F1 Winter Break
So is Red Bull now a top team?
Red Bull Racing
So is Red Bull now a top team?
Posted By:   |  19 Apr 2009   |  6:18 pm GMT  |  55 comments

Form is temporary, class is permanent.

That is the great adage of the sporting world. So what are we to make of what’s happening at the moment in F1? Is this the start of a change of order, with great names like McLaren, Renault and Ferrari in decline and new teams like Red Bull and Brawn the new top dogs?

Anyone who says that would be guilty of serious short term thinking or buying hype. Those three teams deserve great respect for their record of success spanning many years, they are not to be written off so easily.

You look at the first three races of the season, with two wins for Brawn and one for Red Bull and glance across at the constructors’ championship, where those two teams top the table with McLaren a distant fourth, Renault creeping along in 6th and Ferrari yet to get of the mark and you say to yourself, “Double diffusers.”

Except that you remember that Red Bull doesn’t have one of those, so then you say to yourself, “Ah well, the top teams were pushing to the end of last season, Brawn and Red Bull were on 2009 by then.” And you would have a point.

But does this mean that the old order will be returned once the top teams get their clever aero parts? Can Brawn and Red Bull stay out front all season and if they do, will they be able to do it again next year?

In my live twitter feed of today’s race, one of my final postings was to suggest that Sebastien Vettel has now done enough to show the ‘top teams’ what he has to offer and to speculate how long Red Bull would be able to hold on to him.

I’ve had plenty of responses on that and I imagine there will be more following this post. Many took me to be implying that Red Bull are not a top team, despite their current championship position. Others suggested that being up there now means that they have already ‘made it’ and are now de facto a top team, heck they might even run away with it once they get their double diffuser, so why would Vettel move elsewhere?

I don’t think even Red Bull’s management believes that. But they have been building up to this for some time now, they have a talented technical staff led by the great Adrian Newey and they have a billionaire owner who can spends bonkers money on whatever he wants in life and who may just have rediscovered his passion for F1 today.

Then you contemplate the main item on the agenda when FOTA next meets the FIA; the £30 million budget cap. This is like the time bomb which was planted in F1 a few weeks ago and has since been fogotten in all the hype about the McLaren liar-gate scandal and the three crazy races we’ve been enjoying.

Not many people in F1 believe that the budget cap will happen as billed, but it’s looking like a budget cap of some kind will come in and that will limit the ways in which the old ‘top teams’ can beat the new ‘top teams’.

Brawn is a good example of a team which, as Honda, was guilty of the spending excesses of all the F1 manufacturers. Now with a smaller staff, a leaner budget and a customer engine, it is the shining example of what the old ‘top teams’ must emulate if they are to limbo under the budget cap bar next season. It’s been painful for the staff who have been laid off, but it’s given Max Mosley an example to point at and say, “That’s what I’m talking about.”

Red Bull is built on the same model… a pattern is starting to emerge here. If we think like Darwin about this, the survival of he fittest and the most fitting and all that, then the teams at the front now are already equipped for the evolution F1 is to go into next year. Of course their weakness is that those customer engines have to come from manufacturers and that could all get quite political…

This season is far from over and I’m sure we all expect Ferrari, Renault and McLaren to win before the final race. And we find it hard to imagine that they won’t be back fighting for the title in 2010.

But they have a lot on their plate at the moment and if the financial playing field is levelled next year, we could end up with a lot of ‘top teams’.

So maybe Vettel will stay put after all….

PS – one of my readers, Andy Fov made this observation on the Form vs Class debate..

“And the class of Brawn and Newey is permanent. All this talk of “a new order in F1″, there’s not. It was a case of Brawn Vs Newey today. It might as well have been 1998.”

Very good point Andy. It’s amazing how some things never change in F1.

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I think that verdict is still not in for RBR. We gotta wait for the couple of "normal" races to make that last judgement. However, it is clear that RBR is currently the cut above the rest in wet conditions, yet due to their superb mechanical grip they could struggle with the tire wear which could cost them dearly in title hunt. Whether they could solve this problem with the DDD is yet to be soon. Nevertheless, its so nice to see new faces up front in the season that could go as one of the best ever in this sport...


