it – no one comes close. If Ferrari want to solve its problems fast they need to adapt the car exactly to its drivers needs.. Its no surprise that since the Bahrain test and the testing on Kimis chassis some visible gains have been made. Kimi needs to adjust a bit more – but the same can be said for Seb & is it no coincidence that guys who had terrific downforce and balanced cars last year are struggling this year- I think not.

      12. marky2112 says:

        Kimi is very picky with the front end of the car, I suspect they haven’t got it the way he likes it. He easily beat Grosjean over the course of a season.

  5. Gaz Boy says:

    Full marks for honesty from Sebastian. Actually, I think he likes having a team-mate who can push him hard, race in, race out – a driver has to raise his game if he keeps getting out-driven. So it’ll push on both drivers, likewise push on Red Bull to get and grab the Mercs balls. Well, Daniel is nicknamed the honey-badger and Jezza said on the Top Gear Botswana special than those creatures like to grab a gentlemen’s area……….(bit like Jessica with Jenson, albeit in a more “tender” and “playful” way???)
    By the way, thanks to our friends in the Commonwealth for responding to my post about F1 feed in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Malaysia et al – I forgot to mention Guyana (the only English speaking country in main-land South America) hello to all those in Georgetown! I think when Mr E and Rupert signed their “nice contract” both assumed the UK audience and Commonwealth countries would jump into bed with Sky, but it hasn’t happened en masse.
    Anyway, DC and Ben have got the chemistry between them spot on – a perfect blend of analysis, humour, constructive criticism and praise, banter and enthusiasm. What’s more Mark is providing some excellent insights into the animal we call the F1 driver, his Porsche sports car commitments allowing. I think Mark might have given Daniel one of his special pills……..don’t worry Random 79, its just a tiny thermometer developed by the University of Melbourne to analyse a drivers core temperature during a race weekend.
    Speaking of the commonwealth, its about time F1 went back and had a grand prix in the Rainbow Nation. There is a big – massive! – African sized hole in the F1 world championship and South Africa has the facilities, infrastructure and pedigree to run an F1 event. There has been talk and rumour of an F1 race around the streets of Durban or Cape Town, or possibly a return to Kyalami. It can’t come soon enough in my opinion. F1 is a world championship series and yet is missing the continent that was the birth place of modern humanity?
    Also, its about time F1 had a top driver from South Africa and New Zealand. Daniel is doing his bit for AUS, but its about time we had a front running Springbok and Kiwi in the F1 pack. Perhaps a driver from the Rainbow Nation or the Land of the Long White Cloud will break through in the next few years. Hope so.
    Anyway, lets hope its a cracking race on the morrow.

    1. Ahmed says:

      As a South African it pains me to say that it is highly unlikely that Formula 1 will ever make its return to our streets. Our economy just won’t provide for it; once the novelty wears off, the facility will become a white elephant like the many soccer stadiums that were built for thr 2010WC notwithstanding the fact the the average South African will be placed well out of budget for attending a race weekend.

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        RE Ahmed: As you’re a South African, you are better qualified than me to judge the potential of F1 going back to the Rainbow Nation. And since I believe you to be totally genuine, it is shame and pity that F1 isn’t going back to the African continent any time soon.
        I’m also a bit surprised too, as Mr E seems to drop a hint of “a race in South Africa” every so often, but having said that taking him at face value is incredibly unwise at best. He was talking airily about a street race in Cape Town a few years ago, but nothing came of it, but then even the race in New Jersey has been cancelled twice, so like I said, just nod at Mr E’s comments, smile politely and let his comments go through one ear and out the other!

      2. Ahmed says:

        The venue they had in mind for the cape town race just wouldn’t cut it, those streets are narrow for ordinary road cars let alone the wider f1 cars. Personally this is how I see it, as a motorsport fan I’d want nothing more then having a race at our doorstep. As a South African I do not want it as it is not economically viable. That money will be better spent on uplifting the country, and although f1 would bring a ton of exposure over SA it will not lead to long term sustainability, its mostly just going to line Mr E’s pocket better. SA has great possibility but let’s say that it is “mismanaged” ;)

      3. Eff1ohsaurus says:

        Sadly i doubt SA will see F1 in the near furure.Kyalami is no longer the legendary circuit of yore and circuits like Killarney in the Cape would require massive investments to get up to standard. A street circuit has been punted to include a stadium section inside the Cape Townn stadium but was shot down by environmentalists and residents…Durban hosted A1 years ago but there were issues from residents there too…whilst F1 has a big following in SA the government wont invest in something still regarded as minority sport…even our local motorsport series are nowhere near as good as the halcyon days of the 90s. We do have Phakisa in Welkom in the Free State but its too far for most fans to travel and besides…the ticket prices would bankrupt an average family

      4. Gaz Boy says:

        Thanks for your informed and measured response!
        One of my neighbours travelled to SA in 2009 to watch the British Lions 3rd test at Joburg, and came back saying if you haven’t been to the Rainbow Nation, you haven’t lived!
        Actually, after the match, he told me he and some other supporters went to Kyalami Ranch Tennis Club or the Kyalami Sport & Function Centre. I believe that is in Midrand, Gauteng Province, is that correct? Anyway, they had a good look around the hallowed nearby tarmac of the circuit, which holds so many great memories for F1.
        I have to ask, why did the circuit owners dramatically alter the old Kyalami circuit? It was similar to the old Osterriechring and Silverstone, basically very long straights connected by mega fast corners such as Barbecue Bend and the incredible Jukskei sweep. Just check out footage of Keke Rosberg picking a fight with those corners at the 1985 GP – the last on the classic old circuit.
        Realistically South Africa is the only country in that incredible continent that could hold an F1 race – like I said, there is a massive African sized gap in the F1 world championship.
        Perhaps in a few years things will improve, both in F1 and SA, and hopefully – hopefully! – grand prix rightly returns to Africa.

    2. Gudien says:

      ????????????

    3. Henri says:

      As much as I would love to have a Grand Prix in South Africa again, our country can spend that money on better things than lining Bernie’s pockets.

      1. Eff1ohsaurus says:

        What like Nkandla…R246 million of taxpayers money spent on JZ’s home incl swimming pool cattle kraal et al…

        No thanks id rather watch F1….

      2. Henri says:

        Yes, that is exactly what I meant.

      3. Dr Lewis says:

        Absolutely – SA needs more than an F1 race frankly but I had a fantastic time racing Superkarts at Kylami some years ago while working there for said, rather poor government and was stunned at the enthusiasm and commitment of the amateur classes. Puts us in UK to shame and one of your countryman came over here and built the very best chassis I and others ever used – ADE. It was a master class in engineering superiority and innovation compared to other UK chassis and blitzed everything. Despite legality calls (sound familiar?) such a shame he could not continue.

        On topic

        Did not have much time for SV before now given his remarkable car advantages, but a little humbleness goes a long way.

        He is having a LH 09 year but also being beaten up by his team mate who despite this issues probably feels this Red Bull is the best thing he has ever driven. Hence he can’t see anything amiss.

        SV maximised a method of using the remarkable rear stability and downforce of the RB to maximise the blown diffuser in slow and med corners to an extent nothing else could get near it. Add last years mid year harder tyres and the Pirelli guys prediction in 013 testing came true – we make harder tyres and red bull will walk it. Good on SV but now he is going through the painful process of unlearning all that he relied on and not only find some other way of driving but actually having to experience a team mate who thinks the car is good!

        Not easy times and quite possibly its going to take some time.

        His recovery time will determine his status as a driver despite all the records…

    4. Gaz Boy says:

      Thanks to all the respondents about my post about F1 going back to South Africa.
      I think we’ve all hit the nail on the head – it’s not that SA doesn’t want a grand prix, but that little man with the pudding basin haircut would charge a stupid amount of money for any circuit or promoter wishing to do so.
      However…………
      There is a court case coming up soon – Munich apparently – and irrespective of the outcome, the way F1 and FOM is run will have to change. We are witnessing the last days of Mr E’s Rome, and hopefully a new organiser of the F1 calender and circus will introduce a more egalitarian and benevolent system than that currently in place, where the fiscal distribution is equally divided to the teams, and that circuit owners/promoters will not be changed extortionate rates for putting on a race.
      That might seem idealistic, but there’s good reason – the F1 governance is going to change. And if it change for the better, than classic venues and countries like South Africa will rightly take their place on the F1 calender.
      Progress is a comfortable disease – not just in democracy, but also F1.

    5. marky2112 says:

      Im from Georgetown Ontario Canada if that is where you mean?

