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Vettel To Use New Chassis In Barcelona
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Posted By: Matt Meadows  |  08 May 2014   |  10:47 am GMT  |  166 comments

Sebastian Vettel is to use a new chassis for this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix as the Formula One season enters its European leg, but the team insist the change was scheduled rather than being made due to the champion’s difficult start to 2014.

After a problematic pre-season testing programme, the RB10 has proven to be one of the strongest cars in the field during the fly-away races, enjoying superior aerodynamic performance and challenging for the front row at every event. Although they sit 97 points adrift of championship leaders Mercedes, upgrades to both the chassis and Renault’s power-unit should give them a chance to fight with Mercedes in the upcoming races.

“Sebastian will get a new chassis for Barcelona, which was scheduled at the start of the season and then the next one will be for Dan, some time around Silverstone,” said the team’s Chief Designer, Rob Marshall.

Chassis changes such as this occur frequently over the course of a season, mainly through improvements seen in the wind tunnel and occasionally due to a defect, as seen on Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari following the Bahrain Grand Prix.

“From our point of view we’d rather give them one or two new chassis during the season that we have been able to check out in the factory using various testing methods,” added Marshall.

“Normally we make four or five chassis during the year, maybe six, so it wouldn’t be unusual for each driver to change at least once or twice during the year. Normally they would use at least two.”

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166 Comments
  1. Joost says:

    Sour grape

    1. Kingszito says:

      I really miss @Sebee insights on here. Has he abandoned F1 completely because his favorite driver wasn’t as special as he earlier thought or he just changed name. Pls come back we miss u.

      1. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

        Don’t be so harsh with poor Seebe… 8-)

      2. PB says:

        Lol…so it’s not just me who’s observed this change! I think he can still be spotted in some posts, but stays an arms length away from Vettel related commentary. Perhaps time to switch to being a Hamee or a Rosee…

      3. C63 says:

        To be fair to Sebee, he does still comment. It’s the likes of Equinox, Tealeaf and Rockie who appear to have evaporated completely now their hero is looking a bit ordinary !

    2. Gaz Boy says:

      Or sour certain energy drink owned by Austrian billionaire?
      PS I remember some years ago when Bull had some promo girls at Silverstone handing out free glasses of their product – one old gentleman took one sip and then turned his back and spat it out!!!

      1. C63 says:

        I had a sip once and have to say it is truly awful, with no redeeming features whatsoever. How Red Bull has conquered the world is something of a mystery to me. All a bit ‘Emperors New Clothes’ in my opinion.

      2. ManOnWheels says:

        At least it goes well with Wodka or Jägermeister. :-)

  2. Richardd says:

    Is it normal to schedule a new chassis after just four races…?

    1. zombie says:

      Yes. Ferrari used to do it all the time in the early 2000s. Use a heavily modified car from the previous year for the first 3 races, and then roll in the new chassis at Imola.

    2. Wayne says:

      I reckon they want to give VET a psychological boost and this is a good way to do it – new beginnings and all that. Sounds like a good idea to me.

      1. kent says:

        good idea only if it works. if he’s not any faster in it, it could do some real psychic damage.

      2. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

        Huummm…. Don’t think so. Just imagine if the wonder boy is beaten by his rookie teamate with the new chassis.

      3. Durabilll says:

        Here’s hoping!

  3. Urko says:

    Are there any differences between new & old chassis??

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      I would imagine that a newer chassis is probably more stiffer/more rigid than one that done a few races, especially on bumpy tracks.
      Also, at tracks with mega fast corners such as Silverstone the chassis is subject to about 5G of cornering load which transmits through the whole structure, potentially causing a hair-line crack, so I suspect the teams chop and change chassis due to the circuit layout: ie a track with pre-dominantly slow corners such as Montreal, Monaco and Monza is probably a bit set up with a bit more compliance to cope with the bumps and kerbs, where as I would imagine a track like Silverstone and Suzuka requires a chassis that is ultra stiff/rigid to cope with the huge energy transmitted via the mega fast corners.

  4. Gerard says:

    Seb certainly needs something though unless RB have created a monster of developments it won’t change his ability with regards the new regulations and his ability to be competitive with his team mate. Seb certainly has all of the credentials to race but as everyone has said can be perform without the hot diffuser and late braking that gave him in the past. Seb needs to change his driving style to compete unless Milton Keyes can give him an edge over his team mate as only an RB issue not a driver issue sees him ahead of Dan.
    So many questions for Seb to answer in his ability to master this new era….

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

      +1.. I think a lot of people are having their doubts over Vettel’s introduction into the greats solidified, so far this season anyway. Tremendous racer yes, very consistent and calculating, but so far he is being totally outclassed by his rookie team-mate in a team where he is/was by far and away the #1. Ricciardo would be well ahead on points if it were not for multiple team stuff ups already this season.

      Still, it is however too early to make any such judgments would be quite harsh. It sure will be an interesting season though.

      1. ONS says:

        Daniel Ricciardo is NOT a Rookie!!

      2. German Samurai says:

        Vettel out-qualified Ricciardo by a large margin at Sepang and then pulled away from him in the race.

        I expect Vettel to bounce back and have the edge over Ricciardo in the coming races.

        More than anything it shows how good Ricciardo is and how successful the Red Bull young driver program is.

      3. Rockie says:

        “Still, it is however too early to make any such judgments would be quite harsh. It sure will be an interesting season though.”

        But nonetheless you did!

      4. Rich B says:

        lol

      5. Suggesting continued favoritism, are we?

      6. AuraF1 says:

        To be fair to Seb’s former teammate – even Webber in his winding down phase of his career was beating Seb pretty handily in 2010 and then the first half of 2012. I think it just confirms that some drivers are very well adapted to a very specific type of car/era. I wonder if Dan had shown up in the RB9 he’d still have fared as well against an imperious Seb. I guess we’ve seen even acknowledged greats struggle in certain cars. I mean Lewis, Alonso, Senna, Prost any era you name – they have struggled at certain times.