Yes money is a factor in F1 but only to a certain extent. What makes the real difference is talent. Engineering, driver and leadership. Red Bull may not have the largest budget but it is sufficient. Adrian Newey is the real deal proven since nearly 20 years. Sebastian Vettel we now know is also the real deal.
What we se is the beginning of a new great partnership.


Only question I would have is - are Brawn really a shining example if the current car was largely developed with the Honda excesses? I want to think so but I worry they will go backwards as the cash dries up.


Summed it up perfectly there methinks - the budget cap is key. The "big" teams are bound to improve and level the field, but the days of romping away into the distance seem passed to me.

But as one of those who "questioned" you, please don't think I was challenging the wisdom of your point - just wanting to know more about your thinking. As ever, you've surpassed all other F1 journalists with an insightful and thought provoking piece. Thank you.

The next question all this raises in my mind though is this - can a new team come to the grid next year (e.g. USF1) and be every bit as competitive under the new regulations/regime as Brawn and Red Bull have proved this year? Max may not be so Mad after all.

The Kitchen Cynic

JA, I'll admit I was never a fan of your commentary on TV, but you're a long way ahead of the pack as a columnist. As usual, the cogent points, simply stated.


I've thought more about this since my last post and I feel compelled to say what a SUPERB example of internet journalism this is. Not only have you read the comments we've made, but you've responded, informed and fuelled the debate further. All on what, I'm sure, is a busy day as you fulfil various print deadlines. That is exactly what the net is about - not just posting articles intended for print media.

No one else does that and you really do enhance the Formula 1 experience more than any other journalist out there. Thank you for that.

I can't really give you a bigger accolade other than this site is so good, I'd even pay to read it! I'm sure that isn't a path you want to take, but if it ever becomes necessary I'm sure many of us would gladly invest the cost of a team-branded peaked cap each year to ensure we get quality like this - so keep it in mind.

All those in favour... say "aye"!


"Now with a smaller staff, a leaner budget and a customer engine, it is the shining example of what the old ‘top teams’ must emulate if they are to limbo under the budget cap bar next season."

Absolutely, although it's also worth remembering that the car they are working with had lord only knows how much spent on it by Honda during it's development last season. OK, the engine they had apparently worked on, despite the engine freeze, may have taken up some of that cash, but otherwise the Brawn car didn't come at all cheap!


It's funny how everyone sort of forgot about Red Bull during pre season testing. When they released their car everyone was going on about how amazing it looked, how Adrian Newey had clearly outfoxed his rivals, etc. A few weeks later, most of the praise had disappeared, simply because it wasn't showing brilliantly on the testing timesheets. And before Brawn revealed their car, the common consensus was that the top 3 in F1 were going to be Ferrari, BMW, Toyota. That all seems a long, long time ago now, and shows how difficult it can be to read testing form.

And if we do see a budget cap in F1, I'd expect the likes of Ferrari and McLaren to really struggle for a while, until they get used to racing for cheap. I doubt they could cut their budgets by 80% from one season to the next without a serious hangover. The one big team I could see having a strong future on a limited budget is Renault, because they've won 2 championships (4 if you include the Benetton era) for a fraction of the cost of their rivals.


A few have said it but it is the important point here. Not only was the Brawn developed with Honda's excess, but it was always developed over twice as much time.

If Brawn can win the championship, having matched, or more than matched, the development of the McLaren and Ferrari, with some of that $100 million to spare then perhaps they can be an example. But not until then.


"Form is temporary, class is permanent"

And the class of Brawn and Newey is permanent.

All this talk of "a new order in F1", there's not. It was a case of Brawn Vs Newey today. It might as well have been 1998.


I hope to God that some form of a budget cap is introduced. I've watched F1 since I was 8 in 1998, and the start of the season has been the best yet. More top teams = more quality racing!


Good article, it's interesting.

The updates in the next races will show alot. Especially for RBR, the DD's one.

However, I don't think it's a given that BMW, Renault, McLaren and Ferrari will be winning races this season. For some of them maybe but without the inseason testing it favours the teams out front.

