Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel frustrated by lack of running and inconsistent tyres
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  05 Mar 2013   |  3:57 pm GMT  |  164 comments

Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel says the Pirelli tyres lack consistency and admits his disappointment with his Red Bull team’s final days of testing.

The Milton-Keynes based team managed 158 laps over the weekend, compared to the 248 Mercedes managed.

High degradation with Pirelli’s new 2013-spec tyres has been an issue for all the teams so far this year and Vettel, who has won the title for the last three years, said the lack of mileage has meant the team didn’t quite gather all the data they had hoped for with regards the tyres.

“We haven’t been able to tick all the boxes we would have liked to and the last two days weren’t as good as we had expected, but there is a bit of time left until the season starts,” said Vettel who finished eighth fastest on the final day of testing.

“I think we all have been limited by what the tyres can do. It was extremely difficult to read some set-up changes and find a direction with the car as the tyres were simply not good enough.”

However, Vettel said he was still positive ahead of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

“Testing was good for us as a whole but surely we would have loved to have had more consistency,” he said.

“Especially from a tyre point of view, I think all the teams suffered the same kind of problem, therefore it was difficult to really read the changes and the steps that we tried to make but that’s how it is.

“We need to have a good look at the data between now and Melbourne to have a better understanding of what to expect in Australia and the first few races of the season. In my opinion lap times didn’t matter all through the winter tests.”

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Vettel is 3 time champ, but not really deserving.

He needs to change teams now and prov he is champ.


Unless my memory serves wrong, did RBR not delibrately miss the first test?

That most probably translates to why they don’t have as much mileage than most other teams.

Since they’re so confident in their car that they could delay their test, I’d say Vettel is just sandbagging.


The teams are not even required to run a race legal car so Mercades could have simply took some ballast out and run under weight just to spook the competition. We will never really know.

Val from montreal

I just feel sorry for Vettel ..The F1 Press which is 70% covered by English media, are waiting for the slighest little mis-hap from Vettel so they can start calling him a cheater and scripting him as the new villain … They could’nt trash Schumacher until adelaide 94 and have’nt let go since …

Somebody has to ring Britain and tell them WW2 was over a long time ago !

Schumacher hated yes but idolysed by milions and millions .. 85 year old Italian grandmothers would be glued to the TV on sunday after noons , or mornings shouting :

Grazie mille Michele !! Bravo Picciotto !


My mother is one of those Italian octogenarians you mentioned.

I guarantee that her and countless members of the family couldn’t give a damn about Michele or Ferrari.

If they supported anyone in Motorsport, it was Vale, the local bambino.

Ferrari supporters of that age are predominantly male, only in the last couple of decades have young women begun to enjoy the spectacle of running round in circles. I believe it’s to do with celebrity over ability.

Regarding trashing Schumi in 1994 onwards, I believe that there is still an element of German dislike in the English psyche, it’s something very obvious in international football, here in England.

What always amazes me is the irony of the hooligan mentality with xenophobic stand point, yet they all aspire to drive German machinery and use German power tools because of their “quality”

I don’t know the full details of the “illegal” 1994 Benetton, just that when the FIA ran software checks on the Benetton, Mclsren and Ferrari, secret software programmes were found in the Benetton and Mclaren packages. Ferrari gave the FIA full access.

Sadly mud sticks, but rather than blaming MSC, the press should have investigated Tom Walkinshaw, a significant part of the F1 team and someone with very shady practices in motorsport…

Val from montreal

Lol – It halso had illegal traction control when Schumacher from second out muscled Senna at the start of the Pacific 1994 GP, from which Senna now second spun out again , due to Larini slightly touching him …


Hi Val, what time was it in Montreal when you wrote this post – about 1.00pm.

It’s sure gonna be a long day if you’ve had that much of the cooking sherry already. You need to pace yourself, try sipping water in between glasses 🙂


Marko is adamant that RBR’s current issues are not due to the ban of Renaults controversial engine mapping.

Hmmmmmmm! I wonder why Lotus (the other major Renault user) seem to have taken a sudden dip in form as well?

Instagram @f1captures

It’s all smoke and mirrors. I’d be stunned if he isn’t at least on the podium in Melbourne.

The fact that they haven’t even bothered to do long runs surely shows how confident they are? If they thought they were in trouble I’m sure they would have done some just to get an idea of how far away from the pack they are.


Sorry Off topic. James any information on how the current situation in Venezuela is going to hit Williams?


Election in 30 days. Could be interesting if the opposition gets in.