        I suspect part of changing the chassis is pyschological for Seb. When he was being beaten by Webber, they determined his chassis was cracked (whether it was or not doesn’t matter) – it often helps to tell drivers that ‘something’ has changed. It’s probably a kinder way of getting them out of a tough spot without impacting their planet-sized egos ;)

      7. Juzh says:

        webber beating vettel in 2010? Did you even watch that season? Vettel had the measure of webber easily but lost out because of continuous mechanical failures. He lost 3 100% guaranteed victories because of that. 2 of those were dnfs, while in bahrain he managed to salvage 4th place. Not to mention multiple brake failures and other stuff.
        Vettel led championship 4 races in in 2012 and actually again had the measure on webber on race pace almost everytime, except for maybe china.

      8. Wayne says:

        I don’t think VET is a tremendous racer at all. He is tremendously smooth and calculating and obviously a brilliant driver but he’s not one of the great ‘racers’ in my opinion. See Prost, for example, one of the best ever but not a great ‘racer’, rather a great ‘driver’ of the car.

      9. C63 says:

        There is definitely a difference (in my opinion) between a quick driver and one who can race – the ability to really go toe to toe with another driver and not have it all end in tears. Occasionally the two qualities are combined in a single driver and they are the true greats.

      10. Colm says:

        While DR has almost certainly melted SV’s head in the first few races – SV is also going to become a father in the near future, which is a head melt in itself. Becoming a Daddy for the first time can change people, make them more cautious.

      11. Poyta says:

        Didn’t seem to affect Schumacher.

      12. AuraF1 says:

        Actually seemed to improve Grosjeans driving too…

      13. SteveS says:

        “so far he is being totally outclassed by his rookie team-mate in a team where he is/was by far and away the #1.”

        It’s pointless even trying to have a discussion with people who can say stuff like this. Seb is leading Danny in the drivers standings – not a bad trick for a driver who is supposedly being “totally outclassed” by his teammate. And he’s had to deal with far more mechanical problems than his teammate has.

        But that’s always the way it goes with Vettel and the majority of British F1 fans. Facts are completely irrelevant. These are the people who cheered Webber for ignoring team orders, then turned around and booed Vettel for doing the same. The only things they’re ever consistent about are their double standards and dishonesty.

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

        So you’re suggesting Seb is not the #1 driver in Red Bull? I’m sorry but he is, just because they’ve asked him to move over a couple of times doesn’t mean he isn’t still the #1.

        Vettel has had problems yes, but not “more” than Daniel. Also Can you imagine if the FIA took a second place points finish off him how he would react? And then in the following race have the pit-crew utterly destroy his race by not hooking a wheel on properly? Remember Dan was fighting with Vettel in that race and could have likely finished alongside him.

        Ricciardo has had something like 25 – 30 points robbed from him this year through no fault of his own whatsoever, not just bad luck either but bad mistakes from his team.

        Finally, I am not British.

      15. C63 says:

        @SteveS
        As you say Seb is leading Dan in the standings, but are you really making a case that this proves Seb is doing a better job at the moment? It would be like trying to argue that Nico is outperforming Lewis. Ridiculous.

      16. Juzh says:

        And vettel hasn’t? Serious PU problems starting in quali in australia, then retires 4 laps into the race. Everyone seems to forget that one. Then in the rain he destroyed ric by 1s in malaysia in quali, and in the race. Then he had gearshift issues in quali in bahrain, which was very clear to see on the onboards. His head was snapping back and forth all the time. mgu-h problems during the race.. Then in china he was actually much quicker than ric on soft tires during 1st stint, so something unclear is going on with those tires. Vettel had more than enough bad luck, not caused by himself.

    2. Quade says:

      What we’ve had over the past few years which rubbish tyres and blown diffusers was thoroughly artificial. Mark Webber called it “WWE.”
      In this new era of badly behaved but immensely powerful cars, driving skills have come to the fore and the best drivers are trouncing their teammates.

      We are beginning to see the extent the field was skewed by “the show” with the travails of the four time World champion that era provided.

      When a driver has just one trick and there’s a brilliant designer to flatter that single trick, then such a driver cannot truly be called great.

      1. clyde says:

        +1

      2. UAN says:

        Except that VET was burning it up and outshining Webber before blown diffusers etc. In 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, Vet was commonly tipped for great things and his quality was there for all to see and acknowledge, in the BWM-Sauber and the Toro Rosso. He also showed his quality in the RB5 w/o the DD.

        People may take exception to VET being crowned greatest ever, and fair enough, he’s only 26.

        But it folks think it’s a stretch to put him in the pantheon of Senna/MSC/Fangio etc., it’s an equal stretch to diminish him as a 1 trick pony.

        The other think folks keep bringing up is that RIC is a rookie. He spent a year with HRT and 2 years at Toro Rosso. He survived the hardcore selection process of the Red Bull Young driver program, as VET did before him.

        RIC is young, but very experienced, and is a fast fast driver that’s been groomed to step into the RB10 without missing a beat.

        RIC gets lost a lot among the Perezs, Hulkenbergs, Bottas’s of the grid. But he may be better than all of those. On par with the second tier behind ALO/VET/HAM, and maybe on par with those 3 as well.

        Just look at Kyvat for the depth and quality of that young driver program. Not just a Russian driver bringing money to the table. He’s the real deal too.

      3. Quade says:

        We are seeing what we are seeing, there’s no ifs or buts to it really. Vettel is what Vettel is.
        If Ricciardo continues to beat him, then very serious questions will begin to be asked about the essence of creating a show out of F1, because “the show” would seem to have strongly skewed results in the wrong direction.