The teams that are trying to "catch up" are trying to do so with the same tools (CFD, WT) that got them into this position with their flawed cars in the first place. They can do it, but it's asking alot. After the initial impressions of the Renault and McLaren in their first tests in the winter, it's hard to imagine a contender blooming from that dog of a car. Not matter how many updates you throw at it.

We saw last season what happened with Renault, they did just that. But again, there was testing and now the SC rules are changes to somewhat prevent crazy results. And if it rains, RBR look just as dominant as Brawn in the dry.

But as always, especially with big rules changes, things move so quickly that half way through the season, the first races will be a distant memory.

The teams I really fear for are Toyota and Williams, it could be 2005 all over again. And have already shot their bolt with the diffusers.


Vetel should think twice before moving to another team. Red Bull could well be on the way up.


james I think the answer to your question on brawn on a budget is no.They have been useing honda money for a year to build that car if he had only 30mil he could do it sure he is running it with only 70mil this year but customer engines for next year will be 10-15 mil . 15mill to run a team and build a new car we all know that the top teams will be pouring mils into developing diffusers if that doesnt work the amount billions on next years car.If brawn is 2sec off the pace next year do you think they can afford to spend the money to be competitive In all forms of sport all over the world budget caps dont work those with the most always win.


Nothing is in place this year to stop teams spending hundreds of millions in readiness for next year, so the likes of Ferrari and McLaren can spend their huge budgets before the cap comes into place at the end of the year.

Brawn and the like may struggle to keep up as they're on a very limited budgets, I doubt they even have the ability to add 20 million easily.

Ferrari have already stated on Autosport that they may decide to switch to 2010 by May, that would be a good six months before any cap would be enforceable.


The top teams will be back even this year. Mac's interim solution is already paying dividends. Heikki was having hell before and this time drove a sensible race. Lewis was fast but pushing a bit too hard. Ferrari are quick but behind the scenes they are in a bit of turmoil and I believe that is their main deficit.

RB and BrawnGP, I feel will be tough to beat this year. My suspicion is that Brawn will have a year similar to Renault in 05. By years end they may not have the best car but with intelligence they should be able to maximize their potential.


James are you suggesting here that the top teams have no chance of winning this year? Given Mclaren and Ferrari's ability to improve the car throughout the season it is inconceivable that they are out of it after 3 races, Surely?


Why bother developing this years car if your behind and theres a cap on everything next year.

May as well cut your losses and wait for the new rules, meantime RBull and Brawn will be spending the year focused on '09.


We had Brawn versus Newey (Benetton versus Williams '94, '95, '96), then we had Brawn versus Newey again (Ferrari versus McLaren '98, '99, etc...), now we have Brawn versus Newey again (Brawn versus Red Bull '09). Neat pattern I think!
This time unlike in '94, '95, '96 the British driver drives the Brawn car and the German one the Newey car.


It's great to see Red Bull up there. They are a better example of a constructor team with a smaller budget that is competing through innovation and passion rather than budget.

As for whether they are a top team - I don't think you can be considered a top team until you show some consistency over more than a season. Brawn can win constructors but if they drop off after this year, then it's just a one-off thing. McLaren and Ferrari are still top teams as they've shown they can fight consistently, but dynasties can fall, and Williams is an example of that, which is a natural thing.

I think the next issue that F1 needs to deal with is this whole business of working on next year's car ahead of time. It started off innocently as every team did it in one form or another, but now that Honda/Brawn has lead by example and Ferrari/McLaren are paying for developing their 2008 car, it's not a good thing for the sport. As a spectator, I want to see teams continue fighting through all 18 races. Renault's resurgence last year was great to see. Watching Honda flounder at the bottom was not a credit to the sport.