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        I meant Georgetown in Guyana, but netherless, to our Canadian friends and allies, hello!
        PS Do you go to Montreal to watch the GP? Always one – if not the best – race of the season. On these boring new Tilke dromes, if a driver makes a slight mistake, they run wide, get away with it.
        If a driver makes a mistake at Montreal, he has a chat with the walls!
        2011 Canadian GP one of the best races in F1 history………..just my opinion.

  6. kenneth chapman says:

    vettel showing some humility? i very much doubt it. given the results to date, for him to say anything other than what he has stated would be met with derision. that said however, it would be interesting to hear what is going down in his side of the garage.

    i must say that i am enjoying the challenge that is being thrown up at him. i have no doubt that when he gets on top of his issues he will be very very hard for daniel to beat. that being so ricciardo is doing a really great job all things considered.

    it is just a pity that the australian results were stripped out but nevertheless the future does look interesting and i hope that the red bulls can claw back some of the deficit before mercedes become unassailable and lock away the WC’s.

  7. graham says:

    Wow!. Vettel never said that about Webber, on the few occasions that Webber beat him :) .
    He certainly seems to have more “respect” for Ric, even at this early stage. Perhaps we have wrong about Vet, and he really isn’t as arrogant as we thought….perhaps. Anyway, it’s good to see someone admit that maybe, just maybe, the other bloke is quicker.

    1. marky2112 says:

      More like he’s quicker for sure, like half the other drivers in F1 probably are too in the same car.

  8. Dutch johhny says:

    Mature response.. Alonso could learn for that..
    In my opinion he never was on the level of greats like Schumacher,Senna,Fangio,Stewart but every driver has his struggles ofcourse.

    What i really find saddening is most of the posters here are laughing there balls off and make downgrading comments. I mean the guy is one of the top guys, you could see it in his torro rosso days. But some people act like he is some sort of useless driver and i dont think thats true. Golden boy hamilton got beat in 2011 by button and trulli was beating nando quite comfortable in 2004 until Flavio interfeared. What i always liked about this site was the mature and knowligable comments, sometimes i wonder if im on a site with 15 year olds, laughing at other drivers misfortunes, Pathetic really..

    1. Matt says:

      I am surprised by many downgrading Vettel as if he was gifted everything he earned over the years. Is he struggling? Yes. Will he be back in winning ways? Yes. Vettel is indeed a deserved Champion and the fact that he has currently lost his way with the new cars shouldn’t negate everything he has done.

      I agree that so many things today become sensationalized. I believe that a true test of a champion is how they behave when they have lost their way. For me Vettel has been very mature and fair with his assessments. Good for him for admitting that Dan is doing a better job right now.

      It’s also rather funny that Vettel can qualify in 3rd position and for many posters it is signaling his end! 3rd? Really, I think there are many drivers who would like to start 3rd.

      Level heads as we watch the drama unfold.

      One last thing, the only driver I enjoy laughing at is Pastor Maldonado! What a knuckle head!

      1. Mhilgtx says:

        Oh yes Pastor Maldonado!!!

        Never has there been a sports figure that has better characterized his country’s leadership and bankrupt philosophy’s about personal responsibility and class warfare. Supported by money stolen from others and backed by a regime that blames those that work for those that are poor being poor.

        It really is a shame that wall wrecked him he was just showing how stylish a return to the pit might be. Well he can always have his government close another appliance chain and give away the Tvs to the mobs standing outside.

      2. Matthew Cheshire says:

        Did you notice with back end of his car missing, pastor’s name just read “past”. If anybody appears from Venezuela who can use a steering wheel without smashing something, that’s where Pastor will be.

      3. marky2112 says:

        Vettel had a car that was miles ahead of everyone else and a weak teammate. Anyone can win under those conditions. Vettel is okay but he isn’t a top 5 driver like Hamilton or Alonso, heck he isn’t even a Riccardo.

    2. Rafael says:

      Alonso can learn from whom? Fernando has been nothing but mature, with the way everything is going at Ferrari. His public criticism of the team is a strategic move to get the boys to push harder, rather than a Maldonado-esque rant.

      In 2004, by the time Jarno Trulli was sacked by Flavio Briatore (post Italian GP) he was only one point ahead of Alonso, mind you. Also, at the time he was sacked, the Spaniard had begun to string together far better results – in the next 9 races they spent as team-mates, after Trulli’s win in Monaco, Jarno no longer got into the podium and only scored points 3/9 times (4th place x3 ). Meanwhile, in the same time period, Alonso scored points 4/9 times, with 3/4 being podium finishes.

      No one is taking anything away from Vettel. Like him or loathe him, he is still a 4 time world champion. If anything, what people (like myself) are saying (implied behind all the [mod] is with this season looking to be a tough one for him (so far, no more car advantage + younger and more aggressive team-mate), he can use it as an opportunity to show the world the true depth of his skill and the strength of his character. I mean, we all know he may/will likely end up with nothing (given Mercedes is too far out front), but we would at least like to see him put up one hell of a fight (e.g. consistently out-performing his sub-par car to finish on the podium and/or occasionally splitting the Mercedes drivers and denying them a 1-2)… You know, just like the kind of stuff Fernando used to do and still does nowadays given the chance.

      1. Dr Lewis says:

        Yep – and don’t forget Hamilton has also done the same in a car even worse and succeeded. So can the silly crowd stop with the ridiculousness. The three are the very top of the tree. SV and LH in far fewer races it has to be said so sit back and enjoy.

      2. marky2112 says:

        Vettel is nowhere near as fast as Hamilton. Vettel had a great car and a weak teammate the last 4 years. He isn’t even as good as Riccardo.

    3. JohnP says:

      So true about the other comments. Although this site has less bias comments than BBC and Sky Sports!

    4. Yago says:

      That Trulli thing in 2004 is not true, and I see people here saying it again and again…

      1. justafan says:

        Trulli was leading Alonso in the standings before he got sacked. Trulli also won the only race for the team in Monaco. Although that happened after Montoya eliminated Schumi.

      2. Yago says:

        Points: Alonso 45-Trulli 46
        Race finish position head to head: Alonso 6-Trulli 8 (some DNF’s from Alonso due to technical failures)
        Quali head to head: Alonso 7- Trulli 8
        Fastest laps: Alonso 11- Trulli 4

        Is that comfortably beating Alonso? I don’t think so, not any more.

      3. Gaz Boy says:

        Ah, the Trulli Train!
        I remember Jarno and his amazing qualifying laps, especially from 2003 to 2005 with the one-shot qualify with your race fuel era. He was amazing at that, spellbinding even.
        Unfortunately………he moved at a snails pace in the actual races, and even back in that 3 litre V10 rocket era it was very difficult to pass the Trulli train even if a driver could lap 3 seconds a lap faster!
        I remember actually teams used to calculate their strategy based on where a driver would come after his first pit stop in relation to Jarno. If a driver exited after his first pit stop and got stuck behind the Trulli train his race was wrecked!

      4. Yago says:

        Hahahha the Trulli train! To be fair, in his early years he was pretty consistent in the races also. But from then on… the Trulli train!

    5. blowndiffuser says:

      +1

      I think Vettel’s willingness to be humble and work hard to improve are gonna see him continue to grow as a driver where others may have reahed their ceiling.

  9. Amritraj says:

    Hi James,

    I sense a bit of favouritism for Vettel and an iron fist for Alonso from your side, when it comes to analysing and reporting their results.

    I am looking forward to your analysis, when and if Kimi starts to run better than Alonso. Hope you will give him the same respect that you show for “magnanimous” Vettel.

    Rgs,
    Amritraj

    1. AuraF1 says:

      That’s odd – James gets accused of anti-vettel bias on this site a lot (I don’t see either personally – I just expect James gets more access to certain teams and as a British journalist will perhaps have a personal fondness for Brits doing well).

      1. Grant says:

        I’ve never seen James show any sort of fondness towards Lewis.
        Toward Button, yes.

      2. James Allen says:

        Father maybe, not the driver

        It’s important to tray them all as equally as possible

      3. AuraF1 says:

        Ha ha. I don’t see any bias at all. Maybe some of the fans just see any discussion of weakness as a slight. James has spoken of the weaknesses and flaws in each driver. There’s no perfect driver – they’re all human. I think maybe the bias is in the readers heads. It’s a bit sad that F1 fandom is getting more tribal – it’s almost as if some people can’t read praise for a rival without thinking it’s an attack on their hero.

      4. James Clayton says:

        I think the three comments above just go to show that people will believe what they want to believe.