        F1 should be about ultimate driving skills, not any sort of show and this years cars need real driving and thinking skills to keep them pointed in the right direction while travelling at a rate of knots. Call Ricciardo any name, but he’s doing a better job than a man with 4 titles. How can that be be?

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

        Quade awesome post mate, couldn’t agree with you more!

      5. Quade says:

        Thanks mate.

  5. Andyd says:

    Do other teams do this on a regular basis? And do RB have to prove the new chassis is exactly the same as the old one to avoid any crash tests etc?

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Red Bull build about 7/8 chassis as they have the budget, facilities and personnel to do it. Also, it have a chassis has a crack or hairline fracture (what’s the difference between those two???) it makes sense to use a new chassis while the damaged one is repaired back at base.

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        PS I do believe the 7th and 8th “chassis” is used as spare parts for the other 6, rather than a built up car if you’re wondering, but perhaps Adrian can give a better insight.
        I wonder imagine Merc, Macca and Fezza build about 6 odd chassis a year as well.

  6. Bart says:

    A Placebo effect? Let’s wait and see.

    Merc seem to be out of reach at the moment, and probably for some month to come. I think Ferrari (as far as I know they don’t hold many illusions about catching Mercedes), RBR and McL will all race for the best of the rest title.

    Cheers, Bart

  7. kenneth chapman says:

    i commented on this in another thread this morning but it can be repeated in essence here as well.

    firstly red bull need to get their stories straight. marko stated two weeks ago that they would give vettel a new chassis for spain as they thought that the old one may have a crack in it and it was that problem that was affecting vettel’s performance especially with the massive problem he was having with the rear tyres.

    now they are saying that he was due to get a new chassis according to plans laid down in march! someone is stretching the truth here.

    i personally think that red bull may have some chassis tweeks planned and they are going to give these to vettel because he is being shown up by ricciardo and they need to do something to salvage vettel’s reputation. being outdriven by ricci is not what was planned. i would expect that vettel has been banging the table.

    if there is a grain of truth in this then all that means is that red bull are being true to form. james, you appear to have omitted am important portion of what was actually said by marshall. when asked if this change would benefit vettel he responded by saying that ‘it shouldn’t but that they try to make them the same’ or words to that effect.

    they try to make them the same? they are either the same or they are not. are red bull saying that they are not sure? what a load of garbage. they could make them identical down to a fraction of a millimetre if they chose to do so. maybe i am being overly suspicious but i simply don’t trust horner et al after what they have done in the past. if, vettel, all of a sudden finds a decent margin over ricci then that will need to be explained.

    .

    .

    1. Jim says:

      +1, good comment. I was wondering about that too.

    2. Voodoopunk says:

      “if, vettel, all of a sudden finds a decent margin over ricci then that will need to be explained.”

      Why?

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

        Because he has been totally and utterly dominated by Ricciardo thus far this season. If it suddenly swings the other way without evidence of gradual progress and hard work what else are people to assume?

      2. Voodoopunk says:

        From what I understand people will assume whatever they want to.

      3. Jean-luc says:

        Why? For that would suggest there are fishy stuffs going on at RBR.

      4. Voodoopunk says:

        …and people assume there already are, so why would explaining anything make any difference.

    3. Doug says:

      Very good post.

      I would be amazed if the new chassis doesn’t feature several enhancements. Red Bull amaze me with their need to protect Vettel..he can do no wrong.
      I thought Dan, coming from the same Red Bull driver system would be party to equal favour.
      I suspect he wasn’t meant to do quite so well.

      1. simon mawdsley says:

        i don’t remember dan being asked to hold station in the last 4 races when challenging seb. as JA has mentioned here more than once, he came through the RBR programme and has the backing of Helmut Marko….a position the other aussie did not enjoy.

      2. Doug says:

        Hi Simon,

        I couldn’t agree with you more.
        My point being that a newer design of chassis will quite possibly give SV an advantage over DR (until Silverstone). As I stated, I am aware that they come from the same Reb Bull training background, thus to show favour to SV re-enforces just how much Red Bull want to prop up their most successful son..and cover up for his various radio/PR indiscretions.

        Obviously SV was favoured heavily over MW, I’m just wondering if this is the start of a change of favour within the latest inter team relationship…

    4. Matthew Cheshire says:

      I’m not the biggest Vettel fan but it seems absurd that Red Bull could make a faster chassis now but won’t for Ricciardo, and didn’t for Vettel already?

      Red bull need all the points they can get. Why wouldn’t they make the best chassis they could for Melbourne, for both drivers?

      If Ricciardo is supposed to be slower, why tell seb to let him past? Twice??

      If they can significantly improve on their first chassis, why not say so? Better for the team and sponsors to promote themselves. Better to scare the opposition. What possible purpose is there to lie and say the chassis is the same?

      Even if it is better, they can easily justify giving the first one to Vettel. The senior driver. The current champion. The leader on points (sad but true), And the driver with the most scope to improve. Even if they were favoring Ricciardo they should still give it to Vettel!

      Even the most Rabbid proponent of Red Bull favouritism would have to admit that the Red Bull brand is bigger than Vettel. WHY WOULD THEY SACRAFICE POINTS FOR THE TEAM JUST TO MAKE VETTEL LOOK GOOD?

      1. Anil Parmar says:

        Seb was struggling with the old chassis, it makes sense to give him a new one.

        Also, Dan is getting a new chassis at Silverstone and Seb isn’t.

        There’s no conspiracy.