Hearing comments that Ferrari and other teams should give up on this year and work on next year - that is not a healthy competitive spirit. That just leaves 2-3 teams at the "top" this year to fight it out, which would get us back to where we started. Even if it's to use the current unlimited budget, I find that poor sportsmanship. Let's say the budget cap comes into play, I don't want to see 2-3 teams fight one year and another 2-3 teams fight the next year because they worked on their cars for two years. I want to see all 10 teams do their best and compete.

lower-case david

as you probably already knew, it was herbert spencer not darwin responsible for coining "survival of the fittest" ... and it's not even about survival as such, it's kinda more about attracting mates and reproduction. /pedantry.

why am i now thinking of kubica and trulli?

anyhow, i don't agree with this 'brawn as template' meme that now seems to be gaining some sort of weird traction; they burned through packing containers full of honda yen like nobodies business to design and build that car, and are paying this year's bills by spunking the redundancy packages that they effectively bilked their staff out off.

i dig 'em, and all that, but that's no pattern for any sort of sustainable brave new future ...

Newey's on 10million a year, how is that supposed to square with Red Bull: lightweight, frugal, lean and mean?

but i guess perception is reality, especially if suits a sports administration whose only interest is self-interest.
self-preservation ... anything that can be manipulated to weaken future rivals for territory is all that *ever* matters.

we're already through the looking-glass on this one, if that means requiring a grid full of B-specs, in a P45 cost cutting era, when you cynically overturn 15 years of your very own precedent as to shadow-bodywork and what a hole in the floor actually means, then that's all fair game i imagine. if that entails driving a coach and horses sized vortex of dirty-air through the clearly-stated intention of your own set of expensive, shiny new overtaking regulations, just to sow animosity, enmity and antagonism in a rival organisation, then so be it.

don't get me wrong though, i'd still pay good money to watch ross put flav's and tozzi's lights-out ... stripped to the waist round the back of the garages, bring a tool. (bernie, PPV, not like you to leave money on the table)

but please ... let's not entertain any more disingenuous pontification from mosley on this one, or any attempts to spin the brawn backstory into something we are all quite capable of clearly seeing it is not.
the budget-cap is about one thing, and one thing only: putting the FIA front and centre and in charge of every wheel-nut. a controlling, grabbing, piece of grubby dogmatic politics (that genetically speaking, can easily trace it's way back to discredited late 19th, early 20th century outmoded ideas of central-planning, regulated economies and crude top-down standardization as some kind of twisted mockery of equality).

it's pathological of course: administrations exist only to administer. fair enough, but let's not be helping them out by credulously swallowing-whole every last piece of spin and misdirection they attempt.

keep 'em peeled.


Just seen a text that Christian Horner sent Adrian Newey.

"Adge, dont worry about the double diffuser mate...also, don't worry about your ticket to Bahrain.

P.S - had a great party, shame you weren't here"

Paige Michael-Shetley

I think the era of "Top Teams"period is over. The budget cap is going to end the presence of massively funded teams spending their way into competitiveness in F1. Instead, it's going to be all about the talent of the engineers, mechanics, and drivers. The distribution of talent and the teams at the top will change much more from year-to-year than in the past.

What we are probably going to see from this point forward is a competitive structure in which 2-3 teams hit the sweet spot in car development for a current season while all other teams give up on that season and focus on development for the following season. In the absence of in-season testing, teams will start using their practice sessions as in-season tests for new parts, designs and suspension settings. This will lead to some pretty wild swings in the competitive hierarchy of F1 from season to season, as is the case in sports in which salary caps are imposed (NFL, NBA, NHL in America are great examples).

The main lesson that teams are going to learn from the Brawn example is what to do when you're behind in a particular season: give up and gear up for next year.


I wonder how hard Ferrari are KICKING themselves, they never let Brawn 'take over' after he (didnt) come back from his sebbatical..like you say its funny how its Ultimately Brawn (ex Ferrari) and Newey (ex Mclaren) who's teams are currently at the sharp end...wheras their old employers are 'languishing' (by their standards) further down the field 😯


"Brawn is a good example of a team which, as Honda, was guilty of the spending excesses of all the F1 manufacturers."

I guess, that was an overstatement by an excited James Allen;). But we all know this car was built last year using the Honda resources. They had those Honda resources till very late into this year.

I would have been very happy had Sutil not crashed on the way to points finish. And James i am sure that would have been the good example that you are indeed talking about. Although malya is a billionaire, he is not a sole owner and has been investing very shrewdly.