Doubt the opposition will gain power – with all sympathy votes going to the ruling party…


I heard during these tests that, “Red Bull is one of the strongest team this season.”

But now the news is different. I just can’t understand who is telling the truth?


The fact is nobody knows. It is all educated guess work and some not so educated speculation thrown in for good measure.


No-one is telling the ‘truth’, everyone is just making educated guesses.

Wait for Melbourne and the first few races after that – then we’ll all know the truth 🙂




News are not different. Vettel throwing sand in your eyes, that’s it. They will be 0,2-0,4 sec faster than the rest in qualifying 10 days from now.


Interesting. Perhaps this will be similar to last season – early struggle for consistancy, and then the car/tyres marriage comes alive as they get it sorted.

I’m in Melbourne and it appears we are going to have a two week spell of maximum temperatures above 30C. The forecast supports this out to the 12th of March. Melbourne may get clipped by a cold front on the 13th (according to ECMWF charts). Could be a warm GP weekend.


There were bags of sand delivered to the pit, so they said.

Close racing will be very much welcomed for 2013. WDC won by 1 point.


Name any driver who is 100% happy with their tyres, that said looks like there could be a lot of pit stops in 2013 and who are great with fast pit stops REDBULL so I see a 4th title for vettle…

come on Melbourne 🙂


McLaren have the fastest pit stops.


Last year Ferrari were the fastest and McLaren fumbled the most of pit stops than any other top team.


No, McLaren hold the pit stop record. From the top of my head, it was for Jenson and lasted 2.35 sec.





Any more podcasts on the horizon?


Yes there will be the first of the 2013 season this weekend


hi james – one aspect that hasn’t been mentioned about the likliehood of extra pitstops.

the second driver to pit in every team is looking at a potentially compromised pit strategy. having to wait an extra lap will probably be a disaster given the tyres performance drop off.

it would probably be better to stack the cars in the pitlane rather than do an extra lap. is stacking allowed?


James, why didn’t everyone test in a warmer climate this year like say Dubai as they did in seasons past? They’re all whyning about the tyres in the cold, bad weather, blah blah… newsflash, it’s winter in Europe.

Is it cost? And if so did everyone not lose money and time just by going to a track that does not represent conditions for the rest of the season? They all seem to hint that it wasn’t very productive..


They mentioned something about this on Sky and it’s basically a cost related decision. Flying the cars to Dubai is far more expensive than driving them to Spain in trucks. Sending them by sea would take too long.


Thought it might have been.. although like I said I’m not sure running around on a cold or wet track where the tyres aren’t effective is a sound financial decision either.

I like Cheesecake


Vettel is the benchmark in F1 now ! Regardless of what Alonso does, Vettel will still win 4th WDC. I wonder why all Ferrari/Alonso fans always want to see Redbull/Vettel not doing great. Are they not sure of their team/driver being able to beat Vettel in a straight fight for championship ?!


@ I like Cheesecake

“Vettel is the benchmark in F1 now ! Regardless of what Alonso does”

Are you joking or in wonderland ?

This is the same guy who was easily beaten by PDR in lower formulas.

Vettel is nothing more than a average driver. All he has to do is drive the quickest car to win WDC year after year. He only needs to beat webber which is not the toughest task in the world.

Get a life and have a reality check. Comparing alonso with vettel is like comparing apples to oranges

“Are they not sure of their team/driver being able to beat Vettel in a straight fight for championship”

Alonso has done enough to win the WDC. However Ferrari need to work harder than RBR if they need the WDC on the evidence of past 3 seasons

Vetel is not even a benchmark for the likes williams or force india or torro rosso drivers


You accuse him of being in wonderland, then come out with this? Are you serious?


A straight fight?

How many races will the FIA have to make a rule clarification because of RBR bending the rules?

We already have one with the engine mapping.


How can SV win the WDC regardless of what FA does?

Surely if FA scores a greater number of points he would beat SV.


Yep, Water tight logic.


You might be right, Vettel might win his 4th WDC this year, but keep in mind that Alonso almost beat him last year with bad car.

In a straight fight I’m pretty confident he’d win.

RBR doesn’t have to do bad, Ferrari just has to do a little better 🙂


Vettel was also frustated that their latest updates didn’t deliver the results they expected.Furthermore they couldn’t get a decent car-balance the last two days.