      2. Joost says:

        +1 Can’t be more true than that

      3. kenneth chapman says:

        @ mathew….two points there. you ask, ‘if ricciardo is supposed top be slower, why tell vettel to let him past’?

        the sole reason for being that ricciardo was much faster and he was on vettel’s gearbox making a nuisance of himself, then having the temerity to ask the pit ‘we have a problem here so what are we going to do about it?’ that was broadcast. to avoid embarrassment they did what they needed to do and told vettel to move. ricciardo didn’t copy vettel/webber when vettel told the pit wall to ‘get him out of my way’. ricciardo showed skilful diplomacy in his discussions with the pit wall and they were helpless.to do otherwise would be to accord vettel prominence when they were booth supposed to have equality at this stage of the season. very hard to defend.

        as for the ‘tenet’ of the rest of your post i would just mention here that it was horner who stated right at the beginning of the season, that, when asked would vettel get the ‘lead jump’ on ricciardo, he replied, ‘they will both get absolutely equal treatment/cars etc’.

        as for your shouty last sentence [sacrifice with an i ] a headline reading ‘vettel loses’ carries more implication than ‘ricciardo wins’ at this stage of the season.

    5. German Samurai says:

      Vettel’s won four consecutive titles for Red Bull. Last season he won 13 races compared to Webber’s zero.

      Why wouldn’t he be first in line for the upgrades? He’s proven himself to be one of the all time greats of the sport.

      1. Doug says:

        He’s proven himself to be one of the all time greats of the sport…..against a heavier & technicaly disadvantaged team-mate!

        Sorry…you missed a bit! :-)

      2. German Samurai says:

        Last year Webber’s weight had no real bearing on how bad he was compared to Vettel.

      3. kenneth chapman says:

        @ german samurai….obviously you missed reading horner’s staement, ‘they will both get equal treatment and cars’.

    6. clyde says:

      yeah now soon we will have Marko demoralising
      Ricardo as they did with Webber in 2010 :-)

      1. German Samurai says:

        Ricciardo’s success thus far is sweet vindication for Helmut Marko.

        Everyone rubbished Red Bull for taking Ricciardo and not Raikkonen.

        The Red Bull young driver program has produced Vettel and now Ricciardo. Red Bull have bar none the strongest drive line up in the sport.

      2. Ray c boy says:

        “Red Bull have bar none the strongest driver line up in the sport”.
        Really?
        On paper it’s Ferrari, on the track it’s Mercedes.

      3. James says:

        Well said.

      4. C63 says:

        @germanSamurai
        Red Bull have bar none the strongest drive line up in the sport…..

        That’s got to be one of the funniest comments you have every written, bar none! It was a joke, wasn’t it?

    7. Rockie says:

      Post like this make me laugh, it’s as if people lose reasoning capabilities when Vettel is involved.
      I cannot understand why people make it seem as if DM started RBR just so Vettel can race or win in F1.
      It defies logic!

      1. F1Observer says:

        They are jelous Alonso and Hamilton fans.

      2. kenneth chapman says:

        @ rockie….you’re easily entertained.

    8. Jean-luc says:

      This is what I call a comment; All very well rounded. You are the man

    9. AuraF1 says:

      Last time Seb was being beaten by Webber, they came up with the cracked chassis change story. Maybe it’s true? Maybe it’s a precaution – or maybe as someone else said it’s the placebo effect of ‘well last time I was beaten I changed chassis and suddenly I was better’ – tell the patient what they want to hear.

      I doubt they can make the chassis absolutely identical unless the drivers are millimetre for millimetre identical too. It was always noted that Webber’s much taller, heavier frame meant everything from different ballast arrangements to wider cut outs for his arms on the steering arc. These shouldn’t make a difference but who knows?

    10. F1Fan says:

      If they provided new chassis to DR, and Seb is fast then again people will say RBR ruined DR to save Seb’s reputation. What a rubbish?

      A single action can be taken by millions of people in millions of way! just wondering.

  8. Gaz Boy says:

    I’ve just read this in today’s Autosport, but I don’t think its a massive deal. As Matt Meadows has reported here, it is completely normal for drivers to use several different chassis during the year.
    It’s worth pointing out Red Bull will probably have a lot of new components on the car at Barcelona, just like everyone does. No chassis stays the same in terms of specification throughout the year; it has to be refined and improved to say competitive, usually on the front wing and floor. Red Bull have got the best combination of front wing/wing in terms of producing good, efficient downforce, and they have an excellent pedigree in refining and improving an already downforce heavy chassis. I’ve posted this before, but for the Bulls to improve its somewhat incumbent on Renault to improve their PU relative to Merc/Brixworth brigade.
    Having said that, I think I’m right in saying Jenson drove the same chassis all season long during his championship year in 2009! The fact he finished 16 out of 17 races and only had slight damage at Belgium after being taken out by that young (at the time!) Grosjean is why the repair bill for Jenson was so low! I think Brawn only built 3 chassis for both Jenson and Rubens that year anyway, so they would have been told keep it away from the barriers lads as we haven’t got a lot of spares!
    Also, I suspect Mr Vettel has spent plenty of time at that Red Bull simulator………

    1. Jota180 says:

      It’s normal to swap the chassis around.
      Have a look at this piece
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sI8QRFYTnAw

      Hamilton’s chassis from Korea ends up being used by JB at – given the Verizon logos – I think the US GP.
      I seem to recall from the original broadcast that they were busy preparing one chassis whilst another one was out.
      Sam Michael mentions something about it at the end of the piece.
      I can’t imagine RBR do anything much differently

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        RE Jota180: Thanks.
        Yes, I would imagine all the top teams have the same policy when it comes to chassis allocations and rotations – rotation, no pun intended…..

  9. goferet says:

    For sure Vettel’s previous chassis must have had a crack or something. We saw it in China, Vettel went from having a competitive first stint to then suffering from some problem for the rest of the race.

    What’s confusing though is the team saying the chassis change has nothing to do with Vettel woes and that Vettel as an individual is just having a difficult time understanding the 2014 cars.