Well,I don't know about you guys,but I enjoy this brand new F1.Last year championship battle was a 2-way battle.The year before that,a 3-way battle.This year,who knows?We have The Brawns and Red Bull at the front at the moment.And I wouldn't count Williams and Toyotas off just yet.Not to mention Renault,Mclaren,Ferrari,and BMW that are said to be winning races in the near future (though in my humble opinion,BMW is now waaaayyyy too far from there).

My point is,I don't really care about which ones are the top teams,which ones are the "temporarily quick" cars,all I want to see is a real wheel-to-wheel battle and a little surprise every now and then.5 title contenders are better than 2 or 3,right?It gives you more excitement.It's unpredictable,and I think we're all agree that this is what we expect from a competition.Like what you said a couple of laps before Vettel won in Monza last year,James (was it you,or Martin?) "This is what makes me fall in love with the sport all over again" that it is able to throw you surprises from time to time...I think that's what a sportainment is about.


"So is Red Bull now a top team?"

No. Not yet at least. But I suspect their chances are very good of making it onto the championship podium, if not this year then next year.

They are a team that have been slogging away at it for a while, making steady progress, but unfortunately for them have been plagued with bad luck any time their chances looked good.

Its great to see them finally having a win, and what a time to do it, when the diffusered-Brawns seemed unstoppable.

How they fare in the next few races, particularly if on dry tracks, will reveal to us their true potential.

A very important result for Webber too, as I'm sure he is one who will improve greatly with the confidence of success. Bad luck has long been a close companion of his, so maybe he finally has the monkey off his back.



All I can say: I dread seeing how quick the RedBull would be with a double diffuser.
Although, knowing how different the back of that car is compared to the others (pull rod vs push rod) I am not sure if it will be easier or more difficult for them to get that double diffuser concept suiting that car.
I hope they do get it right. It would answer all of Newey's critics (many on this website as well). I believe James you had faith in him, and I am happy he delivered.
Vettel and Webber definitly deserve it. Especially Mark "Mr. Unlucky" Webber.


Vettel may well be the most valuable driver on the market right now - all the potential of Hamilton, but without the baggage (and that goes for Alonso and Kimi too) - plus for BMW and Mercedes, he is also German. Red Bull would be lucky to hang onto him for next year.

However if budget cap does come in, then the big teams will not be able to lure him away with huge salery.

Plus, someone like Newey will be an even bigger asset.


We shall see in the dry of Bahrain if Red Bull is a top team. My own view is that Brawn will beat them.

If I were Ferrari or McLaren and thinking of going with the OPTIONAL budget cap next year. I would now be doing what Honda/Brawn did last year and be designing/making next years car to the new rules. As I have said here before, the only way to take advantage of the new freedoms in 2010 is to design and test the car this year. It would be impossible to do it on a capped budget.

After the first race 2010 will be spent entirely in one court or another, listening to accountants arguing with the FIA.
Max said the had some pretty good forensic accountants lined up to check on peoples expenditure. That is not going to go down well, all the teams becoming "open book" is just not going to happen and I expect Flav to be next year's scapegoat.
Driver's contracts are confidential, the FOM monetary awards are confidential will these both now become open? Strange Max has not mentioned this.
There are many new complications to be resolved for a budget cap to work. I suspect it will be abandoned after the first year as totally non viable due to the difficulty of collecting the necessary data. Who will say "no we did that bit last year it's not included in the cap" here's a bonus 'cos we cant pay you properly next year. Lots of ways of getting round the new rules. Pity it will ruin another year of racing.


one off-topic question: was incident between Kubica and Trulli investigated? is grid penalty for Pole still possible?



I have followed your blog with some interest and must congratulate you on it. It is now my first port of call each morning with a cup of tea.

I think it's too early to call this a new order, but it certainly makes for great viewing! It used to be that I watched F1 with a good idea who would be at the front and who would be at the back. Now, I find out on the day, and that is much more entertaining. I admit I like to see Brits do well, but I was chuffed to see Vettel win in China as well. It just makes things more interesting, the not knowing what's going to happen. I love the fact that the cars are all so different again, but the performance is not miles apart, that speaks of some very clever engineers coming to different conclusions but achieving similar results.