        In this case people will see bias that they believe is there against their favoured driver; everybody loves to feel like the victim!

    2. Bryce says:

      Other than a one off result, it simply won’t happen as ALO is generally the best part of half a second or so quicker.

    3. Mark Shueard says:

      Utter garbage Amritraj, have you just found Jame’s site or something?
      One thing I truly respect about James is the lack of favoritism and he is just as happy to talk about Max Chilton as he is Vettel

    4. justafan says:

      James is one of the very few unbiased journos on the web.

      1. moan di resta says:

        100% agree!!!

        This is the only place I really use for latest top F1 stories.

        Not only factual but very unbiased.

        Well done James keep it coming!

      2. RodgerT says:

        If neither side agrees with you, you’re probably covering things evenly.

        I think the fact that people often accuse him of either favoring or being too hard on one driver or another means that he’s very balanced in his approach to covering the sport.

      3. marky2112 says:

        Yes there was never any Button favoritism was there? You would think he was winning the race when James was commentating meanwhile he would be in 8th place.

    5. Mhilgtx says:

      This is the least biased site out there. Sometimes a little too honest for some?

    6. Pete says:

      Sir, I believe this site to be amazingly unbiased, and in this era of shabby journalism, goes to great lengths to maintain ultra-high standards not found elsewhere. Not sure which other sites you read to say that this site is biased…

    7. Martin says:

      It is worth noting who writes the posts. Hynes was the author of this one and he also wrote one on how well Ricciardo was doing a few weeks ago. I cannot clearly recall any others that he’s done. The were both reasonably factual, but they both highlighted how well Daniel was doing.

      Meadows writes many of the qualifying and race summaries, but that is usually missed by most.

    8. Bryce says:

      Hard to show bias when James did not write this article.

    9. Joshua says:

      Dear reader,

      Im not sure how long you have followed james allen but having done so for 2 years or so im perplexed by your post.

      James reports facts and gives opinion based on years of experience, and yet more and more I keep reading posts that accusatory and complaining about his opinion……jamesallenonf1 is not completely unbiased.com. james’s opinions are what we want and I find the posts questioning why he gives his opinions rather confusing.

      Alonso…in posts about Alonso’s brilliant driving in 2012 he gave nothing but praise for alonso and I’m sure he said in a podcast that alonso us one of the best drivers of a generation…’you always have to allow for the alonso factor, even starting down the grid you cant ruke him out for the win as he can drag a car higher than it should be’ was the general gist.

      more generally I eoukd ask that some posters perhaps reflect on whzt this offers before grilling james….differncnt to informed questioning I should add. This site is free and delivers a great insight into f1. A place to interact with like minded fans, lets not crap on our doorstep please.

      for example…. james told us thst at silverstone testing Daniel was about 0.2 quicker than seb albeit on different days. This was great insight and yet there were loads of posts questioing his sources, how could he know.etc

      james also told us that the merc engine had stolen a march on the other manufacturers in the development race before the season….yet was constantly questioned about his sources and facts and rubbish as engine companies dont shsre info.

      Lets please appreciate what we have here or please vote with your feet.

      rant over and sorry this is largerly not directed to the post im commenting on.

      finally …thanks James

  10. TJ says:

    Vettel better make the best of what he’s got because he can’t go back to last years spec….

  11. German Samurai says:

    Vettel is a class act through and through.

    No excuses, no blaming the equipment, no blaming the set up, not demanding preferential treatment.

    No wonder Red Bull has been so strong over the last 5 years with a person of Vettel’s ability, maturity and perspective. What an asset.

    Imagine what he’d bring to a team like Ferrari.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      Right now he’d bring them some fine 8-9th places like all the other world champions are doing ;)

    2. Gaz Boy says:

      I remember last year when I was at Silverstone there was some hearsay and rumour that Sebastian might – might – have “arranged” a pre-agreement with Ferrari, possibly for the 2016 season.
      I hasten to add that it was just rumour and hearsay, and could be a load of old rubbish……..but his contract does run out at Milton Keynes at the end of 2015…..

      1. C63 says:

        When Vettel extended his RBR contract by a year, I always assumed it was to see the lie of the land after a seasons running, with the new regulations. Personally I can’t see him heading to Ferrari unless they have a better car than RBR. I would have thought it more likely he’d be sniffing round MAMG.

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        RE C63: It is intriguing about Sebastian’s future employees and salary, isn’t it?
        I suspect you’re right, and the rumour I heard last year at Silverstone was just that – a rumour – but netherless probably by the end of this years season Sebastian will have a good sit down and think long and hard about who he wants to be a salaried employee of.
        Of course, the spanner in the works – so to speak – is of course, will Red Bull stay in bed with Renault, or get a divorce and get into a marriage with Honda?

      3. Michael says:

        Mercedes doesn’t need Vettel. They’re doing just fine. lol

      4. Robert says:

        Agree with Michael – unless Vettel pulls out some stops and convincingly starts beating Daniel, I can’t see him being all that attractive to other teams. He will command the salary of a 4 x WDC, so unless he has pretty spectacular results over his teammate this year, why on earth would any team pay that much for him? All we can see is that he is a man that drove very fast with a EBD and limited torque, but who struggles a bit with the new regulations. That’s not worth what he will be demanding. And Mercedes love Lewis, and they love their current German driver – and probably most importantly their driver chemistry.

      5. HP says:

        Honda said they are committed to McLaren for 2015/16 season, and i pretty much doubt Dennis will let Honda do it. remember, McLaren wouldn’t like to pay for engines; and would like to be a ‘factory’ team (unlike Williams). hence, they are calling it quits with Mercedes engines end of this year.

    3. snailtrail says:

      hahaha – love it – taken in by Vettel PR BS.

    4. marky2112 says:

      Vettel is only a champion because he had a car that was head and shoulders above everyone else and a weak teammate. Now he has a teammate who is good, not top 5 but good he cannot compete.

  12. Leah says:

    Very refreshing honesty from Sebastian Vettel.

    He’s a decent person and a very worthy champion in my view and his truthfulness at this time under difficult circumstances, allows him to stand even taller.

  13. Bryce says:

    Well, well, well, the Bulls certainly got the new driver decision correct, as I for one (of the few on here) suggested it would be proven to be.

    Much better to have RIC pushing the Mercs, than RAI more than likely lucky to be battling his current teamate for fifth or sixth despite sitting in a superior car.

    1. Yago says:

      Kimi in the Red Bull would be doing very good, he would beat Alonso and his Ferrari with a Red Bull, no doubt. However, Alonso today, with a Red Bull, would have fought with Hamilton for pole, and maybe took it.

      It is Funny: today Kimi is a bad driver and Massa a very good one. Four months ago, Kimi was an amazing driver, and Massa an awful one. Not difficult to see what is happening here, whenever a driver is measured against Alonso, he magically becomes a mediocre driver… Except Hamilton, who (with quite a bit of help) managed to more or less mach Alonso’s performance when they were teammates. And look at him today, master class…

      1) Alonso
      2) Hamilton
      .
      .
      .
      3) The rest

      1. justafan says:

        Actually Ham beat Alo. He was a rookie then.

      2. fox says:

        For pole position yes. Ham is a talent.
        For the season no, as Alonso had to suffer from Ron Dennis & Co. That distracts a lot. You need a team to win. So British McLaren team was with British Ham. As simple as that.

      3. KRB says:

        So Ron brought Alonso in just to sabatoge him by favouring a rookie?!? It makes NO sense.

        I guess Brit McLaren favoured Brit Coulthard over the Finn Hakkinen?

      4. marky2112 says:

        KRB Yes Alonso told the FIA on Ron and Mclaren and cost them a $100 million dollar fine. Of course Ron and the team favored Hamilton.

      5. Dr Lewis says:

        You need to look back past say 2011 and check out how many races Alonso had under his belt when a rookie with absolutely none turned up and beat him fair and square!

        Taking nothing away from any of them but why not take a little look at the statistics (which admittedly are a small part of the picture) before you comment?

      6. Yago says:

        Yes Hamilton and Alonso were pretty even in 2007, what is wrong with that? And why is that in disagreement with my coment?

      7. Martin says:

        Looking at the statistics removes all the fun, and most people here would have nothing to say.

        After all, Lewis came out on top based on more second places (first loser), so he won by being a better loser ;-)

        There are so many facets to F1 that you cannot just say that with Alonso as the reigning two time WDC and Hamilton as the best ever prepared rookie that Hamilton has improved more since. If you learn from your mistakes, especially the ones you don’t get away with, then Alonso would have learned a lot more to take away from 2007 than Hamilton did. But did they?