    Either way, we wait to see what improvements Renault and Red Bull have brought for this weekend and I think it’s imperative Vettel wins a race in the first half of the season because I suspect it maybe tricky for him to re-win any of the races he won in the second half of last season.

    Regards Riccardo, if the stars keep shining in his favour, he just might become the first teammate to beat Vettel.

    Yes, with Vettel being 26 going on 27, he might be a late bloomer because both Lewis and Alonso lost to their teammates in their 26th year.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      For what its worth, I always think the F1 season doesn’t start properly until the European/Canadian leg gets underway – teams can fly in new parts over-night and have a much closer co-operation with their personnel “back at base” so to speak.
      Also the majority of tracks during the summer season are not the boring Tilke-drones! Thank God for Barcelona, Silverstone and Spa and their mega fast corners/sweepers, Monaco and Canada offer the challenge of the barriers a couple of inches away, Monza is a flat out blast and even once derided Hungary is now something of a classic track with its twisty nature and very hot track temps.

      1. goferet says:

        @ Gaz Boy

        Oh yes, the classic tracks are mainly found in the European leg of the season and better yet we sometimes get caught up in the summer showers.

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        Couldn’t agree more about a sprinkling of water during the Euro/Canada season makes things interesting………Hungary 2006, Nuburgring 2007, Silverstone 2008, Spa 2008, Monza 2008, Canada 2011………

      3. German Samurai says:

        Barcelona and Hungary used to be the worst tracks on the calendar with almost zero passing, but DRS and driver activated KERS means there’s actual racing now. The Hungaroring used to be called Monaco without the walls.

        The same can be said for Bahrain and Abu Dhabi. Just awful tracks before DRS and driver activated KERS, but now I look forward to them.

        Funnily enough, people look forward to Monza, Spa and Monaco, but these tracks are generally not conducive to good racing. Spa is a great track to see the capabilities of a car and I look forward to it, but it produces processional races more often than not. Monza is just a lot of chicanes and corners where you can’t pass. Monaco isn’t as bad as when their were no driver aids, but still makes for generally bad races. Good track to time trial an F1 car.

        The Tilke circuits tend to prove interesting races more often than these traditional circuits.

      4. oddball says:

        May i visit your planet sometime? At what point is a tilka track better than spa,monza or silverstone.these tracks have created more dramatic racing than any super smooth modern era runways imho

  10. Phil Glass says:

    Interesting to see how Vetts deals with the hand fate has dealt him this year and how he progresses.

    In fact, I would say watching Seb and Kimi battle their respective cars and their team mates is far more of interest than what is happening out front with the two mercedes drivers and their 1 second plus advantage over everyone else…

    1. Joost says:

      Maybe you should go watch a play. I prefer watching racing ;-)

      1. Phil Glass says:

        I like to watch the best race the best, but you go ahead and enjoy what you like :)

  11. Pkara says:

    Placebo Mind Games.
    Think Daniel loves the new car more than Vettel.
    Changing the chassis is normal but to broadcast it to all,
    is a way to re-set the drivers brain & recharge the
    ‘Self Confidence ERS’.
    David Coultard stated on a live broadcast recently, that its way of blaming the equipment & not the driver.
    Though if this new chassis brings limited results. ..then it will play on The Singing Kettle Vettels mind in a negative way.

    1. Robert says:

      If one assumes that RB really will spend this amount of money just to protect there ‘golden boy’ as some of the people suggest, they will never say in public that there is something wrong with the old chassis, for incase it is really Vettel’s driving style than do not work with the current rules / car. I am not a Vettel supporter, but I do not believe for one moment that he can be so consistently beaten by his new team mate if nothing is wrong with his old car. I love it, but my logic tells me that if he can performs as good as he has done in the ROC events against the best in the world, in different cars not set up to his liking, he is not going to take this long to adapt to a new design Red Bull.

      1. UAN says:

        Do people really not follow the news or only part of the news?

        Vet, RB, Horner, Marko are all saying Vettel is having issues. They aren’t saying it’s the car or chassis. It’s not even a new chassis, but one he used during preseason testing.

        See Vet’s own comments from the drivers press conference.

        The other thing in favor of RIC over VET is that RIC is coming up to a much better car than he had a TR and he is used to stability, while VET is having to unlearn a style of driving that was absolutely perfect for basically a different formula.

        Also, let’s not forget how much Hamilton struggled with Merc last year just due to the different brakes he was using.

        Let’s not forget too that RIC is very good. He’s not a Kevin Magnussen or Kyvat in his first year in F1. This is his 4th season and he’s made it to the main RB team by being the best of the young driver program (look at Kyvat to see the quality they have, and the kid’s only 19/20).

  12. Darrell Steele says:

    Hi James just wanted to know do you think anyone is likely to catch the mercs in Spain and in the next few races in fact, because RBR seem to think they have the best aero car and are waiting in Renault, I mean the numbers did show in china that it was quick round the bends so once Renault get them selves sorted can they fight the mercs or do you think/know that the Merc is a very good aero car and if they have much more they can do to the engine?

    1. James Allen says:

      Early days, but the margin was very big before the break so I’d expect them to still have a margin.

      Red Bull will be quick here, especially in final sector, which will give us a good steer for Monaco.

      It would be a real surprise if Merc had lost their advantage

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Agree James. I doubt Renault can find the 80 BHP/80 lb ft of torque that they are lacking over Merc, not yet anwway.
        Monaco is all about low speed torque in the low gears, crisp sharp steering, good suspension compliance and a nimble, agile, reactive chassis, so yes, the final sector at Barcelona will be a good indicator whose car combines those qualities.

    2. Juzh says:

      no one is gonna catch merc while engine freeze is in place. Not until next year anyway. Why can’t people understand that? It’s very simple actually.