And they lost a lot of time in the third sector of the track.So did Lotus and Williams.Ferrari and Mercedes were 0.7 to 0.8 seconds faster in the last sector.Maybe this has something to do with the Renault engine mapping Red Bull , Lotus and Williams use.Rosberg took 0.3 seconds of Alonso in the second sector, but Alonso was ahead in the topspeed tables together with Sauber.

source :


This is basically the car that won both titles last year, so why should we believe that all of a sudden it’s become bad? If they have found 0.5 sec the other teams (exept mclaren) will have to gained more then a sec to overtake it. So this is sandbagin at its finest, and I expect red bull to be a challenger all year.


There maybe something here.

Yes, as has been witnessed in past race weekends, whenever Vettel isn’t a happy lad seen up and about the paddock >>> that’s the weekend he loses and in this case >>> mean the whole season.

So the way things are headed with these new tyres, exactly why wouldn’t we have a similar opening season to 2012 and judging from last season’s first half, Red Bull don’t work too well when everything is up in the air.

Interestingly (as is usual in these circumstances) haven’t heard from Webber about his concerns, maybe it’s during such times of imperfection that Webber does his best work.

Basically what am trying to say is Webber prefers chaos whilst Vettel likes order and perfection.


I suggest teams start challenging other teams to non-Championship races. I’d love to see the RB drag race the Mercedes down a quarter mile, for instance. Simple, easily achieved, entertaining.


Not a bad idea…but a Red Bull on a straight against a Mercedes would have no chance.

I’m not anti-RBR or pro-Mercedes: It’s just a fact.


Vettel and Button have been voicing their unhappiness for a while now (because they actually drive these cars).

But funny enough fans just choose to in ‘denial’ about this 😀


While shedding a tear for Serb and RBR…

Its not just RBR that’ll feel this pain. The field will feel it too and qualifying might suffer with teams not inclined to slug through Q3.

In fact, if not for the mid field and lower teams taking advantage, most teams would see Q3 as a waste of time. In order for the front runners to take advantage, we might see Q3 and the entire race being run on the hard tyres, so teams don’t get crippled in the earliest stages with heavy fuel loads. The super soft compound might only be used in a fast dash in the last couple of laps.

It is possible that for some races, the new compound will be torsed out for lasts years rubber.


From the graphs of last article by James for day 4 Barcelona, it seems their times were very consistent and were definitely not slow.

Maybe Vettel is not fully satisfied with whatever RB was testing in the last 1-2 days.

Let racing in Melbourne do the talking.


Vettel talking rubbish in my eyes. I don,t think he is sandbagging,just talking rubbish. Reckon the Merc,s looking good, as are Ferrari. Mclaren look worried, Lotus look lost. Just preying the tyres don,strop the best team from winning!


Vettel just likes to be more prepared. He wants to emulate Schumacher by having more knowledge. I think his comments here can be interpreted as ‘okay we’re looking at more of a 2012 season than a 2011 total dominance scenario’.

Much like any driver he’d rather go in with a staggering car advantage. He’s not got that – maybe just a slight advantage. But he also knows that – even if the car isn’t the best at the start of the year, it will be competitive and Adrian Newey and the financial backing blank cheque will ensure he gets the opportunity to lead races from the front sooner or later.

Hell – even webber was smiling in his interviews this testing – he never does that! So I suspect red bull are still confident of being competitive – they just mourn the days of 2011 when they could crush everyone totally (probably helped in 2011 by mclaren having an awful testing winter with the doomed octo-exhaust). Red bull know the testing hasn’t been a disaster for their rivals. At least last year they could see Ferrari struggling badly. This year it’s probably more that other teams have completed somewhat successful outings.


Believe me, Vettel is nothing close to Schumacher. Not even nearly.

Schumacher is easily about the only f1 driver that could possibly fit in an engineering role.

I never liked Schumi in his time, but his calibre was inarguably well above and beyond the cut of the field; whereas, few believe Vettel would be where he is without the total domination of the Newey inspired Red Bull.

Schumacher is a legend.


Such a brilliant engineer that without Byrne at Mercedes, they didn’t develop the car at all.

MSC was a workaholic and would test everything, but his engineering prowess was shown up for what it really was in 1998 by Irvine, the playboy.

Schumi tested a front wing at Imola which gave no improvement on lap time. The squad was confused as it should have been quicker. Taken away, checked in factory, next day Irvines testing.

Front wing on Irvines car is worth half a second.

Basically, Schumi had the ability to drive round a problem which made development difficult.


I merely meant vettel wants to emulate Schumacher and his attention to detail. I didn’t mean he is capable of the same exact level.


Hopefully the season doesn’t start like last year, hate all these fake races due to Pirelli’s tyres

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