        Or you could look at the relative race performances when they both had clean races. When Alonso was ahead, Australia, Malaysia, UK, Belgium and Italy, he tended to drop Hamilton over the race. The other way around was much rarer. Is this significant and can it be separated from set up issues? I don’t know.

        You can point to pole positions and then argue fuel levels. Or the Ron Dennis effect. Or.

        There are some on this site who point to 2003-05 to argue that Kimi is the best out there. Leaving it to statistics would be a bit boring… And give us nothing to laugh at.

      8. Bryce says:

        You may measure all others with your favourite, but I see Kimi as just being another six months past his prime and now further below the level of a still rising Daniel.

        Fernando is most probably in his final year of peak performance, in that his experience can offset the loss of pace. I see him as similar to Webber in 2010, albeit a better version and all down hill from now.

      9. KRB says:

        Quite a bit of help? Please elaborate. Like being told to hold station in Monaco, Alonso asking Dennis to make Lewis cede the lead at Indianapolis (bravo to Ron for refusing), and then the monumental cock-up in China ’07 with the team leaving him out there ’til his tires were bald?

        If only Alonso kept his head down, he might’ve won in 2007, and perhaps in 2008 as well. But his paranoia got the better of him.

      10. Yago says:

        KBR, I am not going to (and didn’t want to) enter that ground, there is no point in discussing some things, because I think our views on that year are quite different.

        I was not saying McLaren sabotaged Alonso, or something like that, that is stupid. However, 2007 was a season were the cars were very easy to drive and predictable, with traction control and very stable bridgestone tyres, and it was very difficult to make the difference like HAM is doing now with ROS, or ALO with RAI or RIC with VET. In that contest, if you put two absolute talents and driving machines as ALO and HAM with the same equipment, the difference is going to be very small, to say the least. It was the odd tenth of a second in qualifying which decided the races, because once the positions were settled after the start, the lead driver had strategical preference and race was over.

        Then as I said, all is decided in qualifying, by that odd tenth. And here there is a fact that no body can deny, and is the number of extra laps conceded to each driver in Q3. As you remember, only one driver could do that extra lap, and that meant doing the flying lap with one lap less of fuel onboard.

        As I say, I can tell you how many extra laps (not all circuits conceded the possibility of an extra lap) were conceded to Alonso since Monaco onwards: NONE. Well, he actually was conceded one, in Hungary, but all messed up as we all know, but I don’t want to enter there because again our views are going to be very different. However you should know that what detonated everything was that extra lap for Alonso, that Hamilton did not respect by overtaking him, and then stealing that privilege. Of course it is not that simple, because Alonso was going very slow when burning fuel in Q3, as he had big problems with soft tyre degradation (he actually did his pole lap with an used set of hards, the term “used” being one of the points discussed with the pit wall, while Hamilton was waiting behind, and which probably you didn’t know) so Hamilton decided to pass him. He probably thought there was not going to be time left for the extra lap going at that pace, so he decided to act by himself.

        All this is to stress the importance of that extra lap, and gaining that odd tenth of a second by fuel weight.

        So that is one of the points I am referring to when I say “help”. The other is not any physical help, but psychological. I think your points of view enrich my knowledge of F1, and the same way probably my point of view could be a good complement for you also. So I think you would be interested to hear this. Fernando’s wife by that time, Raquel del Rosario, watched the races in the garage of the Renault team, right since the second race of the season in Malaysia. I think this is a very indicative fact to understand the hard time Alonso had with McLaren, and the complete lack of integration he suffered. I am not saying it was McLaren’s fault, nor Alonso’s, I don’t want to enter there.

        So these are basically the points I was making when saying the word “help”. I think the lack of integration, which grew with the season going on, and specially with the spygate, and the corresponding tension inside Alonso’s garage, probably was the reason why Alonso probably did in 2007 his worse season in F1 since his WDC years.

  14. Alexander Supertramp says:

    Ricciardo has the upper hand, but Vettel is still a world champ so I expect him to strike back at some point.

    Somehow I feel Seb’s abilities got a little “lazy’ driving those dominant Red Bulls in the past, while someone like Ricciardo probably always had to fight for some performance.

    1. Kingszito says:

      Yes that’s my thought as well. He has been used to driving a dominant car that does whatever he wants the car to do, so no surprise he would struggle with these unstable cars. For Ric, these new cars might be as unstable as his last season Toro Rosso hence he is handling the car better. Having said that, “adaptation” is the name of F1 drivers because the faster they adapt is as good as they are.

    2. James Clayton says:

      I don’t think Vettel got “lazy” at all. Sure, Webber was starting to fade in his last couple of years, but if Vettel was being “lazy” he’d have been joining Webber in p2-3 land.

      Clearly the Red Bull was an very good car – but Vettel had learned to drive it in an extremely good way. He could make tyres last longer than anybody else without sacrificing lap time. Now the blown diffuser is gone – everybody’s essentially driving in a different category this year to the one they were in 2013.

      I’m sure the gap will close to Ricciardo; maybe even swing back to Vettel, but whether he ever manages to become at one in this category remains to be seen – it might be difficult considering how much he clearly dislikes these cars.

      1. Alexander Supertramp says:

        I agree with what you say and I think you misunderstood me. I agree his style was great for the previous ‘era’, for whatever reasons. I’m just wondering how much Vettel challenged his abilities in those years since he seemed to have fine tuned a specific technique while other drivers had to call upon every talent they had to try to keep up. My theory is that Vettel is struggling because he has not been tested yet. This offers him an amazing opportunity to showcase his adaptability. Vettel doesn’t need to win anymore to be a legend, he needs to struggle, fight and overcome.

      2. James Clayton says:

        Considering he was getting more and more out of the package at every race, and setting fastest laps against his engineers wishes, I’d say h was always challenging his abilities.

      3. Mhilgtx says:

        Very good points. I would expect many changes for 2015 including bringing back the diffuser or something like it.

        Also they said last night they are looking at bringing back active suspension. Will Buxton reported this and considering his reporting on the fuel sensor i take anything he says with a grain of salt.

        However they must do something to increase traction and downforce is the way to do that in cars so light.

      4. Dr Lewis says:

        -1000

        Are you serious?

      5. Robert says:

        Huh? The FIA specifically does NOT want more traction in the cars…that’s why the got rid of the DD, the EBD, etc.

        Cars with too much downforce via aero make for more processional racing, as they lose all their grip when they follow and pass another car. Worse, from the FIA’s point of view, is cars with EBDs were taking the track speeds up to dangerous levels for some of the older tracks, where safety was becoming marginal. That’s why they got rid of the turbo engines years ago – too fast in quail trim for many tracks.

        This year’s turbos have peak fuel meters specifically to slow them down to keep them safer on old tracks.

        So no, I don’t see the FIA suddenly deciding that more downforce will be a good thing. The new rules are fairly sane – less downforce and smaller front wings to stress mechanical grip rather than aero (to ease with passing), and turbos because that is what most production supercars and sports cars now use.

        I would like to see an active suspension return possibly…there is a chance that such could become more common in supercars and sports cars if F1 makes it more common. But I think the costs of active suspension development would be against the efforts to reign in costs that is important to the FIA – unless it could be packaged and sold to the teams as a customer part perhaps.

      6. Bryce says:

        The irony is whilst Webber was certainly fading, my thoughts are that he would be much more suited to this years car. Until the software for mapping etc catches up, these are toey racing cars, no longer an extension of a computer and more akin to his era (post traction control)and vehicles in which he honed his skills.

    3. Dr Lewis says:

      +1000

      Excellent insight.

      He will I expect return.

  15. Ahmed says:

    I am by no means inclined to support vettel in any way but it would be unwise to write him off and cite ricciardo as the better driver.this is similar to hamiltons performance in 2011. The 3 best drivers in ths current age of f1 are alonso, hamilton and vettel. Difficult to say who is the better of these 3 as we have never seen them in equal machinery on the same circuit at the same time. Vettel is like a viper, he may be coiled up right now bt ths is not a sign of retreat. Once he hits tht sweetspot in his rbr he will strike at ricciardo n land a powerful blow. We can hate on him all we want n say he had the best car but he is by far a more cunning and ruthless racer and that is why he is a 4time world champ

    1. AuraF1 says:

      I think its fair to say all champions have poor runs. I’m not a Vettel fan at all but I respect his achievements – it does get forgotten in the haze of his 2011 and half of 2013 utter domination that he never led the championship once in 2010 and he was outperformed for the first half of 2012 by Webber.