      1. ManOnWheels says:

        The sporting regulations talk about the changes on homologated Engines under special circumstances in Appendix 4 (only for realiability and cost saving, etc.), but these sporting regulations refer to homologated engines according to the technical regulations (also Appendix 4, other rule book) that give a pretty detailed description, which changes are allowed in which years, weighting every change and giving a maximum amount of “weight” for each particular year to change.

        See:
        http://www.fia.com/sites/default/files/regulation/file/1-2014%20TECHNICAL%20REGULATIONS%202014-01-23_0.pdf

        See Page 89

        Seems the following things are fixed starting with 2015:
        “Upper/lower crankcase – Cylinder bore spacing, deck height, bank stagger.”

        “Crankshaft – Crank throw, main bearing journal diameter, rod bearing journal diameter”

        “Air valve system – Including compressor, air pressure regulation devices.”

        While the following might be changed until the end of 2018:
        “Combustion – All parts of parts defining combustion. Included: Ports, Piston crown, Combustion chamber, Valves geometry, timing, lift, injector nozzle, coils, spark plug Excluded: Valves position.”

        If I haven’t misunderstoof something general here, the PU development race is pretty much still on full throttle.

      2. Juzh says:

        hardware changes during the season are not permitted, no matter how you try to spin it. Only minor “reliability” upgrades are allowed.

      3. ManOnWheels says:

        Now if you would point me to the part of the rulebook that says that, I would be thankful.
        Renault just said they brought some hardware updates for better performance, so they must be doing something wrong there, don’t they?

  13. Phil says:

    Any chance that Vettel’s ‘new’ chassis is the one Ricciardo has been driving for the last 4 races…

    1. Kingszito says:

      Hahaha anything is possible in Red Bull, after all they have given Mark’s front wing to Vettel before.

    2. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

      +1.000

  14. Glennb says:

    Webber was given a new chassis early one season after a less than stellar start to the season. They found his chassis was slightly out in one or two dimensions. It was no big deal then and is no big deal now. Additionally, their premier driver is struggling with the current package. Why wouldnt they try something different in an attempt to move him forward? Giving Seb the version 1.1 chassis is just logical.
    Nothing to see here, move on…..

    1. Matthew Cheshire says:

      +1. Why is it so weird for the team to look at fixing possible problems for their struggling driver? They aren’t stealing pieces off Ricciardo’s car. And why would they replace DR’s chassis? He probably wants to keep it!

    2. Israel says:

      Ufff you are asking to much ‘move on, get over, etc..’ like it is possible for some people

    3. Glennb says:

      Turns out it is the chassis previously used in pre-season testing. At least it’s very low kms :)

    4. kenneth chapman says:

      @glennb….why would you give a possibly ‘faster’ chassis to your slowest driver? wouldn’t it make more sense to give it to your fastest driver so that he may make further inroads to the leading cars?

      1. Glennb says:

        Dan seems happy with the car, Seb doesnt. It makes sense to have both drivers happy with their cars. The goal is to score maximum points. You do this by having 2 fast cars, not 1. For the record I was a Webber fan and now support Ricciardo. I dont see any conspiracy here, just an attempt to ge the most out of the team. Anyway, see my comment 2 posts up re old/new chassis.

  15. Paul D says:

    I thought there must be an explanation as to why Vettel was getting so comprehensively outperformed by Ricciardo.

    1. Random 79 says:

      There is: Ricciardo is faster.

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        PS Random, just to say, our commonwealth mates down in AUS are fortunate that Channel 10 broadcasts all the races live – for free! If only the BBC viewers in pommy land were so lucky!
        It says on the wikipedia F1 broadcasters page that our mates across the English Channel in La Francais have to pay (weird, as Renault are heavily involved in F1, but there you go), also Canada, South Africa, Denmark, Ireland (Republic), Norway and Sweden have to subscribe to pay TV to watch the races. I’m just going on the info on the Wikipedia page, but if that information is true, that is a huge chunk of the world that does not give free to air/highlights F1 programmes – which is a huge customer base for F1 and the manufacturers being neglected?
        Interestingly, apparently free to air F1 races are transmitted in Venezuela………

      2. Random 79 says:

        Yes we are very lucky down here, but then again we also get ad breaks during the broadcast.

        Still, I think it works in our favour :)

    2. Matthew Cheshire says:

      There is. But that explanation is that Vettel’s talent for using oversteer into corners and using the blown diffuser to exit without backing off, is not usable now. The problem is compounded by Riccardo’s affinity with the less stable handling from Torro Rosso. And maybe DR is more adaptable too.

      A bad chassis ? Clutching at straws.

    3. Phil Glass says:

      I would say Dan has been the most exciting driver of the first four events, easily.

  16. Vincent says:

    Vettel has certainly had preferential treatment in the past, but on this occasion I don’t actually think there is a big conspiracy of any sort.

    I imagine RB are only able to manufacture 1 new chassis by the race this weekend. So they need to decide who to give it to, given Vettel has been struggling and there may be a crack in his chassis, why not give it to him?

    Even if there isn’t a crack, from a team point of view you want both your drivers to score podiums. Daniel has been doing exceptionally well without the new chassis so by giving it to their poorer performing driver (in this case) Vettel they are just trying to maximise their points.

    1. F1Observer says:

      It is not a new Chassis. It is a Chassis used in testing before the season’s start. Is that too hard to understand for you?

    2. kenneth chapman says:

      @ vincent….this latest red bull hoo har is descending into utter farce. firstly marko/horner decide that vettel’s chassis ‘may’ have a crack in it hence his less that stellar performances then they say that vettel simply doesn’t have the adaptive skills to match the new cars requirements.

      then they say that vettel will get a brand new chassis and this is confirmned by andy marshall who flicks it on as if this is normal after four races irrespective of possible ‘chassis’cracks! read his comments.

      now it appears as though vettel will not get a brand new chassis at all and it is an old one from pre season testing!!! honestly, is it any wonder people question what is going on….they can’t even get their in-house comments on an even footing. very strange. someones rattled.