Button said the cars use their tyres in different ways, brilliant, different cars will favour different tracks. I for one don't want to see one team dominant, but I'm very sure that if I worked for one of them my view would change.

Just an idea that has just occurred to me. To truly make budget caps work, and level the playing field so it pits engineers against each other, why not release the technical specs for the following season's cars a period of time after the last race of the season? (I say a period of time as this could be used to enforce a holiday period on the teams to give people a break) The budget cap should also apply from this point to the following year's release date.

With limited time and money there would be a risk of reliability issues, but surely the better designers would build some reliability in? To finish first, first you must finish and all that.

I've waffled on enough, again James, great blog keep it up.

The Kitchen Cynic

It occurs to me, JA's new blog is the journalistic equivalent of Brawn GP this year...


The budget cap (if and when applied as we think it will), is going to kill F1. F1 is all about speed and drivers who can drive a monster of a car on the limit. other than that IS NOT F1! I wish I could see next year's cars being able to beat the fastest times on all circuits! Why watch a sport which by definition is all about SPEED, not being able to break Schumacher's lap records of 5-6 years ago???? we're backstepping here people....it's a shame...


Last year Honda decided to focus on 2009 and came out this year with an extremely fast car (paid for by a big budget and big workforce). BMW did the same thing, and came out this year with... nothing.

If I was Robert Kubica I would be extremely dissapointed. He challenged last year and if the team didn't give up on him and the car it could have been possible that he finished the season in the same way Alonso did and challenged for the championship at Interlagos. Instead, he had to sacrifice for a car that is a midfield runner at best.

Newey updated the RB3 with some of his touches to produce an ok RB4 (a chassis that won with Vettel at STR). RB5 is the first of his cars built from the ground-up, and it shows.

So the teams that are performing well now are the teams who had a 1-2 year plan in place for 2009. That demonstrates the problems with the proposed budget cap.

The potential solution is that the FIA holds off on publishing the 2010 regulations until later in the season, to give all teams the exact same 'start date' on development. If a team were to focus on 2010 now, what would they do exactly? The 2010 regs are very much up in the air and because 2009 is a 'clean slate' season, there is still a lot more room for improvement on the current crop of cars.

Ferrari and BMW need to do what McLaren have been doing - using their people and budget resources to develop their 2009 cars further and in the interim rely on smart driving and smart strategy to scrape as many points as they can.

The start of this season is far too unique a situations to be able to make big long-term calls such as there being a new shift in the pecking order of F1.

Steven Pritchard


Is there not any data available from the practice runs in China, so we can compare Brawn and Red Bull laptimes over long-runs?

It seemed to me that the absolute pace of the RB and Brawn packages was pretty similar, however Brawn seemed to show far more consistency over the run and set a higher, average laptime.

Of course you have the vague issue of fuel loads during practice....




Hi James,

From one modern language graduate to another, I thought I'd better point out that Sebastian Vettel doesn't spell his name with an 'e' in the penultimate letter, but with an 'a'. Unlike the other two Sébastiens at Toro Rosso.

One could maybe say there are a disproportionate number of 'Sebs' in Formula One and rallying at the moment, I think!

As the creator of your Facebook appreciation group, may I also add my voice to the 'Bring James Allen to the BBC campaign'.

Thanks for continuing to keep us updated on this site!



"Of course their weakness is that those customer engines have to come from manufacturers and that could all get quite political…"

Customer engines? What's the difference between them and factory?

Ferrari, Renault etc. get theirs from the factory, but Williams, Red Bull, Brawn are supplied by other teams?

Hope someone can help. Thanks

Oh, and keep up the good work James : )


What James means, is that if a Redbull is going to win the race, and a Renault is in second, the Redbull might be told to pull aside.

I don't think this would happen however. One of the reasons RBR switched to Renault engines (from Ferrari) is to be treated more fairly and to avoid these kind of problems.


This is an absolutely fantastic observation regarding Newey vs Brawn from 1998 to 11 years down the line.

Can I just draw another similarity?

In 1998, the lead driver of one of the teams was a German wet weather specialist.