      Vettel has traditionally gone better in the later races of each season. It’s good to see Ricciardo taking up the fight and not being a dedicated 2nd driver – but I too wouldn’t rule out Vettel. He clearly gets better through the year and Ricciardo has fallen apart in races before.

      1. Ahmed says:

        I often feel as if Vettel spends th first half of his season by taking each race as it comes and just learning his car, once they hit Spa he attacks like a raging bull. In my humble opinion, I think ricciardo is getting the better of vettel because quite simply, vettel has become accustomed to fighting at th front in a strong car. He isn’t used to this situation which leaves him unsettled. on th other hand, ricciardo is used to fighting in th midfield with a decent car. Right now, anything good ricciardo does will be hailed as greatness n on th flip side, anything bad tht vettel does will add momentum to arguments abt him being a paper champion.

      2. Alex says:

        Finally! Someone talking about 2012! Webbo had the upper hand until RBR were able to develop the car to Sebs liking. I have a feeling the same will happen this year, once he gets used to the car and Renault make some reliability improvements he will be back up there. And don’t discount Sebs consistency, maybe not quite as consistent as Alonso but he’s not far off. Can’t wait to see HAM and VET battle this year. That RB10 looks pretty quick when it’s working. Looking at the wet qualifying sessions this year it may be the better chassis, that Merc engine is just too powerful.

    2. Alexander Supertramp says:

      Agree, I expect Seb to beat Ricciardo. But the thing is, he’s a 4x WDC, he shouldn’t be struggling like that against a new team mate. He’s been called many things, like ‘one of the greatest’, won a lot, broke just about every record. So naturally, there are some expectations and right now he’s not meeting them. A lot of people think that his cars have flattered him and they feel they feel their argument is gaining momentum.

      1. Ahmed says:

        We can say that his cars flattered him n I do agree. But someone, either he or webber had to drive the team and neweys creations into a direction. Look at mclaren for example since they’ve lost hamilton, they don’t have a driver to develop th car, mp4-28 ws pathetic and the mp4-29 isn’t lighting up any timing screens. So my point is this, yes we know webber wasn’t given equal status in tht team, (n I enjoyed watching webber drive) but maybe, just maybe it was vettel who collaborated better with newey

      2. Alexander Supertramp says:

        Apparently Mark was amazing for aerodynamic development. So in a way, he was what you say Hamilton was for Mclaren. Vettel has also been hailed for his feedback off course. Vettel undeniably had a big part in his/RB’s success story, but my point is that right now he’s a victim of his past success.

      3. AuraF1 says:

        It’s hard to judge a driver based on the cars development these days. The drivers do not offer technical advice and have far less input than years past. Hamilton is not responsible for the Merc being fast (other than driving it) any more than Button is responsible for the poor 2013 mclaren. If this were true then Button would be responsible for developing the 2009 Brawn into a championship winner and Lewis would be responsible for the same 2009 dog mclaren started with.

        Schumacher helped develop some great Ferraris – but how much isn’t clear – he also sat in some awful Mercs – it’s probably not down to him – it’s the engineers and designers.

        Too much is put down to drivers ‘developing’ a car. Ask the engineers – they’ll tell you it’s BS. They want quality feedback and basic lap consistency – and they actually listen more to the simulator drivers and software modelling.

        Great drivers are just that. Good at driving. And great champions are those great drivers who luck into a great car that suits their own personal style and handle the pressure. That’s it.

      4. Ahmed says:

        I guess there’s a counter argument for every theory we look at. I personally support Hamilton but that being said, I’m happier seeing a fight for the championship and not th kind of domination we saw rbr and vettel have last season and for that matter, the merc domination right now. Let’s call it “good racing”

      5. Martin says:

        Just to endorse and add to what AuraF1 wrote, in Schumacher’s time he did have a strong influence in the tyre characteristics so that they had the behaviour that he wanted.

        An experienced driver will know that if a team enhances a particular area it will make him faster. For Kimi it is a strong front end that will make him quick in qualifying. For Vettel, he understood the benefit of blown diffuser in slow corners and pushed for more of it.

        In 2012 the intent of the design was to do that, but early on it wasn’t working properly. At that stage on one lap pace Webber was often faster but in the races Vettel was generally still quicker.

      6. Kingszito says:

        @Alexander Supertramp It’s just round 4 of a 19 race season. beating your team mate is justified after the season. The truth is that none Vettel fans (including me) want him to fail to prove us right that he is not better than our respective favorite drivers, but please lets wait till the end of the season before condemning him. Vettel dominated the past four year, but had bad races too in those four dominant four year. This season might be the same.

    3. Dario says:

      Hamilton and Alonso were together at Mclaren and I think Hamilton was faster. Also Weber destroyed Rozberg at Williams. So based on the past Vettel is the best following closely by Hamilton, Alonso and Hulkenberg in that order.

      1. justafan says:

        And now Daniel is beating Sebastian. Meaning Daniel is faster than Lewis, Fernando and Nico too.

      2. Ahmed says:

        To be fair, hamiltont didn’t “beat” alonso in 07, they were tied on equal points n I may be subject to correction but Alonso did rank higher due to him having more race wins. N using ur theory, hamilton beat rosberg last year but we can’t compare hamilton to webber now can we? So I don’t think tht one sticks ;) lol

      3. RodgerT says:

        No Hamilton came ahead of Alonso that year due to more 3rd or 4th place finishes.

      4. Ash says:

        Hamilton beat Alonso on count back and was placed 2nd in the 2007 championship.

      5. justafan says:

        Ham beat Alo on countback.

      6. Anil Parmar says:

        I think Alonso actually beat lewis in the races in 07 (10-7) and that was undoubetedly hamilton’s strongest season imo.

      7. C63 says:

        Ahmed
        To be fair, hamiltont didn’t “beat” alonso in 07.. (sic)

        F1 Official Standings 2007:
        KR 1st
        LH 2nd
        FA 3rd

        just looked it up :-)

      8. Nick says:

        Alonso didnt have more race wins in 2007.

        Hamilton finished higher in the championship on the countback rule.

      9. Ahmed says:

        Thanks for the correction guys.

      10. Dr Lewis says:

        Sorry your wrong.

        Check your history.

        And frankly anyone watching Spa amongst a few other races that year knows who ‘won’

      11. Dr Lewis says:

        To be clear.

        Hamilton did beat Alonso in his rookie year.

        They were teammates at the time.

        Bar 1 rookie error (being repeated by quite a few over recent years – Pastor?) and some seriously strange behind the scenes stuff along with a rather poor attempt at blackmail on a chap who was horrified to hear of any potential infringement, he would have been champion too.

      12. Yago says:

        Amazing reasoning. Congratulations.

      13. BulletHead says:

        I’m a big Hamilton fan. In terms of talent Hamilton’s second to none. But if all the top drivers had super duper cars here’s what the standings would be:
        1)Vettel
        2) Alonso
        3) button
        4) hamilton

      14. Truth says:

        Very funny. Sure everyone had a giggle at that order.

      15. fox says:

        no way.
        there is universal score – money.
        who earned most during those years?
        Alonso.
        period.

      16. Yago says:

        Super super cars? hahaha If you take all cars out of the question except Caterhams, Marussias and Saubers, the Red Bull would be a super car, and Vettel would not be the best driver in the world. So please, what is exactly a super car?

        However, seeing Button in that list, and ahead of Hamilton, is enough for me to not take you seriously…

      17. Grant says:

        Well “Mr HAM fan”

        Your driver beat ALO in 2007, so your ratings make no sense, and are purely “emotional”.

      18. Martin says:

        One lap pace doesn’t guarantee championships. Just look at Jarno Trulli in the history books.

        Different styles of cars suit different drivers more than others, so faster in car A doesn’t always transfer across to a latter generation or series. Piquet Jr had more pole positions in GP2 than Hamilton in 2006, for example.

    4. Truth says:

      Alonso and Hamilton were together for a year. Hamiltons first year in F1.

    5. marky2112 says:

      Hamilton would easily beat Vettel if they were teammates.

      1. justafan says:

        On which evidence? Just because he beats Rosberg doesn’t mean he would beat Vettel.

  16. Bryce says:

    It could get worse for VET tomorrow if BUT is any sort of judge on the superiority he said RIC showed in FP3.

  17. furstyferret says:

    Interesting stat after 4 qualifying sessions, if it wasn’t for lewis, redbull would have 3 poles..

    1. Grant says:

      Interesting stat indeed!

      Lewis has spoilt so many parties at Milton over the years.