      1. Vincent says:

        @Kenneth

        RB have had a terrible communication problem from the start of this season, mixed messages coming from the garage at every turn!

        Who knows what Seb will end up with…

  17. Mazdafarian says:

    Methinks the Marshall doth protest too muc..h.

  18. Mazdafarian says:

    Methinks the Marshall doth protest too much…

  19. Olivier says:

    Will she still be called Suzie*?

    (*) The name of his car at the start of 2014.

    1. Fastfastfast says:

      Because Suzie’s chassis was cracked her name was changed to Easy Suzy in Bahrain. The new car with everything intact will be christened Chastity.

  20. MR says:

    Good comment Kenneth Chapman. Sunday afternoon should be even more interesting.

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      @ MR,……many thanks for that. after my senna comments i was waiting for a knock on the door around midnight hahaha

  21. franed says:

    A move to keep toys in the pram for longer?
    We shall see it it helps Seb catch Danny.

    I find it rather amusing. [mod]

  22. Witan says:

    I think that the owners are desperate to rescue Vettel, otherwise the idea he was WDC despite being unexceptional because he had the best car might catch hold.

    It wouldn’t be true, not entirely, but in the brand wars Red Bull Central might think differently.

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      @ witan….yes, i agree. however i do feel as though we will see a resurgent vettel either at barca or monaco at the latest. something will have to give. can’t have the ‘kid’ heaping more ‘merde’ onto our 4 x WDC uber meister ad infinitum.

  23. Kenneth M'Boy says:

    James, a bit off topic but is there any talk about who will get Mercs engine next year when McLaren go to Honda? Will Merc supply a new team and do you think Red Bull will start showing major interest if they show little improvement after this upgrade weekend?

    1. James Allen says:

      Good question. I will find out

    2. ManOnWheels says:

      A return of the Sauber Mercedes name would be sweet!

  24. Alpha16 says:

    ppl make such a big deal about Vettels slump!
    its only 2 races his done badly! Australia his car was no where near performing on the same level as Ricciardos and the same in Bahrain!Malaysia he comfortably beat Ricciardo so its only really China that he got beat!Besides he still has more points then Ricciardo

    The thing is ppl seem to forget Hamilton lost it for an entire flippin season in 2009 and got beat by 1 of the slowest drivers in F1 nevermind Ricciardo!In 2009 Hamilton lost the plot he had a mental breakdown and throwing tantrums like a little teeny girl and crashing into anyone who got near him mostly massa haha!

    Vettel in my opinion is still the best driver in F1 and he IS BETTER THEN HAMILTON!

    and I don’t give a crap what anyone else says!

    When Vettel retires his stats will speak themselves!

    With Hamilton another mental breakdown is only around the corner!haha!

    It’s a matter of time before Nicole dumps him again!

    1. Ahmed says:

      Seb?! Is that you?

    2. Ahmed says:

      Or is it marko?

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        it’s not mark webber!

    3. GWD says:

      “When Vettel retires his stats will speak themselves!”

      People will mostly gloss over the stats and remember the person and the ‘competitor’ they were. Hardboiled statsmongers will remember the separation of stats between SV & other multi-championship winners, but the rest of us will remember the personal legacy and imprint he leaves on the sport. Recent years stat collection haven’t really helped that legacy, but that hasn’t been just SV’s fault either. RBR have had a plan revolving around self-promotion and a bit-player to that end. It is, however, a contrast to other RB sponsored sportspeople and teams in other disciplines. Again, not really all SV’s fault. Just that SV’s actions and statements have very much at times been off-message and contradictory, as well as also very situationally open and very becoming of a person (example being his personal prescence at the Laureus awards) and cleary on-message. I’ve stated before the general public have very short and unreliable memories, but we will amplify and memory imprint the most negative aspects especially if they are repeated and become the most interesting aspect of the particular sportsperson. His persona is essentially his to define, and you’d have to say the media will amplify the most interesting aspect in their interests also. So why not give the best side of you to that image machine as also being the most interesting?

      1. Alpha16 says:

        at the end of the day stats do matter!
        50 years down the line hardly anyone will remember how you drove but they will have your stats to look up and remind them of how good you were.

        Besides being a great driver and stats are directly linked.

        There are almost Zero drivers in the history of F1 who have great stats but where useless drivers and vice verse!

        At the end of the day stats do matter because its the only way to measure your achievements!

        How Vettel behaves and says is irrelevant (unless u have mental breakdown like Hamilton)! What matter is what he achieves when his finally done with F1!

        F1 drivers are there to win not to win noddy badges or the boy scout of the year award!

      2. C63 says:

        I thought you said you didn’t give a crap what anyone else said ;-)

  25. Matt says:

    Throw Seb out with his chassis I want Daniel and Kvyat teamed up at RBR next year that’s a super team!

    1. Juzh says:

      funny guy

  26. JohnH says:

    ” the team insist the change was scheduled rather than being made due to the champion’s difficult start to 2014.”

    Of course it is.

  27. Fastfastfast says:

    Hasn’t Seb always started the season slow except for 2011? Why does he never get the benefit of the doubt?

    2010 – didn’t lead the championship until the last race.
    2012 – had to overhaul Alonso’s 40 point lead in the third leg of the season
    2013 – did not win “conclusively” until Bahrain

    I think his critics should wait until the end of the season to call him overrated.

    I know I am because I like Hamilton and I’m waiting until the chequered flag in Abi Dhabi to hand Lewis the WDC. A lot can happen between Catalunya and Yaz Marina.