At the other team you had a driver who had spent years in the wilderness trying to get hold of a decent car who clearly had more talent that his results suggested and who also had just one win to his name prior to that season. And in that season (1998) he came out of the blocks with a great car to win the 1st two races of the year appearing like the man most likely to win the championship - despite only having one race win to his name before -....

...before the German wet-weather specialist won the 3rd race of the season!!!


Surely F1 is about the best engineers and dynamists in the world applying their talents to create the optimal machine within the contraints they're given?

Then that machine is given to the best drilled teams in the world who lovingly cajole the car into life and ensure every aspect of it is running at peak performance, regardless of track or conditions.

And finally the best drivers in the world push it and themselves beyond limits they don't even acknowledge they have.

I don't see how a budget cap prevents all that - all it does is level the playing field a bit.

Personally I think it's going to give us some of the best racing Formula 1 has seen for decades.

But if you want speed, there's always drag racing.


"Hear hear" (loudly).


I agree that this is the top stop for F1 think pieces. It is so good that I would be prepared to pay / subscribe. The word is spreading, James how can we help to ensure that your diligence and abilities are suitably rewarded. I assume that you have to pay for those hotels in China etc. I suppose if we spread the word, more readers, more hits etc. may help?
Sorry, don't want to get to far off topic, but we all appreciate your efforts James, this is a fab forum, timely, provocative (sometimes, which is good), informative and always sharp. Thankyou, keep up the good work.


Hamilton probably isn't the best example given that he nearly lost the Championship last year with driver errors, unlike Massa who's errors were more down to his team.

Vettel showed his class again yesterday, wet races tend to show who has the real talent. That's probably why the likes of Senna & Schumacher used to shine, whilst nowadays Vettel, Sutil, Button, Massa and Hamilton tend to excel (out perform their team mates or machinery) in wet races.


Maybe yes, maybe no - remember Lewis himself chucked it at the secenery a few times in the race, and last season was also peppered by a number of signicificent mistakes.

They are both youg drivers, and mistakes will happen. Vettel and Lewis in one team would be awesome


Mattw: The incident between Kovalainen and Vettel in qualifying wasn't investigated because Heikki was on an out lap at the time. So though he was blocked, he could hardly argue that it cost him a spot in Q3.


I'm quite sure that all the drivers would be more than happy to race with Ferrari or Mc Laren even they don't have the fastest car at that moment. They can come up with a strong car at any stage of the season. It may not be enough to challenge for the title but nobody can write them off already for next season.

I remember Vettel as saying "driving for Ferrari is my dream"
So let's wait and see how this young drivers career will unfold!


Damon, thanks for that. Please just spread the word, on forums etc. That's all.


Was the quali incident between Hekki and one of the Red Bulls investigated?


Good point Tomek, I thought this too after the race, he did hit him at some speed, surely if Trulli was going that slow he wouldn't be causing that much spray. Mind Buemi nearly took Vettel out too....


Vettel still makes too many errors - look at Hamilton, he went to MacLaren as a rookie and from very first race drove on par with none other than Alonso himself, while Vettel, in his 3rd season of being in F1 still makes a lot of mistakes: even during this last weekend he managed to block Kova and had a little collision with Buemi (yeah, I know what circumstances were there, but still...) and we all know what happened in first 2 races.


Nah you're not seeing the full picture, Hamilton was still fundamentally way faster than Kovi. Just that he beat himself with all those spins on an unusually bad day for him, not that Kovi beat him in terms of speed.


the old addage is true..you dont know what you have until its gone and your missing it (Ross B)
foolish Ferrari 🙄


"Mac’s interim solution is already paying dividends. Heikki was having hell before and this time drove a sensible race"

Im fairly sure that Hamiltons car was the only actual McL car with the new updates since malaysia.
which brings up another point (fecious reasoning)
we could say that the new parts are making the car worse!?! well Kovi did kill Hamilton in todays race, and he was running with the 'old' car, so.... 😉

Paige Michael-Shetley

Cheers on the observation of McLaren's rate of development so far.

James, I believe it was you who predicted that McLaren would pick up a full second over the handful of Grands Prix after Melbourne. Your prediction is off to a great start. The car will be very interesting to watch when they fit a full-on double decker diffuser onto the car.

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