  18. Rohind says:

    Kudos to the refreshingly honest comments from the champion.
    Not a single mention to the fact that 2 out of 4 qualifying sessions, he had car troubles and gave the credit where it is due.
    Hope you get over the problems soon and all the best for the race tomorrow

  19. Sujith says:

    Trend of 2014 so far, Sebastian and Kimi are the big losers in the rules shake up. Sebastian has admitted it, Kimi has still not because he thinks things could be better if the front end is much better to his liking. Makes you wonder, why Ferrari can’t change it completely ending up with 2 different cars for 2 very different drivers. I mean, don’t they need both cars scoring heap of points???? Last year I remember Kimi in a lotus fighting away to finish second with a slighly broken nose. Proves that when the front end gives him good feeling, he is quick. I expected such a big gap to Alonso in terms of time as this “Front Limited” track has exposed Kimi’s problems with the car a lot more than other places we’ve been so far.

    Alonso is so good at “driving around his issues” but that only showcases his skill as an adaptive driver. A driver, driving around issues of the car is not gonna win the world championship. So Ferrari should listen to both the drivers and give them what they need to solve their issues.

  20. Xuan says:

    Vettel just struggles without a blown diffuser. It suits him better.

    It’s not like Dan is heaps better – he just has adapted to the extra torque and low downforce.

    I think Webber would be doing the same to Vettel in these spec cars.

    1. Edgar says:

      I have to agree with you on this one. Vettel mastered Newey’s Exhaust Blown Diffuser, unlike Webber. if it wasn’t for Korea 2010 I think Webber would have been a WDC.

    2. Bryce says:

      This car would be perfect for Webber’s style.

  21. Phenom says:

    Very dignified from Seb. I’ve never been a fan but I am warming to him this season and he cannot be discounted.

  22. Wag says:

    Gaz Boy,
    Don’t mention NZ and SA in same sentence.
    Totally diff countries

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      They are indeed squire.
      I was just saying there hasn’t been a top F1 driver from those two nations for quite some time, and considering the great sporting heritage and pedigree of those two countries it seems a shame.
      In all fairness, NZ and SA do seem to play each other a fair bit in some oval ball game whose collisions would make even Pastor wince……..and also some batting and ball game where grown men where thick wooly jumpers on a swelteringly hot day.

  23. Kenneth M'Boy says:

    I’ve never seen Seb make so many little mistakes like he has this season. I think he is questioning his motivation this season a bit and it’s reflecting in his on/off driving.

    He’s a four time world champ who’s now not winning so easily, he’s now a dad (major change there) and his hero is lying in a coma. He’s only human and that would make anyone lose some focus. I think he will still win a couple of races this year cause he’s very, very good but good on him for not being the big primadonna that a lot of us expected him to be cause Dan’s beating him.

  24. Elie says:

    It is a very magnanimous response as James rightly said. We should not question Seb for this honesty. Many have said this weekend these are the challenges that defines champions. As an Aussie Im proud that Daniel is doing a great job and beating the one guy I always knew was beatable- but i will bet anyone here that by Hungary Seb will be the lead driver. No one should discount the adjustment these new cars require and some drivers that were dominant in the old cars are not quite there yet with 2014 cars. Given how close it was last year and even how close it is now between all the cars ( except the front 2) it wont take a big paradigm change for positions to change.

  25. Rob says:

    As much as I have loved to hate the Red Bull team over the years, and it has been fun to bombastically vilify the great SV for our own entertainment here in the cheap seats… When you look at the maturity he shows when communicating (he was a pretty young guy through all of this) , he has often demonstrated that he is a real class act. He just needed a ‘reveling coach’ to help him build a wider repertoire of celebratory acts during the glory years – the finger wagging got stale 2 years into the domination.

  26. Yago says:

    My respect for Vettel, for recognizing it.

    Kimi should learn from Vettel and accept Fernando is simply being faster than him (by miles), instead of saying “I don’t like the balance of the car”, “the car is not the way I like it to be” etc etc etc, bla bla bla. He is starting to look a bit like button…

    1. Elie says:

      The minute you start “accepting” someone is faster than you– you stop being a racer- that is simply not in their DNA- nor should it be. I dont remember Fernando saying Kimi is faster in melb last year when he destroyed everyone with less tyres– did he. Kimi is an incredibly honest bloke & if he says he has minor down shift problems – i believe him- the same way I believed Fernando last week when he said he had PU problems when Kimi out qualied him-both cases it was very evident something was not quite right..Raikkonen always says “I made a mistake” when he does-hes not one to deny anything. I more inclined to listen to him than the “blah, blah, blah ” comments of a faceless armchair critic.

      1. Yago says:

        What down shift problems? I didn’t know anything about it. As far as I know, since the race in Australia, Kimi is not having any problems with the car, he is just being slower than Alonso. You can not compare any situation in China with the lack of power from Alonso in Bahrein, here Kimi has been smashed by his teammate, as simple as that. In the dry the difference is smaller, but in the wet…

        Is he going to keep talking about balance problems for the whole year? It would be better if he stops that, and if at some point he starts to push Alonso hard, we will aknowledge he simply was very slow adapting. Fans are smart enough to realize it if it is what happens.

        For the moment he has not been better than Massa, at least in terms of speed.

      2. Sujith says:

        Alonso has the skill to drive around his issues. No denying that. But as much as that shows his skill behind the wheel and makes him glorious, no driver really wins the world championship by just driving around issues with the car. He just ends up saying things like “I came second in a car that was clearly not second fastest”

        Complaining works. When Ferrari gives a responsive front end to Kimi’s liking he is gonna be confident to push harder. Then if he’s still slower to Fernando by a few tenths.. he is gonna admit he has to improve or adapt better. Alonso’s dream of winning a championship will forever be just a dream if Ferrari does not give him the car he wants.

        Kimi has fulfilled that dream by cribbing about the car at the first part of the season and getting it sorted out for the remainder of a season. Which gave him a much better second half of the season with consistent points which gave him a shot at the championship!! Don’t put the “Massa helped him in Brazil” thing again and again!!! Kimi’s hard work gave him that shot for the title, the team recognized that and they worked with Massa to get him what he wanted! When Massa had a shot at the title Kimi helped him too.. can you say that Alonso would have done the same for Massa?

    2. Paige says:

      Car balance massively affects a driver’s job.

      These guys aren’t just robots who you put in the car and drive. They all have a particular style in how they handle corners, and if the car is off balance, they will struggle. Drivers can’t just change the way they drive fundamentally.

      Kimi needs a front end with a lot of grip. If he has an understeery car like he has now, he will not be able to get on the gas when he wants and will have more load on the apex. He could adapt, but this is not something that happens over the course of one weekend, and frankly, it’s more sensible to give him a car that suits his driving style than to ask him to change, as he has accomplished too much in the sport when the car is suited to him to question how competitive he can be.

      Vettel is definitely struggling with the balance of the car. Some key advantages of the last generation of cars are gone, and the Renault engine is clearly not up to snuff with the Mercedes. When you have been driving a certain way to four straight world championships and you are faced with a culture shock like this, it will take time to adapt, but also time to find the right setup for you. With that said, I don’t think he is going as poorly as some say. He beat Ricciardo in Malaysia, and he was quickest in Q1 and Q2 between the two of them and only lost it in Q3. Ricciardo is beating him and seems to have an edge, but Vettel has not been slow this year.

      1. Yago says:

        I have heard enough of this “Car balance massively affects a driver’s job” thing. Specially from drivers like Button. A simple question: can you tell us a single race weekend (not even a single season) when Alonso has had “balance” problems of Kimi’s or Button’s calibre? None. In the case of Hamilton, there where some, but very few. Best and second best drivers of the grid, what a coincidence…

        I agree Vettel is not doing as bad, and nor is Kimi. BUT, Vettel is 4 times WDC!!! and Kimi is WDC and many people thought he was going to be on par with Alonso (not Ferrari and Lotus insiders however), which amazed me to be honest.

      2. Elie says:

        @Yago – for crying out loud give it some time. Hamilton spent half of last year getting to terms with the Merc brakes alone. Any team principal will tell you , it takes about 6 months for drivers to find their way in a team and for the team to find the drivers needs.. Alonso has been at Ferrari for 4 years and has Kimis 2007 WC engineers in his side o the garage.. Kimi has people who are new to racing side of things..

        What I fear is that Ferrari may not be able to produce what Kimi needs- like 2009. Look what happened when Lotus where able to do so.

  27. Dan says:

    Damage limitation from Vettel with his comments, good PR game. Does this suggest Vettel’s success has really been Newey’s?