    1. Juzh says:

      this again? seriously? Vettel had 2 dnfs from certain victory in 2010. Another problem dropped him from 1st to 4th in bahrain. Don’t get me started on hamilton puncturing his tire in silverstone or broken anti roll bars. That’s the only reason people think vettel “got off to a slow start” in 2010.
      2012: if you actually remember vettel had pace on webber during races almost all the time except for maybe china.
      2013 is not worth talking about.

      1. Fastfastfast says:

        Exactly. Slow starts.

  28. kimberly says:

    The world is such a funny place. A guy who has dedicated his entire life to a sport, has been successful in every level he has competed. From karting, to the lower formulae, to f1. After 4 yrs of continuous success and becoming the youngest man to do just about everything of note in the sport, people find it hard to give him credit. But just after 4 lackluster races, people immediately conclude that hes a loser.
    That said, i feel that vettel is making excuses in various interviews because hes failing. In psychology class, people call it a defense mechanism. Thats so true not only in sport but also in life. After a failure, people immediately say “oh, i did not try” or “i did not try cause i dont need this” instead of saying “i will try my best next time”. And that i think is the biggest problem vettel has.

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      @ multi 21. ‘yes mark, i apologise, i didn’t know what i was doing’…. ‘yes i would do the same again, mark didn’t deserve to win’

      ‘tough luck’…. 4 x WDC’shouldn’t have to be told to move over, or should they?

      sometimes reality bites.

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        oops sorry, should read @ kimberley…

  29. PxB says:

    Perhaps we should call it a monocoque or “tub” because “chassis” is also being used to refer to the whole car minus the power plant (as in “Red Bull has the best chassis”)?

    Today’s quote from Vettel is that it’s one they previously used in testing.

  30. Joe Szpara says:

    Didn’t Hamilton have a chasis change towards the end of last year with Mercedes after a few races being beaten by Rosberg and he felt much more comfortable in the car?

    Maybe we’ll see this from Vettel too.

  31. Ahmed says:

    Well, as th rb10 is touted as th best aerodynamic car on grid and ricciardo is doing reasonably well… If nothing comes out of the “new chassis” thn maybe its mre thn just a ‘conspiracy’ that vettel struggles to race through the pack… Let’s face it, even crashdonado won a race from pole

  32. goggomobil says:

    Now that F1 has come to its back yard in 2014 one has the feeling come Monday the 12th,J.A site will be inudated with expressions of an different kind.sach as Whoa,unbelievable,and so on,I believe couple drivers that will come of age are Vettel and Raikkonen.

  33. slim says:

    is that the RB10 mk3,or RB13?…..lol.

    1. Random 79 says:

      I just found it on e-bay: It’s a pre-loved second-hand RB10.2 sans fictional chassis crack.

  34. Joan says:

    It turns out Vettel is going to use an OLD, albeit different chassis, last used in pre-season testing. This should put a lid on all this Red Bull conspiracy talk (which is getting a bit old). The purpose of giving Vettel a different chassis was never about giving him a better one to get an edge over Ricciardo. It’s only a way to rule out that the issue bugging Vettel is not coming from the chassis.

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      @ joan…you say that it was never designed to give vettel a better chassis to get an edge over ricciardo. if the chassis on both cars is identical[ or as close as it is possible to do] according to red bull then why would giving vettel an old chassis make any difference. horner has said that the differences between vettel and ricciardo are down to vettel’s driving style? are you saying that horner is telling porkies?

  35. Ben says:

    I’m not a Vettel fan but obviously something has not been right with his cars chassis for him to have struggled as he has. But time will tell.

    1. stevo says:

      There is indeed something wrong with his chassis…..no blown floor.

      1. Random 79 says:

        Lol – it’s funny ’cause it’s true :)

  36. Joshua says:

    Hi James

    Vettel is quoted as saying that the chassit is an old chassis used in winter testing. He also says that they took the decision after the China.
    this appears to completely contradict the statement that has been given which you have reported!

    Can we all agree this is fishy as I can’t believe that seb…who is said to pay close attention to every detail doesn’t know If his chassis is new or old, scheduled or not!

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      @ joshua…hahahaa you are so right.

  37. idf says:

    All this tech and they can’t find a crack in a chassis? Can someone explain why?

    1. Goob says:

      There isn’t one… this is just to divert the attention from the fact that Vettel is nothing without Newey and a poorly run FIA, that is killing racing.

      1. Rockie says:

        This,
        Newey designed this years car as well FYI.

      2. Random 79 says:

        Good point by Rockie, plus I’d add that Vettel still enjoys the dubious advantage of a poorly run FIA.

    2. Random 79 says:

      It’s easy: Just pour a lot of water into the chassis and watch where it leaks out.

      So simple a child could do it :)

  38. plantsman says:

    This new chassis every ones going on about is an old one from testing in winter,yet they would have us believe it is a sheduled new chassis.
    which report is true!!!

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      @ plantsman… don’t ask red bull, they obviously don’t know. 4 x WCC’s in and they still can’t get it straight.

      1. Rockie says:

        You are rather too vocal when it comes to Vettel having issues.

      2. kenneth chapman says:

        @ rockie…..are you offended then? what a shame. i have never disguised the fact that i enjoy the fact that vettel has issues. it is called ‘kharma’ and the fact that i am all ‘fingered out’ by the cheat. i would be quite happy to never ever see him on the podium again.

        yes, he has won 4 WDC’s and he is no doubt a very good driver but it is vettel himself that i dislike intensely. i am not a team man, never have been. i am a follower of drivers and i despise drivers who cheat.

        just for the record, ‘schadenfreude’ is alive and well and living at my residence. hahaha

        schadenfreude is alive and well at my residence

  39. Nator says:

    I can’t wait to see Vettel’s face when he gets out qualified by RIC on Saturday. This weekend will be great, fireworks going off in a few teams I reckon.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Williams tried that a couple years back, but it didn’t turn out so well.

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