    Lets see how the season plays out, if it stays like this it will be interesting to hear what Vettel says come October.

  28. Anil Parmar says:

    I’m not too surprised to see Vettel struggling like this tbh. His biggest strength was using the RB’s incredible amount of rear grip, provided by the diffuser, and he did it much better than Webber. If you look back to the first 2/3rds of the 2012 season, after the off-throttle stuff was banned, he looked pretty ordinary at times compared to Webber. Of course, once RB bolted on the upgrades at Singapore he was mighty again and Webber fell back..

    He’s a class driver and deserves his 4 titles, but with these new regulations, he needs to adapt much quicker. I don’t want to take anything away from Daniel though; he’s doing a fantastic job.

    And if he keeps this up over the season, I will hopefully win a lot of money ;)

    1. Rohind says:

      I agree.But to be fair, I think he was lagging behind Ricciardo only in the final stint of last race and Practise sessions of this race.
      Rest of the sessions were evenly matched with Vettel being unlucky in the qualifying in Aus & Bahrain due to car troubles.Even in the first part of qualifying, he looked the strongest. Only after they changed into inters in Q3 that Dan pulled one over him.Vettel shouldn’t be so downbeat about that.

      Having said that, Dan looks like he’s a real deal.Redbull’s driver programme must be really good.With Mercedes so far at the front, it is the inter team battles which makes these races interesting.Wish Alonso had somebody like Hulkenberg in Ferrari to push him.

    2. clyde says:

      Webber was a snail all he did was whine and make Vettel look good although to be fair to him he was not treated fairly by the team and marko hated him

  29. IP says:

    Mark who?

    It’s a bit early to make a call on superiority, but I love that Ricciardo is out there getting on with it. If this speed superiority is genuine, i’d love to know what the expert analysis of it is later in the year… I suspect it’ll be a combination of Dan being as good as Vettel in slow-medium corners, but also as gutsy as Webber in the quick stuff..

    It’s my understanding that Mark had the edge in the quick stuff over Vettel.

    Fascinating to speculate, but let’s just see how it all pans out.

    1. aveli says:

      are you serious? vettel won 13 races last season and webber got upset because vettel refused to gift him one and you think webber had an edge anywhere? get real!

      1. Stevo says:

        It’s fairly common knowledge that Webber was actually better than Vettel through fast corners and with looser cars. Vettel was a master at slow corners with the blown diffuser.

        That’s why Webber was so much harder on tyres than Vettel, to make ground he’d push in the fast stuff and destroy his rubber where Vettel’s time was made up in the slow stuff where tyre wear was minimised.

      2. aveli says:

        you must give me some of what you’re having. out of the 13 races vettel won and the 0 races webber won, which track had more slow corner than high speed corners?
        why can you just be honest?

  30. The Spanish Inquisitor says:

    Vettel has lost 0,5 seconds per lap due family circumstances. When he assimilated his new situation he will beat Ricciardo. Fernando has clear ideas about this. First his career, then the family. No child ….

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Fatherhood didn’t slow Michael down!
      Or Nigel come to think of it (he’s a grandfather now).

      1. justafan says:

        I don’t know about Michael slowing down, but I think at the height of his powers, Schumi was a much faster driver than the current stars, including Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Button, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Rosberg and the rest of the current gang.

  31. Chris says:

    Fair play Vettel, I like the honesty being displayed here and I am show Seb will get on top of these new rules in the end but who is to say Dan will not get even better, I think there is a lot more to come from Ricciardo!!!

  32. jay dee says:

    Like him or not you have to admire his honesty and not making up excuses like slower team mates usualy do.

  33. Olivier says:

    Off topic: Adrian Newey is not in China. He has been spotted at Porsche in Silverstone. Mark qualified 4th with the 919 hybrid.

    https://twitter.com/PorscheRaces/status/457481828283457536/photo/1

    1. Olivier says:

      Correction: Porsche number 20 will line up 6th.

      1. David in Sydney says:

        WEB was the first driver in qualifying and was very quick but his teammate was much slower – the average fastest lap speed between the two drivers determines the grid position.

        What can be seen from qualifying is that Toyota, Audi and Porsche are very close and the long 6 hour race will be fascinating.

  34. danny almonte says:

    These new F1 cars aren’t glued to the track anymore and require much more skill. Vettel and his fans are being exposed.

  35. Jeff says:

    It raises the question of whether JEV might be quicker than Vettel, and Kvyat might not be far off. I have always thought Vettel to be a class act, but I sure got tired of him winning everything.

  36. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    I don’t think RICCIARDO is the big deal, and that is worrisome to VETTEL.

    VETTEL was driven a top luxury car with the genius of Newey and now they have just an excellent car.

    I think that HULK is a real deal, consistent, with mediocre machinery.

    Anyway, from time to time, VETTEL will meet with success, a win, a podium. PEREZ, BOTTAS, MASSA, too.

    1. James says:

      AMARILLO, driving legend who has done it all, knows it all and is a fountain of F1 knowledge.

      AMARILLO, got news for you pal, RICCIARDO is the big deal!

  37. Bert Puttocks says:

    If Ricciardo beats Vettel over the season, Vettel’s reputation and Webber’s, will take a real beating. Like some of the drivers were saying last year, anyone could have been world champion in a Red Bull.

    1. James Clayton says:

      “Like some of the drivers were saying last year, anyone could have been world champion in a Red Bull”

      I’d love to see a source that quotes a driver saying that…

  38. holly says:

    This is what happen when a good driver wins 4 titles with a rocket and is overhyped by the media. The truth always surfaces.

    The same can be said about Kimi, a good driver that has one title thanks to Mclaren doing a bad job managing 2007.

  39. Yasir says:

    I dont see the big deal. Seb is a 4 time world champion and has nothing to prove to no one. If DR is getting the better of him in qualifying, good for him. Seb will eventually come out on top though, he is a 4 time world champion and one of the best drivers in F1 history. The media needs to get another story to stir things up.

  40. Paige says:

    This episode doesn’t diminish Vettel as a driver, for me. In my view, he is still in the top class of drivers and one of the very best to ever race. What this episode shows is that Ricciardo is a very quick driver who has shown through the season that he is capable of also being a top driver.

    Just because someone gets beat by their newcomer teammate doesn’t mean that he is not a top driver. Hakkinen stepped into the McLaren in 1993 and outqualified Senna in a few outings. What that showed is that Hakkinen was bloody quick, not that he was a better driver than Senna, and that Hakkinen had the potential to be a World Champion. (And indeed, he became one.) I don’t hear many people saying that Alonso isn’t a top driver anymore after Hamilton beat him. Rather, it turned out that Hamilton is also a top driver, and the debate continues as to who you would rather have in your car (a debate that includes Vettel, Raikkonen, and maybe some others).

    What Vettel is that Ricciardo isn’t is a four-time world champion. You don’t become a four-time champion in this sport unless you are among the very best. The standard of competition among the drivers is just too high. Every driver goes through periods when the car isn’t working for him, or he has to adapt from something that he was doing behind the wheel that was dominant and is now obsolete. He will be back against Ricciardo, and then the pressure will be on Daniel to respond.

    1. Ahmed Sydney says:

      +1 Paige.
      Good analogy with Hakkinen and Senna. I know we all have our fav drivers but some of these comments are just crazy.
      A driver shows some honesty, I think there should be a lot more in this sport as opposed to the usual excuses, my set up was wrong, balance was off, couldn’t get heat into the tyres, I was blocked, it didn’t feel right etc

    2. clyde says:

      @ paige Hakinnen only out qualified senna once not a few times
      in their 3 races together they started and finished as follows

      PORTUGAL Senna 4 Hakinnen 3…. Senna ret engine Hakinnen crashed

      JAPAN Senna pole Hakinnen 3 …. Senna won Hakinnen 3

      AUSTRALIA Senna pole Hakinnen 5 …. Senna won
      Hakinnen ret engine

  41. D Vega says:

    Dan is beating Seb despite the disadvantage of weighing about 10 more kilos than Seb.

    1. Grant says:

      The weight thing is over-hyped, just like VET.

    2. Michael says:

      That’s very interesting. I didn’t know that. That’s another spike in Vettel’s coffin.

    3. Gaz Boy says:

      Sorry to correct you, but I’m sure Daniel weights 63 KG (exactly 10 stone) and Sebastian weights 58 KG (more or less 9 stone), so there is a 5 KG difference between them, in reality probably only a tenth or two in weight difference once corrected.
      Now Mark, that was a different story. Mark struggled to get down to 75Kg, so there was a huge 17 KG difference between Sebastian and Mark weight wise – that’s at least 4 to 5 tenths once corrected.

    4. justafan says:

      Here are the numbers from China:
      Vettel 66 kilos
      Ricciardo 68 kilos
      difference: 2 kilos

  42. Steve J says:

    Got to admit I wasn’t particularly inspired by Red Bull’s choice of Ricciardo last year, but I’m happy to be proved wrong. What a superb start to the season!

    Vettel’s experience reminds me – to some degree – of the 2007 season when the Michelin runners from ’06 moved onto the Bridgestones and took some time to get used to the different characteristics. Take nothing away from Ricciardo, though,who’s doing a superb job!

  43. Jaspar says:

    There’s no excuses for a 4 time world Champion to be out-qualified in 3 out of 4 races by a new team mate in the team he’s been in for 5 years. Even if the car is not as competitive as it was in previous years, it’s still the second fastest car. As James said this a new test for Vettel in his career, be interesting to see how he deals with it.

    1. David in Sydney says:

      Will you say the same about RAI being out qualified by ALO so comprehensively?

    2. Goob says:

      There is, if the WDC has no value…

      Formula 1 has lost its racing pedigree… any old clown can drive to deltas…

  44. stephen james says:

    nice try sebastian. were not fooled one bit. we all know your furious the rookie is outclassing you. the owner of red bull, helmut marko + vettel made the decision to sign ricciardo to do a webber, and drive around behind being a fly in the ointment to hamilton and alonso. problem is daniel didnt read the script, i thought hed just be a no2 + do as hes told but hes done a number on vettle. lewis is doing great but for me this is the story of f1.

    1. justafan says:

      Make no mistake, Ric is no rookie.

  45. aveli says:

    vettel will have the last laugh.

  46. Nick_F1 says:

    From my point of view the current situation with Vettel vs Ricardo is quite similar to what we had already seen with Schumacher vs Rosberg.

    Both Vettel and Schumacher want to improve the car first so they could find themself comfortable and then show what they are really could do.

    Yes, obviously Ricciardo and Rosberg could get more from a car that is not really good and have, different weaknesses. But at the same time they could mislead the car’s development vector.

    As Rosberg said, in 2013 , his voice became more visible in the team development when Schumaher left.
    But just recollect when MS said, in 2012 ,that he had got a car that is somehow quite similar to what he wanted since 2010 (from driving point of view) -> MS was equal with Rosberg in 2012′s classifiation and in the races when both cars finished – he had upper hand vs Rosberg.

    Hence, I see the same picture with Vettel and Ricciardo. When Vettel gets from a team what he wants from the car – he will have the upper hand. Until that time we will see Ricciardo first in the classification. As for the races I see some more or less close results but the things will be changed soon.

    1. Steven M says:

      Wishful thinking IMO. The car clearly has more speed than Vettel can get from it…

    2. Noltan says:

      Great insight! Actually, take a look back at some of Schumi’s past team mates. They were able to out qualify him near the beginning of the seasons, but couldn’t touch him later in the season (Brundle, Herbert, even Irvine outqualified him at Melbourne ’96). Your post makes great sense.

    3. Tim-Oz says:

      dont forget – Webber used to trounced Rosberg well and truly at Williams

      1. justafan says:

        Rosberg was a rookie then.

  47. Dave H says:

    The loss of the exhaust-blown diffuser is the only thing i can think of that would affect Vettel so drastically. Perhaps he requires total confidence in the rear of the car to be able to do best what he does.
    While Ricciardo’s come from a 2013 car that was never as glued-down at the rear and so can cope with the 2014 cars much better.

  48. Nige says:

    Red Bull, I think, are backing Riciardo as Vettel is causing a negative backlash against the brand. Another year of Vettel winning could damage the brand, however if Riciardo wins it’s all positive. I won’t be surprised if we see Vettel struggle all year.

  49. Oly says:

    The biggest joke here are some of the Vettel fans whose main topic at the beginning of this season was “how Kimi will crush Alonso” and stuff like that. They never had imagined a title like this one. If I could only see their faces now. ;)

    1. H.Guderian says:

      HAHAHAHA!!!!!
      Perfec. Well said.

    2. justafan says:

      I wonder if Ferrari aren’t already regretting not signing Hulkenberg. What’s your take on this, James?

  50. TGS says:

    Don’t forget Vettel outpaced Dan in Malaysia, he’s a master of the Pirellis on a hot track. This is exactly the area that Mark conceded he couldn’t match Vettel and arguably the reason he dominated last year. Once they return to Europe I expect the pendulum to swing the other way.

  51. Nick says:

    The fact this is even a story shows Daniel is definitely turning people’s heads with some great performances. And comes across as such a nice guy. How refreshing to see.

  52. Jack says:

    Something i have noticed over the years and that is when the car is not “perfect” Vettel gets beaten by his teammate. Webber would constantly out perform Vettel when the RB was struggling at times (normally at the beginning of the season)and it seems to be happening again with Ricciardo this time. Read into it what you can but Vettel struggles when he doesn’t like the car or it’s not working for him while other drivers are able to adapt. Thus the question is asked again: Is Vettel the best driver on the grid or is he only able to win when the car is the best on the grid? Of course this question will contradict itself because that’s what happens majority of the time in F1, the best car wins not the best driver. Food for thought?

  53. foreverf1 says:

    Lots of anti-Vettel comments and it’s only the 4th race.

    Y’all forgot 2010. Didn’t lead the championship until the last race, when it counted.

    Reigning champ Alonso was shown up by a young rookie in 2007 but he is still considered the best on the grid at the moment.

    Reigning champ Button was beat by previous year’s champ in 2010 but came back strong in 2011 to beat his faster teammate.

    Lewis has not finished higher than 4th since his title winning campaign but is now regarded as possibly the best driver today.

    Can we not discuss how great a driver is until their career is over? Or at least, the season.

    1. Betaraybill says:

      I agree with you foreverf1, too much Vettel bashing. Vettel is a having season like what Fernando Alonso had in 2007. Coming from a back to back championships with Renault, he was challenged by a rookie driver named Lewis Hamilton. Lewis Hamilton even beat Alonso that season. So can we conclude that Hamilton is better than Alonso? Like in other sports, there are good years and bad years in every athlete…so it would be better to compare when their career is over.

  54. clyde says:

    Its beginning to look like the last 4 years were really about having the best car and Webbers limitations making Vettel really look good …. Marko must be pleased :-)

  55. JohnBt says:

    Oh dear, so much Vettel bashing.

    No toys were thrown out from the pan IMHO and he’s taking it well. Vettel will be back when he gets into the groove of the new car. What goes up must come down philosophy, that’s life. And he’s bagged 4 WDCs and that’s a feat no matter how we feel.

    Impressed with Ric’s performance.

  56. JG says:

    Hello!

    Any way to check RB sales in OZland?

  57. dufus says:

    If hes quicker than me i have to accept it.

    Really, not in the Chinese GP.
    [mod]

    1. James Allen says:

      You’ve put in a series of unacceptable posts defaming drivers and other posters. Please take this as a friendly warning to stop that, or your posts will be moderated out

  58. dufus says:

    If Vettel didnt hold up RIC he might have had a shot at ALO.

    1. justafan says:

      The key to Ferrari’s podium was their smart strategy. They simply outsmarted RBR in that regard.

  59. Ace says:

    I’ve always thought the mark of the true f1 greats is to drive around a car’s problems. Now the trouble with that is to what extent can a driver do that?
    Nevertheless, RB have had a feat of aerodynamics in the form of the blown diffuser, stamp on the power earlier when you expect the back to slide but the exhaust gases give you more down force and let you accelerate away mid corner.
    Adrian Newey came up with the concept and told Vettel to come up with a driving style that works best with this. Vettel did that beautifully as we have seen these past 4 years.
    However now that he has a car without that capability and has to be a little gentle with it…. He seems to have been hampered. Only time will tell how well he adapts and avoid his reputation from being tarnished

  60. Lawrence says:

    DR is doing really well. I am surprised. I wonder if it has to do with DR being lighter and shorter than MW. I remember weight and height being a factor in MW’s lack of speed when he was team-mates with SV. Good to see someone challenging SV :). Here is hoping NR wins the DC. I think LH will do it but considering he has already one a DC I’d like to see NR do it. James, can you shed some light on why DR seems to be faster and/or better than SV? Also, how you think it will pan out between the two of them.

  61. Lawrence says:

    *won a DC. (Need to proof read … and drink less wine over Sunday dinner!)

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